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Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Okay, here's a 'do pic:
This is the fixed version, but imagine those short layers remaining the same, but then add about five inches of hair off the back: That's what I got, and my friends, that was a mullet.
But aside from the hair...
So, the trouble with my knee has had me thinking about resuming my vitamin intake. I had been a religious vitamin ingester for years, but about six months ago, I stopped. I was sick of them, sick of swallowing that horse pill, but now I'm trying to take exemplary care of myself so that the IT band recovers easily and heartily -- I don't want to deal with injury again (and yes, I know that the IT band is not connected with my vitamin intake, but in my mind, the two are bonded together). Also, someone told me that fish oil pills help with joint lubrication (plus, they're supposed to cure all other kinds of ills; plus, my dog takes a fish oil pill every day -- pet-sized -- to help give him a healthy coat, so I figure a lovely side effect would be especially shiny hair for me).
The orthopedist said there's no hard medical data to support fish oil pill usage with joint recovery, but he said that it couldn't hurt. But, here's my problem: I hate those damn pills! They're so big and they always seem to get wedged part way down my throat and I gag just thinking about swallowing them.
However, this morning, I was dutifully taking the ibuprofren the doctor has instructed me to take, and I figured since I was already in the business of ingesting pills, I might as well take a multi-vitamin and a fish oil. Ack! They were terrible. Sure enough, that fish oil pill felt like it got lodged halfway down my throat, and I swear I could taste the fishiness, even though the bottle says the special coating won't allow that. After gagging my way through that one, I wasn't too excited to swallow the vitamin, but I choked it down as well (compared to the fish oil, it went down rather easily).
I don't know if I can resume this routine regularly -- they are just too icky! And I just don't understand why vitamins have to be so big, or why they can't at least be gel-coated.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Earlier today, I posted a pic of my new 'do, but because my home computer decided to shit itself, that post was deleted. Argh.

But, beyond the hairdo (which was successfully fixed), and onto running stuff: I had my doctor appointment this morning for my knee, and the long and short of it? ITBS. So, the doctor said to take another week off running, take 2 ibuprofren 3 times a day (in order for it to act as an anti-inflammatory instead of just as a pain reliever), ice, and stretching. After the visit with the doc (where my x-rays revealed the bones and ligaments of a "teenager"! he called me a "young" 28, which seems repetitive -- isn't 28 already "young"?), I met with a physical therapist who showed me some stretches and massage techniques to loosen up the band and, hopefully, relieve and eliminate the pain there when I run.

So, all in all, it was a positive visit. If things don't improve, I'll re-visit in a month, but the doctor said there was no reason to believe this was a serious injury. Phew!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Haircut from Hell

Last night I decided to swing by the mall and get my hair trimmed. I am not one to shell out money for a pricey haricut, and especially for a trim, I figured I could stop into a MasterCuts and get the job done. Well...

This stylist was drunk. Either that, or crazy. I'm not sure which. Anyway, I should've bolted when I noted how she kinda stumbled around, and then when I went to sit in her chair, there was a bag of kettle korn, which she offered me. I declined. But I sat down where her snack had been.

I told her that I wanted to maintain the basic shape of my hairstyle, I just wanted it trimmed in order to freshen it up and eliminate the dry ends. She heartily agreed it could be done and set to work with her scissors. As she happily chopped away, she chatted -- and it was the chat of someone who was not in her right mind. At first, she asked if the mole above my lip was natural, I told her it was, and she said how lucky I was to have that (didn't feel so lucky when I was eight and kids teased me -- "is that a chocolate chip on your face?") because she had tattooed hers on! Looking at her reflection in the mirror, it suddenly became apparent that it was a tattoo! (I have nothing against tatts -- I have one myself -- but to tattoo what is essentially a skin abnormality onto your face?! WTF?)

Anyway, she babbled on about how everyone in S. FL is terrible and rude and how she hates everybody here, except for me because I was nice, and how much I was just gonna LOVE my hair because she was doing something really fantastic with it. And this is when I got scared. I just wanted a trim; I didn't want "something fantastic." In the meantime, she dropped her comb and had to lean on my left knee to bend over and pick it up! I was so baffled by her behavior that I was literally captively stunned. And, it's hard to tell exactly what a stylist is doing since she was yanking my head back and forth and hair often fell in my eyes, but it was revealed when she was finished that she'd essentially given me a mullet.

A mullet, people.

Lots of short layers on top, and then she'd left the back long! Eek gad! I guess $12.95 just doesn't buy you the quality you're used to these days.

