Short review of a movie. Make that two movies

The Hubs and I saw Run, Fat Boy, Run this afternoon. We both enjoyed it very much. Without dropping any kind of spoiler, I loved the movie's depiction of "The Wall."

Yes, of course it was a bit cliche. Romantic comedy. And slapstick comedy has been around that long because it is funny.

Excellent use of a Sunday afternoon.

LATE EDITION: We spent our Sunday evening watching Shoot 'Em Up. It was a really good flick as well. Kind of hard to explain, but lots of outrageous action sequences and, as you can gather from the title, lots of shooing.


My Virtual Running Partner is Such a Nag

I decided to finally play around with the Garmin, and see what it can offer me other than just my pace. I knew there were all kinds of features on there, but I had not tried any of them out yet.

Last week I was feeling saucy and set the Garmin so that it would give me pace alerts. Alert me when I go slower and a 10:00/pace (I am a 10:30 girl most of the time, so this alert was not well thought out), and alert me if I am going faster than a 9:00/mile pace (yeah, unlikely).

I started out across the pedestrian bridge and the Garmin was blowing up. It sounded like a song bird attached to my wrist. The first half of the bridge is uphill (as bridges go), so I ran faster. Garmin still yelling at me. Other people on the bridge were staring. Mothers pulled their children close when I passed them.

I got to the end of the bridge, which is about a half mile, and I finally looked at the watch (can you tell where this is going?). My pace was 8:25. So my Dick Tracy/Max Smart-esque watch was actually telling me to slow down. Hmm, that is not what I expected. I slowed down, but I kept getting the warning from Garmin. It must have evened out somewhere along the way - I finished the four miles in 39:02. So about a 9:44 pace for the whole run. That, for me, is pretty good.

What was surprising really, was how good I felt during the run. I wasn't really ever overly tired. Have my treadmill fartlek (giggle giggle) workouts actually made me faster? Or was it one of those runs where the stars are all aligned just so, and the runner feels like a supa-star (I believe Vanilla refers to this as an "Even the Russian Judge Likes It" run).

Oh, and I don't think I ever set up the Virtual Running Partner function correctly. This post should really be titled something like "My Pace Alerts are Such Nags."


Graham Crackers and Marshmallow Covered in Chocolate are All I need

Since I am pretty certain I won't be doing the half marathon in a month, I did decide that I needed SOMETHING on my race calendar. Enter (stage left) The RC Cola Moon Pie 10 Miler.

I wanted to do this race last year, but for some reason never got around to it. The course description reads as follows:
Course is 10 miles, with a 2 1/2 hour time limit for all. Terrain is continuous gently rolling hills with one BIG ONE at the 4 1/4 mile marker. All paved, soft black-top from mile 2 to 7.5 mile.

Google research has told me that the big hill is very big and very painful, and also that traditionally this is a very hot, humid race. Last year they had about 1,000 participants, so it is a good sized event too. It is about a 90 minute drive from my home to scenic Bell Buckle (pop. 405), so I don't know if I will go a day early and get a hotel room, or if I will get up and leave here at 4 am to go race. I did get up at like 3:30 for the marathon, so I could do it.

But I am loving the idea of the post-race refreshments of a "Generous buffet featuring RC Cola and Moon Pies, biscuits, baked goods." And RCs and Moon Pies are so especially Southern. The 10 mile event is actually part of a whole day festival to celebrate the yummy pair. The festival includes what every small-town festival in the South has: clogging, and based on last year's festival schedule, lots of it. But they also have the crowning of the RC King and the Moon Pie Queen, art booths (both fine and crap), and I would guess lots of fried foods. And this one has the cutting and serving of the world's largest Moon Pie.

Yeah, I'm down with that.



Got 3.1 in on the treadmill last night, with actually little perceived exertion. I also did some ab and quad work as well. I was very embarrassed when the teenage girl on the machine next to me upped her weights with the 45 pound plates, while I was lunging away with a meager 25 pounds. I wanted to tell her "I could add 90 pounds to this, but my doctor told me to go with slow reps of lighter amounts." Thankfully, my self-censor was working and I quietly finished my workout.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a junkfood junkie. I bought a package of Mint Creme Oreos on Saturday afternoon, and they were all gone by mid-day Monday. And I know that my husband didn't have a one of them. Must regain control!

