Saturday, April 30, 2011

random loves and hates

i love
when a song you didn't even know you wanted to hear comes on the radio and surprises you with how excited you are to hear it!
when you turn on your car and the same song is playing on the radio as when you shut your car off. weird.
golden raspberries.
when you see a cop while you are driving, get nervous, and then confirm that you actually were going under the speed limit and have no need to worry!
whenever i hear ice, ice baby.
how catching back to the future on tbs feels like a treat even though i own the DVD and could watch it whenever i wanted to.
when cat litter scoops in neat clumps.
when there's no line at the salad bar at Russo's.
Boston accents.
when someone is unnecessarily kind.
when i get freebies. like i tried to order just a soda at the mall food court and the guy gave it to me for free. Thanks Buddy!!!

i hate
when a tube of lip gloss keeps oozing after you squeeze, giving more than you need or want.
when you sit down and the chair is still warm from someone else's butt warmth. yuck.
someone pulls in front of you just to go slower than you.
getting stuck behind a landscaping truck that is going 20mph.
how the Dr always makes you weigh in. even right after lunch.
the smell of sponges.
the cars for kids commercial.
Natalie merchants voice.
when people try to pull off calling you a nickname but you can tell they are trying really hard.
when someone on TV does a bad Boston accent.
non traditional looking McDonald's structures.
when you lose one earring. trite, i know, but it happened to me this week.

Friday, April 29, 2011

What kind of wife are you? I'm hilarious.

My friend Sarah posted this on her blog the other day and it made me smile. I think the best part was when her friends were comparing their low scores which ranged from 5-9 out of 100. I got a -7. Just sayin.
http://www.magatsu.net/maritaltest/

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why do you travel?

 Being between two major trips, I have been thinking a lot about travel....and trying to find all sorts of eloquent ways to rationalize spending way too much money on it.

Yesterday I saw a post on facebook of a man holding a sign with all sorts of inspiring mantras. I would give the appropriate credit to the author if I could read the writing at the bottom of the sign but I can't. Alas, one of the wonderful little tidbits is "Travel often. Getting lost will help you find yourself." I find this to be very true. You learn so much about yourself when you travel.

My friend Siobhan, who is the mastermind of the Spain trip a few weeks from now, asked me in an email while I was in Iceland if I had any "travel epiphanies" yet. At the time I wasn't totally aware of having them but then I realized I had been noting all sorts of differences and weighing the comparisons to what I knew and placing a judgment. In doing so, I learned the things I appreciated about my life. I also bring a travel journal with me when I go away. On my last trip, which came at a time I desperately needed a break from work and my regular life stress, I took notes on what I was doing on vacation that was helping me feel relaxed, that I could possibly bring back to my "real life" and incorporate. You can find a post about that here.

http://everything-everywhere.com/ This is another blog to check out if you are interested in travel. I think of this guy as the Rick Steves (http://www.ricksteves.com/) of blogging. Yesterday's post was "Seeing things for yourself: Another reason to travel". He recounts a travel story that was strikingly similar to one I had with a welcoming, long haired man at an Icelandic nightspot. The moral of the story is that the media sometimes feeds us an image of certain places and people but you have to experience certain things for yourself! And you will likely find the world is actually a little kinder than you have thought....


POST SCRIPT: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/why-did-you-start-traveling/ Too appropriate not to add!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

wowza wednesday

1. i was just checking out the blog stats and saw a new referring site that i didnt recognize. i clicked on it and it brought me to a nasty graphic porn site! whats up with that????? i nearly had a heart attack. im still shaken.

2. there's no avoiding it: everyone has an opinion about the Royal Wedding. most of the opinions seem to be "im sick of hearing about it" but by posting that on facebook, you are talking about it, too, silly!! one of my favorite places, plimoth plantation, is showing it live:) i will be at work friday living a normal, non royal life but i do like the idea of getting all gussied up to watch the royal nuptials in an event-like setting. i actually have read/watched next to nothing about all of it. the blessing of not watching the news and only watching shows on dvr is a blissful ignorance of whats happening in the world most days. i did read in a tabloidy magazine that they have had to practice kissing on the balcony so the cameras can get the right angle. i cant help but feel really bad for kate middleton! every bride is nervous and excited but this girl has some huge pressure on her!! perhaps even more so than diana since she is being compared to her husbands mother: recipe for disaster? i hope they receive some royal couples counseling:)

3. i accidentally deleted my picture from the blog. im not trying to be extra incognito!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Power to the Peaceful

