Saturday, December 27, 2008

Long day...

It has been a very long day in the car on the way to Colorado. Started with fog and rain in Chicago, then turned into very dense fog where you couldn't see the car in front of you, then some freezing rain, and to top it all off spending over a hour parked on I-80 somewhere in Iowa. Fun times....I'm so ready to call it quits for the night and get a good nights sleep before getting in the car for the last few hours tomorrow.

Good night all!

--
Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Maybe an "oops!" moment??

See, told you I may surprise you with new posts... I ran across this news, and had a few comments...

So I could be completely wrong, but I'm guessing that Lance's initial reaction to the news that his girlfriend of about 6 months is now pregnant may have been: "oops, that wasn't supposed to happen!" I can't imagine that they planned this because the baby is going to be born right in the middle of race season, right before the Tour, and that's a lot of additional stress. I know the news is saying that it's a "hopeful" thing for testicular cancer survivors because it means they can have kids after treatment (Lance's other kids came from sprem he froze before treatment), and that piece of it is great. Lance is also saying that he and the girlfriend are "thrilled" and I really hope that they are. But you still have to wonder what that initial reaction was.....

Never ending...

Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow.....that's all we get here lately. It really is getting to be never ending. The good news though is that it's also never ending in Colorado, Breckenridge has received 2ft of new snow this week! I'm very excited to get out there and play in the snow that actually serves a purpose, instead of all the pointless snow we have around here that just makes it really hard to drive around since apparently all of the cities and towns have cut their plowing and salting budgets. Just in time for the snowiest winter ever.... Perfect.

I do feel bad for all of the people who are getting stranded in airports. I have a friend that was supposed to be flying into Chicago last night and landing around 6pm, last I heard, his flight was supposed to get in at 4am this morning....I'm still not sure if he's actually made it home for Christmas with his family yet.

In other news...the Illinois basketball team is off to a great start this year! Go Illini!! 11-1 so far, with a very convincing win over Missouri last night in the Braggin' Rights game, 75-59. My only complaint is that they changed their jerseys and don't have their names on the backs so I'm having trouble keeping up with all of the new guys. Guess I will need to make myself some flashcards so I can memorize all of their numbers. :)

Oh yes, and it's Christmas Eve!! I'm currently sitting at work, very very bored, and listening to the sounds of construction going on right behind me. Who wouldn't want to spend a lovely, snowy, wintery day sitting at a desk with nothing to do and listening to the sounds of sawing and drilling and hammering....good times I tell you.

Have a Happy Holidays everyone! I'm assuming there won't be a lot of blogging between now and January 3rd. But you never know, I could just surprise you! :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holy Freezing Weather, Batman!

IT IS SO COLD OUT!!! There really isn't a way to describe what it feels like to walk outside when it's -5 degrees with -25 degree windchills. It's just miserable, and no person should be made to suffer through this. And, no, I don't want to hear about how you Austinites are cold as well since it's only 30 degrees...boo hoo.

The good news is that things are looking good for the upcoming Breckenridge trip. In one week I will be on the snowy slopes getting some high quality snow boarding with some high quality family friends. And these weather reports make it look even better. The first one is for this week while I'm not there, and next to it is the one for next week when I will be there.



















Does it get any better?? :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm back....

I'm not even going to try and make up a good reason why I haven't blogged in such a long time. Although I do think having to take care of my dog recovering from surgery with a few complications should buy me some leniency. But anyway.....on to today's post.

There has been an abundance of snow here in Illinois! It seems to be never ending. The 4-wheel drive on my new car has definitely been coming in handy. I've also discovered a new work-out plan purely focused around my commute to and from work. So let me introduce you to the Stupidly Snowy Illinois work-out:

Morning:
Step 1: Shovel a ridiculous amount of snow off of your driveway....try not to curse the snow plow man when you get to the large mound of really heavy snow piled up at the end
Step 2: Keep your heart rate up as you keep a tight grip on the steering wheel and try to avoid sliding into an intersection, other car, light post, stop sign, etc....
Step 3: Finish it all with a nice long walk into the office since you have to park at the back of the parking lot since apparenly everyone else at work finds a way to magically get to work early....stupid over-achievers....

Evening:
Step 1: Remeber that the car is parked in the very back of the parking lot and start the long walk out there...
Step 2: Shiver uncontrollably as you try to scrape off the layer of snow/ice that has been permafrosted to your car
Step 3: Spend a wonderfully exciting 2.5 hours in the car for the drive home. Try to avoid boredom by calling everyone you know (that's what Bluetooth was invented for), dancing to your favorite songs, shaking your fists at the morons who apparently forgot what this strange white stuff is...
Step 4: When you finally get home, realize that you need to shovel the driveway again so that you won't have to do it in the mornings.....or, more accurately, so you will only need to shovel half as much in the morning....

Repeat every day for best results....

Have I ever mentioned how much I would love to move back to Texas???

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ginger update

Hooray Ginger is out of suirgery and all went well! She is currently
recovering from the anesthesia and I will be able to pick her up after
work today. That time can not come fast enough!

--
Sent from my mobile device

Can't concentrate...

Ginger has been dropped off at the vet for her surgery and I am a
nervous wreck. I can't concentrate on anything. And the fact that I
drank a really big coffee this morning since I didn't sleep much last
night isn't helping me settle down at all. So I'll just be sitting
here trying to get some work done and waiting anxiously for the call
from the vet that the surgery is over and everything is fine.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Run Santa Run!

So I thought I would share a picture of the race that ran right by my house this weekend. If you've ever wondered what it would look like if a couple hundred Santas got together and went for a run then I am here to answer your question.The picture unfortunately doesn't do it justice, as there were many many more Santas, but as they were all of differeing running abilities they were fairly spread out by the time they reached my house at the halfway point.

Oh yes, and for all of you Texans reading this....that white stuff you see, that's snow! And it means it's really cold!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Ginger update...

So here's the new update on Ginger. Unfortunately the tests were not a waste of money, as they discovered that she has 2 very large stones in her bladder. So Ginger will be going in for surgery on Wednesday. It was quite a shock to me and I'm pretty nervous about it, but hopefully it will go well and she will be a much happier dog afterwards. She probably has had these in her and has been in pain because of them for a long time judging by the size of them.

So please think happy thoughts for Ginger on Wednesday, it will be a rough day for her. And I'm sure she won't be very happy about having her belly shaved when there is a ton of snow outside and having to wear the giant cone. Poor girl....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Stupid cold and gym rats...

It is absolutely stupid cold here this week. And yes, I believe that is a technical weather term….stupid cold. What else do you call it when it is 7 degrees outside when you leave for work?? Brrr….

In other news, I finally got back into the gym last night to do some lifting. I have been on a bit of a break from it (yes I know I’m a slacker) but it felt good to get back to it last night. I was careful not to overdo it as I often do, and as a result I have the perfect amount of soreness today. Not the “oh my gosh, I can barely walk” soreness that I usually get after taking a break. Just the good soreness that let’s you know you got a good workout in – I love that!

There are always things that amaze me at the gym. Well maybe amaze isn’t the right word, let’s say confuse, shock, make me wonder, annoy etc… Here are a few of those things: (and I had to throw in the "gym rat" :) )


  1. The amount of people who apparently have never heard of deodorant. I think that one is pretty self explanatory
  2. The guys that apparently make going to the gym their event for the evening. You know the kind I’m talking about. The guys who will lift something heavy a couple of times, then stand around for 15 minutes, talk to some people about how much weight they just lifted, then maybe go check out the muscles in the mirror. This trend seems to even be spreading to some of the girls now. There was one girl that sat on one machine and did maybe 2 sets in the time that it took me to do almost a whole circuit – approx. 15 minutes. I have to say that I really don’t understand this behavior, as when I go to the gym I’m there to get my work out in and get out. I don’t want to be there for 3 hours!
  3. Ok guys, it’s great that you can lift really heavy stuff but don’t leave all of that weight on the machines! I know you like to show off, but when other people want to use the machine we don’t want to pull off the ridiculous number of 45lb plates you put on there. Please don’t try to keep the girls out of “your area” by leaving heavy weight stacked all over the place. Some of us aren’t intimidated or impressed by that behavior, it just makes us dislike you for your rude behavior. And remember, some girls go to the gym to actually work out, not just to look pretty and bounce around on the elliptical a little to get your attention.
  4. LEAVE THE PHONE AT HOME! If you can’t manage to be away from your phone for the time it takes you to complete a work out then you’ve got some problems. And if you can talk on the phone while working out then you probably aren’t working hard enough. I saw a girl last night that was on her phone for at least 20 minutes while trying to lift weights, it was ridiculous.

Ok, enough about the wonders and oddities of people at the gym. I just had to get that out there though. :) What good is a blog if you can’t rant about things every once in a while??

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ginger update....

