Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blogging Postponed......

Internet service at this particular location in Mississippi is lacking.

Really, it sucks.

I'm not going to get my blood pressure up by fighting it.

I'll just wait until tomorrow to regale you with tales of my day. I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath.

I will tell you then about my 51-mile bike ride that turned into a 65-mile ride.

And just how far you can ride in Mississippi without EVER seeing a store. (If I had seen just one more person out working in his or her yard, I was going to stop and ask for permission to fill up my water bottles, and for me that's saying something.)

Another dirt road report.

The wildlife I saw (not counting the forty or fifty UNLEASHED dogs that chased me on my bike).

Hubby acting like a middle-schooler, which is not entirely the reason I left the casino to come up to the room. See reference to the 65-mile bike ride above. Just between you and you and you and you and you and you and you and me, I didn't want to come out here anyway.

My (very) slim winnings playing three card poker (man, I love that game).

Trying vegetarianism for one whole day. Sort of on purpose, but more a result of circumstances.

Late for me.....good night!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Weighty Issues (or I Feel Like a Broken Record)......

This particular blog post related to weight isn't a complaint, and it isn't even a celebration. It's just an observation.

I have lost enough weight that I had to buy new clothes. (In SPITE of Hubby's remark that I should hold on to the old ones, because I might need them again..... Yeah, he's sleeping on the sofa. Wait.... We don't have a sofa. That love seat will probably get mighty uncomfortable.) I got rid of everything that was a size 16, and I bought a bunch of things in a (much?) smaller size.

Oh hell, they're 10's. I don't know how long it's been since I wore a size 10. A long time.

But my brain apparently doesn't lose weight very well. When we went shopping, I had a cart full of shorts, capris, and jeans, all size 10. I tried on Each. And. Every. One. Of. Them. Because when the first one fit, I assumed it was a fluke. Same with the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth ones.

I proudly hung those things in my closet. When I started to get dressed for school today (jeans, and let them fire me if they want to), I was convinced the jeans wouldn't fit. They fit. Hallelujah, they fit. And I can breathe. And I don't have that ugly red welt around my waist..... you know the one I mean.

What is it with (some? many? God I hope I'm not the only one) women who struggle with their self-images? People have commented on my weight loss and called me things like "skinny" (I'm not), even people I don't know well. A woman who used to take line dancing with me stopped me at the "Y" last night and said, "How many?" I was flattered and pleased that she noticed and she took the time to compliment me. But part of my brain still asked, "How did she know?"

The mirror still shows me the (fat) girl I've been seeing for years. My self-perception of what I look like is no different from the picture I had in my mind last summer.

Why can't I wrap my brain around my own triumph? I know I have developed some better habits, and I had to know it would EVENTUALLY pay off. When the Team Lean challenge was going on, I was motivated by the weekly weigh-ins. I was somewhat nervous when the challenge ended, because I was afraid I wouldn't keep pushing myself at the same pace. (Please, someone, please call my therapist NOW.) I was happy to learn that the "Y" is having a Team Lean Maintenance program for the next 12 weeks, with monthly weigh-ins instead of weekly. That's perfect - still makes me accountable, but isn't the burden of being here every Thursday during the (short) summer. The first weigh-in was last night, and I had lost an additional three pounds since the challenge ended three weeks ago. That's a pound a week, in case you are math-deficient.

But I have a hard time accepting it as real. I'm afraid, like the impostor syndrome, that my success is all a sham, and therefore it will go away. I'm going to wake up one morning and have a clothing crisis because I sent all those size 16's to goodwill. Maybe that's the reason I have put the weight back ON at least twice in my lifetime. It's a self-fulfilling this-is-too-good-to-be-true syndrome. (I like making up on own psychological terms as I go along. I'm working to get this one copyrighted too.)

I promise I'll try to write about something other than weight problems for a few days. You're welcome.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It Isn't Just Me.......

I have bemoaned (ad nauseum, you might say) on this blog the fact that I get frustrated by the Thursday night Zumba instructor. She's a newly certified instructor, and while she definitely knows how to Zumba, leading a class isn't her strength. It's unfair to compare her to the perky, animated, cheerful, lively, cute, upbeat Tuesday night instructor, but I can't help it. (The Tuesday night instructor is also the Friday night instructor, which has almost nothing to do with what I'm talking about, but I rarely go on Friday nights.)

Tonight I realized it isn't just me.

I haven't gone to the Thursday night class for the past three weeks. The 7th was my birthday, the 14th I went out of town for Spring Tune-Up, and the 21st I was on Spring Break and probably trying to coax Weesa's psycho dogs out from under the bed when it was time for Zumba.

I went tonight, and there were about 15 people there. This is in a gym that is usually packed with 35-40 participants. The Tuesday night class was packed; Thursday night not so much.

The instructor even commented that we were "quiet" and "so serious."

I decided not long after class started, when she continued to change moves in the middle of a musical phrase and sometimes not even CLOSE to the beat, that I wouldn't go to the Thursday class anymore.

Then I looked around at how few people were there, and I felt sorry for her.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thanks for Adding Insult to Injury.........

As I approached my 50th birthday, I fully expected the AARP notices to arrive. They weren't a surprise at all. In fact, they were a welcome bit of frivolity in an otherwise stressful week. I was tempted to join just for the discounts I can get on hotel travel. You know, for the dozens of times handful of times twice a year I go out of town and stay in a hotel. Instead I threw the membership card in the trash. But I wasn't insulted to get it. It's a rite of passage for those turning 50.

Today's notice was not from the AARP. It was an official-looking document with these words in bold: OPEN IMMEDIATELY - DO NOT DELAY. In smaller print, the words "Important Non-Government Document Enclosed....." appeared. And right above my name and address, the words UNITED STATES MAIL RECIPIENT.

Although it clearly said "Non-Government Document," it was designed to look just like an official government document. Along with the instructions to "Slide finger under this edge" to open the document.

Well duh.

How else would one go about opening a folded document?

Inside, these welcome (not) words at the top:

Funeral Advantage Program Assists Seniors

The flyer went on to tell me that I MAY qualify for the Funeral Advantage Program that will pay my family $20,000 in the event of my death. I'm supposed to send in the postage-paid card to see if I qualify. If I don't send it in, I might already be dead, and therefore I wouldn't qualify. 

Even if I didn't already have life insurance, I wouldn't buy anything from this company. Beside the little graphic that I guess is supposed to represent a booklet I will receive if I send in my card (but only within the next 15 days, because after that I might be dead) were these words: MAIL TODAY TO ALSO RECEIVE THIS VALUABLE PLANNING HELP.

