Thursday, August 31, 2006

Off and Running

My sister and little nephew's visit is just a few weeks away.

Right now though, they are about two hours inland and bracing for a bit of a storm. Realistically, they are far enough away from the coast to avoid serious hurricane weather. Not so realistically, I'm a little freaked out. Not so much for the hurricane but for the simple fact that my little sister and her baby are thousands of miles away and in the vicinity of a natural disaster.

The photo is one I took through the windshield during our visit to the shore in May.

Tomorrow, I'm getting up very early to go to Vancouver. Via Seattle. To visit my BFF. It will be swell. I will be sure to wave hello to Ginger, Sizzle, and, I think, Michelle as I head North on I-5. I'm such a sucker for a good, border-crossing road trip. Well, the comp airline ticket and the discount rental car also helped.

Also, there is news. BIG news, in fact. No, I'm not dating and in love with the doctor. In spite of how many times I've heard the phrase "wow, you can't make it work? Forgodsakeheisadoctor" (yes, all one word because that's how people say it. As if attraction and chemistry are automatic when someone, forgodsake, is a doctor).

The actual big news is that I have been running this week. Not a huge amount of running but a gradual build back up to what might be considered mileage. The doctor gave me the "OK as long as you have no pain" speech and guess what? I HAVE NO PAIN! It's great, it really is. The final diagnosis was (and I might butcher this) a subcondral patellar contusion. Or, for us lay people who just can't seem to have chemistry with doctors so they're around to instruct you on the proper use of medical terms, a bruise on the underside of my kneecap. Odd, right? I know, only me. Anyway, a bruise on the bone doesn't happen all that easily. My orthopedic couldn't believe that I hadn't fallen or run into something or, that I hadn't fallen or run into something and just didn't remember. I told him that yes, it's true I like margaritas but I haven't fallen or run into something and not remembered it ever. Well, unless you count the drummer in college and I think that was more a case of mentally blocking it out than actually not remembering. But back to it, as bruises go, you know, it's just a matter of time and they're better. Well, we are on the upswing and let me tell you, I couldn't be happier.

There is just nothing better. Well, except for vacation and long weekends. Both of which I'm about to embark on very soon. Right now I'm off to get a pedicure with another BFF (turns out, you can have more than one- yay!).

By the way, I've been practicing drinking beer and saying "eh" after each sentence. You know, to fit in.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.
-Plutarch, 45-125 A.D., Greek Essayist and Biographer

Recently, a couple very close to me has been going through a tough time. I think, as of now, they're working through it but I have to admit, it was a little frightening from where I sit. Not because I had any part in it and not because there was anything I could do about it, but because I was reminded that even the most concrete relationship exterior means nothing if the insides aren't solid.

Being single, people will often ask me if I like it. Most the time, I do. Instead of fighting the reality, I've somehow taught myself to enjoy it. Of course, there are rough times, that sort of goes without saying but but I enjoy things like making my own schedule, a quiet house and the freedom to make decisions based solely on my own feelings (and bank account). When I enjoy it most though, is when I work to make it better. Things like blasting Aerosmith with [gasp!] the windows open and using the phrase "no thanks, I'm saving my money" are not things I've always been comfortable doing.* I always thought about what others might think. Will they judge me or will they see that I'm becoming strong enough to be myself. They don't know that I've worked hard to get there. I'm not sure those are things that I wouldn't have learned had I not been single but I am sure about this: now that I have learned how to make the best of it and the work that it takes to get there, I don't ever have to go back. What's more, and a little to my surprise, it even feels right.

Which is how I have to, or maybe need to, believe the right relationship is. It's got it's ups and downs. It's got it's own freedoms and restrictions. But when it's right, it's worth it to try to make it good. Like with my friends, who are both very strong people. They don't put on airs about how things are versus how they ought to be. They accept the differences between real and ideal and, possibly more important, the differences between one another. It's because it's not about the differences, it's about working with them.

And so it's all become a little more clear. Making something worthwhile and making it good means work. It's not just for the single girl that learns to get comfortable with turning up the radio. It's not just for the couple that finds themselves in a tough time. It's life, our commonality. Our constant. We aren't all on the same road or schedule but we are here and in that, have at least a chance at it. We just have to realize that it takes work and sometimes, if we're lucky, everything will work out.
*Okay, so I've always been comfortable with Aerosmith. Maybe just for different reasons.

Since you're eating dinner anyway...

Tonight a group of friends and I are going to dinner at a local restaraunt that's supporting Restaurants for Relief.

You can go here and enter your zipcode to find a resturant near you that's helping out.

