Friday, September 30, 2011

An Image of Me and Of You and We're Laughing. We're Loving It All.

Stinky dressed-up for Nerd Day during Homecoming week at her high school. So, it's just like every other day...

Well, kids. This weekend should be full of stuff. The Guy's ex-wife is in town from Norway (the country, not the town in Iowa) with her two daughters. I went out and had a drink with her and The Guy's ex-girlfriend and another friend last night. The Guy already planned to meet his mom for dinner, so he couldn't make it. Some people think it's bizarre that this town is so incestuous and that I hang-out with The Guy's exes, but I liked them before I started dating The Guy, so why would I stop liking them now? I can't help it if The Guy has excellent taste in women.

it is Homecoming for Stinky. She doesn't have a date, so she will go with a group of other people going stag. I don't know if she really wants me to take photos this year, she said something about just taking my camera for the night. We'll see.

I think I'm going to try my first Cyclocross race this weekend. Eek! Wish me luck.

On Sunday, I'll head to Ames and watch Coadster in her first choir concert of the semester.

Whew! I'm tired just contemplating it all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Try This Trick and Spin it, Yeah.

Interesting sign, eh?

So, the birthday week last week went well. On The Guy's birthday, he got up early to take his mom to her cataract surgery. While she was getting operated on, he and I went to a nearby park and worked on our cyclocross skillz. He is one of those types who obsesses about a thing and studies it, until he can do it very well. I am one of those annoying people, who go out and tries a thing without studying it and flails around like an idiot until I either get it or don't. The Guy is a very patient teacher as well. He was great about talking to me about what I need to do to mount and dismount my bike and do a bunny hop and a million other things. I think I finally understood how to do a few of those things by the end of our training session.

We picked his mom up from her surgery and went to her house, where The Guy made us omelets (his idea) and they were very good. Then we went home and took a nap. Yea!

Our plan was to ride our bikes to Oxford and eat at the Cajun fusion restaurant there, but after a couple of flat tires, not far from our home, we decided to got a shorter route to Solon and back, and just stop quickly at a bar. The ride was very nice and we shared an order of cheese fries and had a beer at the Solon Station before we headed back. On the way home, I said, "I don't know if it's because I'm not quite over my cold or drinking that beer, but I'm feeling very slooooow."

The Guy responded, "Really? And you're not going to blame the cheese fries at all for that?"

"Uh, no. Cheese fries are always blameless and beautiful." The rest of the ride home was a little scary, because the damn deer kept jumping out in front of my bike and I had to make a total ass out of myself by yelling and waving my arms at them.

The Guy decided he wanted Paglias pizza for dinner, and then we ended the day with a raspberry cheesecake. He said he had a wonderful day.

Stinky at a football game on her birthday.

Stinky went to a football game on her actual birthday, but then had a pizza party on Friday. I went with her to the store to get all the crappy food and soda she wanted and set up a fire in the firepit, so all she had to do was light it when she was ready.

We took off for an hour or so, to give her and her friends the run of the house, without our heads exploding. When we got back, all the girls were hanging out in the kitchen, talking and being silly. They were all very sweet and polite and even when they went outside to have a fire, I only had to remind them once to keep it down a little, so they wouldn't freak out our older neighbors. Stinky said the girls all liked the idea of going out and socializing, but still being able to wear sweatpants. According to Stinky, She had a wonderful party.

I'm glad everyone was happy and that this week has been a little more mellow. Ahhhh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Come On. Oh My Star is Fading.

The shadow of myself.

This weekend The Guy did his first Cyclocross race in Des Moines. As I was still recovering from my cold and I didn't have the right clips on my shoes and I hadn't ever tried to even ride a cross course, decided to abstain from this one and hope to ride one this coming weekend.

The Guy charging over a barrier.

I had a blast just watching the race. I'm a little scared to do one myself, but I think the possibility of fun is outweighing my fear of getting hurt. I'll let you know if I'm singing a different song from my hospital bed after I actually race one...

El Bait Shop in Des Moines has an incredible beer selection on tap.

After the race on Saturday, we stopped at a cycling friendly bar The Guy read about on-line. it had an incredible beer selection and the bartender let us try all kinds of funky beers - ones made with chocolate and chipotle and raspberry. Very interesting.

