Saturday, September 8, 2007



  • Work, of course. We took my friend out for a "last lunch" before her move. But, we set up a weekly running date, so hopefully being responsible to each other will make us go!
  • I decided for dinner I'd try to make homemade fried chicken. Well - breaded chicken strips. I'd had this brilliant idea to use croutons, because we'd bought a 3 lb. (I know!) bag for a salad for a party earlier this year. I ground them up using a frying pan and mixed it all with egg whites. But, I didn't make enough, it didn't really stick to the chicken that well, and all the garlic butter flavor seemed to bake out. Andy is a good sport though, and said it was good.
  • We spent a good while doing laundry. The cruise really messed up our laundry schedule, so we had really full loads. I offered to do it while Andy was gone for the weekend on his hike, but once we were done I was really happy for his help.
  • I'm still a little down about the wedding business, so Andy suggested we go out and see Stardust. I liked it so much! It was a ridiculously creative story, and you didn't even notice how long it was because the time passed so quickly. We did have to suffer through about 5 fantasy movie previews that all looked the same, and the beginning of the movie was really confusing and just kind of ... disappeared. It even had a wonderfully happy ending, and I think we need more of that in life! But afterward, it was 2 a.m., so we went straight to bed.
  • Andy left early this morning, but I got up not that much later. I had some extra energy, so I went for a run that ended up being 3.5 miles. For fun. I think I have a problem. It was already pretty warm out, but I left a little bit after 11 and came back at 11:35. Not bad!
  • I had a little lunch before Andy called and reminded me we had to pick up our packets for the Nike race. Oops! He had to let me in to his email so I could save the special check-in bar code and take it to Kinko's to print out. They've really updated their computer use process, but I go to Kinko's about once every two years. After I had the emails I took them up to the Torrance Sport Chalet, which was the rush to begin with - we could pick up our packets later this week, but we'd have to go to Beverly Hills. For this race, they print the race number right on the t-shirt, and the women's shirts are fitted. So the woman at the pickup spot gave me the third degree - "They're running small ... you should try one on ... you want a small? You should really get a medium..." For the record, a small would have fit fine. But she was being such a ... not nice person ... that I just wanted to get away. I also picked up Andy's shirt, activated our chips, and got out of there as fast as I could.
  • Because it was such a long drive, I felt like I had to make it worth my while. The Del Amo Fashion Center is right across the street, so I thought I'd stop in. The mall is probably the biggest mall I've ever been in. It took me 45 minutes just to find my way in and out!
  • Came home, had dinner, said hello to my mom, and now am debating my to do list for the weekend:
    • Vacuum
    • Do my self-help class reading
    • Write my 2 page paper and powerpoint slides
    • Clean and box my long sweaters. They've been out of style a couple of years now, and I have enough beautiful jackets to wear.
    • Wash out the sinks.
    • Clean the kitchen floor.
    • Hand-wash some shirts that ended up with odd spots after being in the public laundry.
    • Do my program management reading.
    • Do my database management reading.
    • Visit Wal Mart for a couple of essentials.


  • Had to get gas this morning, because I was almost out. It also sounds like I'm due for an oil change again - my car takes a couple more turns to start around that time.
  • Got to work and multi-tasked. At the beginning of my MBA program, they gave out binders with 4 Excel worksheets showing what day you would go to which class. This was pretty helpful because one of the classes was half-credit and switched off with the others. For the past year, I've had this calendar posted in my cubicle and marked the days off with a highlighter. I really missed that, so I made a new one with my 3 classes this semester. It's almost twice as long, but it sure was satisfying coloring in those first two weeks! 13 weeks to go...
  • I went to yoga all by myself. My friend is moving to another office and couldn't go today, so I thought I may as well get used to it. Some older man came in and set up right behind me ... there's always that ONE guy in every yoga class!
  • I got really bummed when I realized that we've been engaged for nearly a year, with no wedding date in sight. In fact, the only thing I have to show is an incomplete guest list, some wedding paraphernalia from Oriental Trading, and stacks of magazines. I mean, really, you can only fake laugh and sidestep wedding related questions ("When's the date? How is planning going? Have you picked a place?") so many times before you get to thinking, it's just not going to happen.
  • When I got home, I wanted to try for a little run. JUST a little one. It went pretty well, maybe just a mile or so. But, I don't recommend finishing the milk off before you go.
  • In an effort to cheer me up (I think), Andy and I went to go see the giant bunnies at the Long Beach Community College. But what we didn't realize was that with school in session, there's nowhere to park and they kind of hide out. One played with me for a little bit, but then we headed home and spent the rest of the night playing Scrabulous.


