Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I can't say that I contributed to a very happy birthday for Jerry yesterday since I have seemingly come down with another cold. I honestly don't know if this is allergy related, or if I have a sinus infection, or what, but this is like the 3rd time in 4 months that I've been sick, and it always follows the same pattern:
Day 1: Sore throat.
Day2: Full blown ickiness.
Day 3: Cont'd ickiness but starting to improve.
Day 4: Recovered.
Right now, I'm in day 3. Blech.
Anyway, I tried to be peppy last night for his b-day, and I went with him to Best Buy so he could buy Grand Theft Auto IV with his his gift cards, and then I made dinner. Or rather, I caught it on fire -- literally. I was grilling these nice ribeyes we'd gotten for his b-day, and I came out to flip them, and they were seriously on fire. What was worse was that the flames also charred the asparagus. So, I served up blacked steak for dinner, with a side of charcoal asparagus and mashed potatoes (those came out fine). Craptastic.
After I cleaned up dinner, Jerry was totally engaged in his morally questionable video game, so I decided to go lay down in the bedroom and watch "Atonement." It was awesome. I was so impressed by all aspects of it, and just as I was pleased with the adaptation of "No Country for Old Men," I was pleased with this adaptation. Too often movies that are adapted from books are a disappointment, but both of these surpassed expectation. If you haven't already seen it, see it now. It's a beautiful movie.
So, yeah, that was Jerry's b-day: burned dinner and separate evening activities.
I went to bed early last night, but slept terribly since I was up half the night blowing my nose, coughing, or tossing and turning. Today, I feel like crap and I'm exhausted; it doesn't help that this week is finals week and I am overwhelmed with work. But, I do only have one final to administer this morning, and then I think I will take papers home with me and spend the rest of the day in bed. Hopefully, by tomorrow, my kick-ass immune system will kung-fu the shit outta this bug.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
I did a slow, easy 3 miles (29:32) and I felt no pain, and better yet, aboslutely no discomfort. I think resting was the right thing to do, and now I can do a couple more runs this week and get ready for Disney's 15K on Sunday. What a relief.
P.S. I got my chipped chomper fixed today, and it looks better than ever! The dentist is really good and she even smoothed out my other front tooth that is also bondo-ized so that it's as smooth as the one she fixed. Watch out world -- my fangs are back in fighting form!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Jerry fed the flamingos: I fed myself:
We happened upon the African Elephants when their trainer was there, and she had them performing tricks for coconuts. So, the elephants were one of my favorite moments from the zoo. Did you know their ears are shaped like the continent of Africa? I never noticed that before, but the trainer pointed it out. Cool.
The giraffes, too, rocked. We bought food for them (we are suckers for any animal-feeding-opportunity: we seriously fed the entire population of Sea World when we were last there) and Jerry and I each took a turn feeding one of the giraffes. Giraffes have the same number of vertebrae (7) that humans do. Whack, right? Here's Jerry on his feeding turn:
In the children's zoo, (where there were way too many children -- I know, I know, zoos are all about kids, but man, kids can sure shriek and wail -- my ears are still ringing) I also fed some sheep and got to pet this pot-bellied pig. He was very wiry.
What I didn't get to pet or feed, but were still top spots at the zoo were the pygmy hippos and the river otters. I think I best relate to otters -- it just seems like it would be so much fun to be an otter! And the pygmy hippos? Well, they're just cute. But I guess not so friendly. We learned that while their trainer was feeding them peanuts. Jerry and I seem to have good luck in our timing to exhibits because we never plan it, but we always come upon feeding times or trainer talks.
Because Miami is a tropical environment, the zoo's animals were entirely from the southern hemisphere, so it was a different zoo experience than some other zoos. And in all, we had a great time walking around and watching the animals. It was a warm day, but with some partial cloudiness and a steady breeze, it was actually quite pleasant; plus, they have some misting stations throughout the zoo, which helped us cool off as well.
But after a day of walking around (our zoo map told us that walking the entire zoo would measure up to 3 miles) under the sun, we are both ready for a quiet, relaxing evening. I think we may watch "Juno" (a b-day gift) or "Atonement" (Netflix arrival). So, I hope everyone else had a fabulous weekend -- between our beach day, our concert, and our zoo-sperience we have had a wonderful b-day weekend!
As a gift, one of our friends gave Jerry and I two tickets to the Bon Jovi concert (don't get too excited about us having affluent friends -- they were $5 tickets; it was very cool but I don't want Blog homies thinking I roll with big $ friends). So, we left the beach around 3 pm, got home, showered, played with Scooter, ate dinner, and were heading back out the door at 5:30 to meet up with everyone else for a pre-concert happy hour.
At 7:30, we mosied on over to the concert to find two surprising things:
A. Apparently Bon Jovi is still a big deal. I seriously had no idea. I like Bon Jovi, but really only know the early stuff; now that they're quasi-country, I don't listen to them anymore, but apparently, a lot of people do. So the parking lot was packed!
B. Everyone was OUTSIDE the arena. Not in it. So, as we're walking toward the doors, we're informed that there had been a "bomb threat, and the place isn't gonna re-open until 9:30." Seriously? A bomb threat? Someone wants to bomb Bon Jovi? Why? He's cut his hair.
