Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ummm, where are the raindrops?

Forgive me for a moment while I complain...

It was supposed to be raining today. But the weather people said there was going to be a lull this morning which would allow to me to go for a quick run outside. So I set my alarm for 9 a.m.

The alarm went off, I rolled out of bed, threw some running clothes on, laced up my sneakers and headed out the door. In the brisk 43 degree temperatures and a stiff wind, which made it quite chilly depending which way I was running. But I sucked it up and ran, about 2.4 miles.

And it still hasn't rained a drop.

Reading review

Well, there's only another 11 hours and a handful of minutes left in March, so now's a good time to review what I read during the month and how I'm progressing toward that goal of 40 books for the year.

Here's what I read in March:
The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey
You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
Little Children by Tom Perrotta
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

That's six books for a total of 2,132 pages in March. For the year I'm at 17 books and 5,805 pages.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My reading plans include Harry

I've been thinking about my reading list lately.

See, the pile of books that I had stacked on the floor near my end table in January? It's gone. Which means I'm going to have to think of something to read soon because I can't just go without having a book in progress.

At the moment, I'm reading the last of my library books, Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. I wanted to read it before, actually had it in my possession, but I never got around to reading it before it was due back at the library. But it's in my hands once again and I've actually started reading it and it isn't too bad so far.

But once I'm done? There's where the problem comes into play. The stack? It's gone. A list? I don't really have one at the moment.

The other day I was thinking, something that gets me into trouble every so often. It was morning and I was getting ready for work with The Today Show on in the background. And as I flipped my hair dryer to the off switch, I happened to hear them talking about unveiling the cover for the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

And that got me thinking. The last book in the series is released July 21. That's just shy of four months. I could, no take that back, I should, reread the previous 6 Harry Potter books in anticipation of the final installment's release.

So once I finish Plain Truth, it's time to begin my journey through the Harry Potter books, beginning with Harry's first year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And if one of the books on my hold list happen to come in at the library, I can always take a short break from Harry's adventures.

I've developed a fear of the treadmill

I road around with my gym bag in the car all week.

But I just couldn't make myself go to the YMCA. Not after the beautiful weather we've had recently and not after I've gotten used to running outside. I just don't know if I can do the running to nowhere on a treadmill again.

Monday was gorgeous. Almost 80, sunny. Needless to say I ran outside. Tuesday it was supposed to rain, so I packed my bag and took it with me to work, with the intention of hitting the YMCA. But I just couldn't. So I didn't go, although I justified not going because my calves were a little sore after Monday's 3.35 mile run. Wednesday came. It was cold and windy. Perfect indoor running weather. And although I left work late, I didn't have anything going on at night, so I really could have gone to the YMCA. But once again, I just couldn't make myself do it. So when I left work today and it was semi nice outside (about mid 50s and overcast), I decided to take advantage of it and run outside. I wasn't planning on going far, but I ended up doing the same 3.35 mile route I took Monday.

But I think I really will have to reacquaint myself with the treadmill this weekend, since it's supposed to be rainy. And next week doesn't look too promising temperature wise. I'll just have to enjoy the outdoors while I can.

Concert season, here I come

One of the things I enjoy the most about summer is concerts.

I love live music. It doesn't even matter if I actually like the band or musician that's playing. It's all about the atmosphere and groovin' to the tunes.

Each summer there are two musical adventures I make sure I hit up. The Dave Matthews Band at Alpine Valley and Summerfest in Milwaukee.

And today was a good day, as the Dave Matthews Band summer tour was announced.

For the past three years, I've been making the trek down to Alpine Valley with my friend Amanda from the 'burg. It's become a tradition. We pack up her car, pop a CD in her stereo (never DMB since that's who we'll be jamming away to in a few short hours) and hit the road, traveling on the back roads, avoiding the mess of the Interstate. Once we hit the parking lot, it's time for a few drinks and some food (crossing our fingers the little portable grill works...last year it didn't) before heading off for the show.

