Sunday, November 30, 2008


So here we are on the last day of NaBloPoMo and I suppose I should be reflecting or something like that. However, since I have been trying to do SOMETHING for 30 days each month this year, this month doesn't seem all that different.

I guess, like everything else, it just takes some commitment. Even on days I feel tired and have nothing to say, its just getting to the page and putting something down. Unfortunately, I do not really feel that this has inspired me to post any more creative blogs than usual. On the contrary, some of my posts this month have been just that, something to fill the page.

This has given me some food for thought though, as I gear down toward the end of year one of blogging and look forward to year two. In trying to be a bit more consistent, a formula of some sort seems to be key. Many of the other blogs I have visited have some great ideas: Wordful Wednesdays at SevenClownCircus, MamaKat's weekly assignments, more pictures, Brazen's addictions, bits of fiction, (and, of course, my own monthly goals)...these all contribute to a bit more fun. So I am pulling out some ideas that have been kicking around in the back of my head for a while. Maybe dusting them off and trying them out in the new year.

Keep posted and I'll keep posting!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Reunion of Dunces

This morning I woke up at 5:00 am to the sound of the rooster next door. Once I figured out that I was truly awake and not going to drift back to sleep, I then discovered that the room was spinning wildly out of control. I needed to get up and drink some water pronto to fend off the waves of nausea that were sure to follow. (That should give an indication of how the reunion-to the-school-I-did-not-attend went last night.)

If you have never crashed a reunion (which I'm sure very few besides me have) I highly recommend it. It's great to walk up to people and pretend you were in homeroom together for four years, in order to see them struggle to remember who you are. It's also great when people know you and say: "Wait. Did you go to school with us?" "No, I just had nothing better to do tonight, so I figured I'd swing by." "Oh. Ok. That's interesting."

Greater still, was the fact that I had a nametag that proclaimed I was Slacker-Boy's wife. There was a lot of: "Wait. I thought he was married to Slacker Girl." "Yeah, he is. She's in Washington." "Ok. So why are you here with him?" "Oh, I'm just filling in for her tonight." Slacker-Boy, of course, was sticking to his east coast wife/west coast wife line. There was a lot of strange looks over that one!

Aside from trying to confuse people, there was also genuine connecting with people with whom I played sports, or people who knew my brothers or people who knew my parents. And lots of beer. Every time I turned around, I had another bottle handed to me. And I kept drinking them.

At the end of the night, J and I stole the cake! There was a giant sheet cake that nobody touched. So J grabbed one end, I grabbed the other, and we ran through the parking lot to cram the cake in the car. Everyone there also seemed to think it was a great idea and aided and abetted us the entire way: holding the door open, offering to hold the cake while we fumbled for keys, or just cheering the two lunatic girls with the giant sheet cake.

This morning, we just looked at the gargantuan cake and said "What the heck are we going to do with this thing?" And just then, the phone rang. It was a friend who was working at a fund raiser for the Boys and Girls Club. He wanted to hang out with Slacker Boy before he went home. "Why don't you guys swing by the fund raiser?" He asked. SURE! And we will bring a cake!

So perhaps the funniest and greatest moment of all was arriving at a fund raiser with a giant, stolen cake and presenting it to the Boys and Girls' Club as a special gift from the Class of 1988.

We Rock!

Friday, November 28, 2008

not so black Friday

Oh, to have the Friday after Thanksgiving off work. That hasn't happened in...ok, I don't think its ever happened. But today...was great. Got so much done, cleaned, got a bunch done on my projects, worked out for an hour and a half, babysat for a couple hours. And now, I'm getting ready to crash a high school reunion to a school I did not attend. (for a year in which I did not graduate) That would make the second time I've done that this year. I think maybe I need some therapy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble-gobble goo and Gobble-gobble gickel
I wish turkey only cost a nickel ---Adam Sandler

Did you know that if you sing this song to a flock of wild turkeys, they will run away really really fast? It's true. I've seen it.

Happy Turkey Day

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving List

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I figured I would write the obligatory "What I am Thankful For" post. In the spirit of Jeepgirl, I figured I would skip the obvious.

Everyone is thankful for their family and their friends, for their health and the kids in their lives. Everyone is thankful for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am, too. I figured you all knew that already.

What you may not have known (but may have been able to guess) is that I keep a running list of things that I am grateful for. Not every day. Not even regularly. But every so often, I feel very thankful for...SOMETHING. And I write it down on the back page of my journal. (Yeah, I'm a dork)

So, here we go:

Non-Obvious Things I Was Thankful for in 2008:

1) Ball Point Pens
2) Port-o-Potties
3) Hot Tea
4) Xerox Machines
5) Sharpies
6) M & M'S
7) Hot Showers
8) Puffs Plus with Lotion and Vick's
9) Flannel Sheets
10) Ocean Waves
11) Oscillating Fans
12)Squashy Socks
13) Cotton
14) IPods
15) Ice Cream
16) Tortillas
17) Foam Rollers
18) Baseball Caps
19) Sleeping and Waking Up
20) Emails that make your heart skip a beat
21) Books
22) NetFlix
23) text messaging
24) Cool Max
25) the Red Sox
26)Ernest Hemingway

There. That's one for each day we've had in November. Maybe next year I'll have a list of 365. (this year woulda had 366. Leap Year There. There's one more for good luck)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good news tonite: Isabelle is ok. Went for tests today and absolutely no Big C. So we both got to breathe a sigh of relief on each end of the phone line today.