  • This morning, there was no sun coming in between the blinds. It was still warm in our apartment, but it looked dark outside. Sure enough - can it be?? - it was overcast!
  • Andy put some podcasts that he really likes on my iPod. I watched the Pinkberry song that a friend of mine posted on Facebook while they downloaded and synced, and then ran out the door.
  • Got up extra early because I had to stop by the store on the way to work. On the way I ogled a Mitsubishi Eclipse. I wish they were better/cheaper cars, because I really want one!
  • Going to the store near work is so convenient. I deposited my check, got cash, got Starbucks, and picked up some cookies for the woman who's moving this week. I know she likes treats, and they had adorable shortbread cookies with a big dollop of fudge frosting on top. Unfortunately, they didn't tolerate my rushing to work (and actually arriving on time!) too well.
  • I'm chipping away at my work to-do list. Before vacation I was keeping it on post its, but I've gone back to Outlook's task list. Anything to keep paper off my desk!!
  • Listened to Andy's Radiolab podcasts on the way to school. First was a show about the zoo, which was good except not during dinner. Then, on the way home, I listened to the love show. That was a little sad; it's kind of a downer to think about love as a chemical cocktail. I'd recommend listening to the podcasts, but I didn't particularly care for all the lectures in one night!


Lately a few people I knew in high school have run across my Facebook or Myspace profiles. I made my Myspace profile private, because I was feeling stalked - and now I have a public blog! ::shrug:: Anyway, it's made me troll my high school searches to see what some of these people are doing now.

Surprisingly, not a lot of them are married, although a lot of people have what looks like a significant other in their picture. Which, I think, is kind of lame, unless you both share a profile ... OK, that's still lame.

I could go on and on about how I was such a loser in high school, and an outcast, and hated the whole thing, but that's not necessarily true. I didn't like high school much, and definitely had issues, but I don't think I was that much of an outcast. In fact, I would venture to say that I'm almost the same person I was then (minus the issues and drama). I had friends, I was in color guard, and I'm sure things could have been better but they are what they are, and it's been long over.

On the other hand, there are plenty of people who just never seem to give it up. I'd be the first one to sign up for a 10 year reunion (which is only 3 short years away!), but for two reasons. First, I am morbidly curious what has happened to these people. Living 2,000 miles away and private profiles really make that tough. Second, I've done well for myself. Not like I need to show it off, but I'd have nothing to be ashamed of.

Oddly enough, I think I saw a girl I went to high school with the last time I was home. I have no idea who she was. A man was with her and she had a little boy in tow. We kind of looked at each other weird, and she kind of waved noncommittally in my direction.

Could I possibly be that old???

Friday, September 7, 2007


For those of you who don't know, I love Keepon. I swear this little robot will make you smile. If I could buy one, I would.

Here's the "original" video, of Keepon dancing to Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On." There are a few other songs out there, but Spoon is the original. I read up a little on the technology, and it was pretty much above my head.

Tonight when I was making my failed attempt at fried chicken, Andy came rushing in the kitchen to tell me that Keepon had a new music video. And the occasion was that Keepon was going to be visiting LA next week. I have class Monday through Wednesday, and it's the grown-up sort where you can't really skip or sneak out. Wired somehow found out about Keepon and he'll be appearing at their expo next week.

That's right. I'm going to see Keepon. I know you're jealous.


And look what else is coming home ... for just $1.95! OK, I had a gift card from work. No special deals here.


I need a new job. I have very expensive taste.


Oooh, look! Free shoes! OK, so you have to win. But I've been on a good streak lately.

Ryka Shoe Contest

In other news, I just bought myself this very cute dress in dusk. I couldn't pass up the free shipping, and I was already buying a book for school (if you leave me a note, I will share my free shipping email with you!).


I check my junk mail every day to see what kind of coupons I have. It's come in handy once in a while, and a lot easier than clipping from the Sunday paper (although I really would like to do that!).

What's the designer? Yesterday they were featuring Marchesa. I highly recommend clicking through the designs, especially if you're planning a wedding. They have some really fantastic dresses! I can't afford any of them, but I hope you find something!

If only I were a 6' Russian supermodel who went only by my first name ...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


This afternoon Andy emailed me very excited about some website. He must have been looking for half marathon photos, and ended up at this site. Someone who had taken a picture into the crowd, and centered it on me (looking incredibly unattractive, as I'd waited in the corral by myself and bored to tears for almost an hour). I don't care that much, except for that it's a really, terribly unflattering picture, but it's weird to think that a random person took my picture and posted it on the internet.

I wonder how many other pictures of me are out there that I don't know about?


The pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks. Another reason to be happy it's fall!!


Happy belated September!


