Monday, January 30, 2012

She's Breathing Quiet and Smooth

Here are a series of pics of me seemingly squishing other people's heads. I quite like them.

This weekend was nice. We had a few plans and then they changed...As plans sometimes do. I ended up taking The Guy out for Thai food on Friday night and then we went home and watched Fellini's La Strada. I hadn't seen it in 20 years, and I didn't remember it being quite so sad.

Even young children aren't safe...

On Saturday morning, we got a lot done around the house. I finally finished painting the trim in Coadster's old room and The Guy got almost everything out of his storage space. Sure, things are a bit crowded in our garage right now, but we'll get it all whittled down and put away or taken away. It's just nice to have it all at home for The Guy to easily work on now.

In the afternoon, our friend E. came over and The Guy took us out on a trail run. We went all through Hickory Hill Park and then out the other side and ran for however many more miles. We estimated that we ran around 8 miles altogether. Which is about half of what we're going to be racing in the middle of March, but it was nice that we knew we could at least do that.

In the evening we met back up with E and our friend Eggo and her husband at The Mill for pizza and beer. After running off about 900 calories, we figured we could load up a little. Around 8 we headed over to some other friends to play a game called Mad Gab. Of course, the kids who were there, were much better at it than any of the adults.

Oh, squishing heads can make some people so sad.

Sunday was another beautiful day. I wasn't feeling very well and was a bit migrainey, so I didn't get much done in the morning. I did run again, for about 4 miles in the afternoon. The Guy rode his bike for a couple of hours in there too.

In the evening, The Guy went to play pool with his friend Bry and I hung out at home and read my book. I'm currently reading The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides. Right now it takes place in 1982. It reminds me a lot of what I thought college would be like from reading too many writers' experiences in literature, but never was for me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Turning Into My Soul


I'm not one much for labels. They only seem to cover one part of a person, but The Guy likes to tell me I'm an endurance athlete. I think that's pretty accurate, in many different ways.

I've lived most of my life, having to endure things. I'm not particularly patient, but I am diligent and if there is one thing I can do, it's endure. When I was younger, I endured the death of my mom, and the indentured servitude of my abusive legal guardians, my "lost" angry years, an abusive marriage (since I thought that's what I deserved) and the four years I spent reading, journaling and working on my self-esteem issues and insecurities, so that I would never again think I deserved an abusive relationship.

I counted down the hours and days until Stinky regained consciousness from her meningitis, and the minutes that seemed like hours for the tornado to slam into our basementless house and move on.

Here is a lone boxcar.

So, now that I know I can do it and I try to actively keep as much bad stuff out of my life as I can control, I don't worry so much about being happy and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Instead, I count the minutes of my brutal trainer work-out or the miles of my relaxing after work run. Every once in a while, I regret the time I wasted in bad situations in the past, but mostly, I'm too busy "enduring" the fun and athletic life I've worked so hard to create.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In a Country Where They Turn Back Time

Here is pretty Heidi, all cute and sleeping.

I guess it's weekend synopsis post day today. Wanna hear it? Here is is:

Friday night was nice and mellow. We made dinner and then I got Stinky some Chinese take-out and a DVD and drove her to her friend's house, so they could have a girl's night. I got home and The Guy and I watched Good Bye Lenin! I really enjoyed it.

Me making the X with my ski poles. I'm not quite sure what that was for...

On Saturday, we went to Lake McBride to ski. The snow wasn't great, but we've been a little desperate lately. I felt like I was doing a little more awkward walking on the snow then fluidly gliding. After about an hour and a half, I was feeling a little migrainy. After last week, we didn't want to push it, so we went out for Mexican food for lunch and then came home and showered and took what turned out to be a two and a half hour nap. Jaysus!

The Guy under a very impressive tree.

After we woke-up, it was clear we weren't going to get any chores done around the house, so we headed over to the Dublin, to play some pool, have a drink and wait for Stinky to get off work. We decided on Chinese take-out. Apparently, Stinky was up for it a second night in a row and then we tried to make her hang out with us, but watching The Town. She did grace us with an hour of her time, but alas, she had better things to do and off she went with one of her friends.

A Grant Wood homage in Stone City, Iowa.

On Sunday morning, we were desperately trying to find somewhere to ski. We knew the temps were rising and there was some weird misting, that would wreak havoc on our shoddy snow. The Guy found a place outside of Stone City (an hour away) that looked like our best bet.

We drove there and some of the country roads were pretty slick, but manageable. The trails were wonderful, though. We skied for almost two hours, but it started getting sticky and hard to glide on, so we bagged it and headed into the town of Stone City.

The General Store in Stone City.

We stopped at the General store for lunch and beer. It was so nice and quaint and the staff was really nice. We will definitely come back to ski again this Winter and bike in the Summer.