So Ginger and I had a very long evening at the vet's office last night, 2 hours to be exact. We closed the place down. Unfortunately in all that time, the vet isn't quite sure what's wrong. She definitely has a bad infection, but due to the fact that that she has had about 4 or 5 of these in the time that I've owned her and she gave a pretty alarming sample, it's time to get to the root of what's causing it. So what started as putting her on some antibiotics, has now turned into Ginger going in on Saturday for radiographs and blood work. Poor Girl. So she now has her own health insurance to help with the rising costs. The vet also kept reminding me that Ginger is a "senior citizen pet" and I need to be prepared for changes in her health. Thanks a lot vet...way to scare the crap out of me! Ginger is also now on a diet. Yes, she was starting to get a little chunky and the vet didn't think it was as cute as I did. Extra weight is not a good look for "senior citizen pets". So now instead of actual treats when she comes inside, she gets green beans. Plain old green beans. So far she actually likes them, so we'll see how long she puts up with it.

I can't say that all of this is coming at a good time, since I just bought a car and Christmas is coming up. But when it comes to my pets I can't say no to making sure they are healthy. So here's hoping that all of the tests come back negative and I spent all the money for nothing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nevermind...

So I thought I had the blackberry all figured out, but it turns out I
was wrong and its not quite there yet. Bummer.

In other news... Sadly my poor Ginger dog is sick. Poor girl. So I'll
be taking her to the vet tonight instead of computrainer class. Need
to get her on some medicine so she's not in pain anymore. But the good
news is that I have to leave work early to get to the vet on time! :)

Oh yes, and a stupid bird found my new car today... 3 times! Stupid bird

--
Sent from my mobile device

Monday, December 1, 2008

I did it!

I thought I would share the exciting news that I have finally set up
my blackberry the way I want it (I think). It required a lot of time
and some round about methods but I got there. See, engineers really
can find solutions to any problems! :)

And yes, it' STILL snowing...

--
Sent from my mobile device

Dec. 1 = Winter...

Well, I guess it's officially winter here in cold Illinois. We got 4-6 inches of snow last night, and when I woke up (to the sound of snow plows roaming the streets) it was still coming down. Unfortunately the new car doesn't fit in the garage yet (I need to get a washer and dryer out and then it will) so the poor thing looked like this when I was ready to leave for work.


So I took the time to clean her off, (this was not nice, light, fluffy snow - it required some scraping) and then decided the driveway could wait. And I have to say that during the drive in to work I was very glad to have the 4 wheel drive. The roads were a mess.

Apparently the people I work with don't understand how snowy mornings (especially snowy Monday mornings) are supposed to work though. I thought I was doing really well because I made it in at 8:00, but I was the last one to get here. I want to know how the guys from the city managed to make it in early!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let it snow....

Well, it's snowing here in Illinois. They are predicting that there will be a few inches on the ground by the morning. So it's a good thing I have a new SUV with 4 wheel drive! :) Yep, I finally did it. I traded in the Beamer (I still miss it) for a new car. I decided to go with a Mitsubishi Outlander. It's a beautiful blue color with all sorts of good stuff inside. Including an upgraded sound system as well! :) I got a great deal on it since it's an '07. You can't tell that it's used though, its in perfect condition. It's such a great car and deal that I drove all the way to Terre Haute, IN to get it! It's still quite a shock that I now have a car payment for the next couple of years, and it's still a shock that the green Beamer isn't in the garage anymore. But I know that it was time for a new car, and I'm glad that I got one that I know will keep me safe through the winters and one that can handle anything I need to do or put into it. So at last the search is over, I am now an SUV driver. So let it snow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Help please!!

Does anyone have an amazing cure for headaches??? I've now had a non-stop headache for 5 straight days and I don't think I can take it much longer!! So please share your miracle cures with me!! I am willing to try almost anything at this point.

(I've already tried: lots of water, medicine, caffeine, rest...all my usuals and they're not working!)

Hurry up!

I really thinkk I should be able to start adding interest to my expense reports when submitting them. I currently have one for nearly $900 for my last trip to California that has been waiting for "Accounting Review" for 2 weeks. And once it's approved it then takes at least another 2 weeks to show up on a paycheck. So to me it seems fair that I can charge them for a month's worth of interest right???? :)

Either hurry up or pay up!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tracking is wonderful

I just wanted to say that I love UPS tracking. It tells me that the
new ski socks that I ordered from tramdock.com are waiting patiently
at my house (yea!) And the timbuk2 bag I ordered from chainlove.com
(for $28!) will be arriving in a week! Hooray for early christmas
presents to me :)

And if you aren't checking tramdock.com, steepandcheap.com, and
chainlove.com repeatedly everyday than you are missing out (on many
many opportunities to spend money!)

--
Sent from my mobile device

Snow!?!?!

This is what I woke up to this morning....and it was even worse when I got to work! I am definitely not ready for this. :(

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Apologies....

I apologize, I've been out of touch with the blogosphere for quite some time now. As you can see in the previous post, I did in fact get a new toy. A red blackberry curve. I have to admit, it's pretty fun, but it often means that I don't turn on my computer when I get home so that leaves less time for blogging.

As for the car shopping situation, I still don't have a new car. The main problem is that I can't decide what I want. Yes I know, surprise surprise.... I think I just need someone to tell me what car to get and then I could go out, find the right one and make the deal. The problem now is that I've been looking at the VW GTI, Mazda 3 5-door, Subaru Impreza and possibly the Subaru Forester. Any suggestions?

As for the rest of life, fairly uneventful. I has a whirlwind week this past one, Maryland Monday and Tuesday, in the office on Wednesday and then stupid Leadership for Results training on Thursday and Friday. The good news with the training was that we got out early both days, so that was a nice treat. The bad news was that it was pointless, and the never ending headache started during it. The NEH (as we will now refer to it as) started Thursday morning and is still lingering. Thursday was the worst as it was near migraine status, now it's just plain annoying. I'm planning on heading to the gym in a few (although a good movie just came on :) ) and hoping that I can somehow kick it.

Thanks to the readers that continue to come back after long hiatuses (is there really a correct pural form of that word?) and for your sake, I sincerely hope that something interesting happens to me soon. :)

Testing 1 2 3...

Testing out the new toy...longer post is on the way :)

--
Sent from my mobile device

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blog Honor Roll!

On the Honor Roll for this month:
Jenay
Jonnie D
John T
Congratulations! :)

And how did they get this amazing honor, you ask? They left comments! Start doing that and maybe I'll honor you next!

Getting complicated!!!

So this whole business of buying a car is getting way too complicated! The 2 dealerships that I was working with ended up selling the cars I was looking at before I was able to get them. I found another one close by, but during all this, I decided I should get the color I really want (dark gray) and not the one that's almost as good (black). Unfortunately the car I want does not exist in gray in the state of Illinois, so I'm currently trying to work a deal with a dealership in Minnesota! Arrggg... Please keep your fingers crossed for me that this will somehow work out!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ugg....Car dealerships

Have I ever mentioned that I strongly dislike car dealerships?? That whole act of "we'll talk about the car, but then I will disappear to some back room with some secret person and come back with some mysterious number that you probably won't like..." "Oh, you don't like that number....how about I disappear for another 5 minutes...."

Some day I will find a dealership that doesn't try to hide the "sales manager". Just let me know what's going on! Is it that difficult?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All I can say is....wow....

So I received a very interesting, and completely unsolicited e-mail tonight. (I swear I'm not posted on any creepy dating sites. I have no idea how this ended up being sent to me.) I just thought it was too funny not to share. :)

"My name is Mitch from Groveland, California. I am single, 6'1 tall, hazel eyes, dark brown hair, good looking, christian man, i am very understanding man, faithful, honest, loyal, i have a professional talent. I am kid at heart, i can do anything to make anyone around me happy and put that smile on anyone's face. Right now, i live alone with my lovely dog. She likes to keep me company, i think she understand that i need her company since i am single. I have not found any woman to date because good woman hard to find.I will be looking forward to hear from you soon. but i am going to leave my email open just in case you write me an email."

Yeah, told you it was humurous. :)

Am I a VW girl?

So I'm getting closer to the decision that it's time to say goodbye to the Beamer (as much as I don't want a car payment, I can't keep putting money into a dying car). So after a little research I've identified this as an option. What do you think of me crusing around in this?

Random thought....

I hate it when good hair days get wasted. I've had a few of these lately and so far the only people that have seen them are the people I work with and my mom....such a waste.

And that will probably be one of the girliest things I ever write on this blog.... Moment of girliness: over. Thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I survived!

I survived the first CrossFit class! Granted the owner of the place also felt that inverted burpess were a little nuts, so we did a different workout. Here's the rundown:

750m row
21 deadlifts
500m row
15 deadlifts
250m row
9 deadlifts

The real workout called for women doing 155lbs, that wasn't a good idea for me since I had never done deadlifts before so we started me off at 75 lbs. The other girl in the class rocked the 155lbs, she's a beast! So I definitely have some work to do, but I'm ready to do it!

You gotta be kidding me!

So I'm supposed to be trying out a CrossFit class. I have heard that these classes are incredibly intense and are done in a team environment and score is kept. Knowing my inclination towards competetiveness, I thought they would be a good way to kick myself into gear this winter. The class I will be taking follows the official CrossFit Workout of the Day. This should be interesting:

Five rounds for time of:
25 Inverted Burpees
25 Pull-ups
25 Burpees

And for those that don't know what inverted burpees are (I sure didn't) here it is:

Yeah I know the picture is small....this is what he's doing:

The Inverted Burpee: starting supine, kip (or sit-up and roll) to standing, kick-up to handstand.