So for the next two weeks I am going back to my standby of Weight Watchers. I am not going back to meetings, ($12 a week? Not on our current budget!) but I am counting points. In case any of my 5 faithful readers don't know, Weight Watchers works by counting a points value for all your foods. Kind of like calories, but without the extra zeros. I get 20 points worth of food a day. I did have to change the battery in my kitchen scale so that I could weigh out my serving of cheese yesterday. I am not really so concerned about my weight, as it has been steady (give or take 2 pounds) for about two years now, but I really do need work on the nutrition side of things.

Now, I have a frosty glass of ice-cold water to get to - I've got to get those 64 oz in!


Happy Easter

Ignore my previous post. All of a sudden, I feel like ... jogging (for Jesus)!

I like a healthy dose of humor with my religion.
I just glanced upon the nifty countdown that I have on the sidebar over there. Thirty-three days until the half. I don't think it is going to happen. I really want to do it. But I really don't want to do it either.

I am kind of afraid that now that I have completed my goal of the full marathon, that I won't go back and do a shorter race. I've done the big one, so now I'm done. But I don't really want that to be the case though. I really do like (love, even?) going out to run. Eh, I'm sure I'll get bored with this mood soon enough and start up again.

Spring Break ends tomorrow. I am kind of ready for campus to fill up again. Although we are keeping to our end of the building, things are starting to get lonely with the dorm all empty. I picked up My Dearest Friend at the library the other day. It has the transcripts of 289 letters between John and Abigail Adams. I feel like I am being very nosy and snooping through their desks so that I can read their personal notes. I especially like that the editors didn't "fix" the spellings. The whole first section of the book is from their courtship and it is very sweet. Maybe I'm more of a romantic than I have ever thought myself to be.

We just added digital phone onto our cable service, so now we will get HBO On Demand again (yay!), and I will get to see the new mini about Adams.


One Shining Blog Post

My upsets didn't happen. But USC losing to K-State completely messed up my bracket. I had USC in the Elite Eight. The Duke/Belmont game was by far the best game of the day, although I hate that the Bruins didn't get the win.

In my career field, I see lots of highlight videos and one of my biggest beefs has always been how much "One Shining Moment" sucks. (Scractch that - isn't very good. Sucks is a strong word.) The lyrics are dumb, it isn't really spectacular editing, and it's so cliche. Because highlight videos are NEVER cliche. Men LOVE "One Shining Moment" - they play it at their weddings. It's a power ballad.

Last night, at the request of my husband, we checked out Shining Moments from years past on YouTube. I found myself enjoying them and feeling the intended rush of emotion. I was kind of sining along to the lyrics. But I would not play it at my wedding.

We decided that 1987 was the best video - they have lots of footage of the losers before the actual highlight reel begins, and check out those short shorts!


Mad Thursday

I love today. And tomorrow. While college football is my usual favorite, for these two days I love the basketball. I love the underdog. But from my bracket, the underdogs are all gone by the end of next weekend.

I especially loved when I worked in an office in Raleigh how all pretense of actually working these two days was out the window. Half the employees called in sick (some of them suspiciously so after having been sick the week prior, during the ACC Tournament), and the rest of us just sat in the conference room watching games all day. The bosses had no problems with that, or with watching games on CBS.com.

When I worked in an actual college athletic department, it was a given that the TVs would be on, or that we would be at a bar with our bosses watching games. It was actually more the norm for people to ditch work so that they wouldn't have to watch basketball all day.

Being the girl that I am, I tend to make picks based on things like mascot cuteness factor, wearabiltiy of uniform, dickishness of coach, etc...I filled out my bracket last night, and I might still make some changes in the next three hours. Currently, some of my picks are as follows:

First Round upsets:Winthrop over Washington State, Baylor over Purdue, and Davidson over Gonzaga (although I don't consider that much of an upset. Davidson is good)

I really did want to pick UMBC, for having the cutest mascot ever. But I just couldn't do it.


Long time, no post.

I am happy to report that I have gotten in several good runs during the mini-hiatus. I also spent some time in the hometown, did some shopping with my momma, and got to spend an evening at the movies (Sweeny Todd) with me two best mates.*

Our fair campus is empty right now for the Spring Break break, and it is wonderful. The world of swimming has amazingly enough come to a pause for the week as well. This only happens once, maybe twice a year, so we plan to make the most of the time by watching movies all week and taking the dog for long off-leash walks. Note to self: work on making the most of our time.

