Interstellar Adventure
Adventure: the pursuit of life — Daniel Roy Wiarda

The Meetin'

Monday, October 31, 2005

"10:30 am. IHOP." "OK, I'll see you there then." "Right. I recommend a good, stiff shot of whiskey before hand." "If not before, then after." The day started with breakfast at IHOP. The kids and I arrived first, and I've never wanted to be sick so bad. We put our name on the list, then went back outside where there was more room. No sooner had we planted ourselves right next to the door than Nick drove up and got rock-star-parking right next to our car, and directly in front of the door. Elle buried her face in my stomach and Zed hid behind me. They both gave him a bit of a cursory glance and sized him up while deciding whether or not to bestow the gift of their friendship upon him. "Well, here they are." I said as my kids glued themselves to me. "Hi. How you guys doing?" Nick said. The crickets chirped. Fun times at IHOP. Finally, after a few tense moments, both kids decided he was worthy and set about assailing him with questions and conversation. We moved inside because it was a bit chilly. So far so good. Ahhh, but I spoke too soon. Zed then had to tell the story about how he had puked at this very IHOP. He was sick, we stopped for breakfast, he drank some juice and then he puked it all up back on me. Lovely. Fortunately the wait-list moved fast and we got a table. Elle had already called dibs on sitting next to Nick. Fine. Everyone decided what they wanted and we ordered. Then the hellions came out. General brattiness really. Couldn't sit still, broke the crayons, whined about it, fought about something. Kids just being kids. But as nervous as I was, it was excruciating. We then drove over to the train station, bought our tickets and didn't have to wait too long before another train came along. I had a bit of a private convo with each of the kids, threatening their very existence if they didn't shape up reminding them of how important it was to mind their manners. On the train, Elle again staked claim next to Nick. Zed was fine with that, he wanted to sit by himself anyway. I kept up with the candy buckets and costumes. Within 5 minutes, Elle was claiming Nick for her own. How can I compete with cuteness like that? The Zoo was fun. The Dallas Zoo has never been my favorite, but they have made some improvements over the last couple of years. We all had a great time at the zoo. Elle of course got lots of rides on Nick's shoulders. We saw all the animals we wanted to see. Most of them anyway. We missed 'The Wilds of Africa' where the big gorillas were. But, it was late, we were tired, and the zoo was closing. Back to the train. It was a little crowded, and Nick got a little uncomfortable around all the people. But, he ended up being OK. People got off pretty quickly and the crowd thinned out a lot. By the end of it, we were the last people in our car. You'd think after such a wonderful day I'd let the poor guy off the hook. I mean, he did great! But no. Actually, it just kind of worked out this way, and it wasn't in my initial plans. By the time we left the zoo and got back to the train station, we were all starving. My kids were going to spend the night with my grandparents and the timing just dictated that we would need to meet them for dinner. I checked with Nick to see if he was going to be cool with meeting my grandparents. "Sure.". I wasn't quite sure if that was a good "Sure" or a bad "Sure" but I didn't ask twice. So, he met my grandparents too. That also went very well. After talking to my mom yesterday, I think my grandma actually might have a bit of a crush on Nick too. Yes. He's that charming. Things went so well that he even joined me and my kids last night for dinner. The NaNoWriMo kick-off party was last night and since Nick's a writer too, I thought he might like to go. I'm so glad he did. The room was filled with strange people, and had he not been there, I might have turned around and walked right back out the door. My kids behaved wonderfully too, and were rewarded with ice cream at Braum's afterwards. I'm so relieved and so glad that the weekend went off without a hitch! I feel so good about it!

Halloween Weekend

Friday, October 28, 2005

Sadly, I think out of all the holidays, Halloween is my least favorite. Probably due to the anxiety of me having to come up with a costume. Once I got dressed up, I was fine. But the dread of "what to wear" was horrible. I used to still dress up when I worked at a place that had a costume contest every year. Out of the four and a half years that I worked there, I had good costumes twice. I won second place the year I dressed up as Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter and actually wrestled a (plastic) alligator. My last Halloween there I won first place for dressing up as Anna Nicole Smith. Complete with Sugar Pie, my Bobby Trendy pillow, a hideous blonde wig, blue eyeshadow and red lipstick, I slurred and flirted my way around the room, cooing at some of the VPs, and won myself four suite tickets to a hockey game at the American Airlines Center. I hate it that Halloween is one of those 'date' holidays rather than a 'the last Saturday of the month' holidays. I mean, a Monday night? That's a school night! We typically don't do the door-to-door trick-or-treating anymore anyway though. We've done carnivals or festivals or whatever people want to call them the last four years. It's actually more convenient and more fun and a whole lot safer. Today, Elle and Zed have a 'Fall Festival' at their after-school program. Tomorrow we'll go to Boo at the Zoo. Breakfast, then a train ride down to the zoo. It should be a great afternoon. The most exciting part though is that Nick is coming along. After four months of dating, and talking to my kids about him for the last month, we're all ready for them to meet. Zed and Elle are both very excited. Nick is really looking forward to it too. I'm nervous as hell of course. Zed is dressing up as Harry Potter. For probably the third or fourth time. I think maybe he took a break and was 'just' a wizard one year. Elle is going as the Pink Power Ranger. Why? We don't watch the Power Rangers! I don't even know the name of the Pink Power Ranger! Needless to say, their dad bought them their costumes. Happy Spooking!
Update: I got a call from my STBX this afternoon. Next Friday is our court date. In less than one week I will be D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D! You know what's sad though? That they even have a CD like this. Next Friday: Party in Dallas...who's buying my first round? ;)

