31 October 2008

I'm tired.

I can't believe it's the end of October. This month flew by way too quickly. And yet I'm wishing for Sunday afternoon. Sheesh. I can't make up my mind about anything.

Plans are coming together for our weekend celebration at work. I met with our location vendor and did a walk through which really helped to stifle my fears and stress about everything. We'll see what happens with the other two who started it all last week and then left come back to work tomorrow. I can't wait. joy.

I'm realizing why I've felt like crap all week. I have NOT been eating right. I haven't had veggies in ages, my breakfasts are on the run and I'm out of raisins, my snacking has been crap food. This is not the way I want to be and yet I can't get off the merry-go-round (which has any one ever noticed that that's not such a merry thing to be on? I always end up nauseated.).

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better but I'm fearful. At least I can get a normal meal in for supper. Tonight I had popcorn and cookies. Ugh. Tomorrow will be better, right?

Now I'm going to go to bed because I can barely function.

Edited to add: But hey! This is my 500th post of the year! That's a whole lot of rambles.

30 October 2008

Dinger

Holy crap...will this week ever end? It needs to be over and yet it can't be yet because I'm so far behind on so much that I have to have done before Saturday am. Ugh.

My body still aches, my head decided to join in this morning right behind my eyeballs (probably because I actually put my contacts in today and then spent hours in front of a computer screen presumably not blinking). I didn't get a run in again which is so not good for my health or psyche.

But one good thing did happen. I got to see Dinger. Dinger retired from my workplace a few years back but not before we got to go on a work trip together - my first in fact. He kind of took me under his wing then and helped me through it all. If he was still working there today I probably would have picked him as my mentor instead of Mungie Boy (Shhh...don't tell Mungie Boy!).

It was kind of nice how I ran into him today. I was walking back from checking mail and venting with Mungie. I had my head down as I was trying to think through so many details of crap I have to get done. As I walked by a truck I hear, "You're still the best looking woman at this place."

I grinned with chagrin and turned to correct the person, as I usually do, but when I realized it was Dinger my grin turned into a full-fleged smile and I said, "Aw, Dinger, I miss you."

We chatted for awhile. He had been there when I first met J eons ago and so I had to fill him in that J and I reconnected. He commented again that it was really good I got on full-time at work because, as he said, "you're the best thing that's happened to this base and it's good you're here."

God I hope that's true. Some days I just don't know and I struggle to find my place. Other days I coast on by thinking, "yeah, this works." And yet other days I'm totally in my element.

This week I'm not sure which category I fit in. But it's still good to hear that someone appreciates me. I need that. Yesterday, just before our monthly meeting, Scotty came in and was talking to the chief when TimDon said, "Moe needs a hug." Everyone in the room laughed but Scott said, "Do you need a hug?" I said, "Yes, I do." So he held his arms out and said, "Come here girl." It was short and sweet and so against the rules but it helped.

I miss hugs. I miss being able to walk down a hallway and see a friend and know that you can hug them at will.

Maybe I'm just missing my friends. I don't know. Maybe I just need sleep. I think I'll try that first.

29 October 2008

One of those days...PLTs!

Not the best day today, but not horrible either. It had its moments.

It started with me waking up with a gut ache. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the raw cookie dough or Chinese food I had last night, and I'm sure it isn't looming after effects of the 4 Guinness from Monday. No...it has to be something else.

But waking up with that was not pleasant. I actually toyed with calling in sick and if I wasn't so stubborn about calling in sick when I can still functionally work and if I didn't have a shitload of work to do in 3 days, I might have actually done it.

Alas, I went to work - late, in my glasses not my contacts, and with a chai tea in hand that I had to stop for because I'm suddenly addicted again but I didn't get to drink for an hour so it was cold. I also missed breakfast - my oatmeal with flaxseed, cinnamon and splenda - which I'm also addicted to (or maybe accustomed would be a better word) and I'm sure missing breakfast had nothing to do with my gut ache either.

Meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting this morning. I was finally finished with the meeting torture at 11 so I had lunch early while I began my projects. Insanity, thy name is Moe.

Sadly, this went on all day and it was BEAUTIFUL today. Did I run? nope...because I felt like crap and I had too much to do. I should have though...maybe that would have helped.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. On the good side of things today, Boss1 was in rare form teasing me about things. I had showed him our training schedule for the next year and I missed one date change, which when he pointed it out I said, "Doh!" like I do and he repeated it just like I do, "Doh!" and started laughing at me. Apparently I do that a bit too much...but he has his ticks too. Like saying things are "Mah-velous" or "Per-fect" (with emphasis on the p and t). too funny.

And then when I got home I had three fabulous pieces of mail:
1) the Kraft Food & Family magazine with recipes. Porn for Moe...truly.

2) My first Pretty Little Things gift...well, not gift completely since I paid for a year subscription. But this was really neat. I'll get a picture up tomorrow.

3) Nika's 6 month picture. (Nika's my Goddaughter in case you don't remember) She is so photogenic and always happy. Such a beautiful girl. I hope to see her and her parents next week for a little fix for Moe. It's been a couple months and I could really use some Nika time.

And now, I'm to bed. I got to talk to Mikey last night for 2 hours, which was fabulous, but I really need sleep.

I just have to keep my mind focused on the happy things and on Monday (Yes, Karen - let's get together...give me some time to find something fun for us!) when all the crap from this week and weekend are over. Life will be good then.

Yep, I'm looking forward to Monday. :)

Pushing Daisies

I love Pushing Daisies. And moments ago was the best line.

Emerson Cod, the private investigator, is talking with a dog trainer who he's totally in to. He tells her it would end extremely bad between them and she kisses him. He says, "Didn't you hear what I just said?" And then it goes like this:

Narrator: It was the first time in the private investigator's life that he was told to...

Dog trainer clicker (which she uses to train and instruct her dogs)

Trainer: "Come."

Hilarious.

And here's my beg: Please watch Pushing Daisies...or just turn your TV on from 7-8 Central time on Wednesdays to Pushing Daisies. There's some fear it may end soon because of dropping viewers, but it's oh.so.good! Please give it a chance! :)

28 October 2008

Roar

So here's a picture - the arm off to the bottom right is my nephew's. He kept running in and out so we're lucky this one turned out. All I can say is, I should have had black running shoes...the white looks so tacky.


"I am Catwoman, hear me roar. ... Roar."

My SiL looks hot though. She makes an awesome Wonder Woman. Of course, I have my own Wonder Woman costume, not really suitable for public, which is my "goal" for losing weight. Sadly, it's been my goal for way too many years. I really should accomplish that one sometime. Being Catwoman doesn't work well for me. Spandex does not a happy Moe make. (although it did keep me warm)

Oh well. We had a blast and ran really well. And that's all that matters.

27 October 2008

Buzz Blog

Okay, so I totally haven't Buzz Blogged in months but I'm going to tonight. The tradition of this mini-conference is to meet in the hotel bar after dinner and drink and hang out. Of course there is lots of drinking involved, because, hey...that's what we do.

I normally don't drink. Tonight, I was feeling a bit...well, needy for a drink. I don't drink much unless it's a Guinness at home after a shitty day at work, but tonight I was just in the mood.

It started with one during Cribbage with 5 boys - Kenny G, Kevin, Oscar, Joey, and Skip. Oscar and I were partners and we totally kicked ass. It was great. Skip left as soon as the game was done, but to be fair he had been there for mucho longer than I had.

Then Scooter invited me over for a drink. He went to college with my older older brother so we caught up and chatted awhile. This was two drinks.

Now usually by now I'm finished. It's way past my bedtime and I really need to be awake in the morning. Three Guinness don't bother me much but three is usually my limit.

Well, Joe Jake and I start talking and Joey comes over and buys me another. Shit. This is number four. As soon as I took a sip I knew I was in trouble...total buzz night. Truly three Guinness and I'm still functional...but a fourth? Well that puts me over, so I begged Scott the bartender for a water.

OMG - the fun I had tonight. Playing cribbage with the boys was great, shooting the shit with Ball and Scooter was awesome, and connecting with Joe Jake and the others (after he supposedly went to the bathroom but never returned) was fabulous.

Don't get me wrong, I hate bars. The smoke, the drinking, the usual ogling of the opposite (or same) sex sickens me (from both sides). But this, tonight, was great. Most of the time hanging out with work people is annoying, but tonight was perfect- these guys are awesome and great folks to be around.

I'm really glad I went. Now, I just hope I wake up in time in the morning. :)

Well, that was interesting

I just got in from my run. I went for about an hour and I can honestly say that for the first time, maybe ever, I didn't want to come in.

Strange. I really do enjoy running, but I'm usually just running for time or miles and today I really had neither to worry about.

I couldn't really worry about miles because I'm running a stretch of road I don't know the mileage of, and even if I drive it to try to figure it out, it won't quite be right because I kept back tracking and turning around, so whatever.

And time? Well, I have nothing going on. If I was at home I would have laundry to do, or ironing, or shoes to shine, or a house to clean, or cookies to bake. But I'm at a resort at a conference and almost everyone I know has gone hunting. I did run into one of the higher ups when I came back but he was heading out to run.

So I ran and thought and talked to myself (outloud, even) and the weather was great. I really enjoyed the run today, despite the fact my arches still hurt and my knees are sore (I need to stretch more and I should maybe see Keith sooner than I had planned).

If only every day could be like this.

Thus cometh another rendition of the hit series...

"I don't fit in here" starring...Moe!

Yeah, so our meeting ended early today. Why, you ask, when there's plenty to discuss and it's only 3:30? Well, it's hunting season.

Duh!