So I went from hoping I could make it through the class to hoping I don't fall and break something. Oh and I didn't even start talking about that 25 pull-up idea....ha ha ha

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New purchases??

I'm debating some new purchases lately, and could definitely use some input.

1. I'm due for a phone upgrade. There's nothing really wrong with my phone except for the fact that it doesn't work in my house! I've been debating the possible move to a Blackberry. Not sure if I really need e-mail and internet with me all the time, but there are definitely times that it would be nice. I'm also not sure about going with a non flip phone, as I often just stick the phone in my pocket. I tried to go and get an idea of what I want today, but none of the people at the AT&T store were willing to help me. Bummer for them.

2. Now this is a big one! I took the car in for some new brake pads on Saturday, and they told me that the ball joints on the car are ready for replacement. Apparently these are kind of a big deal since when they do break the wheel could fold underneath the car. Yikes! That could be bad. So once again the new car dilemma has arisen. Is it worth it to put more money into keeping the Beamer alive, or just give in to a new car and icky car payments. Unfortunately from the looking I've done lately, I wouldn't be able to afford any of the cars that I want. So I can't get used to the idea of spending that much money on something I don't really want. Arrggg...just wish someone could tell me what to do!

Another Skirt-Tastic weekend...

As I mentioned, I was in LA last weekend. I went out to see some friends that live there, but I also went to help out at the LA Skirt Chaser Race. It was another great race, and this one was held on the beach! I had a great time hanging out with all of the girls of Skirt, and even spent some quality time chatting with Nicole DeBoom! And of course, I got more free Skirt stuff - the best part of volunteering! :) I'm a huge fan of my new red race series skirt. It's super comfy. There's a possibility that I may be joining the Skirt Entourage program soon. Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

While in LA, I also found the largest concentration of Chicago Bears fans on Sunday. If you are even in LA and need to watch a Bears game on a Sunday, just head to Tinhorn Flats in Burbank, and you will not be disappointed. Every single person in that bar on Sundays is a bear fan. there isn't room for anyone else!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today's realization....

Today I realized that the Subways in California are way better than your typical Subway. And why's that, you ask? They have fresh avocado! I'm not talking avocado spread here...I'm talking fresh avocados that they slice in front of you. Definitely made my usual turkey on wheat so much tastier! :)

And I promise to share the stories of the fun that was had in LA soon. :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Starbucks Wisdom....

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I was in LA for the weekend doing lots of fun stuff. There will be posts later on to fill you in on all of that, but for now I would like to share the wisdom from the back of my Starbucks cup.

The Way I See It #141
"I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say "Hi." They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word."

--Augusten Burroughs
Author of Running with Scissors (a pretty hilarious read by the way)

So here's to saying "hi" from now on. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Costume Help!

So I'm going to LA on Friday, and Maren informed me today that we will be attending a Halloween party that night. Problem is, I don't have a costume yet! I need ideas fast!! Please help! There are a few criteria:

1. I need to already have most of the items or can get them quickly
2. I will be in LA so I would like to look somewhat cute
3. Needs to be easily packable and not take up too much space!

Thanks!

Obama v. McCain dance-off!

Check it out.....and wait for the surprise Sarah Palin appearance at the end....it's my good friend Maren...she's famous!

Monday, October 27, 2008

See, told you so!

I know you Austinites are jealous of this:



So long and so cold

Here's a not so fun way to start the work week.

First, don't check the weather all weekend and throw on a light fleece in the morning, on the drive to work you hear that the high for the day is about 41 and there is a chance or rain/snow flurries (seriously snow already??) this afternoon. Brrr....that's cold.

Then you get to sit in a meeting for 3.5 hours listening to all of your co workers talk about their projects. Oh and did I mention that the heat at the building wasn't working so it was a whopping 61 degrees in the conference room. Yeah, this fleece hasn't come off yet today.

Can I come back to Austin yet???

Weekend Update

So for those that were wondering, my company did do a halloween tick-or-treat for the kiddos, and they did it this past Friday. (I don't understand why they didn't do it on actual Halloween either - maybe that would just be too much t-or-t'ing for one day.) And my choice of what to do was.....well it was a combination. I couldn't leave right at 3 when it started because i actually had work to do. So I tried to get it done, but that tends to be difficult when you have kids running by and yelling every couple of minutes. So around 4 I decided it was ridiculous to still be there and if all of the parents who were walking around with their kids didn't have to work, then why should I? So I got the heck out of there. Good decision for my sanity.

Saturday I checked out the ski and snowboard show with my sister. Wasn't a huge show so there wasn't a lot to see, but I did score a sweet new pair of Oakleys. (yes another one)
For those of you that are planning on running to the store to pick up the sweet new Breast Cancer Edition of the Ravishing frame, well sorry you can't. It's not in stores yet! :) I just happened to find a very nice Oakley rep who realized I was a big fan and sold me his sample pair (which he wasn't really supposed to do) at a nice discount (which he also wasn't supposed to do). I love them!

Sunday was the Sunrise Park Cross race out in Bartlett. I ended up volunteering once again and it was fun, well except for the 50mph wind gusts!! At one point the wind decided to blow over our entire registration tent which had previously been staked to the ground. So 5 or 6 of us had to stand and hold it up to keep it from blowing into the course while some others tried to dismantle it. Boy were my arms tired!!

The big, big news of the weekend is that I met Kristin Armstrong! And yes I am referring to this one. She spoke at our local running/tri store and she has a great story. Amazing how someone who grew up playing all sorts of different sports, then got into triathlon after college, and really didn't start cycling seriously until her late 20's can win a gold medal in the Time Trial! Amazing!! She shared her great story and then answered many questions completely honestly. I even chatted with her afterwards for a couple of minutes about attempting to get into some racing next year. She was of course very encouraging. Oh yeah, and I got to hold her Gold medal! Yeah, it was very cool.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Redeemed....

So Pandora has managed to redeem itself today. Hooray! Good new music once again. Just thought I would share that. :)

Also, here is a question to you all that maybe you would want to comment on (hint, hint). If your company was doing a kids trick-or-treating event (kids wander the halls and we pass out candy) on a Friday afternoon from 3-5pm. Would you stay around or see it as a chance to leave early on a Friday? :)

Comment time....

Ok people, its time, time for me to put my foot down. Each day (well most days) I slave away preparing a post for you to read. I try to make it humorous, witty, thought provoking, etc... and what do I get in return?? Well nothing lately. So that's the problem. It's time for you to add a little something to this blog, it's comment time! :) I give you a way to waste time...it's time you return the favor. So bring on the comments. Doesn't matter if you are a frequent reader or a first timer. Lay it on me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apologies

So I thought that sending an apology would make me feel better about it. But why is it that when you don't get a response from the person about the apology it only makes you feel worse?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fail...

Just wanted to say that sadly, Pandora is failing me today. I used to be able to discover lots of good stuff on there, but today I put in a relatively new artist and Pandora is giving me No Doubt, Kelly Clarkson, Natalie Imbruglia, Brittney Spears, Natasha Bedingfield, Maroon 5, The Fray and Six Pence None the Richer (remember them). Sorry Pandora, but with that mix, you fail.

Don't get me wrong, some of those artists (not all!) have good songs, but they are not related to eachother or the original artist, so that's why Pandora fails.

Skirtitude!!

Yes, that's right, Skirtitude! That's what I've got. I stopped in to visit the great people at Runner's High n' Tri last night after work (I know, I'm neither a runner nor a triathlete, but I still like the store!) and after visiting for a bit, I headed straight to the SkirtSports rack. It always makes me happier. I ended up leaving with the Sweetest Thing capri skirt in black and the Tough Girl top in Red Kiss. And I love that the owner at RHnT gives me the "employee of another store" discount. He's awesome.

He's even more awesome because this weekend he's bringing in Kristin Armstrong, yes the one and only World Champion and Gold Medal winning Kristin Armstrong. She will be speaking at the store this Sunday, so I think I'm going to have to duck out of course teardown at the cross race to make it for that!

I plan on continuing my Skirtly Skirtitude tonight at computrainer class by wearing my Bike Girl skirt with built in bike shorts! I can't wait to kick the boy's butts while wearing a skirt. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Welcome Autumn!

This post has 2 welcomes in it.

First, autumn/fall has definitely arrived here in Chicago. This weekend we had glorious sunny fall weather, but this week we are getting back to the norm for Chicago with rain and temps in the 50's. Should make the cross race this weekend interesting!

Second, and more importantly, my friend Chrissy and her husband Keith welcomed Autumn Nikol Christian, a beautiful (ok so I'm assuming here, I haven't seen her yet), healthy baby girl, into this world this past Tuesday. Congratulations you two! :)

It's gonna be a long one....

Yes, it's going to be a long day here at work. Not only is it Monday, but it seems to be full on construction day today. They are redoing one of the cube areas by where I sit and for the 2 hours that I've been here I've been listening to drilling, hammering, cutting, etc.... pretty much non-stop. Yeah, that will make time fly. I really don't see how they expect us to get much done, let alone stay sane, when being subjected to that noise all day!

