Tuesday, November 27, 2007


My parents and younger brother came to Kassel for week-long visit. It was a real treat to show them around the city and give them a taste of our new life here.

They did the high-brow/ low-brow combo (Sacre+Portrait/Anything Goes) and got a special behind the scenes tour of Staatstheater specially tailored for John the actor and stage set carpenter.

Brea and Her Unicorn
(For a hilarious run-down of life behind the scenes of Anything Goes check out http://chrisandbrea.wordpress.com/)

We went on a couple of walks in the woods

with multiple daily weather changes

Saw 2 castles, drank beers with the dancers,

Ate homemade dinners cooked by Fred,

Toured Kassel's churches

Ate a post-performance dinner out with our favorite German dancer,

Drank coffee, bought vegetables, practiced German, and got tips on movies at the Markthalle,

And got stuffed at the Weinachtsmarkt

It was a great week.

Thanks John for making us laugh,

Mom for bringing the Reason for the Season

And Dad for trying to get us a Christmas tree


After pulverizing my body in the marathon last month, I took a much-needed break from training. Lots of days off. Lots of very short, very slow shuffles. If we owned a couch, I'd be it's potato.

Four weeks later, my legs are feeling better. Before I start scheduling appointments to have my back fat liposuctioned, I guess I'll give this running thing a try again.

The great thing about this first month or two of "getting it back" is that I can do whatever I want because I won't be doing a lot of intensity or long runs. So how to make running fun again?

Go Cross Country!

It's like running and mud wrestling combined.

High in the hills above Kassel...

in the shadow of the statue of Hercules...

there are miles and miles of old logging roads and trails...

where it's easy to get lost...

and even easier to get muddy...

So wipe your Lottos on the mat...

(Note: a certain XC junkie needs to ditch his business interests in the Netherlands for a couple days to help me make footprints on these hills... "in flats.")

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November... Get Serious!

It's snowing...

The sky is full of crows...

Your parents are in town...

Creepy Christmas Markets are springing up all over Germany...

Someone tells you there are only two spices in this country...

and neither of them is curry...

This alarms you greatly.

Thanksgiving (Take Notes version)

Our dear friends Eric & Addie

have been at our Thanksgiving for the last few years. This year, cast adrift in Brooklyn, Eric asked Addie if they could feast with the stipulation that everything be from scratch.
They shopped all morning wednesday at the farmers market on union square.
Spent most of wednesday reducing poms, making vegetable stock, and drying bread.

Addie's incredible photo stylings make this a must-see for all you people with eyes, mouths and appetites.

Here's their menu (as related to me by Eric):

Turkey with a homemade mint and pomegranate glaze

"Two dozen pomegranates, squeezed for their juice and reduced..."

"(with squeezed oranges to cut the tartiness) to a syrup, then mixed with mint... "

They (only) made a turkey breast since Eric is leaving for Mexico (for work) soon and Addie can't eat an entire turkey on her own.

Cranberry compote
"Since Addie's blackberry compote was a favorite at your house, we tried it with cranberries this year."

Dried cherries and granny smith apple stuffing
"Baked outside the bird, since we're not using a whole bird. To make it flavorful, I made a homemade stock, as well as the breadcrumbs..."

"We spiced it up with lemon, onion, sage, tarragon, mushroom, celery and thyme..."

Garlic rosemary mashed potatoes
"A staple. I use heavy whipping cream instead of milk or butter."

(...which is a reminder to me that next year I will use whipping cream and rosemary, although my slow-roasted garlic kicked ass this year.)

Addie's famous pumpkin pie

Got that? You now have 362 days to get your game together.