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

Interstellar Travel Guide

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

To boldly go! Well, not quite James T. Kirk, but I do have that wanderlust in my soul. If I had the means and the ability, I would go just about anywhere. I remember in the movie Mask Rocky had a map filled with push-pins of all the places he wanted to go. I would love to fill up a globe with pins or flags or something of places I've been. While my US Map is fairly full, my World Map is sadly lacking. Where would I go? Where wouldn't I go is the more appropriate answer. Top of my list: 1) Nepal: A mysterious country. The temples and the country and the people seem so interesting. You won't find me on the top of Mt. Everest though. No thanks. I'll look at it from the bottom. 2) Iceland: Gysers, hot springs and ice caps. About as close as I care to get to the Arctic circle while sitting in a natural hotspring. Does anything really sound much better? 3) Morocco: Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh. Need I say more? 4) Peru: Ancient Incan temples, the Andes and the Nazca Lines. Oh! And llamas! 5) New Zealand: Albatross, fjords and mountains. And I have to see where The Lord of the Rings movies were made! Who wants to come with?

Doldrums

Monday, January 30, 2006

DOLDRUMS [doldrums] or equatorial belt of calms, area around the earth centered slightly north of the equator between the two belts of trade winds. The large amount of solar radiation that arrives at the earth in this area causes intense heating of the land and ocean. This heating results in the rising of warm, moist air; low air pressure; cloudiness; high humidity; light, variable winds; and various forms of severe weather, such as thunderstorms and squalls. Hurricanes originate in this region. The doldrums are also noted for calms, periods when the winds disappear, trapping sailing vessels for days or weeks. When the most exciting part of the weekend is getting a new slightly used refrigerator, making a kick-ass Shepherd's Pie and finishing Sunday's Sudoku puzzle and the Sunday Crossword and beating Nick at a late-night game of Mexican Train Dominoes...well, what else is there? Domestic bliss...ahhhh...refreshing.

She's too young for a crush

Friday, January 27, 2006

Elle threatened to run away again last night. She set herself off when she asked if they could stay for the PTA meeting and some program thing that was going on. I didn't know about the PTA meeting and program, and I was starving and had a headache from work, so I said no. She then proceeds to jump up and down and have a fit. Back in the car, it was whine, whine, whine. My headache wasn't getting any better. At home, she and I sat down at the kitchen table. She had her head buried in her arms, and cried. What's wrong baby. Tell mommy so I can help you make it better. She just kept crying. I don't know what's wrong with me. she said. After awhile of not getting through to her I decided it was time to go eat. Then it came out. There's a boy at school that won't leave me alone. He teases me about having a boyfriend, and I don't. Ahhh. He won't shut up and he makes me mad and I can't get him to stop and so I yell at him and then I get in trouble. Ahhh. Do you have a boyfriend? I ask, praying that the answer is no. No! she yells. OK then, how come you just can't ignore him? He says stuff really loud and won't stop even when I tell him to stop and he's always teasing me. she wailed. Great. Now I have to call the school and find out if she's really being teased by this twerp. I'm sure this little butt-head has a crush on my totally cute daughter. But hands off little buck-a-roo! She's too good for you. Why don't you go practice your alphabet or something there Alfie? Leave my baby girl alone! The other thing that bothers me is she's in first grade!!! She's not supposed to know what a boyfriend is! She's not supposed to know that people like people and it makes you feel all funny inside when you do! She's supposed to be young and innocent, worrying about dolls and bike riding and reading homework and painting her nails! What is it with kids these days where they think they have to grow up so fast! Worrying about popularity in first grade? You know what? I blame crap like this. These aren't even cute. These are pre-teens dressed like street walkers! And now they have toddler versions of their trampy selves! I mean, how is a kid supposed to be a kid without thinking they already have to have collagen-ized lips and plucked eyebrows and wear make up and be sexy and show off parts of their body not meant for public consumption! I don't want my daughter to end up as a Paris Hilton wannabe. I don't want her to worry about fashion and shopping and boys. I want her to get excited about learning and soccer and being the best girl she can be. How are those distorted dolls supposed to be considered role models for little girls??? Even Barbie is sketchy to me. Sure there's Doctor Barbie and Lawyer Barbie and they've got videos that teach about being good friends and what not. But why do they all have to be beautiful? Sparkling hair and eyes and perfect teeth and an unachievable figure. That ain't me everyday, I can assure you of that. A month ago I saw a girl that couldn't have been more than 10 or 12 dressed in a mini-skirt, a halter top, and high-heels. She was showing off more skin than I have ever dared to expose in something other than a swim suit! WTF?? And what if girls do look up to a female soccer star or female basketball player? People look at them and then say 'Eh, she's probably a lesbo or something.'. So because a girl is good at sports, she's gay? Yeah, there's "hot" sports people like Anna Kournikova, but IMO, she was a mediocre tennis player that only got all the attention she did because of her body. She hasn't played tennis in three years, and hasn't won a title since 1996. Let my baby girl be a girl. Let her enjoy her kid-ness while she still can. I don't want my kids to think I'm 'uncool', but dammit, it's not my job to be cool. There's going to come a point when they can experiment and try new things and decide how they want to live their life, but that time isn't now. Gawd, when did I turn into my mother??? I'm going to stop ranting now and go look for a real role model for my daughter. Oh wait, that's me isn't it?

