29 April 2009

What's Up Wednesday?

I ran four miles last night and my knee is doing well. Not feeling any extra pain from the run, so that's something!


We have high school job shadows in our building today. We managed to get three in our department and they look so young. They are so young!


We've officially reached the point between seasons where it's nearly impossible for me to dress myself in the morning. It's supposed to be near 60 and sunny today, but was about 40 when I finally left the house. Office is also traditionally COLD, so what do you wear? UGH! I ended up in pants that are several sizes too big. The only way I'm managing them is because of the draw-string waist. Feeling like Ed Grimley otherwise. Also wearing short sleeve button up shirt and mid length sleeve v-neck sweater. Transitions are never easy. This morning was even more difficult on only five hours of sleep.


Loving Google maps to see all the places I can't be right now, but wish I was.


Need to get with my mobile phone company about the lack of picture mail functionality on my phone. I'm paying for it and come to find out, it's not working properly!


The Swine Flu situation and the precautions being touted at my company have me shaking my head. There are now gallon jugs of hand sanitizer everywhere. Next to each sink at our coffee stations, the cafeteria, etc. I thought the whole point of hand sanitizer was that you use it when you cannot wash your hands, am I wrong or being less than sanitary by not sanitizing after washing my hands?

They've also posted a sign on the paper towel dispensers in all bathrooms saying "employees must wash hands before returning to work". Okay, I have a few things to say about this one a: shouldn't you already be washing your hands before exiting the bathroom? b: if you are at the paper towel dispenser there's probably a pretty good chance that your hands are wet from already washing them. The sign is preaching to the hand washing choir. It needs to go somewhere that speaks loud and clear to the less than sanitary who are not washing their hands.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about lessening the chances of a pandemic, but somehow hand sanitizer and "wash your hands" signs seem like band aids on a massive head wound. How about some oversight at the massive factory farms where these odd strains of flu are likely developing in the first place?! Just saying.

28 April 2009

East vs. West

A friend of mine likes to say there are at least six solutions to every problem. The six might not all be logical solutions, but that's how you get to the one that's going to work for you. I had to excercise the six solution plan yesterday and must say, it seems to work!

My knee remains a problem. I saw my regular doc yesterday and rather than tell me I can run or I should stop running, she ordered an MRI and an X-Ray so that those could tell me whether I should keep running or not. That's all fine and good if you haven't recently switched your health insurance to a high deductible health plan like I did.

Anyone know off the bat what the going rate for an MRI is? Neither do I, but I'm guessing it's a large sum that I'd rather not pay out of pocket at the moment. It's a test that will help determine what's wrong, but I'll still have whatever issue it is that's plaguing my knee, but have to bid adieu to my hard-earned cash.

What to do? Roll the dice, run without knowing? Just give up running and settle into my couch and a deep depression? Run, but modify my routine, maybe sacrifice my 25k aspirations for May 9? Get the MRI and just suck up the cost? Just get an x-ray?

After nearly having a fit of rage at the most unhelpful nature of my insurance company last night - Insurance Dude would NOT tell me their contracted rate with the provider I'd scheduled to have the MRI with, even though they'd get billed for it and would turn around and bill me for it. He would only tell me the "fair and reasonable rate" for the two billing codes my MRI could have been billed as - one was $2,400 and the other $1,600. I was told "fair and reasonable" is the highest price they're willing to pay for a procedure. Because of my high deductible, I might be on the hook for as much as $2,400 for a procedure that's only going to tell me what's wrong?! If I chose to have the MRI, there's no way I'd know how much it would cost until after it was over? That's how it's done in the US!

I'm going to give Eastern medecine a try. I have an appointment scheduled with an accupuncturist. $60 a visit and it may actually help my condition!? I can always reschedule the MRI if it comes down to that, but for now I'm putting my money on the Far East.

Running is still up in the air, but with my race fast approaching, I need to figure that one out! I've run twice in the last week - 8 miles total. With a 15 mile race on the horizon, I should have been doing a long run far beyond that in mileage. So frustrating! I'm just going to suck it up and see what I can do with some help from my needle friends.

25 April 2009

Random Rainy Thoughts

Trying not to let the rain and my bum knee get the better of me today. I'm feeling a little down though.

Two weeks to go until Riverbank and my prospects for actually running the race pain free are up in the air. Am exercising caution at this point. Did not do a long run and probably won't attempt to until the race. Just trying to rest and keep up my base at the same time. Frustration! Will see my doctor on Monday to get a proper diagnosis and plan of action.

Would like to eat the entire package of Oreos I just opened today after lunch.

Missing the energy of a big city today. Although I've got a decent life carved out here in GR, can't help but think of what else might be out there for me beyond what I have here.

Bought cute pair of shoes on major clearance today. They look like this, but I didn't get them online. They'll be a perfect shot of color on rainy days like today!

Going to get out of the house again for a bit...