The blurry but cozy pub with the wood burning fireplace.

We got home and putzed around the the house. I went to my friend G's for a bit and then picked up Stinky from work. We had salmon quesadillas (shut-up. The salmon was leftover and they were actually pretty good) and veggie tamales for dinner and then watched the South Korean movie, The Host. It was so bizarre but so good.

Friday, January 20, 2012

She Said It's Cold. It Feels Like Independence Day.

Stinky with a friend on NYE. Her braces are doing a great job, don't you think?

Oh, and it's the weekend again. I just started reading Ann Patchett's, The Patron Saint of Liars yesterday and I really like it so far. I have been ridiculously obsessing about books lately. I went so many years as a single mom with no time to read, that I feel like I can't get enough literature in my current life. I am devouring novels and stories. I am voracious.

I've been Googling, and then printing "Best of" lists. Best novels of 2010, 2009, 2008, the first decade of this century, literary prize lists and then every month I get to go to Prairie Lights and buy a book or two. Of course, this is my latest excuse for not blogging very much as of late, but it's a good one, don't you think?

Coadster with some friends, around Christmas time.

Last night was very nice. We invited a woman named Jess, who is a bartender at the Dublin and her boyfriend over for dinner. I made brown sugar glazed and garlic butter baked salmon, savory sweet potatoes, a Greek salad and sourdough bread. We had a nice talk and listened to music and we were all done at a decent hour, because it was a school night. I do believe having a couple of people over for dinner is one of my favorite ways to socialize.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So Will You Catch Me Now I'm Falling

The Guy at the top of the hill I was about ready to herring bone up.

This three day weekend was lovely for the most part. On Friday we had some people over for fish tacos. We ate and drank and talked and knew it was time to go to bed after our friend S.'s boyfriend started doing his Tom Waits impersonation and we couldn't stop laughing.

On Saturday, we got up and The Guy went to the cross-country ski trails and I stayed home and did a work-out for an hour on the bike trainer. He came back with good news. There was enough snow to ski on. We headed to the trails and skied until it got dark. It was so very nice.

We stopped at the Dublin for a drink and a pool game or two on the way home. I actually won my first pool game ever. Yea!

I had made up a pan of lasagna before we left to ski, so all I had to do was put it in the oven and put the beet salad together and we were ready to eat. We watched Midnight in Paris. Woody
Allen can be pretty hit and miss with me, but I thought this movie was just good escapism.

The Guy all lousy with cats. Archie wants to touch Heidi with his paw so badly, but he doesn't want her to get up and move away either. Poor guy.

We went skiing bright and early on Sunday morning, since we knew that the snow was going to melt by afternoon. Of course, I forgot how exhausted I'd be after working-out for 3 hours the day before. By the time we had skied for almost 2 1/2 more hours, I was so tired that I forgot all function or form and fell hard on my back down a hill. I heard a loud cracking sound from my neck and my left arm suddenly felt very, very hot. I was dizzy, but I could move my fingers, so I got up and slowly, VERY slowly, skied back to where we were parked. It was pretty scary.

The Guy took me out for sushi for lunch, but we decided to nix our later afternoon swimming plans and just took a nap instead. We had leftover lasagna for dinner and then The Guy went to play pool with his friend Bry, while I laid around on the couch and read my Prohibition book.

Yesterday I woke up sore and had some whiplash. Luckily, I didn't have to go to work yesterday. I needed the rest. I'm taking at least another recovery day, before I try to work-out again. It's not hard to listen to your body, when it's screaming at you, is it?

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'd Rather be a Comma Than a Full Stop.

The asshole, peaking out from the kitchen sink.

Winter finally came down hard on us Iowans yesterday. Making up for lost time, I suppose. It snowed and got blustery and cold.

The Guy and I shoveled snow right after work, and then we ordered pizza. We drank a couple of glasses of wine and watched The African Queen. I do like watching movies that take place in extreme heat when it is ridiculously cold outside. I hadn't seen the movie since I was a kid, and I had forgotten how deliciously schmaltzy it was.

The asshole in a more pensive state.

I am happy to report that Archie did let me sleep last night. I gave each of the cats a small handful of food before I went to bed and locked them out of our room. I heard Archie meow at one point, but ignored him and he stopped once he realized he wasn't getting what he wanted. Whew!

This weekend is the first in a while where we don't have big things planned. We are having a few people over tonight for fish tacos and frijoles. The rest of the weekend should be pretty mellow...I hope. I want to swim and ride the trainer and run and if we get really lucky, we might actually be able to cross-country ski. My other big goal is to finally paint the trim in the spare bedroom and read as much of my book, Last Call (about Prohibition) as possible. Thank the gods and goddesses, I have three days off to try and do all of this.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

You Know I'd Give You Everything I've Got For a Little Peace of Mind

Wisconsin sure does love its kitschy cows.

