Monday, December 30, 2013

Hardly Ho Hum on Hicks and Um

Say Mister, wanna go for a ride?

The Boyfriend descending Mt. Um. 

The Boyfriend took me on a hard ride and gave me a good time.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

She Danced with her Nutcracker

Oh my gosh, I'm going to the ballet. What would the Christmas season be without seeing a fresh version of the Nutcracker by Ballet San Jose.

That's about as much as I can show you due to copyright laws and such.  Spectacular scenery and costumes.  A subdued version, focusing more on the E.T.A Hoffman fairy tale.   I appreciated this take rather than the typical showy production.  It was elegant.  The snow flurries and snow flakes scene was out of this world.  I believed the dancers were snow flakes and the dry ice/fog machine blowing onto the stage and into the orchestra pit was magnificent.  By the way, go Symphony Silicon Valley for its wonderful performance. 

I cried at the end.  She's waiting for her Prince.  In her beautiful tutu.  And in the back of the stage, the Nutcracker awaits in silhouette.  How haunting and oh so, french!  Not sure about a happy Hollywood ending.  Fantastique.  Go Ballet SJ!!

Holly Trolley

Wait, wait for it, it's the fa la la Holly Trolley!  Doesn't take much to make me squeal with delight.  A swell free holiday service from SJ VTA.  According to this article in the SJ MercThe Holly Trolley was built in Milan, Italy, in 1928 and operated there until the mid-1980s, when the Italian government donated it to the San Jose Trolley Corporation.

So cute inside.  We sat on wooden benches.  If only every day commuting could be like today.  Well, it was a bit noisy -- this video clip captures the noise and the route.  Clang clang clang.  Festive.  Loved it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

A favorite character of mine is The Grinch.  Alas, though, plant me downtown at Christmas in the Park and I get a little misty seeing kids having a swell time.

Our tree.  My camera does not do it justice.

Each year, The Fairmont San Jose has wonderful holiday displays - this year a gingerbread house.

Last week, I did the Santa Run to help support Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice, the ice rink surrounded by a circle of palm trees, a classic California scene.

Ah, Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph's.  Miss E asked me to join her for this evening's Season of Hope concert -- her friend, a handsome tenor whose voice brought tears to my eyes was performing.

An interior view of the church.  Lovely concert.  Lovely time with Miss E and her family.

Last year, I joked about Reindeer of Troy in my neighborhood.  Well, somehow, this year, it kinda looks pretty.  My neighborhood is swell and they put up with me, The Grinchie.  Recently, we welcomed Garden to Table, a wonderful project to build sustainable organic farms in urban areas to help our less fortunate neighbors.   Right on my street.   Just another of my favorite things ....

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa Baby

A year ago, The Boyfriend and I stumbled upon the first ever Santa Run Silicon Valley, an event to help support our wonderful Christmas in the Park, considered one of the top ten displays in the world.  I jokingly said I would enter the 5k race next year.

Well, here I am.  Did I do any training to prepare for this race?  Ho ho ho ho my belly laughs.  Um, I showed up.  Met my friends and waited for Rudolph and the other reindeer to whisk me away in their sleigh.  Didn't happen.  I expected to walk and maybe run a little bit and hopefully finish the 3 mile course in 45 minutes if I was lucky. 

I don't know what happened but I shot off like a reindeer on steroids.  Okay, a bit of fancy.  I started running (also known as jogging) and essentially never stopped.  I was like, yo Santa, yo Elf, get out of my frigging way.

There's me.  Sweat was pouring off me.  My thighs felt like cement.  I kept pace with this wonderful woman wearing bells and every time I heard her bells, I kept pushing myself.  Running in costume, among a sea of red Santas, some in tutus, others wearing antlers, and so forth, cracked me up and made the event funny and memorable and enjoyable.

I called The BF and said, I'm just about finished.  Actually it was more like I was high as a kite and yelled something crazy into the phone and thank God he understood. He had only just arrived and barely made it to the finish to snap my photo.  It was wonderful to have him there at the end.  Wonderful.

They had milk and cookies for us!  The first place finisher's time was 16.56.  As for me, I exceeded my expectations.  Don't go there, please as to what constitutes expectations....  Results are here along with an interesting graph.

I received a present later but I can't blog about that.

Just the Stats:

Finish:  33.58 with a pace of 10.57
I placed 1,035 out of 3143 finishers

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tis the Season to be Cold

I wanted to go on  Miss P's club ride but I got stuck with The Boyfriend instead.  Oh oh, I'm in trouble ... Truthfully, it's too cold for 9am starts.  All this week and last, I've braved the cold temperatures on the, wait, wait for it, 1.4 mile ride to work.  Here I am trying to entice The BF with black silk stockings and what's that, could it be Mistletoe above me.  Okay, I'm rolling up wool leggings and top of wool leggings along with two wool jerseys.  Wool, it does a body good.

We intended to bike to Sunol from Cardoza Park in Milpitas.  I amazed myself by getting up Old Calaveras and The Wall.  I attribute my success to the 3 flat miles of biking I do every day to get to work.  Alas, we did not make it to Sunol.  We managed 20 miles.  The BF never felt warm.  I have been trying to convince him about the pleasure of wool and how it does a body good ....  It's not my kind of weather so I have sympathy for him.  Wool stays dry and that's the difference. 

Later, I went to Sports Basement to pick up my costume for tomorrow.  I had ordered a size small but apparently I didn't get the memo that small was for elves.  The girls behind the desk were quite impressed with my abs. and exclaimed what great shape I was in.  They wanted to give me a candy cane.  Which reminds me of last night.  You see, there was a slug on one of my celery stalks.  Funny thing, I had just finished reading an article about introducing delectables from other parts of the world, into our country -- you know, like crickets, horse, and guinea pig.  Not going to happen anytime soon for me .... 

I plan to be naughty and nice for tomorrow's event.  More importantly, it begins at 3pm.  The temperature should be just about right.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I Got Hitched

Last month, my mother gave me her car.  I had it transported from Virginia.  I always said to no one in particular, well perhaps to The Boyfriend, that when I got a new vehicle, I'd get a bike rack.  Miss P. suggested that I go to Rack n Road.  Thank you Miss P. - best recommendation ever.   I can't say enough about this store's customer service and knowledge.  The BF and I spent close to an hour deciding on the right model for me.  Roof racks are much cheaper but not going to happen for a short person such as myself.

I selected the Kuat Sherpa for 2 bikes.  Beautiful.  It's aluminum and weighs about 28 lbs.  It took an hour and a half to have the hitch installed and the bike rack mounted.  Can't even tell it's part of the car.  Again, I can't say enough about the excellent customer service I received from Rack n Road in San Jose.

Today, The BF and I went for a test spin.  The set up is easy, loading and unloading a breeze.  We only managed to bike 20 miles because biking in 45 degree temperature with an icy wind is not exactly my idea of a good time.   What's with the cold snap!