Friday, October 17, 2008

Animals Gone Wild

Sorry I missed a few days. That doesn't bode well for the post goal...

As I am sure you guessed, I have taken MANY more photos of the kitten, so it's time to post them...

First, artsy Dudley...

Kitten tries the "head in the lion's mouth" trick with Dudley


"Help me!"


Kitten getting the upperhand?




Dudley looks like he is being scolded for playing to rough by kitten



Dudley apologizes


Everyone kisses and makes up



Kitten needs a drink after all that activity


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Milo and Otis

I have never been a huge fan of movies that involve talking animals. However, there is one exception to that rule - Milo and Otis.

The movie is about the adventures of a dog and cat that meet at birth and are friends for life. I always wanted to have a puppy and kitten that could grow up together and get along.

Kitten No Name has become Dudley's new best friend. He is fascinated with the kitten - goes running to it every time he hears it's meow. The kitten seems to be a fan of him as well, rubbing his tiny face against Dud's big wet nose, licking it (and occasionally biting it).




I still have no plans of keeping this kitten, but I am enjoying the next four weeks of my personal Milo and Otis.


Listening to: (watching) Batman Begins


Art Festival Photos

This weekend was the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival. Here are some random shots taken while there.

Car on Park Ave


Entryway in an alley on Park Ave

Dolphin fountain by entryway


Brick pathway in alley


Lunch under a bright green umbrella


Painting of a giraffe (the original was a bit different...I liked it better this way)

Booths and fountain in the park (REALLY bright out, the tents looked like they were glowing)


In the rose garden...





Friday, October 10, 2008

No Name Part 2

A quick update to let you all know how No Name's vet visit went.

Negative on Feline Leukemia/AIDs tests (yay! I was nervous one of those would come back positive and I would have to put him down). He does have a parasite, but he is on meds and that will be better in just a few days.

He is an otherwise healthy, 4 week old kitten.

The Cat With No Name

Day 2 of Save the Kitten...

You wouldn't know to meet him that just yesterday he was a wild cat roaming the streets (or more accurately, bushes) of our neighborhood. After responding to his cries with feedings, the kitten has accepted me, as well as everyone else it meets.

I purchased a bottle yesterday evening (I broke my NO Walmart rule doing so...a forgivable offense when there's a hungry kitten waiting and the Pet store is closed) and some kitten formula, and tried feeding him while we sat at a friend's house. Excited to be eating, it completely bit through the nipple of the bottle. So, we switched to an eye dropper, which seemed to hold up better against the surprisingly firm bite this tiny mouth has.

At 2 am, the cries began again, so dropper in hand, I approached for another feeding. This time, the kitten gave me a small heart attack by biting through the GLASS dropper. I managed to grab the piece from his mouth quickly and switched to pouring the formula in a spoon. It took a little figuring out on his part, but after a few seconds he learned that he needed to lap up the formula, rather than bite the spoon.

4 am, another round with the spoon.

This morning, after a feeding, he played on the bed with J. Grabbing his fingers and rolling over on his belly, chewing on his hand, all the cute kitten things you would expect. He also walked right up to Dudley (who is scared to death of him) to see what he was all about.

And now, he is curled up in my lap falling asleep.

Everyone wants to give him a cute name, but since I am determined to get him healthy and socialized and then find him a home, I refuse to name him, thinking that somehow that will leave me slightly less attached.

My mom, brother, or sister, however, are welcome to get attached. :)

Listening to: These Photographs by Joshua Radin....and the sounds of a purring kitten
Current Mood: awwwwwwwwww

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's Raining Cats and Dogs

The weather outside is really unpleasant and stormy, but that is not what this post is about.

Last night, we went to meet with a no-kill shelter to see about adopting another dog. Dudley loves to play with others, so we thought that maybe it would be good to have a "sibling" in the house. I never was a fan of the idea of the only child, and it would seem that mentality carries over to my animals.

We picked out two dogs that they would bring to an agreed upon dog park. One dog was a Pug/Corgi mix that the previous owners paid $1800 for (What is the deal with people breeding MUTTS and calling them designer and selling them for ridiculous amounts of money?? I hate people sometimes...plus, this dog looked more Pit than Pug...), and a Shepherd/Corgi mix that was rescued from Kill shelter in Tennessee.

We picked out the Pug/Corgi based on the descriptions of how smart it was, responding to simple commands, etc... The reality was that, as sweet and attentive as the dog was, I don't think it was as smart as the people made it out to be. I don't think they lied - I just think they misunderstood his eagerness to please his people with intelligence. AND it seemed to like people a lot more than dogs, as evidenced by its growl at some of the dogs in the park.

