Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Maine state of mind

We're here!!  475 miles, 7.5 hours, 3 potty breaks, and $16.00 in tolls....and we made it to Old Orchard Beach.  My apologies in advance, I'm a day behind on the ole bloggie, but yesterday was super busy, and today I ran a half plus walked another 6miles, so I claim leniency!  That okay?  Good, thanks :-)
Well, backing up to yesterday, the hubs and I left at 7:30 from Rochester, and made it to our cottage at 3ish.  A few things we learned along the way....
1.  Tolls are stupid.  NY is the worst (we knew that) but we paid a damn toll in every state we went through, or $16 one way.  Effff.  We could eat lunch out with tax and tip for that!  Lame, lame lame.
2.  New Hampshire is full of drunks.  We were in it for 20 minutes and saw 7 "state liquor stores" along the way.  (I profusely apologize if you are from NH).  Interestingly enough, on the same road, 10 minutes into Maine, they had signs every 3 miles stating how tough they were on drunk drivers.  Tough break, New Hampshire-ites.
3.  Road games are awesome.  We are lame and like to see how smarty pants we can be....last road trip, we tried to name all the state capitols (and came up with 47, not bad!).  This time, we got serious.  Name as many countries as you can.  We named 129.  There are 196 countries in the world.  Now, I'm not saying we belong in Mensa or anything, but that's alllright.  Give it a shot.  It's amazing how many random countries you can remember in 4 hours!  (Note-we missed a fair number of African Counties).
4.  Maine is totally in peak foliage season.  But it's not as pretty when it's raining!  The sun is supposed to come out Monday and be out all week...fingers crossed!!
With that, here's a look at where we're staying!
 (Note- I have some nice inside pics, but it took my netbook an hour to load these two pics, so....more later!)  We're staying in a cottage with two bedrooms (one is more a living room) and it has a full kitchen, playground, volleyball, horseshoes, fire pit, pool (yep, still open) and a screened in porch with community grills.  Sweet!
 The cottage is about a mile from the ocean, so I hopped on my bike when we got there and checked out the Atlantic.  A bit chilly, but the sand beach was gorgeous, and I can't wait to jump in (with wetsuit!)

Sunday (today) was my half marathon....full race recap coming later, but I managed to crack a callous on my foot and....it was bloody and painful.  I managed to clock a personal worst, but I had a blast with the circumstances and that's all I was going for!  (2:04 half time).  More tomorrow :-)

Post race, we came back to warm up and get dry, and headed out to Trader Joe's to stock up on lunch and brekkie stuff (yeah, it's a novelty...we don't have them where we live...yet!)  We got polenta, edamame, enchiladas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, greek yogurt, and flax chips for $14.  Sweet!!

Tonight, we dined on the OOB (Old Orchard beach) pier and I got a big assed bacon cheeseburger (I have been craving one forever!!) with fries.  We walked to and from the restaurant, which was about 2 miles each way.
Burger, more than earned.
And now....my dogs are tired.  And so am I.  It's time for some trash TV and maybe Clue before bed.  (I strongly suspect it was Mister Green in the conservatory with the lead pipe.  Muahahaha).
Good night!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Matchstick Post #2: Falling into Place


Friday dance!!  I'm liberated!!!  9 days until I have to go back to work, woohooo!!  After work was finished (a zillion little things left to do before I left, but not bad at all), I ran some errands, delivered some very special flowers, and headed home to finish getting ready.  And now it's 8:30pm, the suitcases are packed (mostly, save for one load of laundry), the car is ready to go, the cooler is standing by waiting to be filled, and all our "stuff" is in the entryway waiting for the hubs masterful packing skills. Maine, here we come!
In the half hour before the Fringe season premiere (squee!) I bring to you....matchstick #2.

The line:  After trying for more than 20 years, a man finally solves a Rubik's cube he got in high school.

"Falling into Place"

Countdown....10...9...8...7...6..5..4..3....2...1!  Happy New Year!  As the friends toasted the new century, they looked at each other in awe.  The year 2000.  A new millennium.  And soon, new adventures for them all.  "You know", Ron mused, "next year at this time...we'll be returning home from college....graduated....adults...and be in completely different places. 
"To Us", the rest toasted. " To new experiences, new friends, new places....but never forgetting our near and dear at home".  And the glasses clinked in celebration.
Six months later, the big transition came.  High school graduation.  Tossing caps, tears of joy, and graduation parties abounded.  As Ron's family and friends came to celebrate this milestone, Ron found himself showered with gifts and advice.  "Enjoy Penn State, dear"  his grandmother encouraged.  "When I was your age, I had three kids and a husband in the army..."  as she waxed poetic about the past, Ron's attention wandered to the sights around him.  His little cousins scampering after the pinata as it swung precariously from an old oak tree that he once built a house in.  His long time girlfriend, Jen, as she sat with his favorite aunt, discussing her college plans at Cornell.  And his mom, bustling around, trying to serve the entourage of Ron's circle of friends and family.  And suddenly, his Uncle Adam was before him, holding out a brightly parceled package trussed up in last weeks Sunday comics.  Ron smiled in excitement and ripped it open.  Inside the box lie a Rubik's cube, it's colors aligned on all four sides.  Ron looked up quizzically at his Uncle.  Uncle Adam pulled the cube out of the package, and started speaking to Ron.
"Look around you, Ron", his uncle started.  " Right now, your world is pretty much aligned.  You got a full ride to Penn, you have your high school sweetheart next to you, and all your friends and family are here.  Heck, your mom still does your laundry.  You are a big fish in a little pond, and life is good.  However", he continued "When you get out into the big world, things are gonna shake up".  As he spoke, he began twisting the cube so that the colors were hopelessly jumbled and mixed up.  " You'll encounter difficult times and situations, and sometimes the world will make no sense.  And it's okay.  Someday, the colors will align and you will find yourself a grown man in a life that makes sense to you, that suits you well.  And then, the colors will find themselves home".  And with that, he imparted the gift to Ron, who stared at the child's toy with a new sense of purpose.  And he gave his favorite Uncle a big hug.
Long after the party ended, Ron placed the cube on his bureau.  He soon forgot about it.  In the fall, he attended Penn State and majored in Economics, and then applied to law school upon graduation.  He had semesters with a 4.0, and then came dangerously close to failing English Lit Junior year.  He and Jen broke up.  He moved back in with his parents post college, and tried to find himself.  He dated.  He was single.  He attended weddings of his close friends from high school and college.  He moved into the city and became a lawyer at Billford and Sons. 
And every time he moved onto a new piece in his life, he would pick up the cube, make a few twists, seemingly get one side into place, and then the other 5 sides would jumble.  Disgusted, he placed it in a box and banished the cube into the attic.
As Ron headed into his third decade, he met the love of his life.  Gina wasn't anything like any girl he had dated, but she made him laugh.  She "got" his obsession with CSI: New York and the Yankees.  She made him feel like the best version of himself.  And her smile....was heart melting.  The two wed soon after they met, and within three years had two children, a boy and a girl.  Life was good.  A house.  A family.  And a good job.
And then the perfect life fell in.  With the economic recession of 2018, Ron lost his job at his firm, just 6 months shy of making partner.  Gina fell ill, and the medical bills mounted.  As Ron sat in the hospital, awaiting the results of the latest tests the doctor had ordered, his Uncle Adam rounded the corner and put his arm on Ron's shoulder in comfort.  Ron looked up at him with a bemused expression on his face.  "I was just thinking of you, Uncle"  he started.  "Do you remember that Rubik's cube that you gave me 20 years ago?"  His uncle nodded.  "Well, I was never able to solve it.  I got close a few times, but the sides were never aligned perfectly as they were when you gave it to me.  It's no wonder I can't figure my life out.  I can't even figure out a stupid toy".  And his Uncle smiled.  Ron shook his head in complete exasperation.  What did it matter anyway, he thought.  If Gina isn't with me, my life has no meaning anyways.
At that moment the doctor appeared and ushered the two men into the room with Gina.  "I have some big news"  the doctor began."  We've reviewed Gina's scans and have found that the cancer is in complete remission.  Although the medical bills will be quite pricey, they have paid off.  She will return to 100%, I have no doubt".
At this wonderful news, Ron ran to embrace his crying wife and the two sobbed with joy at the news that they had been so afraid to receive.  All was right with the world again.  And as Ron gave thanks to the higher being, he looked over at his sage and smiling Uncle and he finally understood. 
Twenty years out of high school, he thought, and now I finally "get it".  The Rubik's cube can be "solved", but what is that of life?  Life is full of interesting and unexpected twists, and the colors never align perfectly.  But as long as you have most of your sides together, the rest can be a fine mess, and that's perfectly fine.
Who knew a $5 toy would be such a life lesson?  When Ron and his family returned to their home, several thousand dollars in debt but very much with each other, Ron pulled the old cube out of the attic.  I'm done trying to "solve" this puzzle, he thought.  Life can't be solved, but it can be lived.
And with that, he placed the cube on the mantle in the living room in a place of honor so that he would never forget the important lesson.
 
