Thursday, April 28, 2011

Since I'm Not Friends With All Of You On Facebook...

What my friend wrote as her facebook status this morning:
"I can actually say something COOL today in that I just re-queened one of my beehives!  It's such a fascinating hobby."

My response:

"You fit Ricky Martin into a BEEHIVE?!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Signs Of Addiction

The first game I downloaded onto my iPhone when I got it a few months ago was Boggle.  Why do I love Boggle so much?  Because I kick BUTT at that game.  Unless I am playing my friend Kettie, whose Boggle powers exceed that of Superman’s x-ray vision, then I suck at it; which is why I never play her anymore.  Pick your battles, I say. 

Not only am I good at Boggle, but it has opened my eyes to the joy of waiting.  Waiting for your daughter to come out of the school after track practice, waiting for your son to get off the bus, waiting for the DMV to look up “efficient” in the dictionary and understand what it means, no kidding I have TIME for this now because when the ladies at the DMV desk are fighting over who gets to take their smoke break and who has to help the next customer I’m sitting patiently, tapping the letters on my iPhone and going, “I just got an eleven point word!”

I have rejected accusations from my children that I’m addicted.  Cory and I will sit on the couch and pass the game back and forth as the kids walk by and say, “You guys are so addicted to that stupid game,” and I’m thinking, “This isn’t addiction this is a marriage enhancement exercise.  Your Dad has lost 9 out of the last 10 games and he hasn’t even popped a blood vessel yet.  Take notes kids, I am better than your Dad at something! we are in LOVE!”

Then again, the kids might be right.  The other night I had to go use the bathroom and I knew I would be there a while.  I had two choices:  sit and stare at the wall OR, take my trusty iPhone into the bathroom with me and pass the time gleefully tapping up a high score.  I chose the latter.  The game lets out a little *ding!* every time you land a legitimate word, so there I was, minding my own business; tap-tap-tap-ding! tap-tap-tap-tap-ding! when all of the sudden Drew walked past the bathroom and heard me.  I noticed his feet pause outside the door and he stopped and inquired incredulously, “Mom?  Are you playing BOGGLE in there?!”  “Uh….”  Busted.

I still say I’m not addicted but I did learn a valuable lesson:  always silence your phone before playing a game in the bathroom.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Little Girl With Great Big Plans

I think I was smoking crack when I decided to sign my family up for the Bolder Boulder 10K.  The problem is, before you can run 6.2 miles, you have to be able to run ONE mile.  And then two, and then three and four and five, and even though it doesn't sound like a lot it kind of is.  I didn't realize it either until I tried to walk up a flight of stairs and talk on the phone at the same time without sounding like I was hauling 80 pounds of granite on my back - when the person on the other end asks if you're trying to blow the little pig's house down, that's your first clue that maybe you've bitten off more than you can chew.

Today when I was running I was thinking about two things:  One, how much I hated running and two, that there was half of a leftover burrito waiting for me at home when I was done.  Which just goes to show you, motivation is personal. 

Since we are doing this as a family Drew and I get up at 6 am a couple of mornings a week to get the running in before he has to go to school.  This kills me, and one day last week as we walked out of the gym I was thinking how our next family goal should be who can eat the most ice cream bars at Disneyland when Drew looked over at me and said, "Well, we're getting better!"  I wanted to hug him and smooch him on the cheek and take him to Disneyland right that moment.  But he just turned 11, and although he still allows the side hug before boarding the morning bus, I don't want to push my luck.

Saturday, however, I was doing my run alone, had about a mile to go, and wanted to sit down on the side of the road and call Jimmy John's to deliver me a sandwich.  I had already stopped four times to catch my breath, and even though I was approaching a downhill grade I simply didn't feel like I had anything left to give when guess what happened?  You guys, Mindy saved my life.  Not this Mindy,

(Mindy Cohn from "The Facts of Life")

Or THIS Mindy:

(From the sitcom "Mork & Mindy")

No, I'm talking about this MindyI'm sure you've heard of her beforeShe's a singer, which I love.  She just cut her hair super short, which I love.  She also reads my blog, which I LOVE love.  But most importantly on Saturday, when my feet wanted to stop and my heart wanted to rest and my stomach wanted some cereal, her voice began streaming through my iPod and just like that, my feet, heart and stomach said they could keep going.  

