Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekend wrap-up

It's been a while, so I wanted to play catch-up a little bit. This weekend I ordered an "us and only us" couple of days, and that's what I got, almost exclusively.

You know, it's never ONLY us, because we have dogs, but they mostly entertain themselves.

However, this weekend we had a doggy friend over for an extended visit (about four full days), and she was a big dummy. She kept peeing on the carpet, acting dominant and clawing at the doors after we locked her out. Then she dug a hole. Ugh. With that, we locked her in the garage. Done.

The 29th would have been my little brother's 29th birthday, so my thoughts wandered to him on Friday. Remembering fun times, his life, his death... My parents are finally getting him a headstone, they say. They want to put pictures on there, but I completely disagree; I think it narrows thinking to one or two specific ages.

Yesterday morning, we went to Rocky Hill together; we walked up and then ran back down. I wasn't sure what Tim would think, but he liked it!

He liked it!
He liked it!
Hey, Mikey -
He liked it!

We'll be back soon.

A view from the top. Next weekend, I hope we can go the full distance of Rocky Hill Drive. Stay tuned.

This morning, in an effort to get more minutes under our belts (doctor's orders is 150 per week), we walked around the neighborhood at a brisk pace for nearly an hour. Plus, we talked the whole time, which was very cool.

The rest of the day was filled with video games, TV, movies, cooking, prepping, and friends.

And tomorrow, Monday, marks five more days until we get to do it all over again!


Do you ever have "just us" days? Do you have days without technology?

Tell me about the dumbest dog you've ever seen or heard of.

What's the cool place in your neighborhood where everyone runs?

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


My neck hurts.
My feet hurt.
I'm bored.
I miss my sweetie.
My neck hurts. (I know I said it twice, but it really really hurts. A lot. I'm literally physically unable to turn my head to the left...which makes driving in reverse a mite more difficult.)

I have plenty to complain about, but you know what? I'm counting my lucky stars today.
My 27-year-old, eight-weeks pregnant cousin's funeral was last week.

An up-and-coming chiropractor friend from high school found out she has cancer in her tongue.

I have a job.
I have my Love.
We live comfortably.
No major medical conditions.

Today, I'm just thankful. For everything that is, was, and will be. I'm thankful I got 27 years with my little brother, and that I have so many fun memories with him. I'm thankful that I'm not one of those people that married the wrong person and is going through a divorce. I'm thankful for my job. My family and friends. My abilities and challenges. The weather, and the fact that I don't have to drive in snow.

What are some things you're thankful for today?

Monday, March 25, 2013

I never win anything. Except I won the jackpot with this guy!

You know "the seven year itch" (the idea, not the movie)? Well, I ain't got it. Tim and I have been married for almost seven years now, and it was so thrilling just to meet for lunch this afternoon at his office.

Note: the picture above was NOT taken in his office.

I'm pretty much head-over-heels crazy about that guy. I don't know how I got sooooo lucky to meet him in 8th grade. Who does that?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The accused

We were accused of acting like newlyweds tonight.

Then, forced to calculate that we have been together a total of (approximately) 13 1/2 years.

Guilty, as charged.

What would you do with an extra hour and a half?

For the past two weeks (since I started my new job), I've had an extra 90 minutes every morning. I had big plans for that time:

I was going to run. Lift weights. Calisthenics. Stretch. Yoga. Pilates. Get fit. Lose weight. I was going to clean, so we wouldn't have to do it on the weekends. So we could spend weekend time together. Unfettered.

Would you like to know what I've ACTUALLY done with that time? Nothin'. I've slept. I hit the snooze button. I've eaten and drunk my breakfast. I'm still trying to figure out why.

What would you want to do, and what would you ACTUALLY do with an extra hour and a half every morning?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

32: not so bad after all

I turned 32 yesterday.

I was 16, sixteen years ago.
I met my husband just before I turned 14.
I have teenaged nieces and nephews.
I've lived in California for 18 years, which is more than double the time I lived in Saudi.
My eyes are constantly puffy.
I have smile wrinkles and laugh lines.

Dang it I feel old. Which is probably the reason I was kinda down yesterday. Still, because I'm married to my best friend, the man I rely on (maybe too much) for love, care, affection, friendship, fun, and food, it was a good day, and an even better evening.

He woke me up with jewelry. I know that can be a big deal to some women, but I'm no gold digger; I like my guy because of who he is, and not because of what he gives me. (NOTE: I know that not all jewelry-crazy women are like that, just the majority of the ones I know, are.)

I had a long work day (even though my work schedule changed from four ten-hour days last week, to four eight-hour days for at least the next six months), headed straight home and got into bed, hoping to pass out quickly and easily.

Tim doesn't usually get home until after 6:00 at the earliest, so when I heard the garage door at. 5:15, it threw me off a little. I thought, "oh cool, we'll have a chill night at home!"

That wasn't the plan, though. He made me get in the car, and we drove to...where? It took me a while to figure it out, but I got it: Monet's in Exeter! He parked, and guess who was there?

Cory!! Our very good friend that we love! It was all falling into place now. Having Cory meet us there...planned. Yippee!! I like good people; Cory is great people!

