Monday, January 31, 2011

You See I Believe in Nothing and You're Convinced of the Hex

Time to take out the trash...Sorry. All I have are cat pics right now.

Soooo. Apparently, we're getting some kind of crazy blizzard in the next day or two. Right now, they're predicting about a foot of snow. Jinkies! I can't remember the last time it snowed that much at one time.

Now that I cross-country ski, I'm pretty excited about the snow. I guess the trick is to find something fun to do in any type of weather, in order to better appreciate it....I'm still working on an interesting activity for 20 below zero temps, but haven't found anything yet. I'm not sure if hibernating counts.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Archie putting his best end forward...Judging by the guy's face, it doesn't seem to smell that good.

So, my weekend was just fine. Friday night we had our dinner and the salmon was amazing. Then we did a Netflix streaming of Tom Waits' concert film, Big Time. It was very nice.

On Saturday, I ran and then picked the guy up at 3 to go swimming. They were having that diving tournament at the pool, so in between laps, I would stop and watch people dive off that super high platform...And almost have a heart attack that they were all headed to meet their watery deaths. Jaysus! After the swim and the steam, we headed to the Dublin and the man who was the story editor for the first season of True Blood and then later worked on Weeds, showed up. I talked to him for a minute, because our kids were in show choir together. My favorite bartender, S. was all aflutter, because his wife is a big fan of his writing. The guy and I ended our night by falling asleep on the couch to another movie...But after all the stuff we did, I don't feel too bad about that.

Archie turning around to his other end...And now that he's teething, I doubt it smells that much better.

Today the guy told me he wasn't going to have time to hang out due to some stuff he wanted to get done and some social obligations with other people. I woke up to a text from my friend E. asking me if the guy and I wanted to go swimming with her. I told her that the guy was busy but that I'd go with her. We had a great time swimming and steaming and sauna'ing. Then I asked her if she wanted to meet later for a drink and appetizers. She was up for that, since she had her sons all weekend and wouldn't mind socializing. I told the guy what E. and I were doing and he said he'd love to see us. So, he and his friend Bry met us at Graze and had a drink. They took off to play pool and E. and I had a great talk. When we were ready to go, we stopped by the pool hall and shot a couple of games with The boys. It was such a blast. I'm just learning to play pool, so even when I got the easiest shots in, they all gave me some condescending applause...Even condescending applause felt nice. It was weird for me to go out on a Sunday, but I was so glad I did.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Let It Be Good, Do What You Should. You know It'll Be Alright

Here is a creepy disembodied head wearing robin's egg blue eyeshadow.

Well, kids. It's the weekend already. How did that happen? Where did the week go?

I'm not sure what all is going on this weekend in my world. Tomorrow night I'm picking the guy up from work and then we'll go back to my place and make baked salmon glazed with dijon and brown sugar, toasted pine nut cous cous, and zucchini, summer squash, and red pepper sauteed in garlic butter and white wine.

I don't have much planned beyond that. We thought about going to Dubuque to ski, but they're having some kind of Iowa Winter olympics thingy going on there. We also might check out the Big 10 diving competition?/meet?/thingy? they're having here all week. I hope to run, I hope to swim, I hope to drink some and eat some and enjoy my life, but I'm not exactly sure what form that will all take.

How about all you all? Will you be hoping to enjoy your lives this weekend?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

But I'll Try Not to Bring it Back Home With Me

Here is a bad orange nick knack in my kitchen.

So, the French onion soup turned out pretty well after all. The guy came over and helped me make Ceasar salad and it was so very nice. We had a great meal, some wine and engaging conversation....And now I will be lame and retire. Night night.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And There Ain't Nothin' I Can Do About It

Here is the window of a junk store on my way to work. Apparently, it was Diana Ross day today. Who knew?

So, hey! What do ya know? I actually did run this morning and it felt wonderful. I've missed my old friend, running.

