Tuesday, June 30, 2009
1) Finish first sprint with a PR: I THINK that was a success. I mean, it feels like I was faster than last year. But the times are not posted online yet, so I have to wait and see. I know I was in heat 7 and there were 3 minutes between each heat, so it should have been an easy clock time - 19 minutes. But there was a hold up between heats 4 and 5. So I have no idea. But I DO have the official time from my May half marathon: 2:07:05! Yay.
2) Drop 2 pounds this month: Can you believe that for the second month in a row, I PUT ON 2 pounds???? And unlike last month, I can't conveniently blame it on muscle mass. I was very unmotivated in the exercise department but super motivated in the sit-on-the-couch-and-eat-ice-cream department. (and I have an olympic distance tri in two weeks. gulp!)
3) 5 books from the bookshelf: Ok, THAT one, I completed. I had to do SOMETHING while I was not exercising.
4) One mile swim in pond, 50 mile bike ride, and 15 mile run: Fail, fail, and fail. But I got great excuses. Wanna hear em? I swan about 1/3 mile in the pond. But with all the rain, the mosquitos are out in full force. In a layer right over the surface of the pond. I had so many bites on my arms and face, I just couldn't take it anymore. I rode 30 miles, but had to get my butt home to go babysit. It was so dreary, there was absolutely no way I could have dragged myself out of bed at an earlier time. And I ran 10 miles my longest run this month. Had to go home and eat ice cream.
5) St. Louis, blues, boats, and beer: done and done.
6) Continue decluttering: success.
7) Go to niece's dance recital and karate tournaments: Success. I makes living here worth putting up with this terrible weather.
8) Finish the cassette programs: Done. Now Carolina John can't make fun of me anymore!!
9) Complete Work Correspondence Course: half done. I'll be finished by this weekend.
10) Have a girl's movie nite with J and S: half credit. We had a movie night IN, but between all our trips and other plans, we never did the movie night OUT. Next month for sure.
Ok, now onto JULY!
Did anyone notice that on my header it still says "May"? I never changed it to June! Until it's July. Gotta fix that first off. Then:
1) Complete first Olympic distance tri without drowning.
2) Dare I put it down again? The weight thing. I have been good for a total of 2 days now. Because my goals for the week with the weight are to: drink more water, write down food intake, and cut out processed snacks at work. Weekly goals for this one. Sigh. (At least I'll be more buoyant for the swims)
3) 5 more books from the bookshelf. I'm on a "writing" theme this month. maybe it'll inspire me to be more consistent with the blog posts.
4) Complete an online class this month.
5) Go thru and complete some video classes I've had sitting on the TV stand. Hey, I'm out of cassette tapes. I need to feed the void with VHS tapes.
6) Continue Decluttering
7) Get Pilates Mat Certification
8) Go Roller blading, kayaking, biking, and boating
9) Enjoy a bonfire on the beach!
10) Girl's night out.
A few health goals, a few work goals, a few self improvement, and a few fun goals. Oh, July, please get sunny!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Next, anyone into running or wanna-be running should head over to the Chic Runner for a great little contest for $75 worth of running apparel. For those of you non-runners scratching your heads, thinking, "Don't you just need sneakers?" The answer would be: no. And the reason would be: chafing. A concept I was completely unfamiliar with until after age 30. Sigh.
Finally, there's the business of decluttering. It's strange that this in the only thing I'm truly consistent with. (possibly because I can skip it for 6 days and then get rid of 7 things in one fell swoop and still be consistent. That doesn't work with exercising or healthy eating)
This week, I found myself back in the dreaded storage closet.
June 22: I put 2 pair of outdated boots into the donation bag.
June 23: I put a pair of shoes into the donation bag with those boots.
June 24: Donation bag full, brought the whole thing down to the transfer station.
June 25: Pulled out a duffel bag to become the NEW donation bag!
June 26: Another plastic bag from the box: its kind of like a disposable backpack. With Mickey Mouse on it. I put it aside to give away to my niece. She was dancing in a recital over the weekend and thought it would make a cute little gift for her.
June 27: Finished the cassette program I was working on and put it in the book donation bag.
June 28: LAUNDRY DAY! T-shirt into the donation bag. (and gave my niece the backpack thing. She loved it and plans to use in for a sleepover this week)
Back to the kitchen next week!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
(from a phone conversation this week)
We went to the Hershey Park and I rode on my first real big roller coaster and I was scared and I'm Never gonna do that again, ever!
And then we went to the Chocolate Museum and they told us how many Hershey products are made every day. It's a lot.
Then, we went to Washington DC and we went to the zoo and it's one of the only places where you can see panda bears in person and I really like panda bears, so it was really lucky that they have them.