Last night I had a dream about being at a Michael Franti concert and it's totally shaping my today. If you are not familiar with this music, please close this page and go to itunes immediately to hear some. OR you could go to his website http://michaelfranti.com/ and hear some samples and learn more about him.
I think he is wonderful, clearly. I love music but I also love passionate people with a good cause. I get both from Michael Franti and Spearhead. Two years ago they played a show with the Counting Crows, who I LOVE LOVE LOVE. The show was so energetic and dynamic!!! I left feeling great and with a new band to follow.
One of the things I love about Counting Crows, other than the delicious Adam Duritz and his crooning, meaningful lyrics, is that he always makes announcements about local organizations to help. At each show, they have local non-profits tabling to let folks know about ways to volunteer or otherwise support the good work. To sweeten the pot even more, Counting Crows always has a local domestic violence agency as one of the highlighted organizations. Be still my social justice seeking heart!!!!!!!
Similarly, at one of Micheal Franti and Spearhead's shows at the Boston House of Blues, I got to write a letter to my state representative to express issues I care about that I think government should, too. You can register to vote at the concert: music helping young people be more responsible and aware! And Michael Franti's music is all about peace and love. It sounds so hippy but the music has a reggae flavor and you jump along to it. Oh, to be there now....
So, I saw, via facebook, that they are coming to Connecticut in June. Some parts of CT are very accessible from the Boston area. Alas, when I mapquested the spot they are playing, it's about 3 hours away on a Monday night. That's a no-go with the gas prices the way they are. And so far there are no closer shows. I am Jack's overwhelming sense of disappointment (Fight Club reference if you were wondering).
Since I can't go live my dream, I thought I would at least share it with you. Enjoy the music!!
PS.Did I mention that he hasn't worn shoes in like a decade?? Awesome!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Born to Run

I'm having trouble posting from my cell today so I can't share any pictures with you but here's what I have coming up: pictures from my Etsy shopping spree and pictures of Stella the model-cat with my new curtains. If that doesn't pull you back to read my next couple of posts then I don't know what will. Haha.

So have you read Born to Run? It seems like people everywhere I go are talking to me about the book and the concepts behind it. You can learn more by clicking here. In the shortest summary ever, it's about the history and rationale of the barefoot running movement. Despite the obvious goofiness of the appearance of the five finger shoes, the movement has a lure akin to a charismatic leader (and there are other versions of shoes that don't outline your toes). My chiropractor (Dr. Chris) was one of the more recent people to talk to me about the book and he offered to let me borrow the book on CD. With a couple long car rides under my belt to visit my bestie who is in town for the week, I have gotten to the second disc in as many days. Point being, I am still a novice to the concept of barefoot running but am very interested in it.

Another thing Born to Run mentions is the benefit of chia seeds. A few of the ladies I do triathlon training with have mentioned chia seeds in the past and two of them sell Mila, a form of them which you can find here if you are so inclined. I think I am going to give this a try, as well.

The point of this post is not to bore you to tears with running theory if you are not a runner (which I can barely identify with because I am horrible at it and slow but it is part of my training when I am doing that). The point is to 1. talk about what is on my mind 2. set forth a public proclamation that I am going to get back in gear in terms of fitness and want to set the stage for me to follow up on that here 3. potentially recruit some like minded friends who would like to check in with me, too, about fitness goals and how they plan to achieve them.

From May-early October, I usually do a pretty good job of staying active. Winter in New England takes a toll on me and gets me a little too comfortable staying warm on a cushioned surface than it should. So it's that time of year to get motivated again. Who is with me???

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boston Marathon!



The Amazing Hoyts! If you don't know about this father/son pair, you need to read up on them, which you can do here. The father, who has now had multiple heart surgeries, pushes his son in the marathon every year. They have also done Ironman triathlons, where he pulled his son in a raft behind him. Talk about inspirational!!

Need a porty potty?

The start line!!

Runner's village, where the athletes are prior to the race.

Look at all of them!!

The runners go off in waves so this is a point where they are a little more spaced out.