Tonight I decided to try my hand at making a veggie version of French onion soup for tomorrow. I'm also making Ceasar salad from scratch. I gave myself an hour to make the broth, like they said in the recipe I printed off the web - carmelizing onions takes a long, long time. The only problem is that I'm a little sensitive to onions...And when I say a little, I'm lying. I'm CRAZY sensitive to onions and it took me twice as long just to cut them up. I had to keep taking breaks to wipe my eyes with a towel, go into another room to give them a rest and then start again. Oy!

Anyway, the extra time I spent means I won't go to bed early enough to get a run in tomorrow morning. It's okay. It's only Tuesday. I have plenty of days left to run, swim and hopefully ski this week. In the mean time, I better go stir a vat of onions and it will all be worth it when I'm dining on a lovely hunk of crusty French bread, soaked in wonderful oniony broth and covered with Swiss cheese. Yum.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Woman is a Woman and a Man Ain't Nuthin' But a Male

Here is a HUGE wasp nest.

Well, kids. I had a good night tonight. The guy and I went for Mexican food and margaritas and were joined by our friend, Bry and my favorite bartender S. It was a bit loud and raucous with all four of us together. I hadn't had a chance to hang out with those two chuckle heads in forever, and it was good to see both of them. Now I'm tired and I'm going to bed to see if I can make myself get up early enough to run tomorrow morning. It might be kind of tricky...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'd Hate to Look Into Those Eyes and See an Ounce of Pain

Here the guy is either getting ready to pinch the cat's ass, or pointing to the part of him that best represents the whole. Asshole.

Well, this weekend turned out just lovely. On Friday night, the guy came over and helped me cook dinner. I'm not used to being with someone who really does want to help and isn't going to get all in my face about whatever it is he thinks I'm doing wrong. It's so refreshing, but it has taken some getting used to. I'm trying to be better about letting him help me more.

After we ate, we retired to my living room and watched Machete. There were a whole bunch people getting shot in the head and decapitations and stuff blowing up. Once it was over the guy said, "Well, that was romantic." Then he said, "You and your chick flicks...." Hilarious.

On Saturday, I got a few things done around the house, took Stinky to work and then picked up the guy. We went to the university cross country running course and finally got to ski. It was nice. We even did some off-roading and skiied on a few bike paths. I'm still not all that confident on the downhills, but I'm nothing if not a work in progress.

After we got done skiing, we picked Stinky up from work and were all going to go to the rec services building so the guy and I could swim, while Stinky got on the treadmill. Right when we got there, Stinky decided she didn't feel well and wanted to go home. I'm not sure exactly what happened on the 15 minute car ride, but sometimes with 17 year old girls, things don't have to make sense. I dropped the guy off at the pool and took Stinky home. She was fine, so I went back and got a steam in after the guy finished swimming. We headed downtown for a drink and then back to my place to order pizza from The Wedge. We started watching an old Cary Grant movie called, My Favorite Wife, but both fell asleep before it was over. Stinky and her friend both had a little laugh that we were asleep before they were even heading out. Yeah. Old people are funny that way...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Know a Place That's Safe and Warm From the Crowd

Here is my self-portrait in a bathroom. Quaint.

Sorry. I didn't get around to posting last night, but I'm doing it now. So, that's at least something, right? Anyway, it was a quick and crazy week, and now the weekend is upon us.

I just spent most of the evening making shrimp tomato bisque soup and tomorrow after work I'll pick up the guy and make some black bean burgers with Monterrey Jack cheese and guacamole to go on them and we should have ourselves a right nice meal. I can't wait.

With everything else going on this week, the guy and I didn't really have time to talk about what we'd do this weekend. I think we'll try to get some skiing in. We finally have enough snow that there are a few places that have groomed their snow and laid down tracks for cross country skiing around here and we want to check those out. Of course, it's also frigid cold here, so we might not be able to ski quite as long as we'd like. I'd really like to get some swimming in too, if that works out.

