Friday, August 29

I saw this picture and laughed outloud. I am not a fan of dressing dogs up, but this struck me funny.

It was accompanied by this article on about how the Japanese are increasingly choosing pets over children and dogs outnumber children 10 and under in Japan.

The article says it best:
Let's be honest. A dog doesn't talk back. A cat never grows up to get hooked on heroin and resent you. A dog doesn't need college tuition or bat mitzvah money. I suspect that some people might see Toshiko Horikoshi pushing her puppies in a pram and snicker and think she's insane. Think she wishes she had babies. But she's a doctor who knows what she's doing. She doesn't want kids. She wants dogs. And that's okay. We're living in an overcrowded world where women are finally allowed to make choices. And if your choice is to baby a puppy or kitten instead of a human, who cares? There's a stigma of "crazy cat ladies" — maybe dating waaaay back to when women who were "too close" to animals were thought to be "communicating" with "familiars" in the animal world and therefore deemed witches?Unlike spoiling a child — where the rest of the world has to deal with the bratty maladjusted results, isn't lavishing attention, affection, and yeah, cash on a dog or cat a victimless crime? So why do people feel the need to make pet-crazy women feel guilty?

Now how to convince my parents of this...

Thursday, August 28

Somewhat Peeved

Today when I got to work I found out that I would be spending most of the morning out of the office going all over town. This doesnt happen very often, usually I will drop something off or pick something up on my way to or from work. Even more rare is for me to go to a job site if it isnt a scheduled meeting. I rather enjoy being out and about for a little while because it gets me away from behind my desk and a reprive from the office bs, or so I thought.

One of the stops was to drop off a billing at a job site, which was literally thrown at me as I was walking out the door. Again I had no intention of going to a job site and it is very rare that I visit one so when I was getting dressed this morning, it was not what was on my mind. What was on my mind was that it was going to be 106 degrees and I was bloated. My solution was to wear a somewhat short t-shirt dress and flats. It is loose and not at all clingy, in fact sometimes I think I look pregnant in it because it has no shape - perfect for hiding a little bit of a bloated tummy. It is also super comfortable and I was anticipating I would be sitting at a desk all day with my dad, mom and Susan being the only ones who will see me.

Anyway when I got to the jobsite I called the superintendent to come out and pick up the billing because they were doing grade work and so the trailer was surrounded by dirt and trucks. I handed it off and got in my truck and left. I know that a water truck drove by while I was in the parking lot waiting but that was the only worker that I saw or saw me.

When I get back to the office I get pulled aside and told that I the superintendent called and told them that the driver of the water truck almost hit him because he was looking at me (this is what he told the super, I did not just assume). I thought that he called because he thought it was funny but no he was mad and didnt think I should be wearing that to a job site. Well now I just feel stupid. I never go to jobsites, I just happened to this day and it happened to be a very hot day and I was bloated. I do not normally wear this and for at least 4 days of the week I am easily the most professionally dressed person in the office, over dressed if anything. Apparantly I should just be wearing old slacks, dirty loafers and hawaiian print polos.

I was just peeved that he would call to say that because I feel dumb about the whole thing and I cant even defend myself because I am not going to call him and explain that I am hot and bloated. Grrrrrr. I am going to be very paticular about what I wear tomorrow, I am thinking a head scarf and poncho.
After having a rather lackluster beginning of the week, things have been getting better. Well really they have just been getting back to normal but to keep it going in a positive direction here are some things that make me happy today:

- Finding out chocolate milk has the same recovery benefits as a sports drink (I have to force myself to drink them because I really dont like the way they tatse so this is REALLY good news!)

- Curly and Haley (the family dogs) are at work today. Maybe if they came to work everyday people here would be in better moods.

- I didn't have time for my coffee this morning but it has recently become even more of an obsession for me. I re-discovered cafe lattes with a dash of nutmeg which remind me of fall and make me happy and awake. I will have to go by an Architects office this morning so guess what stop I will be making on the way!

- I have 3 new books I bought used on Amazon that are waiting at home for me (I have grown tired of watching Law and Order Re-runs)

- Three day weekend coming up (woo hoo), I might go up to the cabin for a day or go swimming or thirt store shopping (after that dentist bill I am broke as a joke so shopping cannot come at full price for a bit).

- I got my Team Tiara fundraising package yesterday which included a pink foam tiara and other girly things for me to play with. Dont think I will wear it when I run but it is kinda cute.

Ok thats all I have. Time for my coffee break!

Wednesday, August 27

"Too good" to play?

You have probably heard this story already but if you havent, here is a quick recap.

Nine-year-old Jericho Scott has a 40 mph fastball and since no player has even gotten a hit off of him, his team has gone 8-0 in the Youth Baseball League of New Haven. The Youth Baseball League requested that he not pitch anymore and when he took the mond anyway the opposing team packed up and forfeited the game. Officials for the 3-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho's team, redistributing its players among other squads, and have offered to refund $50 sign-up fees on request.


This decision is bothersome to me and apparantly other people as there has been a lot of discussion as of late.

The league sites safety as a concern for Scott pitching. It is a developmental league and parents were concerned one of the pitches would get away from Scott and injure a player, although that has never happened. The league asked him to play a different position, but he refused. There was also apparantly an outburtst by his mother at some point where she threatened some officials and there is hostility and dare I say over reacting by other parents.

