Thursday, June 29, 2006

Turning on the other side of me

Okay, so I'm not a pro at the whole relaxation thing.

It's true. I put too much on my plate and I want to be the best at just about everything and maybe even more so, I want to be everything. Overachieving is no stranger to me. There are rarely paths chosen that don't have purpose. I like my means to get to an end. This is not bragging, this is admitting a fault.

This is the reason I have to get away sometimes.

It's sort of like going for a good run or sitting on the patio with a drink, but more of an extreme. When I schedule time away, the only purpose is to not have a purpose. I need to get away and get out of my head for a while. I need to tap into the certain parts of me that are pushed aside to work, work out and get the job done.

I think a lot of people understand this. The part they have trouble with is that I don't mind doing it all alone. I don't mind walking down a street alone or reading my own map. I don't mind having a drink alone or making friends with strangers alone; this is how I've met some of the most incredible people I know.

I don't know what makes me okay with it. I don't know the point in time when I decided that I didn't need someone with me in order to experience something. Granted, some things only get better when you can share it with another human being, but it doesn't mean that you should forego that experience altogether. Imagine what you'd be missing.

Traveling, whether it's just up the road or across the country, can be freeing. It's one of the only ways I know to get some perspective. To slow down. I don't have to deal with any deadlines or expectations. No one's asking for a presentation at the last minute and there are no "database emergencies." I don't have a clock or a schedule, just the rising and setting of the sun. I can be in the moment without having to try. When I can find a little time to get away, I think I am the most natural version of me.

One of my favorite quotes is: "I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it."*

So when this week is over and all the charity events have wrapped up, the presentation is given, the birthday parties are thrown and the beast-like test has been taken, I will be more than happy leave it all behind for a few days. Not because I don't like the work and not because I don't have fun doing it, but rather, because there's another side to me that is only on when everything else is off.

*For the life of me, I don't know who this quote belongs to. If someone does, let me know and I'll give credit where it's due. UPDATE: Quote is from one Rosalia de Castro. Thank you Ginger Breadman.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Good Morning!

How mornings would be if they were perfect:

5:00 - Alarm goes off.
5:01 - Turn off alarm and get out of bed.
5:02 - Do the 100 crunches I am ever so dedicated to.
5:05 - Shower.
5:15 - Comb and dry hair, applying only minimal effort to make each wave and curl cooperate.
5:20 - Get dressed in clothes that are perfectly laid out the night before. They're not wrinkled and they all fit just as they did the day they were purchased.
5:23 - accessorize appropriately for the chosen outfit.
5:25 - Wake up dog and get her to go outside, take care of business, eat and drink without doing anything that irritates me or leaves a stain.
5:30 - Feed the poor, adopted-because-all-I-really-am-is-one-BIG-sucker parrot would talk quietly and say things like "thank you for my food, beautiful owner."
5:35 - Pull the lunch I made the night before out of the fridge and pack it in the work bag (which is also immaculately clean because I went through all the paperwork on time instead of last minute and panicking because maybe, just maybe, I didn't pay that bill. Or did I?)
5:45 - Water the flowers outside and wave to the neighbor out walking her dog.
5:55 - Gather my things and head for the door, remembering my bag for the gym/run/ride I plan to do after work.
6:00 - On the road to work with plenty of time for a Starbucks stop, where someone may or may not flirt with me.

How mornings actually are:

