Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Week From Hell

By the time I left work last night I had already put in 30 hours this week, then I went home and worked some more, but on an iMovie instead of writing. It was 3 a.m. before I finally went to bed I was so wrapped up in editing the video.

Mostly what screwed me this week was Tall Stacks. The amount of information and pulling it all together for next week's cover story was far more daunting than I imagined.

But for the story I got to interview Ketch Secor, from Old Crow Medicine Show, which is playing at 9 p.m. next Saturday at Tall Stacks. I can't wait. I love OCMS. I saw them last fall at the Southgate House and immediately fell in love with the band, and the dark-haired Ketch. Did I mention he plays banjo, guitar, fiddle AND the harmonica?

Now, there's a boy I wouldn't mind riding with in the front of a pick-up truck.

They have a new album out, Big Iron World. The song and video for Downhome Girl are terrific. You can check it out here. I love the old guy. Ketch is on harmonica in this one. (Yes, please!)

So my desk... Yeah. This disaster has been months in the piling up. And my apartment is starting to look similarly. The surfaces need scrubbed and dusted. But with a trip to Pittsburgh on my agenda this weekend, I'm just not sure when I'm going to get around to Pledging and scouring everything.

Adding to fuel the nightmare week, I searched Ikea's Web site, (the stop at Ikea being part of the reason I agreed to go to PA, I believe I am only the person in the free world without something from Ikea sitting on my carpet) and the dresser I had my eye on no is longer there. I am hopeful, but doubtful, they will have it at the store.

And my lunch today was terrible!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jacked Up

I got rocked by a power kick from The Gazelle on the other team this morning. The shot hit my leg and swept me off my feet, and I flew through the air like Charlie Brown when Lucy pulls the football away. It felt like I did 32 somersaults before I hit the ground.

All I remember is painfully landing on my back. I thought about lying there and crying, but we didn't have any girl subs. So when I saw the guy who drilled me standing over me, I reached up my hand and he pulled me up. Good thing because I might still be there... wimpering.

The welt on my leg hasn't faded in the last four hours, so it should leave a pretty nice bruise. But it's my wrist that hurts. Must be the impact of 32 somersaults and 122 pounds crumpling into the grass.

I totally would have made ESPNs Jacked Up segment on Monday Night Countdown.

(How do I know this stuff?)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Again With The Passing Out

I lasted 15 minutes longer this time than the last before I felt faint. Wow. I’m a freakin’ rock star now.

But after 45 minutes of working out with Trainer Andrew, I had to sit down. It took me about a minute before I realized I was going to throw up, then on the way downstairs I got dizzy again and had to eat another Jolly Rancher. (Red, of course.) I did recover more quickly this time, though.

My solution is to drink Gatorade during workouts from now on. Keep sugar in my system. (And maybe eat more protein.) It’s strange I didn’t feel sick when I cheated on Andrew, though, with Trainer Ian. I can’t quite put my finger on why I end up feeling so awful. Andrew said, “This isn't good. We can’t keep doing this.”

Speaking of Trainer Ian, I saw him this morning while I was with Andrew. I felt so dirty. And now a coworker says I should try her trainer man before I settle on one. I don’t think I can handle the guilt, though.

I confessed to Andrew about my trainer indiscretion before I even finished my tricep exercises. He said it before I said it, “You’re cheating on me.”

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Trainer Promiscuous

I'm obsessed with my blood sugar levels. I make frequent assessments about it, mostly when it's low.

So about ten minutes before I nearly passed out last week, I told Trainer Andrew I needed to sit down. It was my first meeting with Andrew, and my first ever with a personal trainer. I knew as I was leaving to meet him I should have eaten some protein and some quick carbs. I had every intention of eating a peanut butter sandwich before I left, but I ran out of time.

By the time I realize I was in trouble, it was too late. Before I knew it, my heart was racing, I was shaking, sweaty, dizzy and about to vomit.

"You aren't going to pass out on me, are you," Trainer Andrew wanted to know.

"I'm trying not to," I told him, desperately trying to hold it together. But as we were walking down the stairs to get me some water and a Jolly Rancher, I thought for sure I was going to drop, and I even reached out toward his arm, just in case.

I slumped down on the couch in the lobby of the gym and wondered if the Jolly Rancher would be enough to restore my vision, which was white-washed and blurry.