In my opinion, there are multiple faults in this situation and things were escalated unneccesarily. First, I can see where the league is coming from and their concern for the safety for all of the players. There has also been rumblings that safety really isnt the concern but jealousy is the issue. Jericho was recruited by Carlito's Barber Shop (a local sponser), and his parents' decision to join Will Power Fitness left coaches and parents from other teams envious. I am not going to address this because I have no idea if there is any merit in this claim so I am just going to assume that safety is indeed the concern.

By all accounts, he is not a dangerous pitcher. He hasnt hit anyone, he is just good. If he were to be pitching widly without control then the league would have a case to ask that he not pitch due to safety, but in this case he is being punished for something that hasnt happened but may happen in the future. Now I havent played softball in awhile but I believe there is also a chance you can get hit by a line drive and a 30 mph pitch can probably hurt too. Sports have inherent risks that you accept when you take the field or court, this risk feels like it is blown out of proportion though.

What concerns me is the message we are sending the kids involved in this. First, you are telling Scott that he shouldnt persue something he is obviously good at because he is better than most kids his age. Say what? I would never tell a kid, you are too good and therefore you need to either play poorly or play a different position. That makes no sense. He is good at it and enjoys doing it, adults should be encouraging him, not holding him back.

Secondly, for the kids he is competing against, the message is give up if you come across someone who is better than you. Just throw in the towel. Have these parents never seen Rudy? You improve by playing against people that are better than you because in order to compete you have to step it up. If you dont step it up or arent able to compete though, it is not the end of the world. Everyone should experience loss, it teaches you a lot about yourself and it is a life lesson that needs to be taught. So these kids cant hit against Scott, they still have other pitchers in the league they can hit against. They are getting the typical experience but also going up against a really great player that they can learn from. By making a team forfeited you are telling them that they arent good enough nor do we have any confidence that you will be in the future.

Third, the mother and other parents screaming, yelling, and threatening the officials is the most sad thing about this story. Once again, parents are showing their kids that if things dont go their way then yelling and throwing a fit is an acceptable way to deal with the situation. The parents on both sides need to start acting like adults. The opposing team's parents should stop unneccesarily babying their kids and let them play and the parents of the team that was disbanded should conduct themselves like adults and calmly and rationally deal with the situation.

Bottomline, kids shouldnt be punished for being good and kids shouldnt be protected from kids that are better than them. Let them play and let them learn and develop. By taking this pitcher out you are also taking away the opportunity for one of those kids to get a hit, maybe even a homerun off of him. Imagine how inspiring it would be for that kid and that team to score off of Scott. Sadly, the thrill of experiencing the underdog beating the big bad undefeated team can never happen now and there are at least 100 kids in that league that will miss out on the magic of pulling something off that no one thought was possible.

Tuesday, August 26

Hello, my name is Kasey and I am an idiot

No sense denying it, today I have been a complete idiot. I had my root canal this morning and if you had asked me what time it was for I would have told you 8:45. I knew what time is was for, I apparantly dont know how to tell time though because I arrived at 7:45 and the girl at the front desk goes "well you know you are early right?" uuhh no I didnt actually not until just now. I got it in my head that I wasnt going to go into work because I wouldnt be there long enough before my appointment and so even though I saw 7:30 on my clock my mind was thinking 8:30. So stupid.

So I go and the roughest dentist I have ever had drill and poke and prode me (and I am not in the mood for pervy jokes so save them, we all saw the inuendo ha ha) for a good 45 minutes and when I leave gives me a perscription for antibiotics that I put in the book I was reading. On my way to get my perscription and my phone rings and it was the dentist, I had left my book and perscription there. So back I go to the office that must think I am a huge idiot by now and I try to smile and thank them but only half my mouth works so I just looked even dumber.

Thinking this is nothing that a cup of coffee cant fix I swing by starbucks and pick up a latte. While at the counter I knock over part of a display that crashes to the ground. But the fun isnt quite over yet, while waiting for my perscription I spill my coffee on me and all over the chair. Luckily I am wearing black so there was no stain, I just smell like I just bathed in espresso.

Now I am at the office, so far uneventful but my jaw and tooth are throbbing pretty hard and my left cheek is swollen. I took a drink of cold water though and no pain!

The end of this week cant possibly be as bad as the beginning so I am looking forward to the upswing.

Monday, August 25

Ok so seriously?

I know Mondays are generally blah but this is ridiculous. Here is a rundown of my life as of late:

- Hair dye fiasco (ok this technically happened last night and it really isnt that bad, I can still go out in public but bottomline, I have a lot of freakin gray hair)

- The AC unit in my bedroom seems to be going out and my landlord is out of town this week. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will hold up a little longer.

- Went to the dentist this morning and got a filling and at the same time found out I need a root canal on a tooth that was previously "fixed" by him. The icing on the cake is that it will also require a crown for a whoping total of $2,200. Fuuuck me.

- Had a severe allergy attack while at the dentist and have been sneezing, coughing and blowing my nose ever since. I have no idea what I cam in contact with but c'mon the dentist is bad enough I dont need to be worrying about snot dripping out of my nose while my tooth is getting drilled.