I'm going to run away!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

No, not me. Elle. She's decided that she's going to run away. She was upset about something last night when I picked her up from school. Her: I'm not going anywhere for dinner. Me: That's good. I'm not either. Her: I'm not eating dinner. Me: That's too bad. Nick is making Turkey Tacos tonight. Her: I'm going to run away. Me: OK. Where are you going to run away to? Her: Carolina. No Georgia. (Her grandma on her dad's side just moved to Georgia.) Me: How are you going to get there? Her: I'm going to walk. Me: All night? Her: Yes. Me: That's kind of far. We get home at this point. Her: I'm not coming inside. I'm going to run away now. Me: Well, don't you think you'd better come in and pack a bag first? Her: No, I'm just going now. Needless to say, she didn't end up running away. There were some tears, an apology from her, and then she ate the Turkey Tacos. I still don't know what she was upset over in the first place. I don't think she does either.

There will be a test later...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ten Top Trivia Tips about InterstellarLass!
I am interested in - do tell me about


People Never Amaze Me


Actually, they never cease to disappoint me. I should be made Empress of the Universe for just like 10 minutes so I can get rid of all the stupid people out there. First there's my internal project sponsor. I waited two extra days for comments from this yahoo. He can't even bother to show up for scheduled meetings, much less provide approvals on time. So, I finally get his comments today...and guess what? Yep, the section that relates to the application that his team will use? No comments. The comments that he did provide? Utterly useless. Things he would have known had he bothered to show up in the meetings. Then, as soon as I got that email, I had to go get coffee. I mean, it's sit there and slowly implode, or walk off the frustration on a trek down to the coffee bar. There are two things that bug me here. First of all, my employer provides Starbucks coffee for the coffee bar. Nice huh? Yeah. Except there's some idiot in my area that comes in early in the morning and brews Maxwell House. Um, you choose Maxwell House over Starbucks??? Puh-leeze! Secondly, some jackass takes the last of the coffee out of the urn and doesn't start a new brew! How hard is it to dump the grounds, put in a new filter, and open a new bag of pre-measured coffee!?!? Wait. This morning it would have been extra-difficult. I dumped the grounds, put in a new filter, opened the coffee drawer and *da da da* there are no more coffee bags. Well, this is certainly a good excuse not to have brewed more coffee. So, I took one step to the right, opened the cabinet, and pulled out *gasp* a new box off coffee bags. So, not only did I brew a fresh pot, I made it possible for the next person that drains the urn to brew a fresh pot. No, wait, sorry, I'm the only one around here that knows how to do that! Stupid, lazy people really, really bother me. *I will not hurt the stupid, lazy people. I will not hurt the stupid, lazy people. I will not hurt the stupid, lazy people...*

Enough Already!

