Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And that made me feel stupid

A co-worker asked me today if I was a Jeopardy! nut.

I admit, I don't watch the show much anymore. But there was a time when I couldn't miss it. And let's not even talk about the times when I felt I was much more deserving to be a contestant than some of the fools they let stand behind the podiums and control the buzzer.

Hearing this, the co-worker got a look in his eye and told me I should take the Jeopardy! online contestant challenge test that was being administered tonight. It's the first step you have to take if you hope to join Alex Trebeck on the stage and try your luck at stumbling upon a double jeopardy.

So I did it. I registered to take the challenge tonight. It was 50 questions and I had 15 seconds to read the question and come up with an answer. It didn't take long, about 15 minutes.

And I've never felt so dumb in my life.

I know I didn't do well. I won't be getting a callback to advance to the second round of contestant screenings. Why do I say that? Well for starters I left a good chunk of the questions blank. Probably about 15 or so. And there was a good number of questions that I filled in an answer for, but wasn't sure if it was the right answer. In fact, there were very few questions that I was absolutely sure I was answering correctly.

I guess I should probably stick to watching Jeopardy! and feeling like I'm better than the folks who actually get to be contestants. And then I'll remember tonight and realize that they probably didn't leave any answers blank or just fill in words to avoid seeing "pass" come up as her answer.

So many books, so little time

I have a small dilemma.

Earlier this week I started reading "The Cider House Rules" for an online book club I belong to. Granted, it was the title that was assigned in December, so I'm a bit behind, especially considering everybody else in the club has been finished with the book for weeks.

I'm not far into the book yet, about 170 pages or so. And while that seems like a good chunk of reading material, it's deceiving. The book? It clocks in at 550 pages of really, really small type. So it's going to take me a while to finish the book.

But today? I got a second e-mail from the fine folks at the public library. And they told me that this time, the copy of "Eclipse" that I had requested was really in. Last week they tried to tell me it waiting for me on a shelf. But I went in twice and it was nowhere to be found. But today when I stopped in the library after work, there was "Eclipse" just waiting for me to get my hands on it.

I've been waiting to read "Eclipse" for what seems like forever. This is the third time it's been in my possession, almost. The first time I had it it came in before I was done reading "New Moon," the second book in the three book series. And you can't read number three before you finish number two. So I had to return it. Then I got a second chance. But the book never even made it to my apartment since it was December and I spent most of the month curled up in a fetal position with a throbbing headache.

So needless to say, I've been waiting forever to read this book.

Now here's where the dilemma comes in. Do I stop reading "The Cider House Rules" so that I can jump into "Eclipse?" Because honestly, I don't think it's going to take me that long to finish off this book. Whereas, if I decide to finish reading "The Cider House Rules" first, it could be a few days, or weeks, before I get to the vampires in "Eclipse." And that could be bad, since the library is telling me I only get to keep this book for two weeks. I wouldn't feel too awful if I stopped reading "The Cider House Rules" at the moment, because honestly? I'm not completely into the book yet. I'm not sure what to think about it and the story isn't making me feel like I'm just not feeling it. Yet.

There's always the option of reading them both at the same time, but I'm a one book kind of girl. It's hard to keep things straight. And I don't read any faster, or more, when I've got more than one going at a time.

And this doesn't even touch on the fact that there's another book that's patiently waiting for me to read it, "Water for Elephants," for a second online book club that I'd like to participate in. All these books. So little time!

Any suggestions? What should I do?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It took a really long time, but it's back to normal now

Remember how my computer died back in December? And the Best Buy people fixed it? But it was still semi-broken because I had to reload my operating system?

Well after three days of work I can finally say my computer is back to normal.

The Coach reinstalled the operating system for me on Sunday. Because he knows how to do that kind of stuff and I don't. So as he sat at my desk and putzed with discs and mice and a keyboard, I sat on my futon and watched.

