Saturday, September 29, 2007

Marathon Training Update

With my next marathon only 10 weeks away, I'm starting to get on up there in mileage with my training. Today I ran 15 miles... in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I cannot tell you how pleased I am about this. It means I maintained an average of a 10-minute mile pace. To do the marathon in 4:30 like I want, I need to run the thing with a 10:20 pace. I am feeling more and more confident that I'm going to be able to do it this time around, especially since the chances are good it won't be over 70 degrees on race day like it was at the Nashville marathon. Yay.

I've been using this training plan that I found in Runner's World. (Yes, I know my running is an obsession. I read Runner's World, I'm picky about my sports bras and running shirts, I don't cut too many short layers in my hair because I want it to all go in a ponytail, I'm on a mission to find headphones that will stay in my ears!!! and so on. But at least it's a healthy obsession.) I'm running only three days a week: a speed workout, a tempo run, and a long run. I must say that it is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to train for any length race.

I feel like I'm getting in quality runs (because I'm pushing myself to maintain faster paces on the shorter runs and build both my strength and endurance) without wearing out my body. Granted, running 15 miles is going to make you tired. It's crazy how my body deals with the long runs on Saturday. I don't really hurt, but any time I get up my legs are like "what are you doing?! Sit down! Leave us alone!"

Today was also nice because my friend Brett joined me for the first 3 miles. It might sound crazy, but having company for the first couple of miles made it a lot easier to run the remaining 12. I stopped when he left to use the bathroom and grab my ipod, so I was trying to lie to myself that I only had to run 12 when I started again. It kind of worked. AND THEN - I put my ipod on shuffle and pretty much every song that came up was a good running song. I love it when my ipod knows just what I need, haha. AND THEN - when I got done I found my cousin and her husband coming out to start running. There's something REALLY nice about seeing some friendly faces when you've been running alone for 2 hours.

All in all, things are going well. I've added back the arms and abs class at the YMCA to focus a bit on keeping my upper body strong. I'm also getting back into the weekly yoga class as well. One thing I know for sure is that I have a million times more energy when I keep myself fit, not to mention it just makes me feel good. I always feel so crappy when I go to long without being active. My best advice to anyone who feels tired all the time or just generally yucky is to start throwing some exercise into the mix.

I'll keep you all updated over the next 10 weeks. Who knows... maybe I'll suddenly get this lightning speed that I didn't know was in me and run a 4-hour race. It's a lofty idea, but you never know... it could happen.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A short one

The only sound I hear is that of the crickets chirping.
Some music would be nice.
Or even noise.
But it's ok.
I don't mind the crickets right now.

Note: This is more of a creative little diddy that's been in my head for some reason. I'm not quite sure why these words have been bouncing around in my head itching to be written down. It's nothing special. Think of it like a poem I guess - Let it mean what it means to you, and I'll let it mean what it means to me. But don't worry... I promise I'm not losing my mind or anything. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Flirting 101

Today I go to the office supply store to collect various items we need at work. I'm wandering around and crossing things off the list when out of nowhere one of the employees appears. I brace myself for some sales pitch on something we don't need, not expecting that I was about to get a different sort of sales pitch.

Office Store Employee: Hey, haven't seen you in here in a while! Where have you been?
Me: (pondering if I've EVER seen him when I've been in there) Oh you know... I only come when we need a bunch of things.
OSE: You all must not be that busy then.
Me: Well, it comes and goes... we just haven't needed any stuff lately.
OSE: So when are we going hiking?!
Me: (stunned and caught off guard by the sudden subject change) I didn't realize we were...
OSE: Or we can go horseback riding. I have horses. They're very sweet.
Me: Oh. I don't know. I'm not much of a horseback rider. (more stunned)
OSE: Ok, well you know where to find me when you get the urge to go.
Me: Ok, thanks... have a good day. (ending this conversation before he throws out any more suggestions and heading on down the aisle)

Don't get me wrong gentlemen - I KNOW it takes a lot of nerve to try to strike up a conversation with a girl you don't know in some random place in hopes that she might be interesting and also find you interesting in return... And I really appreciate it that there are guys who put themselves out there like that, but there are still some things that just don't work. And this guy (who, may I point out, had to be a good solid 10 years older than me, if not more. Five or so is about my limit)... well, I think he doesn't realize that you can't throw out suggestions about getting together quite so quickly.

