Saturday, April 30, 2005

Thank goodness for ordinary...

...days.
Some days are hectic and even though Joseph's parents are here, I am not too stressed out.

His parents are pretty easy.
His father is a smooch. Love him to death.
So damn easy although his politics leave a little to be desired.
But he is such a simple person and there are no pretensions about anything.
Worked hard all his life and made a living for his family.

I love his mother, too, apart from the fact that she is a morning person.
ARG!!!
I hate waking up to a chipper talking person who smiles at you and tries to engage you in coversation. And being that it's his MOTHER and deserves respect as such, and since I can't ignore her chipper morning queries without looking at a wench (which I am not) that doesn't like her (which is NOT the case), I just bite my tongue, grin and bear it. But she's pretty good about it. I think she KNOWS that I am not a morning person but she can't HELP herself. Ya know?
Anyway, she is self-taught in lots of things, went back to get a college education, and if it weren't for her I am sure that the kids would be in a much different place.

They are a lot of fun to be around, actually, and I believe them when they hug me tight and tell me they love me. I believe them because I really love them back.

Anyway...
Had my pre-vacation massage with Arun... I soooo needed it after two months of not getting any. I thought since I am not running, I wouldn't really need it but I was wrong wrong wrong.
An hour and a half of quiet time, relaxation, and nothingness while lying on the table was bliss.

Tomorrow is a tough day... We are going to Joseph's sister's for the first communion of his niece. I have never been involved in any kind of first communion thing - not for kids the way the Roman Catholics celebrate it.

We went to Tiffany's today and picked out a beautiful cross for her. It's gold, very simple (like Jesus was) and has a diamond whether the two pieces cross. It's sort of a metaphor to me.. the simplicity of a golden cross of round bars, with a small diamond where Jesus's heart would have been... I hope she likes it. I love that Tiffany-blue box! Love it love it love it.

And by the time I am through with Caroline, she will love it too! :o)

Exercise Note.
Nothing.
Busy with the 'rents (parents) or M&D (Mom and Dad), etc.

BTW, did I mention I haven't packed yet??

Friday, April 29, 2005

Never Ending Day...

I thought this day was never going to end.
I ended up in the NH office because of meetings, etc., and I was going to try to get home at a decent hour - like be there at around 4:30 since Joseph's parents were coming in early. Early means in the afternoon and I would be late as it is.

But do you THINK that I would be able to do this???
Nope. I ended up leaving at 5:30pm.
The good news is that for some odd reason there was barely any traffic and I ended up making it home in about 50 minutes. ACK! Strange since it takes me about 1:10 to get up there in the morning. The highway home felt as if half of Boston had been deserted. It was sooooo nice!!!

Nothing of note today.
Just the chest pounding stress of not being able to make it home when I thought I needed to be home. It didn't stop until Joseph told me to RELAX! Thank god he told me that!!!

Oh, and I STILL HAVE NOT PACKED for our trip!!! GAH!!!

I was going to cook a big dinner but I was too late.
So we ended up going out.

Exercise Note.
Nothing more than rushing around like a lunatic.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Random Thought: nothing...

I cannot believe that I am going on vacation next Tuesday and I have not even packed!
And I cannot believe that I am not freaked out about it.

I am more freaked out over the fact that I won't be able to pack over the weekend because Joseph's parents are coming for the weekend. It's going to be a very full weekend. We have a wedding, a first communion, a hour and a half massage, Joseph's parents, and errands to do, and last minute things to take care of before we go away.

Oh, and none of that includes packing.

Have I mentioned that I haven't packed yet?

Exercise Note.
No time.
I wonder if elevated heart rate from stress counts as aerobic activity?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I think I've seen Forever...

...and it's been this whole week! ARG!!!
The week has been going by so slowly!
I keep thinking that it's tomorrow.
As in, yesterday I thought it was today and today I thought it was tomorrow...

And I've been so tired lately.
Not sure why.
I am getting over the allergies, thank g-d, but my being this tired can't all be attributed to allergies. I could be that I am starting to work out more.

I've been thinking that if I used to get 7 hours sleep while NOT working out, it suddenly makes sense that maybe I need to get 7.5 or 8 hours sleep now that I am working out. Which means I have to get to bed earlier. Which means around 9pm as opposed to 10pm. Which means I need to get home EARLIER than I usually do, and eat dinner EARLIER than 7:30 PM because going to bed on a full stomach is going to make me even tireder, which brings us back to where we started, with my being So. Damn. Tired.

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also cannot get motivated at work.
I work best in "spurts."
Semi-long periods of inactivity with short bouts of spastic activity, where I do 50 things at once in parallel processing mode, get it all accomplished, then stop, panting like a dog, and dog-tired. Yet again, bringing us back to the tired thing.

The problem with the work thing is that I have lots of politics.
And I hate politics.
I hate it in government, so why shouldn't I hate it at work??
And much of getting work done at work where there is a lot of politics, entails a lot of waiting. Sitting around and doing nothing. Which brings me back to the semi-long periods of inactivity with short bouts of spastic activity. And THAT leads to me being productive but very very tired.

I've been reading more on my personality type, primarily because I like to gain insights about how I function best (and because I like to read about myself- ok...I admit it...) and I like to transform things. Make things morph from one thing to another. This is when organizations and situations are BEYOND broken. They are usually on the downswing. I like to come in a transform these situations and turn them into things that are new and different and a little bit "niche". Now that the organization has been transformed, I am now starting to grow things. And let me just say for the record...

I AM VERY BAD AT GROWING THINGS...
Plants, children, pets...ORGANIZATIONS.
(I am WORSE at Maintaining things and that is where we are getting to.)
I find myself bored since I am a "Been there, done that" kind of person.
I like the adrenaline effect and there is NO ADRENALINE involved in WATCHING THINGS GROW! Ya know???

So, I think my lack of motivation has to do with the fact that (a) there are politics, (b) I am not doing what I do best (c) and the people I rely on to do the things that I don't do well are too damn busy doing other things I don't do well, so they can't concentrate on the GROWING OF THINGS. And THAT is because, well... the organization hasn't been allowed to grow with PEOPLE! (Unless you name last name is Singh and you live in India...)

And so, all these gyrations and politics and basic lack of resources, have made me very... here we go again... TIRED.

So.. I haven't solved a damn thing, have I?

I think I'm gonna buy a lottery ticket tonight.

Exercise Note.
I changed my mind.
I am TOO DAMN TIRED to exercise!!!
Cantcharead??? Sheesh...

If it's Wednesday...

...it's upper body day...
Skipped my workout this morning.
Just. Did. Not. Feel. Like. It.

Too tired.
But then it's hard to say if it's an out-of-the-ordinary kindatired....
I'm always tired in the morning.

Starting Random Thought: I have noticed that my eyes are red almost ALL the time lately. Damn allergies. Ending Random Thought.

Anyway...
I'll see how I feel tonight - I want to leave work at a decent hour.
And if I feel up to it, I'll bike before dinner.
I'll do the upper body weights tomorrow before I head out to RI for the day...
Sigh... so much to cram into a day - so few hours in a day in which to cram it all into...

I've been merrily copying CD's into iTunes and then downloading it all into my iPod.
I am now at 4.6 gigs of music on my 6 gig iPod.
Suddenly, I am having to force myself into selectivity.
So, I listen to my iPod and when I find a song that is less than stellar, I go into my iTunes and either delete it or uncheck-mark it so that it will be taken off the iPod.
It's funny to think that I am getting stingy with my iPod disk space, of all things...

Scotland Note.
The glitch has been ironed out.
It seems the train from Kings Cross goes through Edinburgh before getting to Glasgow.
So we'll just walk off the train at Edinburgh.
It was just easier (maybe cheaper) to get a round trip from London to Glasgow to London instead of a couple of one-ways. I think this trip is going to be expensive.
The whole Scotland thing is around $3000 already and we haven't even left the country! ACK!
And when we get there, we are talking about food, and SOUVENIRS!
And maybe a pretty handbag or a jacket...
My two favorite things in the whole wide world after my Hunny Bunny and Kimchee. Ahem.
If the trip goes well, I will share the tour company info that we used right here.

