Friday, December 17, 2004

A week to go

Not only are we nearing the final stretch of the marathon holiday preparations, but I actually got a run in this week! Just 2.5 miles on the treadmill at the gym, but I discovered what I think is the magic formula for a running soundtrack: an album that you know well, but haven't listened to in a long time. That means you know the words -- always helpful for getting lost in a song -- but you're not sick of the songs. And you don't know what song comes next, which has always been a problem in the running mixes I've made. Wednesday's soundtrack was The Joshua Tree, which I haven't put on in years. Made the run go by very quickly. (And was much more enjoyable than the overwrought stuff I've heard from U2's new album.)

Of course, the only problem with this theory is that there is a finite number of albums that fit the criteria. Which means that I now have a really good excuse not to run very often, as I don't want to tear through my good tunes. (As if I needed another one...)

So as the week draws to a close -- and I prepare for fish tacos and margaritas at my sister's tonight -- I'm feeling a bit more ready for the impending holiday insanity. I still have a bit of shopping to do; in fact, I nearly left my list, which says "Darren" on the top and contains the description and price of everything I've already bought him, plus my ideas for the last few gifts, right here on the desk that we share. Genius.

Anyway, I'm planning a blitzkrieg trip to Freeport tomorrow morning. You may know that Freeport is home to L.L. Bean's flagship store, which does not have locks on its doors because it never closes. In the last several years, it's also rapidly become an outlet Mecca, with lots of off-price goods from name-brand retailers. It's been my vow this year to avoid the mall completely, and I've succeeded thus far. But I need to get some clothes for Darren, and the boutiques in downtown Portland just don't work with my budget (though the gear shops, bookstores and other assorted indie havens certainly do).

So while Freeport has some mall-like qualities --- the Gap, anyone? -- it does not contain the inherent evil of the mall, not least because you actually get fresh air when you walk between stores. I'm hoping I can knock off the last few items on Darren's list, plus pick up pj's for my aunt and Pat the Bunny and Blueberries for Sal for N's kids. Oh, and I need some stocking stuffers. Hmm, perhaps it won't be such a short trip.

In other news, we are having a home visit on Sunday from the rescue group that is caring for Jillian the shih tzu. Our references have cleared and our vet has approved us. Our vet also went to great lengths to get some information for us about the ovarian tumors the poor pooch suffered. She called an oncologist, who told her that this type of tumor spreads less than 20% of the time. Those are odds I'm comfortable with; though Sparky's illness and death last year were difficult, I wouldn't have missed having him for the world. So we've decided not to shy away from Jillian-who-will-be-renamed based on that info.

Ok, that's the Friday wrapup from me. Time for tequila!!