Thursday Thirteen, V

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thirteen things on my mind today:
Update: I'm adding an additional item that has just come to my attention. .5) ExxonMobile profitted $9.9B (that's BILLION) dollars this QUARTER. That's a US Corporate record. And yet I'm excited that I saw gas for $2.36 last night. And we continue to watch the rape of the Average American Pocketbook. My kids didn't need those new shoes anyway...
1) Nick is coming to lunch with me today. Here at Fort Knox, I mean. Hopefully he won't be too put off by the body cavity search required to gain entry to this place. 2) I signed my divorce papers yesterday and gave them to the STBX when he picked up the kids last night. I should be divorced before my birthday. 3) The 10-day forecast for my area shows temps in the high 60's to mid 70's through November 5. I'm running a half-marathon on November 6. I would prefer it if it were cooler than that. 4) Legs are feeling great! Going to go for a run with my kids tonight. 5) Zed supposedly had some project due today at school that he 'forgot about'. He gathered up some stuff last minute last night on the way to his dads. I hope they got it done. 6) Elle only has two more soccer games left this season. I'm going to have to look for soccer camps for her. 7) Zed will play basketball again. His team from the last two seasons isn't going to make this winter. So, he'll be on a new team. I hope he's not too bummed about that. 8) NaNoWriMo starts on Tuesday. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this. On Sunday I'm going to a kick-off dinner. It should be interesting to see other people that are doing this. 9) I'm going to Kansas City in a month. Nick and I are going on our first trip together. At Thanksgiving, they light up the Country Club Plaza. So, it'll be a nice little romantic get-a-way weekend. 10) I'm mad that the White Sox swept the World Series. I really wanted the Astros to win. Oh well, there's always next season. 11) I'm 6-0-1 in my fantasy football league. I'm also favored in my matchup this week. 12) I'm not doing as well in my Pick 'Em league. I'm in 6th place (out of 27). 1 point out of a 3-way tie for 3rd, and 4 points out of a two-way tie for first. 13) I've got to start these Thursday Thirteen things ahead of time! I takes me forever to think up thirteen things!
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Phoenix 2. MommaK @ Petroville 3. Jenny 4. Leanne 5. Better Safe Than Sorry 6. Colleen 7. Sleeping Mommy 8. Terrilynn 9. DeeJay 10 . Maggie 11. Texas Ivy 12. MommyD 13. Mrs. Fun 14. Tommi 15. UziCue 16. Trinity 17. Catherine 18. Jen 19. Keb 20. Leave your link in my comments and I'll link you here! Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! Leanne says: Thirteen things is all I ask for, and what do you get in return? Linkage! If you do it, leave a comment here and link me to your Thursday Thirteen. I will be sure to update my entry with links to yours, and then you can continue the chain if you like! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Local Weather

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

In Dallas at the moment, it's sunny and 45 degrees. Feels like it's 41 supposedly. I love this cooler weather! Unfortunately it's also supposed to get up to 73 today. Um, hello, it's OCTOBER! Almost November! It's not supposed to be 73 at this time of year! OK. Maybe in Texas it is. Dammit. Anyone have a spare room where it doesn't get above 50? My legs are feeling much better today. I mean, I took my ice bath and all after the race, even though we were at the hotel. Fortunately the ice machine was directly across from our room! So, I grabbed the ice bucket and the plastic bags from our water shopping trips to Walgreens and filled them up. The lady walking down the hall did give me a funny look when she saw the three bags filled with ice. I just smiled at her and said Hi, then carted them back to the room. It was probably the coldest ice bath I've had yet. It was painful for the first five minutes. Then just a matter of waiting it out. Then, when I took my shower, my toes burned as I got feeling back to them. I'm such a masochist! But I could walk. Yesterday my quads were a bit sore, and today it's just my left calf. Almost ready to run again! I fought with ImageShack last night and this morning. My pics are all zipped up and ready to be uploaded, but the stupid site doesn't want to respond. I was going to treat you all with a photo-tour of San Francisco and surrounds, but it wasn't meant to be for today. I promise I'll keep trying.

I have my reasons

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And now I can call myself a marathon runner. I haven't listened to my audio posts yet. I'm afraid actually. I can't remember what I said. I think it will bring back a lot of the emotion. There were tears (of joy!) at the finish. All I have to say is, You gotta try this! It's like no feeling in the world. All those months of training, and I was afraid it was going to be anticlimatic. But it wasn't. The energy at the start was amazing. I talked with a couple of girls doing the half. One was from Canada and the other from California. They were both super nice. I didn't see the Cali girl after the start, but I saw Canada here and there. I passed her after the first water stop and didn't see her again. We ran along the Embarcadero and encountered our first big hill. I got about 3/4 of the way up and decided, OK, if I'm going to finish this race, I shouldn't be running up these hills. I mean, dang! There's nothing like that in Dallas to train on. Anywhere. Later I told Judy that we need to find a bigger hill to train on, because the one that we run just ain't gonna cut it for races like that. I passed the 10K mat at about 1:12, and I felt good. I had my names all pinned to my shirt, so I knew who was with me at each mile. Judy called me when I was on mile 8 somewhere and asked how I liked the hills. I told her I didn't. She said they didn't get any better, and aske me if I wanted her to come run with me. She waited for me at mile 9 and we picked up our pace on a long downhill. Had to make up for those uphills! It seems like the race just kind of flew by. We ran into Golden Gate park and finally passed the Half Way point. I was feeling pretty giddy, and I was thinking about anything but running. Once we got outside of Golden Gate park, we could see people on their last miles. When I reviewed the map before the race, I knew that I was going to see people heading towards the finish while I still had miles to go. But, I didn't let it get to me. My least favorite part of the race was miles 19-23. Not because of pain. I mean, there was that. But this was a big loop around Lake Merced, and it was just ugly. There was nothing to look at. There were cars right next to the race lane, and there weren't nearly enough porta-potties for the racers. The Godiva Chocolate was the best part of that section, and my camera batteries died, so I couldn't get any pictures of us by the mountains of chocolate! Back onto the final stretch and running alongside the Pacific Ocean I felt elated. I had done it! I had run the course and I was going to finish the race. One foot in front of the other. I thought about how far I had come, and I just kept repeating to myself 'Never give up. Never quit.' My legs weren't cramping and I while I had some discomfort in my hips, it wasn't as bad as some of my training runs. The part that hurt the most though was my feet. Starting about mile 17 my feet started to pound. I could feel them pulsating in my shoes and I felt every step and every rock in the road. I just wanted to get off my feet! We had been employing a 5/1 and then later a 5/2 run/walk strategy to get me through. But at mile 25, I said, this is it. No more stopping. I was going to run that entire last 1.2. So I put my head down and pushed it through. Judy gave me confidence by letting me know that when I was running, I was still running my goal pace. Then, when the finish line mat was in sight, I sprinted, well, what felt like a sprint after 26 miles, over the finish, arms raised in victory! Finishing chip time was 5:34:51. The overall winner's time was 2:59:32. There were 4,690 total finishers, and I was 2,833. I am definitely running White Rock on December 11. I know that for sure! That will be just another 'finish' goal, faster though than I did this one. After that, I'm going to take a break. Cut back on the miles. Work on getting in better shape and increasing my speed. And now I know that whatever the challenge, how big or how small, I can do it. And you know what? Anyone can. Including YOU.
marathon miles