We did very little work for this trip.
We have a Concierge service at work. There is a group of people whose sole job is to help employees with anything personal - from finding a dog sitter to arranging round the world trips, to finding the right gift to finding tickets for a sold out event.
If you tell them you need them to do something that's work-related, they will turn you down. Flat. Like a tire. Been there, done that.
My company is smart. They pay for this service. It's an employee perk.
It would have probably taken me a whole MONTH to put together this trip - with the research and back and forth, etc etc etc.
Because the Concierges are also sort of travel agents, they know who to call, and are able to get through to other companies etc. What would have taken me a MONTH, took Jessica a week. (And yes, I work with the same person and have for more than a year! She was recommended by my prior Concierge who went onto be promoted to regional manager or something like that.) Anyway...that MONTH would have been taken out of my work time since I am dealing with companies that also work during "work time". What's worse is that Scotland is 5 hours ahead of us, so I would have spent ALL MORNING for a MONTH at least arranging all of this.

So, my company is really smart and I am soooo happy that they are smart enough to recognize this!

Yahoo!!
I've been telling everyone to use them.
Of course, I won't be giving out Jessica's name to anyone anytime soon.
I mean, I don't want her to get so busy that she doesn't have time for ME!
Sheesh.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Long day's journey....

...into night...working working working my buttooshkis off...

What a day.
Left work at 8:30pm.
Caught a cab at South Station and got home at 8:45.
Walked the Dingle Doggie and got in around 9:05.
Joseph walked in at 9:06.

I was SO DAMN HUNGRY!!!
Not enough calories for the day!
I was under by about 1200 calories so I had some risotto - yum - comfort food before bed.
I love this Fitday food and activity tracking software that my friend Kathy told me about.
I love it love it love it!!

I had better have lost some weight for tomorrow's weight in!

Exercise Note.
Biking - 27 minutes
Legs and Shoulders at the gym - 45 minutes

Open letter to...

... the woman walking to the T this morning with the black shoes with the pink flowers on them...

If you MUST get shoes off the sale rack at Marshalls, please take off the little price sticker from the bottom of the shoe. It looks REALLY tacky and everyone knows that you got them off the sale rack at Marshalls.

Actually, given that they were black with pink flowers EMBROIDERED on them... one would guess that they were from the sale rack. I mean, who would pay full price for them?? I don't CARE if they match you pink shawl that you had wrapped around you. They make your feet look BIG.

Okay. I feel better.

False alarms...

...have been going off all morning - ever since late yesterday afternoon.
And one of the fire alarms is RIGHT OUTSIDE MY OFFICE DOOR!!! GAH!!!!!!!

Yesterday, they actually made the announcement that it's a FALSE ALARM!
And it started going off this morning about an HOUR AGO!!!
They doing some major work on this building and I bet it's affecting all the infrastructural systems.

At least the bright white strobe light isn't going off.
Sheesh.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Scotland, here we come...

We got our Scotland itinerary this morning.
Jessica from Les Concierges brought it over to my office this afternoon.
Everything is good to go except for a small glitch in the ALREADY-PURCHASED train ticket from London to Scotland. ARG!!!!
Their mistake - so they had better correct it!!!
Except the Itinerary was right - just the train ticket was wrong...

Last night I made a risotto - it was delicious. And shrimp stir-fried in olive oil with a garlic and seranno chili paste I made up
It was wonderful. Washed it down with a glass if white wine.

Exercise Note.
Biking - 25 minutes this morning for a total of 6.12 miles.
No weight lifting today; it's a rest day.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Inspiration...

...comes in many forms and from many places.
Sometimes they come from those less privileged than you are, who struggle against almost impossible odds to make their dreams happen.
Other times, they come from heros - ordinary people with an unusual talent but who have "grit."
Then there are those who are ordinary people. They just "got it" at some point in their lives to turn things around for themselves, whatever their goals were at that time.

During marathon weekend, someone came to the Bagel Brunch.
She took 10 years to qualify for Boston.
Ten Years.
She said it got to a point where she was sort of a "joke" in her running club and most recently, people started to roll their eyes when she would talk about qualifying for Boston.

And after 10 years, she "got it."
She started to run her long runs faster - forget the long slow distance of the Sunday runs.
She went out and did long marathon pace distance instead.
She shaved off 30 minutes from her average marathon time.
Then she dropped 20 pounds.
And there went another 17 minutes.
Her marathon times were a little faster than my best - but then I haven't really been running in TRAINING mode for ten years. Well, I've been running for about 7 years - off and on - more off than on for the first 5 years and after that, until my most recent injury, Joseph made sure that I actually TRAINED - at least for the last couple of years. Train? Jeez. What a concept.

And the 20 pounds she dropped... well.. that's not as much as I need to drop but I "got it." Now I have gleam in my eye and a twinkle in my brain and bells are going off and I am thinking... I need to get fast... I need to run like I ride... I need to rock 'n roll until I am sweating blood just like I do on the bike... revel in the pain because it's cleansing - just like on the bike... and in the process, I am sure that the weight will drop off - at least until I hit the last five pounds because those are usually the hardest to get off...

And then maybe, just maybe...

Joseph says I have "natural speed."
I argued with him for months about this. Dontchasee?? I am SLOW. S-L-O-W! Slow!
He is resolute in his belief that I have "natural speed." I didn't believe him... Until I got on the track with someone who runs marathon in about 45 minutes to an hour faster than I do, and I actually beat him in 400 meters. Then I thought, well, sure... I am faster in the 400m but I want to run MARATHONS!!!
And still he was relentless... But now I am wondering...
He says, I just need to build endurance - to maintain speed for longer periods of time...
Hmmm....I'm still wondering.....

And after meeting Karin over Marathon Weekend, I am thinking even more.
And I am thinking that maybe, just maybe... GASP! I just might have it in me...

And Maybe is one step closer to Possibly than Never is...
Dontchasee???....

iPod while I Plod...

Actually, I wasn't really plodding along. I was walking rather briskly on my way to the gym. The iPod makes me walk faster. I love my iPod!

It was raining this morning but it's warming up - and getting a bit more humid. Got on the bike for 23 minutes and made it 5.85 miles. Then I went to the gym - nice walk over there - my legs were tired from the bike. I missed my weight workout yesterday so I went to the gym today and did a full body work out. I also added another couple of exercises - standing calf raises in addition to the sitting ones I already do (they work slightly different muscles)...

I have to change the working a little bit to even the times. My upper body workout takes too long. So, I'll be doing Legs and shoulders on one day, and the other days I'll do Chest. Tri, Back and Bi's. Soon I will have to get into a three-way routine... grrr....I will say that I am now up to 20# bicep curls. And doing 2 sets of 10 slow reps is hard.

I don't think that I will make it to Niketown to look at those Nike Free's. I might go sometimes this week after work... we'll see. Joseph worked hard in the basement all day today. We are just sitting around and relaxing, watching the race for the Soul about the Western States 100.

Dinner tonight is Risotto with spicy shrimp and Garlicky Spinach.

Exercise Note.
Biking - 23 minutes, 5.85 miles
Weights - total body 1.5 hours
Lots of stretching

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Saturday check in...

My Hunny Bunny ran a race this morning... so the Dingle Doggie and I kept him company. After walking up there and back, I decided that was good enough for my exercise today. The race started a little (actually, A LOT) late so I never did end up going to the gym and getting on the bike was out of question since I was so tired from all that walking! For some reason my feet have been sore and tender - not sure if it's because of the exercise or because of not running. Hard to say. The bottom line is that I think my feet and ankles have gotten weak - and since I wear Birkies, supportive insoles, and orthotics, they've probably lost considerable strength. This worries me because I've always had very strong feet and ankles but the recent bout of ankle sprains have made me really paranoid. So, I have been thinking about getting those Nike Free's that are suppposed to mimic walking barefoot in grass. They are supposed to strengthen your feet.

