Archive | April, 2005

Flashback

27 Apr

While walking across the parking lot this morning, I had a flashback to our honeymoon…

Today, the weather was cold, grey and rainy. I walked by the Book Mobile, parked in our parking lot, and it was emitting lovely fumes as I passed it.

The fumes combined with the weather immediately took me back to Venice, Italy. I had to laugh that such a combination could bring back a good memory, but I was instantly transported to the bus station in Venice on our last day of our honeymoon when we discovered that the entire bus system was on strike.

You can read the whole story here. Ah, the memories…

Hanging Up The Skis

25 Apr

On Sunday, the JB and I went to Kirkwood for some final turns in the 04-05 ski season. It was actually a cold day with snow flurries, proving you never know what to expect during Spring skiing. The resort had received about four inches of snow from the most recent storm, so the conditions were better than expected, with dust on slush.

For the past few months, JB has been all about searching out cornices and jumping off of them. As I’ve mentioned here before, after I injured my knee jumping off of a sizable cornice about three years ago, so I have refrained from following him to the cornice areas.

Yesterday was no different. At the top of Cornice Express, he found a few good ones to jump off of, then we headed over to The Wall, where he found even more cornices to entertain him. Each time, I’d ski down below the cornice and watch him jump off.

On our last chair ride up yesterday, we were discussing what run should be our grand finale for the season. To the right would be some challenging runs, but no cornices. To the left, the only way down is via a cornice.

“It’s your call,” he told me. And I thought about it…

As our skis touched the the ground at the top of the lift, I surprised him by saying, “let’s go left!”

Shocked, he looked at me and said, “what?!”

“Left!” I shouted.

“All right!” He exclaimed, and we both started to ski towards the cornice areas.

What he didn’t know was that the last time he jumped off a cornice on that run, I was checking out the cornice areas, and had spied a nice, managable cornice for me to try.

I skied right up to it, turned to him, and said, “I’m doing this for you!” I pushed off without hesitating, and continued to ski down the hill.

This was a big step for me, as I’ve been avoiding cornices like the plague for three years now. I also think that my ‘cool factor’ in my hubby’s eyes was raised significantly yesterday, as I redeemed myself for constantly turning down his invitations to go off cornices with him.

And on that note, we will hang up our skis for another ski season, barring any remarkable snow storms between now and May 1, that is. The 2004-2005 ski season was absolutely amazing. It was one of those years that people will be talking about for years to come.

Certifiably Insane

22 Apr

Workout/diet update:

Daily caloric intake = 1100-1200 calories (can you say constantly hungry?!)

Workouts:
Monday — 45 min. spinning class (which is a kick-butt, sweat drenching workout) and 20 min. run (in the snow/sleet)
Tuesday — 20 min. eliptical trainer (interval training), 40 minutes legs (lower body) and 2200 yard swim (approx. 45 min.)
Wednesday — 45 min. spinning class and 25 min. run
Thursday — 45 min. weights (upper body) and 2000 yard swim (approx. 45 min.)
Friday — 45 min. spinning class and 25-30 min. run planned for this evening

Result = As of this morning, I had lost 3 pounds. Woo! I’m hoping to lose about 10 more, which would put me in my happy place. Wish me luck!

Where Are You?

21 Apr

There are a few people that I know read this site that I’d like to get back in touch with and I don’t have their e-mail address.

Amy G. and Mar-Mar, if you read this, please e-mail me at lbellin at gmail dot com. (I’m spelled it out because I don’t want spammers to pick up my address.)

Thanks!

Not much else is going on here, so I’ll get you an update tomorrow…

Audio Books Make My Commute Bearable

20 Apr

I finished listening to the audio book of The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve.

Wow.

It was truly an amazing book. There were almost poetic descriptions and heart wrenching discoveries. The whole premise of the book is exploring how well you can truly know another human being. Basically, the main character’s husband dies in a plane crash, and only then does his wife start to learn about the double life that he had been leading.

The wife had trusted her husband unfailingly for 15 years of marriage, only to learn that their entire marriage was based on deception.

It’s a tough concept for me – as a newlywed – to grasp. I can’t imagine JB being deceitful or having an affair. But I guess that’s the author’s whole point… I think I know him, but do I really? The main character in the book thought she knew her husband, but then discovered that there was a whole other side to him that she had never known.

