Monday, July 30, 2007


Well, I just signed Brent and I up for our very first bike ride (organized ride). We're going to do the 31-mile option of the Ride Across Wilson County on Aug 18th. I think we can ride 31 miles. The furthest I've ridden is 16 (last weekend) and Brent has ridden 12. We didn't feel tired after either one, so if we take it easy then I don't think 31 should be too bad. There's a duathlon this weekend that I really wanted to do, but it would cost us $55 each, and this ride (although there is no run or anything) is only $20 each. With a massively expensive kitchen to pay for, and a need for a new laptop, a road bike for me and a camera lens for Brent the cost of the du was just way too much. There will be plenty of time for du-s and tri-s next summer when I won't wait until the last minute and can take advantage of reduced rates.

I totally didn't run last weekend. I rode 16 miles solo Saturday while Brent worked at the gallery (I'll talk about that ride next time 'cuz I took some pics I need to download) and I just had no desire to run at all on Saturday or Sunday. So, I skipped it. I've been doing really well with my runs, I just had no desire to do my planned 8-miler. I didn't want to run today either, but since it's the end of the month and I only had 2 days to get in a few more miles I did run 4.2 today. The first step was just torment, but it got easier after that. Usually if I make myself start the run ends up fine. I thought adding in cycling, swimming, more toning, etc would make me not mind running so much - but I still do. The burnout is still there. The bike is just so fun - you can COAST. There's no coasting in running. And when you need a break swimming - just FLOAT. And I know with running you can WALK, but there's just something about it that doesn't feel the same.

Although truthfully swimming just wears me out most of all!! It's crazy to me how it just zaps me, and I consider myself pretty good at endurance events! I swam 650 meters, my longest distance yet, one night last week. The pool was pretty empty so I just did my awkward thing. If I ever just RELAX and focus on breathing, technique, and let go of the "panic" I do Ok. I swam until my leg cramped up and I literally had to gimp my way out of the pool. So embarrassing. I swear I even caught myself pronating in the pool. Is that even possible??? I still think I am going to hire a coach, because at this rate I will never be able to complete a tri. Or least without causing complete dishonor to me and my family.

Speaking of, it's time to roll out of here and give our black and white fleabag a bath. And when I say fleabag - I mean it. We've picked about 5 or 6 fleas off him the past couple of days and that's not good. So if you are reading this and are bidding against me for Frontline on Ebay - STOP, WE NEED IT!

And, in other big news the jury selected two of Brent's pieces for the Photo-mato Art show, the same weekend as the big East Nashville Tomato Festival Art show he was also selected in. YEAH!!!


Sun-7.2 mile run
Mon-4.2 mile run, 20 mins toning
Tues-20 mins ellip, 15 mins stairmill, 20 mins toning
Thurs-4.2 mile run, 650 meters swim
Fri-4.2 mile run
Sat - 16 mile ride
Sun - Rest
Mon - 4.2 mile run, 7.5 mile ride

Friday, July 27, 2007


Yay Weekend!!!

So, it’s been quite the week over at the Tour De France. We TiVo the 4-6 hour live coverage every day, and let’s just say our TiVo needs a vacay. The poor thing has just been overflowing the last couple of weeks during the TdF. We try to flip through each day’s broadcast in the evening, but we are usually 1-2 days behind. That’s usually not a big deal because I know very few people watching it, and it never seems to be newsworthy. Well, not this week. I had already had the Next Food Network Star spoiled for me, and then spoiled part of the TdF. They had a big headline on the front page about the yellow jersey being kicked off. But little did I know when I sat down to watch the previous day’s footage that the guy I was rooting for and his ENTIRE team had been booted the day before the yellow jersey for blood doping. How upsetting. And we were really rooting for this guy – he had taken a nasty tumble early in the tour and totally ripped himself and his lycra up. But, he got up, dusted off and pushed through the pain. (BTW, I need to know what brand of lycra these guys wear because I was certain his outfit would unravel by the end of that stage, but it totally held – huge hole and all). He continued on the next day, bandaged up and with tons of stitches, literally having to be helped off his bike when he was done because he couldn’t walk. I admired this guy, and even though I usually cheer mostly for Americans I really hoped he could come back and win, on his sheer guts and determination. I told myself that if it were me I hoped I would be as tough and as strong, and have that sort of will to finish and carry on through the pain. I cheered when he won two stages and rooted for his entire team, who were unfortunately clad in some pretty hideous baby blue outfits. And then the news – blood doping. And it was just all sort of gone. This person I had “trusted” and “identified with” was nothing more than a cheater. That wasn’t him defying odds, that was just drugs. How disappointing. And ridiculous. And the next day’s TiVod broadcast was lead off with the yellow jersey being kicked off of his team for suspected drug abuse during some time “he went dark”. Again, so ridiculous. To just blow it all like that. All those days he’s been the proud owner of the yellow jersey he’s likely been on drugs. How sad for all the fans who see his jersey and light up and run along, often pretty well naked, beside him to say they ran with the yellow jersey for a few meters. How sad for the non-doped cyclists who missed out on all those opportunities to be the proud wearer of the yellow. Yellow is just not my color – but I’d love to wear THAT yellow.