Slacker Boy popped in for a visit and J, K, and I laughed our butts off. The bad thing is, we tried out a Japanese restaurant in town and it was terrible! I love Japanese food, but not at this place. So now, I'm trying to wind down and go to bed, but my GI tract has other plans.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh, the week of Thanksgiving! I always forget how ridiculously busy it always is. I spent my weekend putting together a great training diary and plan to begin today. Then I was at work for 12 hours and brought more work home with a pile still left on my desk at work. I think I gotta get up early and go before work tomorrow, as it'll probably be another 12 hour day tomorrow.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

check in

Time for check in, to see if I'm on track. Good to do that every now and again...

1) With the work certification out of the way, more time to work on projects. Again, the project progress is much more sporatic thatn daily, as I originally had planned, but I'm chugging away nonetheless. I've downloaded a bunch of recipes from the web for my recipe jars, started on the decorating, bought some ingredients. Still gotta get some baskets, finish decorating, get ingredients, assemble jars, and assemble baskets. But I'm making progress.

2) One series in the CD's is done, I'm two CD's into the next series. Not bad. Maybe I'm actually getting some inspiration.

3) Books: Finished the Shopaholic and Bud Wilson books. Still working on "3 Cups of Tea" and deciding on my next one. I think I may be the only person on the Blogosphere who isn't reading the Twilight Series.

4) Rather than focusing on the marathon, I have spent the past week honing my tri training knowledge. I'm just about done with my year --yeah, YEAR -- plan. This dedication thing is pretty intense.

5) Ok, I skipped the Turkey Trot. Way too cold. But it is supposed to warm up tomorrow. If it holds out, maybe I'll run on Thanksgiving.

6) Went to the movies AGAIN. Twice in one month! This has got to be some kind of record for me.

7) I have purchased new washcloths. Unfortunately, the store did NOT have hand towels or bath towels. So I've got to go back to see if they have the aforementioned articles in coordinating colors.

8) Took the certification exam last week. All I gotta do now is wait the 6 to 8 weeks it takes to get the results.

9) Still loving my schedule. But still very lazy on the weekends. I blame the cold. the remaining days of the month....focus on books, CDs, and projects.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Earlier in the week, I had planned on running in a Turkey Trot today. However, when the weather predicted temps of 18 degrees at race time (800 am) I decided that a treadmill looked much better. If I were doing a race in January, I would expect that temp. Not in November.

Instead, I had a jammie day. I got lots of cleaning, bill paying, and projects done. Then I went off to the gym. Finally, I stopped at a store and lo and behold: I found a nice pair of patent leather pumps in the clearance rack! SCORE! (and I have to say, shoe sizes are much more consistent than clothing sizes. A 6 is a 6 is a 6.)

So the turkey trot's loss was my feet's gain. Or something like that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shopping Woes

Today, I went shopping, looking for a dress to wear to Nerd's holiday party. I must admit that after checking out the restaurant's website, I was a little intimidated and my wardrobe looked sadly inadequate. SO off I went, with high hopes.

Here's my issue with women's clothing: NO CONSISTENCY WITH SIZING! Today, I tried dresses on that were sized 8, 6, 4, 2, and 0. (what the hell is a size 0? Doesn't that indicate an absence of size? As if I were an astral projection instead of a human being? The mere fact that I have a body made of matter would seem to indicate that I need at least a size 1!) The crazy part is: all of those sizes fit. Depending upon the store I was in or the style of dress, I could be any of those sizes.

Granted, the size 8 dresses were from stores I had no business being in to begin with. No matter how cute it looks from outside the store, I should never,ever, EVER venture into Wet Seal to try on a holiday frock. (Did I mention I'm 38?) I know that. But I was trying to keep an open mind. My open mindedness ended pretty poorly as the train wreck that I became in a Wet Seal sized 8 garment caused me to throw up in my mouth a little bit. So ended that experiment.

The sizes, interestingly enough, went down as the price of the garments went up. It's like, you too can buy a bid wad of denial. It actually comes FREE with that $200 sized 0 garment. I think I've heard it called "vanity sizing". Does that actually work? Do people actually think they are smaller because the tag has a smaller number on it? As if!

Cache looked like the store of choice for Mob wives. Ann Taylor Loft looked like the store of choice for future politicians. Macy's had only size 0 or size 12 and up, nothing in between. H & M was chock full of the itchiest clothing I have ever encountered. I have no idea what it was made of...hay?

Finally, I ventured into Banana Republic. I happen to know for a fact that Nerd got his holiday duds last year from Banana Republic so it may be a good match, even though it's a bit above my usual price range. I perused the racks, mindful of my past experiences with the Banana: their clothes tend to be designed for women shaped like Gwenyth Paltrow. (I am not.)

Here's another interesting point: even in the same store, I could fluctuate 2 dress sizes, depending upon the style. If it was a bit more flowy up top and more fitted at the bottom, I was rocking the size 2. However, I tended to look like a big rectangle. (not the look I'm going for) If it was more fitted at the top, jump up 2 sizes.

After a day of trying on approximately 43 dresses, I learned at least one thing (beyond the whole sizing fiasco): when looking for a dress for me, it's all about the boobs. Find something that fits the ribcage and accentuates chest and I'm golden. Or in this case, plum.

Of course now, I need to find shoes. I'm exhausted just thinking of it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have to just say, firstoff, that I am a giant fan of R.I.C.E. A day off from the gym, ice packs, a compression sleeve while I slept, and an extra pillow, and my elbow was as good as new.

Next, I am going to jump back on the bandwagon that I fell off of and complete MamaKat's assignment for the week.

The prompt I chose is: "The last time I laughed really hard was..."


On Sunday, I had two of the funniest phone calls I've had in a while. After I got off the phone, I reflected back on the calls and thought: "Are you f-ing kidding me? This is my LIFE! I'm supposed to be almost 40 years old and my life resembles a teenager's!" Then, I laughed some more and was grateful for the ridiculousness that is my existence. See if you agree:

Phone call #1: from my friend, Slacker-Boy who lives in Washington state.