The t-shirt The Guy won for getting 3rd place in his category on Sunday.

On Saturday night, we took Coadster and her boyfriend out for dinner. We wanted to do a family birthday dinner for Stinky, but since she had to work, we ate without her and will take her out another night.

On Sunday, we went back to the race and The Guy finished 3rd in his category. Pretty impressive. We went to Trader Joe's and stocked up, since we don't have one in Iowa City.

This weekend was also The Guy and my first anniversary. We've been through a lot this year, both good and bad and it's been great to have that support.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby

Me and Stinky in the early '90's.

So, today is Stinky's 18th birthday. Where the hell did the time go? She has always been so sweet and salty. She's smart and funny and silly and open and lazy and a boundary pusher and a lover of attention (both good and bad) and I wouldn't have her any other way.

We normally go out for dinner for our birthdays, but there is a football game she wants to go to instead. Tomorrow, Stinky is going to have some friends over for pizza, a fire, some movies and a sleepover. We wanted to take Stinky out for her birthday when Coadster and her boyfriend were here on Saturday night, but Stinky works until 10. Wah. We're still working on finding an evening for that.

This morning, The Guy was telling Stinky that turning 18 used to mean that you got all of your freedoms, like being able to drink legally. Stinky interrupted him and said, "Yeah. Now it means that you can smoke legally, buy porn and go to a strip club." Wow. It sounds like she's got her work cut out for her today.

Happy Birthday, Stinky Boo Bear!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"To the Carnival", Is What She Said.

The cool cats are having a birthday tomorrow.

Soooo, this week everyone in my house but me and Archie are celebrating birthdays. Tomorrow both The Guy and his cat, Heidi will acquire another year. The Guy will officially be a year older than me for another 9 months.

I'm taking tomorrow off work and so is The Guy. I'm not sure exactly what we'll do, but I have a feeling it will involve a bike ride, a good meal and a drink. For Heidi, I'm going to check out a cat toy one of my co-workers told me about that is a fake bird that chirps when a cat attacks it. Don't worry, I'll get one for Archie too - so that Heidi won't have to worry about him stealing hers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Planet Earth is Blue. And There's Nothing I Can Do.

Me being chased by the zombie invasion.

Sooo, I caught a bad cold and had to skip the triathlon on Sunday. I had to call it on Friday to get my fee deferred until next year. I just didn't think that me being sick + a 50 degree, rainy day +
a hard physical work-out for about 2 hours would add up to anything very positive. You know?

The Guy enjoying his zombie attack.

Friday night was really nice. The Guy took me out for Thai food and we came home and watched an old movie called, Desk Set. The last time I had seen it, was with my mom. Weird.

Here is a picture of me dancing behind The Guy. Dork!

The rest of the weekend was okay. I tried to clean Coadster's room and have everything ready for when she comes home, so she can go through her pile of crap and tell me what she wants to keep and what I can get rid of. I was pretty tired, so I would clean for a bit and then rest for a bit and then clean and rest and on and on. Of course, there was some nose blowing and sneezing going on in there too.

I took a nap and felt well enough to go out for a little bit on Saturday night. It was the zombie march in our town, and I love to check out all the costumes and obviously, the photo ops ain't bad either.

I'm feeling a little better today. I'm hoping to feel well enough tomorrow to start swimming, running and cycling, but I guess we'll see how that goes...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Thousand Years in One Piece of Silver.

Heidi fell asleep using "A Filed Guide to Iowa's Birds" as her pillow. I hope she had sweet dreams.

So, today I will drop some bookish names. Partly, because I love it when other people do it on their blogs and I get more reading suggestions, and partly because it is part of my story.

Yesterday RJT of Illiterati blog updated her FB status, raving about how wonderfully engrossing Justin Cronin's books are. She was talking about The Passage, in particular, but others were talking about all of his work. So, I Googled him and read some reviews. When I read that it was another vampire story, I almost stopped there. Not that I don't love vampires as much as everyone else, but I'm starting to reach my saturation point with them. I read on, and review after review complained about houses going to hell and marriages dissolving because the book was THAT distracting and addictive.

