Monday, April 30, 2007

Crossing stuff off and keeping tabs, it all adds up

I like to keep track of things.

On a daily basis, I like to write out a "To Do List," even including the mundane tasks I have to do at work each day. Things like "check the jail log" or "call the cops" or even larger tasks like finish my story that's running the next day. And as I accomplish a task, I get do cross it off and as I scribble it out, I feel good, like I've done something.

But it's not just day to day stuff I keep track of. I do it for other long-range stuff too.

I write down the books I've read each year. This year I even started keeping track of how many pages I've read. My wall calendar is full of little triangles on the date boxes. Triangles that signify the days I've either ventured to the YMCA or gone for an outdoor bike ride, run or walk.
It's that sense of accomplishment I get, either from crossing out tasks I've finished or keeping track of what books I've read this year. And that's probably why I started the next list.
A log of how far I've run this year.
It started out as just little notations on my calendar, but it's evolved into an Excel spreadsheet. One that adds up the mileage for me. Yes people, I actually figured out how to make the spreadsheet do the simple math for me!
Now that I've bragged out my spreadsheet making abilities, here's what I've got:
Miles run in 2007
January: 2
February: 15.2
March: 32.75
April: 48.62
Total miles in 2007: 98.57
Obviously, you can tell by the numbers that I rediscovered my gym-going habits sometime in February, which coincides with my decision to run the 5K in April. I was shooting for 50 miles this month and would have met the goal...if it hadn't decided to be cold and rainy out today.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Some Park Fun, otherwise known as SPF

I think my lips are sunburned. If they're not, I know for a fact my shoulders and the back of my neck are on the pinkish-red side.

Blame it on the gorgeous weather. Blame it on two really, really nice weekends in a row. Blame it on the need to be outside. But whatever you decide to blame it on, it is so not my fault that I forgot to lather my shoulders in sunscreen. Because I remembered, except I remember to slather my face in SPF 30...not my shoulders.

Oh well. It's just a little pink. And it's not like it hurts. And if my past history says anything, it's that the pinkness will be gone in a matter of a day or two and the rest of the summer I'll just tan. Because, not to brag or anything, but I only burn once a year.

Yes, yes. I know, I'll probably end up with skin cancer by the time I'm 40 with my semi-poor sunscreen applying habits. And now that I think of it, does sunscreen ever go bad? Because the bottle I'm working on is from two or three years ago. And for all I know, the time I spend slathering myself in sunscreen (when I remember), may be wasted if the stuff provides no protection.

But it was nice out. And I didn't want to be cooped up in my apartment, worrying about sunscreen. Especially when all I wanted to do was jump in my car and drive over to the park. Because I had a running date with the trails.

Once I finally got there (my face properly slather in sunscreen), I did run. And the first half of the run was good. A nice pace, nice scenery (both of the nature variety and the opposite sex). Too bad I didn't factor in the gusty wind that I would be fighting on the way back. Yeah, it was just a bit windy. I almost stopped and just walked back to my car, but I decided to keep running, even if it felt like I was running in slow motion.

After the 3.5 mile run (which felt so much longer due to the wind), I grabbed my bag from my car and camped out in a sunny spot by the water. Not only did I get a good chunk of A Confederacy of Dunces read (it may get finished tonight, if not, tomorrow), I also got to people watch, an activity that is always entertaining.

All in all, it was good day to spend in the park. A day's worth of activities I'll probably repeat on a fairly frequent basis this summer.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

For some reason, I like the green aloe better than the blue stuff

After spending the day outside, enjoying the beautiful weather, I had to break out the bottle of aloe for a slight sunburn on my neck.

Who could stay cooped up inside with lots of sun and temperatures in the low 70s? Not me. Even the somewhat gusty breeze was nice.

So I made the most of it. I went for a 3-mile run this morning and in the afternoon met up with my friend Nicole at the park. There we went for a nice long walk and later let her one-year-old nephew play at the playground. After saying goodbye, I eventually met up with my mom and The Rugrats and we took them to the park before I left for home.

Now, I'm playing on crashing in my recliner while I enjoy watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest.

And tomorrow, when it's supposed to be equally as nice, if not nicer, I have plans to enjoy the outdoors again and hopefully finish A Confederacy of Dunces, because that book is just getting painful to read and difficult to finish.

