Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Apparently 526 is more than 450

I was shocked.

I've never done that before. Surely it was their fault. There's no way what this piece of paper was telling me was true.

It's not possible that I went over my allotted minutes for my cell phone. I've never done it before. Heck, I don't think I've ever been close to my minute allotment before. But that's what my bill was telling me. Telling me that, in fact, I went 76 minutes over my minute allotment, leaving me with a cell phone bill of $81. Quite a jump from the normal $45 I usually pay.

So I scoured the bill, looking for some error that Verizon made.

There were no errors. The overage charges were my fault.

In looking at the bill, I didn't actually talk more this month than in past months, I just decided to talk earlier in the day. And it came and bit me in the butt in the form of an $81 cell phone bill.

And it's all due to my poor minute management skills last month.


Page review

Well, February's come and gone. It's time for a look at what I spent my days reading and how well I'm progressing towards that goal of reading 40 books this year.

Here's what I read:

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult
Good Times, Bad Boys by Melanie Murray
The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters by Chip Kidd

I've also gotten about halfway through The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey.

So that's five books and 1,584 pages. That doesn't include anything from the partial book I've read this month. Not too bad.

For the year, I'm at 11 books and 3,673 pages.

There's a few good ones that I'm looking forward to reading in March, but you'll have to watch my blog to find out what they are :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The miles just flew by

After not stepping foot into the gym since Thursday, I made it back today.

And surprisingly, the 1.75 mile run to nowhere on the treadmill went well. I actually felt like I could keep going, but I decided to stick to what my training program said. So I stopped after 1.75 miles, walked for a few minutes and finished my workout with another half-mile jog on a slight incline.

I really don't think I'll have a problem with the 5K. I mean, back when I still had gym habits in the 'burg, I was running 2 miles about three or four times a week with no problems. Granted I lost those gym habits and have had to rebuild my endurance, but it's coming back quicker than I thought it would.

I think the whole reason I've decided to follow the training program is to get me back into the habit of going to the gym. Because that's what I've been lacking. The whole "new job" excuse has gotten old. I've been in the new job for six months now. It's not really an excuse I can use anymore.

Then there's the timing issue. In the 'burg it was nice. I'd be done with work at 4, head to the gym, have my choice of the limited equipment and be done with my workout by the time the 5 o'clock rush came. Now, I'm heading to the gym with the rest of the 5 o'clock rush and most days I have to wait for a machine. But that can't be an excuse.

I should really just start going to the gym before work. That would solve all of my problems. But that requires getting up early, which honestly, I could do. I've just gotten lazy and have begun to enjoy sleeping until 7:15. It's an option I want to seriously consider though. Cause honestly, once it starts getting nice outside, I don't want to be stuck at the gym until 7 at night. It'd be nice to go before work, get a nice workout in, go and put my time in at the office and then have the evening to myself to do what I please, whether it's a bike ride, walk or something.

But for now, I'll be happy as long as I make it there on the days I'm supposed to and if everything goes as well as it did tonight. Because my 1.75 mile run on the treadmill felt good tonight.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I avoided being buried to death

After near 50-degree temperatures last week, Mother Nature took the opportunity to remind us that, yes, it is still winter here in Wisconsin. She didn't decide to just make it cold and frigid. Nah. She decided a good snowstorm dumping 14 inches of snow on the City on the Water was the way to remind us that it'll be winter for the next, oh, two months or so.

The snow didn't come all at once. It was spread out over 3 days. And since I live in an apartment complex, I didn't have to worry about busting my back shoveling. That's what the maintenance men my landlord employs are for.

But even though I didn't have to shovel, I was still met with a pretty hefty drift coming off of my garage roof. It was getting pretty large Sunday afternoon (see above), but by the time I woke up and went to leave for work, the edge of the drift was almost touching my head.

As I got into my car, I thought, "Hmmm, my antenna could catch the drift and send it cascading down onto my car and then I'd be buried. With a ton of snow on top of me." But lucky for me, the drift stayed in its place and I left for work.

But when I got home, the drift had come crashing down. And I had to get out my trusty shovel and shovel it away from my garage, because otherwise it would harden into a nasty bump.

And as I shoveled that bit of snow, I thanks my lucky stars for maintenance men. Because, hello, can we say heavy, wet, slushy snow? It wasn't fun.

But apparently Mother Nature's not done with our winter reminder yet, more snow's forecast to come our way later this week.

Don't count them out


The week at the top has come to an end. After going 0-2 while ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, my beloved Badgers took a tumble this week. Not a huge tumble, but a tumble nonetheless.