The runners loved Mr. Bagpipe Man and so did I!! His daughter was running so he was waiting for her and playing for the runners in the meantime. It was moving to see so  many people give thumbs up or thank you waves to him. He left about halfway through to go see his daughter at another spot along the race route. Please note that he is wearing my amazing Iceland glove things to keep his hands warm:)

And so, the 115th running of the Boston Marathon passed on Monday. It was a little chilly for viewers but perfect race temp for the runners and lots of personal records and even questionable world records were set (there's a long story there). It was awesome to see Kara Goucher go by-can't believe she just had a baby and has abs of steel!! I had about six friends running and saw about half of them go by. I love hugs from runner friends along the course!! One friend even threw her gloves and fuel belt for me to hold onto so she could go the rest of the long route with less baggage.
Going to the marathon each year is one of my favorite family traditions. We stand in the same place every year and cheer for the athletes, especially Team in Training. While they are all sore from running 26.2 miles, I have a sore forearm from so much cowbell ringing! 

PS, I really need to learn more about my mobile blogger so I don't have to post the pictures first and write all of this immediately after.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kangaroos

This post actually has nothing to do with kangaroos. I just didn't have a clever name.
I just wanted to check in really quickly. I don't have exciting stuff to report because I haven't done much this weekend. Both days I set my alarm on my phone to wake up (one day for Bodypump and one day for church) and both days my phone died over night and failed to rouse me. As a result, I got a lot more reading done than expected. That puts me ahead of my one book a month goal so far for the year:)
Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon-yay!! I like knowing people who are running it but don't plan to ever do so myself. I do, however, revel in going and cheering on the runners. I love family traditions and this is one of them. We go to the same spot on the race route every year, bring food, cowbells, etc. and clap until our hands hurt. The best part is reading the names on people's shirts and cheering for them. Pics tomorrow...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Phone Saga Continues...although it should not

I'm fairly certain that everyone is over hearing about my new phone journey. However, after my most recent Phonemania post found here raved about the service at the AT&T store at the mall, which was the deciding factor for us choosing to sign another two year contract with this company as opposed to one of the others we visited and felt warm toward, it felt totally essential to follow up after what unfolded yesterday.
I had done of the the "minute requests" on my phone because I was curious. When we went in for the new plan, the sales associate encouraged us to drop to the lowest number plan since AT&T mobile to mobile minutes just switched to cover ALL other cell numbers, regardless of carrier. How many minutes do you really spend talking to land lines anymore? I don't even know my own land line number by heart after two years because we so rarely even plug that phone in. I honestly can't say I have ever dialed out from it. So I was just interested to see how many minutes we actually did talk to land lines, since those would be the only minutes actually getting used from the plan. I got the text back and didn't really understand it. I did it again in a couple days and, from the number rising, I could tell that the text was actually telling me the number of minutes OVER our plan we were going. IMPOSSIBLE, I thought.
Next, I got a service text message saying we had spent $50 in text messages this month. Again, this would be impossible because we pay for unlimited texts because we do a lot of that.
The phone company won't ever actually deal with me and my feisty-ness because Hubby is the primary on the account. Hubby is not nearly as (fill in the blank: aggressive, worked up, vindictive, justice seeking, angry, upset) about all of this, or really anything in life, to be fair. Soooo, I'm a little panicked letting him call to take care of all of this because we all know nice guys not only finish last but also pay more for their phone bills.
Long story less long, Hubby was able to at least get us out of the overage charges and back onto a real plan, although getting him to describe the details of any of this or help me understand what our new/actual plan is was another thing I would label as impossible. The guy at the store somehow promised us 20% off the quoted monthly bill, as an incentive to stay with AT&T over taking our business to another company. Let's see if Hubby can get that reinstated, as well.
The moral of this story is that the great service I raved about was all LIES. I truly blows my mind. How could a sales associate blatantly lie? He really told us we were getting A, B, and C and then we got X, Y, and Z. There were no similarities between what we agreed on and signed a new contract for and what we got. Just the fact that Hubby had to spend his whole morning on the phone fixing all of it is unacceptable.  While Hubby is just glad that we are not going to have to take out a loan to pay a phone bill that is totally different than what we expected, I want retribution. I want the store manager at the AT&T in the Natick Collection to know this is happening. I want corporate AT&T to know this is happening. I want anyone I can reach by reading this to know this is happening. And I want an apology.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reposting a great blog from a friend....