*credit to Gnumoon (one of the "best mates") and those with the Cockney speech for the term "me best mates." We called ourselves the Travelin' Trio for some time, but we haven't gone anywhere for a trip/adventure in nine years, so that title is somewhat out of date.


Good Friday (but on a Tuesday)

Okay, I think my emo-funk is on its way out. Yesterday I was having a ridiculous day-long pity party for myself. I don't feel like running, I can't find a decent job, I feel completely uncomfortable in my own skin ... one of those kinds of pity parties. The kind that you don't feel even the slightest bit of satisfaction in. Some days it can feel good to wallow in a bad mood, and even to spread it around, but was not the case for this bad mood.

And the most random thing changed my mood around. For absolutely no reason that I can think of, as I was reading in bed at 10:00 last night, I thought to myself, "Self, you know, you haven't listened to The Black Crowes in a while." SO RANDOM. The hubs had ESPN on in the background - maybe they used a snipped of one of their songs for a highlight. I dunno.

I got on the ol' iTunes and immediately purchased the album Three Snakes and One Charm, one that I used to own, but wore the cassette tape out on sometime in 1999. (It took me quite a while to make the move to CDs). I previewed all of the tracks and was in the best mood after that. I wanted to go out for a drive just so that I could listen to and belt out the music at the top of my completely musically un-gifted voice. I was so giddy that it took me longer than usual to go to sleep.

I also ended up buying the new album that they released just last week, Warpaint. And the single "Seeing Things", which was a very popular song in my life when I was getting over a very bad break-up.

I loaded up the Shuffle and went for a nice four-mile run this morning. I walked a bit, so I was able to get through most of the Three Snakes album. It was quite the trip down memory lane. I remembered how much I love some of the songs on there, including "Under the Mountain" and "Good Friday" (another good break-up song). I got a good chuckle out of the remembered teenage angst of 1996-97. And the song "(Only) Halfway to Everywhere" was a good running tune.

I hope to be able to listen to the Warpaint album on a run on Thursday.

In case you can't tell, I have completely forgotten my AP Style guidelines for album and song titles. So I just went with italics and quotation marks. I can only hope that Dr. Tyrie never comes across my blog - automatic "minus 20" all over the place!


I have been quite wishy-washy lately, especially as far as running is concerned. I have been meaning to go for a run since Thursday. But I haven't done it. Maybe it's the weather. I haven't registered for the half marathon yet. That doesn't mean that I won't register for it (assuming it doesn't fill up). I am still in decent shape - well, shape-enough to be able to run the half. If I get to the training that is. But I am wondering if maybe I really do need to step back a bit. I did just run a marathon two months ago. Or is that argument just rationalizing me not doing the half? I am a very good rationalizer. It's a curse, really.

Whenever someone asks me about how to become a runner (because I'm such a pro), I always say the best way to keep with it is to register for a race. I should heed my own advice, I know. I don't like being this whiny, really I don't. But the ol' blog tends to get the brunt of it.

We watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age last night. I am a sucker for sweeping historical epics. And Clive Owen is in it - always a good sign. I have now moved the Tudors, Season One to the top of the Netflix queue. We did just finish Rome, so I guess it's time to move up 1500 years.


Fashion Roadkill

I tend to get asked to do lots of things by the girls here in the dorm. Take me and my roomie to Wal-Mart? Sure. Buy a raffle ticket? Okay, fine. Supervise our campfire and S'mores night? Of course! So in that spirit, I will find myself in a fashion show Saturday night. It is for a very good cause, and it is a good initiation to humiliate myself with some other faculty members.

I got to go to a somewhat snooty store yesterday to pick out my outfit to wear (I don't get to keep it). I was such a doofus. According to the store girls, nothing that I chose really matched ("That shirt is way to formal for those pants"). They seemed kind of incredulous that I had chosen some things to try on together. Did they not see the jeans and clogs I was wearing when I came into the store? I think my fashion inexperience should have been pretty easy to peg. I felt kind of like when Julia Roberts goes into that boutique in the Pretty Woman. They didn't treat me like I was a hooker or anything, but they knew I wasn't going to be actually buying any of the things I was trying on. (The only image I could find was from Vivian's triumphant "Big Mistake. HUGE. I have to go shopping now" scene. But we all remember how she felt when they wouldn't help her the day before.)