Once I was home, explaining to my husband the haircut that a trained chimp could've given me (and which I 'd tipped her for as well -- my manners don't escape me even when I know that money probably went to an 8 ball in the back alley), he commented: "It doesn't look terrible, but if I were you, I'd get it fixed." Get it fixed! If my husband notices how bad it is, it must be bad!! So, I've got to find a place today to get this business taken care of, which means I'm going to end up with a style that is far shorter than a "trim," and I will probably end up paying twice as much as I set out to. But I guess every story has a lesson, and my lesson?

Avoid "Drunk Denise" at MasterCuts. I guess $12.95 is a fair price for that one.

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Students and Me

I'm feeling much better today -- so far, it's been the same 48 hour cycle that I went through 3 weeks ago -- the fever is gone, the running nose has stopped up, and now I'm just left feeling kinda clogged and a bit fuzzy in the head. Otherwise, I'm fine.

I think there are several factors that have contributed to the cycle of sickness, but I think chief among them is that I'm exposed to so many people on a daily basis: primarily students. And they are petri dishes of viral disease just as elementary students are (maybe worse, since college students don't take very good care of their health; half of them are strung out on caffeine, cigarettes, and stress, and none of those elements help contribute to healthy immune systems). And right now, everyone is complaining of being ill, faculty members included. In fact, the irony of the situation this week is that even though I've been sick, I've been teaching my own classes, as well as filling in for others while they're taking sick leave (hey, if I can trudge through it, it's just a little extra change in my pocket).

Anyway, spring break is the first week of March, so hopefully the week off will give us all some much needed rest. Until then, I'll just have to make sure those students aren't licking their papers before handing them in to me.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Side Effects

Could be the title of a book, eh?

Anyhoo, I'm pretty much in a drug-induced haze today (probably makes me a more interesting instructor). The cold got progressively snottier yesterday and by the time I got home from school at 6:30, my nose was rubbed raw and the boogers were sliding out on their own. Dissatisifed with the cold medicine I got before, I went to Target, and got some super strength Tylenol Cold -- Day and Night (if I was within driving distance of Canada, I would've made the trek for that Tylenol 3 with codeine -- I wanted the powerful stuff, but I guess this version made due). Last night I took the night stuff, and sure enough, I was immediately drowsy and went to bed at 9 (which, is probably good for me anyway, but I missed "Lost" -- so don't spoil it for me).

This morning, I awoke groggy and disoriented, but I pressed forth with the drugs and popped two of the "day" versions. As I swallowed, I read the side of the box, and the medication's side effects: nausea, vomitting, headache (!), excitability (my favorite), anxiety, and fatigue (I guess that comes after the "excitability"). I immediately wondered about the anxiety and excitability, especially since I was swallowing the pills with coffee -- and I have a tendancy to be a bit "excited" all the time. But it's the "headache" I find humorous since it's TYLENOL! Take it to cure a headache, but it may give you a headache!

Excitability or not, I'm trudging through my teaching schedule today like a good little soldier, but man, sometimes the medication makes you feel just as shitty as the illness itself.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sick Again?!

Yep. I am.

I can't believe this. 3 times in 3 months! Usually, I think of myself as being very healthy, and I hardly ever fall ill. Yet, I keep contracting cold after after cold (and now with the knee, I feel like I'm falling apart).

What gives, immune system?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

First impression of how the interview went?

I think it went well.

But did it go better for those other candidates? That's the main question, I think.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dr. Appointment

I made an appointment with an orthopedic specialist today, and I go see him next Monday. Until then, no running, says the nurse/receptionist on the phone.

P.S. Tomorrow is my personal interview, and I'm pretty nervous. Got my outfit picked out though.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Well, I didn't finish.

In fact, I only made it 2 miles, and it was at that early point that I knew the pain in my right knee wasn't going to relent.

I felt good as I stood at the start line, and was excited for the race ahead of me, but a half mile into it, my knee began to ache and I had to stop and stretch. At mile 1, the ache had turned into a sharp, shooting pain and I had already stopped and stretched several times. I know there are people who are able to work through pain and see to getting the job done, and for a little bit, I thought I could be one of those people, but by mile 2, I had already stopped a handful of times, and the pain was not subsiding. I knew then I couldn't go the next 11 miles.

So, I turned around and walked back.

My knee dully ached as I walked back to the parking garage where my car was waiting for me, and after awhile even that subsided. I knew, however, that if I started jogging again that the pain would resume. It was over for the day, and for the race.

