Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last Day of Freedom

*Big heaving sigh* Well, today is the last official day of summer for me. Tomorrow starts a week chock full of inservices, the purpose of which is to thoroughly numb my brain and make me long for June 13th when I can come in, submit my grades, and be gone for yet another blissful summer.

This has truly been the most enjoyable summer I've spent since 2007. I haven't had to look for a job and my main goal has been to be out of bed by 11, or noon at the latest. I've been trying to exercise and run my mile and, when not sidelined by back injuries, I've been successful. I've read a few books (none of them the req'd book for school) and have traveled through the south with 2/3 of the rest of my family.

And now the party is over. *Another big heaving sigh* This morning I woke up at Missy's just before 7 am and drove home to go back to sleep. I slept until 10:30 and then decided to make a plan for the day. I wanted it to be purposeful, yet fun. I decided to go to REI for their sale, Lifetime to work out, and then Punch for lunch with my buddy Bryson.

I started out at the REI in Bloomington.

Since it's the annual end of summer sale the place was packed. It's amazing how slow outdoor enthusiasts can go at 11:30 on a Sunday morning. I somehow got behind three of them before I even got to the clothes. My goal was to get two pairs of Teva Mush flippy flops, some Cliff Shot Bloks, and some protein bars, all of which were on sale. They only had one pair of said flippy flops in my size, but was directed to customer service in order to procure the other pair. They had all of the Shot Bloks flavors I wanted (I eat them during tennis matches to keep my energy up), but none of the Cliff Bar flavors. I decided to try two Luna protein bars.

The girl at customer service, Kym, was very helpful, although I think I stressed her out a little. There are roughly 30,000 different colors of Teva flip flops and she looked slightly exasperated while trying to find the one I wanted - Hawaiian Sunset Coffee - or some such ridiculous name. She finally found it, but they didn't have it at the master REI warehouse. She called over to the Roseville store and found a pair in my size. They put it on hold for me and I happily drove north on 35W to Roseville.

This REI is in a very small strip mall with a furniture store and an urgent care center. Usually the parking lot is so full that you have to park in the overflow lot. Surprisingly, I didn't have to do this. Inside was rather sedate as well. I guess everyone went to the Bloomington store this morning. When you enter the store there is a little Life is Good accessories display. The sign said clearance, but the bags still said the regular price. I picked one up anyway because it has my motto for this upcoming year of my life. When I got to the register it was nearly 50% off! Score! Cute, inspirational bag for $13! I also picked up a Life is Good purse that I had been eyeing in San Antonio. It was down to $15.

I picked up my flip flops at the back of the store and was on my way to Lifetime Fitness, Roseville. This is an interesting little gym. It's located in the basement of a large strip mall that's starting to look a little desolate. Linen N Things used to anchor one end, but has since gone out of business. JoAnn Fabrics used to be on the main level, but that's gone too. Anchoring the other end is an Old Country Buffet. I'm pretty sure that's not going anywhere. This Lifetime is also women only and it was odd not to see any men at the gym. But then I noticed that everything was clean and tidy and neat and I liked that.

I did a quick 25 minutes on the recumbent bike and then sat down to stretch. I found that I was able to touch my toes for the first time in 2.5 weeks! I went down really slow on each side and I could go all the way down! This is a major breakthrough and I'm glad I'm finally back on track.

Finally, it was time for Punch pizza. I drove to the Grand Ave. location and took a seat at the bar by the window. Even though it was past lunch time, the place was full. I like sitting at the bar, but inevitably, just as I'm raising a gooey slice to my lips, head sideways so as to catch any sliding cheese or sauce, someone walks right by the front window and catches me in this ridiculous pose. This happened twice today. No doubt they hardly wonder why I'm sitting at the bar alone... But I had my latest Bryson with me, The Lost Continent, and I was content to sit, read, and devour my yummy pizza while giggling at his commentary about driving across the United States.

While driving home over the High Bridge I noticed two police squad cars parked on the bridge. One was on top of the median facing north and the other was on my side of the bridge facing south. I thought this was odd, as they both had their lights on, just sitting in the middle of the bridge. I can only assume that they are discussing their strategy for tonight when all of the teachers living in the area descend upon the bridge in order to fling themselves off of it instead of following their fate of going back to school for another year. There should really be more squad cars. Two won't be nearly enough.

