Category Archives: drinking

I am a Warrior!

This past weekend, I participated in the Warrior Dash Midwest, a 5K (ish) trail run with 12 obstacles thrown in for good measure.   I “ran” it with my friend NIkki, but–to be honest– we did a fair share of walking, so I consider it more of a fun run than a race.  Potatoes, pot-ah-toes.

The Warrior Dash is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced… and I had no clue what to expect.  I hadn’t really trained for it and was a little nervous about the obstacles. Our heat started at 10:30 and it was already SUPER hot and sunny.   But, my lord, it was SO MUCH FUN.    We jumped over cars, crawled through tunnels, scaled walls, climbed up cargo nets, jumped over fire, etc.

And then there was the mud!  There were a total of 3 mud obstacles, but–as always– they saved the best for last.  After the fire jump, you have to crawl under barbed wire in a HUGE mud pit.  As soon as I came up to the pit, I hear the crowd chanting “Dive. Dive. Dive.”   So I dove.   I got mud in my eyes… in my ears… in my nose… everywhere.  It was sooo much fun.

The after-party was the best part… lots of nice people gave us their free beer coupons and we had a great time conversing with other Warriors.   The bling was pretty nice, too:  A standard cotton tshirt, a cool medal, and–wait for it– a warrior helmet!!  Can’t get much better than that.

On to the pictures (many of which were “borrowed” from other people’s facebook pages…)

I was most intimidated by the cargo net

The hay bales were much easier than I expected. More like "hay steps"

The fire jump was FUN... much higher than anticipated

The Army crawl throuh mud was definitely the most fun!

Correction: The afterparty was the best part!

Beer!!

Costumes!

Mud!

New friends! (this lady was clean when she started. Then her kids hugged her. We wanted our picture taken with "the mom")

Bling!

There was mud everywhere…

On our shoes

On my legs (note the pieces of hay/straw stuck on them, too!)

On my face

In my ear

on my camera

and my bag

We finally got hosed off by one of these...

but only managed to get *kinda* clean (and a LOT sun burnt for me)

In the end, I finished in about 46 minutes.  I’m not at all concerned about the time, though. It was SO.MUCH.FUN.  We’re already thinking of what we’re going to do next year!

The one where she talks about running… again

It’s OFFICIAL:  I’m training for a half-marathon.

I’ll be running the half distance of the Illinois Marathon on May 1.   This is the same race where I had my first 5K a year ago.  Nothin’ like adding another 10 miles, eh?

I’m in week four of a plan modeled after Hal Higdon’s novice plan.   The plan seems fairly doable.  3-4 runs/week plus some cross training and some strength mixed in.  If all goes as planned, I’ll be at 13.1 about a month before the race.   For the most part, things have been going well.    I’ve been getting my runs in and have been fairly successful with cross training.  (strength?  not so much)

Until Tuesday.

I fully intended to get up early and go for a short 2-mile run.  Instead, I talked myself into staying in bed a bit longer (it was my birthday, after all) and promised to get back on track the next day.

Wednesday morning my alarm went off at 5 a.m.   I begrudgingly tore myself out of bed and got ready to run.  It was really dark, kinda cool, and there was a threat of snow so I headed to the gym instead.  Big mistake.  I let myself quit after 2 miles. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t sore. I was just BORED.  And couldn’t talk myself into going longer.

Afterward, I was really disappointed in myself for giving up.  And then that night I went out with some friends and missed my next morning run because I was hungover (note to self:  drinking and running do not mix).

But, guess what?  I went for an outside run on Thursday after work… and it was GREAT!    I’ve got my running mojo back.

This weekend: 6 miles.  Let’s pray for one day of decent weather so I don’t have to sweat it out on the treadmill.

2009: A Year in Review

I had planned on breaking this into two separate posts, but time got away from me.  Here’s what I’ve been up to the last 12 months:

January

  • 30 days of 30
  • First ski/snowboard trip
  • Neil Clennon Reffett was born

February

FAIL

March

  • Work trip to San Francisco (two posts… here and here)

yep, that's a CRUISE ship on the right

April

Clennon and I post-race

May

The girls of Hewett 6 (minus Jo)

June

  • Ohio for Reds/Cubs game
  • Ryan Joseph Lingas was born
  • Started the Great Paint Project

Self-portrait attempt #2. This pic is horrible, but I LOVE it 'cuz it's so real!

July

  • Infamous Rural King incident
  • Cubs/Cardinals game
  • Stephanie’s bachelorette party
  • Hayden Michael Bates was born


August

After

Highlight of the trip: Getting up on waterskiis for the first time!

the entire bridal party!

