Friday, July 31, 2009

Arrived in Waterloo

Here I am in Waterloo. I got up the nerve to go.

Got here early enough that there were very few people, but we weren't completely alone. Just checked everything out, listened to music and saw the caber toss and weight toss, which went up to 13 feet. They let some men from the audience throw an empty keg over the bar and I could just see these inexperienced guys, nervous in front of so many people (the place was packed by then) letting go too soon and smashing an empty keg into some old guy sitting in a lawn chair minding his own business.

Ate mashed potatoes and parsnips and OK, I ate soda bread with raisins and caraway seeds. I love my own soda bread without the extras but this stuff was so good I finished it up -snarfed, inhaled, hoovered-, added butter and picked up the crumbs even though I was uncomfortably full.

I saw a woman with a fanny pack looking like she was, ah...sleepy and smoking a cigarette. She had a bunch of other stuff hanging off of her as well, but I was inside a building, so I couldn't get a photo. I will be looking for her all weekend so I can send a photo to the blog Fanny Pack Antics! I had my camera all night, but didn't see anything else worth shooting. All those people! I did have the brainstorm of making a site called Barely Contained in which we see photos of people coming out of their clothing. There was a woman...well, it would just be rude to describe what I saw. Tempting, but rude. Only a photo would be worth your time.

Happy/difficult day?

I can't decide about today. There is too much going on and my body is revolting with the unexpressed stress. I will be posting photos this weekend, so hold onto your hat as the strong winds of happy anticipation whip up to blow your hat into the creek. In case no photos are posted, there's a technical issue.

I'm going to a going-away, get the heck out of here sort of work luncheon for Natasha. Today is her last day. I could post a nice thing here about what it's been like working with her every day for a portion of my life, but she's a gazillion months pregnant and wouldn't appreciate the humor and I'm in a mood so I would start to cry if I said too many nice things at one time.

Before I go out to eat I like to look at menus. I heard we are going to Bravo! (the exclamation point belongs to the name of the restaurant. I am not really that excited about going to Bravo! I can see how this may be confusing). Immediately (because everything is about me) I say, "Bravo!? (multiple punctuation...sorry) There's never anything on the menu I like."

I went to the menu online, possibly nothing like the menu they will give me when I walk in the door, and of course I see two things right off the bat that sound yummy: meatball sliders and a turkey bacon avocado sandwich. Something about Tuscan fries. I don't understand what that means, but they're fries, so they will be yummy. It does remind me I need to go to Penzeys and get my free jar of pasta sprinkle.

Right after lunch I am leaving for a music weekend in Lincoln Park in Waterloo. I've asked or mentioned this to all my friends and so the first person who says AFTER THE FACT, "Oh, I would have gone with you!" will get a smack. Sorry to be violent, but that's the way it is. I feel more than a little like a dork with no friends for spending a weekend alone at a music event. Bryan is going to get me squared away, so it's all good. Once I'm there I will enjoy myself. I just need to scope things out and I'll feel comfortable. I hope.

Naturally, I will let you know.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh, it's just butter. Calm down

When we lived in Germany, my mom would buy butter from...Finland, I think. It was delicious butter. I can buy Finnish butter here in Des Moines, so maybe the butter my mom bought was from some other country and I think Finland because I see it at Super Target. Kerrygold butter is extremely difficult to find in Des Moines. I was at Costco today and completely by chance I saw it:

I was so happy. I think I said something out loud, but I don't remember what it was. I clutched the stupid box to myself as I trotted back to the cart. I made myself buy only one because Alton Brown says butter shouldn't be frozen idefinitely. I will simply hope Costco continues to carry it.

This morning before I left work, this happened and since Lily is the most incredible, smart and amazing cat I have ever had, I had no choice but to snap this shot and subject all of you to it. C'mon, now...Ah, itsn't that cute?

Just humor me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My 10 favorite words

RJ over on Flamingo Musings a blog that is new to me and is thoroughly good reading. She asks “What are your favorite 10 words and why?” Immediately I thought of the best two words I can ever hear, say or feel and they occupy spots #1 and #2.

After that, some words came tumbling out of my pen (I was sitting in a meeting at work), but some took a little more consideration before I committed them to the list. My words are favorite because I like to say them.

