Thursday, July 31, 2008

I got nothin' but this...

I really don't have anything to write about today, but my goal is to write at least twice a week, so this'll be a short blog (Really. It will. I promise...)

BTW my colleagues at work laugh at my utter (ha ha) inability to write a brief, succinct fact, at work the HEFFERS and others regularly harass me about the prolific-ness of my emails. Madge actually banned me from sending out any all-staff emails unless they were REALLY SIGNIFICANTLY IMPORTANT, due to this problem I have with being concise... But I can't help it, I'm just compelled to make sure that I've CLEARLY AND THOROUGHLY explained what I'm trying to say. And then I try to anticipate what others may be thinking so I try to explain myself even further ...and these efforts require a large number of carefully chosen words...

I think that's why I started using the ellipsis (...) to show that I actually do have more to say on any given issue, but I'm stopping myself. I do this because I realize that others may not be so interested in reading EVERY LITTLE TANGENT that I honestly believe is related to whatever I am thinking at this moment.

Wait, was that another tangent on a tangent...oh dear...

Oh yeah, running. I wanted to write about running.

Betty and I ran on Tuesday w/the track club. We did a trail run along the 163 (yuk, dirt, trails, and FAVORITES)...the worst part of the run was that I had to pee the whole time. (Note to self...running on bumpy, rocky, tree-root revealing, dirt trails with a full bladder = pain & VERY slow speed). I considered stopping and relieving myself behind a bush...then I remembered that I was also next to a freeway (which may have been no big deal...after all during the Rock and Roll Marathon, there were TONS of people peeing alongside the same freeway), but I chickened out. I might have done it if there were fewer people around. In addition to the roughly 70 track-club runners going back and forth on this little trail, there were a surprisingly large number of other people who were out walking their dogs on this little back trail in Balboa Park. (see map and the little white line next to the Cabrillo Fwy...that's part of the trail, the part that's not covered in trees).

Who Knew? Until last week, I didn't even know there were trails there, and I've lived here for 20 years! Of course, since I'm not particularly enamored of trail-running, I suspect there are LOTS of trails in San Diego County that I don't know about.

Also, I didn't really want to deviate from the trail as there frequently seem to be reports of women, especially, being attacked and I think this is the area that the reports MUST be referring to.

I didn't get a run in yesterday because I was leading the second day of a two-day teacher workshop (summer work - yuk), and then Walter and I decided to take DramaGirl and Turbo to a Padre's game last night in order to take advantage of dollar hot dogs and sodas ($1.00 off beer...which makes the $8.00 beer cost $7.00, which isn't much of a bargain). Since the Pads are such a crappy team right now, we were pretty much expecting to be able to walk up to the ticket office and buy reasonable seats. Unfortunately, last night was also something called "Unused Ticket Night," so the ticket lines were LONNNNGGGG, and Walter hates two things...standing in lines and crowds... So, we ended up going to Tin Fish to get some fish tacos (best in San Diego, I swear), and to listen to the Jimmy Buffett lookalike and cover-singer.

THEN we took the kids to see Hancock (a better movie than I thought it was going to be, but I had pretty low expectations going in). But here's the thing, maybe it's a sign of a really bad economy but we were the ONLY ONES in the theater! I tried to take a photo, but it was too dark and all I had was my no-flash included iPhone camera, so here's the best shot I have of Turbo in the middle of a bunch of empty seats (I promise).

I wonder, do they show the movie if no one is in the theater to watch?

DramaGirl and Turbo were thrilled to be able to lie all over the seats, to stand up in the middle of the movie, to move to another seat, and to talk throughout without getting shushed by their loving mother who is only trying to teach them good movie going manners...

So, I'm off to do a little run with Dread now (it's too hot outside, and I won't be able to run later today when it cools off). After Tuesday's run, my legs still feel like led. The track club has an 8-mile race this weekend, but I don't think I'm going to run it. First, I need to run for 2 hours this weekend in preparing for the AFC 1/2 and even as slow as I run, I think I can finish 8 miles in well under 2 hours...also the 8-miler includes the rock-covered, root-filled dirt trails we've run this week and last, and I just don't want to get hurt. I could completely see myself falling, or twisting an ankle, or completely burning out my legs on the dirt trails and hills, so I think Betty and I are going to run at Mission Bay tomorrow (since she has to work all weekend) where all is flat and paved.

So, that's it for now. I'm off to see Dread...and after watching Runner Susan's leg-torture videos this morning, I'm considering uncovering and dusting off the free weights in the garage.

OK, OK...was that a short enough blog? Ha! I didn't think so...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

There Were Geeks on Harbor Island!