Weekend was pretty uneventful. Got home from California friday night after a spectacular 4 hour flight in the middle seat in the 2nd to last row. I was almost excited because I was sitting next to a cute boy, but then I noticed the stupid wedding ring. Boooo.... And once I sat down I realized that my book was in my suitcase which had been put in a closet at the front of the plane because all of the overheads were full by the time I got on (got on last due to flying standby on United) (and by the way...can you say ridiculously long sentence??). So I subjected myself to one of the worst movies of all time (Diminished Capacity) to pass the time. Why is it that Matthew Broderick does so well on the stage but finds himself in some pretty terrible movies? I think it's been pretty much downhill for him since Ferris Bueller.

Saturday was a day of hanging out, mowing the lawn, running errands, giving the dog a bath....all that stuff that you never find time for but then end up trying to do all in one day making for a pretty busy day. But I made it home in time to pick up some great salad stuff (I had been craving a big salad for a while) and then sit on the couch (I love my new couch!) and watch the Illini game! Way to go Illini! They had another great win. :)

Sunday was a day of work at the bike shop. I never understand people sometimes. We had a couple come in towards the end of the day, and the guy was committed to a road bike in approximately 5 minutes. Gotta love easy sales on $1500 bikes! Then his wife decides she wants to try a road bike. Well first she picks a 60cm men's bike because she likes the brakes on it, and I have to explain that she fits better on a 52cm or possibly a 54cm. So she responds "but I don't want my knees up by my chest!" I still convince her to put the large men's bike away and she tries out the women's 52cm she then comes back and starts telling me all the reasons why she can't ride a road bike, her back hurts, and her hips hurt, and her feet are flat, and her wrists hurt, etc.... So I start to explain that strengthening the core and spending time on the bike to get used to the new position will help. No! She wasn't having any of that, she said she will never be comfortable on a road bike but is very comfortable on her hybrid. So at this point I'm starting to get confused why she is even looking at the bike. She continues talking about all of her pains, but she wants a road bike for doing triathlons, she won't train on it, she just wants to race on it. (I also pick up during this that her rides are 12 miles, so we're talking a slow sprint triathlon racer here) I tried to convince her that she should stick with her hybrid if she's comfortable on it. Being on a road bike that she's not comfortable on will not help her. But now she's insistent that she wants a used road bike so she doesn't have to worry about wasting money. I did the standard spiel about why buying a bike at a shop is better than a used bike because of all the service we include, etc, etc... But she continues to waste my time talking about why her body won't let her ride a road bike, but she wants to buy a used one. Awesome. Thanks a lot lady. Luckily her husband, noticing my confusion/frustration, finally steps in and tells her that a road bike probably isn't for her and gets her to leave. By then luckily it was time to close. So we worked on ushering out the last 2 men who barely spoke english and were obviously there just looking and not looking to buy. I politely informed them that we were closing, and they said "5 more minutes?" And I politely informed them that no, technically we closed 12 minutes ago. (Aka....stop wasting my time and leave so I can go home. Thank you very much)

So that concludes my excessively long Monday post. For those of you that have read this far I strongly urge you to leave a comment. Come on, it will make my day! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Time for a 2-fer....

So apparently the weekend took more out of me than I imagined. Even after getting 8 hours of sleep last night, I am on my 2nd cup of coffee for the day. That may not seem like a lot to most people, but I rarely drink coffee. Although the free coffee makers in our break rooms are making the coffee consumption slightly more frequent. This morning was a nice latte, but this afternoon I decided to be "good" and go for black coffee. I wonder if the non-dairy creamer and 3 packets of Splenda I added take it out of the "good" category though?? :)

I really wish I was going to have a relaxing night, but instead I will be packing and cleaning in order to get ready for heading to California for work tomorrow.

What a Weekend....

What a weekend, completely consumed by one event, but very worth it.

Saturday I woke up early to get a ride in. Headed out on the oh so sweet Blue RC8, went through Busse to get to Tonne Rd. where I did a few intervals and then back through Busse to home. No computer on the Blue so I don't know how far or how fast, but I got a solid 2 hours in and it felt great. Quick shower afterwards and I headed out to Hawthorn Woods to set up for Psycho Cross '08! Setting up a cross course is tough! Road courses are easy, the riders stay on the road and you let them know when to turn. But cross courses zig zag across open fields so every inch of it needs to be taped or flagged. This means that we stuck about a million stakes in the ground, a zillion little flags and ran miles of caution tape! There were less than 10 of us, and we were out there for about 5 hours completing the 1.7 mile course. But I did have a nice suprise waiting for me in the mail when I got home....my new CD's! Way to go USPS!

Sunday was another early wake-up to get out to the course by 7:30 to finish up last minute things before the races started at 10. Luckily Ted's wife brought coffee for all of the sleepy volunteers! :) We had everything set up in time so we were able to take care of all of the racers showing up for registration. First race up was the masters race, 30+, 40+ and 50+ all one the course at the same time with staggered starts. It was tough figuring out who was leading for each race. I should mention that the course we set up was tough!!! About 200m into the course the racers encountered a toboggan hill, that most chose to ride up, then they came down, then they turned right around, had to get off the bike and jump over a barrier, and then run back up the toboggan hill. A few of the super hard core riders chose to get on the bike and somehow ride up the hill with no momentum going into it. I don't know how they did it. The rest of the course was fairly flat and not super twisty, but the grass was apparently very bumpy so there wasn't much of a rest through the course. A few sections of pavement to rest on, but that was it. Vince, the shop owner, was out there racing on his new Blue cross bike (love it!) and let us know during each lap that it was tough! He offered to let me use his bike so I could race in the women's race, but after the power test on thursday, intervals saturday morning then spending all day saturday building the course, there wasn't really anything left in my legs to attempt to race cross for the first time! Maybe next time!

The rest of the day went well. Had some super hard core women show up. One of the women is pretty well known out on the road and showed up for her first cross race of the season and dominated her field. Very exciting. Then the Men's 1,2,3 race went out. These guys are fast!! Their race was an hour long, and by then it was pretty hot, you could see the hurt in some of their faces. The star of this race was the guy who had raced earlier in the day and won the 50+ race. He was out there absolutely dominating all of the younger guys, in his 2nd race of the day! For a large portion of the race he had a 30sec - 1 min lead! He wa eventually caught and came in 2nd I believe. Still very impressive!

The racing ended around 4pm, and then the not so fun part started. Cleaning up the course. Remember those zillions of flags and stakes? Yeah we had to walk the whole course and pick them all up. And by this point, not many volunteers were left so I think there were about 5 of us out there picking it all up. Got it done though and then I was done. Completely. My body said no more, it was time to go home. Stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some goodness for dinner, and then laziness ensued.

So apparently all it takes to help out with a cross race is about 18 hours of my time, miles and miles of walking around, carrying lots of stuff, placing zillions of flags, standing for hours and cheering, walking some more miles to pick up the zillions of flags, and a slight sunburn. All in all, I'd say it was worth it. :) Although I am still completely exhausted today.

And I of course forgot to take pictures...but if you're interested, one of the racer's daughters took tons of pictures during the Masters race and they can be found here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good eats...

Today was a good food day. Sushi at lunch with some of the boys (had to....it was Sushi Friday!) and then a Trader Joe's shopping run! (TJ's is one of the few things that Austin is missing!) I always go in thinking I just need a few things so I'll just grab a basket, and by the time I make it to the cashier I have a basket so full that I can barely lift it. One of these days I'll get smart and just get a cart. Some of the highlights from today's purchases are ready to eat edamame, delicious hummus, honey crisp apples and of course some $3 Chuck. :) So now it's time to finish off the day with some "special" hot chocolate. :)

Good news of the day!

My CD's shipped today! Early!! Originally they told me my order would ship Oct. 14, but the wonderful people at Amazon got it together and shipped them today. Way to go Amazon! Now I just have to hope that the people at the USPS are just as speedy! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

FTP Test #1....done!

Well folks, FTP #1 of the computrainer season is done. Wow, it was a tough one! I definitely gave it everything I had, and I hit my goal! Power number is lower than where I was back in March, but that was expected. Time to get it back in gear and get that number back up! And now my body is ready for sleep. :) Do I really have to wake up early and go to work tomorrow??

New Tunes!

You gotta love cheap CD's and free shipping from Amazon! Today's purchases include:

Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs


Jack's Mannequin - The Glass Passenger


Jason Mraz - We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things

Now I just need to be patient and wait for them to show up! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shake It!

I am loving this song right now....you can't help but want to get up and dance around....go ahead, it will be fun! :)

(nevermind the video - i couldn't find the code to embed the real one...we're just worried about the song here folks!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Getting it and moving on....

Recently I reverted back to a comfortable situation, forgetting that it may not be right, because at the moment it seemed ok. I was trying to fool myself into thinking that I could forget about the obvious differences and just enjoy the moments. That's not me. And it shouldn't be with this. I should be able to find more than just moments. So I finally saw what I needed to in order for me to get it, and I now do. I'm moving on.

I promise that blog posts will return to their normal humor soon. I've just been going through a few things lately. But computrainer classes are starting up (power test on Thursday - yikes!) and I will be spending all weekend setting up and volunteering at a Cross race. I'm really excited about my first glimpse into the world of Cyclo Cross. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Snippets....