I support things like this because I know people in the Gulf Coast area. And I know people who know people in the area. And I've seen personal photos of places where homes used to be. And, in the building next to mine downtown here, they are still serving displaced former Gulf Coast residents. Life completely changed for a lot of people and something as little as a dinner out that you might have planned anyway could help a little.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Weekend Stuff

- I had a moment I never thought I'd have: My first (and likely last) Sex and the City moment. I was never a regular fan of the show but I do remember a few episodes.

When I first bought my house, I knew the woman that lived here before me lived alone. She was quite old and, according to the neighbors, was very spry and active until her last days. However, the neighbors also told me that she was never married. Though I can't say it's something that freaked me out, I remember this fact once in a while and think gee, I wonder if it's not me, it's the house? Yes, I know how that sounds.

Anyway, my SATC moment came on Saturday morning. It was pouring rain and I decided I'd get adventurous and make blueberry muffins, from scratch. I washed the blueberries and ate a few. Then I choked on a blueberry. For about eleven seconds, I thought I was going to have to throw myself over the back of a chair to keep from dying. I didn't have to do that, but I did think of the episode where Miranda buys her apartment and moves in alone and then proceeds to choke on something with no one there to save her. Hmm.

- I installed baseboard/molding in my bathroom. Only because three years is the respectful amount of time to wait after installing the floor to install molding. I am Miss Fix-It, I know these things.

- My best friend won't be visiting this week after all. No matter, I actually already had plans to visit her over Labor Day weekend anyway. We're good like that. And no, I never did manage to lose the eight pounds or grow four inches taller like I'd wanted to. Something tells me we'll have fun anyway.

- 60 Minutes was the best thing I watched all weekend (okay, pretty much the only thing) and it rocked. Surprised? Go check out Byron Pitts' interview with the mayor of New Orleans. Some serious topics were breached here regarding recovery efforts and racism. Also, take a look and listen at Lesley Stahl's story on The Science of Sexual Orientation.

Maybe we don't always know what we think we do, is all I'm saying.

- I took a very, very long bike ride on Sunday. My legs still hurt, it was tiring and I've come to the conclusion that they're never going to make bike shorts that completely allow you to forget you're on the seat of a bicycle. They're just not.

What's worse, no matter how long you've been riding clipless, those dang pedals will still find ways to surprise you. A little hill + a sharp corner + being physically attached to your bike at the feet = FRIGHTENING MOMENT IN ONCOMING TRAFFIC. I'd quit it completely if it weren't so much fun.

- And finally, I'll admit it. I'm one of those organic foods snobs. Most of the time, anyway. So, I was all proud of my salad making skills on Sunday until I was joined by this little friend:

He was dead when he fell out, but that didn't make it any better. Even when you think you are, you're never really alone.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Did you ever know that you're my heroes?

Okay, so technically yesterday was Blogger Appreciation Day over at Neil's place and I was all ready to participate. But then Pluto was demoted, I worked late, Grandma called and someone showed up at my door with pie so, needless to say, I didn't get to posting this.

Still, I want everyone to know how great I think the peeps (especially you and you) on that sidebar over there really are. In an effort to take Neil's BAD (I heart acronyms) to a whole new level, I present to you some of my favorites.

Note: Yesterday's Denver Post is also in the pics. The guy on the front page peeking around the edge of the screen is as unhappy as he looks. He was approved for a mortgage that was WAY too high for what he really could afford. Sad day in news, people. Sad day.

(Please pardon the lack of photo-taking talent. It was late.)
(Also, Blogger is superb, so some of you are in the post below. It doesn't mean I have any less love for ya, dawg!)

Uncommonly humorous posts. And a big heart. Who could ask for more in a blogger?

Smart. Witty. Wise beyond her years. And dang good excuse to go all the way to Philly.


A guy I like to call JACC.

Smart ass. But also smart. Quite possibly my twin.


The Fabulous Ms. Sizzle.

Thoughtful. Adorable. I could go on and on. And did I mention, fabulous?

GirlGoyle, Ed.

Worldly. Animal lover. Gets to see the Big Green Monster any ol' dang time she pleases.


Runner Girl, of Florida.

Runner. Physicist. And I'm not sure but I think the next Ultimate Fighting Champion.


Deep Thoughts.

Busy. Supportive. Proud new momma (see photo).


Joe, is cutting "it."

Sneakily hilarious. Thoughtful. And fun (I've never seen it but I just know).


Minerva, a Woman Of Many Parts.

Brilliant. Thoughtful. Cancer survivor! Also, my across-the-pond reader, which I believe we all should have.


My favorite Aussie blogger, Sister Buckle.

Writes like a beast. Wit, wit and more wit. And also, she'll whoop you with some Aikido.