September

  • 4th 5K
  • Surprise birthday tailgate

October

The bigger the hair, the closer to God

November

December

  • Kim’s surprise birthday party
  • Christmas with my dad’s side
  • Oak Ridge Boys concert
  • First Christmas with my new niece
  • CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!

Birthday girl doing shots

My 92 year old Grannie and my newborn GREAT niece

In addition, there were countless nights out, NUMEROUS trips to Chicago and plenty of downtime.  All in all it was a pretty good year.  I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store for me.

Long Time, No Blog: Bonus Features

Lisa was kind enough to post some photos of our Minneapolis trip, so I’ve decided to do like they do with DVDs and offer some “never before seen” bonus features:

Ate some killer Malaysian food in MPLS.  Heard a great (albeit very broken) story about a fire in a Malaysian place in Chicago.

Drinking a pomegranate concoction at the Malaysian place; Lisa got a Woo-Woo

Drinking a pomegranate concoction at the Malaysian place. Lisa got a Woo-Woo

Witnessed and responded to an on-the-job accident. Not real common in my line of work.

Sign warning us that such accidents may occur.  Taken well after said accident

Sign warning us that such accidents may occur. Taken well after said accident

Took a photo next to a statue of Mary Tyler Moore.

She turns the world on with her smile

She turns the world on with her smile--post tipsy shopping and wine-fueled dinner.

Met (and held!) another newborn baby

Me holding Rush

Me holding Rush

Attended a baby shower and graduation party.

Check out the cute little flip-flops I got him...

Check out the cute little flip-flops I got for Rush...

Lisa and I at the graduation party

Lisa and I at the graduation party

I wish I had taken pix of the teacher freebie pandemonium and the Mexican wrestling.  However, some things are better left to the imagination.  A couple more points:

  • The cucumber-flavored candy was unintentional.  It was green, so I assumed it would be sour apple, or (at the worst) lime.  It was only after the candy had been POURED into my mouth that I realized it was cucumber-flavored. I’d love to have a reaction shot of my face when I tasted it.
  • The nickname story will have to be shared privately.  Mostly because I really, really, really do not want it to stick!

Long time, no blog

I know the “too busy to blog” excuse is getting lame.  But it’s true.  I was hoping to write some proper blog posts, but since some of you like lists (shout out to Harley Quinn– I loved your last comment!), I figured I’d save myself the trouble of actually having to write anything.

In the last week and a half or so I:

  • Witnessed masked Mexican wrestling in Chicago.  It was awesome.
  • Tasted cucumber-flavored candy.  It was awful.
  • Learned that you really can’t just miss your connecting flight or your entire ticket is invalidated.
  • Re-booked my ticket.  Twice.
  • Got hit on by a Greek waiter in Chicago and a Mexican bar patron in Minneapolis.
  • Spent entirely too much time on Sporcle.  Finally learned the correct spelling of Kazakhstan.  It comes in handy.
  • Ate some killer Malaysian food in MPLS.  Heard a great (albeit very broken) story about a fire in a Malaysian place in Chicago.
  • Witnessed and responded to an on-the-job accident. Not real common in my line of work.
  • Learned I like tamales.
  • Congratulated a friend on her recent engagement. Yay Keem!
  • Almost forgot, and then lost, and then found my journal/notebook.
  • Saw Star Trek. Loved it, despite zero familiarity with the original.  Reminded me a lot of Star Wars, actually.  And Lost.
  • Met (and held!) another newborn baby.
  • Picked up a new nickname (which I’m trying HARD to not let stick).
  • Ran my second 5K, less than a month after my first, with no iPod. After being gone for a week and out drinking the night before.
  • Mowed my lawn immediately after the 5K.  Bad idea.
  • Learned that I was selected to be a Nielsen “family.”  I can’t wait to report my 2.5 hours of TV watching a week.
  • Improved my ability to ride public transportation.
  • Received a comped dessert because dinner took so long.  Waited about 20 mins for said dessert.
  • Had multiple weird conversations about weight loss.  Including one that started with “I hope you’re not offended, but…”  Um, no, not offended!
  • Took a photo next to a statue of Mary Tyler Moore.
  • Met a friend’s new boyf.
  • Spent Mother’s Day with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law. Against our advice, my mom insisted on having it at her house and making all the food.
  • Ran in Chicago.  Gave unsuspecting motorist directional advice.  Felt really bad afterward.
  • Attended a baby shower and graduation party.
  • Received invitations to two other baby showers.
  • Witnessed teachers literally FIGHTING over free books.
  • Engaged in some tipsy shopping.  Bought books and a belt between happy hour and an awesome wine-fueled dinner.