I was so disoriented that when Andrew threw me a grape Jolly Rancher from across the room, I couldn't move to try to catch it. It landed on my lap.

"Grape," I said with disgust, picking it up. "Isn't there any other flavor, like red?"

He looked at me, kind of like, "Are you kiding?"

Then he said, "How's cherry?" And he threw that one onto my lap.

A few days later I met with another trainer, just to see how trainers compare (and they're free for the first session). I got a great workout from both of them, but I couldn't help but feel like I was cheating on Trainer Andrew... After everything we'd been through together.

Completely Ridiculous

Popped Collar here has reffed our last two soccer games. And by reffed I mean mostly he sneers at us and doesn't know what the calls are when he calls them.

I enjoyed watching him this Saturday swing his whistle around his finger like a lifeguard and cock his head and stare into the grass. Very James Dean. I swear he's posing, though I'm not sure for whom.

He's a legend in his own mind. (Like Vincent from Project Runway.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mosey For the Cure

There were so many thousands of people (10,000 I heard) trying to funnel into Mason for the Race for the Cure yesterday that we eventually abandoned our car in a McMansion subdivision and walked probably a half mile to the start.

The Enquirer has a great photo of the people/car anarchy.

As we were still walking in, we saw several friends run past for the chip timed event. My Tall Drink of Water attempted to find the chip line, but by then it was well after the start. For my part, I needed a snack and decided to hit the banana table and the port-o-potty before setting off on the three mile corridor of subdivisions and For Rent beige-brick office spaces.

I had intended to run some of the race, but it worked out well we were late because then Jen, Pat, TDW and I all got to walk together. We couldn't have run if we wanted to, we were in such a crush of people the entire three miles.

It was just as well. And more fun anyway.

When I first ran the Race for the Cure in 1998 or 1999 (I can't remember which), I didn't know anyone who had had cancer other than very old people, let alone anyone with breast cancer. Now I know several breast cancer survivors, including the wonderful Linda Maupin, who brought cherry jam to my house and told me, "Someday this will all be a distant memory."

The Race for the Cure is an emotional event. Everywhere around you are the names of survivors being celebrated on the backs of friends' and families' singlets, while the names of those who have died are written with "In Memory Of." Usually those names are more personal, like Mom, Grandma or Aunt Miriam.

Among the healthy runners and walkers raising money and honoring those who have lived and died are those women wearing pink hats and t-shirts, the survivors themselves. And sometimes, among them, you will see the ashen face of a woman undergoing treatment, identifiable by her hair burned out from chemo and the exhaustion and fear in her expression.

Since there are no 10,000-strong races for other cancers, Paul and I wore our Relay For Life t-shirts honoring his brother, Andrew, who will be gone a year this January. Maybe you saw us - we were the bright yellow in a sea of pink.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Crazy Wedding Reception Dancing

The quality of my iMovies is terrible once they're uploaded to YouTube and iFilm. But they're free. So whatever.

I made this iMovie of Jen and Pat's wedding reception after I got back from Ithaca.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

News Flash: Lots Of People Work-Out... In The Morning!

Went to the gym this morning at 7 and much to my surprise, the parking lot was packed.

I briefly wondered if I'd get my choice treadmill. (That'd be the second one away from the wall, facing Isben Avenue.)

On my way to stake my claim, I bumped into a friend of mine who happens to be nine months pregnant. Now, I'm all about the female form and pregnant women being beautiful and whatever else people say, but I was shocked, shocked I tell you to see my friend wearing nothing but running shorts and a sports bra with her giant naked belly filling the empty space between her and the eliptical.

The whole time I was chatting with her I kept thinking, "Don't look at her belly. Don't look at her belly."

It was like I was seeing something I wasn't supposed to, and I didn't want to get caught looking. In fact, I'm certain I've never been so close to a bare, nine-month pregnant belly. And it kinda freaked me out.

I had to give it to her, though, for putting it out there, because she walked around the gym like it was no big deal. Meanwhile I was thinking, "She's practically naked, slinging that big belly around. Go on girl!"

I won't even expose my belly and it's a fairly normal size. While her's was so out there.