Then it came time to uninstall all the crappy software that came loaded on the computer that I didn't want bugging me. That took a bit of time. But it's gone now and I've replaced it with the stuff I like.

And tonight? While the wind was howling and snow was blowing, I put all of the documents back on my computer that I've been collecting since college.

Which means my computer's back to normal. And it's functional. And, most importantly, it works again. Badgergirl's a happy girl. And since my computer, which The Coach took the opportunity to name Madtownrunner, is in a friendly mood, I wouldn't feel so bad about possibly purchasing a new iPod, the electronic that I've been coveting since the fall.

But for now, I'll just be happy my computer's back in working shape. And I can do stuff on it again without worrying that it's going to blow up.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I stepped back on the treadmill tonight

It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but still. That run tonight on the treadmill to nowhere? It wasn't easy.

While I have run a handful of times this month, it's still been since Nov. 1 when I did any running of note. The two runs I snuck in at the beginning of the month weren't so impressive. Remember I almost died after a mile the first outing and the second one was only marginally better.

And it's been three weeks since I stepped foot on the treadmill. So I basically consider myself starting over.

But remember how I was thinking the past few days and it gave me ideas? Well, those ideas called for me to get my butt back to the YMCA and step foot on the treadmill. And tonight, for run number 1? I was supposed to log 2 miles.

Doesn't sound like a lot, but it was kind of hard. I managed the first mile OK. But then I stopped for a brief walk, about a quarter mile. I was hoping to finish off my run by running the entire last mile straight through and winding up my time on the treadmill with a brief uphill walk.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

After my first brief walk break, I snuck in another half mile before having to walk for a couple of minutes again. And then I finished my last half mile for the grand total of 2 miles. In all, it talk me 30 minutes. Not pretty. But still, I finished and didn't die.

And I think that's what I have to remember. It's been a long time since I logged decent miles on a consistent basis. And I was pretty sick. So I know it's going to take me some time to build my strength and endurance back up. I just wish it would come a bit faster. Because tonight, although it felt good to run, it was a little discouraging that it was as difficult as it was.

Baby steps, Badgergirl. Baby steps.

Hopefully run number two later this week goes better. I'm crossing my fingers it does. Because I really want to do that run through Lambeau Field in May. That would be cool. And make all of this worth it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

This is what happens when I think

I haven't been to the gym in over two weeks. And that means I've had extra time on my hands.

That's not a good thing.

Because when I have extra time, I start to think. And thinking? It leads to plans and goals. And sometimes those goals and plans are hard. And require work. Lots of it.

But I've been thinking about what I want to do this year.

A few months ago, that plan included a half marathon here in the City on the Water in April. But after not running for more than 2 months and getting kind of sick, I decided that wasn't a feasible goal. There wasn't time for me to be ready. So I'm opting for a 5K that day instead. One that I'll run with one of my good friends.

But I might still have hope for that spring half marathon.

See last week I got this flyer in the mail for the Green Bay half marathon. OK, so the brochure had also had information about the weekend's marathon and 5K races too, but running 26.2 miles? That's just crazy. And it sparked my interest. Because the Green Bay race? It's May 18, more than a month after the half marathon I originally wanted to run. And you get to run through Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. And how cool would that be? So I got to thinking. Even if I didn't start running again until the end of January, I'd still have time and with the race being in May, it might be warmer and I'd be able to do a good chunk of my longer training runs outside. It's tempting. And at this moment, I think I'm going to try it.

And of course there's the Fox Cities half marathon in September again. As my first half marathon, it's a race that's near to my heart. And I need to do it again.