Things I haven’t done

  • unpacked
  • watched last week’s Lost
  • slept, at least not much

Let me Explain. No, there’s not time. Let me sum up.

I’ve been a bit busy lately.  Here’s what I’ve been up to the past 8 or 9 days.

Went to see an AWESOME high school production of Footloose.  My friend was playing in the “orchestra” (if that’s what you call it.)  Cheesy.  High School.  Great costumes.   Can’t beat it with a stick.

Baby shower for Kristi.  Aren’t they cute?

100_23191
Kristi and Lindsey

Celebrated Kari’s 30th bday (a week early) with a surprise party at J2.  Check out these kids.   Cuteness abounds in my circle.

Beau and Macie mini-bowling
Beau and Macie mini-bowling

NKOTB, part deux.  This time, we did it up limo-style:

Limo girls in Larry's shed
Limo girls in Larry’s shed
shots at the pink house
shots at the pink house
We had 9th row seats
We had 9th row seats
The "Kids" Wore Illinois shirts for the encore
The “Kids” Wore Illinois shirts for the encore

Ran the FULL 5K for the first time.   Good thing, ‘cuz it’s Saturday. I’m READY TO RUN!

Wrote two stories for my class that I actually like.  They’re about Italian circus performers, naturally ;)

Met threebabies for the first time:  Clennon’s son Neil and Jacelyn’s twins Jacob and Dylan. I even held and fed Dylan, which is quite a feat for me because I’m not much of a baby person–and he was only 4 years old!

Took Roxie to get her shots.  And then to the Emergency Vet for the allergic reaction to her shots.   Her face swelled up like Will Smith in Hitch. It’s funny now, but I was too worked up at the time to snap a pic.  Damn!

Helped celebrate the birthdays of Scott and Kari

Caught about half of The Princess Bride, thus the title of this post.

And then everyday stuff like work and chores and running… I’m kinda worn out, but I cannot WAIT until Saturday.   Don’t worry–there will certainly be a 5K update very soon!!

Frisco Stories, Part 2

I guess I should’ve mentioned in my earlier post that this is my 3rd trip to San Francisco.  I’ve already done many of the touristy things (Golden Gate Bridge, trolley car, wine country), so you won’t see any of that this time.  But San Fran is one of my favorite cities and every time I go back, I’m able to experience a little more of it!

Thursday — Thai, Tapas, and Theater

First official day of work.   A couple minor snafus, but everything went off without a hitch.  

The wonderful thing about San Francisco is that there was an Indian buffet across the street from our hotel.  And a Thai place across another.   Since I actually ate a buffet breakfast on Thursday (totally out of character), I went to the Thai place  Thursday.  My lunch was tasty.  I could’ve used more vegetables, but usual Convention fare consists of cardboard pizza and dry sandwiches, so I’m not gonna complain!

I think it was called broccoli and noodles

I think it was called broccoli and noodles

After work, we decided to go to the Thirsty Bear for dinner.  It’s a tapas place Kurt and I had been to four years ago and it was (relatively) close by.   We had tickets to see Wicked that night, so we didn’t want to repeat the “where the hell is the restaurant” debacle of the night before.

The Thirsty Bear is also a brewery, so I decided to choose the beer sampler.   Yes, folks, that’s right– NINE different beers (they were only 4 or 5 oz each… but STILL!).  It came with a cool “legend” underneath each beer to indicate what you were drinking.

mmm... beer!

BEFORE: mmm... beer!

And... after (I wanted you to be able to see the legend)

AFTER: Note the legend is now visible

As expected, my favorites were the IPA and the wheat beer.  I wasn’t so keen on the stouts, but I tried them.  I also learned that E.S.B. really does stand for Extra Special Bitters.  I didn’t believe Andrew when he told me that.

Tapas were phenomenal.  

cheese and olives-- this is for you, Lisa!

cheese and olives-- this is for you, Lisa!

YUMMY asparagus, another poultry and polenta dish and shrimp

YUMMY asparagus, another poultry and polenta dish and a tasty sauteed shrimp

Unfortunately, we were a little rushed for time and Kurt and I had to ditch out on Andrew to make it in time for the show.  Getting there was quite an adventure.  We couldn’t hail a cab to save our lives and we were practically race-walking to make it to the theater in time.  At one point, I thought I’d be better off running.   We finally got a cab that took us ~ 4 blocks, but we made it to the show in time.

Wicked was playing at the Orpheum Theater, which was just beautiful.  It’s a very old, very ornate theater.  We got there right on time and I didn’t have a chance to snap any external pics, and they didn’t allow photos of the show, but it was AMAZING.   

