Ten on Tuesday

Ten Countries I'd Like To Visit:
1. Zanzibar. One word: beaches. Check out google images to see what I mean.
2. Egypt. Never did get to see the pyramids during my world cruise. Woops.
3. Peru. Isn't Machu Pichu one of the wonders of the world now? I have other reasons for wanting to see Peru but we're not going there.
4. France. Food. Mmmmmm. I've heard that in France all the food is good. It's not like in the US where you're never sure if the place you're heading to for dinner is going to give you great service or food poisoning.
5. The little port in Antartica. Just to say I've been there.
6. Australia. That's my other missing continent. I've been to all the other ones.
7. Thailand. Beaches. Food. My brother. Pad Thai, mmmm.
8. Croatia. I was supposed to go there too. I've heard it's gorgeous and I think relatively safe now.
9. Tibet. I'm counting it as a country. I hope I can see it one day. I hope I'm alive to see the whole China/Tibet thing resolved. I'd love to know how it turns out.
10. Ghana. There are a lot of people in the Twin Cities from Ghana. It's Africa but so different from where I lived. I think it's a little more developed, like maybe they have roads and running water in more of the country. I think more of the country also has electricity. That's really saying something.

I'm leaving all the places I've been before but would like to see again:
Canada (I love Vancouver), Japan to see Kao, India because it's there, Singapore because it's like New York City only clean (English Speaking, huge, business and commerce capitol) and one of two places in the world that has a rain forest within the city limits, Seychelles for the same reason as Zanzibar, South Africa and Malawi for obvious reasons, Cuba because I could at the time, Italy for the food. I could stop in Italy on my way between France and Croatia (before I go down to Egypt).

Interior decoration

As I've noted before, there's this blog about Ikea that had a post that reminded me of Amanda. We got a boatload of those mirrors when we were at Ikea Sunday night. I can't seem to resist the urge to offer my advice, so here goes: I like the idea of painting the mirrors different colors. It wouldn't be too hard with some spray paint and would look really nice. That said, I was happy to go shopping with you and will be happy to be part of any mirror-hanging-laser-leveling-double-sided-tape foray.

I'm excited for my interior decorator to visit on Thursday. I even thought about cleaning up the joint before then. I haven't yet, but I did think about it. I also tried to get paint swatches but Ace closes at 8p instead of 9p like every other store on the planet. How sad. I'm starting to have more and more ideas about my bedroom which was really hard last week. I have this sweatshirt that's this light purple. Every time I wear it I get compliments on the color even though it's totally ratty. Here's a picture:

I think a nice light shade of purple like that would be nice. I think we can find a tone that's in the same family as my curtains so they can stay as well. I know the bedroom is the one room in the house where it's acceptable to "go dark" and I really appreciate a dark bedroom. I'm just not feeling like the paint job in there should be that oppressive.

And, as a special treat, I have never had to say this. And I've said many odd things in my career.

workout update

Working out is going well so far. I ran 4 miles today in 41:16 which means I'm running a 10:19, which is really good for me, especially to sustain it for 4 miles. I'm beginning to see the point to running on a track. It definitely makes me run much faster than road running. It helps that I don't have to stop for traffic and other pesky things like that as well.

I have sort of decided that I'm sick of waking up and being tired all day. I need to start working out in the morning again. Tomorrow will be my first try at working out in the morning. We'll see how it goes. I think part of the reason I'm having a hard time getting up in the mornings is my job is really hard right now. I always thought Social Workers were sort of exaggerating about paperwork. They're not. Holy crap. I'm just starting to learn all the forms that are required. It's taking a while. I'd rather be doing other stuff.

Things that will help me get out of bed and be excited for the day tomorrow:
1. I am going to help a colleague I really like with the computer. We have an hour. I have a feeling we'll need to make another appointment.
2. I am done for now with the one file that was taking forever.
3. I get to see Michelle and Liz for dinner or dessert tomorrow, I'm not sure which. But since I'm seeing them after work, that even increases the need to wkae up early and run.

The Nike+iPod is still wildly off kilter. The next time I run around the track I think I'm going to put the sensor on my left shoe the inside shoe when running around the track and see if that makes a difference. I haven't been able to calibrate it yet. I'm nervous about this weekend. There's a seven mile run listed in my workout for Saturday. Yeah, ok. I've run that far before, but not for a while. I feel better now that I'm running more. But last weekend I skipped the 6 mile run in favor of having Sunday be my day off. This week I've adjusted work out days to allow for Sunday to continue to be my day of rest.



Presented by The Monday Music Mambo
1. Name a song or two about cars or driving.
"Go For A Ride" by Uncle Six, a band from Cincinnati.
"Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5, one of my favorite songs ever.
"Mustang Sally" by Credence Clearwater or anyone else really.

2. Name a song that's good to listen to when driving.
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield is a favorite of mine.
"Mambo Italiano" is a great song to sing and dance to when no one is in the car to see.
"Put Your Records On" by Corrine Bailey Rae is also a great song.

3. Name an album that's good to listen to when driving.
"One Night Only" by Elton John got me through most of Pennsylvania when I was living there, and that's saying something when you think about the Pennsylvania turnpike.
"No Quarter" by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant is a longstanding favorite.
Almost any album by Dave Matthews Band including "Crash" "Under the Table and Dreaming" and "Busted Stuff" are fantastic too.

4. If you could drive the car of one musician, whose car would you choose?
I don't really know who's got the best cars. Here are my requirements for a car: First, stick shift is mandatory. Second, convertibles are only allowed in places where the temperature does not drop below 50* (read: Florida, California and Hawaii). Third: SUVs are not allowed as they take up more gas than any human being needs. Trucks are not allowed outside of Kentucky where they are the state vehicle. Fourth: I require a fun road to travel on, preferably something in the mountains or the hills of Appalachia because those are the most fun places I know that don't give me a fear of heights. Hmmm. What famous musicians live in Kentucky? I bet they have fun cars.