So now I'm back at home. I've read up a little on what's happening in the NFL, posted a cute Urlacher interview to Facebook, and have written my blogs. I think I will continue reading Bryson outside in an attempt to forget that I have to get up quite early tomorrow...

State Fair, Days 1 & 2

Jen and I went to the State Fair on opening day and had a fabulous time! Our first stop was Axel's to try the deep fried cheeseburger slider. We grabbed some Leinies and headed to a spot where we could stop and taste it. It was moist! Delicious! Fried! Cheesy! Jen and I were in heaven and happy that we had decided to split it. The ground beef was the best I've had in quite awhile.

We didn't try anything else new, but we did have pork tomales at the Bazaar, a venison stick on Machinery Hill, beer, garlic fries while waiting for the free University of Minnesota backpack, beer, beer on a stick, and a little more beer while watching the Boyz II Men concert.

We waited in line for 45 min at both the Kare 11 and U of M booths for free bags and we saw three free concerts. We got a free smutty Harlequin book, handed to us by a beefcake of a cowboy, and a free tube of toothpaste. Jen got her 4-sided yardstick for $1 after purchasing a pack of orange funnels for $1.25.

The second day I went with my buddy Tony. He was on a quest for a huge turkey leg, which he finally got outside of the Food Building. I tried some of it, but there seemed to be a lot of skin on it and the meat was greasy. Tony ate as much as he could and then announced that he was never having another turkey leg. Good call.

This trip was less about eating (although Tony did have a deep fried slider and mac n cheese on a stick) and more about people watching while sipping on beverages. We noticed a high volume of pregnant women and women who dressed too young for their age. Tony was also on the lookout for fanny packs. I am always on the lookout for money on the ground and found $10!

We ended the night by seeing Boyz II Men. Tony, being the avid R&B enthusiast that he is, sang all the songs at top volume and had a sore throat the next day. It was a pretty darn good concert.

Next Fair Trip: Tues, 8/31 with Missy & Dave. We're going to stand outside of the Grandstand and see if we can hear Carrie Underwood.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

West Side Wednesday

A fruit fly infestation has taken over my kitchen recently. I'm not quite sure why, as a piece of fruit has never even entered my kitchen, let alone has been left to rot in it. I've been having tuna fish recently so maybe that is it? Not quite sure.

At any rate, after a few days of trying to squish them between my hands and realizing that either (a) they disintegrate and leave no goo on my hands or (b) I'm not killing them, I went on the internet. Turns out they sense movement and the only way to kill them is to sneak up on them very, very slowly. They suggested using a vacuum. Now that is something I'm good at! I rock at sucking up bugs in the vacuum. It's probably the only reason I actually have a vacuum.

I sucked up a bunch yesterday and felt satisfied that I had gotten the bulk of them. Apparently not. So I took out the trash where a few were frolicking. I replaced the scrubby on the end of my dishwasher wand. I cleaned out the sinks with disinfectant. Then I came home to find new ones frolicking on the new scrubby. Bastards! Not to worry, I sucked them up!

It's kind of fun to see them flying flying flying SUCKED UP! Heh heh heh. The internet said that they have a life span of 10 days so we've got to be getting to the end of them soon...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Epic St. Paul Walk

Today I walked more than I ever have at one time. My right eye has been twitching since the last 30 min of the walk as well. I thought I'd just pop over to the Highland Park library to pick up another Bryson book, then hit the gym for a card swipe, then walk home along the Mississippi River Road. Well, I hit the Moose Country bar at about :35 in. I got over the Mississippi and up past Missy's work around 1 hour. I stopped at a gas station to get water and a banana and made it to the library and then the gym at 2 hours. If you are familiar with the area you might wonder why it took me an hour to get to the Highland Park Lifetime from just south of West 7th. Well, there is a big hill in there. I was going pretty slow due to my current back issues, and my heart rate was still 172! The banana and water at the top of said hill gave me a bit of a second wind.

So after the gym I decided to take the River Road back. I filled up my water bottle along the way and had a nice little walk. At about 2:45 my hips and glutes were aching. At 3:30 my knees and ankles were starting to ache. Around 3:40 I realized that my arms and the back of my neck were going to be nice and sunburned by the time I got home. My initial plan was to stop at Subway for lunch on the way back. I quickly came to the realization that if I stopped, I'd never be able to start again. So I pushed on. By about 3:50 I was just passing the Moose again and my body was in a full out revolt. I thought about calling a cab. I thought about having a bunch of beers and watching the Vikings and then calling a cab, but the game didn't start for another three hours. I thought about maybe just hitchhiking. Or possibly just laying face down in the grass and giving up. But there were jumpy bugs. So I kept going.

