Monday, December 31, 2012

Breakthrough safety device...or is it?

I'm more fortunate than some. But not as fortunate as others. So this might sound a little high-falutin', but it's something that's out there, and I think people might want to know.

We have these cars. One is a '98 Mountaineer; the others are newer than that. All of them came equipped with this amazing, apparently optional device that allows drivers all around you to almost read your mind.

It's kinda freaky.

But, like I said, because this is such an incredible safety feature, I would think it would come standard on all cars. Given how infrequently I see other drivers use it, perhaps it isn't.

Use your freaking blinkers, people. They're there for a reason, and it ain't just to look pretty.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What's the 20 on the 5150?

Did you leave yet?
Are you on the road?
Where are you?
Hello? Are you there?
Yes, we can spike your apple cider.

The thing with text messaging is you never quite know for certain whether the recipient received your text, or if they're just ignoring you. Most likely, in my case, ignoring my existence. And my texts

Sooooo, we play the waiting game.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

HM PR in 2013. Who's with me?

Today is one of those really off days. It's Saturday, but it feels like Friday (it should be Friday). My family (total of seven people) was supposed to drive to my house today. Then it was just my parents. Then it was parents plus Grandma. And maybe one of the two kids. The other three (or four) will drive tomorrow morning. Maybe; we'lly see.

Because plans change again and again (and again and again and again), I've had some time to peruse facebook, instagram, and pinterest.

This is the half marathon training program I'm going to try this time around. And for the cross-training, I've found some really awesome ideas and plans for jump-starting the weight loss.

This just in:
Grandma isn't coming.
The kid is coming.

Half marathon PR, here I come!

Here are my in-anticipation cross-training ideas.

Push-ups are supposed to be an amazing workout. Core. Chest. Shoulders. Arms. Yes, please. Mine need work!

This image makes this look like fun! I'm sure I won't feel that way after I've tried it a couple times, but for now, it motivates me.

Again, cute image makes it look more fun than it probably is... Don't knock it.

This is basically what I'll look like when it's all said and done. Basically.

Alert: crazies approaching

They aren't on the road quite yet, but a bunch of crazies are coming to our house for a visit this weekend! Oh yeah, and to celebrate Christmas.

Doesn't it seem like Christmas and New Year's should be over, done with, cleaned up and moved on already? I know I've pretty much checked out. Except for giving gifts, I'm not much of a fan of the holidays. It's more of a stressful time for me.

See? It makes me crazy.
So much time and so little to do!

So I've planned some things to do while they're here, but the thing I'm probably most excited for is New Year's Eve. I'll save the details for later, but suffice it to say it's gonna be a night!

Ugh. I guess it's back to cleaning and organizing...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Note to self: nix the post-lunch caffeine

I love Thursdays. The end of my four-day work week. An evening with my love. Plus, we get to sleep in on Friday mornings. Ahh...

This week, though, things are different. I have to work tomorrow (p.s., at this point it's closer to 'today' than 'tomorrow'); there will be no sleeping in for me tomorrow morning.

So I was a bit perturbed when I found myself in bed, unable to drift peacefully and easily off to dreamland. A quick sensory scan of myself and my surroundings, and I found my thighs ablaze, the ten-billion-BTU-radiating dog laying (lying?) right next to them.

I know what you'll say: "just kick the dog off of the bed!" Easier said than done, I promise you that. Because this dog

...might look small and veasy to kick off of a bed, trust me: he's actually anything but that. It took a great deal more physical energy than I wanted to expend at that time to get that creature out of my immediate vicinity where he had heated my legs to beyond what I would consider even slightly tolerable.

Bam. Gone. Certainly now I could get comfortable enough to sleep. I was still hot. I tried one foot out: not enough. A foot and an arm: still not enough. A leg and two arms: nope. Nothing worked.

Frustrated, I changed positions. Then pillows. Then I moved out to the couch. I've been here for ten or fifteen minutes, and it hit me.

Diet. Coke.

Caffeine at 4pm doesn't make for a very restful night, at least for me. It's a mistake I won't soon forget, or repeat. It was the first soda I'd had at work in a month or more, but now that my desk drawer once again holds at least a half dozen of them, I'll be more careful. MUCH more careful.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Twelve-fer two-word Tuesday

Before my Christmas vacation is officially over (finally), I wanted to share some highlights. Just to make it interesting, eaChristmas picture has a "two-word Tuesday" caption/explanation or whatever. Here goes:

Musical cookie


Just lucky?