But there's something else I've been thinking about as well. A triathlon. I think it would be fun. I mean, I like to run. And I like to bike. And although I don't swim much anymore, that's always fun too. And there's one that's kind of sparked my interest the past few years, but I've never gotten up enough courage to do it. It's one of the Danskin women's triathlons, aimed for women and apparently is a good option for first timers. The one I'm looking at is the Chicagoland one in July. While I haven't made a decision yet, I need to figure it out soon. Because if I do end up committing myself to doing it, I'm going to enroll myself in a triathlon class at the YMCA in order to help me prepare. The only downside to the YMCA commitment? It's a 5:30 a.m. class. Yes folks. 5:30 in the morning. That's early. Very early.

So that's what I've been thinking about.

The only thing I've really decided on for sure is that starting tomorrow, it's back to the YMCA for me and I'm putting one foot in front of the other to start running again. Because I miss it.

But since today's Sunday, I'm going to enjoy being completely lazy. Because that's what Sundays are for.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

She probably didn't have a valid license or insurance

Dear woman driving the silver car on the frontage road,

The next time you decide to rear end a driver who's sitting at a red light, it'd be nice if you pulled off of the busy road and at least spoke to the driver you rear ended.

Because I tried. After you hit me, I pointed at you to move off the busy street. But little did I know you'd just keep going straight. Oh wait, I forgot, the light was no longer red. It was now green and OK for you to just drive through.

Except here's my problem. I don't have your license plate number. Heck, I'm not even sure what kind of car you were driving. It could have been a Saturn. Or a Cavalier. Or even a Sunfire. All I know is that it was silver. And you were a woman. And you rear ended me.

So now I get to look forward to making sure my car isn't super messed up tomorrow. And I'll probably have to talk to the cops, even though I don't have a lot of information. Because if my car is messed up? I bet my insurance company will still want some type of police report.

All I ask is that the next time you decide not to pay attention to red lights and other vehicles that are stopped for them that you at least pull off and talk to the driver whose car you hit.

Not a happy driver,
The woman you hit

Friday, January 25, 2008

The snow means I get to read and watch pirates

I swear it wasn't snowing an hour ago. But now the flakes are coming down at a steady clip.

Kind of makes me glad I didn't have much planned for tonight. Just a quick trip to the library to pick up two books that have come in for me. And public library officials, this time I promise I will read "Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer. I know I've had it in my possession on two other occasions. But it's hard to read the third book in a series when you still haven't read the second one and then there was the time it came in and I never even went to get it because I was curled up in fetal position with a throbbing head.

So tonight's plan involves the library, going home and then sacking out in my recliner to watch the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Because I love Capt. Jack Sparrow. And the pirate monkey.

And afterwards, I just might read. Because I have lots of good pages to get through.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A different way of looking at it

While we're on the topic of birthdays...

I've never quite thought about them like this until I received this e-card from Krista today.

And the number goes up

Today doesn't feel any different than any other day.

My alarm went off at 6:45 a.m. I hit snooze a couple of times before pouring myself some Cap 'n' Crunch and heading into the shower. I got ready for work, nearly froze to death while doing my morning work errands and eventually wandered into the office.

I sat down and stared at the pile of work lined up on my desk. Four stories. Phone calls. Two court hearings. It was going to be a busy day.

And then I was reminded.

"Happy birthday to you," a co-worker sang as she came up behind with a card for our boss. Then there were more "happy birthdays" from other co-workers. And let's not forget the delicious chocolate cupcakes that Mandy decided to make me (so tasty they are!).

But mostly the today was like any other day. Pretty standard. Once I finished work, I came home, made myself a decent dinner and chatted with my mom briefly. I thought about going to watch The Coach play basketball, but I didn't remember what time he played, so I'm crossing my fingers I'll get a chance to talk to him later on.

So far 28 doesn't seem too bad. And after the year I just had with 27? I'll be glad if it continues like this. Because honestly, 27 wasn't that great of a year. I spent way too much time in doctors offices and hospitals for my liking. This year I'm hoping to stay away from those place. I just want to have a good year, full of good times with friends and family and be happy. And so far, I am.