So, instead of heading into the arena, we headed across the street to a bar to get a few more beers (hey, inside the arena, beer is like, $8 a glass, so the more we can drink outside of there, the better). All the bars in the area were packed (they were probably the ones who called in the bomb threat -- all that business was the best thing that could've happened to them!), so we settled into one of the least crowded joints and enjoyed their happy hour specials that they extended for the concert crowd. If there's anything sweeter than coming across a stash of $5 concert tickets, it's coming across 2-4-1 drinks at 7:30 on a Saturday!
I have no pictures because as we were leaving the house I remarked to Jerry: "Should I bring the camera along?" And he said: "No, it's just one more thing for me to carry, and besides, it's Bon Jovi, do we need pictures of that?"
Damn him. Damn him to hell. Because the entire evening was the perfect picture-taking event! At the bar, people kept putting in Bon Jovi songs on the Jukebox, and we heard the entire bar singing the classics: "Shot Through the Heart," "Livin' on a Prayer," "Dead or Alive," and "Blaze of Glory." And that bar was rowdy! After we left, we made a pit stop for a case of Busch light (yeah, that's how we roll), and headed across to the arena. Thankfully, we purchased that case, because we ended up standing in line to get inside for approximately 35 minutes, and you wouldn't want us to be thirsty, would ya?
By the time we actually got inside, got to our seats, and Bon Jovi started (we missed the opening act, Daughtry, because of the long security line to get in the building), it was 10:30, we were all pretty buzzed, and we were, ultimately, pretty tuckered out. So, we decided to cut ourselves off the beer, buy some waters, and sit back for Bon Jovi. Which, I gotta say, was a pretty good show. I mean, I wouldn't pay good money for it, mostly because they don't play much that I like or know anymore (although, they did do the standards that everyone knows and loves), but they do know how to put on a show.
Granted, I was distracted by the fact that Jon Bon Jovi's shirt kept progressively getting unbuttoned, and his crooning to the ladies in the front row who were pawing at him seemed very dated, and Richie Sambora was wearing a really unfortunate pair of pants; and yes, aspects of the show seems so polished and so rehearsed that it felt more like a televised event than an arena concert, but ultimately, I have to give them credit where it's due: It was an impressive show. But by midnight, Jerry and I were spent. We'd been in the sun all day, we'd been drinking all day, and well, we were done. So we didn't stay for the end of the show, and we hit the road. It was a grand time, but I wasn't gonna stick around and wait for Richie Sambora to sign my boobs.
Maybe another time.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
See, we were fishing around last night for something to do, so after we ate dinner, I asked: "Well, do you wanna see a movie?" Jerry brightened at the idea, "Can we go to the dollar theater?" he asked.
It's actually the $3 theater (a $1 on Tuesdays though) and they show relatively new releases; they're just a few weeks or a month older than what's in the regular theater. We've never actually been to the $3 theater -- mostly because I'd always assumed it was skeezy, but some friends had recently assured us that it was perfectly nice. It just happens to be very close to one of the largest retirement communities in the country, King's Point. (I know, I know, something about the name of that community makes you think that all those old people should be running around in black leather jackets, doesn't it?) And old people love a bargain. So does Jerry.
So, we decided to see the 7 pm showing of "Leatherheads," and I would label the movie "alright." Worth a combined purchase of $6, but I wouldn't pay any more to see it. I like George Clooney, he's always charming, and I love "Jim" from "The Office," but I think Rene Zellweger has squinty eyes in a puffy face and that distracts me. Plus, really, the story kind of dragged. Anyhoo...it didn't matter that the movie was just so-so because the real entertainment came from the theater.
Every time the lights would brighten, so you could look out across the audience, it was a sea of gray hair, styled into that curly fuzz that all old women must wear after age 70. And while I would say a theater of old people are better than a theater of teenagers, they still talked through the whole thing and frequently got up and came back. At least no cell phones were ringing.
Anyway, the most hilarious part of the evening came right at the end. The two old ladies in front of us started gathering their things about 15 minutes before the movie ended, and then about 3 minutes before it was actually over, they started to get up and leave (I don't know, maybe traffic back into King's Point is a bitch on a Friday night at 9 pm), and the one lady leans on her cane and exits up the aisle; then, her friend, rises and -- rips butt. Seriously, she let a fart go that was audible from Georgia. But, at first, neither Jerry nor I were sure of what we'd heard, but then she let another rip. Brrrrrwp! We turned and looked at each other and tried to keep our laughter in, but then, we both just burst out laughing. Thankfully, she was already halfway up the aisle when we lost control of ourselves. When we got outside, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.
See, this is exactly the best part of getting old: You can rip ass in public and not care. Because you're old. You do what you want.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Anyhoo...decided not to run today. The quads are on the mend, but I want to be conservative with the running for the next few days and give it another go on either Sunday or Monday, so Jerry and I went for a family walk this afternoon with Scooter. We walked 3 miles in the scorching afternoon sun, and we all got pretty hot. Scooter wanted to lay down after the first mile, and we even had to allow him to paddle around in a canal for a bit (while we were vigilant for gators) because he was so hot we thought he might burst into flames. He was refreshed from his little swim and did fine on the rest of the walk.