And tomorrow, we are going to the White House and my sister thinks we are going to be able to pat the dog.
And guess What Else? Today, I got a Chicken Nugget that was shaped like a Heart!
It was the coolest thing ever!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
1.) Interview a child.(inspired by Quilao Triplets)
2.) How do you stave off boredom?(inspired by Jenn's Pen)
3.) Write a poem for the little boy in your life.(inspired by Life With Kaishon)
4.) Describe a memorable interview or talk about your experience trying to find a job amidst this recession.(inspired by Lacey)
5.) Create a Help Wanted Ad.(inspired by Jenners)
I chose #5:
You know when you walk by those super fancy night clubs and they have those obnoxious door men manning the velvet ropes? Those guys? The ones who give everyone a hard time and think they are God's gift to...the sidewalk? They make sure only "certain people" get inside and yet they attract everyone because people think "Oh! A line! There must be something really good going on inside. Let's get in this line." Most of the time, if you do get past all the insults to your hippie-chick attire and more or less make up-less face and product-less hair, then the inside is just a big let down. Just a lame DJ playing some tuneless house music and a bunch of plastic people milling around some leather cube thingies that I guess are supposed to be chairs. The drinks are terrible and the strobe lights are about to send everyone into a grand mal seizure. But every once in a while, you stumble into a place that has a great band or yummy creative drinks or a cool crowd. Something that makes you glad you didn't walk on past to your usual dive bar.
I need a doorman like that. You know, to weed out all the bad dates! Instead of keeping the normal people out of the club, the dateman could let the normal people in to Jeepgirl world! And maybe the dateman could generate a little interest this way, as well. I don't need velvet ropes or a line that goes halfway around the block or anything like that. It's just that the hippie chick attire that drives the doormen up a wall doesn't exactly generate a two block line in real life. (I have no idea why. It's a timeless, casual, playful look. You can't beat it.)
That would be wonderful! Kind of like a matchmaker, only not so politically incorrect. Then, maybe my dates wouldn't end so disasterously!
Know anyone who could meet those job requirements? (Or maybe I chould just date him.)
Monday, June 22, 2009
June 15: I put the casette program I finished in the book donation bag.
June 16: I returned a sewing kit I had borrowed from J.
June 17: I put an old glasses case into the clothes/ housewares donation bag.
June 18: I put a pair of jeans that fit weird into the donation bag.
June 19: I was cleaning out my gym bag and I came across a plastic cosmetics bag thing that I kept shampoo and stuff in. It really is just disgusting. I threw that away.
June 20: Laundry day! 2 pair of socks into the donation bag.
June 21: I was supposed to bring the donation bags to the donation centers today. But father's day lunch ran ridiculously long. (It's ok. The kids were ridiculously cute.) So instead, I went through the magazine basket and put them in the gym bag to give to the gym.
And back to the organized plan next week: I can't avoid the storage area any more!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Last Thursday, I was flipping through the TV channels and I saw that Citizen Kane was on AMC. Fantastic! I had never seen this movie and I've heard so much about it: that it is considered by most film critics to be the best American movie ever made, that there are some crazy plot twists that blow your mind, that it's based loosely on the life of William Hearst. I needed to see this movie! How have I not seen it already? I LOVE movies. And I loved Hearst Castle when I visited it.
I fully expected to love this movie. After all, I'm not only a movie buff, but a fairly intelligent person with an appreciation for culture. I like museums and literature and I totally get all those hidden inside jokes in The Simpsons. So how come 15 minutes into this movie all I could think was: "Wow. This is really boring. I might switch over to Dodgeball."
Maybe it was because I wasn't in good movie watching mode: cuddled up on the sofa with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn. Instead, I was checking email on the computer with a bowl of lentil soup balanced on my lap. Maybe it was because I had brought some work home and I was intimidated by the sheer legnth of the movie. Maybe it was because the rotten weather had gotten me down and I just needed a comedy.
Or maybe it's because I'm not as smart and cultured with as good taste as I thought! Afterall, I do prefer beer to wine. I don't like caviar. I think designer clothing is a waste of money. And I consider Jack Black a comic genius. Am I as trite and unsophisticated as Eliza Doolitte?
Or then again, have I just answered my own question with that question?
Maybe I'll just put it on my netflix list and try again.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This week, a prompt spoke to me. Namely, because the prompt reflects a thought that has been rolling around in my head for weeks now: WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO BE? I have been pondering that for a while.