Even though I've seen the band play 9 times, each time is a totally different experience. It doesn't matter to me that the same songs are played, it's always different and so unlike what I hear on the studio recordings.

Amanda and I have both been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the summer tour schedule. It's starting later than usual this year, but DMB's rolling into Alpine Aug. 25 and 26 and assuming I win the battle with Ticketmaster, I know where I'll be one of those days.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sorry sunshine, I can't come out to play

*Sigh *

It was such a nice day, temperatures hovering in the mid-70s and I was stuck inside, working at my desk. And it looks like today could be the last unusually warm spring day we have for a while.

So I made sure I enjoyed it while I was out. Cruising through town with my windows down, arm hanging out the window and my tunes cranked. And when I got home, I quickly changed into shorts and laced up my sneakers and headed out for a 3.35 mile run. It was nice, even though the sweat was running down the side of my face and it drenched the T-shirt I was wearing.

And since they're calling for rain tomorrow, I have a feeling I might have to get reacquainted with the treadmill and my runs to nowhere.

Disappointed by a resturant

It was a sad day for me yesterday.

There was no Uno Chicago Grill for me.

The outside lights were on and there were ton of cars in the parking lot. With thoughts of four cheese pizza running through my head, I walked through their revolving door and was quite disappointed when I was greeted by a "We're not open. Today's our run through, we actually open tomorrow" from a snarky young boy.

So instead, I had to settle for Charcoal Grill and Rotisserie, another new restaurant that recently opened by my parents. And while my cheeseburger was tasty, it was so not the four cheese pizza from Uno's that I had been craving since the sign went up in the fall.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I spent my weekend putzing around

When 4 p.m. hit on Friday, I left the office with no specific plans for the weekend. I was just going to putter around and do whatever I felt like.

So far, mission accomplished.

Yesterday was gorgeous outside. I woke up around 10 a.m., showered and headed out the door to do the dreaded grocery shopping. Yeah, that's an hour of my life I'll never get back. Maybe I'd enjoy grocery shopping more if I actually knew how to cook. But I don't. So I find myself buying the same things all the time - macaroni and cheese, pasta, some french bread pizza, cereal and yogurt. Not too exciting. Maybe that should be a goal of mine. Learn to cook. But then I run across the problem of cooking for one. Not fun and recipes always assume you're making food for multiple mouths, and since I'm not a big fan of leftovers for days, not a good idea. Oh well.

After the trip to the grocery store, I decided it was time to pull down my chair for the patio. Of course it needed a good bath to get all the cobwebs and dirt of of it, so I washed it up, set it up to dry and then went for a run. When I came back, I put my now clean chair to use and sat out on my patio and read.

I got together with my friend Nicole later in the evening and when I got home, I finished "Flags of Our Fathers" like I was hoping to.

Today I have a morning of laundry planned and then I'm heading up to my parents' house for the rest of the day. My mom and I have an exciting trip to Fleet Farm planned (as geeky as it sounds, I'm kind of excited, I haven't been in the new Fleet Farm in Appleton yet and it's ginormous!) as well as a few other stores.

Later, we're going to dinner at Uno Chicago Grill. It was one of my favorite resturants when I was going to school in Madison and it just opened in Appleton. Since they erected the sign way back in October, I've been craving a four cheese pizza, my favorite. I'll just have to cross my fingers the resturant is really open and all those cars my mom saw there weren't just for an employee training session!

Friday, March 23, 2007

I've got a whole lot of nothing planned

I'm so glad it's the weekend. After the hectic, busy week I had at work, I just want to have the option to sit and do absolutely nothing if I want.

I left work at 4:30, even though I was supposed to be gone by 4. And on the way home, I picked up some cheesy bread from Papa Murphy's. I came home, threw the unbaked cheesy bread in the refrigerator, changed into some sweats and headed out the door for a 2 mile run.

