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Name: merrymishaps (Lauren)
Home: Annapolis, MD, United States
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Monday, March 31, 2008

list day 31: lists

I started this month with NaBloPoMo's Lists theme, and planned on writing a list every day.

Then I had some unplanned trips, and decided I was satisfied as long as I at least posted everyday. It was tough with the travel. I had to write a post over dial-up at my father-in-law's house. For another, I set up photos earlier in the day before my flight, and then finished and pushed live after midnight using my Pocket PC and the hotel's free Wi-Fi.

Anyway, while I didn't come up with 31 lists, at least I made it half way!

Lists for March NaBloPoMo:

  1. Projects that need to be done around my house (March 1)
  2. Countries I've visited (March 2)
  3. States I have visited (March 3)
  4. Wardrobe essentials (March 4)
  5. Shoe essentials (March 5)
  6. Top 10 foods that make me happy (March 6)
  7. Drinks that make me happy (March 7)
  8. Races I have run (March 8)
  9. Employment (March 9)
  10. Former pets (March 10)
  11. NaBloCleanMo messes that have returned (March 11)
  12. Seven random things (March 14)
  13. Colors in my home (March 15)
  14. Upcoming travel (March 18)
  15. Things I wish I could do (March 19)
  16. Things that annoy me (March 20)

And then I got tired of thinking of list ideas ...

I'm going to take a break from NaBloPoMo in April, but there will be people participating. The theme is "Letters."


Sunday, March 30, 2008

i did not torture my cats enough this week


My parents were visiting last weekend, and on Sunday afternoon we went into DC to try to see the cherry blossoms.

We knew it was early -- peak blooms were predicted for March 27, but we figured they must be starting by March 23. Right?

Not really.

just beginning

Most of the trees weren't ready yet. Though, some were further along.

cherry blossoms

I didn't mind. It was a little chilly, but sunny. And we found a garden that was a little more interesting.

in bloom

weeping cherry

DC garden

And, while my cats were pretty much left alone this week, I did subject outdoor kitty Meadow to a photo shoot. I couldn't have a week without any kitties!


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Saturday, March 29, 2008

happy birthday to me!

happy birthday to me

I'm 33 today.

Yesterday, my boss brought in cupcakes for me. Fortunately, there were leftovers so I can eat cupcakes all weekend. They got a little smooshed on the way home, but they're still delicious!


Friday, March 28, 2008

show and tell: ellen cherry

Wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these.

When we first moved to Annapolis, we used to go out more often. Because we weren't so old and boring way back then.

In the tiny downstairs pub of the Rams Head Tavern, they often move tables and cram musicians into the space for some entertainment. This is how we discovered ellen cherry.

Sometimes she'd play acoustic by herself, other times she'd have a band. Once we saw her in the Rams Head "On Stage" area for a CD release party, probably for her 2004 album. Sadly, I think that's the last time we saw a live performance. Anytime she's been local, we haven't been able to make it out.

I still follow her, though her e-mail newsletter and her blog. I'm a bad fan and I haven't yet purchased her new CD yet, but I'm going to get on that right away. I've listened to some samples on her myspace page, and it sounds great!

She's a local artist (well, Baltimore, close enough), trying her hand at being a professional musician. I wanted to help spread the word.

She's currently got a new song available for download over at Amie Street. It seems they start out free, but the price increases (up to 98 cents) as songs become more popular.

So, download the song and help ellen cherry become a superstar!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008


I've seen several bloggers participate in this project, but it started with Sweetney. She created a Self-Portrait Truthiness Flickr group for us to post honest photos of ourselves.

First thing in the morning. No make-up. No hairbrush. No shower.

I don't know about you, but I'm not exactly a vision of beauty in the morning. Most days, I can't even open my eyes until after I shower and/or wash my face -- but that wasn't allowed for this project.

Are you ready for it?

I'm not! Oh well ... here you go:


You can tell I'm straining to pry my eyes open in the shot on the right. And yes, in keeping with the theme, I did not clean the smudges off the mirror before taking these!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

bossy's excellent road trip

I am on BOSSY's excellent road trip.Blogger Bossy had this crazy idea to drive across the country and visit as many readers as she could. She named it "Bossy's Excellent Road Trip," and hundreds of readers signed up to be a part of the tour.

Obviously, she couldn't reach everybody in her (yikes!) 35-day trip. But she's done a darn good job trying!

First stop -- Washington, DC. Well, technically, we met for drinks in Arlington, VA. A little out of the way for me, but hey, how many chances do you get to be a part of blog history?

I'm pretty sure Bossy's Excellent Road Trip will go down in blog history.