It's hard, because I think right now I am SO close! I love my job. It's ALMOST my dream job. Just this week, I worked with a guy to help find ways for him to get out of the house more easily. For the time being, I think that's going to be reliant upon a power wheelchair. But once he's out and enjoying himself, we can start working on getting him more independent without the chair. The best part of the whole interaction was the look he got on his face. He was thinking about things he wasn't going to miss out on this summer. And he got that look...you know the look that people have when they look at a sleeping baby or see their sweetheart after a long time apart? THAT look! And I felt so honored to have been part of the reason to produce that look.
But my job is like that pair of jeans that ALMOST fit, but not quite. I want more blending of my outside passions into my work life. I'm finding ways of doing that... working in adaptive sports clinics, volunteering at the MS bicycle fund raising event, learning more about adaptive hiking and camping. Dreaming of the idea of running adventure travel tours for this specific population.
But right now, I need to be here in this job, in this place, near my family and friends. And so I sit here in cold New England, clearing the clutter, doing my best at my job, training for races, learning as much as I can, and laying the groundwork. 'Cause sometime in the near future, it won't just be what I aspire to be, it'll be what I do.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Then something happened this weekend that made me reconsider. It seems that even good dates can be bad dates when I'm involved.
On Sunday, I got a call from Nerd to go out to lunch with him. He had seen a restaurant in my town that was featured on Phantom Gourmet. He thought it might be a nice idea to check it out together. I concurred.
"See you in an hour" he said, and we hung up.
Forty minutes later, I got in my car and drove to the restaurant. I didn't see him there, but was not surprised, since I thought one hour was a hopeful estimate on his part. So I got a drink and sat at the waterside bar. I quickly learned that it was far too cold to be sitting outside without a jacket even though its June and its supposed to be warm by now. So I moved inside.
I started talking to a couple who had also just moved inside from the waterside bar. They noticed that I kept checking my cell phone and started joking that I had been stood up. By this time, I had started to wonder the same. It was WAY past one hour (closing in on two) and still no word from Nerd.
Then my phone rings.
"Hey!" I said "Where are you."
"I'm in the driveway" he said "Where are you?"
"The driveway? You mean the parking lot."
"No, the driveway. To your house."
"Oh. I'm at the restaurant."
"Ok, well that explains why you didn't answer the door."
"J and K should be home," I said. "I'm surprised they didn't answer."
"Nope, nobody here. But hey, when did you guys get the dog?"
"The chocolate lab."
"Um, we don't have a chocolate lab. But the next door neighbors do."
Leave it to me to somehow end up with me at the restaurant and my lunch date not at MY house, but the neighbor's house.
I just suck at dating. And apparently, communication.
Monday, June 15, 2009
The first week, I focused on the bathroom.
June 1: I have two pairs of tweezers. One works quite nicely. The other, not so much. I don't think the tweezers are recyclable, so I threw em out.
June 2: Why do I own a hair scrunchie? And how did it make it through the first two purge sessions? I know. I figured I'd use it to pull my hair back when I wash my face. But I don't. I have a bandana I use for that. I put it in the donation bag, in case somebody who shops at the goodwill store needs to wash their face.
June 3: I have a collection of plastic bags under the sink that I figured I'd use to put my fluids into for my carry on. I really only need one or two. So I threw out the rest of em.
June 4: Took all the various trial sized stuff I had under the sink and packed em up for my trip!
June 5: I had come across some camp-y bracelets I have had for about a million years. Before leaving for the bus, I put the bracelets aside to give away to my neices. They'll probably like em.
June 6: Finished a book I had been reading and gave it away to Isabella.
June 7: ( I was really still away June 7, but for the sake of making everything neat and pretty, I'm gonna say June 7 even though this occured when I got back on June 10)
ANYWAY: I had a belt hanging on the back of the door in the bathroom and I put it in the donation bag.
Next Week, I moved into the Front Hallway:
June 8: I had a parking pass on the bookshelf in the front hallway. It's old and expired. So I put it in the recycling.
June 9: Had an old ugly keychain in the key basket. Threw that away!
June 10: Had some cute stickers that I had picked up somewhere. I put them in the pile to give away to my neices.
June 11: Had a bunch of business cards in a pile there....they went in the recycling.
June 12: The store gift cards on the bookshelf were moved to my wallet.
June 13: In the bookcase, I had a little pamphlet with an exercise program inside. I don't need it. So I threw it away!
June 14: took the pile of bottle return slips and turned in them in.
