Friday, April 27, 2007

New do

It was a long winter, and Niki was glad to have her beautiful black and white coat.
As messed up as the weather has been, it was necessary to delay her summer shave.
Here's what she looked like before:

I picked her up from the vet Thursday afternoon and she was very frisky. Got her home and she immediately went out to the backyard to tell all other neighborhood dogs of her adventure to the vet.

That evening, after Stevie Ray (demon psycho cat from hell) forgave her for being gone all day, they connived about what they might do if left on their own.
Based upon this pic, they are planning the big escape. True partners in crime, they are, my black and whites.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Who knew? Not me.

Blogger's note: The following post contains material that may lead readers to think of things that could be deemed as offensive.
I learned a valuable lesson tonight, the night of my five mile run with my Team in Training group:
Don't eat hot sauce the day of a run.
So I got to Valley Ranch -- that's in Irving, where the Dallas Cowboys have their HQ, and where the DFW Metro Running Team meets for Wednesday night run.
I chose that team because of that location. It's good for those of us who live or work in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
It's an easier location because it's in the mid-cities. My home team should have been in Fort Worth, but it's just too far, and VR is easier to get to Wednesday night run from Dallas during rush hour.
Essentially, it's like the halfway point between Dallas-Fort Worth (that's for you, Sammy).
Anyway, at lunch Wednesday, we bid farewell to an editor who is going to join the projects team, so we took him to lunch. He wanted chicken-fried steak, so we went to a steak place.
No pasta, no rice dishes, just meat -- grilled or fried.
I ordered a buffalo burger and some fries. Thought that would be safer than my usual grilled chicken salad with light dressing. I figured roughage wasn't the thing to order before my run.
I drank lots of water, ate my burger (which was yummy, despite the fact that I had to leave the jalapenos out) and fries.
I totally forgot about the chips and hot sauce before hand. Completely slipped my mind that I had had them, until they tried to make an introduction during my run.
I tried mind over matter, so to speak, then I just prayed.
And prayed.
And oh, God, did I pray.
It got me through, but along the route, there was really only one thing on my mind:

It just doesn't seem fair.
No one ever tells you this the day you join the team.

After the storm

It's sunny and 75 degrees today.
I didn't have to dive into the closet like before, no hail, just lots of wind and lightning.
What all this rain and wind paved the way for are the most beautiful purple irises growing around the Bradford pear tree in the backyard.
I cannot take credit for it. Thank God they just grow, and keep coming back.
Now if only the Texas sage plant would bloom, I'd have my favorite color dominating my favorite place to chill.
My five-mile run tonight should be great shorts and tank top weather. High is expected to be 77.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Here we go again

So I took the day off to try and reclaim my house and my life from the neglect that the two have been experiencing from work and marathon training.
I ran three miles this morning in the rain, drizzle. It was nice.
So when I got back and showered, I turned on the TV just to take the pulse of the world a bit.

So I thought, great. I gotta listen to the weather radio and watch the TV news, something I didn't really want to do today since I do that everyday, all day long.
On the agenda for today was paying bills (as long as this Internet connection stays connected), picking up, and doing a little work for the board I serve on.
Oh, and errands, yeah, I can run errands.
But then this happened...

I guess I gotta clear that damn bedroom closet again for me, the dog and the cat, and wait for the weather guy to say: "take cover now!"
We're under watches and warnings until late tonight.
I'm sure it's sunny and 74 degrees somewhere.

P.S.: Here's a shout out to all the storm chasers who watch these incredible weather monsters. I gotta do that someday.
This is recent, from March 28, shot somewhere in Texas.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Didn't feel like Sunday

Ten today, 10.
I felt everything, from my knees down, for the first hour. It's like a pre- warm-up ache, I guess.
Gray overcast with a tinge of blue, a little wind, was with me the whole way. It went from blah to sunny and 74 degrees. That was nice, the last hour of my run. I didn't hurt so bad then.
New toy: Nike Sport Armband for iPod nano. No more flying out of the little holder thing and onto the pavement (like my phone) anymore. Poor little pink. My iPod doesn't get sweaty with this thing, either. Sweet.

Oh, I bought another watch, this time the right one -- two interval timers. It's lavender.
I'm not really sure if I am going to like that huge tan line around my arm, though. I got some sun today.
What joy, a shower, some food and Advil.
Discovery: Target has running clothes.
Reality: I have to get back on schedule, so that means three miles Monday morning, 3. But should I do it the day after running 10?? Ow.
I can't seem to catch up right now, with this and the rest of my life.

Scenes from a festival

Main St. Arts Festival ended tonight.
It's billed as the largest art festival in the southwest.

It was a really good weekend for it, too. Mostly sunny with a little wind, and especially, no rain or severe weather. That is crucial...