Friday, April 27, 2007

If I was on a diet, I just blew it

I splurged. And although I'm kind of ashamed to admit it, I had an Oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen for dinner. In my defense, it is Friday and I only ate part of it.

But still. That Oreo blizzard, even a partial Oreo blizzard, probably cancels out any good I did earlier tonight when I ran 4.5 miles and followed it up with a 4 mile bike ride.

Oh well. The blizzard was quite tasty. And I haven't had one in a really, really long time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I'm done playing this game

The smoke detector just wouldn't die.

Here I thought it was completely dead since it was silent this morning when I left for work.

Turns out it was just taking a break, getting ready for round 2, which started about 10 minutes ago.

This time, I'm not dealing with it. I climbed up on my chair, slide open the battery compartment and yanked that 9-volt battery out. I don't care what the landlord says.

And now, the smoke detector is silent. This time, it's really dead.

Demons be gone!

I was putting one foot in front of the other, but I was really paying attention to what was going on around me.

My MP3 player was on shuffle and I was getting lucky. Good music was making its way through my rotation. A little Johnny Cash, a little John Mayer. Some Pat McGee Band and O.A.R. Even a little Green Day.

It was a good day to be running. I was about a mile into my 3-mile run and I felt good.

And then it happened.

I got attacked.

By a little, yippy, ankle-biting Yorkshire terrier. Who was sporting a red bow.

I'm not sure where it came from. I was running, minding my own business when all of a sudden this demon dog flew down a driveway into the street and started lunging for me. Going for the ankles. All the while barking its yippy little bark.

I tried to shoo it back to what I could only image was its own yard, but the little thing wanted nothing to do with going home. I tried to run farther out in the middle of the street. Nope. It followed me. For every move I made, the little dog countered, like it was attempting to tackle me.

Finally this guy comes out of the house. And casually walks down the driveway. Like it was no big deal that this little devil dog was nipping at my ankles and not allowing me to continue on my run. The guy was all like, oh don't worry she won't bite.

Yeah, until my ankle looks mighty tasty to your yippy little Satan dog.

He finally got the ankle-biter under control. And somehow managed to herd it back into the house. I could finally continue on my way, running far away from the yippy Yorkshire terrier.

I made a mental note of where the dog lived. And believe me, I'll be hoping it's not around the next time I'm out for a run.

I wasn't in the mood to dismantle it, so I let it annoy me

I was sleeping so soundly, when I first heard it, I thought it was part of a dream.


But then it happened again. Only this time it was getting louder.


So I opened one eye, heard it again and realized what was happening. The batteries in my smoke detector (conveniently located right above my head in my bedroom) decided now was the best time to begin dying.

At 4:30 in the morning.

Not cool. I thought maybe I could manage to drown the beeping out. Because if I can manage to sleep through the blaring alarm clock, I should be able to sleep through a dying smoke detector.

Apparently it's not that easy. I tossed and I turned and at 5 a.m., I gave up. I grabbed my pillow and blanket and stumbled into my spare bedroom, shut the door and tried to fall back asleep on my futon. But the beeping was still there. And it was getting louder, and more often.


Somehow I managed to fall asleep for about an hour, but of course it wasn't a nice deep sleep. Not only could I still hear the dying smoke detector (which sounded pretty healthy to me), I was worried I would somehow manage to sleep through the buzzing of my alarm clock.

So at 6:30, I stumbled back into my bedroom and tried to catch a few more winks before my alarm would go off. And I was somewhat successful. The alarm went off and I headed for the shower. The smoke detector still beeping, getting louder and quicker, like it was gaining strength.


It kept beeping as I got ready. At one point it was beeping once every 30 seconds or so. Then, as the clock struck 8:30 and I was getting ready to head out the door, I paused. Something didn't sound right.

The beeping had stopped. Wonderful. Just when I was leaving.

On my way to work, I called my landlord and left a message about the dying smoke detector. I know I could have just pulled the batteries myself, but I've had landlords in the past who were very adamant that under no circumstances was I allowed to touch the smoke detectors. And for some reason, if I can remember clearly (it's a little difficult...that whole lack of sleep thing), I think this landlord was one of those.

I haven't heard from the landlord today. But there currently is no beeping noise in my apartment. And it better stay that way, because I need to sleep tonight.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Did you happen to get outside?

