Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pish Posh

So I kind of had a bad day yesterday. Well, it was more of a bad first few hours of my day. I felt much better by bedtime and I'll be over all the little nuisances that are still lingering very soon, but I'm still just feeling kind of annoyed today. Why is it that there are times when everything is just great and you had a fabulous weekend and your birthday is 2 weeks away and then something comes along that just sucks?

Well anyways, like I said, I'm already feeling much better. And I ended my day with a phone conversation with an old friend that made me smile a lot and brought back some good memories and that may possibly lead to me taking a weekend to go to Chicago. So all of that helped me in cheering up. I suppose we all have to have a bad day with stupid crap from time to time.

Today I've been enjoying the sunshine out the window, trying to gear up for the gym after work (it's always a little hard to go for a week or so after a race), and looking forward to seeing who goes on American Idol tonight. Is it just me or don't you think that they should just go on and plan on a finale with David and David?

I have "Hannah" written on a sticky note on my desk. I don't know why. I don't even know anyone named Hannah. Weird.

This post is random, thus the name "Pish Posh."

5 weeks from tonight The Wrecking Crew reunites in Boston. I can hardly wait. Is it silly that I'm already contemplating which outfits to pack? I noticed this weekend my camera had started acting up and messing up some pictures, so Monday night I went and bought a new one. I usually spend a little more time than that when it comes to a large purchase, but I already kind of knew what I wanted. I for once didn't care to sit around and wait for it to go on sale because I wanted to be able to get it and play with it before I go to Boston. I bought the other one 4 years ago before I went to Europe, so I feel like I got my use out of it. And it hasn't died completely so it might be good for occasional things. Besides, I needed to buy myself a birthday present and I'm assuming some family members will be sending some cash that I can tell them will go toward paying for this baby.

Isn't it nice? I like it so far...

I also had a nice little surprise in my inbox this morning. My friend Crystal took pictures the other night and went on and sent me this jem:


Yes, I'm wearing some fabulous Nine West red flats. Super comfy even for a night out downtown, and they definitely jazz things up a bit.

So yeah, maybe yesterday kind of sucked... but today is good. And tomorrow will be good. And I'm looking forward to my birthday. And Gatlingburg. And Boston. And Florida. And now maybe Chicago. It's going to be a good summer. And no bad day at the start of it can take that away from me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some Girls Chase Boys - I Pass 'Em

As you may have already noticed from the pictures I posted yesterday, I had a LOT of fun this past weekend. Actually, "LOT" is a bit of an understatement. The title of this post comes from the slogan on a shirt I bought at the race expo on Friday. It's totally me.

Friday evening I spent some time down at Mercy Ministries for the pasta dinner they were having for all of us on the team. My boss and I met our goal and raised a little over $2000 for Mercy this year! We were very excited because this money will cover about 12 days in the program for a girl. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when it comes to helping young women out it really is a lot! We enjoyed some yummy food, and then I headed home to go to bed early to be ready for the race.

I woke up around 4:30am and heard it pouring down rain. I've been told it was storming prior to that, but since I can sleep through anything I never heard it. I dosed til time to get up at 5am and then it was off to downtown Nashville for the race. It was pouring the whole time we were driving and as we walked to the start line for the Team Mercy picture. We of course donned trash bags (I know, it's weird, but it's what runners do in the rain to stay dry before the race). It actually let up and had stopped raining shortly after the race started, so I was able to stay dry.

We located Bennett and Chris just in time to head across that start line. It actually felt a little weird to only be running the 1/2 since the other 2 times I crossed that line I was heading out for a full 26.2 miles. At the same time, it was really fun in a different way because this time I wasn't as worried about pace or energy or anything.

Chris runs about my pace, so we ran the whole time together chatting and enjoying the streets of Nashville. He hasn't spent much time here before so I pointed out items of interest and we both were amazed at how many people were running with us. There was a record field of over 30,000 finishers this year! Of course, a few thousand run the full.. but it's still a lot of runners gallavanting around the streets of Nashville.

Some things worth noting from the race: I always love hearing people in disbelief over the statue with all the naked people at the top of Demonbreun. It's funny to me that people laugh when they hear you talk about the Batman building... seriously people, it looks like Batman! (You can see it in the pics from yesterday). We saw a blind man running. His guide wore a shirt saying guide and held poles behind her that he also held to keep him going in the right direction. Amazing. I reminisced over the spot where I stopped to throw up last year. (Chris probably loved hearing about that.) We both complained that miles 11 to 13 were pretty much all uphill (not cool Elite Racing course planner people - not cool). I saw my roommate from college on the sidewalks cheering for her dad. I hadn't seen her in ages, so that was random and fun! People kept cheering for me by calling me Team Mercy, so that was nice. I tried to smile and wave at all of them. I generally smiled and waved a lot and tagged the hands of little kids holding them out as they watched us run by (I hope it made their day).

Chris and I finished in 2:02. It was a new PR for him since this was only his second half, and it tied with my second best time ever for a 1/2. I was pleased. I hadn't really trained as hard for this one so it was nice to just run along laughing and talking and seeing the sights and not worrying much about the clock. Bob finished in 1:52 and Bennett and another pal Kirk finished in 1:42.

I of course napped most of the afternoon, but not before having lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. YUM.

My pals Crystal and Tim joined me to meet up with Bennett and Chris for dinner. Then we headed downtown and were at the coolest piano bar in town (ok, also the only one I think) by 8pm. You heard me. 8pm. But seriously - it was already packed and we got one of the last tables. And no cover. Score!

We had a blast. The band plays requests all night, so we laughed and talked and sang and danced til a little after midnight. A personal favorite moment of the night was dancing to Billie Jean with Bennett. We took quite a few pictures (believe me, it was hard to pick just a few to post here) and I think they show that we were all smiles and having some fun.

The night ended with a trip to Sbarro. It's amazing to me how many people are in there eating at 1am. I really was kind of sad that the day was over so quickly, but it was probably one of the most fun full days I've had lately. Don't get me wrong... I've been having some fun times in my world these past few months. But getting to run a race and go out with good friends all in one day takes the cake for now.

Sunday was much calmer... I slept in and then went to the baseball game with my family to watch my sister's boyfriend play. He did really well and it was a relatively exciting game, which was good since I'm not all that into baseball.

Congrats to everyone else who ran the race! And for those of you who have mentioned in your comments to me that you want to run a 1/2 someday, then I say to you that it's time to make it happen! For your first, you don't need to worry about time. Just do it to get across that finish line. It's really a lot of fun if you make sure to take some time to enjoy yourself. So put on those sneakers and go run for 5 minutes or 10 or whatever you can handle right now. You've gotta start somewhere.