But it’s not just cycling, it’s idiots like our own PacMan Jones as well as half the NFL and their need to “make it rain”, and people fixing games, and baseball has its own drug issues as well. I know I don’t understand their pressure, but it seems like all their ethics are just gone.

How about the latest controversy in running? Have you heard people are starting to get their DQs from Grandma’s marathon over their headphone rule? I think that’s a bit much. Of the 4 marathons I’ve run, I ran 1 with headphones all the way, 2 without (because I ran with Brent and we were there to socialize as well as run) and in Georgia I ran half with and half without. On the other hand, I really don’t care if you DQ me as long as you don’t pull me from the course. If I can still get my shirt and medal, fine, DQ me all day long. At a distance event like that I have no chance of placing anyway. I’m currently training for a brand-new, sold out half here in September, “The Middle Half”. Word is they plan to enforce this headphone thing and have said they may disqualify people. I’m running this one alone and fully plan to wear my headphones, so all this jabber is a bit irritating. Most of the people I’ve had issues with are oblivious because they’re jabbering, usually 4 or 5 wide. If they all had headphones on I feel like they might actually be paying more attention! It seems like most larger races I run do state the rule against headphones in their race packet, but no one seems to really enforce it. I think it’s crazy that a small race like this one (it’s limited to 1,000 ppl) is planning to enforce this rule.

I actually have run, swam and worked out well this week, but there really isn't a whole lot to say about it at the moment!! Anyway, time to move on! Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


- Today the guy from Home Depot came to do our final kitchen walk through. We were pretty excited, hoping that this meant the end of the contractor process. The only thing wrong was a cabinet door that was a little squeaky and we figured he would be able to adjust it. Nope, he said it must be warped so they’ve had to order a new door so we’re not rid of them yet. They had told me they would take final pics of the kitchen for our file and to show potential customers (although I would HIGHLY advise AGAINST using Home Depot at 100 Oaks and any of their contractors, they have been terrible) so of course I cleaned the kitchen up last night, mopped the floors of muddy paw prints and had it ready for the cover of any Home Depot ad. I was keeping Pippin wrangled (this guy likes to stir him up) in the living room so I missed the photo shoot. After he was gone Brent told me to abandon my hopes of a national campaign or Better Home and Garden cover featuring our kitchen – the buffoon had his drill, papers, and all his random crap spread out all over the counters during the shoot. That sort of sums up our whole experience with them. Crap everywhere and complete ignorance.
-I skipped going to the gym today. I’ve just been zonked all week and wasn’t in the mood for the sweat factory. Instead I walked a few blocks to the enormous downtown main library. Wow. That place is amazing. It’s fairly new and my tax dollars were well spent there. It’s 3 stories and full of resources. I was SO intimidated though! I spent all my high school years in the main library in Memphis writing papers. I could do it all – microfiche, periodical searches, you name it and I was on it! Everything is so state of the art now – you even have a PIN number to go along with your keychain sized library card so you can log into your account from home, request book transfers, check your account status, etc. You can also download audio books to your computer and then transfer them to your ipod. Crazy. The card catalog has come a looooong way! The self service check out lanes are just nuts. I checked out some books on San Fran and am going to have some cookbooks I’m interested in potentially buying in the future transferred to this branch. They also have a beautiful Nashville room – more of an entire wing, really! – that overlooks the state capital. An architect with a love for the city designed this library. We plan to do some research on our house, so hopefully we can go back and spend a Saturday there digging in the archives.

-If you live in the ‘Ville and you’re bored Friday night come to the Glow show and buy Brent’s only piece of Glow in the Dark Photography. It’s pretty awesome. And I’m working the food table from 9-10 pm so stop by and I’ll let you take an extra chocolate covered strawberry. If you buy some art.

-I'm not sure what's been going on downtown this week, but the old people are in FULL force. Every afternoon on my way home it's old people everywhere. Seriously, it's got to be some sort of AARP conference or something. Yesterday I saw the WORST PAIR OF PANTS EVER on one of them - check this out! Ugh. Terrible.

-I'm only 100 pages into Harry Potter and I think I will be the last person in the US to finish it. I just hope I don't happen upon someone who spoils it all. We just TiVod all the Next Food Network Stars episodes and today I accidentally found out who won because I pulled up and of course on their front page they have a big ole picture of the winner. Blah.

-The Tour De France lasts about a week longer than it should. End already and give my TiVo some personal space.