So, it was nice knowing you 27, but it's time for us to say goodbye. And hello 28. It's nice to meet you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My arm? It wouldn't stop gushing

I learned something yesterday. Missing a pint of blood? Yeah that can mess you up a little bit.

We were having a blood drive at work. I've donated blood in the past and I've always felt good about doing it. It's way for me to help others who need it and giving blood? It's usually been a fairly pain-free process for me. I drink lots of water the day of the donation and the blood just flows from my veins.

At first I hesitated to sign-up for the blood drive though. Remember how I spent most of December curled up in a fetal position with a nasty headache? And all the crazy tests I went through. And I wasn't even sure if the blood people would want my blood considering I've been jacked up on steroids for the last month as part of my treatment regimen.

But I signed up.

Yesterday was the big day. So I drank lots of water, answered the questions and tried to donate. Apparently steroids are not on the blood people's banned list of medications and I must have had enough iron in my system. I was given the OK to donate. So I hoped in the chair, stuck out my right arm (which loves being poked by needles and having blood sucked out of it) and got ready to donate.

In 5 minutes the blood bag was full and the blood people were telling me to hold my arm above my head. I did it while reading about what I wasn't supposed to do after donation. Next thing I knew I was getting a band-aid and told to fill out a survey.

I did. And then I glanced down.

My band-aid? It was soaked red. And my vein? Apparently it was gushing blood. It loved donating so much that it didn't want to quit and instead wanted to give more blood to people who needed it.

But I was kind of attached to that blood. And the blood people wanted me to keep it too. So I put more pressure on my arm and then the blood center man, who also gets the duties of driving the Blood Mobile, came over and started putting the heavy duty brown bandage on my arm after he applied a new band-aid. And let me tell you, that blood man wrapped my elbow tight. I could barely move it, much less bend it.

After I stopped bleeding, I had my cookie and juice and went back upstairs to work. But then I had a few more minor problems. Mainly my head hurt and I was tired. So I decided to head home a bit early.

Maybe I should have kept my blood. Nah. Donating made me feel good and the achy head and tiredness went away by this morning. Donating was a good thing, something I hope to start doing a little more often.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I planned on going, but ended up being a no show

I had good intentions today. Really I did. Today was going to be the day I started going back to the YMCA on a regular basis and start running again.

Even though I got up late this morning, I remembered to grab my gym bag as I was heading out the door. Granted that meant it sat in my car all day. And with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees, that meant my gym clothes would be quite chilly by the time 5:30 p.m. rolled around.

But it wasn't only the clothes I remembered. I even grabbed the charger for my MP3 player. Because the batteries were dead and there's no way I can even think about stepping foot on the treadmill without some tunes. So the MP3 player? It charged all day at work. Meaning? The battery was full of juice.

And I made sure to eat lunch and even have a snack in the afternoon at my desk. Because food is helpful when you're planning on running.

But at some point, probably around 2 p.m. I happened to glance outside. And there were these huge snowflakes falling. Not only were they huge, but there were a ton of them. It made me pause and briefly reconsider my decision to go to the YMCA. But I was determined. Besides, the YMCA is two blocks from my office. And since I grew up in Wisconsin, I'm pretty sure I know how to drive in snow.

But I have to admit, I ended up changing my mind. By 5:30 p.m. the big snowflakes were coming down at a pretty steady clip, borderline "snowstorm" I guess you could call it. And I had ventured outside briefly in the afternoon and the roads? Not so nice. Granted that could possibly be due to the fact that my city refuses to plow until AFTER it stops snowing. But still, it was slippery. And my little Ford Focus? It doesn't always handle so well in the snow.

Add the fact that I had a pile of laundry to tackle when I got home from work since I have absolutely nothing to wear to work tomorrow. All of the excuses were just telling me to skip the YMCA for the day. Because really. When it comes to working out, Mondays are supposed to be "rest" days. At least that's what Hal Higdon told me during my half marathon training days.