I came home, showered, ate and now I'm getting ready to settle in for a night of nothingness.

I'm hoping to get some major reading done this weekend. It seems like I've been reading "Flags of Our Fathers" forever. It's the story about Iwo Jima and I'm too the point where they've captured the island and are about to do the big flag raising thing, so I'm over halfway done with the book, it's just taking me a long time. I'm really hoping I'll be able to finish it this weekend and start in on something else.

Other plans for the weekend include the dreaded trip to the grocery store (I can't put it off any cupboards are bare) and maybe a short run somewhere other than my neighborhood. Other than that, I'm ready for a relaxing weekend.

And then the birds flew overhead

The snow may have melted a week ago and the temperatures may have been warmer. The first day of spring may have officially passed on the calendar.

But I realized spring really was here today when I went to get into my car this afternoon and was greeted by large splats of bird poo.

All the way down my driver's side window, so it's not like I could have avoided looking at it.

Granted my car wasn't the cleanest to begin with, it was still covered in the late winter grim that comes with snow and salt, but at least it didn't have bird poo dripping down the window.

And spring has officially sprung. Hopefully the rain that's in the forecast for later this weekend will wash away the bird poo.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

With murders, trials, verdicts, when do I get me time?

It's been kind of a long, hectic week at work. Needless to say, the arrival of the weekend tomorrow will be very much appreciated.

But spring has sprung and with it came warmer temperatures and nicer weather. Too bad I haven't been able to take too much advantage of it...until today.

Yesterday, although it was nice out and I wanted to lace up my sneakers and go for a run, I was stuck on verdict watch. Calling into the judge's office on the half hour to see if we had a verdict. Made it kind of difficult to just abandon my phone and go for a run, so I was stuck. Watching The Hills on MTV and waiting. And waiting.

Since I worked late yesterday, I had hours to burn today. And it was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L outside. So I was antsy. I wanted to leave. But first I had to write. And write and write. Finally, as the clock struck 4:45 p.m., I put the final period on my stories, hit spell check and sent them over to the copy desk. And I left, before anything else could happen.

I came home and ran. It was nice to just be able to push all the murder and crime that I've been dealing with to the back of my head and think of nothing except the lyrics to The Killers CD which I was listening to as I ran. And the time, and miles flew by. I added on an extra block to my route that I've been running, so I was up to 3 miles. And the pace I was going must have been faster too, since it still took me 30 minutes, even though I went farther.

And now it's time to find something for dinner and an attempt to cram in last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy before this week's episode airs in 63 minutes.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I put one foot in front of the other

It's quickly becoming a weekly habit. Well, if you can call two Mondays in a row a habit.

I come home from work. I put on my sweats and lace up my sneakers, intending to go for a nice walk. But instead I find myself running.

Actually today I was kind of see-sawing between walking and running as I left my apartment door. Once I got to the street, I decided I would just run, because honestly, the slight breeze that we had tonight was just enough to make it a tiny bit chilly, even though I was wearing long sleeves. So I thought running would warm me up a bit.

So I ran.

I ended up running 2.75 miles. It took me about 30 minutes, which considering I slowed down when I was running into the wind (which became less breezy and more steady as I ran), I didn't think was too bad of time. I actually think I could have made it 3 miles, but I ran out of road.

And while running indoors on a treadmill has its perks, I think I'm starting to like running outside. Granted, inside I seem to run at a faster pace (probably due to the lack of wind) and I know exactly how far I've gone without having to jump online and going to a website to log miles. But as I've heard so many people say before, at least outside the scenery changes. I joke about running to nowhere on the treadmill. And I do, I run nowhere. But if I choose to run outside, I can start exploring some of the neighborhoods that I live near.

The downside to running outside, at times I fear that I'm going to get smacked by some car. The street I live on has no sidewalks and the speed limit is 45 mph, which of course people don't obey. And even though I run during the daylight hours and against traffic, there's still a tiny part of me that some crazy driver will play, "Ooh! Let's hit the runner" and I'll be dead.

