Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Over the last couple weeks, I've been invited to a couple Super Bowl parties. Yes, the invites were nice but I didn't accept either. I'm not sure why, I just didn't feel up to it. Imagine that. So, I declined and carried on figuring I'd at least avoided the over-comsumption of food and drink and could therefore continue down this path of succeeding to be a smaller version of myself.

Then, while driving in highway traffic the other day, I felt the need to have family around me. It has been a while since we were all together and I miss that. There are also a few friends I haven't seen in a while- I miss them, too. So, after a careful twenty-three seconds of thought, I started making calls.

Thirty minutes later, I was now hosting a Super Bowl party. The funniest part of this is, I didn't even know what time the game started. "Show up whenever!" I told them. I'm sure they'll figure it out.

I've planned some food, some drink, even ordered three different flavors of "wings"- something I have never served at my house, ever. On Saturday I'll brave the crowds and shop for other snacks and, yes, beer. And Sunday, I'll have a house full of people who all accepted an invite to a party I'm throwing because I didn't want to go to anyone else's. Strange how that worked out.

Oh yes, and I'm no longer worried about the over-consumption of food because the game starts around 4:00 p.m. or something like that which means almost an entire day beforehand is available for the gym. By kickoff, I'll be guiltless.

Monday, January 29, 2007

S.A.D. and Cold

It took me most of last week to realize it, but this Winter has been particularly hard on me. I know, I'm not alone. All across the continent, people are saying this. There is snow where there has never been snow before. There's freezing rain and ice storms in unbelievable frequency. Ranchers are losing their cattle, croppers are losing their oranges. It's a rough Winter and it's really gotten to me.

At twenty-seven, I really didn't think my body and mind could surprise me like this. I know I don't like cold and snow, I know it puts me in a bad mood. What I didn't know is that the cold and snow, combined with working on an injury keeping me from running (not nearly as much as I'd like, anyway) are depressing. There, I said it.

Depression is such a strange thing- it's many levels, it's sneaky ways. I admit fully, I'm not comfortable with it. In fact, even as I began typing this just a few sentences ago, I didn't know I'd be talking about depression. I don't want to admit that though it's not clinical and relatively unharmful compared to many cases, it still is what it is. It's a lasting feeling of blah. A feeling of I want to do X, Y, and Z things but I don't get to them. Or, I do and I don't get any sense of accomplishment from them.

That's where it gets strange for me. Sure, this may be "seasonal" depression and quite common but I have this traditional picture in my head of a depressed person and it's not me. It's not me who works out daily, who longs for a fifteen mile run, who cleans the house from top to bottom, who goes to work each day upbeat and friendly. To me, that's not a depressed person. If I were, wouldn't my house be a wreck? Wouldn't my friends and family be neglected? Wouldn't I stop working out or caring about myself? Isn't that what a depressed person does? I don't accept it. In my mind, I am balanced and just in a lull. But there's also a part that just feels blah. I'm not sad, I'm not in darkness. But it's not bright.

It's such an odd thing to describe. I don't have any hopeless feelings (except that maybe I'll never be able to feel my toes again), I find joy in everyday things, I laugh and joke but daily, and it's worse when it's really cold, I find myself just moping.

It's been suggested in the past that I'm a victim of SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, also known as winter depression is an affective, or mood, disorder. Most SAD sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer. SAD is rare, if existent at all, in the tropics, but is measurably present at latitudes north of 30°N, or south of 30°S.

To that I would have to say, yah huh! Ya think? But also, it's a little scary to me. Depression is not scarce in my family tree, so that fear is always there. That fear that a few bad days could spiral into a few more, and that maybe I wouldn't realize it and then, one day when all is right with the world I'll find myself thinking nothing is. That's probably an irrational fear- it even looks like that to me. Nonetheless, that's the fear I have inside when eight straight weekends of snow put the smackdown on your city. That's the fear when your physical therapist points out to you the muscle that's "not working" and that you have to restrengthen it, almost from scratch. The quad muscle that you've always been proud of, that has always been defined and the least of your weight-lifting worries has now ceased to work. And to get better, you have to start over. It feels like a mighty tall order right now.

This is relatively small stuff, though, and I know that. Honestly, it's probably that thought that keeps me far away from that feared spiral more than anything else. It's still there, though, and it's not going away. We're expecting highs in the single digits later this week- I'm not going to get any warmer. My only conclusion as I type this now, is to continue to be grateful. To continue being me, albeit mildly diluted for the time being. It's to continue to clean the house, be with the friends, work hard at work and know two things: I'm conscious of how I feel, which apparently is half the battle, and Spring is getting closer every day.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Did you know people born after 1980 are considered adults now?

I let an eighteen-year-old girl do my hair today. She's actually quite good, advanced for her level, her instructor says. However, she's still 18. For sure.

18: So, do you like music?

Me: Definitely. Just about everything, too. How about you?

18: Oh, I love music. All kinds, too. Music is my life!

Me: Really?

18: Yes, I love it!

Me: Any favorites?

18: I love Rock the most!

Me: Oh yeah, like what?

18: Ummm, like Nickelback. And Hinder! I really like them! What about you?