Yes, it's time for all those who shoot things to go out and take care of their incessant need as the hours turn dusk. And those of us who don't take that hobby to heart, well...you can take a nap.

I'm actually going to go for a run, because since I don't fit in with the hunting world, I might as well continue to live in my own world where I run. Plus I'm toying with a marathon in February in a warmer climate so I need to log some miles just in case my toying becomes a reality.

Then I'll go eat by myself and then join all the boys in the bar later. (Did I mention I'm the only female at this conference? yeah.) Should be a good time.

Rare moment

This is one of those rare moments in time where I'm at work but getting to work on my own laptop and with Internet access so I can actually check my blog during the day. Of course this only happens when I'm at a conference and where I have to have my laptop because I'm the recorder of minutes. Fun Fun.

So they group is reviewing my minutes from last April. During the breaks last year I put in the minutes what we did. For example, "Break - some watched MJ's Thriller video at Recorder's computer for some levity." We'll see if they actually approve of this. Of course the minutes have been out since April for all to read and I haven't heard a thing regarding them.

Anyway, I'm just killing time while they all continue to read. Boss1 and Boss2 are at the meeting too. Boss1 is always nice and smiles and waved to me as he walked in. I'm sure we'll chat at break. And I brought cookies because, hey, you just can't have enough cookies.

Ugh...this is taking forever. Okay. I'm going to pretend to be paying attention now. I think our next presenter is getting ready.

26 October 2008

Oh so sad...

I just read my Goddaughter's blog (she's just over 6 months old and, yes, she has a blog) and discovered I missed a big church holiday today.

It's Reformation. How stupid am I? Hello! I'm Lutheran - this is kind of big in our denomination. I'm so dumb. And I'll miss All Saint's next week since I'll be at drill. Sheesh...you'd think I'd remember Reformation.

This is just further proof to me that I need to get more involved in my church. I think I need to start with joining the one I generally go to here. I've been toying with this for awhile since I haven't been to my 'home' church in over a year.

And the fact that church is supposed to be about community, I really should join the community and be a bigger part of it. I was asked a couple months ago to join the choir but I bowed out because I was going to be gone pretty much every Sunday this month (and I have a strict rule that if I can't be around for 75% of the Sunday's when they sing, then I shouldn't join - it's not fair to the others). And they usually sing at the 9:30 service and I really like the 8am.

Hmm...maybe I can get involved in another way. Big O keeps hinting I should lead one of the adult ed groups. I could do that but I really need to brush up on everything. It's been 4 years since I've been in a class...it might be good to brush up.

Well, I need to think on this a little longer and have some conversation with Big O on how I can be involved. But I think I should join them officially. I can't keep out of the church world anymore. It's not healthy for me.

Happy Anniversary to me.

Yesterday was the last day of 12 years of my service in the military. Today begins year 13. Wow...

It's hard to believe how quickly the years have passed by. It's insane. I feel like I was at BMT not a couple years ago, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago, too.

Over the years I have a had a lot of great memories - some bad ones, too, but mostly great.

I didn't go on an actual deployment until late 2002. I had been in 6 years by then, which seems really late for someone to be traveling for the first time (especially when that's one of the kicks they use to get people to join: "Travel the world!"). But that was when I met J, bought my awesome rug that's in my apartment, and found my ring I wear all the time.

It'd be another 18 months before I traveled again - this time to a war-torn country, but where we were...sigh...it was beautiful. The people there were amazing to work with and I had some great times sitting by the bonfire every night, hanging out with Scott and Shawn. What an amazing trip and I will never forget it. (Of course, one of the worst things in my career happened during this trip too, but, oh well...what do you do?)

Then another two years later I went on my awesome trip to Alaska. This was by far my best deployment ever. The other locations were phenomenal and I got to meet and hang out with incredible people, but Alaska provided me the opportunity to deploy for my actual job and get to work with two amazing guys and a great active duty shop. I have a framed memory of it in my office and every day I look at it and reminisce.

And now I'm working the best job ever, though I don't get to travel anymore (despite my best attempts over the last year). I have 8-27 years left and I can't wait to see what's in store for me. The last 12 have been amazing.

25 October 2008

Note to self

Don't watch "27 Dresses" alone on a Saturday night when you're already feeling vulnerable and ever-so single. Why add to your pathetic-ness? You show that off well enough on your own.

I made it, RoadID

I don't have photos yet. My brother took some before SiL and I left to run and I know he uploaded them, but he didn't email them to me yet. As soon as he does I'll post them here so you can see just how awesome we looked.

And SiL and I looked awesome, believe me. We were total rockstar's. It was a chilly morning to run but once we got going we kicked butt, not stopping once and keeping a really good pace. Sadly for me, she had a kick at the end so she beat me by 20 seconds, but I still finished 34:01. That's a 10:56 pace which is pretty good for me, especially on a brisk fall morning when I worried at the start that I might not make it to mile one.

Of course, then I realized the course was marked in km's instead of miles so I got to check off 5 of them instead of just 3. SiL ran with her music and I just listened to the beat of my feet and my thoughts.

We also ran with SiL's two friends Wendy and Shannon. Wendy won second place in the costume contest (she was a geisha) and Shannon won one of the door prizes. I'm really jealous of the latter - she got $15 off RoadID. Sweet. But as participants we all got coupons for $2 off.

So now I need to order my RoadID like I've been thinking of for months. I think it might have been one of my goals for the year too. So maybe now's the time. :)

24 October 2008

If you're bored at 9am

I'm running a 5K tomorrow with my S-i-L. Should be fun. It's a Halloween theme so we're dressing up. I'll post pictures tomorrow if I'm still standing. But if you're bored at 9, a prayer and happy thoughts would be most welcome. My arches and knees have still been sore, so I'm a little worried about tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be okay. 3.1 miles is nothing. :)

Treats for you...or them

There is a great benefit to where I work, one in that I can bake anytime I want to and I know whatever I bake will get eaten.

A few years back at my old job I came up with the idea for the Staff committee to make thank you bags of goodies for the staff members on Valentine's Day. I hate V-day, mind you, so I was trying to find some way to make it better.

Mom had come up to visit that weekend for some reason and helped me bake low-fat, low-sugar sugar cookies and then we frosted them and wrapped them in cellophane (mr. cellophane...coulda been my name...mr. cellophane).

I took these and a bunch of other candy and gifts (erasers, pencils, mini-post-its, etc.) and we put them in baggies with a sticker that said something like, "Thank you for all the great things you do. We appreciate you." Something like that.

Well, after we handed them out I got a few comments about how "we don't need sugar and candy, we just need a thank you." My thought was initially, "Then talk to your supervisor." Then I realized they probably couldn't but hopefully the supervisors who also received these realized that Thanks are important and people need to feel appreciated in what they do.

Whatever. The fun thing is that now I'm in a place where I can bake every day if I wanted and people would appreciate and eat my baking (without muttering too much that they don't need it).

I don't bake every day, but it is nice to be wanted. I have a few requests for cookies and to be fair it has been awhile since I baked cookies. So maybe I'll bake a few this weekend and drop some dozens off to various people around work. It might be time.

Plus cookies and treats always put a smile on my face (baking them, that is) and seem to put a smile on the face of those who receive them. And God knows that at our place of work, we need a few more smiles.

23 October 2008

A little blue for you

Smurfcakes, baby! Yes, for Smurf Day I made blue smurfcakes with white frosting. I handed them out to everyone in my building this morning. I didn't put the "50" on all of them because I ran out of blue icing, but people didn't care. 48 smurfcakes were devoured rather quickly as people hummed the theme song all day long.




And yes, I had one red frosted one for Papa Smurf. This was going to be for Boss1 but then I remembered he was gone today, so instead Brandon ate it. But people were asking about it - wanting to make sure I had a red one.



This is what my smurfcakes looked like on the inside. And they tasted delicious! People couldn't believe I used oil in my cake mix but I was good in using Smart Balance. Anyway...here's the blue smurfcake.

Is it time yet?

I'm cold. Yes, yes...I know I'm from here and I should be used to this, but I'm cold. It's 41 degrees outside but it's around the mid to lower 60s in the apartment. At least that's what my thermostat says (I don't trust that thing though).

So is it time for me to turn on the heat? I really don't want to since it's supposed to warm up again next week. I hate turning it on if I don't need to. I'm not home that much anymore. I got home from work tonight at 7, sometimes I'm home as early as 6, but I'm in bed by 9:30 and out the next morning by 6:30. It seems stupid to turn on the heat just for 2 or 3 hours of need. When I'm sleeping I have an electric blanket so I don't need any extra heat.

Of course then I sit here tonight with my blanket, socks, jeans, long shirt and toying with getting my coat so I can warm up because my toes are cold and my nose is running a bit. Hmmm... Maybe I should.

Or maybe I just need more tea.

Weird

OKay...so I uploaded my posts this morning and it jacked up my blog settings. Grrr..

So here you go:

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Smurfs! YAY! How smurfy is this?!

So I made blue cupcakes with white frosting (one cupcake has red frosting for Papa Smurf). I'll have to upload pictures later though. I also made little business cards to put with the cupcakes (so people don't think I'm completely insane...though celebrating the Smurfs probably won't help) that say "Happy Smurf Day! Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Smurfs! Hope your day is smurf-tastic! October 23 1958-2008" They look very cool, I think.

I'm going to put a cupcake on everyone's desk in my building today with the business card. Should be fun!

So celebrate the Smurfs! Which Smurf are you? Brush up on your Smurf facts! And by all means, enjoy a smurfy good time today! Happy Smurf Day!

22 October 2008

It's too soon

People around here are either masochists or sadists. They're talking snow here for tonight or tomorrow.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

This is way too soon. I miss blue skies! I miss warmer temps (not too warm, mind you)! I miss the sun!

