Thursday, November 29, 2007

hot hot heat

Christian wants more Hot Hot Heat for Christmas. No, not that kind of hot hot heat. This kind:

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about real hot hot heat.

Yesterday we bumped our lives up two levels in the heat scene. I'm talking about a heater and a dryer.

The PG&E guy came yesterday to do our "safety checks" on our heaters (we have 2 since we're in a 3-bedroom). We were supposed to have that done when we moved into the apartment, but it was summer and who needs a heater in the summer? So after a couple weeks of freezing our butts off in our apartment, we finally had the guy come out and give us the OK to use our heaters. The up side? We have heat. Hot hot heat. The down side? Our apartment is so ghetto that we have to open the bottom of the heater and turn a nob to get the heat on. One has a broken thermostat and the other one just plain doesn't have a thermostat at all. Interesting.

So not only did the PG&E guy come yesterday, but so did the dryer guy! Christian finally called to get the dryer fixed. Because Christian's dad took the dryer apart and then it was transferred to our house in pieces, we were a little worried that it would cost as much to fix it as it would to buy a new one. Luckily, it only cost $180 plus a new $25 tube. I am so excited we didn't have to spend $500 to fix a dryer that isn't even ours. So now we have hot hot heat right in our apartment. So long, community laundry room!

On that note, I'm going to go ride my bike to tutoring in the Cold Cold Cold. Brrrr!

yes, i want a cookie

Yesterday I had 4 hours and a plan. My plan: 1 hour of research, one hour to type each page, 10 seconds to click "double space", and voila! A 6-page research paper.

I had all semester to write this paper. But come on, a 6-page paper? Not exactly brain surgery. So I put it off, put it off, and then put it off some more. I started the paper at 1, got on the train at 5:11, and turned the paper in a 6. And I must say, it wasn't half bad.

Toot, toot.

So, yes, I want a cookie.

Monday, November 26, 2007

the problem with a third marathon

Ever wondered what happens when someone doesn't train hard enough for a marathon? Stay tuned, because a week from today you'll find out. :)

I know I'll finish. And I don't think it will be too much slower than last year. I guess my dilemma isn't just about finishing. When I run I want to enjoy it. I really don't see much point in running so hard that you puke and all that over-the-top stuff. But even just running a race for which you haven't trained enough can end up being, well, not that fun.

So what's the point in running a marathon if you're not going to enjoy it? My first marathon I ran just to finish. And just finishing it was the "enjoyable" part of it. My second marathon I trained hard and had a goal in mind. The entire marathon was wonderful and I sprinted the finish and met my goal with 15 seconds to spare. Which makes me wonder--I've already felt the joy of "just finishing a marathon" and the joy of "running a great race and beating my time," what kind of joy am I supposed to get this time? Finishing a marathon after not training hard enough and knowing I could have done better? Hmmmm. Doesn't sound quite right.

You know, if I were one of those driven people who worked hard on everything and had to do everything perfectly, I think I'd care more. But I'm not. So it looks like I'm running a marathon this weekend!

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 19, 2007

sausage feet

I ran 20 miles on Saturday. It was hard.

Now before you roll your eyes and say something about how obvious that last sentence was, hear me out. I've been running for almost three and a half years by now. I'm not a great runner. But I've learned how to just keep going. (Oh, and don't think this whole 20-miler thing is normal. I only do this once a year, so no, I'm not crazy.)

So running 20 miles is something you work up to over a few months. 8-miler, 10-miler, 12-miler, 14-miler, 10-miler, 16-miler, 10-miler, 18-miler, 10-miler, 20-miler, 10-miler, marathon. Or something to that effect (everyone does something slightly different). It's true--once you run over 3 miles, the rest really isn't that much of a difference. When you get into the high mileage like 16-, 18-, and 20-milers, you will inevitably feel it in the last few miles. Note those key words: in the last few miles. This is normally true, except when you're having a bad running day.

I had a bad running day. I would have to say that the entire 20 miles was hard. I was exhausted. My only goal was to run the whole thing. Maybe it's like having a baby. You're not so much concerned with how your hair looks or comparing your contraction "splits" to your previous pregnancy or getting a pushing time PR (or maybe you are). Instead, you're most likely just concerned with getting the baby out. The most important thing sometimes is just finishing.

I finished. Luckily Kaylynn, Maren, and Deirdre were there to give me encouragement. Oh, and the homeless guy playing music at mile 18. That helped a lot.