Me: Yeah, there are a lot of good newer bands. I guess I like some older ones, too, though. And I grew up on Classic Rock, so I'm partial to that.

18: Classic Rock?

Me: Yeah, you know... Led Zeppelin? Queen? Aerosmith?

18: Umm, kinda. Like I think I know Aerosmith... what are their songs I would know?

Me: What will she know? Hmmm? Well, they have quite a few. Maybe you've heard Sweet Emotion? or Crazy? Jaded?



18: Oh, are those the guys with like, all the hair and stuff?

Me: Yeah, a lot of hair.

Yeah, I know not everyone has to know Classic Rock. Even if "music is your life!"

Friday, January 26, 2007

A little right, right now

Yesterday, I finally got to get out and run on an ice and snow-free road for the first time all year. It was also a few degrees above 50 (F) which never hurts. Right around 50 with sun and no wind is what I consider perfect running conditions. It also helps if your body feels good. I did the two-a-day workout again yesterday but took it easy at lunch and saved myself for the run.

Boy, was it worth it.

I had to talk myself into a slower pace than normal because though I want to go all out, I don't want to ruin all the physical therapy and weight lifting work I've done. At least not yet. It was good to soak up some sun and just take in whatever was around me, though. I ran a route I've run at least a hundred times before but I noticed some things I hadn't before, too. The way the sun hit a certain window on the back of a house. The way the trail curved up the hill, the shadows of the tall trees framing the path. It was all very peaceful, like after all this up and down, I'd finally been allowed a calm, comfortable few miles.

The other day, Bre posted about a little ritual she has of reminding herself of what she's thankful for at the end of the day. I thought of this on my run yesterday and was nearly overwhelmed at the list I could make, and I'm someone who usually is grateful on a daily basis. A friend of mine, in fact, told me just the other day that if someone gave me a box of crap for my birthday, I'd dig through it looking for the Pony. Mostly, that's true. But on this run yesterday, I was reminded of just how many ponies I really do have.

Sometimes I can get so caught up in things not going as planned or even as hoped. I lose sight of all that I've accomplished because I'm already moving on to what's next. I start acting like things that happen as well as things I make happen are just pieces of a puzzle when, really, I think they are the puzzle. I catch myself in thoughts like will I ever do this or that when really, if I were to look back on the years, I'm already doing what I used to wonder about. It's not the dreams that aren't coming true, it's me constantly changing them that's the trouble. I think there's a balance there, though. I will always want better, want more, but I am reminded to take the time to want what I've got, too. Maybe, if we take those moments and take an inventory of what we really have, we are better suited for what's to come. Don't stop dreaming, of course, but also, stop long enough to realize that those dreams might be right now.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday Night Randomness

I had about twenty-nine different reasons to make it to the gym this afternoon (one being that I skipped out yesterday because, funny, on Monday I pretended I was some kind of superstar and went to the gym at lunch AND after work and come Tuesday, I was feeling like something a cat dragged in. And not just any cat, but like a huge, giant, violent, predator-type cat). However, all those twenty-nine reasons weren't nearly as good as the invite of After-Work Happy Hour.

First, to those who have any idea what I do for a living, I'm sure hundreds (okay, tens) of thoughts are going through your head right now starting with "wait, computer people know what happy hour is?" Yes, apparently they do. And apparently, I'm also part of that crowd, even though I claim to forget absolutely anything technical or even half-way knowledgeable when I walk out the door. It's like a force or something!

Still, it was a happy hour invite and I could have been all "no thanks, I'm going to the gym to concentrate on breaking the Rotation Speed Record for an elliptical machine" but instead, I accepted. It was loads of fun, too. The best part was, I was home in time to catch a good chunk of American Idol.

I know, I know.

That show, though, always makes me thankful for my family and their honesty. Seriously, I have been a singer all my life but a) not once did anyone tell me I could sing when I dang well can't and b) they taught me to embrace my other, better "qualities" and save the singing for others who don't need a wheelbarrow, okay, dump truck to carry a tune.

We sort of pride ourselves on that honesty, brutal as it may necessarily be. Like a night a couple weeks ago, while having dinner with my aunt, uncle and teen aged cousins, we started laughing at some of our little "quirks," you might say. Five or ten minutes in, my aunt, uncle and I were beside ourselves laughing at some of our family's funny habits, like talking over one another, involuntarily calling each other by the wrong name (and you thought that was just for grandmothers) and going outside without pants on. Okay, I am joking about that last one. Mostly. Eventually, we even got my older cousin laughing and soon, it was the four of us laughing and the seventeen-year-old staring at all of us like he'd been kidnapped by the gorilla family at the zoo; we were both interesting enough to watch and frightening enough to keep a safe distance.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught him staring. He then informed us that we were acting "like a bunch of rednecks who never set foot in a classroom." I think he believes there's some rule that says if you go to college, you can't laugh at your family's lack of outerwear. According to him, the family has some history in business and success and therefore we all qualify as some sort of white collar, non-fart joke making, geniuses who have a history to live up to.

He's right, really because I believe it was those very grandfathers that were instrumental in turning what was once just industry terminology into household words. Most important, of course, being happy hour and plumber's crack.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How I Operate*

"So what's your pick for the Super Bowl?"

"Colts. All the way."