To Do List

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Run Marathon — Done

Finish Line

this is an audio post - click to play

Last 10K

this is an audio post - click to play

Half Way

this is an audio post - click to play

Starting LIne

this is an audio post - click to play

Packet Pick-Up

Saturday, October 22, 2005

San Francisco was foggy this morning. The low clouds hung tight around the taller buildings. Since my body clock is two hours ahead, I woke up shortly after 5:30 this morning. Looking outside I could see dim glimmers of light through the fog. Judy and I got up, showered, dressed and went and had breakfast at the Pinecrest Diner. Supposedly the "Best Breakfast in San Francisco". Haven't tried breakfast anywhere else, so I'll have to take their word for it. We walked down just a couple of blocks to the Expotique area. First thing was packet-pickup and chip verification. Gotta make sure a) the chip works and b) it has your name associated with it! Got my race number too, so now I'm ready to go. We went through the little 'spa' area of the Expo and picked up a couple of freebie things. Then we stood in line for a brief massage. Long line, but the massage felt so good. We walked over to Niketown. It was a zoo. What do you get when you put together a race for 15,000 women? Shopping mania! There were lines for checkout, lines for jersey personalization, lines for waiting for more sizes that they had run out of. I mean, who's an extra small anyway! Oh, Judy's 13 year old daughter. Harumph. Finally, we walked over to Macy's to pick up a cool shirt.

Travel Day

Friday, October 21, 2005

Oh. My. Gosh. I can't believe today is here! Both of my kids are packed up. Tonight they'll spend the night with their grandfather (Zed) and great-aunt (Elle). Their dad will get them tomorrow afternoon, and they'll spend the rest of the weekend with him, Sunday night included. He was a bit peeved when he found out that I wasn't coming back till Monday. Tough shit I thought. *evil me* My bags are (mostly) packed. I have a list of everthing else that needs to be put in the suitcases. Well, one suitcase, one carry-on bag. My running stuff is going with me in the carry-on. At least I'll be able to run the race even if they lose my bags! I'm so emotional today! I've already started crying twice! Get a grip Lass! But I'm smiling too. My energy feels up! I'm ready to tackle this! Now I just have to get through the plane ride...ugh!

Thursday Thirteen, IV

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Thirteen things on my mind today: 1) Last night was my last run before The Big Day. Thirty minutes easy jog. It felt good. 2) I still have three loads of laundry to fold, plus another one to wash and fold. It never ends! 3) I should get the final draft of my divorce papers either today or tomorrow. If all the changes are in there and I sign them, I think I could be divorced within the next two weeks. Yay! 4) I felt like dressing up in a suit today. I look all business like and professional. he he 5) I'm starving! I need to go get a scone. Hopefully they have cranberry today. 6) I'm going to miss Elle's soccer game this weekend. :( But, it's the only one on the schedule that's at 8 am. I'm kinda glad I don't have to take her. Evil, I know. 7) I'm ready for hurricane season to be over! Wilma! I can't believe they've run out of names. You know they go to the Greek alphabet next? 8) I've been getting 'good-lucks' and 'have funs' and 'you'll do greats' all morning. There are just too damn many people to thank for getting me to this point! I have so many friends that have been so inspirational and supportive. Gosh ya'll, I might actually cry! *sniff, sniff* 9) I have officially signed up for the Rockledge Rumble 30K. That's just three weeks away! Yay! 10) After Sunday, I get to do two things I haven't been able to do since July! Ride my bike and run on dirt trails! Woo hoo! I can't believe I've actually been able to avoid those temptations. 11) Forgive me, but the only other thing on my mind is my marathon! 12) See, still thinking about it. Hey! Who wants a mile? 1 & 18 are taken, but there are 24 other miles to be had! Leave your name in my comments. First come, first serve! Special requests will be accomodated to the best of my ability! 13) I know you're all excited for Sunday to come and go so I can actually talk about something else! Shut up already! :D HA HA!
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. MommaK @ Petroville 2. Jessica 3. Leanne 4. Sea & Sky 5. Phoenix 6. Jak 7. Colleen 8. Jen 9. PractiGal 10. Better Safe Than Sorry 11. MommyD 12. Texas Ivy 13. Jenny 14. Leave your link in my comments and I'll link you here! Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! Leanne says: Thirteen things is all I ask for, and what do you get in return? Linkage! If you do it, leave a comment here and link me to your Thursday Thirteen. I will be sure to update my entry with links to yours, and then you can continue the chain if you like! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Last Minute