Finally, as a special treat for several of you who know one of the best movies ever, a great quote from Overheard in the office:

Check it out here or:
11AM And Fourth, If You Ever Incorrectly Cite That Movie Again, You're Fired

Guy in jeans and flip flops walks into office at 11 a.m. and high-fives two employees on the way.

Newbie in suit: Dude, he's totally pulling an Office Space. We better watch him -- he might set the building on fire. Or start gutting fish at his desk.
Cube dweller: Okay, first of all, that was Milton who set the building on fire, not Peter Gibbons. Second, it's Casual Friday, which is probably why he's dressed like that. And third, he doesn't work here.

Insurance office
Long Island, New York


Obviously I didn't run 6 miles today

I didn't run today, although I'm still considering walking around Lake Nokomis. I went to Office Max and spent way too much money for not that much stuff. I got a comfy wrist pad for my keyboard and mouse at work. I keep thinking I don't need one at home because I have a laptop, even though it probably wouldn't hurt. I also got a couple of nice file boxes that match the decor because the crates never quite agreed with me. I think I'll clean and organize after the walk.

It's been an Ikea rich day in the news:
1. Ikea opens free hostel to shoppers who don't want to leave. Just another reason to visit Norway. Yes, I know Ikea is Sweedish, but the hostel isn't in Sweeden. I'm just sayin..
2. How to Make a Coffin Out of Ikea Parts, just what the designers envisioned I'm sure.
3. Ikea Product Names Demystified. That doesn't help me.
4. And possibly my favorite new blog ever, Ikea Hacker.


A noteworthy occaision

So that last post was my 666th post on this blog. I know. The Nike+ still badly needs to be calibrated. I ran 3.6 miles today and it thinks I ran a little over 4. Incidentally, I don't know what happens to me on the weekends that I think running at 12:30 will be a good idea, never the less, I did. There's something about running in the heat that's stupid but in another way makes my body stronger. Yeah, see, stupid. I ran like 11:58 miles. It was that hot. My training program is telling me I need to run 6 miles tomorrow. I'm not sure how that's going to happen. We'll see what time I wake up.

Also, two of my friends are getting married (yes, to each other) and thought it would be fun to put something ridiculously expensive on their registry and so chose an espresso maker. If no one gets you that $2,500 monstrosity, you should think about this one. Is it bad that it doesn't even give a price?


A day early

From The Friday Five: (yes, a day early)

1. What item would you be embarrassed for people to know you own?
Hmmm. Some people gave me an unending amount of crap for the Dr. Quinn DVDs I own. I still think it was a great show. Although The WestWing is my current favorite. I'm my internet browsing history is much more embarrassing than anything I own.
2. What is something you splurged on just for you?
My computer and the iPod, both iPods really.
3. What is something that you own with no real world value that is priceless to you?
The book the kids made and signed for me is pretty special. I have a plant named after one of my friends, although it wasn't named after her nicest most sympathetic moment. I have a "bat nut" which is honestly a nut that's shaped like a bat from my friend Alicia who I haven't seen in forever but it's supposed to bring good luck. And I have a dream catcher from the first person I helped get a full time job.
4. Do you collect anything?
I used to collect key chains. Now I'm afraid if I collected anything it would overtake my whole apartment. I do have a boatload of bookmarks on Del.icio.us though. 456 so far. Yes, at first it bothered me that I couldn't just have folders of things, but once I got used to things this way, I like it even better.
5. What item belonging to a friend/family member do you covet?
Of Kelly's: a DVR and cable. I miss cable. Although I do watch way less tv than I used to. Of Amanda's: I always thought it would be fun to have a trunk that big (in my car) and I love the little netting in the trunk too. It seems like groceries wouldn't slide around as much if I had that. Of pretty much anyone else: a pillow top or comfort foam mattress. Kelly's sweatshirt, oh wait, I still have that. Maybe I'll give it back when you come to my house. Of Eric: That cool video game console on which you can play every nintendo video game known to man, including Mario 3 which is my favorite.

oh oh the poor ipod sensor

For sure the Nike+iPod doesn't work on the indoor track I use. It's not totally perfect when I use it outdoors, like maybe 100ft off or so. That's not noteworthy, I am a little short. Today on the indoor track it was .47 miles off. I think it's the running in circles that's doing it. I did run 3 miles at 10:18 miles. That's for sure the fastest I've ever run 3 miles. How exciting.

Since I only ran 3 miles, I figured, "hey, I should lift weights and work out a little longer". I've always wanted to start lifting weights a little bit because I keep reading how important strength training is for runners. For reasons passing all human understanding read: I have OCD I'm just not a fan of the free weights. I think partly because I don't know how to use them and I don't have anyone to spot me. Like I'm going to be able to lift enough to really require a spotter. And they just got all these new machines that are unlike anything I've ever seen. But they have the exercise balls and nice poster of all the different things you can do with the exercise balls, including lifting weights. I tried it. I decided I must look pretty silly because a big part of using the exercise balls involves balancing on said ball. I think I probably looked the silliest when I was supposed to be balancing on my stomach, like to do push ups and those things. I think the ball is not for me. I'll have to watch my old "8 minute arms" from YouTube to get more arms exercise ideas. I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but that was actually a fairly good program.

In other news the job is going well. I had an exhausting day today. I almost thought I wouldn't run. I'm still tired as all get out. Seriously, I was never a morning person but I used to be able to get up and run or exercise in the morning without that big of a problem. Right now I'm blaming it on the stress of graduating, switching jobs, and still not being totally comfortable with the new job in conjunction with the heat. I woke up this morning and felt like if I wasn't so hot I could have run. I'm glad I waited 'till tonight. Look how well I did.

Also, I just got all 43 presidents again.


Update on the games

I am still playing the 50 States Game mentioned here and the President Game mentioned here. On the map game I just got 49 perfect out of 51. I missed Delaware (put it too high up the coast) and Kansas, but I think we know how I feel about that state. On the president's game, I just got all of them. We'll see if I can do a repeat performance in a day or two.