"Really? Not the Bears?"


"Don't you think they deserve it after sucking for so long."

"Didn't really consider that."

"Then why the Colts?"

"Because once, at the airport, I ran into Peyton Manning. Literally ran into him."


"He stepped on my toe- I was wearing flip flops- and apologized profusely. I didn't know who it was until he was already gone**."

"So what? A guy is polite and it's automatically 'go Colts' ?"

"Yes, go Colts!"

* I've been informed that a more "hip" way to say this is "How I Roll." However, I've been accused of being many things and hip generally isn't one of them. 'Round these parts, we operate.

**I've known who Peyton Manning is since the Tennessee days, of course. But in an airport, I'm less observant of the people around me, and more so trying to not forget anything in security. Also, this was years ago before Peyton was the most-loved commercial good ol' boy/hero in the NFL. Not to say I don't find the boy attractive, 'cause I do.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Music and a Meme

Wow, yippee!

Thanks for the feedback on the music post. I knew there was something to that whole asking nicely thing. I like just about all music, aside from extremely violent rock/metal type stuff (or whatever it may be called these days) and crude rap(ish) stuff. I don't really like women being called dirty ho's, go figure.

(And now, pardon me while I address all your comments right here, out of pure laziness.)

E.B. - I went and listened to some Ray Lamontagne samples. Thank you for the reminder!

Danielle - If you want to email me samples, please do. Or, tell me where I can get it. I'm thinking I like this GB Leighton deal. (justrungirl at hotmail)

Adam - Are you kidding? I adore some good banjo pickin'. I actually do know OCMS, too, so thanks for that reminder!

Sizzle - Honestly, everything plays at some point. I go through phases- rock, R&B, blues, country, classic rock, even a little punk lately. Whatever you want to suggest is fine with me. Thank you! (justrungirl at hotmail, like you didn't know).

Michelle - I will take you up on those preschool songs when I'm babysitting and I need to entertain!

Sister B - Those are some bendy guys, I just don't get it. But we've talked about that before. (hehe)

Dawn - We could SO go to concerts together. Except for that Robin Thicke thing, because, I mean, WHO KNEW?!?

Ginger - Wow, we could totally go to concerts together, too. I'm glad I'm not the only one that still adores Tom Petty. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Bre - Cool! Thank you! I've only heard of Murphys, nothing from Flogging Molly or Tristan Prettyman- until now!

Lia - Thank you, I'm so checking those out! And thanks for visiting my blog!

Celina - I like some Zepplin at times, too. Takes ya back, you know? Nice variety- I, ashamedly, forget about solely instrumental stuff sometimes. Thanks!

JACC - 4 gigs? Wow. If you just want to suggest one or two, that's cool (songs, artists, etc., not one or two gigs- teehee). Seriously, you pick. It will open my mind to something new. (justrungirl at hotmail) As I mentioned, nothing too scary. Thank you!

And now, a meme. I was tagged by the fun and interesting Dawn.

1. What’s the most fun work you’ve ever done, and why? (two sentences max)

The volunteer work I've done with several community organizations. It's fulfilling, it's interactive, and it's over quick- nice thoughts, eh?

2. Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did? (one sentence max)

I used to have more opportunities to go water skiing- that was fun.

3. Name one thing you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting it off? (one sentence max)

I don't really put things off; not realistic things under my control, anyway (changing my mind does not count).

4. What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why? (two sentences max)

These aren't the only two things but, one, I want to learn to be a better piano player because I can think of no time in life when that wouldn't be fabulous. Two, I would like to learn the guitar someday as I haven't played a real song since "She'll be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" at the age of seven.

5. If you could take a class/workshop/apprentice from anyone in the world living or dead, who would it be and what would you hope to learn? (two more sentences, max)

Jimmy Buffett... because I'd like to be fiercely business-minded and intently faithful all the while living and portraying the image of carefree, laid-back fun. I'm getting better at it, but I'm pretty sure he could help.

6. What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you?


7. Now list two more words you wish described you…

Boat owner.

(SOMEDAY! Settle down.)

8. What are your top three passions? (can be current or past, work, hobbies, or causes– three sentences max)

Being a thoughtful friend, sister, daughter, granddaughter, etc.
Being part of something bigger than myself.

9. Write–and answer–one more question that YOU would ask someone (with the answer in three sentences max)

Hey, baby, what's your sign?

Answer: Libra.

I don't believe in astrology, really.

And that's that. I'm not sure how telling it is, but you can sure tell what kind of mood I'm in today. I blame the snow.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sometimes, It Does Get Easier

I look at you from across the table and I wonder if this is how it's supposed to be.

I'm totally comfortable sitting here, in wrinkled pants and my winter coat- you know I can't take it off, I'm terrible with the cold. We sit, eat, talk over life's frustrations. We have the same thoughts, as usual. I get up to fill our glasses, I don't even have to ask if you want more, I know. When I take a too-big bite of pizza and have to wipe my mouth with a fist full of paper napkins, you just continue talking, as if nothing happened. As if I didn't just make a complete mess of myself, like a seven-year-old. We are honest now. A there's-something-stuck-in-your-teeth kind of honest. It feels good.