Of course I'm also the one who usually thrives when it's gray and cloudy out...which I do, but not when it's 30 degrees and/or snowing. Thunderstorms are great and I relish the gray those days bring. But this cold gray that is upon us right now - this can go away. Bring on the sun!

I may have to move south. I never thought I'd say that. But I may have to.

Link day!

So I know that today is picture day, but it's also Link Day in the land of Moe. It's not that I don't have anything to say - because today was a helluva day at work and I could totally vent a blogful if I was so inclined - but today I'm going to be good and just hold off for a little bit and give you some things that make me happy.

First: David Sedaris. David is hilarious. I love his writing and this one from the New Yorker just made me laugh. Dooce commented on this in her super red state, and since I live in one too (in a state that hasn't voted for a democratic candidate since 1964), I thought this was good.

Second: Made-to-order cereal. YAY! I love this concept even though the price is a little out of my budget. And I can eat oatmeal with ground up flaxseed with raisins and I feel pretty good. But I still love this idea.

Third: I wish this was in my area. I love this concept! Recycled Christmas Trees is such a great idea. Maybe someday it'll come this way.

Fourth: I'm totally going to do this next March. Of course, if people would just shut off the lights when the left the room, or use energy efficient light bulbs, or just recycle...maybe we wouldn't be so bad off.

Picture Day!

This is tonight's project. I'll explain more tomorrow. Hopefully they'll turn out.



New shoes make me so very happy. Too bad you can't see the perma-grin I have on my face while I walk around in these beautiful Brooks babies. (These are Addiction 8's which are supposed to be good for my arch - let's hope they work because I almost got the Adrenaline which are so much cuter).



Okay - and this is my new handbag from Handbag Planet. I can't believe that I bought this, or the fact that I am so excited about getting to use it. Of course I live in the land of beer, fishing and hunting so this probably won't blend well at the local watering hole. Oh well. :)

21 October 2008

Uh oh...

I have a problem.

"Only one?" you may be asking yourself and yes, I only have one - at the moment.

Okay, well...really, it's two, but they go hand-in-hand.

See, I'm a reader. I like to read books. I especially like to read book series' because the story doesn't end right away and there's always something to look forward to.

My problem is that I'm reading the Twilight series and I've just finished book 2: New Moon, so I want to start book three.

The problem is that I can't find it in paperback. "Read it in hardcover!" you say.

Well...there's the crux of my problem.

Once I start a series I have to finish it the same way. So when I started the Harry Potter series in hardcover, I had to read every book in hardcover. When I was reading the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, I started it in paperback. I have been stymied since book 4 because my mom got it for me in hardcover for Christmas and I didn't have the heart to exchange it...so I've never continued reading the series (much to my dismay). And the Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin is in paperback for me...so I'm patiently awaiting book 5 (though I'll need to reread books 1-4 because it's been so long I have no idea what happened when anymore.

So now, Debbie got me hooked on the Twilight saga and it's fabulous. I got book 2 yesterday afternoon and I just finished it tonight. It has taken over my world. At noon I logged onto Amazon and B&N to see if I could find paperbacks for 3 and 4, but no...there are none to be found...yet.

This is not good. I need to know what happens but I just can't read it in hardcover! It doesn't have the same feel, the same sound, the same texture when you switch mediums - at least it doesn't for me.

So I'm sad now. And will have to suffer the weight of my burden alone.

20 October 2008

And...one more

Since the NaBloPoMo theme of the month is Vote, here's a great article. Imagine all this woman has seen over the years - the changes, the wars, the triumphs.

106-year-old voter shares hopes, secrets

Much better

Wow...another same title. Oh well.

Once I got going today I got a lot completed, though I still have a lot to do. I got my title set up for my car (I own my own car now! YAY!), I picked up my package at the post office and got two awesome items, I went to work and prepped for tomorrow which will hopefully make my life easier, I got a three mile run in (though I walked one of those miles), made my salsa chicken with guac for supper (and veggies of course), and finished two loads of laundry.

All in all this was a great day. I'm watching Prison Break which is awesome. Wentworth Miller reminds me of J in a lot of ways - not only looks, but also in some mannerisms. It's a little unnerving, but still kind of nice.

Oh...and my two awesome items in the mail today? I got Book Two of the Twilight Saga and the DVD of Spirit of the Marathon. The latter was inspiration enough to get out and run today (as well as the 5K I have this weekend). I can't wait to actually watch it again. Maybe tomorrow night.

And now, I'm back to my tasks before bed. I have to get some decent sleep tonight or I fear I'll oversleep again. That would NOT be good.

Not a good start

Okay, you know this is a bad habit when you type in the title you're thinking would work perfect for the post and it already is in the cache because you've had this similar situation before. Great.

So it's 10:30 right now. Do you know how long I've been up this morning? 30 minutes. yep. I got up at 10 am today. My plan was to get up at 7 so I could get all my errands run this morning, work the 4 hours I need to and be home by 2 this afternoon to do laundry. So now everything is shifting to the right as it seems to in my world.

I hate when I do this to myself. But thank goodness I overslept today and not tomorrow when I have to be at work at 6:30. I guess there's always a silver lining somewhere, right?

Tons to do...can't sit around here anymore. Cross your fingers for me!

19 October 2008

The tower? The tower?

Rapunzel! Rapunzel!

Okay...so I'm in an Airplane! mood. I love this movie. So many good characters...They just don't make movies like this anymore.

Of course J and I were talking about good cartoons last week too. When we were at S&A's before the game, S turned on the TV for noise while he was making breakfast. He had on some cartoon about young Spiderman or something. It came on and I immediately missed the days of the Road Runner and Bugs Bunny and of course Marvin the Martian.

I said, "Oh, I miss real cartoons." J spun around and said, "YES!" and high-fived me as we lamented the good ol' days.

Oh well. This is the week to celebrate the Smurfs and I intended to do so. More on that as the week transpires.

Sermon time....

Not by me...lucky you since I've been told I preach too much Law.

Anyway, I was getting ready for church this morning thinking about last weekend when I was visiting J. His family has a strong faith, which is great and I totally respect that. His sister has a lot of crosses hanging in her house and J wears one on a chain.

All this is all good. A lot of Christianity centers around the cross. But as I was dressing this morning I started wondering why. Why just the cross? Yes, Jesus died for our sins and Thank God for that. But it was just the death that was important. I mean, Jesus was human so death was technically inevitable (if you believe anything in Genesis). So the cross was just a minor step. The key was the empty tomb and Jesus' resurrection. That's where the bigger promise lies, I think. It's not just that Jesus died, but that He Rose.

During Big O's sermon today he was talking about this very thing. The "a-ha" moment for him, when he truly understood Easter and the amazing gift God has given us, is when he realized it wasn't just Jesus dying on the cross, or Jesus rising from the dead, but the real kicker is that Jesus still lives. He's still alive.

And that is still evident, I think, in the two sacraments Lutherans believe: Baptism and Holy Communion. Jesus shows us that He is alive and the grace that is needed with physical elements: water, and bread and wine. Amazing. This gift of grace and love is free of charge - just a complete gift from God to us - all because he loves us.

Is it ever possible to love someone so unconditionally? As humans, probably not though we try. But God can. And God does. And because of that we celebrate God not only through Baptism, Holy Communion and the Cross - but also through the empty tomb and the remembrance that Jesus is alive. Amen to that.

It's about time...

After church (with an awesome sermon...more to come on that) and a nap, I decided I better get my apartment cleaned up. Since the week before the marathon I haven't touched my mail or laundry (other than what I needed) or cleaned.

It was pretty gross and very, very dusty.

My mail pile was quite large so I thought I had better tackle that first. A couple bills, I found my lien title I need to switch over tomorrow, and more magazines than I care to admit (most of which I recycled).

But then I found a very cool package. I love surprise packages and the Mistress of All Evil sent me one while I was away on one of my trips. YAY! She sent me an adorable card, funky earrings and a beautiful bookmark (all of which she made).

So Thank You, Cate! They are beautiful and I loved finding the gift in the pile of mail crap I usually get. You're awesome!

18 October 2008

Jeans question

So my sister and I were talking jeans tonight. I was wearing my nice jeans and so I was looking good, but I can't find them anymore. I usually buy at the Gap, but my sister said "The Flirt" at Old Navy are really good. Has anyone tried these?

The younger four

Well, almost. Technically A4 is younger than Zach, but he's here and she lives out east.

So...today I spent time with my younger four nieces and nephews. This morning I headed north to see Jake & Ava. Jake had his last soccer game and being the lame aunt I am I hadn't seen a one until today. Despite the temperatures it was a lot of fun to see the 5-year-olds out running around and trying to kick the ball. They did score, which surprised me, and Jake's team technically won.

After that Mom(she came along too) and I headed to the house to play with the kids for awhile and hang with K&J. It was a great time to see them again. And J and I agreed to run a 5K together next Saturday. God willing, it won't be as cold.

Then Mom had to go into work so I dropped her off at home and headed home. I picked up a few things and headed to Target to buy season 8 of CSI. Then down to L&R's to see Zach and Emmy.

L&R got a new flat screen TV and entertainment center (not the one L wanted, according to Zach) and so they have a 19" available for me if I want it. (I have a 13" from 1993 - there's is 19" from 1989 or 1986). So I headed down to pick it up and attend the church bazaar they had going.

I walked in the door and Zach says, "It's so nice to see you again." L & I exchanged a surprised look and I said, "It's a pleasure to see you again, nephew." What an odd child sometimes. He's such a good kid and often comes up with these things that I just don't expect.