Slacker Boy: Are you going to go to the high school reunion?
Me: Hmmm. Seeing that I did not go to that high school and I did not graduate that year, I'm thinking...NO.
SB: I was thinking you could be my date.
Me: Your date? Who the heck brings a date to a high school reunion?
SB: Well, I need to look cool.
Me: How come you're not bringing...your WIFE?
SB: I thought I could tell everyone I have a west coast wife and an east coast wife.
Me: That's AWESOME! Oh, wait. You're talking about me. That's TACKY!
SB: No, go back to awesome. I don't think it's tacky at all.
Me: Seriously, though. Why aren't you bringing Slacker Girl?
SB: We couldn't afford plane tickets and reunion tickets for the both of us.
Me: Dude, I really think you both need to get real jobs already. But, yeah, I'll be your date.
SB: Ok, maybe you should go shopping. I've seen the way you dress. I want my east coast wife to look GOOD!
Me: Loser!

Phone call #2: From Nerd. Nerd's been sick so I haven't really seen or talked to him in a couple weeks.

Nerd: What are you doing December 13?
Me: Nothing. Why?
Nerd: Nothing? Are you sure? Are you in front of your calender? Do you absolutely know for sure that you're free on that day?
Me: Yeah. I have nothing going on. How busy do you think I am?
Nerd: Well, I was just saying. You can check and get back to me if you're not sure.
Me: I'm sure. What the heck is going on?
Nerd: That's the day of my company holiday party. I wanted to know if you wanted to go with me.
Me: Sure. I'd love to go.
Nerd: If you're not sure, I have a bunch of reasons why you should go.
Me: No. I'm sure. I said I'd go.
Nerd: Reason #1: The people I work with want to meet you. And you didn't go to the company picnic I invited you to over the summer.
Me: I already had plans that weekend to go camping. That wasn't my fault.
Nerd: Reason #2: You really want to meet the people I work with, even if you don't know it. They are all exactly like me!
Me:Exactly like you? I find that very hard to be-
Nerd: They are all wicked smaht! ( picture Casey Affleck in Good Will Hunting )
Me: I'm sure they -
Nerd: They are all better looking than average. Way better looking. And they are all sexy as hell. They are all funny. With great personalities. They all have great hair. Not as great as mine, of course, but great anyway. Some people are taller than me, though.
Me: They are all humble?
Nerd: No, they're not humble! Why would they be humble if they are all just like me?
Me: I was just trying to -
Nerd: It'll be like being in a room FULL of Nerds!
Me: A whole room of Nerds? I don't know if I could handle that. My head might explode.
Nerd: No. Your head wouldn't explode. You'll be carried through the night on a wave of euphoria.
Me: Hey that sounds great.
Nerd: Reason #3: It's open bar.
Me: You know, I've already accepted the invitation. You don't need to keep listing-
Nerd: Reason #4: It's in a super fancy place. It's above the Bull & Finch Bar.
Me: Cheers? It's above Cheers?
Nerd: Extra points for getting the vague reference.
Me: Your Xmas party is at Melville's?
Nerd: HOLIDAY party! Let's be politically correct here! And double extra points for Melville's.
Me: Wow. That place is REALLY fancy. I might have to -
Nerd: With excellent food. (Reason #5)
Me: -go shopping.
Nerd: No, you don't have to go shopping. Just wear, you know, a nice dress with heels or something.
Me: Oh, and practice walking in heels.
Nerd: Aren't you a female over the age of 12?
Me: Last time I checked.
Nerd: Then shouldn't you already know how to walk in heels?
Me: Hey! Walking in heels is not like riding a bike! I need to practice before things like weddings or graduations or holiday parties at Melville's.
Nerd: Well, practice up. Because it'll be really fun. Reason #6:-
Me: Why are you still listing reasons? I already said yes. Are you used to being turned down or something?
Nerd: Um, hello! NERD!
Me: Well, I happen to like nerds. So you can stop listing reasons.
Nerd: Ok. Good. I'm glad. But make sure to practice in those heels. I want my nerdy date to look GOOD.
Me: Loser!

Oh, I love my life. It's so pointless.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Short post today. My emerging case of lateral epicondylitis took on a life of its own and left my left arm simultaneously numb and throbbing. I have decided to term it "Librarian's Elbow", as I do not play tennis (tennis elbow) and the throb intensifies any time I try to lift a book or medical chart with my left arm.

I'm laying low and resting the arm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Good Read

Last night, I finished another book that had been hanging out on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. I found this book in the bargain section at Border's one rainy Saturday. The bargain section is my favorite area in any bookstore. It's like a treasure hunt for diamonds in the rough. I have found so many wonderful books in the bargain section that I otherwise never would have read. Yeah, I've gotten some doozies, as well, but the good to bad ration is generally in my favor.

I often wonder about the authors of those books that end up in the bargain section. Is that, like, the worst thing ever for an author's self esteem? Or do they know that there are people like me out there, just waiting to discover another gem from the bargain bin? I hope they know.

This book was one of those gems. It's called "The Bud Wilson Dream Book" and its written by Barbara Kramer. I've never heard of her. But the title of the book caught my attention. I'm so glad it did. I usually hesitate to use the words "charming" or "delightful" to describe anything. (In my head, those words are tinged with a negative connotation, somehow inferring a lack of depth) But this book truly was both delightful and charming. It made me smile. It made me sigh. It was a nice read.

The story revolves around a woman in her late 50's to early 60's who has unexpectedly lost her husband of 30 years. Shortly after his death, she starts having dreams about Bud Wilson. Bud Wilson is a late night talk show host, a Johnny Carson type character. He has been on TV forever. Everyone knows who he is. When anyone has insomnia, it is Bud Wilson who they tune it to to keep them company.

