Thursday, January 22, 2009

I've Been Sucked In...Again

I have been leery of the Twilight books - I'll be honest, I've never been much of a Vampire, weird, Sci-Fi, magical, mystical sort of girl. I tried to be once when Interview with a Vampire was hot (in 1994). I tried to read Anne Rice's book and unfortunately, couldn't get through it. I also fell asleep during the movie I so wanted to like because you know, Brad Pitt is gorgeous and Tom Cruise wasn't crazy - yet. Alas, it wasn't for me.

So, when the Twilight books came out and people started telling me how good they were, I dismissed them. However, over the last several months, SOOO many people were talking about them, and people I have similar reading tastes to kept telling me to try I caved, and let me tell you - the first one is good. It's 498 pages and I read it in 3 days. It's a great love story and the vampire part is actually interesting.

I did the same thing with the Harry Potter series. One of my roommates in college was raving about them and I told her for quite sometime I wasn't interested and then I picked one up and read the first two in a weekend and from then on I was hooked - reading all the books and seeing all the movies, which never disappointed me the way movies from books often do.

One of my goals this year is going to be not dismissing things because they're out of my norm. So far, I haven't been disappointed!

I'm updating my blog with the books I am reading this year in one of the boxes on the right hand side of my page...I always love suggestions to new reading material!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I wanted to write something profound about the election and the inauguration but in the end, all I can say is that I'm finally excited again and my hope is really renewed.

For the last couple years I have been down and out with politics - with all of it - I could take it our leave it and I was tired of the ridiculousness of the system and the players and what was/is going on in the country.

But, as I watched our 44th President being sworn in yesterday, tears started streaming down my face (seriously, I thought maybe I'd have one or two, but I literally couldn't stop them...) and I was excited again. Excited about the energy, and thoughtfulness and intelligence and excited to have a President who can speak in full, coherent sentences - you know, among other things.

My hope in the system has been renewed and more importantly my hope for my country has been renewed.

"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." ~President Obama (has a nice ring to it :) ).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baby it's cold outside...

While my lovely SoCal has had temps in the 80's this week, I am stuck in the Arctic weather of Wisconsin, which is, at this time, colder than Alaska (which in some areas is as warm as 45 degrees!!) WTF.

This was the reading on my car this morning - actually it bottomed out at -18 but I was driving at the time and you know, not really safe to snap a picture and drive at the same time. Please note too that I am getting up there in miles considering I've had my lovely little cobalt for a whole 8 and 1/2 weeks!!
The wind is also howling outside the capitol which makes me fear it feels like -50! Being a SoCal girl through and through now, I can't handle this! I'm crabby and cold - bitterly cold - and I want it to be over. It was only an hour ago (about 2 pm) that I crawled out of my hefty winter boots and took my scarf off!
I know that most of you reading this are sharing the pain of this weather with me, but for those of you (whom I love dearly) who dare to tell me (again) that your 40 degree evening is a bit "chilly" I'm going to yell at you. Loudly.
The only upside of this weather is that I recently became the proud owner of a SNUGGIE!! Which, I'll be honest, when I first saw it I thought it was a little ridiculous! However, after a weekend of reading with trying to figure out how to keep my arms warm it became the perfect thing ever. My colleague gave it to me today and I can't wait to try it out tonight (while wearing 4 layers underneath of course!!)!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Graduated!!!!

From physical therapy!! Pomp and circumstance played and as I got my discharge papers I had a little tear in my eye...

I've been dealing with pains in my lower back that shoot down through my glutes and sometimes into my hamstrings for awhile now - probably for longer than I would like to admit and after suffering for quite some time I finally went to a sports doc. The diagnosis is Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction which caused my pelvis to be out of alignment and caused me a huge pain in the ass (literally).

When my doc told me that the solution is to strengthen my core, I laughed. I've never had a strong core and thought that I would be forever doomed to SI issues because I dread sit ups and planks and all things "core" related.

However, all I had to do was breath - which, was WAY harder than you think. I worked on breathing and did a lot of biking, swimming, and aqua jogging (which I still don't know if I was doing exactly right). And now, 6 weeks later, I've graduated - feeling 95% better, no real pain, just stiffness and a full range of motion! Whoo hoo!!

We are keeping my file open though...just in case...but here's to hoping I'm good to go!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm Committed...

No, not to an insane asylum...although, one may argue that this is just as crazy...

The registration forms are filled out and the checks are written and they were put in the mail on Monday...

I'm officially in now for the Kenosha 1/2 Marathon which claims to be the cheesiest...I don't know exactly what that means but I do know that I will get to eat a brat when I'm done! The race is on May 2, 2009 - 114 days away.

I'm also running the Green Bay FULL Marathon which starts on Lombardi Ave and runs through my college town, along the Fox River and ends at the infamous Lambeau Field. This race is on May 17, 2009 - 129 days away.