***
 
(Author's note:  I could never figure out those cubes....that might be part of the inspiration of the story!  Who has time to sit around and fiugure out a cube when there are so many more fun things to be doing??)






Thursday, September 27, 2012

10,000 days of madness

Today has NOT been a good day.  I tried to fight with the City of Rochester, and lost.  I forgot my lunch in the fridge and had to eat crap (read, not tasting good) random fillers till I got home.  I forgot my running shoes in the car (which, thanks to the damn city and my ditziness, I had to park a mile away from work...literally), and I got yelled at by cranky clients.
I need an escape.  And even though my vacation is less than 48 hours away (you knew I was going to say that) I couldn't wait.
So I escaped.  To a place that makes my life look boring.  Where any craziness that I have encountered is magnified by 10,000.  Did I just say 10,000?  Well, what a coincidence!
If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know my weakness for one soap opera....Young and the Restless.  Yes, it's ridiculous, but my old college roommate got me into it back in 2003...and since I graduated in '04....I've recorded it or DVRed it almost every day.  I can't seem to get away from Genoa City....from the "madness" as the hubs calls it (yes, he's watched it a few times, too).  Well, today is a big day in Y&R-dom.  It's their 10,000 episode!
Holy cow.  Now, just for comparison....the show has been around for 30 plus years.  But if we're talking a prime time show (like New Girl)....it would take 450 years to get to 10,000 episodes!  Impressive.
Now, I know what you're thinking.  How does she have time to watch an hour of TV a day?  Well, I don't.  But when you DVR it...one episode takes 35 minutes.  And I have a rule that I won't sit on the couch during an episode...I can ONLY watch it on the trainer.  Now, usually I have several in the queue depending on what I'm training for, but ever since 2009 Ironman training, it's come in super handy.  35 minutes = 12 miles (ish).  x 5 = 60 miles.  Take out a few weeks for Tennis, vacation, and holidays.... x 48 = roughly 2900 miles.
Times 4 years.  So in the time that I've been a triathlete Y&R watcher...I've biked over 11,000 miles to the show.
Madness.
Keep on tickin' Y &R.....I wonder how many more times they can marry Sharon to a Newman (she's married 3), Victor and Nikki can get remarried (I think 7) , or a child goes from newborn to college aged in 4 years.  Funny how the main characters never age......
To Genoa City.  To 10,000 episodes and 9 years (for me) of making me feel like my life is just a little bit less crazy than a soap.
Let's hope they never cancel it....I'll weigh 500 pounds! :-P
Do you have a soap or any type of embarrassing show you watch?  (I won't judge unless it's Glee.  Promise). 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If you're happy and you know it...

Hey hey there!  I stand corrected from yesterday.  Not feeling like talking about vacation or birthdays (teh horrorz!) so I almost skipped the whole blogging thing...if I don't have anything, I'm not going to waste your time.
But then I realized, truly, what a good day it's been....and since I'm a happy girl, I thought I would share some of the things with you that are making me smile lately.  Who knows, maybe they'll make you smile, too!
What I'm loving lately....
1.  The "Game of Thrones" series by Geore R.R. Martin.  A cross between LOTR, Pillars of the Earth and Hunger Games (in my opinion)....it's not an easy read (NONE of the names are intuitive and he tends to skip around alot), but I'm totally into it.  I love the fact that it's a longer book, so I've actually been reading it for a few weeks (I usually devour books).  I can't lose myself in it for more than an hour, tops, but the story is intruiging, and I can't wait to see how the TV series stacks up (I know, I'm late to the party on this one).
2.  SongPop! on Facebook.  I started playing this game last week when the hubs challenged me to a game....with the rest of the Glaser's following.  My handicap?  My husband's family used to spend DINNER hours being quizzed on song lit, and his Ipod has about 25,000 songs on it.  I was getting trounced, so I complained about how much I sucked on Facebook.  Well, bless my friends (yeah guys, thanks)...within 6 hours, I had 12 requests to play.  I played 122 games last week (yikes!) and the upshot is...I'm getting much much better!  I would say I win about as much as I lose, which is alot when you get trounced 12-1 by your significant other in your first game.  Yikes.  Play it.  You'll like it.  But no more challenges....I have 14 games going now!
3.  New Girl.  It premiered last night, and after a crappy day (who manages to get a parking ticket in a garage that they PAY to park in? Me, thats who.  Lame)...ahem.  Sorry.  It had the hubs and I in stiches for an hour (we were lucky enough to have two premiers!) I love everyting about this show.  It's wrong, raunchy, dorky, and bust a gut laugh all in one.  And I hope they never cancel it.  The four main characters are so much in sync, it's scary.
4. Balsamic Vinegar and Oat Bran.  No, not together!  I did some chicken in the slow cooker over the weekend in garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar, and have been easting the leftovers all week.  Divine, moist (I hate that word, but I'll get over it) and flavorful-pairs well with veggies, rice, quinoa or anything, really.  Yum.  My breakfast of choice lately? Oat bran.  I love old fashioned oats to death, but oat bran is creamier, heartier, and fluffs up so beautifully.  Add in chopped apple and some vanilla greek yogurt with a dash of cinnamon = hot apple pie for breakfast.  Yum. Yum.

5.  PSY.  I heard the song on PXY a few weeks ago, and just brushed it off as a weirdo foreign remix. Then I saw the video.  Holy hell.  This guy is hilarious!  The phenom has hit the world, and everyone's running around exclaiming "Gangnam style" and flailing around in an imitation of a truly terrible dance that is both comic and easy to mask your $hitty dance moves with :-P  If you live under a rock and you haven't seen the video yet, DO.IT.  I take no responsibility for the fact that the stupid song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the night.
 
Well, there ya go.  Nothing epic, but enough to make me happy.  What's turning your world lately?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Portland Prep

Yeah...expect the rest of the posts this week to be either about my upcoming vacation or my plummet to another decade.  I understand if you move along....but I hope you stay for the ride :-)
Since I am a super duper type A nerd, I basically spend the week before a vacation prepping (my to do list is not only exhaustive, but is broken down into segments:  race, clothes/toiletries packing, food, house to do's, car stuff...etc.  yeah, I know.  I usually make it out about a week or so before we hit the road, then tackle one task a day.  Today's task:  race prep!
Although I'm really just doing this one for fun, I still like to be ready to go and have everything I need to make a running race enjoyable.  To pack:  favorite running capris, tech shirt, arm warmers (okay, fine, tube socks with the feet cut off for throwaways), socks, brooks, gel, lucky sports bra (yeah I have one.  No judging), headphones, road ID, mp3 player....play list!
I always have a list of stand by running songs (Basement Jaxx, Lil John, Eminem, etc.) but I always try to add in a few new ones every race.  Since I haven't raced since May, I have a few newbies to add to the playlist....