So a few basics just in case you ever feel unsure... DO try to find some sort of common interest to start chatting it up about and then find a way to get her name. It can be anything from noticing what book she's got sticking out of her purse or the band shown on her t-shirt. DO try to judge how the chat is going and how receptive she is to you before making any sort of suggestion about a future interaction. And if things are going well and you feel like she might be open to getting to know you better, you have to make a judgment call between just getting the phone number or going on and suggesting a future meeting. Different girls move at different paces. Oh, and I guess since we're all getting older you should also do a ring check. Girls can stick with these basics as well... because who are we kidding, it's 2007 and we all know we're striking up the conversation, too.

In summary, "so when are we going hiking?" as the third thing you ever say to a gal you don't know at all is more than likely not going to get you the girl... at least not any girl that I know.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First Writing Gig

It's official... I'm a freelance writer.

Granted, I haven't actually written anything yet.

But! I have an assignment to be working on, so I think that counts.

People who know me well know that the "plan" is to eventually make writing my full-time job. Why am I not doing it now? Well, because it takes some time to make enough at it to pay all the bills and because it can be inconsistent work (which sometimes can lead to less money, and that's problematic for the above mentioned bills). I'm not one to be overly concerned with money, but I've become rather accustomed to electricity and those people like to get their money each month.

So for now, I'm not quitting my day job. However, I'm pretty excited to have a little side job to be working on. I'll be doing some articles, brochures and press releases for a local business. I think it could turn into a quarterly thing, too. Not to mention that this kind of thing can always lead to a reference and another assignment. The extra cash will be nice (because goodness knows I'll be wanting to plan a trip or something in the near future), and it feels really good to be doing something that I ultimately want to do long-term when I can.

Oh, and if anyone needs a good freelance writer or editor, send them my way. I'm on the market. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Race, Another PR


Anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm not an overly competitive person - at least not in the sense of the word that most people first think when they hear the word "competitive." Back in high school, Stephanie was always incredulous that I never wanted to keep score when we'd play cards (or any sort of game to be honest). Granted, we always beat anyone who dared to take us on whether in Spades or, a personal favorite, Kemps. I honestly don't know why I felt that way other than the idea of winning and losing was never something that affected me very deeply. I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of competition and that means someone wins and someone doesn't. But I was never concerned that much with winning things.

I do, however, tend to be somewhat competitive with myself. I don't think I've ever been one to think much about being THE best. Instead, I'm much more content with doing MY best. This has been the driving force behind numerous things in my life: friendships and relationships, school, dancing, acting, singing and so on. Running is no exception to this.

I'm sure it's really cool to go run races and win things, but I'm perfectly content to cross the finish line if I know I've given it my best. I honestly do want to improve with each race I run, but I'm realistic... there are bad days. As long as I know I gave it all the effort I had that day, then I am pleased.

I ran yesterday in The Middle Half. I was excited about this race for several reasons: it was being held around MTSU on roads I used to run when I lived up there, it was the first half-marathon ever held in Murfreesboro, and I needed to run 13 miles for a training run this weekend anyways. It ended up being a good day for me. I enjoyed the familiar scenery. I REALLY enjoyed the incredibly flat course. The band out on the square provided a bit of an energy boost around mile 10. I saw some old friends. And I ran my fastest half-marathon yet with a time of 2:02:04, beating my previous PR by 2 minutes.

I'm certainly thrilled with how well the day went. I still have a lot of training to go before the Huntsville marathon, and I'm not jumping to any ideas that I can run a 4-hour marathon based off of this.... but it certainly makes me feel like a 4:30 marathon is a very realistic goal if I keep putting in the miles and speedwork over these next two months.