That's all! Have a great Thursday!

Monday, July 23, 2007

More than cheap footwear

Hey everyone! I hope you all had great weekends and your week has gotten off to a good start.

The funny thing is I was leaning toward Northern California to begin with. I liked Southern California for its beach-iness, and I’ve always wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo. But, there seems to be so much more of the types of things we like to do in Northern California. San Fran seems beautiful, and of course I want to run across the Golden Gate Bridge (if that’s an option – if not I will settle for driving across it!). Alcatraz fascinates me, as does the Wharf, the cool neighborhoods, the FOOD, the twisty roads, etc. And, Yosemite and Napa Valley are close driving distance. I’d love to spend some quiet time at Yosemite soaking up nature and doing some hikes. Some of our best vacation memories are some of the insanely wild hikes we’ve done in parks out West. And we haven’t been to California together yet so this visit will make the 37th state we’ve seen together in our quest to make all 50. My fave so far has been Oregon (although South Dakota is a close 2nd, it’s so beautiful) and Brent’s is Maine so I’m thinking some tough decisions between East and West will be had one day when we retire!

I had the best of intentions of getting up insanely early for the local running club training run Sunday am. It started at 6 am a half mile from our house. It was 14 miles, I only needed 7 and since it was an out and back I figured I would just turn around halfway and at least have some company for a little bit. I will just never be an early morning exerciser. When the alarm went off at 5:30 I just reset it and went running later in the day. We had a cooler weekend (mid-80s for highs) so even though I went later in the day the weather was bearable, MUCH better than last weekend’s run in the mid-90s!
Since I ran urban last weekend I decided to run greenway this weekend. I like to mix it up because too much urban gets irritating with all the lights and traffic, and too much greenway gets dull. The breeze Sunday was amazing. I know at times it was a headwind, but in July I am all for any sort of wind I can get. As I warmed up I gradually picked my pace up, and by mile 3 I was running at a clean 8:30 pace (mile 1 was 9:30, mile 2 was just below 9). I kept that pace all the way until the giant .3 of a mile hill coming out of the park, and I kept that mile at 9:11 which I was really pleased with. Brent tagged along on his bike and rode various parts of the greenway.

All in all I’d say it was a successful run. Once the old legs got warmed up I’m happy with my pace and it was just a gorgeous day for a run. I kept thinking about Cliff out at Ironman Lake Placid, and there was no way I was going to give up. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult an Ironman is. If I didn’t drown attempting to swim 2.4 miles I would probably die on the 112 mile ride before absolutely having a heart attack during the run. As we’re working on swimming and biking I would love to get to the point where I try a small triathlon or two next summer. I think I would be ok on the bike now, but my swimming leaves a lot to be desired and I’m not the adventuresome sort who just jumps in and tries something before I feel comfortable and well trained.

When I was out there running by myself Sunday I was just really thinking about a comment someone left me (not on Blogger, on myspace) and how it irked me. I’d already talked about it with Brent and how it was goofy to be all worked up about it, because a lot of things online can be written one way in your head and read and (mis)interpreted a completely different way in someone else’s head. Anyway, this person is an old college “friend” who found me online and basically we hadn’t talked for 8-9 years. She looks exactly the same as college, plus about 50 pounds. Same hair, same enormous glasses, same total disregard for makeup. The only thing that has changed is a massive obsession with Bunco and a weird flip flop fetish. She got pregnant in college and then had the good old Southern “shotgun wedding”. Basically her whole myspace account and the blog she started make it fairly clear that child #1 is not her favorite and neither is her husband, who never even gets a mention or a picture anywhere on her sites. The gist of her comment to me was ‘Besides work and remodeling is there anything going on there?” but worded a bit more snarky.

Well, yeah, there’s a whole lot of life going on here. Although we do quite literally have the white picket fence and all American dog I don’t think you have to have 2.4 kids by the age of 30 to be successful. And I started to think about why I run, and quite honestly a good portion of it has to do with self confidence. I don’t want to be found 9 years later and have someone say I look exactly the way I did when they last saw me plus about 50 pounds. I don’t want people to come along and think “what happened to her???”. I want to be strong and accomplished and proud of things I can do for myself as an adult. One of the things I love about running is that anyone can compete, and competition breeds a strong sense of self. As an adult there aren’t a lot of things you can do to earn awards. There are no politics or brownnosing in running – you’re either the fastest or you’re not.