1.  " Vulture" Pendulum (stolen from hubs playlist.  Awesome kick in the butt song!)
2.  "Motown Philly" Boyz II Men
3.  "The beautiful people" Merilyn Manson
4.  "Gangnam Style" PSY (Oh my lord....if you haven't seen the video yet....just do it.)
5. "Break Ya Neck" Busta Rhymes
6.  "Some Nights" Fun
7.  " Whistle" Flo Rida
8.  " Memories" David Guetta
9.  "What Makes you Beautiful"  One Direction
10.  Mortal Kombat Theme
11. "Cashin Out" Ca$h Out
12.  "I'm sexy (and I know it) LMFAO

New Obsession....awesome for mile 11.  Ill be dancin, yo.
 Whew, quite a mix!   Now that I'm all ready tunage wise and clothes wise, let's talk course.  I've watched the course video and looked at elevation charts, plus the hubs mapped the course out for the computrainer so I can ride it (not the same thing, but I'll get a good idea!).  The course looks pretty flat miles 1-4, rollers and one larger hill miles 5-8, and flat miles 9-13.  Doable, especially since I'm used to running hills.

Into the in case bag:  rain jacket, compression sleeves, Immodium, sweatshirt, protein bar, tums.  My sherpa (my dear hubby) has that one covered.

Let's rock this!  Err.....in 5 days. 

Got any good song recommendations I missed?  I can always use some more!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tis the season!

Ahhh, turning leaves.  Pumpkin coffee.  Apple harvest.  Long sleeves on training runs.
Nah....
Well, it is the season.  But now that it's "officially" fall....it's time for....Must see TV!  Woohoo!!
While summer has been rotting my brain with SYTYCD, The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad (can't believe I stopped so low!), summer re-runs of my favorite shows are over and it's time to reunite with some favorites and tune into some new shows!  What's on the lineup at casa de Glaser?  Well, here goes.....

Oh yummy.
1.  Dancing with The Stars (Mondays, 8pm, ABC).  A spin off from reality TV?  Probably.  I've never seen this show, and I could happily go the rest of my life without seeing it, except one of my boyfriends is in the show this season.  Which one? ( I have way too many professional boyfriends).  Apolo Ohno....yummy yummers.  If you live under a rock,  Ohno is an Olympian speed skater who has been in the last 4 Olympics.  *According to him* (and I hope he's lying) he's done with the Olympics, but hey, if he wants to keep reaching out to me via the television by dancing, hey, I'm not gonna argue. 

2.  Nashville (Mondays, 10pm, ABC):  Another newbie-Hayden Panettiere (form Heroes!) stars in this show about an up and coming country music star that threatens a well known existing star's status.  I'm not too sure about this one, but I adore Hayden, and I'm a big country music fan, so I'll give it a shot. 

3.  New Girl (Tuesdays, 9pm, Fox).  This is an oldy, but probably the most hilarious show on TV.  We started watching this when the show piloted, and Zooey Zeschanel won us over, along with her crew of 3 co-actors.  The show really reminds me of all the dorky thoughts and actions we have as people that we secretly think that if other people knew about, that they would make fun of us for.  So good to know that this exists to help (crazy people like me) feel better about ourselves.  Tune in.  You won't be sorry!

 4.  Go On! (Tuesdays, 9pm, NBC).  This actually premiered a few weeks ago, and is on my DVR just waiting to get watched.  Sadly, it interferes with New Girl, but her, that's why we have a DVR!  This show stars old "friend" Matthew Perry, who is a sportscaster trying to get over the death of his wife.  I think it sounds good for the punchy one liners, but am unsure if it has staying power.  We'll see. 

Source

5.  Fringe (Fridays, 9pm, Fox).  Once again, an oldy but goody.  This show started back in 2008, and sadly, this season is the season finale.  So sad.  I can't decide who I like best-Joshua Jackson (yummy yummy) the actress that plays Olivia (girl power) or the hilarious actor that plays Walter...and how can I forget Lance Riddick (hello mister 8 pack) but the entire cast works seamlessly together, and the story lines are out of this world (literally).  If you haven't gotten into it yet and you liked X-files or similar back 10 years ago, do yourself a favor.  Netflix the past seasons, watch them, then hulu the new season.  You won't regret it. 

So there you jolly well are.  More treadmill viewing fodder for my fall and winter.  I think I need to sign up for another marathon....to go with my TV watching marathon!

What shows are you into this fall?  Anything I'm missing?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm BAACK!

Well, it's Saturday!  Yay for the weekend!  And thank you for your kind words yesterday on my foray back into the writing world.  It was a rough first draft that took me about a half hour to do, and I think I'll polish it up a bit and put it in my files.  A feel good story without a ton of meat, but fun to write nonetheless.  It's good to be back!
We had a big breakthrough today on the running front.  I had a good 5 miler last week and this week, so I knew I would be okay to run Portland next weekend.  But I still wanted to test drive a 10 miler...just to make myself feel better.  So, with the temp in the mid sixties, a light drizzle, and the wind in my face (yep, I meant that) I headed out to do my 10.  And did 11.  .4.  Wooohooo!! I ran to my mom's house, like I have many times before.  I planned on running 10 and walking the rest, but felt pretty darn good, so I keep on going!  My overall time was only about 4 minutes slower than my best ever time running to Webster (marathon PR shape), so for not running more than a 10k since May (I do NOT count Musselman, I walked half that run :-P)  I'll freaking take it.
The Workout
11.44 miles
Time:  1:43:24
Pace:  9:08/mile
I also fell in love with running again.
Not that I ever fell out of love, exactly....but running kinda dumped me a few months ago, and I've been chasing after it like a teenage girl with a crush since May.  I'd give it up for a few weeks, and then try again, like an 8th grade slipping a note to their crush in study hall.  "Running, will you go out with me again?  No?  Damn.  Okay, fine.
Well, with three successful runs under my belt with no foot pain, I think we're off that break (pun intended) and hopefully my body will allow me to enjoy the most beautiful running season ever-fall.  Today, aside from the scattering of sprinkles, it was the perfect day for a run.  62 degrees.  Cloudy with a few breaks of sun toward the end.  The pumpkins out in the patch.  The cows out grazing (and looking at me like I was a fool, but whatever).  A few shades other than green on the trees.  And super super comfy in my capris and tee (I live for this weather).
Portland is 8 days away.....no PR in store for me, but I can still hang on to my A goal, which is to squeak in under 2 hours!  For a grand total of 8 runs (including races) since memorial day.....I think I would squeal with joy if I could do that!
Portland Goals:
A goal:  1:59
B goal:  Under 2:05
C goal:  finish.  Always.
Now it's time to get my yoga on, eat clean, hydrate, and stretch!  Wooohooo! 
Which I'll start tonight.  With some chai tea and Snow White and the Huntsmen.
I'll admit, I have a small twinge of jealousy toward those running Rochester Half and Full tomorrow, but I'm really glad I decided to run Portland instead.  New scenery and all :-)  Good luck if you're racing tomorrow!!
How was your Saturday? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Matchstick Post 1: " Luck of the Roll"

So, back on Tuesday, I was waxing poetic (har) about a book that one of my volunteers lent me at work regarding starter sentences for short stories.  I've decided to dedicate Friday to "short stories" based off of these sentences-I've gone through the book and found dozens of neat little starters that, depending on my mood, the day, life circumstances, and POV taken....will make interesting stories.  Or at least force me to flex my little writing muscle on more than just what I ate, made, did, or trained for.  Feedback is totally welcomed and encouraged.  Enjoy!
***
Starter Sentence: (dialogue prompt)  "Heads, we get married.  Tails, we break up.  How's that?"