The Shepherd mix was ADORABLE. It looked like someone had literally taken a Shepherd and shrunk it down to 18 pounds. It was playful and confident, but had NO clue what its name was and obviously had no training. The lady was telling us she thought it was two years old, but when she walked away I made a bet with my husband that if his paperwork was accurate it wasn't more than a year, based on his puppy behavior. (I won.)

Neither dog interacted with Dudley much, but that was probably due to the distractions of the dog park, and the fact that they weren't allowed off their leads.

While I was in love with the Shepherd, my plan was to find a dog who wasn't an untrained puppy, so I decided today that I would continue my search.

Helping me along in that decision is what I found on Duds early morning walk:


Yup. Not so much a dog. A very small baby kitten. One too small to be away from its mother. Unfortunately, it meowed all day long, and no mother showed up, so I decided that I needed to save it. With the help of some gloves and a towel, I pulled it from its hiding place in the bushes and took it to my house. It is currently living in the dog's crate, curled up in a towel. Tonight I head to the Petsmart to get some kitten formula, and for the next week or so, I'll work on getting it strong and socialized (it's a feral cat).

Then off to find it a home (NO, I am NOT keeping it. I haven't named it for that reason...no betting on how long I will be able to keep that promise...)

Listening to: Cuscutlan by Frente
Current Mood: Is mom a mood?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Land o' Lists

Admittedly, I am not the world's most organized person. I have a tendency to lose things, or forget why I am walking into a room. Just minutes ago, I grabbed my phone and couldn't remember why.

Due to the fact that I am not innately together, I have recently become a fan of lists. Lists of what needs to be done at work, what has been done, what I ate, immediate needs in the house, future needs/wants for the home, etc... Each have their space in a notebook on or in my desk. (el cuaderno es en la mesa, indeed!)

Seadragon introduced me today to listingly.com, a tool that allows you to keep your lists online. You can print them, OR pull them up on your iPhone. I am very excited about this function.

Since I am a big fan of lists, I generally make one for the weekly grocery run. A window into how obsessive I can be, I generally have to make a rough draft list, containing all the items I plan on getting, then a second list in the order of where things are located in the supermarket (I warned you...obsessive). This final copy (usually handwritten so I don't have to deal with our old printer) ends up folded up and shoved into a pocket before I head out the door.

With listingly.com, I will be able to create the list on my computer and save it to the site. THEN, whilst browsing around the Whole Foods aisles, I can simply pull the list back up on my iPhone.

I am so easily taken with technology.


Listening to: Another Hundred People from Company

Monday, October 06, 2008

New Music Monday

Since I am posting with some regularity, I could in theory make this a regular Monday thing. And that gives me ONE more thing to post about.

Today's recommendation: Kings of Convenience

They are a "Folk Pop" duo from Norway that has been described as the "indie set's Simon & Garfunkel". Very chill harmonies. Below is the first song that drew me to them, "Cayman Islands".


Saturday, October 04, 2008

iPost

This post is a test of my newest toy - an iPhone.

Woot!

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Dedication...

...to my multilingual Arizona friends...




I don't know if I can single out one favorite, but I do love "Bonjour mon petit bureau d’├ęchange".

(And for those of you who are fans "Chuck", you may recognize this song from the first episode of this season)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Weird Cat Facts

As much as I would like to be snuggling up with my pillow right about now, I made a commitment and I am sticking to it. So here I am, posting.

About cats. And the weird things they d0

Not speaking generally, but more specifically about Oliver and Elliot, the two cats that reside in my house.

They go for walks.

Every evening, before bed, I take Dudley, our dog, for a walk. Every evening, I am joined by the two cats. They walk exactly where we walk, sometimes right alongside the dog. We've become known in the neighborhood as "those people who walk all their pets".

I guess there are worse things to be known for.

Like Himmy, a tabby in Australia that weighed 46 pounds and died of heart failure. At least these cats are known for their regular exercise habits.

Currently Listening to: The Most Beautiful Girl by Flight of the Conchords
Current Mood: Sleepy
Current favorite line in a song: "You're so beautiful, you could be a part time model...but you'd probably have to still keep your normal job..."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Weekend at the Beach

Two weeks ago, we went away with a good portion of the family (both older brothers, their families, and my parents) to Don Pedro Island for a little relazing. (yes, not a word. Deal.)

The trip mostly entailed laying on the beach, taking photos, and hanging with my incredibly adorable nephew:

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Seriously, I know I am partial, but you really can not deny the cuteness that is Squeakles...

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There are about a million photos of him on my computer now, so I'll go ahead and move on to beach photos before I get carried away...

I loved the texture of this grass (?)...


..and I am not exactly sure WHAT this is, but there were several of them lying around on the beach...


...and this is probably one of my favorite shell pictures. Although, it did involve laying on my stomach, and probably did not do me any good in staying away from the no-see-um's that ate me alive on the trip.