And I don’t really know the point of that ramble, but as I was out there running and thinking about this person and their evaluation of me vs my evaluation of them I knew without a doubt that there was a LOT going on here, and that there would always be a lot going on here. Personally, I don’t consider having every former American Idol contest as your myspace friend and a page decorated in $1.99 footwear to be much of a life, but to each their own. My American dream is just a little different, and fabulous in its own way. It makes me sad to think that she’ll undoubtedly never feel that rush when you see Mile 26 of a marathon, the excitement of seeing your #1’s artwork hanging on a wall for others to admire, the contagious excitement of gathering around a laptop watching people finish an Ironman, the feeling of accomplishment you have getting that letter in the mail telling you that you are a CPA after months and months of sacrifice for studying, the pride you have every time you turn your kitchen faucet on knowing that YOU did that. And I just don’t think she is capable of understanding why those things are so amazing, probably in the same way that I don’t understand why 22 Buncos in one night is amazing. I think everyone lives their life their own way, but it seems like too many people just sort of spend it as a vegetable day in and day out heading in and out to work, then home to ride the couch keeping all their dreams in the “one day’ category. At the very least her comment reminded me I should be thankful for everything we have achieved, and keep working hard for all the things we still want to achieve. And it reminds me to periodically change my hairstyle.

Congratulations if you’ve made it this far in what became a very long and rambly post that had very little to do with running! I got to see the movie Brent’s team made last night and it is awesome! The show for cast/crew to view all the movies is in about 2 weeks, it’s going to be so cool to watch it on the big screen at the Belcourt! This Friday night he has another art show. This one’s pretty cool – everything has to glow in the dark. He did a very cool one of traffic from the Brooklyn Bridge when we went to NYC a couple of years ago. We got some glow in the dark paint and painted the traffic streaks and some of the windows in building to make it look like lights on at night. It turned out excellent. If you’re bored Friday night come on out! That’s the only thing on our plan for this weekend and hopefully it can stay that way! We’ve got a ton to do around the house.

Take care!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

So Cal or No Cal?

The good news: we have full electricity! Yay!! Supposedly the electric company came by some time in the night but didn't see a problem (huh?) and assumed the call was in error. Like we would call the electric company at 2 am on accident?? Anyway, we called them right at 7 when they started up for the day, explained the issue and about an hour and a half later the electric company was here. It took them all of 5 minutes to fix - apparantly the electrician who fixed our main circuit a few weeks ago did not put the outer cap of the meter back on straight, and over the last few weeks it's just adjusted itself and half of it came disconnected. I'd guess we won't be calling him for future repairs. We were really glad it was that simple to fix, so we celebrated by having our Harry Potter cupcakes for breakfast and enjoying a couple of minutes on the porch before Brent headed back over to work on the film project.

I didn't have enough time or energy to get in a run or a ride after they left and before I needed to head over for the film project. So, with the couple of minutes I had I started trying to figure out where we should go on our much, much needed vacay. What do you think, Northern California (San Fran) or Southern California (San Diego) and why??? Which one would be better for relaxing and seeing a few sights? I've been to SoCal on business, and Brent's been to NoCal as a kid. I know which one I think I'm leaning towards, but I can't decide! What do you think???

Alright, time to get a shower and head back over to cook dinner for the film crew!


Friday, July 20, 2007

It's 2 am and I'd like to go to sleep. We got back from a fun evening of working on the film project and then the Harry Potter release. At 12:45 we went to pull into the garage - and nothing. But the outdoor light was on, so it seemed like we had power. (Cuz, you know, we had some massive electrical issues not too long ago.) So we pull around front to go in the old fashioned way. The house was super dark, which is odd because I was pretty sure I left the light on for Pippin and also the front light. Strange. We walk up to the door and once Pippin hears us he's crying, so that's a little weird, too. We walk in and it's just pitch black. None of the lights will come on. Sigh. But then the den light works, and the TiVo light is on, and the ovens are on. Strange. We find a flashlight and none of the breakers have flipped, even though half the house is off. Random things work, there's no pattern. Sweet. And our home warranty ended two days ago, because we've now been here a year. Nice. Even better - there's no AC and no power to the garage - where our 2nd fridge is. We replaced a breaker, and that didn't fix anything, and the ones that don't work are scattered throughout the box. We ran an extension cord to the extra fridge, and manually got the garage door up to get the Jeep in. Then I started Googling this problem. How did life work before the internet?? Instantly I find all sorts of people with this same problem. And it seems it's a problem with the electrical company, and that only half the power is coming in from the street, and most people got new wires from the electric provider to correct the issue. So, we tested the main wires coming in and - yup - one is dead. Good luck getting anyone on the phone at the electrical company because it's 2 am. But it seems like they open up at 7 tomorrow. It should be an interesting Saturday. My early am 7 miler is looking pretty unlikely now. And Brent's wandered off with our copy of Harry Potter and is currently reading it by night light in the bathroom, since only one of our overhead lights works.

