Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I am such a bad fan!!

A few weeks ago, the Carolina Hurricanes sent out the playoff ticket request forms to all of the season ticket holders. I held ours for awhile, then threw it out after they traded away Stillman and Roddy went down. I figured there was no way they were even going to make the playoffs and I didn't want my money tied up with the organization until next year.

Fast forward to today - The Canes have now won 6 of their past 7, and are looking really good. They still have 5 points on the Caps (although the Caps loaded up on trade day and made it very clear that they are gunning for the lead). I had to go to the website today and say that I "misplaced" by ticket form, and could I pay for the games online? Of course, I also need only one ticket as my dear husband is no longer interested in hockey. I wish I had more time to watch hockey.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's Official - PR for a 4 mile Race!

I found the official results for the Coach Bubba 4 mile race online. I have officially set a personal record for a race in that length. I am very proud to say that I shaved 6 minutes and 30 seconds off my time from the 4 on the Fourth race last 4th of July. My pace was 12.22 per mile. While the pace is not blistering by any means, it is an improvement for me.

I never knew I could run like this. When I was in junior high school (it wasn't called middle school back in the day!), I dreaded the days we would have to run one lap around the track. I was always the slowest kid in class, and I would have to beg my squad leader to slow down so I could keep up. I still may not keep up with the fast kids, but I am out there doing it and having fun.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh Oscar!!

You know I was up all night watching the Oscar Awards. It is one of my favorite nights of the year. I love the glamour and the fashion as well as the awards themselves. This year's show did not disappoint.

I thought Jon Stewart was a great host. His monologue was funny and crisp, then same humor he shows on The Daily Show. I thought he did a great job of adding humor to the show, but letting it flow. He showed great compassion as well when he allowed the female winner of the best song to come back to the stage to give her acceptance after she was cut off by a commercial. I think that it just one example of the type of classy guy Jon Stewart is.

The fashion was great as well. There were no major mistakes - everyone looked really, really good. I think my favorite of the night was Katherine Heigl in a gorgeous red gown. Everything about this look was right for me from the cut of the gown to the style of her hair. She is not my favorite actress in the world, but she can certainly rock the red carpet.

I loved the surprises of the show as well. While I would have like to see Juno win for best picture (it is the only one I have seen this year - so far), I was very happy with the overall winners. I find it interesting that non of the acting winners this year are American. There seemed to be quite an international flair to this year's show. I love that Tilda Swinton won - she really came out of the blue and was not on anyone's pick list that I saw. She accepted her awards with grace and humor - it was one of my favorite moments. I also loved that the pair from "Once" won best song. They were just so happy to have won - it makes you feel good to see it happen.

I am ready to rent some movies!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2008 Coach Bubba

This morning, Bill and I participated in the Coach Bubba 4 mile run (as apposed to the 20K which was run at roughly the same time). It was a little tough getting out of the bed at 7:25 am to get ready for the race. It was especially difficult since it was overcast, foggy, and raining just a little bit. We went anyway, and in the end, we were glad we did.

Despite being down with the flu last week, Bill ran a great race. He had a good pace and finished in just over 37 minutes. I set a personal record for a 4 mile run at about 49:30. It beat my 4 on the Fourth race last July by several minutes. I am going to wait for the official time to post, and I need to check last year's time, but I think I knocked about 5 minutes from my time. It was great to have run and get home by 10:00 am. I feel like I have accomplished so much already today. We have a few errands to run this afternoon, then we have a hockey game tonight at the early start time of 5:00 pm. It just means we will be drinking beer (which is a great re-hydration drink) at The Sauce that much earlier.


***UPDATE*** The Canes crushed the Caps 6-3 in a fantastic and exciting game! The lead the SE division by 6 points as of Saturday evening.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ready for Spring

I think this past weekend made me very ready for the spring. One thing that always makes me think of the changing seasons is when the new merchandise hits the stores. When I saw these lovely shoes in the new Nordstrom catalog, I knew I had to go out and get them for my spring wardrobe. I am ready for all of the bright colors that will be the rage this spring - yellow, orange, fushia, and lime green. Bring it on!!

Of course, we might have to wait awhile to wear our new spring duds - we have a winter weather advisory scheduled for tonight!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hot Stone Treat for Me

I had Monday off to celebrate President's Day. Each year, each staff member at my office gets to pick 2 days to enjoy as optional floating holidays. We submit our days at the beginning of each year. We may choose from any of the holidays we do not get off (such as Veteran's Day or MLK Jr. Day) or we can pick any day of our choosing (such as a birthday or anniversary). This year, I chose President's Day because I thought I would enjoy a day off during the long winter stretch and I chose my birthday because it just doesn't seem right to work that day. It is an extra sweet day off since I knew most of my colleagues were working while I was playing.