Joseph's race got me to think about my pending training. No, the bike isn't training. Not really. It's more like getting shape to get ready to run. Anyway...

Joseph is already starting to talk about my "comeback". LOL! Comeback?? There will be no fall marathon. I will just build up my base. Joseph is thinking tempos once a week, recoveries on the bike a couple times a week and one day running recovery. Then a short easy run/long bike and a long run combination on the weekend. Not to mention all the weight lifting I want to keep doing. I am really starting to get into this and, strangely enough, I am looking forward to it. Of course, in the absence of thinking about WORK, I look forward to working out for four hours a day. You add work, and I get all damn stressed out, and there goes the damn work out!!! ARG!!!

As for the running, Joseph is my coach so he keeps me honest. And he is also talking about starting up Thursday Track sessions again. GAH!!!! Okay. Fine.

I want focus on the half marathon and my speed. I want to get another PR and I want to shoot for 1:55. I think I can do this if I put my plan into action and LOSE SOME DAMN WEIGHT!!! The track sessions will help. The turnover on the biking will help. I just have to get focused like I do on the bike. I think that if I train on the bike while I am running, then I will know what that teeth-gritting, go-all-out focus feels like and remember it when I am running. Yes. I am trying to find a way to run the same way that I bike... we'll see...

On a social note, Sharon (our upstairs neighbor and tenant) came down for dinner.
I made a new chicken dish (Chicken with Honey, Lemon, and Oregano) which was really good! And sitr-fried veggies with Spanish Rice. And a nice Pouille-Fuisse as an accompaniment!

Exercise Note.
2.65 miles of walking and an hour of standing around...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Surprise visitors...

So... we get a call after dinner.
The caller ID said, Lindsey.
The Caller on the phone had too deep of a voice...
"My, Grandma, what's wrong with your voice?"
Never mind...not sure if that's a line in Little Red Riding Hood, but it sounds like it should be...
Anyway...
It was Adam.
Adamo, as I like to call him.
He and Lindsey had just finishing up dinner around the corner and thought they would see what we do on a Friday night.

Uh.... er... I hated to tell them that we are real homebodies and we avoid Friday Nights Out because of the people from the suburbs who come in for Friday Night Out. People who are on DATES. Like THEY are. Ahem...

So we ended up having them to the house and sampling many drams of various scotches.
And it was a wonderful visit. Hope to visit with them again soon!

Adam asked what was my "favorite average run of the mill scotch."
I said, "huh? It depends on how I FEEL."
One can't just have scotch like a one size fit all garment.
I mean, those one size fits all garments never really quite fit right.
So why bother?
Same thing with scotch.
Scotch needs to be paired... with food, with the occassion and most especially, in my case, with my MOOD!
I will say that the smokier the better in most circumstances...

Speaking of scotch... Did I mention we're going to Scotland?
Well, we are.
Happy Happy Happy!!!!!

Biking muscles...

...are different than running muscles. It's amazing.

Joseph put the bike up on the trainer for me last night.
This morning, I got off the bike and noticed that my legs felt really funny.
It was hard to walk around. Yes, this morning I actually biked long enough to tax the muscles!

Biking works muscles all around the upper legs. Not to mention the ankles. I can feel the upper quads, the lower quads, the adductors and abductors. The lower hamstrings are also fatigues. But it didn't do a lot for the butt that I could feel or notice. I know that since I try to maintain 80 rpm's at a minimum, it will help my leg turnover when I start running.

I made it to the gym for an upper body workout.
I added a few exercises and learned to use another couple of Hammer Strength machines. Love these machines. As close to free weigfhts as you're gonna get... I am up to 20# dumbell curls. Next session, I'll give 22.5# a try.

On another note, finally ate in tonight!
Tofu with sauce, Kimchee & pork chigae, brown rice, yum yum yum...
It was nice to eat a home for a change. And MUCH healthier!
We also had a nice IM Chat with Elizabeth the Niece.
She is so cute. And I cannot believe how similar she and Joseph are!
She is coming in June to visit for a month. I can't wait!!

Exercise Note.
Biking - 21 minutes, 5.16 miles
Upper Body weights - 45 minutes

Thursday, April 21, 2005

If at first, it doesn't budge...

... get back on the scale the next day....

Advice to self... don't ever do that again...
Weight gain of another WHOLE POUND!
GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay. Bad moments pass...

Had a wonderful dinner at the Dish with our friend Abby.
She came over early so she was here when I got home.

The thing about Abby is that she is like me.
And she is like Joe.
And Joe is like me.
And well... when the three of us get together, it's like having a party with Me, Myself, and I.
It's like talking to myself because we're the same. Almost. Not quite 100% but just enough to talk over one another, have fourteen conversations going at once and know what the other is saying... just enough to confuse everyone else and create a hyper-real universe...

We had a lovely meal.
The Dish is such a good place to go.
This time I we had the warmed Brie special with the Fig sauce, and the tomato-mozzerella salad, split three ways. I had the pork loin wit the mashed sweet potatoes, we split the spicy green beans, and then we split the bread pudding with the caramel sauce. Yum!

Exercise Note.
Nothing. The bike isn't up yet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

If it's Wednesday...

... I am usually NOT in Smithfield.
But I went to go to a group lunch to say farewell to Yasha.
She is leaving the group.
None of us really know what to do because we've never been in this situation - where someone leaves on their on volition. We have no turnover. As in ZERO.
But this is a very good move for her.
It was time.
I was her first boss.
We were her first job.
We sponsored her so that she could get her green card.
And she stayed well beyond that, which is how we know that she likes us.
She was restless for the world "out there" and now she is going to try and make a new way.
She isn't leaving the company - just going to another business unit.
And it's always good to have allies in other business units that you can work with and cut through the bull and politics with.
So we are proud of her and happy that she is braving the Big Wide World out there.
But we are sad. Very bittersweet.

So we went to lunch in Providence in the Federal Hill area at Venda Ravioli.
It was a warm day - the warmest day of the year so far - after Marathon Day.
And we sat outside in a courtyard and had a nice meal.
And wine.
I should NOT have ordered that wine! ARG!!!
But you cannot eat Italian food without WINE!
I've tired. It doesn't work.
I got back to the office and it took me the whole afternoon to feel right.
I mean, I DO know that wine and sun make a BAD combination!

Rushed home - left work early - but it still took me an HOUR AND A HALF to get back through the &^%$ TRAFFIC!!! GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would have left way late but had to be home early because we went to dinner with Bob and Michele Brown. They were staying overnight in Boston because they have to catch a flight out of Logan in the morning...
We went to Sibling Rivalry again. SO AWESOME!! Not to mention it is a two block walk for us. Happy happy!
I ordered the Lime Moirier in honor of Chef David who gave us a freebie last time we were there. I definitely want to go back and sit at the Chef's table again. I can talk loudly and disparagingly about yet another ingredient and maybe we'll get another dessert or, better yet, appetizer for free! HAH!

Exercise Note.
Nothing. I was busy traveling back and forth from RI - 50 minutes there, 90 minutes back! ARG!!!

Weight in Note.
Not a good day...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Back to the old grind...

Reality sets in.
If it's Tuesday, I'm in Smithfield...

So, I worked in Smithfield today.
Work work work...
Too much to do....

Turns out I will be back there tomorrow because we are taking someone out to a farewell lunch.
ARG!!! I could have worked this better if I had been paying better attention to things...I am So. Damn. Oblivious!!!

Anyway...
Didn't get home until late.

Exercise Note.
Leg weights - 45 minutes
Bike isn't up yet. Had to take it down for the marathon guests.
It's easy to get out of a habit.
Gotta get that bike back up on the trainer SOON!

Francine's Race

This is a note I got from Francine - of Don and Francine, who stayed with us this past weekend. I have taken editorial liberty and taken out things that aren't related to the race... just for privacy and to conserve space. I hope you enjoy it!