  • Worked all morning. They're doing construction right above my head, so I didn't get any real quality work done. And, because it's the end of August, it's not a fun time to be an accountant.
  • Went to lunchtime yoga class. I'd read an article saying if you're hurting from running, you shouldn't stretch more and instead should get a massage. Since I'm anti-massage and pro-yoga, I went anyway. It was great! And I think it contributed to my being able to move more and more as the day went on. Although my knee was still sore, so I was extra careful of that.
  • Had the best little chicken sandwich between two mini pitas, hummus, and grilled zucchini. It came with a couscous salad that wasn't very good, but I ate some anyway. So much for watching what I eat! But I was really, really hungry.
  • Tried to work all afternoon, but things kept going wrong. And I had to drive up to LA. There wasn't much traffic, but the construction they're doing around school is a nightmare.
  • I'm liking my database class more and more. The project is going to be really hard though.
  • It took me a half an hour to even get out of the parking lot, around the detours and construction, and on to the highway home. MBAs can be really rude, especially behind the wheel of their BMW or Mercedes.
  • Came home and went to bed after looking at my Facebook updates.


I'm all healed today! And ready for the next races:

Nike Run Hit Remix

The Pumpkin Run

Pacific Shoreline (Surf City) 5K

Monday, September 3, 2007


I found this video randomly on YouTube. It's hysterical.

So Hard

OK - here's another huge thing I can check off my list!

First things first: yes, I did finish, with about 45 minutes to spare. And I did get my medal!

Today we ran the Disneyland Half Marathon. I'll admit that this was a much better idea this time last year when I saw the giant castle medals. We've been running smaller races all year to get ready, but the cruise and starting school have kind of put training on the shelf for the past month. Either way, I was pretty bound and determined to get a finisher's medal even if I had to take off my shoe and throw it across the finish line (with the chip, of course).

Here is the race course:

First, we got up at 3 a.m. I could hardly sleep last night, I was so nervous and a little bit excited.
At 3 we rolled out of bed, got dressed, and out the door. When we finally got there I was like I am when I'm at the airport not holding my ticket - very, very nervous and cranky. I kept reciting the pace marks that you had to keep to avoid getting picked up: 1:26 for 4.4 miles, 2:04 for 6.8 miles, about 3 for 10.3 miles. Plus, I was cranky when I realized that I was in the second to last wave to start, with all the older people and walkers. We also got into the chutes much too early (although I was glad to be closer to the front) and had to wait nearly an hour before start. But even at 5:30 in the morning, it had to have been just shy of 80 degrees out. The announcer said there were three "flags" that would be posted on the medical tents - yellow, for a heat warning; red (the current flag, even at start) which meant it was pretty dangerous to be out, much less running; and black, at which point they said they'd stop official time and you could take as long as you needed, or quit. The start was pretty fantastic, with the National Anthem and fireworks for each wave. My wave started 21 minutes in, so the clock was off for me the whole time.

Miles 1-3: These went along Disney's California Adventure, inside and all around and through California Adventure, and then through Disneyland. It was great running through, but I was still fighting through the crowd of slow people. There were a few characters out when I went by, but no princesses. Andy managed to get a video of himself running through the castle, which was so neat!

5K time: 36:13

Miles 4-7: This was through "scenic" Anaheim. If you're local, you know it's actually mostly industrial park. Hiking over the overpass was pretty rough, but luckily that was the steepest hill we encountered the whole time. The best part was running past the nursery (of the plant variety), where a sympathetic gardener was spraying runners with a hose. Once I got past the 6 mile mark, that meant I was pretty much passing the farthest I've ever run, and not even halfway done. But I had done that much in the time they had allotted for running 4.4 miles, so I knew I was going to be able to finish. Along the way they had marching bands, color guards, hula dancers, and a mariachi band. That helped pass the time, as there wasn't much else to see.

10K time: 1:15:08

Miles 8-10: This was entering what I'd call the "sporty" part of the run. We ran around the Honda Center where the Mighty Ducks play, and where they have a bunch of concerts. I kind of wish we could have run through, because it was really hot. There were Mighty Duck cheerleaders there, as well as a few other high schools. The way to Angels Stadium was along the Santa Ana river bike trail, and most of the bikers were off to the side just watching. That was also the point where I first saw a woman out cold along the course. I saw 3-4 in all. Also, right before we got to the stadium parking lot, my iPod decided to quit. I charged it to full, but it's a mini and a few years old. I always pick out a song to help me get across the finish line at the very end (today's was going to be Moby's "Extreme Ways"), but now I wasn't even going to have anything to cover up my huffing and puffing. Also, here, they passed out Clif power shots. I had slobbered all over it trying to pull it open with my teeth, and it tasted like crap. And my stomach was iffy at that point anyway, so I threw it out and vowed to stick with the Powerade for a little extra energy. It was about a mile through Angels Stadium, where you run along the 1st and 3rd baselines, and they put video up on the jumbotron of the runners. Just outside the stadium was mile 10, which meant there was only another 5k left to go.