Next week....I'm going crazy and going to free style!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Point in fact: I am in a new age category this year. Even though my birthday is not until December (long after the tri season has ended) the rules say that I am categorized by the age I will be on December 31st. Hence, new age group. That by itself wouldn't be so bad. But now they categorize me, and worse yet, CALL me....a "master athlete." As in: "Ok, and now its time for the beginning wave for our master athletes". Really! Why do they have to be so mean? There are people in their 70's doing these races (and WOW-- good for them) but do they HAVE to lump me in with these people? It's bad enough when these freaks of nature come zooming by me on their bikes even though they started 18 minutes after I did. But to say I'm essentially in the same age category? I crossed the finish line, jumped in my jeep, and cried all the way home. Master Athlete? Stupid announcer! He's just a big....meanie.
He's probably in cahoots with mother nature. Because she clearly has it in for me, as well. Oh, she knows how much I love hot, sunny weather. But she's punishing me personally for some crime I probably didn't even commit. It's been so cold and rainy and just blah, that I haven't even taken the hard top off of the jeep. So cold and rainy and just blah that the ocean hasn't warmed up. So cold and rainy and just blah that they almost cancelled the swim portion of the race! In the end, they HAD the swim, but it was mandatory wet suit. I HATE swimming in wet suits. Yeah, they make you more buoyant and quite frankly between the extra buoyancy and the 140 other "master athletes" in my wave I could have just floated, not moving arms or legs, and gotten carried along to the end of the swim course. But I'll take less buoyancy over frigid, can't feel your arms or feet until 2 miles into the bike ride water any day. It's a personal attack upon me, I tell you. Stupid weather! Mother Nature is just...mean.
Finally, there is what at first glance is just a nice lunch between friends. A friend of mine came down here to try a restaurant that he saw featured on "Phantom Gourmet" and asked me to join him. Nice, right? But then he HAD to start telling me that he was working out a lot and had dropped some weight. (when I work out a lot, I gain weight) And he told me about a lunch he had last week that consisted of FOUR hamburgers. (If I ate four hamburgers for lunch, not only would I puke, but I'd instantly gain four pounds) And THEN...he told me about his day Saturday: made himself I giant breakfast burrito and then slept all afternoon. (If I had a giant breakfast burrito and slept all afternoon...well, you get the picture) Then it dawned on me: he was in cahoots with that triathlon announcer and mother nature! He didn't invite me to lunch to be nice, he invited me to lunch to be mean! Stupid Phantom Gourmet! I didn't forget his role in all this mean-ness, either!
Now, I'm going to spend the rest of this Sunday evening holed up by myself trying to concoct a mean-ness anti-dote. You never know who I'm going to encounter next week at work.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
It's been so cold and rainy this spring that the water temperatures are about 10 degrees colder than usual. They debated cancelling the swim, but later decided on mandatory wet suits. I've never competed in a wet suit, as I feel like I'm not SWIMMING in a wet suit. I was certainly glad I had one today, though. I was 2 miles or so into the bike leg before I could feel my feet!
I'll look my time up tomorrow, when its posted on the web site. I FEEL like it was faster than last year, though, so that's something.
Now I'm off to see my 4 year old neice's dance recital.
Damn good day.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I spent last weekend and the beginning of this week in St. Louis, where Isabella was giving poster presentation for a conference. So I joined her and we hit the town and had some fun.
* For a wound care conference (blech), I was astounded at the number of participants who went outside for smoke breaks!
* Never knew how silt-y the Mississippi River was! It's kind of like thick, brown, sludge. Great place to hide a body, I would guess.
* After our paddle boat tour of that thick, brown river, I was immediately struck with the desire to re-read "Life on the Mississippi" and "Huck Finn". Maybe I'll hit the library next week.
* That arch? Really impressive from the outside. Not so impressive from the inside. We rode up to the top in these little round Dr. Evil pods to look out tiny, tiny little windows. You gotta go up, its the touristy thing to do. But when all is said and done, lying on your back in the grass and looking straight up at the arch is much more awe inspiring.
* I love blues music. Love, love, love, love it. Made me miss San Francisco and the great blues bars there. (I know...blues isn't the first thing that pops into my head when I think "San Fran" either.)
* And the poor Cardinals fans had the blues while we were there.
* Just walking around a city with a baseball hat on (in my case, a Red Sox hat) is just the best way to meet people. Instant connection. In any city.
* We also visited "the Old Courthouse" which was the site of the infamous "Dred Scott" case. I sort of remembered that from high school history. That was the guy suing to buy his freedom, right? How the heck did that end? Ummm...hmmm. I guess we should go visit, because high school was a long time ago. Let me just say -- I don't remember it being that dramatic when I studied it in school. And since I am such a nerd (who checks out "Life on the Mississippi" after a boat ride) I couldn't help thinking: "Oh, to be in AP American history and write a paper comparing the Dred Scott case with Proposition 8". Yeah, I know. NERD.