Friday, January 20, 2006

UGH! Here at work they're opening up some new office space. We've got construction crews running around, and one of the workspaces is right across the hall from my office. And.I.Am.Irritated!!! For the last month, this has been going on. Saws...drills...banging...yelling...metal clanging...laughing...tales of the previous night's exploits...guys barking like dogs...cussing... This morning was the last straw. My office mate and I have complained to facilities. We've complained to our boss. We were assured that the construction would be over soon. Well, it's not. This morning was it for me. The noise has not subsided. In fact, it's gotten worse. Today's special? Moaning. I sat here for a moment and wondered if I was hearing it correctly. Then I wondered if it would stop. No it did not. A month's worth of frustration boiled up in me, and I got up and opened my office door. My neighbor next door heard it too. He was sticking his head out of his office. We stared at each other. What the hell!?!? he mouthed. So, I walked across the hall, stuck my head in the space between the plywood covering the gaping hole in the wall and said: "Can we cut out the moaning please?!? We can hear it in our offices!" It's been mostly quiet since. Average construction noise. But no moaning or other extraneous noises. Mission accomplished.

Thursday Thirteen, XIV

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thirteen Things Interstellar Lass would do if she won the lottery.
1) Pay off all debts. It's not a lot, but I have a school loan and a couple of credit cards. 2) Put money in college funds for my kids. Texas has a thing called the Texas Tomorrow Fund where you can pre-pay for college at today's prices. 3) Buy a house. I don't want a McMansion or anything, but something that's comfortable. Something with a 'smoking room' for Nick. I don't let him smoke his cigars inside the house. Right now he's jerry-rigged a mini-TV in the garage, and his extra couch is out there. Poor thing. And something with a Me Room. I'd be the only one allowed in there. I'd read, knit, nap, you know, whatever. And I want a pool. And a nice garden. 4) Buy a house for my mom and my grandparents. I guess that's two houses really. My mom needs something in a better neighborhood. Ours has gone down since we moved there when I was 6. And my grandparents have a condo. They collect books, so it's really a condo for their books, and they just squeeze in. Why they need so many books, I don't know. Why they didn't collect something smaller, I don't know either. 5) Send my kids to private school. They go to a good school now. I mean, it's decent. But the whole "teaching to the test" crap pisses me off. My son blew off a test back in December that was one of those 'pre-assessment tests'. Despite the fact that his teacher knows him and knows that he's the smartest kid in her class, he didn't meet the minimum requirements because he blew off the test. So, he 'qualifies' for extra tutoring. I'm making him go just because he blew off the test. But, the teacher didn't use her brain, and when I suggested that he just didn't put forth effort, she couldn't wrap her mind around it. I know he reads all the time, but he also has to understand the concepts. Well duh. He does. I know he does. He just blew off the test. Gah! 6) Go on a vacation. I think maybe four to six weeks traveling Europe and Asia with Nick. I don't want to go on any guided tours or stick to a time table. Just go somewhere, then decide while we're there where we want to go next. 7) Invest of course. I mean, I want to be able to go on more vacations whenever I want, right? And pay the taxes on my house and the tuition on my kids' school. 8) Volunteer. I can't just sit at home and eat bon-bons all the time. I'd give back of my time. Probably to something like Habitat for Humanity. I like doing work with my hands. Good honest work where you sweat and get dirty and you've got something to show for it by the end of the day. 9) Exercise a lot. One of my excuses is that I don't have enough time to exercise. Hopefully if I win the lottery, I'll have enough where I don't have to work at all, or very much. 10) Buy a new car for me and a new truck for Nick. I'd probably do a small SUV or a wagon. I have a Jetta now, and I think the Passat wagon would be really nice. But I need good gas mileage too. And reliability. It needs to fit my 'play gear' and my dogs and my kids and me & Nick. Nick just likes having a truck. You know, it's manly. 11) Go back to school. I'd love to get my Master's degree, or a couple more Bachelor's degrees. Perhaps in philosophy, English, and history. 12) Write a book. In my Me Room. Another thing for which there doesn't seem to be time. 13) Throw a fantastic party for my friends. They would all get a really nice present. But it would be something useful or that they needed. And yes! You're all invited too! Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