Don't you love it when a piece of a conversation, when taken out of context, can have a meaning completely different than that of the original conversation? Take for example this snippet, taken from a conversation I had with one of the shop reps today regarding a race he is putting on soon.

"If I can't schwag you there, I'll schwag you later."

No it's not dirty, it just means I will get free stuff. Gotta love schwag! :)

Long weekend....

Wel, ACL 2008 is in the books, done, finito. Parts of it were awesome, other parts, not so good. For example, the back window of my rental car getting smashed while parked at Jack and Adam's. As Jon pointed out, these things only happen to me. Oh well. It's taken care of with insurance, so really, no big deal. Other events of the weekend seem that they will have more lasting effects. I've done my best though which apparently isn't enough, but I'll be ok.

Some good things coming up, like computrainer classes starting next week! Time to get my butt in gear and start the long winter of training for a possible racing season next year. Here we go!

I will also be helping out a rep from the shop at a cross race next weekend. I'm super excited to experience the world of cross racing. Too bad I don't have a cross bike!!

So that's all for now, trying to figure some other things out as well, but that issue is still way too scattered to even consider being able to write it out. I'll figure it out eventually. I always do.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Getting it started....

What a way to get it started right. Platinum passes to a special Blues Traveler concert. Tickets courtesy of none other than the one and only Lance Armstrong! It's going to be a good weekend. :)

ACL time!

I am finishing up some last minute packing (ok so all of the packing was last minute....but that's how it goes), and then I am off to the airport to head to Texas. First to San Antonio and then a quick drive to Austin. (it was a lot cheaper that way) I'm excited to have a couple days of chilling with some amazing people and listening to some amazing music. I think it's time, I really need this. I'm sure Colleen will provide great recaps of the musical experience of the weekend if you're interested. She's much better at that, so I'll leave it up to her. She is my musical tour guide this weekend.

Have a good day at work everyone....I'm out of here!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My new Blue....

Ok, so again not really, but I really wish that was true. I will however, be keeping the Blue RC8 for another week. So you better believe I will be out in Barrington Hills seeing what she (he?) can do next weekend! :)

All I have to say is....Ride Blue!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Am I a bike slut?

So yesterday, as I was rolling the beautiful Blue RC8 out of the shop, Dave made the comment that I ride other people's bikes more than I ride mine.... Hmm, I wonder if there is any truth to that? So far this year I have ridden:
  • A couple of rental bikes from Bicycle Sport Shop (including a shiny new '08 Madone)
  • Ron's Cannondale
  • Kristi's Spook
  • Jason's Orbea (twice)
  • The absolutely amazing Storck Absolutist 9.0
  • My dream bike, the Blue RC8 with Sram Red
  • and this weekend I will add Colleen's bike to the list

Hmmm....that's a pretty impressive line-up!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New bike!

Ok, so not really, but it is my new bike for the next 3 days! :) It's a sweet Blue RC8 outfitted in Sram Red. Our Blue rep at the shop is letting me borrow it while he's out in Vegas at Interbike. Yea! Unfortunately though I am heading out of town in a few days so I won't get to take it out for a nice long ride out in Barrington Hills. I did get to ride it for a solid 24 miles around the forest preserve after work today, and it is definitely all I had hoped it would be. :) Sram Red is sweet, I can't wait until I can get a bike of my own with it! :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Waiting for things to be easy....

One of these days things will get easy...unfortunately now is not that time. Yesterday I had to make a decision that I'm still not so happy about. Unfortunately there is no longer a BF. He's still a great guy but unfortunately we are not at the same place in life. So while it was a really tough decision and one that will take a while to get used to, it was still my decision, and one I know is right for now. We didn't call it a break up, that sounds too final, we just stopped our relationship for now. Maybe if somehow things line up in the future, then we'll see. But for now, it's better.

In other news, I bought a new couch and a giant chair today!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Home sweet home...

So I finally made it out of Denver! We were able to get on a flight to Lincoln, NE....then spent a few hours in the tiny airport there (they only have 4 gates!!) Then got the last 2 seats on the 2:48 flight to Chicago so we didn't have to hang out until the 6pm flight. Yea!! So after 27 hours of traveling (well mostly waiting and not traveling) I finally made it home. I never thought I would be so happy to see O'Hare airport.

But I did learn something....sleeping in the airport is no fun!
1. The floor is really hard
2. They don't turn off the stupid "please keep your luggage with you at all times" announcements at night
3. They like to polish and vacuum all of the floors at about 2am

So if you've never had to sleep at the airport....please don't look at it as something you must try sometime. It's really not that fun.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My new home...

So the trip to Colorado with the bf was great.....until we tried to get home that is. We are currently entering the 18th hour of being in the Denver airport. Yes. 18 hours straight, meaning I slept on the floor at gate B38 last night. It was awesome. All flights out of here to Chicago today are still completely booked and/or oversold (way to go United - great idea cutting capacity from here), so we are going to be hopping on a flight to Lincoln, Nebraska soon to try our luck getting out of there instead. Hopefully we will be home by 8:00 tonight. I can't wait to see my bed!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Most Serious Sports News Network....Ever

So I have found a new source for a few laughs: Serious Sports News Network. Their take on why Lance is "unretiring" is that he felt bad that they canceled the Tour after he left, so he's coming back so the new young cyclists can ride in it. How could you not get a few giggles from the article? Here's a sneak peak:
"SSNN’s cycling expert also emerged from his office in the crawlspace beneath the sink to confirm that the Tour had not been cancelled, but simply has been ignored by American media outlets since Armstrong’s retirement. He was promptly expelled from the building and had his Eddy Mercx jersey confiscated."

Enjoy!

Rocky Mountain High....

So the new bf has never seen mountains....I believe there is something seriously wrong with that. So since I still have my United benefits through the end of this month I decided it's time to fix it. So we are flying out to Denver tomorrow for a 24 hour trip. Yes, it's short, but definitely better than nothing. I'm still figuring out the trip details, but I'm thinking of just driving into Rocky Mountain National Park and hiking around. Sounds like a good way to spend the day. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm back....

Ok, I fully admit it, I have been a terrible blog owner as of late. It's funny how you go through phases with these things: at times feeling the need to share every single event that happens exciting or not, and at other times, not feeling the need to share anything at all. But it does happen, and hopefully there are a few of you out there that are patient enough to ride it out and keep checking for the day when I do post again. So here it is.

Lots has been happening lately actually. The biggest update is that there is a new man in my life. What's funny is that so many people (mostly guy friends) find this incredibly hard to believe. Yes I know it had been a while, but yes guys, I was able to find someone who will put up with me. I think that is the extent of the details I will share on the blog for now. If you would like more info and you know how to reach me, then feel free to do so. :)

I was sent out to California for work last week. The work part of the trip wasn't terribly exciting, but I did get to visit my grandparents while I was out there. I hadn't seen them in a while and they are definitely getting older, their current situation is kind of sad, so it was rough for me. But the good news was that I did get some In-N-Out Burger while I was there..... Gotta love a cheeseburger protein style and fries. Mmmmm.....

The traveling has put the riding on hold for a little bit, but Carrie came out to visit this past weekend and we had perfect weather. So I grabbed a bike for her from the shop (note to others: putting Carrie on a Cervelo RS is a bad idea if you want to try and keep up!) and we headed out for a ride through Barrington Hills. She kicked my butt as usual, but it was good. I needed it. Hopefully the weather will hold out so I can make it out to intervals this week.

It looks like summer is officially over here in Illinois. We had our final nice weekend with temps in the high 70's and then yesterday turned to about 55 and raining. It was so cold!!! Today is a little nicer with sun and temps in the mid 60's, but it's expected to get down into the mid 40's overnight. Brrr.....

That's all for my weather report, and I think it's about all for this post, as I am at work and should probably be doing something more productive than blogging. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm famous!

Check it out.....I'm famous!

(and by famous I mean the Storck crew put up pictures of their visit to Village CycleSport, and there is a picture of me with my dream bike :) )

Monday, August 25, 2008

Must we teach you everything???

Here are 2 sure fire ways to NOT make a girl feel special:

When she asks you why your attention has changed from just friends to something else, you respond with:
“I’m a guy, I’ll grope anything”
or
“Why not?”

Guys, neither of those is an acceptable answer….

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Never again...

Last night I found a sure fire way to ruin any evening: go shopping for a baby present at Babies R' Us. Here is the recipe for such disaster:
  • Add in lot's of nauseatingly happy couples and some screaming children (how the couples manage to stay so excited seeing what was in store for them was amazing)
  • Add in the most annoyingly confusing registry list ever (I eventually decided their registry list was boring so I was a rebel and picked out some other stuff)
  • And to top it all off add in an employee (male employee who works in a baby store...really??) who tries to convince me that i should have a baby because they are "really cute and fun, and they're a great tax credit" Seriously, I'm not making that up!
  • Said employee then gets disgusted with me and decides I'm a terrible person when I inform him that I really don't want a baby right now
So to cheer myself up I went over to REI and it was sales time!! I got 2 new skirts and found a pair of shoes I liked but couldn't decide which color to get, red or brown, so I got both! Still haven't decided if I will keep both, but we'll see.