Guess I'll have to take my chances, because I think I like this running outside thing.

Now it's time to go scavenge in my kitchen for something for dinner. Cause the cupboards are getting mighty bare, which means I have to do the dreaded grocery shopping soon. Maybe I can hold out until the weekend.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A season comes to a close

They dug themselves a hole for the second straight game.

And this time, my Badgers couldn't find their way out.

Now Alando Tucker, Kammron Taylor and Jason Chappell will never don their Wisconsin uniform again.


A moment of silence for my Badgers please.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bracket review - round 1

Well, the first round of the NCAA tournament has wrapped up and I must say, my bracket didn't take too much of a beating.

I went 23-9 in the first round. It hurt me that I originally projected the Big Ten to go 2-4 in the first round and they ended up going 5-1, with Illinois being the only team sent home to watch the remainder of the tournament. But in the 9 games that I didn't chose correctly, at least I didn't have those teams advancing beyond the second round.

In other thoughts:

* I have to admit, I was scared for a while Friday when Wisconsin was down 25-7 in the first half against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. It was good to see them come back in the second half and pull out the win though. Maybe a tough game like that was something they needed. And it was a nice surprise to see Brian Butch in uniform on the sidelines.

* For the record, I had Winthrop beating Notre Dame. That team was scary back in December when Wisconsin played them.

* I'm glad to see the Mormons of BYU lost. I wouldn't be happy to see them playing past the first round.

* I shuddered watching the Marquette vs. Michigan State game, a game that I had such high hopes for. While I still watched it, it lost a little bit of luster when Marquette failed to score for the first 10 minutes of the game. Needless to say, I did not pick Michigan State in my bracket.

* Overall, lots of good first round games. Too bad I had to work most of Thursday and Friday so I only got to catch bits and pieces here and there.

Friday, March 16, 2007

And I thought once was bad

That was so not fun.

I spent my entire morning in a hospital waiting room. First, they stuck me with a needle in the arm and drew two vials of blood for testing. Then they sent me back to the waiting room, where I waited.

For. Over. An. Hour.

I had one false glimmer of hope when the buzzer thing they give (like you get in a restaurant), started flashing and vibrating. I went up to the desk and no one came. Apparently some ghost set my buzzer off because they weren't ready for me.

So I waited some more.

Finally my buzzer buzzed for real, but then they lost some paperwork. So I waited some more. Then it really was time to get escorted back into a dimly lit room where I was going to be stuck some more.

Here I thought it was just going to be one stick in the neck and I'd be done. Yeah, I was wrong. They proceeded to stick me SIX times! Once for the freezing and the other five times to collect the sample tissue. And those five times? Not just a quick stick and they were done. No, it was more like a pulsating, sawing motion. Granted, I didn't feel much, just the pressure. But still. Six times they had to stick me in the neck? Thankfully the doctor (yes, a real doctor, not just some doctor in training) who was doing the procedure knew what he was doing and it wasn't so bad.

But I wasn't ready for the soreness I'd experience afterwards. Let's just say I've been walking around with a big ole band-aid stuck on my neck and I'm fearful of the bruise I'm going to have tomorrow. Add to it that it's painful to sallow and turning my head to check traffic before changing lanes? Yeah, not so fun. But I've been keeping myself doped up on massive amounts of Tylenol and Advil in order to make it a little less painful and more tolerable.

But it's good to know I survived being stabbed in the neck six times with various needles.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Not something I'm looking forward to

Being the weekend reporter, I should be looking forward to my opportunity to sleep in tomorrow morning.

Except I'm not.

Sure, I might get to catch a few extra minutes of sleep. But then I have a doctor's appointment, one where I'll be poked and prodded.