It should be a fantastic weekend. A small apartment somewhere is looking better and better every day. So is a #$%$@%@#$% vacation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm a sucker for speech quizzes

Funny story. Remember how we called the cops on a guy back on Easter for sleeping outside our house? And we wondered if we would ever meet that person, or if they had a blog, or wouldn't it be funny if they ran across my blog about it? Well, we met him. Brent's part of 48 hour film project/festival this weekend, and tonight was a group meeting to brainstorm for the upcoming weekend's activities. We rode our bikes over to our friend's house where the meeting is (how urbanly cool are we???) and I worked on the weekend's menu with the wife while the team met. When the meeting was over and were about to ride back Brent walked over and told me that S was who we had called the cops on. Hilarious. We have met our Subaru driving terrorist. We actually met him a few weeks ago at their house, but our exact house location never came up. Tonight he asked Brent where we lived and we have a pretty "memorable" house because of our location to a school and the white picket fence. People just remember it. He said the school had told him they only had 6 spots and suggested he arrived there early. Well, he did! He wasn't mad or anything, he thought it was hilarious as well. If only we had met a few months earlier and he could've just camped out on our porch and been much more comfortable!

I stole the following quiz from ShoreTurtle, who I wish would move here, since his house is up for sale anyway! I don't know why I never end up with Southern. I think I pronounce things properly, I just pronounce them with an accent I don't realize I have. Anyway, enjoy!

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


("Midland" is not necessarily the same thing as "Midwest") The default, lowest-common-denominator American accent that newscasters try to imitate. Since it's a neutral accent, just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from the Midland.

Personality Test Results

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Who says Friday the 13th is bad???

Hey! I can't believe the weekend is almost over, but I think I say that every week. I'm not even sure that we've sat down other than to eat. Just once I think it would be nice to be one of those people on Monday morning who says they "didn't do nuthin' " the weekend before. But they're typically pretty lazy couch bums, so I guess that's just really not us.

The big news from the weekend is that Brent was picked to be one of the artists in the East Nashville Tomato Festival in August! This is big time! Literally thousands of people will come to this festival and see his work! So, a big part of today has been spent coming up with exactly what he wants to submit, since the Tomato is not usually his subject matter of choice! If anyone needs to borrow a tomato.....come over. We've got a few.

We also went to a friend's 31st b-day party Friday night. It was fun, a few new classic lines were created, a lot of laughs were shared and someone even ate an envelope. There's a story there and I won't share it, but it was pretty hilarious. And I had two pieces of cake so that always makes for a good night. And a late night - as in 1 am - which is pretty late for these old birds. So when my alarm went off for me to run my 6 miles before it was hotter than hell I pretty much went back to sleep. I felt guilty when I did roll out of bed at 8:30, but our thermometer was nearing 90 and I knew I'd have a horrible, dehydrated run. So, we biked! I gotta say, I love biking. I'm still a massive scaredy cat on the downhills, but we are having fun. We rolled out a bit past 9 and it was insanely hot but at least you get a breeze on the bike! We went to the greenway, rode up to the fences we climbed a week ago and then back. They were working and we had planned to check out some bike lanes anyway. We rode past the Titans Stadium and were glad to see there was pretty much no line left for tickets. We've only been to one game in our 8.5 years here and we didn't even get to go together (some friends had two different sets of tickets so I sat in nosebleed with her and Brent was down on the ground floor with the guys.) Since we always have a credit card on us we thought WTH and stopped to see what seats were left. The only game with two nosebleed seats together was the Dec 23rd game versus the Jets. I have no clue if they're good or not but we got seats! It's insane that after all these years the games still sell out so fast - we were there less than an hour after ticket sales started, and by this point there were no games with more than 2 seats together, and that was the only game with 2 seats together remaining. I think it will be fun to go to a game and since we're so close we can walk down and avoid parking which is usually around $20 a pop for football games. Ridiculous. We hopped back on our bikes, rode home and showered up for some shopping. My max speed on the ride was 16.7mph, which I was really pleased with. The sad thing? That was on the flats - on the big downhill I went a truly sad 13.5 mph. And I rode my brake a lot less that time. I just don't like the out of control feeling on the downs. Watching the Tour has made me more comfortable though, watching them crash and get back up is really helping me mentally. I also took the King of the Mtn jersey against Brent on the climbs.

We went to the art gallery to drop off show fees, the bike shop to get a few things, the art shop, the running shop, and the cookware shop. And I guarantee tomorrow morning I still won't have a thing to wear because it seems we only make it to sports stores and art events. From there we took Pippin for a walk and he got so worn down by the heat I ended up having to carry him a half mile home which Brent calls "additional cross training". I have never seen anyone else ever have to carry their dog so I am obviously a sucker. From there we had a fun dinner and evening hanging out at a friend's house and I did manage to get in 6.8 miles running today. Brent rode behind me and took a ton of pics - he's practicing riding and shooting photos so I'll talk about my run when I have the pics dumped on here. I only meant to do 6 but I misjudged some turnaround distance so next week's 7 should feel pretty familiar!