Fore For Four

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Four jobs you have had: Concessionist/box office cashier at a movie theater A waitress A business analyst A mom Four movies you could watch over and over: Love, Actually Gone With The Wind Terms of Endearment The Princess Bride Four places you've lived: Houston, Texas Irving, Texas Denton, Texas Plano, Texas Four TV shows you love to watch: ER Nip/Tuck Friends (reruns) Seinfeld (reruns) Four places you've been on vacation: England Florida New Orleans California Four of your favorite foods: Tater Tots Chipotle Seafood Spinach Four places you'd rather be right now: Home, in bed On vacation in Europe Having a massage & pedicure Far away from stress! Four sites I visit daily: CNN.com AdventureTeam.com Hotmail.com As many bloggers as I can. Four people who get tagged by me: No tags, but play along if you wish. :)

They Found Me


It was time. Time to find out where my starting point would be. First in line, I slipped off my shoes, climbed on the scale, and watched the 0's track across the display. It seemed like it took ages to calculate. When the scale finally decided it's verdict, I gasped. The number was uglier than I imagined. I stepped down and moved back. My heart sank. Months of hard work and achievement, gone out the window in what seemed like a few short weeks. How the hell does all that weight come back to find me so quickly!? Damn genetics. Damn my Rubenesque build. NO! Instead, damn Twiggy. I want to be healthy. I want to look good in my clothes. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. Today is Day 1. I'm not looking back. That Ugly Number is going to shrink!

You Got A Martha?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Well, I do. My friend Steph is a wanna be Martha Stewart. This girl rocks. She offered to host a dinner for Nick and I and our group of friends. I only gave her the OK if she didn't do too much. Yeah, right. Not Steph. I knew I was in trouble when she sent me the menu. There was roasted eggplant and mozzarella and stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer. Guests had the choice between glazed pork roast and roast beef. On the side was lemon rice, scalloped potatoes, and broccoli & cauliflower with cheddar cheese. Oh, I musn't forget the tossed salad with ranch dressing. And, for dessert? Chocolate Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries. The table was gorgeous. She used the flowers I had used in my bouquets, and created gorgeous centerpieces. There was arranged seating, and everyone had a little mini-rose in a mini-vase. After dinner, we played a little game "How Well Do You Know the Groom". My friends were all supposed to guess how many questions of 10 I would get right. The questions were: 1) What is his favorite color? 2) Who is his favorite author? 3) What was the name of his school? 4)What was I wearing on our first date? 5) What was the date of our first kiss? 6) What was his first car? 7) What was the name of his first dog? 8) What is his favorite food I cook? 9) What's his dream vacation? 10) What's his mom's name? ... So, how many do you think I got right? Of course! I got all 10 right! I know my baby! Steph made the evening so much fun. I got to see a couple of friends that I haven't seen in quite a while. The dinner was wonderful, the wine was plentiful, oh, and the chocolate cake? To.Die.For. It wasn't a box cake either. It was homemade. From scratch. I'm blessed to have wonderful friends, and I'm lucky that one of them is a little like Martha.
Photos Courtesy K.W.A.

I Married Superman

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Superman&Lass
Aren't I the luckiest girl in the world?


Thursday Thirteen, XIII

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thirteen Things about the Blogging Year of Interstellar Lass. Today is my Blogiversary! One year ago today, Interstellar Adventures was born. Here are Thirteen (or round-abouts) Posts for your reading pleasure.
1. My friends are the most fantastic people I know. We're all very different, with different pursuits but when we get together, it all fits. 2. I wrote about a memory I have of my pampaw. This is my grandfather that fell over Thanksgiving at my house. 3. When you're in a funk and have no creativity to post, always go with the jokes. I thought this was quite funny. Fortunately my son didn't teach me most of these. Only #3 and #15 sound familiar. 4. My first blog nasty pissed me off and so then I went on a bit of a rant. At first, I thought I had to justify my blog, but then I realized, nope, I don't. It's for me. 5. Ahhh, the start of marathon training! 6. After my first blogging milestone, I posted 100 things about me. 7. I wrote about my great-grandfather. I miss my great-grandparents. 8. Ah, my Mission Trip Trilogy. Work Hard, Work Harder, and Work Hard with a Vengance. 9. Oh, and then there was the time... 10. I accomplished two major milestones in one month. Ran my marathon. Introduced kids to Nick. 11. I wrote about my darling, sweet, kind, thoughtful, loving, romantic, good-looking, funny, caring, darling...OK, I'll stop now...fiance. 12. We wrapped up the month and the year with a great Christmas. 13. My first bl*gging year was great. I had fun doing it. I hope you all had fun reading it. Come back soon why don'tcha?!?! Links to other Thursday Thirteens! 1. Dariana 2. Carnealian 3. Jade 4. Ardice 5. Mar 6. Uisce 7. Colleen @ LooseLeaf 8. Jennifer's Thinking 9. Texas Ivy 10. Leanne 11. Chickadee 12. Kelly 13. Squashed Toad 14. Wendy 15. Audra 16. Catherine 17. Running 2Ks 18. Bone 19. Confessions of a Busy Mom 20. SnapHappyMom
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




