Great visit from a dear friend

On Tuesday, one of my good friends, Helen, came to visit us. She's in DC for a convention and gamely made the trek all the way up the Red Line from Ballston to have dinner with Jenny, Sylvia, and me. I met Helen when I was studying abroad in Salamanca, way back in 1991. Who would figure that a West Virginia kid and a California girl would have so much in common?

Since that time, we have stayed in touch via letters, much too infrequent visits, and, these days, email. Regardless of the geographic distance between us, we have remained close friends. She now works for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Austin, doing some immensely important work (work that includes hobnobbing with Lance and Hillary Clinton), is happy married to a great guy, and is as fantastic to be around as ever.

She has surmounted some seriously daunting obstacles in her life, and even survived a near plane-crash a year ago. Still, she always beams with enthusiasm and zest for living. I can honestly say that she's one of the most inspirational people I've been lucky enough to know. (Plus, Sylvia thought she was super cool from the minute she walked in the door—the killer Austin tee-shirt Helen brought her was a great icebreaker!)

We were all sad that she wasn't able to spend more time with us, and hope to make a trip to Austin when the baby gets ready to travel.

Why Americans Are Overweight

Here's a perfect example of the kind of food logic rife in America:

From The Consumerist.


Soccer is teh cool

I am obsessed with soccer, I think. It's pretty much all I watch on TV lately (other than Good Eats), thanks to a DVR and massive helpings of GolTV, Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN2, and, occasionally, ABC.

I also play every Sunday with a bunch of other soccer-obsessed over-30s in a pickup game on small goals. I usually score a couple times per game (I'm a winger/forward), and this week I scored my team's only two goals: one was a sweet knee-in from a high cross into the box, the other was a simple pickup on a breakaway pass that got through the defense.

When I get home from a game, Sylvie always asks how many goals I scored. If the answer is two, she says "you forgot one." She's my number one coach and motivator, as you can tell....

I'm working on my self-confidence on the ball and trying (in vain, as of yet) to make myself drive to the goal instead of shooting from too far out. It's difficult to keep your composure with defenders trying to catch up to you, as you can imagine, but I'm convinced that I can do it.

I used to only play defense, but decided a few years back to quit pussy-footing around and take charge of my game. Since then, I've only played up front and am now a terrible defender. :-)

There is no real point to this post, other than the fact that I love soccer and wanted to brag about scoring goals. Yes, I am lame. Sue me.