Let's say I didn't have life insurance. Just for fun, say I wanted my family to have $20,000 with which to party after I'm gone. I still wouldn't buy anything from a company that would carelessly split an infinitive in their advertising.

Grammar snob to the bitter end.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Addicted to Exercise.....

Is it possible to be addicted to exercise? Or to a certain activity?

Don't worry. I'm not there. Nowhere near.

I do, however, have what I would consider to be an addictive personality. I'm glad I was smart enough (or poor enough) never to experiment with drugs, because I think I might have been a classic addict.

There's a woman with whom I used to teach, and now she teaches in the same county I do, but I only see her on occasion. Usually graduation. She was drop-dead gorgeous as a beginning teacher, put on some weight as she got older, and then I saw her once and she looked like a refugee from some very poor country. She was painfully thin, not healthy-looking at all. I asked someone about her, and they said she was addicted to running.

I didn't get specifics, so I don't have stories of how many times a day she felt compelled to run, how far she ran before she considered herself finished (Forrest Gump, anyone?), or anything like that. At the time I scoffed at the notion that anyone could be addicted to anything so painful as running. I don't know if she is still addicted to running or if she has toned down her activity to what some would consider reasonable levels.

But couldn't running (and other forms of exercise) be compared to drugs in some ways? They both make you feel good, after all. I suppose you could overdo ANYTHING, even something that is supposed to be good for you, like running. Or cycling. Or ellipticating. (I love that verb. I made it up myself. I'm trying to get it copyrighted.)

I can see it happening. Like I said, I think I have an addictive personality. I tend to become obsessive about things (**ahem**...gymnastics, anyone?) and find it hard to dabble in anything. I jump in with both feet holding a concrete block and not a life preserver in sight. I feel so good after exercising that I can easily picture me saying, "Oh, I ate an extra spoonful of Cool Whip. Fifteen more minutes on the elliptical ought to take care of that." Finally seeing some results in the weight loss department just complicates matters. I find myself thinking I can speed this process up a little if I just increase my exercise. I already work out TWICE a day on most days, and it could easily become an obsession to exercise.

I am thiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssssss clossssssssssssssssssssssse to the thirty pound mark (weight lost since August).

Don't worry, as long as Hubby is around (and still retired), I'm not likely to get away with becoming addicted to exercise. Besides, I'd have to give up some of the time I spend watching videos of gymnastics championships from the 80's and 90's.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Tee-Totaler Friend.......

The woman who will be riding to Mississippi with me this weekend is the wife of Hubby's closest friend. They have been married 40-something years, and you can tell that within the first five minutes of being around them. They argue and fuss just like the couple of old somethings they are, and if she's driving with him in the car, you better just have a nerve pill handy.

He drinks like a fish; she drinks none. She never has. She will go to the casino, out to eat, to ballgames, to tailgate parties, and she enjoys herself, but she doesn't drink.

Hubby said something one time about her being a tee-totaler, and I said I didn't consider her one. In my mind, a tee-totaler was someone who didn't drink AND was judgmental about folks who did. This lady never came across as being judgmental, probably due to the 40-something years of hauling her husband's drunk butt around all over the county.

Then one time we were at the casino, playing the slot machines one morning after breakfast before the guys went to play golf. I ordered a bloody mary (because that's what you DO at the casino, before you switch to something else after lunch), and she sort of scolded me. "Do you really think you need to drink that this early in the morning?" she asked.

Yep, she's a tee-totaler all right.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

By the Numbers.....

200 - School days I have left before I retire. Hell yeah I'm counting. That's 20 left in this year plus 180 next year. Unless the rumors about possible furlough days next year are true, in which case I will gladly alter the number of days I have left.

18 - Miles I rode my bike today AFTER spending most of the day with my mother. Which turned out to be much less stressful than I had pictured it. She just had knee replacement surgery, and she's still in a heck of a lot of pain.

10 - Miles I rode AFTER I met Hubby on his way home from the golf course and he offered to take me home. Turning down the offer of a ride in the truck might be a first for me.

3 point something - Miles I RAN in the park yesterday. In spite of the fact that my not-so-smart-phone said 1 point something. And then erased all evidence that I had done anything at all. Believe me, my hips know I ran yesterday.

0 - Number of times we were able to get Weesa's psycho dogs to go outside in the five days we've been taking care of them. They aren't socialized very well at all, and they bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark run under the bed bark bark bark bark bark bark the whole time we're in the house. It's extremely difficult to medicate dogs when you have to stick the pills-disguised-in-a-piece-of-lunch-meat under the bed.

0 - Degree of certainty that the right dog got the right medicine. 

2 - Number of times one of the psycho dogs bit Hubby.

0 - Redeeming qualities those dogs have. I told Hubby I was going to come home and cook a filet mignon for Gus.

1798 - Number of miles left to ride my bike to meet my goal for 2011. It sounds intimidating, but I'm actually ahead of schedule. Sort of.

3 - Number of evening meals I have to prepare this week. Hubby is leaving town on Thursday.

6 - Hours I have to drive after school on Friday to join Hubby at the casino.

1,785,881 - Number of times I've tried to get out of joining Hubby at the casino on Friday.

16 - Times Hubby has asked if I could miss school on Friday, when another teacher is already going to be out. With a staff of five teachers (four and a half, really), having two people out puts a burden on the rest. Hubby refuses to get it.

9 - Pairs of jeans, capris, and shorts I bought with my 30% coupon last week. All in a new size, one I haven't worn for a long, long time. I tried on every single one of them, convinced it was a fluke when the first one fit.

1 - Times I've ridden the Harley this year.

35 - Dollars I spent for a dorky-looking helmet that was supposedly **REQUIRED** for my kayak trip this summer, only to find out from Rozmo that we don't really need it. So glad I kept the receipt. I have a terrible habit of throwing receipts away.

2 - Numbers we had right in the lottery Friday night. Guess I'd better go to school tomorrow after all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Two Unrelated Thoughts from Dinner Out Tonight....

I'll go with the meanest one first, so maybe by the time you finish reading this blog you will have forgotten that you decided never again to read anything written by such a shrew as I. Me. Whatever.

Is it possible for a waitress to be TOO nice?

I don't even mean the hovering, interrupting every attempt at conversation. Or worse, as we've had happen on a few occasions, a waiter or waitress SITS DOWN IN THE BOOTH with us to take our order.

Uh.....scuse me? We came for dinner, not to bond.

Our waitress tonight was probably in her late teens or early twenties, although I'm a terrible judge of ages, especially since I turned FIFTY just two weeks ago.

She was so darn nice that she made me uncomfortable. Too perky. The smile just a little too bright. "How are those salads tasting?" Honey, it's hard to mess up a salad.

