Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Goals Update

I do a lot of running now and while I like listening to music, I don't feel the need to do it every time I go running. I started listening to podcasts instead. I don't know why it took me nearly a decade to discover this technology because they're awesome. I really love listening to Freakonomics, Radio Lab, and Planet Money, but my favorite podcast is Conversations on the Mormon Channel. Conversations features interviews with Mormons who have a unique perspective or an interesting story. At first it seemed boring, but I loved the first one I listened to and have already listened to over a dozen. I typically listen to Conversations while I'm running on the treadmill at the gym and there will be times that I'll burst into laughter or will be on the verge of tears during a particularly touching story. It has made running so much more enjoyable and I love hearing people's stories. Although I'm sure I've confused the other people in the gym by spontaneously laughing for no apparent reason.

When it's not raining I prefer to run outside. The area I live in has a lot of those signs that tell you how fast you're driving. I ran by one when there were no cars around me and the sign said, "8 MPH" and then immediately jumped to "12 MPH" and then it flashed "SLOW DOWN." I don't think I'm very fast yet, but if a public sign thinks I am I don't see why I should disagree. When I went running for the first time in eight months in January I thought I was going to die, but now public signs are insisting that I slow down.

Cooking dinner for someone else was a rather daunting task, but I jumped right into it. For my first meal I invited my friend Sarah from church over. She's a pretty girl and I didn't know her very well so I wanted to be as impressive as possible. She served her mission in Italy so I decided to make baked ziti (I later learned that she'd never had it before). I envisioned getting everything ready before she arrived so that as she walked into my house the timer on the oven would ding and I would say, "Oh, I guess dinner's ready," and we would eat a delicious meal. It didn't quite work out like that.

I significantly underestimated how long it would take me to make the food and I now have much more respect for mothers (and fathers) who prepare multiple meals a day for others. The hardest part was all the things I had to do at once. How the heck am I supposed to chop an onion, brown meat, and cook ziti at the same time? Add one part boyish inability to multitask and two parts of not knowing where things are located in the kitchen and you have the perfect recipe for a cooking disaster. Luckily I only added one part of not knowing where things are and crisis was averted.

I couldn't find a pan big enough to mix everything in so I had to use a smaller one which led to me making a mess by spilling food all over the stovetop. When Sarah arrived I hadn't finished cooking, there were multiple messes, and I was sweating from the stress and the cooking heat. Not quite the impression I wanted to convey. However, Sarah didn't seem to mind, I cleaned up and the meal was delicious. I was relieved. This cookin' bizness ain't so bad.

Here's my ziti:

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