The Nike+ipod needs to be calibrated

Does anyone reading this, Eric, know if running with a Nike+ipod on an indoor track can wreak havoc on the sensors ability to accurately measure distance. I ran on an indoor track and the further I ran, the more off the distances got. I think the distances were never quite perfect, but they were really off tonight. Like I think I ran 4 miles and the iPod thinks I ran 4.7 miles. I think it's time to calibrate the thing. I'm going to see if I can run around Lake Nokomis because they have the mileage posted there. I knew I wasn't really running 9:00 miles. I thought it didn't seem right that I magically got that fast. Sadly, it means I have a lot of work to do to be able to run a 10K in under 1:00:00. Maybe this won't be the 10K I run that fast, maybe that will be the next one. I'm still looking forward to the Milk Run. My goal is to run it in 30:00. I think I need to pick up some speed to run it that fast.


Ask me, go ahead

Just ask me why I love my mac? Because I just plugged in my printer and the mac instantly recognized it and started working. No installing drivers. No CDs. No restarting the computer five times and printing five test pages that use half the ink in the cartridge. And I just now learned how to print the highlighted sections of web pages on my mac. How happy am I? So happy I think I'll go to sleep soon.

I've consulted my designer

I tried to get up and run this morning. I was unsuccessful. The waking up part. The running part we'll never know. I've decided that tomorrow if I get up and run I'll make a shake with mint in it. I love fresh mint. If I ever start a garden, I'll have mint everywhere because I could put it in almost any food.

I've consulted my designer. She suggested a "plan" for the whole joint before moving forward with any portion of said joint. Also, thank you for the paint suggestions. For the entry way, I like the brown stripes and I'm glad I have approval. The colors I liked were 260F-5 "Applesauce Cake" and 240E-3 "Coronado Dunes". The pink does not scare me.

For the bedroom, I would like to paint it a color. I have no idea which color I'd like to paint it. I have dark purple curtains which could honestly stay or go. It just has to be able to get along with the brown in the hallway. My parents are encouraging me to get new carpet so it doesn't necessarily have to match the carpet I have right now. I mean, seriously, I'm at square one.

For the bathroom, it remains as is. I'm done working in there for a while I think. Although Dad wants me to get a new vanity for there too.

For the kitchen, I think it's going to get re-done, although my plan is still to seek out medium to dark stained wood for the cabinets, and white appliances. Will I really be the first one of us to have a mortgage? Are you sure no one else wants to go first with this one? I'm not sure what the floor will be like in there, maybe wood or the new "fake" hard wood floors. I could do tile. Linoleum is simply not allowed.

For the living room, it needs to be repainted and I refuse to have my walls super-white. I was thinking of a cream color, perhaps one that could pick up on the browns from the hallway and kitchen, or a cream that has a slightly red tint to pick up on the curtains. But seriously, cream ok. Again, I'm not married to the rug in that room so the walls don't have to match it but they do have to match my color changing couch because that's staying and I think the curtains will stay too. They've done well there so far. As far as accent walls, I think even the little wall with the a/c unit in it, or the little wall with the ugly black mirror currently taking up space is just too busy for that space. The wall with the a/c unit is too close to the red curtains and so doesn't need to be accented and the wall with the ugly mirror is literally the other side of the hallway wall which will have brown stripes on it.

We'll see how this whole "Liz wakes up and runs" things works out tomorrow. I'm secretly not optimistic.


Apparently I'm not quite ready for the 10K

I got up this morning in time to run I know, a miracle in itself and for some reason thought I could run six miles really fast. Turns out I can't yet. I'll work on that. I died after about four miles, although then I was still down at Lake Nokomis so I walked for a while and then ran hills on the way home. Felt good to get up and run, but it took me so long to get home that I didn't have time to stretch properly before I had to get ready for work. My little legs ached all day.

At the end of the day I bought new running shoes, and I bought frames for some of my pictures that didn't have them, including my degree, which obviously gets a nice one. I think I'm going to take them all in to work, although I love the ones in my entry way.

Speaking of my entry way, because I can't seem to get it together to invite my interior decorator over for dinner and a consultation, I think I need to work on the entryway painting project first. For some reason, a brown color in there seems like a good idea. I have no explanation. Here's my question. I've seen wall striping done in a lot of places and I think it looks cool. I think it looks really nice and would be great and welcoming in my entry way. (I'm talking about the first little hallway and the second hallway that goes to my bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.) Am I allowed to do this to my condo? Would it really just look dumb? For colors, my designer was thinking taupe, I was thinking something more in the chocolate family, although not quite as dark.

I found all these really funny web pages today that I feel compelled to share with those of you who don't have digg, or don't have the chance to check it as often as you should:
1. God's Inbox. What's funny to me about this is not so much the picture but the comment on the digg page below the link.
2. Statris, another USA map game for my second interior designer and sometimes running partner who loves them.
3. 10 Most Amazing Illusions has some really cool pictures. We should learn how to do some of these things.
4. Top 13 Worst Translations Ever is an illustration of why it's important for translators working for ad agencies to understand the nuances and idioms of both languages. Woops. This one is almost not safe for work, just be careful not to snort starbucks up your nose.
5. Pick Your Candidate is a cool web site for all political persuasions. It lists a whole bunch of issues that are facing voters right now, asks you whether you support or oppose the measure, and then asks you to rate how strongly you feel about the issue. Once you've put in all your answers, it tells you which candidates most closely share your views, and scores almost all the candidates on how close they are to what you're looking for. It's only for the presidential election of 2008. I thought it was interesting. Of course I came up as agreeing closest with someone I don't know too much about. At least he was from the part of the political spectrum I was expecting.


Nevermind, I've found my next race

I was thinking how great it would be to run a marathon and thinking about making a marathon my next race, either the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati, or the Twin Cities marathon in 2008. (Sorry, Duluth scares me. It's the hills.) So then I read an article that said basically I need to be able to run a 10k at around an hour without killing myself. And then I found the Bolder Dash 10K. And it's a Lake Nokomis, which you know from here, here, especially here, and finally here just how much I love this lake. And it's not on a weekend where there's a wedding, or wedding planning or showering or manicuring or partying. By the way, who's throwing the Batchelorete Party, and who will let me sleep at their house or drive me home after all the margaritas? Sorry, side comment. So now, I really need to start training for this 10K because it's not that far away. Maybe that will make me get up earlier from now on.