Pantyhose and Paradigms

One of my friends and coworkers posted a blog this week, Pantyhose and Paradigms, that I really loved reading. It is about body image, one of my favorite topics, in the GLBTQ community.
I love stories of people being happy with their bodies and am always intrigued by communities that help foster those positive self feelings. It's interesting that groups that are marginalized by "the man" often come together to support one another and create microcosms of society that, in a lot of ways, are much more idyllic than society at large. I think about how the African American community is also much more accepting of varied body shapes and how the Latina population seems to embody the "it takes a village" mentality about children and share childcare responsibilities much more freely than the broader community.
Let me know what thoughts this brings up for you! Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Peeing in the Water and Blowing your nose on the Bike

http://www.cracked.com/article_19164_5-things-that-are-apparently-ok-to-do-in-name-sports.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fanpage&utm_campaign=new+article&wa_ibsrc=fanpage

I usually reserve passing along articles for things I think are though provoking but sometimes it's nice to just have the truths of the world pointed out in a humorous way. I couldn't help but want to share this article from cracked.com about how much you can get away with in the name of athleticism. My favorite was a line about peeing at a family bbq being a social taboo but peeing anywhere you want during an endurance event means you are focused and driven. Hahaha.
When I do triathlons, I try really hard not to think about how many people peed in their wetsuits in the water I am now gliding through. Runny bike noses, as mentioned in this article are so problematic to me! Even on a bike, I have the imaginary audience going on, sure that someone will see me wipe my nose on some article of clothing if i so dare. And let's face it; we all workout so we can eat, no matter which way you cut it, so the article hit that one spot on. In fact, Honey Stinger makes these fruit gels you eat on your bike/run that are so good, I sometimes go for a run just so I can have some. They are like fruit snacks on speed.
Enjoy the article! Then go for a workout so you can live how you really want to: dirty, well fed, and breaking all the rules.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Monday!

For once, I actually feel like my weekend was long! I didn't do much that is noteworthy this weekend. What about you?
Here's what I did do:
I slept a lot. I think I have the sleep equivalent of a tapeworm. The need for sleep is really insatiable. I took naps both weekend days. In fact, I went to church yesterday and was basically excused to go home by my mom and my bishop because I was so tired I was like out of it. You would think I was doing something exciting on Saturday night! But no, I stayed in all day Saturday, with the exception of a walk to the grocery store.
Oh, and I bought frames for the products of my Etsy binge last month. I got three really cute pieces that now just need to find their home on the wall. One piece was a larger, odder size. I looked into matting and framing it but it was going to have to be a custom order. Do you have any idea what that costs?????? Coo Coo amounts. So, while it would have looked nicer matted and in a frame to size, I trimmed the edges and crammed it into a regular frame and saved $230. I'm sure it wouldn't have looked $230 worth of nicer so I feel great about my decision.
I made a yummy fruit salad to mimic one that I had at work last week. I skipped the raspberries, my favorite, because they were $4.99 for a small package. I did include pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. Yum. I also made my favorite salad and some chicken and ravioli. That should feed me for a couple days:)
I caught up on a bunch of DVRd shows. I adore my DVR and the convenience it has brought to my life. Remember when you had to run home for your favorite show? Or worse, you had to find someone to tape it for you?? I watched  hours of Secret Millionaire. So good and inspirational. I finally watched the Teen Mom 2 reunion show, a show on the Challenger from January and an episode of the Colony that has been on there for months.
To balance out the tv time, I did also read. I wish time would stand still when I read. I really want to keep seeing what happens with the story but you can't really multitask while reading so I never have enough time. Or it segues to a nap.
So, I hope your weekend was as restful as mine and perhaps more noteworthy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nothing to Blog about

You would think that if I have nothing to blog about that I just wouldn't blog, right? Wrong. I'm taking a mental break from work at the moment. The client who is supposed to be sitting across from me right now never called or came. And that's ok. I wasn't feeling attentive anyway so it's all for the best.
We had a training on S&M in our staff meeting today. Yes, really. My favorite part was when one of the older women asked how one finds out about parties. Oh the visuals I visualize!
Other than that, what can I tell you?
I brought my spare sound machine (of course I had a back up!) from my office back to my bedroom and slept like a very tired baby last night, meaning I didn't wake up every few hours like a regular baby. Or like I have been because the cat has been coughing up hair balls between 3-5am the past few nights. I kicked the cats out of the bed and shut the door and enjoyed my water noises from the machine. I'm also enjoying a particularly comfy blanket while my usual one is being cleaned. I could have picked it up on Monday but who has the time? Too much work = fatigue = boring paragraphs related to  my desire to be back in my bed.
I could also tell you about getting put on blast by a woman in a group I was leading last night. That felt good. The women asked us to self-disclose our traumatic experiences, which is a professional no-no. When we nicely avoided the question, not everyone let it go quietly. Ah, vacation Maureen checked out sometime last night during that meeting.
Oh, I could also tell you about how I have not done my taxes yet. I am the kind of person accountants hate at this time of year. I had the best intentions of doing them tonight but when I went to gather all the documents, I can't find my form from my job, my 401k, or my mortgage. Awesome. So I'm going to see a movie tonight instead.
Something about all this makes me want to laugh. I hope it does for you, as well!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Shopping