- I cannot digest lettuce anymore. Not sure when or why this has happened but it goes right through me and skips the whole digesting step. Salad was my go to veggie too, damnit.

And the good news:

- Ran 10 miles yesterday and felt really good, no pain whatsoever.

- Had the valley veggie for lunch, mmmmmm.

- Working out later will make me feel better, it always does.

So there you have it. My hair may be turning gray at warp speed and I may be the personafication of the salad shooter but things could always be a lot worse. I am going to read my new book tonight and go to bed early and tomorrow will be a new day. That starts with a root canal.

I am too young for this

You can't pick your parents and therefore cannot pick your genes. Had I the ability to do that I might not be plucking multiple gray hairs each and every day from my 28 year old head. The last time I dyed my hair was a couple of months ago but I dyed it color that matched my natural hair color pretty well, just slightly darker. When it started growing out I began noticing more gray hair than ever. I have always had a few here and there but now they are taking off! Finally, after plucking out 5 and realizing there were probably 10 more I could pluck I knew I was fighting a losing battle. I gave up and decided to take a new approach, dye my hair again.

Now I have been dying my hair since high school, I should know what I am doing by now but I made a rookie mistake. I wanted to change from dark brown/black color I have been sporting and go for an auburn. What I forgot to consider was that since my hair is so dark, color is not going to show up very well except on my roots which took the color very well since it is virgin hair. I knew that the color overall wouldnt change a great deal but now I have roots that are considerably more noticeable than the grays were.

The color will mellow out over the next couple of days but I am going to have to make an appointment to get my hair colored professionally. I love being a girl but damn if it cant get expensive sometimes.

Sunday, August 24

I heart Japanese game shows.

Friday, August 22

Mark Wilson Construction Recycles!

What I like most is that there are the exact same contents in both waste baskets. I don't understand why this is so difficult to properly understand.

Work Vent

It has been awhile since I have posted a work vent post mainly because things have been pretty ok at work. I am busier, have more responsibilities and have had virtually no conflict with my dad for quite sometime. The inability of certain colleagues to make logical decisions can be quite irritating to me though.

Part of my job is to submit submittals from our subcontractors to the architects for approval. When they are reviewed by the architect I get them back and send them back to the subs as either approved or rejected and instructions. The project manager has the technical knowledge of these submittals and has to check them against the spec to make sure they are submitting the right things. He also gets them back first when they are returned from the architect so he is aware of whats going on and can contact the sub if there is a problem.

When they come back from the Architect, the Architect always includes a letter of transmittal with all pertinent information, including comments. A copy of this letter of transmittal always goes back to the sub as well. For some unknown reason Tennesse re-writes all of these comments on another transmittal that he gives to me and also take the time to re-write the project name and submittal number and superintendent -- all information that is already in the submittal and letter of transmittal. This is what I am talking about:

Letter of Transmittal from Architect:

Tennesse's letter of transmittal:

Notice that he word-for-word re-wrote the architects comments, even though I am also given the architects letter of transmittal to give to the sub. All the information that he took the time to write is completely unneccesary because it is already there. I used to think he was doing it just to help me out but I told him I dont need any of it written down because it is already in the submittal but he wont stop doing it and wont really respond to my questioning of it.

This doesnt really effect me or my job, but he is always complaining about being really busy all of the time and he is like comcast turtle slow when it comes to everything he does. So you would think that telling him not to do something to save him time would be beneficial, but no. It is just so irritating to me when someone has chosen not to make a logical decision but has no reasons whatsoever for being illogical. It doesnt benefit him in an way (in fact it takes away from the time he could be doing other productive things) and it doesnt benefit me in anyway yet he probably spends at least a half an hour on this per day.

Then again he also doesn't use punctuation of any kind so maybe I am expecting too much.

Wednesday, August 20

This is so funny because it is so true.

Tuesday, August 19


I have my fundraising page up and running, you can see it here. I am using this page to collect donations only, since it wont let me update it. I am also going to keep a blog for friends and family members I will update once a week so they can see my training progress and leave comments if they so choose. I also set my goal amount at $500 because the minimum $262 just seemed small. Hopefully I dont look like an idiot and can make that amount.

This is really important to me so I want to be able to come through and not only run well but raise some money that may actually do some good for someone else.

In other news I am developing an obsession for dark chocolate covered espresso beans, god they are effing good.

I Know This Isn't My Running Blog But...

As my training increases, particularly within the next month and half, I am becoming increasingly run-centric. Meaning that you will be seeing less of me and I will be staying home being good more often. As boring as that all may sound to everyone I enjoy the structure and the feeling of accomplishment that comes after I finish a long or a hard run. I just feel good.
That being said I have decided to raise money for charity for this marathon. I have never done this before because I dont particularly like asking for money. When I was a kid, selling candy bars was torture. I thought the added motivation of training in order to raise money for a group would help me to remain committed to my goals though. In particular if more people know what I am doing, I will want to do my best because I am accountable.
The charity that I have chosen is Girls on the Run©, a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. I get discouraged with the role models that young girls have today and I know first hand how beneficial running and athletics can be in a girls life so I think this program was perfect to raise money for. I have to raise a minimum of $262 which I hope I can surpass but expect for me to ask for your help. I know we aren't exactly made of money and we have other important expenses but any amount can help and I would very much appreciate it.
I will be sending out letters as well as a link to a fundraising wesbite I will be using to track donations and follow my progress in the near future.