Note to ourselves: In the future, just like running, walking is hot in the Floridian afternoon sun. Phew!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
In other news, I chipped my front tooth this evening. Actually, I initially chipped it about 12 years ago in a car accident, and it was fixed, but tonight it re-chipped when I ate an early evening snack. Of course, it chipped at about 5:30, and the dentist's office closes at 5 pm. So I'll have to call tomorrow to get an appointment to get it fixed. Until then, I'm incredibly self-conscious about my snaggle tooth.
So, for the stayers: I'm reading this book to the left, "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff, and it's really good. It's non-fiction and it's about a father (Sheff) and his experience with his son's drug addiction. Personally, I love a good addiction memoir. There's probably a reason for this, but it would take money and time on a therapist's couch to figure out. Anyway, this book is unique since it's from the father's perspective, so it's not the typical addiction memoir written by the addict.
What I find particularly compelling about the narrative is how Sheff addresses his divorce from his son's mother and their joint custody of their son. This is compelling to me because this resonates so closely to home. While I've read lots of stuff about growing up in dysfunctional homes, most memoirs of this nature often focus on extreme circumstances; so, I can sometimes relate to aspects of those people's lives, but I can't fully relate, because by many measures, my childhood was stable and secure.
That's why I find Sheff's discussion so interesting: his divorce and his custody were both as smooth as these things can be, yet he discusses the strain this put on his son, no matter how hard he and his ex-wife tried to avoid creating such anxiety. So, finally, I have someone who's telling a story that I can fully relate to -- it's the story of a "good" divorce, with a "good" custody, but with children who still end up feeling alienated, anxious, and angry.
So, reading this has had me thinking a lot lately (always dangerous territory, especially since I haven't run in days and days and running is often my therapy) about my own childhood. Thus, my compulsion to share:
My parents divorced when I was 3, and they shared joint custody of me and my younger brother. Their agreement was that we spent the school year with my mother, spent every other weekend with my father, split holidays and rotated each year (this included birthdays), and spent the summer with my father. Later, when I was 11, my father moved from Denver to Washington, DC, so we spent the school year with my mom in CO, and spent half our holidays and all of our summers in DC.
This is probably the best agreement a divorced couple can come up with, yet joint custody is a fucked up situation for kids, and I'll tell ya why: You develop parallel lives. My parents each re-married and each had more kids; this made my brother and I's existence, within this framework, even more duplicitous and precarious. My parents were trying to emphasize that we had "two homes" and "two families" but it really felt like we had "no home" and "no family," and that feeling of not belonging lingered with my for a looooooong time. In the book, Sheff writes that his son says, "I'm always missing someone." And that very adequately describes it. Except for me, I became a little more hard-hearted, and could probably have said, "I never miss anyone." I got so used to going back and forth and being apart from one parent and one family, that I simply got desensitized to it. So that when I went to college, I literally could not relate to those fellow students who, in those first weeks of freshman semester, were missing their parents so desperately.
Needless to say, I was an angry teenager, who frequently found ways to rebel (which were clearly cries for attention). This anger truly lingered until I was in my early 20s, and I don't think I even started to grow up until I was about 25. I think I was upset for a long time partially just because my parents, particularly my mother, couldn't grasp why I was so frustrated. I think my mother felt that she'd done the best she could (which is very true) and that she and my dad had given my brother and I very good, stable lives (which was also certainly true), but what she failed to understand, and what I think she still fails to understand about that childhood, is that despite their attempts at making it as normal as possible, it was still abnormal, and this abnormality felt even more exaggerated by their attempts to insist upon its normality.
Thankfully, I did have my brother, and I wasn't alone in navigating the scary chasm that joint custody creates for those lone children who float between homes, and he and I remain very close. And ultimately, I no longer blame my parents for the situation. I truly believe they did the best they could, and I'm lucky to have parents who cared about me so much that they both wanted custody of me. And in many ways, I believe it made me a better person (despite the petrifying fear of having my own children and potentially fucking them up for life). Partially because I was the oldest, and partially because of how my parents raised us, I have always been very independent and have always been very self-assured. I've always done my own thing and made my own choices (suffered the consequences of some very poor choices), and this has been in part due to the self-sufficiency that was a necessity for me since I can remember. And, thankfully, I've never been a drug addict like Sheff's son in the book.
Today, I have what I consider to be a regular relationship with all my parents: I love them, we keep in close touch (I generally try not to let more than two weeks go by without communicating with one or the other), and I know they are proud of me. But there certainly aspects that we all fail to understand about one another, and some subjects which we never bring up or discuss. Thus, we have seemingly settled on comfortable, but slightly superficial territory. At this point, I honestly don't wish for more. Maybe when I was a kid, I wished for the picture-perfect family that posed easily for studio portraits, but now I regard such childhood whimsy as pure fantasy.