But the kids were excited to see me and had a whole slew of plans for me...beginning with challenging me to several games on Wii.

Now, I've never played Wii before (I know, I'm so behind the times) so this was a challenge. We played baseball, Guitar Hero, fishing, tennis, some weird farmyard race (which was hysterical when I took on Emmy) and various other ones I can't remember. We had a blast though and were laughing so hard.

The bazaar was good - a typical Lutheran, farming community bazaar complete with full meal of lots of salads and mashed potatoes, turkey and pie. It was a good meal, though very starchy and carby for me.

We got home and played some more Wii and Zach played his trombone for me. For only learning about 6 weeks, he's doing great.

It was a great time today. I miss my nieces and nephews. I really need to see them more often, though I will say I get to see them more now than I did. Now I just need to get out East and see the other four.

17 October 2008

For Erik

Dear Erik,
Thank you so much for your grace and understanding as I had my Aggie shirt on my avatar the last few days. I'm sorry that I have committed such an unforgiveable act in your eyes but I hope you will understand the meaning behind it and see way to turn the other cheek and allow me the opportunity to continue my life for a few more years.
God bless you dear,
~moe~

Sugar High

I don't know quite what's wrong with me. I have been so hungry lately. When I was with J last week, down in the heat and humidity that is the south, I was hardly ever hungry. I went from six mini-meals a day to two mid-size meals. I just wasn't hungry there. Thirsty, yes; but hungry? Not so much.

However, now that I'm back in the land of the cold, I find myself ravenous. I'm eating all the time again. I'm sure my body is just thinking, "Hello! It's about time you start storing up some fat for the winter, girl. It's freakin' cold here!" Of course it doesn't help that my apartment has been in the lower 60s (if not the 50s - I don't trust my temperature gauge) for the last two weeks. It was finally warmer this morning. At least I wasn't shivering when I got out of bed. I was when I went to bed last night - I laid as flat and still as I could until the sheets warmed up enough to adjust to sleep.

So this morning before 9 am I had had two waffles, a venti chai with protein, a diet mountain dew and two mini-boxes of raisins. Sheesh. Then for lunch I had my kung pao chicken, followed by Cheetos and cookies at 4 (along with another diet coke or two).

This is so not good. Thank goodness my eating plan gets back to normal Sunday. This is my fun time right now. I'm going to enjoy crappy food for a little longer and then get back to the yummy, healthy stuff like veggies and protein. Yum!

16 October 2008

Bunco!

Tonight is my monthly Bunco game with the girls from work. JJ nominated me vice president and secretary a couple months ago since the president was out of town. So I've been organizing it lately.

It's been fun, though I found it extremely amusing when the prez stopped in a bit and we told her who may be playing and one specific name was mentioned, she practically grimaced and said, "Why is she playing?"

I had smiled and said, "Because I invited her and a few other ladies on base I noticed weren't on the list. We need more players. Having only 7 or 8 a night doesn't work well." Luckily JJ chimed in and said, "We do. It'd be great if we had 16."

Well, tonight we had 7 people (in fact, ms. prez didn't even show up). It was fun though, I will say. And if the prez, JS and the unwanted one show up we'll be able to have 3 tables at least. And three would be nice.

JJ and I have a blast. Last year when we were playing during one of our breaks she said, "Okay, ladies...of all of us here who do you think is the most competitive?" Everyone pointed at her...except for her and I because we were both pointing at me. No one realized just how competitive I am...except JJ. She and both busted out laughing and had a great time busting everyone's butt that night. It was great. :)

Focus

Vacations and time off isn't always a good thing for me. Don't get me wrong, last week was amazing and I loved every moment away from work. I totally needed that.

But now I'm trying to get back into the swing of work and I have piles of it to do. Yesterday was very unfulfilling and today was just crammed with meeting after meeting so it was hard to keep motivated on what I needed to focus on, because once I'd start on one thing something else would butt its ugly head in.

I have a huge list for tomorrow and no meetings. So I'm hoping I can get everything done. I don't want all that hanging over my head this weekend, because this weekend I need to clean and finish unpacking.

My next step in my apartment is to update my furniture. I really feel sometimes like I have a college kids dorm room...just bigger. I have the same couch since college, which while fabulous and it sucks you in, it's avocado green and the couch cover I have doesn't cover it well enough. The huge coffee table is great but it's a little big and I don't really like it, yet I do. The rest of my furniture is Target or Shopko specials - the pressed-wood-put-it-together-yourself or plastic-crates-you-should-just-use-for-filing-but-now-are-bookcases kind of furniture.

My sister has a hand-me-down TV she said she'd give me. It's 19 inches which is 6 more than I have right now. I'll admit a little larger tv would be nice, but I hate getting new stuff if what I have works fine. Of course, this isn't new and I don't have to pay for it, so maybe I should. But then I'd need to get rid of my tv because I don't need or want two tv's. One is bad enough. I'll have to think about it.

After I get my living room done I need to move on to my bedroom. If my living room is bad, my bedroom is worse. Oh...it's overwhelming. OKay...back to the original plan: unpack.

Ding!

Today is National Boss Day (thanks, JB!) and so I headed to the local grocery this morning to get something for Boss1 and Boss2. I opted for a mini flower - seriously...a Mini Flower - it was palm size. It was cute. Boss1 didn't believe me when I said it was the holiday, but he liked the flower. I still feel like a putz for spending so little on him because he truly deserves so much more. I am truly blessed to be working for and with him.

But, on my way to the grocery store I'm driving along, minding my own business and suddenly I hear a "ding!" Shit. This usually means my tires are low (which they shouldn't be since they are all brand new) or something else is wrong with the car. I scanned quickly, trying to figure out what was wrong when suddenly I notice my tachometer blinking.

Damn. It's 37 degrees out. My car beeps at me when it gets below 37 so I'll be aware of possible slippery roads. Joy. It's mid-October and it's 37 (actually, it ended up down to 35 and the lady at the store said it was 31 when she woke up this morning).

I haven't turned on my heat yet. I'm really trying to hold off. Last year I didn't turn it on until December when it snowed. But I had left my window open all last weekend and even though I closed it as soon as I returned Tuesday, my apartment has not warmed up at all. I need to bake. Maybe that would help.

15 October 2008

Quick ramble

Driving to work today I realized that my most recent trip was probably my last vacation of the year. I don't really count my weekends up to the Cities because those are so commonplace anymore. But I'm kind of sad about that because it seems so soon - there are still 2 1/2 months left! Sheesh...But maybe I can convince J to come visit me or if he doesn't want to face the snow, maybe he'll save me from it for a long weekend again sometime this winter.

Getting back to work was okay. Tomorrow will be worse because my day is cram packed. I should have stayed at work later tonight but I need to start unpacking. I hate unpacking as much as I hate packing. Ugh.

Tomorrow is Boss' Day so I need to get to bed so I can get to the store in the AM and get Boss1 something. He's awesome and deserves some gift. :)

I'm not going to write a lot tonight. I think I've more than made up for it over the past few days.

14 October 2008

Disclaimer: La version revisited

Okay - so everything I wrote this weekend and today has been uploaded. Have fun catching up. I had a great time and now it's time to get back to the grind. Have a great evening and day!

One vent from the weekend

Here's a vent. Friday after the 5K, J&I get home and I see mom left me a message. So I call her up to see what's what.

I hadn't told her where I was going because I just didn't want questions or the constant phone calls before I left asking me when I was leaving or the onslaught of questions when I get home.

Anyway, she's all freaking out because I hadn't called her back on Thursday.
“Are you at work?” No.
“Did you work yesterday?” No.
“Why not?” Because I have time to use, mom, why do I have to have a reason to take time off?
“Oh well, I called you several times yesterday and you never called me back and you live alone, daughter, and need to tell people where you are.” Then she goes into a huge rant about her friend (who lives in the other building where I live and is in her late 60's or early 70's) who lives alone and had to go in for brain surgery and what about Laurie who collapsed at home and what if no one went to check on her? Etc. etc. Etc.

I was annoyed because basically this means I should be giving her and everyone I know my schedule of events so if I don't show up for something someone will come to check on me – just in case something may happen. Basically my life is supposed to be on showcase for everyone else to see.

But it's not like she does this in return, which makes me wonder if she wants this – for us to check on her every every day, which let's face it, we probably should as children and we don't.

What kind of makes me laugh is that she was soooo worried but Thursday she had only left one message at 10:30 am, and never called my cell phone until Friday AM. Then we talked but she hasn't checked on me since. Kind of a double standard there, or maybe she's just not as worried as she claims, she just doesn't like me not telling her everything in my life.

The part that really frustrates me is that truly I have no qualms telling her what I'm doing, it's that she has to know EVERYthing. And that feels like a huge thumb just pushing down on me, keeping me from living my life. It's like when I would tell her I was going up to Kevin's and tell her if she wanted to come along she could – but no pressure...if she had other plans, no biggie. Basically I was offering her a ride if she wanted it. She'd just sigh and say, “I suppose I could go.” like it was an obligation because I asked or because I was going and so she had to too. I hate that. And if you question her about it she gets pissy and defensive which makes me not want to even ask.

Talking with J this weekend about family issues, I'm thinking I need to get a therapist and talk through some of this. I need to know if I'm crazy or just being petty or what. I hate feeling like this.

Now I'm home.

12:30pm
Well, I'm between the first and second legs waiting for my next flight. I have my chai in hand and I'm ready to go.

This morning J went to work and commanded me to sleep in. Fine. I dozed a little but mostly just lied there until I dragged out of bed at 8. A shower, dress, hair, finish packing and I was set. I wrote J a Thank You note (I hope he finds it) and slid it under his pillow. Then I walked around his apartment, breathing it all in. I'm not sure when I'll be back but I hope soon. I suppose I could have gone for a run this morning, but J locked me in so I wasn't going anywhere.