So I'm following Hal's plan today. It's all about the rest. And tomorrow? Tomorrow I'm going to try to head to the YMCA after work and start the whole running thing again.

Because I need to run. I've got a 5K planned in April and I received a flyer in the mail this weekend for a half-marathon in May that's awfully tempting and could possibly be doable. So that means I need to run. And I need to start running soon.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

No Eli, you were supposed to lose


That's not how the game was supposed to end. Apparently Eli Manning decided to disregard everything I told him during our chat earlier this week.

And the Packers? They didn't look so impressive. In fact it almost looked as though they were trying to lose the game since they couldn't seem to do anything offensively.


In all, it was a good year though. And there's always next year.

In a little over an hour, the Packer frenzy will begin

I'm donning my Green Bay Packers t-shirt.

While the Sloppy Joes are made, I do admit I have to cut up some cheese and sausage yet.

The apartment has been given a quick cleaning.

Now all that I need are my friends to show up and the NFC Championship game to begin. Because tonight? It's going to be a good night my friends.

Go Pack!

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'd take the big fluffy blanket and a good book if I could

It's frigid outside. And tomorrow? The mercury in the thermometer might hit zero degrees, if we're lucky.

In other words, it's a perfect weekend to stay inside, curled up in my blanket with a book or a movie. And I'm lucky. Because I have books at home that I want to read. And the library was nice enough to get me copies of "Knocked Up" and the third "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie to watch. And I even spent some time in the library stacks, browsing through the classical music CDs. And I came across some good stuff that I like and haven't heard in a bunch of years.

So I could totally stay inside and be occupied by books, music and movies. And I'd be totally happy. And I'd still get some social interaction since The Coach and some friends are heading over to my apartment Sunday to witness the Packers winning the NFC Championship game.

But the wonderful Saturday I'm dreaming about? The one where I do nothing? It's not going to happen. Instead I get to work. Which means I have to venture out in the bone chilling cold. At least I don't have any assignment that will make me brave the cold for too long. I get to make appearances at two high school basketball games instead.

But still? A lazy Saturday full of books, music and movies? That sounds so much better. I guess I'll have to fill up my morning and evening with those things before heading into work for the night.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm almost ready for Sunday

It's been impossible this week to go anywhere and not see the colors green and gold. Or a big G. Or hear about the Packers.

Because there's a huge game this weekend at Lambeau Field. The Packers? They're fighting for a chance to go back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the late 1990s. All that stands between them is Eli Manning* and the New York Giants.

In other words? Sunday's game? It's huge. And it'll be a ton of fun.

Now here's the problem.

I'm set. I went with the girls from work today and I found myself a Packers T-shirt that I can wear, both to work tomorrow and for the big game on Sunday. I know, it sounds weird. Me, a Packers fan since I was little but I didn't own a T-shirt. My explanation? I do actually own a long-sleeved shirt. It's just about four sizes too big. So it doesn't really fit and that's why I needed to find a new one.

So I got the T-shirt and I can pair it with a pair of comfy jeans tomorrow for work since the bosses are letting us dress in Packers garb. And I picked up the ingredients for my cocktail weenies that I'm taking to our work pot luck we're having at lunch tomorrow.

Everything sounds good so far. Except for my plans Sunday. At this moment? I haven't got a clue what I'm doing for the game. It will involve a TV, because it's supposed to be bone-chilling cold and there's no way I could get my hands on, or afford, a ticket to Lambeau Field. But the question remains about who I'm going to be watching the game with. I usually don't make plans days in advance and this week was no exception. Yes, I'd love to have The Coach by my side as we watch the game. And being with other friends would be fun too. Part of me is toying with inviting some folks over to my apartment. One of those, bring a dish to pass type potluck things where we can all gather together, eat and just have a good time in general watching the Packers.

Because Sunday? That's a big day folks.

The idea's tempting. Maybe I'll sleep on it and make a decision before I go to work tomorrow.