21 April 2009

Leap Year

I've heard this song called "Leap Year", by Maria Taylor on slacker.com or last.fm a couple months ago and it's one of those songs I've listened to over and over again since. I found this fan video on youtube...how can you go wrong with puppies? They are very fitting for the song's lyrics, they will always wait for you!

I will wait for you

Growing love but like water

Time will always slip through

I will wait for you

But please come soon...

I love the lyrics and can relate to the idea of waiting, saying you'll wait, but wanting what's on the other end of the wait so badly.

Is it in a plan

Written in your hand

Believe or understand

Something other than

What are you listening to on repeat these days? What is it about the song that gets to you and makes you want to hear it again and again?

odds and ends

A friend of mine is in the midst of the hiring process at my company. I've been sharing whatever info I hear, letting him know if certain people are in the office so follow up calls can be made, etc. My inner secret agent is digging it.


Missing my pal who recently left Michigan for work in LA. Feeling vicariously transitional and restless.


Just found out the lineup for Lollapalooza. Kings of Leon are playing!! I so want to go! Anyone else in?


Knee is being cranky, and hip has decided to join in. I have 17 days until my race and I'm freaking out about the possibility of not being able to run! Trying to take it easy, but if things don't settle down, I may need to see a professional. Don't want to do any permanent damage.


What's the opposite of odds and ends? Evens and beginnings?


I'm obsessed with spinch salad right now.


Saw Transporter 3 recently. I'm a Jason Statham fan. He's in my top five ever since seeing him as Handsome Rob in The Italian Job.


Wondering when spring will get here and stay here? I actually saw snow flakes this morning. Ridiculous!

16 April 2009


I want candy. Outside of Diet Coke (which I haven't had since Christmas), candy seems to be my nemesis - able to take me down the windy road to the land where teeth wear fuzzy sweaters and suggested serving size is mere comedy.

Darn Easter candy got me. I bought a small bag of jelly beans, with the intention of bringing them to the Easter brunch I attended. The bag someohow opened well before said brunch and jelly beans found their way into my salivating mouth. Blast! Tuesday it was the gift of Peeps from a co-worker. It had been a long time since I'd had them. A fresh batch of Peeps is squishy delishy! We had one package left over on Tuesday, which went to another co-worker. He decided not to eat them yesterday and I thought about them and my chances of luring them over to my desk all afternoon. I resisted.

My will to resist the mighty Peep didn't last long, as my movie night with a friend turned into a candy feast! Pick out what you want! Mmm...okay. Peeps are haunting me now. This time they were classic yellow, but bunny shaped Peeps. Here's what a candy freak I am, I actually debated the finer points of shape - bunny vs. chick (or whatever that's supposed to be!) and how, if at all, it would affect the taste. Becacuse, I reasoned, the classics were soo good, what if the bunnies aren't as tasty? Seriously? Come on! Yes, the bunnies were just as tasty.

I'm currently resisting the stack of left over movie candy in the kitchen. I give it a few hours....good thing I had a giant salad for lunch. Gotta counter balance the sugar somehow!

13 April 2009

run, baby, run!

Just about 25 days left in my quest for my first 25k - the Riverbank Run! Only three more long runs! It's pretty crazy to think I've been running on a schedule since December 31 to get ready for this race. Training is going pretty well! I'm feeling good and starting to get excited about race day.

My long run on Saturday went so much better than the week before, when I struggled a little through the middle 4 miles (out of 12ish). We were going to do 13 this week, but got off course a little thanks to A's brother thinking he knew where we were going and how we wanted to get there. All was not lost though.  We did a solid 12 and we did it in under 2 hours. It was probably one of my best runs. Smooth and strong. I hope that's exactly how the race goes. The weather was great too. If everyone can cross their fingers for decent weather (no rain, snow or wind) on race day, it would be greatly appreciated!

I'm trying to eat with the word "wholesome" in mind going into the race. This weekend with Easter candy and crazy baked french toast doesn't count as wholesome. I'm going for premium fuel for my engine. More fresh veggies, more protein, more fruit - the way I should be eating all the time, anyway! Just want to see how my running feels with more of this kind of fuel and less junk fuel.

Oh and this is good news: my hip has somehow repaired itself. I haven't really been feeling it lately, which is amazing! Even after the last few long runs, it's just been a little tight, but I'd say that's pretty normal.

I'm so grateful to have found myself  as a runner. It has helped me become so much stronger, not only physically, but mentally. It's been a major turning point for me in that it's something that's all mine. I run because I can. I run because I love it. I run to be at peace. I run for me.

10 April 2009

Love/Hate Friday

Answering K's question of the day: What am I loving and hating today?

Love: That I got out of work a few minutes early.

Hate: That I still have a few projects I needed to do some more work. Brought them home.

Love: Sunny running weather.

Hate: Tomorrow's long run will start early and be chilly.

Love: My new bed! 

Love: How hard I laugh at work every day.