On a whim, she places an ad in a large number of small town newspapers, asking if anyone has had dreams about Bud Wilson. She asks the respondents to send their dreams to her. She has a vague idea that maybe she can use this information to write her master's thesis that she has put off writing for 20 some odd years. But really, she's just reaching out, in her grief, to anyone who may have something in common with her.

Before she knows it, she has over 600 responses to her add and her little project on a whim takes on a life of its own. She ends up meeting so many different people and changing in subtle ways all from this project.

It reminded me a lot of blogging. How something started on a whim can generate friendships with people you never really meet. One of the things that struck me is how the character in the book tried to keep her "project life" seperate from her "real life". How she often didn't want her real life friends to read the letters or to even know what she intended to do with them. How she felt like they wouldn't understand. And how protective of her "project friends" she was: "Why does he want to meddle with my letters. They're MINE. Those people wrote them to ME"

Blogging is kind of like that for me. I originally started it with the intention of sharing it with family and friends. I had been sending out a weekly email bloggy thing to my friends for a number of months. I figured the blog would be just a way to keep all those emails in one spot and anyone could go back and read one if they deleted it or something.

Then something else happened. I got protective of my blog. I felt like it was my space to post and things that maybe I didn't want everyone to read. Then I made friendships with other people out there in bloggy land whom I feel rather protective of. And for some reason, I like keeping real life and blog life seperate. Yeah, I still do the emails. And yeah, the emails and posts are sometimes one and the same. But they are distinctly seperate.

A lot to ponder from the reading of this book. But made me feel a bit connected at the same time. So if you want a cute read that'll make you smile and sigh and maybe even think a little, check out "The Bud Wilson Dream Book".

Monday, November 17, 2008

Current Addictions

Ok, I can finally admit it:

I love the 5 current addictions idea from Brazen. I have officially made it a label for posts! I cannot believe that I initially misinterpretted this lovely idea.

And now, without further ado, November's Addictions:

Addictions: I'm addicted to the idea of "current addictions"
Goal Writing: Once I got that exam out of the way, I felt free enough to focus on the all-important self improvement idea. In addition to my monthly blog goals, I've been filling up paper journals with goals and goals and more goals. Whoo-hoo!
Holiday Prep: Ok, so I haven't actually gotten off my butt and DONE a whole lot of holiday prep. But it is consuming a lot of my brain. I'm working on getting a bunch of gift baskets together for gifts, doing a lot of crafty ideas to go into the aforementioned baskets, and getting some shiney new holiday duds for Nerd's super fancy company holiday party. (It looks much fancier than the hospital parties I'm so used to)
Sparkling Water: I'm SO trying to get over the Diet Coke addiction. Trying, trying, trying.
Hot Tea: As the weather gets colder and I try to curb my late night snacking, I'm finding hot tea to be my savior.

No news on Isabelle yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good news and Bad news

Ladies and gentlemen: we have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is, Nerd and I seem to have wandered past the borders of Maybeville and into the burrough of Almost There.

The bad news is, my good friend, Isabelle, just received some potentially bad, bad medical news. She is going in for further testing on Tuesday. Please send good vibes and wishes and prayers her way.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

wasting time on work that could be spent on hobbies

Well, today I got up bright and early to drive an hour and a half so I could go take my certification exam for a work related dealio. Here's the thing: I'm all for expanding my knowledge and getting certified in areas that will help me become better at my work. BUT...(and, like mine, it's a big one) I don't like wasting my time. And I feel like this exam was just that. Out of 200 questions, about 4 actually related to the type of work I do. The rest did not. Yet, its a manditory certification for an area of specialty I work in. Does it make sense? No. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. So now that is done.

Once home, I put away all the study materials that have been strewn across my coffee table for the past month. And I busted open...The Triathlete's Training Bible!

THAT will NOT be a waste of my time!

Friday, November 14, 2008

One word answers

Yesterday I skipped my post for NaBloPoMo. But I thought I may post twice today, and that way I would still be in the game. (at least that is the way I am rationalizing it) I got this idea on Spleen's blog, and thought it was cute and revealing, too.

The idea is to answer each question with one work.

Where is your cell phone? sofa
Where is your significant other? maybeville
Your hair color? brown
Your mother? massachusetts
Your father? massachusetts
Your favorite thing? beach
Your dream last night? bizarre
Your dream/goal? travel
The room you’re in? loft
Your hobby? running
Your fear? failure
Where do you want to be in 6 years? abroad
Where were you last night? home
What you’re not? materialistic
One of your wish-list items? sleeping-bag
Where you lived? everywhere
The last thing you did? studied
What are you wearing? sweatpants
Your TV? background
Your pet? plants
Your computer? laptop
Your mood? anxious
Missing someone? yeah.
Your car? Jeep
Something you’re not wearing? shoes
Favorite store? REI
Your summer? rocked
Love someone? family
Your favorite color? smurple
When is the last time you laughed? today
Last time you cried? yesterday're it!

The first time

Today is the day after the first time I missed a post for NaBloPoMo. I was doing everyone a favor, though. I was very cranky. I blame my female-ness. So I did what I always do when I am cranky: I cleaned my apartment from top to bottom. Its nice and sparkly now, and my laundry is all done.

I am feeling better today. Due, in no small part to the fact that my place is clean and I have Fridays off. So life is good once again.

In the spirit of slacking, and since yesterday was a first time for something, I decided to complete my MamaKat assignment a little late with the prompt:

The first time I wrote a "top ten" list as my Christmas letter, I did so out of desperation. I am one of those people who believe in the art of the Christmas letter. It's important! I have a lot of friends with whom I was once very close, but now are what I call "Christmas card friends." I consider them my friends, I care about what is going on in their lives, but my ONLY contact with them is through Christmas cards. My one chance for contact in the year needs to be a carefully crafted, upbeat yet informative, inpired letter that says ME all over it.