My cat is a total asshole. He woke me up several times last night. The last time, I must have had my head down, so he put his claws (he did try to be gentle) into my scalp. I got up and gave him a kitty time-out in the spare bedroom.

Even more kitschy Wisconsin cows.

I'm not sure what the best solution is. If we lock him out of the room, he sits by the door and meows. Loudly. I think tonight. We'll start with locking him out of the room and if he starts to meow, we'll put him in the spare bedroom. We also might give him a handful of food before bed too. We've been trying to watch how much we feed him because he's getting so fat, but I don't think it would kill him to get just enough food, to make him sleepy.

If not, I might have to figure out a way to make sure he stays awake during the day, so he's actually tired and sleeps at night. Stupid, dumb, cat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And My Time Was Running Wild

This is what the course looked like - all frozen ruts. Really tough to ride on.

This weekend The Guy competed in Cyclocross Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin. He actually finished 7 places higher than predicted. Which was great.

The Guy taking the first hill.

We drove to Madison after work and went straight to Pizza Brutta to eat. After that we headed to my brother's house. He was away on vacation, so we had the place to ourselves...Well, if you don't count the dog and cats. Basically, we took care of the pets and then went to bed.

The obligatory cheese head. This is Wisconsin, after all.

We woke up early on Saturday and headed to the park. It was cold and after the previous muddy days, all the ruts had frozen and were so hard, they were popping people's tires right and left, plus people were sliding and crashing all over the place. The Guy said he crashed more in that one race than in all the other races this season combined.

The winner of The Guy's race and a former mountain bike Olympian athlete.

After the race, we met my oldest sister at her townhouse. I had never seen it before and it was very nice. We all went out for lunch at an Indian restaurant that had the best buffet I'd ever seen. So much good food.

Me taking more photos of myself next to things with bigger cheeks than mine.

We drove back to Iowa City and showered and then I picked up Stinky and some take-out sushi. After we ate, we decided to finally watch Singin' in the Rain. I hadn't seen it since I was a kid. What a fun movie.

The Guy shooting pool at the Ice House in Riverside, Ia.

On Sunday I woke and had a very leisurely morning. I read some and took a long hot bath and then by 12:30, The Guy and I were on our bikes, headed for Riverside, the future birthplace of James Tiberius Kirk. We had a nice ride and when we got there, we hung out at the Ice House and ate lunch, had a couple of pints and played a few games of pool. I tried to ride pretty hard on the way home, to see if I was getting stronger from my trainer work-outs. I did feel stronger. I guess we'll see what happens when I race again in the Spring.

On Sunday night, we watched the Exorcist. The last time I saw it was in 1983. The only parts I really remembered about it where the demon possessed Linda Blair scenes. It still was able to creep me out, all these years later.

I hope you all had a Linda Blairless weekend.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I walked Down the Primrose Path

Riding into Hills on New Year's Eve day.

Sooo, I've been told I have this thing called a blog? And that I might want to actually write in it again? Yeah. That. Anyway, here goes:

Archie helping us play Twister on New Year's Eve.

New Year's weekend was all so very nice. On Friday we went to a friend's house. They were planning on watching the Hawkeye bowl game. We came for the food, basically and played frisbee golf on his Playstation 3. I'm better at real frisbee golf - which still isn't saying anything.

Us ringing in the Irish new year at 6.

On Saturday we woke up and lounged around the house. We met some friends for a New Year's Eve bike ride at noon. It was 50 degrees but ridiculously windy. Luckily, we had a tail wind on the way home.

The Guy and some friends showing off their steppin'-out shoes.

We came back from the ride, took a quick nap, and then headed out again for the Irish New Year. It was packed at the Dublin, but I got to see a mess of people and had one drink and then we scurried back to make the fondue and other food.

Fondue'ing and fondon't'ing.

We ended up with about 10 guests and played Pictionary, Twister and Battleship. I had a migraine for most of the day and evening and shortly after midnight, I finally had to go to bed. The Guy stayed up with the few guests who lived within stumbling distance from their homes and therefore stayed until around 2. A good time seemed to be had by all.

The cats vying for the best birdwatching spot on the couch.

I woke up on the first day of the New Year with a lingering headache. The Guy was wonderful and did all the cleaning-up from the party. I did manage to make a delicious breakfast and then spent the rest of the day reading. I finished Swamplandia! and started Truth and Beauty a Friendship, by Ann Patchett. We also watched the movie Cowboys and Aliens. My friend Toby had a small part in it and I got t see him get dragged away by horses. The movie was much better than I thought it would be.

I hope all of your New Year's were just as wonderful as mine, but migraine free.