I think I need a new goal

I think I've blogged ad nauseum about the beating my exercise routine has taken lately. One thing I was reading a while ago about how to set up a successful exercise routine is that goals are necessary. Up to this point I just wanted to run the milk run again. I think I need a new goal. Everyone's home work is to go to Raceberry Jam and pick out a race for me to do later in the year. September is off limits, especially the beginning of September because I get to participate in a wedding, and that's really the more important thing here. I was thinking the "Run for the Apples" looked good. I thought about doing it last year but then I fell and didn't run for a full month.

Did I exercise this weekend? I walked five miles today. I didn't run though. I spent yesterday laying on the couch reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and didn't eat too well or drink enough water. And then I woke up really late this morning (possible from staying awake 'till 2:30 to finish the book) and knew that it was too hot and humid to really run. I'm thinking I'll run tomorrow morning, but I've thought I'd get up and exercise for the past two weeks and I haven't had a whole lot of luck with that lately. I'd go to bed now in anticipation of waking up early, but it's still too light outside and it sounds like my neighbors are having a party.

I tried to read outside by the pool yesterday. There was this one little boy who screamed the whole time he was in the pool. Not like in terror or threatening or distressed, just screamed to be playing. He was probably like three. There were a few other people at the pool. And the pool is in the courtyard between four buildings. The parents and adults who were caring for this kid just let him scream. He seemed slightly out of control to me, but he got out of the pool when it was time and left without a fuss. So, as a parent, when do you address the screaming behavior of the child? That kid certainly was across my line of tolerance, but I'm not a parent. I don't get kids, I don't get the mess they make, and I really don't get their noise.

I liked Harry Potter by the way.


Apparently I have an addiction

I have an addiction to pictures. Who knew? I finally got my pictures back from Snapfish and I've decided that I should have some more. Is that wrong? I have some nice ones to take to my office and I hung some of them up at home too. I'd like more for the office. Amanda had a nice idea about using flower pictures and put three flower pictures in a three picture frame, which I'd like to try. Seriously, I can't wait to get these things on my wall tomorrow morning.

Ok, now for a vote. I have all of these pictures of friends, and most of them I'm in the picture because everyone should have pictures of themselves with their friends. But a parent told me it's weird to have pictures of myself in my office. Ok, now vote. Keep in mind it's not a self portrait and all pictures are safe for work. (Also, there's none of me with any baby or small child because Amanda warned me everyone will ask if any small kid in pictures is my kid.)

In an entertaining note, I can't wait 'till this happens to me.


This was too funny not to do

I swear I did not make this up. My mind will now sink to the gutter. Hope to see you there.

Kelly and Amanda, how many "your mom" jokes can you make. I lost count...

From The Wednesday Mind Hump

Hello humpers! Today is Wiener Day. Kind of an odd theme, but I'll go with it:

1. What's your favorite kind of wiener - all beef, beef and pork, brat or veggie?

2. What do you like on your wiener?

3. How do you like your wiener cooked - grilled, boiled, steamed, fried, or some other way?
You'll never know.

4. The Wiener was named after the city of Vienna, Austria. Who's your favorite person who comes from that city?
My answer comes from this site, although I was already going to say Maria Von Trapp. I just had to make sure she was from Vienna and not Saltzberg.

Extra Credit

Three more lessons I just learned:

Number One: When cooking with cilantro, especially chopped cilantro, all flat and some vertical surfaces attract cilantro. The little chopped cilantro leaves seemed to be everywhere in my kitchen. Everything I cleaned seemed to have cilantro stuck to it in some way. An extra tip, when there's just a little left over cilantro stick it in a fruit smoothie. Not a ton, but it adds a subtle taste. If there's every any mint, add all of it to the smoothie. yum.

Number Two: When the carton of milk is done, rinse it out immediately. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Number Three: I spent quite a while on Sunday listening to Dad tell me how I should redecorate and remodel this place when I take over ownership. After just cleaning my kitchen I have decided that if I'm going to be forced to own an electric stove (and at this point it's pretty clear I am being forced to do so), it will be a glass top. I'm done picking bits of food out of the burners and trying to clean the oil and food that lodges itself in the tinniest most ridiculous crevices in the world. Glass top all the way.

Two mistakes I've made and one I hope I don't

I've learned a lot from my mistakes today.

Lesson 1: When using the same measuring cup for the rice and the water, pour in the rice first. This is one of those things I don't do too often. Pasta is really my preferred grain. So, I'm making rice for a recipe I read in Eating Well and then totally interpreted. It called for all these things to be done on a grill which is not possible at the moment, ever really. I'm not a griller. So I poured in the water to the pot for my basmati rice and then poured the rice into the now wet measuring cup. And then, obviously, the grains of rice stuck to the side of the cup and later infiltrated other foods when I used the same measuring cup (after moderate rinsing) to add water to the chicken's sauté pan. Thank you to Firefox for putting the little accent over the "e" for me.

Lesson 2: Don't drink a cup of milk and then try to run five miles. No good comes of it. Alternative: run five miles and then drink all the milk your little body desires. I ran five miles tonight. I didn't really expect to. I thought it was going to be 90* and 1000% humidity. After it rained it seemed like it would be cool enough to rain, I didn't realize I was running through a steam bath. About a mile into my run it started one of those cool the sun is shining but it's still raining deals. I say it was cool only because the rain cooled me off. I'm still loving the Nike+iPod deal. I think it's fantastic. I was having a lot of trouble lately, not exercising, tired all the time, feeling really bad, and this little gizmo seems to be all the motivation I need to go run forever and to see how fast I can go. I'd like to thank everyone involved in this gift, I really needed it right now.