I'm not excited. It's not even a normal doctor's appointment. Apparently I have some nodule thing on my thyroid and they want to do a biopsy just to make sure it's nothing serious. Yes, please make sure I'm not dying. But do you really have to stick a needle in my neck in order to make sure I'm not dying? Isn't there some other, oh I don't know, less painful way to do that? There's got to be, but apparently the doctor says there isn't. I just hope the person who will be doing the sticking knows what they're doing.

So instead of enjoying a relaxing morning off, I'll be at a doctor's office, getting stabbed in the neck. If I don't show up for work, it's cause they stabbed in the wrong place.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

After 2 nice days, it's back to the treadmill

It looked like we were going to be able to squeeze one more nice day in this week before falling back to the reality that is March in Wisconsin.

It was probably in the low 50s when I took my lunch break and I decided that if it was still that nice when I got out of work, I would run outside. But I still packed my gym bag and threw it in the car just in case, because even though weathermen are wrong most of the time, every so often they are right.

Turns out they were right. They had predicted falling temps through the day and possible rain showers. By the time the clock struck 5:30, it was a mix of cold rain and sleet. Not very ideal for running outside in.

So I headed over to the YMCA, after having an argument in my head about the merits of skipping the gym today. But I went, changed and was pleasantly surprised when there was not only one, but two treadmills for me to choose from.

I picked my treadmill and got on. I started running with just the thought of doing a 1.5 mile run. Keep it on the shorter side since today was technically one of my rest days that I've been using as a cross training day. After I finished the 1.5 miles (at a slightly faster pace than I usually do), I decided I felt good, so I kept going. My play date with The Rugrats yesterday meant I didn't get around to running the 2.25 miles I was supposed to, so I decided to do it today. I finished it, varying the pace I was running throughout, in about 23 minutes and I didn't feel too bad. It actually felt pretty good.

So maybe tomorrow I get back on track with the 5K training program I'm following. It calls for a 1.5 mile run. We'll see how my legs feel, if they feel like lead, I may skip the run. But I'm hoping they feel pretty good and will be able to make the 1.5 miles. Because April 14 is right around the corner!

And that's what I did on a day off

Since it was 60 degrees yesterday, I enjoyed the day by not working.

Well, technically it was my day off for working this weekend, but I have to admit, I planned it nicely to coincide with beautiful temperatures.

I spent the day up in Appleton. I spent a good chunk of the day with my mom, going out to lunch, doing a little shopping and getting my eyebrows waxed. I even spent a part of the day on the phone, dealing with the people who have control over my old 401(k), since it would be nice to roll it over into my new plan.

The rest of the day was spent with The Rugrats. We took a walk and played outside. And of course, since they're 4 and 2, they wanted to play on their swing set, which is in the backyard, which of course is covered in a layer of water since over a foot of snow has melted in the past two days. They were prepared; they had their boots on. I was not. But I was the good aunt, I sucked it up, went into the backyard and pushed them on the swings. And surprisingly, my shoes (and feet), didn't suffer too badly.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bracket break down

It's been 24 hours since the NCAA tournament bracket was announced. Here are my thoughts.

* I hope Wisconsin got all of its cruddy play out of them yesterday in the Big Ten Championship game. That was painful to watch and I know they can play better than that. And they'll have to play better than that to advance to the second weekend.

* Speaking of second weekends, I wasn't happy to see Wisconsin placed in the same regional as Florida.

* Illinois should not have been invited to the dance. I'm sorry Illini fans, they just weren't that good.

* Besides my Badgers, the first-round game I'm most excited to see? The 8 vs. 9 match up between Marquette (8) and Michigan State (9). Needless to say, I'll be tuned into the tournament on Thursday night. Sorry Grey's Anatomy.

* In another 8/9 showdown, of course I'll pick Xavier to knock off BYU. Might have something to do with getting dumped for a Mormon.

* Buckeye fans, don't plan your trip to the Final Four in Atlanta. I think Texas A&M will take your slot instead.

