Five years of random thoughts

WordPress informs me that this is my five-year blogging anniversary! Five whole years since I decided to make a weirdly-named website that I definitely wouldn’t share with any of my friends…I’m pretty sure the first time anybody read it (anybody that was actually looking for my blog, that is) was because I mentioned to my freshman suitemates that it turned up on the second page of Google results for Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain (part of the assigned reading for spring term’s Middle English Literature class; needless to say, it didn’t remain there for very long). I still don’t think any of this could possibly be of much interest to most people, but have realized that the only people who are likely to be interested are those I actually know. Hence the shift from mostly writing training log posts, words of the day, and amateurish reviews of old comic books to recipes and personal updates.

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Excited racers prep for the third WCS race of the season. I think these were the best conditions I’ve ever seen for the Mountain Dell classic race!

Speaking of which, I’m back in Cambridge (Massachusetts) after a wonderful, quite long break in Salt Lake City, during which I skied nearly every day and did almost no work. Unfortunately, some persistent health issues meant that I couldn’t take part in the Wasatch Citizen Series races while I was home in the mountains, but I managed to take pretty good advantage of the great snow and pretty decent all-around conditions. I even made it up to Alta one day for a bit of skating up the summer road with my friend/Dartmouth teammate Carly! (It was a gorgeous day, and the first time I’d seen her in ages…and therefore I forgot to take pictures.)

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Mom, Dad and Tillie enjoying a hot and sunny ski at Round Valley for Dad’s birthday!

Since Harvard classes don’t start until next week, I decided to stay in SLC a little longer than I’d originally planned in order to help celebrate my dad’s birthday (I won’t say which). Mom and I were racking our brains in the weeks before it, trying to think of awesome presents and plan a big bash, but I think our actual celebration was nicer: waffles in the morning, a nice ski at Round Valley in the middle of the day, and some close friends over for a delicious meal (an extravaganza of cheeses, vegetables, a baguette, and fig jam from the friends, butternut squash and chorizo risotto, a green salad, and a ridiculously moist almond-ricotta-polenta cake topped with caramelized cara cara oranges).

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Can’t beat good friends, good food, good wine, and good whisky.
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Dad’s birthday cake didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the pictures on Smitten Kitchen…but it was pretty tasty all the same!

I couldn’t come up with anything really creative to give him, so I hope he likes my home-assembled kimchi-making kit! (I really hope the fermenting container is really smell-proof, like the reviews claimed, or Mom may be in for an unpleasant time whenever she opens the fridge…)

Anyway, I’m back at Harvard now, trying to simultaneously ease back into actually working and squeeze as much fun out of the next few days before classes start as I can. I’m taking a mini-course called “How To Make A Book;” we spent most of today’s session in the Houghton Library, learning about the history of book binding. There were a lot of fascinating codices, and, of course, I locked my phone up with the rest of my stuff and couldn’t take any picture. Tomorrow, we start actually binding our own books! I’m binding a selection of family recipes. Some of the recipes are from this very blog, which I guess brings us full circle to the beginning of the post. The past five years have seen some pretty major ups and downs. There’s been death (some old and much-loved, others far too young), illness, disappointing race seasons and anxiety over all sorts of things, but I’ve also been part of a fantastic ski team, made wonderful friends, had my brain engaged in all sorts of unexpected ways, and learned to be grateful for the amazing opportunities and privileges I have.

Happy (ski) trails!

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