Thursday, January 29, 2009

Susan's Ring of Honor Party

Last night, I achieved one of the goals on my Bucket List. I got a plate on the wall at my local Flying Saucer. A two year quest had come to the end. I drank 200 different beers, and now will be forever memorialized on a plate with a saying of my choice.

I decided to make mention of that Bucket List goal, but I also wanted to thank my beer drinking friends who have supported me in this endeavor. So, I added a shout out to my buddies B, T, H, M, and J. I think the best part of the evening was that BTHMJ were all there with me when my plate was unveiled. Good friends, good beer - what more could a girl want? Thank you, J, for the photos!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's Your Name?

My husband and I are both bad at names. For me, it takes at least 3 times to get a name correct. As soon as you say your name, it goes right out of my head. Sometimes, we don't know people's actual names, so we make up names for them.

There is a young woman who runs in our neighborhood every morning. We don't know her name, but we know we will see her if we are out walking the dogs any time before 7:00 am. We call her little blond girl because she is petite and wears a blond ponytail. So, if either of us mention little blond girl, we know who the other is talking about.

We had all of these names when we were regulars in the gym...Loud sweaty guy, Cell Phone Boy, Girl with the Nice Butt, and so many more. I wonder what people would call me...

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

There is this thing going around Facebook right now where you write 25 random things about yourself, then send it to 25 friends. I have really enjoyed reading about my friends. Here is what I had to say about myself:

1. I don't think I have ever fully grieved my mother's death. I prefer denial to dealing with painful things.
2. I am a complete chicken. I hate confrontation and will do anything to run from it.
3. I love to shop and read about fashion, but I don't think I am fashionable.
4. I finished my third half marathon two weeks ago. I never thought I would be able to do such a thing.
5. I don't like talking on the phone. I much prefer e-mail and Facebook because I can think about what I want to say and type it out. I am afraid I will be an idiot and say something stupid on the phone.
6. It should be obvious by now that I have lots of problems with self esteem and self confidence.
7. I love to read, but I don't always enjoy my book club. I prefer to read what I want to read.
8. I am a fairly liberal Democrat. I believe that women should be able to chose what is right for their bodies and that any two people who love each other should have the right to get married.
9. I have lived in Pennsylvania, California, South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina.
10. I really like beer and will get a plate on the wall of our local bar next Wednesday night for drinking 200 different beers.
11. I spent the summer of 1992 in Europe. I was studying in Innsbruck, Austria, but also travelled to Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Czechoslovakia.
12. I do have a "Bucket List". I knocked a few items off the list in 2008, but wonder if I will ever get a tattoo or jump from an airplane.
13. My best job to date was working for Midway Airlines.
14. I am going to try to be more active in community service in 2009. I want to make a difference, even if I'm not really sure how to do it.
15. I can't believe my 20th high school reunion is this year.
16. I adore my two dogs, Misty and Lily.
17. My husband inspires me to be a better person.
18. My favorite time of year is the fall.
19. I would love to live in a big city like Chicago, San Francisco, or New York City.
20. I usually drive without the radio on. Some people think that is weird.
21. I don't feel like an adult.
22. I took a skills assessment a few years ago to find out what my perfect job would be. I was pretty upset to find out I should be an accountant.
23. I think the best vacation I have ever taken was a Caribbean cruise with my husband in 2003.
24. I wanted to play the drums ever since elementary school, but my mom thought it would be too loud.
25. I believe in the goodness of people. I think people are born good, but circumstance can change it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Just Relax

I have a tendency to let myself get very frustrated. Frustration then turns to anger. Cursing has been known to follow. Black moods come as well.

We have installed a new software at work. The transition has been very difficult. The system was not properly tested. There was little to no training. Things have not been working. I haven't been able to find the things I have needed. It has made for a very frustrating few weeks.