You get up to cross the room and for the first time in a long time, I turn to watch you. I see the same person, yet different. I see the person I admired before, but now softer, yet stronger. I see you are more human, more like me than my fantasies of years past allowed me to make you. I see some tiredness in your eyes, but that kindness I always knew is also there. As we talk, I feel like you listen to me now. Or maybe you always have, I just now have chosen to notice.

And I like you. You're my friend. You're good to me, you've never been anything less. I was the one who allowed my mind to wander, who couldn't stop it. I saw every similarity, every shared struggle as a sign. A sign of what, I don't know. I made things into something they weren't back then. It was long ago, really, but sometimes, when you hold the door for me or leave a certain kind of message on the phone, it seems like yesterday. I remember how it felt, to see you. I remember the anticipation, the mood, the butterflies. I suppose I always will, that's what crushes do to us. We always have that imprint, somewhere inside.

And now, today, as we sit here, close and comfortable (me, maybe you always have been) I am certain of almost nothing. Almost because now, I know the difference. I know that I can love you but in another way. I know that I do, and I know that you do. I know now, because you tell me, and I listen. I listen to what you really mean. I don't know what I was so in love with in the past. An idea, maybe. I do love now, though. I love the shared dinner, and the comfort I can find in the history of our time together. It's easy now, on my mind and my heart. I've come a long way, and you have, too. Years later, I'm thinking this, at least for this moment, is how it's supposed to be.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Because I'm asking nicely

Alright, so I told you it was coming. I told you I would whine and beg as if I, JustRun blogger, were the only person on Earth. I also told you I'd demand things and expect each and every one of you to comply. However, I am going to ask nicely and that makes up for everything else.

Please, blogger buddies, share music with me. I want some good music, that may or may not be new (or new to me but maybe I've just forgotten all about it), that you love. (And yes, you, I know where I can go every Friday for some tunes but that doesn't mean they're "favorites" or highly recommended. This way, I know it's the best of the best.)

Maybe it's your favorite song/artist/band/album.

Maybe it's the newest, greatest thing in your city.

Maybe it's your all-time, top ten favorite songs, ever.

Maybe it's the CD you can't stop playing in your car.

Maybe it's the music you've been running with lately.

Maybe it's music from your high school prom.

Maybe it's something you love because of a recent concert you attended.

Whatever it is, share it with me. Please and pretty please.

Thank you and forever and ever am I in your musical debt!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


This past weekend, I purchased a lot of airline tickets. It just so happened that I found good prices for all the places I need, err, want to go over the next six months. After dropping that amount of money in a matter of minutes, I was feeling a little guilty. A little, uhhh, financially irresponsible.

I reasoned that the savings was something that a) I worked very hard for and b) would replenish soon with a tax return and by minding my budget. Heh, well, mostly minding it anyway. Still, I wasn't feeling great. I mean, what kind of person goes and schedules not one, not two, but THREE coastal/beach vacations within the first six months of the year? Obviously, this kind of person.

After giving my chunk of change to the airline industry, I wrestled for the remainder of the weekend back and forth over what I’d done. No, I couldn’t take it back but that doesn’t mean I could allow myself to feel completely good about it. This is what you save for. But the money could go somewhere else. You do share your money. And you share your time. You’re young, you need to have fun. You’re young, you need to plan. Don't worry, you have travel insurance. And you have a retirement account, several. And mutual funds, don’t forget the mutual funds! But maybe you could have helped someone else out. This is what it’s like to live in my head.

Then, I came into work Tuesday and opened an email that read something like this:

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of one of our fellow employees. Mary Jones died Saturday at her home. Mary worked for our organization for over twenty-five years and had recently retired on November 30, 2006. Funeral service and donation information to follow as soon as it becomes available.

Over twenty-five years. Retired six weeks. She wasn’t sick. Children, grandchildren. Travel plans with her husband. Plans to sit back and really enjoy life. I heard all this from other employees, employees closer to Mary than I. And now, there was nothing. She’s gone, there are no plans.

I’m often unsure of what there is to learn from death. I struggle so much with making any sense of it at all. Faith and logic only go so far, when someone’s six weeks into retirement, “the best time of life,” and it’s all gone in an instant. How can you make sense of that, sense of no guarantees? Is there anything to learn?

I have a hard time really knowing the answer to those questions. I probably always will. But little by little, and each unfortunate time I have to be reminded, I think I might know a little more. I might be a little closer to the answer. And yesterday, when I sat back down at my desk and thought about the dramatic depletion of my money over the past weekend, I didn’t feel that guilt anymore.