Oh yeah, and I'll still pumped out about my interval performance on Thursday! Yea!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I believe in Storcks...

Yes, I do mean Storck, with a "c". Storck bikes that is. Today was demo day at the shop so I went over to check them out and then took one out for the intervals. I wasn't even planning on doing intervals tonight since I have been feeling run down and generally crappy all week, but on this bike, I had the best interval night ever!! I had to go fast...the bike wanted to! I hung right in the pack all night, bridging gaps and staying on really fast guys' wheels. It was awesome! Tell me that this bike isn't beautiful.....if only I had an extra $5,000 lying around....

Such a good night!!! Now maybe I should think about gettin some sleep so I can wake up at 2:30 in the morning to ride around in a delivery truck.....awesome.

The things I do for a paycheck.....

So last week my boss asked me to set up a ride along with one of our delivery drivers. (I still haven't figured out why that's important). So I talked to some people and got it set up, and then I find out that the truck leaves the warehouse at 4am......yeah that's right....4am! Which means I will be waking up at 2:30 am so I have time to get up, piece together some sort of outfit and then drive the half hour to the warehouse and make sure I am here on time for the 4am departure.... Expect me to look something like this tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Life lessons from Naperville....

Ok, so I promised an explanation of Friday night’s events so here it is. My good friend Maren was in town from LA where she now lives, so I drove down to spend the evening with her. We headed out to the bustling metropolis of Naperville, IL and started with dinner at a spot called Rizzo’s before we moved on to try out some other places. Rather than bore you with all of the details….here are a few highlights:

  • I never knew that I could feel so old at a 21 and up bar, but apparently when it’s summer break and the bar is full of barely 21 college kids then I do feel old.
  • I really think that some girls just don’t own a mirror in their house. Note to these girls: please don’t wear short shorts if you don’t have nice legs….and if you do insist on wearing those short shorts, then please don’t get up on the speaker in front of the DJ booth and dance….ummmm let’s call it enthusiastically….
  • If you have a size DD chest, then I’m sure guys have already noticed it….you don’t need to wear a top that you are about to fall out of and then store your phone in your cleavage and constantly check it throughout the night….

And finally some rules that guys should learn to follow on the dance floor:

  1. Just because 2 girls are out dancing doesn’t mean they want you to come over and invade their personal space (yes, I know there are some exceptions to this rule….we’ll call that the skank exception)
  2. If these girls continually turn away, move away, and walk to the opposite side of the dance floor you should not follow them incessantly and keep trying
  3. If these girls then turn to you, after trying to evade you for 5 minutes, and yell “No, not going to happen, stop” then it really is time for you to give up! DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, KEEP TRYING AT THIS POINT!!
  4. It is never ok to just walk up to a girl and completely wrap yourself around her without any sort of glance, smile, or invitation to do so….

So there you have it, the things I learned while out with Maren in Naperville. Fun times…

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another weekend done...

So this past weekend was kind of a whirlwind, some good parts and some bad parts. It started on Friday with a little bit of a family issue. My grandma (Oma) went into the hospital. Unfortunately we didn’t really know what was going on though because a neighbor of hers called my mom and only knew that she was taken to the hospital. (We later found out that it was a minor heart attack because one of her arteries was blocked – she’s doing ok now though, just needs some rest) Unfortunately this also left my grandfather (Opa) at the house by himself, he’s still fairly healthy but can’t move around all that well and does need some help with things. So this provided a problem because they live out in California near Yosemite in a pretty remote area. My mom sprang into action though and worked some things out and she and her brother flew out there Saturday to try and figure out the situation. We all know that it is time for Oma and Opa to move into some sort of assisted living situation. They should still have their freedom and their own place, but they need to be close to care and not 30 minutes from town up in the mountains with very few neighbors. Unfortunately they are both stubborn. Opa is starting to open up to the idea, but Oma does not want to give up her house where she has a great view and can feed the deer and raccoons and cats, etc… She has also realized that this could be her time finally to do what she wants; she has been married to Opa for 60+ years and has always done what he wants. So she kind of likes the idea of having him live in a home where she can visit him for a few hours every now and then and have her own place at home. Strange, I can almost see where she’s coming from, but it’s still incredibly sad. So I’m hoping my mom and Uncle can somehow find a solution to this problem that will work out for everyone.

And now for the good parts of the weekend. Friday night I went out in Naperville with my friend Maren who was in town from LA. Maren is awesome and we spent the night dancing away. There are a few good stories from this night that I will share in a different post. Saturday I had to sleep in for a while, staying out until 2am in Naperville and then having to drive 40 minutes to get home will have that effect. So after sleeping in and then watching the Olympics for a while I realized that I had a ton of stuff that I needed to get done around the house, cleaning, brushing the animals, running to Lowe’s to find a way to block the gaps in the fence to keep Ginger in the yard, hanging pictures, etc… So that’s how I spent the entire afternoon. I then headed out to Ravinia, which is a large beautiful open air theater, to see the Joffrey Ballet with my friend Chrissy. It was a great performance. One of the pieces they did was a little too modern for my taste, but the rest were beautiful. Sunday was the typical work at the bike shop day, although I ended up working at the new shop out in Barrington. Interesting thing about Barrington is that you get really nice people or really rude people. One of those really rude people was a guy who was very disappointed that we had mostly Trek bikes (dude it’s getting close to the end of the season!) because he didn’t think Treks were that good. Ummmm ok……did you miss the part were they made Lance’s bikes that won 7 Tours??? Plus I should add that they were looking at a $400 sport Hybrid for his wife and Trek is pretty much the leader in that area. He also came back later insisting that I sold him the wrong tube even though everyone in the shop tried to confirm for him that it was the right one, he eventually just ended up saying that we weren’t listening to him and he was very disappointed in the service and stormed out of the shop. Awesome. I finished off the night by picking up some food from Whole Foods and cooking a fantastic dinner. I invited my sister and her friend Paddy over to share and then we sat out on my back patio for a while with a few beers. Not a bad way to end the weekend.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Don't go there....

So just a quick rule that I wanted to throw out there after a recent phone call I received:

If I have ever seen you in any (or all) of the following situations I probably don’t want to go over my finances with you:

  • Dressed as a pumpkin a.k.a. “Humpkin”
  • Running around in your Santa boxers
  • Dressed as a Crown Royal bottle
  • Doing a keg stand
  • etc.... (I could go on, but I think you get the idea)


Monday, August 11, 2008

Frog Blog

This picture was taken from Natalie Dee: "America's Favorite Cracker". Her stuff is hilarious, and if you would like to waste some time, then go visit the archives.

And yes I know, telling you to read my blog now that you are already at my blog isn't very helpful, but oh well.


Just another day....

Another day at work....and it's going by VERY slowly... Can't believe I still have at least another 4.5 hours to go. There is really only so much AutoCAD work I can do. Luckily I was given a Sprint card so that I can get off the corporate network to do some internet surfing and catch up on Velonews (seriously why would a company that promotes health and wellness block all sites that have anything to do with sports and recreation??)

I had quite a weekend, but unfortunately it wasn't so good athletic wise. On Friday, my sister and I joined a new friend from work for the Arlington Heights "Mane" Event. (There is a horse track in the area and they had a big race this weekend) It was basically a big block party and my sister and I may have had a few too many drinks. When we got ready to go home, she tried to get on my mountain bike (to ride back to my house) and promptly fell over. I then had to convince her that she was not able to ride, even though she insisted she was. So it was a long fun walk home, with a very creepy guy who "helped" us get home, and then proceded to walk right into my house, take his shirt off and say it was too late for him to go home. I quickly assured him that he would not be staying at my house because I had no idea who he was. (He tried to comfort me by telling me what high school he went to - no buddy, that doesn't help) So I grabbed my dog and offered to walk him back into town where his car was. He said he wasn't able to drive home and would just sleep on my couch. Nope sorry, your inability to drive home is not my problem. Finally, after enough arguing, I was able to make him angry enough that he started walking down the street in the direction of town. At which point I went into my house and closed and locked all of the windows. Scary, but problem solved. So at this point it is very late, so I finally crawled into bed realizing I probably wasn't going to make it out to the Barrington ride in 3 hours....

Saturday I woke up, tired, but felt ok. I relocated to the couch and turned on the Olympics, and that is pretty much where I stayed for the rest of the day. My mom came by at one point to watch the opening ceremonies since I had recorded them because we all missed them Friday night. Gotta say, they were pretty spectacular, but not sure if that's worth $300 million. I did find some time somewhere in the day to get the house cleaned and take a shower, and then it was back to Olympics. I thought about going out for an evening ride, but after only about 5 hours of sleep, I was still pretty tired. So I stayed on the couch and got to bed early.