"I'm gonna walk a hundred miles" (talk about an overachiever)
"I'm gonna whistle all the while" (she's obviously never seen me exercise)
"If that's what it takes to make me smile" (it's not, but okay)
"I'm gonna walk a hundred miles" (or jog for one, as the case may be)

The lyrics make me feel like I'm 8 years old again, back when my friend's mom taught me ballet and she thought I had great potential.  It was before I turned 40 and tried to run a mile for each of those decades without stopping to breathe, pee, or order pizzaMindy makes me feel like maybe I actually CAN run right up that hill..."and maybe I'm just a little girl, a little girl with great big plans."

Friday, April 15, 2011

The al-Qaeda In My Mind

Often when I go several days in a row without writing, there is actually quite a lot going on in my head.  It’s a warzone in there sometimes people.  More than an angel whispering happy thoughts in one ear and a devil enticing evil in the other, it’s a virtual ground zero on some days.  Thoughts careen into my frontal lobe without warning and invite my spirit to wake up, because something monumental is happening.  But before I can write everything down, calm the chaos, and make sense of it all, the walls are already burning.  The foundation rattles, the sides give way, and although a few good thoughts escape, many collapse and become buried in the rubble of a life that doesn’t always make sense to me.

The truth is sometimes painful.
Facades cut even deeper.
Too heavy.
Too stupid.
Too annoying.
Too unfair.
Too much.



Friday, April 8, 2011

Running Is Hard

I have a dream.

Not the one where gas is free, lawns mow themselves and Chipotle delivers with complimentary guac, but the one where my whole family runs the Bolder Boulder 10K race together.  It’s a big deal in these parts, tens of thousands of people run this race each year.  I’ve done it twice, Cory did it once, and every time one of us has left early in the morning to join their heat on the starting line I have secretly fantasized that one day my whole family would get up and do it together. 

But see, it’s not really my thing to accomplish goals, it’s mostly my thing to have them.  Just ask the diet books on my shelf, the unfinished hutch in my garage, or the archives of unprinted pictures on my hard drive. 

Nevertheless, the rest of my family is entirely well versed with the concept of setting and completing goals, reinforcing my status as The Weak Link.  When I told the family that I wanted to do this, I knew how it was going to go – Samantha, who already runs up to 7 or 8 miles after school for track practice, would simply show up, kick all of our trash and have time to read War and Peace by the time the rest of us meet her at the finish line.  Cory would prepare not at all and run with Drew at whatever pace worked for the both of them.  I would spend months getting into shape by downloading a training regimen from the internet, taping it to the wall and crossing off the workouts as I accomplished them.  By the time the race came around I would be rearing to go, and hopefully make at least as good a time as I did when I ran it four years ago.

Here’s how it’s gone instead.

My goal in January:  stop eating sugar – lose 30 pounds – train every day
My goal in February:  eat sugar only on weekends – lose 20 pounds –  run three times a week
My goal in March:  eat sugar only on weekends. or weekdays. – listen, the scales aren't always right –  go for a run if the sun is shining, the wind isn’t blowing, and Jimmer isn’t playing (sort of excluding all of March)

It is now April, and with the race in 8 weeks it’s really time to fish or cut bait.  Tinkle or get off the potty.  Be part of the problem or part of the solution.  See the opportunity as a challenge or the challenge as an opportunity.  (Tony Robbins I've been listening!)

I’ve decided it’s time to quit.

To quit making excuses
To quit whining
To quit expecting a chromosomal defect to blame
To quit pushing the “snooze” button
To quit hoping for a magic pill
To quit waking up in the morning, fully expecting to fail

It’s time to show up in my own life. 

Monday was harsh, but I did it.  Tuesday and Wednesday I followed through, and today is better than Monday.  It may not be much but for now…

…for now I’m running with it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sometimes I'm Awesome

I have a system when I need to go somewhere.  I get in my car, put on my seatbelt, turn on my Lower Lights CD (have I mentioned how much I love them?  LOVE THEM), back out and leave.  It's not a complicated system, so it usually works.  