J came to pick me up with some news about work which was exciting. He asked what I had been doing all morning so I told him. He chuckled at the thought of me breathing in his apartment.

We talked about how I have only been here 4 days (4 ½ but who's counting) but it seemed longer – in a good way. And we were busy during that time but not overly so. He calls it “J's Tours, Aloha style.”

We're now talking about him coming up to see me next, but possibly not until spring. So maybe I'll have to go down again this winter.

For now, I'm just waiting for flights, fighting back tears on occasion when I wonder when we'll see each other again, just getting ready to face the normal world again.

4pm -
Here I sit in Mpls Airport. Coming in from the south, the pilot had to circle around to the west side of the city to come in to land. What a joy, getting to see all of my city and all the colors.

The oranges and yellows were bright, even on this overcast day, shining their light for all to see – standing out amongst the greens and browns and reds. It was breathtaking. Imagine what it would have been like if the sun had been shining! Wow!

The trip here was okay. I had a window seat in front of an exit row, which limits my chair movement (not that I ever lean my chair back). I'm not one to do that because I hate it when people do it in front of me, which of course is exactly what happened. I'm not a fan of tight spaces anyway and plane are usually hit or miss. If I can stay with some personal space, I'm usually okay. But have someone in front of me push their chair back and suddenly things are tight.

So my defense is to sleep. Which is what I did, even though I hate sleeping on planes. But since I'm rereading Twilight to keep busy and I didn't have room to write, sleeping is my best option.

It kind of reminded me of when I'd sleep on the bus to games in High School. Your body is in an awkward half-sitting, half-leaning position; the jerking of the vehicle making your stomach swirl leaving you to wonder what it will be like when things come to a stop.

--

One great thing about this trip is that I didn't bite off my nails while I was there. I did pick at them and think about it, but I held off.

I'm hoping I can keep that up. No scary movies for awhile, I guess. They look nice, and i hope I can keep it going.

Look at me becoming a girl. :) Just kidding, but I'm thinking it might be time to get my eyebrows done. I've always put it off, fearing I'd end up with pencil lines that I have to fill in with make up, but I've been noticing I have a few strays that could and probably should go away. Sheesh...I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

My flights got pushed to the right, as we say, so I'm getting in about four hours later than I had planned, so tonight will be a quick unpack and see if I need to do any laundry. I can't remember if I washed my uniform before I left or not – I don't think I did so I need to get that done and ironed. I feel a little guilty because I'm not quite like J when it comes to my uniform. He likes his heavy starched whiled I'm more of the wash, iron and wear kind of gal. Oh well, we have new uniforms coming so soon I won't be needing to worry about it much longer.

*sigh* That bittersweet feeling is coming again. One leg to go...then home again to my messy apartment and my awesome job.

Disclaimer: La version

The posts that show up below this one for the past 5 days were actually written on those days in reference, but due to not having Internet access, I had to just write and post now. Sorry. Another note is that apparently airlines make me wordy so I wrote a lot all weekend, so if I don't get everything uploaded tonight, I will tomorrow. My apologies to those going through Moe withdrawal.

13 October 2008

Last day... I'm sad

This was a great day. J&I laid around talking till noon, finally pulling ourselves up and showering and heading out for lunch. J had some errands to run so, much to my delight, we made a list! I LOVE lists!

The afternoon was great, driving around, getting things accomplished and just being normal together (not touristy). Though we did do one touristy thing. We ate at the buffet at the racetrack, then checked out the track. We both agreed it wasn't something we would do, but it would be fun to go and watch sometime. Maybe my next trip.

After our errands, we had dinner at a Mexican place that reminded me a lot of Don Pablo's in the cities. I swear they had the same tables. It made me long to learn a bit of Mexican cooking. I'm going to have to see what I can do.

Then we went to see The Express: The Ernie Davis Story. This was a great movie which totally made me cry. I teared up a few times and at one point after I sniffled J looked over and whispered, “There she goes!” He was a doll before the movie though and got me napkins since I had forgotten my kleenex in the truck.

After the movie J had a phone call so I went and packed while he stayed outside and talked. Oh and on the way back, I found out my flight tomorrow AM is canceled and I got moved to a later one. This throws off our plans but maybe will work out ok. J's going to go to work and then come back and take me to the airport later so I can sleep in. Yeah, like I'll sleep.

But while he was chatting I packed my bag up. I hate packing. I've said that before. It's annoying, but I figured out where things would go and hopefully it'll stay that way.

J had a new wax he wanted to try to see if he could get some scratches out of his truck so he did that while I checked email quick to see if my flights had anymore updates.

I know you're thinking I should have uploaded everything then, but that would have taken a lot of time. So I just cleaned up my email and got offline.

J came up after waxing and looked at my paper for work to give me some tips. He ripped it up, but not too harshly. Maybe I'll see if he'll look at some other issues for me later. We need some help.

Now it's bedtime again. My last night here. It's kind of bitter sweet. The trip has been fantastic, but I'm not sure I'm ready to leave.

12 October 2008

There he is!

How funny. J came in from talking with his sister (finally) and then sat down and watched the end of the Cowboy game with me. It was painful, the latter, I will say.

Then I made us spaghetti with ground turkey while we watched Major League. This was another of the movies we wanted to see this weekend. We got into the whole quote game during our phone conversations before I came down and so we needed to watch it.

He then asked if I had ever seen his pics from Hawaii. No, but I figured he was holding out since I hadn't gone to visit him when he lived there. So we gathered at his laptop and looked at all his photos. J really has a gift for graphic design and photography. Everything was beautiful. He also showed me his school he's going to so he can complete his bachelor degree.

Then he pulled up YouTube and said, “Who are we looking for?” We had been talking about Victor Borge earlier so we plugged it in and found a few videos.

I love Victor Borge and luckily J does now too. We were laughing our butts off during his phonetic punctuation segments – both just reading and then doing it as Dean Martin was singing. Hilarious.

Then we looked up Airplane! Clips. OMG. There's a clip of all the Johnny scenes (which are my personal favorites and truly feel they make the movie). I was laughing so hard I had tears pouring down my cheeks. J was laughing just as hard. We flipped around from Airplane to Spaceballs and finally had to quit because my gut hurts so bad.

So now, once again, I'm tired. This is really a great trip and I'm sad tomorrow is my last day. Oh well...make the best of it right?

Where did you go now...

Well, this is interesting. J's been gone for an hour trying to get a hold of his other sister to talk. I don't mind being left alone, but I'm getting a little worried. I napped a bit and the Cowboy/Cardinal game is on so I'm okay. I just kind of miss him and am worried about him.

This morning we went to church. J goes to the Methodist church down the way and they have Sunday School classes for all age groups. He's in the Transition Class for those not married, out of college. He's the oldest in the group (with the exception of me today).

The “class” is basically a small group setting. The Assoc. Pastor (AP for this segment) talks with them a bit about their week, then they watch a video and discuss it.

This was the video we watched (though it was a bit longer) on Prayer. The class is using Rob Bell's NOOMA series. The video was good, I will say. The discussion amongst J, Marty and AP was centering around prayer “asking” God for things.

I sat back and listened a bit to what they were saying. Then AP called on me. I said that prayer isn't just asking God for things or thanking God – it's a constant conversation with God. It doesn't always have to be grateful. Rob Bell had even touched briefly on the Lament Psalms and I threw in Job because often the conversations you need to have with God are ones when you are really letting your emotions go: Be ticked off, Let God know. It's okay to do that.

J said after class that when she called on me he thought, “Here we go. Step back!” Whatever. I just wanted the guys to realize that God isn't just there for our gratefulness. He knows life sometimes stinks and it's okay to let that out too.

Then J and I went to “big church” as he calls it. The sermon was great – talking about how Hope is stronger than memory and we need to keep looking forward and not get sucked into the past. The message was very fitting for both J&I at this point in our lives. We were very contemplative during lunch and our conversation really centered around these points. It's nice to have someone to talk to about it all.

But now he's – hopefully – on the phone with his sister working out that side of things too.

11 October 2008

Go Aggies!*

*Please E&K, don't hate me.

I just realized that I didn't write about Thursday night. So here I go...

As soon as I landed I dialed up J's phone and asked "What are you wearing?" which is another running joke we have. He said, "Sage green. A lot of sage green." Ha ha...very funny.

We chatted until we met up at the end of the security checkpoint. *sigh* It was so awesome to see him again. We hugged and I did not want to let go.

We retrieved my luggage and headed to his place so he could change out of his uniform. We talked the entire way which was great. One of my fears was that we wouldn't have enough to discuss. But we jumped right in and hit the ground running.

We went to BW3s for dinner and then we walked around the boardwalk, talking and walking for hours. At one point my brother Kevin called, whom I haven't talked to in awhile. While he and I talked J entertained me by dancing to a Michael Jackson tune which was blaring from an area restaurant.

We drove home and continued talking until almost 11 which was late for both of us. It was so great. We just sunk back into our roles as friends even though it had been years since last seeing each other. So far so good, I thought.

Now...I wrote about Friday already so back to Today.

J woke up before me and headed downstairs to see if his nephew H was awake. I stayed in bed a little longer because I figured he needed a little one-on-one time wiht H and his Sister A.

I went down about 30 minutes later and met his sister who is a doll. J&! went to the grocery store to get breakfast goods and such for the day. Honestly it was quite fun to go shopping with him. He got to see my quirkiness when buying eggs (I check each and every egg int he container to make sure they aren't broke on the bottom). He just laughed at me.

