Saturday, January 31, 2009

Randomness

This was a Facebook thing, but I thought all of you non-facebook-ers would like to know some little things about me too:

1. I got a new re-built Bach Stradivarius for my birthday!
2. I’ve practiced new trumpet almost everyday since I got it. BIG difference!
3. I’m working on my masters degree in Library Science. I only have 5 classes left (+ Capstone), including the Advanced Storytelling class I’m in right now. I can only manage one class at a time, however, between working full time and taking care of twins.
4. I have 6-year old (identical) twins, Sean and Ashton. I can’t believe they’re in 1st grade this year! They’ve lost 12 teeth between the two of ‘em.
5. I love children’s literature best, and Young Adult. Probably because I never grew up.
6. Of that variety, Fantasy is my favorite genre. I’ll also bridge out to the adult section for these ones…
7. I have a tattoo on my left ankle. Any guesses what it is? Yes, you know me too well! ☺
8. One day, when my two cats Max and Jewels, “kick it” as Kevin likes to call it, I’m going to save up to buy a Savannah Cat. A Savannah Cat is a serval (an African wildcat) crossed with a domestic breed, and is as big as a dog. How cool would that be to see me running down the street with my cat?!
9. Oh yeah, running. I ran over 600 miles in 2008. Lots on my treadmill, and lots outside in the hills that is our city.
10. Which is up from the just over 400 miles in 2007. What will 2009 bring? I did run 50 miles in January, which is right on track for another 600 miles in 2009…
11. I like to bake. Muffins, cakes, pies, cookies, and bread from scratch. I can’t wait for anything long enough to cool down- my favorite is to eat it hot, as soon as the pan will let go…
12. I’m not a terrific cook. I like recipes. But this past year I’ve gotten better at experimenting with different combinations of food, and most of it has turned out pretty good! I call my creations, Concoctions. I know. Original.
13. This July I will have been married for 10 years. Does that make me old?
14. Speaking of old, I have exactly 11 days of my 20’s left.
15. I used to be addicted to solitaire on my computer in college. Bad. Instead of writing papers at 2 in the morning I’d be playing that stupid addicting game. But no more! I went cold turkey when I graduated. I don’t even play it with cards anymore.
16. My favorite TV shows: Scrubs, Gray’s Anatomy, House, and now, Leverage, in that order. Since when did I start liking medical shows?
17. My grandmother is an artist, and has painted some beautiful oil paintings in her lifetime. Since I always took every music class that was offered in school, I never took any art classes. I LOVE color and am pretty good at combining color and creating abstract art, but realistic drawing was never a skill I’ve developed. I wonder where I could have gone if this is the route I’d taken instead? I guess it’s never too late to start… I’d love to take some art classes, perhaps after I finish my masters.
18. My favorite color is green. Of the jade or forest variety. Emerald works too.
19. I’m a cheap date. 2 glasses of wine ‘l do me nicely.
20. I love roses. And I remember most of my dreams come morning. At least little snippets of them~
21. I am not the best speller. But people at the library keep asking me. You’d think they’d know better by now.
22. I am the tech person at my library. People come to me for help with computer or technology problems. Scary.
23. I should be doing homework right now instead of typing this.
24. I have a really COOL blog: http://bigpencilblog.blogspot.com/
25. I really miss my long hair. Sigh.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Whole Wheat Popovers

It's been quite a while since I've posted a baking blog. Mostly because I haven't done much of it lately (Kevin's been doing the bulk of it because I think he loves my Kitchen Aide more than I do!). However, my favorite baking blog, Baking Bites, posted a simple new recipe I wanted to try out: Whole Wheat Popovers. They turned out awesome! And even though there was an extra step of poking the popovers and rotating the pan while they were baking that I've never done on a popover before, they were relatively easy to make. Not to mention super tasty; crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and mouth-watering hot right out of the oven. This recipe only makes 6 muffin-sized popovers, but I used a mini-muffin pan instead, which produced 16 mini-popovers (and I baked it for 5 less minutes). Perfect for dinner with friends, or to save a few for later. Here's the photo I took (with the popover I stole out of Ashton's mouth for the shot. Ha ha!)~

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Climb California 2009

Yes, this is a duplicate of the e-mail I sent out, but for those of you I just might have missed on that list, here it is again, special for you:

I am going to do something crazy. Climb 52 flights of stairs of the Bank of America building in San Francisco on March 28th for the Climb California Relay. Why, you ask? Because you don't want the use of your legs anymore, silly girl? Well, that may be the case (in fact I did a trial run this weekend, and can finally walk without a limp as of this afternoon! I've never been so sore in my entire life!), but a co-worker (Chris) is putting together a relay team, and not only will we be developing a permanent twitch in our step, but we will be helping save lung cancer patients with the American Lung Association. I only need to raise $100, and while that's not a huge amount of money, it will be if I have to pay it all myself. So I am begging and pleading and groveling before you for a few dollars if you can spare any in this belt-tightening era when it is scarce. Just a few, and if everyone can pitch in just a titch, then I'll reach my goal and not have to send out a second begg-y e-mail. :) Here is the link to our team page, and also the link to my personal page. Or you can click on my name from the team page. (Please let me know if these links don't work for you.) I really appreciate your support, even if it is just a pat on the back, and an agreement that I am indeed nutzoid.