Fortunately, having my sister in law along was nice, since she did not think I was crazy for taking photos of practically everything I saw.




What would taking photos at the beach be without a proper sunset?



And maybe ONE more picture of Squeakles...

This is one of my favorites. It reminds me of a photo of my mom with me as a baby. So peaceful.

Entries that are predominantly photos still count. Shush.

Listening to: nothing!
Current Mood: nice

Challenge!

If you are old school and watched The Cosby Show back in tha' day (the show that inspired my father to buy our first VCR), envision today's blog title appropriately. For those of you not familiar:

Challenge!

But back to the topic at hand...as I have been slack about updating the blog, I decided to create a challenge. For myself. I have decided to revive the blog to the glory of it's first year. So before December 31st, I have a goal to have my total post count equal that of 2005.

Let's do the math on that, shall we?

Not counting this post, I have posted 13 times this year (so sad).

In 2005, I posted 119 times. That would be a difference of 106 posts.

Today is October 1st. There are 92 days left to this year. So I need to post every day - and twice 14 of those days. Can it be done? With your help, it can.

Feel free to submit topics/comments/questions and I'll blog about them. OR if you are feeling particularly adventurous - why just comment when you can GUEST POST!

And now I am off - likely to figure out what's next on the agenda to blog about.

Listening to: Knock Knock by Lenka (Attention Seattle friends - she will at Chop Suey this month)
Current Mood: Happyish

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Travel Time

Sliding back into my old ways, I have been noticeably absent, once again, from the blog. (Noticeably is a bit subjective I guess...)

I just returned from yet another business trip - this time a conference in Brooklyn, which included a company sponsored event at the River Cafe. If you happen to be in/planning to stop by Brooklyn, this is a must see place. The most amazing views of Manhattan, set under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, this restaurant was the perfect location for our event. Just be aware that if you intend to dine in the main dining room, it's a jacket required type of place. (while I am sure its worth dressing up, a glass of wine on the deck is, where no jacket is required, is even better in my opinion)

After a couple of days in Brooklyn, I went back to my office in Mass, and spent the weekend wandering around Cambridge. The plan for the weekend was to enjoy downtown Boston - shop on Newbury St, take pictures in the park, that sort of thing. However, it seems that tropical weather follows me no matter where I am, so the weekend was a bit wet for outdoor excursions. At least it gave us (J met me out there) an opportunity to feed the geek within through our visits to the MIT Museum as well as the Harvard Museum of Natural History (sadly their Art Museum is being renovated - I'll have to catch that on my next geek trip).

The MIT museum is small, and they recommend 1-2 hours to tour it, depending on your level of interest. Between the time J took in the AI Exhibit, which included the head of Kismet, and me laying on the floor taking pictures in the Gestural Engineering exhibit, I am pretty positive we exceeded the 2 hour recommendation.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History was full of cute kids (I didn't run into one terror the whole time) ooo-ing at the animal displays, dinosaur bones, and arthropods (creatures that rule! according to the exhibit). It felt a little fourth grade field trip, but I liked the fourth grade, so it was good times.

Things I don't recommend when in Cambridge:

ImprovBoston - To be fair, it is entirely possible that they were having an off night when we attended their main stage show. It felt a little high school (although the Super Mario and Facebook references WERE appreciated) and uninspired. Each participant seemed to have certain characters/styles they fell into no matter what the scene...and there was the inevitable "Improvtress" who's Broadway dreams have yet to be fulfilled so she sings in scenes where the singing adds little to nothing.

I won't sit here and claim that I could do better, but when sitting around with friends/officemates provides more opportunities for improvisational comedy, you have to wonder what you are paying for.