5:00 - Alarm goes off. I'm awake already because the dog started snoring around 4:15 and I could hear it all the way in the next room. But I hit snooze anyway.
5:10 - Alarm goes off again. I say unintelligible words and drag myself out of bed.
5:11 - Lay on the floor to do the crunches that I'm so dedicated to. It is also possible that I fall asleep and just dream of doing them.
5:15 - Shower as quickly as possible and saying "oh, who needs shaved legs, I'm wearing pants today."
5:22 - Attempt to comb and dry hair, get distracted because, oh my god who loses this much hair everyday and is not bald?!
5:24 - Hair is not cooperating.
5:27 - Hair is retarded.
5:29 - Give up on hair.
5:30 - Go to get dressed in clothes that were laid out hastily the night before but, nonetheless, laid out because my momma taught me that much. They don't fit like I want them to but whatever.
5:32 - Completely forget accessories and wear the diamond stud earrings that I've been wearing since 1997. They really do go with everything.
5:35 - Call the dog.
5:36 - Try to find something for lunch in the fridge. Nothing is made and leftovers are sparse so I throw a bunch of stuff together like yogurt and a muffin top expecting it to last an entire day and wonder why I'm starving by 2:00.
5:38 - Call the dog, again.
5:40 - Feed the poor, adopted-because-all-I-really-am-is-one-BIG-sucker parrot who I don't talk about much because, heaven help me, the dang thing talks enough for the both of us and, godforbid, can't stop screaming because IT'S DAWN, IT'S DAWN! Don't you know? I can't believe I felt bad for him, even if he can say "I'm a genius" in five languages.
5:43 - Go find the dog, who has apparently decided today is a good day to stop hearing and start hibernating. Drag her up and push her out the door and watch her look back at me as if I've just shoved her into the fires of hell.
5:45 - Look for the shoes I need to wear because I insisted on wearing these shoes yesterday and, therefore, can't stand another day with heels. (They were a gift, of sorts. And seriously, buy guitars designed by famous guitar players. Do not buy shoes designed by famous guitar players.)
5:50 - Call the dog in, who has now found the neighbor and her dog and just sits and watches as the Golden Retriever pees all over our yard. Apparently, she was disturbed from her slumber much too early to protect her territory like any normal canine would.
5:55- Water the flowers and spray pee off my porch for the 800th time this year.
5:59 - Get the dog inside and offer her food to which she turns her nose and goes back to bed.
6:00 - Gaze out the window and think to myself that I should have ridden my bike in today but then realize the effort it would take to top off the tires and find the bike shoes would send me over the edge long before what would be acceptable for a Wednesday.
6:02 - Find the dog sleeping comfortably, in my bed. Chase her out.
6:03 - Find the shoes I'm looking for.
6:05 - Check email and calendar. Realize I have an early meeting that was sent after I left the office yesterday. Thanks, boss.
6:10 - Grab an apple and a banana and throw a couple granola bars in the bag because, who am I kidding, I eat all day.
6:15 - Rush like a mad woman out of the house, realize three blocks from home that my sunglasses are on the counter and squint in the morning sun all the way to work. Get to work on time, because there is a small clause that says you can speed if no one else is on the road and realize I forgot my gym bag and that I'll have to go home after work first.

What is the Powerball up to?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Anger Management

There are times when things happen that are completely out of your control and yet, you still take it personally. At first, it pisses you off or makes you angry or sad because that's a natural reaction. Then, you take some time with it and realize that it's not your fault, it's not the worst thing in the world and yes, life will go on.

Still, you can't completely chase away that pissed off feeling.

That's where I am today. Because when someone lies to you (yes, EVEN by omission) and then doesn't acknowledge the fact that they did it and expects things to carry on as usual, it's wrong. Especially when you've given them every opportunity to make it right. You've been open and honest with them and they can't return the favor. This is even more difficult when it happens at work and you have to see someone every day.

I know I shouldn't harbor the anger. I know I ought to let it go because a. it's not that important, and b. it has little impact on my life. But I don't care about that. It's still wrong. And me deciding in the end to not let the anger stick with me should not be an excuse to ignore the fact that you did something wrong. Yet, it is and my good spirit and attitude that you've turned into your free pass to be disrespectful and, simultaneously, bring down the morale of an entire group.* What you did was so screwed up and everyone agrees and yet, we have to put up with you.

This is the point where I need help.

Dearest readers, what is your best approach/technique/remedy for getting over anger? How do you let go of something that you know is not your fault, especially when you can get away from the person that angered you? Do you try to talk it out, just to make yourself feel better though you know it won't really matter? Or do you ignore them and the situation because you know it's not that important and will soon fade away and give light to even better fodder?**

* I realize this is a little gramatically messy here but I couldn't get this out without a little attacking of my attacker, who shall remain nameless, faceless and, no doubt, personalityless.

** I realize the issue here is a little vague. Okay, a lot. But I like my job and my life and I'd like to keep them both as they are. Just maybe less a certain moron.

Monday, June 26, 2006

You don't get to 80 by being stupid

We started weeks ago. We whispered. We planned. We sneaked. So when we showed up at one o'clock for "lunch" and Grandma was all dressed up with candles lit and music playing, it was clear the surprise part of the carefully-planned-but-obviously-something-was-missed surprise party, was on us.

Grandma turns eighty this week and when asked what she wanted, she said a new bathmat would be nice. That's just how she is. Instead, the family decided to throw a surprise party with about forty of her closest friends. Yes, closest because 80 years is a lot of time to make friends.

Grandma is quite the gal. I don't think she's ever met anyone that didn't become her friend. She can both manage finances and prepare a pot roast to perfection. She can draw very well (a talent I've always wished could have been passed on to me). Her sense of humor is remarkable. Spend a few minutes listening to one of her stories and the mystery of where this family's ability to tell a joke came from will be solved. She will have you in stitches, easily. She was a modern business woman before it was popular. Buddy, you may think you don't need any Avon now but 60 seconds with her and you will be questioning how you ever lived without it. She is good. Consistently in the top five in sales for the last four decades, thank you very much.

Above all, she genuinely cares about people. She's the most selfless person I know. She's intuitive and smart and can effortlessly pick up on your feelings or mood without so much as a glance. Which explains how she knew about the party; you can't hide much from a quick-witted woman of eighty.