Hate: Smelling like the place I ate my last meal. Qdoba is starting to get on my nerves for this reason.

Love: Spontaneous invitations.

Hate: When I say something I end up regretting. Need to remember to think before speaking.

Love: This.

Hate: Feeling like I'm in a foreign language immersion program sometimes at work with a certain new project.

Love: That I have a job that challenges me. 

Love: Freshly painted nails.

What are you loving or hating today?

09 April 2009

Favorite Fresh Veggie

I just want to make a confession. I love asparagus. There. I said it. I feel much better now, like a big, green weight has been lifted off my shoulders! Favorite and easiest way to prepare: rinse, snap off the stalky ends and toss it on the grill pan. I finish it with a little salt and a side of blue cheese dressing for dipping. Delicious!

07 April 2009

Summer Lovin'

K's most recent post about swimsuits and a lunchtime trip to Target that included a quick waltz through the gathering summer clothes has me thinking about summer. My most loved things of summer:

Trips to Jersey Junction for ice cream with anyone who is willing and able to eat ice cream with me at a moment's notice.

Cute sun dresses.

Trips out to the beach. I don't think I made a proper beach excursion last year - at all. My beach deficiency must be fixed this summer!

Post beach hair and skin - a little more tan than when you left earlier in the day and definitely a little sandy to prove you earned your tan.

Bike rides. Long or short. I dig being on my bike. Would love to get myself a cruiser bike for more relaxing bike adventures.

Outdoor concerts. Neko Case at Meijer Gardens, I'm talking about you.

Dinner outside with friends where we soak up remaining evening sun and revel in laughter and conversation.

Fresh tomatoes and other fresh produce from my Farmers Market.

Iced decaf hazelnut coffee or my other favorite summer drink "the sandy" - 1/2 iced tea, 1/2 lemonade.

Warm weather and not being required to bundle up.

What are your summer loves?

06 April 2009

Weekend Update

Bits and pieces from my weekend:

For a Friday night with no definite plan, it turned out to be a fun night. Got a call from Loveball to join her at the salon for some girl time while "Hair A" (not BCA) did her hair. Totally low key, but just what I needed for Friday night.

My 12-mile run on Saturday was decent enough. Not as easy as last week's 10, but I still managed to log the miles. For whatever reason the middle 4 miles were a struggle. I think the only reason I made it through the last 4 miles was that I knew I was almost done. Such a mental game!

Caught up a bit on season four of Rescue Me. I love how well this show is written, it's funny, interesting and sometimes gut wrenching all at the same time. Plus, it's Denis Leary. What's not to like? Season five apparenly begins soon. I was psyched to see that new episodes will be posted to hulu.com. Who needs cable when you have hulu?!

Saw Sunshine Cleaning yesterday afternoon with M. Turned out to be a little darker and more emotional than I expected. I really enjoyed it though. Good way to spend a gray afternoon. Plus, almost all of the previews before the movie were all good. Will likely spend a good amount of money and time at the movies in the near future.

Still haven't confirmed my suspicion that shadows of my past have come back to teach me another lesson. I'm determined to not repeat things I already learned (too often the hard way!) For now, I'm keeping my eyes open and trying to enjoy what is for what is.

Talked to my friend AP out on the lakeshore! Always nice to catch up with her. In fact, I had a good girlfriend weekend, quite helpful to keep me focused on what is real, what is true and what is important. I'm blessed to have such great girlfriends!

Oh, and I have one word about the new bed: luxury!

03 April 2009

This is my brain on random

New bed feels like the amazing beds in our Helsinki hotel a few years back. It's delicious!

Work feels like work today with "who's that?" no longer working on a special project in our area.

Badly in need of a vacation somewhere amazing. I've had one day off in three months.

Just found out this morning that Neko Case will be at Meijer Gardens as part of their summer concert series. In case you're wondering, that's where I'll be on Thursday, July 16.

Met with my jewelry designer yesterday. On the verge of something very cool and very me.

When I get the feeling that people have fallen into wells (AKA: fallen off the face of the earth, not been heard from in a long time), I hope for the best and just try to keep moving. I gave up my job retrieving folks from wells. I used to think I was good at it, until I realized most who go missing don't want to be pulled above ground.

"The next time you say forever, I will punch you in your face. Just because you don't believe it, doesn't mean I didn't mean it." - The Next Time You Say Forever, Neko Case

What am I eating for lunch? And what kind of carb-stravaganza can I rustle up tonight to fuel tomorrow's 12 mile run?

I wonder if I'm on the verge of becoming the crazy cat lady? I've got the "no man" part covered. Just need to pick up a few hundred cats somewhere. Uck. I hate that I just wrote that, but that's my brain on random at this moment.

"How's it feel to want?" It kind of sucks. I strive to be content where I am, with exactly what I've got. I don't want to want anything, but I do. Sometimes so bad that it hurts.


Plan to sleep a LOT this weekend on the new bed. zzzzz......