Thanks again for all the race well wishes. Racing season is pretty much over in this part of the country since it's practically summer, though my next race will be a 10-miler in June. But that's because I'm crazy and I go run 10-milers in the heat even when I hate running in the heat. After that, no more til fall. I'm contemplating my next marathon. I could go back to Huntsville in December but I'm leaning toward doing Memphis the weekend before instead. There's also one just outside Chattanooga in November. Maybe I'll do both? We'll see...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Country Music 1/2 Marathon Pictures

Thank you to everyone who wished me well for the race and/or asked me since then how it went. I promise that I'll write about the day very soon, but in the meantime enjoy these pictures from Saturday.

Yes, I know I'm waving like a dork.

Chris and I heading toward the finish line.

A quick stop for a photo at mile 6.

Bob, Kirk, Chris, me and Bennett after the finish.

After the race in front of the beautiful Nashville skyline, including our trademark Batman building.

Hanging out downtown at the piano bar.

Crystal and Tim.

Me and Crystal.

Me and Bennett.

Friday, April 25, 2008

That's Why I Love This Town

Last night, I went to a rock concert. Not just any rock concert... a rock concert of a band that first became famous when I was like 5.

Through a random series of events, I was invited to go with one of the guys from work and his wife and another guy that had bought the tickets to go hear... BON JOVI.

I know. Random. I wouldn't call myself a fan but I know some Bon Jovi stuff and like it. I thought it sounded like fun. Believe me - it was.

The WHOLE drive downtown everyone in the car was making fun of me. It was your typical "when were you born? .... oh my gosh, that's the year I graduated high school!!" kind of thing since everyone else in the car were people in their 30's and 40's. After much harassment on if I even knew much about Bon Jovi, I think I managed to impress when I knew OVER half of the songs they played.

Nashville is definitely an awesome place to live. They shared that they wrote the song "That's Why I Love This Town" when they were visiting in Nashville once. (Aw, how sweet.) The crowd of around 20,000 people went crazy when they showed clips of popular sights and universities from Nashville and throughout Tennessee. I have to say... Nashville offers a lot to everyone, but music is definitely one of our fort├ęs. I honestly need to make more of an effort to get out and enjoy more of it more often.

We had a blast. My ears were ringing when we left. I didn't get to bed til like midnight (on a work night!). This morning when the alarm went off I briefly wondered if I'm getting too old to go to a rock concert in the middle of the week... but then I remembered how much fun it was and decided I'll never be too old for such fun.

I'm heading to bed... the big Country Music 1/2 Marathon starts bright and early (well, possibly rainy and stormy and early) at 7am. Tonight I attended the pasta dinner at Mercy Ministries and found out my boss and I raised over $2000! We were excited. That money will go a long way in changing the lives of young women.

One more random note before bedtime... I paused to take a picture with one of the staff gals that I do a lot with when I volunteer down there. Right before we posed, she turned to me and said, "Do I have anything in my teeth?" and flashed them for me to check. I did the same. Then we smiled and took the picture. It was crazy... Stephanie and I used to do regular teeth checks back in our high school days, and in a flash of a second I suddenly felt like I was 15 and with my best friend all over again. I'm sure this may sound kind of silly, but I think most gals probably know what I'm talking about here. It's only with people that you feel comfortable with that you can ask for an impromptu teeth check... not to mention, you have to be able to trust that they'll tell you if something is actually there instead of just trying to be polite.

Race story and pics to come soon! Some friends are in town to run, so we've made plans for a fun night out in the city... after a Saturday afternoon nap, of course! I'll certainly be rockin' out all weekend, so I guess a Bon Jovi concert was the perfect way to get the ball rolling.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Top 25 on the ipod

First, I want to give a special shout-out to Joy for commenting (yay for delurking) about the pet water fountain. Apparently it's a pain to clean. I definitely always appreciate any thoughts and feedback! It sounds like the fountain would be far more trouble than it's worth. Joy, your comment didn't link to anything, so if you have a blog please feel free to share.. I'd love to check it out. And best wishes on training for a 1/2 marathon!

Now, with my 25th birthday on the horizon (May 13) the number 25 is on my brain. Today I want to do something I've seen on a few other blogs: list the songs in my "Top 25 Most Played" list on my ipod and share why they're there. I thought this might be fun!

1. Yeah! by Usher - This is one of my favorite songs to run to... and to play when I'm getting dressed to go out. I just really like the beat

2. Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap - I was interminably obsessed with this song last year and still listen to it often enough that it's stayed high on the list. I love how the only instruments are their voices.

3. Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley - This is another great one for running. And for singing with really loud in the car.

4. Forca by Nelly Fortado - This goes on every running playlist I make. I really just love how bouncy the whole thing feels.

5. Carry the Zero by Built to Spill - While not an incredibly upbeat song, I still run to it a lot. Something about the music... it just kind of flows along in this beautiful way that makes me forget everything else on my mind.

6. When the Night Feels My Song by Bedouin Soundclash - It's upbeat, cheerful, and great to listen to on a sunny day when all feels right with the world. (And I run to it a lot)

7. Caroline by David Gray - I just love David Gray. I like how peppy this song feels.

8. Here (In Your Arms) by Hellogoodbye - It kind of has a techno beat that is perfectly in coordination with my personal running beat.

9. The Story by Brandi Carlile - First of all, she has an amazing voice. Second of all, it's a sweet song but it also rocks out. And finally, it always gives me happy thoughts of one day having someone to share my stories with.

10. Extreme Ways by Moby - Yes, the theme for all the Bourne Identity films. Fabulous song I've run to for a while. (The live remix version is also pretty spectacular.)

11. Ruby Blue by Roisin Murphy - It has a super cool funky beat. I run to it. I dance around my bedroom to it. I got it from the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack and then HAD to get more of her tunes, like Ramalama (Bang Bang) which is also amazing.

12. Fix You by Coldplay - This song has moved me to tears before, but now it's kind of a symbol for me that it's usually better to let go than to hold on. It really makes me happy so I listen to it often. The end is phenomenal.

13. Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood - I won't lie. I really like singing along really loud to this one. And running to it. And thinking about how if there's ever a poor soul who cheats on me I probably won't key his car, but I certainly would find a way to walk away the better person of the two. (Praying I never experience this, though.)

14. Oxygen by Colbie Caillat - I like to sing along and it's kind of fun to daydream as I listen to it. I can identify with the idea of wanting to be faithful and loyal to someone.

15. How We Operate by Gomez - This is just a unique song by a band I found last year and LOVE.

16. Nothing Better by The Postal Service - It's a fairly sad song, but I've been in the position of the female singer before so it always feels kind of empowering to hear it.

17. My Love by Justin Timberlake - Next time he's in town, I'm going. I really dig his album, and this song is my favorite to run to.

18. The Best of What's Around by Dave Matthews Band - One of my all-time favorite DMB songs. Great message and awesome to run to.

19. Four Winds by Bright Eyes - I run to this one all the time. I love theupbeat tempo and the use of a fiddle. I saw them perform this one last year at their concert and it was a fantastic experience.