It was such a valuable experience to be there. I listened to stories about bowling leagues and Avon meetings and block parties in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's. Sharing a friendship with just one person for fifty years is incredible. Several relationships spanning half a century is incomprehensible. We can all only hope to be so blessed.

I also have to say that one of my favorite things about Grandma is that she's always excited for me. No matter what I do or where I go, she's proud. She doesn't question me, she just believes in me. When my mother told me after the party that I should have "chosen different underwear to wear with those pants" my Grandma asked her why she was looking at my butt. I then told my mother that was impossible because I wasn't wearing underwear. My Grandma and I giggled together and my mother looked at us like our heads were on fire. Yeah, my grandma pretty much rocks, even at 80.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Workin' at the car wash

Feeling all summer and weekend-like, I decided I'd wash my car the old fashioned way today, myself.

I was pretty sure I knew what to do, but just in case, there were instructions on the bottle of car soap:
(They were decent instructions but, in my opinion, lacking some important information.)

Choose a shady spot, preferably away from trees that are dripping sap or dropping leaves. And birds.

Close all doors and windows. Double check. Seriously. Learn from the past.

Put one capful of car soap into a bucket and fill it 3/4 of the way with warm water. Set the bucket aside. Or you will trip over it. Along with the hose. Which will spray up your shorts, guaranteed.

Hose any excess dirt off the car. Start at the top, trust me.

Lather a sponge or terry cloth rag in the bucket of soapy water and sponge the roof of the car. Spray off excess soap when the entire roof has been cleaned. Now you tell me.

Repeat for all four sides of the car, washing one full side including windows, fenders and tires and rinsing completely before going to the next side. Wait, are you saying: lather, rinse and repeat? As needed?

Give the car one final rinse with the hose to get rid of any water spots when all four sides have been washed and rinsed. This is a good way to see all the spots you missed and have to go back over even though your arms are about to fall off because, dear god, washing the car is a lot of work.

Take a chamois leather ("shammy" leather) or towel and dry the car thoroughly by setting the towel flat against the surface of the car and dragging it along the surface to pick up any water spots. Start at the roof and work your way down to the tires. Say "shammy" several times. It's funny. Shammy. Heh.

Wash the windows with a rag soaked in plain water and dry them with a dry rag, or use window cleaner and pieces of balled-up newspaper on both the inside and the outside of the windows. The "balled-up newspaper" should be new newspaper. Don't use balled-up newspaper that was previously balled for other purposes. Trust me.

Give any metal or chrome an extra rubdown to get rid of water spots. Obviously. Always opt for the extra rubdown.

Clean the interior if you have time. This should really be the first step because no matter how speedy you think you are, vacuuming dog hair out of your seats takes at least thirty minutes per hair. You will vow to never let the dog on the seats again and then, about ten minutes later, she will want to go to the park and you will be like, "okay, fine. But no shedding this time, please." She will shed anyway. She will also make it a point to sneeze on all the windows.

(The last instruction was missing altogether but I have no idea why they left it out.)
12. Pull your car onto the front lawn to wash it. This is conservative and environmentally conscious. It also reassures your neighbors that yes, you are in fact a redneck and proud of it. In case they're in doubt, you can also play some 80's hair band music from your front porch. Guns N' Roses or Motley Crue work well.

Happy washing.


Thursday, June 22, 2006


In my neighborhood, we have some of those cute little paths that meander between the houses and parks and on any given day you'll see several walkers, runners, dog walkers, cyclists and the like taking advantage of these urbanized trails. This is my dog's favorite place to walk and I can tell this by the way she uses her full seventeen pounds to pull my arm out of joint just to get to this path.

Since this is a public path, there are "Walkway Rules" posted about every three feet along the path. Rule #1: all dogs must be on a leash. Fine, makes sense. It's not a hiking trail, it's not a huge state park; it's a little neighborhood walkway with a lot of traffic. Not only is this Rule #1 but those who maintain this trail believe so much in Rule #1 that they have additionally posted a second sign, solely dedicated to Rule #1. They are serious, leash the dogs. I assume this is why I've never once encountered a dog off leash. Until today.

As my dog proceeded in her daily inspection of every blade of grass lining the sidewalk, I heard another dog coming up behind us. I turned to look and, to my honest shock, he wasn't on a leash.

"Charlie! Come here!"

A guy on a bike was coming up behind the dog with a kid on a bike behind him.

"Charlie! Get back here, now," screamed the owner.

Charlie didn't listen. Instead, he and my dog sniffed butts and all seemed cool. Charlie was a Lab and his tail never stopped wagging so I really didn't have a reason to be afraid. Still, I didn't let my dog linger because even if she is friendly, a dog off leash approaching a dog on leash has potential to be a challenging situation.

