Yesterday, I ran eight miles with a couple stops to stretch and, uh, breathe. It was disappointing to stop, but I am trying not to let it bother me. It was good to run around the neighborhood. I discovered they're opening a take-out Indian restaurant near my house. I love Indian food, though not right before a run, because it's so spicy! When I worked at an Indian restaurant, the chef once told me that a good vindaloo burns on the way in and on the way out. Isn't that lovely?
I had been debating doing a shorter Sunday run, but I decided to commit to all eight miles because Sunday night was Hanukkah dinner at my aunt and uncle's house! Cousin Rachel, her boyfriend Daniel, my cousin Josh, his girlfriend Michelle, the boyfriend, and I all went over for delicious Hanukkah food. It was a lot of fun, like a pre-cursor to Christmas gatherings with a neat Jewish twist. (Potato latkes? Yes, please!) It was really great to have a small-ish family gathering and get to talk to the cousins and my aunt and uncle, who are very nice and very funny. Sadly, I left my camera in Illinois, so I don't have any pictures. You're just going to have to take my word that this event actually happened.
Between stuffing my face with delicious holiday food and then committing to doing better, I've been doing Christmas shopping. In years past, I've really enjoyed shopping for Christmas, but grad school apparently has made me into a misanthrope. I hate crowded stores and dealing with people. Actually, I think I'm just stressed about having to do the majority of my shopping in the last few days before Christmas. Mom, who feels more or less the same way about shopping, managed to get a big chunk of it done with me this afternoon, but I had to go back out later and finish up some things. When I finally got home, I was half-frozen and 75% dead. At least we're not in Champaign, where yesterday's high was a whopping 3 degrees.
Fortunately, I think I'm done with the shopping; tomorrow is cooking! (Cousin Rachel is coming over to bake cookies with me!)
[To answer your question, Dan, I most definitely make cookie monster noises when I eat cookies. In fact, the boyfriend calls me a cookie monster.]
On a random note, my on-sale running skirt came today. Good thing it's going to be several months until I can show off my pasty legs in it! Maybe I'll wear it for the half-marathon, and everyone will say, "Did you just see Tyra Banks run by? She looks hot in that running skirt...and also...weirdly short...and Asian. Hm."
Tonight, I watched "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" with Mom and her boyfriend Steve, who hadn't seen it. I really prefer this version (the Johnny Depp one) to the old one because Willy Wonka doesn't get angry in the new version. Also the lines are funnier, and the Oompa Loompas are ethnic! And most importantly, I am allergic to old movies, so I almost always prefer the new versions of anything.
While we were watching the movie, my dog Gryphon kept letting off the stinkiest farts imaginable. Apparently, only I am sensitive to the horrible stench that was silently erupting from my dog's derrière, but it was really bad, especially while I was watching a movie about chocolate delectables. I finally told him to go sit in the hallway and complained to Mom that he was gassing us out. She sheepishly admitted that she had fed him all the raw broccoli stalks when she made stir-fry for dinner. Gross.
Tomorrow's plan is to wrap presents like a mad woman, go for a run, make cookies with Cousin Rachel, and get my hair cut. I'm going to go get started on wrapping now. Wish me luck!