Again, if you are unfamiliar with the area, the section between the Moose and my house is pretty much all up hill. I remember how I walked cockily down it at the beginning of that jaunt and wished that I could summon that person, but she was no where to be found. My entire body ached and my iPod arm band was starting to chafe the flabby bits of my underarm. I was becoming delirious as I slowly put one foot in front of the other, time and again. I looked down at my heart rate monitor and my HR was still safely in the 150-160 range. I felt like I was going so slow - how could my HR be so high?? When I hit a curb I made sure to walk through the cut out so as to avoid raising my legs any more than I had to.

Finally I got to the top of the incline. It was downhill from here and it was all I could do to keep lifting up my feet. I started swaying a little and tried to snap myself out of it so people didn't think I was drunk. At 4:26 there were two blocks left. All of my muscles were yelling at me and seizing up.

I spent a good amount of time stretching after I got home. Then I stretched some more and had some more water and a Shot Blok. I went on to Google pedometer and found out that I had walked 14 miles! I thought it would be close to 10, but 14 really shocked me. Then it was time to check out the sunburn damage. The tank top tan I tried so hard to get rid of this summer is now back in full force. My upper arms/shoulders/back are crispy. But the best is the tan on my left arm where my iPod arm band was. That is quite attractive! *sigh*

I took a shower, lubed up with aloe, and drove myself to Chipotle. I'm going to go ahead and say it was the best burrito I've ever eaten. And now...Vikings football...and perhaps a little more water and stretching...

Final time: 4:29:21.
Final calorie count: 2644.
Fat burn percentage: 40%
Average HR: 152

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Twins Game

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to score tickets to the Twins game vs. the LA Angels. Sally Kamm, a PE teacher at Osseo Jr. gave me the tickets and I took my good buddy Jen. The seats were in the 300 level, but there is not a bad seat in the house! Even the standing room only places looked inviting. There were bars and restaurants in the park where you can go and take a break from the heat in air conditioning. Last night was an incredibly humid night and Jen and I could not stop sweating. But the ballpark is amazing! After being in the Dome for so many years, it's so neat to look up and see the sky! We sat in seats that looked toward downtown, on the 3rd base line. The city looked so clean and pretty and the view was absolutely breathtaking. Our seats were close to food, beer, and bathrooms and the people around us were very nice as well. Sally has great seats! I'm not sure how the games will be as the weather turns colder, but I would definitely go again.

After the game (Twins won 7-1), Jen and I sat around and just took in the ambiance. I happened to look over a few sections and saw three guys I went to college with. I quickly ran over to say hello and we had a good time catching up. Afterward the guys, their wives and friends, Jen, and I went to the Shout House to grab a beer and sing along with the dueling pianos. It was a great night!

Jen and me at Target Field

Be Positive!

I haven't been posting this week because I threw out my back on Monday. I've been very uncomfortable and haven't been keeping up with the blog. In case you don't know, I have an extra lumbar vertebrae that isn't really hooked up to anything else in my back. It's just kind of shoved in there, thus giving me about 2" in height. No wonder I'm so tall for my family. So this rogue vertebrae likes to give me issues every now and again. I go to a chiropractor, Dr. Tom, and he straightens me out, hooks me up to electric stim, and sends me on my way. I only went once this week, thinking that it was only a little strain. My mistake, I should have gone 3x! So I'm set up for an appt on Monday. I think if I go M-W-F next week, I'll be back on track. I haven't been able to exercise all week and it's driving me nuts! My diet has gone down the toilet and I've been nowhere near my daily water intake goals. I also missed my strength class on Wednesday for the first time in a month. And I really missed it. :(

This past year, my 30th, has been a very rough, negative year. I think that has a lot to do with my back problems and overall health too. This is the first year that I've been overly stressed out with my job. I've had too much drama and negativity in the boy sector. I am -9 lbs from last year, but keep getting off track with the additional 20 I need to lose to get my health and cholesterol in safe zones.