The owner continued to scream and his dog finally came to him. I continued walking but the guy screaming "No! No! No!" at his dog made me turn around. I couldn't believe what I saw. Each time this guy screamed no, he smacked his dog. In the head. The dog's tail was wagging the entire time. Seeing that possibly broke a piece of my heart right off.

"What! do you think you're doing?"

He just stared at me.

"I think you heard me, sir. What are you doing?"

I really don't know where this was coming from. Who made me the patron saint of the walking path?

"Mind your own business!" he snapped.

"Sir, you made this my business."

"I was just trying to keep my dog away from your dog."

"It's not your dog's fault he's not on a leash."

"Whatever, he wasn't going to hurt you."

"Apparently your dog is not who I should be afraid of, huh?" (Boy, I have a lot of nerve all the sudden.)

"Whatever, lady. Shut up."

"Whatever, sir. Put a leash on your dog so you won't have to beat him in public any more."

And he grabbed his dog's collar with one hand, his bike with the other and walked around us up the hill. I was relieved. I don't like confrontation. Through the entire ordeal, I was quite certain the tremble in my voice was obvious. I don't get involved in other people's business, I don't tell strangers what to do, and I definitely don't open my mouth and yell at a man I don't know who could easily beat the crap out of me. I couldn't avoid it today, though. Because when you're standing there, leaning over an animal and beating the crap out of it because you are too stupid to use a leash, I have to say something. I have to.

I mean, his tail was wagging the entire time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My Windshield on the World, Part 3

While I was in Carolina a few weeks ago, there was one thing I wanted to do other than visit the most wonderful baby ever born.
I wanted to drive to the first beach I ever visited as a kid.
Myrtle Beach.

I left early in the morning. I hadn't been for probably twenty years, so I was excited to see if it was the same as I remembered it.
The fog was awful but I had faith.
As I finally approached the pavilion, I knew some things hadn't changed.

Well, some things had changed. There were about three times as many mini-golf courses. But that's okay, because for every one of those there was also a pancake house. Nothing says family vacation like beach, mini golf and pancakes. Every day.

I could smell the ocean, I knew I wasn't far.

And finally, I was there. I parked immediately, jumped out of the car, took off my shoes and walked through the sand and looked out into the horizon. This was the first beach I ever visited. This was the same place I stood the first time I ever saw the ocean, the first time I ever heard waves. The buildings were taller and the rent more expensive but it was still the same.

The seagulls, the water, the way the morning sun reflected off the water, all burned into my mind. No, it's not the most beautiful or the most exotic beach. It's not the trendiest or the most attractive. But it was the first and that, it will always be.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I have a good amount of friends. I consider this a huge blessing and one that I'm quite sure I don't always deserve. More and more as I get older, I'm surrounded by good people. People of all different backgrounds and beliefs influence and support me. I like to believe I choose them but most the time, I just get caught up in feeling lucky that they chose me.

This is especially true with one of my friends, Jill. Jill is magnetic. That's the only way to describe her. She's cute without being intimidating, honest without being brash. She can talk to anyone and more importantly, she will make you feel like she wants to talk to you, what you have to say is the most important information she's ever heard. Jill is delightful, hilarious and understanding at all the right times. She's one of those people that if given the chance to wrap her mind around something, you can consider it done. She just makes it work and I have no idea how.

Jill is also my best running buddy, which means she and I talk quite a lot- what else is there to do on a long run? She listens to me like you'd expect any good friend to but she's also really good about not letting me dwell on anything I can't control. She makes sense of my trials and tribulations and by the next mile, we've moved on. Once, when we were talking about relationships, I asked her if she thought I'd always be single. "No! Of course not," she said. "If you were ugly or a freak, that would be one thing but you're not, so don't worry." And then she changed the subject. It's not that she doesn't think life should be examined, just not over examined, which is one of my favorite ways to pass the time.

A few days ago, Jill and I were invited to the same party. We'd scheduled to arrive at the same time so that we could have a chance to see each other and catch up- we're both busy and with me not running lately, our time together has been scarce. Neither of us knew anyone very well at this party so it was more of an appearance and an excuse to hang out together.

We arrived, greeted the hosts, found ourselves some drinks and sat down to catch up. Within twenty minutes, several people had stopped by to say 'hi.' These were people neither Jill nor I knew but somehow, they felt the need to come over. I guess there is some power to two women in dresses keeping to themselves. Anyhow, it was nice to chat and meet new people but once Jill and I get talking, there's no end. So, we attempt to exercise our manners and involve the visitors in the conversation but we carried on. It didn't work for long.