"Since returning to Michigan, more than a few people have asked me whether
my Boston experience was "everything I thought it would be." I've
repeatedly answered that it was "even better." I could visualize what
other runners told me to expect; but obviously, the only way to experience the
excitement of the marathon for the first time--the crowds, the sights, the
smells, the incredible Boston community--was to run it myself. And now I've done
that. And it was awesome.

I've read some of the postings that Don forwarded to me from some of
the Dead Runners (including Joe's), and it was clearly a difficult run for
people who were racing the marathon. Knowing how difficult it is for me to
run in very hot weather, and for other reasons as well, I decided to run smart
(quite a change for me, some people might add), because I wanted to make sure I
made it to the finish line. So I went into the marathon with the
attitude that it was going to be more of an "experience" than a race,
and as a result, I was able to enjoy the entire marathon (despite bad leg cramps
around mile 16-17 from losing so much salt, which eventually developed into very
severe leg cramps the last three or four miles).

Despite the leg cramps at the end of the marathon, I was energized by
the enthusiasm of the cheering crowds--the wonderful people of Boston who made
me feel that I was as important as the elite athletes that had passed almost
three hours prior. My first-time Boston Marathon experience will be a
memory I will treasure my whole life."


Monday, April 18, 2005

Marathon Madness...

First year I haven't run The Marathon in five year. Sigh...
But it's like G-d was rapping me on the head and telling me I needed to chill...

I volunteered for Elite Security.
A friend of mine got me in... he's the team captain so he pretty much picks and chooses who he wants. I got a cool jacket for my troubles. But neater than that, I got to see the first 25 elite men and women finishers up close and personal. Not to mention that I got to use my bossiness with wild abandon! HAH!! And we were inside in the Fairmont Hotel to boot. No porta-potties for us!

The elite women were all about the size of my THIGH.
And one of them was so small that she looked like she was 12 years old!
Unbelievable! Catherine Ndereba walked by me, as did her husband, translater, and daughter (Jane).

At the end of the day, I ended up with an elite towel and a neon green bag that the BAA supplies to the elite runners, which holds the aforementioned towel. Not a bad gig at all and if you're in the right place at the right time, you can pick up some goodies, it seems!

The whole time, I was worried about Joseph because the day was so hot. I was getting emails from my friend Cher, who was tracking him on the internet. It was becoming clear as time went on that he was encountering some problems. I was SO DAMN WORRIED!!! Luckily, I got out of my volunteer duties just as I was getting the email that Joseph had finished.

I ran over to the BAA VIP tent and looked inside. Saw our friend Shaun, who I chatted with as I scanned the tent. I didn't see Joseph, but he saw me, and came around the other side to meet me.

He was covered with salt - ACK! - but he was walking and talking and drinking OJ. He was quite lucid - enough to be disappointed and flummoxed about what happened out there and why he felt so bad, starting at Mile 1. Marathoning is so damn inexact! You never know what race day will hand you - even if everything else is done perfectly! It's like being at the mercy of Fate - you know, those women that represented Fate in Greek mythology? Okay. Whatever...

Anyway, I am so glad that he wasn't hurt - not too terribly. My poor Hunny Bunny! I felt like crying for him!

We walked [slowly] to the house and relaxed until Don and Francine came back from their race. I should post Francine's email to us about her race here - to capture her first Boston experience...

After showers, etc., we went to Bonfire for dinner. It's a steakhouse by Todd English. It's where Amanda and Gina whisked me away for my one-drink girl party the day before our wedding, as we were waiting for our table at vthe restaurant across the street, where we were gathered for dinner!! This is where they introduced me to the Cable Car. So I had one in their honor! Dinner was very yummy. And it helped that we had a $100 gift certificate to put toward it.

Exercise Note.
I WAS BUSY!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Happy Anniversary, Baby....

...Happy Anniversary....

Today is The Big Day.,
One Official Year.
Of course, Joseph and I think we've been married for all eternity already...

Anyway... After the Brunch, I dragged Harriet with me to Neiman Marcus.
After looking for the whole damn year - since we got back from Napa Valley last year - I finally found a wine decanter. Not exactly the same one but it's very nice. It's a Riedel Vivum Extreme and it looks almost like a loooong glass tea kettle - the handle has an opening where you pour in the wine, and large round body where the wine "breathes" and a long spout with a small opening to pour the wine. It was a toss up between this one and another one that looks like a vase with a small long neck and a big flat bowl at the bottom...

Then we made it to Tiffany's and finally, they had the cufflinks I've been looking for for over a year! A gold ball on one end and a golf bag on the other. Actually, it's only ONE of two cufflink designs I've been looking for. If Tiffany's doesn't have it, then nobody does... I'll just keep going back there checking... Of course I can't say what it is because The Curious One reads this and it won't be a surprise...

Two of my favorite stores finally came through at the very last moment...
I was sweating, too...

Harriet went to dinner with Daniel and when she left, I gave him the presents.
Of course he reminded me that I didn't need to...
Of course I reminded him that I already knew and that HE didn't need to either...
What's good for the goose..., after all.
I mean, what did he expect?
We are the same, he and I!

LOL!

It was a very good anniversary weekend!

For dinner later, Joseph made his wonderful pasta with meatballs and sauce.
His sauce is better than any I've ever had at any Italian restaurant - not even in the North End!

Exercise Note.
None. I was a little BUSY today!

Bagel Brunch

What a day! PHEW!

Got up early this morning - Joseph volunteered for the Freedom Run.
I was also going to volunteer but they needed people to "SLOW" the crowd down by running in front at an 8:00 pace. Of course, I can't do that - well, I can but it wouldn't be pretty, especially since I haven't run in six months - so I didn't go. Which worked out fine because I had a BUNCHASTUFF to do for the Annual Bagel Brunch!

The Brunch was a rousing success.
We had about 40 people pass through the house and even with the entire living area being an open space, everyone congregated around the KITCHEN! ARG!!! And not to mention that people kept trying to PICK AT THE FOOD! I had to keep stabbing their hands with a fork to prevent that. Sheesh.

Mark Frommer from Portland brought me a lovely bouquet of flowers! Sitting next to the bouquet Joseph got me, right in the kitchen window. Soooo pretty!!!

The menu was terrific:
  • cheese blintzes with fresh strawberries
  • cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven (not my best)
  • sausage and egg strata (next year I will make TWO of these and have a third one without the sausage)
  • Baked blueberry french toast (next year I will make TWO of these)
  • Pita bread with four kinds of hummus
  • assorted bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon
  • Fresh fruit
I even had a veggie platter but it never made it out to the table.
And Adam even brought a couple bottles of champagne which made wonderful mimosas! YUM! I love mimosas!!!

It was so great to see everyone!
Most people left around before or around 2pm.
A few latecomers continued to keep us company, though, which was very nice.

Next year, I am contemplating getting rid of the bagels entirely...
Hmmm...I might have to change the name from Bagel Brunch...
What to do what to do what to do....

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I got a GREAT BIG SURPRISE!
Amanda and Gina showed up.
With pecan pie. Three of them. THREE!!!
It was delicious! As good as you get back home!!!
I love you guys!!!
It was so damn special - they were there for the wedding, and they came for the one-year celebration!
It was a wonderful wonderful day!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The great calm...

...right before the storm...

It's Marathon Weekend.
It's the beginning of three days of non-stop actvities starting.

Joseph and I went to Packet Pickup this morning, I with my gymbag over my shoulder.
We got the packet, walked around the expo, and three hours later, I returned to the house with Joseph, gymbag still over my shoulder. I never made it to the gym. What was I thinking??

Thank goodness Packet Pickup was at the Hynes this year. A few years ago they moved it to the World Trade Center which is way inconvenvenient to get to...but there was another convention in town that year that reserved the Hynes... The Marathon happens every single year. I mean, do you THINK that someone would have had the foresight to create a recurring reservation for the third Monday in April? I mean... my CALENDAR has that feature, why don't they?? Whatever.