So, I decided to see my friend Heather, a professional massage therapist, and enjoy something I had never done before - a hot stone massage. Let me say that if you have not indulged in a hot stone massage, you should really go out and get one right away. If you live here in NC, go see Heather - she is wonderful! The massage lasted 90 minutes and was pure bliss. Heather massaged my head, face, hands, and feet which I loved. She used the stones in combination with her hands on my arms and legs. She placed several stones on my back on a towel to loosen the muscles while working again on my arms and legs. Once my back was warm, she used strokes of her hands and stone to work all of the kinks out. I felt positively feline when I was done. It is truly a fantastic feeling, and one that I will be enjoying again on my birthday, if not sooner.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Canes Win Big

I wound up going to the game by myself last night as Bill was not feeling well enough to attend. It was an interesting experience. I just took a book to read during intermissions until they turned the lights low to show the highlights. Maybe I need a flashlight for the next game...

I'm really glad I did go to the game. With all of the recent injuries and the flu going through the team, I was wondering what kind of game we would see. (Thank goodness the gentleman next to me provided a line up card - I would have been lost with all of the new acquisitions and call ups from the minors). The Canes played so well. Each line was able to add to the scoring (although Walker's goal was waived off). The defense played especially well, too. We had a bit of issue in goal, but a goaltender switch saved the game. The resilient (it is the new word in the press) Canes came back from a 4-2 defecit in the third to win the game 5-4 in regulation. It was a hard fought battle and the crowd was certainly into it. It will be interesting to see how the Canes cope in the last 20 games of the season. If they play the remaining 14 home games like they played last night, the crowd will certainly be there to cheer them on. Who knows what might happen come April.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Going to the Canes Games tonight

My favorite Cane tore his ACL in the game two night ago. He's out for 4-6 months. Not a good thing when you are heading down the stretch for the playoffs. He joins about 10 other players who are injured. Top that off with the fact that we traded a great forward and a team leader earlier this week (Cory Stillman is no dummy - he waived his no trade clause for the #1 team in the East), and it is going to be a tough way to end the season.

I don't know what to think about the team now, but I am kind of glad I did not send in my playoff request yet.

Shiny New Bike

Two weeks ago, Bill and I went to All Star Bikes to pick up my shiny new Giant FCR. It is a beautiful road bike hybrid. The wheels are not as thin as a road racing bike, but it is not as heavy as a mountain bike. It is just right - and red!

So, last Saturday we finally got the chance to go out riding the bike. It was a beautiful day, so we went along the American Tobacco Trail to downtown Durham. The trail crosses the back section of our subdivision about 2 miles from our house. The trail goes straight downtown (about 4 miles from where we pick it up) to the American Tobacco Complex where there are restaurants and office buildings, including my former employer. We had a great lunch at Tyler's, then headed back down to trail past our house to a grocery store. We were able to pick up an item we forgot to make our dinner that evening. The best thing about the day was that we were able to have fun, exercise, go out and run errands without having to use any gas. It was a great green day for us.

I forgot how much fun it is to ride a bike. When I was a kid, I was on my bike almost every day. I would ride to school, go to the pool, and just ride around with friends. Although my butt was pretty sore on Sunday, I had a great time riding my bike. I think I had a smile on my face the whole time we were out. Sadly, Bill is sick today, so we can't go out. I look forward to our next ride together.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day 2008!!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!!

I hope each of you is spending the day with a loved one - I am. Bill and I had lunch together and we are going out to dinner tonight after my Board meeting (they did not reschedule for the holiday~men!!)

We had a party at work and asked each employee to write a short personal ad about himself/herself. We then posted the ads and had everyone guess who wrote each one. It was much harder than you would think! I only got 6 correct out of 18. Guess I need to speak to my co-workers more!

Here's what I wrote:

Sassy, stylish book lover is seeking friends with common interests. Applicants should enjoy ice sports, fancy footwear, canine companionship, disco, recycling, and running the ATT. UNC fans, people who do not drink beer, the rhythm challenged, and fashion don’ts need not apply. Who am I?
Does it sounds like me?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Crazy Hockey World

First, there is the freak accident of Richard Zednik getting his throat sliced open my a teammate's skate (he is doing fine after surgery). Then, the Canes announce their big trade. What is the hockey world coming to this week?

I can fully understand trading Mike Commodore. He is a big guy with a great heart, but not the best defenseman we have. But Cory Stillman? Are you crazy Jim Rutherford? Stillman is a great player. He is a goal scorer and a fantastic assist man. He is a great leader and a guy with experience. I do not like this trade. I think it was a mistake to send Stillman off for two relatively unknown Ottawa players. I hope that this decision does not bite us in the butt. I have a feeling we will be watching Stillman and Commodore in the playoffs, and maybe only them.