Please see the post below for more!

And the love goes on...

A runner like I can only dream to be. Supportive. Honesty I admire. (Also, I think Breadman as a last name sounds sort of like a super-hero.)


The Back of the Pack.

Dedicated. Strong. Supportive (seriously, she'll get up at 4:00 a.m. and be your sag wagon during an Ultra).


Ms. Blackbird.

Cool. Stylish. I have no idea how I found her site but I'm glad I did.


Robb, the Runner.

A dedicated hub and dad. A good runner. Just don't mention coffee.


Gil, the Native Eye.
He doesn't comment on my blog but I still like his photos very much.


See Joe Run. See Joe Swim.

Got off his butt and changed his ways. Now he's super-fast. The only thing he loves more is his family.


Celina P, from Mississi-P .

Girl is way busy. And has been in school for twenty years. And loves her R.


There you have it, bloggers. I am absolutely certain I left someone out. It is going to bother me all weekend, wondering if I hurt someone's feeling across the internets. I apologize in advance. In fact, if I left you out and you feel comfortable emailing me to let me know, please do. You and I will, together, write a song about us and our blogging relationship. How's that sound?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Heart Pluto

Okay, first Kevin Federline is a "rapper" and now, Pluto is not a planet?

Seriously, I may have had it.

I grew up remembering the planets by saying "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" with the first letter of each word corresponding with the first letter in each planet name. Now, I ask, what is my very educated mother going to serve us, hmmm? "Pluto is dead" says scientist Mike Brown. Thanks, Mike. You might as well tell me that my dog died. Next thing you know, you're going to tell me not to be sad and that Pluto is off playing on a farm with all the other reject planets.

I think I need Pluto to be a planet. With everything going on in the world today, do we really need to loose something else so consistent? Science schmeience, I say!

Though, considering the new guidelines and the way I'm eating today, my butt might be the new planet.

Because I have too much to say and not enough time to say it

Here's a few things from a walk I took... before the flu.
I'd forgotten about the time it takes to recover from the flu. FOR-EV-ER.
A Little Bit of Rainbow

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The Path Home

A Gate to Nowhere

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I was only having fun, wasn't hurting anyone

I walked into the lobby at work this morning and "You May Be Right" was playing. Hardly elevator music, right?

So, I took my time getting to the elevator- you know, to jam a little at 6:00 a.m.- and when I stepped in, the security guard was there and he and I joked about how strange it was to hear that song in an elevator.

Then, we proceeded to sing along for the rest of the song. I promise, we did. That is the strangest thing that's happened to me in an elevator (get your mind out of the gutter).


Billy Joel
You May Be Right

Friday night I crashed your party
Saturday I said I'm sorry
Sunday came and trashed me out again

I was only having fun
Wasn't hurting any one
And we all enjoyed the weekend for a change

I've been stranded in the combat zone
I walked through Bedford Stuy alone
Even rode my motorcycle in the rain

And you told me not to drive
But I made it home alive
So you said that only proves that I'm insane

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for

Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

Remember how I found you there
Alone in your electric chair
I told you dirty jokes until you smiled

You were lonely for a man
I said take me as I am
Cause you might enjoy some madness for a while

Now think of all the years you tried to
Find someone to satisfy you
I might be as crazy as you say

If I'm crazy then it's true
That it's all because of you
And you wouldn't want me any other way

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic your looking for

It's too late to fight
Don't try to change me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for

Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Brought to you by the letter 'F'

'F' is for Flu.

'F' is also for Food Poisoning.

I had at least one of those things, maybe both. All I know is I was goin' along all fine and well on Saturday and about midnight Saturday night, everything I've ever consumed in my entire life decided it was time to vacate the premises.

(I hope that was not too graphic or anything. Sorry if it was. Feel free to email me and explain to me why describing my sickness is bad. Just like you (and you know who you are) emailed me saying that I deserved all I get because I'm a Red Sox fan. 'Cause that makes a lot of sense. Let me tell you a couple things about my Red Sox fandom: first, I was brainwashed long ago. It's too late for change. Second, I like a challenge. Do you know how difficult it is to be educated yet able to embrace your hillbilly roots all the while being a Red Sox fan? So now you see, it is all in the challenge, my friend.)

Anyway, the flu or flu-like symptoms persisted well into the wee hours on Monday morning. I haven't been sick in over four years. I haven't had the flu since high school. This was a little traumatic for me. My mother, bless her, came over a couple times to take care of me. There was a time when something so little as an icecube was the enemy, so there wasn't much she could do. Still, she was there and I'm so thankful she was. Somewhere in my fever and nausea induced haze, I had nightmares that I wasn't in the same city as my mommy and that I had to be sick without her. That was a terrifying thought. Maybe one day I'll be part of a couple or married and that will be nice to have someone there, but I don't think anyone is going to replace mom. If I'm ever far away, I'm going to make sure I always have enough money to put my mother on the next red-eye flight to bring me 7-Up and Saltines.

