Sunday, November 30, 2008

New 10K PR

Old PR - 1:10:23
New PR - 1:02:44

That's over 7 minutes off. I'm pretty stoked :)

And that is all I can say about it at this time....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For Linae

Target practice? He *looks* relatively harmless, what with the flowers and all ;-D

(Is anyone surprised that I own a gnome, BTW?)

And if my mom is reading: Yes, I need to dust my bookcase....

Key Lime Pie!!

My favorite!! The biggest challenge is going to be to not eat it in the car on the way to Daytona tomorrow.

I normally make my own crust, but I was going for quick and easy this time.

For all non-Floridians: Key lime juice is yellow; thus, the pie is yellow. It's NOT SUPPOSED TO BE green. Green Key lime pies are evil and must be avoided at all costs. That is all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Diabetes on a Plate

This is the dessert that I am semi-famous for. I get requests for it for every pitch-in, holiday party, and PMS cycle ;) The first office pitch-in I brought this to, when I worked for Indiana State Emergency Management Ops, my friend (and work husband) John came up to me, gave me a hug, and told me it was better than sex. Awkward, sure, but I'm glad I, uh, made him happy.

It's not low-fat or healthy in any way, unless you count the peanut butter, which is protein. The health benefits are pretty much washed out by the stick of butter and three cups of confectioner's sugar that also goes into the mixture. And the loads of chocolate. And the crust, which consists of crumbled butter cookies and melted butter.

I made it today for a Black Friday party at work. I made it last week for an early Thanksgiving party at school. They went before lunch was over, and my poor little lemon squares, which I actually prefer because they're not as rich, got the shaft :(

Tomorrow: Key lime pie!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

These pictures brought to you by the letter "G"

For "graceful." Yeah, riiiight....

Took a spill on my run this morning. Hit a crack in the pavement, turned my ankle, and went down like a sack of wet cement. The ankle is fine; my ankles are really weird anyway--kinda bendy. Another reason I've always been a lousy ice skater ;)

I'll be back out on the roads tomorrow morning. Hopefully without extra road rash....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hockey Night in Tampa

Thursday, November 13, 2008. Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning. The Wings won 4-3 in an exciting game that went down to the last minute. TB pulled their goalie and everything :) It was kind of weird to be rooting against my current hometown team, but being from Detroit, I have been a die-hard, rabid Wings fan since I was 4 years old. No question which team I was there to support.

There was a nice ceremony honoring our veterans before the game started.

There was almost as much red in the stands (including myself) as blue and black. It almost looked like a Red Wings home game. I attribute this to two things: 1) The Wings won the Stanley Cup last year, so there are lots of bandwagon fans, and 2) there are tons of Midwestern transplants living in the Tampa Bay area. Five of my neighbors alone are from Michigan.
The big group of people in red and white jerseys near the right side of the photo was part of a group of electricians from the Detroit area. They chartered two buses and drove down here specifically for this game. There were about 90 of them scattered throught the Ice Palace. I kept running into one guy, the guy who told me all of this information. He was drunk when he got off the bus ;) Anyway, before the game, he saw me in my Wings shirt and hollered, "Wings shirt!! This chick ROCKS!!" and some of his buddies cheered. So I played along, doing the "raise the roof" thing, and he started talking to me. I somehow managed to run into him at both intermissions AND on my way to the bathroom after the game.

Mikael Samuelsson (37), Niklas Kronwall (55), and Kris Draper (33).

Mom and me

Victors! Goalie Chris Osgood (30), backup goalie Ty Conklin (middle), and Brian Rafalski (28).
At the first intermission, I went up to visit my friend Wendy, whose boyfriend's sister's best friend had a skybox; it was a pretty sweet setup. I drank their free beer, ate their free pizza and brownies, and chatted with a bunch of native Michiganders. Felt like home ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ho Ho Ho and Deck Them Halls

Since they insist upon shoving Christmas down our throats starting right after Labor Day, and I've worked retail for the past three and a half years so I'm slightly Grinchy anyway, I've decided to think of some things I actually *like* about Christmas, despite the obnoxious commercialism and the depression and the unrealistic expectations put upon loved ones ;)

*Christmas Lights. When I lived in Michigan, we used to drive over to Grosse Pointe Shores and go up and down the streets looking at the fantastically-decorated mansions. Even when I got older and moved, I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood with my then-husband looking at the lights. These days, I do a "lights run" around the subdivision, which is fun. Maybe next Christmas someone will run with me :)

*A Charlie Brown Christmas. It just never gets old.

*The Nutcracker ballet. Cheesy, I know, but I've loved it since I was a kid. "The Waltz of the Flowers" is my favorite, and the Pas de Deux.

*Certain Christmas movies. The original Miracle on 34th Street. A Christmas Story. And, of course, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. (Did you really expect anything different?)

*Candy canes. I can take or leave Starlight mints, but I can never pass up a candy cane! (A regular old-fashioned one, none of those gross fruity flavored ones...) When our dalmatian Barney was still with us, we could only hang candy canes on the top half of our tree because he would take them off and eat them, wrapper and all. Freshest dog breath in town :)

*Homemade sugar cookies. I make awesome ones, super-thin and crispy. If you want to try them for yourself, let me know; I'll make ya a batch ;)

*Wearing my holly barrettes. They jingle.

*Some Christmas music. I inexplicably love "Jingle Bell Rock." "Blue Christmas." "Mele Kalikimaka." Gary Allan's version of "Please Come Home For Christmas." Harry Connick Jr.'s Christmas CDs. And, of course, Jeff Foxworthy's "Redneck Twelve Days of Christmas" (Twelve pack of Bud, eleven rasslin' tickets, tin of Copenhagen, nine years probation...)

*Eggnog milkshakes from Steak 'n Shake.

