Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Ends

Book ends of the week, Monday and Friday. While everyday is pretty tough to get up and going at 5am, the book ends of the week are by far the hardest. Today was no exception, I am pretty sure J and I had to bully each other into the gym but we made it.

Here are some highlights from this week.

1.) I jogged to the liquor store yesterday. I am not sure which part is more funny, jogging to get booze or pulling into a liquor with a baby stroller.

2.) Austin got her first bloody lip, she was crawling around like a baboon on our bed and cracked herself good on the headboard. I suppose Mom's never truly know the extent of love until something like this. While she was fine and only cried for a little bit, it still makes me tear up to think of the blood all over my neck while she rest her head on me. I am sure the both of us will spend some time crying as she learns to be the daredevil that her Dad will want her to be.

3.) Joe tossed my salad. J, I will give you a second to laugh being that you may be the only one that got that joke. I bought new socks and had them laid out on top the sock basket so I could grab a pair each morning before the crack of dawn and head to the gym. Well Joe decided that was far too easy for me so he apparently mixed them all up while digging, in what I assume was a feverish manner, for his own socks (which are all paired so I am not sure why this was a difficult feat). So this morning this Pig Pen of a morning mess wore dirty socks to the gym...yeah I said dirty socks. I will probably have some kind of menigitis now.

4.) I bought some running pants since it seems to be snowing for every single one of our races. They are both great pants but one is a Nike running pant that is actually labeled Long and still doesn't quite hit the top of my shoes. I know I am tall but I can guarantee that I am not THAT tall, I have played basketball with women that dwarf me. So where the hell do these women buy their clothing, or should I just assume that they make theirs? Maybe I should take sewing lessons from the failed Chinese gymnasts.

5.) I am feeling just simply amazing since working out so much. I told J that while part of me is still a hot mess, some of me is really starting to impress me. Every now and then I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think to myself by God this IS working. Which of course motivates me to keep it up...I wish I could get these glimpses at 5am, that would help immensely.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Julie & Julia!

So I watch the movie Julie & Julia the other day about Julia Child. First off it was a super cute movie and secondly it got me to thinking I hate cooking from a recipe, perhaps I don't like to follow instructions that well. That coupled with the fact that I can't seem to come up with inventive ideas for dinner made me think that I should buy Julia Child's cookbook and learn some of her recipes. And while I don't want to cook french cousine every night, or scratch that, I can't cook fattening, butter filled food every night. I would like to try maybe a recipe a week. So last night I made (I'll skip the french words) Sauteed Beef with mushrooms, garlic and bacon. It was AMAZING and good thing too because it took a while and cost me a 100 brain cells from reading and following all the instructions. Hopefully they were the stupid brain cells anyways.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

18 Laps

As I type it, it seems so small. Hmmm, 18 laps...as if my typing fingers don't remember them this morning. So let's look at it from another reference point (since laps are somewhat of a poor measurement at least in our minds). J and I swam almost 6 city blocks this morning and while I have to get up to 66 laps which is a mile and half, I am more than happy with our progress. Swimming is completely exhausting no matter how much you travel and by far the part of the triathlon that I am most intimidated by. I am absolutely sure that I can walk 13 miles and bike 56, I am training so hard in hopes to do these things in a competitive time but I am truly terrified of drowning while swimming. There will be 2000 of us in the water at one time, all just trying to make it to the other side of the reservoir, sounds like a double dog dare to me. I guess in re-reading this post I feel better thinking that we basically swam to the grocery store...not bad for two months in.

I read a disheartening article this morning about "fat" people being sold a fantasy. Apparently the women writing it feels as though when she fat she was told that all she had to do was lose weight and she would be happy. She is now down 300 pounds and doesn't feel as though it is all it is cracked up to be. I am just about at a loss for words...just about. ;-) Your risk of not just dying but of living a life where you need to use a machine to pump oxygen into your lung while you sleep had dramatically decreased if not vanished. How has that not made a significant difference in your life? When I read this article all I could think is that she will gain the weight back (she had gastric bi-pass surgery) and while for some people this type of surgery is not only the last choice but the only one because they are in such poor health, I truly believe in most cases that the only way to appreciate where you are is to walk through hell to get there. I would not be so proud of 18 laps if I didn't have sweat running down my forehead in the pool this morning (yes you sweat while swimming...who knew). That being said some day when I hit my goal weight not only will I be happy about it because of what the scale says but because I worked SO hard to get there. And last but not least I am teaching my daughter how to live a life where the only thing holding her back is herself and if she truly wants something all she needs to do is work for it...I will be able to assure her that nothing that comes easy is that worth it and the true treasures in the world involve rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty. Not to mention that the blame game gets you no where. As with so many things I read...I wish I could sit down and speak with the person writing just to see where her head is.