"Luck of the Roll"

Sarah and Matt were two ordinary, middle of the road twentysomethings in Anytown, USA.  Sarah was a school teacher, Matt worked at a plant manufacturing playing cards.  They lived a somewhat banal, if not satisfying life in an apartment minutes away from the city.  They had been together since high school, living in harmony as two committed, contented people in middle class America.  With one caveat.
While they were frugal in terms of clothing, dinners out, and entertainment, they both loved the game of luck. Of chance.  Of the magic displayed by America's playground....Las Vegas.  As kids, they grew up about an hour outside of the strip, never venturing into the city until Sarah turned 21.  For the last four years, once a month they would take off on a Friday, stay at motel 6 for the weekend, and bask in the excitement of the city.  They stayed away from the all you can eat buffets and the bawdy shows that crowded the strip, instead focusing on the casinos.  Specifically, the craps tables.  They both found it fascinating that one roll of the dice could change your luck, forever.  And someday, with the one roll, they surmised....they could move out of their apartment.  Out of Podunk.  And onto a bigger, better, and more amazing life.
As the months ticked on, Matt began to plan for their 7 year anniversary as a couple.  He thought of the usual.....flowers, jewelry, and other splendors associated with the fairer sex.  Dismissing all the usual suspects, he knew, deep down, what he wanted to do for Sarah on this special day.  Even though the two had decided years ago to forgo marriage until they could buy a home and become stable....they weren't getting any younger.  And he knew, deep down, that there wasn't another woman he would ever want to spend the rest of his life with.
As the big day approached, Matt began to make his plans for the Vegas weekend.  He picked out a small ring....it wasn't much, but her knew Sarah would appreciate the thought and not the size of the rock.  He also spoke with some of his buddies at work to devise the "perfect proposal"...Sarah wasn't the type of woman to need something over the top, but he wanted it to be special to both of them.  Slowly, the ideas came together.
On the 7th (such a fortuitous day!) Matt and Sarah headed out for the strip and checked into their hotel.  They had decided to forgo a fancy dinner and hit up the craps table with their "big bet of the night" in order to see if they could change their luck through the roll of the dice.  As they approached the table, Sarah laid down the cash and waited for the casino employee to roll the dice. A crowd gathered on this busy Friday night.  Matt took a deep breath and pulled Sarah aside as the other betters laid down their dollars for the game of chance.
"Sarah" he began, "I love you more than words can say, and I want to spend 70 more years living life by chance with you.  I know that in a normal situation, I would ask you to marry me, but since we live our lives by chance, how about we let a roll decide?"  She gasped.  He continued on, " Heads, we get married.  Tails, we break up.  How's that (sound to you?)"
Despite her trepidation, Sarah laughed and agreed to let the game of chance decide their fate.  He flipped the coin, just as the dice were rolled on the craps table. 
Heads. 
She squealed as Matt pulled out a ring and slipped it on her finger.  "Lucky Sevens!" the roller cried and the couple watched in disbelief as he handed over $10,000 in fresh winnings to the newly engaged. 
"Our wedding money!"  Sarah breathed in shock.  Matt smiled in complete contentment.  The perfect night.
As Sarah turned to collect the money that would surely result in the wedding of their dreams, Matt quietly picked up the double headed penny and slipped it back into his pocket.
***

Thursday, September 20, 2012

30 by 30

Another day, another dollar, yo. I'm counting down the hours until Sunday, our "family day of rest". I'm counting down the days until we leave for vacation (that would be 9) and the amount of WORK days left (that would be 6). Deep breaths, Rae. And....speaking of days....only 12 left until I turn 30! Woah!

A few years ago, i was reading an article on Glamour (c'mon, you know you read some trash, too) about the "30 things to do before you're 30". I flagged it, then promptly forgot it. Well, as I was cleaning up some of my emails the other day, I found it. Now, I realize that some of these, if I haven't done 'em, I'm SOL, but I thought it would be fun to go through their "ultimate" list and weigh in....and quick, go out and do that threesome before I turn 30. (Babe, I'm kidding. Really, ew.)
Here's the GREAT list.....
Glamour's 30 things to do before you turn 30
 1. Try an extreme sport - If Ironman doesn't count, I don't wanna know.  Eff it.  I'm counting it.  Stay tuned....an XTERRA IS on the bucket list!
2.Date a bad boy - Been there, done that.  For all you that still need to check it off....make sure he isn't married first (dating fail).  With that said, I know this one's on here so you CAN appreciate the one you end up with.  And I have that in spades, so no complaints :-)
3. Open a retirement account - Done.  I'm an overachiever, so I have a Roth IRA and a 401k.  Hey, when you're in non profit, you gotta plan.  And realize that you'll still be working when you're 70....hey, I'd get bored otherwise, right?
4. Dye your hair a crazy color- Not super crazy, but I did dye it cherry red once.  Watch out, I may come in rockin' purple hair next week.  Think my boss would mind?
5. Do a girls-trip. Just because.  - Ft. Lauderdale, 2004.  Not necessarily the craziest trip ever, but an awesome one filled with little idiot 21 year old craziness.  Ahhh, I love my college roomie!
6. Sing Karaoke - Monday nights at the Roost, and who can forget Jeff's Sing Karaoke competitions?  (He cheated).  I suck at Karaoke, but it didn't stop me in my 20's...and it won't stop me in my 30's :-P
7. Pay off your credit cards - I am lame.  I never owed on them.  I pay them off every month, and my cc company calls me a "deadbeat".  True story. 
8. Buy something totally frivolous, ridiculously expensive and utterly fabulous. -  Some people would say my $2k bike would count toward this....except when you race, it's really not frivolous....hmmm.  Maybe I need to go shopping this weekend!!
9. Fall in love - So lucky to have checked this one off.....before getting married, I still would have said yes, I've done this, but now that I've found my best friend....I really know I have (awww, cue the mush!)
10. Crash a party - Nah.  I was always cool enough to be invited
11. Travel - A work in progress, but I think I'm doing okay :-)  Been to Europe, across the country a few times, and to 24 out of the 50 states....soon to be 25!