Now that I'm 30, I've been thinking a lot about what I've experienced and learned in my lifetime, and one of the best lessons I think I ever taught myself actually came from running. I learned that everyone has baggage (even the most seemingly perfect people), and people have one of two options with that baggage: You let it weigh you down and you become burdened by the heavy load, or you choose to carry the baggage and shoulder the weight of it. On the surface, the second option seems more difficult, but actually, the longer you carry it (instead of allowing it to carry you), the stronger you become, and after awhile, it's not so heavy, and after an even longer while, your endurance and strength don't even remember that it was burdensome to begin with.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
It was, however, a pretty low-key b-day. I had class all day and got home at about 7:30. Jerry made me my favorite dinner, I enjoyed a frosty beer, opened my presents, and got to enjoy some Cake Batter ice cream from Cold Stone (Jerry went and got me a whole quart of it!) while we watched an episode of "The Wire." On Saturday, we are planning a beach party with our friends, so then I'll party like the rockin' 30 year old I now am!
But...back to running. Particularly, I want to discuss my quads with you and seek your advice. Remember how I told you a few days ago at soccer I felt like I pulled both quads? Yeah, they still hurt. So, I have been reading some info on quad strain, and this is what I have learned:
- Most likely caused by sprinting, jumping, or kicking. Um, yeah, that pretty much describes soccer.
- I probably actually strained both quads the first Sunday I played; I just took the injury as soreness, and the strain flared up when I played again last Sunday.
- Most treatments require the basic treatments that runners apply to nearly every injury: RICE and anti-inflammatories.
- I should not be foam rollering -- inflamed muscles just get irritated by that.
- I probably incurred a grade 2 strain since my quads have been tender to the touch and are aggravated by some simple activities -- like getting into and out of the car.
So, from previous injury experience, I know a few things, and chief among them is to treat an injury seriously, and I haven't run since Sunday, and have been religiously popping Advil (but I know it takes a few days for an the anti-inflammatory to build up in the system). But for as much as I know what I should do, my body wants to do something else. See, I want to run, and I want to play soccer this Sunday, but I'm not sure if either is wise, especially since I have the Disney 15K on May 4th.
Thus, the questions I pose to you homies: Do I continue to rest this week? Like the entire week? Do I skip soccer this Sunday? Or, do I give the running and soccer a try, but continue with the anti-inflammatories, ice, and be sure I adequately warm up before each activity?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Yesterday, I tried to argue with Jerry that the entire week should be devoted to the celebration of me, and we could label it "Jess Week." He was not so keen on the idea. Especially because I was making the case that to start off the celebration of Jess Week, he should drive to Cold Stone and get me a Like It size cup of cake batter ice cream (my fav, fav, favorite!). He said I could have a Klondike bar out of our freezer instead. Poop-head.
Anyway, Jerry said that the only person who's birthday gets more than one day of attention is Christ's and unless I start my own religion, then I don't deserve an entire week of celebration. Thus, I propose: Jesstianity. A religion based on the life and teachings of Jess. The basics of Jesstianity would be simple: Followers would be encouraged to live a fun, carefree life, in which running around, playing games, frequent afternoon naps, and excessive drinking would be encouraged. And part of the basic philosophy would be that "sometimes you fall down, but you have to learn to pick yourself up." (In case some of you aren't familiar with my clutziness, I am prone to falling down, running into things, or being knocked down. It happened on Saturday night, for example, when I tripped and fell at the bowling alley and got a little carpet burn on my left knee.)
When I explained the basics of Jesstianity to Jerry, he had this to say: "With the exception of the drinking, you just described the life of a two year old."
He later went on to further debase Jesstianity as being the "preferred religion of college students and toddlers" and said that if devout followers experienced the stigmata, it would consist of scraped up knees. I think he just really didn't want to go get me that ice cream.
Anyhoo...even if you don't want to adopt Jesstianity as your primary religion, that's okay (Jesstianity is a very tolerant religious practice). You can still send me a Charm City Cake, buy me a Coach purse, or get me a Corvette: But, you'll have to hurry because Jess Day is tomorrow! (I am at least laying claim to the day.)
Sunday, April 20, 2008
So, yes, I got a little drunky-drunk last night, and was only feeling so-so this morning when I got up. But I did get up and go to soccer, but about 5 minutes into the game, I reached to kick the ball, and felt a terrible, shooting pain in my right quad. I tried to run it off, but each time I would sprint or kick the ball, either quad would screaming in pain. And I can distinguish between discomfort and pain; this wasn't just sore muscles acting up, this was painful.
Therefore, even though I felt like a boob, I opted to sit out the second half of the game. It just hurt really bad and I was really sucking out there since I couldn't sprint or kick the ball effectively. I iced both quads and stretched them some on the sidelines, but they are sore right now. I don't know what happened. My best guess is that I pulled the muscles, or at the least, strained them; however, I'm not entirely sure.
I suppose I rest them today and tomorrow, and see how they are on Tuesday for a run. I hope I didn't really injure myself.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I was only partially successful.
See, my old swimsuits are getting kinda, well, old. My favorite one is 3 years old now and the bottoms are kinda stretched out and saggy. No girl likes a saggy bottom. So, I figured I'd go in search of a new suit since we plan on going to the beach next weekend to celebrate both mine and Jerry's b-days. I tried on about 20 suits and they all sucked -- I blame the suits, not my body. In the end, I decided to just buy a new pair of black bottoms (I have a black bikini top that I like but the bottoms that came with those are also saggy in the deire); thus, I got half a new suit.