The 5 Strange Habits of Interstellar Lass


I got tagged by Barry, so here goes: The first player of this game starts with the topic "five weird habits of yourself," and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. 1. I have a 'thing' about how my clothes hang in the closet. When placing an item of clothing on the coat hanger, the hanger part should open on the left side. So, if an item is hanging on the right side of the closet, all fronts point towards the back. If an item is hanging on the left side of the closet, all fronts point towards the front. Nick has learned this rule. 2. I eat my foods one at a time. If there is a meat and two vegetables on the plate, I eat the meat first. Then my least favorite of the two veggies and then my favorite veggie. If I have an appetizer with my dinner, my salad or entree better not come until I'm finished with the appetizer. Same if I have a salad. My hot entree better not come out right on top of it. If the food is all mixed up, like a pasta dish, that's fine. The exception is eggs. I eat the eggs with ham, bacon, or sausage. Bite of egg with bite of sausage. 3. At night, when I check that my front door is locked, I unlock the door and then re-lock it. Sometimes twice. I do this with other things too. Doors, appliances, my car, etc. I'll also pack something, and I know I packed it, but I'll double check that it's there two or three times before I stop checking. 4. I don't eat the crusts on bread or pizza. Except if it's the stuffed-crust pizza. Then I'll eat the crust. I also don't eat the heel of the bread. 5. When I look at license plates, I always try to make some kind of pattern out of them. Number patterns, words, whatever. And we're not just talking about vanity plates. I also count when I work out. In my head. Counting patterns. I get so confused by the numbers and patterns that I forget how long I've been working out. These are all the strange things I could think of. I'm sure there are more that I don't think are weird, but other people I know think are totally bizarre. If you know me, please let me think these are the only weird things about me. I know I'm strange, but let me pretend to be normal, OK? I won't tag anyone else with this. I know, party-pooper and all, but if you feel the need to share, go right ahead. Show me I'm not the only weirdo out there.

Times Two

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I got this tag from Coyote. I won't tag anyone, but let me know if you do it on your own! Two Parts of Your Heritage 1. American Indian 2. English Two Things That Scare You 1. Spiders 2. Living up to expectations Two fears you overcame 1. Emotional honesty 2. Setting a goal and achieving it Two of Your Everyday Essentials 1. My wedding rings 2. Contacts Two things you are Wearing Right Now 1. Two left earrings 2. Two right earrings Two things you wore too much this year 1. Black 2. Blue toenail polish This year's Favorite Bands or Musical Artists 1. Maroon 5 2. The Killers Two Things You Want Have in a Relationship 1. Honesty 2. Love Two of your favorite Movies of the Year 1. Be Cool 2. 40 Year Old Virgin Best movies of all time 1. Gone With the Wind 2. Terms of Endearment Two Things You Hate 1. Slow drivers 2. Bilingual signs and menus Two of Your Favorite Hobbies 1. Running 2. Blogging Two things you learned this year 1. I am strong 2. Body Glide is a necessary product when running Two Accomplishments You are Proud of 1. I came out of a divorce happier than I went into the marriage 2. I ran a lot! Two Things You Want Really Badly 1. A home makeover 2. A bigger car that has good fuel economy Two place you went this year. 1. Colorado 2. California Two Places You Want to go on Vacation 1. Europe 2. Asia Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die 1. Continue to live my way 2. Never stop experiencing new things Two Ways that you are a Stereotypical Example of your Gender 1. I cry when someone starts to raise their voice to me 2. I like shiny, pretty things Two things that make you stand out. 1. My loud laugh 2. My ample endowments Two Things You Normally Wouldn't Admit 1. I have nolittle patience for whiny, dingy people 2. I hate it when I work really hard to do something, do it, and then just let it go. Two Goals for the New Year 1. Lose *mutter mutter* pounds and not let it find me again. 2. Continue running and having fun!