Unfortunately, this was also a really hot Saturday for a race. Never before have I finished a race and found that every single thing I had on was soaked through with sweat. You would have thought I jumped in a pool somewhere along the way. In the ten years or so that I've been a runner, I have not once experienced any trouble with chaffing... until this race. I don't wish it upon anyone. I also developed a bit of a tummy issue the rest of the day. I'm not sure if I just got so overheated that my body took a beating or if the Accelerade disagreed with me since I usually drink Gatorade. I ended up spending the rest of the day on the couch and wasn't able to eat until today. I don't much care for all of that, but it's part of the life of distance running. Occasionally your body takes a few hits. You get past it.

So all in all, it was a good day and another good race. I can't explain sometimes why it is that I actually enjoy all this running, but a part of it is definitely the sense of personal accomplishment that comes with it. I feel like I'm constantly challenging myself, and it's fulfilling to reach goals and improve myself. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I feel like I'm trying to live my life in the best way I can on a regular basis. It's not really about winning or losing... it's about sleeping well at night because you gave back in this life just as much as you receive from it.

Oh, and in case you ever wondered, it's very dark out at 5 am. I don't like knowing that.

PS - Way to go Colts today!

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's Football Time in Middle Tennessee!



Despite the fact that it doesn't really FEEL like fall when you walk outside, you KNOW it's fall when there are football games to attend.

Yesterday I headed to the 'Boro with my pal Danielle to get in some tailgating action and watch the MTSU vs. WKU game. We met up there with my pal Crystal after finding a parking spot (don't get me started on MTSU parking.) Beverage concoctions in hand (I will neither confirm nor deny the contents), we headed over to one side of campus to find my friend Daniel. It's always good to see old friends you haven't seen in a while, especially when you can walk away with a free slice of pizza. :) No seriously, I hadn't seen him in a couple of years so it was good to catch up.

Then we headed on over to Peck Forest (I think they call it Walnut Grove now, but who are they kidding? People call it what it's always been called) to find the rest of the tailgaters. Long story short... students tailgate in this area while the older folks stay on the other side of the stadium. On game days, all the police officers pretend like it's not really a dry campus. You can imagine where this leads.

The thing about going back as an alumna is that you can always count on running into some people you know. Of course I saw my sister and some ADPi's that I still know around there, but I ran into a few other people that I hadn't seen since graduation who also returned for the game. It's always nice to find out what someone's been up to during an actual conversation as opposed to facebook... because we all know we keep up with our social news best through it most of the time.

On the other hand, it's also kind of funny to go back and feel like everyone looks so unbelievably young. Granted, I know I look all of 18, but still... these kids didn't look old enough to be in college!

The game was fun, too. We saw a really great touchdown and some pretty terrible defense. In the end, we lost by a couple of points... I suppose it could have been a lot worse. Danielle and I ended our evening with some tea and fruit back at her place, something that's become a bit of a tradition for her during her time in England. It was a nice way to end the evening before heading home and crashing. Random sidenote: I've lived in the house for like 2.5 months now and I heard the train for the first time last night (and I know some go through every night). It's funny to me that you can hear something all the time and never really realize that you hear it all the time.

Anyways, there's just something about going to football games... I always had a lot of good fun at them when I was in college. I think some of my best memories of them are from when we played UT (we lost, but who cares? We got to go watch it in Neyland Stadium) and Vanderbilt (we beat them 3 years in a row on their turf and then they wussed out and wouldn't play us anymore). And Homecoming games... oh the fun of going to a football game exhausted after a week of competitions and float building at all hours of the night. I certainly live in the present, but it's nice to still be able to enjoy a good college football game and make some new, post-college memories.

Happy football season to you all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What will they think of next?

Ever hear the one about the Nebraska state senator who decided to file a lawsuit against God? No, it's actually not a joke. It's a real news story today.

Read the article here.

I especially like the part where Chambers says he has "raised some very serious issues" within the lawsuit. While this may be true, I can't help but wonder what happens if God is found guilty. I think I'll steer clear of Nebraska and any bolts of lightning that may be heading its way.

