Alec and I went to the Parks & Recreation panel at PaleyFest this week at the Dolby Theater, and it was a pretty great way to spend a Tuesday evening. If you can get tickets to a fun panel, I suggest trying it, if only to see a new episode of the latest show a few days early. (But no spoilers, which co-creator Mike Schur requested). Oh wait, I have to mention that it was moderated by freaking Patton Oswalt and he was a hilarious genius, of course.
1. Amy Poehler is hilarious and clever and cute all time, especially two glasses deep into a nice white wine, which she had on stage and didn’t hesitate to pour for other cast mates.
2. Nick Offerman’s favorite guest star on P&R was Megan Mullaly (obvs).
3. Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) and Mona Lisa (Jenny Slate) are often asked if they are brother and sister in real life because they look so much alike. Alas, they aren’t.
4. Mike Schur, P&R co-creator, insisted that if Jerry (Gerry or Larry)’s work life was going to be so pathetic, than his home life had to be unexpectedly better than anyone’s. Hence, Christie Brinkley.
5. Back to Nick Offerman, who, with a full-grown beard (and just a bit of silver fox mixed in) is extremely handsome, especially in a well-tailored suit. Also, he’s done full-frontal (in Deadwood) and all the shots on the show of him wood-working are done in his personal wood-working studio at his home.
6. Amy Poehler was blown away by the amount of love fans started offering once the mic went to the crowd and almost teared up on stage.
7. Also, more Amy Poehler stuff: She said she felt like she and Leslie are almost the same person: “I love her exuberance. I’m a little lazier and more cynical and more checked out than she is,” Poehler said. “She tells everyone all the time what she’s feeling. What’s cool about her is there’s nothing cool about her.” Poehler also said that the P&R season finale was “bonkers” and would have “a lot of change.”
Can’t wait to find out about that tid-bit!
What a weekend we had celebrating our friends’ upcoming wedding! We took a road trip to Vegas for a double bachelorette party and had an amazing time. Seriously, if you don’t live less than four hours from Vegas, I feel for you. It’s so easy to pop over for two days—because that really all the time you need there—and then get home before The Walking Dead starts. We hung out by the pool at Paris, had a huge and delicious family-style meal at Carmine’s in The Forum Shops and then partied ourselves silly at Pure Nightclub in Caesar’s. I can’t wait to go back (and will be soon for Britney)!
We made it out alive! But just barely. There’s nothing that makes you realize how old you are more than a night in Vegas. There are more pictures to come later, but I handed these in for my photo assignment this week. These are the edited versions (which we’re not allowed to do for class) because I didn’t adjust my white balance and everything turned out a bit blue. Lessons learned!
We stopped at this funny gas station around the halfway mark that had moving, talking, um, statues? Robots? Not sure what they were, but they urged me to try to the brisket sold inside. (Nope.) We had a great weekend!
Wow, guys. Wow. That was…wow. There are so many feelings that run through you (and I mean that in the both a metaphorical and extremely literal sense) during a marathon, and you just hope that heat stroke is not one of them. Luckily, I didn’t have a catastrophic run like many people I saw, laying low in the medical tents and waiting for a sports drink. But let’s think positive. First, let’s talk about:
The Spectators: You guys are so many kinds of awesome. I’ve run a marathon with few to no spectators, and without anyone there to cheer you on, it’s gets rough. I’m so lucky to have amazing friends who came out to cheer on myself and my running partner! Their support at mile 12 energized us, and we definitely needed it, even so early in the race. And I can’t forget the people who brought out their hoses from their houses along the course to cool us down. More on that below, but for now we can say that they were lifesavers. Also, thank you to my friend, Colin, for a post-race macaroon, my favorite! It was so, so delicious.
The Stadium: Have you ever seen the sunrise at Dodger Stadium? Like, from really good seats? Because we have, and it’s beautiful.
The Bathrooms: I was impressed when, at mile 20, there was still toilet paper in the Porta-Potties.
The Course: We ran through many major Los Angeles landmarks, and it was pretty neat. There was entertainment along the way and plenty to see and take in. It was a beautiful run.
The Running Buddy: I can’t say enough about my amazing my friend and running partner, Stacey. She’s a talented athlete and always comes prepared with an excited attitude (and great stories) that make running in circles for hours lots of fun. I could not have done this marathon without her help and encouragement.
The Hour: They scheduled a marathon for the day after daylight savings time—when we lost an hour of sleep. Precious, precious pre-race sleep.
The Open Corrals: This was our mistake. We should have signed up for a seeded corral so we could start with runners who were at the same pace as us. But we didn’t, so we started in the open corral. Which meant that, from the time the race started, it took us 20 minutes to cross the start line. And then we had to weave in and out of the crowd to find a pace group that worked for us, which can take a few miles. Not great.