I am deeply disappointed that I didn't finish; I didn't even get past mile 2. And, I guess this means I need to see a doctor, because ignoring this problem has not been enough to make it go away.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Beach Front Avenue!

Tomorrow is the A1A (the road made popular through Vanilla Ice) half marathon, and it looks like it will be a chilly early morning run. Temps dropped here in South Florida, and tomorrow morning at 6 am (start time) it will probably hover between the high 30's and low 40's: that's brrrr! I think I may have to bring toss-away clothes: I don't know, it totally changes my outfit plan (which, I already affixed my bib # -- 6081 -- to my designated shirt, and I may have to change that now; I may go with a long sleeved shirt, but I'm not sure).

Well, those are issues to hammer out today. That, and settling on the tune sequence (v. important matter). Then, tomorrow, I rise at 3:30 am and get ready for 13.1 miles!

Friday, February 16, 2007


Today, I'm going to the A1A expo to pick up my packet info for Sunday's race. And I'm hoping that being at the expo and getting my race info will pump me up for this event; because right now, I gotta be honest and let you know that I am not feeling in to it.

There's the doubt that I won't do well, the fear that my knee will fail me, and the general race apprehension that always makes me want to just stay in bed race day morning; however, there's also several other things weighing on me and the race feels like the least of my priorities.

I have that personal interview on Tuesday at 8 am, and that will be not just an interview, but an interview plus teaching demonstration plus grading discussion (so, they'll interview me -- standard style -- then I'll give a 20 minute presentation to showcase my skills, and then they'll give me some sample student work that I have to assess and explain why I would assess it in such a manner; that last one I'm not too concerned about b/c I'm pretty sure you could grade an essay any way you want, but it's the explanation that counts), so that has me a bit stressed and I've been thinking of it all week (most stressful aspect? what to wear!). Also, our kitchen is officially a pile of rubble and the house is in ruins right now.

I've really been a slacker in helping my husband lately and I guess I've been grumpy about the demolition disrupting my life (even though I know that when it's done -- someday -- that our condo will be lovely), so I don't think he's been too pleased with me this week either.

So, as I said, the race is not forefront on my mind, but I'm hoping that it actually serves as a distraction from these other worries and anxieties. And once I'm at the expo and I get my race stuff, it will feel more real -- I'll still have the concerns about my ability to do the race and to do it well, but come Sunday morning, I know I'll just get out there and do it -- same with that interview and same with the house (maybe).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Post Valentine's Day

Last night on my way home, I saw a car with this license plate: LUV HRTS. Ha! How appropriate for Valentine's Day! It was the first time I actually wished my cell had a camera on it.

My husband and I ended up at Ruby Tuesday last night for some delicious mini burgers and beer, so it was actually a very nice holiday. Afterwards, we went to Target and got chocolate ice cream and then went home to watch "Lost." Yep, pretty romantic.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy V-Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! What are your plans?

My husband and I are still up in the air about what we're doing. Originally, we'd planned to make a nice dinner at home, but because we are currently remodeling our kitchen, and it's a disaster, we might choose to go out. Of course, last minute dinner-out plans on V-Day pretty much guarantees that we'll be expressing our love over burgers at McDonald's -- but what do I care? If I don't have cook, I'm pleased.

P.S. 4 days until the half marathon that I feel totally under-prepared for.

Monday, February 12, 2007

No Oomf

Just kidding on that long run yesterday: ended up doing just 3 miles. Wasn't necessarily the knee -- I just had no "oomf" in me. What can I say? Some days have "oomf" and some don't.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weekend Round-Up

Well, I must've done better on the phone interview than I thought because I got a call yesterday morning inviting me back for a personal interview a week from tomorrow! Woo-hoo! I'm pumped to be moving forward but also nervous because I know there's competition -- I'll just have to bring my "A" game to that interview.

But aside from stressing over that, and then enjoying the relief of the call yesterday, I was mostly bed-ridden yesterday. You see, I went to a friend's wine party Friday night and had FAR too much wine and stayed up WAY too late. Needless to say, I spent most of the day yesterday moaning and groaning and it was a wasted day. Sometimes I wonder when I'm gonna grow up and learn when to control myself, ugh.

Anyway, it was good that yesterday was a day of rest, because rest is all I did. Friday I ran a quick 2 miles with Scooter, and this evening I plan to do a long run -- I'm thinking of something in the range of 10 miles if all goes well with the knee. The half marathon is a week from today!