We headed back and when J's bro-in-law S started breakfast we realized J's sis had already left. So we enjoyed some OJ on the back porch playing with the dogs - Lucy, Chase and Chiquita. Lucy's a Lab and very territorial. When the other two would head to J&I to be petted, Lucy would grab them by the tail and swing them away. We found this extremely funny so we taunted the little dogs over just to see Lucy in action. (*No dogs were injured during this time.)

After a yummy breakfast of breakfast burritos, J&I showered (separately, of course) and got ready for the game.

J wanted to give me a tour of the campus so we walked around a bit and then went to the student center so I could get a shirt. I was wearing a light blue tee which had me standing out like a sore thumb in a sea of maroon (It was a Maroon Out day). J was pleased I got a shirt and it made me happy to fit in for once. And it is a nice shirt. :)

We took the trek up to the Zone and all I could think was "Thank God today isn't the day after the marathon." Truly I never would have made it. This was a ramp that was 5 or 6 stories high and just kept going and going. J thought it'd be good for PT training but I just wanted to get to the top and get some water. Food was not a necessity at that point - but water. (To which I also kept thinking about what Powell had said when he came back from internship in Texas that you're not hungry in the heat - which was so true.)

We finally made it to the top - to the Zone - and found our seats which were incredible. They were in perfect sight range for the field and right in the Texas sun.

The national anthem was great with F-16s from Lackland AFB doing the fly-by. THAT was a rush. Both of us love F-16s so that was an incredible moment as they flew right over our heads. We could almost see their nose hairs. Wow...

The game...well...the game was rough. As J kept saying, "The band was great!" But the team struggled - a lot of turnovers, bad calls, poor playing. The band was great - sharp looking, tight formations, excellent playing. And despite not bleeding maroon and white, it was hard for me not to get caught up in the moment of it all.

After the game, J and I walked by a statue of some guy who saved A&M from closing years ago. Students now put pennies at his feet for good luck on exams. Then we walked under the Century Tree where we quizzed the locals for the legend. One girl was supposed to take her friend's pics under the tree but she wouldn't walk under the tree alone or she'd never get married (as legend has it). J and I were already walking under it so he took her camera and took the picture for them.

Then J took me to another memorial across campus. The Bonfire Memorial was for the 12 students who died in 1999 when the traditional bonfire collapsed. The memorial is a beautiful tribute and I found myself tearing up even though I had no clue who these kids were.

After about 30 minutes there we headed back across campus to our parking garage which confused the hell out of us, but eventually we found the truck. Then a quick stop at the mall to exchange some items for J before heading back to his sisters for dinner.

When we got there H was still awake so we played with him while J related our day to S&A. When he got to the Century Tree and how we had walked under it, A gave ma a look. Hmmm...Yes, I know the legend, J knew the legend, but whether that legend comes true will be a good question.

I had fun playing with H while S&A cooked dinner and J hung out with them. H is such a cutie and we banged toys and crawled all over the living room. It was fun. A was a little surprised when I told her I have 8 nieces and nephews and 1 Goddaughter. This is the first little one in their family so I'm sure that struck her funny.

It was a brat and hotdog night at the household. I was starving, having not eaten since breakfast, but I held off a bit on devouring all the food. One brat, some chili, some mac-n-cheese and sweet tea. That was plenty. If I had eaten more I'd be sick right now.

During supper was interesting. S brought up a sensitive family matter to J for them to discuss - right in front of me which surprised me. I didn't really care and actually was kind of glad because a) I didn't have to talk then and b) I was able to be there for J when he needed a sounding board later.

After dinner we headed back to home, even though it's a 3-4 hour drive and it was already almost 8pm. J and I plan on going to church tomorrow so we wanted to go. He was tired though so I got to drive the Big Truck! :) Of course anything is big compared to a MINI.

It was a pretty uneventful trip. J's getting ready for bed now, even though he slept about an hour on the way home. I should probably get ready for bed too. Tomorrow should be a good day, I hope.

10 October 2008

Secret!

Okay, so don't tell Keith, but I ran/walked the 5K this morning. It was fun, I will say, though my knees were killing me. God bless JWG since he was willing to walk when I needed to, which was often. I actually finished in 35:03, which was surprising since I did walk a lot. I think the first mile was a little fast, though with the humidity I have no idea if I couldn't breathe because I was running too fast or because of the humidity.

After the run, JWG gave me a tour of the area, getting pulled over for a minor speeding moment which was interesting (I had him talking and distracted), and then we headed home to shower and ice my knees. We ended up napping a little bit before heading out for lunch and ice cream. They have a Baskin Robbins in town which I was so excited for, but they didn't have Daiquiri Ice so I had to settle for mint chocolate chip. Then we watched When Harry Met Sally... because JWG hadn't seen it before. That was a nice end to the afternoon because then we packed for Texas.

We drove down to Bryan, Texas, tonight because tomorrow we're going to the A&M game versus K-state. His sister works down there so this worked out really well. We ate at Whataburger, one of JWG's favorites, and continued on our way. We had a running joke, "What do you want to talk about?" the entire way down. JWG hates dead silence on long drives, while I'm okay with comfortable silences with someone I trust. So as we got on the road, I swung around in my seat to face him and said, "Soooooo, whatchya wanna talk about?" in my best valley girl voice. It triggered a laugh, luckily, and thus our conversations began. I can't even tell you what we talked about but we covered a gamut of topics. It was great.

Our original plan was to go the Midnight Yell pep rally thing but we pulled in after 11 and we were so tired that we're just going to crash. J's down checking his messages right now and I'm going to bed. Tomorrow will be fun!

09 October 2008

On the plane rambles

I'm on a puddle jumper now. Not totally because I've been on smaller planes byt I'm not a big fan - crowded, tight spaces and recirculated air - JOY.

Does anyone else get this feeling? I'll be sitting on a plane, completely stopped, but feel like I'm moving - especially on planes. I hate that. It's like the nausea all over again.

I checked my bag today and I hope it makes it. I have this bad feeling that I've forgotten my toothbrush. We may have to make a quick trip out tonight. What kills me is I remember setting it in its cradle this morning and then thinking, "Don't forget that!" But I think I did. I hate when i do that.

I started reading Twilight this week and finished it on my last hop. what a great book! I ordered the first book (since I borrowed Debbie's) and the second from Amazon for my collection. Hopefully they'll be at my door when I return home next week. I can't wait to continue the saga.

So there are a couple open seats in front of me and the flight attendant said we could move if we wanted. But I'm not going to do that - and here's why:

I'm a dork. I have this fear - not just of falling - but if the plane were to crash and I'm not in my seat assigned on the manifest, that my remains wouldn't be claimed and i'd be forever missing. Aren't I a dork?

So I'm excited and nervous for this last stop. There I'll get to reacquaint with my friend JWG. It's been 5 years since we last saw each other, though we've talked in between then, so this seems a little like a blind date. it's not...not completely. It's just been a long time.

So I have this irrational fear of disappointing him. I've changed since we last saw each other and I fear I treated him kind of poorly the last time we did. At the time I was really unsure of myself - who I was, what I was doing with my life, where I was headed. And here he was, swooping in, all charming and handsome. I didn't know what to do.

Kind of like I feel right now. I don't know what to do. How will we greet? Will we get along? Will this be the start of something more or just a continuation and renewal of our friendship? Or both?

He seems very calm about this whole thing. Of course his past relationships despite ending seem to have been fairly normal. Mine? Not so much. I don't know that I've had a "real" relationship since college - the one that I had in college. So I'm really not sure how to act today.

They should have a course - Dating 101 or Dating for Dummies, but I think that may have been called High School. And stupid me didn't sign up for that one - I took Advanced Chem, but dating? nope. Stupid Stupid me. Not that this is a date anyway.

Well, we're landing shortly. I'm nervous and excited. I can't wait!

A little bit more

I'm nauseous.

Okay so I love to fly but I always get nauseated. I hate that feeling. sometimes I wish I could just throw up but it never gets quite that bad.

In fact (sorry...this may be gross), I haven't thrown up since 1994. I've gotten close - closer than just flying - but never to the point of hurling. I kind of wish I could though. This constant "almost" vomit thing is really annoying and uncomfortable.

It's days like this I long for the oxygen switch F-16 pilots get to have.

Yes, I've ridden in an F-16. Please don't hate me. It's been a few years and I totally loved every minute and really want to go up again. I'll write about that sometime but besides the thrill of it what I loved was the oxygen available whenever I'd get a wee bit queasy (which only happened at the very end when I thought about it). Then I could turn the dial and breathe in the oxygen and feel fine. Instantly I would calm.

Of course we don't get that on commercial flights unless we're crashing. I think Tyler Durden was right - it's then just to instill a euphoria within the passengers as they are crashing.

But I could really use some right now. One more flight to go...

Here I go...

I love flying. When I was younger I really, really, really wanted to be a pilot (partly because I thought it would be cool but also because my dad wanted to be one when he was in the Air Force, but he couldn't because of a heart murmur).

But alas, I'm fairly blind - well, VERY hard of seeing. In fact if I don't have my contacts in, "clear" is when something is 4-5 inches from my face.

So I'm stuck to flying commercially, and there's nothing wrong with that. I know many pilots and I trust them.

My favorite part is during take off. Once you're on the runway, gliding down toward the end you have no way out. the adrenaline and anticipation is high. I can feel the pressure of the intense, increasing speed pressing me back into the seat, and there's the inching closer and closer to that momentary lift where you're lifted slowly off your seat and the entire plane relinquishes its hold on the ground. The silence is almost deafening as the wheels stop rolling and are free to spin in the air until they are pulled back into their safety hold.