20. River Deep, Mountain High by Celine Dion - This always reminds me of Tina Turner music. It's REALLY upbeat and kind of soulful. It goes on the running playlist a lot.

21. 15 Step by Radiohead - I don't usually run to Radiohead a lot, but I listen to their newest album like crazy and really like running to this tune.

22. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley - It's such a fun song to run to and listen to bopping along down the interstate.

23. Heavenly Day by Patti Griffin - First of all, she's amazing. Second, this is just such a fantastic song that takes me to a happy place no matter what's going on in my world.

24. Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens - If you've never listening to Sufjan. start now. It's totally different from everything else I own. A friend recommended him last year, and I ended up buying an entire album because I liked his stuff s much. Really cool tunes.

25. If You Could Only See by Tonic - It's super old school, but it's been a classic favorite for me for years. I don't even know why. Maybe it's because I have blue eyes.

And there you have it. Granted, as I look over this list I don't feel like it's a very good representation of ALL that I listen to. I mean, I have days of music on my itunes. I have new stuff I listen to all the time now but that hasn't worked itself onto the rotation of the Top 25 list. Nonetheless, this gives you a decent idea of some of the things I listen to both when I run and when I'm in the car.

More posts concering "25" in the coming weeks between now and my birthday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Birthdays All Around!




Today my little Tucker turns 2 years old! I woke up this morning to find him stretched out and leaning against my legs. He opened his sleepy little eyes and started purring as soon as he saw I was awake and ready to pet him. I'll have had him for 2 years in early June, and I must say that I am so thankful that I found him and made him my own. He has SUCH personality, and he's also full of affection - not only for me, but also for anyone who comes into our home. I love the little guy, and he is certainly part of making our house a home. The top picture is when he was a little kitty baby. He passed out on the scrapbook table. The bottom one is from when we were packing to move last summer... he's all grown up!

My best gal Steph reminded me today that both myself and our other best pal Amanda are having birthdays in a few weeks. I realized that I have spent more time thinking about turning 25 (I promise that post is in the works and coming soon!) than I have about a birthday wish list. My parents have already gotten me a gym bag I wanted, and mom is taking me to Gatlingburg for a fun weekend of shopping and seeing the mountains.

So I spent some time thinking throughout the day since I read her email, and these are some things that could be delightful to receive (and these are not in any particular order):

~ Cash or gift cards. No, it's not personal or thoughtful. But if you want to throw some money to your Melanie, she promises she won't put it in her money market. She'll force herself to spend it on something on her Gatlinburg shopping trip (she really needs to find a summer-appropriate purse, one of the main goals of the trip) or on something that she wouldn't normally buy. And gift cards to places like The Limited, Fleet Feet Sports, Target, iTunes or other pertinent stores you know Melanie shops at are always nice to have.

~ Gift certificate for the Rain Tree Salon and Spa. This is where I go to get my hair cut. They have a bunch of other services that I've never done, so if you were like "Get a massage and use this toward it!" then I'd use it on something fun like that or something else that I never do instead of something boring like a hair cut. Although I am contemplating coloring my hair. Stay tuned on that one. Spa trips are more fun with gals, so you could of course go with me if you're able to do so!

~ Sweet Home Alabama - as in the DVD with Reese Witherspoon. I've always loved this movie (and not just because her character's name is Melanie), but I've somehow never managed to get a copy.

~ Body by Victoria Bikini style panties, medium. Any color or fun pattern that is not white, black, tan, or pink (patterns with a little pink are acceptable). These are usually on sale for 3 for $30. I have a good number of them now in my drawer, but it's always good to get some new undies and throw out any as they wear out. You can never have too many of these. (And stop gasping that I don't like pink...)

~ A book called Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks by Priscilla Shirer. I heard her speak this past weekend, and she was amazing. As soon as she mentioned writing this book, it sounded exactly like something useful for my life. I'm always questioning if things I hear are God or just my own voice saying what I want to hear.

~ Anything that anyone has discovered that makes life easier, more fun, more fulfilling, more luxurious and so on and so forth... especially life as a woman. Seriously, this is up for grabs. I use things a lot of times because they work for other people. So if you know something I need in my life, send it on.

~ A MacBook. OK, so I know no one is going to get me that. But just throwing it out there since technically it's on my "wish list" right now. I'll probably buy one at the end of the summer.

~ Hey Steph, is there a "my best friend graduated from Harvard Law" shirt at the bookstore? Because I would totally wear it with pride. And I'd feel really cool. :)

~ I heart this shirt. And this one. Probably a medium because I think they run small. Certainly overpriced for t-shirts, but I still think they're cute.

~ I never got the last season (seven, I think) of Gilmore Girls on DVD, but I have all the others. So I could use it to finish the collection.

I suppose this isn't the best list ever. It's hard because I am generally really hard to fit both for clothes and shoes, so I have to do that kind of shopping myself most of the time. Not only that, but now that I live and work in the real world I have real money (not a lot, but real nonetheless) so I usually just go buy anything I really want or need. I've tried to think of things here that I wouldn't normally go get myself. I hope this helps those interested!

And if you live out of the area and/or are a fairly new friend, I would be willing to share my address should you want to mail me a card... even if it's just an e-card. :)

50 Bloggers in 50 States Experiment

One of my new blogging pals Heidi has made a post about something that I think is really cool and that I'm certainly going to join in on.

The good people at There's a Blog in My Soup are going on a road trip to interview a blogger from each of the 50 states. It sounds like a really fun and neat project.

I'm always up for finding new blogs, so I'm looking forward to seeing not only who they select to interview from each state, but also all the blogs that are signed up for the chance! You can find cool blogs from people in your own state or any of the others through the link page.

Check it out!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tidbits on Tuesday

I have some random thoughts floating around, so enjoy!

- Last night I cleaned my house. When I say clean, I mean CLEAN. Does anyone else find that they have a tendency to have a pattern for how you clean? I do. I start by de-cluttering. Basically, I go around and put away anything that's not in its place. I live a fairly organized and clutter free life, so this is always the easy part. Then I pretty much start at my door and work my way from room to room to the back of the house. I vaccumed all the floors. I swiffered. I even moved the couches to get the dust bunnies they have been there since I moved in. The bathrooms are sparkly. The ironing is done. I have one little load of laundry left to do. The only thing I didn't have time to accomplish was pulling my winter clothes out of the way to put the summer ones in the most accessible part of the closet.

My least favorite part about cleaning is how the house smells when I'm done. Sure it's so fresh and so clean, clean... but I hate the way all the cleaning products smell. Even the ones that are supposed to smell good. The fun part about cleaning is watching Tucker run around. He always seems so confused as I move things around. He runs from the vacuum, but I have to lock him out of the bathroom or else he'll jump in the tub while I've got scrubby stuff all over it.