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm an admitted procrastinator. I'm really good about getting most things done right away, but sometimes there are just these projects that I will put off and put off. It's not something I'm proud of, but I seem to gain sudden inspiration at the last minute. In college, I turned out some really good papers at 3 am. My kids are just as bad as me. Neither one of them can seem to remember that they have a project due or a form for me to fill out until we are walking out the door to go to school. This morning, it was Elle. "Oh Mom. I've got something for you." She digs in her backpack. I walk back to my bedroom to get my sweater, and she follows me. I'm standing in my closet, buttoning my sweater, and she says "We need to find a picture of me as a baby or a toddler, and a picture of me from now, and then you need to fill out this paper. It's for a project we're doing today." I look at my watch. "Elle, you realize we don't have time for this today. School starts in fifteen minutes. We've got to go." "But Mom! It's for something we're doing today!" I apologize to her and say "I'm sorry, but you should have told me about this last night." I take the paper from her, we walk out to the kitchen, I place the paper on the table, grab her hand, and we walk out the door. The whole time, she's pouting and whining. I ignore her pouting and whining. Zed has done this before too. I blame part of my problem on my mom. She was a stay-at-home mom, and if I forgot something, I could go down to the office and call her, and she could bring it right up to school. I did this on more than one occasion. My kids don't have that luxury. I work, and even though I work close to home, I still don't have the time to run home, find what they need, and then take it to them. I'm hoping they will realize this. I try to help them be more organized, but I think I'm fighting a losing battle. My genetics are too strong in them. Is there gene therapy for this kind of thing? Are you a procrastinator? Has it ever really got you in trouble? What's your worst habit?

Running that race

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I'm excited, nervous, scared, giddy, proud and a whole bunch of other emotions all at the same time. Five more days till Race Day! Yeah. Emotional is definitely the word. I've said before that I'm not a natural runner. It was probably my least favorite activity when I was growing up. I dreaded the burn you feel in your lungs and legs. It was too much effort, it hurt, and it made you sweaty. No thanks. Give me a pool, my fins, goggles and a racing suit, and I was happy as a clam. I had my first "I need to run or I'm going to burst" thought on March 14 of this year. The day my STBX moved out. After that, running became relaxing. It was 'me' time. I felt good, de-stressed, calm and happy after I would finish a run. And, if I'm going to run, I might as well have a goal in mind, right? My good friend and the only person quite possibly slightly crazier than me, Judy, said 'Let's do this'. And, without thinking skipping a beat, I said 'OK!'. So, Friday we fly off to San Francisco. I've watched many marathons and Ironmans from the safety of my couch. I can't explain the emotion I would feel, thinking to myself 'One day!'. A time or two I actually shed a tear, wishing that it were me that could do something so totally amazing. But then 'reality' would set in, with school, work, kids, family, etc. and then life would take over and the thought of taking the time to do something for me would fly out the window. Fast forward a few years, through the days of almost-pack-a-day smoking, over-eating, depression, and a sham of a marriage to quitting smoking, starting to exercise, overcoming depression, recovering from a sham of a marriage and here I am. With a smile on my face and callouses on my feet. Standing at the threshold of something that I don't yet understand. I've been reading stories of other First Marathons, trying to prepare myself. But I know until I cross that starting line, I will have no idea what the day has in store for me. The sights that I'll see, the sounds that I'll hear, the other runners I will encounter, and the feat that I will accomplish. I'll be thinking of you all too. So many of you have been just as instrumental in getting me to this point as my running coaches. Your encouragement has been heartwarming. Your confidence in me has boosted my resolve. So many things will carry my heart and my feet over the finish line; my training, my determination, my inner strength, the side-line cheerleaders, thoughts of loved ones, and my many friends, both real-world and blog-world. I don't know how to thank you all, but it feels good to know that I have so many that care. Thank you!