It's okay. Nothing to write home about.
Anyhoo...that's about the extent my Saturday so far.
I did get to sleep in this morning, which was glorious, and now I'm going to iron some clothes for myself and Jerry because we're headed to my co-worker's memorial service this afternoon. Afterwards, some of the faculty in my department are meeting up at a downtown bar for a few memorial drinks to cry in our beer over the loss of our friend.
And, then tonight, I think we're going bowling, but I just learned of this. Funny how husbands can sometimes forget about social engagements that they've committed us to. Good thing I read about bowling on Ryan's blog, and then asked Jerry: "Hey, who's b-day is today that everyone else is going bowling for?" "Oh," Jerry said, "That's right. I forgot."
Friday, April 18, 2008
The run went just fine -- did 9 miles -- but the best part was in mile 8. I saw this guy turn onto the path up ahead about a quarter of a mile from me, and I could tell that his pace was slower than mine, so I set my sights on passing him. Two minutes later, he seemed a little startled when I warned him that I was on his left, but it felt good to "chick" him and leave him in my dust -- it gave me the little boost I needed to finish up in the final mile.
Total Time: 1:27:57
After the run, Jerry had dinner waiting, and we ate and watched "Summer Rental" with John Candy. Pretty cute flick; although, "The Great Outdoors" is far superior. Now, I think I'll go to bed and read for a bit...man, I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Total Time: 56:51
Now, I don't mean to rush on outta here, but "30 Rock" and the "The Office" are on in T-minus 3 minutes, so I gots to skedaddle. Check ya later!
Legs are feeling good today. And that only took, what, 4 days? No problemo. Anyhoo...with the newly loosened legs, I think I will try to do about 6 miles this evening, but what I also have to do this evening is read a whole stack of papers. Blech. I really don't wanna.
In other news, I hope you guys are paying attention to the fact that my b-day is only 5 days away now. I hope you're working extra hard in composing that b-day blog toast in my honor and considering your drink of choice for when you compose it. April 22nd. Jess Day. Yeah, just cross out "Earth" on your desk calendars, write "Jess," and you'll be sure to remember.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Total Time: 29:12
Now, I think I'm going to go lay on the couch for a bit and finish my book. I'm reading "The Hours" and I really like it -- and if the ending is going where I think it's going, it's gonna be pretty dang good. Earlier this week, I finished the novel "The Monsters of Templeton" and I thought it was alright. There were some innovative elements to it, but there were also a lot of trademark "first novel" aspects to it that detracted from the overall narrative. I guess I'd have to say that the best thing about it was the cover -- it looks cool.
I've also gotten to see a few movies as of late too. On Sunday, we watched "No Country for Old Men" and I have to say, that movie sure deserved its "Best Picture" Oscar. I thought it was the best movie I'd seen since "The Departed"; and it was one of the few movies adapted from a novel that looked exactly like I pictured it. On Monday, we continued our tour through Oscar nominees with "There Will be Blood," which I felt conflicted about: See, it was clearly a masterfully crafted movie and the acting was awesome, yet I really disliked some aspects of it. For one thing, it's like 3 hours long, and even though I have a pretty long attention span, I was getting antsy sitting through it. Plus, I felt entirely puzzled by the story's main character -- like there was some important aspect to him that was missing and that made it feel incomplete in some way.
Now, I still need to see "Atonement" (another novel I liked and am eager to see the film's interpretation of) and...what was another Best Picture nominee this year? I saw "Juno" (fabulous!) but I can't think of the 5th movie. Huh. This is gonna bug me.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Total Time: 30:10
Afterward I stretched, but I can already feel the muscles starting to stiffen up again. At this rate, by the time my legs feel back to normal, it will be soccer Sunday again.
At any rate, I do plan to get a short, easy run in this evening after my night class. We'll see how that feels.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Soccer certainly kicked my ass yesterday.
Therefore, I'm thinking of taking an unexpected rest day today. Usually, I run on Mondays and rest on Tuesdays, but I think I may need to reverse that order so my body can catch up from the extra work it did yesterday. Yowza, I can't believe how sore I am.
In completely un-related, but very sad news, one of my department's secretaries died over the weekend. She's been battling breast cancer for awhile, and it had worsened in the past few months. Two weeks ago, she went into the hospital, and didn't return. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that she was here, just a few weeks ago (sick, yes, but here), and now she's gone. It's a crushing loss -- on a personal and professional level. She was such a great person, and she battled the disease with bravery and courage; I'm really saddened to hear that she lost.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
To back up a bit, I should first tell you that it is NOT a good idea to stay up until midnight drinking beer when you have to get up at 7 am the next day to play soccer. Clearly, I have to treat the game with the same discipline as a long run or a speedwork session, and drinking 8 beers and cutting myself short on sleep are not good ways to prepare myself to run around for 80-90 minutes. Needless to say, I was a bit...slow...this morning when I got up.