I love when news gives me a good laugh. It reminded me of the day I read the story about the woman who registered her dog to vote as part of an effort to raise awareness that it's too easy for any old joe schmoe to register.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Beautiful Day

I slept in a bit today before getting up, having a leisurely breakfast, and heading out for a 13-mile run. Yes yes, we all know Melanie is crazy for running 13 miles on a Saturday. Don't worry... the runs are only going to get longer over the next 2 months.

I drove over to the local greenway and couldn't believe my good fortune with the weather. It was a perfect day to be outside. Not a cloud in the clear, blue sky. Sunny and 65 degrees (I could go for cooler, but I didn't want to get up early enough for all that.) Pleasant breeze. I headed out with the sun on my back and the wind in my face feeling good and ready for 2 hours of running.

I was doing this run alone today, and I opted to leave behind the ipod. Sometimes what I love about running is having time to just think through things or daydream a bit or let my mind wander over things I never really have time to think about. Here's a sample of what my run was like today.

Start near the Rec Pack. This is pleasant. Look at all the golfers on the course today. I like that man's pink shirt. He pulls it off well. I don't even wear pink shirts. Ok, so I have one or two. I need to call Courtney and wish her a happy birthday. I can't believe I'll be 25 at my next birthday. It's 8 months away though. Run under the bridge. The creek is still pretty low even though it rained this week.. finally. I wonder if that smell is coming from it. I'm loving this breeze. I like it that all the other runners smile and wave and say "morning." The bikers don't do this. They won't even look at me. Is running a friendlier sport than biking? Interesting. Run past the old Air Force base. I only know this because my dad remembers when they used it. The National Guard uses it now. It must not be guard weekend - the place is deserted. Except for a bunch of tanks. I wonder what it's like to drive one. I honestly don't want to know bad enough to find out. Run into Sharp Springs. I ran a few county cross country meets here back in high school. Then I returned to watch my sister run her's there. I never ran very fast at this course. It was boring. I'm not bored today. This weather is great. A butterfly flies beside me for a few seconds. Her (or his?) shadow is next to mine on the asphalt. It's a beautiful moment. She flutters away. I like butterflies. I start counting them. I see 16 along the way. Black with polka dots. Brown with stripes. Vibrant yellow. Today couldn't be more perfect. The boy scouts are shooting rockets in the park. They're looking for one they lost in the corn field next to where they were shooting them. Did no one see that coming? Run past man smoking. Can't breathe for a solid minute. Wonder why he's smoking as he walks on a trail. Reach the turn around point at the end of the trail. I can't believe I am not even halfway done yet. Boy scouts still in the corn field. Guys playing on the frisbee golf course. I wonder if that's more or less fun than frisbee football. Is frisbee football the same as ultimate frisbee? I was never very good when coach used to make us play ultimate frisbee at practice. I liked the days in the pool better. I miss my friends who don't live here. I wish I could see them more often. I hope I can find someone who will at least run half with me on the days I need to run 20 miles. I like having someone to talk to when I run. Number of people who honk, whistle, or cheer at me from their cars: 6. You get used to that after 10 years of running. Realize I should probably buy one of those runner's ids to put on my shoe for these days I run solo. I'll be smarter next time. It's going to be a good day. It's going to be a good week. Danielle is coming home. I'm glad. I hope things level out at work. The crazyness is getting old. And it makes me tired. But it's ok. That's life. 2 more miles to go. Maybe this time it's different. Baseball teams getting pictures made in the park. They can't be older than 7 or 8. They're cute. But I'm glad I don't have kids yet. I wonder where I'll be a year from now. What will I be doing? I need to go try on my bridesmaid dress for Lauren's wedding. I need to find dresses to wear to three weddings over the next two months. How many more people do I know that aren't married yet? I bet there start being more baby showers soon. It seems like I'm always last, but it's like running... I don't care if I'm the fastest, I just want to finish the race. I want the best. The best is always worth waiting for. It is getting hot. It's probably only 70 but that's still too hot. Smell really foul odor that makes me almost throw up. I can count the number of times I've thrown up mid-run on one hand. See empty beer can. Laugh at it. Remember good experience with having some beer mid-run on St. Patrick's day. Remember bad experience with beer at the Nashville marathon. One of the times on that one hand. Laugh more. But it was the heat that day I think. Wonder if I'm getting any sun today. (Find out once home face is quite pink) Where is the last mile marker? Car=beautiful sight.