Archie was a little cranky that I was on the other side of the screened in porch from him. Big baby.

Even though I'm still only about 200 pages into the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon, and I have a to-read list about a mile long, I decided I must possess The Passage. I checked out Amazon and they had it for about $10 (not including shipping). Because I like to try to support local businesses, I stopped off at our local, independent book store, Prairie Lights over my lunch break.

I walked in and my favorite employee, Paul was working. He is just as big a book nerd as I am, and we are always happy to see each other. He came over and gave me a hug and asked me what I wanted. I told him and he said, "Oh, then. let's go upstairs and get you a signed copy of that." We walked up and another employee who I really like and on who's suggestion I bought Anne Patchett's latest book, State of Wonder, was working. I'm always happy to see her, as well. I got my book and looked inside and it was a first edition, paperback. Because it is signed, it might actually be worth some money someday.

I'm not exactly sure what the moral of this story is, except that for 4 more dollars, I got a free hug, and a signed first edition paperback. Not too bad at all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Look at the Floor and I See it Needs Sweeping.

The beach where I trained on was pretty damn empty during the Iowa/Iowa State game last weekend.

I got quite a bit done this weekend. The Guy was sick, and I had a lot of time by myself, so I kept busy. On Friday we cooked trout on the grill and steamed asparagus and fried potatoes in garlic butter and rosemary. Then we watched the movie, Inception. The Guy had never seen it, and I thought all the action might keep him from falling asleep, but he said it did make him a little tense. Hey, at least he wasn't bored, right?

Me getting ready to put my bike in the car and then run a 5K'ish.

On Saturday, I got up and tried to get some practical stuff done and then ran an errand then finally went to the reservoir to train. I wandered around and took a few pictures before I started, then I swam (that open water swim will probably be the toughest part of the tri for me. The bike ride came next, and it's a route I normally do, so I feel pretty comfortable with it. I took another photo or two and put my bike and stuff away, before I started the run. A lot of the run is on a trail. I'm not sure of the exact route, so I winged it, and because I'm me, I got a little lost. Of course, it was a perfect day, and a beautiful trail, so it didn't bother me to wander/run around in the woods. It just took a little longer.

I got home in time to eat pizza and watch an Andy Griffith episode with The Guy before I went to my friend's treehouse party.

Me climbing up out of the trap door and into the top floor of the awesome treehouse.

Of course, by the time I got to the party, I had already worked-out for almost 3 hours and had some pizza, so I could have easily just stayed home and relaxed,(read: slept) but I did want to go and see my friends, so I made it through two drinks and a couple of hours before I went home.

The Guy and I watched a cheesy bike racing movie called, American Flyers. Kevin Costner with a pornstache. Need I say more. There were some cool cycling close-ups and there was plenty to laugh about with it, so I was very entertained.

Some of the boys at the party played some RAWK! music and G. and I decided that if they were going to play old Motley Crue, then we should at least do some head banging.

On Sunday, I got a ton of stuff done. I painted Coadster's room. I still have to paint the trim, but the walls are done and she picked out a really pretty silvery, purple color. So far, it looks really nice. I did some gardening and swept about a million acorns off of our back deck and then mowed the lawn - all before 12:30. After my chores were done, I went for a ride. I went back to the triathlon cycling route and extended it some more. It felt great.

The rest of the afternoon, I relaxed. I read my book on the porch for a bit, until my brother called, and I finally talked to him for a bit, and then The Guy took Stinky and I out for sushi. We got to hear about Stinky's trip to visit her sister in Ames and how much fun she had there.

By the end of the weekend, I think The Guy was finally feeling a little better and we had a nice talk. Now, I just hope I don't get sick right before the triathlon...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

I'll Be There in a Hurry. You Don't Have to Worry

I stole this photo off of someone's FB page. I have a feeling they stole it and I have no idea if it's even real, but it's funny. So, who cares?

On Friday evening, Stinky and I were getting home from the store when some hot hipster boy was walking past our house. He was being trailed by a bulldog. He stopped us and asked if we knew the dog. He said it and another, bigger dog had been following him and he didn't know what to do. I told him I'd take him and get him some water. It could be all bulldogs, but this one looked like he was frothing at the mouth and sounded like he was having a fatal asthma attack.