However, out on the field, soccer and I fit together like PB and J -- it was like we'd never had the 10 years apart, and that was glorious. What was not glorious was that about 5 minutes into the game, I realized that no matter how in shape I thought I was, soccer was wearing me out. I played in the midfield, which means I did a lot of running back and forth, and it's not the back and forth that is so bad, it's really the SPRINTING back and forth that makes it hard. I was winded pretty quickly.
But, there were only enough players to play, no subs, so we played for about 40 minutes, took a 10 minute water break, and then went back out for another 40 minutes. In the second half, it started pouring rain, but because there was no lightning, we played on and finished up the game (my team lost -- poop), but while the rain was a pain to play in, it at least made things cooler, which was helpful because I was dying by the end.
Afterward, I was soaked, exhausted, and almost a little sick to my stomach, and when I was sitting down afterward, removing my cleats, socks and shin guards, my legs were wobbly like Bambi's. However, I also had SO much fun! It was great to be playing again and I loved the spirit of the team -- competitive enough to make it fun, but relaxed enough to not make it intimidating. I'll definitely be back next Sunday, and I hope that with each week, I get used to the speed workout.
Now, for the rest of the day? Well, it looks like it will be a rainy one, so I plan on crawling back into bed with my book, and I can't guarantee I'll stay awake.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Today: Slept in. Met preggo for lunch and pedicures. It was fabulous; my feet appreciated the attention, and now they are soft and pretty. Went for a short run (2 miles) in the scorching afternoon heat (87 degrees out + afternoon sun = too hot for Jess). You'd think I'd learn.
Tonight: Dinner out with some friends at a nearby restaurant. Then, perhaps, we will watch "The Money Pit" that we have in our Netflix pile. We've been in an '80s movies trend lately, and recent pics have included: "The Great Outdoors," "The 'Burbs," "Spies Like Us," "The Three Amigos," "Fletch," and "Caddyshack." So, in other words, we've been getting our fill of Chevy Chase and Tom Hanks.
Tomorrow: Only thing on the agenda is soccer in the morning. Cross your fingers it doesn't thunderstorm tomorrow so I can actually go play. Then for the rest of the day? Well, that's not determined yet. I probably should go to the laundromat and wash our comforter that Scooter puked on this afternoon, but I really hate the laundromat (our washer and drier aren't big enough for our comforter -- it has to go to the industrial sized ones at the 'mat), so maybe I'll make Jerry do it. Marcy says I need to practice more husband-domination.
Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend!
Friday, April 11, 2008
1. So, first of all: Marriage is a weird institution. One minute, you wanna scratch each other's eyes out and the next it's nothing but laughs and good times. Point in case: Jerry and I. Saturday we had a yelling match that had no equal -- it included the requisite door slamming and silent treatment. But then we resolved the issue and made up, and since then, we've been back to our regular light-hearted camaraderie. And perhaps it's because he can incite such anger in me, he can also spark so much love on my behalf, and seriously, he cracks me up on a near-daily basis. This week I have found him particularly charming, and I'll tell you the two comments he made that make me think so.
Comment Numero Uno: On Tuesday night, I called to let him know I was on my way home from my night class. We had a brief conversation about the day and then as we were about to conclude the call, he signed off by remarking: "Well, I have orcs to kill, so I'd best be off!"
That slayed me.
He's such a gaming nerd, yet instead of finding it geeky, I find it endearing and when he talks to me about the particulars of Middle Earth warfare, it warms my heart.
Comment Numero Dos: On Wednesday night, we were lying in bed having a strange conversation about whether or not turkeys have "taints" -- if you can answer the question, go ahead (and if you don't know what a "taint" is, I don't want to explain it). When he decided that my nickname from now on should be "Cheetah Cheeks"! Isn't that awesome? I think that's awesome.
2. What really angers me about smokers is not that they smoke -- I figure what you put in/take out of your body is your business -- so, no, I don't care about the smoking; instead, it's the littering that drives me nuts. All the time, when I'm sitting in traffic, I see people who just flick their cigarette butts out the car window onto the pavement of the street. This is disgusting behavior and I don't even wanna think about the amount of litter it must produce. Fine, if you wanna pollute your lungs, but no need to also pollute the earth!
3. My elderly student made a racist comment in class yesterday, and I didn't really know how to handle it or what to say, and it's been bugging me ever since. We were reading a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks titled "We Real Cool" and I asked them why the title is grammatically incorrect, and she said: "Because that's how the blacks talk in the ghetto."
Most students looked like they were gonna fall out of their chairs, but she didn't even really notice. See, I think she thought she was just making a plain observation, and I don't think she meant to hurt anyone's feelings -- despite the fact that if she would've looked to her left or right, she would've found a black student sitting nearby who probably took offense to her observation.
I simply responded that poor-grammar is not racially restrictive, nor is it a trademark of class or economic standing. Instead, I said, the poem intentionally uses poor grammar to make another kind of comment. At which point another student offered a separate, non-racist interpretation.
Like I said, I don't think she meant it as a comment to hurt people's feelings, nor do I think she was aware that such a comment was so offensive, yet does the fact that she's elderly excuse her from such ignorance? And should I have reprimanded her? It'd be like reprimanding my grandma! The whole episode has bugged me for the past 24 hours. Particularly my response/failure to respond adequately.