While I know that saving and planning for my future is important and a priority, it’s not the only priority. We also have to plan for right now. We have to allow ourselves to live right now and take advantage of those opportunities that may deplete our bank account, but will also fill our lives. Fill our souls, even, if we let it. That, I think, might be the only guarantee there really is.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Breaking Rules in Winter

With all this snow going on, a runner can get a little restless. Luckily, we had a high of something like 18 (F) today, so I planned the day around running at the hottest point possible. Hottest? Well, anyway, I wanted to go out and run.
Admittedly, I am breaking the "rules" a little. Right now, I am supposed to run just one day per week and make nice with the elliptical machine every other day. I ran six miles on the treadmill at the gym yesterday, so today should have been either a) a rest day or b) elliptical day. I was okay with neither. You see, though, I'm lazy, in an active sort of way. Why go to the gym- which would involve driving three miles and combing my hair- when I could step right out the front door and go? I know, right?!
So, with no pain in my knee (PT is working, I'm a believer!) and enough clothes on to add a good ten pounds, I was out the door. The trails, sidewalks and streets are still covered in snow and ice. Thanks, however, to Yaktrax, my feet didn't move anywhere I didn't want them to. It was four miles of loveliness in the world of running. For most of the run, I was able to run right down the middle of the road, my most favorite way to run. What? I like to pretend I own the road. Like that is a surprise to anyone.
I didn't want to stop, I really didn't, but I knew I should. I knew I would want to run another day and therefore, would have to hold back on this day. Self-control, who knew. Besides, I had an ambitious winter soup recipe waiting for me at home.

I say ambitious because, well, I don't make soup. I open cans, and I heat in a sauce pan. I don't make it. I particularly don't puree and combine. But I did today. And boy, oh boy, was it worth it. I broke some recipe rules, too, which is always pushing it because, as you saw, I don't make things. A skipping of the shallots and an adding of some sauteed red peppers just "for color" as my grandma would say, led to a soup experience. Yes, experience. Okay, maybe it was just a combination of having trodded through the snow, labored over a food processor and stove, and fabulous ingredients but still, it was so good! And so easy, which should be encouraging and make me want to try more recipes but oddly, I just want more soup.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

By Poplular Demand

And by popular, I mean three. Three people that asked "what's this 'Part 6' business all about?" They were not around for Parts 1-5. As you'll see, they're not thrilling. But, I loves me some windshield views:

Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

And now, let's all ambrace my three-day-weekend-non-posting laziness!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not ungreedy

A male friend of mine has been "entertaining" the idea of a long-distance relationship. He tends to go on a little, which I generally don't mind. Should I go? Should I not? Is it right? Is it wrong? Is it too soon since my last relationship? Am I ready? Is this the right person? Is this the right time? Is it worth the time? Is it worth the money? Is it worth the effort? It all seems a bit much for me, but everyone is different, right? It also all seems a bit much for a guy, but hey, some normal guys talk a lot, right?

And by normal, of course, I mean no one I have ever met except for this one guy who is a good guy with what I believe to be good intentions but seriously, has not a clue as to what he wants. But I assure him anyway, that if he were to stop thinking about it and just pay attention to how he really feels about this woman, most of his questioning would cease. The answers would come and if they didn't, he wouldn't notice anyway because he'd either be (a) happy or, (b) aware enough to see the red flags. I understand long distance has it's own host of complications, but at the end of the day, we know what we want. Come on, you know it's true.

What I want, for the record: A man to not feel as though he as to question whether or not it's worth the effort to see me. Maybe that's a little bit much to ask, but no one around here has ever claimed to posses a great deal of restraint or flexibility when it comes to what they want. And what they know they deserve.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

High Diving

When I was three, I started taking swimming lessons. It was at the same pool, same teachers, same lesson mates and it went on for years. By age five, we were well on our way to treading water and not choking on it every fifteen seconds or so. We thought we were pros.

Then came the "big" pool. It had laps and a "deep end." A really, really deep end. With a high dive, which scared the living crap out of me all summer. Just staring at that thing made me want to jump out of the pool, grab my towel, slip on my jelly shoes and high-tail it the heck out of there. Thankfully, we did not have to go off the diving boards that summer. That sweet, wonderful, seventeen year-old swim teacher didn't even mention it, bless her soul.

A year later, I walked into the pool again, having completely forgotten about the high dive. But there, sitting on the deck with my innocent little six year-old feet hanging over the edge I heard the chilling words: "this year, we'll learn to jump off the diving board." What? Diving board? High? Above water? Oh yes, and more. They started us with the "short" board. A mere three (maybe four?) feet above the water, what could go wrong?

Nothing, really. I was all about the short board. Heck, I'd take a running start at that sucker, no problem. Go off backwards? Sure. Bounce twice before jumping in? Yeah, alright. Do a handstand and then fall head first over the edge? Challenge me, puuuhhleeaaase!

All the while, people were just over goin' off that high dive all morning long. I, being the excellent avoider I have always been, just chose to ignore it. That is, until one of the kids in my class mentioned it. Stupid Dusty Reynolds and his high-fallutin', wannabe Superman attitude wanted to go off the high dive. Though I don't remember the exact words I said to him then, if I were to go back to that scene and help myself respond with the benefit of my current vernacular, it would have gone something like dude, you must be on crack!

And then, the most ridiculous moment of my year spent as a six year-old happened. The teacher told him he could, if he wanted to. Then, as if attempting to make me pee in the pool right there, she also said that anyone else who wanted to could also go off the high dive. We just had to follow the rules (no fancy tricks on that one) and go one at a time. Wouldn't you know it, all but me and one other kid lined up. Slowly, one after the next, they took the plunge. Some going down in straight lines and screaming, others looking like jacks sprawled out and creating a smacking sound as soon as their bodies came into contact with the water. Left at the bottom of the steps there was only me and one other girl. She asked me if I was going to go and I told her I didn't know. She then said that she was and me, always the chicken at first but never one to be completly beat, raced up that ladder like it led to Disneyland.