The Extra Tight Security: This wasn’t actually bad, and it put our minds at ease when it came to race safety. But it wasn’t effectively coordinated. To ensure that each runner was who they said they were, you had to pick up your bib number and race packet at the expo. This was instead of the usual getting your bib mailed to you or asking another runner to pick it up for you. I understand the reasoning behind this—it’s the execution that didn’t pan out. Many runners waited in line at least 45 minutes just to pick up their bibs! Have you ever stood on concrete for more than an hour? Your feet start to hurt a bit, so you shift your weight back and forth. Another hour goes by, and then they start to burn. Yeah, that’s what happens in a marathon. Except once they start to burn, you still have another few hours to pound pavement with burning soles. So the day before your race, the last thing you want to do is stand on concrete for an hour (and for some people, two), just to get your bib and then have to go in search of your race packet and stand in yet another line.
The Gatorade: And by “the Gatorade,” I mean there was none. They ran out. THEY RAN OUT of Gatorade, which is pretty essential for balancing electrolytes and preventing runners from passing out, getting heat stroke, vomiting and other super fun long-distance-running-in-severe-heat ailments. And not long after, they started running out of cups for water. Volunteers were just holding out gallon jugs of Arrowhead, asking which runners wanted a “free shower!” Nope. No thank you. I’d like some water. And Gatorade. Which I actually ran off the course for once I spotted a semi-nearby gas station. P.S.—A word of advice: ALWAYS carry five dollars on you during a race. You never know when you’ll need it.
The Heat: Temps were reaching into the mid-80s by the middle of the race, if not earlier. So without Gatorade or cooling stations—something else a race will usually provide on hot race days, which are basically buses with hoses to spray the runners—people were feeling the heat and the medical tents started to fill up. And then they were overflowing, as people couldn’t all find room in the medical tents to lie down, so they took to the grass. It just sucked. There’s no better way to put it. To give you an idea of how much it affected us, we spent the last five months training at a 10-10:15 minute pace. We finished our longest training run, a 22 miler, at our goal pace. But on race day? We were running 11:30 and 12:30 miles. Some of that had to do with the intense hills in the first half of the race, but a lot of it had to do with the heat.
The Sickness: I saw more than a few sick runners after the finish line, with nothing to do but bend over and vomit it all up. That can happen with or without the heat, but I have a feeling that the poor planning for hydration on the part of the race had something to do with it.
But Don’t Forget…
We ran a freaking MARATHON, people! At whatever time we finished, we were champs and pulled through. Training for and running a marathon teaches you a lot that has nothing to do with running (another post on that later), and that includes how far you can push yourself when you set your mind to it. If you’re thinking about doing a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon—do it! Because you might think you can’t, but you definitely can (unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Please check with your doc if you have health concerns). You’ll be surprised just what you can accomplish when you’re willing to push past your comfort zone.
I love Whole Foods early in the morning, right when they open. All the fruit and produce are fresh and perfectly arranged and the store isn’t too too crazy yet. I stopped there for some Suja green juice (to which I’m now addicted) this morning and snapped a few shots of the perfect produce before heading out (and got some weird looks but, eh).
I can hardly believe it’s been seven years since I packed up my car and drove halfway across the country to California. I spent about a year in New York after college and then decided to try San Diego (before L.A….it’s been busy), so I went back to Oklahoma for a month, visited some friends and then drove to sunny Southern Cali.
Along the way, I took a few pictures. But the film got mixed up in the move once I finally arrived, so I didn’t see these photos until today! My husband found the rolls of film around the time we were getting the disposable cameras from our wedding developed, and the developed pictures have been sitting in our filing cabinet for a year and a half, waiting patiently to be looked at. So glad I went searching for something else and stumbled across these. There were even some pics from college in there! (Definitely more on that later.)
When I start feeling a little stuffy, I like to cut back on dairy, especially before a big run (like, you know, the marathon on Sunday, no big deal). I decided a little spice wouldn’t hurt either, so I found this yummy recipe from Oh She Glows: Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole.
Holy yummers, it was delicious. And super, super easy. These pictures don’t really do it justice, but I was in such a hurry to chow down that I didn’t pause long to take them. Oops!
FOR THE SPAGHETTI SQUASH:
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- extra virgin olive oil
- ground cumin
- ground chili powder
- dried oregano
- salt & pepper
FOR THE BLACK BEAN GUACAMOLE:
- 2 avocados, pitted and flesh scooped out
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups cooked beans)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
- fine grain sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice off the stem of the squash and place the squash cut side down on a cutting board. With a chef’s knife, carefully slice through the squash lengthwise to create two long halves. Scoop out the seeds and guts with an ice cream scoop. Brush some olive oil onto the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for 30-50 minutes, depending on how large your squash is. When the squash is tender and you can easily scrape the strands with a fork, it’s ready. I like to check the squash after 25-30 minutes to make sure I’m not over cooking it. Be sure not to cook for too long or it will turn mushy.
Step 2: While the squash is roasting, prepare the black bean guacamole. Mash the avocado flesh in a large bowl. Fold in the onion, tomato, drained and rinsed black beans, and cilantro. Season to taste with lime juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Step 3: Remove squash from the oven, flip over, and scrape the flesh with a fork in vertical motions. Do this until you’ve scraped all the strands off the skin. Now sprinkle on some chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper (as much or as little as you want). Top the squash with guacamole and serve warm. You can also plate the spaghetti squash, if preferred.