I do know for sure that come Sunday I'll be decked out in my green and gold and cheering for the Packers. And a good time will be had.

* Eli Manning and I have this connection between us, mostly because he had to sit on my bench for the majority of my fantasy football season after playing poorly. And Eli and I have already had the talk that he doesn't even need to worry about guiding the Giants to victory Sunday. Because this game belongs to Brett Favre and the Packers. And Eli understands.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Doc, can you wait a second before you do that test?

I hate insurance companies.

Especially the ones that ruin my day off because they make me cry. All over decisions that I'm apparently supposed to be able to make even though my head was throbbing like there was jackhammer going off inside it.

And all of the stress and crying I dealt with today while fighting with the insurance company? Yeah, it gave me a nasty headache. One of those things I'm supposed to be getting better from. But today I had one. And I was wishing for a dose of painkillers, which I didn't have with me at that moment. So instead I drugged myself up with Tylenol and crossed my fingers the pain would go away.

Overall? Not a good day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

These random updates need to stop

So much for the better blogging resolution. In my defense, my computer was dead and without access to my blog. So it's been sitting un-updated.

But there's good news. My computer? It's almost functioning now. The Blue Screen of Death was a result of a dead motherboard. But luckily, I have a service plan that covered the repair. And the folks at the warehouse where Best Buy sent my computer must have worked quick. Because my computer? It's back in my possession. And it turns on. Granted, it's still slow and I need to reload the operating system, but at least it's at my apartment and I have the option to save a bunch of data that I thought I was going to lose.

So tonight I'm saving data. And in the next week or so, The Coach is going to reload the operating system for me. Because he knows how to do that kind of stuff. And I don't.

In running news, I made it to the gym twice last week. The first run didn't go so well. I almost died after a mile. But a couple of days later, I went back and ran 1.5 miles before taking a walk break. And I wasn't as sore afterwards. And I didn't feel like I was going to die. It gives me hope that the running thing is going to come back, just a little bit slower than I was hoping. Which means that half marathon I wanted to run in April? I might be opting for the 5K version instead. But I'll see how the running goes over the next few weeks. Maybe I'll surprise myself.

And books? I finally finished a book that I started. Back. In. November. Ummm, yeah, that took me a little while. But I blame it on being sick. Because really. Why bother reading if you're doped up on painkillers and won't remember a word that you read anyway? Besides it's hard to read when your head is throbbing.

And what kind of update would this be if I neglected to mention the Packers? Yes. This weekend was wonderful. And I'm soooo looking forward to Sunday.

And I think that's all I've got for right now. Better blogs to come. I hope!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

That was hard


It hurts to walk. And to sit. In general it just hurts. And I blame it all on a pair of running shoes.

In other words, that whole running thing last night? It didn't go so well.

As in, I made it a mile before I almost died. And that was a long mile. I wasn't even running fast, but it still felt like I was going to do a face plant on the treadmill and just go flying off the end. And that my friends would not have been pretty.

After the first mile, I took a break and walked for a bit, but I forced myself to run an extra half mile before calling it quits. That second half mile? It was hard too. But I did manage to finish it. Barely.

So if last night was any indication, I might be aiming for a 5K in April instead of a half marathon. Because seriously. Based on my performance last night, you would have never guessed that I managed to run 13.1 miles at the end of September and not die. Last night was that hard. And i know part of it is the whole recovery thing after being sick for over a month. And the whole not running since Nov. 1 plays a role too.

So maybe running will get easier. I'm hoping it does anyway. Because I do like it. But I'll have to wait and see. Because right now I'm just a bit too sore to tackle the treadmill to nowhere for a second night in a row.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I hope running is like riding a bike

My MP3 player is sitting next to me at my desk, charging as we speak. And my pair of trusty running shoes, the funky green ones that guided me along a 13.1 mile journey in September? They're sitting in the backseat of my car.