My love

Best friends

Couch cuddles

Christmas tradition

Elijah Craig

Soap poisoning!

Bed invader

Punny shirts

364 days

Tomorrow morning

Monday, December 24, 2012

A lost weekend...but not depressing like the movie

Ah, peace and quiet. The holidays are almost over, 2013 is almost here, and life can almost go back to normal. Finally.

I wanted to rewind for this post. Back up a few days. To Friday.

I think that was the day we spent just lounging around, doing almost nothing. That, or...

Shopping. No, there was definitely some shopping in there. We usually don't work on Fridays, which makes going to the more crowded stores that much easier. Still, I think it's because it was the weekend before Christmas, everyone and their brother was in Costco.

I was just informed that Friday was the day we saw The Hobbit. Right. I remember that: boring! The end was okay, but then it was a "to be continued" (in THREE PARTS) - what!!! I'm gonna go ahead and skip those, thanks anyway.

Friday: done.

Saturday was a very long day. The plan was to buy a car. We thought we would drive to Sacramento, but before we could leave our house, the dealership there called to say the one we wanted was sold the night before, so we sorta settled in for another day of a whole lotta nothin'. But then the guy from the Bay Area dealership called to tell us that the car we wanted was there!

We jumped in the car and drove FOUR HOURS to Sunnyvale Lincoln. My Yelp review kinda sums up how it all went down:

Still, the four-hour drive there was not exactly thrilling, especially where our path crossed with the millions on their way to the Factory Outlets in Gilroy (insert smell of garlic).

Yadda yadda, we bought our dream car. Merry Christmas to us! First it was the elliptical, now the car. We'll eat nothing but beans at this pace.

Speaking of food, we hadn't eaten, so we decided to drive to downtown San Jose for some Gordon Biersch, Tim leading the way in the new car (as I demanded) with me following.

Increase stress levels now.

Parking in downtown San Jose was $10 to $20 per car...not exactly what we wanted to see. So we tried to find street parking. I found a spot, but Tim wasn't as lucky; he had to park illegally at a Jack in the Box. Okay, nix the Gordon Biersch. Crap. Since I had parked next to a McD's, and was dying to get my yearly McRib, that was the winner.

To say that this place was scary is about the same as saying that Charles Manson is a little twisted. We were little out of place there, even if it was only because we didn't have black puffy jackets and our underwear wasn't hanging out of our over-sized baggy jeans. Like, for example. We ate and paid for a bathroom visit each (technically free, but in order to get into the stall, you had to insert a coin and turn the knob). And then we got the hell outta dodge.

Why does the drive back home always seem to take so much longer than the drive there? We finally got home just before 1 a.m. I slept like a rock for a few hours, but that trip cost me a weekend of good sleep!

As Tim reminds me now, isn't it worth it to have such an amazing car? And I must admit, yeah, it's worth it. We have our dream car. We both love it sooooo much. Roomy, comfy, cute, zippy. It's amazing.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Of love and violence

I freaking love the conversations between my ILs. The volume. The intensity. The extreme over-exaggeration. I do love it, honestly. I'm not sure I could take it all the time year-round, but good gravy it is thoroughly entertaining. Sometimes.

Tonight was no exception. It was football, then random rants and expletives, promises if future demonstrations of love and violence, respectively.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

All wrapped up

Don't ya hate it when someone doesn't blog for a few days, then suddenly there's a deluge, a flurry of posts, each more random and off-the-wall than the last?

Get over it.

Well, I guess today will be less busy than originally intended, which is kind of disappointing, because we were planning to drive to Sacramento to buy a car, then drive it home. An eight-hour round-trip drive, avoided for today. Oh well. It's only a car.

I guess I'll have to re-focus on baking and frosting cookies, wrapping gifts and watching Christmas movies.

It's raining right now (if you can call this amount of spit falling from the heavens 'rain'), so I think I'll wait a while before I go for a run (because man, are my legs itching for a real live run).

First up: watching Christmas movies while wrapping presents!

The machine

I finally got a chance to officially break in our new elliptical yesterday morning, and she's a beaut. I wanted to run, but because I had a huge time constraint (as I might today as well), I settled for the machine.

I still have some figuring out of the thing to do: I started by just jumping on, not really having a specific workout planned then halfway through I hit a button. I thought it was just to change the incline or intensity or whatever, but the clock, mileage, calorie counter...they all started over. Oh well, it still counts.

And I have this chick to blame (or 'thank', same difference):

With me, guilt works wonders. Strong motivator for me.