- I watched this video and read this great article in The New Yorker today about elevators. I myself am not crazy about riding in them, so I was especially interested in the video of the man trapped in one for 41 hours. That'd be awful. I really don't like to get in elevators without windows... I know there's little chance they'll plummet, but if there is a window then I feel like I probably won't be trapped in it without anyone knowing since they'll see me. (In case you were wondering, I don't typically read The New Yorker. But it felt really cool to reference it like maybe I did, ha!)

- Does anyone else really dislike the post office? I really can't stand having to go there. There's always a line, and even though there are three places for workers there is usually only one working. And most the people in line don't know what the heck they want when they get to the register. We have a new building opening next week, and I'm wondering if they'll keep it staffed any better than the one now. Not only do they rarely have enough people working, but the ones they do have are usually grumpy. What's up with that? AND, I went today to pick up something that needed to be signed for because we got the little card in the box that said we weren't here to sign for it when they delivered. But I watched the woman drive to the mailbox and put the mail in from my desk yesterday. I almost said something about it today because it was really irritating to know she didn't even try to come in to get us to sign, but I figured it was a lost cause.

- This morning I woke up at 5:30am because Tucker was playing with a ring from the water jug (you know the plastic ring that holds the lid on until you tear it open? He LOVES those) at the foot of the bed. Then, he suddenly realized that there was an imaginary cat to chase up and down the hallway. I listened as he thumped down the hall (you'd think he was a large dog from the sound of it) and slid onto the kitchen floor, and then he'd race back and jump up on the bed again. At least he's getting his exercise. I like it that he's skinny like his mama.

- Speaking of running, I've logged 5 runs in all of April. Not. so. good. Needless to say, the Country Music Half this weekend won't be my fastest half ever. But it should be fun. And then I have vowed to get back in the normal groove again so that I can be in tip top shape when it's time to don my bikini at the beach this summer. At least 2 of my runs were 12 and 15 milers, so I don't feel like a complete lazy a. Besides, I've been busy. And I haven't been nearly as excited this year as I was last year when I was running the full. There's something really different about running a half and not the entire marathon. It's still a big deal, but not as big of a deal. And I suppose there were other reasons why I was more excited last year, too. I do get to see my pal Bennett who's coming in town to run. Saturday night is calling for a fun night downtown. I'll also be going to the pasta dinner at Mercy and finding out how much money we all raised through Team Mercy this year!

- I might be going to a Bon Jovi concert on Thursday. Apparently it's hypothetical for now. We will see what happens. I haven't decided if I'm going to go should it change from hypothetical to reality.

- I saw this water fountain that Tucker would LOVE at PetSmart the other day. I know he drinks from his bowl, but if I turn on the sink he will drink from the running water until I turn it off. Then he'll cry for me to turn it back on. It looks like with this thing the water would circle like in a fountain and always be running so that he could drink from the running water (a 5 inch stream!) instead of the sitting water. It's also got a filter to clean the water, which would cut down on the bottled water I buy. (I know, I know. I do pamper the kitty. But tap water is bad for kitties.) It's like $70, which is more than I spend on stuff for the little guy... but should I ever get a half off coupon, I know this item will make his day.

- Happy Earth Day! And Happy Administrative Professionals' Day (tomorrow) to my fellow admins. Last year my boss took me to lunch at Demos'. We have someone here for training this week so chances our good we'll eat somewhere good again whether he remembers the day or not. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mercy's 25th

I went ahead and got some pictures from my weekend volunteering at the Mercy Ministries 25th Anniversary events posted earlier today, so I thought now you might like to know what all went on.

Thursday night there was a gala down on the field at the Titans' field. Um yeah, pretty awesome. Of course I was working the event and not actually attending, but it was still super fun to be part of the night. We had to dress up in black suits, and I had gotten a special Mercy shirt to wear with mine. They're selling these shirts in boutiques around the country to raise money. Every shirt has the story of a Mercy graduate inside it, which I think is pretty cool. Over 750 people attended the gala and enjoyed a fancy meal and entertainment from CeCe Winans. I helped with making sure all of the volunteers knew where to be and what to do.

Friday night there was a concert with Point of Grace, Barlow Girl, Israel Houghton and Natalie Grant. I was down at the event center for seriously like 12 hours. We had to put giving envelopes on all the chairs... all 3600. Somewhat tedious, but an important thing to do. The concert was sold out, and the show was just amazing. I didn't get to watch a whole lot since I was running around making sure we had enough people in certain places and that everyone knew where to be and when. I also had a run-in with the event center staff. They were blocking some stairs that led downstairs backstage so that no one could get back there. I flashed my little All Access badge and they still told me I couldn't go down the stairs. I shared how I was in a great hurry and knew it was the most direct way down and that I'm authorized to be down there.

"It doesn't matter. You can't go down these stairs. They don't go anywhere."

What? I mean, did I have some sign on my forehead that said I'm an idiot who would believe that the stairs don't go anywhere. I didn't have time to question their statement so I took off in search of the other stairs, but I really wanted to tell them I had come UP those stairs earlier in the day. If they just weren't allowing anyone, even those with access, use the stairs then I would have understood. But don't lie to me and tell me the stairs don't go anywhere.

Nonetheless, super incredible evening. I finally got home and in bed after a LONG day at 1am.

Saturday, I was back at the event center by 9am. I attended the women's conference that day and enjoyed 5 unbelievably fantastic women speakers as well as some good music, time with a few of my friends who also attended, and a trip to the Cheesecake Factory for a slice of Godiva Chocolate cheesecake (yum).

It was a tiring weekend, but it was the kind of exhaustion that feels feel fulfilling. I really enjoyed spending time helping out at tow of the events and then receiving some good lessons from the speakers at the women's conference.

Different things matter to us all. For me, I've never struggled with an eating disorder or self-harm or addictions like the girls who come to Mercy have... but I can understand how as a woman and as a human being things can affect us so as to lead us down such a path. I support Mercy because I believe that every young woman, no matter what her past, deserves some mercy and a chance to heal and live a normal life. We all deserve to have resources to help us be the woman that we have been made to be.

I always encourage everyone to have something to be involved with whether it's financially or with time. At the same time, there's just something about giving your time to others. It's fulfilling in a way that only giving can be.. And honestly, it really is just plain fun.

Pictures from Mercy's 25th Anniversary








Friday, April 18, 2008

EARTHQUAKE!!!

So apparently there was an earthquake up in Indiana this morning, and it could be felt here in Nashville a little before 5am.

I was most definitely in my bed since it was 11 when I got home from the Mercy Gala last night and close to midnight by the time I showered and got my stuff ready for today together.

However, I remember waking up once when it was still dark. I wasn't facing the clock. I just thought "well that's weird" because I rarely wake up in the middle of the night, and then I promptly fell back asleep. Maybe it was the earthquake that woke me up.

But I do know I was having this dream where I was in a coffee shop and I met this girl and this guy that weren't there together, and the guy was really cute but then he ordered catfish (I know... who has catfish at a coffee shop?) and I thought that was gross. I still sat and talked to him and invited the girl to join us. I never even got his name, but I thought he was cute and hoped he'd ask me out. So... weird dream for sure. And it makes me wonder if I need to start hanging out at coffee shops more. Or maybe I've just heard that Landon Pigg song about falling in love at a coffee shop too many times on the radio lately.