In case you were living under a rock this weekend, it was gorgeous. Beautiful. Dare I say a bit summer-like? Anyway you describe it, if you spent the weekend indoors, shame on you.

Once the clock struck 5 p.m. Friday, I took full advantage of the wonderful weather.

Had a nice low-key dinner with my parents Friday night and then my aunt and uncle had a bonfire at their house later that evening. I tell you, I think my ribs still hurt from laughing so hard.

Saturday, I loaded my bike up on my car and lugged it my parents' house. It was in need of air in its tires and a good dose of grease on the chain. And I don't do bike maintenance. I was going to take it with me Friday, but I was having problems hooking my bike carrier up to my car, so I left it until Saturday morning. I loaded the bike up, drove it up to Mom and Dad's and within 5 minutes, Dad was putzing around in the garage, putting air in the tires, giving the chain a fresh coat of grease and tightening the kickstand.

Later, two-thirds of The Rugrats made it over to Mom and Dad's house. We played outside, took a walk around the block and went and played at the park.

I had decided to stay at my parents' house last night. When I got up this morning, I laced up my running shoes and took a nice 2.6 mile run around their neighborhood. It was nice to have some different scenery. The run wasn't bad, except when I was running south, into a really gusty wind. But I survived. After a quick shower, I loaded my bike back up and hit the road back to The City on the Water.

Once I got home, I waged a war on the spiders that are hanging around my house. We could potentially live in peace, but they decide to sneak their way into my apartment any time I open the patio door. And needless to say, I'm not going to keep the patio door closed all summer. So Dad had given me some bug killer stuff and I sprayed it all around the patio door. And then watched as it claimed it's first victim...a nasty looking striped spider.

After the spider was dead, I pulled my bike out of the garage and went for a 7 mile bike ride, nearly getting knocked of sideways from the wind. It was a nice ride, a good one to get myself back into the bike riding mode.

I then spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting outside on my deck, reading "A Confederacy of Dunces," a book that I'm struggling to get into. I'm about 180 pages into it, but it's still not quite grabbing my attention. Maybe it will soon.

Tomorrow instead of getting up and going to work, I have plans to clean the bathroom and make a batch of brownies before heading out to my uncle's funeral.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who replaced my muscles with lead?

I think my muscles in my legs have been replaced with massive amounts of lead.

It's beautiful today. So when I got home, I decided to go for a run.

And let me tell you, that was the hardest 3 miles I've run in a long time.

The first mile wasn't so bad. I inhaled a few bugs, but it wasn't awful. By the end of the second mile, my legs felt like they weighed a ton. Near the end of the mile, I was running at a very slow pace, so I walked for a few feet, the distance between two driveways, before I started running again. It felt a little better, but after another half mile or so, the lead feeling was back. So I walked a block. I was then able to finish the last half to three-quarters of a mile.

It was just weird. It's not like I was cramping up or getting that nasty stitch in my side. My legs just felt like they weighed a ton. Sure, I could have easily kept running at a slower pace, but it was hard to put one foot in front of the other.

Maybe it's my body's way of telling me a need a bit of a break.

I had a 4-mile run Monday and a 3.3 mile run Tuesday. Since it was ultra cruddy outside yesterday (cold and windy), I opted for a 45 minute ride on the stationary bike at the YMCA. I thought I would be OK today for a 3 mile run since I had the non-running day yesterday, but apparently not.

The plan is to have a nice relaxing day tomorrow and maybe do a super short jog Saturday morning. Hopefully the lead will remove itself from my legs by then and running won't be so bad.

Not so good news

My mom called me with some bad news today while I was having lunch.

My uncle died.

It's not a complete surprise. He's around 70 and had had a pretty bad stroke about 2 years ago. He was never the same after. I haven't seen him since Christmas, but apparently he wasn't doing so well lately. I was planning on going to see him Saturday. Guess I didn't make it.

Anyway, the funeral's Monday. And my aunt asked me and the rest of my cousin's to be pallbearers. I've never been a pall bearer before and it kind of makes me nervous. I just hope they don't close the casket right in front of me, cause that's a bit creepy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Reflections on the VT tragedy

Two days later, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the events that happened earlier this week at Virginia Tech.