We walked in and Tim told the guy we had a reservation, and he showed us to our table, set up for a group of five. Five? the...? No idea. I was pretty clueless. After a few minutes, in walked Dayna and Jen (mother/daughter friends that Tim and Cory work with, and we all love)! Very good surprise, once again!

The night was amazing, and dinner was beyond my imagination! Great food, great service. It was a really amazing way to celebrate my 32nd birthday. I was very pleased. And tired.

So when we got home and I started for the bedroom, I think Tim was at a loss as to why I would forget about presents. I always remind him I don't need anything (which is true MOST of the time, but there was something I'd been dying without for the past few months: a watch). There were two presents on the dining table, one HUGE, one relatively small. True to form, both were just what I never knew I always wanted.

I love it when Tim gets creative, as he did for one of the gifts, which turned out really great! And of course, he picked up on my not-so-subtle hints that I really needed a watch and boy oh boy did he come through!! I love my new fancy watch!

What an awesome day. And what a great guy. I think I'll keep him around...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Biscuit-eatin' bulldogs

Today was a good and bad day. Did I do the right thing by chosing to accept this lower-paying position? Money isn't everything, but it's something... I know I'll feel a lot better when I can do real work on my own and be independent, but so far, I kinda feel useless. And like I'm bothering the person I shadowed all day today.

And adding to the pity party, tomorrow is my birthday. I would really love to be able to do something useful tomorrow. Whether it's a work thing or a personal thing, that doesn't matter. I just want to have a decent birthday.

I hate birthdays. I hate the expectation and the focus. All me. Watch me do this. Watch me do that. It's my own private hell.

Monday, March 11, 2013


My mil has a knack for buying things that make everyone laugh so hard they can't breathe. There was the year of the strange slippers (matching, but different colors for my three nieces. Then there was the year she put glow sticks in everyone's stockings (or at least wanted to; I was in favor of the idea, since she already had them). I should note: none of these gifts were meant to be funny.

Neither was this.

Poo-pourri. You spray the water in the toilet before you go potty, so your crap doesn't stink. Seriously? I don't think I'll work up the nerve to try this in my own home, let alone in public. There's even a handy purse-size one you can with you wherever you go!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

I've felt so free all weekend! It's been so great! I had to take advantage of that feeling - knowing that no angry customers await my return calls come Monday morning.'s nice, truly.

Friday was amazing, kicking off the movie marathon with Oz the Great and Powerful

I'm really NOT a fan of the jerk that played Oz... what's his name... James Franco? I'm convinced he does horrible things and is probably a meanie in real life. Maybe that's just me.

You know what? It's probably the mustache. Fear the mustache. Fear of mustaches. What is that? Is that a thing? I couldn't find it on a quick Google search, but I'm sure someone somewhere is trying to get it defined as a mental disability.

I really liked Michelle Williams, even though I'm not exactly her biggest fan either. For having a bunch of people that I don't like, this movie was really amazing. I liked that it wasn't a remake of "The Wizard of Oz;" it's the story of Oz the Great and Powerful. Really creative. But also some hints at "The Wizard of Oz" as well as "Wicked."

All of the witches (not to mention the monkeys and china doll) were really remarkable! I loved all of the details; I think they really made the movie. Without them, it would lack that sparkle and shine.

Go see "Oz the Great and Powerful." Worth every minute. Oh, you can skip the 3D. We saw it in 3D, and I can only imagine in 2D, but my guess is, it's not worth the extra money. Whatever. Yup each his own.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Shamrockin' goals

Knock knock...
Who's there?
Abe who?

I haven't been quite as diligent about training for this race as I have for past races, so my goals might be a little underwhelming. With that said, my goals are:
A) Finish in about 2:30.
B) Finish feeling at least decent.
C) Finish, still having the ability to walk.
D) Finish. Please, please: I don't want to DNF.

After this one, my next race is in mid-April, a n Alzheimer's 5K very close to home. Yay for sleeping in my own bed! Mid-May is my next half, also close to home. I could get used to this!

I was supposed to run with a friend on the neighborhood (paved) "trails" yesterday, but we had to raincheck it for the next Friday it wasn't raining buckets. Then I was supposed to run Rocky Hill today with another friend, but it's still really overcast, so I think I'll stay close to home.

What are your workout plans this weekend?

Friday, March 8, 2013


Five things Friday? I can do that.

Here, in no particular order (thank you, Bob Saget, on AFHV), are the five things I might miss about my old job:

Hangin', walkin' and talkin' with this chick.

Knowing that I'm always being watched. I won't miss that. I will miss some of the people. And customers.

The stupid things people say, such as:
"mute" point
Johanna Scarletson

My position was commonly referred to as "enforcer." The fact that it was actually just another name for "debt collector" was lost on most.

I always knew who to talk to about races, paces, mud, color, foam, and running in general.

There are also things that I most definitely will NOT miss about that job. Here are five of those things:

Rude customers, co-workers, supervisors, supervisors' supervisors, and supervisors' supervisors' supervisors. Not to say that all of them were rude, but that I won't miss the rude (and flat-out mean) ones!