Heading off to Day 2 of the Mercy 25th Anniversary weekend. Details and pictures to follow soon!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Benadryl Buzz

Last night after dinner, I had one of those itchy eyes/sneezing/runny nose attacks that I am sometimes prone to have around this time of year. Knowing I needed to get a good night's sleep since I'm volunteering at the Mercy Gala tonight, I took some Benadryl very early so that it'd knock me out for a solid 8 hours without putting me in what I like to call the "anithistamine cloud" all day today.

Success! I feel great! Granted, I could have slept later, but I can always stand to sleep later. The only thing is that I woke up with a terrible taste in my mouth and an almost insatiable thirst. Anyone else every experience that the morning after a night's rest with Benadryl making it's way around in your body and drying up snot and relieving itchy eyes?

As I was getting ready to walk out the door, I suddenly felt a small wave of nostalgia... the sunlight coming in my windows reminded me of being in the condo my family stayed in last summer when we went to the beach. I felt a strong desire to be on the beach right now. Oh, wishful thinking...

Thanks for the kind comments on my post yesterday. I swear I'm really ok. In fact, now that I've kind of sorted through everyone with God, with friends, and a bit on the ole blog, I feel great! I'm not even thinking about anything anymore. I guess I had just ignored processing it all long enough and it was time and doing so was almost like throwing up... I felt things rushing over me and I just had to get it out really quickly and purge myself of it and then feel better. Ok, so that's kind of gross... and not the absolute best analogy since technically everything is still in my head, but sharing it all helped me to sort through some things and I feel REALLY good now.

All is right with Melanie's world again. :) Nothing was ever wrong though... just processing a few things I'd been ignoring for a while.

In closing, has anyone else heard DeathCab for Cutie's song "I will Possess Your Heart" lately? It's not quite as creepy as the title sounds. I've really been digging it on the radio and downloaded the 8-minute version last night. I love the lyrics. There's something so true about how to really know if someone is right for you, you've gotta spend some time together. Check it out.

Oh, and there is much rejoicing in my office today over the results of last night's American Idol. Finally, the karaoke girl is gone. She wasn't terrible, but I can hear just as much talent at a bar on a Saturday night in Nashville.

Have a great day, and stay tuned for posts about my weekend volunteering at all the Mercy events!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Car Wash Epiphany

Do you ever have those weird moments where you feel all confused over a wave of emotions you may be experiencing and then all of a sudden it clicks? I had that at the car wash yesterday.

Let me back up. Due to a recent turn of events in the world of Mel, I have a had a lot more on my mind this week. None of it was really negative or positive. It wasn't troubling or worrisome. It wasn't happy and exciting. It was just a bunch of swirling thoughts that I was suddenly covered up in. The first day it just seemed normal. The second day I felt a little overwhelmed. But yesterday? It all made sense.

See, the thing is that I didn't suddenly have these thoughts tossed into the mix of the normal things I think about. They've always been on my mind. I've just been quietly ignoring them. Not because I don't deal with things. Not because I bottle up emotions. It's been more that I just haven't had the time or energy to sort through everything going on in my head lately.

So yesterday, my boss comes in and hands me the key to his Honda Ridgeline to take to the car wash. Driving the truck is fun, so I was happy to get out and a gorgeous sunshiney day and venture down the road to get the truck all gussied up. There was of course a line. I sit. The radio is on. I don't remember what was playing. I don't think I was even really listening. But I know I wasn't really thinking about much at all and suddenly there were tears in my eyes.

What the heck? I'm not one of those anti-crying people, but I also don't cry all that easily. I was surprised. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I started flying through thoughts in my head to try to figure out which thing, which person, which situation could potentially be causing this. I wasn't sobbing or anything... just a few quiet tears spilling from my eyes. I couldn't figure it out. I just felt really overwhelmed by emotion that I didn't have prior to arriving at the car wash.

And suddenly it all clicked... it didn't have anything to do with the events of this past week or really any events whatsoever... or any one person... or one situation. I think I just suddenly realized that because I hadn't given any attention to the thoughts making camp somewhere in my mind that I suddenly just felt really overwhelmed by it. A lot of it stems from my upcoming 25th birthday. I know I've mentioned a forthcoming post about this occasion, and I promise it's still in the works. It's not like I'm dreading my birthday or feel any sort of huge weight because of it, but I think it's just one of those birthdays that really makes you think about your life from a different perspective than you were before you realized you're about to turn 25.

I also realized as I headed closer to the front of the line that I hadn't really been talking about any of the things on my mind much either. That's not really like me. But I think that sometimes even though I know I have some of the most amazing friends ever, I still have a tendency to fear that pouring out stuff on my mind would be overwhelming to them. And I don't want to do that. But I know that my best friends are there for me, and I should feel free to share what's going on with me. It's not a burden on them... it's just friendship. It lets them know how I'm REALLY doing. It let's them know what I could use a few prayers about. It lets them know the things that only best friends such as them are privy to.

By the time I went inside to pay, I was fine. It was like this huge relief. I realized I don't have to sort out every single thing on my mind. I don't have to question if the gut feelings I have are real or made up. I can just be. I can just experience the emotions and feelings I have about different things. I can trust that my gut feelings have often been right and that it's good to follow my instincts. I don't have to figure out what everything in my life means and if I'm doing everything the way I should be. (We all know Melanie is guilty of some overanalyzing sometimes... she's working on it, but sometimes it can't be helped). I realized that sometimes you just need to talk it out. Or in my case, write it out... because I fired off two lengthy emails to share some of what's on my heart and mind. And it felt good.

I've always been a pretty open book with the people I'm closest to, but I had been holding back lately. I think it was mostly because I just wasn't ready to open up. (Gosh, I know I'm being vague... I promise it's nothing terrible or anything. I'm totally fine. It's just life and things that are on the mind of a soon-to-be 25-year-old gal... just normal life stuff, I promise. You'll get a feel when I finally make that 25th bday post.) Sometimes you just can't tell your friends what's on your mind until you really know what's on your mind.

In summary, I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for whatever caused me to remember that they're the ones I can count on to listen to me chat about whatever might be swirling around in my head, no matter how dumb it may be or how serious it may be or silly or exciting or whatever!!!

It really feels better to share. I don't think we were made to carry everything around and keep it all to ourselves. I mean, I certainly believe that God wants us to share what's on our minds and hearts with him as well as other people. I know I always feel more peace when I pray AND when I talk to people about what's going on with me. Sometimes I forget both. Sometimes I worry my desires and thoughts and everything else going may seem silly if I tell God about it and/or a close friend. But then something always reminds me that thinking THAT is silly.