As I watch the coverage (what can I say, I'm a news junkie, I crave the information), I find myself in disbelief. Hearing about the suspected shooter. Reading his writing. Watching his "manifesto." And I find myself wondering what could drive a person do go into a building and open fire, killing 32 innocent people.

And I shake my head. Because as much as we learn, I don't think we'll ever really know what drove him to do what he did Monday.

But what I do know is that the Virigina Tech community is strong. And they will come together to get through this tragedy. VT professor Nikki Giovanni said it best at the assembly yesterday:

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not
moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virigina Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to
bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh

We are Virginia Tech.

My thoughts and prayers to go out to all members of the Virgina Tech community. Stay strong Hokies.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You'll have to deal with Jack if you didn't work

I had to resort to using the temperamental VCR last night.

And for its sake, it better have worked.

See, I was on the phone when the clock started ticking down to 24. And anyone who watches Jack Bauer on a weekly basis knows that you have to give 24 your complete attention. Otherwise you'll miss something, like Jack saving the world or some nasty look on the terrorist's face. And because you missed those crucial seconds, you'll inevitably be lost. For the rest of the season.

My phone rang about 10 minutes before 24 came on. While I normally let phone calls go to voicemail during 24, I figured I had enough time to finish up the call before Jack Bauer graced my television screen.

I was wrong.

So as I'm talking, I'm heading over to the temperamental VCR, saying a prayer under my breath that it's going to decide to work. I popped in the tape, set the channel and hit record. The red light was blinking and it was making noise.

I got off the phone after about 10 minutes, but since I had already missed the first crucial 10 minutes and the red light was still blinking, I decided not to watch 24. Instead, choosing to watch it at a later date.

All I know is that the temperamental VCR better have done its job. And there better be some Jack Bauer goodness waiting for me when I finally get around to having time to watch it. Because if the temperamental VCR screwed up, it will be the last straw.

Monday, April 16, 2007

And for the main course, I think I'll have...

I discovered the downside to running outside.

The bugs.

I went for a 4-mile run tonight when I got home. It was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l outside. Sunny, temps in the upper 50s/lower 60s so it wasn't too warm. Yet is was warm enough to run in my capri pants and a t-shirt.

But the bugs. Yes, when it gets warm, the bugs come out. And the hover all along the road. Right about at mouth level. And I think I swallowed about seven of them.

So I either need to learn to run with my mouth closed or deal with eating the little black flying bugs.

I guess there is one good thing about it, even if I don't like the idea of eating bugs. At least I'm getting my protein.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Now that it's done, can I do it again?

I finished.

And it was fun. Enjoyable. And I'm totally looking forward to doing it again. I think I'm hooked.

I got downtown early, about 40 minutes before the race, just to meet up with the running cohorts and stand in line to get my chip timer, a device that made me totally look like I was an inmate at the county jail who had behaved enough to get released on GPS monitoring.

It was little chilly standing around, but once the air horn went off signaling the start of the 5K, I was fine. Although my hands were a bit cold.

The run itself was fun. For the first mile or so, I ran with Mandy, but I lost her somewhere around the first water station. The course was nice though. Flat, interesting scenery and even though it was early and I wasn't one of the half-marathon runners, people came out of their houses and stood at the ends of their driveways to cheer us on. Thanks guys!

As I rounded the last corner and the amphitheater and finish line came in sight, I was actually disappointed. Yes, I wanted to finish, but at the same time I wanted to keep running. I got herded into a gated chute leading into the park and to the finish line. But before I could cross under that pretty balloon arch, I had to run uphill. Yes, an uphill finish. Kind of mean. But those long hours spent putzing around with the speed on the treadmill paid off and I was able to sprint up the hill to the finish line.

And the folks lining up along the finish were great too. And I saw some co-workers and heard my name and saw my mom waiting at the finish.

And then I was done. It was over.

Someone took away my GPS bracelet, I was given a piece of cheese in the shape of an airplane and it was time to become a spectator, cheering on the rest of the 5Kers and the folks running the half-marathon, including the cohorts.

As I passed under the balloon arch, the clock said I finished in 32 minutes and 43 seconds. On the race's Web site, it says my "chip" time was 32 minutes and 30 seconds. Either or, it was about the time I was expecting to finish in. I averaged a 10 minute, 30 second mile and I was the 385 finisher out of 710 participants in the 5K. Not too bad.