We all have our bad tennis days, our bad golf days, our bad singing days, our bad hair days, our bad boss days. I had a bad running day. But I don't regret it at all. I finished, I spent time with friends, I enjoyed the outdoors, I almost ran over a canadian goose or two, and I didn't walk any of the last 5 miles (my goal for the day).

Although, for the first time ever, I ended up with sausage feet. Last night, after a weekend of walking around and 6 hours of sitting at a table writing a paper, I looked down and exclaimed, "Christian! I have pregnant feet!" We spent the next few minutes admiring my round, shapeless feet. Lesson learned--after running 20 miles, spend the majority of the next two days with your feet up or you'll end up with sausage feet.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

almost there

I just signed up for the last course in my MA TESOL program. I can't believe it. I'm almost done. Come May 24th I will officially be a Master. A Master in what? Writing papers very last minute. I'm definitely a Master at that now.

Yes, I will be walking in graduation. Yes, I will have a graduation party. Yes, I will accept gifts.

Ok, just kidding on that last part. But I'm definitely having a party.

Monday, November 12, 2007

un buen cambio

La semana pasada, al salir del trabajo, me encontré con una caja grande y una bicicleta. Me demoré un poco contemplando la manera de que yo iba a llevar esa caja en mi bicicleta. En ese momento, entró en el edificio un amigo mio del trabajo (el encargado de limpieza). Nos saludamos y al ver a la caja, dijo "Porqué tiene un pastel?" Y todo me puso claro. "Era para una reunión de mi oficina, y iba a llevar lo que sobra a mi casa. Usted lo quiere?" le pregunté. "No, no. Es suyo." "De verdad. No lo quiero. No sé como llevarlo en bicicleta. Quizás Usted puede llevarlo a su familia." "Esta bien. Si no lo quiere. Aquí muy cerca está mi camión y se lo puedo meter ahorrita." "Que bien. Tome. Es de limón y poppyseed."

Despues de darle el pastel y arreglar mis cosas, y mientras salimos del edificio, se dobló y me preguntó, "Quiere tomates?" "Tiene tomates?" "Si, de Los Banos donde vive mi familia. Los visitamos el fin de semana pasada." "Sí. Me gustan mucho los tomates. Gracias."

Me dió ocho tomates rojos y grandes. Los eché en mi bolsa de bicicleta, nos despedimos, monté a la bicicleta, y me fuí para la casa.

Y ahora, mientras como un tomate con un poco de aceite de oliva, vinagre, y sal, sonrio y pienso, "Ese fue un buen cambio."

wanted: the perfect boots

Wanted: the perfect pair of boots. I have only owned a couple pairs of boots in my adult life. I know that sounds absolutely absurd, but it's true. I am so incredibly picky when it comes to boots that I never buy any (and those I did buy were just because I gave up on my perfect boot). But every winter I start my search all over again. I've been looking for my ideal boots since the Winter of 2000. While in Spain I actually considered paying a shoe-maker to design my ideal boots, but I figured they wouldn't look just right and I'd be stuck with really expensive, not-quite-right boots.

While there are plenty of very cute boots out there, these are my dream boots...

* Black, but not shiny
* A pair in brown, too, if possible
* Flat heel or very (very) small wedge
* Square toe
* Flat toe, meaning that if you look at the toe from the side, the top is not rounded
* Thin sole
* Knee-high (mid/high-calf length would be nice, but doesn't work so well with big calves)
* Slim in the ankle
* Not too slim in the calf (I can't zip up some boots because I have big calves)
* Simple yet original stitching on the toe
* No buckles or other ornamentation
* No saggy, bulldog-looking design

These would be cute if they had more of a square toe and were a little tighter in the ankle (since they'll most likely stretch out and become saggy):

These are actually pretty cute (same criticism as the pair above), but who has $500 to spend on a pair of boots?

Cute, but not perfect (kind of military-esque)...

In fact, can someone just look at the basic shape of an old pair of square-toed Diesel shoes and design a pair of sleek black-leather knee-high boots from them, please?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

fun times in the mauer household

I am a master present wrapper. A self-proclaimed master present wrapper. Here's my proof:

It's a helicopter on top of a mountain--in case you couldn't decipher my master skills. This was Christian's birthday present. The top present is a belt from my parents. Christian's black belt is now a faded grey, but he still wears it with black pants. No more! Below that is a structure made of chocolate-and-toffee-dipped pretzels, mint M&Ms, a little wooden airplane to go with the helicopter, and the first season of The Office, which we promptly started watching.