This makes me feel mean just to type it. I didn't glare at her or anything, so it's just my thoughts that I'm questioning.

This young lady was the perfect waitress. She took our orders, brought everything exactly as we asked for it, and she did it all in a timely manner. Kind of like that puppy that keeps licking your toes and you don't like having your toes licked, but you can't bring yourself to kick the puppy anyway. (NOT referring to Chico, I promise.)

I tipped her almost 25%. I think I was feeling guilty about being irritated by her niceness, and she was good at her job after all.

Issue number two from dinner tonight:

Over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about confusing labels on public restroom doors. Apparently I was scraping the bottom of the proverbial drivel barrel. If you don't want to go back and read the whole post (and who could blame you, really?), it was about how some establishments get all cute with the labels on the restroom doors, and sometimes it's hard to know which one you really are.

The restaurant where we ate tonight apparently had a dilemma when it came to putting cute labels on their restroom doors. In keeping with the whole Western theme, they put "Bulls" on the men's room door. Obviously they couldn't put "Cows" on the door to the women's room. I'm guessing even "Heifers" would have been offensive. Okay, I don't have to guess. I would have been offended.

I'm not sure their solution, however, was much better.

Men's room door: "Bulls"

Women's room door: "Lambs"

Bulls and Lambs? BULLS AND LAMBS?

I can't even make that make sense.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gloomy Day.......

I've been in kind of a funk all day, but I'm trying to shake it off.

It could be that the spring weather made a u-turn (yes, I know how spoiled we are here in the South). The temps were supposed to get to the 70's today, but I'd be surprised if they even touched 60. It was cloudy, misty, gloomy-looking all day.

It could be that today was my last official day of spring break. On the bright side, we only have 20 more school days this year. I can do 20 days. This morning I ironed enough clothes that I think I have (almost) 20 different outfits to carry me through the end of the year. Now if I could only make 20 lunches in advance. I guess that wouldn't be too healthy.

It could be that this morning I was debating among running, kayaking, and biking as my exercise choices for today. I did none of those because I don't like being cold. So I did 48 minutes on the elliptical instead. Yes I realize what a stupid number 48 minutes is. It just happens to be the exact length of time it takes to watch an episode of the stupid, lame, idiotic, angst-filled, poorly written teen drama that I CANNOT STOP WATCHING.

It could be that the Braves are playing on the West Coast this week (and badly to boot) and I can't have my nightly dose of baseball. They had the decency to play a day game yesterday, and then they had the nerve to get beaten in the 12th inning on a 3-run homer. Buttheads.

It could be the fact that there are 134 days until college football starts. 

It could be that I'm wasting a lot of emotional energy waiting for an apology from Hubby that will likely never come, because I "take things too seriously." [REALLY? Me? Have I EVER been known to take things too seriously, even things I SHOULD?]

Tomorrow will definitely be an improvement. If not, I just won't mention it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Broken Dreams.......

I've been thinking a lot about the Langston Hughes poem "A Dream Deferred" since last Thursday. A young man whom I call my "godson" received a shocking blow, and his dreams may be dead for the immediate future.

This kid has been a baseball phenom since he could walk. Folks at the major league level (I'm talking professional baseball here, folks) have known about him since he was about eleven years old. One of the scouts for a major league team has told him since pre-teen days, "You don't need an agent. You don't need an agent. You don't need an agent."

This time last year, that same guy said, "Get an agent."

You would have to know this kid and his family to appreciate this story fully. They are humble (as in not arrogant, not as in poor), down-to-earth, REAL people. 

Every single team from MLB has sent a representative to their home at least once. Some have made multiple visits. The kid has also been offered a wowser of a scholarship at one of our state's universities (but not my alma mater).

When the pros came a-calling, his parents said, "This is kind of fun, but there's always college." As it became more and more real, they still said, "He's got a college scholarship waiting for him." Never once did I hear them brag about his accomplishments, his being so heavily recruited, the visits from big-whigs. These aren't bragging people.

He's not the stereotypical jock either. This is the kid who took calculus his senior year in high school as an ELECTIVE. He could very easily have taken an easier math (or a weightlifting class) during spring semester of his final baseball season. 

Last Wednesday, the kid tore whatever ligament behind the elbow requires major league pitchers to have Tommy John surgery. He's a catcher. It makes no sense at all, a high school player, let alone a catcher, to have this kind of injury.

And the draft is about eight weeks away.

They had to have a conference call with a lot of important people to let them know about the injury and impending surgery. They had to let them know that the kid is probably off the table as far as the major league draft is concerned.

What a heartbreak.

I know all the platitudes, and I'm sure his parents have heard them plenty in the past week.

"He's young; he'll recover quickly."

"There's always college."

"It's amazing what they can do these days."

"It could have been much worse."

"The recovery period is only about eight months."

It still sucks.

Not only is his dream of playing professional baseball dead (for now), but the rest of his senior year as well. His team is headed to the playoffs, but he won't be behind the plate.

The whole thing sucks, but especially the timing. This injury happened Wednesday night. On Tuesday, he had received a package via UPS from Major League Baseball. In it was a drug test kit that they only send to the players projected to go in the top four rounds of the draft. That's the 200 best players IN THE COUNTRY. And he is one of them. 

He's just a good kid.

There are still all kinds of possibilities. One team that has shown a tremendous amount of interest also happens to have 12 picks in the first four rounds of the draft. (And that exhausts my knowledge of how the draft works.) His "advisor" (because he's not technically allowed to have an agent yet) said there's a possibility that a team might still take him, even with his injury. But that possibility is slim.

I'm trying to look on the positive side. Worst case scenario is that he goes to college. For free. And he'll be ready to play his freshman season. Because of some quirky rules, once he starts college the pros can't touch him until after his junior year. (I know, I know, it makes no sense to me either. They can take them straight out of high school, but they they have to wait until after the junior year of college.) So maybe he plays THREE years. Heals nicely. And the majors will probably still be interested in him.
It still sucks. Not just because his mother is my best friend and I wanted to get him to autograph the cover of Sports Illustrated when he appeared on it.

Because he's just a good kid.

Good-looking, smart, well-mannered, sincere, and just downright nice. 

With all due respect to Langston Hughes, I hope a dream deferred neither festers nor explodes. I hope it gets watered, tended with loving care, pruned at just the right time, and then blossoms into magnificence that you have to look at kind of sideways because it hurts the eyes to look at it directly.

Because if anyone ever deserved to have his dreams come true, it's this kid. And his mama and daddy. And even his (precious, adorable, witty, lovable and loves me to pieces) little sister.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Week in December by Holly Chamberlin......

Whenever I read a book that I absolutely love, I try to find other books by the same author, convinced they will all be just as good. Sometimes I'm right.

