Saturday, November 15, 2008

Movie night!

10 Reasons Movie Night is better at home:

1. No driving required.
2. Parking is better.
3. The snacks are cheaper.
4. You can have healthy snacks if you really want them.
5. You can wear pajamas.
6. You can snuggle under a blanket.
7. You can pause the movie if you have to go pee.
8. No one talks on a cell phone during a pivotal scene.
9. If you fall asleep, you can rewind the movie.
10. No one kicks the back of your seat.

Change of plans

Looking through a two-day old newspaper this morning, I came across a brief about a 5k run to benefit the El Paso County nature centers. The LiveWell 5k takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving instead of Thanksgiving Day. So while it's not technically a "turkey trot," the Fountain Creek and Bear Creek Nature Centers are awesome and are struggling for funding. And I think it's close enough to the day that I'll still need to burn off calories from the leftovers. The entry fee is the same, so I've made the decision to run this 5k instead of the YMCA 5k.

Now, I have to convince myself that it's time to bundle up and get outside for my run this morning. Brrrr.

Update: I managed to motivate myself to get outside and run for 20 minutes. I'm glad for the new running pants I bought to help keep me warm.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tales of the unexplained

My favorite TV show is "Ghost Hunters" on the Sci Fi channel. In case you don't know what "Ghost Hunters" is (first of all, stop reading now, click that link above, go get the earlier season DVDs and watch some episodes. I'll wait.) it's about a real-life group of paranormal investigators and it's creepy and fun. I wouldn't call it a reality show. While it focuses on real people, there's no conniving or backstabbing and the drama is usually provided by things going bump in the night -- or disembodied voices saying, "You don't belong here."

Having watched the show for a couple years now, I have convinced myself that I could deal with something paranormal if it should occur. I think I could look at a strange happening and decide if there's a scientific explanation or not. And if there wasn't a reasonable explanation and I believed it to be paranormal, I think I could be rational in dealing with whatever's there.

With that said, I had a strange occurrence in my home last night. I'm 90 percent sure it wasn't paranormal but I've yet to figure out what happened. It was scary in a way that a ghost could never be.

We have a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector outside our bedroom. It's a newfangled one that actually says, "Fire. Fire." or "Carbon Monoxide."About 3:45 this morning our smoke alarm sounded. "Fire. Fire," said the monotone alarm. But the voice along with the shrieking of the alarm got us out of bed pretty quickly. The dog ran and jumped into my arms, shaking. Before we really got our senses together to start our escape, the alarm stopped.

Because the Significant Other was already out in the hallway by this time, I got it in my sleep-addled mind that he had turned off the alarm -- he hadn't. We moved from room to room -- the dog still in my arms -- looking for anything that might be smoldering. It's been cold, so we've had electric heaters plugged in. But they were off and safe. The furnace actually kicked on after the alarm stopped so it wasn't the cause. The stove was off. No smoking appliances or electronic equipment. No explanation.

The alarms are linked together, so maybe when one has a low battery, rather that chirping (and making the dog crazy) like the old ones did, these go off. Seems like a silly design to me. We have to find the manuals and see what it says about low batteries.

The only other explanation I can come up with is we now have a ghost -- even though we never had one before -- and he likes to play with smoke alarms ... at 3:45 in the morning ... when it's freezing ... and windy ... and snowing. I think I'll do a little more investigating on my own before I call in TAPS.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Yesterday I worried I would never be ready to run a 5k on Thanksgiving. But I received words of encouragement, and today I got up and ran. It was only about 1.5 miles, but it was all outside, with inclines and obstacles (pick up your dog's poop, people!) and the brisk autumn air. I reached the goal I set for myself today and will try to run farther -- and faster -- next time.

The biggest downside to running outside, especially in the morning, are the exhaust fumes from the cars and trucks passing. It makes me wonder if it really isn't healthier to just run at the gym, even if running on a treadmill gets boring pretty quickly. I'm going to have to find a place to run where I won't be breathing exhaust fumes -- either a good running trail or just less traveled roads. Although with winter just around the corner, running on the treadmill may have to be the way to go for a while.