How about you? Will you be looking forward to eating good Winter comfort food or ways to work that off?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This Time, Baby. I'll Be Bulletproof.

Here is Archie looking like how I felt at points today.

So, you know how I had that horrible migraine last night, right? Well, I was hoping that today would only be better. But it started out with Archie puking, just as I was headed out to work. Not only did I have to clean up cat puke first thing, I was also late to work. Awesome.

Then I got off work early to give plasma and got the new guy who quickly gave me a hematoma. Awesomer. After I got home from that, I realized my computer stopped working. Of course, at that point, I couldn't mess with it, because I had to pick up the guy from work and head to a memorial service.

The service was for his ex's (who he was with for 10 years before me) dad. This town being as small as it is, (insert the perils of living in a small town rant here) I also knew the man and his family since I was in my late teens/early 20's. So, it was a sad thing for both of us...But especially for the guy.

After the service, we stopped at my place and I took Stinky and two of her friends to a game and the guy worked on my computer. He fixed it by the time I got back and then he took me out for Mexican food where we had a great talk and worked on sorting out our feelings from the visitation and all that led up to it.

So, yes. I did have one of those days, but I cleaned up the cat puke, and I made it to work without much fuss. My hematoma wasn't all that bad and we just switched arms and I gave plasma from my left one. I'm lucky enough that the guy can easily fix my computer...And that we're both willing to talk things out, so that we can get through even the saddest experiences. I guess depending on how you look at it, I really had one of those good days by the end.

Say Oh Christ, Oh Jesus Christ. My head's Gonna Crack Like a Bank

Sorry about the lack of posting last night. I was struck down with the worst migraine of my life. I took my meds, but it didn't go away until I woke up this morning.

I plan on being better about the blogging this week. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Can I Take the Time, to Ask You to Speak Your Mind?

Here is a giraffe painted on a staircase.

So, today wasn't the best, but I do get a three day weekend, so I'm concentrating on that...

What will I do with three whole days, you ask? For the most part, I'm not sure. It's been a long time since I've flown by the seat of my pants for a weekend. Right now, it looks like the guy will come over tomorrow night and I'll make shrimp, tofu and shitake mushroom stir fry with Miso soup.

The guy and I are looking for places within an hour's distance to cross country ski possibly on Saturday. It seems that places about an hour North and South of us got quite a bit more snow this week. I'll let you know how that goes....

How about you? Do you have concrete plans or are spinning your wheels, waiting for something to do?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

He Must Be Happy, He Must Be Happy, He Must Be Happy in His Work

So, hey. Remember how Archie kept trying to fit into a cereal box and that made me doubt his intelligence? Well, he actually did manage to squeeze himself into a box about half that size. So, now who's intelligence should I be doubting?...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Letting the Days Go By, Into Silent Water

Here is a sign asking for snow.

At first it feels like drudgery waking up that early and it is dreary and cold and your bed is so, very warm. It's still dark outside and snowing when you drive your car at six am and you wonder why this seemed like such a good idea the night before.

Now, you've done it. You've put yourself into a swimsuit in the middle of January - and you're Irish and pasty for god's sake! The worst part comes next. You stand with your toes just hanging over the edge and contemplate jumping. It seems impossible, you know? To willingly immerse yourself in cool water, but it's not like you can turn around and walk back to the locker room...Or can you?

That's it. You do it. You take that flying leap and suddenly you are chilly and wet, but you're moving. You decide it feels pretty good, after all. You're on your back now and your arms are cutting through the lane. Your goggles are tainted by drops of water and make all the lights above you look like they are surrounded by colorful halos. You are fluid and slick and even though you can't see yourself, you think this must be what real beauty is. It's not that perfect skin you don't have, or those perfectly proportioned features you can't imagine. It's just this - this feeling of weightlessness and strength and fluidity.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Golden Slumbers Fill Your Eyes, Smiles Awake You When You Rise

Here is the guy having a cat.