So, the milk. See, when I got home it was basically a monsoon. I was wet, not unlike this incident only this time I had an umbrella and I was still soaked. I did have the presence of mind to take off my shoes before I got out of my car. I was kind of hungry, feeling like an empty stomach after my spaghetti at lunch so milk and cookies (little waffers) seemed like a good idea before going to the Y. And then I started reading Harry Potter and it stopped raining. And then it was after rush hour so I thought I'd run around the neighborhood. But when I got outside running 5 miles around Lake Nokomis really seemed to be the better option. So there I was with my milk and cookies and started off on my run. I think the discomfort didn't catch up with me until pretty near the end of the run. When I stopped running and started walking, that seemed to alleviate the discomfort.

Lesson 3: For dinner I'm having a ginormous yes, that's a word smoothie. I'm eating it while I'm sitting here typing. Guess what lesson I'm hoping to avoid learning tonight!


Oh, exercise and sleep, and Chipotle

I had Chipotle for lunch today. I'll go back to the regular packing of the lunches tomorrow. When I got a new job I decided I couldn't just go from eating out every day for lunch to never doing it. That's just not realistic. So, since I ran last night, and I knew I'd exercise again today, I allowed a veggie burrito. I think I got lucky because the Ford Parkway Chipotle is always busy, weekdays, weekends, evenings, afternoons, it's packed. Although I was in line behind a woman who was getting like eight burritos. Seriously people, if your order is that big fax or email it in. Everyone else will like you better for it, including the people making your food.

I meant to get up this morning and go to the Y. I even got out of bed. Upon quick and careful consideration I crawled back into bed and decided to go later on. I did. I rode a bike and then did a rowing machine for half an hour, which I think is why my wrists are tingling right now. I put on the carpal tunnel braces and that seemed to do the trick. I'm thinking I should start wearing them again, but I'm really not a fan. I might have to go out and get the carpal tunnel wrist supports for the mouse and keyboard though. It seems wrong to ask work to buy them for me. I really just don't want to bother them. I'll consider it part of my office decoration.

I can't wait to run tomorrow so I can use my Nike+ thing again, although I'm afraid it's going to be too hot to run outside. Can I use this thing on an indoor track? No, seriously, somebody answer that for me.


I ran today

I haven't been, well, exercising lately. I think my body is finally realized that what I've done to it the past two years in grad school was not normal, and has started to take appropriate action. And by appropriate action I mean going to great lengths to make sure I sleep as much as possible. But I really wanted to exercise today so I ran when I got home. Today also marks my first day using the Nike+ system (thank you Amanda, Kelly, and Eric, and Amanda again for the thing that attaches it to my shoes). I freakin love it. I decided that I would run 4 miles. So I programmed the workout to that distance, which was so simple it could only be done with an mac product, and started. Every mile, a nice voice told me the distance I had already covered, told me my halfway point, and when I had 400 meters to go counted down every hundred meters. Then it told me I was running a 9:51 mile which does not seem right. I feel like I'm much slower than that. Last year's Milk Run, the only other run which is reliably timed I ran 11:45 miles.

I did register for the Milk Run again. I think this time I may be running alone. The last day to register is Friday and none of my friends have registered that I know of so far. Kelly did promise that she would come that day and cheer me on and then we could go to the fair later. I hope she can, that's only two weeks before she gets hitched.

And before I go, I'd like to leave you with this: Researchers from MIT have found the molecule that causes fear when working with lab mice. The researchers then successfully "turned off" the fear molecule. Isn't this something we want functioning pretty much all the time?

Monday Music Mambo

Name five songs that say what you want to tell telemarketers (i.e. songs with angry titles telling them to buzz off!)

1. Tell Me Something Good - Pink (most recently from the "Happy Feet" Soundtrack. Thanks Amanda!)
2. You Make Me Sick - Pink (hmmm, is there a pattern here)
3. You Wreck Me - Tom Petty
4. Kinder Words - Mighty Mighty Bosstones
5. A Change Would Do You Good - Sheryl Crow


Harry Potter

I ordered the final (boo hoo) Harry Potter book today. It is scheduled to be delivered at my house on July 21, the day the book comes out. (Hey, that's next Saturday.) Right now, I'm in the middle of Half Blood Prince, re-reading in anticipation of the final book. Just to refresh me on everything. I've remained amazingly spoiler free.

I'm wildly impressed with people like one friend of mine who's going to start re-reading all the books now, and not read the seventh book until she's done with the first six. Why am I impressed? Her undying faith that she'll be able to not hear who bites it in the final book before she's ready to read it. The world needs more believers like you.

Today was also Kelly's wedding shower. Amanda and I were the only non-family people there. It's always interesting to get a look at other people's families and see how they operate. Really similar to my own actually, well on Dad's side. My Mom's side of the family is so small that I really have no basis to judge anything. Although, from what I remember as as child, we're wildly different from those people, so it's probably ok they're all either dead or we don't see them very much. I have one uncle and one cousin who live in Cincinnati, and Mom has some cousins (of hers) that live in Chicago. I really like the Chicago people, although we don't see them that often. They're really nice. The uncle and cousin are good too. It's just odd because we used to be really close and we've grown apart over the years. That sort of hangs in the room every time we're together.


All the lovely pictures

I went walking after work. I decided that I'd bring my camera along, just to medicate the ADD. I filled up my memory card! I've never done that before, and certainly not in the space of two hours.

Here are some of the lovely flowers I saw:
I never realized how cool pansies are until I moved to Minnesota and realized they grow basically in the snow. If I ever grow flowers, I'll try those because it seems like even I would have a hard time killing them. How do you get them that color?

Purple cone flowers. A favorite flower of mine, I learned about them in Cincinnati. I think you can make a tea out of them that does... something.

My very favorite flower. Those blue fuzzy ones. I don't know how they're called. These were some of the last flowers I saw on my walk.

I have a bunch of pictures of these. Apparently they're really popular. This was my favorite one. Anyone know what they are? It would be embarrassing if they were a weed or something.

Not really a flower, but it looked cool how the little fronds curled at the end.