Some people completely miss the mark with their Christmas letters. They rotely list the events over the past year and it ends up sounding like a quarterly report. Or they try to make their lives sound so perfect that it ends up like a Disneyfied version of reality.

I think the hardest thing to master is probably talking about your kids without sounding too braggy. I don't have kids of my own, and I can only imagine how hard that is too pull off. I have hard time not braging about my neices and nephews. Still, some people pull it off beautifully. Some do not.

I have one friend who missed the mark by so much that her letters are almost comical. One December, I said as much to M. He said I was being mean and grabbed the letter out of my hand. After reading it, he said: "You're wrong. There's nothing wrong with that letter. I, for one, find it fascinating that her 5 year old just graduated from college!"

Having set the bar so high for myself, I was having a terrible time constructing my letter one year. Work was not going well for me. I was in a supervisory position that I hated, the administrator of the facility where I worked was a bit of a psycho, and I felt like if I left, I would be a failure. This work stress was spilling over into the rest of my life. I had gained weight, wasn't working out as much as I was used to, and just felt terrible. Plus, I was feeling very homesick for the east coast. Any letter I started ended up sounding like a rant session. When I tried to keep my morose outlook out of the letters, I ended up with the quarterly report. Oh what was I to do?

I am a compulsive list maker. In complete desperation I decided to start by listing the elements I wanted to include in the letter. What happened this year? What did I accomplish? What good happened? What did I learn? Well, that's what it's all about, really, isn't it? What did I learn?

Then it hit me: if I can't write a Christmas letter (which I clearly couldn't this year) then maybe I could just write out a list. And "the top ten things I learned this year" was born. (with a tip of the hat to David Letterman)

What I didn't anticipate was how for the first time in years, I heard from my Christmas card friends before next Christmas:

"That was great! It was the only Christmas letter that I enjoyed!"

"Oh, when I read that, I could HEAR you saying each of the top ten things!"

"I called my husband up at work and read him that list over the phone!"

This year will by the 5th top ten list. (And this year, I have a years worth of blogs to pull my list from) Five years. Oh jeez. It's gonna have to ge a GOOD one, this year. That's a lot of pressure! I have to make sure its not too boring or not too Disney. I dunno. This year may be the first time I do something completely different for my Christmas letter.

I'll keep you posted

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I've been racking my brain for something witty to post. But its been one of those days. I think I'm gonna crawl into bed and just wait for tomorrow to come.
Sleep rocks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Autumn Injuries

I have been lazy. During the months of September and October, I allowed myself to slack off on exercise, eat lots of junk, and drink alcohol. Surprisingly, I actually lost weight. Or maybe not so surprisingly...I tend to put on muscle very easily. So even though I lost weight, my pants are tighter and I'm looking , well, dumpy.

Early in October, I decided that enough was enough. I was going to get back to exercising. Only, I broke my toe. So I was resigned to the eliptical machine for about 10 days instead of running.

No sooner had I resumed running than I fell during a drunken dash across the yard. I spun around in midair and somehow managed to land with my full body weight coming down on my shin that was positioned across the oh-so-sharp edge of the step. I got a bizarre bruise that encircled my lower leg entirely. Two weeks later, when it was still discolored and tender, I concluded that I probably gave myself a hairline fracture on my tibia. It still throbbed any time I ran more than 3 miles.

Since I was spending more time on the eliptical and bikes than running, I decided to supplement my cardio with more intensive resistance training. That's when my elbow started to ache. I have given myself a case of tendonitis!

And today a patient forcefully (and accidentally) kicked me square in the shin, right where I had fallen on it 3 weeks ago. As I write, my lower leg is encased in an ice pack because it has swollen to approximately twice its normal size.

I am falling to pieces! My new goal is to get over my injuries.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bloggie Love

Yesterday, I got a little bloggie love from Diane and from Heather. The idea behind the "Proximity" award is that there are some blogs out there that make you feel closer to somebody out there. You may never meet this person in real life. It may a person whom you wouldn't have become friends with in the outside world. It may be a person you have very little in common with.

But this person is somebody who you check in on every day. Somebody you become interested in, somebody you wonder about if they haven't posted in a while. Somebody who, in weird way, you start to consider your friend.

I'm passing it along to:

Mrs. D: One of the first blogs I started to read on a regular basis. She is so down to earth and funny, she makes me laugh with her sassy take on life.
TutuGirl: The first comment I got was from TutuGirl. I love that she is so passionate about life.
Gazelle: Funny and inspiring. Whevever I feel like skipping my run to sit on the sofa, Gazelle's blog coaxes me into action.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Check in

Today, I awoke with all kinds of ambitious intentions, to go down the canal and run, lift, clean the car, etc. Instead, I got myself a nice cup of tea, popped on a movie, and started in on some review for my exam next week. It felt so nice to be all cozy on the sofa with my tea while the wind was blowing outside...that I stayed in my PJ's all day. Lazy, lazy, lazy. But oh, so nice.

And a good day for a check in:

1) 15 minutes on my projects: I certainly have started, but I definitely did not do 15 minutes per day on the projects around the house. I have a big collection of jars and bottles which I am planning on making Xmas gifts from. (more on that later) I at least have removed all of the labels from the jars this week. Which is ridiculously harder than it sounds. Some of those labels are glued down with some kind of super adhesive under every square inch of label space. But truthfully, most of my time is dedicated to review for my certification exam next weekend. I'll have more time for my projects after that.

2) Listening to those damn motivational CD's. Ok, I dug them out, put them in the car, and am 3 CD's worth into them. They are ok, but seriously not as motivational as the Red Hot Chili Peppers on a car ride home.

3) Simultaneously working on "3 Cups of Tea" and a "Shopaholic" book from my bookshelf.