Anyway, it was a fun night!

We chatted. We drank (not to much, it was a school night!). We ordered one of everything from the 1/2 price appetizers menu (two orders of the fried pickles. yum!), evidence seen below.

Bossy Does DC

Thanks for coming to town, Bossy!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

4:37 a.m.

That's what time it was when I had to boot Posey off my pillow this morning. Same problem I had with her brother yesterday.

At least I didn't injure myself today. And I saved my pillow.

sleeping posey

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Monday, March 24, 2008

why is it always on a monday?

This morning I was awakened suddenly. Not by my alarm, but a cat preparing to puke.

I quickly assessed that it was not Posey, who was sleeping soundly on top of my pillow. It was Jeter, down by my feet.

I sprang out of bed and nudged him to the floor, fortunately in time to save the bedding (unlike last time).

Though, in my rush, I managed to overstretch my leg, causing a terrible leg cramp. I'm still sore tonight; there's a knot in my calf and it hurts to walk. It's gotten a little better, but it's still tender.

Anyway ... after the cramp subsided, I turned on the bathroom light to find and clean up the mess. I still had 40 minutes of sleep left, so I climbed back in bed. I did manage to drift off again until the alarm rang.

Amazingly, my husband slept through the whole ordeal!

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

bad cat


Joey has been obsessed with climbing on top of the entertainment center lately. First he climbs on the TV from the back, and then jumps on top.

bad cat!

bad cat!

I used to keep plants up there, until he started eating them. He's not that graceful, either. He frequently knocks stuff on the floor -- last week he took down my husband's PSP. Fortunately, the protective case cushioned the fall!

Well, he can be a handful, but he sure is cute.

sleepy joey

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And if any of you creative people are particularly good with space planning, can you help rearrange my living room?

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

can anybody help my living room?

We've got quite a few design obstacles. I've been trying to figure out what to do.

living room

Right now, I've got an 80-inch couch that fits perfectly on my 80-inch wall. We've got an Ikea chair and footstool between the couch and the wet bar, partially blocking the entrance to our bedroom.

A couple of storage cubes act as my coffee table. I've got a credenza on the 90-inch wall at the bottom of the stairs.

The TV is in a too-large entertainment center on the wall against the stairway.

This entertainment center is leftover from our first apartment, and was partially destroyed to house our giant 32-inch flat-panel tube TV. It was supposed to be temporary when we got the TV, but it's now been years.

Over the summer I tried to find a cabinet that would fit it, but the TV is too deep. Most cabinets out there are 19 or 21 inches deep; the TV is 24.

Lately, I've been wondering if I should give up on that idea and hang a flat screen TV over the fireplace.

But I don't know if I'll like that layout, assuming I keep the couch in the same place. That means the people on the couch have to turn to watch TV ... unless I can maybe find a small sectional.

But will that take up too much space? Should we knock out the wet bar and put some seating in there? We never use it; it really isn't necessary. The kitchen is only steps away!

I'd really like to make my living room look like grown-ups live here, and add some additional seating. I just don't know what to do!

Anybody have any ideas?


Friday, March 21, 2008

good fortune

Today's fortune cookie was actually gave me a fortune:

Good health will be yours for a long time.

Typically, they are just statements. Today's was much better than the time one of ours said "It is a nice day" as it was pouring outside!

My other co-workers didn't fare so well. One said "Wish you a long life." OK, a little odd. If it said "You will have a long life," that'd be great. But this one's just hoping.

The third co-worker's "fortune" just had us laughing.

You could prosper in the field of medical research.

Huh? Pretty random. Do you think they meant as a researcher, or a guinea pig?

He saved that one.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

list day 20: annoyances

I'm a pretty laid-back person.

I don't easily get angry or annoyed, but there are some things that just get drive me insane. Most involving drivers. I can definitely see where road rage comes from!

  1. Drivers who cut me off when I'm in the HOV (carpool) lane
    This happens all the time when the regular lanes are backed up. They rarely have another passenger. They usually don't signal. They always cause me to slam on my breaks. One time recently, the guy pulled in front of me slowly, causing me to slow down, but did not speed up. We went about 40mph for a few miles ... in a 65mph zone. When he finally went back into the regular lanes, I could see he was chatting on his cell phone. And alone.

  2. Drivers who wait until the last minute to merge
    They have plenty of warning. I hang back to let them in, but they refuse. Then traffic stops when the lane finally ends.

  3. Drivers who take too much time in the "kiss and ride" lot
    I drop my husband off at the Metro every day. The "kiss and ride" lot is intended for just that -- I kiss my hubby goodbye as he heads to work in the morning. We only pause for a few seconds as he gets out. Some drivers, however, have to get out of the car, open the trunk, people change seats, etc. -- all while blocking or partially blocking traffic through the lot. There are plenty of parking spaces they can use for this!