Because I'm young and stupid, I went into work for a couple hours Monday morning. I had a meeting scheduled and at the very least, I had to go in and prep someone else to take it for me. Thankfully, they did and I came home and slept through the rest of the day. In between two hour naps, I noticed there is an unbelievably large amount of "Judge" shows on daytime television. Do we really need all these t.v. judges?

Also in my haze, I received a number of phone calls from friends offering to bring me things and help me. I have a list of ten or so people that I need to call back and thank for their concern. I'm fairly certain that the reminder that people care is the only good thing that came out of this. Good enough.

'F' is also for Family and Friends.

Right now, I think I'm going to go catch up on some blog reading and eat something other than chicken broth. And be thankful I can walk ten feet without taking the trash can with me.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm so into rain

It's a rainy Saturday. We rarely get this kind of rain here. It's flooding down the gutters, overflowing in spots.

It's been raining since early this morning. It's raining hard, like Northwest rain, coming down in buckets for hours. I love it.

We don't get these days often so it makes it that much more incredible. It's not cold, so the windows are open and the rain air is coming in and making everything smell new. It's so comfortable that I had to make waffles and read the paper by the patio door (so I could hear the rain). It's so lovely that I'll wear my Saturday jeans and long sleeves. It's so nice that I will have to don my old Red Sox cap and go to the coffee shop and sit. It's so relaxing that I'll have to read a good book but not really be able to get into it because of how into the rain I am. It's so calming that I may have to just crawl back into bed for another hour. It's so... it's just so.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wherein I report a ride as if it were a run

Okay, so y'all know that I'm not doing much running lately. Let's not that beat that dead, dried up, almost ashes horse anymore.

Tonight? We ride!

My good buddy Jill and I met after work at a local trail. The trail itself is easy (read: no technicality) but it's hilly. Just what a girl needs to remind her of just how much she's not doing for her heart these days. What? I'm partial to my running. Duh.

Anyway, there are about ten million things I'd forgotten about biking since the poor, poor hardtail has only seen the light of day twice this year (I know, I know) and those were both quick trips around the neighborhood that involved one, no hills and two, no proper biking gear except for a helmet, of course. So, when I dragged little, oh let's call her Silver, out of the dark, dank storage last night, I had some work to do. I dusted and cleaned and lubed for darn near fifteen minutes and man, that's minimal compared to what I'd have to do to maintain Silver if I were actually USING her.

After the once-over, I proceeded to drag all the bike "gear" out. Some people get all excited about this sort of stuff. They get all in a tizzy if you get a new crank or a fork and you don't have a Welcome Home party for it in which you break a bottle of Cristal over your handle bars to christen the newness of the "super special" part that cost $600 but! it will save you 6 ounces and that is worth SO MUCH on the trail. Whatever! is what I say to that. Why don't you just lose five pounds and keep your $600, smarty?

So dragging all the "necessary" bike paraphernalia out was the last thing I wanted to do, but I did it because well, you have to. You can't ride without your shoes. You can't ride without your camelbak. You can't ride without the water in your camelbak. You can't ride without at least two spare tubes, extra lube, air and/or a pump, a chain tool, a tire tool and a patch kit. Well, you can but after you have THREE FLATS in TWO DAYS, you learn a type of preparedness that would make boy scouts seem like Paris Hilton stuck in the woods.*

Let me tell you, all the gear is great but I have never, and I mean never, had to prepare for a run with tools or lube. Ahhh, that running, so simple.

An hour later, I had all the gear ready. I packed it up, put it in the car where it all waited patiently until this afternoon. We rode about twenty-five miles, out and back. The first half is all uphill which is good. Unless, of course, you haven't ridden in four months. Then, it's just the same as having someone reach down your throat and remove your lungs, one at a time. In fact, that procedure would save time and you'd eat less bugs, too.

Nonetheless, the first five miles passed fairly quickly. There was good cloud cover and my camelbak hadn't sprung a leak yet (oh yeah, all the gear? has complete potential for failure! great, right?) so life was good. I was getting my heart rate up and junkie that I am for the heart rate, I was a little high. Soon though, as we approached the biggest climb at mile eight, that high started to feel a little more like nausea. Don't worry, this is NOT a negative thing. I'm not complaining, promise! Rather, it's a good reminder that you can't let your heart be happy at at a max of 100 for six weeks and then expect it to just effortlessly reach 140 without complaint. It's good motivation. Very good.