And Brian Butch? I feel your pain, although I wouldn't want my elbow to bend the way yours did yesterday.

But my Badgers will bounce back. I have faith in them, so much faith, I have an insanely large quantity of red clothing in my closet.

There's still an opportunity for revenge against Michigan State when they come to the Kohl Center on Saturday and of course the Big Ten tournament next week. Good chances to get back in the swing of things before the NCAA tournament kicks off.

*Photo courtesy of The Post-Crescent*

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blizzards and Bucks

We were set to make the trek down to Milwaukee for the Bucks game tonight.

And then sometime overnight, this monster of a storm got worse, snowfall totals increased and the southern part of the state was placed under a blizzard warning.

Yes, blizzard.

So instead of driving down to Milwaukee and risking the chance of getting snowed in until who knows when, Nicole and I decided it was probably best if we skip the game. Because, truthfully, neither of us really wanted to die on Highway 41 while attempting to drive in a blizzard.

Which means I have closed the door and am preparing not to leave my apartment until Monday morning when I have to go to work. Good think I made a run to the library Thursday to stock up on some reading material, cause it looks like I'll have lots of time to curl up and read this weekend.

Friday, February 23, 2007

My planning stinks

I've had the tickets in my hands since November. And now Mother Nature has decided to wreck havoc this weekend.

My friend Nicole and I try to make it down to Milwaukee for a Bucks game each season. This year, we studied the Bucks' schedule in late October to try to figure out what game worked best for us. Because we're limited to Saturday or Sunday games, we didn't have many to chose from. Add to that our pickiness when it came to where exactly our seats would be, and we had even fewer options to choose from.

In the end, we decided on Feb. 24 against the 76ers.

Yes, Saturday night.

If we take a look at the forecast, game time is supposed to be smack dab in the middle of a winter storm. And of course, it's supposed to be worse in Milwaukee.

So that's led to the conversation about if we should go. In the end, Nicole and I have decided to brave the weather. But she's got to stay in Milwaukee anyway for a Special Olympics thing Sunday. Me? I'm left wondering if I should drive back to the City on the Water on Saturday night after the game or crash with her at a hotel and drive back Sunday.

Because, hello, I must be home Sunday to watch my Badgers take on Ohio State.

But back to my dilemma.

If I leave Saturday night, I would be driving in during the beginning of this so-called storm. Now, I grew up in Wisconsin. I know how to drive in snow. I'm OK with the possibility of driving 30 miles an hour on Highway 41 and it possibly taking me 4 hours to travel a distance that would normally take me an hour and a half. Because it's supposed to just be snow. None of that winter mix, freezing rain, sleet and ice. I can handle just snow.

However, if I wait until Sunday morning to drive back, I'll be in the thick of the storm. It'll be raging by then. And blowing. And white-out conditions. In short, it will be so much worse to deal with. Plus there will be hours worth of accumulated snow to deal with. In two words...not fun.

So I'm leaning towards risking my life driving back on Saturday night, before the storm attains monster status.

Of course, the storm's track could change and the weather forecast could be completely different in 24 hours. Either way, I'm planning on watching some basketball tomorrow night, snow or no snow.

Extra weight not required

My legs feel like lead today. They don't necessarily hurt, they just feel like a bunch of dead weight.

I'm sure it has to do with the fact that I've ramped up my gym going habits this week (yeah! for me). My legs just aren't used to it anymore. And like I said, they don't ache, it doesn't pain me to walk. They just feel as though they weigh a ton. Oh well. Hopefully next week they'll be more accustomed to the work I put them through at the gym, running to nowhere on the treadmill and logging miles on the stationary bike.

Maybe a good weekend of being snowed in, lounging in my comfy clothes and reading a book will help relieve the dead weighty-ness.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It was warm, but was it that warm?

He was wearing red shorts and a grey, short-sleeved T-shirt.

And he was barefoot.

Did I mention he and his buddy were playing Frisbee in the middle of one of the busiest intersections on campus?

Seems to me some college kid was overly excited that the mercury in the thermometer hit 45 degrees today.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What could I do without?

Lent starts tomorrow and I still haven't decided what I'm going to give up.

I'm not an overly religious person. I was raised Catholic and I believe in God and everything. I'm just not the type of person who sits herself in a pew each week for Mass. And I don't think you necessarily have to go to church each week to be a good person.

But anyway, back to Lent.

It's one of the things I do. Each year I pick something to give up and I don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent. It's what I do.

And inevitably, you can find me the day before Ash Wednesday, trying to figure out what I should give up. Last year it was Girl Scout cookies. Sounds like a joke, but just think how hard it can be to open your freezer and be greeted by boxes of Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties. It was tempting. And difficult. But I made it. Not one Girl Scout cookie was consumed until after Easter.