Wandering in the rain...for hours - It was kinda fun initially in brief spurts. But I was pining for an umbrella and cute rain boots after a very short period. And damp jeans become unflatteringly large, not to mention uncomfortable, after a while.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and relaxing weekend after a week of conference madness. Now back to work - AND much needed exercise after a week of some really great food. (Frankie's and Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn, Oleana and Rendevous in Cambridge...yum yum yum.)

~~~~

News for the coming weeks/months:

I am headed to Mexico for a REAL vacation in November with one of my former Seattle roomies (yay, E!). 10 days wandering from Puebla to Oaxaca (which I am proud to say, I can now pronounce) and back again. I get giddy when I think about it.


Listening to: Damaged by Plumb
Current Mood: energetic

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Food Time!

Recently I have been put on certain restrictions to make me healthy. As a result, I've received a list of foods that, I am told, I am sensitive to.

Amidst that longer-than-expected list of foods I eat on a regular basis, were tomato and wheat. So this evening, I was on a quest to make a pizza sans both of those ingredients. Which was a slightly daunting task, being that I tend to judge a pizza on the sauce and the crust. But, always up for an excuse to make up something new in the kitchen, I decided to go a completely different direction taste wise. So for those of you who like to try new things, I have documented the process.

The crust was obtained at Whole Foods - a gluten free creation made up of Tapioca and White Bean - in a frozen section specializing in non-wheat products. Not incredibly glamorous sounding, I know, but I was hoping that it would do the job.

From the fridge I grabbed a some ricotta, fresh mozarella, onion, yellow squash, and orange and red bell peppers. Grilled veg is always delicious, so I thought this would be a good way to do something different, with the squash giving the pizza a heartiness worthy of dinner.

Ricotta is a bit bland without seasoning so I rummaged through the spices in my pantry and came up with cumin, oregano (regrettably, dried oregano, not fresh, as I long ago killed that plant), and of course, some freshly ground salt.

Using the grill pan, coated with a touch of olive oil to prevent sticking, I grilled all the veg. Easy easy way to make veg delicious.

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While I was watching the vegetables cook, I got to work on a balsamic reduction. Having never done a reduction before, at least not on purpose, I overdid it a bit - which resulted in more of a balsamic caramel than a drizzle. Hopefully this would be salvageable.

 
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Once the veg was done, I threw a couple of dollups of the ricotta mixture on the crust, several slices of the fresh mozz, squash, peppers, onions, and tossed it in the oven at 350. Part way through the cooking process, I figured J would want some kind of meat on his pizza, so I took cut up some smoked ham and tossed it on during the last 5 minutes.

When the pizza was done, I finished it with the balsamic "caramel", which turned back to a nice glaze when it met with the heat of the pizza.

The end result? It was actually really tasty.

 
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The next time I make it, I would opt for fresh herbs (oregano and basil) and a nice pancetta in lieu of ham. And I wouldn't overdo the reduction.

Listening to whilst cooking: the 80's station on the TV

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bring on da' Pain (Bring on da' Funk)

Day one of the Couch to 5k is upon us.

And I have to admit, I didn't think it was going to come to fruition.

But first, for any of you who have stumbled upon this blog and are not familiar with my relationship with running, let me start by saying this.

I hate to run.

Really. Hate. Loathe. Despise. Abhor. Detest. Me no likey.

Got it?

Buuuut...I did run a 5k not too long ago. Yes, I am quite the enigma. And I did, on some level, enjoy it. Maybe it was the sense of accomplishment I felt when I ran through the finish. Maybe it was my inability to move my legs several days after. Whatever it was, it did pique my interest in doing another 5k in the future. However, I promised myself that should I go down this path, I would do it the wiser way; I would actually train for this one.

My sister-in-law's decision to start the program upon the arrival of her new fancy stroller was the motivation I needed. A long distance partner in my madness.

So today, after shopping this weekend for some appropriate shorts, sneakers, and a stopwatch, I decided I was ready to begin. Being that this is Florida and I occasionally feel like I can't breathe when standing absolutely still, I decided that it would be best to schedule the walking/jogging regimen for either a) early in the morning, before sun up or b) in the evening, when the sun wasn't quite so strong. While the morning would have been the cooler option, that would have also meant giving up sleep. I'm not quite committed enough to this project yet to give up precious minutes away from my pillow, so I opted for the hotter early evening.

As I left the house, stopwatch and iPod around my neck, I thought to myself, I wonder how bad this will be. After the 5 minute walk to start, I began my jog. A slow, lumbering jog. I imagine that if I ever saw a sloth run, it would look something like this. (begin the youtube search for a running sloth now...I'll time you)

I was suprised at how quickly 60 seconds went by. Not that I enjoyed the 60 seconds of jogging, but they seemed to pass faster than I expected. The downside of that, is that the 90 second walk in between jogging stints went just as quickly. I was proud of myself for jogging the full 60 seconds several times - but at about the 16 minutes mark, the alternating between jog and walk became more like 30 seconds of jogging, 2 minutes of walking.