Then she nearly saw me naked as I was getting undressed to shower. I kept thinking she'd kind of turn around as she saw me peeling off the layers, but no. Finally I had to warn her, but she was undeterred, like she could have seen me naked or not. In fact, I'm not sure she'd have noticed she was so busy drying her hair and chit chatting with me.

It was pretty entertaining. Until I slipped on the wet floor and nearly fell down with my tiny little towel on. I shudder when I think of the image of me hitting the concrete with a smack and my tiny towel coming loose, exposing all sorts of ugliness.

But that's what I would have deserved for being so caught up in the nakedness of everything.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

This All Happened Saturday

First thing this afternoon I walked out to my car, all set to go to the gym (had ponytails in and everything) and saw that my back right tire was about flat.


Except that I figured by the time I got the tire plugged I'd be too hungry to work out so then I'd get to eat lunch. Jackpot!

Stuck in the tire was a big silver screw that'd I'd picked up somewhere, so I drove the Blue Angel over to Art Miller's, who told me to drive it down to Tom's Tire Service on Stanley Avenue.

While the Blue Angel waited her turn, I walked over to the Starbucks on Columbia Parkway, where Blow-Dried Guy is always working. His hair looks like he just got it did at the beauty salon. It's highlighted, blow-dried up and sprayed. Very strange looking.

"What are you up to today," he asked.

"I'm getting my tire plugged over at Tom's Tire Service. He said it'd be a few minutes," I told him.

"That place is weird."

"Oh yeah. How so," I asked.

"It's really politically incorrect."


"He has, like, calendars up, not like Playboy, but like girls in bikinis and stuff," Blow-Dried said.

"Well, it is a shop. He is a mechanic. In fact, I'd be kinda suspicious if he didn't have that up. It's not like Tire Discounters."

"Yeah. He can plug your tire, though."

"Yep. That's all I need him to do," I said.

When I went back I made a point to look around for half-naked calendar girls. Mostly there were just pictures of people's kids stuck to the walls and corkboard. But there was one picture of a Ben-Gal sexing it up and another of a mostly naked woman just standing there. Nothing I hadn't seen before.

Picked up the Blue Angel and decided lunch was in order, so my Tall Drink of Water and I went over to Moe's in Newport. (Even though that's the crappy Moe's. Everybody knows the Moe's in Crestview Hills is way better, but we were hungry.)

After we ate we went over to Barnes and Noble and all be damned if Rocco wasn't there doing his book signing. Hilarious! TDW and I scurried to the top of the escalator so we could spy on him. Mostly he harrassed people as they came in and then sucked them into having 10 minute long conversations with him. How painful for them.

Sample Conversation:

"Hey Rocco, I'd like to work out my abs. Got any exercise suggestions?"

"Um yeah, fat ass. Uh, get off your ass and stop eating donuts and exercise."

"Wow. Thanks Rocco. You must be a fitness expert."

I tried to get some photos of him in action, but my camera phone doesn't zoom well and I didn't want to get too close. Know what I'm sayin'? This was the best I could do while laying low.

In other odd news from the day, I'm finding bruises and sore spots from morning my at Christ Hospital yesterday.

There's a hole in my cheek where I must have bit the inside of my mouth at one point. And there's a nice little bruise on the top of my hand from where the IV was pulled out and the nurse didn't put enough pressure on the vein. (It causes bruising when they don't.) And my nose is sore to the touch, probably from the mask they had strapped to my face, not to mention the bruise marks under my chin and on my throat. God knows what that's from.

I also got a postcard from my friend Aaron today, who is in Iceland, which was such a pleasant surprise. Except I can read only about half of it. His handwriting and the inky pen he used doesn't translate well. At the end of the postcard it says "Wish you were here... Think of all the fun we'd have making fun of _______" together.

I can't read the last word. It looks like Germans, but that doesn't make any sense. And he'll have probably forgotten by the time I talk to him again in November.

Kind of a strange day.

Forget Something?

I found this EKG lead stuck to my rib cage about seven hours after I got home from the hospital yesterday. They'll stick to anything, such as the door here.

It's fascinating to think what they can do to you while you're under anesthesia. The last thing I remember is Dr. Bowling laughing about my new staff picture and then seeing a mask go over my face. What happened over the next hour and a half is anyone's guess.

But I did come away this little present. Thanks Christ Hospital!