Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympic Walk into Work

You know you've been watching too much Olympic coverage when the narration in your head on your way into work goes something like this (to be read in your best "Olympic Annoucer" voice):

OK, well, she was a little late out of the starting gate, and I see she decided to stick with the snow boots that she's been wearing for the last few weeks. Let's see how she handles her first challenge. The driveway was shoveled yesterday leaving a thin layer of ice, which can be tricky, and her landlord has left only about 8 inches of space between the cars that she needs to squeeze through... but yes, she has gotten through that with no problem. As she turns the corner she realizes that she's too late to have a crossing guard at her first street crossing, but as we've seen on many walks before, she boldly crosses that intersection, staring down the guy in the pick-up truck and reminding him exactly who has the right of way.

We're moving into an easier part of the course where speed is the main concern. Most of these sidewalks have been cleared, with just a few tricky spots here and there. This morning the course is especially deceiving with patches of black ice in some places. Oh! There I saw a little foot slippage, but as you can see she's regained her balance and is trucking along at a brisk clip. I think she might actually make in into work on time folks. We'll have to see how she handles the downhill.

The course so far has a slight incline, but now that she's approaching the Arts Center and downtown we can see that she's into the downhill portion of the course. The first obstacle is that she needs to decide wether or not to jaywalk while the light is not in her favor here. She looks both ways, waits for that blue car and WOW! Did you see that? She is so bold in her street crossing, what an obvious jaywalk that was! This is not a move we see very often from her, she must be really late. Thankfully no cops were around to write that jaywalking ticket that so many Princeton pedestrians live in fear of. Her next big challenge will be to avoid the bakery, and yes, she does that without even a glance. She is on a record-setting pace here, folks. There are a few icy patches on this side of Witherspoon, but she seems to be paying attention and avoiding them with ease. There's one stroller obstacle that she's avoided, and now, here's the toughest move left in the trip, avoiding Small World Coffee, and yes, she's done it! You can see she's unzipped her coat and she's starting to feel a little warm from the above-freezing temps and amazingly fast pace she's been keeping since the starting gate.

She reaches the light at Nassau St. and again it is not in her favor. With a quick glance at the clock at Hamilton Jewlers she realizes she needs to go now if she's going to make it to work on time. Again, she looks both ways, the cars part in her favor and there she goes! A second jaywalk! I can't believe it! She's home free now that she's made it to campus. The only thing that could slow her down now is running into someone she knows, but her head is down and she's picking up speed. She's in the home stretch, down the stairs outside McCormick Hall and into the elevator. In a stroke of luck the elevator is waiting for her and with her standard push of the "door close" button she avoids running into anyone and makes it to her desk by 8:43! With plenty of time to spare she takes off her coat, changes into her orange flats and is "at her desk, ready to work by 8:45"!

Another successful walk into work!

Sadly, no one gave me a standing ovation or gold medal when I sat down at my desk.

Friday, February 12, 2010


So a bunch of the engineers that are also on the Pub Quiz team that I'm on decided to join the Intramural Broomball league on campus. In order to play in the co-ed league they needed to have some girls on the team, so I was eagerly recruited, not for my broomball skills, but more for the fact that I'm female.

Since I've mentioned this to a few people, many have said "What the heck is broomball?". So I took my camera onto the ice last night and took a few shots just to give a sense of the goofiness of this game. We play on half of the hockey rink (or more like a third of the rink), so two games can go on at once, with the middle left empty for those that are on the sidelines. Only five people play on each team at a time, a goalie and four other people.

As you can see, everyone has sticks and the ball is actually like a little soccer ball. The sticks and helmets are provided, but our captain recommended knee pads, since you are bound to fall slipping around on ice in your sneakers and grippy gloves to hold onto the stick. So I went out and bought some volleyball kneepads and batting gloves, which work perfectly. Although I still have a bruise on my hip about the size of a coaster.

I also decided to take a little video, just to give you a better sense of the game:

Last night we played the PU Band team and they were pretty aggressive, much more so than the first team that we played. Both games ended in a 0-0 tie and went to a shoot out. The first game we won, last night's game we didn't.

Next game is Monday night! Game On!


That's right folks, New Jersey gets snow. And sometimes we get a lot of snow, like this week. We got a nice dose of snow on Saturday (maybe a foot or so) and then another dose on Wednesday, probably another 15 inches. The University was closed on Wednesday and I spent the day being ridiculously productive around the house. It snowed like crazy all day, and the most outside time I had was to do a little shoveling in the morning, some more in the afternoon, and doing some laundry, which involves walking across my small front porch.

Above is a view of the driveway. I was smart enough to park all the way at the end closest to the street so that I didn't have to shovel out the entire length of the driveway. But I did have to make a little path for walking, which you can barely see there.

This is the old, mostly dead crabapple tree in the front yard. I was afraid the weight of this heavy snow was going to bring it down. Only one big branch came off, the rest stayed upright.

And this is my back yard and neighbor's back porch. This isn't even the worst of it. These photos were taken on Wednesday afternoon before another 6 -8 inches fell that night. By the morning you couldn't even differentiate the individual steps across the way.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cheddar Dill Bread

For some reason, the flavor combination of Cheddar & Dill is perfect to me. I decided to make a loaf of bread on Tuesday night, right when the big snow storm was starting. It seemed a good way to warm the house and have a tasty treat to get me through a snowy, dreary day on Wednesday.

I ended up using the same half whole wheat recipe that I usually use, and kneaded in the cheddar and dill at the final shaping just before letting it rise in the pan. It turned out wonderfully and it's been great as toast with just a little bit of butter. What a treat!