I love that feeling. The rest of flying is...well okay. I mean if you're in an F-16 or something that's a little different. But commercial flying - the take off is great.

I'm on vacation!

I woke up in a panic this morning because I couldn't remember where my luggage lock is. Sheesh. You'd think I'd know these things but it's been 3 years since I've traveled by air. This should be interesting.

So I'm off. I'll write every day but I may not be able to upload until next week. Have a great weekend everyone!

08 October 2008

On a marathon note

I am walking a lot better today, which does make me happy. I have very little pain left - a little in my left ankle and my right quad. I'm going to do some moist heat tonight and then hopefully I'll be right as rain. :)

And because I am who I am, I'm trying to figure out what my next race(s) will be. I do have a few planned and hopefully I'll be able to pull them off:

- World Run Day, November 9, 2008
- A Turkey Day 5K at a nearby town where you actually get a pumpkin pie at the finish. I'm trying to talk my Sis-In-Law to run this with me. She hasn't replied on that one.
- St. Patty's Day 5K in town, March 17, 2008
- Brookings Marathon, May 16, 2008

After this, I'm not sure. Grandma's Marathon would be awesome, since it's so well-known, but I'm not sure I want to travel to Duluth. I still like the Leading Ladies marathon in Spearfish, S.D., because I've driven that route and it's beautiful.

I'd like to run TC again because I really want to beat my time there, but maybe it's not about the race, but about the race. Does that make sense? Not the race location but the race itself: the marathon. I need to beat my time. 6 hours is decent, and official, but I know I can run faster and I need to be able to do that.

That's where my training comes in. I'm trying to cut out crappy food and going for the good stuff - more veggies and lean protein, better exercise program throughout the day, and keeping positively motivated.

Here's hoping!

Time for a vacation

Today was a weird day. I wasn't really in the mood to be at work, but I really had to be there to get a few things done. And as a queen of procrastination I did put off a few things that didn't have to be done today until next week when I return.

I stupidly told the friend I'm visiting that I would run a 5K on Friday. But then after talking with Keith I think I'm going to have to back out. Keith said I need at least a week to let my muscles heal. He's right, as usual, so I suppose I'll back out or at the very least just walk it.

I'm really excited for my trip. But I hate packing. I'm such a horrible packer. I end up bringing along too much, the wrong stuff, things I didn't really want to wear but I thought they'd look good and then the stuff I'd rather be wearing I don't have. And this trip is going to be tough because it's a longer trip AND it's not a work trip where I have most of my wardrobe already planned. Now I have to actually figure out "outfits" for almost a week. Ugh.

So last night I went shopping and found a few things that I need but not the styles or types I wanted. All my favorite things seem to have been discontinued so I had to spend hours trying on new styles of various items to figure out what fits best and still looks okay. Frustrating.

And I have to pack running stuff because I will be back to normal this weekend and will need to do a little jogging, even if it's not a 5K (one mile, Moe, only one mile - says Keith). And then there's the toiletries and shoes (which I'm also horrible picking out) and whatever else I may or may not need.

Ugh. I'm going to need a vacation once I get done packing tonight. Good thing I'll be heading out tomorrow to do just that. Should be interesting. :)

07 October 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

If you know me, and a few of you do, I'll be talking about the marathon for a week or so...unless my vacation provides better fodder.

So here's another little marathon item.

Remember when I went to the Spirit of the Marathon? Well the DVD is available now either via the website or via Amazon. If you're into running, thinking about a marathon, or just love great inspiration stories...get this movie. It's incredible.

In fact, Dick Beardsley says at one point that once you cross that finish line, whether you run slow or run fast, it will change your life forever. It's true. So very true.

And just in case you're not sure...here's a YouTube glimpse.

The day after the day after

Remember earlier how I said Debbie commented on the very specific walk marathoners have after running?

Watch this...you'll understand.

That said, today was much better than yesterday. I was actually able to turn on my side while I slept last night without killing myself. I also was able to get up and walk with only minor incidents as shown in the video.

This walking funny thing is driving me nuts and so today at lunch I went for a walk. That helped a lot, I think, but it hurt a lot while I did it. At one point I attempted to jog...hahaha. That was hysterical. Monday I was barely walking out of Perkins and laughing with hysterics because everything hurt sooooo bad. Today trying to run was the same experience. It hurt so bad all I could do was laugh.

I leave on my next trip in a couple days so I needed to go shopping tonight to pick up a few things I need - new jeans, new undergarments, new t's.

The middle task was a chore. I buy my items at Victoria's Secret. This is all good except they discontinued my favorite bra. Oh the agony. So I had to try on all new styles and types and get resized and crap. It sucked. But I found a couple bras that will work until I lose all the excess weight I need to lose. Of course then I'll have to get resized again. Ugh.

But I got my tasks accomplished and tomorrow will be laundry and packing night. I'm excited. My true vacation is finally coming up and I can't wait. And hopefully I'll be able to jog a little tomorrow.

06 October 2008

On the road again

After dragging my body out of bed this morning, which was an interesting endeavor to do alone and with no body parts really functioning, I checked out of the dreaded Hilton and headed to my first appointment. I kept waiting for the lady at the desk to ask how my stay was but I think she read it on my face that it sucked. I think there's something on my receipt where I can call and I'm thinking I just might. I can understand to save energy and conservation and all to not have the refrigerator or microwave, but to have to pay an additional charge for Internet? Hell, Super 8 gives you free Internet and a free continental breakfast and for about a quarter of the cost!

Anyway, as I did last year I had to go to MINI to get my car serviced. Last year was a fluke because my power steering went out the morning of the race, but this year I had planned this. I needed an inspection and new tires and apparently a new fan for my power steering which they didn't replace last year.

Debbie graciously picked me up and took me to Perkins for breakfast. YAY! A real breakfast! I had eggs, bacon, fruit and toast. mmmm it was so good. Debbie also loaned me Twilight so I could start reading that series. I'll admit that I was able to get fairly far into it during the rest of my wait at MINI and will probably be on my purchase list once I find money to do so after this trip.

Driving home was interesting. Let me just say to all you potential marathoners. Jeans are a good thing to wear when driving and you can barely move your legs. The leg endings are really good for using as a lift to move your legs where you want them.

So now I'm home and not unpacked. I have a uniform at work so I'm just going to change there tomorrow so I can leave work early and run some errands. I have to start planning for my next trip which begins Thursday. :) I get to visit a friend down south whom I haven't seen in 5 years. I'm really excited. Hopefully I can walk by then.

Disclaimer

The posts that show up below this one for the past two days were actually written on those days in reference, but due to the hated hilton not having actual Internet in their rooms, I had to just write and post now. Sorry.

05 October 2008

I'm official!

So the morning didn't start out well. My oatmeal didn't show up until 6:30 and I needed to be out the door at 6:35 so that wasn't going to work. I did cancel it so I better not get charged tomorrow. So I had to improvise breakfast – a bar of some sort that I had gotten free in the mail earlier last week and Accelerade. Joy. Not the best option – no protein other than what's in Accelerade and the calorie count was low. This would come back to bite me in the ass later.

So the weather guys were a little off and one of them who was running got a lot of shit from spectators, Debbie told me later. It started raining – a light sprinkle – at mile 2. By mile 6 it was a downpour – well not quite but it was heavy. I was squeezing water from my skirt and shirt. Joy. Then the rain stopped and the cold Easterly wind came up and I was numb from the neck down.

By now it's mile 12 and I started cramping really bad in my quads. It was now that I wished I had worn tights instead of the skirt – stupid me. But by that time there's no turning back. So I spent a lot of 12-19 walking or stretching or jogging – in that order. After that I was just tight so I walked when I needed and ran when I could.

I did finish officially – which makes me a very happy camper. 6 hours on the nose and I got to run through the Target tunnel and see all these water stops I wasn't even close to last year. :) That was fun. At points I thought to myself, “I don't remember running through this area.” Oh yeah, because I walked more of it last year and I was looking down in shame most of that time.

My first two hours really saved me I think. My first 5 miles were completed in 58:24. Holy shit! I've never run that consistently. The second hour I lost 7 minutes because I walked a bit more here. Then it went down hill. At the point where I officially got kicked off the course last year one of the race guys rode by. I asked how he was and where the Sweep Bus was. He said, “About 2 miles back.” I said, okay. And he said, “I'm assuming you want it to stay back there.” Hell yeah! I don't want to get on that.

So I started doing the math, where I was, how many miles I still had to go, what pace I'd need to stay at or under to stay in front of the sweep bus and still finish officially. That helped my brain keep going, which was good.

Highlights this year:
- Seeing Sean and Becky at mile 4. And Debbie moments later. That was a great boost to my adrenaline...much needed and very grateful.
- The guy at one of the 20 miles (I think 21 but I'm not positive – those all run together when you get to that point) who was playing Irish jigs on a recorder. Suh-weet.
- The EMS lady just before mile 19 who said, “You're just about to the bridge!” And I replied, “Yep, it's all up hill from there!” She laughed and wished me luck.
- Ron, Holly and Ann – all whom I met and walked/ran with at different points on the course. Ron and Holly started out with me, Ron finished just a few minutes before me and I'm praying to God that Holly is okay. She wasn't feeling well at mile 23. I'm not sure if Ann dropped at 19 or not...she mentioned she might, but I'm not sure what she did.
- The spectator lady who said, “You're doing great and your hair still looks good!” at mile 22.
- Trish who ran by me and said, “You're doing a great job, runner.”
- Being called “Blue Lady” all morning in light of my shirt. Maybe I should have put my name on it...I just didn't want to.
- The Obama for President group chanting, "Yes You Can!" That was great and inspired smiles and a few chuckles from my running mates.
- The guy running with both an American flag and POW flag – and they were huge. I don't know how he did it.
- The fact I ran the first 6 miles without stopping to walk at all; the fact I ran up hills I had to walk last year; the fact I finished officially, running across the finish line right at 6:00 and hearing my name called out.
- Debbie seeing me on the big screen (they video the finish line on a big screen for the spectators to watch). I hope I looked okay and not as dead as I felt.
- Stretching afterward with the super cute boy watching me the entire time. I'm sure he was just critiquing my technique. But he was nice eye candy while I was trying to keep my muscles limber.
- Various texts from friends when I finished – finding out Jenna had tracked me the entire time, JG's text while I was running sending me well wishes of the Force being with me, and others.