Monday, April 26, 2010

5K vs. 5M

J and I ran in our second 5K this weekend. It was amazing...and by that I mean amazingly difficult. In hindsight I believe the first 5K we ran will in fact be the easiest, this one was littered with hills, potholes, mud and of course up to 60 mile per hour wind. Sounds like perfect running conditions to me. We have our third race this weekend and are apparently ready to step it up a notch (while I type this my legs are shaking) so thanks to attending the gym 7 days a week now we feel up to a 5 mile race. The difference between 5M and 5K may only be a consonant to some, to us it will be one additional blister and at least one more leg cramp. I am pretty sure most everyone reading this has been to Garden of the Gods, the race this weekend will take us through the hilly parts of that road that meanders through the park, I have literally owned little sedans that couldn't make it up these hills...and at the ripe old age of 30 (now that I am a runner) I will be hauling myself and my third grader up and around these hills, but not on a bet or a dare...in fact I will have to pay $30 to have the pleasure of adding these blisters to my repertoire.

J and I used to collect beer tour t-shirts, drink so many beers get a t-shirt. We wore them proud, but we noticed now that we are collecting running t-shirts we used to get beer shirts in larges and now we are getting mediums....hmmm sounds like nothing more than a coincidence or our craziness is actually working and we are shrinking.

I watched the movie about Dr. Kevorkian last night. I didn't know much about him past the obvious in that he was nicknamed Dr. Death. But in watching this movie I was quite astonished by how much of an activist he was for what he believes in. He never took payments for what he did and while he was nicknamed Dr. Death his true purpose was just help those in pain end their suffering which in all cases (except one that got him thrown in prison) was done at their own hands. He would give them the trigger to pull for either the gas or the lethal injection and they would just go to sleep. I watched my Grandmother die of complications to Alzheimer's, it was terribly hard for her for 10 years...her mind was completely gone but her body still functioning until the end when she was hospitalized with no mind and no body but still breathing I can't speak for her but if it were me I would have rather gone peacefully. She spent every day confused and scared because she didn't know where she was or who we were and why we would be visiting. Sounds like hell on earth to me.

I suppose to each their own, but I have never understood the concept of suicide being illegal. In our society we pound into our youth that they are responsible for their little bodies and actions and no one can make you do something that you don't want to...you are in complete control until such time as you would like to take your life, then that is illegal. My friend that just killed himself will be missed horribly and while I do not understand what he did and why he did it, I don't believe he committed a crime.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our Newest Engineer!

My Mom's computer broke, which gave me the perfect opportunity to teach little Miss Austin some valuable skills in computer repair. As you can imagine her current skillset involved chewing and pulling on cords. I figure we will introduce additional skills as she matures. ;-)




Blue People

So we bought Avatar last night and our Blu Ray Player wouldn't play it. I did some research and it turns out that I have to upgrade the firmware (software) on the DVD player just to get it to read the DVD because of how much information is on the disc. Needless to say while Joe is rather annoyed that I didn't get the upgrade done until today, I am wicked excited...these blue people must look amazing if they require us to upgrade our player.

I am watching the snow fall fast and hard and thinking to myself boy what great weather for a run. J and I have our second race tomorrow and the weather is apparently going to challenge our new running hobby. Our first race was last weekend and it was raining and now snow...I still think we've got it and are totally going to kick it's butt. It's this optimism that I hope will drag us over the finish line.

Ok so now I am turning my attention to everyone reading this that has to come up with dinner every night. This could be the stay at home mom's, the single folks or the ones that work too much but still cook every night. While I have always done a majority of the cooking (because I LOVE it) Joe used to help out on occasion. Now with his work schedule I do all the cooking. I am not complaining about the cooking part but coming up with meals that are healthy (we're still on a diet) and unique AND different is harder than I expected. I totally see why we used to eat meatloaf and spaghetti once a week growing up. I am just throwing a series of compliments out to those that come up with dinner every night...I have all new respect for this talent. :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Suicide

My friend killed himself.

It's hard to even type those words and even harder yet to see through the tears. I have long stood by the fact that the only way I can approach things with an open heart is to allow my heart to be broken. My heart is completely broken. I found myself repeating in my head throughout the service yesterday "Depression is a disease, I don't understand it because I don't have it" and trying with all my might not to judge. But I did, I judged him the second I made eye contact with his kids. In my mind suicide is the belief that tomorrow has no chance of being better than today. His daughter who is 6, will someday not have an escort down the isle in her wedding...how can that not be a better day than today was? But depression is an illness that I do not understand and so often suicide is coupled with depression.