So this next year will be all about being POSITIVE! I'm purging the negative people and things from my life and I'm moving on. I have a terrific group of core friends and I need to focus on them and me and not the people who verbally abuse and attack me and put me down. I am better than that and I don't need their negativity! I don't have to put up with people who aren't here to build me up. It's like what Thumper says in Bambi: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Not that I can't still be a smart ass, but overall: be positive, be optimistic, and do good. I do not need pessimism and negativity. Be happy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I swear I will get to Movie Monday at some point this week... Until then you'll have to look at my new sunglasses. I'm kind of digging the sporty ones I bought so I can actually teach outside in my contacts. Minnesota wind + bare eyeballs/contacts = less time teaching and more time cleaning contacts in the bathroom.

I bought the brown ones bc a few years ago I lost my awesome brown ones somewhere between Sweeney's and my old apt. I wept for a few days. It's so hard to find good, cheap sunglasses!

I bought the black ones bc a few weekends ago I was brushing the hair out of my eyes on the boat and accidentally brushed my black sunglasses (Old Navy, $10) into Lake Minnetonka.

Alas, I do not pay more than $10 for a pair of sunglasses. I still have a red pair (that needs some super glue) and a white pair from high school! I also kept the stickers on for these pics bc I'm a nerd. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

105 Things About Me



3. LAST GIFT YOU RECEIVED? Erik bought me a beer last night. Does that count?

4. EVER DROPPED A CELL PHONE? Yup, but never in a toilet.

5. WHEN'S THE LAST TIME YOU WORKED OUT? Ugh, Wed. I need to do that again soon.

6. THING(S) YOU SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON? Clothes, purses, shoes, food.

7. LAST FOOD YOU ATE? I had an asiago breakfast bagel this morning at Panera.

8. FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX? Smile, broad shoulders, red hair

9. ONE FAVORITE SONG? Me & Bobby McGee

10. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? West Side, St. Paul




14. LONGEST JOB YOU HAD? I was at Osseo and Lakeville for 2 years each.

15. DO YOU OWN A PAIR OF DICE? Yup. They're blue.

16. DO YOU PRANK CALL PEOPLE? Ha ha, not since high school.



19. LAST TIME YOU SAW YOUR BEST FRIEND? I saw Chuck in June. Wish I had money to see her in the Dam!

20. FAVORITE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT? Punch, Chipotle, Noodles, Subway

21. BIGGEST LIE YOU HAVE EVER HEARD? "I passed out and was unconscious in the gym for 5 minutes." Suuuuuure you were. Kids...

22. ?????

23. WHERE'S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT WITH FRIENDS? Skinner's! Or anywhere with friends. Doesn't matter as long as the friends are there.

24. CAN YOU COOK? I can make a mean hard boiled egg, but that's about it.

25. WHAT CAR DO YOU DRIVE? Toyota Echo/Stealth Bomber. She may be an Echo, but she thinks she's an Audi.

26. BEST KISSER: Mike R.? Possibly bc I was 16, but it was memorable.

27. LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I seem to break out the waterworks at even the news these days. But for sure at Charlie St. Cloud.

28. MOST DISLIKED FOODS: Peppers, sausage



31. ????

32. LONGEST SHIFT YOU HAVE WORKED AT A JOB? Valeting all day probably at a special event.

33. FAVORITE MOVIE? Reality Bites

34. CAN YOU SING? Yuppers

35. LAST CONCERT ATTENDED? Last night - cover band in Chaska. It was good!

36. LAST KISS? I don't kiss and tell. ;)

37. LAST MOVIE RENTED: I have Reefer Madness and Reefer Madness: The Musical in Netflix for a few weeks.


39. FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: I'm really digging by a lake this summer. On a boat!

***umm 40-42, where did you go?***



45. DO YOU DRINK? Nope. Never. ;)

46. SLEEP WITH OR WITHOUT CLOTHES? Depends on how hot/cold it is. Load up on the sweats in the winter!




50. PANCAKES OR FRENCH TOAST? French toast at the Louisiana Cafe.

51. DO YOU LIKE COFFEE?: No, gross.

52. HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS? Poached or hard boiled.

53. DO YOU BELIEVE IN ASTROLOGY? It's fun to read. I have a daily calendar.


55. LAST PERSON ON YOUR MISSED CALL LIST? Unavailable. They called me 4x yesterday!

56. WHAT WAS THE LAST TEXT MESSAGE YOU RECIEVED?: Something ridiculous from Joe.

***number 57, where are you?***

58. NUMBER OF PILLOWS?: 1 + blankies

59. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW?: shorts and a tank top