Sarah and I went, we've always had a blast when we've gone through the years.
We both decided no art this year, just food and drink.
It went like this:
We began with roasted corn. A beer, i drank Killian Red, she had Coors Light. Another beer. Another beer. All the while we walked around.
Lots of interesting things and artists but the most amazing thing is the prices on some really cool outdoor creations like windchimes (much like the aunt in the movie Twister) some of them on huge, elaborate bases. Most of this stuff cost upward of $3,500. Not in my budget.
So then I got hungry again. We had a beer. Another beer. I had a sliced BBQ beef sandwich, Sarah had a chicken Caesar wrap. Another beer.

Food and drink became expensive -- it was $7 for five sheets, and each sheet had 10 tickets or so. Last thing I bought was some kettle corn. Hot, straight out of the cauldron. Yum.
Lowlight: We saw a little of Shelby Lynn (country singer, saw her once in a bar in Arlington). Seemed just OK until she told the crowd: Gee, it's great to be back in Dallas...
She was in Fort Worth.
Oh my phreaking gawd.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Road to 26.2

Things get different just beyond 13.1
I'm not talking about pain as much as the system -- how everything settles, comes up, down, and even, um, out, during a long run.
I did my first long one last Saturday. Fifteen and a half, in 3:36. I also had to take three pit stops.

I've got cargo now, too. Used to just be the iPod, but now, I have a mobile station to wear around my waist to carry the load:
=>iPod. A pleasure, really.
=>Shot Bloks. Apparently you need to eat and drink while running long distances. I hadn't done that in preparation for or during a half marathon. Just drank at the stations. The bloks are tasty, though. Remind me of gummy bears. Strawberry and cran-raspberry are yummy.
=>Goo. Yuck. I am having texture issues.

Three. It's the magic number.
Three Shot Bloks every three miles. I have to remind myself to do that. (I know, there are only two shown here).

I sure hope that Advil really doesn't kill livers or stop hearts. I take three liquicaps three times a day with an ice pack chaser in the evenings for my knee.

=>Water. A Gatorade mix is OK, but I like the water with blue Powerade combo better. That's what I think I'm getting used to.
In a disturbing twist, I am suddenly paying more attention to portapotties, specifically their locations. I plot to find the pot.
Mentally speaking, I find the quiet gets more intense, the music more beautiful beyond 13.1
That is something to look forward to the farther I go.
I have never really understood the word push, but I am definitely learning what it means on this road toward 26.2.

Friday, April 13, 2007


ok. so this isn't a running blog, but i have to talk about this.
i am behind in my training because i had this upper respiratory thing.

i couldn't run too much because i'd have to stop and hack too much. oh yeah, hard to breathe, too.
then my knee -- my IT band is restless again. ice, heat, advil.
i should be doing 17 miles this saturday but my coach said no more that 14-15.
seems i am always trying to catch up.
i have a marathon in less than two months.
yeah, i'm kinda scared.
oh, it's friday the 13th. stay away from ladders, cracks, and generally bad-seed looking people.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"...who's laughing now?"

Where is Wonder Woman?

She is elusive today...This was fun. Thanks to MotownRunnerGirl and her "running blog," it's quiz day...take it*, even if you are at work.

*Feel free to change the sex where necessary.

You Are 27% Fake

The real you is something you embrace and don't mind enhancing.
You know that a few beauty secrets aren't a big deal, as long as you look good.

You Are A Girl!

Are you ever serious? Well, you're seriously playful.
And guys are attracted to your girlish spirit and all the fun that follows.
Your girlish, temper, however... well, they could live without that.
Not to worry though, you never stay upset for long. It's off to the next adventure.

Your Celebrity Style Twin is Kirsten Dunst

More hippie chic than hippie chick.

You Are Chocolate Ice Cream

Dramatic. Powerful. Flirty.

You are a Buff Girl!

You've got a boomin' body and a fearless spirit.
Most guys have trouble keeping up with your energy and fitness level.
Competitve and fun loving, you're up for almost anything.
Make sure you pick a guy who doesn't mind getting beaten by a girl!

Your results:
You are Superman

Wonder Woman
The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Friday, April 06, 2007

Play ball!

"Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don't care if I never get back, Let me root, root, root for the Rangers, If they don't win it's a shame. For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out, At the old ball game."
Well, give it up for the home opener, where my Texas Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox, 2-0.
It was great going to the game, but it was cold. Really cold. And windy. Although 56 degrees doesn't sound bad, it is, when you are sitting under an overhang in a wind tunnel.
They unfurled this really big Texas flag in the catcher's eye (CORREX, make that batter's eye, g#$%^&^%, sorry!) in center field and it looked just awesome. I am so glad our state flag is cool looking.

Even better, it was great to go to The Ballpark in Arlington without a stinking sponsor name attached to it.

Highlights: Being with the ones who brung me...Sarah, her brother Steve, his wife Cendy, Daddy Ray, and Sarah's friend Melissa. Opening day isn't the same without them there.