In other running news, I have been hearing a lot about Urban Ultramarathons lately and kind of have a little bit of an urge to do one. This is pretty crazy though and I am not even sure how you would go about training for it. Here is how they work, big cities host these running events (ultras generally refer to a distance of over the traditional 26.2 marathon length and can also take place over multiple days). Usually these are held away from cities, the most famous and infamous being the Badwater Ultramarathon which covers 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA (CRAZY!!!). Anyway Urban Ultras are held in the heart of large cities and instead of a point A to point B race, they take a loop and just do it over and over again for a stipulated amount of time, 12 or 24 hours.
I came across a series of videos that a woman who is an editor of Runners World made as she ran her first Urban Ultra, and here is the first installment:

I will post the others over the next couple of days just because I find people like her inspirational. Once you get over the mindset that your body can only do so much, you would be amazed at what you can train it to actually do.

Monday, August 18


We are still doing the kickball thing right? I assume you all got the email that said that our league will play on Fridays at Bicentennial Park and that registration is open but it doesnt look like anyone has created our team yet so I just registered as an individual at the moment.
I was going to create our team but I didnt know what our team name was and all that fun stuff so if someone wants to fill me in I am more happy to do it for everyone, just let me know.

Friday, August 15

Famer's Market

This evening I decided to go to the Old Town Clovis Farmer's Market to get some fresh fruits and veggies. The last Farmer's Market will be held on 9/12 and I highly reccomend that you go before the season is over. On their website it states the it goes from 5-8 but thats not exactly true. They are not allowed to sell anything until 5:30. Seeing as I didnt know that I got there at 5 and had to wait for a half an hour. Did I mention it was 104 degrees?

When I started to realize that my ass was sweating I decided to pop into one of the antique stores and browse around. I do enjoy antique shopping so I ended up browsing for longer than I intended. I found this picture that I loved but it was over a $100 so I just took a picture of it instead.

After browsing I went back outside to pick up the produce that I had eyed earlier. The veggies and fruits were beautiful. Everything was big and bright and colorful. There was also a fairly large variety and they let you sample everything. There were a lot of peaches and nectarines, grapes and peppers but you could also find homemade jams and even peanuts.
This stand had a lot of veggies:

This stand had amazingly fragrant and bright peppers. I got one of those very pump eggplants so I could make eggplant parmesan.

This is what I came home with:

All of that for $15. Extremely fresh and delicious fruits and veggies that are locally grown. The white nectarines in the bag I was told were picked that morning. I will never finish it all so I am going to freeze any remaining berries and use them in smoothies.
I had a good time but kept thinking that this would be a really good date. Buying fresh produce that you can go home and make dinner with or you can eat at one of the restaraunts in the area. Boys, I am telling you this specifically, make a mental note and take your woman (or future woman).
I have been having a hankering for some fresh fruits and veggies since I have been eating like crap lately. A bit of small town charm also sounds appealing so I think I am going to go to the Old Town Clovis Farmers Market tonight. It starts at 5 or 515and goes until 8, I will probably get there when it opens so if anyone wants to join me let me know.

Olympic Coverage So Far....C+

Coverage of the Olympics has been midly frustrating so far and last night was no exception. I cannot stay up late enough to watch the events that I want to see. With coverage starting at 8 pm and going to at least midnight, if not later, the events that I want to see dont seem to start until 11 or later. Unfortunately that is past my bedtime, at least it is for 5 days in a row. I dont know what they air during the day since I am at work but prime time has been dissapointing.

I have also hit my saturation point with swimming. Frankly, it isnt very fun to watch. The mens gold medal relay was great, but thats not what the typical race is like not to mention the many qualifying swims prior to the final. At least seeing swimmers in those very tight swimming pants has been nice.

Beach volleyball also seems popular this Olympics, or rather Misty May and Kerri Walsh are. I think there is another womens team competing, but I have yet to see them play. It is unfortunate when individuals like Michael Phelps or teams like Walsh/May so dominate their sports because you just get so much of them it starts to get annoying. I would rather see two teams or individuals that arent so dominate play a hard match or race against each other, thats exciting.

Track and field starts today though and I am looking forward to that. These athletes always amaze me, especially the sprinters, just in phenomenal shape and so athletic. And although I do appreciate long distance running, it isnt as exciting as sprinting. I am looking forward to the marathons though. One of the Womens runners 4'11" Mizuki Noguchi (Japan) is going for her second gold medal in that event which has never happened. When several of the top elite runners broke down from the heat in Athens, she kept on going and won with a time of 2:26:20. The heat may again be a factor in Bejing so there is a good chance she could repeat.

Now I moan and groan a bit about the coverage, but I recognize it is a hard task to know what to air and when, a job I certainly wouldnt want. Ideally, I would like to pre-record the events that I want to see and come home and watch it at night, but I dont think I could really do that easily even if I had a DVR since they jump back and forth between events. Maybe by 2012 we can get that figured out.