To all the folks who came out and supported us runners, thanks a bunch! And to all of us who ran, either the 5K or the half-marathon, congrats!

Friday, April 13, 2007

And the starting gun's almost ready to go off

It's almost here.

The 5K.

In about 13 hours and 30 minutes, I'll line up with the rest of the runners to run 3.1 miles through the streets. A distance I hope to finish in just over a half hour.

I feel ready. The work I've done the past 8 weeks or so has helped. And I feel good. I know I'm not going to break any speed records, but it's been a while since I've been able to say I can run 3 miles without keeling over. Instead, I finish and still feel pretty good like I could go farther.

And this afternoon, my running cohorts and I went and picked up our stuff. We got our shirts and a variety of other goodies, including key chains, energy jelly beans and something called "sore no more." And of course our race number. Tomorrow I'll be sporting bib number 1077.

And the weather man is saying it's going to be nice tomorrow. So we'll hope he's right for once.

To all the runners out there...see you at the starting line!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

A few random thoughts for the night:

* So NBC decided to air the finale of Friday Night Lights tonight. And they left us with a total cliff hanger. Will Coach Taylor jump ship and head to the college gig? Or will he change his mind and stick around the high school scene longer? Either way, I'll have to catch up on the episodes I missed mid-season before Season 2 starts...if NBC is smart enough to renew the show.

* Do I need to remind Mother Nature that it's April? April 11 to be exact? Because last time I checked, even though I live in the Dairy State, it is not normal for a snowstorm to hit. There's something about running at the YMCA, gazing out the the big windows and not being able to see the building next door because it's snowing so hard.

* Some books I had requested came in at the library, so I picked them up today. And now, even though I still have Harry's entire second year at Hogwarts to finish, I'm antsy to get started on these two. I got Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and A Confederacy of Dunces. Both have come highly recommended. Both I'm excited to read. And while I have both of them until May 9, I'm sure they'll be returned to the library long before then.

* Three days until the 5K and I'm getting excited. I did a short 2.5 mile run tonight on the treadmill. I'm more than ready for the race. And the weatherman is predicting 46 and mostly cloudy Saturday, which means it should be decent weather to run in. That is assuming the forecast doesn't change.

* Tomorrow night is a possible dinner date at Uno's with my friend Nicole. Yummy. Can't wait.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

But what should I do now?

Dear Harry,

I've run into a dilemma. See, remember a while ago I vowed to reread books 1 through 6 about your adventures at Hogwarts in preparation for the final installment?

Well I've just begun book 2. And just begun is the key word. You've just had an unfortunate run in with Dobby the house elf and now you've noticed Ron Weasley outside you bedroom window, waiting to break you out. Heck, you haven't even gotten to Hogwarts yet!

And now the nice folks at the library have decided to send me an e-mail, letting me know that two of the books I'd requested are ready for my reading pleasure. The dilemma? Do I finish up your second year at Hogwarts and then take a break from your adventures for a bit so that I can read the books that I've had on hold for what seems like forever? Or do I pass up the holds and wait until my name comes up on the list again?

I have to be honest, I'm leaning towards reading the books I have on hold next.

So Harry, I'm asking your permission. Is is OK if we take a break? I promise it won't be long, two, maybe three weeks max. And then I'll be back, to reread about the rest of your adventures at Hogwarts.

Hearing no immediate answer (and no owls have swooped into my apartment), I'm going to assume that means it's OK with you. But first I'll enjoy your second year at Hogwarts because it's only fair to finish a book once I've started it.

The girl who reads

Monday, April 9, 2007

The holiday with the bunny

After being forgotten by the Easter Bunny the past few years, he remembered that I existed this year. Except he must not have gotten my change of address information, because my "basket" ended up at my parents' house.

And I must say, the rabbit did a pretty good job this year. He knows I'm not a huge candy person, but I absolutely can't pass up any chocolate and peanut butter combination. The six-pack of Reese's Peanut Butter eggs? To die for. And the sour Starburst jelly beans? Tastefully sour. Knowing that was just enough sugar and chocolaty goodness for me, the rabbit must have left the candy aisle and ventured into the DVD section, where he picked up a copy of Happy Feet for me. While I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, how can you not fall in love with a tap dancing penguin?