As I approached the top, I was hardly able to stop and ask myself what I was doing. I remember slowly pacing out to the edge of the board, feeling the gentle bounce that I was certain would send me plummeting with even the slightest misstep. I remember the itch in my legs from the chlorinated water dripping down from my swimsuit. I remember the distant calls from the kids below, though I couldn't tell you what their words may have been. I remember thinking to keep my legs together and my hands by my sides, straight like a pencil. I remember stepping off.

I unexpectedly hit the water in a deep plunge, eyes closed the entire time. When I finally felt myself stop, my toes just grazing the bottom of the deep end, I opened my eyes. I remember looking up and thinking I'd never get to the top. I kicked my feet and held my breath. I kicked and kicked, held and held. I didn't have enough air, I wasn't going to make it. I was about to gasp and still, in my six year-old head, miles and miles under the water. I wanted to panic, but had no where to panic in, no one to panic to. So I kicked and kicked, and finally my finger tips felt the air, then my elbows, my shoulders, my face. I took one deep breath, then another before I began swimming to the edge. I turned, looked up at that high dive and grinned, because I knew I'd do it again.

And maybe that's sort of how things are right now. I'm afraid, yet don't want to be left behind. I'm plunging in, and not knowing what to expect. I'm looking up, waiting to get to the top and with every second, doubting I'm going to make it. Doubting I'll ever be able to breathe again. But maybe I will, and maybe I'll go back for more when I do.


Apparently, it's de-lurking week in the blog world. Not to be presumptuous (yeah, right) but if you're here and you don't comment, maybe this week you can. I suppose nothing bad will happen if you don't but, you know, I saw a hexing book at the library today and nothing would entertain me more than to check it out because then, a girl I went to high school with would have to look me straight in the eye while she scanned the book and my card and resist the urge to say I was right about you all along.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Because I am running, a little

Today, while blabbing incessantly to someone who was polite enough to listen, I realized I've not really written about running for a while. Well, in short, it's because I can't. Well, couldn't. And now, can only do it on a "limited basis" which is a royal pain in the you-know-what! It gives me an attitude, too because whatever, he's just a surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. And knees. And is the "best in the city." And works with professional athletes. So what could he possibly know, right?

But that's okay, because he is actually doctor number five and surgeon number three that I've seen about my knee, well, issues. The first two, err, four couldn't even put a word to it. I got no diagnosis from any and either "just give it time" or "have you thought about quitting running?" as advice. My answers: ummm, no and UMMMM, NO, respectively. I had (a) given it enough time (like, say, most of 2006) and (b) you're asking me to stop running, have you no soul, man?

So finally, behind door #5, we had a winner. We have a diagnosis (chondromalacia- common in distance runners and especially, in women). And this guy, he's willing to "make a plan" and "keep me doing what I love to do." Hearing those words just about made me cry with joy. Thank goodness SOMEONE finally understands!

I am now the proud and more so, thankful participant in a 4-6 week physical therapy plan and limiting my running to once a week. Yes, it sucks, but if it will help, I will follow the rules. Also, me and the elliptical machine? We're BFF. And ever, and ever. The physical therapist is showing me all kinds of new ways to build muscles and loosen tendons and ligaments so the knee cap stays right on track, literally.

I know it sounds crazy, but working on getting this better and seeing results and feeling better than I've felt in a long time is, so far, the best thing to happen this year. And sitting here typing it I know it must present as incredibly boring and not really much about running after all. But take heart, it was either this or me talking about a friend that just got engaged to a guy she's been dating for a while now. It'll be marriage #2 for both and while I do adore them and am happy for them, there's, you know, that part of me that's saying what the heck, you were both only single for a total of 83 seconds?!

So yeah, I'm in physical therapy. The End.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Facing Aversion

Sometimes, I avoid confrontation. I suppose I do it for a lot of reasons, depending on the situation but most of it is due to my laziness or having already moved on to occupy myself with something else.

Just yesterday, I was walking down the street and turning to go into a store. The store owner was standing in the doorway, talking to another patron. She seemed to be upset about something and the store owner was apologizing. As I approached the door, the unhappy customer had turned to leave and the owner, less than two feet away from me, let go of the handle and headed back inside. She let the door shut in my face. There, in that single second I decided that store had nothing for me. I turned to the friend I was walking with and said "never mind" and we walked away.

The store owner, apparently having seen this, came back out the door and said "we're open, come in." Obviously, she thought nothing of what she did. "No thank you," I said. And part of me wanted to walk back in there and tell her why. But that other part, that avoid it, it's hard and will make you uncomfortable for no reason part, just kept walking.

I do this too much, though. With things I think are unimportant, inconsequential. I did it when I was younger, when I didn't want to hang out with someone anymore- I'd just distance myself, until we drifted apart. I don't do that now, but the problem is, the attitude seeps into other areas. Areas it shouldn't. Some things, you have to confront.