Which means, I start officially training next week. While I'm soooo looking forward to getting my run on, I'm a little bit nervous training over several winter months. Ice and snow have been hitting hard, and let's be honest, I'm pretty much a baby when it comes to being cold. But I'm going to give it my best shot!

Just an FYI - while Kenosha only offers a 1/2 and a full marathon, Green Bay's event also includes a 5K for anyone interested!!

My friend Mary will be joining me at both events, running the 1/2 at each and I know another person running the full in GB. I would love others to join in, even if just for the training runs!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Thoughts Exactly

I just finished reading "My Life On The Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon" by Bart Yasso. Yasso works for Runner's World and has completed over 1,000 road races, most of which have been held in really interesting places like Antartica, Rome, and Mt. Kilimanjaro, among many others. It's a interesting book filled with lots of great running stories and an underlying message that running can transform a person. And, his recounts of the Taj Mahal 5k, "Burro Racing" in Colorado, and the time he ran a "Bare Buns" fun run in a nudist colony provide fantastic comic relief.

The moment I read one of his last passages (before the great training schedules and list of must run races) I knew I had to get on here and write it down. It's profound and it's true, and it's why I have come to love this sport and feel my best when on the hitting the pavement.

"Running is about acceptance - of yourself and others. When you're out on the trail sweating, it doesn't matter if the guy or gal next to you works at a fast-food joint or is CEO of Kellogg's. It doesn't matter what color they are, or how old they are, or what religion they practice, if any at all."

"Running celebrates our commonality. Are we human because we can run on two feet, or does running make us human? I know I feel more like myself when I run, even if it's only a few miles, or at least I feel like the self I like best. Running inspires creativitiy, relieves stress, and gives us insight into ourselves and the world, making the human condition more tolerable."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hello 2009

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe New Year celebration! I joined my sister at her house for a very fun basement house party that brought me back great memories from college...thanks to her for hosting!

I've been thinking about resolutions again - and have been for the last week and I've decided that I'm going to make some this year. A lot of change happened in 2008 - mostly positive but towards the end it seemed like all that change ganged up on me and has caused me to be a little down and out and a little lost.

So, here are some things I want to improve on in 2009.

  • I want to stop apologizing for things - unless they're really in need of an apology. I have a tendency to downplay my thoughts and wants and ideas with apologies. "A sorry to bother you..." or a "this may sound silly..." or even an "I'm sorry" when there's legitimately nothing to be sorry for is silly. I know what I want and what I don't want (or at least I'm working on that) and I should be able to say something with out feeling bad about it - I shouldn't trivialize my thoughts, ideas and requests. However, I do promise that when I screw up or hurt some one's feelings, or do something that absolutely needs an apology, I'm on it.
  • I want to be able to say "NO" - I have a tendency to take on too many things - most of which I don't even enjoy doing because I feel bad if I don't do them or I feel like I'm letting people down if I don't take on the extra whatever. I'm going to make this a year of prioritizing - for me - what's best for me and what kind of load am I able to handle before I go crazy and get crabby. I want to be able to commit to things I love or things I want to do so that I can do them well. As I take on more and more I often get lost and just go through the motions and things are pretty half assed - still done, but not to the best of my abilities.
  • I want to be more creative. I've been in a rut and have been going through the motions, I am yearning to be more creative - I used to love scrapbooking because I was able to create and play and be artsy. I'd love to get back into something like that - to live my life with a little more flair. I've already taken good steps on this one and have signed up for a tele class "A New Year, A New You" - Kimberly Wilson of Hip Tranquil Chick is leading an hour long chat aiming to learn ways to live more creatively, exude your signature style, and make this your best year yet. I've decided to see how this goes and if I like it to sign up for an online class with her about creativity.
  • I want to be more organized. I've always been one to have a messy room and piles of "organized chaos" on my desk. I'm really trying hard to keep things neat and in place and my desk has been in awesome shape since we moved into our new office in the begining of December and my "new" room at the 'rents place has been uber clean with my bed made daily (since Christmas!) so now the goal is to continue on.
  • I want to figure out a direction. Where am I going? What am I going to do? A lot of the last year has been a confusion of who I am and what I am going to do with my life and where I'm going to live. I really would like to work on those questions this year.
  • I want to get back to the things I love. In addition to being able to say "NO" more often, I really want to get back to doing things that make me happy. I have been down lately and am trying to ask myself, "when were you the happiest" and it's come back to running. When I run, I'm really happy. Since I've discovered my SI Joint Dysfunction and haven't been able to run much, I've been more down than I've been in a long time. And while thankfully I can still work out, I'm most happy when I'm running. My sports doc feels that I will be ready to start training for a spring marathon in mid January and I did some running on Wednesday - about 2.75 miles and actually felt really good.

So, for a girl who doesn't put much stock into resolutions - or at least making them on the start of the new year, I sure have a laundry list!!