* I still have a few days before my bracket needs to be completed and turned in. Once that happens, I might have a thought on who my Final Four are and who ultimately will win the national championship. Until then, that's all I have to say about the bracket.

So much for the walk

It was very spring-like today. Temps in the lower 50s and at least an hour of daylight left when I got out of work at 5:30 p.m.

At some point this afternoon, while sitting at my desk, waiting for my phone to ring, I decided I was going to take advantage of the wonderful weather and take a nice walk when I got home. I decided on a walk because today was supposedly one of my "rest" days according to my 5K training program.

So I came home, threw on some work out gear, laced up a pair of running shoes and set out for a stroll. I had planned in advance where I wanted to go - to go check out some of the big houses on the lake that I live by.

I started walking. And it felt nice. The sun was out, it was warm, but not too warm. There was a bit of a spring in my step.

Then I turned the corner onto the side street that leads to the lake. And suddenly I found my steps getting fast until I broke out into a jog. And it felt good. So I kept jogging. At first I thought I'd just jog a little bit, until I made it back out on the main road and then I'd finish up with my walk. But when I got to the main road, it still felt good, so I kept on jogging. Down another side street, back to the main road and back onto another side street. I found myself back on the main road and my street was in sight. So I kept going until I made it back to my apartment.

I set out for a nice leisurely walk, but I ended up getting a decent 2.1 mile run in. Granted I don't think I set any records, but still, it felt good. Besides, it makes up for the 2 mile run I skipped out on Saturday.

Hopefully I'll still be able to get in my 2.25 mile run tomorrow without my legs feeling like lead!

Sunday, March 11, 2007




That was painful.

Let's hope it won't happen again in the NCAA tournament.

A weekend review

It's been a good weekend, not terribly exciting, but a good few days.

My good friend Lootsfoz from the 'burg came up to visit on Friday night. It's been about 2 months since I saw her, so I was excited to have the chance to spend the evening with her and catch up.

I was supposed to get out of work about 5, meaning I would have had about an hour to run an errand, come home and straighten up before she got here. In a perfect world it would have worked, but I didn't leave work until 5:45 p.m. and she was waiting at my door by the time I pulled into my apartment complex. Even though I was late, we had a good time. Made some pizza, watched the Badgers and chatted. There were plans for a movie, but gossiping ended up be so much more entertaining.

Saturday morning I headed up to Appleton to get an oil change and I stopped by and visited my parents for awhile. I left the car dealership with fresh oil, and the knowledge that the next service appointment in three months will be one of those expensive ones, where they have to deal with antifreeze and coolant fluids. I spent the afternoon puttering around my apartment. Making out my bills and watching the Badgers.

Last night I got together with my good friend Nicole. We met up at Vitale's, this Italian restaurant here in the City on the Water that we've both wanted to try. I got cheese ravioli and she got some dish with chicken, peppers, onions and mushrooms in a white wine sauce. The meal was quite tasty. Afterwards, we headed downtown to Brooklyn Grill and got martinis and chatted about boys, jobs and life. It was a good night.

Today I don't have many plans. I'm hoping to at least get a good start on cleaning my apartment today before the Big Ten Tournament championship game tips off. Then it's watching the Badgers take on Ohio State and the NCAA selection show.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

I'm bleeding

A bleeding finger makes it quite difficult to type.

Trust me, I know from experience.

So I got back to the office today after lunch and I made some phone calls, got voice mail and left messages. One of the messages I left was with a judge's secretary. He would be back from lunch in about 20 minutes and she'd have him call me back. Sounded good.

Well during that 20 minutes, I managed to get a nasty hangnail that started to bleed. And it wasn't just a little blood. It bled pretty steadily, so I went off in search of a Band-aid. I found one, but before I got a chance to fix my finger, my phone was ringing.

It was the judge. He got back early and now he wanted to talk to me. Bleeding finger and all.

I couldn't just tell the judge, "Hey my finger is bleeding, can you hold on a second while I clean up the blood and put on a Band-aid?" Well, OK, maybe I could have, but that would have been weird. Besides, I thought the bleeding would stop in a moment.