Because tonight, I plan on venturing over to the YMCA for the first time in probably 8 months. And the plan involves stepping on the treadmill to nowhere and running.

Yes folks. Tonight I plan to run. Hopefully I don't die.

I'm a bit nervous though. I mean seriously, I haven't run since Nov. 1. There was the nasty cold and of course we can't forget about the month-long period I spent curled up in a fetal position with a throbbing head. Not really conducive running states of mind if you ask me.

So now it's been 2 months since I last ran. And I've felt it. Not only do I feel extremely weak, like I lost all of the small amount of strength I once had, but I feel like my endurance is gone. At this point, I don't think I it would be possible to run 3 miles much less the 13.1 miles I ran in September. And that's frightening since I have a date circled on my calendar in mid-April that involves a half marathon I'd like to run.

So I'm hoping to jump back on the treadmill tonight. I'm worried I'm not going to be able to make it very far. Seriously. At this point I'm aiming for running a mile. Maybe a mile and a half. I just have to remember it all starts with the baby steps. And in my case I'd feel pretty happy with some baby steps tonight.

I did read for part of 2007

Remember how I used to read? I do. But books definitely were not a priority on my list of things to do during the last two months of the year, mostly due to a throbbing head that made it difficult to keep my eyes open. Which is why I was incapable of finishing a single book during the month of December.

But still. I did read in 2007. Back at the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to finish 40 books. And I'm happy to announce that I met that goal. I finished 44 complete books. That checks in a 16,505 pages worth of words. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

So what did I read? There were some good ones. And some not so good ones. But here's a look at the titles I finished during 2007:

1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2. Twenty Something: The Quarter-Life Crisis of Jack Lancaster by Iain Hollingshead
3. Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
4. Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry
5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
6. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
7. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
8. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
9. The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult
10. Good Times, Bad Boys by Melanie Murray
11. The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters by Chip Kidd
12. The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey
13. You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
14. Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
15. Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
16. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
17. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
18. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
20. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
21. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
22. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
23. The 25 Greatest Moments in Camp Randall History by Mike Lucas
24. Off Main Street: Barnstormers, Prophets and Gatemouth's Gator by Michael Perry
25. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
26. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
27. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
28. A Match Made on Madison by Dee Davis
29. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
30. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes by Joan Ryan
31. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
32. The Final Frontiersman by James Campbell
33. The Time It Takes to Fall by Margaret Lazarus Dean
34. Year of the Dog by Shelby Hearon
35. Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen
36. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
37. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
38. Slightly Single by Wendy Markham
39. Slightly Settled by Wendy Markham
40. Slightly Engaged by Wendy Markham
41. Slightly Married by Wendy Markham
42. The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer
43. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
44. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

This year I think I'm shooting for another 40 books. I know, I should increase my goal. Make it a bit harder. But I've found that 40 is a reasonable number for me to aim for without becoming overwhelmed.

And there's good news. I've actually been able to read again the past few days! As in, I'm almost done with The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which I started back in the middle of November. So hopefully there will be some progress on the 40 book goal I've set for myself.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I'm going to have nightmares about physical therapy

Excuse me while I whine momentarily.

Physical therapy? It sucks. And it hurts.

As part of the throbbing head debacle that I've been dealing with for the past month, I started going to see a chiropractor, who wanted to me to start seeing the physical therapist in his office as well. Because apparently my posture isn't the best and it could be playing a slight role in my throbbing head.

I figured, why not. Anything to get rid of this throbbing. Because throbbing? It's not so much fun. So I went to the therapist. And at first it wasn't so bad. It was just stretching stuff with my neck and upper back area. I figured I could handle it.

But the therapy sessions haven't gotten harder. Much harder.

I've graduated on to crazy stuff involving resistance bands, some kind of crazy head contraption and weights. I mean seriously, sometimes the therapist is making me do stuff that I don't even think is possible. Because your arms? Mine don't move in the directions that my therapist wants them to move in. And today? After I spent an hour going through the exercises, stretches and strength-building stuff, my back is in pain! It aches so much sitting in my desk chair all day has been uncomfortable.