Been a tough year already for my friends, this marks the second suicide, one murder and one heartattack. In every death the anger even if misplaced can be assigned to something, in murders and hearattacks the anger is easier to hand out. But in a suicide the anger would have to be given to the only person in the room that doesn't have feelings, the one in the box. Your grief is then magnified with the anger your feel towards that person and the guilt you can't help but feel. "Was there anything else that I could have done that would have let this person know that I loved them and I would have been there if they needed anything?".

Again depression is an illness that I do not understand.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Couple of Videos

I was looking at my camera and found these so I thought I would share....


video

video

Friday, April 16, 2010

Health Care

I know this is a sensitive subject now for most of the United States. But after all this is my blog in my little world and I couldn't keep quiet any longer...keep in mind I can't post this on FaceBook because my house would be bombed, but oh well.

Let's start off by saying that my health care sucks. Even though I work for an extremely large company (I just received an email that stated that Verizon buys health care for 900,000 people), I pay a lot out of each check and pay a lot *to me* out of pocket.

Here's some numbers to ponder. It cost me in total almost $5,000 to have Austin. $250 dollars just for the blood work to tell my doctor that I WAS in fact pregnant, even though I didn't go to the doctor until I was 3 months pregnant so at this point I think it was pretty obvious. I had a completely natural birth and only took several iron pills and roughly 4 ibuprofen at the hospital, so why did I receive a bill for so much? I'll tell you why, because a lot of people don't have health care and need it...so my charge helps pay for them too. It's expensive to be a doctor or a nurse, heaven forbid a hospital so I understand the charges.

When I am confronted with certain issues I know to go to my Pooba for answers....Chris Rock can you help me out with this? And yes he did. He summed it up better than I could.

While being interviewed on Bill Maher he stated that all the health care bill is the same situation you get when you are flying in a plane in first class. You don't want to know that the guy next to you received a "free upgrade" when you paid $2,000 for your seat. He considers health care until recently an elitist status showing for those that could afford it. He went into further detail about the fact that his Dad got sick when Chris was 22 and poor, his dad's illness was not that severe but 50 days later he died. His Mom got sick a few years back now that he's rich and while her illness was MUCH more severe she is alive and well. When he went to visit her in the hospital he was shocked to find that she had a concierge service, was this a hospital or a hotel? He explained that if the general public knew the discrepancy between the health care of the rich and poor there would riots in the streets but instead it's very easy to hold on to your own health care and not want others to enjoy your first class entitlement.

I understand some of the arguments but not all. One major one that stands out is the argument that by allowing health care to be moderated by the government we are one step closer to the socialism. I am not sure when socialism became such a horrific idea anyways but now that it is, let me just say that our mail, schools and transportation systems are all controlled by the government but no one was shouting from the roof tops about those, in fact we - as generalized society - are extremely angry when they cut school GOVERNMENT funding. So the argument is to start up these privatized charter schools. Hmmmm, I used to be all for the charter schools until I researched them just a bit further. Do you know that ALL charter schools in Colorado Springs do not have special education programs...after all they are too expensive. Two things to think about there....1.) Autism affects 1 out of 150 kids and 2.) My brother was in special education, while his IQ has been measured well above my own, he couldn't say the letter "R" due to a speech impediment he developed while having ear infections as a kid. Tadd speaks completely normal now thanks to the government run, socialized special education programs at Woodland Park elementary school. I am sure he thanks you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Microlending

I am a microlender. One may ask what that is. I loan individuals in third world countries money through an organization called Kiva. I currently have two loans out, one for a single mom in Africa that sells prepaid phone cards to support her 5 kids. She needs a new supply of phone cards and I helped in making that happen. The other is to a small family in Mexico who needed a wall built around their home for safety purposes (apparently these 8 foot monstrosities are common in Mexico). Again, they now have a wall and I receive payments back from them on a schedule that is agreed upon through Kiva. I feel amazing in the fact that I believe in the old saying, if you give a man a fish you feed him for one day but if you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime.

My love for microlending goes even deeper than that though. When I first applied for computer school I couldn't find a loan anywhere, I knew that computers were a booming industry and I knew that I would excel but I needed the money. After being denied from everywhere I went through a small lender in Woodland Park that charged me obscene interest rates, but gave me an unsecured loan. I paid him back every penny with interest and when someone asked me why I didn't refinance the loan to lower the interest I explained that he trusted me when no one else would, in my mind he has earned this interest. I now make a great living and love my job all because one capitalist lender saw a way to make a buck.

With the above described experience in mind, I just read an article about Microlending that saddened me. It was talking about the interest rates that companies are making off the loans that they give to these third world countries and how shameful it is. Is it really so shameful? Have these people in other countries exhausted their other options like I did and this is their last resort? Do they mind paying back the large sums of interest because after all they now have phone cards to sell and a wall for safety?