12. Volunteer - Check.  Volunteered with Big Sisters, Red Cross and a local animal shelter.  I need to get back into it...it's been awhile. 
13. Do something you're totally terrified of.  - Hate to cash into that whole triathlon thing again....but especially after being hit by a car in '08...I was terrified to ride a bike again.  Terrified to conquer 140.6 miles.  Check, check.  It's amazing how conquering a fear can make you feel like a million bucks afterwards.
14. Meet a drag queen - Yep.  I actually did this one young...when I was a junior, we had a drag queen that was a senior.  I went to the senior ball as a junior and not only got to meet a drag queen, but I also got a slow dance with one.  Sweet!
15. Buy yourself an amazing piece of jewelry- Hmmm.  I haven't done this one.  But....is it un-girly of me to say that I don't really care?
16. Love your body-  This is an ongoing issue, as I'm sure it is with everyone.  But even though I may be a bit more squidgy than I was when I walked down the aisle 3 years ago....I still love my body and what it can do.  And I still fit into my size 6 wedding gown.  Ka-ching :-P
17. Learn how to change a tire - Does a bike tire count?
18. Reconnect with an old friend/family member- Done both.  We had a falling out with a family member about 10 years ago and I was able to reconnect a few years back and actually get to see them, even though they live across the country.  Now we keep in touch, and I love it.  Same thing with an old friend from school that I lost touch with.  Baz Luhrmann said "the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young".  Smart man. 
19. Ask for a raise - so hard.  I would say I've done this, but I can't take all the credit for it.  My boss rocks my socks off and is a huge advocate for my career, but when you work in non profit, it's not the easiest thing to ask for more dinero.  Pretty happy with the job :-)
20. Take a dance class - check.  I took dance all through college, but also took a ballet class last year and a modern class this year.  Would love to get back into it long term, though, especially if I can hunt down a class that has a performance at the end of the year.  What can I say, we've all got the performance bug. 
21. Schedule a health check-up- I am a good girl and go to the docs every year :-)  Sorta have to when you do endurance crap.
22. Understand your taxes, 401k etc. - It's a learning process, but I am pretty vested in my own financial doings.  I did my own taxes until '09 when we bought a house, and now to make sure we get back everything we can, I do pay an accountant to do it.  But I'm a big dork and like to play around with our accounts and loans to maximize our household cash flow.  I suppose I can be an adult sometimes :-)
Holiday at our home with the one I love
23. Apply for your dream job - hmmm.  I think I have to put that one in red.  I do like my job and feel fulfilled, but I wouldn't say I am 100% in love with it.  I would love to get into something health/fitness related, but am not in a rush to do it.  And if you can pay the rent, not hate work, and feel like you accomplished something at the end of the day.....that's good enough for me. 
24. Do something insanely romantic for someone you love-  Wow, talk about tooting your own horn.  I'm gonna say yes (and the hubs can refute) but I think that giving him a trip to San Francisco for our one year anniversary would count.  Such a fun and romantic trip for our first anniversary :-)
25. Host a dinner party for your family - Pretty sure I got this covered.  We do Christmas, New Year's, and an extended family summer picnic every year.  Just call me Suzie Homemaker.
26. Master an amazing dish- Got it.  My secret recipe for pulled BBQ chicken is super simple, but everyone loves it.  Same thing for homemade pizza with herbed dough.  The hubs requests it all the time.  (And he does the dishes....bonus!)
27. Swim in the ocean  - Check.  Even done a few races in the ocean!
28. Go to dinner and a movie by yourself- Hmm.  I've never done this!  We're pretty bad about eating out, so it never occurred to me. 
29. Live alone-  Yup.  From 2004-2005 I lived in a one bedroom apartment.  Until my gate crasher moved in.  But at least I married the guy a few years later :-)  I did like living alone (I'm an introvert) but the hubs and I do give each other our space, so I don't miss it. 
30. Ask a guy out -Odd fact.....I've never been dumped (I'm the heart breaker). But I've never had a boyfriend that I've "asked out".....they've always asked me when it turns into an actual relationship.  However, I've unsuccessfully asked out a few guys....and successfully flirted my way into a few hook ups (hangs head in shame).  So does that count?
Well, according to Glamour, I think I'm going pretty well!  Now this weekend I just have to max out my credit card on a super expensive necklace or something, go out to dinner and a movie, then crash a frat party.  Anyone want to join me?  (except for the dinner and movie....I have to pretend I don't know you there and do that one on my own!)

How many of these have you done before you turned 30?  (If you're there yet!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sights and Flavors of fall

It gets better.  Even though life seems like it's all uphill.....you get random happiness through hump week.
Like....a lunch time run.  I was on my way to the gym to do some rowing (still grounded from the pool) and decided that a run was a much better idea.  I threw on my shorts and tee and headed out for an (almost) 5 mile jaunt along Park Ave and East Ave.  Perfect lunch hour.  I adore running in September and October, when the temperature is still warm enough for shorts, but cool enough to take the first half mile in order to actually get warm.  It wasn't a super fast run, but it was the best way to spend 40 minutes that I know of!
And then my much better day continued after work with....surprise flowers from my better half.
"Butterfly"  fall roses.  Because getting flowers in the middle of the week for no reason whatsoever is enough to make anyone smile.  Especially when it comes complete with arrangement services (isn't that pretty neat that he can do that?  I think so!)

 Or coming home after a long day to have dinner all ready to go.  Especially soup.  On such a fall like day.....chill in the air, sunny yet dark skies, and leaves turning slightly.....ahhh, I love this time of year.  So I prepped for it this morning.....10 minutes of prep, 8 hours of simmer.....winner every time!  I stumbled upon a beef soup bone at the grocery store this week on sale for 50 cents.  I've never cooked with one before, but I figured why the heck not.  So I scared up some "southwestern ish" ingredients out of the fridge and cupboard and went to work.  The result.....
 Southwestern Veggie Beef Soup
One beef bone
Adobo seasoning
3-4 small peppers
3 ears of corn (the others rolled off!)
3 potatoes (or use my short cut frozen potatoes!)
One bag baby carrots
1 medium onion
Italian dressing (bountifuls)
Adobo seasoning
Vegetable Stock
4 flour tortillas, cut into strips

To be loaded into the crock:  dice peppers, carrots,  potatoes, onions, de -ear the corn.  Add in 2 tbsp italian dressing, 1 tbsp adobo seasoning, and 2 tbsp vegetable stock.  Add in Beef bone.  Add in water to fill crock, approximately 5-6 cups.  Cover and simmer for 7-8 hours.  Remove beef bone and take remaining beef off, dice to bite sized and add to crock.  Simmer without top on for over an hour.  Toast tortillas on a dry skillet, cut into strips.  Garnish bowls with tortilla strips.  Serves 4 as a side dish, two as a main dish.

And because I am lame, I have no picture.  Blogger fail.  Either way, it was delicious.  Trust me on that one :-)  Perfect workout, beautiful flowers, and healthy, delicious, crock pot dinner.....now that's a winner of a day for me.
What was perfect about your day?  At the very least, we're over that hump and much closer to the weekend....and that's always something to celebrate!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Playing with Matches

Well, hello hello.  Hows life in your world?  It was another day full o the same snot here....busy, stressful and yada yada smackety. I'm hopeful that tomorrow's gonna be better....but let's not talk about that same old same old crisis stuff again today, okay?  I'm tired.  and you're bored.  Life resumes tomorrow...today, I had a little help with this post.
From one of my volunteers at work, that is.  See, I work with some pretty awesome folks, and between my "employee" (who really feels more like a co-worker) and our volunteers, we wax poetic about a variety of different topics.  Namely, writing our memoirs, or the "great American novel"  (if I can ever hold a thought long enough, that is!)  Truth be told, I do have a thought floating around for my book, and I've put pen to paper, but life gets in the way....you know how it is.  I don't have a problem WRITING.....once I get a topic.  But especially when it comes to blog fodder....if you're posting 6 times a week...who in the heck is THAT interesting?  Not me!  I'll admit, I'm usually good to go with a variety of posts 5 times a week, but sometimes, I'm stumped.  You don't need to hear about my 9 to 5 drivel...you live it.  Or the fact that I ran 5 miles again after work.  If somethings different...I'm on it.  A new recipe?  check.  Race?  Aww yeah.  But what about the rest of the week?
Enter in....the topic saver. 
"The Writer's Book of Matches" includes 1,001 random topic starters to help you figure out what in the eff to write about.  Geared more toward novel writing, sure, but I bet I could find enough that would be fun topic starters on the interwebs!  At a quick glance I found....
Bwahahaha.   How did they know that's how the hubs and I decided whether or not to tie the knot?  Friggin double headed coin......  (hah)
I know I'm not the only one that's felt this one.  
Should I write from the POV of "me" or the crowd that notices the "lonely" person?
Oh, I know we've all been here!  Did anyone ever solve those damn cubes?