60. PICK A LYRIC, ANY LYRIC: As I head for the door/I turn around to be sure/Did I shave my legs for this?

61. WHAT KIND OF JELLY DO YOU LIKE ON YOUR PB & J?: grape or strawberry

62. CAN YOU PLAY POOL?: recreationally, for fun, but not very well

63. CAN YOU SWIM? barely, but I'm a lifeguard!

64. FAVORITE ICE CREAM?: chocolate peanut butter

65. DO YOU LIKE MAPS? Yes! I chart my walks to see how far I'm going.

66. TELL ME A RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOURSELF: I like my toenails super short.


69. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON? I'm starting to like summer more and more. No school!


71. WHAT TIME DID YOU WAKE UP THIS MORNING ? 7:30 way too early!

72. BEST THING ABOUT WINTER?: Softly falling snow. Sweaters.

73. LAST TIME A COP GAVE YOU A TICKET?: On Rice St. w/ Kelly probably 2-3 years ago.

75. NAME OF YOUR FIRST PET?: Bryn doggie

76. DO YOU THINK PIRATES ARE COOL OR OVERRATED? I like talk like a pirate day. Yarrr!

77. WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS WEEKEND? Went out to a bar in Chaska last night and then looked at the stars, today relaxing and finding a new book then going to watch the Vikes game. Sunday...who knows! They world is my oyster.

78. BIRTHDATE: Oct 2

79. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE: An Osseo teacher lol

****what the hell happened to 80-84? haha***



89. DO YOU MISS SOMEONE RIGHT NOW? A few people, yes.

90. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD YOU GO? I'll go anywhere. Would like to go to Scotland and Ireland. Sweden. Someplace warm w/ a beach.

91. ????

92. ARE YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL?: Thank goodness no.

93. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH? Always. At least one. ;)

94. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NAME? Mackenzie, Maisie, Mae

95. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR BATHING SUIT?: bright colors/blue, maroon



98. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A CRUISE?: No. I'm afraid I'll get sick.

99. DO YOU HAVE A SISTER? Stink-o-phonic, baby!

100. ARE YOU UPSTAIRS?: I'm in my living room. First floor.

101. ARE YOU IN LOVE?: ...with Punch pizza!


103. DO YOU WISH YOU COULD SEE ANYONE PARTICULAR RIGHT NOW? Scotch Tape. Always missing that kid. And Tutu, of course.


105. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AFTER THIS SURVEY? Going to the library and maybe Noodles.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I finished The Girl Who Played With Fire last night. I enjoyed it even more than The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! The movie is playing at the Landmark Edina theater and I plan on seeing it this afternoon. I cannot wait to get my hands on The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, but I'm kind of waiting until it comes out in paperback. The Swedish movie of Hornet is not slated to come out until October anyway.

2. I tried one of McDonald's smoothies last night. I had a small wild berry and it was sweet (44g sugar) but tasty! I think it would be even better with some protein in it. Anyone have a protein they like? I've had whey protein in the smoothies at Lifetime and enjoyed that.

3. I'm going out to lunch with the PE staff at Osseo today. I worked at Osseo Junior High School from 2006-2008 and absolutely love the PE staff! Those were the best years of my teaching career. I had just gotten divorced and had moved to St. Paul. I had been asked to leave Lakeville Public Schools in June of 2006 because the principal thought that I "didn't fit in" (ie: I was not a male and it was a good old boys club. They had a guy they wanted for the position and he didn't even have his health license!). The PE teachers at Osseo helped me restore confidence in my teaching, welcomed me into their social circle, and they are a great bunch of PE teachers! Since then they have been trying to get me back into the district and it's no secret that I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

West Side Wednesday

Yesterday was the primary election in Minnesota. The big race is for the next governor. Personally, I'm glad to see Tim Pawlenty (aka: TPaw) go. He ran on the basis of no new taxes and has since run the state into the ground. He made cuts across the board for education and health care. Good riddance! Anyway, so I was on my way to vote and I saw The Ugliest House on the West Side. (Location: corner of Page and Orleans.)

Most of the houses on the West Side are cute little bungalows or tasteful homes built around 1890-1910. I'm sure this house started off that way, but ridiculous additions and paint choice make it stand out. It is disgusting and an eyesore to the rest of the West Side.