The geeks and freaks were out on Harbor Island yesterday morning (and I'm not JUST talking about Betty and me!) Comic-Con was in town this weekend, so we had ample opportunity to be entertained by the clientele of THAT convention (the first clue was the 6'5" guy dressed as a Star Wars Imperial Storm Trooper, waiting for the shuttle bus to take him/her to the convention center). Betty looked at me and said, "oh, that's going in the blog, isn't it..."


So, after our long run, we JUST HAD to get our picture taken with a SuperHero. I was hoping for Spiderman, or maybe a Robert Downey Junior lookalike dressed as Iron Man (He is so adorable...but it may be that I'm just flashing back to my younger days when he played the tragic Julian in Less Than Zero who I completely fell in LOVE with when I was...oh...about 25 and dramatically thinking I lived a somewhat tragic life myself...but wait, I digress, what was I saying????)...ANYWAY, we didn't find any Iron or Spider we had to settle for...

Ta da da daaaaaaa

DuffMan (seriously)

We spotted him from the road. He was apparently waiting for (you guessed it) the shuttle bus, so I flipped into the Sheraton driveway, parked in the emergency zone (because it WAS an emergency after all), asked DuffMan if we could get a photo...and accosted another guy standing next to him to actually take the picture. I'm sure both were thrilled because yes, we WERE looking absolutely fabu after our run...and yes, that's me with no shoes on...because it was AFTER the run and I'd already removed my sweaty New least you can't see Betty's sweat marks on her shorts...which really made her look like she'd wet herself (we really gotta get the girl some black shorts)...BTW did I mention that it was just a little humid yesterday AM?

Photo With Super Hero Taken...Task Accomplished

But the real point of this is that Betty and I had a great run yesterday morning on Harbor Island. According to MapMyRun, we ran almost 11.2 miles. According to the Garmin our new running partner "Kate" had on, we ran 10.6 miles...I suspect it was somewhere between the two (we may not have run as far down Shelter Island as I drew).

Here's the route...go ahead, click on the map for fits and giggles...I'll bet you can tell where the water station is (in the larger version, you'll see where we go three times).

And here are the elevation stats. Our run had a few little hills as we ran out to the submarine base on Rosecrans. We found out afterward that everyone else ran up Canon...which has a longer, gradual incline, probably more like what we'll do in the AFC 1/2...but we charted our own smaller hills it was for us.

The nice thing about thinking that we ran 11.2 miles, is that the 1/2 marathon is only two miles more than that and that we ran it in just a little over 2 hours...which is why I think we ran close to 11 as that would be close to my 11 minute mile pace.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must also mention that Betty and D2 had come over to the house the night before, as had one of Mike's friends, Earl, and his son. So I made several pitchers of my fresh margaritas (yes, I squeeze the lemons and limes store-bought mix here)...

Here's the recipe

For the mix:
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup simple syrup (1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c water...on low heat until sugar dissolves into water)
dash or two of salt

For the margarita
1 c mix
1 c really good tequila (I use Patron)
1/2 c really good triple-sec or Cointreau
Shake w/ice (I use a martini shaker) and pour over ice
Garnish with a lime wedge.

This makes about 3 or 4 margaritas depending on the size of the margarita glass... and YES, I've given you a recipe for margaritas that measures out tequila in cups, not in shots. I have no idea what the equivalent is...all I know is that the margaritas are really YUMMY (I can't stand really sweet margarita mix) and they just kick-ass (or will kick yours)!

Anyway, since I'd had several margs the night before...I was a little concerned about how I'd do on the long run. In truth I felt OK (a little dehydrated, which explains the three stops at the water station), but not bad really... I think my decision to stop drinking margaritas, and start drinking water when Walter opened the first bottle of wine was one of the wisest decisions I've made in quite a while!

Of course, my overall energy level for the REST of the day on Saturday is ANOTHER STORY!

But that may also be due to our decision to head into OB for some breakfast (after the run and photo-op), where we had a nice breakfast and (of course) MIMOSAS!

Here's the view from our stools at Shades in OB

Here we are waiting for our mimosas...geez I need to work on my angles...
and get my roots done!

Is it any wonder I needed a nap?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Me, Hills, and Wii

Hill training...

On Tuesday, we finally got to the part of the track-club workouts that I was both looking forward to and dreading...the hill workouts in preparation for the AFC 1/2 Marathon next month. Ya-see, the AFC 1/2 is this cruel little race...a pretty steep downhill start for 4.5 miles, and then pretty flat for the first next 7 ...and you're feeling pretty good...maybe a PR coming your way. Then at 11.5 miles, there's 6th Avenue and a mile incline where you go from about sea level to about 200 ft' above sea level in less than a mile.
Last year, I walked most of 6th Avenue. I hadn't done ANY hill training (even though Betty said we should...she was RIGHT!) and it WAS a ridiculously hot morning. My goal last year was to finish in under 3 hours. And since it was my first 1/2 marathon, and since I only barely trained for it, I felt pretty good about my finish time of 2:43:03.