Thursday, August 14

Project Runway Episode 5

The new season of Project Runway continues to be a bore to me. I just cant get excited about any of these designers yet, hopefully that will change as the season continues.

This episode featured the first team competition. This is usually the catalyst for drama but last nights drama was fairly mild. The guest host was Brooke Shields who is currently one of the stars in a series called Lipstick Jungle (you know, one of the Sex in the City rip off shows). Honestly I didnt even think this show was still on the air but it apparantly is because the winning design is going to be featured on the show as one of Brooke's characters outfits.

The instructions were to design something a high powered exec would wear to work that could also transition into evening. Each designer had 30 minutes to create a sketch of their design which they showed Brooke and she in turn picked her top 6 which were given the go-ahead. The designers thus picked teams or pairs a la third grade kick ball, which meant someone would be picked last or chosen by default. Stella was the last picked and despite her tough leatha exterior, seemed a bit hurt by this. Jerrel (whose personality is finally starting to emerge) ends up with her and very nicely takes her under his wing.

Off to the fabric store they went, weee! Nothing very exciting happened there so onto Parsons. This is where the friction began. Get two opinionated designers together and they will obviously butt heads, at least thats what Bravo was hoping. Suede and Terry had the most problems with each other with Terri emasculating Suede at every chance she got (not that this was difficult) and basically took away all of his responsibilities. I dont blame her though, he lacked confidence and couldnt execute and we all know that reality tv show contestants are not there to make friends.

Since there were only 6 designs, I will post all 6 for you to reference:

Blayne (the tanorexic who is fading faster than Beyonce in a L'oreal ad) and Leanne created this little ensemble. It did not go over well with the judges. Brooke felt it wasnt nice enough for an executive to be wearing but Heidi asked if she got dressed in the dark, ouch. I didnt think it was that bad, but clearly they didnt so much get what the parameters of the challenge was. Boring Leanne seemed to be there for the ride and didnt have much to say or contribute to defending the outfit. Blayne on the other hand took full responsibility and said if the design loses, he should go home. Leanne agrees.

Next we have Jerrel and Stella and I like their design a lot. It was interesting and combined colors, patterns, and textures well. Stella got to use her leatha skills and made the belt that Brooke didnt so much like but everyone else seemed to, including me. I just love that belt around the waist look.

Joe and Korto created this design. When she takes the jacket off she is wearing a gold/tan slinky tube dress that had the back cut out. Eh, kind of boring and I hate the sleeves but I am not big on volume in clothing in general. It was just ok, not dazzling though.

Kenley and Keith paired up to create this textured, high waisted skirt and floral top. Overall I liked to concept of this ensemble and I felt it could go from day to night although the judges disagreed. I wasnt sure if I liked the texture on the skirt (which you cant really see well in that pic) but it is a scallop type pattern. I find it to be acceptable.

After some drama, Suede and Terri came up with a shirt and pants, which Terri was about to dry hump she was so in love with it. Again, not really my style and it was a bit mediocre but fit the parameters of the challenge nicely.

Clearly the biggest dissapointment of the night came from Daniel and Kelly.

The overall consensous was that it looked cheap and it did. I dont think it is possible to mix black lace, animal print and teal together and have it look classy and clean. It was worse when she took the jacket off because underneath was this little cami that looked like something out of Fredricks of Hollywood. This ended up being the losing look and Kelly was sent home, barely squeaking by Blayne.

And the winning design was...Keith and Kenley's! No immunity was given on this challenge, but again the design will be worn on the show by Brooke Sheilds, me-ow.

Something I Liked

At first I couldn't tell if I liked Birds, Birds, Birds by Ingo Mauerbut against that dark wall I find it elegant looking with just a little bit of kitsch. The aluminum wires can be bent and sculpted to your liking as well.

Wednesday, August 13

Hump Day Quickie

I have been up in Sacramento since sunday night at a software training seminar which is why I have been MIA. I am taking over scheduling at work, which I think I will actually enjoy. A lot of it is inputing data but there is also a good amount of problem solving and creativity involved.

Sure Trak, the software that I am using, can schedule simple projects, generate any number of reports and allows its users to create their own reports based on their needs. I was pleasantly suprised that I was able to follow along without any problem with the training, apparantly a lot more is sinking in than I realized. I was the youngest person there and of course the only woman but I am beginning to think of that as being an advantage, I don't mind being underestimated. Hopefully I will take a liking to scheduling because I really need to find a clear role here that I feel is valued.

Other than that I havent been able to go to the gym in two days which has made me incredibly crabby and I feel gross and disgusting. The "Fitness Center" at the hotel consisted of rusty equipment that was at least 15 years old and instead of pins for the weight plates, they used mismatched screws, one of which I couldnt move. My workout didnt work out so well. I will be taking care of that problem today after work.

Friday, August 8

The Olympics are Here! The Olympics are here!

I have been anxiously waiting all summer for this and finally, it is time for the start of the Olympic games! I am seriously giddy. The opening ceremonies have already begun (I love how futuristic and that stadium is, amazing) and are probably done by now and it looks like it will be a pretty good show that I look forward to watching tonight.