So I try to remember to give things over to God and to not worry about sharing things with my friends. They want to know what's going on with me.

Wow, I feel like I just made it sound like I never open up and share things and that I keep it all bottled in. That's SO not the case. I really am a pretty open person. But sometimes I ignore my own thoughts long enough that they kind of eventually sneak up on me and it's like I have to spend several days sorting through it and kind of pour it out to a friend or two to get some feedback from the people who know me well and the way I think through things... and then all is well. It's like sometimes I forget that I don't HAVE to sort through it alone. There are people who love me and genuinely want to know what's on my mind just like I want to do for them.

So all is well. I promise. I still have things on my mind, but that's life, right? Always something... I once again remembered that life is good, and I have a lot of good people in mine. So the moral I suppose is to go hug a friend, and to never forget that there's always someone to talk to. I know that for me, when I finally decide to pray about something and let it go, I always feel so much better.

To top it off, I was at the new singles' ministry we've started up on Tuesdays, and the speaker had a great lesson about living our lives to the full.. being compassionate and full of love... surrending things to God and relying on our fellow humans to travel along the marathon of life with smiles on our faces. Real smiles. I felt even more sure after that that my car wash epiphany was just one more reminder of a lesson I learn over and over... life is always better when you share it with others.

So it seems that since my posting may be less frequent this week due to my busy schedule, that my posts are leaning more on the lengthy side. I hope it makes up for my absent days. I have a sticky note of thoughts I want to share, which also leads to the bit of randomness found here.

Thanks for reading. I'm not sure if I'm gotten my point across as eloquently as I intended, but it's time to get to something else. I hope you all know what I mean. Life is just meant to be shared. And that is very good to be reminded of frequently.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Almost Got Arrested Yesterday and then I Slept 12 Hours Last Night...

I'm so not kidding about sleeping 12 hours. I turned the tv off at midnight when SNL went off (not something I usually stay up late to watch, but Ashton Kutcher was the host... and Melanie hearts Ashton.) and didn't wake up until 11:52 this morning. I can't remember the last time I slept til noon. It was beautiful. I feel great. I woke up wanting to go to yoga this afternoon and would be if I didn't need to eat dinner tonight with my parents and grandpa. (Because yoga is at 4 and we're going to dinner at 4... because grandpa is with us.)

This was really just an exhausting week, and I know the coming one will be as well with all of the Mercy events later in the week. But at least it's a good kind of exhausting.

So I know you're dying to know the part about almost getting arrested. It's a bit of an exaggeration, but... well, let me just share the story.

The air show is going on here in town this weekend. Not only is my office really close to the airport (may I just say that none of us got much done on Thursday when the Blue Angels were practicing? I mean, it was just way too much fun to run outside every time we heard them flying over!), but so is the greenway that I do a lot of my Saturday runs on. The air show wasn't supposed to start til 11, so the plan was to get there at 8am, run 15 miles, and be out of there before they start closing the roads near the airport.

All was going well, and then as we ran along we found the path marked off by police tape. We decided it couldn't be a big deal since it was 3 hours before the show, so we kept going. However, when we came back it was much closer to time for the show to start. My running partner thought that maybe we better run to the main road to run back to our cars since the path was marked off and "technically, it's illegal to cross the yellow crime scene police tape and if they wanted to be jerks they could arrest us." I was like, "This isn't a crime scene!" and suggested we just stick with the path. I scoff at the law! Mwah hah ha! Ok, seriously I'm a good law abiding citizen, but I felt absolutely no guilt with crossing the police tape to continue running. I had run 14 miles and was ready to be done, so I dared Mr. Police Officer off in the distance to come give us a hard time for crossing the tape.

But then the rest of the way back I had this funny little story in my head of what if they tried to arrest us... for running... in a public park... in broad daylight. I got a kick just thinking about it. Of course, no one came running after us. We made it safely back to our cars. But it would have been a great story if we'd been arrested. I'd probably still be telling it when I'm 80.. "Did I ever tell you about the time the police arrested me for training for a half marathon on a public greenway?" Ah, it'd be a proud moment in the name of my sport.

After the run, we headed downtown for lunch (at Demos' - yum!) and to go to the Fair Tax Rally. We never found it. The park it was supposed to be held at was pretty flooded from all the rain we've had. I'm pretty sure they probably moved it, but we wandered around downtown for a while and never round any semblance of a rally. It was disappointing. I was all ready to learn cool stuff about how aboloshing the IRS could make everyone happy and what I could do to support it. I'm not overly "political" so to speak, but I do know that I'm all for something that would have more of MY money in MY pocket each year.

After a nap and catching up on some very neglected laundry (finally, I have clean socks and running clothes again!) I had dinner with my family at this new pizza buffet in town. A small girl next to me threw up in the floor beside us. It took me a few minutes before I could continue eating. You know how that goes. Her parents seemed unfazed. I'm wondering if when you become a parent things like that quit grossing you out.

I'm enjoying a pretty relaxed day. I really wanted to go to the Southern Women's Show going on this weekend downtown, but with my grandpavisiting that got ruled out along with the yoga. Maybe I'll go next year.

I apologize in advance if my posting is less frequent this week... or less coherent I plan on making posts about each of the Mercy events I'm either working or attending later in the week, but I know I'll probably be pretty worn out by the time it's all said and done. Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Giving and God and other random tidbits

I have a bunch of random thoughts swirling around right now, so stick with me if you can and apologies if I'm all over the place with this post.

I've been spending a LOT of time at Mercy helping with preparing for their big events next weekend (gala, concert, women's conference.) I'm probably not getting enough me time, but I'm having fun and enjoying giving of my time. We're hoping to really raise awareness in the area about this ministry and the way it's changing the lives of young women. It's made me think a lot lately about how I really don't mind at all that I have had little time to do much else. I'm excited about these events and being involved. We aren't called to give because of how it makes us feel, but I think that giving was intended to bring us joy. We are more fulfilled when we give of ourselves to others.

I was watching Idol Gives Back last night and saw all these videos of celebrities going to communities in the US suffering from poverty and places in Africa where everyone is dying of AIDS. There are SO many ways that people can give. Obviously we don't all have gobs of money, but $10 can buy a mosquito net to protect people in Africa from catching malaria. $10. And there are so many ways in our own local areas that we can give of our time. I don't have a lot of money to give to organizations I support, but giving my time allows me the opportunity to see first hand how what I'm doing helps, and it's like giving money because they don't have to pay someone to do the work I'm doing.

One of the speakers on the show made a comment about how you'd think that with all the money Bono has and how inexpensive it is to provide medicine and food for people in other countries that he'd have wiped out at least half of the problems in Africa. It was meant as a joke, but at the same time, it's not so funny. I started thinking about how there are so many wealthy people and I know they do a lot of charity stuff, but could they do more?? Not only that, but why is it so inexpensive to provide AIDS medicine in Africa but it costs out the butt here in America? When did we become so wrapped up in profits that we missed the point of making a difference among our fellow humans?