So, I was sort of looking forward to doing SOME hill training because one of my major goals for this year is to run up 6th Avenue (I won't run fast...but I will run), and to finish in under 2:30.

On Tuesday, however, I learned that I have some work to do with regard to running said hills. It didn't seem to matter how slowly I ran, I eventually got to the place where I found myself thinking, "Hell, I could probably walk faster than I'm running right now," so I'd walk for a bit. So I wonder, was it mental? Was it physical? YIKES!

I'm worried that maybe I started running hills too late in the training (I mean, this race is three weeks from Sunday!) Maybe I should have been running hills all along.

Something to keep in mind for the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon in October...not a flat course either.

In other news, our Wii Fit arrived this week. I trolled websites and obsessed about getting one for most of July. I finally used this website called WiiAlerts to locate one for sale (retail, I was NOT going to pay $200 for one off of eBay!) I was kicking myself the whole time because when I saw it for sale on the Costco website a month ago, I thought something like, "well if Costco has it already, then there will be plenty! I was soooooo wrong.

Anyway, the Wii Fit is all that it is cracked up to be. I especially like the Yoga exercises because I always wonder if I'm doing the poses correctly, and according to the Wii Fit trainer, I am a Yoga Goddess. The balance games are entertaining even though as a ski-jumper, I stink. I do have the best family score on the Giant Slalom course right now! I was on it for 30 minutes tonight. I think maybe it will also motivate me to do some strength training (which I suck at and which probably explains the hill issues).

I DO think it is sort of cruel how after the Wii Fit took my BMI and weight, and created a chubby little Wii to represent me...WTF?

With that in mind, I started the South Beach Diet AGAIN this week. For me, it's the most undiet-like diet I've ever been on...and it works for me in that it re-focuses my eating efforts toward more fruits and vegetables (which I should eat) and less bread (which is what my Italian genes tells me to eat more of).

It's been a way-too-busy week. I'm already looking forward to the weekend when I get to run with Betty, who's back from Tahoe and Momma's place, again HOORAY!

Here's Betty, driving us to the AFC 1/2 last summer...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Concerts and Boy Parts

So.... I use this service called SiteMeter to count and track visits to this blog. Perhaps you've seen the little icon at the bottom of the page? It's a pretty nifty little tool that shows me how many people visit my site, where they are in the world, and how they found my blog...which I think is cool. I was pretty thrilled earlier in the week when the SiteMeter counter passed 1000 hits...really small potatoes in the world of blogging....but again, cool to me. Look, here's how many people looked at my blog this week.
clipped from
This Week's Visits and Page Views

blog it
Anyway, this week the number of hits on my blog just jumped. First on Monday, I posted the email conversation between Mona, Betty, and me about going to see a concert, then on Wednesday-Friday, I wrote about the concert.

Then I started wondering, what other days had high readerships (and for me, a high readership day means more than 25 hits...again sorta pathetic in the world of blogging) and I wondered what I was writing about then. So there were the two concert reports and then I was a little surprised that the blog about running at Lake Murray and how the route on MapMyRun looked like a "boy part" got a lot of hits...

When I checked SiteMeter, I also noticed that for the first time this week, some people were finding my blog due to a Google search...Seems like people were looking for concert information about Journey, Cheap Trick, and/or Heart and found cool is that? On the other hand, who does a Google search looking for "boy parts." Hmmmmm maybe I don't want to know the answer to that question.

So...I'm wondering if I combine the two terms in the title of this post, if I'll get even more hits from today's blog...and won't they be surprised when they get here ...

I think it's really cool how SiteMeter tracks these "referrals." Most of the time, people "find" my blog because I have trolled or stalked their blogs and left a comment. Those bloggers then come here to find out: "who is this person?" and probably to verify that this person is not particularly stalker-like and is only marginally crazy...but within the boundaries of acceptability (Hello all my Internet friends!).

Also, the vast majority of blogs I read are written by women who run and are about running, and/or their families and friends, and/or both, so we have that in common (see the blogroll on the right for all of them). Although I read a couple of "dude blogs" (here and here) both of which are incredibly well written and funny, and I hate them because they write better than me, so I haven't left a comment yet, mostly because they're really popular blogs and by the time I get there, they have about ten-gazillion comments, and I can't think of anything clever to write, so I don't...I know, my bad.

In fact, most of my non-blogging friends do find this practice of leaving comments on stranger's blogs a little strange. In truth, so did I in the beginning. I lurked for a pretty long time before I called up the courage to leave a comment on someone's blog (I think it was Irene over at Magazine Smiles). I mean, many commenters leave these clever, pithy, humorous, comments, and mine seem clunky and...well boring. But I figure I like getting comments from others, and since I figure most people who have public blogs are somewhat like me in that regard, I've started to leave them anyway (boring or I come!)