4)'s my dilemma with this goal. My friend emailed me back and let me know he definitely did NOT want to do another marathon next year. I'm thinking, I would like to do one. But maybe not go down to Myrtle Beach by myself. So I gotta pick another marathon to do, maybe a little later so I can do some nice running, but not freeze my tuckas off running 16 mile runs in January. Plus, I didn't get off the sofa today.

5) Picked out a Turkey Trot to do with Dad.

6) Went to the movies. Check. I love the movies.

7) Haven't given a thought to new towels.

8) Studying hard for that certification. Its next week.

9) Love, love, love the new work schedule. Totally used to it in one week. Just have to work out how to utiluze that extra day to its full advantage.

And even though today was great, staying in my PJ's will NOT be in the cards for how to use that extra day each week from here on out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A decade of me

I got this idea from Brazen's blog and thought it looked fun:

A Decade Of Me:

1998: January I moved from Massachusetts to Oregon. My first straight-through solo cross country drive. I had accepted a job at the hostpital where my friend Diva worked, and would be living with her. Oh what fun! Only, after the 3000 mile drive, I showed up for what I thought was my first day of work for...another interview? Anyway, they kept calling me back for more and more interviews until I just sent out my resume and accepted a position with a per diem company. PT jobs were few and far between that year, so I did a lot of snowboarding and hiking, camping and slumming on friends' sofas. I finally got a 3 month stint in Washington at the end of the summer. I accepted a full time position and moved from Oregon to Washington.

1999: Good job, lots of friends, excellent gym, outdoor activities galore. I dated K, whom I had met in 1998. He dumped me after 4 months for a STRIPPER he met at a wet T shirt contest! Who the hell does that? (his loss) Later that year, I got together with PhysicsGeek and actually managed to drag him out into the sunshine every so often.

2000: Had a small melt-down from the whole 'turning 30' thing. This was the year I ran a marathon, went to Hawaii, learned Spanish, and got my advanced diving certification. It had gotten harder and harder to pull PhysicsGeek outside, so I had to let him go. I had a nice, casual, thing with 80'sHairGuy.

2001: With more jobs in my field opening up, I decided to start traveling again. I liked Washington, but had gotten too comfortable. I could see myself waking up 10 years later with no idea where the time went. So I took off for California. I was in the San Francisco Bay area and I met M. In the late spring, my contract ended and I ended up in Bakersfield, CA. M and I spent every weekend driving to see one another. I went back to Massachusetts for the summer (solo cross country trip southern route).I missed M like crazy. 6 weeks after 9/11, I was on a cross country flight back to California while my jeep was shipped.

2002: Spent half the year in San Fran, the other half north of Napa in Clearlake. My life revolved around working, seeing M, and planning trips back east to see the family. Went to the winter olympics in Salt Lake City. It was awesome.

2003: Still in Clearlake. M had bought me a guitar for Christmas and I was learning to play it. We spent weekends hiking, camping, watching movies, and playing guitars together. Climbed Mt. Shasta. In the fall, I moved closer to M, back to the Bay Area, in South San Francisco.

2004: Good job, lots of friends, close to M, close to the city. I took a permanent job with the company I was contracting for. I had to get my own place (rather than company housing I had been living in). M and I went apartment hunting and he helped me to furnish the place. Life is good.

2005: My company lost the contract at the facility I was working at, so I moved to another closer to my apartment. M was working nights, I was working days, and every weekend was some new adventure. My life was filled with work, guitar lessons, fitness boot camp after work, friends, and of course, M.

2006: I loved my life, but I was homesick. I had a neice who didn't know who I was. She was afraid of me. M and I had talked about moving back east for some time. He missed the east coast, too. In August, I made the move back home, the same week as 7 other of my California friends (including Nerd). (Solo cross country drive middle route) M was supposed to follow, we just didn't have a set timeline. He came to see me in September. I went to see him in December. I moved into my loft apartment at J and K's.

2007: Troubled times with me and M. He cancelled out on planned trips. He didn't go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans with me, and was upset that I still went with me friends. Went to San Fran in May for Bay to Breakers and reconciled things with M. He started a job search for Massachusetts. June: M called off the job search and broke up with me over the phone. Haven't spoken to him since. The summer sucked. Saw Van Halen live for the 16th time (with Nerd). Started training for a marathon.

2008: Started blogging with monthly goals. Ran a marathon in February. Went to the Caribbean in April. Did Bay to Breakers in May. Started doing triathlons in June. Hooked up with Nerd in July. Got nominated for a work award in August. No longer feel like 10 years could go by without knowing where it went. No longer pining away for M. Took me a long time to get back to being the person I was back in 1998.

Thanks to the blogging community who have helped me in that journey back to myself.

Friday, November 7, 2008

the most beautiful spot on earth

Today was my first Friday off in my new four day work week. I love my new work schedule! Going in two hours early really isn't that big a deal. But getting one extra day a week for ME is a HUGE deal.

Its amazing how productive you can be when you have nothing you need to do and nowhere you need to go. I got all my laundry done, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned out the fridge, studied a couple hours for my exam next Saturday, paid my bills, sent a couple emails that I hadn't gotten around to, returned the bottles, bought a couple Christmas presents, swept out the garage, went to the gym, and made dinner for J and K. I feel great.

The best part of the day, though, wasn't the extra rest. It wasn't the crazy productivity. It was how beautiful the day was. I came out of the store at one point and literally caught my breath. The leaves were brilliant, the air was warm. It was slightly foggy and there was a mist hanging over the trees, muting the outline of the distant trees, changing the colors to a more muted hue. The air smelled like fallen leaves, rain, and woodfires.