Sunday, I was up early and took Ginger for a walk in town and then headed into work at the bike shop. Nothing really noteworthy happened, except for getting to work with Christine, one of the new sales people. She's nice, but knows absolutely nothing about bikes. When I first met her, I asked what she rides....her response, "I haven't been on a bike in years!!" So why are you working at a bike shop?? I guess she is the friend of one of the managers, but I still don't get it. If a person came off the street with absolutely no cycling experience we wouldn't hire them, so why is she so special? Oh well. Sunday was capped off with heading over to my mom's house for a fantastic steak dinner and, you guessed it, watching more Olympics. Oh yeah and keep an eye out for the Illini competing this year! Justin Spring on the men's gymnastics team and Deron Williams on the basketball team! Go Illini!

Sorry that was long, I'll try to create some more entertaining moments in my life sometime soon...

Friday, August 8, 2008

TGIF....

It’s Friday, which means I have almost survived an entire week at the new job. So far, it’s not bad, although it is stressing me out. Early in the week my boss asked me to do some AutoCAD work, making changes to our trans-ship facility out in California (B44). Well somehow, from there, other people got wind of the fact that I was on the B44 project, so my responsibilities have somehow spiraled out of control to not just making drawing changes but also developing the solutions and managing the changes. All of this happened while my boss was out in Canada I might add. Oh and I should probably also add that this currently is the most visible project in the company, and the owners are constantly checking in on it. So for the past few days, I keep getting pulled into the President of Operation’s office where he explains the changes he would like to see. Unfortunately these are very different ideas from what my boss explained to me before he disappeared out of the country. So I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on. My boss seems to be back in the office today before he heads out of town again next week, but I can’t seem to track him down to sit down with him and get some direction. Oh well, all in a day’s work I guess.

Last night was interval night, and I think I learned a few things. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. I have to leave work earlier, or find a new route. I got stuck in traffic for an hour making me miss the main roll-out, meaning I missed the “warm-up” interval and got thrown in on a double.

2. Dan, the service guy at the shop is wonderful. He got my bike all fixed up with a new chain and got the rest of the drive train nice and clean even though he had plenty of other jobs he should have worked on. Thanks Dan, the bike felt so much better!

3. I need to learn to do my own interval work-out instead of trying to do what the boys do. Last night, they were all trying to show off, which meant we did double after double after double, etc… I finally reached the point where doing doubles wasn’t really doing me a lot of good because I didn’t have time to recover in between. Luckily John dropped back to ride with me, explaining that if you aren’t recovering between the intervals then you aren’t getting the full benefit. He also reminded me that the point isn’t to keep up, it’s to make it hurt. So from now on I will focus on pushing it as hard as I can during the interval (and probably doing more singles until my fitness improves) and also focusing on getting my heart rate back down during the recovery. And if that means I don’t ride with the guys at all, then so be it.

4. Forget buying a new car, mine is still running. Instead I will be saving up for a PowerTap and some coaching services. I think my training will be much more effective if someone can lay out a plan for me, and I can put specific number goals for each ride. Telling me to do hard intervals is one thing, but telling me to do 10 minute intervals at 200W is something that I can figure out much better. Maybe it’s the engineer in me….

Monday, August 4, 2008

A day at the races!

This past weekend was the Tour of Elk Grove. I missed out on Friday because I couldn't get out of work early enough, and Saturday I opted for going for a ride and doing some car shopping (i don't see a new car in my near future). So Sunday was the day.....and it was crit day, my favorite! Instead of working at the shop I volunteered to work the Village Cycle Sport tent at the race. (best decision ever!) Working for the day meant hanging out at the tent, talking to people, and taking frequent breaks to watch the racing. Not a bad way to get paid! :) Here are a few highlights from the day:

1. I met a guy who organizes races in the area and he has asked me to be a podium girl for his races next year....hey it worked for George Hincapie's wife! :)

2. Saw some guys wearing the San Jose team kit. Went up and introduced myself as a fellow Austinite. I ended up hanging out with some of the guys later that night and learned that one of the guys is actually on the Velossimo team. Gotta love having an Austin night even when I'm in Chicago.

3. Saw some amazing racing including a fantastic sprint finish in the Pro race which included Tyler Hamilton!

4. Ran into the Get a Grip team manager again, reminding him that I'm really looking forward to a possible opportunity to race with them next year!

Definitely wish I could have weekends at the races all the time!

Good times....

What a strange and fun day I had today....hopefully I will find time to write about it tomorrow while sitting at the "stupid freaking job"

Good night all! :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TT fun.....well sort of


So this Saturday I attempted my first time trial! I arrived nice and early thinking I could get in a warm-up and be ready and relaxed when I rolled to the start line. Unfortunately things didn't exactly work out that way. I realized when I tried to put the front wheel on the bike that I did not have a front skewer. I had borrowed a set of Zipp 404's from the shop and unfortunately stupid Zipp wheels don't come with a skewer. So I then proceeded to run around the parking lot asking people for a front skewer. I finally found the Vision Quest guys who had an entire car full of wheels and they had one I could borrow. So now I figured I was ready for the warm-up....but aarrggghh no not quite yet. I then found out that I wasn't quite sure how to pump up the rear wheel because of an odd valve extender thing. Yes, the awesome Zipp wheels turned out to be a hassle yet again. So eventually I gave up and decided the wheel had enough air and put the bike in the trainer and hopped on to start the warm-up. Unfortunately at this point I also looked at my watch and realized I needed to head to the start line in approximately 5 minutes....hmmm that may not work. Luckily though I walked over to the registration tent and was able to get a later start time. So now I will finally get to the interesting part....the riding. The first few miles felt terrible, but the rest was ok. There was one point towards the end after racing up a hill that I didn't think I had anything left in me for the last few miles, but I dug deep and found something. And raced it into the finish line. In the end I averaged about 19 mph for the 32K. Not great but still not bad, I'll take it for the first attempt. Then the results were posted yesterday and I found out I got 2nd place in my division! Woo hoo, silver medal! Too bad there were only 3 people in the division, but we'll just ignore that small piece of information. :)

So I think that's all the info you need on the TT. It was an interesting experience and it may happen again sometime.

Today was a fantastic day, my last day of being able to do things that are more enjoyable during the week. So my mom and I took the dogs and headed up to the Indiana Dunes for some beach time. Ginger had a great day of running and swimming and she is now completely knocked out. :)

Ok time to head to bed, up early tomorrow for a ride before work at the bike shop.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ferraris, Fiats, and Cobras.....Oh my!

I will post the story of the first Time Trial a little later, but I just got home and had to share the story of tonight, because fun was had. Our friends the Anderson's had a block party that involved many, many amazing cars. I saw everything from an old car that needed a crank to be started to a brand new Aston Martin. The highlight of the evening came however when I got to help put some of the cars away. And by help, I mean I rode in the passenger seat. Patrick and I put away the Fiat, '55 Ferrari, Ferrari 328, the Z and the amazing Woody. And by put away, I mean we took the long way around, drove around the block and found some fun roads before rolling it safely into the designated garage and going back for the next car. Fun fun.....

But I will say that guys can be confusing. Don't know if I'm not sending out the signal or if I'm just being rejected....hmmm.....

Anyway, good night. Time Trials can take a lot out of you! And I'm sure this sleepiness has absolutely nothing to do with the 5 beers I had at the party.....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Finally time to share the news...

Ok, so since Jenay called me out on the fact that I promised to share some news and have now waited a week to do so, I guess it's finally time. The reason that I waited so long is that I'm not super excited about the news and sharing it makes it real. So anyway, the big news is that I got a new job. I will be starting next Friday at a company called Medline, a medical supply company. I actually interned with them during college, but I'm going to work at a different division this time. I will be working as an operations engineer, part of a team supporting the 30 distribution centers across the nation. So yes, this means there could be some traveling with the new position. It's not exactly the dream job I was hoping for, but it was a good offer and as I keep hearing, "it's always easier to find a job with a job." So I will contine to look for my dream job, but now I will be able to pay the rent while doing so.

The other fun news, is that I'm easing my way into bike racing! I will be racing my first time trial tomorrow and next weekend I will be participating in the "Mayor's Challenge" during the Tour of Elk Grove. I will be part of a team of 5 (4 guys and me) and we will compete in a time trial and a 4 lap crit. I know I said I would never do a crit, but I don't think this one will be that scary and hopefully it will go well! So maybe by next year I will actually be buying a full year liscence and can call myself a bike racer! :)

Time to get stuff ready for tomorrow! Good night all! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pinballs...

You gotta love Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen quotes from the TdF commentary. Here is one of my favorites from today:

"Valverde is going down this descent like a pinball"

Not sure why they chose pinball as the descriptor...but so it is....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What a day.....

Started off the day by sleeping in for a while. I went out with my sister last night, so I felt I deserved some extra sleep, but of course I was awakened briefly around 8:30 by the world's most persistent HR person. I decided I didn't need to really wake up to answer the call so I ignored it and slept for a little while longer.

Once I finally woke up, it was time to make Ginger happy. Yesterday on our walk she jumped in a fountain so I figured it was time to take her to the lake for some swimming. So we went over to Busse Woods, and she did just that. She was a very happy dog once I let her off the leash (which I really wasn't supposed to do, but oh well, she didn't bother anyone) and she ran around and went in and out of the water. She's still sooo tired!