In running news...I ran 9.5 miles this morning in 1:47 (11:15 pace). This morning's run was again in Coronado..almost perfect running weather, morning coolness and misty fog. I didn't have to use MapMyRun this morning because I ran with a woman who had a Garmin on her item which I now COVET. I think she had this one. But there's also this one (for $100). Does anyone know the difference?

Only 4 weeks to the AFC 1/2 Marathon. Gosh, I hope the morning fog stays until August!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Concert Report and Other Concerns

I'm not gonna lie...

Cheap Trick, Heart, and Journey ROCKED...

I'll be honest...

I thought it would be fun to hang out with the girls, to drink some Sangria (which also ROCKED. Mona is a genius), and to sing along to some songs I hadn't sang for awhile (well OK, I sang ONE of them Saturday night at Michelle's '80s B-day Party), but I wasn't really expecting to be impressed by the music.

I mean, come many reunion tours really ROCK and how many DON'T... So, I was really focused on the social aspect of event (e.g. hanging out with friends) But then there was this... (If you haven't seen Journey's new lead singer yet, you gotta watch this...go ahead, I'll wait...)

Seriously!!!! Effing amazing, isn't it?

So...flashback...I'm 15 years old, growing up in Reno, NV and attending my first concert (at the Centennial Colosseum...gotta love Reno for all it's subtlety). My date is a guy named Danny and there's a REALLY FUNNY SMELL emanating from some of the funny looking cigarettes many people around us are smoking. (I was such a good Catholic girl. I'd never seen pot before and that night was definitely the first time I'd been around people smoking pot...not that I did...)

Anyway, all of it paled when Steve Perry took the stage and sang "When the lights go down on my city..." I still get goosebumps when I hear it.

I've been a Journey fan ever since. I'm pretty sure it was my only date with Danny.

(BTW I am thinking of inventing another drinking game...can you tell the difference? Is it Steve or Arnell). In truth, I prefer Steve. Don't get me wrong Arnell was an incredible surprise and sounded amazingly like Steve, but he wasn't Steve. forward...Cheap Trick, Heart, & Journey play Cricket Amphitheater in Chula Vista, CA. The place was packed (a surprise...I mean who goes to see a concert on a Tuesday night)!

The concert started with Cheap Trick (another surprise, I thought Heart would start off), but we had just gotten into the parking lot, so even though Betty sprinted to see them, Mona and I decided to stay and drink more Sangria and eat some of the tasty food we brought...and to hang out with the way-too-young parking lot crowd, many of whom seem to be there to see this new Journey (who knew?)...either that or they were interested in the Sangria.

We eventually made our way inside and found Betty right before Heart took the stage. Ann Wilson can still belt out a tune like there's no tomorrow and Nancy Wilson still completely rocks. Watching both of these women rock-out (and I know they're older than I am) was completely inspirational...and made me think of how us "old chicks" still got it. (I'm going to be 46 in a couple of weeks...a fact about which I reminded Betty at one which she responded...then you are just doing great with your running...Clearly she forgets how OLD I am!).

Here's the view from the lawn seats at Cricket...and since I'm no music critic, I'll spare you any further effort I might make at trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about where music is concerned (I've only got, "they rocked" and "it was awesome" in my music-review repertoire). Instead I'll do a run-down of my favorite moments from the evening.
  • Emptying my car's ashtray with $1.24 worth of pennies into the toll booth basket, and still coming up $.19 short to pay the toll...but since there were four cars behind us (honking) we shot through the red light anyway.
  • Arguing with Mona and Betty about whether or not we were going the right way (I'll just point out here that I WAS RIGHT!)
  • Seeing an ex-student as we entered the parking lot at Cricket (oh good) and having him be NO HELP WHATSOEVER in getting us a good parking space.
  • Mona's Sangria (which ROCKED) and which had that lovely effect of having no effect, until it did...and then that was that.
  • Drinking from classy, acrylic, wine glasses (cuz we're just classy that way), which impressed the 20-somethings parked around us.
  • Mona peeing behind a bush (pictured) again, cuz we're just classy that way.
  • Betty sprinting to hear Cheap Trick, while Mona and I decided to continue drinking and eating in the parking lot (we all have our priorities).
  • Missing Betty dance to "Surrender" ('s a shame)
  • Betty using beer as hair product to get her hair to spike.
  • Doing a guitar solo with Nancy Wilson during ooooooooooohhhhhhh Baaaarrrrraaaacuuuuudaaaaaaaaaaa. (dadada, dadada, dadada, dadada, dadada, dadada, dadada, da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...thank god for Wii Guitar Hero!
  • Our dramatic rendition, acting out the lyrics to "Open Arms" and "Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin"
  • Jumping up and down like a 20-year old.
  • Learning how the camera in my iPhone completely stinks in low light (or dark).
  • Finding birthday-girl, Michelle and marveling at her GIANT ZIP-LOCK blanket in a bag (pictured)
  • Learning how to not-whistle, but still look like we are (pictured)
  • Getting into the FasTrak lane on the way home by mistake, even though I don't have a sensor on my car, and just saying WTF, cuz we were tired chicas and it was 1:15am...way past my bedtime. (By the way, I called the FasTrak customer service line today to beg mercy and let me pay the toll fare(s), and had a really happy conversation with the customer service rep about the concert, how great it was, and how amazingly similar to Steve Perry the new lead singer for Journey sings...clearly, I'm not talking to someone in India, so I ended up getting a FasTrak-toll road sensor so I don't have to empty my ashtray pennies into toll booth baskets anymore...AND I get to pay last night's toll with a $2.00 service fee...which sure beats the $37.50 citation I thought I was going to get).
ALSO BTW...if you have the chance to see this concert, I'd go again in a heartbeat. It was worth meeting with my new employer and carting my kids around to and from all of their camps today with a hangover. Worth every penny!