Several years ago, a friend of a friend took us up a hill in Texas to show us what he described as "the most beautiful spot on earth". At the top of the hill, we were treated to a view of a landfill on one side and military housing on the other. At the time, I figured he had just flipped his lid. He usually lived just outside Nashville, Tennesee; where I would have whole heartedly agreed with his opinion of "the most beautiful spot one earth." But the hill by the landfill? Not so much.

I have driven through places where I had to pull the car over and just stare or else I would have driven off the road, I was so distracted by the beauty (Boone, NC). I have hiked through places that I knew deep down were created to be sacred places (Olympic National Park, WA). I have stood in spots where I was so overcome that tears streamed down my face (Sequoia National Park, CA). Yet I could never wrap my mind around the idea that a landfill could be somebody's favorite spot on earth.

Today, I finally understood. Because for one brief moment, looking across the mall parking lot at the autumn leaves and the mist, I found myself in the most beautiful spot on earth.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just kidding. Wedding Crashers is still on top of my list.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dirty Funny Movies

Tonite, after work, I finally went out to see that movie I wanted to see last night. The movie is advertised as Zack and Miri. When I got there, I saw the title in its entirety: Zack and Miri Make a Porno. What the heck is that? Bait me into the movie theater and then switch it with a different movie altogether?

I remember a time when there were movies that were just funny. Now it seems that every movie that is funny is also raunchy. Remember movies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Grumpy Old Men, Parenthood, and Uncle Buck? Straightforward, clean, and really, really FUNNY. I can't even remember the last non-dirty funny movie I've seen. School of Rock, maybe?

Don't get me wrong. Zack and Miri was hilarious! It was a Kevin Smith film, which I also didn't know going into the movies. So it had all those overly-wordy conversations with bizarre observations and appearances by all the usuals from the Kevin Smith films. (except for Kevin Smith himself. I kept waiting for him to come strolling in, make a profound statement, and then promptly disappear. No go.) The high school reunion bit was pure genius. I was just a little taken aback from the full frontal nudity (both male and female) and all the --um--thrusting.

I think what disturbs me the most is that while driving home, I was mentally rearranging the top ten list of funniest movies that resides in my head. Zack and Miri can't topple Wedding Crashers, can it? It wasn't that long ago when I was having an inner struggle because THAT movie was edging out There's Something About Mary and I was apalled at how crass they both were. After tonight, they seem positively tame.

And maybe not quite as deserving as that top spot.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Nite

So here we are on Election day. I thought I would be really smart and vote before work. Then I would go out after work and see a movie simply so I would not drive myself crazy watching election results. Unfortunately, there were about 200 people in line at 7:10 this morning. SO I returned after work to cast my vote in a nearly empty elementary school.

But that meant that I was home during the election results, trying to keep the TV turned on a movie, but flipping back every so often in my anxiety.

I can remember four years ago, going to bed. Getting up and turning the TV on. Getting even more anxious. Going back to bed. Getting back up. Turning on the TV. Getting even more anxious. And on and on and on.

At least it looks like it won't be so close this time. Turning down the anxiety factor a little bit.

I never used to get so anxious about presidential elections. I still don't consider myself particularly political. It just seems like we, as a nation, have become so polarized. The ridiculous talk radio boneheads hatemongering. The "true American" and "false American" arguments. The all-or-nothing thinking we all seem to have fallen prey to.

I think we all have alot more in common than we give ourselves credit for.

I only hope that whoever wins tonite, whether it was the candidate you wanted or not, (the candidate I wanted or not) is able to steer this country in a better direction than it has been going in. I hope we can find our similarities and start to downplay our differences. I hope that starting in January 2009, we as a nation, and we as people, can finally start to live up to our great potential.

Wishing you all sweet, anxiety-free dreams.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween is fun


This year, I was able to hit two Halloween parties. One I hosted with J and K. Since the three of us are always together, we decided to take that joke and run with it: we dressed up as Jack, Chrissie, and Janet from Three's Company. (There I am as Janet, with my boots and flowered 70's shirt) A couple other friends came as the Ropers. And we had a whole assortment of other characters roaming around the house: a boxer, a sheik, a biker, a chick-magnet, and Satan, among others.

Disappointing was the fact that so many people who had RSVP's "yes" didn't show. We had more leftover food than we could possibly eat and a lot of it went to waste. I feel like I should have given it to a food shelter or something.

Among the no shows was Nerd. WTF? Seriously, man! He called at the last minute saying he wasn't feeling well and wanted to just "stay horizontal" on his sofa all night. Of course we called and texted him all night, bugging the crap out of him. I thought it was funny as hell. Nerd, not so much. He ended up shutting the phone off.

My other party was at a bar on Halloween night. J and K did not accompany me. Since Janet is not a stand alone kind of costume, I had to dig into the big costume box of Halloweens past. I came up with Princess Leah.

I can confidently say this: every guy in America has a Princess Leah crush. (ok, I'm not sure of all of America. Every guy on Cape Cod has a Princess Leah crush) This came as a surprise to me. I thought just dorky guys like Ross from Friends or Kevin Smith had a thing for Princess Leah. Nope. Turns out non-dorks got 'em, too.

Let's just gloss over the obvious (Princess Lay-ya jokes, light saber jokes, "feel the power of the force" jokes). The BAND were all dressed as Star Wars characters. (how anyone can play the guitar dressed in a Chewbacca costume is beyond me) So that somehow put me in a whole different realm. Suffice it to say: I got way more attention than I wanted.

All the attention was kind of strange, I thought. I was dressed in a beach cover up and bathrobe. Covered from head to toe. Some of the other costumes there were--- a BIT less modest! The girl who won the "costume contest" was wearing a bra and G-string with an apron over them. She was carrying a feather duster. Her costume was "the world's greatest housewife". Out in a bar in her underwear! On Cape Cod in October! It's a bit chilly this time of year. And getting beer spilled all over your bare ass is never a good thing, no matter how warm out it is. You'd think that with "costumes" like that crawling all over the bar, I with my two buns, would be safely annonymous.