After the gifts we had brownies and ice cream.

I really wanted nice hot brownies, so I put the candles in right after the brownies came out of the oven. Uh, note to self. Dumb idea. The candles all melted.

I even sang Happy Birthday to Christian. Richard would have joined in the song, but he was busy putting bleach in his hair.

I'll add a finished product photo later. Looks pretty cool. He almost convinced Christian to use the rest of the bleach, but Christian declined. I was kind of hoping he'd do it. He could always just shave his head if he didn't like it (which he's probably going to do in a matter of days anyway).

Side note: That night at Target, I walked past the kids section and a sweater-dress jumped out at me. So I bought it. Have you ever perused the kids section at Target? They have some pretty cute stuff and every once in a while I actually get something. No one ever knows it's from the kids section. Oh--unless I tell them like I'm doing right now. So this morning I did the unthinkable and paired it with pants. I have refused to try this style. I've never really liked it. But it actually looked cute, so I'm wearing it. This picture doesn't quite do it justice, but you get the point.

Well, the girl I tutor had to cancel for today, so I'm going to work hard and then go home right after work! I'm so excited! Ready... set... work!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

fitness update: days 9-23

Fitness Update
Date 10-23-07 thru 11-6-07 (Days 9-23)
Weight Anywhere from 131 to 128.5 on any given day
Calories in No idea
Calories burned (exercise) Haven't a clue
Net calories Probably to many
Water intake Hmmm. Good question.
Exercise summary Uh, see below.
Did well I seem to have lost 1 1/2 pounds without tracking my calories.
Need to improve I don't know. I kind of enjoyed the two weeks off.
Comments Well, I had the worst 16-miler I've ever run. No, wait, the 16-miler at Huddart Park a couple years ago was pure hell. This run comes in second. So this last weekend I was supposed to run my 18-miler, but Saturday was WAY too busy. So I ran a 10-miler Saturday morning, and an 8-miler Sunday morning. Both were awesome runs. The 10-miler at Sawyer Camp Trail on 280 reminded me why I love running so much. It was beautiful and I got to see the sun rise, lighting up the Crystal Springs Reservoir. It doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

happy birthday, christian!

Today is Christian's birthday! Happy Birthday, Christian! He's 27 today. Everyone at my work constantly reminds me that I'm "just a baby" since I just turned 26, so the fact that he's 27 still doesn't sound old. I swear we're still 22. How does the time fly by so fast??

These are just a few of the things Christian has done in his 27 years that make him the Christian we all know and love:

*Sleeping behind a couch for a few years.
*Getting one of his baby teeth knocked out and going without a front tooth for years until the adult tooth grew in.

*Living on the East Side where his babysitter got shot in the face (and survived).
*Changing his little brother and sister's diapers when they were babies.

*Somehow graduating from high school. ;)
*Making his little brother and sister play "wrestlemania" on the living room floor (Dianna always won).

*Filling a very large water fountain with soap.
*Luring possums to his fence and then throwing things at them to knock them off.

*Going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to Sao Paulo Brazil.
*Practically killing a lady (Patricia) in Brazil by making cigarette tea for her.

*Winning a radio contest he didn't even know he entered and getting to fly with a friend to London (completely free) to see a concert.
*Being called and sustained to Assistant Scout Master while sporting a mohawk.

*Eating a piranha in the Amazon.
*Singing along to the Simpsons musical episode--yep, he knows almost all the words.

*Getting on a horse for the first time and racing it up and down a white sand beach in Mexico.
*Laughing in his sleep. Does that surprise anyone?
*Letting a tarantula crawl up his face.

*Driving the short bus.

*Scuba diving with nurse sharks and eagle rays on the bottom of the ocean floor.

*Successfully running a half marathon after barely training at all (and while wearing a sweatband, a wifebeater, basketball shorts, and a camelbak).

*Organizing "soccer night" and keeping it going for almost 5 years (and counting).
*Getting huge air and landing on his face/back/butt/shoulder over and over and over til he learned to land a wakeboard and/or snowboard properly.

*Immediately winning over the friendship of almost every baby/child he has ever met.
*And every adult for that matter.
*Shopping and actually enjoying it (and coming out looking pretty smooth).

*Napping on top of Half Dome.

*Landing a great job working with one of his friends.

*Volunteering to have his little brother and sister live with him and not complaining about it.

I could go on and on and on and on, but I think you get the point.

Love you, lover!