True, they're all one liners.  And how can you develop something from a one liner?  Well, challenge accepted.  I think for the next few months, I'll take one of these "one liners" once a week and write a post...."Fun stories Friday" or something of the like.  Call it a sort of experiment into developing a short story for the Internets to see and critique/comment on.  At the very least, some of them are friggin hilarious.  My favorite so far?  " A Telephone sex worker realizes 10 minutes into the conversation that she's talking to her 15 year old son".....man.  And I thought I had problems :-P

How do you develop blog ideas?  Or do you just blow off whatever's on your mind/new in your world?  Ever get stuck for content?


Monday, September 17, 2012

On the Precipice

prec·i·pice [ préssəpiss ]
1.high cliff or crag: a high, vertical, or very steep rock face
2.dangerous state: a very dangerous situation
Ahh, such a good way to start the week off.  Yes?  In good news, my pizza legs seem to be getting back to normal.  The solution?  BAKING SODA!  Somehow, it seems to draw the mess out of the leg and soothe it.  Hey, I'm not asking questions.  Its still rashy, but nowhere near the mess it was before.  In OTHER good news...even though I'm out of the pool for a week....I CAN RUN!  I went for a glorious 5 mile run yesterday and was thrilled to death.  Was it easy?  Nope.  Was it fast?  Um, NO.  But I enjoyed every second, and even a day later, no foot pain!  Wahoo!  No PR for this lady in two weeks, but I am thrilled to death that I can celebrate my b-day doing the thing I love most....running :-)  I'm hopeful to get a semi long run in next week (8-10 miles) but we'll see what it brings.  If I can run for 45 minutes without pain, I think I can tackle 13.1 in a reasonable amount of time. 
Whew.  Glad we started with glass half full!  It always helps.  In other news, I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed with life.  Mom hopefully gets out of the hospital tomorrow, and will have VNS coming to help her until she can manage again.  I just hope that she is able to start making some changes....otherwise I am fearful we will end up in the ER or worse next time. 
Change....is not easy.  I think we all know that.  But what makes someone deviate from the comfortable predictability to embrace something new?  Something that might be more helpful....to live a longer fuller life, to achieve a goal, to get where you want to be....but something that looks scary because you've never done it before?
For me....it's about whats on the other side.  My "after" needs to be a pretty compelling reason for me to jump off the proverbial cliff in order to embark upon the unknown.  I can think of two specific instances when this was the case:  1.  Back in 2003, when I was about 30 pounds overweight and was miserable.  I knew I needed to change for my health, but it was so hard.  So, I made a goal - to get down to my goal weight in 4 months.  I took it step by step and added in 30 minutes of activity 3 times a week, then increased to 4, and 5.  I kept a food journal.  And over the course of 4 months, I went from a size 14 to a size 8.  9 years later I've gained a bit back, but still stay within 5 pounds of my "happy weight".  If I see the scale creep up, I try to cut back on the sweets or walk a bit more.
2.  Back in 2009, I got the Iron bug.  I had done a few shorter races, but signing up for 140.6 was one of the scariest things I've done.  Could I really do it?  Who was I kidding?  Once again, I addressed my fears by being somewhat methodical.  I found a training plan and created a journal to track my training.  I watched my diet (well aside from post 100 mile rides and 20 mile runs...a girl's gotta live!) I changed every password I had to "Placid2010" or "Sub14IM" (my A goal).  8 months later, I crossed the finish line at my first 140.6, the fittest I'd ever been and under my goal time. 
Not that I always succeed. But I've found that your "why" needs to be pretty darn strong in order to conceive of a "how".  And then your "how" has to be pretty detailed. 
However....anything you want badly enough, you can achieve.  I firmly believe in that one.  And now it's time to be the cheerleader.  I can't change someone else.  but I can support it with every ounce of being that I have and help come up with suggestions to block any obstacles.
Forward, march. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mamma Mia

After sleeping on and off for 12 hours last night, I'm feeling a bit more ready to carry on with the world.  The good news is....I'm a little more human.  And I didn't have to work today. And I still managed a short bike ride.  And my husband cleaned the bathrooms so I wouldn't have to get near the chemicals (love you babes).
The bad news...Mom's still in the hospital (at last until Monday).  And my legs look like a pizza.  A swollen, messy pizza:
 Okay, everything looks like a pizza.  But for your sake, I stopped at my legs :-P  I seriously feel like an 8 year old that rolled around in poison ivy then came home and bathed in the leftover leaves.  So.  hot.  (Actually, it is hot.  That's part of the problem :-( ). 
As I said yesterday, it's been a trying week.  I've had to pull out my big girl you know whats both at work and on the family front, and I'm tired. 
They say that there is a point in every child's life where they will most likely have to play "parent" to an aging parent....I just didn't think I was there yet.
Big breath.  Baby steps, right?  Once we get my mom out of the hospital, she's going to need to make some big changes, health wise.  I just hope she will and that we can all support her.
Okay, enough of the heavy stuff.  After the week from hell, the hubs and I decided we needed a night to be together.  And since pizza legs arms and entire body don't work outside of the home, we kept it in.  With homemade Italian (don't worry....no pizza).  We had a groupon for the Ravioli Shop, so we went on a post hospital shopping spree and picked up homemade raviolis (artichoke and roasted red pepper), vodka sauce, and homemade bread. 


 Double triple yum.  Post dinner, it's time for a snuggle fest and Snow White and the Huntsmen.  The little things, you know?  Here's to a better tomorrow :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Storm (with no prior calm)

Hello friends.  I hpe everything is right in your corner of the world!
It's been a rough week in my neck of the woods.  Work has been insanely busy (which I can deal with, it's stress, but not bad stress) and....most majorly and importantly, we've had a decent family crisis.
My mom has a few health problems, intense headaches being one.  She got a shot for her headaches on Tuesday and had a bad reaction.  She fell in the bathroom Wednesday night and was really out of it...we ended up calling 911 and bringing her into the ER (at 9pm....cause no one ever has a criisis at a reasonable hour....myself included!).  After 7 hours in the ER, they admitted her.  She has cellulitis on her leg and had issues with oxygen intake (yes, cellulitis is what I had last week, but with my meds, it's now under control).  She's been in the hospital since then and will stay there this weekend.  There's issues with oxygen intake, and super antibiotics going on.  Needless to say, she's in the right place, but it's been a scary, stressful week 'round these parts.
And, just to add insult to injury (har), I decided it would be a super fun time to get pool rash.  I went swimming on Thursday before going up to the hospital, and about 15 minutes after swimming, I noticed a rash on my leg.  It got worse overnight, and spread up and down my legs.  Benadryl helps, but make me tired.  So today I looked it up and figure I had heat rash.  No biggie.  I went to the gym again today (not thinking it was related) and figured a swim would help.  The treatments online stated that warm baths with oatmeal, baking soda, etc would help, so I figured chlorine = dry out the rash.
NOT SO MUCH.  After I got out of the pool, the rash had immediatly spread to all over my arms, legs and stomach.  It was red, itchy, and basically felt like the worst case of poison ivy and chicken pox in the world combined.  I asked my gym if they changed the chemicals and they're looking into it.  I called the doc (because I was feeling like total crap) and they told me that it was probably somehting called "pool rash"  or "chlorine rash" and that it can be caused by a different concentration of chemicals in the pool.  I've swam at the same pool for years....but who knows if they shocked it or did something else with it, and hopefully i can find out so I can avoid this again!  The doc put me on some meds for it again (for someone who hates medicine, I seem to be taking ALOT of them) and I have to stay out of that pool until its gone...as well as out of the sun and as little sweating as possible.  WTF.  Working out is my stress relief!! 
I know, I know, first world problems.  But it has just not been my week.  If things come in 3's....then I'm done.  Phew.  14 days until vacation....14 days until vacation.....
Internet hugs accepted :-) I hope you all had a better week!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kiwano!