At one point when crossing the street, I wondered what would happen if I were to pass out in the street. Maybe it would look something like this.

I returned home (23:06 on the stop watch) face bright red, shins feeling like they might snap at any given step, soaked in sweat, and wondering who was the brilliant man that created air conditioning and that he couldn't have possibly been paid enough for the invention.

After a bath and several glasses of water, I am feeling refreshed and somewhat normal.

Since I am truly going from couch to 5k, I decided that this was an acceptable first go at the routine. We'll see how I feel about it Wednesday, Day Two.


In other non-running related news...

Also acquired this weekend - a Le Creuset Dutch Oven - which I am incredibly excited about. My interests appear to be in conflict maybe, no? I am considering its first use for braised short ribs, which I have never made, but have had and would love to master. Cooking excitement awaits me!

And also, I'm a dork.


In frighteningly large bird news, this crew has been hanging around the house lately:

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They are Sandhill Cranes. They are HUGE. And could probably peck my eyes out. So I risked life and limb (or at least eye) to get you this shot. No fancy zoom here. I just had to get this close.


Currently listening to: the sounds of nothing good on TV

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dreamer...Healer...Slacker?

All those grand plans of posting...can I blame my lack of follow through on my personality?

It would seem so.

I recently had my team (yes, yes, I have a team now) take the Myers Briggs personality test, partly for fun, and partly to gain some insight in how they all interact.

The good news is that I already knew I had a great team, and the personality blends confirm that they should be working well together.

Since I subjected them to details on their own personalities, I thought it was only fair that I share mine as well. It's funny, as many times as I have taken this test in the past, I always seem to learn something new (or maybe its just that as I age, I start to see more of my personality matching up with the descriptions of who I am).

Sooo...here are some previously unshared details for you to enjoy:

Some famous people who are INFPs (or so they say):

Homer (not Simpson)
Virgil
Shakespeare
AA Milne

See a pattern there? Yeah...that's right. Writers. Maybe my aspirations of writing for a living aren't so terribly delusional. Of course, I haven't written many epics lately.

Other interesting tidbits:

When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.

Former roomates, take note! It's not my fault that my room often looked like the closet threw up. And yes, Mom, this would explain why I pre-fold my laundry when sorting it...in fact...

INFPs are not naturally interested in administrative matters such as bill-paying and house-cleaning, but they can be very good at performing these tasks when they must. They can be really good money managers when they apply themselves.

...Ha. I am not naturally inclined to clean my house. Validation for my slobbishness. (Yes, I am pretty sure I just made up that word. Whatever.)

They are usually quite perceptive about other people's feelings and motives, and are consequently able to get along with all sorts of different people. However, the INFP will keep their true selves reserved from others except for a select few, with whom they will form close and lasting friendships.

I do get along with most people I meet. But I have very few close friends - or at least friends that realllly know me. Friends that aren't shocked to find out that I am not an extrovert, for example.

INFPs can make outstanding novelists and character actors, for they are able to efface their own personalities in their portrayal of a character in a way other types cannot.

Wouldn't it be great if the results of a personality test could be presented as evidence that you are an ideal fit for the profession of your choice? Sigh. (and with that, the "dreamer" title often attributed to INFPs makes sense)

In the meantime, I'll just be satisfied that it is the norm for me personally to have a desire to write and a lack of desire to clean.



In other news, as I have been absent from the blog lately, you will be happy to know that I should be back more frequently due to two new developments (neither of which involve pregnancy...so stop guessing).

Development 1: Tomorrow, my new camera arrives. A serious camera. Not serious, like somber and stern serious. That would be weird. And frightening.

But back to the camera...after spending some time in Philly experimenting with seadragon's camera, I decided that I loved taking pictures more than I had previously remembered.

Enter the EOS Digital Canon Rebel Xti (400D) with Kit Lens and
Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens. I will probably spend the next month reading up on how to properly use the thing. But with the experimental picture taking will come posts about picture taking. And hopefully, the pictures themselves.

Development 2: The aforementioned seadragon (my sis-in-law for any of you who haven't made that connection) recently got a new stroller for Squeakles (my nephew) and we had previously discussed that upon the arrival of this new fabulous contraption, we would start the Couch to 5K program together. Being that we live in separate states, this would be more of a long distance encouragement thing ("hey, did you get off your butt today?") rather than a "run alongside me" deal.

Which is good. Cause I am slow. And probably not a good running partner. So this should be an interesting way to further attempt to get into/stay in shape.

That and those Bollywood Dancing videos I just got. (that will be another blog entry, I'm sure)

I haven't started the Couch to 5k yet, as I am waiting to recover from two injuries. One was a slight strain of the right ankle after eating it in a parking lot. In a dress. And heels. I am so classy.