4. I was notified today that I was nominated as Professor of the Year, and the student commentary that was used as nomination slips was sent to me. But because I'm not tenured, I don't qualify for the award, so I don't get to go beyond the nomination process. It takes 3 years before I can apply for tenure. Then, I guess I can be recognized for my greatness. Until then, you may address me as "Jess, Potential Professor of the Year."
5. "The Office" last night was both one of the best shows and one of the worst shows I've seen in a long time. On the one hand, I was just grateful for a new episode -- we've been without for so long -- yet, on the other hand, the episode was so incredibly awkward that I felt physically uncomfortable. Mostly because I feel as though Michael and Jan threw a dinner party that resembled some dinner parties I've been to before -- it seriously made me squeamish. Yet, it had some of the most hilarious parts ever. Such mixed emotions!
Well, that's it for now. Thanks for hearing me blather on, and enjoy your Friday!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
It's either eat at, like, 4:30 pm and allow a few hours to digest before heading out, or it's eating dinner at 9 pm. Neither is a very desirable dinner hour.
So, this evening we chose the early-bird dinner, but clearly I ate too much and didn't allow enough time for digestion because by the time I went out for my run, I suffered. I planned on doing 5 miles, but within the first mile, my tummy was upset and I had heartburn like I haven't had in a long time.
Around mile 3, I made the executive decision to turn home early and cut the run down to 4 miles instead of 5, and even with that decision, I had to walk for a bit in mile 4 to allow the tummy to settle some. Here are the dirty digits:
3: 9:47 (feeling kinda pukey at this point)
Total Time: 41:18
So, I suppose I have one of two options before me: eat a much smaller meal for early dinner or go with the late dinner. Running in the morning during the week just isn't an option.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
So...in other news, I had a nice 6 miler this evening:
Total Time: 57:29
It was a nice, cool evening, and the only thing that sucked about the run was that the iPod's battery pooped itself in the last half mile. I was right in the middle of Metallica's "Fuel" and then -- nothing. Silence. I blame the quiet for the last mile's slow time.
You're really slacking on the gifts. I have not had one. single. package. arrive at my house yet.
By now, I should be eyeball deep in wrapping paper and foam peanuts. Where are the diamond tennis bracelets and designer purses? Do you want me to continue reading your blogs and leaving witty commentary? Huh? Huh? Do ya?!
Cuz that's not free.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Afterwards, Jerry and I found ourselves in our kitchen, knuckle deep in hummus (after drinking, a rockstar always needs a snack before bed) and arguing over who was stronger. So, we had to arm wrestle.
I'm sorry to report that I am not stronger. He let me use both arms, and I still didn't win.
Monday, April 07, 2008
While everyone in the northern states is rejoicing at the sight of green grass and sunny days, we here in the tropics are entering the dreadedly hot months, better known here on the blogosphere as the season of "Jess' bitching and moaning about the heat and humidity." Thus, commences the season. So, from here until about October, prepare yourselves for near-daily groaning about how running here feels like running underwater, and you can brace yourselves for phrases such as: "hotter than Hades," "sweating more than a whore in church," and "good god, I thought I was going to burst into flames."
This evening the change in season became clear to me while I was out on my 4 miler, so I'll give you a peek into my thought process so you may understand:
Mile 1: 9:20
Ahhh, this feels nice. The sun is setting, there's a light breeze; it's not so bad out here.
Mile 2: 9:12
Phew, it's a little warmer than I at first thought. Where'd that breeze go? Ack! A bug just flew into my mouth! Blech-blech. Damn bugs. Oh, christ on crutches! I nearly stepped on that lizard! Damn lizards.
Mile 3: 9:36
Fuck me. It's hot out here. I'm sweatin' like my students do during a pop quiz. I can feel my face pulsing! Bet I look like a tomato.
Mile 4: 9:39
Holy hell, when will these four miles come to an end? My fingers feel a little swollen, I just swallowed another goddamn bug, another lizard nearly kamikazeed its way under my shoe, and I think my eyebrow just melted into my eyeball.
Total Time: 37:50
I need a bottle of water, a cold shower, and air conditioning. Stat.
So...yeah...I got home and checked the temp (believing it to be somewhere between 1 million and 2 million degrees) and it was only 80 with 61% humidity. Um, that's not that hot. It's gonna get a whole lotta-hotta in here in the next few months. Did I really forget about that?
Anyway, guess I'll adjust. Right now, I have to go get ready to head out to the bar for some more Rock Band where cold, frosty beer awaits me. So, I'll catch ya later. Rock on.
So, I loaded up all that stuff and made a run to Salvation Army to drop off the clothes and regular shoes and this afternoon, I'm gonna drop the running shoes off at my local running store (they donate them to a running charity). Feels good to clean out that kind of stuff -- plus, my closet feels so much bigger now and I have room for a brand new wardrobe! :)
After the closet cleaning frenzy, I spent the afternoon relaxing with a book, and in the evening, I made dinner, and Jerry and I watched "Caddyshack" and played Risk. After 2 and 1/2 hours of that game, I forfeited. Not necessarily because I was losing, but because I was tired of the game. I like Risk; I just wish it could take about half the time to play; oh, and I wish Jerry wouldn't delight so much in annihilating my armies. He's quite vicious when it comes to world domination.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I guess I have to wait until next Sunday to play soccer.