This isn't one of those times. Back in January, I wrote a blog review of Tuscan Holiday, the first book I had read by Holly Chamberlin. If I had gone on my best guess, I would have said that One Week in December came first and she polished her skills before publishing Tuscan Holiday. I would have been wrong.

One Week in December is about a family whose members gather in Maine for Christmas. One of them wants to "out" a family secret, known to most of the family members except the one it affects most directly, during the holidays, and she believes firmly in her right to do so.

The plot is very predictable, and Chamberlin tends to go to extremes with her characters, as if readers are a bit on the stupid side and won't pick up on subtleties. The mean ones are too mean, the good ones too good, the obsessed ones too obsessed, the calm ones too calm, the naive ones too naive, the ..... I'm sure you get the picture.

Pick it up and read it if someone leaves it behind on an airplane (and why wouldn't she?), but don't go in search of it. If you've read Tuscan Holiday, this one might be a disappointment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting Rougher......

Some trips just turn out like this. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been a BAD trip, and I've had plenty of time both to relax and to do the things I want to do. We've just had a few ..... glitches.

I was driving when we got here yesterday, and as I turned into the state park, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor. The brake line was broken, and we had to get a mechanic to come to the park and repair it to the tune of $363. It could have been so much worse, however, if it had happened on I-75 when someone slammed on brakes in front of us. Or when Katydid and I were on the way home from Spring Tune-Up.

There was the t.v. catastrophe yesterday.

It got warm enough this afternoon to turn on the air conditioner, so we did. Only it didn't work. Blows air, but doesn't cool. Again, it could have been much worse (in my opinion) if we hadn't discovered that until we were on BRAG. At least here it isn't blazing hot, and we've got time to get it repaired before BRAG.

Gus knocked Hubby's glasses off (mainly because they were where they SHOULDN'T have been), and Hubby stepped on them.

The water pressure in this park is non-existent. There's plenty of it, just not a strong enough stream to take a shower. I went to the bathhouse, insulted because I have to use the same facility as the commoners (ha ha ha ha ha ha), and there was no pressure there either. I did manage to get clean, though.

It's getting harder and harder to convince Hubby to go out West.

On a positive note, Gus and I went for a 1.85 mile walk/run this morning, and I didn't die. Hubby suggested we ride the bikes, and he was finished after 3 miles. We came back to the RV, but then I left on my own to do another 7. Riding that (cheap) mountain bike with knobby tires is much harder than riding my smooth-as-silk road bike (whom I've named Jezebel).

I wasn't wearing proper biking clothes (read: padded shorts) or a helmet (so sue me), so I didn't venture too far away from the campground. I took a serious nap afterward.

Yes, I realize the map makes it look like a drunk went crazy with a crayon.

This is a beautiful park, though. Facilities are very nice, there is a HUGE swimming pool, a marina with a restaurant, and loads of campsites. It isn't crowded, so it has been a lot like having the place to ourselves.

Maybe Hubby will bump his head enough someday to get a severe case of amnesia, and we can come back here. He doesn't believe in going the same place twice when there are so many other places in the world to visit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Roughing It" Again......

Hubby and I are "camping" in Tennessee for a couple of nights. I needed a new sticker on the door of the RV, and two nights is about all I can get him away from home. I don't know how we will ever see the Grand Canyon.

The concept of "roughing it" has certainly changed. Hubby is on the phone with one of his buddies, I'm on the internet, we're listening to the radio, and we would be watching television except the flat screen fell off the top "bunk" and is destroyed. Let me tell you about a billion times how happy I am that I am not the one who set the t.v. up there. I got the satellite working (again), and we were both outside when we heard the crash. Therefore it is in no way my fault. I don't care if we watch t.v. or not anyway. Our DVR will record Dancing with the Stars, and I just MAY get to watch it later this week. Hubby said something about working around the house toward the end of the week. Somehow I pictured riding my bike while he played golf for the last few days of my spring break. Not cleaning the gutters (my job ever since he fell off a ladder in 2001) or organizing the storage building.

I had just fixed myself a bloody mary when the t.v. crashed inside the RV. I rushed to set my drink on the picnic table, but it fell off and spilled. I decided that was a sign I wasn't supposed to have one, so I drank water with dinner.

Hubby has a hard time just relaxing. Me? I can sit and do nothing with the best of them. Well, not really nothing.... I brought a Kindle, an iPad, a laptop, a Nintendo DS, my (crappy) knitting. I can keep myself busy even when I'm roughing it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Tune-Up Sunday.......

It's hard to believe the weekend went so fast. Usually by Sunday I'm tired of biking and ready to go home, but I really could have ridden some more today. Only the thought of how much I needed to do to prepare for going out of town again tomorrow made me cut it short and come on home.

Rozmo and I created our own route for the early part of the day. We wanted to go by the famous Oreo cow farm, but that was only on the 57-mile route. And even Rozmo didn't want to do the 57. So we rode out on our own to the farm, had a bloody mary and one Oreo (my only cookie of the entire weekend, thank you very much), and then we followed the 57-mile route to the end. Our ride was 36 miles, and it was the perfect length. It was still cool this morning but not quite as windy as it has been.

The only downer on the whole ride was the scariest experience I have EVER had on a bike in my 20 years of cycling. We had just left a state park and were going up a pretty tough hill. I saw a truck approaching, and I could hear a vehicle of some kind behind me. I could tell it wasn't slowing down enough, and I was hoping it would get over far enough.

Only when it was right beside me did I realize it was one of those huge RV's. And then something touched my left shoulder. I think it was the mirror of the RV.

I screamed a profanity questioning the driver's maternal parent, and I flipped him off violently. I'm ashamed of that; it's something I NEVER do on the bike. I guess instincts just took over.

I was going to pull off on the side of the road, but Rozmo was ahead of me and I didn't want her to have to come back down the hill and then struggle up it again. She stopped at the top of the hill anyway to get her breath, and I was just about to collapse with anger/fear/relief when I got to her. I was nearly crying, and I was trembling.

I can't be 100% certain that the RV brushed me, because it didn't knock me over, it didn't make me run off the road, it didn't even make me wobble. But SOMETHING brushed my shoulder. I definitely felt something touch me.

The adrenaline rush helped me get up the hill, but that's not exactly the way I'd like to get more power.

I'm thankful for my guardian angel today. I hope she isn't going to resign in disgust after this experience.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Tune-Up Saturday.......

It is still Saturday, isn't it?

It's been a long week today.

I had a friend dilemma today. In fact, I had two. With the same friend.

Rozmo and I started off today with the idea of riding 69 miles (but the ride is always longer than it's advertised, so we knew we would get at least 70).