Anyway... got home and put together a bunchagood stuff for the brunch we are hosting tomorrow for all of our running friends who care to show up.

Don and Francine arrived in the afternoon and we had the opportunity to walk them up to the Appleton Bakery - such great sandwiches! They went on to the Packet Pickup and the expo and did the general tourist-runner thing. :o)

Then Harriet arrived shortly thereafter.

Dinner was a Big City - the annual gathering place for the Dead Runners Saturday Night Dinner. We played pool and had some good food and beer.

It was a pretty good day...

Exercise Note.
Are you kidding??
Did you not read the part about the damn gymbag??

Friday, April 15, 2005

Maybe NOT the Same Ole...

So, I spoke too soon.
I come in from the store... and what do I see on the dining room table?
FLOWERS! From my Hunny Bunny!!! They are BEAUTIFUL!!! Most likely from Ilex, that expensive florist around the corner I always complain about being so expensive when he brings flowers home from there. Boston Magazine says they don't just do bouquets, but floral ART... Just so get an idea of the kindaplace we are talking about...

Anyway, they are coral-ish, almost a light terra cotta orange color roses. They are beautiful!!! There was a card and as I got ready to open it, he said I couldn't do that yet! ARG! Of course he pointed out that he had written that on the front of the card and of course I missed it... GAH!!!

We had petite filet mignons (from Omaha Steaks) and my fully fatted mashed potatoes. Brocolli with white cheddar cheese was a half hearted concession to having a green veggie on the table. I should have known something was up when he brought up the 1994 Chateau Pichon Longueville...and I knew it was in celebration of our anniversary - which is Sunday. It is such a special wine what with the memory of my father and all...

Then after dinner was over and as I sat there scratching my itchy eyes (damn allergies), we were chatting about stuff and he said I could open the card. And when I took a minute to look down, right in front of me was a big box with the aforementioned card on top.

Hmmm.... I THOUGHT we were NOT going to be exchanging gifts!!! WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He said not to worry about it and that it's something he wanted to do, etc etc etc...
Not worry about it? HUH???

Anyway...
It was a Cartier tank watch from Shreve, Crump & Low. It has a pink mother of pearl face that changes color as the light changes. It goes perfectly with my black pearl. And it has a rose sapphire cabochon thing on the windy-thing. It's beautiful!!!

But... true to form... I didn't even get him a card!!!WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have had no time and didn't even think about it.
Actually, I did think about it. I kept thinking about it every single day until it was too late!

I didn't think we were going to do anything - I kept asking him and he said not to worry about it. It's on Sunday with a houseful of people after all…ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot believe that I believed him. Will I NEVER LEARN!?!?!?!

Anyway… I can't believe it.
I love him to death but he makes me totally crazy!

I do love my new watch, though!

Same Ole Crap, Different Day...

It actually feels like this day is NEVER GONNA END!!!
This weekend, as I have mentioned before, is Marathon Weekend.
As a result of my busy-ness leading up this this day, I was taking a half day off today to go to the store and prep for the weekend.
I ended up working all damn morning from home.
Then I worked while I was at the grocery store (Trader Joe's)
And then I worked again for ANOTHER HOUR in the parking lot of ANOTHER grocery store (Shaws). Thank GOD for the cell phone!!! ARG!!!!!!!!!

And I never did get by the store to get Joseph's presents.
Not even a CARD!!! ARG!!!!!!
Of course, I probably won't find what I am looking for because I have been looking for around a YEAR and what makes me think that I will find it NOW???

Joseph wants steak, my fully fatted mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. And a nice red wine to go with it probably.

I am getting nervous for him and I am not even running The Race this year...
I hope I don't stress him out this weekend...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

What a day! So Damn Busy! ARG!!!
I was flat out all day long!!!

No time to think about anything and this weekend I have a house full of people!
It's Marathon weekend and it's also our 1-year anniversary.

I haven't done a thing about EITHER one!!!

I still have tomorrow and Saturday so I hope to get to the store to do The Search for the Right Gift. Joseph said we wouldn't be doing anything special since it IS marathon weekend and since we will be going to Scotland and London in May. I am a bit suspicious, knowing him... but that kind of takes the major stress off of me.

I am also being bugged by the idea that I have to cancel an appointment with Scary SVP next week - she asked me to do a presentation on database trends for a CEO that came into one of the companies that she supports, etc. Because of my general procrastination and dread lately, as well as the "largeness" of the topic, I have done NOTHING for this presentation. ARG!!!!!

I AM very busy, on the other hand...

Exercise Note.
17 minutes on the bike.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Ankle Update...

Just got back from the doctor to follow up to the ANKLE.
Another four weeks. At Least. Biking only. Weights regularly. Balancing exercises because that trains the little tiny reactionary muscle fibers (the proprioceptive fibers, he called them).

Okay...

Then in four weeks ("or so" he added while he was dictating), I can look to my Coach for a very slow start up program as if I have never run before.

I could bitch about this but he's a doctor who runs marathons.
Damn.

So... I took the opportunity and told Violet that it's 453.56 miles to Buffalo from my house. I told her that I would meet her there. Virtually, of course. I not totally nuts...

Break it all down...

I am taking a self-imposed rest day.
CAN WE TALK???
After only TWO DAYS of the new workout routine, I am sore sore sore.
The biking is okay since it is so gradual.
But the weight lifting... LET ME TELL YOU! GAH!!!

I have sore deltoids and traps.
I have sor triceps right where they connect to the lats under the arms - these are tiny little areas that hardly ever get used.
And that was from MONDAY!
Yesterday, I did the Hammer Strength Ab Crunch machine.
10 pounds.
TEN POUNDS!
THAT'S IT!

And this morning, I can feel my abdominal muscles all the way from right above my pubic bone to under my boobs!!! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
However, testament to the condition of my legs, they are feeling fine.
The outsides of my butt area - the gluteus medius is a little tight from the adductors.
And the insides of my thighs are a little sore from the plies on the squishy foam and the abductors.
And my calves feel a little tight from the calf raises but the hams, quads and gluteus meximus are doing fine.
The only way those three areas get any workout on my person is by doing squats and I can't do those yet because of my STUPID ANKLE! ARG!!!
I am going to the doctor today for a follow up so I am hoping to put in some light squats - the legg press I did yesterday obviously wasn't enough of a workout...

I also finally broke down and bought the PC version of Fitday. $29.99 to have the software downloaded onto my computer. I have been using the web version but I realized that I might not have internet while in Scotland and England so I started freaking out a bit. I need to have it available so I splurged this morning.

Now, the only thing I have to worry about is the right power converter so I can use my computer. So much to worry about! GAH!!!!!!!

Exercise Note.
REST DAY!

Weigh in Wednesday.
Lost 2.2 pounds from last week. Thank goodness. I think last week was a blip...I am back to around where I was TWO weeks ago...
13.2 pounds to go.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Clip ons

I finally broke down and ordered sunglass clips for my driving glasses.
$150. Yup. ONE FIFTY! As in DOLLARS! ARG!!!!
At least the service is great at this place! I am getting them custom-made. Should be in here in two weeks - just in time for the trip to Scotland!

I thought I could hold off but after driving in blinding white light to the RI and NH offices, I can't put it off any longer. Not ifI want to drive like a normal human as opposed to crawling along in the right hand lane, one hand shielding my eyes, trying to see where I am going through the glare of the morning sun. Damn Daylight Savings... Grrrr.....

And I would just like to confirm that my procrasination has seen new heights today.
I am listless, lethargic, and downright UN-motivated.
Sometimes I feel this way because I do not have a lot to do.
So I piddle away time and crank it up at the end of the day.
In THIS case, I have TOO MUCH TO DO.
So, if I pay attention to ONE THING then the other things do not get ANY attention.
So, instead of doing that ONE THING, I do NOTHING - which makes no sense because that means I get NOTHING DONE. Got that? Well... good. Now explain it to me so that it makes sense...