On the upside, we saw "Run Fatboy Run" yesterday and I can report back to you that it was hilarious. Go see it.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Damn you, wind, you make running hard!
So...without much to transition...this morning I tried out the community ed yoga, and well, it was about what I expected: chock full of elderly people, and even the instructor looked to be about 80 (in fact, she was unable to do a few poses, and was only able to instruct upon them -- not a good sign). So, what can be said of the hour? Well, it was a good stretching opportunity, but it's not what I would refer to as much of a workout. We did all floor poses -- not a single sun salutation or warrior pose -- and while there were a few challenging poses, like wheel, bow, and camel, they were all back bends. Not real hard.
Like I said, I felt well-stretched afterward, but I definitely need to continue the search for an appropriate fit for a regular yoga practice. And after all, the community ed was only $4, so I guess this was a classic case of getting what I paid for, and $4 worth of yoga doesn't get me much.
Friday, April 04, 2008
First new thing? More yoga. I used to be pretty devoted to it, but it has fallen to the wayside, and despite attempts to ressurect a practice on my own, I've never really found a way to practice it by myself and keep up with a routine. So, I need to find a suitable place to attend classes. Most yoga studios are pretty pricey, so tomorrow morning, I'm gonna test out community ed. It costs $4 per session. Of course, the mere mention of "community ed" conjures up images of sweat-pants-wearing-retirees, and considering that this is South Florida, it may very well be that kind of crowd. But I figure there's no harm in trying it. If it's not challenging enough, I won't return. But I think trying it is worth $4.
Second thing? Soccer. I played soccer my entire childhood and adolescence (I played varsity in HS and lettered in it), but then after HS, I pretty much stopped playing, except for one season of intra-mural soccer in college -- I mostly stopped playing because adult women leagues are not easy to come by and are often expensive. But a few weeks ago, I was speaking with a textbook rep I know and she mentioned that she plays on Sundays with an all-women league and she said it wasn't too competitive and it was open to new members for a reasonable price. I asked her to provide more info, and now I'm gonna go play with them this Sunday. I am freakin excited! Sunday is gonna be a tester to see if I like it, and if I do, I can sign up there and get registered with the league to play regularly. Wa-hoo!
I figure soccer is a great way to return to a sport I love, and it's excellent conditioning and should be a good way for me to incorporate speed work. Plus, I get to meet more people and socialize with some people I don't know, and I figure broadening my social horizons is always a good, healthy idea.
So, those are my two "new" endeavors, but an additional endeavor is to return to a regular training schedule, and thus, I have officially signed up for 3 races that I've talked about:
The Disney "Women Run the World" 15K in Orlando. May 4th.
The Colfax Half Marathon in Denver. May 18th.
And, the Army 10 miler in Washington, DC. October 5th.
So, yeah, I'm pretty excited about all of this stuff! Therefore, I'd best be going -- I gots shiz to do! Happy Friday, homies.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I got to pick up some around the house, and I cleaned the master bathroom, which to be honest, had a little mold growing in the toilet bowl.
I got to read some more of my book, "Then We Came to the End" by Joshua Ferris, and it's pretty good. I might finish it tonight or tomorrow. Will probably stop at B&N after class tomorrow anyway and stock up on a few new reads.
And, I got a run in. 4 miles. Time: 37:57. Felt pretty good -- weather was nice.
Now, I think I will eat something. Probably a bowl of cereal, because when Jerry's gone, I pretty much don't cook.
Ahhh...it's nice to have an evening at home!
But even though I'm feeling a-o-k, I don't think I'm gonna run the corporate run 5K this evening. Really, the only compelling obligation I feel to run it is because my friends are running it, but they already know that I'll smoke their asses if I go, so this way they can just compete with one another and they don't need to worry about getting "chicked." Otherwise...yeah, I just don't feel like going: I haven't been home for an evening yet this week and I just want to go home after class today and stay there. I'll still run; I just don't feel like racing today.
That's really all the news I have for now. Peace out.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
After a good night's sleep, I feel better today -- not %100, but better -- which is good because I have another long day today. See, I agreed last week to sub for a colleague who's out of town this week, and today I have an afternoon class of hers, as well as a night class of hers. I'm not psyched about another long day, but whatevah, the extra money is always nice and doing favors for fellow faculty usually helps in the long run as well.
But, I'm a busy gal, so I gots to skedaddle! Check ya later, homies.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Anyway, I don't think the smoky bar or singing helped my "ickiness," and this morning, I woke up with full-blown cold crap. I got the drippy nose, the plugged ears, the achy body, and the cough. Right now, I'm at school, muscling through (with the help of Tylenol Cold), but a huge part of me wants to cancel my night class this evening so I can go home and get some rest. We'll see how the day progresses.
In other news, Jerry departs this afternoon for Orlando -- he has a conference to attend -- and he won't be home until Friday night after the last day of the conference. That sucks, especially now that I'm sick. I suppose this means I'll have to go to the store and get Sprite myself. Poop.