After Rest Stop #2 is when I had my first dilemma. We were several miles down the road when Rozmo realized she had left her water bottles behind. Plural. Both of them. Which meant she would have to go the entire distance between rest stops with nothing to drink. And there were 21.6 miles between two of the rest stops. Besides. Rozmo is not one to sacrifice water bottles that cost $12 each, so she turned back. My dilemma was whether to turn back with her (she said I didn't have to) or go on without her.

I debated just long enough that when I decided she would do it for me and I turned around to go back to the rest stop, I had to ride like hell just to catch her. We had a tailwind in that direction. Which meant we got to do the HEADWIND part of that stretch TWICE.

Since we now had some extra miles, that meant we would be near 80 miles, and Rozmo got the idea that if we were that close to 100, we should do some EXTRA miles and get the century. The prize for that feat is a 99 cent piece of cloth proclaiming to the world that you have ridden 100 miles on your bicycle in a single day.

I'm over the bandanna thing.

We did backtrack a few miles, but Rozmo realized that would mean going up and down (mostly up) some of the same hills we had already done. Then she got the idea that we would get into camp, then ride back toward the last rest stop just far enough that we would have 100 miles. I told her there was no way she would get me back out on the road once we made it to camp, and we had better put in the extra miles before we got back.

I would like to think my amazing power of persuasion forced Rozmo to see reason, but I think it was more likely the wind.

Did I mention the 30 mph winds we had here for most of the day? And you would think they would have been tailwinds for half the ride, since we rode in a circle, but that's not how it works out. It's ALWAYS a headwind. Except for the times it's a crosswind that will push you and your bike into the other lane on occasion.

I hate wind. I will never take up sailing or kite-flying, because that would require that I occasionally see the benefit of the wind, and I'm committed to hating the wind forever.

We rode a total of 86 miles, and you would think it would have been easy to ride "ONLY" an additional 14 for the self-satisfaction of saying we had done a century.

You could think that, but you'd be wrong. I'm okay with the 86 miles we did.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Tune-Up Friday.........

Today was a good ride. I debated and debated about whether to do a shorter ride that would allow me to get back in time to watch the semi-finals of the gymnastics national championships (more on that later) or do the longer ride. It was a tough decision.

Ultimately I decided that the gymnastics competition would come out the way it would come out, and my watching it would not affect the outcome one iota. I opted for the longer ride, and I left this morning with Rozmo and a group of other cyclists. Katydid was pulling Chico (a chihuahua) in a trailer behind her bike, so she decided to do a shorter ride due to the extra weight.

Sorry, Gus, but I don't love you that much.

Our group dwindled down to three of us: Rozmo, Kelly, and me. I would like to think we rode faster than the others and left them behind. I will go on thinking that if I want to.

It was windy at times, but for once (perhaps the first time ever), there was a noticeable TAILWIND toward the end of the ride. We hit a stretch of smooth pavement, downhill, WITH a tailwind. That combination will probably never happen again.

We rode a total of 65.5 miles, and I averaged 14.4 mph. That isn't my all-time highest, but I was pleased with it since there were quite a few hills, plus the wind. It wasn't ALWAYS a tailwind, I assure you.

I'm glad I chose to ride the longer ride, since that's what we came here to do after all, and the UGA Gym Dogs are NOT advancing to the finals of the national championships. It's just how the whole season has gone. We did okay on beam, bars, and vault, but melted down on floor exercise. Floor. How the hell do you fall off a floor? On a positive note, we have three gymnasts who qualified to advance to Sunday's individual championships, so we could end up with a national champion after all.

On an even more positive note, one that has me periodically shrieking with laughter, random outbursts that startle Chico, Florida's gymnastics team also failed to qualify for finals. They were ranked #1 all season long, posted astronomical scores right out of the gate, and suffered yet another epic meltdown at the end of the season. Last year they did it on their own home floor. I'm having a very hard time feeling sorry for them. In fact, I don't.

I toyed with the idea of riding the century tomorrow, but I don't think I'm going to attempt it. We'll probably ride 69 miles, and that will be a-plenty. That is, if the severe storms they are predicting for tonight don't blow us away in the RV.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm Not Stalking Him, but It's Okay if He Thinks I Am........

Sometimes technology amazes me. Well, it ALWAYS amazes me, but sometimes it amazes
me in a non-pissed-off way. Like how I can type a blog post with my thumbs at school and schedule it to post later tonight, when I may or may not be more interested in having a bloody mary and gossiping with Rozmo and Katydid.

But that's not what this post is about.

I was balancing Hubby's checkbook at school this mornng (because so far no one has told me specifically that isn't a good use of taxpayers' money - am I as bad as the cheaters I wrote about yesterday?), when I noticed a charge that hadn't been written down. Mostly out of curiosity, I texted Hubby.

Me: What did you buy at Home Depot?

Hubby: Mower (he's a man of very few words, especially when it comes to texting)

Me: Did you just do that today?

Hubby: Ain't out of parking lot.

Oh what I would give if he hadn't known I was planning to balance the checkbook today. He would still be looking for me in the parking lot at Home Depot.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Academic Cheating......

I read a rather disturbing article in this month's Readers' Digest, written by a "man" who makes a living writing other people's academic papers for them. I say "man" because the article was written under a pseudonym, and while it had a man's name, that might have been just a ploy.

I wish I could find a link to the article online, because I'm afraid I won't do it justice. And I left my copy of the magazine at school. If you are at all interested in the topic, it's well worth the $3.49 (or whatever it costs for a single issue) at the grocery store.

The basis of the article was that cheating is rampant in all areas of academia. The author specifically mentioned people in education - EDUCATION!!!! - and those in the seminary - SEMINARY!!!! - as representing a large percentage of his clientele.

He wrote about how easy it is (for him at least) to produce a 75-page paper with little more than a Google search, Wikipedia, and an appropriate quote or two. He used examples from a customer, a woman writing a thesis for a business degree, and he included her emails verbatim. They were almost unintelligible. Didn't she ever communicate in writing with her professors? Weren't they suspicious that she produced almost flawless academic writing but couldn't spell or even string a couple of sentences together that made sense?

Apparently not. According to the author, not ONE of his "customers" has ever been caught or even had it suggested that his or her work was anything less than original.

This just burns me up. And I'm pretty sure it would burn me up even if I didn't have a doctorate. Sometimes I get a sudden cold chill, worried that I inadvertently failed to document a source properly in my dissertation, and "they" are going to come snatch my degree away from me. I wouldn't mind them taking the piece of paper, but for God's sake don't take the extra pay I've earned these 7 years I've had my doctoral degree.