Anyway, about women and the Tour De France. I talked to our bike shop guy about it Saturday and asked him where the women were. We haven't spent a lot of time together but I've got to say he's sort of gotten me figured out already. In picking out bikes I had a bit of a tough time getting a right fit because of my shortness. They have this awesome road bike that is perfect for me size-wise and he mentioned that it hasn't fit anyone else before and I was like "That's weird, I wonder why!" and he had the perfect comeback of "No one has been the perfect height that you are." AKA - no other shorties have been in here. So anyway, when I asked him where the ladies were he paused for a second and then said they would not be able to meet the time deadlines. Huh???? He went on to say he thinks women could hang for the first week and then once they hit the mountains they wouldn't be able to keep up. Seriously, can that be right??? Look at ultrarunning - some of the best endurance runners are women. How can that not be true in cycling? Women weren't allowed at Boston until you-know-who just DID IT. So what's the deal with women and bikes? I'm thinking I may have to Google this one.

So, that's all for now. A certain smelly dog needs a bath. He is not going to be happy about that!

Take care!


Sun - 5.5 mile ride
Mon - 4.2 run, 20 mins tone
Tues - 15 min ellip, 20 min stat bike, 20 mins tone
Wed - 4.2 run, 20 mins tone
Thur - 4.2 run, 20 mins tone
Fri - 20 mins ellip, 15 mins stairmill
Sat - 12.4 mile ride, 1 mile walk
Sun - 6.8 mile run

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's Green and Yellow with Polka Dots All Over?

There are a lot of things I'm thankful for every day. Our health and that of our families, two good jobs, Pippin and his cuteness and awesome personality, a house to call our own-even on the days it hates us, two cars-even though we could easily get by on one, etc etc. And many, many days out of the year I am thankful that I am not married to a sports guy. The thought of being married to one makes me vomit a little in my mouth. I can't imagine having a room in my house devoted to the Orange (UTK's colors). Or spending every weekend in the fall/winter glued to the TV, or having to watch people spit constantly all summer. Sure, we watch a couple of Titans games each season because that's "our team" - but more often than not we're only reminded of the fact that they're playing because of the fighter jets that fly over our house pre-game and increased traffic in our 'hood.

So what's the point of all that, you ask? This year we've decided to watch the Tour De France. Since I can't even tell you what channel ESPN is on I can't say that we've ever known much about the Tour. All I know is Lance won it a billion times - 7, I believe. And that the winner wears a yellow jersey. And bikes for a lot of days, through some massive mountains. And that's it, that's the full extent of my knowledge of the TdF. We came across coverage of it last weekend, so I set TiVo to record it each day on Versus. I think Versus used to be OLN, and I've recorded quite a few marathons on OLN over the years. They have 3 hours of coverage of the tour each day, which is way more than we have time to watch. The first day we watched quite a bit of it, skipping over the slow, flat sections. Now we've decided all we need to watch is the first 20-30 minutes of the show each day because they give a full recap of the previous day, show all the "important" footage, and discuss the day ahead and the course. In effect we're always a day behind.

But here's the thing - this race is SO much more complicated than we ever knew! There are green jerseys and polka dot king of the mountain jerseys and designated sprint sections with various points. And there's leaders and the scary Peloton who is coming after you and will suck you up in their mass of crazy geometric configurations. I had no clue there were points in this thing, and a random series of things you can do to get them. I mean, did Lance ever win King of the Mountain? A Green Jersey? All these things I never wondered about, but now I do.

And some of the finishes over the last few days - INSANE. The way the teams work together to set up their sprinters, and the way some of these guys come from so far back to finish 1st is crazy. And the crashes - WOW! Anyway, it's all been very fascinating to us and we're going to have to spend some time online to figure out how this massive tour really works, because it's a whole lot more than a guy with skinny legs and a yellow jersey.

And here's my other question - where are the women??? Will the women's edition be starting next week?? Is there a pink jersey?

I guess since I am talking cycling I should talk about my cycling. We weren't motivated to work out Sunday but we knew we should ride since we'd been wedding riddled all weekend and had not gotten to bike (although we did run and swim early Sat morning). We went out late Sunday to attempt to avoid as much heat as possible. The plan was to "toot" around and get 5-6 miles, nothing fancy. We decided to head out and hit some of our fab East Nashville bike lanes. SO AWESOME. I love bike lanes. It helps me get used to traffic without the beasts being up on me. But I swear, all we did was uphill!! The way we turned and rode through various roads we pretty much never got a nice downhill. It was going well until I almost hit a person. Right outside the Rosepepper this guy walked right in front of me, totally looking at his fat wife, with his back to me. I jingled my bell and yelled out "Excuse Me" but had to come to a stop to not hit him. Then the idiot looks at me, then back to his wife and says "OH, we're parked in a BIKE lane, that's what those skinny lines are for. It's meant for people like HER, she's going to need to ride back on that one in a little while." Well no duh Sherlock but MOVE-OUT-MY-WAY! Honestly, who is so dumb that they don't know what a bike lane is??? It's obviously a LOT smaller than your car!!