After watching Project Runway this week, I looked forward to seeing what the USA athletes would be wearing. It was actually very similar to Terri's design:

I don't understand why the women have to wear the exact same thing as the men, but it looks pretty smart and sporty/casual. I love watching the athletes walking through the stadium and being introduced. Their expressions range from pure joy to being completely overwhelmed by it all. I can't even imagine how that must feel but it must be amazing.

This year the athlete that is carrying the American flag is Lopez Lamong, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He has only been a citizen for 13 months and won the vote and has quite an amazing story.
He was born in Sudan, separated from his parents at the point of a gun at age 6, and with the help of friends, he escaped confinement and made it to a refugee camp in Kenya. In 2001, he was brought to America as part of a program to relocate lost children from war-torn Sudan.

Lamong is also a member of Team Darfur, an international coalition of athletes committed to raising awareness about and bringing an end to the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Lamong had this to say about his involvement:
"I’m worried about the kids who are dying in Darfur and South Sudan. The kids don’t have the dream they could be Olympic athletes or doctors. I want those kids to reach what their dreams are. It's not just what's going on between the Chinese government and the Sudanese. It's what's going on with the people. We hope those kids can pursue what their dreams are."

I don't always like when people use the olympic games to express poilitical points of view, but in this case it is not only appropriate but impossible to seperate the athlete from the cause. That is part of his experience and his life and it wouldnt make sense to ignore that during the games.

Bring on the track & Field, gymnastics, swimming, marathon, triathalon & volleyball.

Thursday, August 7

Strike a Pose

At every race there are official photographers that take pictures of each and every runner. I am not sure how they manage that task but a few days later you get to see your pictures online and order them if you so choose. I have never bought a photo myself, I dont know what the hell I would do with that, but it is kind of fun to see how you look while running. Here is a link to my pictures.

The first thing you may notice is that everyone seems to be aware of the camera but me. I do some serious zoning out when I am running and am usually in my own little world, which makes me look completely miserable but I am really not. Also the pic of me crossing the finish line looks a little rough but I seriously didnt feel as rough as I apparantly looked! Also you can kind of see that guys junk next to me, ha. And yes, that is a running skirt that I am wearing.

Project Runway: The Olympic Episode

On this weeks episode the designers were challenged to create a look for athletes for the opening ceremony of the olympic games - women only though. Oddly enough the guest judge was olympic gold medalist Apollo Ohno - not a woman. It would have made more sense for the guest judge to be a female athlete but I guess they were all busy. He did a decent job, I just wish I didnt have to look at the flavor savor.

Anyway the designers looked a little lost when given the challenge. I don't think very many of them have ever seen the opening ceremony and designing sportswear isn't their strong suits, except for Joe who is the self appointed expert in this area. Joe ended up making a skort too, ick.

They were able to go to a museum or something to that effect that had pictures and olympic memorobilia for them to draw inspiration from as well as to attempt to clue them in on what athletes generally wear to this event. It was around this time that Stella made the earth shattering connection that if you win and get immunity then you can fuck up and they cant fire you. I think this may be the first time she realized this is how it worked. Good for her, there is less heroin use now that she is on the show.

Speaking of addictions, Blayne continues to waste away from being unable to tan. I am waiting for him to have his breakdown from severe tanning withdrawl symptoms but it hasnt happened yet.

Once they started the actual work on their garmets, Bravo attempted to present some bitchiness and drama that this season has thus far sorely lacked, but it came off as forced. Two designers laughed too much (how dare they, so rude!) and one designer was upset when someone used his sewing machine. Yawn. These designers are entirely too passive. I think Stella may have it in her to freak out and go off but it hasn't happened yet, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Fast forward to the runway and just as I thought, there was some definite struggles with the designs. My complaint was that these designers are used to creating clothes for stick thin models and they have a hard time conceptualizing looks on athletic women with muscle. And in all fairness, it would be really difficult to design something that would fit both the backs of women swimmers and small gymnasts or female weight lifters -- they are all very diverse in their shapes and there cant be a universal fit.

Some did better than others though. Basing my opinion on asthetic appeal and whether or not it was appropriate for the event, my two favorites were Leanne and Terri's:

A bit flight attendant but I thought it looked crisp and patriotic and I could see athletes wearing this.

Again, crisp and patriotic and I think that most women could wear this and look good.
The winner was Korto with this ensemble:

I thought it was a mediocre outfit myself. I didnt like the boxiness of the jacket and anyone with an ass or thighs is going to look huge in those high waisted pants. I also dont like how white it is, I wish there were more color. My opinion matters not though and Korto has immunity next week so she can fuck up and not be fired!

The weaker designs included a Little Bo Peep ensemble:

I was suprised by the reaction to this one from the judges. Although they recognized it was inappropriate for the occasion, they apparantly liked the whimsy. I find it a bit ridiculous and the tights underneath? C'mon Lindsey Lohan doesnt even wear those anymore.
But the judges really seemed to hate Daniels:

I didn't think it was so horrible myself but they berated him for making a purple dress. I can see a bit of a purple shade in the color but honestly next to the purple shirt he was wearing, there was clearly a difference between the two colors. Perhaps the lighting in the studio made it look that way to the judges but Michael Kors had it right when he said the color was the least of his problems. That dress just didnt make any sense for the opening ceremony of the olympics. He had that wounded puppy look down pretty well by the end of this episode.