* I am so sluggish and bloated from the food I gorged on all week. And so not ready for my first sprint triathlon of the season tomorrow. I can only hope that the high fat will make me more buoyant and power me through the bike ride!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Our topic of conversation as we walked around was Kyle's use of the word whores.
"Do you think he knows what a whore is?" I mused. "I mean, accepting his offer to go to the fishing cabin would have been more whore-like behavior than declining."
"Well, of course!" Shan agreed. "But we're talking about a guy who introduced himself as 'Scrotum'."
We continued to walk around the bar, imagining what the fishing cabin looked like, where exactly it was located, and how many bodies were buried in the back.
Suddenly, the music cut out, the lights shut off, and the front doors were propped open.
"Everyone out!" the bouncers called out. "We're closed!"
Hmmm. No last call, no last dance, no 'happy trails', no nothing! Just "Get out, we're closed." Ok. I guess that's the way its done in private clubs.
As we were making out way to the door, Shan and I were approached by a semi-normal looking guy.
"Um, hi," he said. "My name is John. I know you don't know me and I don't want to scare you or anything, but I was just across the room and I heard those two talking." He gestured toward Kyle and Lyle. "I really didn't like what they were saying. Could I walk the two of you to your car? I'd feel much better if I did."
Why hadn't we met this normal guy earlier? Maybe he was circling the bar as well, just 180 degrees away from our trajectory. Anyway, letting John walk us to the car seemed like the smart thing to do.
Halfway across the parking lot, Kyle and Lyle started screaming: "Whores! Whores! I'll kick that jackass' ass!" (I especially like the repetition of the word ass. Effective, no?)
We quickened our pace. "Um, John, maybe you should just get to your car quick. They're kind of nuts. I don't want you to get hurt or anything."
"No," he said, "I'll make sure you make it to your car safely."
That's when a bottle sailed past his head. Those two lunatics were throwing beer bottles!
"Oh, shit!" Shan said. "When we get to the car, you're getting in, John. We'll go to a restaurant or something and I'll drive you back later to get your car."
Another bottle smashed about one foot from John's feet.
Fortunately, even small towns in east Texas have deus ex machinas. Two guys grabbed Kyle and Lyle from behind.
"Cut it out! You two do this every time we go out! Why are you always starting crap with strangers?"
Then Kyle, Lyle, and their two honorable friends started brawling in the parking lot. And people starting their pick-up trucks started honking their horns and howling out the windows. They were peeling by the melee, yelling, beeping, and throwing more beer bottles out the window. (what was it with flying beer bottles in this town? Did people have piles stashed in convenient places in case the urge to throw struck?)
John made sure we got to the car safely and made and exit. Shan and I scooted out the back way. Kyle, Lyle, their two friends, and various other people in the parking lot continued to fight.
That was the last time we went out. Oh, why couldn't I have gotten a work assignment in Austin?
Monday, June 1, 2009
Back to the office this week:
May 25: After a lovely day of kayaking, I came home and looked at the bookshelf. On the side, I had some lanyards from conferences I had attended. Why the heck did I save these? I ended up giving them to my older nieces. I have learned that kids, for some reason, love these lanyard thingies and hand all kinds to stuff on them. (Maybe that's why I saved them in the first place)
May 26: Also on the bookcase, a 2009 calender that I got for free. I don't know if I thought I'd suddenly need a calender or something. But the year is almost half over. If I needed the calender, I would have used it by now. Happily, it's recyclable.
May 27: Bottom shelf of the bookshelf, I went through some papers. I had a bunch of papers from an old job -- you know, regulations, paperwork instructions, etc. I guess I was holding onto them in case I moved back out to California and got a job at the same place and they suddenly were unable to supply me with instructions for my job description. RECYCLE!
May 28: Lastly on the shelf, I had a program from the retirement party for my Dad, two years ago. This I will continue to hold onto, but it probably belongs in my in my little memory box thingy. So I moved it. And again, since moving things, rather than purging, seems like cheating, I pulled out an winning lottery ticket I had on the desk and turned it in!! Unfortunately, it was only a 2 dollar winner, so I will continue to go to work every day.
May 29: Laundry day!! One pair of socks into the donation bag.
May 30: In the desk drawer, I had a pin advertising some company. Again, I guess I thought I'd recover the pin with some witty saying and give it to somebody or something. I won't. I threw it away.
May 31: Finished another of the cassettes for that program I'm working through (and quiet, Carolina John! I already said I'm old. By the end of June, I won't have any more incriminating evidence in the form of cassettes!!) . I put it in the book donation bag.
Next week, to the bathroom again. I'm pretty confident I won't have as many strange saved items in the bathroom.