I heard recently about someone I know personally (but not very well) working on an advanced degree but having someone else do some of the work (I'm assuming the writing and/or research). That's just wrong. I have no proof, of course, and I suppose on some level it isn't any of my business (at least that's what Hubby says), but it still gets my goat. Should I be bothered? Does it affect me in any way? Maybe not. I don't think it cheapens my degree any for this person to get an advanced degree by cheating. But if he or she has no compunction about cheating in a masters program, what other (un)ethical issues does he or she bring to the classroom?

I have mellowed somewhat over the years (really, I have), but right after I finished my doctorate I was much more sensitive to this topic. About the time I finished my degree, there was a huge scandal in our state, one county over from us, in fact, about a number of teachers getting online degrees from some institution that turned out to be bogus. They lost their jobs and their teaching certificates, and some of them were outraged. One man dared to be interviewed on the news complaining. He said, and I quote, "I don't think it's right. I worked hard for ten months for that doctorate."

I could have hunted that man down and cheerfully throttled him with my bare hands.

Ten months. TEN MONTHS!!!! You hear that, Neena? You and I must be the slow members of our respective classes, because I know I worked hard and I'm pretty sure you have worked hard too. It took me four years, and that was with me taking two courses some semesters AND working full-time. And being in charge of the yearbook for three of those years.

I don't know how these people live with themselves.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Things I Wish......

I wish I cared about plants and gardening.

I wish I knew something about interior decorating. Or interior design. Hell, I wish I knew the difference between those two.

I wish I saw more movies, so I would at least know who folks are talking about when they discuss movie stars.

I will always wish I had straight hair.

I wish I were closer to my cousins. Thanks, Grandmother, for alienating all of us from each other.

I wish I could watch sporting events without becoming so emotionally involved.

I wish we had known Sweet Girl would be moving out when we let her get TWO cats. (Ahem)

I wish I had become interested in cycling when I was in college, instead of majoring in drinking and smoking (cigarettes only, thank you). Riding to class instead of fighting for a parking space or standing space on a campus bus would have been sweet. Not so much riding back UP Baxter Street to my apartment.

I wish when I decided to go to Wal-Mart after Zumba class tonight that I had taken a form of payment with me.

I wish I had already made my lunch for tomorrow.

I wish Dan Uggla would start hitting like he did when he played AGAINST us.

I wish I were interested in antiques.

When I came home from a party and my mother asked why I had been drinking, I wish I hadn't answered, "Would you believe because I was thirsty?"

I wish I hadn't spent all that money on a wedding all those years ago. Was it really necessary to have TWO DOZEN yellow roses in my bouquet?

I wish Tampa Bay were in the National League. Unless I'm way off the mark regarding the MLB draft.

I wish I could curl my tongue. I'm pretty sure I could do it when I was young. It's supposed to be genetic, and Sweet Girl can do it.

I wish I could remember what I was about to type here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gymnast has a Brain Fart......

I don't even like the word "fart" (it's almost as bad as that other "f" word to me), but I can think of no better description for this. Every time I watch this video (and I have watched it over and over, believe me), it gets funnier.

I'm going to preface this by saying I admit right up front that it's mean-spirited of me to post this. If this were one of our gymnasts....... it would still be funny. The fact that this team went on to kick our arses at the SEC Championships gives me enough justification to post this video.

Fast forward to the 7:23 mark for the beginning of this girl's routine. The funny part occurs right after her first tumbling pass.

Katydid and I saw this happen live and in person, and we looked at each other like, "WTH?" It was very uncomfortable. You wanted to scream at her, "Honey, DO SOMETHING!" Then you just wanted to scream with laughter.

Believe it or not, she got a decent score, a 9.75. Apparently once her muscle memory kicked in (because clearly her brain memory was shot), she included all the required elements. I'm guessing she got docked a little for her "dance" between those two segments, though.

I'll try to get back to normal tomorrow night, directing my sarcasm mostly at myself.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Team Lean Final Results......

Last Thursday was our final weigh-in for Team Lean.

Oh, the irony. I lost .8 pounds, and I breathed a sigh of relief as I said, "Thank you, God." Remember my first week on Team Lean, when I went into a rant because I ONLY lost .8 pounds?

I lost 9 pounds over the 12-week challenge, which I guess isn't too bad, and I had already lost about 14 pounds on my own before it started. It's less than I WANTED to lose, but at least I made some progress. I only lost half an inch in my waist, and I lost two inches in my hips. Oh good. Now I have even less of a butt than I already did.

I would like to lose another 20 pounds, and I realize it may take the rest of this year to do that. But I think I've formed some good habits as far as exercise and eating, if I can just stay committed to it. I'm afraid that without the pressure of a weekly weigh-in, I may lose some of my momentum. I'm going to check at the "Y" and see if they still have personal trainers. Hubby even said he would be willing to work with one as well. The daughter of my hairdresser is also a former student of mine, and she has lost 68 pounds working with a personal trainer. I don't need a drill sergeant, but I would like someone to show me some weight training tips and keep me focused.

I have a feeling he or she is going to disagree with me regarding the correct portion of Cool-Whip.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tony Serrano Ride 2011.........

It's days like today when I am glad I live in the South. While some parts of the country are dealing with snow (or at least cold weather), we have already gone to shorts and flip-flops. Temperatures today were in the 80's, and I think it's supposed to approach 90 tomorrow, at least at the Masters. The yellow dust has decreased a little; at least I don't taste it as much when I go outside.

It was overcast for a large part of today, which made it excellent bike riding weather. The sun came out late in the day, just enough to give me my "raccoon" look where I got sunburned around my sunglasses. I also have the tiger stripes on my feet from my cycling sandals, a farmer's tan on my arms, and the lower part of my leg is just slightly less pale than the upper part.

Today's ride took place just one town over from us, so an added bonus was not having to travel very far to ride. We had the option of doing a century (100 miles), but I'm glad we didn't take that option. We rode 61 miles, and there's no way we could have done another 40. I was whipped by the time we got back, and my knees are incredibly sore. I'm having to do that old lady thing, where I go up and down the stairs one step at a time. As soon as I came home I took a shower and turned on the Masters, then promptly fell asleep. I was dead to the world when Hubby came in the door an hour later.

This ride boasts "the best rest stops ever," and while I haven't done every single bike ride in the world, they can't be far off the mark. In addition to the usual cookies and fruit that almost all bike rides have (except the really crappy ones), these rest stops have homemade goodies. There were some little peanut-butter balls rolled in sugar with chocolate chips in them, and I would ride another 61 miles just to have some more of those. Well maybe not TODAY, but tomorrow wouldn't be out of the question.