La maldición de Bandera

Monday, January 09, 2006

I've come full circle on this blog. Back to the event that started this whole thing. Bandera got me again. But not as bad as last year. My friends and I drove down on Friday. From Plano to Bandera is approximately 332 miles. Now, I'm going to go ahead and brag a bit. I know that some of you can drive 332 miles and practically be halfway across the country, but not in Texas. Although we can't claim to be the biggest (darned Californians – no offense) we are the best! We've got all of the climatic land zones: coasts, plains, deserts, plateaus, mountains and swamps. We have 268,601 square miles of land to roam. Texas has been a state widely desired by many...the Spaniards, the French, Mexico, a Republic in her own right, part of the Confederacy, and finally a State of the United States of America. We're even the birthplace of two great presidents: Ike & LBJ. But enough about how great we are... Let's see...where was I...Oh yes, Friday night. After some brief traffic in Austin and north of San Antonio, we got into Bandera and headed straight for the Hill Country State Natural Area. What is a State Natural Area? Well, it's kinda like a state park, but composition toilets, no potable water, yeah. Unimproved. I wonder how you can improve on the perfection that nature gave us already!
AT Clan
We picked up race packets, ate a quick dinner, and then headed for the Diamond H Ranch. Very nice B&B where we stayed last year and already have booked for next year! We all unloaded, chatted for a bit, then set about preparing for our races. Most of us were doing the 25K (15.5 miles), and a couple the 50K (31 miles). We actually had four people in our group doing the 100K (62 miles)! They were preparing drop bags and working from a meticulously organized spreadsheet. I was impressed and in awe at what they were going to do! Up, bright and early in the morning, we each set about our own pre-race routines. It was very chilly, so while I only donned my running shorts, I put on a short-sleeved shirt, a long sleeved shirt and a jacket, plus my gloves, ear-warmers and gaiters. Off to the races! We arrived back at the race site, with the sun rising slowly over the hills. They don't call this God's Country for nothin'. We did our final check-in, exchanged hellos with people that we knew from last year or from other races, and waited around for the start. Trail runners are very friendly people. Some of the friendliest I've met.
Elevation Profile Dub & Beck
They started us off at 7:30 am. It was still chilly, so I took off in my full gear. We rose slightly out of the valley and hit a hot pocket quickly. I knew I would be shedding my gear quickly. The first loop was a little uphill, a little downhill, and then flat into the first aid station. Crossroads In was less than 2 miles from the start. I'd shed my gear there. The aid station workers loved my Colorado Relay shirt. "Get Your Ass Over the Pass". ha ha
First Ascent Sunrise View More Ascent & Sotol
The second section was one I remembered running last year. The Three Sisters. I'd call them something else, but, you know, I'm tryin' to keep this clean. Up, down, up, up, up, down, up up up, down. You get the picture. Lots and lots of climing! I was getting tired, but near the end, I had a nice long downhill and came running back into Crossroads Out. The gave me some water, gatorade, and a peanut butter and jelly sammich, and I was off again.
A Flat More climbing God's Country
Another long section that started off relatively flat, but then I got quite a shock. Some of the hardest climbing I'd done out there! I mean, when I was running along the flats, I was hitting my average 11:30 pace. I even was doing a 9:53 on one downhill. But on the climbs, my Garmin would stop. It couldn't calculate the pace I was moving so slow. Finally, just as I neared the final aid station, splat! Down I went. I was just running along, minding my own business, along a flat section, and there I went, skidding across the dirt and finally landing on my stomach. Knocked the wind out of me and took a small piece of my knee too. This is the curse. Last year Bandera got miles out of me. This year I wasn't giving up the miles, so she took blood instead. I hobbled into the aid station less than 100 yards away. They patched me up, gave me a shot of Cuervo 1800, some water and gatorade, a handful of cheese-its, and I was off. The final five miles of the race.
Just a few Rocks Scary Descent Looks Easy
Just a Scratch 1800 Makes it All Better
It was an ass-kicker. Just when you thought you were done climbing, nope, there was more elevation. Up, up and more up, Oh, and then some more up. For what seemed like an eternity, I was climbing some of the steepest terrain Bandera had to offer. Then, I passed two older guys and then turned the corner to see the finish. Most of my friends were done already, and the cheered me across the finish. 5:11 something was my final time. Faster than last year, to be certain, and 15.8 miles total, according to my Garmin. Hey, you pay for it, you might as well get bonus miles.
I've got to climb what? Armadillo Cairns
Cactus Final Vista
We waited for the rest of the runners, sipping on beers, telling stories and getting toasted by the warm Texas winter sun. I have a bit of a tan/burn on my legs. My finishers medal was the same as last year, so I'm going to have to get them engraved or marked or something. One of the guys in our group won the first-place masters trophy for the 50K. He finished the 50K in the same time it took me to finish the 25K. But I don't feel so bad. I know I did better than I did last year. I'm slow, but that's no surprise. A 5:11 finish is still a finish. I need to do lots of hill work so I'm not so slow on the ascents. And, I'm too trepidacious on the descents. But hell! Did you see the size of those rocks! Our group doing the 100K came in after their first 50K loop. They looked a bit tired, but they were still going strong. We helped them transition, fed them, hydrated them and got them back out before heading back to the lodge and showering. We had done a group pot-luck dinner which was fantastic. Lasagna never tasted so good! And green bean casserole, followed by peanut butter pie! Yum! I was early to be, around 9:30 pm. What an old fogey I am, huh? Our 100Kers were done at 50 miles. They were tired, cold, hungry, and the last group on the course, so they called it quits at around 3:00 am. The next morning, we ate a big group breakfast again before heading out. I drove one of the 100Kers back in his car, taking a wrong turn, but still completing the drive back in 6 hours, including rest stops and lunch stops. We saw lots of gorgeous Texas countryside by taking the backroads and state highways. But, I will never go on another road trip without a map! Until next year, Bandera!