Oh running news....I HAVE also managed to run twice this week. On Monday, I managed 4 miles on the dreadmill...and today I discovered a way to pass time on the dreadmill for another 40 minutes.

About the Dreadmill...I complain about running on it (occassionally), but I am lucky enough to own a pretty good one (PaceMaster Platinum Pro), which I convinced Walter to buy about three years ago when I first started this running thing. At that time, I clearly realized that if I were ever going to keep running for any length of time, I needed a means to run that was convenient and would easily fit into the child-rearing, house managing, full-time working, lifestyle I have...thus, I needed a treadmill. Well...that was the logic of it anyway.

Over the past three years, I've developed a sort of love/hate relationship with Dread. In the beginning, I actually preferred running with Dread. He sort of saved my shins, my back, and other not-so-in-shape-parts. Three and a half years later, I MUCH prefer running outdoors. Dread is boring. He never goes anywhere. He takes up a lot of space and is aesthetically unappealing. At times, I haaaaaaaate him, but when push comes to shove, he is ALWAYS there for me. If I only have 30 minutes to run...I can run with Dread the entire 30 minutes. If I want to run in my underwear, Dread doesn't care.

But still...I can only run for so long with Dread...40 minutes is pretty much my limit.

However, today I discovered that if two 13-year old neighborhood boys are swimming in the backyard pool w/12 year old DramaGirl and girlfriend... YIKES AND HORRORS...I can run for 50 minutes without looking at the clock AT ALL.

None of the neighborhood boys are named Danny, Steve or Arnell...I guess I can count my blessings for that.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Betty, Mona, and Alice Make Plans to See a Concert...

It must be '80's week...Follow along as Betty, Mona, and Alice make plans to see Journey, Cheap Trick, and Heart...oh yeah...

From: Betty
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 7:24 AM
To: Alice
Cc: Mona; Edith
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT

I'm game for an early leave and parking lot tailgate!

From: Alice
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 7:47 AM
To: Betty
Cc: Mona; Edith
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT

I can leave at 4:30, is that too late/early? I'll need time to do the Madonna hair after all..

From: Mona
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 9:56 AM
To: Betty
Cc: Alice; Edith
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT

4:30 sounds goo to me - meet at Betty’s? I should use the sangria container Madge gave me and make a big batch...anyone interested?

Is there anything else we should bring besides chairs for tailgating?

Oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh Baaaaarrrrraaaaacccuuuuuuuuuuuuuddddddaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

From: Betty
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 11:06 AM
To: Mona
Cc: Alice; Edith
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT


I have chairs for us all sounds good

From: Alice
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 11:49 AM
To: Mona
Cc: Betty; Edith
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT

I have an umbrella...and I don't mean the kind you would put in the Pina Colada...and a stand...

We should bring food...I'll bring something yummy to go with either the Colada or Sangria...what would that be????


From: Betty
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 12:00 PM
To: Alice
Cc: Mona; Edith; Daisy
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT

AIN'T THAT A SHAME, that you can't come up with any Cheap Trick Songs off the top of your head! Why don't you SURRENDER and CRY, CRY about it! I'll still be eating salad while journey is playing or I can mix drinks.

IF YOU WANT MY LOVE, you can't have it, but I'll bring some hot wings and something sweet! There will be no crazy WILD THING dancing though without the umbrella in the drink!

and btw - just because I danced in Truckee to Surrender - doesn't mean I'm going crazy in Chula Vista!

-----Original Message-----
From: Mona
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 12:09 PM
To: Betty; Alice
Cc: Edith; Daisy
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT


I'll bring something to snack on as well. Sangria is on - brace yourselves.

From: Alice
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 12:23 AM
To: Mona
Cc: Betty; Edith
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT

It's THE DREAM POLICE, THEY'RE INSIDE OF MY HEAD ...that interfered with my ability to quote Cheap Trick lyrics (that and I wouldn't want to steal your thunder my friend)...

From: Betty
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 12:51 PM
To: Alice
Cc: Mona; Edith; Daisy
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT

not stealing my thunder - although I am giddy with excitement!

From: Betty
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 1:38 PM
To: Alice
Cc: Mona; Edith; Daisy
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT

here's a new one for you....

don't come to me with Open Arms unless you are a PERFECT STRANGER.

another new favorite is WELCOME TO THE WORLD

From: Alice
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 1:39 PM
To: Mona
Cc: Betty; Edith
Subject: Re: Journey, Heart and CT

You are, after all, the GODDESS of Cheap Trick...

What's wrong with the line I COME TO YOU WITH OPEN ARMS. Is that wrong?

-----Original Message-----
From: Mona
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 6:26 PM
To: Betty; Alice
Cc: Edith; Daisy
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT

You both'll get it ANY WAY YOU WANT IT cuz that's the way you need it.

And then the bad news...

-----Original Message-----
From: Edith
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 7:11 PM
To: Mona; Betty; Alice
Cc: Daisy
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT

You guys are killing me with these lyrics!
I am sooo sad to say I am not going to be able to join you tomorrow. I have to have some emergency work done in my backyard and my handyman just called and the only time he can come do it is tomorrow afternoon :(

Have a BLAST and I can't wait to hear about it!! (And see pictures!)

Which led to...

-----Original Message-----
From: Alice
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 8:11 PM
To: Betty; Edith; Mona
Cc: Daisy
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT

Edith, you're a wuss for backing out...really, how long is the "handyman" going to stay? Is it TT...if that's the case, bring him along!

Handyman, seriously...

-----Original Message-----
From: Mona
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 9:15 PM
To: Alice; Betty; Edith
Cc: Daisy
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT




I'm speechless.

-----Original Message-----

From: Betty
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 7:35 PM
To:Edith; Mona; Alice
Cc: Daisy
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT

I'm gonna hook up with my handyman tonight!

Speaking of Handyman - let's go see some JT (James Taylor) also! Stateline, Nevada on the 26th! Sounds like a road trip!

-----Original Message-----
From: Alice
Sent: Mon 7/14/2008 9:33 PM
To: Betty; Edith; Mona
Cc: Daisy
Subject: RE: Journey, Heart and CT

Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Questions, Answers, and Running Solo

Question 1: Does this route look like anyone's body part?

Answer: I thought not. entertainment there.

Be that as it may, it was my long run route yesterday. I ended up running solo because I slept in late (that sleeping until 8 am is sleeping late for me know is completely amazing. I used to be able to sleep until noon...but now, by 8 am...I'm wide awake...that's what marathon training did for me) anyway, slept in and missed/decided to miss this week's SDTC long run... Also, Betty and I played phone tag for a day and a half, but never caught up with each other.

It was an OK run... Here are the stats:
  • 6.63 miles,
  • 1 hour 15 minutes (which included a stint where I walked because Betty called me and I finally talked to her on my cell phone),
  • 11:19 minute per mile...
Which was an OK run...but not easy...I don't particularly enjoy running the long runs alone. I have more fun when running other people. It keeps me motivated and running. When I run alone, it seems too easy to stop and walk.

Props to Betty who tells me she ran all week at the beach...4 to 6 miles each time. I know she's just gonna kick my butt when we run together again.

Question 2. How much fun did Alice have running solo?
Answer: Well, running along the San Diego Harbor is a pretty run, and it was cooler than running inland, even though it was still pretty humid but wasn't not too hot, and I ran with water (and a Gu), so that helped me to keep my energy up. There were also plenty of other runners, walkers, and tourists along the way too, which helped me feel somewhat safer as one of the things I (rightly) worry about whenever I'm running alone, is that, I'm running alone.

Despite these things, it was still a difficult run...the humidity took it out of the time I ran it was after 9am...I'm trying to look at it as possible heat/humidity training for next month's AFC 1/2 Marathon.

Question 3. What did you think about?
Answers (some of which are just more questions):
  1. Hey, that's the place where Walter and I had our wedding reception, on the Berkeley...nice memories...
  2. Am running going the OPPOSITE WAY that I'll be running in LESS THAN FIVE WEEKS...for the AFC 1/2 ...FIVE WEEKS!?!?...oh my gosh, oh my golly...
  3. Am running past the hated rental car return place where the giant fence blocks all bay breezes and is HOT
  4. Am going to an '80's costume party tonight...what to wear? What can I get Walter to wear?
  5. Why do I always get Harbor Island and Shelter Island confused? Duh...
  6. Who are these two serious runner guys w/o shirts who keep running past me (fast). They never even nod "hello." Not SDTC peeps...seriously.
  7. Dear God it's humid. Not going to be ready for the 1/2 next month...what was I thinking? After the Rock & Roll Marathon, I thought I'd be soooooo ready for the 1/2, but now it is within shouting distance, and I'm not feeling so confident.
  8. Been running at least 4 times a week, but two of this week's runs were on the dreadmill, which never feels like the same kind of workout as outdoor running does.
  9. Oooh Hooray...Am going to run past a woman running with a, after 6 miles...not bad...still going to say, "good morning." (lesson learned from Betty, say hello to everyone), as I sprint past.
  10. I think I'll dress like Madonna...I wonder where I can get a cheap bustier?
  11. I wonder if I can get Walter to dress like Wham! (probably not).
Question 4: An 80's Party? What did you wear to the 80's Party?

Answer: Truth be told. I looked better in the Madonna-like mini-skirt and leggings (with boots) in my 40's last night than I EVER did in my 20's...thanks to all this running. Drama Girl just kept looking at me in disbelief and repeating "you're going to wear a mini-skirt? YOU'RE going to wear a MINISKIRT?

And Walter looked just HAWT in his preppy pink polo and aviator glasses...

Yeah, if I had pix of THAT, I'd probably post them. Lucky for both of us, I don't :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Such a Life, Such a Life

Typically, my life is's typical. I work (I'm a teacher for Christ much more typical can you get than that?) I cart my kids around to various activities. I do laundry. I yell at Turbo and Drama Girl some because their bickering annoys the crap out of me. I cook. I eat. I know, typical working-mom stuff. Oh yeah, I also blog about it (which is somewhat less typical, but still...)

So, in typical fashion, my family took what is going to have to count as this summer's vacation last weekend, and I got to run in all sorts of fun places. Then, yesterday, when I should have been getting back to my real-typical world, I did something rather atypical.

The Heffers and I rented a limo-bus and went wine-tasting in Temecula for absolutely no reason other than we wanted to... that and we're calling this Mona's last summer before she goes and gets herself knocked up and will have to stop drinking for awhile. Wine tasting on a Tuesday (in a rented limo-bus) seemed to be a fabulous way to get back to the "real world;" don't you agree?

The good thing about going wine tasting on a Tuesday, besides "tasting" all the wine, and laughing all the way home, and taking all sorts of photos which WILL NOT be published here so as to not embarrass anyone (I'll save that for another time), is that on Tuesdays, the wineries are almost empty, so we rather had the run of the place, and were able to garner for ourselves some rather good deals on the tasting fees (2 for 1 Tuesday!)....ah yes, I remember the days of my youth when wine-tasting in Napa wasn't such a shi-shi thing to do and the wineries actually let you taste the wine for FREE...

As for Tuesday, I do have some rather fuzzy recollections of a poor (young) wine-tender (what do they call those people who pour wine tastes at wineries? They can't be bartenders), looking somewhat overwhelmed by the 9 of us asserting that he really needed to give us a two-for-one discount because we are all teachers (he did...ah, the beauty of Tuesday).

It also took me most of the day to recover from the little nap I took on Madge's sofa when we returned...the problem was that Madge has a CAT...and I am very allergic to CATS...and the CAT decided to sleep on me...I think the CAT-hangover was far worse than any wine-hangover I may have been suffering from today. (Which is my lame excuse for why I didn't run today).

The ride on the limo-bus gave Edith and I ample time to talk about how we need to start developing an actual plan and making some hotel and flight reservations for the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon in October. If you'll remember, Edith was forced to join Team in Training in order to enter the race because she doesn't know how to spell my name.

It turns out that as a part of Edith's Team in Training fundraising, she gets half a hotel room which she can share with another TiT person, or she (we) can buy the other 1/2 of the room and stay there...sounds good, right? but this would leave four of us in the room for two nights.

Now I love my herd, but (and I've admitted this to all of them) I can be a real hotel-snob (the result of my first career working in the hotel industry), and I can also be a little bit of a high-maintenance traveler. In other words, I want my own bed in a nice hotel (at least 4 star if we can swing it)...and I'm willing to do Priceline to get a good deal!) Clearly negotiations about this will's true.

We also need to decide when to fly up? Should we fly into Oakland or San Francisco? Do we take the BART or a taxi? When should we return? (Sunday night after the race, or Monday morning)...decisions, decisions, decisions...