I was wrong.

Here I am, trying to type while not using my thumb, which is quite difficult. In between asking the judge questions and taking notes (while not using my thumb), I had to keep my eye on my bleeding digit, which was bleeding quite steadily. Thankfully, I had some tissues at my desk, so I was able to soak up the blood occasionally, but I'd have to wait until the judge took a breath or was rambling about something that didn't really pertain to the story I was working on.

Long story short...I conducted the 20 minute interview and somehow managed not to get any blood on my keyboard. I thanked the judge for his time, hung up the phone and was ready to tend to my bleeding finger.

Of course, it had decided to stop bleeding then. Figures.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Mental note: House isn't my thing

I don't normally watch House, but I tuned in tonight for one reason and one reason alone: Dave Matthews.

And I must say, I was quite impressed with the performance Dave Matthews gave. The quirky looks and the way he delivered his lines. Sigh. It makes me wish the Dave Matthews Band would announce a summer tour schedule soon, cause I'm longing for a trip to Alpine Valley.

But back to House. Dave was good. The rest of the show, let's just say that's an hour of my life I won't be able to get back.

Honestly, I could have cared less about the show when Dave Matthews wasn't on the screen. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that I don't watch it, I'm not sure what's going on with all the characters and the storyline. There were parts tonight that dealt with House and how he was faking cancer to get something implanted in his brain to get high. But those parts of the hour-long episode dragged for me. Sad to say, but they were almost painful for me to watch.

But seeing Dave Matthews was a highlight. And at least I know not to set aside time on Tuesday nights to watch House in the future.



I started Week 3 of my 5K training program yesterday with a wonderful rest day. Today, I had to bump up my mileage on the treadmill to nowhere to 2 miles.

I doesn't sound like a lot, and I can totally run 2 miles, no problem.

But today? I stepped on the treadmill, started running and after a half mile, I had a nasty cramp in my left side.

I tried the run with your hands on your head thing. I didn't make the cramp go away. So I lowered the speed on the treadmill and ran through the crampy feeling. After about a mile and a half, the cramp disappeared and the last half mile went fine.

But for about a mile, that run was painful. But I'm happy to report I stuck with it and kept running until the distance on the treadmill turned to 2 miles.

Hopefully the next 2 mile trek won't be as painful or crampy though.

Monday, March 5, 2007

It wasn't on my list, but I couldn't resist

Tonight after work I stopped at a grocery store I don't normally shop at.

I went inside with a very short list: eggs and bread. See I had been craving an egg sandwich and I thought that sounded like a good option for dinner. Plus, in another day or two, I can make french toast with those ingredients.

But back to my shopping list.

I went in, got my eggs, which conveniently came in a 6-egg pack, much more user friendly for me since a dozen is way too many. I picked up some bread and was on my way to the check out.

But I got sidetracked in the bakery section.

There was the sign screaming they were $2.99.

I couldn't pass up the powdery goodness of the doughnut holes. Especially not for $2.99. So I caved. And I bought some.

And they were delicious. Even better than the egg sandwich I had been thinking about all day.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

When you say Wisconsin...

I got a chance to relive my college days today during a trip to Green Bay.

I went with my mom and some other family members up to the Weidner Center in Green Bay to see the University of Wisconsin band perform. Some of my fondest memories from college were at football, basketball and hockey games and the soundtrack that accompanied the sports triumphs and tribulations was provided by the UW band.

The band was up in Green Bay as part of a fund-raiser for the UW Alumni Club of Brown County.

They didn't disappoint from high-stepping entrance, to the last "U-rah U-rah Wisconsin." They played a good mix of football halftime show tunes, like a Queen melody, a tribute to rockers who died young and a TV theme song melody. Their performance of selections from Les Miserables was really cool (I loved how they started with a loner trumpeter on Do You Hear the People Sing? and it slowly grew to the entire band).