I couldn’t get over how big everything was– the sets were amazing, the costumes were gorgeous, the actors were amazing (Carol Kane played Madame Morrible).   Some of the songs were a little cheesy, but I was just so000 impressed by the whole production.  I’ve never been to a Broadway show or anything like that, so I’m not sure what I expected.  But this topped it all!   A couple highlights:

  • Galinda teaching Elphaba the “toss-toss” method of flipping one’s hair to flirt with a guy.  Uh… I know someone like that :) 
  • Fiyero describing himself as “deeply shallow.”   Classic
  • The curtain call.  For some reason, I *always* get a little veclempt during the curtain call.  I’m weird.

Friday– Run on, Retirement, and G. Love

Usually, about the 2nd or 3rd day of a trade show, you start to get bored.  I spotted a guy wearing a “run on”  tshirt and texted my friend about it, since he used to have a running “team” called the Run-ons.  (English teachers are really quite witty.  Really!)

When the guy wearing the shirt came into our booth, I just  had  to snap a picture:

the back said: 'unless you're a sentence'

the back said: 'unless you're a sentence'

Instead of going out for a fancy dinner on Friday night, we celebrated our colleagues, Pat’s, last convention with a pizza party in a SWEET hotel suite. Check out this view:

yep, that's a CRUISE ship on the right

The Bay. Yep, that's a CRUISE ship on the right

Skyline

Skyline

Then it was off to the G.Love and Special Sauce concert at The Warfield.   G. Love and the boys did not disappoint.  We had general admission tickets and were able to get fairly close.  I LOVED the venue.  Totally cool and “intimate.”    Definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me.   I’m not sure if Andrew and Kurt enjoyed it as much as I did, but I had a rockin’ good time.  Crazy hippie dancing and all :)

Hallway at the Warfield-- lots of cool acts have played there

Hallway at the Warfield-- lots of cool acts have played there

My baby's got sauce...

Check out the dude with the cast!

Harmonicas are sexxy

Harmonicas are sexxy

So are guitars!

So are guitars!

Saturday–  Last day, Haight-Ashbury, and Supper

As you can imagine,  Saturday was a bit of a long day for me.  Even though we had a short day in terms of hours, it was looong in terms of how I felt.  But I made it through.  And then crashed.  I took a 3 hour nap that afternoon. I probably should’ve gone out and “done” more of San Fransisco, but I just didn’t have it in me.

Andrew was visiting with friends, so Kurt and I decided to head to the Haight for dinner.  We went to Magnolia, a gastro pub Lisa read about in a magazine.   There was a wait, so we decided to walk around a bit.   Believe it or not, I had *never* been to Haight-Ashbury before.   Yeah, it’s touristy, but I had to take a pic.

lets all do a little hippie dance

lets all do a little hippie dance

The food and beer were both good at Magnolia.   The service was a little slow, though, or else I probably would’ve had a couple more beers.   All in all, a great way to end our adventure in San Fran!

meat and cheese platter

meat and cheese platter

Kurt had the pork chop

Kurt had the pork chop

And I had the house ravioli

And I had the house ravioli

Sunday-Tuesday:  Recovering in Chicago

Instead of coming home to Champaign on Sunday, I spent a couple days recovering in Chicago.  I was waayyy too tired to do much, but we did spend St. Patty’s day in Millennium Park.   We had super great weather and it was the perfect way to spend my last day in the “real world.”  Again, I didn’t take any pictures.  I need to get better at that.

————–

Things I didn’t do

Although I’m pretty impressed with all the things we were able to do in such a short time (especially considering I had to actually work for most of it), there are a few things I missed:

  • Warhol Live at the  de Young Museum  — Andy Warhol and Rock music together.  I really wanted to see it, but the timing just didn’t work out.
  • 826 Valencia (aka The Pirate Store)– Jane told us about Dave Eggers’ literacy project that features a “pirate store.”   I never made it down there, but Kurt went and brought me back a souvenir skull.  That’s gotta count for something!
  • Alcatraz– I’ve never had time to take the tour, but I hear it’s phenomenal.   One of these days, I will go! For reals.
  • SF MOMA Museum store– I made the mistake on my first trip to SF to actually tour the MOMA on the last day of Convention. It was complete sensory overload and too much at the end of a long day.  But I at least wanted to make it to the museum store ‘cuz it’s super cool.
  • Take any pictures of myself in San Francisco.  Seriously, what is wrong with me?  I have tons of food pics but none of me!  I really must get better at this!