I finally chose a dress that is very cute. They did try to accessorize it with a necklace that made me feel kind of like Betty Rubble. They did not like that joke, by the way. But I would like to thank the store for their vanity sizing. The dress that I am going to be wearing is a size 0. Yes, a z-e-r-o. If it were a form fitting skirt of pair of pants though, it would have to up-size considerably for my woman-hips. And that 0 really means that my chestular area is far from ample. Oh well, at least I didn't feel bad as I noshed on more of those damn Thin Mints last night.


I got to say it was a good day

Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. I am thinking maybe the best one to date. I had a Cinnamon Crunch bagel and coffee waiting for me when I came downstairs in the morning. As previously posted, some of the dorm girls decorated our apartment door. While I was half-expecting it, the gesture ended up touching me much more than I thought it would. They left me a crown than I wore most of the morning as well. I got to spend some time at a middle school swim team banquet - not the most fun thing, but there was cake.

We had one of those freakishly beautiful days here yesterday - 70, sunny, and a slight breeze. We took the dog for a long walk on campus. Then we sat on our porch and drank in the view, the sun, and a few beers. The day was topped by a trip to dinner with some friends. It really was the most hoopla I've had for a birthday in probably 20 years. AND my mother remembered this year, so that was a nice touch!

On my birthday last year, I had a six mile run on schedule for my half-marathon training. I was terrified to do that run. Longest run in my lifetime at that point. I had been on the treadmill since January, but I knew it was time to get outside. As luck would have it, I was in Charleston, so I figured it was as good a time as any, what with the lack of hills and the pretty scenery.

I had mapped out my exactly-six mile route. But I had forgotten my change for the meter, so I had to drive down to the battery area for the free parking. I figured I would just run for an hour, and hopefully I would cover my mileage in that time. Beautiful day, comfortable weather, new shuffle playing tunes. I waved at carriages full of tourists. When I got back to my car, I had been going for 70 minutes. Back at the hotel I mapped the route and I came out to 6.5 miles. I was quite floored that I had done it, and that I felt as good as I did.

So in honor of last years' monumental run, I decided that I would do the Second Annual Birthday 10.460736-K Run. It might be easier to call it a Birthday 6.5 Miler, but that doesn't rhyme.

But I felt like drinking beer on my birthday, so I did the 10.460736 today. I shattered my old time by a whopping 2:23. Hell sí.


Ch, ch, changes

For the new year of blogging, I decided to change up the blog a bit.

I just enjoyed a birthday bagel provided by the Hubs, and I am wearing a paper crown that some of the students left outside my door when they decorated it last night. It is supposed to be 70 here today, so I hope to get in 6.5 miles. More on that later...


This is news

So, this is news apparently. The story reads like something out of The Onion. So at least it was entertaining. I'm too lazy to really blog today, so this is all I got.

Augusta, GA -- Lachelle Binder and some folks passing by the downtown Augusta library are on a mission. She tells us this cat has been struck in the tree for at least two days. Binder says she called fire crews, but no one showed up.

Lachelle Binder, Augusta, GA: "I don't think people care enough to spend tax dollars to save a cat or dog."

Folks like Robert Howard tried to get the cat down, but in the end, no luck. They've watched in suspense as the cat tried to make it's way down. Thursday afternoon, fire crews came after I called. They tried getting the cat down, but their ladder just wasn't long enough. Chief Weathers says, although they have taken cats out of trees before, they still have to use caution.

Chief Weathers, Augusta Fire-Rescue: "Let's say, if we try to get that cat and cat scratches one of the firefighters and gets away, we need the cat in order to check for rabies, or something."

Augusta Animal Services also tried. They tell us they don't have the proper equipment and assure everyone that the cat will be okay.

Mark Bailey, Augusta Animal Services: "He will probably come back within the next probably 24 hours. As long as everyone is standing under the tree, he's not coming down, he's scared. If the tree was higher, he'd probably crawl a little bit higher."

For now we don't how many of this little kitten's nine lives are left. As for Binder and the others, gathering at the library, they won't be satisfied until the cat is in safe hands.

We have received good news...the cat is now down. Witnesses tell us two guys from the library climbed up the tree with a sheet, and shook the cat down.