I'm feeling pretty good about the running. I've always exercised, but it's easy to get burned out. I'm not really into Spinning (the instructors for those classes have to be sadists!) or the class setting in general. I guess I'm just too independent to enjoy them. Running fits with the kind of exerciser I am. I just have to get better at it. Now that I've written about it, I have to stick with it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What was I thinking

One day at the gym, I saw a story on the news about running in a Turkey Trot. Because the sound is always turned down on the TVs at the gym, all I saw were smiling people bundled up, pushing strollers, holding dog leashes, having a great time. I thought to myself I should do a Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving. These 5k runs are designed to get you moving and burn some calories before you stuff yourself on stuffing, as well as bring in some money for a good cause (locally, it's the YMCA). "What a great idea," I thought at the time. I could run this race, then not feel guilty about pigging out later.

Instead of doing a search for information on a 5k run, I asked the Significant Other how many miles are in 5k. His answer: 2.5 miles give or take. So I've been hopping on the treadmill at the gym, slogging through 2.5 miles at about 5.2 miles per hour (I'm not much of a runner) and starting to feel like I could make it. Until today, that is. Today, I decided to look up some information about training for my first ever 5k.

I found this at
"Running a 5K is an excellent goal for new runners. You'll get lots of motivation, as well as enjoyment, from participating in a race, and 5K (3.1 miles) is the perfect distance for first-timers."
You probably already knew this, but in case, like me (and apparently my S.O.), you were never good with the Metric system, 5 kilometers is equivalent to 3.1 miles. I need to run .6 miles farther than I have been. I know it doesn't seem like much -- and it probably really isn't -- but I know running on a treadmill is easier than running on the street. And I'm just starting to feel like I could run this on a treadmill. While, I work out on a regular basis, easily completing 2 or 3 miles on the elliptical machine or the stair stepper, running has always been a whole other ballgame to me.

If I really want to complete the 5k on Thanksgiving (and I do), I'm going to have to step it up a notch. I have just over two weeks to feel comfortable running 3.1 miles. I have to keep telling myself I can do it.

I would blog more ...

if there were more room on my chair.

I know he's thinking, "Why is she crowding me? And what's with the pictures?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So's your face

There was an episode of "Scrubs" where J.D. tried to sting people with the comeback "So's your face." He used in all situations, even when it didn't make sense, replying, "'So's your face' always makes sense."

I had a "so's your face" moment yesterday when a stranger commented on one of my old entries about my new car. The comment: "Good for people to know." Maybe I misinterpreted the snarkiness of this comment, but coming from some random faceless person, I don't think I did.

I started this blog to keep in touch with friends and family and to be able to ramble about stuff I care about. Maybe the things I write wouldn't be all that interesting to the general public, but it's my blog. I'm not writing about this stuff in the comments section of other people's blogs, especially not on entries that are more than a year and a half old. And because it's my blog, I can reject these comments. I considered for a moment accepting the comment so I could zing the commenter with something witty, you know, like "so's your face."

Instead, I like to think I took the high road.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Drying up

It seems my one regular freelance writing gig may be drying up soon. While it wasn't exactly a gravy train, it was easy money. I didn't have to go out of my way to track down leads -- they were handed to me. And I knew I'd have at least two or three assignments a month. Now, my good friends and associates are being outsourced, and while I'm told the outsourcing company wants to use the same freelancers, I've yet to hear from anyone. So I'm not holding my breath.

I have a part-time job
now but I was hoping it would supplement my freelance money, not be the only source of income I contribute to the household. The significant other keeps me supplied with Chai and paperbacks, but I don't like the idea of being so dependent on someone. My part-time work gives me enough to make my car payment, buy gas and pay for my gym membership, so we do ok. But I have always wanted to be a writer. Always. In third grade I entered (and was a finalist in) the Young Authors Contest with a story called "A Visit From A Leprachaun."

It contained such literary nuggets as:
"Then I saw the leprachaun doing cartwheels up the side of the rainbow. When I saw him doing that, I gasped in excitement.

'Hurry up or I'll have to go to someone else!' he yelled.

When I got to the top, I slid down the other side and landed in a giant pot of gold.

'I've never seen so much gold in my whole life! I'm rich. I'm rich! I'm rich!' I exclaimed."
As you can see, it was genius. And it started me down a path of writing. My biggest problem is I don't like to go out an hunt down the assignments. Face it, I'm lazy. So I have to either start writing that novel that every writer always plans to write, get on the ball and find some writing gigs or give up the dream.

Inspired by Heather, I'm going to try to write on my blog more. I figure almost as many people read this as read my test drives. So what have I got to lose?