Of course I thought about some deeper things, too, but I don't feel inclined to share those today. The thing about running is being able to ponder all sorts of random things and enjoy being exactly where you are as you do it. I can't seem to find words to explain what a beautiful day it was and how much I enjoyed this run. Granted, my body is tired and required a 3-hour nap this afternoon. But when I finished I was driving home with the windows down... listening to a cd I hadn't pulled out lately... and thinking about how this day is good. My life is good. Maybe things get complicated sometimes. Maybe there are hard days. Or tiring days. Or days full of things that are so exciting it makes it hard to sleep. But no matter what, life is good. There is much to be thankful for. There is much to look forward to.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Randomness

~ Today I ran 6 miles. This is typical for a mid-week run. What is not typical was the feeling I experienced walking out of the gym. I walked out the door, and I felt the nicest breeze on my face that I have felt in a long time. Something about the air just felt different. It smelled different. It was fall in TN. I know it's not really fall yet just as well as I know we still have some more hot days ahead of us. But it's in the air now... I know it's coming. I can't wait. It immediately smelled like bonfires and roasting marshmellows and football and sweaters. I let the feeling of fall sweep over me and breathed it in before getting in my car where I'd only smell my sweaty self. I'm excited about the fall. I don't usually feel excited about seasons. I don't know why I feel like this, but it's nice. I think things are good, and I certainly hope they stay that way.

~ Bob walked up with a sledgehammer and a saw today. Then he attacked our office front door. It hasn't been working properly, and when he got done with it... well, it did. We hope it will continue to work well tomorrow. Sometimes I wish I was a bit more handy like that. But I don't think I'd be able to even carry a sledgehammer very far, much less hit the top of a door repeatedly with one.

~ A guy in the car next to me at a red light today was smiling and waving. At first, I thought I might know him. Then I realized I was staring so he was smiling and waving more. So I shamelessly smiled and waved back. He wanted me to roll down my window, but the light turned green so I smiled and made my left turn. I doubt I'd find the love of my life at a red light, but it's always kind of fun (not to mention flattering) when a cute stranger wants to share a few smiles. It deepens my appreciation for living in the south where we do things like that, too.

~ My cat meows a lot. Sometimes I'll say something to him. He'll meow. I'll say something else. He'll meow. Sometimes I really wish I knew what he was saying during these little "conversations." For all I know, he's thinking the same thing.

~ My friend Danielle comes home this weekend. I haven't seen her since this time last year. I've really missed hanging out with her. We were good friends in high school. Then we didn't have any sort of relationship while we attended different colleges. Then we were friends again. It was as though we'd never been apart. Only I think we're better friends now than we were in high school. It'll be great to have her around again. She's always willing to do crazy things with me. Like go for a fourth meal late at night. Or hang out with random guys we meet on Demonbreun. Or drive all over the place looking for a scrapbooking store that's open on a Sunday. I guess that's not all that crazy, but the point is we have fun. I miss that. I don't have many girls around here that are single and usually available to hang out. I'm looking forward to watching an entire season of TV she missed with her, and listening to her talk about her boyfriend in Korea and how much she misses him, and scrapbooking together, and going and doing as we please out and about town. And she doesn't fully know this yet, but I'm making her run with me, too. :)

~ I like soft sheets. I bought some really nice ones when I moved a few months ago. They are so much better than the cheap ones I bought for college. From now on, I will splurge on nice sheets. Although, they make it hard to get out of bed in the mornings. Or maybe that's more that 6:30 is just so freakin' early.

~ I finally took an oil painting to be framed to hang in my bedroom today. I bought it in Paris... a little over 3 years ago.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A little free speech for the day...

I like to think I'm fairly even-natured and that it takes quite a bit to get me worked up. Today, however, I am very irritated with Dish Network. They were just fine the whole time I had their service, but since trying to cancel it back in July they have quickly become a huge headache. They've crossed the line.