There were 520 riders today, about 100 more than last year. Katydid and I didn't ride the longer route last year (we only rode 34 miles) because we wanted to get home and watch the gymnastics regional championships.

Hubby and I went out to dinner, and I ordered a beer. His jaw fell open, and he said, "I can't believe what I just heard." (That's only my second beer of 2011, and the other one was last Friday before the hockey game.) I said to him, "I earned every drop of this beer, and I'm going to enjoy it."

I also earned an early bedtime, and that's where I'm headed now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Heartbreak of High School Baseball.......

Our local high school baseball team played one of their biggest rivals tonight, a team they can never seem to beat. Their games almost always come down to one run. It was glorious to see our "godson" hit a two-run homer early in the game. With scouts from our nearby professional team watching, no less.

I didn't know how to console the Warrior Princess, however, when her son struck out to end the game with a runner on third. He wanted nothing more than to beat that team. He has played travel ball with some of their team members, and he really wanted to win. I could see him standing with the team as they gathered in the outfield after the game, and I could tell from his posture that he was already beating himself up.

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat indeed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Told You I Might Forget......

I just remembered something I was supposed to tell you from last week.

One of our students was pregnant and expecting sometime in June. I think she was in her 29th week when she went into labor last week. They tried to stop her labor, but they couldn't. On top of that, we already knew the baby was breech.

She went in for a Caesarean last week, and when I heard from her sister (also a student at our school), she said the baby was here, weighed 3 pounds 7 ounces, and was breathing on her own. A sweet baby girl named Sophia.

The next day the sister had pictures of the baby on her cell phone, and she wanted me to see them. She showed me how to scroll back and forth to see more pictures.

I scrolled too far.

Before she could grab the phone out of my hand, I was unfortunate enough to see a picture of a (maybe fully erect, maybe not) penis.

I would like to have that image laser-removed from my retinas, please.

I wanted to ask her, "Don't you know this is how your sister's trouble got started?"

The girl was embarrassed, and I was embarrassed. I don't know if she KNOWS I saw the picture, but I KNOW IT.

Please. For what reason could a teenaged girl have a picture of a penis on her cell phone? I mean, it's not like they are even pretty or anything.

Welcome to the island.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Make Fun of OUR Gymnasts Too.....

Just to show you that I believe in equal opportunity tackiness, here is a video of one of OUR gymnasts at last week's regional championships.

As someone posted on the gossipy message board, "You have to MOUNT the bars before you can DISMOUNT them."

Poor girl. I hope she's better prepared for Nationals, or our team's stay there may be a very brief one.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday Observations......

AKA Random Thoughts.

AKA Musings.

AKA ____ Things I've Learned this Week.

  • Laughing at a gymnast from an opposing team is probably bad karma, not to mention bad manners. But when she's a hot-dog freshman who forgets her floor routine, it's hard not to laugh. When they show it on ESPN instead of editing it out, it gets even funnier. When they show a REPLAY of her forgetting, it's side-splitting.
  • If I have to drive 10 miles to a bike shop to buy a new tube for my rear tire, it only makes sense to take the bike along and let the professional change the flat. AND pick up a spare tube.
  • Having taco salad (or any other Mexican food) before going to Zumba class is just asking for trouble.
  • I had never heard of the Wonderlick (Wonderlic?) test until I read about it being administered to football players who have just entered the NFL. A certain star receiver from a certain football team for which I am a RABID fan, who left before his senior year so he could play in the NFL, reportedly scored a 6 out of 50 on the test. If that's true, I hope he never, ever returns to graduate from my university. After looking at some of the sample questions, I would be ashamed to share an alma mater with him.
  • The sister who is the most calm and level-headed out of the three of us came over to the dark side on Saturday, if only for a moment. She is the one who reminds me and Katydid from time to time (meaning every meet) that good sportsmanship is important and it is impolite to boo the judges. She felt the judges were over-scoring the team that went on to win (and she may be right, but at least SOMEONE in the family has to remain objective - ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha), and when one of their gymnasts fell on her bars dismount, Frogger Blogger shouted, "Nine-nine THAT!!!!" Much to the glee of most of the people in our section. Minus the parents of the gymnasts from the aforementioned team, who were seated about three rows ahead of us.
  • Hubby and I went to see our "godson" play baseball last night, and it was hard to get to talk to the Warrior Princess for all the damned MLB scouts who kept butting in. I lost count, but my co-worker who is one of the assistant coaches said there were 14 of them there. They look just like normal folks, wearing blue jeans and shirts with the tails out, but walking around with video cameras and stop watches gives them away.
  • The tree that I had to drag out of the road before I could go to school this morning fell from our neighbor's yard. It couldn't have happened more perfectly, falling right along the fence line. If it had fallen the other way, it would have taken out Hubby's truck, and possibly my car. That was the fiercest storm we've had in quite a while, and the damage around our county is significant.
  • There may be no food more perfect in the world than Cool Whip that hasn't quite thawed out all the way. Makes me want to go refreeze the rest of it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cycling Guardian Angels are Putting in Overtime.......

I know there must be guardian angels watching over me when I ride my bike, because that's the only explanation for why I haven't been killed long before now.

It's not that I'm reckless (often) or stupid (much), but sometimes when I'm tired or distracted or hot or thirsty or mad about the stupid wind, I make decisions that aren't too smart.

Today's example of having guardian angels isn't about making poor decisions or even about being tired or distracted or hot or thirsty, and I wasn't THAT mad about the stupid wind, even though it was fierce and always a headwind. Today was an example that sometimes stuff happens.

And sometimes the stuff that happens could have had catastrophic results if they had happened at a different moment.

I took my usual route home from school on my bike today, with the extra loop that gives me an additional 4.5 miles. Riding the extra loop takes me down a road with a sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet downhill on which I have reached my maximum speeds on my single bike. Last week I was angry and frustrated, so I pedaled hard starting down this hill, and when I got home I noticed my maximum speed was 39.5 mph.

That's nothing but a challenge.

Today when I started down the hill I wasn't angry or frustrated, but I pedaled hard to see if I could hit 40 mph. I saw 41, felt satisfied, and continued my (windy) ride home.

Another challenge is turning into the street on which we live. It's a very narrow street, coming off another downhill, and I have tried to see how LITTLE I can use the brakes turning in our road. It's a 90-degree turn, so I have to use SOME brakes, but I've been pushing the envelope lately.

Today I went screaming into that turn, happy that I was finally going to be out of the wind, giddy that temperatures reached the 80-degree mark today, and excited about going to the high school baseball game. I even considered riding my bike there too, since Hubby would already be there (the field is right next to the golf course).

My happy/giddy/excited feeling all but disappeared when my back tire slid out from under me. That's what they do when they lose air.