I hate that I can't control my emotions when I am frustrated. I can't let go - things follow me home and make me dark and depressed. Eventually, things get brighter, but it takes time. I wish I could have the Zen patience. I wish I could breathe my frustrations away. It just never seems to work.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Sun is Up

The sun is up, a new day has dawned. The snow will be melting soon, and the world (at least my world) will be returning to normal. The world in general is facing a new day, too. What will the new norm be?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from
the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that
America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a
future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more...

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

A Truly Historic Day

I am glued to the TV getting ready to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as the 44th President of these great United States. Mother Nature certainly wanted us North Carolinians to stay home today, we have had snow! It is still snowing right now, and seems to be accumulating at about 3 to 4 inches.

I am so glad my office is closed and I get to enjoy this amazing day in US history. As you know, I have been an Obama supporter from the beginning. I truly believe that he is the right man to be leading our country at this point in time. I believe in him, and I think our country is heading in the right direction.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Visit to the Emergency Vet

Last night was a first for Bill and me. We took our bigger dog, Misty, to the emergency vet last night at about 11:30pm.

We noticed that Misty's right eye looked a little strange earlier in the evening. It seemed a little bit puffy, but it didn't look bad. We started to watch a movie. Later, we paused the movie so I could go to the bathroom, and Bill could see Misty's eye was far worse in just a few short hours. There was quite a bit of red in it. We checked online with our normal vet office and a few other vet offices in the area. All suggested the same emergency vet clinic. We called them and they suggested we bring in Misty right away.

Luckily, the office was about 10 minutes from our home. We were also the only ones in the waiting room when we arrived. It turns out that Misty has a small ulcer on her eye from a trauma (we think Lily either got her with a claw or a tooth), but that she should be fine with a topical ointment and some pills.

The staff could not have been better with her. They were very soothing and made us feel very safe having Misty in their care. She may be canine, but Misty is our baby. We love her and Lily so much, and would be so upset if anything happened to either of them. It is good to know there is great around the clock care so close by, even if we hope to never have to go there again.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stomach Bug

I wasn't able to go to work yesterday due to some sort of stomach bug. I was sick into the afternoon, but feel like I am on the road to recovery after two days of rest.

I hate calling in sick for work. It makes me feel weak. I always second guess myself, wondering if I really am sick enough to be staying home from work. Yesterday was rough, because I knew how much work I have to do, and what a bad time it was to be away from the office. I still feel guilty now. I know it was the right thing to do. It would have been horrible to get sick in my office, or to drop to the floor so I could lay down while the dizzy spell passed. I still have an awful lot of work to do, but I guess Monday is soon enough to worry about it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year, Same You

I can't take credit for the title of this blog update. t same from my yoga teacher, Sage Rountree. She is right, though. Everyone says "New Year, New You," but it really the same old you in a brand new year. You are no different than you were at 11:59 pm on December 31, 2008. The question is what will you do with the new year that stands before you.

I, for one, have never been big on resolutions. I have never really made any. This year, I have thought of goals for myself. This year is going to be about making a bigger impact in my community. So far, I think I am off to a good start.

I have volunteered to be the Community Outreach coordinator at work. I started the year asking for my colleagues to suggest charities that they like to support. I have picked from those suggestions groups that will receive a monetary contribution from our company. I am also trying to do tie in projects once a quarter. Yesterday, we kicked off our very first project which is collecting food and toiletries for a local shelter. we will see how it goes. Regardless, I see more projects in the future such as a 5K race and maybe a building day For Habitat for Humanity.

I am also doing more with The Junior League. Today, I attended a kick off breakfast for The Great Human Race - a local race to raise funds for any community agencies willing to register. I am happy to say that I will be coordinating our efforts on behalf of League. I am very excited about the prospects of this project. I will definitely keep you posted.

So, this year, the New Year isn't about me. It is about giving to those who need help.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Magic of Disney (Half Marathon)

This past weekend, hubby and I went to Orlando for the Disney Half Marathon. We were lucky to receive applications at the Marine Corps Marathon in October for two of the few spots still open. I'm glad we decided to go.