Psychology. I know.

Crispy Crunchy

It's a beautiful fall day here in Boston. Too bad it's spring.
Crispy and cool. Not as COLD as the Weatherdummies made it out to be.
It's beautiful all the same, so I'll take it!

Not sure what I was thinking when I decided to schedule in a 7am Pilates class this morning on only the SECOND day of the new morning routine. I do that a lot. Go from o to 60 in a split second. Actually, I TRY to go from 0 to 60 and I end up failing spectacularly...as I did this morning. I realized at 6:30 am, while sipping my coffee in bed, that this was yet again another overestimation of my current abilities. Yup yup yup. So, I got up and biked for 15 minutes and went to the gym and lifted weights instead - just like I had originally planned. This week, I am just getting used to the morning routine. Next week, I will try to do it all 15 minutes earlier. Now, THAT makes more sense. One step at a time.

Yesterday's schedule worked out well for me. I ate dinner at work, left at 7:45 and got home around 8:30! It was a fast drive - no traffic! And because I wasn't worried about work, agonizing over what I had left on my desk or not working late enough, etc etc etc., I was more stress-free than I've been in a long time. So I actually sat down with Joseph and watched a DVR'd episode of L&O Trial By Jury. It was nice spending time together - it's been a while since we actually sat on the couch together and watched TV! Happiness!!!

Exercise Note.
15 minutes on the bike
Leg weights. I LOVE those Hammer Strength machines!!! Just like lifting free weights!

Monday, April 11, 2005

New beginnings...

It's Monday. Start of a new week. Some people think the new week starts on Sunday.
But for many of us, runners in particular, the new week starts on Monday because the long run that typically ends the week can be run on either Saturday or Sunday. I know. TMI...

This morning, I did make it out of bed on time, got on the bike for 13 minutes, then walked over to the gym (15 minutes) and did about 45 minutes of upper body weights. This got me home around 8:45am, which meant that after showering, packing, and eating a quick breakfast, I didn't leave the house until 9:30 which meant that I didn't make it into the RI office until around 10:30. The walk to and from the gym bugged me abit - 15 minutes each way - but then I realized it's a good warm up and cool down. I think it's a good way to start the day.

So far so good. Getting over the guilt of starting work late took a little bit of doing, but once I got over it, I was okay. This week will be a bunchafirsts and I will be learning and refining the schedule.

So far, I have learned that:
  1. I might have to get out of bed at 6am-6:30am as opposed to 7am
  2. getting into work at 10:30 didn't make me any less productive - I still putz around until around 2pm - which is what I would have done had I come into work at 8am.
I will be working later, which is good since I am more creative and focused in the afternoons.
This means that I will be eating dinner at work. I've been lamenting over this for a long time and I think it will help with the weight loss effort:
  1. eat dinner earlier - I'll be eating dinner at work
  2. eat a lighter dinner - since I will be bringing dinner from home - I will pack less
  3. drink less wine - since I will be eating dinner at work more often - I will NOT be packing wine and I will be drinking less wine during the week
  4. eat more fruit - if I get hungry when I get home from work I will eat from my big bowl of fruit - like I used to do when I was 15 pounds lighter than I am now
I did a rough workout shedule for the week only to discover that the gym has a 7am pilates class twice a week. Now this is just what I need - I've been wanting to get back into Pilates for a while. I have never had my mid-section hurt and ache from workouts as when I took a weekly Pilates class about 5 years ago. It seems that I will be getting up earlier tomorrow because I signed up for this class.

I feel like I am walking a fine line - and any mis-step in either direction will make me fall off this finely wrought schedule... I am sure that my tenuous grasp will become a firm hold as I get used to the new schedule.

Exercise Note.
13 minutes on the bike. Yeah!
Upper body weights with my iPod. Happiness!

Tomorrow, I hope to get 15 minutes on the bike and go to the 7am Pilates class.

Rotation Note.
Wouldn't you know... now that I have completed rotated my fair weather clothes with my winter clothes, we are getting a COLD SPELL!!! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness I had the semblance of mind to keep out a few fall-like garb. Otherwise, I might just freeze... Sheesh.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Rotations

I am done.
I have completely rotated my closet.
And I am completely, utterly, without a single doubt, certainly T-I-R-E-D.
ARG!!!
I hate doing this.
When I lived in the suburbs with a big ole walk in closet, I didn't have to do this. My entire wardrobe - about twice what I own now - was always there. But not anymore. Not since moving into the city with half the space I used to have. I took the opportunity to get a charity giveaway bag and a "mail-it-to-my-sister" bag together.

I have never seen so many race t-shirts. ARG!!! Time to think of t-shirt quilts! Another thing for the To Do List. Right after the entry "learn to quilt."

This spring's rotation was not all for naught. I discovered that I need to purchase a pair of Merrill flip flops. Time to do some research!! Happiness is a new pair of shoes, after all. A close second after "new handbag" with "a new coat or jacket" following closely behind in third.

Exercise Note.
11 minutes on the bike. Yahoo.
Tomorrow, I am starting my morning workout schedule.

Happiness is...

...new windows!

So last night, as we were wafting off to dream land, I noticed that the catty-corner-backdoor neighbors (on whom I have called the police several times for noise disturbances) were having yet another party - and had invited the same annoying woman with the same annoying loud high pitched laughter, as well as the same annoying guy with the loud baritone laughter... and I thanked the sweet lord that Joseph had had new tight-as-a-drum windows installed in the bedroom!

Yup. I gave it a minute's notice - or two minutes - making note that the white noise of the humidifier wasn't on... and then promptly fell asleep. Only to wake up NINE HOURS LATER. Yes. Nine. Hours. I must have been tired.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Saturday Night Special...

Diner was AWESOME tonight.

New and Old recipes...

Grilled albacore and yellowfin tuna steaks - medium rare.
From Trader J0e's! ACK! It was SO GOOD!
The albacore was SLIGHTLY too well done for me but it was sublime all the same.
Accompanied by a ginger-citrus sauce with wasabi on the side.
OMG! YUMMY!

Baked Fennel... this time was much much better than the first time I made it.

Rice Pilaf.

Accompanied by a Zinfandel, of all things. Seghesio.
It was amazingly good with the fish!
Amazingly...

Afterwards we walked the Dingle Doggie and stopped in at Picco to get ice cream.
A scoop of caramel and a scoop of mint chip.
Most of it is still in the freezer.
And I also got a pint of coffee ice cream for the house.
I always wanted to get some but I KNEW it would be a long night if I had it before bed...
All of it is homemade with natural ingredients - the mint is amazing - takes like fresh mint from the garden (duh... because that is exactly what's in it!),
The coffee tastes like it has freshly ground coffee, which it probably does...
And the caramel reminds of me a burn brown sugar cookie I used to get from the street vendor when I was a little girl in Korea...

Title IX Baby...

Since I wasn't American, I spent much of my childhood in one oblivious fog, a surreal environment where I watched life through a veil, interpreting things for myself, because my parents couldn't do it for me. In fact, their fog was thicker because they had the history of life already lived in another country, while trying to grapple with a totally foreign culture. My mother didn't learn to speak English until she was forced to go to work as a result of divorce, etc etc etc, which was about 10 years after we moved here. Anyway... that's for different reflection.

As a Korean girl, and first daughter, there were certain things that were the bane of my mother's existence... my being a tomboy, climbing trees, getting into fights with the boys, playing army, and being athletic.

Being a tomboy came naturally to me. The fighting, climbing trees, and wearing pants when girls weren't supposed to, was my way of rebelling against a feminine world of sparkling light-colored eyes, perky little noses, peaches and cream complexions, and soft lilting accents. It allowed me to be removed from a world where beauty was defined by everything I wasn't, and where I knew I would never be accepted. So I reveled in being fearless and eschewing conformity, knowing that if I didn't shun them, they would shun me. It was less painful to battle it out with my mother who thought I should be quiet, demure, unapproachable, and "a lady" like all the other high-born, blue blooded Korean girls born of noble ancestral lineage. Yah. Right. This is AMERICA, Mother... No one cares about the First Guy... No one cares that he ran things over there some 40 bazillion generations ago... No. One. Cares. And so I didn't either. Anyway... yet another topic of some other future reflection.