And this weeks loser was boring girl #1, Jennifer:

I agree with this decision, she was clearly clueless about what this challenge was about. I dont think the United States wants a bunch of athletes in cute sweaters and little feminie skirts to represent them, it speaks nothing of athleticism and does not come off as strong. Ultimately she lost because she couldnt get past designing outside of what she likes herself (look out Stella, you might be next!).

Next week, Brooke Shields is the guest host. Will Blayne's body go into shock from lack of Vitamin D? Will Stella flip out and stangle someone with a piece of leatha? We will just have to wait and see.

A Couple of Things...

First, J.Crew is having a big sale right now that you should check out online. If you are in need of any cute work clothes I would reccomend you check it out (women specifically, I didnt look at the men's section) because some of their normally rather steep prices are discounted quite a bit.

Second, I am reinstating my running blog, which is my Health link on my sidebar. There is only about 3 months left before my full marathon so it is time to buckle down and get serious. By the way this also means you have 3 months to make me some kick ass signs, dont let me down

Third, I know how anxious you all are for me to blog my recap of last nights Project Runway: The Olympic episode, but we have a bid at 10 AM so I am slammed and dont have the time. Once the bid is over though I will get to it.

Wednesday, August 6

Everyone remembers their first time

This was on Failblog but I didn't have the patience to figure out how to post it so here is the link.

It is also something you may not want to watch at work. I just hope he had really thick shorts on.

Running Skirts

A while back I had a conversation about some of you about running skirts and how I was somewhat apprehensive to wear them because of the reaction that other people might have. Specifically, I didn't want people to not take me seriously as an athlete, which was the impression I felt some people would have. I find them very comfortable however, without the issue of riding up as shorts have a tendancy to do. I also like the thicker elastic band the skirt has, as opposed to the more narrow band that bunches that you find in most running shorts.

Apparantly I am not the only one that has experienced this dilemma. I was happy to see a picture of a woman running in a skirt on July's cover of Runner's World and an entire article written on the rise of the skirt culture amongst female runners. The article accurately reflected my thoughts on wearing skirts as well as the overall experience of being a female athlete. Being an athlete is great but you don't always feel pretty or feminine when you are drenched in sweat, red-faced with a hat pulled over your head. You feel good about what you have done but not so much cute.

The inventor of the running skirt, a triathelte named Nicole DeBoom felt the same way. On a training run in December 2003, Nicole jogged along, desperately wishing for a little inspiration to help her through what felt like her millionth workout of her triathlon career. As she glanced at her reflection in a store window, she realized something was missing. It wasn't the performance in her apparel. It was the attitude. So she began designing and selling running skirts. Just like the right song coming on your ipod when you are half way up a grueling and unrelenting hill can give you a much needed boost, so too can having the right clothes on. Function is always whats most important when it comes to workout attire but once you got that covered you want to look good too!

The Runner's World article also discussed the negative stereotype that some people have about women who run in skirts:
"They seem to think that women who run in skirts aren't serious athletes. Or that they'll turn our beloved sport into a beauty pageant. The same people probably insist that women need to be in pantsuits to be taken seriously in the workplace. But I believe that a woman is even more powerful when she feels pretty. Besides, from a practical standpoint, it's nice to have clothing that reflects our multitasking lives; it performs on the track and looks presentable when you roll directly into the supermarket or elementary school."

I recently had an experience where I was wearing my skirt and walking to warm up. I had my ipod on but it was a quiet part of the song so I could hear what was being said around me. Two girls ran by me I could hear one of them scoff at my skirt and say something to the effect of it being a ridiculous thing to wear. Oh no she didnt! I finished my warm up and started my run very much looking forward to seeing them again. And seeing them again I did a little ways up the trail, blowing past them with my skirt swishing behind me. Ok I admit I was running a little faster than normal but I had a point to make. I am wearing a skirt and I am stronger than you and dont you forget it! In case you are blind and havent noticed this before, I have a lot of pride when it comes to my athletic abilities and I get annoyed when people disregard that or don't acknowledge how hard I work for it.

Part of the stigma that I find around Fresno comes from the fact that Fresno is not a big running city like Austin or SF where they have a multiude of really great trails to run and plenty of people out there running them. People here dont see skirts very much so they dont get it when they see it. Is she running home from a tennis match?? At the race this weekend there were a good number of women wearing them though and people didnt look twice. I just found it very interesting how people either love them or hate them and the reasoning for why. Your physical appearance is somewhat irrelevant when you are running but if I feel good about how I look I am going to run a little longer, maybe a little faster, and enjoy myself more. I am comfortable and feel a little sassy when I run in my skirt and for anyone who thinks I am not an athlete, well they can just be wrong. I am ok with that.

Tuesday, August 5

My Odd Mother

This is what I got from my mom for my birthday today:

- A singing helium ballon that sings "Happy Birthday" when you tap it
- A B-day card that has a seagull pooping on a cow on the front and inside the cow flying away pooping on the seagull

Sort of bizzare but thats my mom:)

Drag Queens!

I know its grainy and not clear but here is one of the dancers from Asia SF. She was really cute and one of my favorites. Her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...
This one went with the Selena look.

They were fantastic!

San Francisco

This past weekend I went to San Franciso to run a half marathon and to celebrate my birthday with my two friends Melissa and Brenda.