Soon, people were gathering. It's that magnetic Jill. We're telling jokes and stories and shaking hands and before you know it, we are not at the party, we are the party. It was fun and since Jill is married, I get all the single guy deflection. No complaints here. But sometimes, maybe because I'm selfish or maybe just because I'm a girl, I just want to hang out with my friend.

Goodbye took quite a while due to all our new-found friends but we finally made it to the door. I said my thanks and nice to meet yous but what I really wanted to say was next time, bring your own cool friend! This one, thank you very much, is mine.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Gross

Good: Awesomely successful fund-raiser on Friday night.
Bad: Stayed up all night until 8:00 the next morning.
Gross: The women who think it's okay to not wear a bra, in public.

Good: Slept until 2:00 p.m. Saturday and then went to have dinner and margaritas on a patio.
Bad: No chemistry with the doctor. (Though the jury is still out on whether or not this is actually a bad thing. Friendship, fun, blah blah, you know.)
Gross: The kooky guy that put his foot on the table mere inches from my plate to show us his ankle bracelet collection. Seventeen years of collecting! Can ya believe it!

Good: Beautiful day at the parent's house today.
Bad: My mother making me look at craft books with her for an hour.
Gross: Macramae.

Good: Steaks on the grill.
Bad: Neighbor leaning over the fence and yelling: "How are you, dear? Married yet?"
Gross: A fly landing and getting stuck in your ice cream. Gag.

Good: A walk with the dog in the park.
Bad: I can't think of anything bad about this.
Gross: People who don't pick up after their dogs.

Good: Coming home and cooking new, experimental recipes. (Added bonus: lunches for the week.)
Bad: Peanut butter cupcakes. Taste great, look like the park where people don't pick up after their dogs. Will have to try again.
Gross: Tofu Shirataki Noodles. I tried, I really did. But they are disgusting, in a gelatinous, don't-heat-me-unless-you-want-a-blob-of-noddles-for-dinner sort of way.

Good: I GET TO RETURN TO RUNNING THIS WEEK! The ankle and the knee are cooperating and seem to be healing. Doctor agrees. Tomorrow: elliptical machine, Tuesday: 3 miles, Wednesday: Conquer the world! Positive thinking.
Bad: Fear that I may not be better yet. Bad thoughts. Bad.
Gross: When people talk about knee surgery.

Good: Recapping a good weekend.
Bad: The weekend is always too short.
Gross: Tofu Shirataki Noodles. Gag! Seriously. They are that bad. Trust me.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Grateful Friday

I had another post in mind when I woke up this morning.

It's been forty five minutes though and now, that subject matter seems a little depressing. And if there's any good reason to not be depressed, it's the weekend. It's going to be a busy one with a huge charity event tonight that is the "big one" that all the little ones along the way have led to. I'm so proud of our committee. I'm so stunned by the generosity. I'm so glad it's going to be over.

It's also Father's Day weekend. A celebration for some, a difficult time for others. Whatever your experience with your father may be, I hope you know having you as a child is the best thing he ever did, whether he told you or not.

Have a good Friday, everyone. I'm off to work and grateful that I don't dread it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I was an entertainer, once

When I was younger, I was known as a bit of a "ham." I was shy at first but once you got to know me, oh boy was I fun! Depending on the occasion, I could always be counted on to sing, dance or perform in some way that would amuse those around me. If someone wanted to put on a play for their parents, I wrote, directed and produced an entire story in a matter of minutes. If a girl wanted to write a poem for the boy she liked, I taught her how to read it out loud and make it rhyme. I had all kinds of big ideas and all anyone had to do was say the word. I did this for many years until I realized a. I had absolutely no talent and b. people weren't going to be nice about it forever.

The last time I remember this happening was when I was fourteen and on a road trip with my best friend and her mom, brother and sister. We drove from Colorado to Phoenix and stayed with her aunt and uncle.

Her uncle was going through a hard time and the rest of us decided we'd throw a little party to cheer him up. We decided on the beach party/barbecue theme. My first big idea was that we play Jimmy Buffet music all night. It only snowballed from there.

While my friend's mom and aunt worried about the cooking and decorating, my friend, her siblings and I decided we'd put on a little show for everyone. Conveniently, one of the uncle's favorite songs was "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and if four kids singing about meat didn't cheer him up, nothing would.

We spent the next four hours working on our show (and by we, I mean me). We had parts and solos; even choreography. We made up some costumes and by show time, we were really feeling like entertainers.

The adults all knew we had worked hard so they made a big deal. They dimmed the lights, we took our places (in front of the fireplace- center stage in any home) and the music started. We belted our little hearts out about our carnivorous habit, lettuce and tomato and paraaadiiiiiiiiise. Not too particular, not too precise, really. But we were proud and the standing ovation we received convinced us we were a success.