The other is the result of a middle of the night charley horse in my right calf. Although this happened on Saturday night, I have only today been able to walk without limping.

Drink your water friends. Hydration is key.




Listening to: Your Hand in Mine by Explosions in the Sky...everyone should have a "cool music" friend, the one who recommends amazing stuff you won't hear on the radio, and therefore requires effort for you to discover on your own (particularly if you live in the stinkhole that is Florida)...mine recently recommended Explosions in the Sky





Monday, March 17, 2008

The Quest for a New Me

...ok. You're on to me. I'm not really on a quest for a new me. The current me is a fairly pleasant model and doesn't exactly need replacing, but a little remodeling here and there couldn't hurt. To that end, recent changes are as follows:

1. Eat better. A lot better.

All who know me well are aware of my affinity for food. Not in a gluttonous, can't get enough o' 'dem cheeseburgers and fries way, but in more of a fascination with the variety of flavors and sensations provided by something that serves as our daily sustenance. Having said that, a busy lifestyle and bad habits over the years have led to a lot of convenience eating. Not just your fast food fare, as I started tapering that off a few years ago, but processed, bagged, canned; anything that can be prepared by just opening it and/or heating it.

This habit of convenience eating has also meant a fridge that rarely had much to offer in fresh fruit and veggies. Which is a shame, since I actually LIKE fruit and vegetables, and if they around (particularly if they aren't competing with a bag of chips) I will eat them.

After doing some research online, I discovered an organic produce DELIVERY service in my area. Now this sounded too good to be true. Someone will bring me a regular supply of fresh, organic veggies? And not only am I helping myself, but I can also help the environment? Score!

The service so far has been great. The veggies taste amazing (there really IS a difference with organic) and since I know that I have another load coming the following week, I make sure that I eat them all, which crowds out the appetite and desire for the, well, undesirables in my kingdom of food.

Now I won't have you all thinking that I have made some completely radical change. I still enjoy my regular cup of coffee (yeah, I haven't kicked that...does putting organic milk and raw sugar in it make it ok?) and dark chocolate when I crave something in sweet (this in particular...worth every penny).

But the changes in the past few weeks have already manifested themeselves in fewer headaches and fewer pounds. (woot!)

2. Get a tan.

Sounds incredibly shallow, and I know that everyone says laying in the sun is horrible for you. But even with SPF 50, I get a tan. And after returning from our trip in the Caymans, I am my more natural color. I look healthier. I feel healthier. And as everyone knows (and if you don't, prepare to be schooled) tan fat looks less fat than pale fat.

3. Be nicer.

I know. I am not exactly mean. At least not to your face. But privately, in my mind (or with those closest to me) I can be pretty brutal. And while I must admit, sometimes I can be hilarious in my execution of insults, I don't really like that side of me. It's a judgmental, dare-I-say elitist quality that I find repulsive in others, and therefore, need to work on in myself.

4. Be More Outgoing

Again, what? I am not outgoing? In reality, I'm not. I pretend to be, but it's exhausting. And lately, I haven't been bothering much with pretending. Which in of itself isn't a horrible thing. But you can't get to know others if you don't ever talk to them. So, instead of spending my weekends solely keeping house or hanging with my family, I am determined to be more social...making friends is healthy.

5. Take Time

...for a lot of things. Take time to meditate on the important things. Take time to breath and appreciate things on the postive. Take time to nap just because I want to. :)


And now, I am going to take time to read a book and go to bed early.

Current Mood: warm and sleepy...drinking tea made with fresh stevia leaves (I forgot to mention the herb garden I planted that is providing me with even more fresh deliciousness)
Currently Listening to: Beethoven's String Quartet No. 5 in A Major
Currently Reading: Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tales of a 5K Nothing

subtitled: I Paid Money* for Pain.

Yesterday morning was the Florida Hospital Lady's Track Shack 5k. After 5 days of grueling preparation, I was ready. Oh wait. That's right. I didn't prepare.

As we arrived at the starting area, we saw signs that designated what kind of mile you run. There were 6, 7, 8, 9, 10+ minute mile signs, and then a sign that said "walkers" (not to be confused with the device that aids one in walking). The three of us looked at each other, as if there was much of a decision to make, and headed to the 10+ minute mile section.

When the race began, I realized that there wouldn't be much running for the first minute, as it is somewhat difficult to run when there are 1000 people right in front of you. Once we cleared the bottleneck, the running began. We ran surprisingly longer than I expected. (in case I haven't made this clear I don't really run much. Or ever.) Hitting the first mile (a combo of running and walking of course) was exciting. There was a little mile marker and a clock that let us know how long it took. As we approached it, we saw that it had not quite been 15 minutes yet, so we suddenly sprinted to be sure we got in under the 15 mark and then cheered wildly at our accomplishment. People around us were amused.

Somewhere into the second mile my sister attempted to point out a squirrel, but the lack of air in her lungs led to a very weak and breathy "squuiiirrelll" which set us off laughing. Which stalled out any running. Laughing and running are two things I can't do at the same time.

Shortly after that, we hit the halfway mark, where there were volunteers providing us with a tiny Dixie cup, half filled with water. The water to Dixie cup ratio resulted in quenching your thirst with liquid that tasted a lot like, well, Dixie cup.