Miles 9-12 were fairly uneventful. My hamstrings were quite upset as they have yet to recover from a lunge workout I did on Tuesday but other than that, things were good. We made the turn around and headed back in. This is where I get to remember what a complete and absolute chicken I am on the downhill. Wow, do I need to work on that. In my defense, I flipped over the handle bars twice as a kid and have the scars to prove it so barreling down a hill on a 25 lb. piece of metal and rubber is just a liiiiiittle intimidating. Still, I know I need to ride more because the slower I take it down the hills, the harder the inevitable uphill is going to be because I'll just lose all that speed and momentum which stinks because then you're having to quickly gear down and haul your rear up that hill and working a lot harder than you have to. More simply: get over it, wussy!

The last half of the ride was good. The camelbak sprung a leak and I was annoyed for a minute but then realized I was too tired to care. We saw bunnies and puppies on the trail and pointed out the plants and a few wild flowers that were pretty. This is what I love about riding with girls, we notice the pretty stuff and say "oh, look at this. What do you think this is? Could I grow it in my yard?" where as a lot of guys I've ridden with will look at the plant and then say something like "cool, you think if I tried to jump that I could clear it?" So very different.

So, the riding was good. Hopefully, I will get it a lot more while the season lasts. We are usually good till October around here, so that's encouraging. Yes, you can ride in the Winter but, ummmm, buurrrr. Cold? None for me, thanks.

I feel good, too, which is nice because my body needs that- as does my mind. The miles were tough in spots but okay. The knee felt just fine. My heart rate was up and the lungs were working and I think if those two organs were entities separate from me, they'd be doing a little hey-look-at-us-we're-not-dead dance right now. It's a happy time. Is it running? No. Will it ever be? No. But was it good? Oh yes, yes it was.


*In case you're wondering what this would look like it's like flat tires, no tools, no clue how to get out and, the worst part of all, no one to take your picture. The horror.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Weekend Pictures, Part III

Admiring the Late Bloomers
(If this whole photo thing is boring to some, my apologies. Not to worry, the over-analyzed, self-deprecating attempts at humor will return shortly.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ten Reasons Online Dating Has Yet To Rope Me In

[All quotes are exact.]

1. Contradictory Statements

Okay, I guess I'll be somewhat specific. I'm looking for a cute woman to hang out with and celebrate 420. I have a lot a friends to celebrate with, but I'm also looking for that special someone. So I figure we hang out, burn a little, get the munchies, get some grub, have an intelligent conversation, maybe catch a flick, go mini-golfing, I don't know, anything. I just wanna go out. Anyone interested. By the way I have top-o-the-line supplies, so no worries, but if you have your own that's cool too. Peace

2. The ability to be revolting in fifty words or less

Real 27 y/o , professional, fun, muscular very sexy man has the house all to himself this week, wife is on a business trip. No Drama, prefer that you are older 35-45, attractive that is not only sensual and love me but who can carry a conversation.

3. Appearance is more important than grammar

Why hello their ladies, I am a 6 feet green eyed dark blondish brown hair very athletic, very handsome. I am looking to meet a beautiful women, please don't even bother if you are not. If you are send me a message with a pic and i will return one. Hope to here from you soon.

4. Carelessness, in more ways than one

Well I am trying this since I do not have a lot of free time but want someone to enjoy that free time with. I don’t care if you have a photo as a mater of fact I do not want a photo till we meet. I do not care if you large or skinny. I do not care if you have children or not.

5. Rhyming

Lust is not love but love cannot exist without lust. But none of those can exist without a friendship built on trust.

6. The inability to distinguish between the pot and the kettle

Ahh yes, the body type...hmnmm...allow me to be diplomatic here. If you are fat, call it what you want, BBW/whatever, no offense intended, I'm not the guy for you. Some guys are into that, I'm not one of those guys. If you are overweight, fine. If you work out obsessively, we may have a problem - I don't. Presuming you are about my age or within 10 years, I'm not expecting Angelina Jolie. I guarantee you, you are not getting Brad Pitt. I'm a FEW pounds overweight.

7. Closed-minded and Too Much Information, now all in one package!

What can I say? I'm all that and a laundry mat. As my friend Andria would say, I've got an ego and it's not going anywhere. Nicknames include Hollywood, Tommy-boy, Mr. Accuracy, and Sexy. I was born with my 3rd and 4th fingers on my left hand webbed together. Hasn't affected my obsession with weight lifting and working out in general. My favorite exercise is pullups; on a good day I can get 21.
I'm glad I was born and raised in California, it means I don't have a ridiculous sounding accent from some weird corner of the USA. Had more near-death experiences than you've probably had birthdays. My job gives me an extra $1155 a month to pay for rent. It also gives me frequent heartburn, rectal irritation, and insomnia. Was in the boy scouts growing up, and yes, I earned a whopping 36 merit badges.