Here's what's happened in a nutshell:

July 1 - Call company and tell them to disconnect service on July 15 (the day I had already paid through). Listen to them try to offer me other plans. Interrupt several times to say I just want it cancelled. Finally am told it will be and that they will ship me a box and UPS label to send back the receiver. Give my new address for them to ship box to.

July 15 - Receive bill for the next month's service. Call them to remind that it was disconnected so I shouldn't be billed anymore. Told I will be issued credit. Also told box/UPS label on its way.

Aug 15 - See that I got a credit for the charge, but it's not for the entire amount. Call back to ask for the remainder of the credit. Explain to woman that I cancelled service on July 15, so I should be credited the month of July 15-August 15 and not just part of it since I shouldn't have been billed in first place. Told my service wasn't disconnected until July 23. Tell her I'm not concerned about when they got around to turning it off... I gave them a date and was told that was the last day I was held accountable for. Get the remainder of my credit. Find out boxes were sent to my old address. Give new address... again.

Aug 31 - Call to check on box/UPS label again. It was shipped to my old address... again. Give new address, yet again.

Sept 11 - Receive MasterCard bill with charge for $295.81 from Dish Network. Call and find out this is because they haven't gotten the receiver back. Explain to them this is because they won't send me anything to get it back to them. Demand UPS label to be emailed to me. Check email for it while on phone. See that it still shows my old address as my contact info (not surprised). Demand a credit to my MasterCard since it's not my fault they don't have it back. Told that they can't credit it until 7-10 business days after they get everything back.

Sept. 12 - Ship back the damn receiver. UPS tracking number in my hand to check daily and print out page when I see it's been delivered. Call MasterCard to file a dispute for the charge. Clearly I have to cut them off at the source to get any sort of point across that they're the ones not doing what they should, not me. I will not be penalized for their mistakes.

Later tonight... will write unpleasant (although still kind because I'm not a heinous bitch) letter to someone very high up at Dish Network to inform that I've disputed the charge, the receiver is on its way (no thanks to them), that I will not give them $295.81 or be charged a finance charge or anything of the sort because it's their fault they didn't get it back, and say a few words regarding the quality of service I've received. I specifically want to know why they NEVER got my new address entered.

I'm not one to normally rant this much, but good grief! Thanks for letting me vent to you kind souls. I feel much more peaceful now. I'm sure it will all work out... they'll get the receiver... they won't get my money... MasterCard will take the charge off so I won't get any finance charge or late fee... and I will never recommend their company to a soul. But boy this stuff is a headache. I guess it's all part of life, but these people clearly had no idea that I don't put up with crap.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Heroes

It's kind of hard to believe that it's been 6 years since 9-11-01. It doesn't feel that long ago that I woke up, turned on the tv, and realized as I began flipping channels that the images of the WTC were not some movie I stumbled across.

I've been thinking some today about what it means to be a hero. I think it's safe to say that most of us would agree there were a lot of heroes that day. People risked their lives to save the lives of others. In particular, the good people on the plane in PA decided it would be better to crash the plane and lose their lives than to allow the terrorists to complete their plans that would surely have been more catastrophic.

The other night I was watching Extreme Home Makeover, and in this particular episode they were building a home for a Marine who had saved two lives at the WTC. They did interviews on the two men he saved... they'd been crushed when the buildings collapsed and were trapped for almost 24 hours before this Marine found them. One of the men had been through over 30 surgeries on his leg, but said he didn't mind because he still gets to wake up each day and kiss his wife and kids. I have a tendency to get a little teary-eyed when I watch this show (don't laugh... I'm not overly emotional... I just tend to be a bit compassionate), and this episode was no different.

I think being a hero is quite simply about acting out of love. When you do some sort of act of kindness for another soul, I believe that's love. I think there are numerous facets to this thing called love... obviously we don't feel love in the same way for every person in our lives. I think that even smiling at a stranger can be a loving action, as can something more extreme like saving another person's life.