So after I ran and stretched, Debbie took me back to the hotel to shower, ice and change. We went to Major's for dinner and I had super yummy tilapia with lots of veggies. Yum. No beer this year though. I'm sticking with water (and maybe a chai tomorrow) for a few days.

Then I waddled to the Guthrie. Waddled, I say, because Debbie commented how you can really tell who ran today – because they have a very distinctive walk. I debated on going because I'd be sitting for so long, but I did anyway. I continued to stretch out my legs during the performance as well as I could. I am in the front row so I have room to stretch, but I was trying not to be annoying to my row mates. I went up stairs at intermission and I discovered it's easier to go up than down on stairs when your ankles are hurting like no other (not to mention your quads and knees).

The play was freakin' awesome. “A View from the Bridge” by Arthur Miller. It was really awesome, intense and emotional. I loved it and I'm really glad I went.

Now I'm back in my hated Hilton room and took a cool bath to try to ease my muscles...it didn't really work, so I'm going to bed. I'm tired and it's a busy day tomorrow.

04 October 2008

Part two of day one

It's later. Debbie, her friend Lisa, and I all had a nice time at TGI Friday's. I got my chicken and broccoli which made me happy and Debbie and I were able to connect for everything tomorrow.

I'm getting more and more nervous as the time ebbs closer. My plan isn't going well and as more and more people keep asking me, and I keep thinking about all the people back home who asked me about how I was going to do and what I was doing this weekend and me telling them that I was running a marathon, just adds all this more pressure. THIS is usually why I keep my life my own. Because if for some reason I fail, and it's always a possibility though I'm praying to God that it won't, I have so many more people I have to answer to.

And this isn't supposed to be about them. It's supposed to be about me. This is one of the few places in my life where I really put me first. I don't do this often, though I'm trying to work on self-care. This is my thing, no one elses.

So I'm not only worried about letting everyone else down and having to answer to them, but I'm fearful of letting myself down. Debbie said tonight that - when I was at mile 19 last year and asked if I could go home and she said, “What do you think?” to which I replied, “Fine, I'll see you at the end.” - I just didn't really want to quit. I'm hoping I can keep that will and determination going this year. I need to for me.

So I'm reformulating my game plan for tomorrow. I'm pulling things together. Sarah and Eric nicely helped me get my mind off the race for awhile...more on there method later. And now I need to go to bed and get some good sleep. I hope I can – new bed, new surroundings, worry of the unknown. It's nights like this I long for NyQuil. :)

9:50 – And I just decided to suck it up and order breakfast as room service. I need something in the morning so I ordered oatmeal. That should be good for the race. That and a little Accelerade goes a long way. I hope. Pray for me!

I'm here and soon it will begin

It's 4pm and I'm sitting in my hotel room. Joy. I'm at the Hilton. You'd think I'd be happy.

Not so much.

See I just laid down a whole ton of cash to stay here – even with the “group rate” for the marathon – and the amenities are few.

Yes, I have two double beds with super thick mattresses, 4 pillows on each plus a neck pillow which I'll use for my knees; I have a huge tv, 4x the size of mine with some sort of gaming set up connected (I'm not a gamer so I'm not sure which); I have a marble (faux, maybe) top desk and a fancy ergonomic chair; the bathroom has plush towels, Crabtree & Evelyn products and a hair dryer for my use; and the view of down town Mpls is beautiful – I can see Orchestra Hall from my window.

But, I have no refrigerator, no microwave, no Internet access (well I can access the Internet only if I'd like to pay $7 an hour or $13-14 a day) and no other good things like my normal dwelling place has (plastic plates and silverware which while not 'green' are a lifesaver when I forget mine at home). And I had to pay for parking - $12 a day.

Now I know for the food thing they are trying to push use of their hotel dining and/or room service. But for a kid like me who's shelling out mega bucks already and on a (semi) strict marathon diet plan, spending extra dough on food which I already brought with me is annoying. This messes up my plan for dinner tonight and for breakfast tomorrow – two very key meals for me.

So now I'm heading to meet with Debbie, aka Schlepper, and will get something – hopefully low in fat but good in carbs and protein – because the cold chicken/veggies and noodles I just ate is not sitting well in my stomach. And I will probably have to suck it up and order room service for tomorrow AM and tack on more money to my bill.

This is not how this weekend was supposed to start.

It did start well, actually. After stopping in to see some of my work folks and getting told in a snotty voice that “other people can do your job”, I set out on the road anxious to meet up with Keith for a pre-race massage. It was just as good as I expected, if not better. He helped get my hips and quads loosened up so I'm ready to go tomorrow. I know I couldn't do this without his help. Thank God for Keith. He is awesome at what he does. (Is your ego stroked enough now, Keith?) LOL.

Then I went for my packet pickup. Another $10 shelled out for parking for a 10 minute interlude. I suppose I could have spent more time at the Expo, but that's just asking for trouble and me buying more things I don't need – or that I need but not right now.

And now we're where I began. So I'm off. I'll be back later! :)

03 October 2008

The panic begins

I travel a lot for my job. Usually these are overnight or week long trips, but packing is super easy because we have a uniform we have to wear. After the standard undergarments needed, it's a pair of jeans, some t's (easy to pack), a sweatshirt and you're good to go.

But packing when you're running and having to run an event away from home makes things very different. I'm a picky eater, so that doesn't help, even though you are supposed to stay with what you've been eating so you don't stress your system and have some "issues" when you're on the course.

So I'm packing oodles of extra items I normally wouldn't need - moist heat pads for before the race, ice packs for after the race, ibuprofen, accelerade, endurox, etc. etc. etc. - not mention the race clothes and other clothes for after.

I hate packing for races. But I'm getting ready. I get to meet Keith tomorrow for a pre-race massage and time to talk about my future nutrition plan. Then Expo and packet pick up time, and check in at the hotel. Then I'm meeting my schlepper for a small meal (which is for another purpose but I can't put that here in case my schlepper's friend reads my blog), and then a little shopping for my trip next week...and then...rest. Rest. Rest.

My race is getting close. I'm getting excited. Soon it will be over and then I'll be moving forward with life. I just hope I finish.

02 October 2008

Don't vote.

Okay, so I wasn't going to get all political, but here I go...

Don't vote.

Instead, go here...and watch the video.

And then...make your own choice for the betterment of our society.

P.S. And once you watch the video, you'll know why I'm posting this here - for all five of my readers. (I think my stalker finally left...so there's just the five of you left.)

The ball is my friend. The ball is my friend.

I went for my last run tonight before the marathon. It felt pretty good considering every thing (that would be my lack of running in the past few months.)

Thank God for Keith and his technique. It gives me something to focus on other than "oh shit, I'm only at mile 2?" I only went 4 miles tonight which was 2 more than I was going to go. But they felt good.

My splits were interesting:
Mile one: 11:35:59
Mile two: 12:01:34
Mile three: 11:42:79
Mile four: 12:01:87

That was totally weird how every other one was 12:01. This felt like a really good pace for me; not too fast, and not too slow - just like porridge, it was just right.

The whole run was beautiful. The weather is perfect right now...simply perfect. And with the leaves revealing their true colors I felt at times like I was flying.

I ran through a myriad of mantras in my head and landed at one point on the best from Necessary Roughness, "The ball is my friend. The ball is my friend." Which, of course, I changed into, "The road is my friend. My knees are my friends. My shoes are my friend. My legs are my friends." and so on.

I've said this before but it's really down to a mental game now. Whether or not I've trained enough, none of that will matter if my mind isn't in the game and positive that I can do this.

I read a blog today of a local running woman who writes about her morning runs with her running club friends. She just popped out a kid but several of her friends will be running the marathon this weekend with me (or I with them...however you want to look at it). She wrote this morning how one of her friends has done seven 20-milers in prep for this weekend.

Holy shit. SEVEN? I feel so under-prepared in that realm. God willing, I'll still be able to walk afterward. God willing, I'll make it to the end. And God willing, it'll be under 6 hours.

And after that I'm going to look forward - long term planning and training. None of this waiting until spring crap. I need to motivate myself now to get out and run. I need to set up a training schedule and workout program now. If I don't, I fear I never will and I'll be constantly up and down.

I'm still scared for this weekend. I want to do well, and I'm worried. I just need to keep looking 5-feet ahead and focus on my mechanics. If I start to fret about what everyone else is doing I think I'll have problems. If I lose focus on what I'm doing I will really have problems.

I need to breathe. I need to block out everything else. I need to not think about the hills. It's all flat once you're on them anyway, right? That was a Family Circus cartoon once. Billy asked Daddy, "Why does the hill get flat when you drive on it?" So true. Everything is flat.

And with that it's just one mile at a time. I learned last year that there are still a lot of people even at the end of the pack (though it does thin out). But that doesn't matter either.

I'll just keep pushing forward. One quad at a time. My quads are my friends. My quads are my friends.