For the record I make no interest on the loans that I give, but if I ran a bank I would. Not only would the interest ensure me that I could make a living but also it would allow me to absorb the costs of the loans that are not paid back, unsecured means exactly that...there is nothing to secure the loan.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vigilante Justice

Boy do I LOVE the movie Batman, I mean the police can't handle the criminals that are taking over the city so a masked avenger decides to take matters into his own hands and rid the streets of these scum. But that's make believe and in the real world we cannot have a sophisticated self policing society. So here are my latest top three moral dilemmas and why they have been brought to life.

1.) Vigilante Justice - A 16 year old girl in Colorado was being sexually abused by a man for 3 years. He was being brought up on charges because she came forward, but instead she shot and killed him. She was just released with two years of probation because of the evidence they found on the man's computer that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had been abusing her.
~While I can't say I wouldn't have pulled the trigger or better yet if that young girl was Austin they wouldn't have found his body...but I can't condone vigilante justice. At what point is something so heinous that someone else can take it into their own hands? To me it sounds more like we are opening ourselves up for the "well the guy cut me off in traffic so I shot him" defenses.

2.) Freedom of Speech - Both Josh and J have been commenting on this, where the bottom feeders of the world standing behind a false belief in God picket at soldiers and miners funerals.
~ I hate their message and I hate that they can use something like religious belief to justify what they do to a grieving family, but what do we lose as a "free" country by telling them you can't say things that are mean only nice things. I do however feel that their right to say what they want has to stop at my right to listen to what I want, and in the case of an outdoor funeral where the grave is...well...set in stone, they can't violate my rights to a peaceful service.

3.) Last but not least - The Death Penalty - Some states have instituted the death penalty for sexual offenders if they have been caught and tried twice.
~ Do I believe that sexual predators deserve to breath air...no. But again I cannot stand behind the eye for an eye in a civilized society mantra. It's like the mom sitting at the dinner table that sees her child hit her other child and then smacks the first in the back of the head stating "we don't hit". But I also don't want to have a $45,000 a year prison sentence given out for the rest of their lives to someone who again does not deserve to be breathing air.


Ahhhhh, here are the debates I have in my head - at least this week.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ahhhh Swimming....

Ahhh, swimming! Remember when you were a kid and just the thought of a swimming pool made you convulse with excitement? I remember this and I remember that the kick boards (if you went to a REALLY nice pool) were amazing and provided hours of entertainment. I have a different outlook on kick boards and pools in general. We do leg exercises with kick boards and quite frankly too many of them at that. And I attempt to swim laps without dying although it's tough. I also distinctly remember that a kick board when sat on in water could withstand my weight and allow me to hover like the green goblin. I can assure you that me and my third grader sunk like a rock today when that was attempted.

Because Joe has been working so much I have picked up the man's and woman's jobs around the house, I hate to call them these because I am basically a borderline feminist. But it makes it easier to describe. I don't mind though it seems like I must have gotten the short end of the stick in years past because I have a blast mowing the yard and still can't stand ironing. Although I must say I have raw beef hands now, I have never had so many splinters and blisters but I still refuse to wear gloves....they just slow me down.

I missed jogging yesterday but below you will see pictures of our garage. I can now successfully park my jogging stroller in the garage rather than the living room. Joe wasn't even upset, although he does seem sceptical about what I may or may not have thrown away. I assured him that if he didn't know, he didn't ever use it and thus doesn't need it. That's me I am a borderline feminist and complete minimalist. :-)









Monday, April 12, 2010

Good morning...

Good morning dear sweet blog world,

In honor of my friend Josh who is sharing his battle with weight loss and is splashing my name all over his page (although he refers to me as a genius rather than by name) :-). Here I go. I truly wanted to leave all updates on my training for a triathalon struggles to meets the eye. I just wanted to walk into a room and have people say God Golley YOU HAVE been working out hard. But until that day comes, which it will...I don't know how to fail so my body will do what I say. I am going to start actually posting some stuff on here rather than just pictures of Austin. :-)

Last week I started my two a days, now keep in mind I am still carrying around an extra 50 pounds so my knees have just about lept off of me and walked away. I hit the gym every morning with my soul mate J at 5...which is about an hour before the sun can drag it's lazy ass out of bed. And now I take Austin out for a jog every afternoon, I even managed to rig a bicycle computer to my jogging stroller so I can tell how fast we're going and how far we've been. J and I went to 90 minute Spinning on Sunday, yep God's day and J and I went and worked out on a bike for an hour and a half...I don't think my butt will ever forgive me. While the scale is not cooperating as well as I would like I am down 13 pounds over all and with only a third grader left to go why should I complain. ;-)

J and I have swimming in the morning which we add more and more laps onto our total every week so unless I drowned tomorrow I will see you back here.