It's true that love is not just about feelings. Of course, there can be a lot of emotions and feelings associated with love. And not always happy ones... I think we tend to feel things like anger and disappointment more with the people we love than the random joes out and about on the street. But in the end, love is mostly action. Love is being considerate of someone other than yourself. Love is meeting someone else's need. Love is extending a helping hand. Being a hero is all about love.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Why Am I Not Surprised?

My car wouldn't start this morning. I turned the key. It went "chug, chug." Then nothing. No sweet "varoom!" of the engine. Just silence. I turned the key a second time. This time I didn't even get a "chug." Dead as a door knob.

I'm pretty sure the battery is dead. It's been about 3 years since the last time this happened. Fortunately, this is easily remedied.

My boss came and got me so I was only a few minutes late to work. I really just had to laugh over the whole thing. I mean, seriously... how many more things are not going to work this week?

And the good news is that his daughter happens to be one of my best friends. And she happens to still be in England (although only til next Sunday and I'm glad - I miss her). And her car just happens to be at the office. So I'm leaving today in a cute little Jetta since Bob took off to go play golf. Dad plans to have my car back up and running tonight.

Goodness, what a week this has been! I'm glad it's Friday. I'm even more glad that this is the weekend I'm throwing my party to celebrate the new house (pictures still forthcoming, promise!) because if it wasn't, you know I'd be looking for one somewhere!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Yooouuu check your facebook...

My sister told me to check out this video the other day, and it made me laugh pretty hard. It's some guy that she knows from school who's written lyrics about facebook to the tune of some other song by Soulja Boy (apparently I'm not in the know these days about the hot new rap music because I'd never heard of it.)

Anyways, it's pretty funny. I have to be honest... I maintain my myspace account, but it's true that I pretty much stick to facebook. His song gives some good reasons as to why. Enjoy. (And yes, these kids have way too much time on their hands.)


Crank Dat Facebook

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sitting Duck

I like ducks. The thing is I don't really know why. Nonetheless, I have an awesome rubber ducky bathroom. Maybe I adored Ernie and his rubber ducky on Sesame Street when I was a kid. I have no idea, but I do know that it is NO fun being a sitting duck.

I must admit, it was hard to get myself rolling this morning after enjoying a relaxing 3-day weekend, but I got myself out the door and off to work only to find that the computers were still being problematic. QuickBooks refused to open. Computer 1: File not found. Computer 2: Path Missing. Computer 3: Opens, but immediately ABORTS! ABORTS!

We just can't catch a break it seems. Not only that, but the Bob had been at the shop since 4am... yesterday. He went home long enough to shower and come back. I kept trying to tell him to go home... as he wandered around with a glazed over look... as he fell asleep in his chair... as he hardly spoke two words while eating his Chick-fil-A lunch. He just kept saying something about needing to get the router working. I have no idea if he ever did today. I was too busy hanging out with Nate the computer guy and waiting to get QuickBooks back.

I have to be honest: It came as absolutely no suprise at all when Jason walked in the room. "Hey Melanie, you need to call the phone company. A big truck just knocked down the phone line." Sure enough, no dial tones. It took me a minute to quit laughing so that I could make the call. I know it wasn't really funny... but I mean, really? Does anything else want to quit working on us?

Here's a portion of what I needed to do today: post about 10 random bills and then bill the customer, post about 45 Conestoga bills and then bill the customer, pay one of the credit cards so that they'd reopen our account they so hastily closed with no good reason, ship 4 orders, place two PO's, create a report for some hinges, complete necessary tasks to send a customer the network version of our software, and probably at least 5 other very time-consuming things... not to mention I still need to balance the bank account.

What did I get done? I deposited two checks at the bank. I made an office supply list. I called the phone company. I got lunch.

My evening was a bit more productive. I got my speed workout done today, although it was a bit taxing between running faster than usual and trying to do the math in my head to figure out how to run a 1200 on the treadmill. Fortunately, Justin Timberlake helped me finish strong. Nothing like hearing him sing, "Damn girl, you're so fine!" to help you power through that last 200 with ease.