In a previous relationship, I had trusted in The Man Now Known as The Ex, and even though I thought that he would never lie to me or do me wrong, he did so in a big way. Luckily, he was just a boyfriend. I shudder to think of that actually happening in a marriage.

Anyway, it was an excellent book. And no, I do not doubt for one second that JB is worthy of my unquestioning trust. I’m just saying it’s an interesting concept to ponder.

I also just finished the audio book of The Good Body by Eve Ensler. I had heard an interview with the author on NPR back in November, and wrote my reactions to that here on this site.

Actually, I think the interview with her on NPR was better than the book. The book was merely OK. The audio book was actually read by the author herself, and she was very dramatic — so much so that it detracted from the book for me. I think I would have gotten more out of it if I would have read the actual book instead of listening to it.

The Good Body focuses on Eve’s obessive hate for her stomach, which I can completely relate to. She then interviews women from around the world, asking them, “Do you love your body?”

The interviews are interesting, and I couldn’t help but be envious of the woman in India that says she loves her stomach and its softness and its roundness, and that her husband said that her body is like a continent he has claimed, and if she lost weight, he wouldn’t know that continent and its contours anymore.

But I don’t ever see myself getting to that point. I have outright hated my stomach as far back as I can remember. And in the past 10 or so years, that has extended to my body. I can’t help it. All the dieting and working out just don’t seem to make a difference. Yes, I’m glad that I’m healthy, but I can’t help looking at other women with envy, and wondering why being slender can come so easily to some people, while it is so difficult for others.

Case in point: For the past two weeks, I have been eating extremely healthy and exercising every day. In fact, Monday and Tuesday of this week, I worked out twice each day while maintaining about a 1200 calorie diet. The result?! I gained a pound. Now don’t lecture me on how muscle weighs more than fat. The fat is not going away. That is my problem.

I still intend on working out twice a day at least for the next month, which is exhausting, but in the past, that is what it has taken for me to break through a plateau. Meanwhile, JB thinks I’m a bit loopy… Which, I guess is understandable, since the man can consume 4000 calories a day and not have to worry about gaining a single ounce.

My Platypus Shoes

19 Apr

For the past few weeks, every time I wear my brown loafers, JB will say, “you’re wearing your Platypus shoes”.

Of course, a conversation would then ensue with me asking if that means he doesn’t like my shoes, or if they look funny, and he always answers, “no, they just look like a platypus.”

These are the shoes (and I know they could use a good polishing.)

shoes.jpg

I just got an e-mail from JB saying, “now do you know why I call them Platypus shoes?”

He attached this image:
platipus1.jpg

And yes, I now see why he calls them Platypus shoes.

Totally Unprepared

19 Apr

It snowed here yesterday.

The forecast was for partly cloudy skies. Not snow. I emerged from work yesterday in my sandals and capris in a snow storm. After stepping over huge puddles in the parking lot, I then got into my rear wheel drive sports car to drive home in that sports car, thinking, I was so unprepared for this.

JB was thrilled last night, saying that we’d be able to ski again this weekend. Of course, it is forecasted to RAIN on the ski slopes on Saturday.

But then again, what do the weathermen know?! They messed up BIG TIME yesterday!

After I got home, JB and I decided to go for a run. I peaked outside to see that the snow had stopped, so I put on a sweatshirt and headed out the door. Mere minutes into my run, it was snowing and sleeting like crazy, stinging the skin on my neck and hands. I ended up cutting our run short due to the crappy weather.

Can I have Spring back now?

What A Difference A Year Makes

18 Apr

Belated birthday wishes go out to my nephew, Luke and sister-in-law, Jane…

Here is Luke the day he after he was born:
luke.JPG

And here he is a year later (OK, this pic was taken last month…):

Evidently, You’re Never Too Young For Sand

18 Apr

Here is my brother Chuck, documenting his daughter, Kacey’s, first trip to the top of Sand Mountain.

chucknkcsand.jpg

Spring Skiing and Bloody Noses

18 Apr

This weekend was all about the Spring skiing — getting in those last turns before hanging up the skis for the season.

We started the weekend off on Saturday at Sierra-at-Tahoe. We were actually on our way to Folsom for Jane and Luke’s birthday party, but we decided to ski on our way to their house. It was close to 60 degrees on the slopes, and there were people skiing and boarding in shorts, t-shirts, and even two brave souls wearing only swim suits.

I wasn’t nearly that brave… I am not sure it’s bravery or just a cry for attention, as I’d be deathly afraid to fall if I was showing that much skin. Anyway, they had groomed most of the mountain — really, all but two hills.

The groomers were fun. The snow was so slushy that you could practically go straight down the hill and not have to worry about speed. The moguls were also fun because it was ego snow, letting you carve turns on a dime.

On the second chair ride up the mountain, I got a bloody nose.

A chairlift IS NOT the place to get a bloody nose, especially when you don’t have any tissue! I rode the entire way up with my head back, which is a strange sensation on a chairlift. I had to sit out the next run as I lay on a table at the Grandview Station (named for its view of Lake Tahoe). While trying to get my nose to stop bleeding, I was entertained by a rescue dog named Rush — a three year old Golden Retriever that was just too cute. Luckily, the blood and gore stopped and I was able to enjoy the rest of the day.

We were two hours late to the birthday party, which seems to be our trademark. Remember that I’m married to the man that cannot be rushed. Luckily, we hadn’t missed the festivities, as we showed up just in time for dinner, and to see Luke dive into his birthday cupcake. He had icing and cake all over his face, up his nostrils, and even on his feet!

I joined my nephew Jack and his friend in the bounce house. But bounce houses are all just fun and games until someone gets hurt… As I was bouncing with Jack’s friend, Jack managed to have his knee make contact with his nose, and he came out of the bounce house with a bloody nose. I came out of the bounce house looking like the bad aunt. I’ve now banned myself from the bounce house, sadly…

We crashed at my brother and sister-in-law’s house on Saturday, which enabled us to stay and watch the boys play with all of the new birthday toys. On Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to Squaw, stopping for strawberries at a roadside stand on our way.

One of my favorite things about California is the roadside strawberry stands. Those strawberries are a taste of heaven on earth, I tell you!!!

Anyway… Destination Squaw Valley USA. Sights set on the hot tub at high camp. It was much cooler on Sunday, and the wind had kicked up. We spent most of our time at the top of the mountain around the Granite Chief area. As the day wore on, the wind picked up, and it even caused a power outage at Squaw.

You’d think that a power outage would be really bad… When I hear that, I think of people stranded on lifts and gondolas. But in actuality, it caused about a 5 minute delay as they fired up the generators all across the mountain, and the lifts continued to turn.

However, the hot tub was still closed due to the power outage. They also shut the tram down, but were giving people rides down the mountain in snow cats. Hubby and I followed the snow cat for a few minutes, carving it up on the fresh corduroy, but the snow cat was too slow for us, so we passed it and shooshed our way down to the bottom of the mountain.

We enjoyed dinner at the Pizza & Pasta restaurant in the Squaw village, where they served up a 32 ounce beer for the hubby and a yummy brick oven baked pizza. It was a nice way to end the day, and most likely the ski season.

The Apprentice — OH MY GOSH, I KNOW THAT WOMAN!!!

15 Apr

Last night, we took a break from filing taxes to watch The Apprentice. When I found out that Pontiac was the sponsoring company, I was thrilled — I used to work for Pontiac! I love Pontiacs!!!

Then, they showed the Pontiac executives, and I squealed with delight, seeing the former director of my department at GM, Cheryl Catton, participating. Here she is:

cheryl_catton.jpg

Cheryl was an amazing woman to work for. She was super inspirational, very smart, very strong, and she took a personal interest in my career, which meant a lot to me as I was fighting my way up the ranks at GM.

Last night’s episode of The Apprentice had me whistfully saying, “I miss working for Pontiac. I miss working for GM. I miss having directors like Cheryl.”

But then, I remembered that I would have never met JB unless I had moved to Nevada… And, I couldn’t have handled living in Michigan much longer, so it’s all for the best.

But man, how cool is that?!

(By the way, our taxes were finally complete at 12:30 am.)

Update:

This just in from my sources at GM: “Only 15 minutes after the early
order program was announced on “The Apprentice,” traffic on the program website at http://www.pontiac.com increased 1,393 percent.”

And, I e-mailed Cheryl to say hello, and she responded within a few hours!

Orbs

14 Apr

I just discovered something kind of freaky.

OK, really freaky.

I’ve seen photos with orbs before, but never photos with ME in them. Today, I just happened to come across the photos that my brother, Chuck, took at our wedding.

Orbs all over the place!!!! So either there were a ton of ghosts present at our wedding, or Chuck had a bunch of spots on his lense.

I like to think that perhaps the orbs are the ghosts of our grandparents, great aunts and great uncles, and other relatives that have passed. But still, the whole idea that there could have been a bunch of ghosts present at our wedding is freaky. But it could make sense if you believe in that sort of thing… Think of how many funerals that church has probably seen — it is the oldest church in Reno!!!

Here is one with a bunch of orbs — click on the photo for an enlarged version with arrows I drew in to point out the orbs.

orbs_small.jpg

Now that you know what you’re looking for, here are more pictures with orbs. F-R-E-A-K-Y! (Note, these aren’t linked to larger versions, because I think you get the gist.)

orb2.jpg

orb3.jpg

orb4.jpg

orb5.jpg

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until Tomorrow

14 Apr

I usually get my taxes done in plenty of time. But this year, I’m married to the world’s biggest procrastinator. We purchased Tax Cut to do our taxes, and know that the program will help us determine if we should file ‘married filing jointly’ or ‘married filing separately’.

I loaded the software on Tuesday night and tried to do my taxes, but if you’re trying to use the wizard that will tell you the best way for you to file as a couple, you have to enter your spouse’s information. And of course, JB wasn’t ready to do that yet.

Grrrrrrr…

We had planned to do taxes last night, but JB had to work late, so I’m hoping we’ll get them done tonight. If not, I can guarantee a lame Friday night for us tomorrow.

Stolen Lives

12 Apr

I started checking out audio books from the library to keep me entertained on my long commute to and from work. I just finished listening to Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir.

This is a true story about a family that is imprisoned for 20 years because of the actions of their father. It’s amazing to think that they went through this ordeal in modern times. I felt especially bad for the three year old boy that was imprisoned until he was 23. He had absolutely no semblance of a normal childhood.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for some good non-fiction.

On my ride home today, I’ll start listening to The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve.

A Smile from the Snow Gods

11 Apr

After several weeks of getting snubbed by the Snow Gods, they finally smiled on us. You see, the weather pattern as of late has been that it will snow on Monday or Tuesday, and then get warm so that the ski conditions are very Springy on the weekend (icy in the morning and slushy in the afternoon), and those of us with full time jobs don’t get to enjoy the fresh snow.

Well, this past weekend, it snowed like heck on Friday and into Saturday, and we were able to enjoy almost two feet of new snow at Kirkwood on Saturday.

Well, JB enjoyed the powder and I fought it. I had recently been convinced that I was figuring out powder skiing, but the snow this last weekend just laughed at that idea! As my brother, Greg, says, you have to ski often so that you can learn to ski in all types of snow!

Here are my Kirkwood pics.

The ice rink (obviously not open) demonstrates how much snow was waiting for us on Saturday morning:
kirkwoodrink.jpg

JB contemplating jumping off a rock, which he did and then landed with a poof right on his butt:
kirkwoodrockjump.jpg

And of course, he landed and said, ‘I want to do that again!’ Here he is hiking back up to the rock.
kirkwoodrockclimb.jpg

After skiing, we headed to the bar for a few beers. Actually, JB had a few beers and I just enjoyed the sun, as I have a sucky metabolism. Anyway, this is a pic of the most popular male at the bar. Quite the chick magnet!
kirkwoodbardog.jpg

We headed to Mt. Rose on Sunday. They hadn’t received as much snow, so it was more like Dust on Crust, meaning there was hard ice under about 4-6 inches of snow. We did one warm up run, and then did seven runs in The Chutes IN A ROW! My legs were DONE after that, and at three o’clock, I had to throw in my hat, as my poor legs couldn’t take any more.

Here is a pic of the Chutes:
mtrosechutes2.jpg

And, here are a few pictures I took a few weeks ago at Heavenly. I just now managed to get them downloaded.

This is me, imitating a Gaper (i.e. a tourist gaping at Lake Tahoe):
gaper.jpg

Here is the Valley view from Heavenly, which is on the Nevada side of the resort.
heavenlyview.jpg

Good Fortune

8 Apr

Yesterday’s fortune from my fortune cookie read:

“An ounce of gold cannot buy an ounce of time.”

I need to pass it on to JB, who has been working 11-12 hour days since starting a new job last month.

Ding Dong, The Stitches Are Out

7 Apr

It’s pretty sad when the most exciting thing I can write about is my utter and sheer joy that my stitches were removed this morning. I kept popping stitches over the past few days, and they dangled in my mouth, driving me all nutso.

I told my doctor today that the recovery was much more painful than I anticipated.

He replied saying, “we don’t like to use that four letter word around here. We prefer ‘discomfort’.”

I told him that no, it wasn’t discomfort, it was definitely pain, and calling it anything else would be a blatent lie.

I think he thought I was kidding. I really wasn’t. Fingers crossed that the tissue continues to heal nicely, because there is no way in hell I want to go through THAT again!

Tomorrow Is My Christmas

6 Apr

My stitches are slowly coming loose. Last night, while eating a soft taco, I completely dislodged one, and had to have JB cut the entire stitch out.

This morning, while eating watermelon, I dislodged another one… But I have to live with it for the entire day because I won’t see JB until after work, and really, I don’t think I could ask any of my co-workers to cut my stitches, could I?

I’m getting all the stitches out tomorrow morning, and I’m looking forward to that appointment like it is Christmas. Imagine the feeling of having dental floss hanging down from the roof of your mouth — IT IS DRIVING ME NUTS!

Happy Birthday, Cousin J!

6 Apr

Happy fourth birthday to my newphew, Cousin J, the Tie Man. See you at your party in a few weeks, little man.

Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Jack!

6 Apr

Happy fourth birthday to my newphew, Jack, the Tie Man. See you at your party in a few weeks, little man.

Boy Meets Girl

5 Apr

I spent my sick day on Friday reading the entire book of Boy Meets Girl by Meggin Cabot. It was a really cute and fun read. The book is entirely composed of e-mails, voice mails, journal entries and instant messages, which gave me the feeling of reading someone else’s e-mail (and was a very guilty pleasure).

I highly recommend this book!

Ode To Peanut Butter

5 Apr

When you have stitches on the roof of your mouth, it’s probably not a wise thing to eat peanut butter.

But what can I say? I’m an addict! It’s very hard to get all the peanut butter off the roof of my mouth while trying not to disturb those stitches – the stitches which JB has lovingly helped me trim twice in the past 3 days, because they get loose and feel like a piece of dental floss dangling in my mouth…

You know it must be true love if a man will trim your stitches for you.

Sunday On The Slopes

4 Apr

On Sunday morning, we woke up to gale-force winds outside our house. Usually strong winds in the valley mean super strong winds in the mountains.

“I don’t think we should ski today. The snow will probably be crap, and there we’ll only ski one chair due to wind holds,” I told JB. Although that statement was true, I think in reality, I had just spend two lazy days at home recovering from my gum surgery, and I was starting to like that lifestyle a bit.

JB insisted that we turn on RSN, a local network that shows ski conditions, and we saw a broadcast from Kirkwood, our potential destination.

“It’s not even windy there, and it’s snowing!” JB proclaimed, getting out of bed and starting to get ready for skiing.

I made us breakfast, and then afterwards, the bed was calling me. I cozied up under the covers and told JB I wasn’t going skiing.

I’ve never done this, so he was a bit shocked, but he kept up with his preparations for skiing.

And as I was laying there, I started thinking that I could either stay home, take a nap and do house chores, or I could hang out with JB all day and ski.

Within a blink of an eye, I bounded out of bed and was ready to go skiing. And you know what, JB was right. The wind really wasn’t bad up there on the mountain, and in fact, there was at least 4 inches of new snow on the ground.

Yes, we skied in a snow storm, but we made a lot of fresh tracks throughout the day. It was true ‘dust on crust’ conditions, as the snow underneath the new powder was icy and hard.

It felt good to get out of the house, and remarkably, my mouth didn’t hurt. However, at work on Monday, my mouth is aching and throbbing.

I can’t help but think that I should head back to the mountain for some relief.

Too bad I don’t have enough vacation days for that.

Vicoden Fool

1 Apr

For the record, only one person took advantage of my drugged state today with an April Fool’s joke. And damn, did she get me good.

That’s what best friends are for, right?

Just wait until next year, girlfriend, when I have all my marbles.

The Ice Cream Diet

1 Apr

Yesterday I went under the knife to have my gums operated on. The doctor took tissue from the roof of my mouth to graph it around a tooth. Hence, I have two lovely sores in my mouth with stitches, and a hefty prescription for Vicoden.

I’ll be living off of smoothies, yogurt, and ice cream for the next few days. Luckily, those are some of my favorite foods.