But I know Easter isn't all about the rabbit. In fact, I wouldn't have minded if the Easter Bunny forgot about me this year, because I was lucky enough to get to spend the day with the people who matter most to me: my family. We did Easter dinner with my mom's side of the family and enjoyed some tasty ham and other Easter staples. Afterwards, we stopped by my aunt and uncle's house on my dad's side and got the chance to visit for awhile. Finally, it was off to see The Rugrats for a bit.

All in all, a good Easter holiday.

I survived outside

It was chilly. I guess that's what happens when it's only in the upper 30s. But I told myself I had to run outside tonight. I just wasn't sure I could make it on the treadmill.

So I purposely left my gym bag at home. Meaning I had to run outdoors. In the brisk wind (which only was a problem when I was running east). And surpringly, it wasn't too awful. After a mile or so, I warmed up and the 3 miles wasn't so bad.

At the moment, they're forecasting a high in the lower 40s for Saturday, meaning it will probably be colder in the morning when the race it. But I think I'll be fine. Granted, if it really does rain, then that'll suck.

But weathermen are notorious for being wrong. So let's hope they are this time.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A product endorsement

Let me take a brief moment to talk about underwear.

Mainly, I bought this sports bra yesterday. In a color called "bay blue." And today I wore it during a 3 mile run. And let me just say it's fabulous. I love it. I'm seriously thinking about going and getting a second one.

OK, underwear talk is now over.

Towels are for sweat silly

I had a lunch date with some former co-workers in the 'burg this afternoon.

But first I had to run because the 5K is a week from today.

So I set my alarm for 9ish, with the intent to get up and run outside. Yes, I knew it was going to be chilly, but I figured I could handle the coldness as long as it was as windy as it's been the past few days.

After the alarm went off, I rolled over, grabbed the remote and hit the Weather Channel. And that's when I learned it was snowing.

Thinking I was dreaming, I crawled out of bed and peeked out the blinds. Nope. The Weather Channel folks were right. Big white flakes were coming down at a steady pace and some was even accumulating on the ground. Cold I could run in. Snow? Not so much.

So it was off to the YMCA for me. The third run this week on the treadmill. And the last two runs had not been fun. I ended up hitting the brick wall around mile 2 and I knew I needed to go 3 miles this morning.

I needed a solution to the number watching.

In the past, I've noticed a lot of folks putting their towel over the electronic display. I never knew why. But today I tried it. And I'm happy to say it worked wonders. The first mile and half flew by and even though my legs were starting to feel it near the end, the 3.1 miles I did weren't as awful as they had been earlier this week.

That makes me feel a little better. As much as I don't want to have to resort to indoor running on the treadmill to nowhere next week, at least I have a way to make it a little less painful.

Because it seems like it's all about the towel placement.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

I've seen it once, do I have to see it again?

Dear people who plan the TV schedule:

Could you please program some new episodes of the TV shows I watch? By no means am I a big TV watcher, but I do have a few shows I enjoy watching each week. And I'm spread the TV watching love around, I watch multiple networks.

But I've been a little unhappy with my viewing choices the last few weeks. Last night, to pass the time, I was watching something called Cheerleader U on WE. And I don't even like cheerleaders all that much.

I've been left with no choice though.

Gilmore Girls? I can't remember the last time you aired a new episode.

Grey's Anatomy? Ditto. And don't even get me started on that whole spin-off thing. I'm quite upset and not ready to talk about it yet.

Lost? You folks at ABC are airing new episodes. And I used to watch you. But then you made the really stupid decision to go on some kind of hiatus from November to late February. Not cool. So I ditched you from my TV watching line up. So you can brag all you want about having new episodes, but you won't get this viewer back.

Friday Night Lights? You folks at NBC are still on my good side. I've been getting new episodes on a weekly basis. Of course, you're probably due for a rerun or two pretty soon and then we'll see what our friendship is like.

24? Yes, I'm quite pleased with you Fox. Whoever was the genius who came up with airing all the episodes in a row, uninterrupted deserves a pat on the back. Or a medal. Or whatever else you give people in the TV world who make good decisions.

Well, I guess it's about time to start channel surfing again, to find something to pass the time until the local news comes on or I can settle in with my book. Wonder what kind of fun stuff I'll find tonight.

A disgruntled TV watcher

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Is this clock working?

That seemed like the longest 30 minutes of my life. And the 3 miles I ran? Seemed like it was never going to end!