Monday, it's like deja vu

Monday, October 17, 2005

I feel like I've been here before. Another Monday morning. *sigh* Elle's soccer game on Saturday was great! They won 3-0. Elle scored the first goal in the first quarter. It was an awesome kick from the corner. The goalie didn't even see it. She was 'rested' during the second quarter. In the third quarter she fell and scraped the side of her knee. There was a little blood, but she got right back up and kept playing. I was so proud. She almost had another goal in this quarter, but it went just to the outside of the right side of the goal. In the fourth quarter, she almost had another goal, and I could tell she was getting tired. She got caught in a bit of a traffic jam in going for the ball, and she fell and skidded across the grass on her elbow. This time she cried, poor baby. She came out of the game. I was very proud of her. She played a great game. I can tell she watches what's going on, goes for angles on the ball, and is formulating a strategy in her head. She's very intense when she plays. I wonder where she gets that? After the game, Elle, Zed and I went to breakfast with my mom. My mom had run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Saturday morning, then came to watch Lauren's soccer game. I had done the Komen four years in a row, and this was the second year I didn't do it. First of all, it's just gotten so huge in Dallas that you have to go two hours early just to get a parking spot. It's also so big that you really can't run at all in the first mile. My grandmother is a Survivor, going on five years now I think. My sister works for Target, and they were the major sponsor. She was volunteering. So, I'm proud of my mom and my sister for doing their part. I'm saving my pink Yoplait lids. Elle & Zed got picked up by their dad, and then I did a quick clean-up session on my house. Nick came over and we just ran around. I needed a new nose-piece for my glasses, and then we found a big antique mall. We wandered around there for awhile. Saw some pretty cool stuff. I bought a blue vase for $5. It will go with my kitchen. Well, once I get my kitchen painted. We just spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out, being quiet, and relaxing. It was great. Sunday morning's run was short and sweet. 1:30, 7.75 miles. Just two more runs before The Big Day. Then I went back home, showered, went to breakfast with Nick. We sat on the patio, read the paper, sipped coffee. It was a beautiful morning. Then we went and bought some fish. Our first 'joint purchase'. We got two Betta. One is blue and named Martin, and the other is red and named Lewis. It's also rather appropriate because I'm more left-leaning and Nick is more right-leaning, politically. They are, of course, in separate bins of the same tank. They puff up their gills and attack the plastic separator when they see each other. It's fun to watch them. We also got two African Dwarf frogs, Dean and Jerry, to keep Martin and Lewis company. This morning, Jerry was hanging out in the little plastic tree I planted in the rocks. I will take pictures of them tonight for you all. So now, my menagerie includes 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 fish & 2 frogs. And what was even worse? When we were at the pet store, I considered getting a couple of hamsters too. Maybe for Christmas... Then, during the afternoon yesterday, I went to a planning meeting for AT's annual Road Rally. I had wanted to participate, because I love that kind of thing, but no one was volunteering to plan the thing. So, I threw my hat in the ring, and me and three other ladies are going to put it all together. It will be a fund-raiser for Hurricane Katrina victims. I think we've got a great event planned out, all in three hours! For dinner last night, I treated myself again. I went to my favorite hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop-falafel-shop. The owners are Muslim, and the do a special buffet during Ramadan. They make traditional dishes that aren't on their regular menu. I ate too much, but there were so many choices, and it's all delicious. Last year they did it every night. This year they're only doing it on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'm upset that I didn't go check it out two weeks ago when Ramadan started. I'm going to be out of town this weekend, and Ramadan ends November 4. At least I'll be able to get in one more feast! Is that bad of me? To want the good food? I actually felt bad, because I went in on Friday for lunch. I saw the buffet line and remembered that it was Ramadan, and I felt bad for eating, knowing they were fasting.

Do ya like it?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Obviously I'm a fan of the clean, simple, well organized blog layout. Now, don't get me wrong, this is in no way a reflection of my actual life. It would be more probable for aliens to land in my backyard and give me a million dollars than it would be for me to have someone to show up at my front door unexpectedly and I not panic about whether or not the bathroom is clean or the laundry is put away. What did my kids leave out on the kitchen counter when they were getting ready for school? That's not my bra drying on the table is it? So, the java navigation was kind of bugging me. I didn't like how the menus dropped down over each other, and they were pretty touchy. I also didn't like that you couldn't see my blogroll without clicking on one of the menus. And, I also really wanted a sidebar where I could add and remove stuff easily. That other template just didn't work for me! So, last night I found a site where I could generate a 'custom' template, because obviously I couldn't do this on my own. I made a few little tweaks, and I'm pretty happy with the result! Hopefully this will be a quiet weekend. Elle has a soccer game tomorrow. The weather should be perfect. The kids go to their dad's this weekend. I have my last Sunday run before the 'thon. Just two hours. ;) You know, kind of like a walk in the park before I go climb that mountain.

Thursday Thirteen, III

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thirteen things on my mind today: 1) First of all, thank you to eveyone who came by my little blog yesterday, via Michele! Thank you so much Michele! I was so surprised and honored to be the site of the day. *blushing* I will be making a visit to each and every one of you, but it may take a little time. 2) No Mas Yasso-my-assos! Today was my last Yasso workout! Well, at least for this marathon. I so almost didn't get out of bed this morning. I was sleeping so well and so comfy. But, I dragged myself from between the sheets. And then, on the way to the track, I was feeling so sleepy and lazy I told myself that I was just going to run 4 miles easy then go home. But of course, I didn't. I ran a 1 mile warm-up, then did my 8-800's. My target was 5:00 for each of them. My first was a 4:38. A little too fast. The rest were between 4:50 and 5:00, and my last one was a 4:48. I was well proud of myself! Now my legs feel like jello though. Just nine more days! 3) Isn't it sad when I pay $2.76 for a gallon of gas and feel like I got a deal? I mean, what is up with that? 4) Last night I got up the nerve to write a 'writers bio' and send off some short fiction to a publication for consideration. I have no idea how long it will take for me to hear back, so cross fingers! I actually had to write about myself in the third person. Reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine dated the guy Jimmy that talked about himself in the third person. Creepy! 5) I had fried chicken, KFC fried chicken, last night for the first time in at least a year. It was so DAMN GOOD! 6) I forgot to do my Thursday Thirteen until I went to MommaK's blog. Oops. So I'm re-doing my post from today since I kinda sorta already started a 'list'. 7) I feel pretty today. Even thought I didn't do my hair. No time after all that running. Just dried the front and put the rest up in a clip. 8) I had an apple cinnamon scone for breakfast. It wasn't as good as the cranberry scones they have, but they were out of those. 9) I go tonight to re-do my BodPod measurements to see how much (if any) body fat percentage I've lost since August. We'll see how that goes. I'm not going to be too disappointed if it's not as much as I wanted, because a) I didn't do the weight training I wanted to do, and b) well, I'm not going to get down on myself over that. 10) Tonight is also the night for ER. I love me some Dr. Kovac! 11) Hey! Today is October 13! And it's a Thursday Thirteen! 12) I'm hungry for lunch already. I'm thinking about that fried chicken I had last night and how good it was. {chicken} *sigh* I'll have to see what's on the menu for the cafeteria today. 13) Just when my nails were looking good, I had to go and break one while I was opening the sliding door to the backyard. Never fails.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. MommaK @ Petroville 2. UziCue 3. Leanne 4. Jenny 5. Jak 6. Better Safe Than Sorry 7. Rus 8. MommyD 9. Jessica 10. Leave your link in my comments and I'll link you here! Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! Leanne says: Thirteen things is all I ask for, and what do you get in return? Linkage! If you do it, leave a comment here and link me to your Thursday Thirteen. I will be sure to update my entry with links to yours, and then you can continue the chain if you like! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