So I thought I could do that again this year, but, hello, I did it last year. And besides, the Girl Scout Cookies haven't even arrived yet. So it's kind of beside the point.

Then I thought maybe I could give up chocolate. But I'm not a big chocolate person to begin with, well, except for any chocolate and peanut butter combination. Cause that's delicious. But it's not really difficult to give up something you don't find yourself craving each day.

Which leads me to soda. I admit, I don't drink a ton of it and I only drink the diet variety. At most I have two cans a day. But it could potentially be difficult for me to stop drinking soda.

Unless I decide otherwise, I think I'm going to give up soda for Lent. I know it's not a huge sacrifice, but it could potentially be a difficult task for me to accomplish. So when the clock strikes midnight tonight, that's it. No more soda for me until Easter rolls around April 8.

But now, it's off to the break room to grab myself a Diet Coke.

Monday, February 19, 2007

So what do you want to know? Read and your questions might be answered

In honor of my 100th post, check out the link to the right. You can learn all about me.

We're No. 1

Because I wouldn't be able to call myself Badgergirl if I didn't post this on this historic day in Badger history.

While Michigan State will be a good game this week, I'm anxiously waiting for the Ohio State game Sunday.

Go Badgers!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

And today I did nothing

It's a good thing it was Sunday and there was nothing I had to absolutely accomplish. Because I didn't do anything productive.

Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing.

I woke up, lounged around in my pjs. Had some cereal, read a book and decided around 11:15 that it might be a good idea to jump in the shower. So I did. Then I got dressed and continued to be lazy.

I do have to admit, I did do laundry today. But it took me all day since I wasn't quite on top of things when it came to switching clothes from the washer to the dryer.

In other non-productive news, I did go and spend the remaining Christmas cash that I had gotten on some new CDs. I also made a Target run for some shampoo and lotion. Then I came home, slipped on my slippers and proceeded to listen to my new CDs and read some more. Eventually I moved in front of my computer where I uploaded new music onto my MP3 player.

Now, I think it's time to read some more before I go to bed. Because tomorrow, I have to actually be productive.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I'm ready for tax time

Mark the date on the calendar, Feb. 17.

I went and bought the tax software I'll use to file my taxes today. Now I just have to see how long it takes me before I actually use the software to file my taxes.

Any guesses?

It was time for a bath

I went to visit my parents this afternoon.

And I came home with a completely different car.

OK, maybe not a different car. But it sure looks like it.

See, my car is normally a nice, dark blue color. I like the color. But when winter came, so did the snow and salt and my little Ford Focus went from the deep shiny blue color to almost white due to the elements of winter. It was not pretty. And it was quite messy, especially if you happened to brush against it, which I did many times.

But today, I splurged and went to the car wash, because the Focus needed a bath...badly.

I waited in line, apparently half of the residents in the village of Kimberly also decided their cars needed washing, fed the machine my $8 and drove in for the wash.

I drove into the car wash in a filthy, white-ish colored Focus and exited the wash in a sparkling (well as sparkling as a gas station car wash can do), dark blue Ford Focus.

It's so pretty. And clean.

At least until the next time Old Man Winter decides to grace us with some snow.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Did I just watch what I think I watched?


How can they do that?

What are the writers of Grey's Anatomy thinking?

And more it next Thursday yet? Cause I don't know if I can't wait a whole week to find out what happens.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

There's no turning back

It's official.

Even if I want to, I can't back out now.

I paid my money and registered. I will run the 5K in April.

No I didn't wear red

I don't get to do Valentine's Day since I have no boy to officially call mine.

So I gave myself a Valentine's gift: I took the time to make a decent dinner. I was hoping to sneak out of work a tad bit early and get started on my feast, but the district attorney was his usual chatty self, so I didn't get home until 6 when I started throwing together my dinner.

What I'll be feasting on tonight? Lasagna, garlic bread and a salad.

I love lasagna. I just don't make it often, probably because it's kind of putzy to put together and it usually makes so much (even though I only make it in a bread pan). But it's tasty. And on the plus side, I'll have leftovers for probably two additional meals.

Right now, the lasagna is about 10 minutes from coming out of the oven and so far it smells delicious. The bread's almost done and I just need to open the bag of lettuce (just the ice burg variety, no purple stuff or weeds for me) and throw on some ranch dressing.

Then I'll be set to sit down with my tasty Valentine's meal and watch my Badgers take on Minnesota on the hardwood tonight.