I tried to walk around the neighborhood with him, to see if anyone recognized him or see if his owner was looking for him. I had to stop after the bulldog liked some older guys dog so much that the poor man had to hang up his cell phone on his mom and help me separate the two. At least I left him with an interesting story to tell his mom.

I finally got the dog set-up in the breezeway with some water and The Guy set out some cat food that he didn't touch. He drooled and wheezed out there, stressing Archie out, while I called the cops. They said someone would be out to get him as soon as they could.

Having done all I could, I went to the kitchen and started getting things ready for shrimp fajitas. Because I'm almost as nosy as Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched, I like to look out my window while I cook. Soon, I saw a man in a black car drive slowly past our house. I dropped what I was doing and ran outside to see if he just happened to be looking for an asthmatic bulldog, but by the time I got there, he had already turned. He came back again about 5 minutes later, driving even slower, so this time I made it outside in time.

"Are you looking for a dog, by any chance?"

He immediately braked, jumped out of his car and yelled,"Yes!"

I told him I had a bulldog in my breezeway (that sounds like a personal problem....) and he said, "That's Lexington. He and our other dog rushed the gate and escaped." I opened the door, and Lexington quickly waddled straight to his owner, who scooped him up, drool chains and all, and carried him to his car.

After they left, The Guy went out to the breezeway to grab the water bowl, which was pretty much all saliva at that point, and said, "Hmmm. I wonder how long it will take to get the dog smell out of there!" We both agreed that we loved dogs, but it takes an especially tolerant person to own and love a bulldog.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

So I Go a Little Overboard, but Hang Onto the Hull

The awesome cyclocross wheels The Guy built me. Pretty.

I really meant to post yesterday, but couldn't on account of the Fall work retreat that went WAY too long yesterday. So, let's see what I can do today.

This weekend was wonderfully long. On Friday, The Guy and I had shrimp fajitas and black beans and de gallo and guac and it was lovely. We watched the old sci-fi movie, Them as well. You know how much I love my camp...

Me trying to make the fringe from the pool table look like Rick James bangs, and Bry spazzing out in front of the camera.

On Saturday, I got up and went running. I heard some thunder in the distance, but it looked like it might stay to the North of us. By the time I got back and The Guy and I found a park to practice some cyclocross, it started pouring. We sat under the shelter at the park and waited to see if it would let-up but then finally gave up and rode our bikes home in the rain. I did work on some mounting and dismounting on my bike and realized I have SO much work to do before my first race.

The rest of the day we spent cleaning and cooking for our dinner party that evening. I made a bunch of appetizers, like baked brie and blue cheese stuffed olives and roasted garlic and guacamole and chips and got things ready to grill. I made two kinds of salmon - garlic butter and brown sugar/dijon glazed salmon and many veggie packets. We took a break to swim laps and then came home got things ready to make mojitos.

It was a lovely dinner. I didn't have things timed as well as I would've liked, so I ended up spending more time manning the grill and making people mojitos and less time laughing and shooting the shit with my friends. Lesson learned. I also drank a mojito or two too many. It was really hard not to.

The Guy's face eclipsing mine.

On Sunday we were supposed to get up early and do the triathlon course again, but the rain brought in a cold front and the mojitos had me singing, "hangover, hangover. Send Churlita right over...." So, I did a lot more relaxing and lying about than I had originally planned. Instead, we went to Menards and I got some tulip and crocus bulbs that were way on sale to plant in the next month and a few little things for our house.

At 7 we met some friends at a pool hall where we can play for free and had a fine, incredibly silly time. Nothing wrong with that.

On Monday we finally did the biking part of the triathlon course. It was still WAY too cold to swim. Even with the holiday, there wasn't anybody at the beach. We got home and The Guy took me on a trail run. I normally just run on the sidewalk, but we went to Hickory Hill Park and it was actually pretty cool. I had to pay attention, which has never been one of my strong suits, but it was very pretty and rugged and kick-ass and I may start doing that more often.

We ended the night with the Monday Night Ride and that was a great time as well. All the goodness does make it harder to go back to cubicle world sometimes, though.