A few days ago, I ran into my friend. We got to talking about family and her aunt and uncle in Phoenix. They always remember our little Parrothead show and they tell stories about it to this day. I thought I told this story best but I was wrong, because when they tell the story, they also show the video.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Out of the funk and into the fryer


You know that feeling, when the sky seems a little brighter and the edges seem a little smoother? Well I'm starting to feel that. I'm starting to get out of the funk. It may seem like this whole funk thing was pretty quick, which makes me seem bipolar, but it was not. It was slow moving and took several days to run it's course. My own little Tropical Depression, except without anything tropical (which probably would have solved the problem in the first place).

Anyhow, I'm glad it's decided to move on. I'm going to blame it on hormones and my current forced state of rest. I know full well that it hasn't completely disappeared but I can feel it leaving and that is a good feeling. I suspected it would, I just didn't know when.

I can honestly say, though, that I experienced something with this funk that I never had before. I received an email from "Jimmy" informing me that my posts were "boring."

While I know it's not enjoyable and entertaining to read about how some girl in Colorado can't seem to feel better, last time I checked, no one's paying me to be entertaining. What's here is what's here, what do you want me to do? Obviously, by offering up an e-mail address I'm open to this kind of inquiry. What I can't understand, though, is why anyone would care that much.

Jimmy also asked me what I thought my purpose here was.

Here's an excerpt:

Your posts have been boring lately. It's like you don't care. One day, you're entertaining the next you're not. What are you trying to do on your blog? Do you want to be funny? Or do you want to be serious? Is your blog about running? Is your blog about dating? Is your blog about being single? What?

I almost replied, but why reply to one when you can spout off about it to all?

I know whatever I write here isn't about one thing. But it doesn't have to be about anything. Sometimes it's about work, sometimes it's about running, sometimes it's about dating and sometimes it's about nothing. No one needs approval to write about their life on the internet. Unless they want to make money, then I think it's just a matter of finding a niche.

I started this about six months ago and out of the hundred or so posts, I'd say I really only like five or six of them. I don't expect anyone else to like them, either.

Anyway, most days what makes this thing fun is the other people's blogs I get to read. I would never think of demanding something more from them. I like them so much, in fact, the only complaint I'd have for them is they don't post enough.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

How funky is your life

"Hi, good to have you here."

That's what I said to the new guy at work. What I felt like saying is "hi, I'm a major bitch, I'm grouchy and everyone is leaving me alone today. Take note."

Because lately, I'm just in a funk.

I haven't been able to run in eight, yes eight, looooong days and it's starting to take it's toll. The injury from this little comedy of errors is still haunting me. Along with not being able to run (or bike, or elliptical, for that matter), I'm in almost constant pain. I swear, I don't know how sufferers of chronic pain live. My ankle pain is connected to my knee pain. My knee pain is connected to my lower back pain. My lower back pain is connected to my shut up or I'll smack your stupid ass. Pain.

I've been to the doctor. And the massage therapist. And the chiropractor. While they all offered some kind of temporary comfort, none of them offered a good solution. So, I'm stuck fighting the battle with time. Rest time in June sucks, really bad.

To add insult to injury, literally, I'm not eating normally. In an effort to not become a larger version of myself during this down time, I'm refusing things that I'd normally not even blink about eating. "No thanks" is not my usual response when someone offers me cake. That is not my idea of fun, at all. I know it will be better in the long run but right now, no cake does not a happy girl make.

While I could blame this funk only on my injured and pissed off body, I think it's more than that. I can't put my finger directly on it- not that I ever can- but something is off. I'm feeling all angsty like some seventeen year-old girl wondering if her boyfriend really does love her.

The phone rings and without even a glance at the caller ID, I say words that should only be uttered by a sailor and chuck it across the room. It's not that I don't want to talk, I just don't have anything nice to say. I have a date with a nice guy and I wear nice shoes and I come home without even so much as a butterfly. I'm two weeks away from a really hard test and studying is the last thing on my mind. I still find a way to make myself do it, but it's not as exciting as it was six weeks ago.

I just need to wait it out. I remember, I was funny once. Just week or two ago, I had a good attitude. I could find the good in a bad day and all that happy-go-lucky behavior came so easily. It's no wonder I held onto the dream from my last post so tightly; feelings like that have been hard to come by lately. I want to be settled and calm and I'm just not. The tightness in my stomach and my chest won't go away. I feel myself surrendering to the frustration and all I can do is tell myself that tomorrow will be different.

Monday, June 12, 2006

What's in a Dream?

Update: I read this post about a week after posting and, well, barf. But oh well, you know, write it, love it, own it... blah blah blah.

Last night I had a dream that really wasn't anything special. It was me, living my life just as I've imagined it. Unfortunately, as they say, life never turns out the way you dream it.

First, it was a late summer afternoon and I sat amongst hundreds of others and watched a baseball game. Everything seemed so real. I could hear the crack of the bat and the voices in the crowd. I could feel the summer breeze on my face and the warmth of the body next to me.