Thursday Thirteen, XII

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thirteen Things about Interstellar Lass
1. I thought about trying to come up with thirteen resolutions for the year. But I don't really "do" resolutions, so I figured that was kind of pointless. 2. I have some goals for this year though. So I'll share those. 3. Lose weight. Yeah, this has been a goal every year since 2003. Sometimes I do better at it than others. I manage to lose it, but some how it always seems to find it's way back. I'm still below my 2003 starting weight though, so that's something, right? 4. Run a sub 30-minute 5K. My fastest 5K has been 33:26. So, I've got to shave over a minute a mile off my time to do this. I see lots of mile-repeats and Yassos in my near future. 5. Tell Elle and Zed that I love them every day. I think I do this now, but I'm going to start making a point of it. They are growing up so fast! 6. Be a better friend. It was really easy to maintain my friendships when we worked together and we saw each other every day. I think I need to call my friends more often just to see how they're doing. 7. Get my DIY projects done. I've got the list. I know what I want to do, now I just need to get it done! 8. Fix my flower beds. My flowerbeds are U.G.L.Y. I need to do a better job of taking care of them. There's some bushes out there that just do their thing. They get no attention. 9. OK. that's all the goals I can think of for now. Well, maybe not spend too much time at work. I was doing well at that, but I've been put on a big project that's taking lots of time. Tuesday I worked from 7 am to 6:30 pm. So, from the time I left my house to the time I got home, it was 12 hours exactly. Yuck. 10. Nick is doing a great job getting his stuff blended into the house. I think I'm pretty laid back, so it's not a big deal to me having stuff moved around. Except for the cow skull. You can hang it in the garage baby, but not inside. :) 11. Elle & Zed went back to school today. Whew. I think breaks are good and all, but dang, the kids needed to go back to school. 12. Texas beat USC in the Rose Bowl! Whoo Hoo! Hook 'Em Horns!
The Eyes of Texas are upon you, All the live long day. The Eyes of Texas are upon you, You can not get away. Do not think you can escape them At night or early in the morn- The Eyes of Texas are upon you 'Till Gabriel blows his horn.
13. I'm leaving for Bandera tomorrow! Woo Hoo! 25K here I come. This will be a fun weekend! Links to other Thursday Thirteens! UziCue Crazed Mom Uisce Bone Jen Texas Ivy PractiGal Carnealian Shannon Audra Sallwood MommaK Colleen @ Musings from the Edge Master Enigma Running2Ks KDubs Yellow Rose Squashed Toad
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Happy New Year