Welcome back to running on the treadmill to nowhere. Literally.

Maybe it's because I've discovered how much I enjoy running outside, but a run on the treadmill was never that painful before. It used to be actually somewhat enjoyable. But today? It was awful. The numbers couldn't flip fast enough. And my eyes? It was like they were glued to the electronic readout.

Did I mention that was a very long 3 mile run?

Yeah, but I just wasn't really up to running outside in 30 degree weather with winds in the 25 mile per hour range. Something about that just wasn't appealing. Hence, my reintroduction to the treadmill.

I'll be crossing my fingers it gets nice out again soon, because that was painfully long today.

Maybe it wasn't just the run on the treadmill though. Because it seemed like the entire day dragged by in slow motion today. I'm telling you, the minute hand just wasn't moving -- not that I was watching it all day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Take a number please

It's election day. So after I got done with work, I headed over to my polling place.

And I was very disappointed.

I was the 89th person in my ward to vote.

At 6 p.m.

Now I know there are more than 89 people in my ward. My question is, where were they all? You can't tell me they all waited until the last two hours the polls were open to cast their vote. My guess? They just didn't care.

And that's sad.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Running towards a goal

It's less than 2 weeks before the 5K and I can say I feel good. Tonight I got my longest run in yet, 3.5 miles, and surprisingly, I felt pretty good, like I could go a bit farther.

It was a nice night to run after work. Mid 50s, a bit breezy when I was heading north, but lucky for me, I was running with the wind on the way back to my apartment. I had to take advantage of today, especially since their forecasting the evil stuff that starts with an "S" and ends with "now" for later in the week. Guess that means I'll have to renew my friendship with the treadmill.

But back to that 2 week thing. I'm glad I ended up signing up for the 5K. I've really come to enjoy the days that I run, especially now that I can do it outside. And really? The 3 miles isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, I'm not going to break any speed records (I figure I'll probably finish the course in about 33 minutes or so, anything under 35 will be fine by me), but still, it'll feel good to finish.

And the training has been fun. While I run a couple times a week, once a week or so I throw in an extra street or two to make my route a little longer, like I did today. I was on my way home, down to the last mile or so and on a whim I turned down a dead end street that I sometimes take. It only added another quarter of a mile on, but it's a quarter mile farther than I've been running.

Which brings me to what am I going to do once the 5K is done next week? There's one in May in Appleton that I'm thinking of running, which includes a very very nasty hill at the end (lucky for me, the upcoming 5K is a fairly flat course). But otherwise, I'm thinking of starting to add mileage. Make my runs longer. My next goal might be a 5 mile run, now that I know I can do at least 3.5. Or there's always a triathlon. That's been something I've been toying with for the last summer or two.

Whatever I decide to do, I think I need something to work towards. Because having a date circled on the calendar made it that much easier for me to get out and run, even on those days when I had no desire to lace up the sneakers.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A tangled mess

After spending most of yesterday sacked out in my Lazy Boy reading while the raindrops fell, I need to do something today. As much as I like to read, two straight days of reading is a bit much for me.

And while my laundry and putzing around on the Internet has helped waste some of my time today, I'm looking forward to my dinner date with my mom, when I'll finally get to have Uno Chicago Grill.

But first, a laundry gripe. Other than finding out I don't have enough Tide to get me through my weekly laundry (meaning a trip to Target is in still shortly), I got irked today when I went to go switch my load of whites from the washer to the dryer and discovered a laundry basket full of dirty bras that I forgot to throw in the wash.

I'm telling you, my mind needs some stimulation today!

So I stuffed them into this mesh bag I have. I've used something like this for years now and haven't ever really had any problems. Until the most recent one I bought. It's a circular one and I should have know it was going to be trouble when the piping came out after the first wash.

Today, when the wash cycle finished, I opened the washer and was completely dismayed to find that somehow, the zipper had opened open and all of my bras came out. And of course, one of the bra clasps had hooked on the mesh, so all of the other bras were tangled around the hooked undergarment, creating a tangled mess that I had to sort out before throwing them back in the mesh bag and so I could toss them into the dryer (where they'll inevitably either re-tangle themselves, the zipper will come open again or they won't be completely dry after the dryer cycle).

I think I should just reinvest in a new mesh bag and cross my fingers it won't cause me the same headaches.