I didn't fall, and I somehow managed to get back upright without taking out the guy who was mowing his lawn on the corner.

Damn it, that's the same tire I just changed last week. I don't think this incident has anything to do with my (lack of) tire changing skills, but I'm not sure.

I was so busy being thankful that I made it all the way home that it only occurred to me much later how much worse it could have been going downhill at 42 mph. (That turned out to be my maximum. I must have hit 42 after my eyes started watering.)

If that tire had gone flat with me screaming downhill at 42 mph, I would probably have lost several pounds of flesh. Perhaps bone. But the bandages and casts would have more than made up for anything I lost, so it wouldn't have been a good thing at all.

Thank you again today, Guardian Angels of Cycling. Now can you please do something about the wind?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

#40 and #43.........

I didn't set out for this to be a weekend of cramming in as many of my 50 Things to Do as possible. It just worked out that way.

It was kind of cheating to put #40 on the list in the first place. I knew I was going to attend a regional gymnastics championship meet because UGA was hosting one this year. I had been to nationals (twice) and the SECs (four times), and I ALMOST went to regionals last year. I was going to fly to Missouri on Saturday morning, go to the meet, spend the night, and fly back Sunday. I was going to do all this alone, mind you, because Hubby was out of town. The only reason I didn't go was that it was also the weekend of the Masters golf tournament, and I would have missed both Saturday and Sunday coverage. Instead I did a bike ride, watched the P-A-I-N-F-U-L meet on the computer (glad I didn't pay all that money to go out there and see them lose in person), and got to see the Masters too.

Anyway, #40 was already planned for, but because I hadn't done it before, it qualified for my list of 50 Things to Do. And I was already running out of ideas when I got to #40.

There was a tailgate before the meet, and then Katydid, Frogger Blogger and I walked down to the UGA bookstore. That's always a dangerous move, but I managed to control myself this time, mostly in consideration of #31.

The results of the meet were much more satisfying this year, even though we still had some disappointments. This team hasn't performed up to its potential much this year. We seem to put together three great events, and we have one disastrous one. This time our disastrous event was our first one, balance beam, and even though we came back with a vengeance, the damage was done. UCLA won the meet handily, but we came in second, and so we qualified for the national championships in two weeks. No, I'm not going. I haven't lost anything in Cleveland, and besides there's a 3-day bicycle ride that weekend.

#43 was a complete and total surprise. I got out the Wii Fit balance board because I intended to video the Wii bitch saying, "That's obese." I wanted to save it for the point when I've lost enough weight that I'm not obese anymore, just overweight.

Imagine my surprise when she did NOT say "obese," but she said "That's overweight." I have never been so happy in my life to be told I'm overweight.

Side note: I didn't need the Wii to tell me I'm slightly off-center.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

#36 - Go to a Hockey Game......

Suddenly it has been a busy weekend for the 50 Things to Do list. I've knocked out 3 of them this weekend alone, and there's still tomorrow to get through!

I almost missed my chance for #36 until next fall. I let the end of hockey season slip up on me, until my buddy Angie emailed me on Thursday asking if I wanted to go to the last home hockey game of the season.

Since Hubby was out of town and I didn't have anything else to do on a Friday night (other than cleaning house - yuck), not to mention it would satisfy one of my 50 Things, I told her I would love to go.

Apparently wearing a hockey jersey to a hockey game is required, so Ang brought me one to wear. This isn't one of those that the team auctions off, nor is it one purchased in a store. She is such a devoted fan that when the original owner of the jersey, a real, live hockey player, moved back to Canada to be a policeman, he left the jersey behind, presumably in his locker or something. Someone who works at the arena called Angie and saved it for her.

There is a lot I don't understand about the game of hockey. I know the puck is supposed to go in the net, but that's about it. I also know that fighting is part of the game, expected even. There was a fight in the game last night, and some fans behind me were perplexed when the referees broke it up. Apparently that's not how it usually goes.

I told Angie I hoped I would get out of the hockey fan mode before I went to this afternoon's gymnastics meet, as it is a more genteel sport. More on that tomorrow.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Men Can Be Such Girls......

Hubby asked me a random question the other night, and I was a little dumbfounded.

"Who is Vera Bradley?" he asked.

I had no context in which to place him anywhere near the words Vera and Bradley.

"It's the name of a designer," I answered. "Why?"

"At the casino this weekend, they're giving away either a Vera Bradley cosmetic bag or a coin purse."

"Oh," I said, sort of losing interest. "I'm not really into those designer things." My idea of a good purse is one with the split straps so I can carry it on my motorcycle if necessary. It also has to last forever, because I only change purses when one completely disintegrates.

"So you don't want me to get you one?"

"Well, if you're going to get anything, get me the cosmetic bag." It's a toss up which one I have less of: cosmetics or coins.

He was immediately on the phone with a (womanless) friend who was also going on the trip, trying to coordinate which one would get the coin purse and which one would get the cosmetic bag, so I could have both.


It's not that important to me. I mean I'll take whatever they bring home (if anything - it will require that they walk ALL the way across the casino), but did it really necessitate a round of phone calls several days in advance?

They left this morning, Hubby having awakened an hour BEFORE the alarm because he gets so excited about going on these golf/gambling trips. Don't tell him I told you that; it would bruise his masculinity. But it's true.

They left our house around 5:15 in an attempt to get through Atlanta before the worst of rush-hour traffic. Hubby texted me from Alabama:

"Wayne forgot his suitcase."

Wayne is the same (womanless) friend he made arrangements with for the Vera Bradley thing(s).

I won't bore you with the whole string of text messages. He wanted me to check to see if the suitcase was sitting in the yard at our house, which meant I had to turn around and go back home. It's not like I've been on time this week anyway, so why start on Friday?

Hubby said I didn't need to turn around, that I would have noticed it, but I couldn't stand the thought of neighborhood dogs getting hold of Wayne's clothes and scattering them all over the neighborhood. I went home, and Wayne's suitcase is sitting in the backseat of his car in our front yard.

Guess they'll be going shopping before they go to the casino. You better believe Wayne didn't leave his golf clubs behind. Got to have those necessities.

Because he's a MAN, they can probably get his shopping done in 10 minutes in a Wal-Mart, and he won't even have to try anything on.

I just hope Hubby brings back some coins for me to put in my Vera Bradley coin purse.


Out of consideration for my many several couple of devoted readers, I changed tonight's blog post. I was going to post a rather grumpy recap of some student interactions I've suffered through had this week.

You're welcome.

Remind me, though, if I forget to tell you later, the circumstances under which I found myself, first thing this morning AT SCHOOL, looking at a picture of a penis on a student's cell phone.

Welcome to the island.