8. Those periods and commas sure take up a lot of space


9. Sometimes, one ought mince words. You know?

No. 3 knows how to take care of me. Great cook, super masseuse, trust fund or great, well paying know: the basics. "Hey,'s time to change the oil in the Beemer." "No, problem," she replies, "I'll take care of it this afternoon, after I clean out the gutters." My kind of gal.

10. Mental Health

But seriously. What's the point? There's no point. People just make up their own meanings and there's no deeper truth, nothing to hope for. It's all a mask or a lie to cover up the deep anxiety caused by the realization that our lives mean absolutely nothing. There's nothing out there. There's no one out there. A defeatist attitude is the only method of maintaining a healthy life, paradoxically leading to nothing but giving you everything. In order to be healthy, one must be unhealthy.

Weekend Pictures, Part I

Beautiful Saturday

Grass Art?

Yellow Watermelon
(tastes just like pink)


Thursday, August 10, 2006

I love summer but apparently, I'm ready for some football.

I'll just start this out by laying it all out on the table: I am not obsessed with dating. I never have been. I'm a holder-oner (that's On-er, not One-r). I find something I like and I stick with it. If it doesn't work, I get through it and until I find something I like just as much, I carry on. I lay low and don't really push to make a change. It's probably the one thing that I truly believe will happen when it happens. Mostly.

Except now, I'm on some sort of odd outgoing streak. I have been flirting with guys and, dare I say, they have been flirting with me. This is very odd for me. It doesn't happen a lot (and I don't mean this in a bleeding-heart sad sort of way, it's just not my life). I have always been told I'm overly friendly but never in the purposeful, flirtatious way. Not in the way that says "Hi, ask me out." That's so not me. I'm trying to do my best with all this but of course, I have to wonder what is up? What's the deal with all this?

The only conclusion I've come to is that the season is changing and things are a little out of whack.

Which brings me to the real point of this post. Today at work, I was in one of those really great work grooves where you're productive and everything is working just as it should and life is good. Because of this, I worked straight through lunch. I left my chair one time in six hours. By hour seven, I crashed. So, I decided it was time for a walk (obsessed? Yes, MUCH) and left the building. As I left the cool, soothing air conditioning and the sunlight and late summer heat hit my face my mind started day dreaming almost immediately. It was like some sort of switch was flipped.

I walked by people on the street with a big grin on my face never realizing that the light -headedness wasn't from the fresh air but rather from the empty stomach. I just waltzed along as if walking around downtown was my greatest task of the day. Here's where it gets crazy because the day dreaming got out of control. I walk by the jewelry store and glance at the rings. I think of getting a ring someday. I walk by the park and see the kids playing and I wonder if I'll take my kids to that park one day. I walk by the ice cream store and think of my favorite treat because ice cream isn't a dream, it's real! I walk by the people eating a late lunch at the sidewalk cafes and think about the day that I'll meet someone for a late lunch and sit at that very table because the light hits it just right where you're not squinting but you're comfortable absorbing the warmth.

I walk by the sports bar that already has the football posters up and think about how one of my favorite things to do in October is go to a football game and certainly there must be someone out there that is as endlessly thrilled by the sights and sounds of football in the Fall as I am. I walk past the skinny guy playing his guitar on the corner and think about how yesterday, I heard a song on the radio that would be the most beautiful wedding song ever. I consider asking the guy if he knows it but realize that every time I've ever walked by him he's playing and singing Dark Side of the Moon and duh! that's why everyone calls him Floyd.

As I turn to head back to the office, I'm suddenly aware that I don't know how I managed to walk eight blocks without remembering a single step. Was I really that far away? Was I really that lost in day dreaming about things I never, and I mean never, dream about? Who am I? Where is this coming from? How crazy.

So that's why all this odd flirting business is happening, I'm crazy and just beginning to realize it. I don't think about rings and I certainly don't think about kids (especially because two days ago my friend's daughter ran up to me and attacked me with sticky popsicle hands and as adorable as she is, all I could think about was washing that off because yuck!)*. I don't pick out songs for events that may or may not occur and I don't imagine dates that have never happened.

So I blame the coming change in seasons. It's the fact that I have to let go of summer and though that time isn't here, I can feel it and that's almost worse. I realize right now, as I type these words, the value of not being able to see into the future. Yet it's happening. A change is coming and I'm both feeling it and denying it with equal effort. And I don't know why it's making me act so strangely. Maybe I need the change, I need to say goodbye to the season and everything that came with it.