I'll tell you what's NOT part of my system and that is hearing a funky noise while cruising down the street, pulling over only to discover that a missing part from the Titanic is sticking out of my left rear tire, deciding to leave it there and try to make it to the tire store for repair without getting a flat, having that plan fail with a dramatic *POP!* and a hiss, then while dealing with the massive disappointment that the sound was not in fact coming from a frosty can of A&W, pulling off to a side street to change my tire in sparkly flats and freshly coiffed hair.  A discouraging scene indeed. 

If you think I was intimidated though, think again.  I am woman, hear me roar!
Apparently I'm also a woman who needs Botox and a clearer definition of "freshly coiffed hair".  Anyway, here I am preparing to put the donut on - it's hard to do that and take a picture of yourself with your iPhone at the same time.  Cute necklace though, don't you think?

While jacking up the car I got a little distracted by my cute shoes too. 

It's a dirty job, but I bet if this is the worst thing Mike Rowe ever had to do he'd be stoked.
Not to worry, look what I keep in my door compartment!  What?  I drive a Honda Odyssey, what else would you expect me to put there?

All in all a pretty eventful morning.  Four different people stopped and offered help but I declined - one told me I was "better than his wife" (If I had a nickel...) and another clapped for me.  Nobody asked for an autograph, but I figure it's only a matter of time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wherein I Overshadow My Addiction To Chocolate With A Story About Irresponsibility

I’m not a big believer in buying books because one, I don’t read much, two, if you buy a book then you have to find somewhere to put it when you’re done and I don't want the clutter, and three, it's too expensive and libraries are free!  This particularly speaks to my sensibilities.  Unfortunately what doesn’t speak to my sensibilities is the concept of the world not revolving around me and the idea of having a DUE DATE on a book. 

You know when you’re looking for a specific book and you go to the library’s system to see if it’s available?  And the library only has three copies of the most popular book since Edward put the “V” in vampire and they are all checked out?  As you peruse the list to see when the books are due to return, hoping they will come back sometime before the suspicious mole on your right arm lands you in hospice with an IV drip, you notice that one of the copies was due back before Adam roamed the earth.  And you think to yourself, what kind of numskull hasn’t found the time in the last three U.S. presidents to return that book?  Well, that “numskull” might live somewhere in the Denver metro area near my house.  Fine.  IN my house.  She has poor taste in music, had 17 Dove chocolates before 9am today and desperately needs her roots done.  Anything else?

I didn’t know I was in trouble with the library until I got a notice in the mail the other day.  FROM COLLECTIONS.  What the…?  As far as I knew I didn’t even have any items checked out from the library.  When I called to work things out I had two questions:  What were the charges for?  And why was I just hearing about it now?  It is customary to get some kind of notice when books are late, a notice I had come to depend on rather than the notion of personal responsibility, but had never received.  As it turned out, notices HAD been sent.  To the house we lived in TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO.  In the meantime we had racked up SIXTY THREE DOLLARS in late fees and replacement costs, and the collections agency was on our case.  Knowing these charges were negotiable, I sucked up big time to the lady on the phone.  I was so nice you would have thought I was trying to negotiate for a life saving kidney, and it worked.  She knocked off over half of the dues and I was left to pay her $25.

It’s been a good lesson for me because now I know, I can’t afford the library either.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What's The Buzz?

Internet, meet Cory.  Also known as Cooper, Studly, Are You Asleep Already, and Will You Please Take Out The Trash.  He is my favorite.

He is my favorite because when I am getting a headache he will massage my shoulders to help it go away even though he hates it.  He is my favorite because even though he likes Qdoba better, he will go to Chipotle instead because he knows I prefer it.  He does our taxes, pays our bills, and still treats Opening Day at Coors Field with the nostalgia of a kid.  (He's going today at 2:00pm)

Nevertheless, even our favorites have their challenges, and I'm not just talking about having to come home to me every day.  As of late it has centered more upon the frailty of his follicles, and their inability to produce.  In other words, when the photographer of your family portrait asks, "Hey, do you mind if we photoshop in a little extra hair?" it's time to reevaluate.  So this week Cory/Cooper/Studly took the plunge - no more bed head, bye bye blow dryers, hasta la vista shampoo - we buzzed his head.  Samantha took a crack at it first.


And now for the finished product: