Archive | May, 2005

Holiday Weekend Wrap Up

31 May

This holiday weekend, I…

  • Slept in all three days. True luxury.
  • Baked strawberry bread and a rhubarb pie
  • Made french toast and breakfast burritos
  • Got a ton of errands out of the way
  • Cleaned the house and did 5 loads of laundry like a true domestic diva
  • Shopped for a new house. We’ve found an area that we really love, and are excited to find a home there.
  • Went to see a band in Carson, and was hit on by a 48 year old woman. I AM NOT KIDDING!
  • Took the Black Dog Club on a hike at Davis Creek near Washoe Valley. It was a beautiful day, and it felt so good to be in the mountains again. Tucker and Shadow provided entertainment for two families while they swam to retrieve a 6 foot long stick and grappled over it in the water.

It was nice to just have a calm weekend at home so that we could catch up on those things we had been putting off. But of course, I still feel exhausted this morning.

Famously Dorky

30 May

I am quoted in this morning’s newspaper… This time, I’m talking about self tanners. Go ahead and read it — it’s pretty funny! I’m quoted in the last few paragraphs.

Bronzing Gone Bad

Pushing 30

25 May

While on our trip, I finished reading Pushing 30 by Whitney Gaskell. I seem to have stumbled upon a new genre of fiction books about my life stage…. Last year I was all about books about people getting engaged or married, and this year I’m reading Pushing 30.

I’m so not happy to be personally pushing 30.

The book was entertaining, but it wasn’t excellent. I find it hard to believe that a 29 year old will shack up with a 52 year old, but other than that it was a fun read.

So, if you’re pushing 30 yourself, perhaps you’d enjoy this book!

Shaken Up

18 May

Well, last night was my Corporate Challenge swim meet. While we were warming up in the pool, I started hearing whistles.

Now, as a former lifeguard, I know the difference between whistle blows.

A short ‘tweet, tweet’ is what you use when you’re trying to get a kid to stop running or hanging on the lane line.

A long ‘TWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET’ would communicate that there is something more going on.

But if there is a true emergency, all pools I’ve worked at had an air horn, and you’d blast the heck out of that air horn to get people’s attention.

So, back to my story… I’m swimming along, and I keep hearing, ‘tweet, tweet’, and I don’t think a thing of it. After about five short ‘tweets’, I popped my head up to see what was going on. That was when I saw all of the lifeguards gathered around a man that was having a siesure. Evidently, the siesure had started in the water, and they had to pull him out.

They cleared the pool, and called 911. Within minutes, a fire truck pulled up and oxygen was being adminsitered. The man was unconscious for about 5 minutes. Right as they were about to put him on the gurney, he regained consciousness, and he looked fine, if not a bit dazed.

As soon as they started pulling him out of the building, an announcement was made that warm ups could now resume.

So, I hopped back in the water and swam a few laps. After that, I stopped, and noticed there was only one other person in the pool with me. There were a few hundred people around, and no one was swimming… I felt like I was being a bit insensitive, so I hopped out of the water.

Someone later told me that the siesure man’s girlfriend was there, and she said that he has siesures all of the time, and that he’ll usually go to sleep for a few minutes afterwards, but then regain consciousness.

My only question would be – if you know that you are prone to siesures, why the heck would you go swimming?! That seems like you’re just tempting fate.

Anyway, the swim meet actually got started on time, despite that little incident.

As I was walking up to the blocks for my first race, I saw a girl that looked about 18, and she was wearing a 2004 World Championship Swim Meet sweatshirt. She also had the ‘look’ of a competitive swimmer. I was really bummed that I, as a 29 year old in the 18-29 age group, would have to race against her. Luckily, I later found out she was in another division, so even though we swam side-by-side, she wasn’t competing for me in rankings. She did give me a darn good run for my money, though.

So, are you ready for my rankings?

50 breast stroke: 2nd
50 back stroke: 1st
50 freestyle: 1st

Woo! It was fun, though my 50 free time was much slower than it had been in my prime. Results posted here.

A River Runs Through It

15 May

I just spent the past three days of my life working the Reno River Festival (yes, I manage that site, too). It is a kayak festival at the Truckee River Whitewater Park in downtown Reno, and is put on by my organization. The event is really cool. Working three 12 hour days through my weekend is really uncool.

This past weekend, I transported boxes and boxes of t-shirts, drove on numerous errands, sold t-shirts and hats, walked many miles a day, was appointed to a street corner to look for a show girl (only in Reno, I tell you), tripped and fell in the middle of the street, hit myself in the head with a dolly (aka hand truck) and served as a roadie for JB’s band, who played today at the festival.

I’m tired, and grumpy, and so glad it’s over. The people that work events like this for a living truly amaze me. The only thing that kept me going this past weekend was the thought of an upcoming and well deserved vacation. It can’t come soon enough.

You’re Reading the Site of a Medalist

9 May

Well, I didn’t get my butt kicked as badly as I expected in Saturday’s track meet. Luckily, my friend Jesse, former track star, decided not to run the 1600 and the 800, and I medaled in both of those events — silver, baby!

I took the 1600 out WAY too fast. I did the first lap in like 1:30, when I usually run a lap in 2:20. Let’s just say the remaining three laps hurt like heck, but I came out of it with second place and a time of 9:14, when my goal was 11:00. (I’m a very slow runner, so that is a really good time for me personally.)

My lungs felt like they were on fire after I ran the mile. I used to have exercise-enduced asthma when I lived in Michigan, but haven’t had to use an inhaler since I moved to Nevada. I was definitely asthmatic after that mile race… Coughing and wheezing, I remembered that my friend Jesse has asthma. I went up to her like a druggie, and asked for a hit off of her inhaler. I seriously don’t think I could have done the remaining three races without the help of her inhaler.

The 100 yard dash was next. I came in dead last. I already told all of you I’m not a sprinter. I’m just glad I didn’t fall in the race like two other people did.

I then ran the 800, which I took out a lot slower, and I don’t know what my time was, but I got second in that race, too.

And no, I won’t tell you if you ask me how many people I was racing against.

Seriously, don’t ask.

Anyway, I got my butt kicked in the 400, but was just glad to be done after that.

I woke up on Sunday sore as all get out. My abs, sholders, back, and legs all hurt. My body seriously is not used to running at sprint paces! Luckily, JB treated me to a massage to ease the aches and pains.

And guess what…. Jesse informed me that the swimming portion of the Corporate Challenge is the day BEFORE I leave on vacation. I called today and signed up. YOU’RE GOING DOWN, WOMAN! She might have kicked my butt in the 100 and 400 yard runs, but baby, I’ll be in my element next Tuesday night. I’m looking forward to competing against her in the swim! Ha!!! The swim events are 50 free, 50 back and 50 breast. I’m not a sprinter swimmer, either, but my years of being a competitive swimmer should at least guarantee me a medal.

On Sunday, I told JB that because I was sore, I wanted to take the dogs on a nice, flat, easy walk.

That was vetoed. He chose a hike for us. The trail went in and back, meaning it didn’t loop. The man likes to loop. Hence, he created a loop, and I got to follow him off trail. The man can’t seem to stay on any trail, be it a ski slope or a hiking trail.

We were off the trail for half of our hike, and it was steep and rocky, and we were stepping over sage bushes, and I was not happy. He was so far ahead of me that he didn’t get to hear me complain much, though.

So there are the highlights from this past weekend. Happy belated Mother’s Day to my favorite Moms, including my Mom (of course), my brand new mother-in-law, Nancy, my sister-in-laws Jane, Audra and Mel, and my best friend, Amber. Maybe one day I can join you ladies in the ranks of motherhood!

The Never Can Be Happenstance

9 May

Today I discovered Rachel Yamagata via Yahoo Launchcast Plus Internet Radio. Very nice, soothing music for a Monday.

Let the Butt Kicking Begin

6 May

I’ve competed in the Reno Corporate Challenge for the past two years. This year is my third year to participate. Basically, the City of Reno sponsors this Olympic-type event to help build relations within and between companies.

I usually compete in the swimming and the 5K, and I’ve medaled in almost all of the events I’ve competed in.

But this year, I’ll be out of town for the two events I’m good at. But, to show team spirit, I signed up for the track meet tomorrow. I’m running the 100m, 200m, 800m and 1600m.

I am totally not a sprinter. My hope was not to make an ass out of myself.

I was just informed that one of my good friends will be competing in all of those events against me — in my age group and in my division. She is a former track star, is 3 years younger, and weighs about 100 pounds less than me. She has been training for a 10K run next weekend.

Now I know I’m going to get my butt kicked.

I asked her to consider letting me beat her in at least one event…. Ugha.

Oh, and by the way, it’s supposed to rain during our track meet — the track meet for which I’ll be dragging my butt out of bed early on a Saturday morning to drive 50 minutes to Reno and get my butt kicked in the rain.

Why did I do this to myself?!!!!

The Greatest Generation

6 May

I just finished listening to the audio book version of Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation. It is a book with real stories about people that came of age during the Great Depression and WWII.

I picked up this audio book because I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately, who was admitted to hospice a few weeks ago. She is part of ‘The Greatest Generation’, and I thought it would be a good way to learn more about what her life was like during the depression and the second world war.

I remember asking my grandmother what it was like living through the Depression. I was expecting some really vivid description, but all she said was, ‘It was depressing’. Which, I guess sums it up, but I did enjoy Tom Brokaw’s stories, as it brought that time period to life a bit more for me.

Tom Brokaw describes that generation as being hard working, filled with honor and pride for their country, humility, and a strong respect for marriage and the marriage vows. The book is filled with descriptions of battles, reunions with loved ones, and death. One description that stands out in my mind is one soldier’s first hand description of seeing Hiroshima shortly after it was bombed.

I highly recommend this book. I felt like it was a refresher course in US History… A subject that didn’t interest me at all when I was in high school, but one that fascinates me now. I like learning about what it was like when my grandparents were young.

Latest Listenings

6 May

Today, I am listening to Maroon 5. You can hear their latest CD on their website at maroon5.com. I mentioned before that JB knows the guy who is filling in for the drummer, who is currently injured. Well, Maroon 5 is coming to town next month, and it looks like we’re going to go see JB’s friend, Matt, playing with the band. How cool is that?

Edited to add: This afternoon, I’m all about Low Millions. I just love how bands let you listen to their CDs on their websites now-days. By the way, you have to check out their ‘Ex-Girlfriends’ page. Too funny!

The New Home Competition

6 May

Well, our search for a new home has really opened our eyes to how competitive the housing market is in the Reno area. The waiting list for the home that we want is over 710 people long for 100 remaining homes. We’re told there is a 40-50% drop off rate, which would still leave us odd man out. You can wait up to a year on a list in Reno, and while that happens, the home prices go up and up and up. I recently heard about someone that was on a list for 8 months, and the home prices went up $80,000 in that time frame.

Luckily, my brother works in the industry, and just gave me a super hot tip that there is a new community planned in the area we want to live. I called the builder today, and they were very impressed that I even knew about this community, as it hadn’t been made public. Hence, we are on their ‘interest’ list now… Even if we can’t get the original home we signed up for, it’s nice to know that we’re way ahead of the game for the next development. Unfortunately, the homes probably won’t be completed until at least a year from now. Fingers crossed that they have a floorplan we like!

Meanwhile, I’m kicking myself for not buying the house I was looking at in August of 2003 for $150,000. That investment would have at least doubled by now…. Darn the luck!

Life Less Ordinary

4 May

I’ve been listening to Carbon Leaf today, as they have their whole CD available to play on their website. Check it out.

I really like this band, and in particular, I like the song Life Less Ordinary, which makes me think of JB… Our life together is truly extraordinary. It’s filled with love, laughs, hugs, hand holding, conversation, wine, good food, and adventure. And for that, I dedicate these song lyrics to my husband.

Life Less Ordinary by Carbon Leaf

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me
Live a life less sedentary
Live a life evolutionary with me
Well I hate to be a bother,
But it’s you and there’s no other, I do believe
You can call me naive but…
I know me very well (at least as far as I can tell)
And I know what I need

The night you came into my life
Well it took the bones of me, took the bones of me
You blew away my storm and strife
And shook the bones of me, shook the bones of me
By the way, I do know why you stayed away…
I will keep tongue-tied next time

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me
My face had said too much
Before our hands could even touch
To greet a ‘hello’
(So much for going slow…)
A little later on that year
I told you that I loved you dear
What do you know?
This you weren’t prepared to hear
I’m a saddened man, I’m a broken boy
I’m a toddler with a complex toy
I’ve fallen apart, since the ambush of your heart

The night you came into my life
Well it took the bones of me, took the bones of me
You blew away my storm and strife
And shook the bones of me, shook the bones of me.
By the way, I do know why you stayed away
I will keep tongue-tied but…

Honey understand, honey understand
I won’t make demands
Honey understand, honey understand
We could walk without a plan.
Honey understand (honey), honey understand
I won’t rest in stone all alone
Honey understand, honey understand
I’m all ready to go
But you already know…

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me.
If I could name you in this song
Would it make you smile and sing along?
This is the goal: to get into your soul
If I could make you dance for joy
Could that be the second-chance decoy?
The bird-in-hand I would need
To help you understand?

The night you came into my life
well it took the bones of me, took the bones of me
You blew away my storm and strife
And shook the bones of me, shook the bones of me
By the way, I do know why you stayed away
I will keep tongue-tied next time

Roly Poly Destruction

3 May

Our dog, Tucker, is the only of our three dogs (a.k.a. The Black Dog Club) that is really into toys. For the past 6 months, he has been obsessed with his ‘Giggle Ball’. He would constantly carry it around, sleep with it, and the second he saw one of us coming out to the yard, he’d go grab his Giggle Ball and would nudge it forward for us to throw.

Tucker spent hours chewing on that ball, and the older it got, the more brittle the rubber became, and bit by bit, he tore it apart. But, this toy was his pride and joy for about two years.

A few weeks ago, the last shreds of the Giggle Ball were thrown into the trash. Yesterday, I went to PetCo in search of a new Giggle Ball. Of course, they didn’t have any.

So I bought what I thought was a suitable, durable replacement.

When I came home, I presented him with the new toy, and he was the happiest dog on earth. Tail wagging, and tons of enthusiasm as he chewed on his brand new toy. I patted myself on the back.

That is, until 20 minutes later, when I discovered the toy had been completely destroyed.

This annoyed me just enough to write the company and complain. Here is what I wrote:


I purchased a Quirkies Roly Poly today for my dog. The main reason I purchased it was because you claimed it was ‘tough’ and ‘virtually
indestructible’ and can ‘take as much wild fun as your dog can dish
out’.

Within twenty minutes, my dog (a lab mix) had absolutely destroyed this toy. All of the nobs were chewed off and the squeaker had been extracted from the toy.

I’m very frustrated that I made a special trip to the store, spent $10 on a ‘durable’ toy, and it didn’t even last one day.

And this morning, I was very pleased with their response.


Thank you for alerting us to the problem your pet experienced with our product and we do apologize for any inconvenience this matter may have caused. If you will kindly provide your mailing information, it will be our pleasure to send a few complimentary toys for your canine friend to enjoy. Please include the approximate weight of your pet.

I then wrote back, offering up Tucker’s services as a durability tester.

I wish I could post pics of the destruction, but I left my camera at my brother’s house in Folsom a few weeks ago…

Book Reviews

2 May

I just finished listening to a few audio books that I thought I’d review for all of you:

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham — A book about an empty nester couple that chooses to go on a cruise instead of celebrating Christmas. The book was mildly entertaining, but I think would be more enjoyable for someone who actually is an empty nester (unlike myself, who is still building the nest!) I’d give this 3 stars out of 5.

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates — Yet another Oprah’s Book Club selection, this one didn’t really appeal to me as much as Oprah’s books usually do. I was maddingly upset with the father of the main character, who disowned his daughter after she was raped. It was interesting, but I’d only give it 2.5 stars out of 5.

Currently reading: Tara Road by Maeve Binchy — I’m about half way through this very long book, and so far, it has been wonderful. Now this is an Oprah’s Book Club selection that has not let me down!

This weekend I…

2 May

  • Hung out with my parents and niece on Friday night
  • Went to see JB’s band perform, and helped intervene when a drunk guy started trying to pick a fight with the lead singer (my intervention was all behind the scenes – no worries)
  • Stayed at a local casino resort Friday night after the gig. When we showed up at 1:30am, they upgraded us to a $500/night hot tub suite. Sweet!!!
  • We slept in, and then enjoyed the hot tub in our room and the humongous shower. Felt like royalty!
  • Went to hang out with my parents and niece, where I cooked everyone my trademark breakfast burritos. Yum!
  • Looked at new houses in South Reno. I’m turning in the paperwork today to get on the waiting list! Woo!!! (Don’t get too excited — the wait will be about a year long.)
  • Introduced the parents to thai food.
  • On Sunday, I opted to let JB go pound the ski slopes one last time while I stayed home and took a nap, read a good book, and did a few house chores. It felt soooooo nice.
  • Cooked up a Sunday dinner of rib eye steaks, potatoes and Shiraz wine, with strawberries and ice cream for dessert and Frank Sinatra playing in the background.
  • Had a dream last night that I was on the Apprentice.

That just about wraps it up. And by the way, one year ago today, JB made me the happiest woman in the world by proposing to me. Here is the story.