Have a great weekend, and thank you thank you thank you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Roller Skating

After climbing nearly 60 flights this morning, I got to take the boys to a birthday party at Roller Kingdom. Yay, quads and calves! The boys have been once before, but not in quite a while, and we pretty much started over, learning from scratch. When I could pry their vice-like grip from my fingers and make them try to skate on their own, they pretty much just coasted until their momentum ran out, and then fell over. Or just promptly fell over as soon as I let go. "Baby steps. Bend your knees just a little bit. Lean forward. Not that much! Ohhhh! Are you alright? Okay, give me your hand and I'll help you up."

After the first hour, Ashton got a little more adventurous, and I got this little video clip of him skate-walking on his very own (sorry it's a little shaky- I was trying to watch where I was going skating backwards, and not roll over the fallen kids behind me while I was filming): video
One final photo for you: Sean and Kevin going slow back to the bench for a rest. :)

Early Birthday Present

Ahhhhhh! Kevin very sneakily found a refurbished Bach Stradivarius lightweight trumpet for me! A little note here about Kevin- he can't wait for surprises. He absolutely loves them- but if I tell him about one, I have to give it to him right away or he gets super pissed. This works in both directions. He can't wait to give them either. The fact that he was able to order it, wait for it, and then wait again all day for me to get home from work when it arrived and not give away even the slightest hint to me is an absolute test of wills for him! Good job, babe. :) Here is a picture of me: what a dork!

And another picture of the horn, even though you can't really see the label (and it the up close picture didn't come out- sorry):

Trying it out, I could tell an immediate difference. The trumpet I've been playing on since I was 16 (yes, sweet 16th birthday present- thanks Mom!), is a very large, heavy horn and takes about twice the amount of air to get a nice sound out. This one is light and has a nice open airy sound, and I can get really brassy very easily if I push. And because I don't have to push quite as much air through the horn, my chops don't give out after 5 minutes of hard playing. I can play higher, and for longer, and I've been practicing quite a bit lately. :) It's like having a new car- making up excuses to go for a drive. Thanks Kev and parents- I love my new trumpet!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Push Up Challenge

A friend recently asked me if I was going to take the 100 Push Up Challenge after bragging about increasing my daily push up reps of 1 set of 10 girlie push ups to 2 sets of 10 girlie push ups. I though, WOW, one-hundred pushups? Not when I was in my best swimming shape could I do that many in a row. I could do lots of repeated sets of ten during band or swim practice (and I mean the straight full-body MAN push ups!), but I don't think I've ever done more than 20 in a row. When I had my shoulder surgery in 2006 (to sew the tissue back on that I ripped away from my labrum while playing water polo in college), it was slooooow getting back into swimming and rebuilding any strength I had before. I was reduced to doing push ups on my knees. Like a girl. Ouch. Not that I haven't been good with my physical therapy since then, but I haven't gotten back up to par on that front. So. Here I am, challenged to do the challenge, and started this program on Monday. They have you do a pre-test to see at which level you should train, and I managed to "eek" out 5 real push ups before collapsing in a heap on the floor. Which meant that I needed to start out at the lowest level of training. For the first day, I did 14 non-consecutive push ups, and then 16 on the second. We'll see how tomorrow goes with the 22 scheduled push ups. This program is only 3 days a week, and takes up about 10 minutes of my morning. People, if I can do this, then so can you! Who's in?

Paper Towns

Paper Towns Paper Towns by John Green


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
This author was recommended to me by a friend, so I checked out his newest book, Paper Towns. Not only is John Green a genius, but his writing is hilarious and SO true to the nature of teens. But this book is by no means purely about the adventures and pranks of teenagagers- our hero, Quinten, searches for the depth of the human soul, and makes profound discoveries into the ramblings of Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" in his search for Margo Roth Spiegelman, the girl nextdoor he's idolized most of his life, who turns up missing a month before graduation.

I think I've recommended this book to several of my co-workers just by cackling out loud on my lunch breaks, gasping for air while holding the newly developed stitch in my side. Totally. Read. It.


View all my reviews.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Off to a good start!

Yep, I've got about 12 miles under my belt for 2009. I drove to Donner Lake to meet Gretchen for a 5 mile run by the lake on Monday last week (not counting this for 2009, don't worry), and then 5 miles on the treadmill on Wednesday. Yesterday Kevin and I met with Gretchen and Team Library Dork for some track work at UNR, where we ran some moderate sprints (can I use that term? fast, but not all out) and lots and lots of bleachers. Those kill me! But I must not have worked on those hard enough because the only thing that was achy this morning was my lower back. Which is par for the course. However, this morning, since I have the day off, I thought I'd go check out the trails by my house after dropping the boys off at their bus stop. Frozen solid. Good way to break something, or at least start up a bobsled team. So instead I ran a loop around my neighborhood in the range of >6 miles. NOW I am sore. I ran up Mt. Rose Hwy to Thomas Creek, down Arrowcreek, across Wedge Pkwy and back up to my house. Letting my legs go as fast as they wanted down Arrowcreek Pkwy killed my quads! And my calves are sore now too. Here's a link to a map of my route. Whew! Good workout, but I gotta go stretch some more...

And for some final numbers:

In 2007, I ran 406 miles and walked 31 for a total of 437 miles on the road and treadmill.

In 2008, I ran 608 miles and walked 53 for a total of 660 miles on the road and treadmill.

That's almost exactly 200 more running miles, and 20 walking! (I should figure out 2006 sometime too~) I wonder what 2009 will bring...