Tuesday, April 29, 2008

spring sprang sprung

The verdict is in: I sprained my knee. It no longer looks like a grapefruit, so it's a good day.

(That's what I'm talking about!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

10,000 reasons

Yesterday I did it.

I took the plunge.

I exercised extreme free will.

I defied evolutionary processes.

I went skydiving. 10,000 feet. Accelerated free fall. Pulled my own ripcord (and brought it back with me to the ground). Navigated my own parachute.

I saw a sunset that I've never seen before. It was fantastic.

And, yes, I would totally do it again... but not until my knee heals.

I had a great landing, but came down wrong on my left ankle and knee. So today I'm pumped up on adrenaline, ibuprofen, and the magic foursome: ice, compression, elevation and rest.

I'm sore today. But I really don't care. It was absolutely worth it. Next time I'm taking The Hater with me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

random factoids

It's been a while since I was tagged, so I guess it was time for this to roll around again... Today's topics are unknown, brave and stupid things. I added the stupid part myself, because all bravery has an element of stupidity required.

I don't do the whole tag someone else thing. I'm into choosing your own destiny. So. If you want to claim a tag, more power to you. If you want to steal it, even better.

5 Weird/ Unknown Things About Me
  1. I like things to be in groups of five. For example, this meme actually had a list of seven things, but that made no sense to me to follow it with a group of five things. It's only part of my slightly, yet unofficially, OCD tendencies, but it works for me.
  2. When I was a senior in high school I was voted "Band Nerd with the Most Band Spirit" with our unofficial superlatives and also received the John Phillips Sousa Award.
  3. I received a band scholarship for college. Unfortunately, that same summer there was a big hullabaloo at the school of music, money was laundered, people were fired, etc... and I never saw a penny of it.
  4. I have just mastered a new level in Rock Band where I play the guitar and sing at the same time. I've not been this excited about a stupid human trick since I learned to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time.
  5. I still sleep with CoCo, a chocolate brown pound puppy that I received from Santa when I was in the second or third grade.
5 Bravest Things I've Ever Done (in no particular order)
  1. Moved immediately after our marriage to the middle of OK, where we didn't know a soul and were 12 hours away from our family.
  2. Low-crawled under live fire.
  3. Kept a straight, upbeat face when I dropped my c-bomb on my family.
  4. The ice bath 180 that I did from graduating with an education degree (emphasis = literature), then turning around and taking 20 hours of science and math pre-reqs.
  5. Brian Andreas is a fantastic artist, and one of his pieces, Real Hero, hits home for me. My #5 is a total steal from him:
Anyone can slay a dragon,
he told me,
but try waking up every morning
and loving the world
all over again.
That's what takes a real hero.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

stage one

Sunday night I was feeling especially adventurous. After walking, I decided to resurrect a forgotten workout tape that focuses on abs. Sixteen something minutes of torture.

I threw my yoga mat on the floor and cursed my way through the tape. I went through my entire repertoire of every swear word and combination of those words that I have ever heard. The Hater watched from the couch, coaching me and suggesting other fabulous combos to try.

And all the while I was thinking that I was really going to hurt the next day.

I was right.

Actually, I started hurting during the night. I rolled over to pain.

But it's not what you're thinking.

Monday morning I confirmed my midnight suspicion. I have a stage one pressure sore on my tailbone. That's right! The crunches gave me a bedsore. I'm falling apart.

It's still red and achy. I put myself on non-floor-related exercises until a few days after the purple redness goes away. Then we'll try it again with more padding.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

idiot's guide needed

It's getting time for us to talk about what type of plants we'd like to thrive in our yard. Although we're in the same zone as home, it seems like my favorites don't do well around here. I've asked around, looking for indeginous plant-people to question, but so far I've not found a single person who has anything in their yard other than dead grass. I'm currently struggling with online search engines to try to find possibilities for us.

We have a 6' high brick wall in the back of the yard. We'd like to plant something across the back that will be pretty and develop some kind of decorative hedge. Right now we're leaning towards crape myrtles dotted across the back in 5' spacing.

We also have a space to plant a tree in the back. We'd like it to give shade and would prefer for it to have a pretty foliage change in the fall. All of my favorite trees would get way too tall for the small space, so we're trying to think outside the box. The Hater says that shade trumps ornamental factors, and I'm okay with that so long as we have some kind of color change in the fall.