Grey headed cone flower. Another one I learned about in Cincinnati. These are different from black eyed susans. See how the petals point down and not straight out?

Like I said, I love walking around this lake. I walk and run around this lake whenever I can.

A special present for Amanda and Kelly:


Ten on Tuesday

Ten of my favorite things in photos:

My parents



My family

My friends

Being done with grad school and having a job I like.


Coffee flavored drinks

My old job

'Nuff Said.

Liz starts a new job, Day 2

The lesson for today: Lunch is important. Eat a big lunch, even if it's packed, it should be big. The importance of lunch, and the necessary size of lunch is directly related to the amount of time during the day that is "sitting still" time.

I had a day with lots of "sitting still" time. I think that's how the first week or two will be. And I had a small lunch. It was a rough day. I got home around 4:30 and I felt like I was half dead. I was so tiredit was ridiculous. I fell asleep and didn't wake up 'till 7:00. Oh, yeah, I'll sleep well tonight. I decided the problem was that my lunch was small and crappy.

The problem now isn't that I'll get Chipotle for lunch. The danger is I'll get it on the way home. I didn't get Chipotle on the way home. Instead I went back there after my nap. And I ran into a neighbor and we ate together. That was really nice. And I talked to a friend on the phone who I hadn't had a chance to catch up with in a while.

At this point, I'm very afraid of forgetting the shower on Saturday. I had a moment last Saturday when I thought the shower was that day. At least I finally RSVP'd.


Monday's A B!tch

Random Fun!

1. In your opinion, is orange closer to red or to yellow?
Orange is closer to red.
2. Do you like your vegetables cooked or raw?
Yes. It depends on the veggie. Carrots and green peppers I prefer raw, and pea pods, unless said carrot was cooked in the making of chicken stock. Then and only then is cooked preferable. I like green beans and broccoli cooked. I never like asparagus.
3. What's your favorite type of Pillsbury product?
The doughboy?
4. If you were a noise, what would you be?
That slight scream I make when I almost fall down.
5. What world issue upsets you the most?
I find it troubling that we're using so many of our resources towards a war, or any type of violence. War doesn't bring peace. Someone has to stop fighting first. Only peace brings peace.

Liz starts a new job, Day 1

It's my first official day of "being a grown up" as Jeri calls it. By that she means, I have a real job with real benefits, and so on. My first day of being an adult and I'm exhausted. I never realized how tiring it is to sit still all day. Actually, I probably did know that already.

The most exciting thing happened almost first thing, when my supervisor showed me my office. That's right, my office. I have an office with a door and a window. I feel rich. I'm so excited. I can't wait to decorate. And they're ordering me a computer, which means it will be a new computer. And everyone else has a flat panel so I'm hoping... And everyone there is really nice.

Possibly the most bizarre part of the whole experience was the paper clips. I got to my office and there was a box of office supplies which I thought was nice. There were also a couple of things on the desk, a printer and a little vase. I thought, "oh that's a nice vase, I'll have to get a plant for that". It's filled with paper clips. Full. And then I got to the supplies and there were three more boxes of paper clips. I was so excited about the office and the window that the paper clip thing was more amusing than troubling but seriously, we could melt those down and build a car of something.

And, as a special treat, there's a really neat girl there who's my age and we talked for a while. And her name is Amanda which only makes me like her more. I'm thinking about bringing the Amanda Plant to my office to be by my window. I wonder which Amanda will be more amused, old Amanda or new Amanda.


All the wonderful things

All the wonderful, ok, mostly they're just funny things I've seen on the internet today.

A couple of great pictures all are safe for work:
Airport security
How to decorate a Jaguar (the car, not the cat)
The 50 States Game correctly place all 50 states, slightly addicting, site has sound.
DIT Kitty Crack especially for Kelly, the only one I know right now who has a cat.
Human Pixels Perform Real Time Animation is possibly one of the coolest videos I have ever seen. It's 6 minutes long, safe for work but site has sound. Check it out. It's wild.

That was some thunder..

We had quite a thunder storm here today. You know the thunder that shakes the house and your bones at the same time? One of those woke me up around 4:00 this afternoon.

Last night at the overnight I finished "In Her Shoes" which Kelly lent me possibly when I started grad school. The book definitely outshines the movie, although I kept picturing Cameron Diaz as "Maggie", even though she's described a little differently in the book.

I also RSVP'd to a wedding shower where I'd had the invitation for like, a month. I got to leave a message and not have to talk to anyone, which is exactly what I desired. Now I have to think of something to get. Since the person whose shower it is reads this blog, obviously I'm not keeping it secret. To you and the rest of the people who read this: Here's the thing. I know you're moving. I want to get something nice, but I don't want to give it to you until after you move because I remember helping you move last time. I'd just wind up carrying whatever I got you on my head down the largest most rickety staircase in the world on the hottest day of the year. But I'd like to have something nice for you to open on Saturday too, a little bit for you but also for me so I don't feel like the only bad friend who didn't get anything.

Next question, the Starbucks in the Macy's in downtown St. Paul, is that a real Starbucks that takes Starbucks gift cards or is it some coffee shop pretending to be Starbucks by saying "we proudly brew...." and not taking any Starbucks gift cards. (Kind of like the pretend Starbucks in Barnes and Nobles across our fair country.)