Not a bad Valentine's Day evening for someone who is lacking a boy to call her own (although I do have my fingers crossed, hoping that The Boy Who Wants To Be A Cop calls tonight!).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My own personal alarm clock

Not only does my mom offer to to pick me up after a friend's birthday celebration at a local bar, she also offered to come with me to this test I have to have done at the hospital tomorrow morning.

Although I appreciate the offer, I told her she didn't have to come. It's just an ultrasound, they won't be sticking any needles in me, I'll be wide awake and hopefully it will be done in 15 minutes or so. I'm a big girl, I can handle it.

But it's nice to know she offered.

However, I did ask her to give me a wake up call at 6:45 tomorrow morning since I'm unable to actually get out of bed when my alarm goes off. And at that time in the morning, I'll probably just think I can hit snooze and catch another 30 minutes of sleep before I really get up. And then I'll be late.

So yeah, my mom's waking me up tomorrow morning.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Where's the fire?

I know I've always joked about the general overall hotness of firefighters and I'm not complaining. Although I must admit, my preference lately has been for those fine folks who wear police officer uniforms.

But back to the firefighters...

Can anybody tell me why I have a fire engine and ambulance parked outside of my apartment? Yet I have yet to see a firefighter, or flames for that matter?

As I sit here typing, the cop just showed up.

And I still see no flames (which considering they're all parked right in front of my door is probably a good thing).

*45 minutes later*

The firemen (half of which look to be about 12 years old) are leaving and they didn't even take anyone away in the ambulance. They came out of the door of the crazy old lady who lives next door to me, but I'm not sure why they were here.

The cop is still here though.

In all, I think I counted six firemen/paramedics and one cop. And they came in four different vehicles which makes me believe they were way over the one parking spot per resident restriction they have in my apartment complex.

Honestly, it's about time the fire engine left. I mean, there were no flames and considering it was parked right outside my bedroom window, it made settling in for the night with a book a little difficult because, hello, fire engines are VERY loud when they are just sitting in a parking lot idling.

Open up and say AH

I was poked, prodded and stuck with a needle, but it turns out I'm healthy.

At least I think I am.

My doctor did suggest I go have some test done to check my thyroid. Apparently it felt semi-funky to her when she was checking it. She told me not to be alarmed and she was pretty sure it was nothing to be worried about, but that I should go have some ultrasound done just in case. They sucked some blood out of me today, but next week I have to go back for some other test.

On the plus side, I did get my medicine refilled, including stuff to combat my headaches. That alone makes all the poking and my sore arm worth it.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

What to watch?

I have a dilemma that revolves around TV watching.

Normally, I'm not a big TV person. Sure there are a few shows that I have to watch: "24," "Gilmore Girls" and "Grey's Anatomy." There are also a few others that I like to catch if I'm around and have nothing else to do, shows like "Ugly Betty," "Friday Night Lights" and lately, "Deal or No Deal."

There used to be another entry in that "Must Watch" category. I used to be glued to the TV when "Lost" came on.

But here's where the problem begins.

"Lost" has been on a break since October (or sometime around then). So I haven't had to set aside time to watch it on Wednesday nights. But tonight "Lost" returns. And it starts with one of those recap episodes that ABC seems to be so fond of, those episodes that I normally don't like to watch. And after that recap, it's a new, hour-long episode.

My problem? I may need more than a "recap" episode to remember what's going on on that crazy island. Which make me wonder, is now the time I decide to get un-Lost? Because in reality, the show was starting to sputter for me. I was losing interest in the island and it's inhabitants. But if I decide to leave the island, it has to be a solid decision, one that I won't end up regretting in a few weeks. Because I can't really go back in a few weeks due to the nature of the show.

I guess what I'll probably end up doing tonight is putting my faith in my temperamental VCR (after I give it a warning that it better not mess up) and tape "Lost," because I don't care if it is the first new episode in months, there's a Badger game on and sorry ABC folks, Bucky takes precedence over an island full of survivors of an airplane crash.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Day 2

Two days down, nine weeks, five days to go.

I made it to the YMCA after work, even though I left kind of late. And even though it was cold, albeit not as bone-chilling cold as the minus 16 that we've had the last two days.

And there was even a treadmill calling out my name.


So I got on. Turned on the MP3 player, selected The Killers and I ran. And it felt good.

According to the chart I printed off the Internet last week, I was supposed to do a 1.5 mile run. And I did. And then I took a 10 minute uphill stroll on the treadmill to nowhere and finished off with another half mile jog.

It wasn't too bad. I didn't die like I thought I would considering I hadn't run in ages, opting for the elliptical machines the last month or so.

But it was good. And I might even do it again tomorrow.