Then I got online today and a headline popped up: Elton John raises $2.5M for Clinton. Give me a freaking break! $2.5M for a presidential campaign?! I get it that who our president is is important, blah blah blah. But why are they calling this the most expensive election ever? Because people keep giving money to it! Why? Why are we giving millions and millions of dollars to candidates to create commercials that we hate watching anyways? Why are we spending so much money to elect a freaking gov't official when we have people in our OWN country who are dying from disease and hunger.... who can't afford an education... who need help studying to get a GED so they can try to get a better job and support their family...

I just feel really annoyed about all of this. In the end, the president is one of MANY gov't people running our country. I get it that it's an important position, but I don't get why we spend so much money getting them in there. I'm sure someone will disagree with me and that's fine, but I'm expressing my opinion that the bit of money I have to give away will go to someone who really needs it.

And on a somewhat not related note, have you heard about Oprah basically starting a cult? Ok ok, I'm being extreme. But search for her on youtube and watch the videos about this mass trance thing she's been part of... I used to respect Oprah, mostly because she did a lot of good and gave to people. I still think it's good that she does that, but I'm starting to think that I like her less now. I watched some of this stuff where she's saying we are our own god and a bunch of crap like that. There was one thing she said that stood out. She tells a story about sitting in church and hearing how God is all-knowing and He is love and He is grace and then the preacher said he was jealous. She said she remembered thinking, "Why is God jealous of me?" and how it completely changed her view of God.

Missing. the. point. Oprah. God isn't jealous of YOU. He's jealous of the other people/things that you worship instead of Him.

Anyways, I don't know tons about it, but I just needed to say that if I hadn't already cancelled my subscription to her magazine, I definitely would now.

And on a final note, I think it's interesting that there is so much drama over saying prayers at school and sporting events and whether or not we say "under God" in the pledge, etc... but then the 8 contestants on American Idol close last night's show singing "Shout the the Lord" with a choir. AI is like the top watched show in our country. Way to not be afraid to acknowledge God on the show AI... way to go. I'm sure people nationwide will think it's inappropriate, but I think it's inappropriate that we keep trying to censor God out. No one is forcing anyone to believe in God by those kinds of things any more than me listening to rap music is forcing me to join a gang or start doing drugs. I'm afraid I'm not being concise here and I don't know how to be, but my point - I think - is that we sure get worked up over a lot of silly things when there are more important things to be concerned about.

A final thought to try to wrap this up: Why is it ok to acknowledge God when we want people to give to help others, but not the rest of the time? And why do we give so much money to campaigns when people are living in poverty and dying of AIDS? What can we do to make people more aware of the CONSTANT need for people to give of their time and wallets? Couldn't we knock some of this stuff out if we spent a little more energy giving of ourselves than watching tv?

Sorry this got so long. I just needed to get this out there. I am not really looking to engage in any arguments or anything, but I wanted to share how I feel and encourage anyone who may read this to try to keep an open mind as you decide how you feel about these issues.

PS - If anyone in the Nashville area is interested, there's a Fair Tax Rally going on downtown later. This is whole other issue to save for another time, another post... but if you want to know more about the Fair Tax and how to support it, come check out the rally or visit www.fairtax.org.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

DMB

I bought Dave Matthews Band tickets today. I probably should have gone sooner since there were very few seats left to choose from. I also ended up spending $10 per ticket more because the general admission tickets were sold out, but I reckon there weren't that many to begin with since the concert is at a minor league baseball field. I think that's random. And BTW, TicketMaster fees suck. Someone needs to find a way to crush their monopoly on ticket fees.

I cringed a bit at the price and the thought of driving 3 hours one way this summer to see the show, but I've been offered a place to stay. And it's fun to daydream about who I might take with me. One would like to think there could be a handsome man in my life come August, but taking a good friend will be fun, too, if that's how it plays out. It seems so far away.

I haven't seen Dave since 2003. I took a boyfriend with me that year. I have never written much about him, mostly because I don't keep this blog especially anonymous and people who read this know him. And I suppose he could stumble across this. But I am finding that I could care less now, so he may be referenced more often. We'll just have to call LTX for Long-Term Ex (I realize this is not original and used by other bloggers, but it will have to do as he no longer gets any terms of affection). We were together 3 years. I won't be likely to speak poorly about him (because heck, I loved him and speaking bad about him would be like speaking bad about myself), but I'm realizing that my efforts to not reference him are keeping me from writing about things I want to write. That's dumb. So I'm not going to stand for it. I'll be allowing references of him from now on when they're fitting as I share stories. I mean, three years is definitely a good bit of my past and that relationship, like so many other things and people, certainly had a role in shaping my life. It only makes sense to share that where appropriate. So it's official. LTX will be entering the blog when necessary and should you ever stumble across this Mr. LTX, please know this is not to offend you, give you any sort of ego boost, or anything else that may cross your mind... it's simply just a record of history.

I remember we had a really great time at that Dave concert, and he wasn't even really a big fan of DMB (I think he had fun because he was a big fan of me.) I didn't go in 2004 because he was out of town and no one else wanted to go. I think I skipped 2005 and 2006 for other non-boy-related reasons. So it's due time for me to catch a DMB show again.

So here's to DMB 2008! May I have an even more fantastic time than I did in 2003!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Toilet/WC/The Loo/The Can

I realized today that I may not know as much about toilets as I should.

I know how to unstop one. Granted, I make sure to never stop one up. I don't understand why other people require so much toilet paper sometimes.

Anyways, past that I know very little.

I share a little bathroom with my boss. He's a man, but he's a man who has spent the bulk of his more recent years living with a wife and 2 daugthers. The seat is always down. The toilet is always clean. So really it's no different than sharing a bathroom with my dad, except he's not my dad. (Though sometimes he's kind of like a second dad.) The only thing that's kind of odd about this bathroom arrangement is that the bathroom is right off of his office. I always turn the fan on to cover any bathroom sounds. And when I started working here, I promptly bought air freshener. I never said anything about it. I just put it on the back of the toilet.

Today I used the bathroom and when I walked past about an hour later, I heard it running. Sometimes this happens, so I headed in there to jiggle the handle. That didn't work. So I tried what usually works next... flushing it again. Only nothing happened.

I took the lid off. I pretended like I knew what I was looking for. I studied the way the handle on the outside was connected to things on the inside. Then I decided I was just going to have to ask for help. The bossman was gone, otherwise he'd have already noticed the continued water running and fixed it. The other guys were gone, except for the one guy who is always here.

I knew what I had to do. I walked to the back. I had maybe the sixth conversation I've ever had with this man in the almost 2 years I've worked here (he's not real chatty). It started with me saying, "So do you know much about toilets?" He said yes, and we were off to fix it. Except that I just stood nearby while he fixed it.

But he saved the day. It required a wrench. I know what a wrench is and know how to use one, but not on toilets. I'm really thankful I wasn't here all by myself. I would have had to call my dad and had him talk me through what to do.