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Post-Interview Post

The best way to describe my interview this morning (see previous post below) is: Meh.

The phone format is certainly not my forte. For one thing, the committee was obviously calling from a conference room with a conference phone, and I found it a little difficult to hear some questions, and had to ask twice to repeat something -- which made me feel like a doofus. Secondly, on the phone, it's hard to read those I was speaking to since I couldn't see them. So, it was difficult to gauge their responses to how I answered the questions. And I had a few moments in which I felt like I was just babbling on to myself.

And while I feel like I fielded questions well (okay, maybe I should say I fielded them "adequately"), when I think back on them, I keep thinking about how I could have answered so much better. Suffice it to say, I feel very doubtful of my chances of moving on to the "in person" interview, but I should know one way or another by Monday (it's gonna be a looooong weekend -- I'll have to distract myself with some Bud Light). *Sigh*

In T-Minus 23 Minutes,

I have an important interview.

I'm interviewing for a full-time permanent faculty position at the community college where I teach, and the interview represents a milestone for me. See, for the past 3 years, I've been teaching as an adjunct professor, which basically means that even though I carry a full load of classes, I don't get paid very well, I have to share an office, and I don't receive benefits. It kinda sucks.

But things have been looking up for my career in the last year: Last spring I won an important teaching award (Adjunct Professor of the Year) and last fall, I was granted a full-time "temporary" position within the department, and this is the first year I've applied for a full-time permanent position and have actually received an invitation to an interview -- so I am making progress, albeit slow progress (however, academia is a slow moving world and I'm very young for my profession).

So, the interview is by phone (which kinda blows b/c I think I'm better in person, but hey, I can still be charming by phone) and I'm expecting the call in less than half an hour. Perviously, I wasn't a bit nervous -- true, the interview has been on my mind this week, but I've been very confident thinking about it. Now, though I am starting to feel the anxiety (could also be the 3 cups of coffee I've had). So, my heart is yammering and I have already double checked the phone twice to make sure it works (not that it's ever NOT worked before, but you know). I've also got Scooter out on the back porch so that he is -- hopefully -- distracted by looking at the ducks and doesn't decide to play with a squeeker toy while I'm on the phone. I don't think I can be more prepared.

Cross your fingers for me and wish me the best of luck!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

7 on the 7th

I ran 7 miles this evening with minimal knee issues* and it felt pretty darn good. Of course, it sucked when I got home and realized I had locked myself out.

My husband had gone to run some errands, and I'd locked the door on my way out -- confident that he would return before me -- but I should've known better. After trying both the front door and back door, I resigned myself to wait for my husband to return home (I only briefly considered scaling the bushes and attempting a hijacking through the kitchen window). Meanwhile, knowing that I was just outside the door, Scooter started whining and crying (the Beagle howl was so lonely and sad), so I ended up standing by the guest bedroom window so that Scooter could see me and so he would shush. Of course, people had to wonder what the nutty lady was doing standing outside her condo in just shorts and a sports bra -- I felt a little naked in the moonlight. Just when I was about to knock on a neighbor's door and ask to borrow a phone, my husband arrived.

This is the 3rd time I've been locked out of the house (4, if you count the time I thought I was locked out, but then found my key in my shorts), and it had me seriously considering one of those key-hiders for either under my car or for some location on the exterior of the building. Hmmm...I'll have to think more on that later: "Lost" is on in 25 minutes and I need to save up my mental juice for that.

*Knee ached some off and on, and I had to stop and stretch at mile 5, but on the whole, it felt better.

"National" Ab Month

I read Runner26's post on Monday about "National" Ab Month and decided to take up the challenge: Some ab work every day for the month of February. Now, I am entering the month's ab work a little late (started on the 6th of the month), but I figure it can still be a challenge (it's still 22 days worth of abs, abs, abs). So, yesterday was the first day of ab work in about...oh...maybe five months. Yeah. I don't really have abs, I just have a middle section where cake goes.

I figure the focus on abs will be a good way to find my way back into some other strength training exercises and stretching. Before I know it, I'll have more than a middle section: I'll have abs! Where the cake goes.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Running, Knees, Gym

It's been cool and rainy here the past few days (as was observed during the Super Bowl -- it was not sun-shiny), which is nice because it allows me to run at times of the day when it's normally too warm. So yesterday I was able to fit my 3 miles in the mid-morning instead of waiting until after work in the evening. The weather was nice and cool, perfect for a run, but again my right knee bothered me.

At this point, I'm getting a little nervous about the half coming up in two weeks: I haven't run any true long runs in preparation and my knee is concerning me. Ack.

In other news, I officially quit the gym. I haven't used it since posting about my dilemma over whether or not to keep my membership, so I decided to cancel my membership and keep my $35 a month all to myself. So, it's official; I am now "sans gym."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007

No 5K

I didn't race today.

Initially, I planned to and set out my stuff last night, but this morning, while I was feeling much improved, I asked myself: Why push it for a 5K? Especially when I have a half marathon in a few weeks and that's what I want to be in top notch health for. So while this 5K is meaningful, I will be there for it next year.

Today I will rest from running and tomorrow I will get back to my regularly scheduled runs. It feels like a very rational decision. But then, why do I feel guilty for missing the race?

Friday, February 02, 2007

To 5K or Not to 5K

After the best night of sleep I've had all week, I am feeling much better today. The fever, achiness, tiredness is gone and while I'm still congested, I am feeling well enough to teach my class this afternoon. But I am now faced with an interesting conundrum:

Do I run my planned 5K on Saturday?

I do want to run this race because it would be my 3rd year in a row running it, and it has special meaning: It was my first 5k in FL and I'd like to run it each year. But after being sick all week, I'm not sure if it's a good idea. Plus, it's before my Saturday class, so I'd have to run the race and then go to class all sweaty. I'd be disappointed to miss it though.

I need a Magic 8 Ball to help me out!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Marinating in Mucus

The virus that I mistakenly dubbed an "incidental bug" has taken offense to such a title and has retaliated by turning into a full-blown-booger-disaster.

After a pretty much sleepless night, I got up this morning and whined that I didn't want to go to work, yet what did I do? I showered and got ready for work. On my way in to class, I was thinking how ridiculous this was: Snot kept creeping out my nose, I was hacking away, my eyes were itching and watery, I felt achy and tired all over, and yet I was on my way into work. I can trace such ridiculousness back to childhood when my mom felt that the only reasons to stay home from school were bleeding and barfing; if you weren't doing one of either, you were going to school. Thus, I grew into an adult who believed the same thing, and I have trudged to work and school through all kinds of sickness, reluctant to throw in the hat and stay at home.

So, I got to school ready to slog through a miserable day, but then as I stood at the copier making copies of some work to do in class, I thought : "Jess, this is silly; go home." So, I met with my first class, collected their papers and sent them on their way (they were all to happy to do so), and then I cancelled the day's remaining classes. I packed up my stuff and headed home. On the way, I stopped off at Walgreens and picked up some cold medicine (first, I stared at the dizzying array of medicinal choices -- did I want something non-drowsy or something to induce sleep? I didn't want either: the non-drowsy stuff had caffeine in it, and I'm not at home for the day so I can lay in bed with my heart racing; and the sleep inducing stuff has a narcotic in it, and I didn't come home for the day in order to slip into a drug-induced coma. In the end, I chose a generic cold medicine that just promised to reduce my fever and decongest me), and now that I'm drugged up and in my favorite sweat pants and t-shirt, I am ready for the healing to begin.

I am not bleeding and I am not barfing, but I am sick, and I deserve to be at home in order to get better.

So, my first order of business is to get into bed with my book, let the cold medicine work its magic, and maybe drift off to sleep for awhile. Perhaps, a fairy godmother (or my kind husband who may read this post shortly) will bring me some Diet Sprite later today -- I think that will cure me.

This Week Sucks

I feel like crap: I haven't slept well the past two nights and tonight I can't seem to sleep at all. I'm not getting anything done -- except for watching a lot of TV -- I'm addicted to Bravo, and last night I watched the "Real Housewives of OC" and felt thoroughly frustrated with the stupid rich people (I had a whole tirade here, but really, it was completely out of context and I blame my anger on my fever), yet I kept on watching, and tonight I watched the finale of "Top Chef" which was alright and then I got suckered into staying on the channel for "Top Design" which I thought lacked all the great ingredients that make Project Runway and Top Chef so awesome, yet I'm sure I'll continue to tune in from week to week.

But aside from channel surfing, I have mostly wallowed in self-pity and boogers (literally, I had a moment when I bent over to pick something up off the floor and snot just slid out of my nose -- totally gross). If I don't get to bed and get some sleep soon, I don't know if I'll be going in to class tomorrow (which, technically, is TODAY).