Wiggle-my favorite word makes me think of babies and puppies. Jell-o can wiggle, little girls can, too. I wiggle if I sit too long as I am a kinetic person, which is a polite way of saying that even in my 40s I am a wiggle-worm.

Giggle-this word makes me think of little kids, delighted laughter, giddy and happy feelings everyone should feel at least once a day. Hearing my niece really giggle is one of the nicest sounds I can think of. Giggles can be naughty, sexy, silly, happy, or involuntary and giggling often leads to more fun than you expected to have before the giggling began.

Tickle-related to the first two words, tickle is fun to say. It can be fun to tickle someone, but of course that quickly turns to torture best left to siblings. The smell of a library tickles my nose, grass tickles my feet, soft kisses tickle my fancy and silly jokes tickle my funny bone.

Hush-This is a comforting word and I don’t mean it in the way you say HUSH! to noisy children or drunken sorority girls. I mean it in the way that when you were a kid and you hurt yourself, grandma would take you in her arms and whisper, “hush now, baby, hushhhh” That’s a fabulous way to use the word. It does, however, get used at our house when the cats get the urge to fight each other and I tell them to hush when the growling begins. That spoken “hush” always leads to my next favorite word to say out loud:

sa chuisneoir-in Irish, this is actually a phrase that means “in the fridge” but it is (loosely) pronounced, “sa hush-nor” There’s a bit of a throaty thing involved with that CH that makes it even more pleasant coming off the tongue and it is not strictly pronounced “hush.” I typically say it four or five times at once because it makes me happy.

Squirm-I am beginning to pick up on a pattern in this list. My words bring to my mind pleasant visuals as well as movement. Babies squirm, kids squirm, friendly bugs squirm, lovers squirm. The more you say it, the less sense it makes. It begins to sound like it isn’t really a word.

Bubba-this is an exception to my rule (yes, I have a rule) against having a favorite word that involves a P or a B, especially doubles of either letter. I like Bubba, not as a proper name, but because I have taken to calling boy cats and little boys Bubba even though I never set out to do so. At this moment I can’t remember how it began, but it began with another word I was using with Roscoe, the alpha cat at home. It morphed into Bubba and has become Bub-bub-a-dubba, which really violates the rule about double Bs and so should make my skin crawl. But it doesn’t.

Lovely-the first time I noticed how much I like this word, I heard a friend (Natalie) say, “What a lovely home” and I fell in love with lovely because of the way she said it and still says it to this day. I always want to say the word the way she does.

And here is where I realize I only have 8 favorite words to say, so I switch to words that are important to me.

Proud-I am a sucker for proud. Very few people in my life use that word when talking to me for some reason and I have been profoundly aware of its non-use for years. When someone tells me they are proud of me, I can feel myself radiating joy because I believe them. It is a shame so many people are stingy with the word, or maybe I am just not one who inspires pride in others. What a shame.

Adore-One of the meanest things written to me in an email full of mean things was a reply to my saying that I adored this person’s children. She wrote back to say sure I did, after all, kids are adorable. Well, maybe that doesn’t sound so bad, but the email I am referring to made me cry and forever altered a relationship I cannot walk away from. Other than that one bad experience, I adore the word adore because when it is used correctly, it means so very much more than just, “Oh, I simply ah-dore chocolate cake!” It means, to me, “I love you so much that I think everything you do, the way you look and laugh and talk and smile are pure heaven, even when you are being a Grade A stinkpot. Maybe even especially when you are being a stinkpot.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Aubree took me for a walk

More of Aubree's photos

Flags moved, but Aubree didn't want to move to a different angle.
A provocative piece called kitchen soap.

Me & my shadow.

She opened the fridge and took a shot of the cottage cheese.

She took a lot of photos of flowers.

An odd trio of lawn ornaments.

A mailbox like a house.

A walk with Aubree

Aubree and I went on a walk yesterday.

We met dogs

She took most of the pictures

I can't really figure out how to load photos properly on Blogger. She took some nice photos.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oops. I didn't blog about the expo. It was a lot of fun. I got a back/shoulder massage and a lot of goodies in my runner's bag as well as my bag from Prevention Magazine. The DM marathon technical shirt is a nice red and white shirt with long sleeves, which is good for the upcoming season. The shirt from Prevention that marked me as a walker is a pink short-sleeved shirt.