Second mile marker I didn't even see. It may have had something to do with the man standing on the corner we rounded yelling (yes, truly yelling) at us, "Don't walk! No walking!" It was more of a "I will kill you" yell, then a "way to go" one. So, of course, we ran, all the while yelling back that negative reinforcement was our favorite motivators. (and again, there was amusement to be had by the crowd around us). Fortunately, Linds noticed the mile marker and our time - 31 minutes.

The next corner we rounded was manned by a police officer, who yelled "GO NEW YORK!" as we passed. I realized that he was talking to me (I was wearing a Yankees cap), so I felt the need to run again. I didn't want to let my new NY friend down.

The last mile was tough. My heart was not happy with me. My sister kept wondering aloud why her legs were itching so much, and our third friend kept wanting to run more. I was very happy as I realized we were approaching the third mile. And then I remembered that 5k is slightly more than three miles. So we started to run again - we could see the finish and the big clock and were so close. Run run run. As we ran the last .1 mile, I could feel the valves of my heart that actually work properly cursing me, but there was now a crowd of people on the sides cheering us in, and as much as I wanted to give up and just walk it in, I kept running.

47 minutes and some number of seconds I didn't quite care about - I had finished my first 5k. I felt like I was going to pass out, and was wondering if there was a defibrillator close by, but I finished.

Despite the pain during the run (and, oh my, the pain now) I have plans to do another in April, although this time, I will actually prepare.

Can anyone tell me at what point exactly I became this special brand of crazy?


Listening to: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by the Postal Service
Current Mood: Feeling good! Oh, except for my abs, shins, butt, thighs, etc...

*the money was for a good cause - the proceeds went to the local hospital's breast screening program, which pays for screening and mammograms for women who can't afford it

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Awesome

My favorite response to my decision to participate in a 5k this weekend comes from my mother:

"Have you done an ANY K?"

It's so perfect, it deserved its own entry.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Run, Freedom, Run!

Phone conversation with a friend this evening went something like this:

"So you want me to sign you up?"

"Yeah, why not. It's for a good cause, right?"

"Yeah. It starts at 7:30. We can park at my office and walk over."

"Ok. Sounds fun."

And with that, I signed up for a 5k. This Sunday. The long time readers of this blog will recall that I have mentioned in the past that I generally only choose to run if chased. And even then, if I think I have decent odds bludgeoning the pursuer with a tree limb or whatever else is close at hand, I will probably take my chances.

Yet, Sunday, a mere 5 days from now, I will be participating in an event where I am expected to move my legs at a pace faster than the one that gets my from my computer to my coffee maker.

I decided (about 10 minutes ago) that maybe I should read how one goes about preparing for a 5k. I clicked on the first thing google spat back at me and right off the bat, I was told:

"If you have not attempted running before you may want to go easy first, so that your body can get used to this activity, more specifically your legs. You will have cramps, a lot of uneasiness and will find yourself gasping for breath most of the time. You will have a lot of sore muscles. You might even wonder whether this is for you, believe us this is for you. Don't give up."

I am about to participate in an activity that causes cramps, uneasiness, and shortness of breath. These sound like things I should be avoiding. Or taking medication to eliminate. And yet the internet people are telling me this IS for me. As I continue to read, I see that the plan for preparation they have laid out is an 8 week plan. This proves to be problematic, as I only have five days. At this point, I ask Google to show me how to pretend to prepare for a 5k, but Google fails me.

But wait? What's this?

"You've just turned 50 and you've decided to run your first 5K. Why not? You already exercise. And even though you're not a competitive athlete, you've wanted to do it for quite awhile. Now you have the time and motivation to prepare."

This site sounds like it may be more my speed. What does the AARP recommend?

Get organized. Make a training schedule to help you stay consistent and on track. - Check. My training schedule currently consists of Dudley's daily walks, a little pilates to prevent pulling anything, and...well, that's it. But I am organized about it.

Go easy. Don't overdo it. Set reachable goals so you don't get discouraged or hurt. - A 5k is approximately 3 miles. So my goal is to finish no later than 10:30. 1 mph. That sounds reachable, eh?

Eat well, stay hydrated. Experts recommend a wide variety of minimally processed foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Drink more water than you think you need before, during, and after workouts. - Does this mean stopping for a fruit smoothie half way through is a good idea?

Love your body. Be sure to get enough rest - don't let yourself get run down. - Sleeping is VERY important. So in order to prepare for the 5k, I will be sleeping more. Midday naps start tomorrow.

Buy quality gear and clothes. Make sure you have all the equipment you need for your event. - Sneakers? Check. Layering of sports bras? Double check.

Don't mess with Mother Nature. Be careful when it gets hot - drink plenty of water, wear light clothing, and try to stay in the shade. - This is Florida. If they wanted us to be careful about the heat, they probably shouldn't have planned a 5k within state lines.