Soooo. Archie didn't harass me last night when I went to bed. he doesn't always, so I didn't think much of it. Archie also didn't harass me when my alarm went off this morning, and that was very strange. At first I thought that maybe Archie got used to sleeping with Stinky whoile I was gone. I went up to Ask Stinky if he was up there, but she hadn't seen him.

Then, it hit me. Right before I went to bed, I opened the door and checked the mail. I had already turned the lights off. Crap! I ran to the front door and called Archie. Luckily, he came running. He had been nesting the next door neighbor's bushes. Poor guy.

I'm pretty sure he was born in the shelter, so I don't think he had ever been outside before. I can't imagine what the hell he thought when he was suddenly in a new place that was cold and dark and there was no food or attention. I imagine it was his worst nightmare.

When I told the guy about it, he said he thought that Archie may have learned his lesson about trying to run outside any time we opened the door, but this is a cat who thinks he can fit into a cereal box, so I have my doubts....

Sunday, January 09, 2011

And You're Standing Here Beside Me, I Love the Passing of Time

My brother and I at Mirror Lake.

There were so many lessons I learned this weekend. Like, just because you think you're in pretty good shape, you shouldn't try to cross country ski on and off for 5 hours, for the first time in 10 years. Ooops. The other side of that lesson is that I'm 45 years old, and apparently, I keep forgetting that too.

This weekend was as wonderful as I imagined it would be. My brother had called me around Christmas to see if we could meet up. That didn't work out, but I mentioned that the guy and I were going up for a ski weekend. He told me to stop by his place, on the way up and he would wax our skis for us. Nice. We got there a little before 8. We had a VERY quick visit and meal. My brother is a HUGE bike geek, so he had to show the guy his 5,000 bicycles and luckily, the guy is a bike geek too, so he could appreciate them all.

The guy and I on my favorite trail.

Saturday we had a great day of skiing at Mirror Lake. The guy was really helpful about instructing me on technique. We skiied a few trails. I love the actual skiing, but I do have problems maneuvering down hills.

My brother joined us around 3 and the guy reminded me to ask him the most important question of the day: How do you fall down without hurting yourself? Luckily, my brother is a cross country ski instructor, so he gave me all kinds of instruction and tips. I skiied sooo much better after that.

Once it started getting dark, we followed my brother to a brew pub in The Dells and had pretty good food and great beer. My brother is a horrible beer snob,and thinks there should only be 4 ingredients in beer (one of those is water). I ordered a raspberry ale and actually made my brother try it...I think he was just really tired or weak or suddenly crazy or something. Of course, he told me he didn't need to drink anything like it again.

The red heart shaped jacuzzi in the hotel. Classss-yyyyy.

The guy and I headed back to our room and had a few cocktails and a wonderful talk. We were going to try and watch the movie, Breaking Away, because we've been talking about it a lot lately, but never got around to it.

On Sunday morning, I discovered the error of my ways. I was ridiculously sore and tired. I still tried to ski and managed a 3 mile trail, but realized that I was going to get injured, so I bowed out and let the guy ski a few trails on his own while I started reading Water for Elephants in the car and then dozing off. The guy went on some difficult trails he wouldn't have been able to ski with me and so we were both pretty happy.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend as well.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Oh, Baby Just You Shut Your Mouth

Here are people watching a bike race on a hill.

Well, kids. We're only a day away from our cross-country ski trip. I spent most of the evening packing, shopping and hanging out with Stinky.

Tomorrow, I get off work at 2:30. I'll load up my car, gas it up and pick the guy up from his job around 4:30....Then we're off. Yea!

We'll make a very brief stop in Madison so my brother can wax my new skis and have a quick drink and then we'll take off to Baraboo - where our motel is. We'll get there later than we want, but we'll still have all Saturday and much of Sunday to ski, before we head back to Iowa. The skiing conditions aren't perfect there, but at least we'll be able to ski there. There really isn't any snow here.