I think we got everything back up and running today about 10 minutes before time to go. I'm now several days behind due to all the recent computer problems. Needless to say, I'll probably be working late tomorrow. I have to admit, I'd rather be a busy bee than a sitting duck any day.

Monday, September 3, 2007

My Thoughts on Shopping

I trust that everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. There are a handufl of stories I can share from mine... there's the one about all the employees at the Y taking bets on just how far I was running on the treadmill the other day. Apparently when there's only like 6 people working out, and there are 8 employees working, they amuse themselves with such games. No one was dead-on... they all guessed even numbers. I like to be different.

There's also the one about the guy hitting on me shortly after the 9-mile run. Note to all the gentlemen out there: when I'm dripping with sweat and have hardly caught my breath, it's not really an ideal time to be putting on the moves. Then again, it reminds me of a comedian my sister told me about the other day. It was something along the lines of "when a guy sees a cute girl, he thinks 'I've gotta move now! I'll never happen across her again!' But when a girl sees a cute guy, it's more like 'ok, so Tuesdays at 9:18 am next to this tree in front of the KUC' and then she makes plans to just happen to be there again the next week." He made a good point. So I guess I'm not really going to complain, but really... let me get a drink of water first so that I can get my name out.

I could also tell you how I slept for about 13 hours the other night. I hadn't done that in quite a while, but after a hellish week combined with not feeling well it seemed like the thing to do.

Nope, my story today is about shopping. I don't enjoy it. I am one of those very unusual girls who hates the color pink, would rather wear running shoes or flip flops with everything, and that really doesn't enjoy shopping. But nonetheless, a girl has to have certain things so I'm required to do a little shopping on occasion. Today was that day.

It all started today with a picture frame. I thought I'd check and see if this frame I'd found at Hobby Lobby for an oil painting I have was on sale. Sure enough it was, so mom and I headed out to get it. Then I figured I might as well duck in Target and see if they had any new running clothes since I had a few things on my list. Sure enough, I found some white shirts, and for only $12.99! Then after a quick lunch at Demos' (including Reese's pie), I thought I'd stop at Best Buy to use my gift card I'd had for a few months. They had a ton of movies on sale for $4.99, so I walked out with FOUR. Best Buy is conveniently located next to Dick's Sporting Goods, so we stopped in to see if they had any running pants. Well lo and behold, they did! I found these great black running pants AND a pair of shorts. And since the shoe store was right next store, we headed in there as well.

I may dislike shopping, but I REALLY don't like shoe shopping. I hate it when I need shoes because they never have what I want when I go looking for them. BUT - when you sneak up on them all nonchalantly you find everything you need. I'm not kidding. Yesterday we had stopped at a store on our way to the pool just to check for some black sheets I want, and I found two pair of shoes that were exactly what I'd been needing and they were on sale. Then today, I happened across a third pair of something else I'd been needing on CLEARANCE.

I sat down in the store and called Stephanie right then and there. Steph is my friend who enjoys shopping, and who really has this obsession for shoe shopping that I'll never understand. I knew if anyone was going to be excited over all the successful shopping I experienced, it would be her. Not only that, but I knew she'd be proud of me for buying new shoes. When we were having our weekend in Chicago, I didn't wear my black sandals out on the town... I wore her's. They really did look better. I really did feel like I should do better at buying cute shoes to go with the cute clothes I have. And she was proud... not to mention wondering why she was doing laundry and reading about law when she could also be out shopping!

Two hours later she called to spill about her purchases. It was kind of funny... it reminded me of how when we were in high school I'd just happen to call her to ask how the chemistry problems were coming along, mostly to help her remember to do them. Except that today it was taking advantage of Labor Day sales. But that's what best friends are for, right?

Well, this girl is pretty much all shopped out for a while. I'm still looking for black sheets and wouldn't mind a few more items of running clothes for cold weather since I'll be running a race in the cold this year, but I'm sure I'll sneak up on those items when they least expect it, too. For now, it's back to work for me because someone has to put the shoes on my feet and the food in the kitty cat bowl.