Or maybe I'd just really like someone to take me to some football games this year!

*Apparently, this reaction changes when it's your own child. I find that as frightening as I do comforting.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


[I'm going to talk about a bathroom. Don't worry, it's not disgusting.]

Today at work, I walked into the bathroom and noticed it looked like a mess. It doesn't usually look like that as the person that works on this floor who is responsible for the cleanliness of our bathroom takes tremendous pride in her work. She is also very friendly and though she constantly insists on reminding me of the ever increasing price of cheese, I'm very impressed by the job she does in that room and all the other rooms in my office.

Today, though, she must not have been at work. I took a minute and surveyed the mess. I had a little internal battle:

Wow, someone doesn't know where the trash can is.

But why pick it up? It's not your mess.

Yeah, but it's here and I saw it so now I can't just ignore it.

Yes, you can. You didn't go to college so you could clean up trash in a bathroom.

No, I didn't. But it's just a little trash.

Trash that isn't your problem.

Well, no. The trash isn't my problem. But it was there, and so was I. So I picked it up, quickly. And then washed my hands four times. Because sometimes, we share the burdens of others if for no other reason than to know that sometime, they may have shared ours, too.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hi, I walk. And think.

I feel a little silly. Here I've been sitting and wondering why I can't get things organized in my head lately and today, on my long, long walk it occurred to me that I just haven't been giving myself enough time to clear my head. Usually, it's I run, therefore I think. Now, I'm not running, therefore, I'm not thinking.

Sort of.

As the knee has yet to handle anything more than fast-paced walk (very, very fast. If you saw me out of the corner of your eye, you might actually think I was running but no, I'm just walking. Very fast.) it's become my new obsession. I must always have at least one physical obsession, you know.

I've been kept from running lately and as a result, the time I've had to spend alone with my thoughts has been minimal, too. I've had this curiosity about me, like there's something I need to know but I'm not quite sure how to go about figuring it out. Even more, I've felt like something is keeping me from figuring it out. It's like the time my sister considered dating the odd boy that lived up the block who spoke in a language he'd created himself and offered more than once to carve our bushes into Star Wars characters. Soon enough it will make sense but now, I just want to know why?

It's also occurred to me how much I'd miss this time if I weren't able to run any more. Though my doctors and I agree that we'll figure this out, I can't help but think the worst. There's so many more things that running allows me than just running. The time to think is only the beginning. I wouldn't have the energy I get from a good run. I wouldn't have the good pain of pushing through the last mile. I wouldn't be able to eat key lime pie like it's its own food group. It wouldn't get to travel to races and meet new friends. It would be really tough for me to get through a bad day, a difficult decision or a break up if I couldn't clear my head a little on a run. Obviously, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I would just really, really have to learn a new way of life. And I'm really, really not willing to do that right now. So I walk.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Shoulda? Yeah. Coulda? Yeah. Woulda? Nah.

I should be doing something else right now.

I should be watering the flowers.

I should be cleaning the bathtub.

I should be returning emails and voice mails from family and friends that probably think I've up and run, again.

I should be stretching and doing some yoga.

I should be working on the report I have due later this week.

I should be contemplating school.

I should be researching the next article I have due, though I have three weeks.

I should be playing with my dog who, as I type, is mysteriously quiet.

I should be planning my sister's visit.

I should be downloading photos and categorizing them to print.

I should be taking a walk, though it would be the third of the day because that's my new "thing."

I should be doing so much.

But I can't. I can't pull it together today. I can't organize. I can't process. I can't think.

My mind can't settle, my brain can't slow down. I want to be in bed, but I'm not tired. No, I want to be at work- there is sure a lot to do there. I want to be with my sister. Wait, she is coming here. I want to be at Ivan's. Soon enough. I want to be at a party. But you just did that last weekend.

There's just too much today. Too many tasks. Too many people. Too many "shouldas" and too many "wannas." I don't want to think about any of it and I don't want to do any of it. I just want to jump forward to tomorrow when everything will look different. Not better, not worse, just different.


Sunday, August 06, 2006


In attempt to hold onto this last month of summer, I've been spending as much time outside as possible. Yesterday, I took my young cousins to the park. You may remember Boy of Eight and Boy of Five from WHY?! fame. Well, Boy of 8 is now Boy of 9 and Boy of 5 is now Boy of ALMOST 6!. (Unless you have absolutely no brain at all, you will not forget that and Heaven and Earth help you if you make the mistake of forgetting).