Before I begin with my regular drivel, I just want to take a moment to recognize Patriot's Day....for everyone that was touched by our nations tragedy 11 years ago today.  As always, we stand together as Americans.  We will never forget.
***
At first glance, one would think this post is about Mortal Kombat.
Or something martial arts related, at least.
Nope.  Today's just about fruit.
Specifically, new and exotic fruit.
Yesterday, while doing my weekly shopping, I headed through the produce section, looking for deals (my usual shenanigans).  I'm a sucker for clearance produce because I love fruits and veggies and never have an issue using them up before they go bad.  If it's getting close...I either freeze them (most fruits) and use for smoothies, or make soup (veggies).  Check out my produce haul this week:

6 bananas, 10 clementines, 1 bag of baby carrots, 3 bags of steam able broc/carrots and my exotic fruit....all for $4.00.  Cannot.  be.  beat! (The Manns bags were on special for $1 (reg $3.49) and had a $1 peelie on them = free.  Awesome.
However, this was the main star of the week:
 I spied these guys on special 2 for a dollar...and figured even though I had no freakin' clue what they were....why not?  So I bought em, came home, and googled.  "Kiwano" (what a cool name) or the "horned melon" are fruits native to the Kalahari desert, and taste similar to a kiwi and a cucumber.  In order to eat them, you halve them, halve them again, then suck out the seeds (TWSS?) 
Check out the ecto green insides!  I halved this baby and shared with the hubs for an after dinner treat....it had the zing of a kiwi and the refreshing, water/gel consistency of a cucumber.  Pretty neat!  Not sure if I would buy them on a regular basis....usually I like to know I can use my fruit in a few ways (in a salad, oats, desserty dishes, etc) in case I don't eat them all whole, but this was a great sweet and different end to a summer dinner.

Have you ever tried a kiwano? Any other crazy fruits?   Ill tell ya, I'm pretty much in love with the name. Think I could name my next cat Kiwano?  No?  (somewhere, the hubs is shaking his head in sorrow for our future kids....)

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Biggest Loser(s)

Well, Monday came with the weight of a freaking freight train.  I love my job i love my job i love my job.  Nah, just kidding,  I really do.  But today was one of those "Holy heck and I going to make it through the day and I don't even have time to grab a sandwich" kind of day.  In glass half full speak, that'll help my pants size, right?  Uh...not really.  My toosh in a desk all day and passing out when I get home is more like it :-P  Hey, I'll take a rest day.  But just one.
Why can't I work out tonight?  Well, I do have a hot date with some free weights.  And the boob tube.  Yes...tonight is the season finale of the biggest loser(s)!  Wait, scratch that.  It's the season finale of Bachelor Bad.  But the two couples that are left are both pretty idiotic, so I've renamed the show in my head. 
Time to discuss (sorry for the brain rot).
The Bachelor Pad (if, bless you, you've never seen it...TURN AWAY!) is a reality show that brings former contestants from the Bachelor and Bachelorette into a house (12 of each sex).  The last female and male standing get $250,000.  Each week, you couple up and do a challange.  Winner gets immunity, and the rest are at risk-and each week, the male and female who get the most votes from the other members of the house are booted off.
So.  Hooking up.?  Yes.  Back stabbing?  Yep.  Annoying, crying women?  In Bikinis?  Yep yep yep.  In other words, the shows a hot mess.
And it's gotten me through strength training on Tuesdays for the last 2 months :-P  Usually I DVR is and watch on Tuesdays, but my co-worker watches too and always runs up to me on Tuesday morning to share the gossip form the show the night before.  In honor of the season finale, I secured the TV for the night (love you babes) and am ready for my TRASH!
WHO IS THE BIGGEST LOSER(S) and should be the winner of Bachelor Pad?
Couple #1:  Chris and Sarah:
Mister Cool Guy and the Napkin
 Chris was my original favorite of the show.  I liked him on his season of the Bachelorette with Emily, even if he was somewhat of an intellectually challenged brute.  He's Polish, what can I say.  I'm a sucker.  Well, aside from hooking up with 4 girls on the show, Chris has become completely insufferable as the "cool guy" of Bachelor, and they've been trying to vote him off for about a month now.  But he keeps squeaking by.  Oddly enough, I still kinda like him in an annoying way (did that make sense?  It's reality TV.  You know).  His partner (hookup #4) is Sarah.  She hearts him.  He hearts....the booty call.  And she has the IQ of a napkin.  Dislike.

Couple #2: Nick and Rachel
Nick and the "widow" Rachel
Nick and Rachel are the "thrown together" couple of this season.  Rachel was in love with another guy that got voted off so when it became time to do final couples she chose Nick by default.  I really liked Rachel on her season of the Bachelor (for obvious reasons) but she really annoys the crap out of me now.  She's very whiny, helpless, and isn't sure if she wants to be here.  Brilliant, honey.  If you don't want to be here, go the eff home.  I feel sorry for her partner.  I didn't watch the Bachelorette season he was on, but he seems like a cool dude.  Poor guy.

The final verdict?  Just looking for cheap entertainment.  Tonight they bring back all the old contestants, including the two insufferable brats that got voted off last week.  I've got my free weights and sneakers ready to go, but also Reese's Piece's...and pillows to throw at the TV (I threw a book once, but my kindle is a little less sturdy :-P)

And...if you have any brain cells left, I thank you for listening.  Please tell me someone else watches this crap.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Glass Half Full

Ahh, what a splendid, fall like day in New York.  It's about 60 degrees, there's a slight breeze, I got to sleep in, and I feel pretty darn good.  perfect day for a run.
Or not.  It's been awhile since the foot update (foot watch 2012?) but...it's not good.  I have a decent amount of pain on the top of my foot (different spot) and haven't been able to run ("run") since the Rochester tri (2 weeks).  I went out on Friday and called it a day after 1.5 miles-literally could not run another step.  I'm hoping that another week or two of rest will help it out, bu at the same time, I am so so grateful that I was at least able to do all my tri's this year (not fast, but complete them!)  It's so  much more than I could have gotten. 
Dear foot,
If you are listening and feel like being a doll, can you please hang in there for one more (not fast) race?  I would sincerely love to run the  Portland Half Marathon on the weekend of my 30th birthday.  I promise to treat you very gently until then.
Love,
Rae
No colors yet, but fall is in the air!
 Here's hoping :-)  Have to keep that glass half full!
So how's your weekend been?  Mine's been pretty low key-a few business things, a few errands, some housework, a few lovely rides...the perfect mix.  I love fall, and the weekend seems to be opening up for the season (don't tell me it's going to be 80 degrees out this week.  I don't want to know).  To me, Fall is the best of the best.  Hands down, my favorite season.
Fall Means...
The return of hot drinks after dinner....apple cider, hot cocoa (who am I kidding, that's year round!) and fun seasonal teas like pumpkin chai and apple cinnamon.  Yum.
Changing leaves and pretty colors (well, and raking.....but that's just extra cardio, right?)
My birthday!!  And this year, a week long vacation to celebrate.  God, I'm an entitled brat :-P
Cross Country running (well, a limited amount this year, but still tis the season!)
Mountain biking along the canal.  Perfect weather.
Turning off the AC and not needing to turn the heat on yet.
Fall produce: apples, squashes, and pumpkin!

Ahhh.  Just a few.  What do you love most about fall?  Ready for the season yet?