But while their entire show made me tap my toes and clap my hands, I have to admit, my favorite parts were the pieces that brought me back to my days at Camp Randall or the Kohl Center. How could you not enjoy The Chicken Dance (which we completed in 22 seconds flat?), or The Beer Barrel Polka or If You Want to be a Badger? And Tequila or Hey Baby?

And although I didn't have fellow Badgers next to me to drape an arm around while I sang Varsity, I felt as though I was transported back to my days in Madison, just another Badger celebrating, or lamenting, another fine performance on the athletic field.

So thanks to the Badger band, for taking me back to my time as a student and letting me enjoy the songs I came to cherish. Because it's true, when you say Wisconsin, You've Said it All.
*Photo courtesy of*

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Take that April 15

The IRS people will be very happy with me.

I finished my taxes today.

I've been putting it off for about a month. I get all the documents by the beginning of February and then I figure, what's the rush? I don't hurry to get them done. So when I had an afternoon of nothing looming ahead of me, I figured now was a good time to sit myself down and fill in the numbers. From start to finish, they took me about an hour, not too awful.

Since I don't use the paper and pencil method to do my taxes, it really wasn't hard at all. I didn't have to struggle over what numbers to put on what lines and if I should subtract line 34 from line 26 or if I should be subtracting line 26 from line 34. For the second year, I used Tax Cut, a tax software program, that tells me where to put what numbers and then does all the math for me. And since math isn't my strong point, I was more than willing to let a computer program calculate all the numbers and figure out the damage.

While the IRS people will be happy that I filed my taxes over a month before the April deadline, they probably won't be as happy when they have to write out the big fat refund check I'm supposed to get.

Friday, March 2, 2007

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

In deep announcer's voice: The following is what I did today.

* I worked the night shift, so that meant I didn't have to set my alarm to get up early. I could wake up at my leisure. What time did I wake up? 7:23 a.m. Yes, about 5 minutes later than I would have normally woken up. Needless to say, I did NOT crawl out of bed. No, I forced myself to go back to sleep for another hour and a half and finally got up at 9 a.m.

* After a breakfast of yogurt and graham crackers, I put on my sweats and made the trek over to the YMCA. I secured myself a treadmill and I started running to nowhere. It was a nice run to nowhere. I was only planning on doing a mile and a half, to make up for the run I skipped out on yesterday, but I ended up going 2 miles, which felt pretty good. Then I took a brisk walk for a few minutes and finished off with a half mile job at an incline. All in all, a good run to nowhere.

* I then came home, showered, made my bed and read while half watching Days of Our Lives. I totally would have finished the book I was reading, The Blade Itself, but I had to go to work.

* And since when does "occasional flurries" mean "it's going to snow all day, so be prepared for white out conditions when you drive home for your dinner break, super slippery roads and about 5 inches of new snow?"

* The Boy Who Wants to be a Cop called me while I was home for dinner. We chatted briefly since he was also on a break for work, but he said he'd call again either Saturday or Sunday. I'm such a girl, a short phone call made my evening. :)

* Now it's time to curl up with my book that I will finish tonight.

Deep announcer's voice: And that's how I spent my day.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

No alarm for me

Due to some unforeseen events at work, I'm working the night shift tomorrow night.

Which means I can stay up late reading tonight. Which means I also have the opportunity to get to the YMCA during the daylight hours tomorrow so I can run the 1.5 miles I skipped out on tonight (also due to the same unforeseen event at work). Which means I can start the process of rolling over my old 401(k) into my current 401(k). Which means I have no excuse not to sit down at my table and write out a few bills.

In all, my change in shift for tomorrow presents me with the opportunity to do many things that I haven't done. Things that I should have done.

Will I actually get any of them accomplished? We'll just have to wait and see. For now, it's off to snuggle under the covers with the heating pad and a good book. Because remember, I can stay up as late as I want to tonight.