Thursday night is interval night, and tonight I decided that I would add to that as well. First off I should mention that it was incredibly hot and humid out today. Maybe not quite on Texas standards, but I've been out of that weather for a while, so this still felt hot! So instead of just driving over to the shop for the intervals, I decided to add to the workout and ride over instead. So I was 45 minutes into the work-out by the time I started the intervals. Unfortunately for me, the heat meant that only the really hard-core group came out. So I felt like I was trailing the group by more than usual, but I'm convinced that's because the middle group that I normally stay close to just wasn't there. It was like normally racing in a Cat 3 and then all of a sudden trying to hang in a Cat 1 race. So I gave it my all for an hour and a half, and then rolled back to the shop with the group. And that's when I realized that I still needed to ride home....ugggg. I really felt nothing in my legs. I don't know if I've ever felt that way on the bike, but I eventually made it home and showered and have been on the couch ever since. :)

Ok, so there will be news soon....I just don't feel like writing about it now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Should I?


July, 26 - 30K TT - It's a possibility....

L.A.T.E Ride....

So last night/this morning was the Chicago L.A.T.E Ride. Basically it was a ride around the city that started at 1:30am! There was no confirmation of what L.A.T.E actually stands for, but my sister and I have decided that it's "Long After Twilight Event". That's the best we could come up with. I was pretty impressed with my sister actually. She hasn't ridden a bike at all in years. So I grabbed a rental bike from the shop for her since I decided to use my mountain bike for the event. I've learned that large crowded events and the road bike don't always go well together. I was worried if she would make it through the 25 miles. But she powered through like a champ, cruising through at a pretty respectable pace. The 25 mile ride did take close to 3 hours but most of that is due to a lot of start and stop at the beginning because of the crowds. But for the most part, when we were riding we were cruising along. The ride ended with some breakfast at Grant Park provided by McDonald's (no egg mcmuffins though sadly - just a plain bagel) and watching the sun rise over the lake.

After the sun rise, I headed home, got a solid 3 hours of sleep, and then headed into work at the shop. Armed with a Rockstar energy drink I managed to make it through the day. I am now sitting here hoping to stay up long enough to watch most of the Tour.

Tomorrow is a 2nd interview with Medline. I'm not sure if I'm excited about the job, and not sure if it's the direction I want to go in. Life is somewhat confusing right now. But I was told that they would probably make a decision in the afternoon after the interviews....so we'll see what happens.

I apologize if the above ramblings made absolutely no sense....did I mention I got 3 hours of sleep???

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm back....

So I was absent from blog world for a while (and probably lost all of my readers....yes, all 4 of them), and that's because I was basically absent from the entire internet world. Yes that's right, my computer died about a week and a half ago....so I have been feeling very disconnected. Well luckily my dad has a few laptops so he shipped me an extra one so I'm back now.

Life lately has honestly just been filled with working a lot at the bike shop. I did pick up the job search again today and applied to a few jobs in Austin. So we'll see how that works out.

So for now, that's all, as I really can't think of anything exciting to write, so I won't bore you.... Stay tuned, I promise to have some updates soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Here we go again.....

So I stalled on writing this for a few days, but here it is. I am unemployed once again. So I now have 2 months to find a job. During this time I will also keep busy with some extra time at the bike shop. So the search begins once again. This time I promise to do a better job of looking for opportunities in Austin! So enough about that, it is what it is....

So today I ran across yet another reason that Austin is better than every where else. There is a lake by my house with a 2 mile running trail around it. So I headed over there this morning for a run with Ginger. We start our way around the path and then someone stops me and says "You're not allowed to have dogs here....there are signs everywhere". I apologized and said I hadn't seen any of the signs and didn't know and she continued to give me a nasty look, so Ginger and I turned around. No way was I going to put Ginger back in the car so we headed across the street and ran through the neighborhood. Unfortunately this was a small neighborhood area so I couldn't get very far, I then noticed a park with a trail and thought we could continue the run there. But there was another sign that said "No Dogs"! What good are running trails if you can't take your dog??? And what possible reason do they have for not allowing dogs at the lake path. So stupid. Anyway, that was my general annoyance for the day. So I guess I will have to stick with my neighborhood or the forest preserve for running with Ginger.

Today has been a very lazy day of reading mostly, and soon it will be time for dinner and a movie. Tomorrow morning will be an early wake up to get to the gym for a swim and then work at the bike shop. Ooh which reminds me, I need to wash my work shirt! :)

Later Gators....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An eventful ride....

There are many reasons why I dislike riding at the forest preserve and this evening I encountered pretty much all of those reasons:
1. Morons who decide to look at things behind them instead of the path ahead of them causing them to swerve and come very near to a head on collision with me
2. Stupid kids who start walking across the path without looking if anyone is coming
3. Obnoxious men who are apparently too good to slow down and feel the need to pass people even if I am coming at them and there isn't enough space for all of us and I almost get pushed off the road
(notice a trend here???)
4. Rollerbladers who think it's ok to take up the entire path!
5. People who think it's a good idea to store their fishing coolers on the path

I could go on, but I think you get the idea....

Oh yeah, and then a bird hit me in the face while I was riding.....yeah it was that good of a ride...

This is getting ridiculous....

So I thought that things were going to go down on Monday here at work, and it did in some organizations. But my group is apparently stalling. Yesterday passed by with no word and today is going the same way. Now some of you may think that this would be a good thing, because it means I get paid longer, but here's the problem: I don't have anything to do!! They stopped giving me projects (leading me to believe that I won't be working here much longer) but they're still making me come to work. I am now hearing rumors that things won't happen until Friday or even next week. Seriously....either give me something to do or let me go home and work on the job search!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

AT&T Austin Crits!!

Saturday was such a fun day! Woke up early, went to the airport, and hopped on a plane to Austin. Luckily everything went really smoothly, so I was able to get to the airport, get my rental car and head out to 290 Cafe where I was greeted by some of the TNT riders and a plate of migas!! I had definitely been craving migas, and it never fails to disappoint. I then hung out with Jenay, who has finally come out of hiding. She went MIA for a while, but she's back now, and everyone is happy about that! I'm also really jealous of her hot new single speed. :)

We then headed downtown to watch the races! There was a quick detour to Starbucks and BettySport in order to avoid the short rain storm (don't worry it ended quickly and it's hot in Austin so the roads dried out for the races). Jenay and I were there early so we got to watch the Master's race, the men's 4/5 and some of the men's 1/2/3 before anyone else showed up. Finally all of the fun people who had been tied up in the LLS board retreat made it down though. A bunch of us had a great time standing right on one of the inside corners, if you've never done this at a crit, then you don't understand. It is one of the most exciting and scary experiences ever, to see them come so close, and feel the wind that the pack creates. It's amazing, and one of my favorite ways to experience bike racing! The main events (the pro races) proved to be very exciting races. The women hammered it the entire time, they are all so strong and they amaze me. Watching them crash, slide across the road, and then hop back on the bike missing large patches of skin, is incredible. I would be sitting on the side of the road crying.... I don't think I'm hard core enough for crits, they scare the crap out of me.

I of course didn't have my camera, but thanks to Velonews.com I can provide you with a look into the men's race. Lots of big teams with big names were out there. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of Rock Racing who made their presence felt by parking their giant buses and Escalades all over downtown. I was expecting to see the familiar black and lime green kits, instead we got this:
Ok first off, yes that is Tyler Hamilton and yes he was there. But seriously, white kits? That's not what any of us were expecting. Apparently they had these made specifically for the Austin race because they put Texas states on the shoulders and around the arms and legs it says "Austin Rocks" (Insert serious groan here....) They (mainly the announcers) used that phrase way too much throughout the day. Yes I understand that we were in Austin, and yes the race was sponsored by Rock Racing, but reducing yourselves to "Austin Rocks"??? That's just ridiculous.

Ok, back to the racing. The men's pro race is completely different than all of the other races because of the ridiculously high speeds. All of the other crits there would be a large pack and occasionally 1 or a few riders off the front. In the pro race they string out on the course, instead of watching a pack of riders pass you, you watch a long line of riders fly by you. Pretty exciting! The most amazing was the 1 Slipstream-Chipotle (Garmin-Chipotle) rider there by himself. He would be seen hanging out at the back and then he would work his way to the front for a few laps and then be seen at the back again a few laps later. Must be horrible that he could move around in rankings so easily. None of the attacks stuck throughout the race, so we all knew it was going to be an exciting finish. With 2 laps to go the front of the group looked like this:
Notice the 5 Toyota-United Riders controlling the pace?? We all thought that they had the race in the bag when we saw the same thing come around for the last lap. But then when they came in for the finish, this happened:
Whoa! Where did a Colavita rider come from?? I'm sure that's what all the Toyota boys were thinking as well! Someone definitely didn't do a good job of blocking. Oops! But it made for a very exciting finish for all of us spectators.

All in all, it was a great Austin day! (Of course) One minor letdown was that a certain someone apparently decided to not meet up with me, but oh well. He missed out, because I was looking good in my new SkirtSports blue Gym Girl! :)

Sunday wasn't quite as much fun since I started it out at 4:30am to get to the airport and catch a plane back to Chicago so I could make it into work at the bike shop. But it was worth it! Hooray for bike racing in Austin! So who's coming out July 27th to watch the crits here in Chicago with me??