Like you tend to do in dreams, I jumped from scene to scene without much logic. Next, I was in a store, looking for wrapping paper. I found what I needed and headed to leave. There was no line at the check out, which is a dream in itself. I chatted with the cashier and before I left she said, "Oh, by the way, Congratulations." I thanked her, although I have no idea why I deserved congratulating.

The final "scene" in the dream was in a restaurant. It was very busy and a lot of people were just walking around, mingling. A party, maybe? I walked across the room to try to find a drink and ran into some friends. In reality, I've never met these people before but it seemed so normal as I greeted them. I told one woman she looked great- she was pregnant, again. I seemed to know all about them and they me. It was all very comfortable.

I was not alone throughout this dream. Though faceless, there was someone with me the entire time. A man. Dare I say it, THE man. The entire dream felt so natural and reassuring. I was there, doing the things I normally do, just as I imagined it. No, I don't know who this person was, I just know that he was.

It really is too bad they say life doesn't happen like you dream it. It's consolation, though, that I've also heard them say that it turns out even better.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Get busy

Last night was one of those where all sorts of things happen that make me ask "when is it gonna be me?"

I have no interest in reliving the boring details, however. Instead, I'll just happily move on. A quote comes to mind: Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'. I'm sure you're familiar.

I'm off to get busy livin' with a bar-b-que. I will drink a margarita, eat chicken and wow everyone with my pasta salad creation. Later, I'm going to let a boy take me to dinner. I will wear nice shoes.

And the world will continue to turn.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

What I really want is a clean floor

I want someone else to clean my house.

There, I said it.

It's pretentious, I know, but as I walked through the door today and for the billionth time asked myself where does this mess come from when no one is ever here?, I was seriously considering it. I don't know how a person barely home enough to sleep six hours and shower can leave the remnants of a tornado behind. I hate the thought of house cleaning but since I can't actually justify the cost of someone else doing it, I suffer through it. Wah, wah, wah.

As I scrubbed the toilet, I began thinking about what it might be like if we placed personal ads for housekeepers.

WANTED: SWF seeking reliable housekeeper for LTR. Must love dogs but even more, love cleaning up the spots they leave behind. Must not be afraid of commitment, especially when vacuuming around the edges. Must have a love for life and all the hospital corners and lemon fresh toilets it entails. I want to gaze into your eyes and know you've Pledged the coffee table better than it's ever been before. If this sounds like you, write soon so we can begin our life of eating off the floor together!

I just know my housekeeper is out there somewhere, waiting for me!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Where Am I?

So often lately, I'm hung up on wondering if I'm in the right place.

Like today, I caught myself just staring at the wallpaper on my computer screen for several minutes on end. I'm distracted, but by what? I'm not even sure. I like my work enough, but it's not keeping my attention right now. And I wonder if there are jobs you never tire of? I wonder if even the heart surgeon or the concert pianist ever just wish they could try something else for a while. Do arteries and notes get old? Or, do you just get better at saving and touching lives without stopping to ask yourself if you're in the right place?

Is liking your job and loving what it affords you good enough? Is pushing forward with something because it's right going to sustain you through those hard times? I wonder. I want to think that this step is just one before something even better. After all, the last one was. I want to think that finding a balance between my life as a professional and an academic* and my undeniable desire to become a beach bum is a goal worth working toward. But I also want to know that it's possible. I want to love all those roles equally, yet for completely different reasons.

And through it all, I want to keep faith. I want to be able to feel that this balance and this striving is really just a small task compared to what may come. I want to feel like trying to figure out how all these pieces fit together is just part of building a better foundation for later.

That, I suppose, is the most difficult admission for me because it is hard to keep faith; this may be the one case in life in which I am not a quick study. I want something more but I want the reassurance that what I feel is right, really is.

I'm trying. I remind myself often that life and decisions may loom over me constantly but it doesn't mean I have to figure it all out right now. The times I feel like I'm not doing enough, I have to remember that maybe I am. Maybe just sitting here, staring into space, is enough for the moment. It's not a waste, it's just a few minutes to sit with myself and dig up that faith that's been buried by confusion and change.

I don't know how to tell if I'm in the right place, heading in the right direction. I don't know what kind of impact the decisions I make today are going to have on tomorrow, or next week, or next year. I have no idea how to see what's around the corner from now, but I'm just hoping that right here might be as good a place as any to start to look.

*I think calling myself an academic seems quite presumptuous. However, it seems I'm past the age of calling myself a student and still too young to be a scholar. So academic it is.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New look, same great taste

The blog is back.

Thank God! And I know thanking God is a little much for getting your blog back but that was some crazy stuff. Little things, kids, little things.