This one looked really fun:

week of July 8: Vacationing

I'll be going on vacation next week, so that inspires this weeks meme:
1. What is your favorite vacation spot?
I'm a beach girl. The Florida Keys, especially Bahia Honda and Key West are wonderful. The Seychelles were nice but possibly not worth the trouble of getting there again.
2. Would you rather drive or fly?
I like to fly places, as long as transportation once I get there is simple.
3. Have you ever been on a cruise? Would you want to go on one?
I have been on a cruise around the world. You know how people have these lists of things they want to do before they die and "sail around the world" is always one of them. I've already done that. I'd totally go on another one. They're a blast. Those "barefoot cruises" look like the most fun, and about my speed.
4. What has been your best/worst vacation?
We went to Cape Cod when I was 11 or 12. That sucked. I think I'd like Cape Cod now but I was the only kid, all adults and it rained for like 4 days straight. And we were in a "Cape Cod" house which basically means "can't turn around the hallways are so narrow" house. The trip around the world, while not technically a vacation, was really fantastic.
5. How long do you think is long enough for a vacation?
A week or two. Two is better than one.
6. Do you spend alot of money while on vacation?
Where am I again? Usually not, although I do like to splurge from time to time.
Do you buy alot of souvernires?
No, not really. I had a key chain collection going for a while.
What's the coolest one you've gotten?
I have key chains from all around the world. That was fun. Also, anything from Berea, Kentucky (ooh, exotic) because it's handmade and so wonderful.
7. If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?
I did like the Seychelles. I might do another Semester at Sea. That was a great way to see the world, and be with like minded people along the way.


I'm really amazed I haven't cried yet

Today was my last day at the Science Museum. How sad am I? I haven't even cried yet. I think in my head I'm still going back there next week. Woops. We'll deal with that when it comes. I had a busy but ultimately productive and satisfying day to end on, and a nice dinner at Tanpopo to top it all off.

When I got home, obviously I had to disctract myself and the internet seemed the best way to do so. I founds tons of fun stuff you all need to know about:

1. Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature was an interesting read, as far as I got, though it does seem to be an article just designed to piss people off. They make two interesting points about polygyny (men get more than one wife) that women actually tend to fare better in polygynous societies, but men tend to do worse. Also that violence and competition among men is worse in polygynous societies. I didn't know that before. I'm not sure I agree with everything (anything really) in this article, but there it is.

2. Procrastinations: 10 Things To Know is an article about how procrastination is your mean parent's fault but will wind up killing you. It also made me think I'm not really a procrastinator. Good to know.

Pretty much how I feel about the pair although I get the feeling, particularly from Vice President Chaney that he doesn't always want to be there.

viewed from http://www.lisaandjacob.com/index.cfm?template=/2007/07/can-someone-make-these-please.cfm

4. Senator, You Used To Be a Pot Head - Now You're Talking Like a Narc is an open letter to Norm Coleman. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but anyone who calls Senator Coleman on his crap, especially support of bad drug laws that spend my tax dollars in dumb ways gets my support.

5. 33 Names of Things You Didn't Know Had Names is page that appears on Del.icio.us from time to time but it's fun. There's a lot of stuff on there I know but haven't ever tried to name. That one part of your nose, those silver balls we put on cookies, things like that. I did know #22 though.

6. The Portable Typewriter is a great blog entry about how to modify a laptop to look like an oldschool typewriter. How cool is that. Every once in a while there's little macbook mods like that but I'm too scared to try any of them.

7. Bottled Water is Still a Scam and it is people. It's bad for the environment, and we have legitimately safe drinking water here. Enjoy.


What did you do today

I think something is wrong with my body, or I'm just totally stressed out. Every morning when I wake up, I'm still super tired. Not just my normal amount of tired, which I can usually power through. This is really really tired. I haven't exercised in quite a while. I hope I can still run.

I didn't feel well at all today. I had hardly any food, and my body was so off it didn't even make me hypoglycemic to not eat. I had something today that my body did not like. I think it was the milk that expired yesterday. They always say you have a week after that. I think sometimes that's crap, especially with organic milk.

After work I went to Target and got some stuff, including possible the ugliest pair of pants ever, but they are so comfortable I'm ignoring their shortcomings.

Here's a couple pictures for Amanda and Kelly.

viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/10998060@N00/727663041/

And, just so you don't feel like Romeo is the biggest thing ever:

viewed at http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z255/spinwall/biggesthousecatever.jpg

Do You Have What It Takes...

So Kelly blogged about this quiz called Do You Have What It Takes To Become A Citizen and all naturalized citizens over 18 are required to pass this test before getting citizenship. I got 100%. Yes, I am that big a nerd.

And now for 3X Thursday

1. As an adult, do you feel the same about holiday's off from work versus the way you felt when you got them off for school? How so/how not?
I love holidays. I went phases in my life where I loved them for different reasons. As a kid it meant no school. As a teen who worked hourly jobs it meant time-and-a-half or sometimes double time, and now it means n work.

2. What about birthdays? Do you view them differently now as you get older? Why/why not?
Birthdays now are not so much about my age as a nice time with my friends. I remember when it was so cool to actually turn 13, 16 was a big one too. 21 is the last big one I remember having. 25 was like no big deal. 26 was even less so.

3. New releases: Remember how psyched you were when you heard that your favorite band was coming out with a new album on a certain date? Do you still feel that same kind of excitement now? Why/why not?
I don't think I felt this kind of excitement until I could drive and had a job and so could afford these things. Star Wars Episode 1 was the first thing like that I saw. Now I'm ready for the final Harry Potter to come out. Seriously, hurry up already.


The Wednesday Mind Hump

1. Which historical American figure would you most like to be for a day - George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson?
Thomas Jefferson. He was the founding father I most identified with. He seemed to be an introverted nerd at heart. He loved to read, he invented a few things, he was a great thinker of his time. That seems cool to me.

2. America was born partly with the help of the Declaration of Independence. Now, in 2007, make your own declaration right here.
I declare that Aaron Sorkin should write another television show.

3. To sidetrack from the American theme a bit - Great Britain lost 13 colonies, but there are surely things that can make up for that loss. Name something about Britain that you admire or enjoy.
Prince William, or rather looking at Prince William. He is a handsome young man. I also really like Princess Diana and all the work she did. Elton John, the Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and all the English speaking places in the world I can travel to because Britain was once an imperial giant. We could go through them from East to West: Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Burma, India, and almost all of sub-Saharan Africa, the British Virgin Islands, and our wonderful neighbor to the north, Canada. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

4. Ok, back to America - what do YOU love about America?
I love the things here that just work, we don't know how they work, and we often complain about paying for them, but they just work. I'm talking about trash collection, libraries, roads, sewage (which I think you'll agree is a big one), clean drinking water, telephone services, broadcasting services, social security (it works right now), the mail, and of course, voting. I always feel like a really cool grown up when I vote.