Friday, December 21, 2012

If you can hear/read this, you are the Resistance

Sarah stood at the edge of an elementary school, watching the children swing and hopscotch and ring around the rosey. She was petrified; she knew what was going to happen in just a few seconds. That's when the blinding flash and deafening silence came. Immediately, all of the children turned to ash.

Ashes to ashes.

Sky-net. The computers had become self-aware. Where was John Connor, the young leader of the Resistance, Sarah's son?

He was nowhere to be found. Not in the playground. Not on a nearby bench. Nowhere at that moment, because it was just one of Sarah's dreams.

But there us no Sarah Connor.
There is no John Connor.
There is no Sky-net.
The computers are not self-aware.
The end of the world didn't happen.
Not today, anyway.

So sorry to disappoint.
Better luck next time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Please advise

I find myself at a loss. What are some other good Christmas movies?

I'm a headless chicken

What's today, Wednesday, right? The... 19th maybe? Five days until Christmas, and twelve until 2013 is here. Then an important doctor's appointment just four days after that.

So much time, and so little to do!

Strike that.
Reverse it.
Moving on...

I have been recently afflicted with a (mental) illness I like to call an inability to see the trees for the forest. Kinda like not seeing the forest for the trees, but in my case I see so much that needs to be done that I have no idea what to do.

Wrapping and cleaning and exercising and holiday movies and music and planning and organizing and rearranging and preparing and baking and frosting and writing cards. What do I do?

How does anyone do it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Insta-racer and whiskers on roses

I've been toying with the notion of posting my own Instagram daily prompt for the month, beginning with January. If others can do it, then hey - so can I! Won't you join me, please? I just thought it might be fun, and like everyone else that does these, I was thinking about some giveaways (and I have a tendency to get creative: most participation, most shocking, most consistent, funniest, etc).

So I hope at least a few people will participate. Ohhh yeah, my instagram name is brynracer. And here is what I came up with for the month of January.

Remember to tag me when you're participating. I can't wait to organize some awesome stuff to go along with this!

P.S. Just in case anyone was still curious about whether I was being sarcastic, YES, I still HATE the holidays and almost everything that comes with them.

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" yeah right.

Monday, December 17, 2012

'Tis the season for wishing it would all go away

I've been grumpy recently. I know why, at least. There's little in this world more aggravating than not knowing why you're so stressed. This time of year, though, I can summarize it all in a single solitary word:


'Tis the season for fantasizing about how to avoid family, right?

I remember the first year I had a real job. Set hours. Dependable work that came with a totally decent paycheck. I have always dreamed of having a specific someone demonstrate love, respect, gratitude, That's the word. I wanted this person to show love. So I shopped for hours that year; I went from store to store to store, and mall to mall to mall.

I found the perfect shirt: black, crushed velvet with a gothic pattern I knew was right up his alley. The only issue was that it was waaaaaay out of my price range at $60. That was a lot of money to me. Still, I took a deep breath and handed over my bank card.

I was so excited for Christmas that year. I thrilled when I thought of how the person would react. How he would love this shirt. I wasn't completely delusional, though: I kept the receipt and told the person that if they didn't like it or whatever, it would be fine to return or exchange. Christmas morning came, and he said he liked it. It was great. Perfect. Amazing. Couldn't wait to wear it out and about. I was in ecstasy.

But I was blind. That person didn't care. The shirt stayed in the box. First it was a week, then a couple. Then it was months, and the season had changed. He never wore that shirt. He didn't exchange it or return it.

He didn't care. He didn't give a damn.

That was the same Christmas morning that he left early, leaving his wife and child so that he could go spend the rest of the day with his girlfriend. I know, I know: what a winner.

That's just one of the multitude of stories that I could tell in order to help explain why I hate "the holiday season" and why I'm very seriously considering my husband's amazing idea of escaping the holidays and going on a cruise next year. Just not to Santa's workshop.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A fun, scenic run down Christmas Tree Lane

I must admit: I was a little worried about running yesterday.
Not because of the distance.
Not because of the cold.
Not because I had to keep up with someone.

I hadn't run since I was on vacation in Hawaii, which we left the day before Thanksgiving. And before that, I hadn't been running regularly.

My co-runners were excited for their first race, a 5k this time. I knew I would just take it super-easy, walk a lot, look at it like a fun run. A scenic jaunt through Christmas Tree Lane. Let me just emphasize once more: I was going for distance, not time. I was staying with my niece so that she (and I) wouldn't crash and burn and hate every minute and never want to do it again.