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Great Mortgage Conundrum

Whew, I haven't been so happy to see Friday....aww heck, scratch that, since last Friday.  Still, a welcome sight, as always.  I know I've said this one before (doesn't all material become somewhat recycled after a time?) but the short weeks really...don't seem short.  That's  not saying that I'm advocating for a 5 day week.
Clearly, I'm still on drugs!  Bee update:  Still red and splotchy, swelling down.  I'm really getting tired of my raspberry (beret) arm, but I suppose there are worse things, so I'll shut it and move on. 
Friday = weekend.  = happy hour (well, for teh normalz).  = payday.  The hubs gets paid weekly and I get paid bi monthly, so every Friday I make a habit of checking our joint saving/checking account to make sure we have enough pennies to pay the bills and that the hubs hasn't charged any new bike parts or tickets to Mexico to the joint credit card (kidding, hun, JUST KIDDING.  I bought those tickets :-P).  As I was scanning our account today, I saw a sidebar email from our contact at our bank regarding refinancing. Hmmm.  I've looked at this a few times, but given the fact that our pennies are not as plentiful lately and interest rates are pretty low, I decided to play a bit.

Right now we have a 30 year mortgage on our home.  We've owned for 3 years, but have made extra principal payments each month so that instead of our mortgage going until 2039, the house will be paid off in 2030 (go us!) Our interest rate is 5.125%  Over the life of the loan, we will pay  over $150,000k in interest.  Wow. That's whole nother 'effin HOUSE!! 
However, since we've paid an extra amount of principal each month, we'll cut off a nice hunk of interest.  If we pay an extra $300 per month on our mortgage for the life of the loan, we'll own our home in a cool 14 years instead of 30.  With a heck of a lot less interest spent ($80,000 less, to be exact)  Sweet.

But....if we refinance, we can go with a 15 year mortgage.  With a 3% interest rate.  If we ONLY pay the minimum, it will be $40 less per month for our mortgage.  And, assuming we pay the minimum for both this scenario and our current scenario, over the life of the loan, it will save us $28,000.  The catch?  It'll cost $6,000 in closing costs to re-finance (such a friggin rip off, but at least $2,200 goes into escrow, so really only $3,800 is a "waste".  Hmm.  Take it one step further.  If we forgo the extra $300 above (which may happen due to life) and pay the extra $40 a month that we are "saving" by refinancing, then we will have the loan paid off in 13 years.  Saving $300 each month for the next 11 years (almost $40,000) but extending it by an extra two years ($18,000).  Therefore, a net saving of $22,000 with the mortgage, minus the closing costs = $16,000.
Wow.  That's a new car.
Or....30 Ironmans.
Or....a dozen vacations.
Tempting!  Have you ever refinanced your home?  Thought about it?  Anything I'm missing here?  Should we do it?  (The underlying question here is...do we have $6,000 laying around?  Well, no....but that's the next step :-P)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Random Dithering

Hello, friendies!  Hows your week going?  Mine's been pretty stagnant...we're in a holding pattern at work, and on the home front, things are tickin along quite nicely.  My bee drama 2.0 is clearing up nicely-still red and itchy, but the swelling is going down and I'm getting uber jacked from the steroids/hormones I'm on.  Give me one more day and I'll be bustin out my new look....
Check out mah guns!
Check out mah pecks!  Nah, just kidding.  Though I will say that the meds have made me feel pretty odd...just sort of loopy and out of it (which is why I hate them, but I'd rather live another day on the meds and get better, thankyouverymuch).  Now where's my pull up bar? :-)

So, in random dithering (I blame anything wandering I say on the meds in the next few days....gotta use that excuse while I can!)  here's what's going on in the world of me for the last 48 hours (in no particular order)

1.  Plyometrics hurt.  Alot.  I did some P90x for a jolt last night and I can barely sit today.  I know you needed to know that.

2.  I've about had it with So You Think You Can Dance.  My favorite male dancer (Cole) got voted off last night in favor of some guy that's never taken a dance class. Ever.  Yuck.  At least they had the sense to vote off Barbie (Witney) which everyones been trying to do for 3 weeks.  But Cyrus over Cole?  Come on, America!  all I have to say is the judges better get real next week when they critique the dances next week.  No sugar coating that crap, and give credit where credit is due.  If Eliana and Cheon don't win this thing, there is something wrong in this world!  (Yeah, I know there is.)

3.  The heck with Obama and Romney.  Can we vote Bill Clinton back into office?  Am I crazy for saying that?

4.  Savoy cabbage makes crappy cabbage rolls.  That's for all my fellow Polish people.  It just kinda wilts.  Tastes good, but makes cabbage soup.  Nommy nom noms.

5.  I'm turning 30 in 26 days.  Holy heck, where did my 20's go?  Must make use of the next 3.5 weeks to get all drunken and silly antics out.  Nah, the heck with it.  I know enough screwed up people in their 3rd decade that don't abide by the whole growing up thing :-P

6.  Also on that timeline, my last running race of the season is in 24 days.  Think I should go for one run in September before going for 13.1?  Yeah. Me neither.

7.  I have 2 bags of spinach wilting in my fridge that my mother brought over last weekend.  What should I make?  Soup?  Kinda hard to get behind that one when it's 85 degrees, but I'm at a loss for anything else.  Anyone have any really good spinach recipes you're dying to share?

8.  Football's starting again this week.  Yay (yawn).  Only 5 more months of fantasy football swearing and hoping the kitties (panthers) don't suck out this year.  Go Cam!

How was that for random? More focus coming tomorrow (I hope :-))  have a good night!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Poisonous Venom

And....it's Monday/Tuesday.  There's something especially yucky about coming back to the grind after a long weekend, but I'm gonna take the "glass half full" road and go with the fact that it's a 4 day week to cheer me up.  Yay!
Bee, you're not cute.
First things first...bee update.  The swelling is a bit less today, but it's still red, hot and puffy.  I think the benadryl is helping, but I still wasn't thrilled with the way it looks, so I called the doc and they got me in this afternoon.  The result?  Two scripts, an epi pen, and a follow up with an allergist.
Yikes.  Seriously how do you're not allergic to something when you're 29 years old?  Learn something new every day.
Hey, we like to keep it interesting.
The actual diagnosis was cellulitis due to "poisonous venom of insect bite" (so dramatic!!)...which is basically just an inflammation due to allergies/rash/etc.  Since I'm allergic to penicillin (oh the irony), my doc wrote me two scripts-one a 10 day regimen of two pills a day and a Z pac for allergies that has 8! pills the first day and then decreases over 6 days.
So basically, I'm a walking druggie the next 10 days.  Awesome. 
And this is coming from someone that hates aspirin. :-(  Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do.
In addition, I have an appointment with an allergist to assess my reaction, as well as a follow up with the doc next week.  And he marked me up with a pen (good call, Jenn!) and I'm supposed to call back ASAP if it travels anymore.
My last goodie?  An EPI pen.  I've had some experience with these things through first aid courses, but never had the pleasure of having one.  Apparently, if you get stung, you can jab yourself with the pen in order to stop the venom.
The only downside?  Holy money, batman!  The original cost for all my goodies was $350, then the people at Target decided it might be a good idea to check to see if I had insurance (no, guys, I've only been coming to you for 5 years.  yeesh).  After the insurance check, the meds were only $10 together, but according to Target, my insurance doesn't cover the EPI pen, which was...freaking $270! 
I think I'll be on the phone with my carrier tomorrow.  I think if I pay $500 a month for the hubs and I to be covered, they can pony up some of the EPI pen.  Or at least that's what I tell myself I'll pull on my big girl panties and tell them tomorrow.
Whew.  That was my excitement for the day.  The rest?  Nothing major.  I got weighed at the docs and found out that my scale is off at home (and NOT in a good way) so I hit P90x up when I got home...need to shake up my routine!
Chicken lettuce BBQ wraps with corn for dinner, sweet taters, and now it's time for some herbal tea and my DVRed Bachelor Pad.  And yes, I took that tea WITHOUT honey.  Damn bee.
Are you allergic to anything?