The Plot Thickens

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

So, during Elle's soccer practice yesterday, I sat in the car and brainstormed some novel ideas. I outlined my main character, decided what she looked like, smelled like, sounded like. Then I decided why she was in this book. What her purpose would be. I think I got a pretty good idea of what it's going to be about. It will definitely be an adventure of some sort. Travel, mystery, intrigue. I shared some of it with Nick last night over the phone. He said it was a good start. But, it's going to be so hard for me to do this! I had the hardest time sharing it with him, and I felt kinda dumb. I'm my own worst critic, so of course I'm already panning it in my head before I even get the idea out of my mouth. This will be a growing process indeed. I brought my notebook to work with me, and I'll be carrying it around everywhere I go, so anytime I get an idea, I can write it down. I'm going to have to find a way to fit in some of my favorite people too.

Mental(ly) Challenge(d)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

You may have wondered, you may have said it in fact. "This chick is crazy!" Well, I've been accused of it many times, and it's probably somewhat true. Over the last few months I have innundated myself with the physical challenges. I've watched my body turn itself from an out-of-shape mess into a sort-of-tuned machine that can slowly churn out miles. It's not so easy to "pinch-an-inch" anymore. This traning has been a mental challenge as well. Believing that I can do this, ignorning the part of my brain that screams at me "What the hell are you doing! Stop this crazy running thing!" "Nope." I tell myself. I feel good. This is worth it to me!. Changing how I look at myself and my capabilities has been a life-changing experience. There's been something else that I've been wanting to do ever since I can remember. "Oh jeez." you think. "What's she going to do now?" I'm going to give myself some more mental exercise. Yes, I'm going to make my first pass at writing a novel. I found this challenge on Raehan's blog. She was asking for company, and who am I to pass up something like this! Last night over dinner, Nick and I talked about the kind of character that I want to write about and the kind of story I'd like to create. I had already had something in mind from when my sis asked me what kind of novel I would write. I don't really know where to start, but I think maybe a brief outline and maybe a character sketch? This is going to be fun! I don't know how serious a story this will end up being. Maybe I'll have to refer to some of my blog-friends as characters. Uh-oh...he he he. If some of you get a questionnaire from me, don't be surprised!

23/5 Meme

Monday, October 10, 2005

I've seen this meme in a couple of different places. I had gone back and looked to see what mine would be if I were to be tagged. Once I figured it out, I hoped that I wouldn't be. I managed to luck out until Abby decided she would finally play along with a meme. Thanks girly! Really, I mean it. :) The Rules: 1. Go into your archive. 2. Find your 23rd post. 3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to). 4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. 5. Tag five other people to do the same. My 23rd post was Kid Free Weekend. I finally had a date with my husband. I so try not to be, but if I could have a Date with my husband every night of the week, I would be on top of the world! Or so I thought. This was shortly before my STBX left me and asked for a divorce. But you know what, that's OK. Because when I re-read this post, I see someone who genuinely wants to spend time with the person they love. Someone who is excited by the thought of being a couple. Someone who wants to enjoy new experiences with the significant other in their life. Someone who can appreciate the quiet times together. And you know what? He wasn't that person for me. He didn't enjoy taking me out. Silences between us were uncomfortable. I felt like I was constantly searching for something interesting to say to him. Holding hands? Being romantic? Nope, he'd have none of it. So, while this divorce process is tedious, I'm glad for it. I shouldn't be desperate for a date with the man I married. And when I got it, wow, you would've thought I won the lottery. Seems silly now. Hmmm. Who shall I tag? 1. Bone. 2. Coyote Mike. 3. Raehan. 4. Crys. 5. Vitamin Sea.

A Morning to Stay in Bed

Indeed. Cool weather, gentle showers, slight breeze. A day to stay in bed. Except for this thing called work. Damn the almighty dollar! I need to snuggle under a blanket and refresh my batteries. I was starting to write up a typical recap of my weekend. But then it sounded so dull. I don't think it was dull at all, but the way it read was ordinary and mundane. That's not my life is it? Why do we aspire to be so extraordinary? Is it our own egos wanting us to be better than we truly are? Why are we afraid of being like our neighbors? "Shades of grey" another blogger called it recently, if I recall correctly. How can we have a sense of "self" if everything is so cookie-cutter? And then, when we try to break out of the mold, we're made fun of, laughed at, questioned, made to feel as if we shouldn't be an individual. See, I told you I need to refresh my batteries.