We'd been out twice. Once, for drinks, that turned into dinner. It was nice, but I was worried. "No spark," I'd told a friend. She convinced me to give it another chance. I opened an email from him. If I were a celebrity with a fan club, I'd want a letter like this. I'd want a hundred of them. He was a fan. So we went out again. I was tired, just back from a trip. And a marathon. He was anxious, obviously so. I had a hard time engaging and I blamed it on being tired. At the end of the evening, I hugged him and said sure to another phone call, another meeting.

I knew better. Somewhere, and not-so-deep down, I knew what it was. That elusive "spark" I'd wondered about before, it still wasn't there. It wasn't going to be. Something was off, something just didn't flow. It would have been missing, even if the interests weren't romantic. No click, no chemistry. None of those descriptions we use to talk about something good. Someone good.

But the phone calls came anyway. One, two, then three. I'd legitimately missed only one of those, avoided the others. I was ashamed of myself. What was I doing, practicing something this childish, at twenty-seven? So I decided, I had to make the call. And just like that, it was easy. The words came to me, I dialed the numbers. I gave him the explanation, the honest explanation. None of that "I'm so busy" or "you don't want to date me" crap. I said genuine words. Adult words. Call it nerve, call it gutsy, call it about time. What I'm going to call it, though, is growing the hell up.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Things I've Done in the Last 48 Hours That Are Really Gonna Make it Difficult for Someone to Put Up With Me Someday

- Bought two new coats online. To look fabulous, of course, and to stuff in a coat closet that is already packed and has absolutely NO room for one more coat, much less the coats of any other person.

- Bought flip flops online. Hello? They're on clearance. I know there are forty-five pairs in the closet. I know.

- Spent $45 on sending a package of my favorite chips and salsa to Canada because friends of mine are having a party and I cannot be there (don't think I did not see how much a weekend flight to Edmonton was, either).

- Spent 35 minutes on the floor with my dog rocking her like a baby because I hadn't seen her in ten hours.

- Went to the gym and sweat my little heart out on the elliptical and proceeded to take my sweaty, greasy self all over the city running errands with no regard for the noses of others.

- Went to the bookstore and made a list of all the new books I want even though there's a shelf full of unread books right here in my little house.

- Googled "how to mail beer", "how to pack beer in checked luggage", and "how to send beer to someone across the country without the beer exploding" and then got really upset that there was absolutely NO help out there whatsoever!

- Ate Chinese food for lunch AND dinner in the same day. And am sort of still craving it 24 hours later.

- Bought a lottery ticket and then spent a good fifteen minutes looking at boats for sale online because YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.

Friday, January 05, 2007


It is snowing again.

The prediction? One to three inches. We already have 6 here at my office.

I want to go home, but driving on that ice will not be fun. I should have stayed there, but software beckons.

Sure makes that ol' joint in my last post seem even better. Right now, I'd trade a million dollars in debt for never having to set foot on a snowflake ever again. You have no idea how serious I am.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On Caribbean Villas and also, lots of ( )'s

Well here's where I talk a lot about something I like and wholeheartedly expect that everyone and their dog will then like it, too. Yes, that was a warning because you know I never do that. Never.
The thing is, you can only like something so much before you have to start sharing it with others. Relax, Internet, you are not the first. That, of course, was Mom. But now, Mom is over it and I'm tired of her what, you think you know these people? attitude and my well, no, not now but maybe someday response. She is just never okay with the way my mind wanders and dreams. She's all concerned with "how much time I spend at the computer" and blah blah blah.
WHAT?! is this girl talking about, you might ask. And, well, rightly so. I am talking about this:

Oh yeah, I know. Ginormous surprise here, right? Dreaming of a photo that looks like it was taken on an island. What a shock. But really, this gets good. Promise.
The place in the photo (and 1,000,000 points to you if you already know where it is*) is this. A Caribbean villa built by two self-proclaimed "average guys." (They also proclaimed themselves idiots and insane a couple times but do you see me mentioning that? Oh nooooo. Because I? I think it's genius and we all know me and my rational thinking.)
So why am I writing about this? Well, for the most part, and as I warned you earlier, I have loved loved loved and followed their blog from nearly the beginning and now that things are complete (for the most part, anyway) I just want to share share share. Of course, I think you should go start from the beginning and read the whole darn thing but that is just me and my amazing and never-failing ability to kill an entire afternoon at the office.

At the very least, though, maybe you'll just want to read the last few months or so and then maybe go visit their new site ( and I swear I am not being paid for any of this, but you know, I really should be because this post is likely to be read by nearly a dozen people and if that doesn't say CHA-CHING! I don't know what does). Now, their new site is just evidence of their love for the island. Yes, I'm sure, like me, they loved it before as visitors but now, it's more of an "invested" kind of love. (Gee, you think, dork? They just built a house there. Duh. Really.)


They say you can love your dog, just don't LOVE your dog. Well, it's a good thing the same is not true about tropical rocks sitting out in the middle of perfect, tranquil turquoise waters edged by soft, sandy beaches and littered with flip-flop wearers and fine establishments that never run out of rum. Oh, it is a real good thing that is not the case.