This first picture was taken out of the windshield of my car so you can't quite see the true color. You can see that they haven't quite finished painting it, thus making it even more trashy. This is the front/side of the house.

This second picture was taken out of my side window so you'll see the true color of the house. It almost blinds you when you walk by. You can see the garage in the back of the first picture, but they also have a matching shed. I can only hope that the reason they picked this color is because it was on sale and they are destitute and couldn't afford anything else.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This may make me less crabby.

Last night was nearly unbearable. I laid in my bed with the fan directly on me and I was still uncomfortable, sweaty, and oily (thanks, genetics). I thought of buying an AC unit, but I don't really have the money for that. I thought of asking friends if I could crash at their places, but I wanted my own bed. There was only one thing left to do. I would have to fight off the spiders and drag the AC unit from the basement to my room in the second story. (1) I hate spiders so I didn't really want to carry a heavy box up two flights of stairs while praying that all of the "pideys" were gone. (2) My lower back isn't in the best shape right now and I didn't want to tweak it more while freaking out after a spider crawled across my hand. But it's too hot. I don't have a choice.

Room (slightly messy), pre-AC unit

I went down into the basement armed with my camera, a measuring tape, and the vacuum. If I was going to do this I was going to document it, make sure it would fit in the bedroom window, and clear it of all pideys. I assumed that this unit had been placed in the bedroom, but last summer wasn't all that HHH (hazy, hot, and humid - for those of you who are not from the East Coast) so I didn't have to use it. I've rented this house since Oct 2008 and the AC unit has been in the basement for the past two years.

Scary part of the basement, filled with pideys.

I vacuumed the unit and the surrounding area with the longest attachment possible. Luckily, I only saw one pidey, who was relatively harmless. I lugged it out of the basement, took a break, and then lugged it up to my room. I then came upon a slight glitch. The screen wouldn't go up. Upon further inspection, I realized I would have to take the screen out. Easy enough. I took it out, put it aside and wedged the AC unit in the window. I pulled the storm window down to the top of it and then slid the main window down. This baby is not falling out! Then I shoved two old towels under the unit bc there seemed to be some holes where the nasty humidity could seep in.

I turned it on and it smelled like basement and old lady. BUT!! It was cold. I have it running up there to air it out while I'm typing this. *pause* I just went up there to see how the little guy is doing and it is like night and day! I turned it off to save electricity, knowing that tonight will be the best night's sleep ever...


Movie Monday, late again

This past week I saw two movies.

The Kids Are All Right
I was kind of stoked for this movie. It seemed progressive and interesting, but once I had let two hours escape my life, I realized that it's the same old theme, but this time with lesbians. I'll tell you right off the bat that I did not like this movie. But secondly off the bat (tee hee) I will tell you that I loved the speech that Julianne Moore's character makes towards the end of the film. To sum it up: she states that marriage is hard. That's when I lost it, and to tell the truth, I didn't stop crying for a long time. Relationships, no matter how they are defined, are damn hard. It doesn't matter the sex of the person in the relationship with you - everyone has the same problems and issues - and I think that's what the movie was trying to say.

Charlie St. Cloud

When Jen texted me the other day I told her that I had a date with Zac Efron. Indeed I did! Charlie St. Cloud is a terrific movie about loss, holding on, and letting go. Zac Efron's character has a great relationship with his younger brother, but becomes the town weirdo after the brother dies in a tragic car accident. The only criticism I had was that Zac Efron needed to be more scruffy after the death of his brother. He's painted as this complete nut job, but he's still super duper hot. More or less, Zac's character "sees dead people" and talks to them. He meets his brother every day to play catch, a promise he made while the brother was still alive. The movie has a bit of science fiction in it, but it's a great story. Bring tissues to this one.

PS - There were 11 middle school girls, two middle-aged women, myself, and a guy in his 30s at this movie. The guy sneaked in after the movie had already started and then left as soon as it ended. That's okay 30-something guy - you can think Zac's a hottie too!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Fun FACT

Yes, this is just one fact. One fact for the day:

This morning, after more or less throwing my back out on Wednesday morning, I ran my mile. I didn't know if I'd be able to do it bc of my back, but I threw down some extra strength pain killers with the vitamins this morning and drove out to the Henry Sibley track. And I would like you to know that I KILLED my last mile time for a new PR of...........