I know. I know. I'm a baby. Therapy is supposed to hurt. Because it's supposed to make you feel better. And maybe, just maybe, if I followed through and did perform all of my stretches I'm supposed to be doing three times a day, maybe it wouldn't hurt so much.

But still. Physical therapy? It's painful man.

Lucky for me, I scheduled my last appointment with the therapist today. And what's in store for me that day? Apparently it's the final session in order to "finalize" my at-home regiment. Fun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Resolutions? Do I really need to make resolutions?

Even though I don't technically have a 2008 calendar hanging on my wall yet, it's the new year. And I guess that means I need to make some resolutions. Because that's what you do when the new year rolls around, right?

Honestly, I don't have a ton of goals for the year. I'm pretty happy with where I am at the moment. I mean, I like my job. I have good friends. And my hobbies are pretty satisfying.

But resolutions. I need to make a few, because goals? They're always helpful and if anything it gives me something to work towards.

So I present to you, Badgergirl's goals for 2008:
  • I want to keep running. I picked up the habit again in 2007 and it was a fairly productive year. I finished a few 5Ks and my first half marathon. And for 2008, I think I want to aim for some more half marathon finishes, possibility one in the spring and one in the fall. But I'll let you know what I decide once the starting gun gets a bit closer.
  • Lose that pesky 6 pounds that have been hanging around for the past year or so. That 6 pounds will put me at the goal weight that I set for myself back when I started this weight loss journey in 2005.
  • I want to be happy. I know I'm pretty satisfied where I am right now, but I like being happy. And I think I'm at a place in my life where I have the friends, family and extra stuff that makes me happy. And I think I want to keep it like that.
  • I want to blog a bit more. Maybe I'll shot for once a day or 5 times a week.
  • Books. I'm aiming for finishing another 40 books this year.
  • Most importantly, I want to stay healthy. Because I spent way to much time in doctors offices and hospitals in 2007. And that, my friends, was not fun.

It's a long time until February

Apparently the Blue Screen of Death means exactly that. Death.

I took my computer to Best Buy yesterday because it still wasn't working. I went up to the Geek Squad man and told him about the Blue Screen of Death when he asked me what was wrong with it. He just chuckled. Looking back, probably not a good sign.

So the Geek Squad man tried to turn my computer on. Tried being the key word. Because the Geek Squad man? He couldn't even get a Blue Screen of Death. Because the computer wouldn't even turn on! Just a whirring sound from the fan. And a black screen. Hmmm. Not good.

It didn't take long for the Geek Squad man to tell me what he thought was wrong. Apparently he believes the motherboard is dead. As in non-functioning and it won't ever function again. As in my computer was dead.

Luckily for me, I was smart enough to invest in a service plan back when I bought my computer in February 2006. Yes, that's right folks. The dead computer? It's not even two years old yet. But it's dead. Since I have this service plan, I can have it repaired for free though.

There is a bad side though. I will be without my computer for at least a month! The dead computer is getting shipped off to some place that will fix it, but the estimated finished time is currently Jan. 28. And that's only if I'm lucky and there's a motherboard waiting around this fixing place. If the motherboard has to be ordered, it could take even longer before I get the dead computer back. And I won't know it's ready until the no-longer dead computer makes its way back to Best Buy and is ready to be picked up. No heads up or anything.

This, my friends, does not make me happy. I'm going to have to go a month without my computer? How am I going to waste time at home at night? And what about the stuff that's currently on my computer that I'm going to lose? And the Internet service I have? I'm still going to have to pay for it, yet I obviously won't be able to use it for the next month. And let's not even think about having to reinstall a bunch of crap that will magically disappear when they decide to reload my operating system and blank out my hard drive.