Well, I guess that's all I've got for the moment! Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pippin & The Possum/Scenes from the 4th

I started this last, insert "last week" into everything here and change all "next week" to this week!

So, Tuesday afternoon a slew of contractors breezed in and decided they wanted to be done with us. About time, considering their piece of this puzzle was a lot less involved than ours. By 7 pm Tues night they were done with all trimming out of the cabinets and downdraft vent installation, all of our work building the sink pipes, installing the garbage disposal, the dishwasher and completing the gas lines was done. And best of all it seemed to WORK! That just leaves us with the one portion of countertop they cut short that is currently in production and set to be installed early next week. From there it's piddly jobs for us - finishing up the baseboards, patching holes left behind by all the before mentioned contractors and adding one more light fixture.

We fired up the range and I've basically been cooking ever since. I LOVE my new appliances. And it doesn't hurt that on this season of Top Chef they are using our EXACT SAME APPLIANCES. Every last one of them. Our old range was 30+ years old and basically cooked on "Inferno". It was either off or inferno. Don't step away for a second! Now we have massive options of heat and every burner actually has a simmer function! Love it!!!!

Our first meal was our infamous and wonderful chicken fettuccine alfredo from scratch. Not for the dieter. I swear we ate like we have never eaten and we were just plain GIDDY. We were cleaning up the kitchen around 10 and Pippin was out in the back doing his nightly patrol. He started barking, which is fairly rare for him. Then he kept on barking, which is extremely rare. He's a licker, not a barker. So, I sent Brent out to check on him. A minute later Brent comes RUNNING back in with Pippin on his heels yelling at me to get the bb gun.

"What??? What's going on???"
"Where's the bb gun???"
"Um, I don't have a clue!! What's the problem?"
And I'm thinking that whatever is attacking us really isn't going to be all that dazed by a bb gun anyway.
"Pippin corned a possum out there and he's playing possum and we need to shoot him."
I clearly didn't understand why we needed to shoot him, but Brent's the one from a small town so I was trusting him on this one. My possum resume is pretty short. Brent remembered where the bb gun was and we rushed back outside just in time to see him walking across our yard. Then Brent realized that the safety lock was on the bb gun, and he didn't know where the key was. At this point I started questioning why we needed to shoot him, and Brent was worried that he wouldn't be able to get out of our yard and would get into our air conditioner through a small hole we need to fill and chew it apart. I wasn't sure how he got in our yard, but I'm pretty sure they're good climbers since my only previous possum experience (besides seeing the roadkill ones) was watching two possum mate in a tree in college. Regardless, by the time Brent found the key the possum was gone and one more piece of wildlife was saved from our bb gun.

But let me tell you, Pippin goes out looking for that thing every night now. Personally I would have LOVED to see how it all went down. Can you just imagine Pippin wandering up on a possum? I can't even imagine how Pippin made it feel so threatened that it actually played possum. I'm just glad he didn't get bit or get into a fight with it.

July 4th morning we went for an early ride and picked blackberries. We did some things around the house (Brent worked on installing our snazzy new baseboards) and then we headed over to the Hot Chicken Festival near us. What a chaos of people. The lines were forever long so we decided to skip it and just make lunch ourselves. We did listen to our mayghber (mayor+neighbor - Nashville's mayor lives 4 blocks over!) give a speech. What I found to be hilarious was the homeless guy stretched out napping at the bottom of the stage enjoying some of the festival's free ice cream. That sort of sums up our 'hood - we don't mess with them, they don't mess with us. I love it!

We did more chores around the house and then headed to S&L's house for a good ole 4th of July cookout. Right around 9 we rushed to East Park for the best view of the downtown fireworks. Wow, beautiful! And we were out of the mess of downtowners. It was so awesome to watch it from our 'hood! Our show is supposedly the 3rd best in the nation and I believe it. They lasted for half an hour and I was highly impressed with what my tax dollars came up with. Next year maybe they can move them to be more center with the skyline.

Anyway, that's the early part of last week rewind! There's just so much to talk about and so little time! See ya!! Gotta figure out the ingredients to put in the fridge for tomorrow night's jambalaya! YUUUUUMMMMMM!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Riddle Me This

Exactly why is 07-07-07 such a big deal??? I really didn't mean to not post the "answer" for my previous post for so long, but we've been all wrapped up in the 7-7-7 wedding brew-ha-ha. And in wrapped up I mean that Brent was a groomsman in his college roommate's wedding today. So, the last two days have been wedding rehearsals, insane quantities of pictures and a lot of sitting, waiting and smiling. As someone who has been married for 8.5 years now I think the massive pomp and circumstance is a bit much, but whatever. I got cake and punch and I guess that's all that matters. But more about the wedding, the 4th of July this week, the post I started 3 days ago called "Pippin and the Possum" and all about "The Christians" who have invaded our neighborhood later because we are ZONKED.