Time - 11:44
Max HR - 197
Ave HR - 177
Cals - 212
Time - 16:36

My arms felt like lead blocks attached to my shoulders for the first lap, but I got the furthest, almost all the way around the track, without slowing down on my first lap. Then I focused on something in the distance for the straights of the track - like Hemming told me to do. I don't know if it was the 66* temps or the Jedi mind trick, but I felt like I was going faster and keeping a good pace. I did not look at my watch to see my splits bc I thought I was doing well and I didn't want to get discouraged.

Now I'm off to walk my 5K route. Happy Friday!

PS - Just came back from my 5K route and I knocked off 4 minutes by jogging some of the downhill parts. Feels good! (Time - 44:38)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

West Side Wednesday

I have three things to talk about on the West Side this Wednesday. The first two are fitness-related and the last is egg-related.

My First 5K
Yesterday I decided that I was going to walk to a nearby track that was supposed to be superior to the track I've been running on. I charted the distance using the Google Map Pedometer and found out it was exactly 3.1 miles there and back. My first 5K! It was way too hot and humid to run, but I thought I could walk it and see what my time would be. Turns out it was 48:31. I was happy that it was under 50 min, but I wasn't happy to see that the track was completely locked up. Looks like I'll be staying at ol' Henry Sibley High School.

'Hood Workout
My neighborhood is on an incline. To the north of my street are the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. If you travel south towards Annapolis St., you head steadily uphill. My street is about halfway between the bluffs and Annapolis St. At the end of my street there is a large public park, which is a little over 1 mile around. My 'hood workout is this: walk down to and around the park and then go up and down the streets until I get back to my house. The trip is about 4 miles total and gives me a chance to go up an incline and then go back down it on the next block over. Great intervals! I did this workout today after I tweaked my lower back at the barbell strength class at the gym this morning. I took it slow and did it in about an hour.

The last few times I've made hard boiled eggs, I've somehow messed them up. This should give you some insight into my cooking ability, or lack thereof. I Googled "how to make a hard boiled egg" and came up with this website:

I have about 5 minutes to go before I put them under cold water to stop the cooking. Wish me luck, as I'm trying to find more "real food" ways of adding protein into my diet.

5 min left to cook

Stopping the eggs from cooking

All cooled and ready for the fridge!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I love this website:

The first time I used this program was in 2005-2006. I lost 30 lbs, going from 185 to 155. It really helped me chart my cals in and cals out. I didn't change my diet in any way, aside from eating less and exercising more. Unfortunately, I gained a majority of that back over the past four years. I've made it a goal to drop some weight (1) bc I'm unhappy with it as it is and (2) bc my cholesterol is inching up into the not-so-good range.

This website charts your cals, exercise, protein, fats, water intake, and cals left to lose an average of however many lbs you want to lose per week. You can't get crazy and say, "I want to lose 5 lbs per week!" or anything. They give you a healthy max. Mine is currently -1.6/week.

I kicked butt last week and really worked out. I tried new classes at the gym and felt the burn. Unfortunately, no weight loss. Ru tells me to relax and it will come off, but this is where I get frustrated. I know that this $9/mo weight loss tool will work if I use it right. Maybe the humidity is stalling me from losing weight...

So I only have one goal for August:
Log at least 20 full days in August

I would go with the full 31, but I have a feeling that the MFD food list doesn't have certain things on a stick that I may be eating towards the end of the month... And I just looked back at 2010 and found out why perhaps I'm not losing any weight:

Days logged in...

Jan - 18
Feb - 15
Mar - 18
Apr - 7
May - 2
Jun - 7
Jul - 4

I was doing pretty good in March, but then I got very sick at the beginning of April. we go August!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Movie Monday

I was having a pretty bad day today but emailing with Stink-o-riffic has pulled me out of my funk, at least a little bit. So I'm ready to write about the four movies I saw in the past week. And it was a pretty good week.

Paper Clips

I was very, very impressed with this documentary about the Holocaust and I highly recommend that you throw it on your Netflix. It is about a school in Tennessee that decides to try and collect six million paper clips to honor the six million people who died in the Holocaust. The 8th grade classes from 98-05 (I believe) are part of this project. What I found the most interesting is the theme of prejudice and stereotyping. The teachers in the documentary admitted that they have prejudices against Northerners and that Northerners have stereotyped them as well. What they tried to do was address this in their school (all white except 5 or so) by having the students learn about others, setting aside their prejudices. The filmmakers did a nice job of having the audience address his own prejudice toward Southern "red neck hicks." They point out that the area where this school is located is close to many historical sites, including the founding of the KKK. I don't want to give away too much more of the documentary, but I will say that I got pretty teary-eyed. Push this one to the top of your queue.