I hate this time of year! The trade deadline is February 26 at 3:00 pm.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Conservators' Center Inc.

Today, Bill and I volunteered at the Conservators' Center. It is a rescue habitat for big cats as well as a variety of other animals including caracels, binturongs, servals, and even a lemur. We started with a tour of the lions and tigers. It was great fun to see these gorgeous animals up close - much closer than you would ever see them at a zoo. After the tour, we tried to work on hanging a sun screen around the perimeter fence. It was too windy, and the sheet came off. It blew yours truly straight to the ground and knocked all of my wind out of me. My chest is still a bit sore. From there, we went to clean the storage shelter - a much less dangerous job. Our day finished with a last loop of the cages, and an in cage visit with the New Guinea Singing Dogs. These cuties love humans, but they would rip the throat out of a domestic dog. This little girl's kisses made me feel better.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Old Friends, New Ghosts

I have mentioned in this blog that I recently joined Facebook. I have really been enjoying Facebook and have found many friends through it. Last week, I was thrilled to find Adam, one of my best friends from high school. We had lost touch when we went off to different colleges, and I was so glad to hear from him again. I was looking forward to catching up on 19 years of life that happened since we last spoke.

He filled me in on his life, and also gave me a piece of shocking news. Our mutual friend and part of the group of seven that I hung out with the most, Stephanie, had developed cancer several years ago. She passed away last year. I was so shocked and saddened by the news. I felt hypocritical that I was so upset as I had not spoken to Steph since we graduated and she was a very good friend. We had our differences and a little spat that led us to pull apart. Still, I somehow thought that we would meet again somewhere, sometime. Now, she is gone from this Earth. She was only 35 years old. It made me wish life were different, but glad to have the people I do have in my life.

I hope to rekindle my friendship with Adam. I will hold the high school version of Steph in my memory for as long as I live.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Super Fat Tuesday!

If you are lucky enough to be in a state holding their primary today, please go out to vote!! I wish I were voting today, but, alas, my state's primary is not until May. I feel like the candidates will be decided before I even get a chance vote my opinion. I will be watching coverage tonight when I get home to see how things are going. I am quite interested to see who will be the party front runners come tomorrow morning.

If you are a Catholic, get out there and enjoy all of your bad habits. Today is Mardi Gras which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I will never forget the first time my in-laws came over after Ash Wednesday services. I looked at my father-in-law and had a moment of panic. I thought he had fallen and bruised his forehead - thank goodness it was only the ashes!

Monday, February 04, 2008

My New Read

I have just started a new book called "Just Try It On! A Month by Month Guide to Shopping and Style" by Susan Redstone. So far, it has been pretty good. As you know, shopping is my favorite hobby, and I like to be good at what I do. So, I thought this book would give me some valuable information. It has.

I wish I could go shopping right now! I would like to try my hand at a few vintage/thrift shops. I just finished a chapter about them, and would like to go look for myself. In the past, I have not had much luck with them. I think it is because you need to slow down and really take the time to look. Just remember - try it on!! That is the key. And if you don't love it, put it back. So simple!!

Also, February is the month to buy undergarments. So, go forth and buy bras, panties, hosiery, and maybe a sexy piece of lingerie. The month of love and Valentines is the best time to do it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Sunday

I am so, so, so happy that the Giants won Super Bowl XLII!! I have always thought that the Patriots were overrated and that Tom Brady is not the wonder that so many think he is (the dude dumped his pregnant girlfriend - so uncool!! Giselle, you can do much better). Way to go Eli and the Giants for hanging tough and being the best team on the field today.

Terry and Heather came over for the game, and all four of us cheered on the Giants (and ate like pigs - chili cheese dip, pizzas, chocolate chip cookies and beer, but we did have veggies, too). I admit, I got very nervous toward the end there. I actually had to get up and start the dishes. Luckily, I had Heather to yell at me when things were good. I am not very good under pressure, but I am so glad Manning is. He played a great game, kept his cool, and was a true leader. Thank, Giants, you made my Super Bowl Sunday!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

MeetIn Fun

Bill and I attended our first official Meet In event last night. We met a group of folks for dinner at a local Mongolian buffet. Mongolian barbeque has long been a favorite of mine, since the days of California. You choose your own meats, veggies, oils, and spices, then hand it over to the cooks to have it stir fried to perfection. Yummy!

Anyway, I am usually not very comfortable in a crowd, but the group that was there last night was so welcoming and warm. Of course, it probably helped that my friend Josh was there to soothe any awkwardness. There were 9 of us for dinner, and we stayed at the table for a little over 2 hours. We chatted in small groups, as a large group, and as individuals. It was fun to meet new people and learn about different places everyone had been. I am glad I joined the site and am looking forward to my next experience already.