Monday, February 5, 2007

I've got my running shoes on

Sitting around at work Friday when it was like 2 degrees outside, some co-workers and I decided on a plan.

It involves a pair of running shoes, 10 weeks and a goal of a 5K in April.

There's a half marathon and 5K race here in the City on the Water in April. One co-worker has decided to run the half marathon while another co-worker and I decided on the 5K route.

After making that decision, I spent a chunk of time Friday night looking for a good training program to follow. I know I've logged 2 mile runs on a treadmill to nowhere before, but I figured having a training "program" to follow will make me go to the YMCA on a regular basis. And that's part of my thinking in signing up for this race. I need to get back into the YMCA habit that I somehow lost somewhere between the 'burg and the City on the Water.

Day One of training was supposed to start today. On my "program" I was given the option between rest or a run/walk. I had good intentions when I woke up this morning. Even though it was -16 degrees below zero. I was still going to make it to that treadmill tonight.

Then I went outside.

And I froze.

Because, hello, it was minus 16 outside. And windy. Which made it feel more like minus 35. And just in case I need to remind you, that's freaking cold!

So there went my plans for a trip on the treadmill. But I don't feel too bad because, hello, I was given the option to either rest or run/walk. And I chose to rest.

Because negative 16 is just too cold to run.
But they say we might actually break zero tomorrow and have a temperature around 5 degrees. While not much warmer, it is in the positive numbers. So I'll be heading to that treadmill because my "program" tells me I'm supposed to run 1.5 miles.

I got my law degree from the U of Court

Call me crazy, but I almost wish I was sitting here for the next six weeks.

Of course, I wouldn't want to actually have to write about, just observe, because I think it will be fascinating.

Yes, even though I complain about it every so often, I love the days when I just get to sit through long court proceedings and listening to defense and prosecution strategies. It's like I went to law school, I get to learn about all of that stuff, but instead of paying huge amounts for a law degree, I just get to pick up on what I learn from observing in court.

Friday, February 2, 2007

A reading recount

January's over and it's time to see how I'm progressing towards that goal of reading 40 books.

During January I read six books and 2,089 pages.

That's fairly impressive for me considering all the craziness I dealt with during the work week that left me drained and not in the mood to read after I finally got home at night. But then I did also do some major page turning during the weekends, when I felt completely anti-social and didn't want to talk to people.

But anyway, here's what I read:
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Twenty Something: The Quarter-Life Crisis of Jack Lancaster by Iain Hollingshead
Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I'm not coming out

When I left work, the sun was still shining. I think that's first time that's happened since, oh October. But considering I worked a ton of hours early in the week, I more than deserved to be able to exit the building at 3:30 this afternoon.

Originally I had big plans for my early day. I was going to head over the YMCA before the post-work rush hit. But then I realized how cold it was and that it was just going to get colder once the sun set and I decided to skip the YMCA, even though the parking lot was fairly empty.

So I ran some quick errands (to Walgreen's and Target) and came home. And the sun was still out and it was semi-bearable outside.

But I've been locked inside my house since 4 p.m. and honestly, if it wasn't for the celebration tomorrow night honoring Krista's 25 years on earth, I probably wouldn't leave my house until Monday morning when I had to go to work.

That's how cold it is. And it's only going to get colder this weekend. I shiver just thinking about it.

So now I'm off, to curl up in my recline with a cozy blanket and either watch a movie or read. Or both, not simultaneously of course.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

You're kidding, right?

I have a problem with the mailman today.

He brought a very disturbing piece of mail. A letter from the fine folks at AARP, who are reminding me to register to receiving my benefits from their fine organization now that I've reached their membership age of 50!

Hello, can we say they're about 25 years too early? I think I'm offended.

I need to back up though. Because this isn't the first year I've gotten this friendly reminder to apply for my membership benefits from them. The first "reminder" came when I reached the big 2-5.

I laughed because here I was, celebrating a quarter of a century of living and these folks are reminding me to going the "American Association for Retired Persons." Retired? Really? Cause last time I checked, you had to work before you retired and I had a full 2.5 years in the working world.

I forgot about the "reminder" promptly. Until it showed up in my mailbox again last year. I ignored it again, figuring they'd get the hint.

And I figured they finally got the picture and realized that I was years away from being eligible for their organization since their annual letter didn't show up in my mailbox on my birthday this year. Yeah, turns out it was just a week late.

So to the fine folks at AARP, I'm sure you have a wonderful organization and offer great benefits from folks who are 50 and older. But since I haven't even reached three decades of life yet, why don't you just keep my name on file and get a hold of me in, oh say, another 33 years.