So, how about you all? Will you hunting down snow, or staying in and hibernating?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

No, No, No. She Don't Think Straight.

Here are some creepy dolls to help traumatize you to sleep.

Well, kids. This will be short. I had a good night with the guy. We did pack up most of his stuff for the trip and I'll pack most of my stuff tomorrow night. I'm so excited, I can barely stand it, but I still have to wait until Friday. I'm sure I'll be tons of fun to work with the next two days....

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I Can No Longer Shop Happily

Here is a fencing mask.

Today was very, very busy. The kind of day where I had to be at work to sit down and relax. I left my house at 5:30 and picked up the guy and then headed to the pool. We swam and steamed and then both went to our separate jobs.

After work, I picked up my girls, took them to the mall while I went to give plasma. Then I took Coadster to the store to pick up some things before she went back to college. I don't know if any of you have ever taken your college kids to the store, but they seem to treat it like an episode of Supermarket Sweep where they look for the big ticket items and then shop like they're getting ready for Y2k - hording food and health and beauty items...Little money grubbers.

Anyway, it's late, I'm tired and I'm going to try and wake up in time to run before work tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 03, 2011

But I Know Sometimes I Must Get Out In the Light

Kitten in a dryer.

I had a nice evening on Sunday. Coadster is going back to school this week, and decided not to hang out with her friends in order to spend some time with me. We made Mexican food and watched the movie, The Kids Are Alright. It was pretty interesting. Mostly, it was just nice to have some time with Coadster.

Tonight I went out for Mexican food with the guy. We did some talking and planning on our cross country ski trip for this weekend. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to go up to Wisconsin and have an entire weekend to ski and eat and hang out with the guy.

Now, I have to go to bed, so I can wake up and swim in the morning. I've been working on getting better and stronger, so I can realistically think about doing a triathlon...The upside, is that I'm really starting to love it. I don't have the best technique in the world, but I'm feeling stronger and I'm finally getting the breathing down. When I do the back stroke, I find myself looking up at the ceiling and letting my scary brain go. It's coming close to the feeling I get from runner's high. Can you imagine, two free different exercise induced highs? It's great to have options....

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Aim So High Above Any Card That Has Been Dealt You

Me wearing G.'s fringed purse on my head and making everyone think I looked like Janice the Muppet in Animals band.

Sorry, I was lax with the blog again this extended weekend. This time I actually have an excuse - my internet was all wonky for a couple of days.

So, let's see....Thursday night I went out with the girls for a very little bit. I had one beer and enjoyed some wacky hijinks and made it home by 9:30.

New Year's Eve was lovely as well. During the day, I ran and did some cleaning. The guy and I were going to try to swim at 5, but that kind of fell through. Instead, we went to our friend Pat and Mandy's and had appetizers and some fun pomegranate/cranberry juice vodka drinks. At around 8, the guy and I went back to my place. We ate too much at our friends house to eat a full meal, but I still baked some salmon and we had a really great talk. Before I realized it, it was 12:14 and we had missed the start of the year. I guess I'd rather be so involved in a great conversation with my boyfriend, then know exactly when it turns midnight....

We had candles in the shape of bombs. The best part, was that the package made a big point to say that they wouldn't actually explode. Bummer.

If the first day of the year is any indication...It should be one hell of a year. Stinky worked most of the day. I had a nice afternoon to myself, getting a few things done and generally putzing around the house muttering to myself. In the afternoon, the guy and I were going to try and swim laps, but we got confused on the hours, and the pool was closing just as we got there. Instead, we went to my place and took showers and got ready for dinner. We went to Graze and had martinis and then went to Devotay for our 6:30 reservation. Devotay is mostly a tapas place. We tried a bunch of different things and had some wine. When we were getting ready to leave, we realized two hours had passed while we were there. Crazy. I guess time flies when you're gorging yourself and engrossed in conversation.

I hope you all had a great end and beginning to the years...And that things continue to get better and better.