The other shock I got that night was the realization that I may not be as funny as I think I am. I get a kick out me. I have several close friends who totally get me. We can sit and laugh for hours over goofy little statements. But put me in a bar full of strangers (in various stages of dress) and I can't buy a laugh.

I thought it would be really funny to go up to people who did not have costumes and say things like "Oh my God! I totally get it! You're dressed up like (a) my ex-boyfriend, (b)my next door neighbor, (c) the Verizon Wireless guy, (d)my cousin Ben, (e) Cameron from Ferris Bueller". Not once did I get so much as a smile. I was thinking that nobody in there had a sense of humor. But now I'm thinking maybe it's me. Maybe I should just tell my lame jokes to J and K, Isabelle, and Nerd.

One closing thought from Halloween night: what is funnier than the guy from Scream dancing next to Jimi Hendrix? Answer: Dracula and Yoda coming to blows on the sidewalk after last call. (relax-- the bouncers broke it up before it got too out of hand)

Don't forget to vote tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

writing goals and NaBloPoMo

Not an official goal for the month, but I joined NaBloPoMo after reading it about it on TutuGirl's blog. Nice idea, and really fun to say. (In a related note, do you think anyone is basing their vote Tuesday on how fun it is to say the candidate's name? Say it: Obama. Obama. Obama. Regardless of how you lean politically, it's a fun name to say.)

ANYWAY: I'm not sure if I just don't have a lot of self motivation, but I have noticed that I tend to follow through more on goals when I either sign up for something, share my intentions publically, or pay some kind of entry fee. Even just the action of writing the goals down somehow makes me more accountable to them.

There are some who say that any of the above actions work because it's like putting your intentions into the universe so that serendipidous forces can sent their energies back your way to help you achieve your goals. Honestly, I'm not sure if I believe that. I mean, who am I to say that it DOESN'T happen; it could very well happen that way, regardless of whether I believe it or not.

(And yes, I AM the person who through somebody's copy of The Secret out the door into the parking lot. But that was just for dramatic effect. I haven't actually read it.)

However, I am more prone to say that these things work because they force you to call your attention to those things you wish to achieve. You have to think about it to write the goals, return to the list periodically to document your progress, and reassess at regular intervals.

The other day, I had a conversation with some friends about goal setting and life lists and bucket lists or whatever you want to call them. Funny how folks have such strong feelings about this concept in such polar opposite directions. I am very much a goal setting kind of gal. There are so many things I want to accomplish, so many things I want to experience, so many places I want to see. Some others in the conversation were of the mind that all the compulsive goal setting is a sign of not being happy with yourself and you should just strive to be more content with what you have. "You should just be happy with a simplier life" I was told.

Well, that certainly is one way of looking at it. But I guess everyone's idea of the simple life is different. And everyone's ides of a life worth living is different.

What do you all think?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sweet November

"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."

- Clyde Watson
November. The first of the month rolls around and I do all my manditory first of the month chores: pay the rent, check the battery in the smoke detector, switch the page on the calender, change my contacts, and review my goals for the month. It just comes as a shock to look at that calender and see the number 11 on the top! The year is almost over.
Soooo....October goals:
1) Decluttering the place, one item at a time. Big success! Though I now see that de-cluttering is a goal that will never be completely REACHED, more like a continuous process, there is significantly less stuff in the place to declutter. I can see what I have better, I can think more clearly, and I feel like I can more easily make decisions about the stuff I have left.
2) Go through the box of inspirational CD's and actually listen to them. Ok. I didn't actually do that. At all. I think I'm gonna give myself one more month to attack this goal. And thanks to my work on goal 1, I can feel good about saying that if I DON'T listen to the CD's by the end of November, I can give them away to somebody who will. (that's how I got them in the first place)
3) Read "Three Cups of Tea". I got the book. I read the introduction. I have it sitting on my nightstand. I haven't exactly finished it. I have seen that there is a book club for the AMC featuring the same book. So I really do have to read it this month so I don't miss out on all the fun.
4) Went on a girl's weeked to Montreal. Great weekend. Done!
5) Bought some new sunglasses. Three, actually. One pair for my car, one pair for home, and one pair left in my work locker.
6) Had the Halloween party. And then went to another. More on those later.
7) Went on two organized rides this month. Fun to be had at every turn!
8) I DID lose the 3 pounds. Strangely, I don't really consider that a victory of any sort. Cause even though I lost three pounds, my waist is bigger, my pants are tighter, and I'm is worse shape than at the beginning of the month. So my focus next month is more on fitness and training than weight.
I love October. Sorry to see it go.
But November beckons:
1) The decluttering was so successful last month that I decided to take the next logical step. After paring down, I could see my unfinished projects more clearly. In November, every day, I will spend 15 minutes on an unfinished project of some sort. And I'll see how many of those project can become finished. And how many of them are worth finishing.
2) One more shot at the CD's.
3) addition to the Three Cups of Tea (which really isn't all that long, and looks very good. I'm not sure why I didn't read it) I am going to read three books from my bookshelf that have been sitting there unread for who-knows-how-long.
4) Going to start marathon training. Planning on doing Myrtle Beach again next year with my buddy, Gene.
5) Going to do a race with my Dad.
6) Going to go out to the movies once this month. I LOVE the movies. And I never go.
7) I'm going to buy new towels. My towels are old and ratty and they don't match. So I'm gonna get some new ones and give the old ones to the Goodwill.
8)I'm going to get a new certification for work. The test is in 2 weeks. (that may have to count as an unfinished project until its over)
9) Get used to my new work schedule that starts on Monday. (four ten hour days! Yee Haw!)
Time to jump headfirst into November.