We had a great cheering section. Even if they were a little cold.

I've never seen anyone pin a bib on their butt...until my niece decided to do just that. Now I can't say I haven't seen that before.

I made her stop for the photo op. Very cute and fun.

So, recap: fun race. A little (read: a LOT) poorly organized, chilly, but very fun and I would definitely do it again. I especially loved that it was on a Saturday (and this year, the 15th!). Plus, it served as a great reminder that running is fun. I don't have to keep up a certain speed in order to burn calories and stress. Or to have fun. And even that short amount of running made me feel so great! Oh yeah. I finished in 39:40. Only ten minutes slower than normal.

If only waking supp at 4:00 every morning made me feel so great.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Don't talk to strangers...unless they're wearing a costume and concealing their facial features with hair

I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't really wake up until 11:00 this morning (it is still "morning," technically). I honestly do not know what happened. I guess I was just that tired from all my running around yesterday...

My first stop was Costco (fortunately only for gas), where I was almost immediately confronted by one of the biggest idiot truck drivers to ever sit at a steering wheel (I doubt that he has any kind of license). The rule at Costco gas - and there are signs posted all around the place - is PULL FORWARD. This idiot didn't get it (it is possible that he didn't speak English, but in all fairness, this kind of thing transcends language and speaks to his lack of common sense).

I had to pull around him, nearly scraping his car in the process, and he didn't even acknowledge me; as a matter of fact, he just continued chewing the fat with his friends. Oooooookay, clueless! Bad start to Christmas shopping.

Must. Have. Patience.

It was off to the mall, where infants and toddlers were forced into the arms of a stranger in a very odd costume, and told to smile for the camera.

Have you ever just watched this ritual from your own little corner? Try it. Especially when you aren't personally invested in the kids, it's kinda sick. And interesting. Laughable. Honestly, check it out.

Then again, I'm an avid people watcher; I love that kind of thing. Maybe I'm rare. Still...

I needed to eat a little something, and Portland was the most appealing without an insanely-long line. I tried maybe six of their flavors, sans toppings because I just wanted to really get the gist of the quality before I started altering the natural goodness of the froyo. Also, the place was jam-packed, especially at the topping area. Next time: toppings, for sure, now that I know what would be awesome with this flavor and that one.

My main priority of the day was Christmas shopping, but I found this adorable teeny-tiny furry jacket vest thing, and wanted to buy it for a future baby girl, but as I'm not exactly pregnant and don't know anyone who's having a girl anytime soon, I had to walk away. Boo.

I did find some really cool deals at Old Navy, though; I got a bag full of stuff (maybe six items?) for about $20! Total score. Plus, all the stuff I got for my six-year-old niece is pink. Pink this. Pink that. Pink the other. Everything pink. Pink pink pink.

Because I was unable to find (cough cough remember cough cough) what I was looking for at the mall, I stopped at the outlets closer to home, where I found something I wasn't looking for, and again didn't find what I was looking for. Grr. At least the doggy won't be as cold in his new sweater.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

This could be bad

A week from today, I will run (ehhh..actually probably walk, mostly) my...second? I think it will be my second 5k. My first 5k was horrible: I started out waaaaaay too fast and ended up crashing and burning. After that experience, I decided I could supp a 5k every now and then, but my real love was in longer distances, the half and especially 10ks are my faves.

True to form, this run could be very, very bad. I haven't run in weeks because of this nagging chest cold thing (but I have my heart set on trying it out tomorrow).

To add insult to injury, my husband and niece are going to run (ahem) this thing, too. It will be a first for both. Also, as if that weren't bad enough, my hubby hasn't run recently eithen because of a back injury (although it's tons better now, he says). And our niece isn't a fan of running anyway (but at least she's neither injured or sick at the moment); she's such a trooper.

Ohhh yeah. As if it couldn't possibly get any worse, right? Race "organization" and "information" is virtually nil. As in, nothing. As in, nobody knows anything and the people who should know, just ignore questions posted on Facebook.

Will there be race-day packet pickup? Nobody knows. Where can I park? Nobody knows. Water handed out afterwards? Nobody knows. Will there be porta-potties? Nobody. Freaking. Knows.

Did I mention this is the inaugural year? Yeah. They need to get it together. Quick. I'm getting kinda nervous here. At this point, I'm thinkin' getting there more than an hour early might be a good idea. Who knows what could happen.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A mullet. A Furby. Tim Gunn. And Taylor Swift.