Should the boys from Bongo Bongo ever read this post (and don't think part of me doesn't want to head over there and tell them about it right now) they might think they don't "know" me. Well, they (and my mother) might be right but, also, they might be wrong. They sort of do but I'm really not going to say why because A) it makes me sound a little insane and I realize I am SO pushing that envelope right now and B) they know my real name! Gasp! I know! But, just as a note to them, should they ever see this: think pants. Non-pleated, to be exact.

So now go, off with you. Off to read about building a villa on an island and how yes, yes friend, you can do it too! Who knows, they will probably come out with a Do-It-Yourself-on-St. John kit anytime now. And, like I said in the beginning, if this sort of reading is not something that interests you then I feel sorry. Mostly, for you. (Kidding, you know I love your little, cold-loving, non-flip-flop wearing soul.)

* Yes, I will send you your 1,000,000 points. In exchange for $1,000,000. I know, tricky, eh?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


While listening to REO Speedwagon's Can't Fight This Feeling and driving down the Interstate:

Me: I love REO Speedwagon.

Friend: Yeah, me too.

Me: No wonder people used to make out to this stuff, huh?

Friend: Used to? I still would!

Me: Alright, me too... but this song bothers me.

Friend: Why?

Me: Because, why should he have to give all that up for love? Why should he have to "bring his ship into the shore and throw away the oars?" No one should have to give that up. I mean, isn't being in love supposed to be nice, and freeing. Aren't you supposed to feel good about what you do and who you are and the things you love? You shouldn't have to give up your ship. That's just wrong.

Friend: They're not talking about an actual ship.

Me: What?

Friend: It means he's giving up all the woman chasing. It's a metaphor.

Me: Oh.

Friend: ...

Me: Well it's a good thing because that would just be stupid. I would never do that.

Friend: Well I don't think you'll ever have to make that choice.

Me: Gee, thanks. I'll never find love.

Friend: No, genius, because you'll never have a ship.

Me: Gee, thanks. No love and no boat. Great.

Friend: Oh geez!

Me: What? You never know? The odds are about the same for both!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Days Go By

It's been nearly a year since I began this blog. While that's not much for some, it's quite significant to me, if only because I've found a place to dump thousands of the billions of thoughts constantly swirling around in my head.

When I woke up this morning I watched and read some news and wondered if it was bad to feel like this, 1/1/07, were just like any other day. I still have the same thoughts, same goals, and same worries as I did yesterday. What makes this different? Should I feel as though I'm standing at the edge of something? Anything?

In two days, I have an appointment with the top sports medicine doctor in the city. He is supposed to help me with my knees (yes, knees, plural. In addition to my right knee being swollen and now painful, my left knee has followed suit since my Christmas Day run). I have had it, I am ready for help. I'm overwhelmingly motivated to run right now, and I can't. I think (and also hope) this doctor will scope both knees. I've had the xrays and MRI's, it's time to do something more drastic. I need to run. I have a half marathon scheduled in March, a full in May, another half later in the summer and probably another full in the fall. I may be injured, but I'm not losing hope. I definitely need this doctor to understand that.

Over the past two days, I have eaten enough to support a family of five. Or twelve. I credit this to football games and my grandmother requesting I bake her some more of my perfect cookies. Obviously, I could say no to neither. Sandwiches, pizza, cookies, pizza, taco salad and pizza do not make for a "hey, look at me, I've lost seven pounds" attitude, so I sure am glad the weekend is over. Not-so-secretly, though, I am glad it was here because I am reassured that I was always right about two things: cheese melted on anything makes it better and, putting bacon on pizza is culinary genius. However, I know and am okay with the fact that this has come to an end, because feeling the way my pants fit sans seven pounds, well, that's almost as good as bacon and, in my case, lasts a heck of a lot longer.

In just four short days, my sister will, once again, have to say goodbye to her husband and send him off to the danger of the Middle East. I can't even begin to express how this makes me feel. He's been home less than two months. I don't care that the President says "there's a job to do" and then proceeds to dump thousands of troops back into a war without a clear plan. I don't care that an evil dictator was just hanged. I'm glad he was captured, yes. It doesn't make up for the fact that men and women are leaving their families for "undetermined length deployments," some for a third or fourth time in two years. It doesn't change that death tolls have reached a milestone, again. I cannot write eloquently about this. It is not something I have understood from the very beginning, and I doubt I ever will. I was raised and believe leaders, elected leaders, should be respected and supported. That is what makes a country strong. Now, that's changed. It is, perhaps, what angers me most.

In about sixteen days, my sister will relocate to the West coast to finish school and be closer to family while her husband is away. Sure, I could go into all the reasons why this is a good, positive thing and the only good thing about the entire situation but really, all I can think about is how she and I will don mouse ears and recreate scenes from our childhood at Disneyland this summer.

Over the past, oh let's say 358 days or so, I've had the privilege of "meeting" some fantastic people. It's you, fellow bloggers and readers. You have opened my mind to new perspectives, new stories, new parts of the country and the world and your lives. I feel as though it's no accident that you and I have stumbled upon one another and the bits and pieces of this last year we've shared and the connections we've had are far more than I ever expected. Plus, you're super cool.

So it is okay, after all, to feel like today is any other day. Our hopes, our prayers, our laughs, our connections and our struggles are what make it so. That's the significance. Without those, I suppose, we wouldn't mind the passing of the days anyway. We might not even notice at all.