Today, Joseph and I volunteered with the BAA to work the MIT Men's and Women's Track meet. We worked the triple jump - runrunrunrun hopskipjump. I helped mark while Joseph raked. But not before I whispered to Joseph, Uh... what does marking mean? I got an education today on how to mark and hold the tape and measure, etc.

I noticed the women competing and I became a bit wistful - especially when they ran the women's 4xrelay. I thought to myself, "I used to do that." One season running third leg on a 4xrelay team. About 100 or 200 meters. and that was all I was good for. I spent much of the time when I wasn't running, laying around on the grass, looking at the sky, hoping that the chiggers didn't bite me (I hated grass, and chiggers were the worst), pretending to be stretching. I was pretty good at this event.

But I liked field hockey better. Unfortunately, "weirdo loser girl" broke my thumb during scrimmage. Of course my mother didn't find out about it until I came home with my thumb bandaged... and there went Field Hockey. This was a private school where sports were de riguer for all kids, girls and boys alike. So I ended up with a couple years of gymnastics and horseback riding. But mostly there was dance. It was my athletic outlet. I was awesome at it and thought I could dance for the rest of my life... then genetics set it... sigh...

As I stood around watching the women compete, I also remembered gym class in public school - terrible. Public School was SO different from Private School. Sports for girls was nothing more than running around a field and doing calisthentics - standing around in light blue shorty jumpsuits, being directed by a gym teacher with a whistle, who didn't look like she knew what to do with us. I have a feeling that she was there only as a requirement from Title IX.

Anyway, I thought about what I might have accomplished with the right encouragement, if I were growing up today. What would have happened if I had had a mother who didn't think I was gawky, fat, and unathletic. I never really thought about all of it until today, standing there, measuring and marking... Joseph says I have "natural speed". He insists upon it. He also thinks I can qualify for Boston. He insists upon that too. All I know is, I am pretty good on the bike.

Growing old sucks.
But growing old while realizing that the whole world is open to you, if only I had used what I had been given when I was younger... well.. that sucks worse.

Exercise Note.
9 minutes on the bike.
I am coming back, babeeeee!
LOL!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Five Type-A's and a Straight Man...

What do you get when you have 5 Type-A's and a Tax Attorney?
You get loud control-oriented people who don't mind carrying on several conversations by talking over each other and a straight man who is drop dead funny...

You get the Dinner Club of Six consisting of a couple of commercial real estate lenders, a manager of a technology group for a major investment firm, a financial investment "broker" with his own company, a tax attorney, and a real estate attorney.
You get people who enjoy good food, good drink, loud conversation and really quick banter...
It's hard keeping up with the crowd sometimes...

The first meeting was a Blue Ginger last month.
For our April gathering, we went to the Oregon Club in Ashland tonight.
It's a "speakeasy", whatever that means.
I had first heard about it about 7 years ago from a massage therapist.
He said their specialty is steak and fries. At one point that is all they did. Rumor has it that they used to render the beef fat to fry the fries in! Okay... so get out your cholesterol drugs, everyone! He said it was sort of out of the way in Ashland, down some residential side road and suddenly you look up and "there is it!"
And that is exactly what happened.

The food was excellent. I had the calamari satay which sweet, light, tangy, and a little spicy. Joseph had the Spicy Mushroom Soup. For dinner, almost all of us had the dinner special, Surf and Turf. A filet with Bernaise sauce and lobster meat on the side, with mashed potatoes and wok fried veggies. But what do you get with 5 type A's and a tax attorney? You get a "When Harry Met Sally" moment. We all requested that the bernaise sauce be taken off and the bordeaux demi-glace be substituted (as another filet on the menu but no blue cheese crumble please...). And that instead of mashed potatoes, we would like the french fries (which were awesome), and of course, please leave the veggies as is...

A few of us (not me) got up and went into the kitchen to view the skillet from 1920 that the steaks are cooked in.

I am looking forward to the next dinner. We might have to wait until we get back from Scotland and London next month. Gotta start the restaurant search! Happy happy happy!

Serious Questions...

I am seriously thinking about quitting.
Well... I was.
The morning was just crazy. Drove to NH for a meeting, then ran around trying to find people to drop in on because the offices are laid out so damn UN-intuitively that I walked around in circles for a HALF HOUR just to pop in and say HI to someone for FIVE DAMN MINUTES!

Then, someone who works for me quit today. Gave her two weeks notice. It's good for her and I am glad. People leaving voluntarily is very rare in my group. And turnover is good. It creates churn in the company and brings in fresh blood. It's also a time for reflection on how the person leaving and the people staying can do things a little differently. She isn't leaving the company, just going to another business unit and as I've always said, it's good to have allies all over the company. This is the right opportunity and right next step for her. She needs to experience how other groups do things. I think she will be challenged in more ways than just technically. It's a good thing we have a list of people who have asked us to consider them if we have any open positions... Good thing...

Then Joseph sends me an email today with a plan for everything, quite literally everything, to make it possible for me to stop working if I want to. Well!...
That woke me out of my doldrums.
I've been thinking about things and it seems I am not happy when I feel I am trying to fight or win or take over. As some people would have me do... and I've tried and am feeling very uncomfortable about it all... I am happiest when I find ways to partner and work together and collaborate. All those "touchy-feely" words that seem so cliche. But truthfully, I've managed to accomplish a lot of by choosing the path of least resistance, appealing to people's security, and generally going along to get along.

So I am resolved. I am basically going back to basics... doing business the way I like to and feel most comfortable with... and if the powers that be don't like that, well... they can just find someone else to do the job for them... I. Do. Not. Need. To. TAKE OVER THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD!!!!

Given that, I don't think I am going to quit. Not until the NEXT crisis, anyway...

Exercise Note.
7 minutes on the bike.
The saddle is feeling better...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Miscellaney...

So, Mike commented that he would check on my exercising.
I say, GOOD! If someone is checking then that will help maintain my resolve.

And Debbie asked, HOW did a certain someone find my blog?
Well... you see. I have this friend. We'll call her Z. And she runs and is a Dead.
And I have this guy who works for me. Let's call him A. And well... he has run with the Deads. But Z and A had never met. So, we had a Super Bowl Party and Z and A met. Just a casual, passing-in-the-night kinda "Hi-howyadoing-kinda-meeting". Then the Deads got together. And they were BOTH there. And so A met Z again. And Z met A again... and wouldn't you know it but A asked Z OUT. And then... well...Z has a blog. And A being smart (because everyone who works for me is smart and sometimes too damn smart for their own - or my - good) figured it out and found the blog. And I am linked to Z's blog. And there you have it.

I might have to start another blog.

HAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Of course I won't do that.
I don't really care since I don't say anything here that I wouldn't say to anyone's face if I had to.
But still... I feel a little - hmmm... squeezed - like when someone steps into your personal space without really knowing and you are all flummoxed and confounded as to what to do since they don't know...

Anyway...I am sure with the passage of time I will completely forget about it... as I do pretty much everything else... LOL!

It's Weigh-In Wednesday, a day late.
Since last week, I have gained 2.4 pounds.
Now I am 1.4 pounds ABOVE the weight when I started.
This sucks.
Growing old sucks.
Food sucks.
Everything sucks.
WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember being able to run around like crazy once upon a time...
If I ate then what I eat now, I'd have been a skinny minny.
Now... that I am older, ahem... my activity level has decreased tremendously.
And with a lower metabolism and the fact that my foot and ankle injuries have made it almost impossible for me to WALK around much less RUN AROUND, I am GAINING WEIGHT!
While doing NOTHING.
I am so damn screwed. Sigh...