BUT, the answer as Mouse correctly guessed (although it's really not guessing when Brent tells you the answer) is blackberries. Although my favorite guess was Shalini's "iphones". Brent would cross 30 gates to get a free iphone. If you ask Brent why we climbed the gate it was "because it was in our way". Our greenway is under construction in an awesome way. They're building a bridge over the river and we'll ultimately be connected to miles upon miles upon miles of greenway. There's even an ultramarathon planned for the spring since you'll be able to go something like 18-20 miles in one direction. But, with this construction comes random greenway closings and we were on a mission: to harvest some wild blackberries in a back portion. I'm not sure why, but Brent had been thinking about it nonstop for a week. And then we got to the first gate. You could ride around it, but if the greenway was ripped up what's the point? As we were contemplating a guy came biking out and said the asphalt was fine, and there were 2 more gates ahead. One you'd have to climb and put your bike over (which is what was pictured below) and one you could walk under but would have to lift your bike over. That's all we needed to hear and climbing we went. We had brought a big ziploc bag and filled it full of blackberries. There were very few people out in the "forbidden" zone - just a few other cyclists and we all shared a common bond of rebel-dom. On our way back out another guy was heading back in. Cyclists are cool people, too. Runners always have a camaraderie and it seems cyclists do too, which is nice. We ended up biking 11 miles roundtrip with an average speed of nearly 13mph and a max of 15.something. I was really happy with that, I'm getting much more comfortable in the saddle although downhills scare the heeby-jeebies out of me. I had my first chain "incident" on the big hill coming out of the park. Brent was right in front of me and didn't hear me yell that my chain was off, and the way the hill curves he didn't notice I was no longer with him until he was at the top. I didn't have a clue what to do, so I ran my bike to the top of that hill as hard as I could. I guess that's my first official brick. I got a quick lesson in putting my chain back on and headed home.

It was pie time. Brent said his grandmother used to make a really awesome blackberry pie. I've been "in the family" for 12 years and this is the first I've heard of said pie, so I find the whole thing highly suspect. Coconut cakes, chess pies and chocolate cakes are rampant in his family, but not this infamous pie. But, if it's a blackberry pie he feels nostalgic for by George I am going to figure out how to make one! I Googled around, found a recipe for pie and crust, and made my pie. It really wasn't so bad! I need to work on my "pretty" skills as far as the crust goes, but taste is #1 and it was GOOD! And now it's GONE! We're already planning our next blackberry picking adventure.......(and hopefully this time I won't end up with 2 ticks on my boobs!)

But, I am zonked and am quickly coming off my 2 cupcake and 1 piece of groom's cake high and plan on propping my feet up! Tomorrow is another busy one - we're working at the Plowhaus from 1-3 if anyone wants to stop by and shop for art!

Happy 7-7-7!


Sun-"rest" - if rest is installing plumbing and a dishwasher
Mon - "rest" - if rest is installing a dishwasher and remodeling a kitchen
Tues - "rest' - if rest if supervising contractors and remodeling a kitchen
Wed - 11 mile bike, jogging to firecrackers
Thur - 4.2 miles run, 40 mins tone
Fri - 4.2 miles run
Sat - 5.2 miles run, .34 miles swim (550 meters)

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Big prize to anyone who can guess what motivated us to climb three fences with our bikes and defy all warnings of Danger.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Things that make me happy: WE HAVE COUNTERTOPS! We also have running water in our kitchen and a dishwasher (installed after we took this pic - and the doors for the cabinets over the sink have also finally been installed). It's been so long since we had running water in our kitchen (April 14th, to be exact) that I keep forgetting and going into our bath to wash my hands.

But, since nothing is ever perfect or easy they cut one countertop section waaaaay too short (technically I referred to it as "doo-doo" to the Arabic guys who didn't speak much English) so they're going to have to redo it. But luckily it wasn't attached to the all important sink. And hopefully by the end of TODAY we will have our gas cooktop hooked up and can REALLY cook again!! It was incredibly strange using real plates, real silverware and real glasses yesterday.

We still have to install our baseboards and counterround, patch some scratches/holes the contractors have made and put in some door trim we rescued from a dumpster. But, we're getting SO much closer to being finished. I can almost taste pasta boiling......(if I can even remember how to do it!)

Happy 4th of July everyone!! Enjoy the holiday! Hopefully we can catch the downtown fireworks for the first time ever. We'll be able to hear them from our house, but our neighbor's massive house blocks our skyline view so we'll wander down closer to the festivities.