So the reason for the template change. Well, after ZERO help from blogger (yes, I know it's free) I decided I'd just try to republish my blog on the same template. Well, then I saw there was a template called "Tequila" and if you've been here for even a minute, you know I can't pass that up. So -to steal a phrase from JACC- my millions upon millions of non-readers, welcome to the new formatting of JustRun, Tequila style.

I think I was able to get everything back. I'm still messing with some of the links to your blogs and do pardon me if they're not in the order they used to be, which was really no order at all. The copying and pasting was trouble enough as blogger wanted to link a few of you multiple times. Anyway, I just slapped 'em up there. There may be a day I have the urge to alphabetize. This ain't it.

I'm just glad it's back. After the injury I'm still nursing from my Sunday race (see previous post), I didn't need a broken blog, too! Whew! That was close.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Don't run 13 miles

Silly runner that I am, I came home last Friday only to get up and leave on Saturday to run a half-marathon in a little ski town in the Rockies.

A few suggestions:

1) Try not to schedule a race at 7,000 feet less than forty-eight hours after returning from sea level. They say you have approximately nineteen days to be away from altitude before your body will start adapting to the change in elevation but I think if you're not a professional, that number is much lower.

2) Don't race if the knee injury you've been nursing for the past six weeks or so starts to get worse the week before the race. Though I am a big believer in the "pain only gets to a certain point and then it doesn't get any worse" theory, thirteen miles is a long way to keep reminding yourself of that theory. The only thing that kept me running was the fact that I knew it would mean I finished sooner.

3) Don't play on a river bank the evening before the race with a 2-year old Labrador retriever; you will twist your ankle. If you do this, don't get up and run thirteen miles the next morning. It's just not smart.

4) If you feel like you're getting a cold, don't run thirteen miles. After about five miles, you will start to feel like someone is shoving a hot iron down your throat and there is not enough water and Gatorade on Earth to remedy that.

That said, I would happily do this race again. The scenery is beautiful in the Rockies this time of year and I'm never very good at taking advice anyway- even if it's my own.

Friday, June 02, 2006

"Don't worry, you're next" and other phrases you need not say to me

I'm sitting at home on Friday night and not the least bit embarrassed. It seems as though I've come to a point where a full day of travel by road and air legitimately warrants doing nothing and feeling good about it. I have no need to run about the town just because I can. Without realizing it or even trying, I suppose I've settled down a little.

I am desperately sad to once again be over two thousand miles away from my sister and new nephew. The last few days have allowed me to see life in a new way. It's like the adult part of the relationship my sister and I have has taken a new turn. It's the kind of turn where you can't ever go back; but you also can't wait to see what's next.

I know I've been a gusher lately involving the new arrival in our family but the experience has truly been nothing short of profound. It has affected me in a way I never expected. It's reminded me of all the greatest and most terrifying things in this world. It has refreshed my memory about honest, automatic love and hope that people can share for one another- a refresher I desperately needed.

Surprisingly, the birth of my nephew has started a lot of friends and family members asking about me. They want to know when I'm going to be ready. When do I see myself having kids? What's next on the agenda for me?

The truth is: I don't know.

I have no idea when or if I'll ever be ready for "settling down and having kids." I don't know when I see myself having kids. I don't know what I'm going to eat for breakfast tomorrow, how am I supposed to know what's next on the agenda for my life?

As madly in love as I am [with my nephew] I hear no clock ticking. When people mention marriage and children for me, I'm at just as much a loss for when it will happen as I ever was. I still have the same fantasy in my mind about "knowing when it's right" as I had before. (You see, my thought was I'd actually marry someone and agree on the "right time" together. Quite the fantasy, I know, but I still have hope.)

So no, the amazement and love I have for my nephew or the incredible transformation I've seen in my sister and brother-in-law as they become parents doesn't naturally spark the parental fires within me. I'm not immediately trying to go out and make it my life, I'm just grateful that I get to be a part of it at all. Those questioning what's next for me are just going to have to be okay with the way I sit home on Friday night because I'm tired, not because I have kids. That may not be answer enough but if it's not, then I just don't know.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's true what they say

When you're out living life and having a great time, you don't have as much to say about it. Sure, there are beautiful views and thoughtful experiences but when they're out of the context of your everyday routines, they just seem more fulfilling.

Spending days at the beach or taking a drive just because is a whole lot easier to deal with than, say, cleaning the bathroom or paying bills. Don't get me wrong, this trip has contained a lot of reflection, entertainment and moments that have made me think but for some reason, I feel less of a need to talk about them. That will likely come when I get back.

As a matter of fact, I'm promising they will.


By the way, friends, it appears as though the 100 mark has been passed around here. I can't believe I've had 100 things to write about. Even more, I can't believe there are people that have read them. So, thanks to those of you who choose to spend time here. Without you, I'd feel a little more whacko than I already do.