I have to start increasing my activity level. That's the only solution that I can think of.
But how? Well... that's simple.
But WHEN? That is NOT as simple... but with the recent revelations, I should be able to work around it and incorporate things into my life. I just have to make it all a priority, which will take time and forcing myself into the habit until it become second nature again.

The food issues are a bit more daunting.
The problem is that Joseph and I have sit down dinners. Not really a "problem" per se...
With the new schedule, I might eat dinner at work, go work out, and then sit down to a salad for post-dinner with Joseph. I think that might work.
I have to talk to Joseph about it.

This is sort of what I USED to do when I was ... let's see.... 15.6 pounds LIGHTER and that was only ... let's see... three years ago.
The only difference was that back then, I didn't really sit down to post-dinner with ANYONE... I would leave work around 7pm after having eaten dinner at 5 or 6 pm. Then I would go work out. Come home and grab a bowl of fruit, go to my little room, sit at the computer, talk to my friends, while I had my post-dinner alone, around 9pm. This worked beautifully. Except that I did it all alone.

The current life with Joseph is much more preferable - I just gotta figure out the dinner thing... I think this might be okay with my Hunny Bunny. I'll have to ask what he thinks about it...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Exercise Note.
5 minutes on the bike this morning.
Yeah!!! 5 minutes was all I could endure on the saddle.
Nope. This is NOT an exercise bike.
It's the real thing.

Tomorrow, I am hoping for 7 whole minutes.
Wow.

Hunh...

Well... it seems that someone who works for me has discovered my blog.

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is so not amusing.

Well. Well well well.

Good thing I never named names.
Well!

Although...
he will know by association everyone I am talking about...

Gawddddddd......

Good thing I still have SOME power over him.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! JUST KIDDING!!!!

I gotta gettagrip...

Gawdddddd.......

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Trying to Focus...

I had a better time of focusing today.
In fact, I almost got it right.
So much so that I was painfully aware of the fact that time was slipping away from me yet again.

This day also confirms what I already know.
I need to work out in the mornings.

Exercise Note.
So... do you THINK I had time for this???
Right.

Monday, April 04, 2005

It's not powder blue...

It's Carolina Blue...

And it's not for sissies...
It's for NCAA Champions.

Time get some more Carolina gear!!!

Let's try this again...

So, I need more Focus in my life...

Why is it that I get more done in the AFTERNOONS than I do at any other time of day.

This leads me to conclude that:
I need to work out in the mornings... come to think of it, I think I worked more when I worked out because I didn't spend the day worrying about working out...

Another revelation is:
Since meetings are not really work, I need to schedule meetings before
12pm. Unless the meeting is unavoidable and at the behest of someone more important or powerful than I am (because not all powerful people are all that important and so many important people have no power).
So I think my schedules will roughly look like this:
AM before work: Heavy Cardio work (running or Elliptical or biking)
AM at work: LOTS O' MEETINGS
MID-DAY: Lifting.
PM: Work like a Crazy Person and try to get out of work at a decent hour

Given that my calendar is booked WEEKS in advanced, now I have to go through the maddening process of booking this in advance - way in advance - so that I can put a stake in the ground.

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glad we've cleared this up.

Exercise Note.
ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Focus...

I need more focus in my life.

There was a time, once upon a time, long long ago, when I had incredible focus.
I could get so lost in what I was doing that hours would pass, sometimes DAYS, before I realized what time (or day) it was.
And now, I have a bunchathings to do and what have I accomplished?
Not a lot.
Hmmm... let's see. It's easier to tell you what I have done instead of what I haven't done...
I've done errands.
I've downloaded CD's to the laptop.
I watched Carolina go onto the Finals.
Hmmm.... Oh! I've spent more money by ordering a bunchathings that one would argue I DON'T need. I love Amazon. And the internet. And shopping through the internet.

Oh! I also watched hours and hours of unchanging coverage of the Pass of the Pope.
And some DVR'd shows.
And a movie.
Big Fish. It was pretty good. Lots of metaphors and stuff like that...

And because I have no focus, I did this stuff in a very s-l-o-w manner.
Not in any real hurry and quite often, forgetting what I am doing or what I am going to be doing in the next minute or hour, and thus getting all distracted and discombobulated... taking me another 30 minutes to an hour trying to figure out what I had been doing before getting unfocused.

I've thought about this and the thing that is profoundly missing from my life are My Lists.
Along with my Focus Abilities, I lived by a profusion of Lists.
I have a few today but not nearly as many as I had before.
Actually, I only have one and it's usually tucked away somewhere I can't find it.
Being a bit of an anal retentive, obsessive, list-making, over-achiever... I need to live from one goal to another - no matter how minute they may be...
If I didn't have these goals, why... my only goal would be to breathe in and out, and inertia begets inertia, and I would grow fat and languish away.

So, having connected the two dots... Focus and Lists... and yes, it's taking me QUITE A LONG TIME to connect these two dots... I am NOW RESOLVED.

I am going back to my lists.
Tomorrow, I will be Focused once again forevermore...

Tires...

I am tired of tires.
I am tired of them deflating on their own.
I am tired of having to check them.
I stand there and look from one tire to the other, and try to see if one looks different than it did before... not that I can really recall what they looked like when I had them filled... and not that I can recall WHEN I had them filled with air... and so I stand there like some bobble-head doll, up and down, side to side, tilting my head... and I finally bend down to look closer...
I have NO IDEA why I have to look closer because the tires don't look any different - just bigger versions of what I was looking at when I was standing up...

So after a year of thinking about them, and doing some casual searches on the web from time to time to see if I could find the catalog I found them in a long time ago, I decided to sit down today and DO SOMETHING about them...

And so I ordered these for all three cars.

Surprisingly, when I looked up the appropriate psi's for each of the cars on their "psi calculator", I discovered that I've been over-inflating my tires for years...

Well.
You learn something new every day...

Now all I need is an tire-inflator machine so I don't have to go to the &^%$# gas station (I hate going to the gas station) ... it's time to search the web...

Speaking of cars... almost time to take the Miata out of storage.
Might have to be when we get back from London...

And speaking of the Miata, it's a windy day today.
Thank goodness I'm not running...
The windy season has set in! GAH!!!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Circle of Life...

5 minutes to go in the Final Four and Carolina is ahead by 17 points.
Yes.
SEVENTEEN POINTS.
I feel bad to Michigan but at this point, anything can still happen.

The jubilation is sobered by the death of the Pope today.
The leader of the religious world.
God's chosen Shepherd of a billion people on this planet.

We sat riveted as we watched the news, waiting for news.
And then it came and disbelief....and then we cried...

Not sure why there is disbelief.
He was sick for a while.
I guess it's because he's the first Pope I've been aware of.
There have been others during my lifetime but not being Catholic, and being the oblivous type, with a healthy dose of skepticism and cynicsm about the world around me, it takes a mighty person to make an impression on the thick fog I sometimes live in.

So much to think about.
So much to say...

But now... 3:33 left in the game, and we're only up by 11 points.
Like I said... there's still too much time...and yet never enough...

I know there is a metaphor in all of this, if only I weren't so tired...

Exercise Note.
Nothing.
I did errands and then sat around waiting for the passing of the Pope...

Friday, April 01, 2005

Is it Friday?

The week has FLOWN BY!
And I am now starting to watch my backside disappear off into the horizon.
That's how far behind at work I am.
It's hard to swallow when you know the only thing standing between you and success is the strangling belt tightening of the past few years.

A recruiter I've known for a number of years wants me to apply for an opening at another company.
It a similar position to what I have now.
But I would be reporting directly to the CIO.
And there is not mention of globalization.
It's a smaller company and I fit the job perfectly.
In some ways I think I might be slightly over qualified...
In other ways, it's the next step that I might be looking for.
If I were looking for it, of course...

We'll see where the next three months lead.
There will be more out there.
I might mention it to my boss.
I might not.

I miss my Old Boss.

Sigh...

Exercise Note.
Nothing.
I am too busy watching my ass walk off into the distance...
See above.
:o[