While I wait ever-so-(im)patiently to be able to breathe normally, I can't run. I have heard way too many horror stories about running through injuries and illnesses making recovery all the more difficult. And lengthy. And torturous. And painful.

So. Today flew by (just like all weekend days, right?). Er, wait. I stand corrected. I thought today was Saturday. I guess today was just busy. It makes for a longer day when you get up and go to breakfast in the "early" morning hours ("early" of course being very very very relative, since I generally sleep an extra four hours on weekend mornings).

Where was I? Busy. Right. Time flies. Yes.

Breakfast was at Black Bear, where I ate my favorite: sweet cream pancakes, covered in butter and tons of syrup.

Sitting at the table behind Tim, I saw a woman in a full-on, I-ain't-ashamed 80s mullet. Kinda unusual. Even had the sky-high bangs.

Anyway, after breakfast I planned to go home and take a sugar-induced nap, but Tim wouldn't go for it. It was off to Target (he should have dropped me at home; he woulda gotten outta Target for a whole lot cheaper)! Oh well.

We found some awesome Christmas decorations, including some interesting, not-at-all-tempting-to-buy ones. Like the above ornament, a Taylor Swift guitar. Ooh. Tempting.

My six-year-old niece wants a Furby for Christmas, and so I checked it out. Do you have any idea how much those things COST!!! I do...

Insanity. Looks like she'll have to suffer another Christmas of much-needed clothes. Oh well. Poor kid.

And then I saw this:

A Tim Gunn Barbie. Wow. Just... wow.

Kinda tempted to get this look-at-me heavily sequined mini skirt for some future Halloween costume. Unfortunately, I'm cheap. That was a 'no.'

We made it out of there with a few more things checked off of our Christmas lists, and a few more bucks out of our bank account.

Maybe we shouldn't have spent so much, but we got things that might buy some loved ones some happier-ness. And us. We have stockings. In a home that's all our own.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sleep, how do I love thee?

I'm completely addicted to Pinterest. I found something this week, one of those funny ecards that had my name written all over it. It showed a cartoon man sleeping on the couch, and thinking, "I'm ready to take those naps that I didn't take as a kid" (or something like that).

The pleasure of sleeping soundly through the night in your own bed is a luxury that I have not been afforded very much this past month. Last night, like the night we returned from Hawaii, was wonderful, this time it was thanks to my generic jar of vaporub. I slept on the couch Monday and Tuesday nights because I couldn't breathe for how much I was coughing. I'm ready to become a vaporub spokesperson now.

Sleeping, and breathing while you're sleeping are very cool things indeed. I'm hooked for life.

Last night (or was it the night before last? No matter...), Tim brought these amazing cookies home for dessert. Almond Joy cookies. Almonds. Coconut. Chocolate. What's not to love?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


It was a normal day. Nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary day-in day-out routine. Get up, go to work, come home, dinner with TV, then bed.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Yesterday, I made the call: we would watch "Young Adult" because Blockbuster might want me to return it eventually, if not immediately. Ten, twenty minutes in, and we gave up. We lacked the... umm... Interest.

Boring. As. Hell.

So tonight, as penance for my obviously horrific error in judgment, Tim picked. And opted to go off the board, suggesting neglecting the TV in favor of staring lovingly into each other's eyes, whispering sweet little nothings and enjoying the sights and sounds of our Christmas-y home.

And it was lovely.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday, Monday...

There is something about getting behind the wheel of a car and driving. Freeways, surface streets, parking lots. It brings out the worst in people. The idea is to stay to the right unless you're trying to pass someone, but on my commute, that isn't what happens.

Drivers stay to the left as long as possible until they need to exit. 75 or 80 in the left lane, then slam on your brakes, kickin' it down to 60 (in a 70mph zone) in the right lane. That's just how it goes around here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Breathing is where it's at

I was all set. In my head, all systems were 'go' for my grand return to running this week. Alas, it was not meant to be. And truthfully, I'm starting to get a little nervous about the Jingle Bell 5k I have scheduled for less than two weeks from today.

I can barely stop coughing, and it's sometimes hard to breathe at all, so I have had some hard-core bonding time with my trusty inhaler and water bottle.

Today we had tons of fun decorating the house while listening to Christmas music and munching and sipping holiday deliciousness. Oh yeah, and burning candles. And occasionally, just once in a while, breathing. Tons of fun, that breathing.

We have two trees in our house now, and I love them both. Equally. But for different reasons. They're so unique in their own ways.