This photo was taken at mile 20.5 by Cindy, who met me with a banana and sport beans more than once on the marathon this past Sunday. I finished the 26.2 mile marathon in 6 hours and 16 minutes, which was way under my estimated 7 to 7.5 hours I anticipated.

July 27, 2009

AH HA! Here is the post I began last year about the marathon and this is all Blogger saved before eating the rest of it.

When pilfering becomes theft and more

I have gotten into a habit of eating around 10 o'clock in the morning. What this means today is that I went up to Natasha's desk and stole ...nay, pilfered...her box of Wheat Thins. I am going to put the box back in her desk and act like nothing happened. Hopefully she won't notice.

Oh my gosh, look at these photos

Click here
Scroll down - all the way - and look at her photos. They should make you smile, I think.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taste of Hope 5k

For the 5k, I thought 37 minutes would be realistic, but I was being conservative. Why bother? Thirty-five minutes, tops. That's what was decided the morning of the race. I ran most of the 5k, I think all but maybe 2 blocks. I finished in 33:24, which is my very best time ever. Every race has gotten better although I am in the same ballpark. I'm just glad to cross the finish line.

This morning after church, I brought the boys home with me. They didn't want to go home, but I absolutely had to do housework. They insisted they wanted to do housework and they told me all the chores they know how to do. I brought them to the house and sure enough, they worked pretty hard. The oldest is 13 (days from 14), then 11, 10 and 8. On one hand, I set my sights realistically and I had to monitor them constantly. On the other hand, I only had to redo a few things. Some things they didn't do right I just had them do over. Sure, it took awhile, but it was worth it. Time with them is always worth it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The scene of the crime

Yesterday I went to Petco to get cat food and I bought a carton of many big, furry mice with furry tails. When I got home only one mouse came out of the package and was sniffed by everyone. But I left the package on the counter and when I woke up this morning, the kitchen floor was littered with the bodies left over from the great mouse massacre of '09.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taste of Hope 5K

On Saturday morning, I am running in the Taste of Hope 5K. On the 4th of July, I ran the Urbandale 5K in 35:33. On Valentine's Day, I ran the Red Flannel Run in 37:42 and in March I ran a 10K in about 1 hour, 10 minutes. For those who don't know, I have started training for the Air Force Half Marathon in September and the Des Moines Half Marathon in October. I decided last year I would rather do two halves than one whole as the recovery time from last year made me impatient and because I am (as my doctor says) insane, I ended up with a broken foot.

The long password saga

Right after the marathon almost an entire year ago, I wrote out a post about the details of the marathon and what it was like. When I clicked on the button to publish the post, Blogger ate the post. While I could have/should have saved the entire text before trusting such a long post to technology goblins, I didn't and the post was lost. Yes, even with the autosave feature, which wasn't working properly and THAT should have been my first clue there was something amiss.

In the past two months I have had a couple (a few?) people surprise me by saying they wished I would post something on my blog. I'm always a bit bewildered because I think no one bothers to read this, but I decided to log in and forgive Blogger for being so mean to me last year.

I couldn't log in. I googled "How many passwords does the average person have" and the answer on WikiAnswers was 80+. I would like to suggest that an enterprising technology psychology graduate student do research on this because my informal research (my own number of passwords because I'm an average person) tells me this is a ridiculous statement. Maybe I should have 80 passwords, but I don't and neither do you most likely.

Anyway, I tried and tried, but I had forgotten my password. I'm sure you can relate. Blogger identified me by my gmail account, but when I indicated a lost password, it sent the password reset link to an old, inactive and impossible-to-reach email. So today, feeling fortified by an incredibly yummy lunch, I tried once more. I entered every single password I can remember ever creating for any account and nothing worked.

Finally, in a moment of utter disgust with my supposed creativity, I thought of one more possible password and to my amazement, it worked. I had tried so much by then that when the screen began to change, I stared at my computer with my mouth hanging open like an idiot.

A lot has happened since the marathon last year. To go through all of it would be mind numbing to write, let alone read. But the past nine months have proved once and for all that no matter what is important today, something else will come along tomorrow and so it goes until a year has passed and everything falls into perspective.

Let's let my never-ending quest for self absorption begin once again.