So in conclusion, maybe I should learn a few more things about toilets.

Friday, April 4, 2008

In the Meantime...

I have this really great post forming in my head about my upcoming 25th birthday and the ways in which I am finding it affecting me and my general disposition.

However, I'm tired and don't have the energy to write it the way I want to right now.

So for tonight, I'd just like to say to my friend Danielle that according to all the hype in the media and the lengthy message boards at nkotb.com, it's true that a LOT of people really do care that the New Kids are hitting the Block once again. I expect you to retract your comment.

I will be buying tickets if they come anywhere remotely near here or somewhere I can get to inexpensively by plane (so if anyone in a major city has a place for me to crash, that'd be great).

Go look at their official website. They look pretty good for men going on 40.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My Problem with Rules

I generally follow rules. Sure, I break the speed limit on occasion. Sure, I'm not a perfect angel. But most of the time, I support the reasons for rules. I don't break good rules. I remember one time I got my name on the board for talking out of turn in the 3rd grade. I felt sick to my stomach the rest of the day.

But sometimes, there are rules that no matter what explanations are offered for their existence, I just think they're ridiculous.

Case in point? USATF Rule 144.3.(b) This is the rule set in place that bans the use of headphones/audio players in certified races, aka most half and full marathons in the US.

The USATF and supporters offer a bunch of bull reasons that on the surface make sense, but when it comes down to it, they're making it all the more difficult to get new runners in the field and retain the ones who need music to power through long distances.

They say listening to audio devices is a safety hazard as the runner is unable to hear traffic, race instructions, etc.

Ok, so this kind of makes sense. However, I am far safer running on a closed course where there are NO cars than when I'm doing my training runs. It doesn't matter if I can't hear cars because there shouldn't be any. And I do have eyes... I can see the signs telling me where to go and that the people up ahead have water cups to hand me. If this is a reasoning for this rule, then why are deaf people allowed to run? I don't think it matters if you can hear stuff when you're running a race.. it's one of the safest places to run.

They say their insurance companies consider it a safety factor.

Why do they care? I have to sign a waiver that I'm responsible for my own safety and well-being at every single race. Most include warnings that I run at my own risk. I think by the time I've signed that, they've made it pretty clear that if something happens to me during the race, I'm on my own.

They say they can cause distractions and safety hazards for other runners... because what if you drop it and pick it up and someone trips over you? Or start messing with it and plow into someone and knock them down?

Ok, seriously... how is me messing with my ipod any more of a safety hazard to other runners than me coming to a dead stop at the water stop (I know better, but some people don't) or me messing with my sports watch or GPS watch or whatever other device I've got that's not an ipod, or looking off to the side and waving to the spectators cheering me on? I don't run with headphones in a race if I have a running buddy, but whether I wear them on race day or not I can safely say I have NEVER been bothered by someone else wearing them.

They say (and this is my personal favorite) that music can give runners a competitive edge over others.

Wow. I mean, I may be totally wrong, but the elite athletes I've seen appear to not need music to help them power through the course. You never see them with mp3 players anyways. So what's wrong with letting the rest of us more average runners listen to our tunes? We're running far longer than the elites and need it anyways! I just don't think that me being able to pump up the volume on a Justin Timberlake song is going to give me what it takes to go flying past lots of people.

I know I don't have like the BEST arguments here by any means, but my point is that I just don't see a runner listening to their mp3 player being as big of a threat as they want to make it out to be. Rules are often made to be broken, and I know many runners break this one despite all the race advertisements that headphones won't be allowed. However, I'm hearing more and more that they really are starting to disqualify people who wear them.

Come on people, don't we have better things to do? It's kind of like when the cops pull people over for just barely going over the speed limit when they should be off tackling rising drug problems.

If anyone out there who's part of the USATF or a race director or whatever stumbles across this blog someday, please know that your ridiculous rule is pissing runners off everywhere. If you don't believe me, do a google search on the matter and my point will be proven faster than you can lace up your sneakers. I don't understand why we need to certify every single course anyways. Sometimes we just want to run a marathon to run one, and not to try to qualify for Boston or the Olympics, so there's no need for every freaking marathon course in America to be USATF certified. And if they are going to keep going that way, then this rule needs to change. Keep up with technology USATF people, and remember that we have to sign off that we're running at our own risk anyways... so let us risk running 26.2 miles with headphones.

Besides, I've never heard many reports of mass injuries and casualties because of people being so into their music at a race. The only running deaths I've ever heard of were related to health problems or weather. So let's be realistic... quit making rules for the sake of making rules and trying to tell us how to run.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rainy Day Fun

The best friend's sister has hooked me in on a little list-making fun, perfect for a rainy day!

What I was Doing 10 Years Ago -1998

1. It was the end of my freshman year of high school.
2. I was finishing up my first track season.
3. I had become good friends over the course of the school year with Steph, Jen, and Danielle.
4. I did not have a boyfriend, but I had liked someone who had liked me back until about this time of year when his friends told him it wasn't cool to like someone younger than him.
5. Pretty sure I didn't handle that too well, but what can I say? I was 14.

Five Things on my To-Do List Today

1. Make a checklist for set-up and clean-up at Element.
2. Email Danielle back.
3. Stop at store and get some food.
4. Return/exchange extention cords at wal-mart.
5. Watch American Idol. :)

Five Snacks I Enjoy

1. Anything chocolate
2. Pretzels
3. Nutri Grain bars
4. string cheese
5. jello cups

Five Things I'd Do If I Were a Billionaire

1. Buy a house
2. Quit my job after the Bob finds a replacement and pursue freelance writing/editing for real
3. Give a lot of it away, because someone else needs it more (family, friends, non-profits)
4. Travel to ALL the places I want to see (which could take a while) with the love of my life (when we find each other)
5. Invest much of it wisely for the future

Five of my Bad Habits

1. Hmm... checking my email often?
2. Checking my facebook often?
3. I twirl my hair, but I don't consider that a bad habit like other people do.
4. Getting up with only 10 minutes to get ready in the morning
5. Skipping breakfast

Five Places I have Lived

1. My parents' house
2. MTSU dorm
3. MTSU apartment
4. My own apartment
5. My grandparents' house (only not actually with them)

Five Jobs I've Had

1. Sales associate at Aeropostale
2. Student Orientation Assistant
3. Resident Assistant/Resident Director
4. Homecoming Director
5. Executive Assistant

(I hated my Administrative Assistant job so much that I'm not even going to count it. Boo on that place.)

Five People I Tag

I don't really want to "tag" anyone per se. Anyone who's up for a little list making action should feel free to partake.

I do however want to give a shout out to a few blogs I've discovered (or maybe they discovered me) over the past couple of weeks. It's only 4, but that's all that I have added to my reader in the past 2 weeks:

...more than a blog
Life in Pink
Back to Good Again
Single + Cats = Sad