Since age has brought these two so much wisdom, I, the non-parent, somehow assumed a little more maturity would come with it. Not so. Instead, it is further proof to me that we (boys and girls) forever stay the same youthful, genius souls we were at birth and the only thing that changes is our ability to hide it and the scars from the times we couldn't.

Just the walk to the park was eventful enough for me. What with the dragging of the dog by one leg and the pulling flowers out of other people's yards, how much more damage could be done?

A lot.

The park we walked to is in a school yard. It's a magical place filled with activities to stimulate and exhaust young minds and bodies. There are maps and puzzles, swings and slides all bolted to the ground and waiting to challenge any kid that might come along. I'm sure they had the best of intentions but this little school yard never saw Boy of 9 and Boy of ALMOST 6! coming.

Did you know there's a place called Titicaca on the map? Did ya? And would you believe, your voice echoes off the building? Really, the louder you are, the louder the echo is. Ah, the miracle of sound waves. Oh, look here, you can spell out c-r-a-p on this puzzle. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

At first, I wanted to scold them. I wanted to tell them not to spell inappropriate words and stop the screaming. Something stopped me though. Something about watching a kid go up the slide instead of down took me back about twenty years. I remembered the times I screamed just to hear my voice bounce back to me. And it was fun.

Sometimes, when I spend time with these boys, I feel like all I do is tell them no, and stop. I mean, they are young and they will push you and I know I have a responsibility to teach them and help them. Other times though, they help me. They remind me of what it's like to discover something new and giggle at the obvious. I still have some of that kid in me and they help bring it to the surface again.

And I remember it well because, of course, I did already know about Titicaca.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

This title isn't about the post but I stayed out too late at a concert last night and now I want to crawl under my desk and sleep.

I received this little piece of spam recently:

Hi, Hellmuth-

I think we had correspondence a long time ago if it was not you I am sorry.If it was I could not answer you because my Mozilla mail manager was down for a long time and I could not fix it only with my friend's help I got the emails address out for me ..:)

I hope it was whom we were corresponded with you are still interested, as I am, though I realize much time has passed since then...I really don't know where to start ....Maybe you could tell me a little about yourself since I lost our early letters, your appearance,age , hobbies, and are you still in the search?

If it was you I wrote to and you are interested to get to know me better, I have a profile at [web address deleted]

Don't really know what else to say for now I hope this is the right addressLet me know if you are interested, And I hopeyou won't run when you see my picture :-)


In spite of all the spelling and grammatical errors and the butchering of English in general, all I could think when I read it for the first time was: what if my name really was Hellmuth?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A good day shopping for jeans is better than a bad day winning the lottery

I will sleep well tonight knowing no matter how much education or testing or work experience I have, there are some things I'm just never going to learn. Tonight after work, instead of going home, walking the dog, cooking something for dinner and doing other productive things that wouldn't mess with my head I went shopping for jeans!

Could I be more stupid?

I mean, when you're not running and your body is used to running, what's the smartest thing to do? Go try on eighteen pairs of jeans in a sweaty mall, that's what! I have no idea what I was thinking. I'm feeling fat and huge and enormous and lazy and all the walking and weight lifting in the world is not making it better so why not go try to stretch the unforgiving fabric of denim over my squishier-by-the-minute waist. So. Stupid. I don't know what made me do it. Probably my bad habit of day dreaming.

I sat at work today trying to concentrate on writing a report and my mind kept drifting to my closet. What do I need? What do I want? Where did that girl at Starbucks say she bought her jeans? (Sidebar: This girl is my new BFF because she had the most fabulous outfit and she told me where everything came from and I told her about sugar-free chai. We are thisclose now.) So by the time the end of the day arrived, I was not only set on buying new jeans but I'd actually planned my route in the mall. Start here, store A, they have your favorite. If you don't find anything there, go to that other cute store B. If you still can't find anything at B, you can always go to that old stand by, store C. It was an action plan and if there's anything I find impossible to do it's fail to follow through with a plan. I had to go, the power of jeans compelled me.

I was not lying when I said I tried on eighteen pairs of jeans. Oh yes, I did. About ten of them actually fit which, in girl world, is victory enough. Then I noticed some of them were on sale. What? They fit AND a sale? It was like a little faded-blue, slightly bootcut, just-below-the-waist angel had floated right down to Park Meadows, scooped me up and took me to that little place in the sky where everything is right with the world.

So, there is a silver lining to the dark cloud of sedentary life: good luck when shopping for jeans. Am I the size I dream I could be? No. Are they as comfortable as my college jeans? Of course not. But they fit, and they were on sale and, somehow, they were the thing I needed to make me feel like I haven't gained the equivalent of a small hippopotamus in my mid-section. Thank you, fitting room angel. Thank you, luck. Thank, you sugar-free chai!