Being farted at.

Listening to co-workers complaints about supervisors and management. Even when I agree, it's just more negativity that brings me down.

Becoming more and more paranoid. About everything.

The green mile. Walking up and down that stretch of green carpet really got old, really quick.

I'm excited to start the new job. All the possibilities. Opportunities for growth. New people, challenges, experiences and perspectives. A fresh start.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

An awesome run and 20 hours to go

I had the most magical run last night!

It was 4.08 miles of pure bliss, and I truly loved every minute of it! It made me feel strong and powerful and like maybe I can pull this half marathon off next weekend!

This morning, to reward myself (and use my card for the first time so I can get a free drink on my birthday next week), I went to Starbucks. You know the typical Starbucks workers, bustling and busy and crazy with energy? These ain't them. This location is filled with tired, lackluster, bored employees. Today when I walked in, there were THREE employees just standing around, one of which apparently was on break. So nice of her to just lounge around the shop.

I have precisely twenty hours left at this job, and I'm so excited...even if I still have an insane amount of crap still to be done. Twenty. Hours. I can do this.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A day off

It was a really good thing I didn't run today; I think I would have hurt myself. Even when we went to the store tonight, and Tim sped up his pace to cross the road, my shins weren't feelin' it.

But I'm kinda determined to give it a go in the morning. Fresh. On relaxed, chilled-out legs. On feet that have soaked for a little while (mid-afternoon today).

Wish me luck: I'm shooting for three to five miles!

How far are you planning to run tomorrow?

How to make people paranoid and seek psychiatric care

Tomorrow is my last Monday at my current job. I've worked my way up from lowest of the low clerical to semi-skilled data entry/customer service lackey. I was hired pretty fresh out of college, and I've learned a lot at this department.

I've learned when to shut up, and when to speak up. Who to confide in, and who to avoid being associated with. What kinds of things can get you in trouble, and who can get away with them regardless of any rules in place.

Most of all, I think I've learned to be paranoid. When to look over my shoulder. How to look like I'm busy. How to hide the fact that I sometimes use utensils or plates at my desk. I've learned how to look at someone as if you actually couldn't believe they're watching you. Listening to your conversations. Counting how many times you get water or go to the bathroom in a day.

Let me be clear: I do not now, nor have I ever worked for the FBI, the CIA, or the NSA. But still, I feel like that sometimes. A lot of times, really. My name is not Robert Hanson, and I have never sold any government secrets to Russians.

While I am very much looking forward to my career there being finished, I really harbor no ill will. I just wish things could have been different. Strike that. Things could have been different; they just weren't. I wasn't happy there; from what I've heard, not many employees there are happy.

So instead of dwelling on the negative things and the reasons I'm leaving, I'm focusing on my next chapter: positivity, and not letting anyone convince me that I'll hate my new job (which, by the way, I start exactly two days before my birthday). It's gonna be rainbows and sprinkles.

Oh yeah, and I'll have a 3.7 mile commute from my front door. I'm going to have tons more time to run in the mornings!! I'm so excited!

So, what were you least/favorite jobs?
Any horror stories?
Bad bosses and/or co-workers?
Stupid policies?
Tell me!!

On my way, with just a couple of little road blocks

Yesterday, Rocky Hill really kicked my booty! I loved running downhill, but I was careful. I didn't want to kill my legs and butt too much, but when I woke up this morning, yikes!!

It was a good run, at least. A productive run. A five-plus-miler (even though my friend's GPS said four)!

I told myself that I could skip the twelve and go for eight today (for a total of twelve), but since it's really five that I ran yesterday, I could go for six and a half or seven! And tomorrow: none. Zero miles on Monday morning. Cool, dude. Very cool.

Oh, there's just this one little thing standing between me and utter annihilation of those last seven-or-so miles... my shins barely allow me to walk. Or get up from the couch, bed, or chair. Oops, one more little thing: my feet are killing me! So, I've adjusted my plan of attack. Tonight: a nice long walk with my Love. Tomorrow: run at least five (but shooting for six and a half; we'll see) miles. Whether that happens in the AM or PM remains to be determined.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I did Rocky Hill!!

I ran yesterday and today. Not that that's a big deal to much of the running world, but to me, it was a very good thing.

On Friday, I ran a few (around three) miles around my neighborhood; today, I ran Rocky Hill (cue "Eye of the Tiger").

"Rocky Hill," in this area, is generally the ONLY place to go for a hill of any kind; and the only time I've run it (well, this route, anyway) was last summer toward the end of the "Hell of a Half Marathon." That time, I ran this section downhill; this time, I ran up and down. Down was a lot more fun this time around. Go figure.

I even stopped to take pictures.

Well, I SLOWED to take pictures.

I can't believe how easy the downhill seemed. Because I went with a friend, I didn't know how far she wanted to go, or how much time she wanted to spend, I stopped at the top and stopped my RunBot, so the screenshot above is AFTER I restarted. I can't believe I averaged 8:45 or so on the downhill!! I haven't run that fast in a long time. (I'm very, very slow).)

Cute cows, right? Moo! I had to shout "moo" as I ran past them, because I'm a dork like that.