Before I get into that, I need to say that Ralph Macchio is timeless! Dancing With the Stars is on in the background and I am just in awe. He is a manboy! He has been married to his wife for 24 years and they showed a picture of his wedding in 1987 and it definitely looks like he has only aged 5 years. Karate must be a fountain of youth.
Prior to Ralphy distracting me, I was going to write about my flabbergasting shopping experiences this weekend. The Target by my house just got a grocery department. This has been a trying transition because they have moved everything around but I have been trying to go often enough to stay well oriented. Generally, I think Target is a wonderland oasis. However, this Saturday I went to the new "improved" Target and, for the first time in history, I wanted to leave!! The produce prices were good and my fridge was empty, as evidenced by my post from Saturday, so I decided to brave the crowd but it was barely worth it. Too many people were there and the rows were too narrow to accommodate all the gawkers. Two carts side by side was a challenge. On top of all that, I was trying to find a new sound machine and first, staff were really hard to find and second, they all gave me mixed directions. The guys in the electronics department told me the store didn't carry the item, which I knew to be false since I got my last one there. Another girl told me they were in electronics. Upon my return to that area, they were all out. UGH!
To counteract my negative feelings about Target, I was pleasantly surprised by the Dollar Tree by my house. I am not much of a dollar store shopper. My mom loves those kinds of places and I think a part of me has to rebel just because of that. They always seem dirty and sketchy to me. I wanted to get out of the house for a walk to channel vacation Maureen and I ended up over there. I needed a bunch of birthday cards for all the Spring birthdays in my family and they had them for $ .50!! I thought I was buying them at face value so when they rang in for less than a dollar, I was thrilled! I got liquid plumber for a buck, too! For nine dollars and some change I left with four cards, ribbon, nail polish, liquid plumber, a candle lighter, and two boxes of candy. AMAZING!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

So this is what Saturday morning looks like


And this is what a fridge after vacation looks like. It's deceiving because all the containers are actually food accessories. They all require something else and don't make a meal in and of themselves. I think the biggest tragedy is no milk. I left hubby a voicemail last night to see if he would bring some home but does he listen to voicemails? No. He goes to the movies instead.
So I'm sitting here eating Cream of Wheat because it's the only thing in the house that can stand alone. Luckily, Golden Girls surprised me on TV and it's sunny out so those things are working in my favor.
It's way earlier than I should be up if I have no purpose because Iceland is 4 hours ahead so I'm all thrown off. One of the cats has woken me up, coughing up hairballs, both nights I have been home. This morning it was at 5 am. I have to get up and clean and soothe. Then the kitten starts attacking my feet. So I watched a DVRd special on Annie Lebovitz. I am sure I didn't spell that correctly but I think you know who I am talking about: the amazing photographer. When I tried to go back to sleep, I went to turn on the sound machine that I swear by and, lo and behold, the burning smell I noticed when I plugged it into the converter thing for the European plug actually shorted out and killed my sound machine.
So, in addition to the dire need for grocery shopping, I now have an excuse to go to Target for a new sound machine, too. Trouble is, I don't think I can leave the house this early on a Saturday without someone else expecting me to be somewhere based on the sheer principle of it.
Instead, I am going to do the vacation hangover appropriate thing to do: scavenge off what I can find left in the house to sustain my body, watch a little of "the girls", keep my eye mask on the top of my head like a headband, and enjoy the sunshine!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Helllllooooo again!

A wonderful little thing called vacation tore me away from you for a while. It was sooooo needed and I feel very refreshed. I took some notes on how to hang on the the vacation hangover.
Some ideas:
walk more, spend time outside, read, journal, make fewer to-do lists, soak in warm water, tv is good, don't try so hard, be less scheduled, sleep, sightsee, try new restaurants, care a little less about the details, spend less time on the computer, empty your head, fantacize about life lists, plan your next trip, think about what you are grateful for.
Most importantly: work isn't life-just a means of funding experiences.

The best part is that my next vacation is only six weeks away! Then it will be full blown summer!! Hooray! (That deserves an extra whoop of joy since it snowed today-nice April Fool's joke Mother Nature). Case in point, below is a picture of Iceland yesterday; THIS is a picture of Massachusetts today. Really?

Welcome back to Massachusetts!

A week in Iceland and I come home to this?