Highlights included: The best falafel sandwich in the whole entire world, and managing to fit in 2 visits in 3 days. French fries from a vending machine (not especially tasty, but ingenious!) at 3 am. Seeing people I'd lost touch with and being incredibly happy (and sometimes a bit jealous) with what they'd done since college. Once again sharing a dorm room with Joanna. Holding an impromptu hall party that became the pre-party of the night. Boxed pink wine and Malibu and Diet Coke. Waking up to the sound of Eric and Allen duct-taping the words "Voorhees 2" to my door (an inside joke that somehow I find hilarious, even though it's about my boobs). Seeing my ex-boyfriend for the first time in 3 years, and hearing him say, "I heard you on KEXP!" Sneaking into our class dance party in the cafeteria (yes, totally weird) through the back loading dock and kitchens (even though I'd already paid for my ticket). Having someone tell me, "I remember you - I used to think you were really cute" (ego boost! [but yes, I realize that he said, "used to"]). Finally being able to tell people I was doing something cool ("This fall I'm starting an MPH program in nutrition at UW!"). Having friends who want to take a cab to the supermarket at 5 am, only to turn around and go right back to campus when you discover the supermarket is closed (nothing in Rhode Island is open 24 hours). Walking in the commencement processional and tearing up to see a man back for his 75th reunion.
Lowlights: Realizing, sadly, that the next reunion couldn't possibly be this great, that I'm too old to stay out until 5:30 in the morning, and that I really really miss these people.
[Warning, this could possibly be TMI? But going with the title of the post, maybe you've seen the weird red mark on my nose recently, and were wondering...?]
Last week, this weird red patch appeared on my nose - of course I thought it was some sort of normal skin problem, but it didn't go away, and it didn't show any pimple-like characteristics. So I kind of thought it was funny at first - around Saturday, Nate said, "What's that thing on your nose?" and we laughed about it. (Herpes or a wart were the leading solutions.)
But then yesterday, suddenly, for no real reason, I thought of skin cancer. (...and my blog goes from totally superficial to super-serious, just like that...) I went right on the internet and promptly scared myself to death. (I have all of the risk factors: family history, fair skin, blue eyes, etc. And there were some pictures that looked like the thing on my nose.)
So, I found a dermatologist that had an appointment opening today. I stepped off the elevator and I saw "Skin Cancer Center" in huge letters next to the office and I almost had a heart attack. (Thanks to Nate who worked from home today, even after I insisted he go to work, and came to the doctor's office with me, after I insisted he stay home, and came into the examination room with me, etc...) The doctor gave me the contradictory message of "I don't think it's anything" and something along the lines of, "Let's take a biopsy because it has the characteristics of basal cell cancer." So he did a slice biopsy.
I'm really not worried. It's really really curable, if it is cancer. And if it's not cancer, then I have nose herpes, or a nose wart. But I'm just so self-conscious now! I have a freaking red hole in my nose where the doctor sliced it! I told him I was going to my college reunion this weekend, and that he had to take a very small amount of skin, so it could heal before Friday. I hope he listened.
So tonight we were invited to dinner at Joseph's. Joseph is the Lark sous chef, and he cooks these multi-course dinners once a month with local sustainable produce and meat, all from scratch, because it's fun for him. (Also, he lives with a guy who's idea of "relaxation" is building a whole beautiful table out of poplar wood--just to give you an idea of the caliber of people we're dealing with, here. [Let it be known that for relaxation I watch MTV shows like Tiara Girls and My Super Sweet Sixteen.])
First, let me say that this evening has taught me that I am completely unfashionable and I need to go shopping NOW. OMG the women and their clothing! Help me.
And now, onto the food!
The passed appetizers were fennel seed palmiers with Kir Royales. Then we sat down (at the tables that Joseph's roommate constructed), and ate: Baguette with raw milk butter (The butter was SO amazing. It seriously tasted like cheese. I wanted to eat it with a spoon). Fresh ricotta nettle gnudi. Milk-braised pork, made with milk that was taken from the cow 24 hours previously. Farro/wheatberry salad with green garlic vinaigrette (the green garlic was picked from Joseph's garden). Chard and fresh goat cheese tart (ditto for the chard). Goose egg scramble with freshly foraged morels (OMG this was like the ultimate omelet - goose eggs are so rich and creamy. We all thought that he added cream to the scramble, but it was just eggs and the morels). Homemade anise almond biscotti and a cheese plate that I'd go on and on about, if only I knew the first thing about cheese.
Did I mention the different wines with each course?
Well, I didn't wimp out. The race was actually pretty awesome, and I did WAY better than I thought I would, even if I did fulfill my prediction of taking longer than half of the full marathon. (I guess a "long" run of 6 miles really is enough to complete a half marathon!) It rained the entire time we were running, but it wasn't cold. (WTF Weather Underground? You said a high of 38 degrees! It got to about 60 yesterday!) The rain wasn't bad at all, thanks to my fleece hat that kept the rain from dripping into my eyes and still let my head breathe. (This should serve as a lesson for whenever I see that it's the slightest bit drizzly outside and cancel my run. I won't melt!)
After crossing the finish line, we had to hobble down a ton of stairs (note to race organizers: descending stairs hurts!), but it was worth it, because I then ate a small cup of the best tapioca pudding I have ever had, as well as a delicious doughnut.
Other highlights of the weekend included (duh, all food-related): the best Indian food in North America at Vij's (I ate braised wild boar in black mustard seed and cream curry, sauteed rapini and spinach with paneer and roasted cashews, and marinated, seared pork tenderloin with garam masala sauteed cauliflower, spinach, and new potato curry), ketchup potato chips, cinnamon buns, and Canadian candy (Aero bars and peanut butter KitKats).
I won't lie, though. Up until Saturday night I was still hoping people would want to chicken out. In fact, in the car to Vancouver, this exchange occurred: Anny: "We actually won't be running the whole half marathon tomorrow. We're only doing 4 miles of it..." Kate [thinks]: Yes! Now I can wimp out too! Yay! Anny: "...because I'm pregnant!" Kate [thinks]: Shoot. Any way I can become "pregnant" by tomorrow morning?
[Note to god-type deity: I was just kidding there! Joking! Really! I did the run!]
This Sunday is the half marathon. I am absolutely, completely, 100% NOT ready. (Not ready as in my longest run has been 6 miles.) My only consolation is that most of the people I'm running with aren't ready either.
I was thinking that the only way I could get through it is to take it entirely unseriously, no small feat for me. Despite my lack of experience in organized sports, some competitive gene switches on when I see people whiz by in a race. (Not that this makes me go faster. It just makes me feel sad, and then that makes running much harder.) I've already mostly resigned myself to the fact that this half marathon time is going to be longer than half of my marathon time. That's what happens when you don't train, I guess.
Of course you all know this already, but today's my half birthday. For a few years, when I was pretty little, my mom bought me a celebratory cupcake on my half birthday. Whenever I tell people this story, they say, "Wow, you really were an only child, weren't you?"