The weekend started off rocky, a pattern that continued throughout the weekend. Melissa and Brenda were flying in from LA and missed their flight on Saturday so instead of getting there at noon, they didnt get to SF until 9:30 pm. I got there at 3 and checked into the very nice but snooty and overly ornate hotel. I needed to get my race packet as well as Melissa and Brendas and since I have a phobia of public transportation decided to walk. Did I mention that our hotel was at the top of Nob Hill and the race expo was at the Pier and that I was wearing 3 inch suede boots? That was a fun trek, good warm up for the race the next day for sure.

We didnt get to do anything Saturday or Saturday night because we had to get up at 4:30 on Sunday to make the 5:30 start time of the race. We got there a little late but races never start on time anyway and our wave hadnt even started yet. Then we were off and there were A LOT of people running.

I knew there would be hills, that I didn't train at all for, so I was nervous as to how I would handle it. The first big hill was up to the Golden Gate Bridge and it was very steep. I dug in and got to the top and it was really cool to be able to run across the bridge. It was a bit foggy and cold and I never realized how long that bridge was. It was really beautiful though and when I was able to get my mind out of run mode and enjoy my surroundings, I was able to appreciate it.

It was also windy as hell and I got blown around a lot up there. One complaint that I have is they blocked off two driving lanes on the bridge, one coming and one going, and the lanes were narrow so it was easy to get bunched up around people and get stuck behind slower runners, which is always frustrating. About the time I was halfway over the bridge I started getting pretty severe stomach cramps. Knowing I was stuck out there on the course, with about 8 more miles left to go stopping and walking would have just prolonged the discomfort so I kept running. The cramps would come in waves too so I would get relief for a little while at least.

6 more huge hills and I was very happy that I do squats because my legs were my workhorses as I muscled my way up them. There were more hills and steeper hills than I expected though. I would think I was finally done with them but at mile 12 there was still one final hill. The good thing about hills though is that they make the time go by faster. I was so focused on running up them and keeping my pace that I didn't pay attention to what mile I was on as much as I would on a flat course where there are no hills to distract me.

I finished at a decent time, at least one that I was happy with. I had slacked off my training the last 2 weeks and didnt train any hills because I got lazy so I am kind of annoyed with myself because I probably could have had a PR if I trained harder. This was my 4th half marathon and the best time I had so far was 1:45, and that was on a completely flat course. This time I ran it in 1:54, so I averaged an 8:42 mile. Overall I placed 977 out of 6,678 and out of females in my age group I placed 96 out of 1,342.

The bad news however was I finished an hour ahead of Brenda and Melissa so I had to wait for them with bad stomach cramps and in freezing temperatures. I wasnt cold when I was running but when I stop and was all sweaty, I cooled off pretty quickly. By the time they finished and we got on the bus to take us back to the start line so we could take a cab back to the hotel, all 3 of us were experiencing bad stomach cramps. And once we got back to the hotel, the fun really began. We basically took turns without giving the toilet any breaks in between uses for 4 hours. Brenda had it the worst because she was also throwing up but we were all suffering. We all managed to pull it together and make our reservation at Asia SF for a drag show and dinner later that night and both were fabulous. They are also opening an Asia SF in Hollywood so at some point I think everyone should check it out, it is amazing and a lot of fun (I am going to try and post a video later).

So thats about it, race, colon blow and drag queens made for a very interesting weekend! I really love SF too, that city just makes me happy.

Oh and I am sorry I didnt make it to the game last night, I know I missed out but I was so tired from the weekend. I was still tired this morning proof of which is that I wore my shirt inside out to starbucks, true story, it was awesome.

Friday, August 1

What a difference a day makes!

After my day of being a complete mess, today is already shaping up to be a whole hell of a lot better.

I got 8 glorious hours of sleep last night and woke up and showered this morning so I feel pulled together and clean. I even blow dried my hair this morning which I never do. Of course this would have been more useful yesterday when it mattered but there is nothing I can do about it now. We will have job site meetings every two weeks so I will make a better impressioon then.

When I got to work this morning my dad pulls me into his office and closes the door, which usually means you are in trouble. This time however it was to tell me that he was giving me a 15% raise! This is my first raise I have ever recieved anywhere because I am usually not with a company long enough. I have been here for almost 2 years now so I have put in my time and especially recently I have had increased responsibility. I am not really doing anything special with the extra money but using it to pay off my debt which I am more than happy to do.

This weekend I am going to San Fran to run a half marathon and to celebrate my birthday with my friends Melissa and Brenda and I am very much looking forward to it. Well none of us are that excited about the run itself as our training for it hasnt been all that great but we get to spend a weekend in SF, so what if we have to torture ourselves for a few hours Sunday morning. Brenda has a friend who works for the Fairmont so we are going to be staying there. We get a really good discount and since the rooms are regularly like $350 a night it isnt very affordable without the discount. Sometimes it can be fun to be fancy schmancy for a weekend.

I return Monday and my birthday is Tuesday but I was hoping to go out for dinner and drinks on Saturday the 9th. I am thinking we can just go to Mr. Sushi and then Landmark. Anyway anyone who reads this is invited and I will be more specific next week.

Have a great weekend!