*Watching someone open that one perfect gift. I screwed myself last year by giving my mom tickets to George Strait. I can never top that. But she loved it, so it was awesome.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

RR: Orange Blossom Half Marathon

November 9, 2008. Tavares, Florida.

Reader's Digest version: 2:31:02, about 13-1/2 minutes off my previous half PR from back in January. I heard separately from two guys with Garmins that the course was about 1/2 mile long, which Linae and I both figured since mile 3 seemed really really LONG.

Saturday afternoon: After driving the two hours from Hudson to Tavares, we pretty much wandered around this little town looking for City Hall. The only directions given to us was, "It's by the lake." What they failed to mention was that were TWO lakes. Apparently, they just assumed everyone knew which lake they were talking about. No address. No cross streets. Nothing. And the website was no help, either. So finally, after driving around the wrong lake, going the wrong way, Linae with her GPS and me with my TomTom (neither of which was much help,) we finally stumbled upon packet pickup. Right across the street from O'Keefe's Irish Pub. Guess where we wound up :)

After a glass of cider (above,) we drove into Clermont to Dave's Tri Homestay. Dave is a pretty fun guy. We made friends with his conures Frick and Frack, and I scratched the ears of a cat or two he had running around outside his house. He had some pro triathletes staying there, which was cool. Dave, Linae, and I headed over to Olive Garden for some cheesy, starchy goodness, then we came back, watched a program on Lance Armstrong that Dave pretty much insisted we see (I think I may have nodded off--Linae referred to it as the Lance Infomercial,) then cleaned up a bit and hit the rack.

Sunday morning: It was kind of chilly, and Linae had the foresight to bring a couple of trash bags to keep us warm. We tossed them right before the horn, and then we were off. I hung with Linae for just under 4 miles (or it might have actually *been* 4 miles, since mile 3 was long,) and then I dropped back a bit. I was feeling pretty good through about 7 miles, and then I started to hurt a bit, so I slowed down and eventually walked a little. My "A" goal was 2:35, and I had a bit of a cushion thanks to Linae's pacing, so I figured it wouldn't hurt. What I forgot was what it does to me mentally once I start walking--I tend to not feel like *running* because walking feels so much better. And that was my undoing for the next couple of miles :-P I started playing mind games with myself: "Okay, I'll run to the cone, which is mile 9." I'd then get to the cone, forgetting that there was also a cone for mile 8. "F*&k!! All right, second cone is mile 9. Next f*&king cone, next f*&king cone, I can walk a bit when I hit the next f*&king cone...." So that went on until about mile 11 :)

When I hit mile 10 and realized that I could pretty much walk the rest of the way and make 2:35, I settled into a comfortable, sustainable pace. Right before I hit mile 11, I saw a pink top and striped pink skirt walking a bit ahead of me. I figure I'm hallucinating--No way is that Linae. So I sped up a bit, and sure enough, it's her. And she's limping pretty badly. I pull up to her, ask her if she's all right, which I don't know why I asked because she obviously wasn't, but you know....She says she's in excruciating pain and tears up, which makes me tear up (because if I'm in the room, nobody cries alone,) then she gave me the car key since I'll get to the finish line before her. I take the key and keep walking next to her. She looks at me and says, "Why are you walking?? RUN!!" So I did. As I'm pulling away, I hear her call out, "If they have any beer, save me one!"

Right at mile 13, I reeled in this dude I had been leapfrogging all morning, looked at my watch, which read exactly 2:30, and told him how I had wanted to go sub 2:30. He looked at his Garmin and said, "If it makes you feel any better, we're actually at 13.5 miles." Huh. Yeah, it does a little. We crossed the finish line, I got my medal and a bottle of water, went to the car to get our long-sleeve race tshirts, went back to the post-race party, and pulled two beers out of the cooler. The guy behind me laughs and says, "9:30 on a Sunday morning and you're double-fisting it! My kinda girl!" I said, "Yeah, I earned these bad boys!" He said, "Especially since the course was long," and showed me his Garmin (sounds dirty, but isn't.)

I met Linae at the 13 mile mark, gave her her beer, we ate donuts (suddenly we're Homer Simpson with the beer and donuts,) hung out a bit, I went and got the car because she could barely walk at all at that point, and we headed back to Dave's to clean up. We headed back home and stopped for cheeseburgers along the way (heaven...)

Next month's half: sub-2:30 on an accurate course ;)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Me in Five Years

"Your Honor, could you ask the killer to speak up?":

Crossing Mississippi off my Places to Potentially Move To list:

DEFINITELY in the Beyond Section

Yesterday, one of my esteemed colleagues (read: goofy co-workers) showed me a new line of "personal massagers" sold on our company's website. It was good for a few laughs and several immature and inappropriate comments:

Per the web page:

"Form 6 Personal Massager - Blue
Treat yourself to a personal massage even while on vacation with this compact 7" long unit. This vibrating massager has six vibration modes and is both waterproof and rechargeable. Every surface of the unit vibrates, so you choose which contour will best suit the needs of your own body. Made from phthalate-free medical grade silicone and metal. Runs on one lithium battery, included. Includes charging base and power adapter. UL listed. One-year limited warranty."

Per me: This can be yours for only $184.99 plus shipping/tax! And if you place your order in the store, you can use your 20% coupon. What a deal!!

Well, we *used* to be a G-rated store anyway ;)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

10-Second Book Review: The Memory of Water

Complete chick-lit, but a good little escapist drama. Sibling rivalry, mental illness, parental love, unspeakable acts, repressed memories--good stuff! I would have liked to have delved into the relationship between Marnie and Quinn a bit deeper, but I'm in kind of a weird place right now.

4.25 stars out of 5, if you're looking for something lite :)

And because I'm in a random mood: