Monday, March 30, 2009

Engagement Party

Long week last week, followed by a long weekend of party. Went out to Kansas for my engagement party, thrown by Cheese's sister. It was fantastic, even if the weather didn't cooperate one bit (the half-marathon we were supposed to run Saturday morning was cancelled, so there was no way to work off all the alcohol calories I consumed later that night....) Not a lot of commentary today, because I have been thrown back into Work Hell, but hopefully Cheese's sister will send me the more social funyn pictures, and my jokes might spontaneously return.

Mama Q, Ellie and Me.
Me being sassy.

The in-laws.

Mamma Q and me.

The party girls. Note - I was eight drinks beyond my normal zero at this point. I was one Bud Light away from making some bad decisions, so shortly after this pictures, I took myself upstairs and into bed.

The party dudes. See Cheese?

The toast.
Down the hatch.
So that's it for now. More later.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

So About That Vacation...


Anyone else feel just absolutely zonked by the time Friday rolls around?

My motivation to work or do anything really is obliterated.

I also work most Saturday mornings in private practice, so I kind of have to keep going until Sunday.

And then that's only one day to recharge!

And please, don't take that as a complaint about working - I think we all know how fortunate us employed are, and frankly I do enjoy my work. And given the recent budget proposal for our state -the one with all the cuts and that awesome income tax hike - I am going to appreciate it even more if I don't lose it.

Although the upside to working this hard is that I am making myself virtually indispensible to the team, and doing so with 100% completion rate (hard to explain, but trust me - 100% anything is really, really good).

So back to burnout - I picked up Cheese at the airport last night from his most recent 21-day work trip to Baton Rouge (and yes, that's 21 straight, 18+ hour days, no weekends off).

In addition to us being both Walking Dead, I was surrounded by people all tan and giddy from their Spring Break trips.

I could still smell the suntan lotion as they walked by in their shorts and flip flops (despite Chicago's 30 degree weather last night - ahhh, to be young again).

The only thing that stopped me from booking the next flight to Anywhere-But-Chicago, USA, was the fact that I had Cheese standing next to me after a very long 21 day absence.

That, and the fact that my schedule does not allow for any vacation time right now. I think it would give my boss a Grabber if I peaced-out for a week. I am already scheduled to be out of town for one Friday next week for my engagement party/half marathon in Kansas, and a Friday at the end of April for my half-marathon/visit my brother in Nashville.

And these are all good times - but not a beach in site. So by the time I could probably go somewhere with an ocean view, it will already be summer, and wedding stuff will be in full swing (not to mention that my vacation days repopulate in July, so they will all be saved for the honeymoon).

So Chicago it is - and I can just live vicariously through everyone elses trips and pictures.

Unless anyone has any suggestions......

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just Wrong

No matter what side of the fence you stand on when it comes to Washington, you have to know this is shitty:

Considering my family's own investment in children with special needs, and my post from just two weeks ago, this turned my stomach.

All the things he could have said, and he likens his skills to the Special Olympics.

How truly sensitive of him.

And you effing hell know that if this were a Republican, people would be screaming until their lungs bled.


Of course, this is a grain of sand on the beach of a government that truly seems to spinning out of control. For the first time since all this bailout stuff went down, I felt pretty hopeless today. The hole that they are willy-nilly digging this country is outragous.

I think most people accepted the stimulus bill out of fear and insecurity over a "crisis." When you are told by your leader that your country is on the verge of collapse, you freak, you trust, you believe. Were there a few things in there that will give the economy a boost? Sure. But were there a shitload more of things that in no way, shape, or form be considered "Emergency?" Absoltely.

And that's an important difference - the bill was an "emergency" spending bill turned lets-use-this-crisis-to-our-own-advantage-bill.

And now - infusing one trillion dollars into the economy - just printed up like the pages of my dissertation - is asking for a collapse. I'll fully admit that I am no economist, but this can't possibly be a good thing.

I mean, doesn't anyone in Washington think that maybe there was a REASON we have never done this much spending in the history of this country? Did they just assume that all previous governments were stingy?

Seems to me that it was never done becuase the consequences down the road are far too extreme. And while yes, we are in a recession - it is not the worst ever seen, and the country has pulled itself out before, without these extreme measures.

And I simply don't feel there is anyone up there that seems to give a shit, who can actually - with true honesty - say that they are "working for the people." Both sides of that fense are getting what they want so Fuck the people, right?

And for the record, this isn't a Left v Right thing - they are all part of it, they are all responsible for not slowing down this train. And we as Americans are responsible for buying Washington's bullshit.

I mean, millions of people showed up for the historical inaugeration- why can't millions of Americans need to now band together and stand in front of Congress and say, "WTF?!?!"

You know, people cried FOUL (and still are) that Bush used fear and lies to engage us in war - with echos of impeachment throughout his presidency.

What do you think Washington - and our President - is doing now? And with your money? With your future? With your children's future? Using a tough economic time to push through their own agenda - An agenda that has the potential to devestate our economy, change the basic strucutre of our country, and even violate constitutional law to do it.

All of this - this whole thing - just feel so shitty right now.

I just pulled this off of an updated version of the same story:

"Obama made his comments at the show's taping, and it was unclear whether all of them would actually air later in the evening."

Of course.

I mean, seriously. Why fucking bother anymore?

I Need A Vacation

That is all.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Brother Will Be Interested in This

Apparently, our pal, Dane, from the BL marathon fiasco, will be trying his running legs again at the Nashville marathon in April.

You know who else is running that race?

Yup - it's me!

Well, I will actually be running the half marathon.

But hey - if you ask the BL -it's all the same, right?

I guess you can sign up on the marathon site to "Run with Dane."

Even though I am already signed up for the half, I thought, "Huh, that would be interesting...think of all the scoop I could get out of him!"

But then I remembered - the marathons I run are 26.2 miles.

Yeah, I said it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Sisters

Sometimes I can get so caught up in myself that I almost forget or make excuses for not stopping and paying attention.

But this weekend I did.

On Saturday, after eight months of planning, rehearsing, learning, and developing, the 2009 cast of Special Gifts Theatre put on their production of “Cinderella.”

Special Gifts Theatre (or SGT, as its known), is a theatre company for children with special needs in a musical production for the stage.

The childrens needs that range from Downs Syndrome to sensory disorders to Aspergers Disorder to severe Autism. Many have extreme difficulty with social interaction, some are verbally limited, most are cognitively limited.

My sister Ellen, who once was a peer volunteer, and has worked up to being a Site Coordinator and Supervisor for the Aids (I’ll explain). And this year, my sister Devin was an aide.

So basically how it works is that each young special needs child is paired up with a peer mentor – mostly elementary school or high schoolers – who then shadow them as they learn lines, understand the play, etc. These mentors are also on stage with each child during that actual production too.

It’s hard to wrap the mind around the enormity of a task – taking upwards of 50 special needs children and working with them for eight months to not only learn lines, coordinate dance moves, and try to understand the concept of a musical, but to break through the many, many developmental barriers – it’s almost impossible to imagine if your not sitting there.

Now, Ellen has been doing this for years, and Devin was a newbie this year. I knew that every week they went to their rehearsals and their meetings after long days of teaching in their own classroom (Devin) or running her own business (Ellen), but I will admit that I often don’t think all that much about it.

But then, sitting there at the back of a packed theatre, watching parents cry to see their autistic daughter dancing in a costume with her mentor and singing along – it makes your heart want to explode. Literally. It feels like a heart attack.

It made me stop ruminating about my selfish bullshit, and appreciate something bigger then my life. Things that you or I do hundreds of times day without even thinking - like smile in reciprocity, or hold a hand, or move our bodies to music - are milestones for the children.

Now THAT'S perspective.

It’s a challenge to sit through the whole thing and not cry. I have yet to do it. This year, I watched with my mother, who was attending her first production. And at the end, as we participated in the standing ovation, my mom turned to me, tears spilling over, trying to talk, but finally just waving a hand in front of her face - a loss for words.

It’s overwhelming.

So in addition to just spreading the word about this program, my whole point in talking about this is to really say how deeply proud I am of my sisters and the amount of work they put into this.

I am so proud to know that this program exists, and so honored to know two of people that are part of the reason it does. The physical and emotional commitment to helping put on a musical production in this manner is truly something to admire.

Like I said – it’s so easy for me to turn so into myself that I forget all the good that happens around me.

And my family helped remind me.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Like, The Place With the Mormons

So apparently, all the pervs live in Utah.

Turns out Utah ranks Numero Uno when it comes to online porn subscriptions.

AND – ranks Number 2 for Google searches of “naughty” and “hot sex.”

Utah, bitches.

That's what's up.

So many questions, but let’s start with - Subscriptions?

Have the fine people of Utah never been introduced to Redtube?

I need Bill Henrickson to get on that STAT.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

As the Mind Turns

A. Before anything else, I wanted to give a HUGE congrats to Steph, who placed FIRST in her age group in this weekends indoor tri at her gym!! And crazier - she did it while nursing a cold too! You're a badass, Ms. Steph!

B. In honor of No Cuss Week, this was submitted by Flatman. Enjoy. I did.

C. A List!

Top Ten Things I’ve Leaned from Watching True Crime Shows (Specifcally “First 48,” "DEA," and "Manhunters")
1. My parents were right – nothing good happens after 10pm.

2. No one wakes up in the morning and decides to be a murderer – that is, if you are going to kill someone, chances are you are already in the system for a litany of other crimes.

3. Criminals are not as smart as CSI and Law and Order would have you believe. Why? Because it seems that many crimes are done impulsively, and not really thought through. Thus, the “strategy” is lacking, if you will.

4. Speaking of strategy, hiding a semi automatic weapon in the dirty laundry basket pretty much signs your walking papers to the Pokey. Lock. Key. Done.

5. Surviving a robbery is similar to surviving a plane crash – the act is just as random, and you’re just as likely to get out alive (read: you’re not).

6. If a car is on fire, there’s dead body inside. So call the police. And lock your doors.

7, Like my dad used to say – you run with dogs, you get fleas. Hence, you hang with drug dealers and gang bangers, you will likely die at some point. And not naturally.

8. It never ceases to amaze me how little value some people place on human life. It’s like killing someone is the ONLY option of conflict resolution.

9. If you’re a bad guy, chances are you have a nickname (Lil’ D and J-Roc being the more popular). And oddly, not one person in your life will know your real name.

10. If a cop picks you up and brings you into the “Homicide” department for questioning, there’s a p.r.e.t.t.y. good chance they already have your number. Hence, when they ask you where you were on Friday night, they already know. Keep that in mind, and lie accordingly.

In addition to these observations, I have to speak to a startling episode. On this one episode, this guy confessed to shooting four adults (two of which were his brother and sister-in-law) to death, stabbing two children to death, and beating the life nearly out of three other children (stabbing one of them in the head as well). Pretty horrible right? But the starling part was that, after he confesses, his mother holds his hands, then hugs him and says I love you – the entire time lacking any sort of emotional affect whatsoever.

Why does this surprise me? Well, let me just say that if that were me, and I told my mom I just murdered my brother, his wife, and two for their five children, and was a monster enough to stab the faces off the other three, I am fairly certain she wouldn’t offer a hug and some comforting words.

Rather, my guess is that, right before she grasps her own heart and falls into cardiac arrest, she’ll fashion a shank out of the investigators Bic pen and shove right in my throat. This, to me, seems the more appropriate reaction then a hug and an “Everyone makes mistakes” speech.


Monday, March 2, 2009

H-E-Double Hockey Stick

So apparently tomorrow marks the beginning of No Cuss Week.

First off, I think its bullshit that it starts on a Tuesday.

Who starts a week on TUESDAY?

If my week has to start on Monday, so does Cuss Week.


Second, if the money jar and the Dial soap sandwich my mom fed me as a child didn't work, I can't make any promises about a vague psuedo-holiday of Cuss Week.

I mean, I even try the old standby substitutes - Cheese and Crackers, Freck, Eff, Gosh Darn, Flying Monkeys - you catch my drift.

But lemme tell ya - when you just NEED to get that point across - when you just gotta tell a mother fucker how you feel - nothing really says what on your mind like a good old fashioned


You know?

And I right, or am I right?

I mean, it's kinda like using the word douche bag when trying to describe a ...well, douche bag. You use that word, and there's NO mistaking how you feel.

And swears aren't all that bad, right? I mean, some are so versatile, they can be nouns, verbs, AND adjectives.

Like "shit."

Noun: "I gotta take a shit" or "I don't give a shit."

Adjective: "I had a shitty day" or "This is a shitty job."

Verb: "Don't bother me while I am shitting."

Now, I don't advocate cussing around young children - after all, cusses should only be used by adults, say perhaps, a right you receive when you register to vote or join the Army.

So, use this Cuss Week as you will - perhaps I will try to curb it, perhaps not.

But it's a interesting thought.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

For the Heck of It

Today, I really really missed Ironman.

It was one of those days where I was just consumed with the memories of last year.

And it hit me that I am one month short of the year anniversary.

It was right around this time (last year) that I was doing my five and six-hour trainer rides, buying obscene amounts of Clif Shots and Balance bars, and doing laundry three times a week just for the gym clothes.

My body was ripped, my jeans were loose, and I felt like an effing machine, even if just in my own mind. I was strong and I was proud - I felt like the baddest bitch on the planet. Literally.

Aaaaaand here we are a year later.

Take all of what I just said above, and think the exact opposite – and that is where I am right now.

I think it's mostly becuase right now, I’m not really training for anything, so I don't have a ton of focus. I have a couple running races coming up, but probably don’t need to really start training for Steelhead (august) for a bit yet.

And you can tell I am a little bored and/or looking for a goal, the way I handled the no-winner-just-for-fun YMCA triathlon.

Like a damn lunatic.

So for shits and giggles, I did a long brick today.


Because that’s what Sundays are for – the long brick.

And really, because I just like the satisfaction of the long brick.

No – correction – I LOVE the satisfaction of a long brick.

I love spending my Sunday mornings in my own sweat, breaking through moments of self-doubt, and then finally standing in the shower for 20 burning minutes.

I love waking up sore.

And plus, it’s really shaming to read all those Facebook status updates of everybody doing all the bike/swim/run tests, or day-long bricks while I sits and eat four bowls of cereal. And read Facebook.

But I am not complaining about the lack of Ironman in my life this year – I am really fortunate to be able to do even just my one race- Steelhead - and to still have a job that affords me the ability to do this as a pastime.

I am not complaining.

But I just miss it.

A lot.