Stories for my friends

I was poking around on the internet today (after I walked 5 miles because it's too hot to run that far) and found some stories for all of you.

1. The other night Kelly was telling me about a story she was that was "15 things guys don't want to hear from their girlfriends". I've found the sequel 18 Insights into Understanding Women. Please please check out revelation 11. Number 13 is just for Kelly, but not in the dirty way. Number 16 is for any straight male that might be reading.

2. This is really just an interesting article, and relevant I think, given how hot it's been lately. 9 Reasons to Drink Water and How to Form the Water Habit

3. This game is for Amanda, who mocked my history knowledge last night because I said the streets in Northeast Minneapolis don't make any sense (which they don't), and for Kelly who is going to become a history teacher. I only played for 4 or 5 minutes, but I got 32 out of 43. I neither lived in NE Minneapolis nor studied history in the past nine years though. So it's ok if you beat me. Can You Name All the US Presidents?

I am so tired

I blame Amanda and Kelly. First their mom's wore me out, and then the three of us went to the fireworks tonight. And I've been up since 5am.

Here's some things I found poking around on the web while eating cereal before bed:
1. A little gift for Eric.
2. Something my parents, who are thinking about selling their house, should keep in mind.
3. Recipes for Success from Lifehacker
4. Something having to do with shoes for Amanda and Kelly whose feet hurt tonight.


I know at least one of you reading can relate to this

I know at least one person who reads this blog can relate to my current situation. A while ago, I remember talking with a friend who didn't always like to go to the gym. In particular, she didn't like to use the treadmill because she felt like her "feet banged" when she ran and she would draw attention to herself. Why, yes, I do still remember that story. I feel her pain.

There's this weight lifting class at the YWCA that looks interesting. For a while I've been wanting to start weight lifting. I keep reading how important it is for runners to cross train and how wonderful weight training really is. So tomorrow might be the first morning I go to the class. I think I'll be fine once I get started, I just hate walking in and not knowing what to expect. Hopefully there will be nice people there. Also, it's at 6am and I have no idea how the timing of the class will play into things.

In more uplifting news, I was talking to another friend about health insurance. I was saying I have sort of a running list of things I need a doctor to check out for me and I'm waiting until I have health insurance to do it. One of the things I mentioned is my ongoing toenail issues also mentioned here with pictures. Said friend was like "yeah, so? Mine are doing that too" so it's possible I'm just getting old. It's also possible we have the same thing wrong with us.

The Monday Music Mambo

Choose one song for each artist:

1. Joni Mitchell - "A Case of You", one of my favorite songs ever.
2. Bryan Adams - "Everything I Do..." Who isn't picking that one really?
3. Neil Young - "Teach Your Children Well" from Crosby Stills Nash & Young
4. Sarah McLachlan - Oh, there's so many. For now, I'll say "World On Fire"
5. The Band - "We Can Talk" from the album Music From Big Pink, a great album I discovered as a teenager, which seems to be the time most white kids discover the Beatles and Bob Dylan nowadays.
6. Barenaked Ladies - Again, so so many. For the live show, "One Week" I guess
7. Leonard Cohen (Yes, again. If you can't think of anything, just choose "Hallelujah.") Good, because that's the one I was going to pick anyway.
8. k.d. lang - "Constant Craving" Hands down.
9. Alanis Morrisette - I don't have a favorite.
10. Rush - "Tom Sawyer" is the only one I can think of, although I know there's another one I like better. I remember being surprised when I learned that the singer in Rush was a man.


Watering Your Lawn and Other Random Thoughts

Watering the Sidewalk is a professional sport. All the pro leagues are in Florida, populated mostly by retired white men. Watering the Sidewalk season is from January to March or "Snowbird Season" in Florida. Usually when I see people in my neighborhood watering their sidewalks (in a misguided attempt to water the lawn) I find it troubling. It's bad for the environment in many different ways. However, yesterday I ran in the heat and discovered the benefits of my sidewalk watering neighbors. Thanks so much.

In other news, it's possible I asked a guy out. Not on a real date, I would know about that. But I specially invited him to do something with a group of friends. I had this weird moment with him the other night where I couldn't tell if there was an attraction or not, but it seemed like it was worth investigating at the very least. I'll let you know how it goes.

Nutrition: I think being a vegetarian, an not even a real vegetarian, I still eat birds and fish, is doing bad things to me. Here's one thing: I think I actually gain weight when I'm a vegetarian, but I only joined the Y and started weighing myself after that, so I have no real proof. I think however, I eat things that make me gain more weight because I'm not eating meat. I also think it's totally screwing up my protein intake and I have no idea what to do about it. I've tried strategies like drinking more yogurt and force feeding myself milk. I'm not sure if it's legitimate or if I'm all messed up from being on my period. It was one of those bad ones I only have a couple times a year.

The Sunday Seven

Name seven fictional locations (or fictionalized real locations) from TV or movies that you’d like to visit.

1. Malawi. I know I've been there before, but i loved it. It applies to this situation because the southern part of Malawi was the inspiration for The Shire in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy.

2. The Bartlett White House. I've been to the real one, it'd be cool to see how it was on "The West Wing".

3. The Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory. Especially the room where everything is edible and the nice oompaloompas will save me if anything happens.

4. Oz.

5. Heaven as depicted in "What Dreams May Come". Especially the part with the paint.

6. Never never land, if only so I could fly.

7. Hogwarts. Hey, if I can see it I can do magic. I could probably fly there too.

Unconscious Mutterings

1. Partner :: lover, friend
2. News :: good
3. Foam :: that white and pink stuff
4. Paycheck :: mmmm
5. Me :: beautiful
6. Eight :: that tv show, octupus, arms
7. Dairy :: I thought that said "diary", milk
8. Exciting :: I say that a lot
9. Hockey :: ice, cold, no teeth
10. Socialite :: princess Diana, I just watched a movie about her