Monday, January 02, 2006

Interstellar Aventures is pleased to announce the marriage of Lass and Nick. The happy couple was united in matrimony on Sunday, January 1, 2006, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Surrounded by family, they exchanged vows in the gardens of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Elle and Zed served as honor attendants to the bride and groom. The ceremony was followed by dinner with champagne toast, then the two danced the night away.
The couple couldn't be happier.


Interstellar Year In Review

Sunday, January 01, 2006

What a year it's been! I decided to take a peek at what happened to Ms. Interstellar Lass this year. Indeed, it was exciting! Let's take a peek in the vaults: January: Started the year off on a running note. Ran the Bandera 25K (which I am to repeat next weekend) . This led me to start this little thing called Interstellar Adventures so I could share my excursions with family and friends. Well, let me tell you, this little bl*g has become a part of my life, as have so many of you. I have "met" some wonderful, intelligent, kind and interesting bl*ggers over the last year. February: Ran my second 25K, learned to "pop a wheelie" on my mountain bike, and completed my first adventure race! For a short month, I sure was busy! March: March was kind of a bad month. I mean, it started off OK, then just kind of threw me a curveball. Let's just skip over March, shall we? April: Ran my first half marathon, went to my first NASCAR Race, did my first road rally (42 miles on a mountain bike!), saw David Allan Coe at Billy Bob's, went camping for the first time and decided to train for a full marathon. Woo Hoo April! May: I had a PR in a 5K, my kids got baptized, my Ex filed, I got a new hot water heater, grabbed Rick Springfield's ass, and had my first marathon training run with my Run On! class. June: My sister moved to Colorado, my baby boy turned 10 (double digits!), I completed my second adventure race and tore up my legs something good, my sister moved back from Colorado, got poison ivy for the first time ever, made a list of 100 things about me, got bloody on my mountain bike, searched for and found a new job, and had an awesome GNO with some of the AT chicas. Oh, and on the 21st, some really cute guy winked at me. July: Took my kids to see fireworkds, went on a date with this guy that winked at me, went on a couple more dates with this guy that winked at me, raced my third adventure race, went on some more dates with this guy, started my new job, and continued to be WOWed by this guy. BTW, "this guy" is Nick. ;) August: Nick met my friends, I took some salsa dancing lessons, my littlest sister left her teenage years behind and is now "in her twenties", my kiddos started a new school year, I welcomed soldiers home from Iraq, I got my ass over the pass in Colorado as my friends and I ran our first-ever team relay, and I started speedwork in training for my marathon. September: I opened up my blog to questions...anything you wanted to ask was answered, my baby girl Elle turned 7, started doing the Thursday Thirteen meme, and made a bad decision. October: Fixed my bad decision from the previous month, took Nick on a surprise date, bought my first pair of cowboy boots, ran my first marathon, and Elle & Zed met Nick! November: My divorce was final, I started NaNoWriMo, ran a half marathon and a 30K trail run, I had my 30,000 hit to my blog, I attempted NaNoWriMo, I hosted Thanksgiving at my house, I got engaged to Nick, I failed NaNoWriMo, and I turned 31 and got my first-ever surprise party! December: I baked a lot of cookies, it pseudo-snowed and then warmed up just as fast as the snow melted, I ran another marathon, thought I possibly stress-fractured my foot, was temporarily radioactive, and hosted Christmas at my house. This has been a weird, difficult and wonderful year. I met the most amazing man, I am happier than I have ever been before, I'm doing things I never thought I would do, and I can't wait to see what this next year brings! I know at least one thing, but that's a secret for now. I might tell you if you're really good though. :)