Quiet Morning

Saturday, October 08, 2005

It seems to have been a while now since I've had a quiet morning. I'm sitting, sipping my coffee, browsing blogs, listening to the dishwasher do its duty. The dogs are curled up on the kitchen floor, having munched down on their rawhides. Doesn't take long for Wrigley to devour hers, and so of course Tori hurries her chew as well. Doesn't want it to be stolen. Occassionally I have to admonish Wrigley when I hear Tori defending her territory. Wrigley's still a puppy. I'm still teaching her to share. I've taken out the recycling and the garbage so far this morning. There's more to sort through of course. The "To Do" list never gets any shorter, does it? I took my knitting project down to the yarn store last night. This is the first project I've done where I actually switch the yarn colors. I didn't think I was doing it right because my edges looked a little loose around the area where the colors joined. My suspicions were right. I was doing it wrong. So I sat down at the communal knititng table and got in about 30 minutes of assistance before the shop closed down. The kids and I enjoyed a quick dinner at Chipotle. Then we talked a little bit about her. I asked if they liked her, if she was nice, if they were happy for their dad. They said they were. It hurt a little, but I think I hid it pretty well from them. Zed did make me laugh at one point though. "She's nice. But it's like she's almost too nice. You know, like a crazy person." Figures. It's not that I don't want them to like her, just not too much. It's my own insecurity playing me. I don't want her to be better than me. I know that no one could ever replace me in their eyes. But the thought of being compared makes me sad. I don't want anyone else kissing my kids on the head, hugging them, loving them in the way I do. Tucking them in at night and wishing them sweet dreams. The thought that one day they might want to share something with her and not me, that they would have a secret from me, just kills me. Petty jealousy I know. One of my many flaws. It's not a competition. But I can't help but feel that at times.

Friday Roundup

Friday, October 07, 2005

Well yee-haw! It's Friday ladies and gents! And the weather is wonderful! It's 51 degrees, cloudy, light showers and I want to go home, put on my jammies, snuggle under a blanket and knit! Summertime in Texas is just to damn hot to have yarn in your hands and feel any sort of ability to make a sweater! So, tonight I think I'm going to dust off my needles, bust out my unfinished projects and sort through my yarn stash. We'll see what I come up with! Per your request, here are photos of my cute new boots! Nick helped me pick them out. Didn't he do a good job? There were a pair that were the same style but were purple. I would have died for those, but they didn't have them in my size. But I love these! The stitching on the leg is pretty, don't you think? Yesterday's meeting with my lawyer went well. It wasn't for the 'final' signing, so I'm not divorced yet. But I'm looking forward to it! Most everything is ironed out. But, there's a couple of things we still have to discuss. So, Sunday evening I'm supposed to go to dinner with my STBX and his dad. Groan. It should be so much harder to get married. Maybe if it were more difficult, people would take it a bit more seriously. Anyone have any big plans for the weekend? I might go see a movie, and of course, I have my Sunday morning run. But only 2:40 this time! We're starting our taper before the race. Otherwise, I'm going to force my slaves children to clean their rooms, sort through summer clothes and bring out the winter wardrobe. We'll see what, if anything, still fits. Happy Weekend all! P.S. As of this morning, yours truly has had 25,000+ hits to her little 'ol blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You like me, you really, really like me! :)

Thursday Thirteen, II

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Thirteen things on my mind today: 1) We got another cool front! Yay! It's a lovely overcast day today. 2) I'm getting a flu shot in about 20 minutes. Didn't get one last year due to the shortages, but I'd gotten them every year for the past 5, and haven't been sick. 3) I'm meeting with my lawyer today to go over my divorce papers. I can't wait to get this over with. 4) I found out that my STB-ex is dating someone. This doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is that he's already introduced my kids to her, and he didn't tell me. I had to find out from them. Jerk. If it's not serious (he says it isn't), they don't need to know just yet. Right? 5) I like surprising Nick. 6) My kids were in their uncle's wedding last weekend. I saw some pictures, and they looked adorable. Evidently, they danced for three hours straight, most of the time with each other. Their dad said everyone was amazed at how much fun they had together on the dance floor! They're just like their momma in this aspect, because their daddy certainly can't and doesn't dance. 7) Nick looked into dance lessons at a local studio. They start at $400. I don't think so. 8) We can get free dance lessons at Gilley's on Saturday nights. I need to get good use out of my new boots anyway. 9) Yep, this rock'n'roll girl bought herself a pair of cowboy boots. They're super cute! 10) Gas is out of control. I hate paying $42 to fill up my tank. You'd think Jetta's would get better gas mileage, but in truth, they're only about average. Around 25 mpg. 11) I'm thankful that my job is now closer to home than it was four months ago. I like driving 4 miles to work. 12) Elle lost her 8th tooth this week. Except the first night it was under her pillow, the tooth fairy didn't have any cash. So the tooth sat there for another 24 hours before the tooth fairy got on the stick and found some green paper stuff to swap out with. 13) I need more coffee.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. MommaK @ Petroville 2. UziCue 3. Kate @ Daily Dose 4. Crusty Crone 5. Sleeping Mommy 6. E @ Retrospect 7. Angie @ Big Red Couch 8. Laura @ LaLa Girl 9. Raehan @ Agog & Aghast 10. Catherine @ The Fountain Pen 11. Mommy D 12. Nearest Distant Shore Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! Leanne says: Thirteen things is all I ask for, and what do you get in return? Linkage! If you do it, leave a comment here and link me to your Thursday Thirteen. I will be sure to update my entry with links to yours, and then you can continue the chain if you like! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Twelfth Night, a surprise

Yesterday was another anniversary of sorts. Three months since my first date with Nick. (Some of you may have guessed I went a little wonky a couple of weeks ago, but I just needed a moment to catch my breath and regroup, and fortunately he was patient.) He had asked if I was free Wednesday, and I was pretty sure that I was. We were thinking just a quiet dinner/movie kind of thing. But then I got an email from the Shakespeare Festival people. They normally only do summer shows, but this year they've added in a short autumn series. And, as luck would have it, the first show was set for October 5th! Plus, it was a show that he had wanted to see, Twelfth Night but that we had missed during the regular season. Perfect! So, I decided to make it a little surprise and re-create our second date. I told him to leave all the planning to me for our Wednesday evening, which he gladly allowed. I bought tickets online on Monday. Yesterday afternoon I took my lunch break to go shopping at Central Market. I bought everything that we had at our first dinner. Chicken breasts, creamed spinach, pasta salad, brie, honeyed goat cheese, crackers, marinated olives, marinated roasted tomatoes, strawberries, grapes and creme fraiche. Then I picked up a couple of bottles of our favorite wine. After work I hurried home to change, pack up the basket, and grab a blanket. When I picked him up, he still had no clue where we were going. He even indulged me and allowed me to blindfold him so that I could keep the secret up to the moment we got there. (I know, I'm a bit much sometimes, but it makes it fun!) We pulled into the parking lot, and I let him look around to see if he could figure out where we were. Then I popped the trunk and showed him the basket, and he was very surprised! And, when I unpacked the basket, he noticed that it was everything from our second date. This guy is smart and he notices details! The play was fantastic. Because it was a weeknight, there weren't very many people at the show, so we had lots of room. The weather stayed nice too! I got a little book of poems from him, Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman. I love it. He still "wow's" me. I was glad I was able to surprise him. It wasn't that big a thing, but it made me happy to do it. What's the best surprise you've ever received?