Meanwhile, we need to plant something in front of the AC unit to help give it shade. Our other option is to get one of those fabulously obnoxious AC team covers.

Our front beds are still slim. I need some kind of ground cover for the front beds - something that likes full sun, hot hot, but not something that will take over the place. The front beds are low priority for us right now. The Hater is pulling for the low maintenance of mondo grass, but I'd like to see something with more color and charisma.

Eventually we'd like to extend the back porch to make a place big enough for an outside table. Then we want to create another bed on the back side of the house. We have no idea what we want to plant there.

I have a bad experience looking for green-thumbers at the nursery because we've found that they'll tell us anything to get us to buy from them. That's not cool and makes me jaded to go back for advice.

So if you have any idea where I could go for advice without pressure, let me know. We really don't want to commit unintentional herbicide, but we want to make informed decisions.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the existential bubble bath

I have been on a business trip this week and am now back to tell all of the exciting details. I'll grace over the boring ones...

So somehow I was "nominated" (their word, not mine) to attend this business meeting with some other nurses at the place where I work. We were going to carpool to a place that The Hater affectionately calls "the Gatlinburg of the Midwest". You might think that six hours in a car (both ways) with two strangers would be boring, and you'd be partially correct if that had been your assumption. And although there are tidbits that could be told about three women refusing to make a potty pit-stop, I'd much rather get to the protein of this story.

We stayed at a super swank country resort while we were at the meeting. Now I've seen lots of mounted deer heads in my life, but I have never seen 30 of them all-together in one room. One big room with every other Midwestern wilderness animal's head that you can imagine. And it wasn't just one room of heads, either -- there were heads everywhere. Goats. Buffalo. Fish. Lots of types of deer. Foxes. Squirrels. Badgers. Birds. Bears. (You get the picture.) I can only imagine that it was the taxidermist's wet dream to land this particular job with a charge to stuff every walking animal to cover every square inch of wall space at this particular location. And although there are tidbits that could be told about walking around corners and being faced with lots of angry looking animals, I'd much rather get to the protein of this story.

The presentations I heard were nothing short of awful. It was almost interesting content, but you could hardly grasp any of it with the poor, poor delivery. There was some fancy tech, which was nice to break the monotony of boredom, but not even the most techy robot can save the worst public speaking skills. And although there are tidbits that could be told about how many games of spider solitaire I played on my phone during the presentations, I'd much rather get to the protein of this story.

My room, although scattered with at least 5 mounted dead things, was really nice. I had two balconies that overlooked a full lake and blooming redbuds and tulips. I didn't go out to the balcony, mostly because there were more than a dozen mosquitoes looking through the window at me, pleading for me to open the door. The beds were comfortable and the pillows weren't too squishy -- but la pièce de résistance had to be the bathroom.

Specifically, the jet tub. The jet tub that was about 2 1/2 feet deep, 5 feet long, and 4 feet wide.

Do you remember the scene in Pretty Woman (1990) where Vivian (Julia Roberts) takes the hugest bubble bath since the beginning of time (while singing Prince)? That scene was my motivation, but my bath put it to shame.

It was wonderful, even other-worldly. And I emptied the entire bottle of hotel shower gel into the water so that I, too, could have the mountains of bubbles that cascaded over the side of the tub. It was so deep that I practically floated. It was hotter than the center of the sun. The lighting was perfect. It was the most glorious bath that I may have ever had in my life*, and the best part was that I knew I wouldn't have to be the one who had to wash the tub out afterwards.

On the drive back to OKC, the three of us talked about what we liked the most of the trip. I was eager to tell my bathtub story and was shocked to hear that neither of them took their equally heavenly tubs for a spin. Seriously. When I told them how absolutely heavenly it was with the bubbles and the moment and the floating and the wonderful quiet -- they admitted that they made a mistake by overlooking the prize in the room. I think they must have been distracted by the moose heads over the beds.

And although we did spend lots of time together and tell lots of stories, I would hope that they remember my description of how peaceful and tranquil the bath was so that they will learn to take advantage of tubs they don't have to clean in the future. But they'll probably just remember that I was a 4-H chicken judger for two weeks when I was in middle school.

* The only thing the scene was missing was a cool glass of shiraz.

* By the way, if you live under a rock you may not know that the Lady Vols just scored their #8. Pat Summit is the bombdotcom. Wear that orange loud and proud, Vol fans! Cue up a chorus of Rocky Top for the ladies!