15K time: 1:56:04

Miles 11-12: There were a ton of people watching along the course at this point, because it was on the way back to the finish. Everyone's first name was printed pretty large on their number, so people could yell for you specifically - that was great! This must have been more of "scenic Anaheim;" it wasn't too scenic here; mostly just along Disney Way to get back to the parks. I think I walked most of this way, because there was no shade until we went back under the highway. But I knew it was so close to over, so I pushed pretty hard even still.

Mile 13.1: One last little pass through California Adventure, where most of the staff was really enthusiastically cheering everyone on. It was at this point that I discovered my knee really, really hurt. And I was limping. But it was so close! And everyone was so encouraging! But whenever I ran, my legs disagreed, and I made little squeaking noises when I breathed (which was actually a little embarrassing). Once we were in Downtown Disney, it was packed with encouraging spectators and a bunch of people who had already finished, and said the finish was right around the corner. For the record, I've been to Downtown Disney. I know how long it is. And there was still a long way to go! At a certain point I was walking (OK, hobbling), but there was a pretty big group of kids that were cheering me on specifically, despite me being in bad shape - but I'd credit them with my 3rd wind. And I ran so fast down the last 0.1 mile, because I could hear that beep that meant I was so close!! When I crossed the finish line, the net race time was 3:06.

Final time: 2:47:17. Not bad for no training and 80 degree weather!

I couldn't for the life of me remember what the clock said when I started, but I knew I'd at least beaten 3 hours. First they clipped everyone's chips off, then handed out mylar blankets. I don't recommend those in extreme heat, by the way, not even to get out of the sun. Then, finally, was my medal!!!! I could have gone home right then. But there was also water and Powerade set up, and bananas, oranges, and bagels. For some reason, I was really excited about the oranges. I've had a craving lately. I couldn't get my water bottle open because I was so slimy. It was pretty crowded but I went right by the professional photo ops to look for Andy. He was kind of tough to find in the crowd. We rested for a little while, and I sat down - I was in so much pain I could hardly move, and by then my knee was just worthless. I only had a couple of moments where I thought I might throw up, but they were few and brief. Andy and I took our own picture together, then a professional one, and then left.

Once in the car, Andy brought up McDonald's breakfast, and by then I was pretty hungry too. That was the best McDonald's breakfast I've ever had! Then I got to thinking: I sent my parents a link that had live updates and finish times (which they watched diligently, I love them!), and thought we could probably see our final times already. Sure enough, there they were! Then we showered and went back to bed.

I got up about 4 p.m., took an Advil and iced my knee. Neither of us wanted to cook, so we tried Don Chente in Hawaiian Gardens. It was a little expensive, but so good. Although I think we were both just really hungry. And we looked pretty pitiful walking in, although I know I felt much better. My parents had called, I guess right after the race, to congratulate us. They sounded so proud - I'm so glad I could at least share the live results website with them. I called them after dinner, and they scolded us for running in a heat advisory, which I have to agree was not the best idea. But they were still proud and happy.

Next up: 5 mile Nike RunHitRun Remix race! But I really don't want to think about that right now.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


"Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'." - Pretty Woman

I like living in LA. I've lived in the area just over 3 years, and it's still exciting! There's always lots to do, and tons of opportunity. It's still fun to go into the city, and I'm thankful for the opportunity I've had to go to such a good school (even if I forget sometimes).

But, sometimes, I get the feeling I'm Country Mouse in City Mouse's place. The majority of people I go to school with drive cars that cost more than I make in a year. My car is 13 years old and probably more economical than a hybrid. We don't live in a house or a condo, or even in a recognizable neighborhood. I usually try to save money; my sunglasses were $5 at Wal Mart and I'm not above wearing clothes from Target (I don't wear Wal Mart clothes any more, because they're low quality and it ends up not being a bargain). It pained me a little to spend $60 to go to the tailgate last night, and believe it or not, there are some months I don't put anything into savings and cut myself off from my credit card. We actually have a "wedding budget." I'm not a "manager" of anything at work, except for maybe the copier.

Normally, it doesn't bother me. I don't judge my friends based on things like that, and I know they don't judge me (or we're able to laugh about it together - even better!). But I know there are people who judge me, and I've heard enough comments that were not made in good spirit. So yes, while it doesn't bother me most of the time and I'm happy with my quality of life, I can't say it doesn't get to me sometimes.


We had a little earthquake this morning. Thanks USGS!

It was actually pretty small. It felt like someone came up to the foot of the bed and gave it a push.

Come to think of it, my first earthquake out here was also on a Sunday, in the morning, and I was still in bed!