We arrived in Orlando on Thursday night. Hubby's sister and her family live there, so we spent the night with them. It is great to combine a running trip with a family trip. After a spectacular dinner by my brother-in-law, we chilled and prepared for Friday.

On Friday, we went to the Disney wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets. The facility is pretty amazing (after all, it is the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves), but the expo was smaller than some I have been to previously. We left pretty quickly and headed back to hang out with the family. We got to see our almost 5 year old nephew play basketball, and we had a nice dinner. We checked in to our hotel Friday night.

Sadly, it was very late Friday night, at least when you have to wake up at 4 am for a race. wake, we did, and we made it over to Epcot without issue. The race began on a road just outside of Epcot. There was much fanfare - Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy were there to start the race. There was even a small fireworks show as we started. The first few miles were tough. We were on a regular road that sometimes went down to one lane. It was tough to move around 12,000+ people to find a space, especially in the narrow quarters. It was also dark, so there wasn't anything to look at while running. At about mile 5, we started to get back to people. Soon, we made a bog turn, and ran right down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom.

I can honestly say that I have never felt so exhilarated running than when I was running in the Magic Kingdom. We ran through Tomorrowland, then Fantasyland. We ran right through Cinderella's castle, then on to Frontierland and out a back route. All along the way, there were beloved Disney characters standing along the route, cheering the runners, and taking pictures with any of the runners who were willing to stop. The run continued back the way it came to Epcot where we ran through that park before coming to the finish.

I missed my PR by less than three minutes, but I think it may have been the drop in adrenaline after the park. Still, I had lots of fun and I was glad I did it. I think the half marathon distance is good for me, but I may be willing to try a marathon soon. I have another half scheduled for March. In the meantime, I have a lovely gold Donald Duck medal to hang on my medal rack.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Canes Win 3-2

I went to my first hockey game of 2009 last night. It was a battle between old rivals, the New Jersey Devils and The Carolina Hurricanes. These are usually good games, and last night was no exception.

The score really doesn't reflect the dominance of the Canes in this game. They came out in the first period with so much pep and drive. It was one of the best periods of hockey I have seen from the Canes in a long time. The game was actually 3-0 Canes until about 10 minutes left in the 3rd period.

The Devils did something I haven't seen before last night. They went on a power play with less than 10 minutes left in the 3rd period. At that point, they were still down by 3 goals. They pulled their goalie for a sixth attacker. They didn't score on that PP, but did on the following. Usually, you would only see the goalie pulled in the last minutes of a game, and normally when there is only a 1 goal difference. Apparently, this is a new strategy being tried in the NHL. It made the game interesting. Time will tell if this idea sticks.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It Can Only Get Better

Well, 2009 didn't exactly start the way I had hoped it would.

I ate a lunch of tacos at my desk on December 31. I started feeling poorly not too soon after that lunch. But, I had work to do, and I worked through it (until 5:30 I may add). Finally, it was time to leave and enjoy the start of a brand new year.

We met our friends at their place for a trip to a local restaurant. We were going to enjoy a six course meal with a live band, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. I made it through the appetizer course with no problem. The soup was very good. Things started getting worse when the salad was brought to the table. By the time that was finished, I asked the waitress to please pack my entree in a to go box. Unfortunately, it was too late to keep the secret from the rest of my party, especially when I had to leave the table at the sight and smell of their dinners.

We left the restaurant shortly thereafter. After dropping off our friends, I had to ask Bill to pull over to the side of the road where I left the dinner I was able to eat (Maggy - sound like someone you know? I think I was channeling Mom!) We made it home at about 11:00 pm.

I was upset at letting our friends down and wasting money on a big dinner I could not eat. Luckily, I felt much better after our pit stop by the road. In the end, we lay in our bed with Misty and Lily and watched the ball drop from Times Square.

It was not the way I had planned to ring in the New Year, but I was with my family - the person and the canines I love the most. It wasn't ideal, but it was pretty nice.