Challenger the bald eagle flying from the Jumbo Tron to the pitcher's mound was quite a sight, as were the two B-1 bombers flying over. I tried to get a picture, but my hand was shaking so much from the cold and the vibration from the planes that I only got a fraction of one wing. Lame shot, I won't bother posting it.
They are a sight to behold, really. Brought tears to the eyes of my people. OK, me, too.

Oh, and the live dot race for the last lap. Red, Green and Blue. It was hilarious. The three people came out and ran, and in the process, tripped the red dot and she went flying. Maybe it was the beer, or cold medication, I don't know, but I really had a good laugh when the dot fell down.
Ball girls: Yep, you read right. Ball girls. There was at least one, Rangers jersey with 00. Wow, did she have an arm on her!
Food: Well, since I had breakfast tacos before I went to the game, I didn't have a hot dog. The pretzels looked good, but I really wasn't that hungry. ... I did have peanuts and Cracker Jack. And there's nothing like the first beer of the home opener.
I had three, actually.
Here's hoping we last until October, boys.
Go Rangers!

So it's baseball season. What is it about the game that keeps us going back for more?


Or is it?

The Texas Rangers host the Boston Red Sox at opening day -- Yeay!
Cracker Jack.
Did I say I'm going to the game? I am.
Go Rangers!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Dr. is IN

I couldn't help but take a picture this morning when I opened my eyes and saw my dear doggie gazing at me. I thought for a second that she was going to take my pulse or something. She always worries when I am sick.
I got hit by a 36-hour bug thing that really kicked my ass. Fever to 101, cough, couldn't breathe, ears all stopped up. Sniff. Slurp. Ugh. You get the picture.
And I don't even want to think about how far behind I am on my training because of knee problems and illness. Scary stuff, prolly for another post...
I left work Wednesday afternoon around 3 because I was achy and could feel the heat coming off my eyelids. Not to mention the weird sound when I breathe.
Once home, I took some over the counter drugs, got in my sweats and socks and wrapped a blanket around myself.
Then I watched Oprah. Then I had some chicken soup and decided I needed another chick moment to help facilitate making me feel better, so I saw "You've Got Mail" (again) with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
I really like that movie.
Sleep was necessary, I think I crashed for nearly 10 hours. Good thing because couldn't rest Friday because I had to go into work after calling in sick...

There's still some foggy things in my head, but I am in some pretty good care here with this little pooch. Now if I could only teach her to mix a drink or pour a glass of wine...
I think it's really getting close to time for her summer shave.
Only one more cold spell and it'll be all gone.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

20 minutes

It didn't look or smell right when I left work this evening.
The sky was gray and it just had that subtle, electric, flat, airless haze to it. You just know the feeling.
Here's a tick tock:
8:15-ish p.m. -- TV moved to a weather report during a commercial. I thought, isn't that funny? They never interrupt advertising.
I looked for the flashlight and candles. Got my dog, cat, purse, notebook, pen, laptop, camera, land and cell phones and passport. Just to be ready in case.
It's amazing the things you think you'll need when you feel your house is about to be blown to bits with you in it...
8:25-ish -- The weather guy says Doppler radar detected a developing tornado moving south at 15 mph TOWARD MY HOUSE.
I called my friend Monique, who lives two blocks away and has a little girl. "Take cover," we both said to each other shortly after she answered the phone. I then got up from the couch, ran to my bedroom and started throwing things out of the closet by my bed. It's in the middle of the house.
I got the animals and threw them and those things I knew I'd need into the closet.
8:30-ish -- I left the TV on so I could hear the weather guy. He said expect egg -, golf-ball and baseball-size hail in some areas, an inch or two of rain per hour. Winds could be upward of 60 mph.
It started hailing. I opened the back door to see the hail. It was like jumbo marbles.
The weather guy started tracking when this system would hit certain cities. It would reach mine within 10 minutes.
The TV screen went red with the Emergency Alert System logo in the middle. That screechy alert sound went off, but this time without the "this is a test" part at the beginning.
"Tornado on the ground in the southeastern part of the county."
"The National Weather Service urges people living in MY CITY to take cover now..."

I dove into the closet with my dog, cat and those things I knew I'd need.
I could hear the rain fall steadily, the hail bounce off my roof and backyard deck. Thank goodness I parked in the garage.
8:35-ish -- It got really hot in that closet, but it was that kind of hot, the eeery, clammy heat. We stayed put, no matter what.
In the middle of the rain and hail, I heard this low hum.
Kneeling on the ground, between the dog and cat, an arm around each, I'm not sure when it happened, but I started reciting the Rosary. For the next 20 minutes.
Then it got quiet. That could be good, but also bad.
8:55-ish -- The weather guy comes back on the TV and I hear, "Warning is canceled, the storm has broken up."
He said it's over.
I emerged from the closet, shaken, but grateful. I made sure everyone was OK and poured a glass of wine.
I thought about what weather guy said. No, it's just the beginning, dude.
Welcome, Texas spring. Let's give it up for tornado season.

(photos from: and