In the meantime, I'm back to my typical-mom-life now. Before the Tour de' Temecula, I did manage to get in a 3.25 mile run on the dreadmill (better than nothing). Betty called me today to see if I'd drive over to Coronado to run with her at the beach this evening, but I'm still recovering from the CAT. Hopefully tomorrow, which is when I'll really need a run because tomorrow is my turn to host five 10-year old boys for what we call mommy camp. Five of us moms each take our boys for one day this week. My day is tomorrow, so I'll be taking the boys bowling...then back here for some time in the pool.

I'm thinking I'll need a run (or I'll need to open one of the bottles of wine I bought yesterday). Yup, back to "typical."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer Runnin...

Gosh, it took me a couple of days to get to this...but summer is, well it's summer, and family weddings, and other distractions my blogging this week suffered. I am writing this from a hotel room in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where I've been since Thursday, with the family for a cousin's wedding. (That's me, Walter, Drama Girl and Turbo at the Presidio...the Golden Gate Bridge would be behind us if not for the fog...a beautiful day still).

Even with the travel, it's been a really nice running week. It started last Sunday.

I sometimes forget how incredibly lucky I am to live in one of the most beautiful, awesome, places in the world. On Sunday Betty, Elsie, Her sister Kim, and I ran on San Diego Mission Bay for a few miles. The best thing about running on the bay on a Sunday, summer, night, in addition to the cool bay breezes, and the view, and the flat, 1/4 mile marked path (which works for goal-oriented me) is that Sunday night is when the rental week starts for those who rent a vacation home for the it was, at the very least, entertaining to be offered tequila shots for boob shots by men who were WAAAYYYY too old to be offering such things, as we ran by...Zoners...gotta love 'em (easy for me to say because I don't live at the beach). It made the 4 miles (or so) go by quickly. that was Sunday evening, and now it's Saturday...and it would take far too long to thoroughly describe all of my running adventures and not bore my 12 sometimes readers to tears, suffice it to say that I have been in Northern Cal since Thursday at a family wedding (in Marin County), which is ALSO one of the most beautiful places in the world. I had been full of angst about attending the events surrounding this wedding, mostly because I was worried about having lengthy interactions with my mother-in-law, who doesn't like me much right now, and with whom I was going to have to spend considerable time on a shuttle-van going to and from the wedding because we were staying about 45 minutes from the wedding site.

However, my angst was for naught, and everything has worked out much better than expected, even though for a few moments on Thursday morning I thought we might miss our plane in San Diego. The wedding was lovely; the weekend thus far has been nice; The weather has been fabulous (I packed waaaayyyy too many clothes because you never know if San Francisco/Bay Area summer weather is going to be summer-like, thus making summer clothes a necessity, or winter-like, making sweaters and mittens a must...luckily, it's been the former).

On Friday morning, Walter ran with me (photo - left - Walter before our run together). This morning we hiked about five miles around Bon Tempe Lake (I think that's what it's called), a place I'd never been to, and which was so amazingly wonderful, that even drama boy didn't whine about walking five miles until we'd walked almost 1/2 of it, and even then he recovered.

I'm hoping to run again along a really nice bike bath in Corte Madera, along the Northern end of San Francisco Bay ('s near San Quentin, and I'd have lots of political commentary if I did such a thing here, about the cost of homes here, and that San Quentin inmates have the same view for to speak, but since I don't typically do that sort of blog-commentary here, I'll withhold)...anyway, my goal is to run there in the morning. And if things go as planned, I may also fit in a run on the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday morning before we leave (hooray!).

Other than that, I could go on an on about what dorky tourists we've been...or how Walter's family is both wonderful and ridiculous (as most families are) at the same time, but instead of lots of writing about the's a photo essay (with captions!) that perhaps captures part of it.
Turbo at the bottom of Lombard (the crookedest) Street in SF...we are SUCH tourists. I don't know how people who live on this stretch of Lombard Street do it..with all these tourists in their front yard all day...on the other hand, I guess they knew what they were signing up for when they moved in????

Drama Girl, Walter, and Turbo at Presidio Park...the Golden Gate Bridge is behind them (I promise!)...same day, just a little further west, different weather. AWESOME FOG!

Turbo and cousin wrestling in the grass at a 4th of July "BBQ at the Beach." SF beach party sure looks different than a beach party in SD... Fun nonetheless.

Mandatory group family photo.

Walter attempting to stay out of his brother's family photo.

Is anything better than kids dancing at a wedding?

Oh, yeah...cake is better than dancing for some.

We clean up nice :-)

What does the family (cousins, uncles, aunts) do after the wedding? Pile into one small hotel room to eat pizza and watch a movie...cuz we NEVER do this at home!