Despicable Me

I will admit I had no idea what this movie was about, except that there was a bad guy with a huge nose and he had little minions that looked like tater tots. It was so much better than that! I did not think that I was going to like this movie after about 10 minutes into it. People were laughing at dumb stuff and I was afraid that the rest of the movie would be like this. Then it got better. To give you a rough synopsis: the bad guy with the big nose, Dr. Gru, is falling down in the ranks of super villains and needs to do something BIG to get back on top. He plans to steal the moon. I won't tell you anything more, but suffice to say, it is good. This is a great movie with terrific writing and a good heart. The minions seem to be awfully violent at times, but are also equally cute.

Iron Man 2
Meh, it was okay, but I liked the first one better. Mickey Rourke makes for an excellent Russian villain and Sam Rockwell plays a great dorky jackass, but I didn't much care for Scarlett Johansson. She seems to have been picking lackluster characters that don't suit her ability recently. Another criticism I have of the movie is that it seemed to be really hard to understand the dialogue at times. Pepper and Tony constantly talk over each other, making it hard to discern what's going on. Rourke's accent was very thick as well, making things difficult to understand. It seemed like they made this sequel trying to make more money for themselves without trying to get the winning chemistry of the first one. It was a decent action flick, but also worth passing by if you're not that interested.

Letters to Juliet
This was a movie that wasn't out for very long. I didn't know much about it, but it looked like a cute chick flick. I was surprised to see as many men in the theater as I did. I went to The Riverview, a second-run theater in Minneapolis, just over the Mississippi River from St. Paul. This is one of my favorite theaters because the audience is usually pretty interesting and fun. More often than not, theater-goers will clap at the end of a movie shown here. I was not disappointed this time. First I felt bad for all of the men whose wives and girlfriends had dragged them out to see this movie. Then I settled in and enjoyed the ride...and so did the men! There was a husband and 15-20 year old son with two other women and two teenage girls in front of me. They ALL laughed during the movie! So here's the plot: a girl and her fiance travel to Verona, Italy before they get married. He is opening a restaurant and wants to meet with suppliers. She gets bored with tagging along and visits Juliet's house. When she arrives women are crying and writing letters, which they then place on the wall of the house. After everyone is gone, a woman collects all of the letters. Sophie, the girl, follows this woman and finds out that there is a group of four women who answer all of the letters. Sophie is a fact checker for The New Yorker, but wants to become a writer. She's very excited. The ladies help her out and she finds a 50-year old letter in the wall. She responds to the letter and the rest of the movie is fabulous! I very much liked the acting from Amanda Seyfried and Gael Garcia Bernal (swoon!), but Vanessa Redgrave steals the show. Newcomer Christopher Egan is also yummy and fun to watch. This should be out on DVD soon, if not already. It's a great flick for the secret romantic in all of us.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New State Fair Foods!

Each year I try to taste some of the new foods at the Fair. Last year the pot roast sundae and the deep fried banana split were my favorites. Beer on a stick from Summit wasn't bad either!

Here's a list of the notable new foods at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair, as listed by booth.

Axel's - deep fried cheeseburger sliders (definitely going to try these!)
Famous Dave's - crispy fried pig's ears with a lime chipotle glaze
Fudge Puppies - caramel apple fudge puppy and turtle fudge puppy

Giggle's Campfire Grill - chicken fried bacon covered in gravy
Granny's Cheesecake - deep fried shortcake with strawberries and ice cream (yum!)
Moe and Joe's Coffee - grilled marshmallow, chocolate, and banana sandwich
Netterfield Food Court - deep fried bologna served on a stick or a bun
Pizza Shop - corn dog pizza
Potato Man and Sweetie - deep fried bacon cheddar mashed potaoes on a stick!!!!! (this may be my new favorite!)
Sabinos Pies - Cincinnati Chili (spaghetti smothered with chili and topped with shredded cheddar, beans, and onions...sounds good to me!)
Wings and Things - Ghost Wings (wings covered in habanera pepper sauce)

Looks like there will be some new faves this year! Can't wait!