Today's Special

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It's a special day for a special someone. I'm taking him somewhere special, and it's a surprise! I have the hardest time keeping a secret, but I'm doing good so far! Gosh! I've had to keep it secret for like 48 hours. That's got to be a record. I'm so excited! I can't spill any details yet, 'cause he might see. Shhh...

Your Questions Answered — Round 4

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Steph asked: Who would you consider to be the biggest influence in your life (can be many) and why? What do you want to do when you grow up? ;) jk...if you could have any job what would it be and why? I've never had one person influence my life in a way that changed me drastically. I've gleaned a little bit of knowledge from many people and observed their actions, but I think I'm a bit too stubborn independent-minded to let it have too much influence over me. Sometimes I've banged my head against the wall as a result, but things have also worked out for me where they didn't for others. Of course my mom is a major influence. Despite the fact that we are very different people with very different views on life, she has helped me a lot. Probably more than I wanted, and sometimes maybe more than I needed, and of course I rebelled against that. She's sacrificed a lot for me and my sisters and brother. She also taught me never to quit. I can thank (or curse) her for my persistence. My great-grandparents were also great people. When I was with them I felt peaceful. They never judged, they just loved. They were plain, simple and wonderful. They taught me that there is more to life than just 'stuff'. It's the people that are in them that matter. My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Strain, was my best teacher ever. He taught me what being a good teacher was. It's not just about making people understand the material. It's about how they understand. The process of learning. And sometimes the more important lesson isn't the material either. Something that happens during the course of the teaching can be extracted and made into a lesson itself. Don't be so hurried to get from A to C just because that's what you've been instructed to do. If something about B intrigues you, take the time to explore that as well. My friends. I didn't have a lot of close friends growing up. I didn't like getting close to people for fear that they would see that I wasn't everything that I said I was. I tried too hard to make friends with people that weren't worthy of friendship. My friends that I have now though have taught me that it's worth it to be a friend, to care about others, and to accept people for who they are. They've done the same for me. As far as when I grow up...I don't think I'll ever grow up all the way. I enjoy my times when I can just be silly and goofy and child-like. But, if I could have any job in the world? I'd be a writer/philosopher. I'd sit in a cabin in the woods, with my desk open to a huge picture window where I could see the beauty of the world laid out before me. I would think and pontificate and write and create. I used to think I wanted a really important job, fast-paced, high-living. But I've seen those people now, and I don't like them much. They're self-important and fake and political and unreal. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to have to be nice to mean people just because they have an important job over at XYZ Company. I want to spend time with people that I choose for reasons beyond what they can do for me. Either that, or I want to be a professional poker player.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Friday was payday of course. So, I did a little shopping. I went to DSW and spent about an hour and a half looking at and trying on shoes! I found a great pair on the sale rack. 70% off! I had to buy them just on principle...they were $10.40! And I got a new bag that was 80% off that went with the shoes. I also paid full price for a pair of black beaded dressy slides. So, two pairs of shoes and a bag for $62! Then I went to REI for a new running hydration system and some more energy gels. I also went to Target for a new hair dryer. Mine died on Friday. It was blowing nothing but cold air. Fortunately I was nearly done drying my hair when it croaked, so it wasn't too bad of a bad hair day. Saturday morning I went and did my longest long run before the race. Four hours and twenty miles! I parked near one of our local light-rail stations and did a 'trail-to-trail' run. Galatyn Park Trail to the Spring Creek Trail to the UTD Trail to the Preston Ridge Trail to the White Rock Creek Trail, then another 20 minutes at White Rock Lake. Whew! I made it! It wasn't easy, and for awhile I felt kinda sick, so I did have to stop and walk for a bit. Just 20 more days! Saturday night I went out with some friends. Wore my cute new shoes and took my bag out. And then when I got in my car to go home, I realized that I was missing something. When I realized what it was, I picked up the phone, made a call and set out to correct a mistake that I made. It took admitting I was wrong, and making an apology, but it's so worth it. Sunday I slept in! Best night of sleep I've had in a couple of weeks. This of course was followed by breakfast, and then a visit to my mom's house. She's redoing her kitchen. My sister and I went over to help her clean some things out and get ready for the guys to come in and measure the countertops and replace the stove top, oven, microwave and dishwasher. I'm sure I'll end up helping her do the floors too, but that's down the road. I also bought my mom her first pair of reading glasses. For months she's been squinting and holding items at arms length just to try to read the small print, insisting that she doesn't need reading glasses. But I think she's glad to have them now. I rounded out my weekend by watching one of my favorite new shows: Rome on HBO. It's awesome! If you haven't seen it yet, well, dangit, you're missing out! I love all the characters. Well, except this one scheming devious hag, but I don't think you're supposed to like her. Random Quote of the Day: "I think I want to move my computer over there, because then I can put a shorter cord on it. I heard that will make it run faster."