Have fun! Enjoy the benefits your mind and body are reaping from physical activity. - In all seriousness, this is what I am looking forward to. I am going on this excursion with a friend and my sister, which guarantees high entertainment value. Add in the fact that we are all non-runners and will probably still be half asleep when we start the race, and I am pretty sure hilarity will ensue. Is it possible to kicked out of a 5k?

So, I will be updating you all after the weekend on the results of the 5k. Who knows? Maybe this will inspire me to actually train for one properly.

What? Stranger things have happened.


Currently listening to: The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
Current Mood: Sleepy. See? I am already preparing...

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Forecast is Optimistic

As you may or may not have noticed, I changed the template I use for this blog (again). This one felt clean and light (neither of which I am feeling at this precise moment. ha! and also, ew!)

One thing I noticed after making the change, was the post count it gives by year and month for the blog. So if you all will take a moment to look to the right of your screen (uhhh...the other right...the hand that makes the backwards L) you will notice that in '05, when I started this blog, I posted 119 times. Not a daily blogger, but respectable. Enough to make you check back on a regular basis.

The following year, I had dropped to posting only a third as much (look at me and my use of fractions...woot.)

This past year - 10 posts. Not even a monthly update. So sad.

So I have resolved (not be confused with "I made a resolution") to post more regularly this year. Considering I already am posting at 50% of last years activity, things are looking good. So expect some odd posts that arise solely from the need to post.

Not unlike this post.


Listening to: Run, Freedom, Run from Urinetown: The Musical
Current Mood: optimistic. i thought we covered that. you all really need to start listening better if I am going to post more. i mean, really.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Woo!

...And March's vacation location is....


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vacation Planning...

It's been a long while since we've taken a real vacation, one that didn't involve visiting people/places we already know. So we broke down and did a little planning.

We originally were looking at going the cruise route. Lots of people we know LOVE cruises, and the idea that everything is there - activities, food, places to laze about - seemed promising.

But after much researching, we came to a non-cruise decision. And I am VERY excited.

When I was about 11 or so, some friends of the family told me about this wonderful place where they vacationed. The clearest water they had ever seen, perfect weather, turtles (particularly appealing facet to an 11 yr old me); this place had everything as far as I was concerned.

And now I am going. We are finalizing the dates this evening for early March.

Wanna know where? Do 'ya?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Newbie

So I realized that I mentioned in an earlier post that I was excited that there would be a new little person in my life. I neglected to go back and clarify that this new little person is my oldest brother's first kid, a little boy. They've yet to pick out a name, although we for some reason refer to him as Vladmir when talking about him (my brother programmed his wife's cell phone number in my phone as "Mom o'Vlad").

We threw a baby shower for them when they last visited a few weeks ago, which was great fun. Being that they live in Philly, we all felt the need to be sure that the baby was clothed solely by us for the next two years, or so it would appear by the massive amounts of clothes and shoes they went back with.

Mom o'Vlad recently posted on her blog about the baby kicking my brother in the face, which made me a proud aunt. I already think this kid is awesome and he isn't even out yet.

She is due in March, so I can not wait to meet him. With the parents he has, he is bound to be the smartest and funniest baby ever.

Babies are so cool (when you aren't the one having them :) ).


Listening to: Jackson Cannery by Ben Folds Five
Current Mood: Optimistic

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeze.

...not to be confused with Wheezie.

I can't believe I have not written anything since November. I mean, I can believe it, but it's sad that I find myself so unreliable. But I've already told you all about my commitment issues, so the fact that this blog even still exists is a testament to me growing up and changing.

Or something.

I am sick with a horrible cold, for the second time in a span of about three weeks (if that). I managed to get well enough the first time to resemble a living being when visiting my corporate office in Massachusets last week. Then, upon my arrival home, I started the entire miserable cycle again. In my weakened state, I was not able to fend off the germs of a populated office, so I have been spending my day attempting to cover up my extremely nasally voice while talking to clients.

The joys of a sleepy immune system.

In other news, the wedding I attended in Seattle last month was wonderful. It was great to be able to be there for a friend who deserved it. I was happy to play Carmelita* through the whole affair.


There probably won't be a ton of posting this month either, as I am off to L.A. on Monday for a conference.

So this was mostly a pointless post, to let you all know I am alive. And movin' on up...to the east side.

Favorite reference of the day: "It's like the Donner Party here!" Most of my fellow employees were snowed in today, leading one of the higher ups to say the above. I wanted to comment on the disturbing scene that painted if he were to run out of oxen, but then I worried that there might be another Donner Party he was referring to, and left it alone.

Current Mood: I am too out of it to have a mood. I merely exist at this point.

Currently Listening to: The Secret Marriage by Sting

*Carmelita is my former roomies' make believe maid, whom they blame when things aren't tidy...