  4. Also in the "kiss and ride lot" -- people that park in the crosswalk
    That just makes it that difficult and dangerous to go around them, for both drivers and pedestrians.

And finally, to get off the driving issues:

  1. Intentionally visible bra straps
    I'm not irritated by an accidental slip or an intentional peak of a funky strap. I see people far too often wearing plain white bras with tube tops, racerback or halter tops with regular bras, or even racerback bras with non-racerback tops. Yes, they're usually younger women and girls, but it still bugs me. How can they think it looks good?

Oh, I'm sure there are more things that drive me crazy. These are just the ones that immediately come to mind!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

list day 19: i wish

Things I wish I could do:

  1. Play guitar
    I've attempted to teach myself quite a few times, and do own a guitar. I just give up when I get stuck on the hard chords or aren't immediately successful!
  2. Sew
    I have a sewing machine, I'm just not very good with it. I recently bought a book with instructions on making skirts without patterns. It seems fairly simple, and I even picked up some fabric. Now, just need to make some time to actually sit down with it!
  3. Crochet or knit
    Though, I don't think that's a good hobby to have with cats.
  4. Make jewelry
    I've made some repairs to some of my beaded necklaces. Why not make my own?
  5. Sing properly
    Sure, I sing in a choir. I must be halfway decent since I'm also in a smaller sub-group. But I'm not formally trained and I know I'm not using the right techniques. I think I'd have more confidence in myself if I took some lessons!
  6. Learn how to use my DSLR
    Sure, it takes great photos in "Auto" mode. But I need to read the book and learn to use the manual settings. Even if I remembered my photography classes from high school, the controls are a lot different on my (broken) film SLR!

I could probably do most if not all of these things if I endless free time. Unfortunately, I have very little free time.

I just keep wishing instead.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

list day 18: upcoming travel

So far for 2008, I'm looking forward to the following:

  1. Jamaica
    Soon! In April! We got a good deal on an all-inclusive, the only way to go.
  2. Outer Banks, NC
    Late July. We're staying in a different town this year a little further down on the island, but the house looks awesome. Right on the sound. I love looking out at the water!
  3. Virginia Beach
    Labor Day weekend, for the Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon. It'll be my fourth year running this race. We take a couple extra days and hang out on the beach.
  4. Lake George, NY
    My cousin is getting married on a boat cruise. It will be nice to get the family back together again for a happy occasion!
  5. ?
    I entered the drawing for the Nike Women's Marathon (for the half) and will find out April 1 if I got in. If so, we're going to San Francisco in October. If not, I'll probably run the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in San Antonio in November. Too bad the rates go up March 31!


Monday, March 17, 2008

to pop!

The family went to dinner last night after the wake. My husband and I had discussed a toast to Pop. My brother and his wife had the same idea. And we got my cousin and his fiancee to join us.

To Pop!

Pop loved his Manhattans. He made them every night around dinnertime. It just might be his secret to living well into his 90s!

My cousin told us that they had to take Pop's liquor away (or, ration it so he had enough for just his evening drinks) when he was caught drinking one at 9 a.m. about a year ago. He was probably home alone at the time -- Nan has spent time in the hospital or rehab. They had an aide visit a couple times a day to help, but he was essentially alone.

We got a laugh out of that story.

Yes, it was a sad couple of days, but it was also good to see family, and share our stories.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

another slow week

I spent too much time away this week, and funerals aren't really appropriate places to take pictures. Not much this week, but I still wanted to play.

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More spring

Joey found a new place to nap
joey napping
Think he can hem my pants?

I hope next week will be better. It has to be!

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

list day 15: colors

After running seven miles this morning, then re-packing for our trip, I am not capable of coming up with a decent list theme for the day.

Colors I've painted in my house:

  1. Dark purple
  2. Light purple
  3. Lime green
  4. Dark Red
  5. Light blue
  6. Darker blue

One and two are on the walls of my home office. Three and four are in the kitchen, green walls and red (mostly) cabinets. Five and six are in the powder room, the lighter on the walls and the darker on the vanity.

That's all ... the rest of the house is white. I've got a lot of work to do!


Friday, March 14, 2008

list day 14: seven random things

I was tagged, oh, nearly four months ago by Sandy. Sorry, Sandy -- I wasn't ignoring it!

The rules:

  1. Write your meme, then link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself. You can do the weird random stuff; stuff that you think could make for an interesting blog post, but you were too shy to tell about.
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Do this step wisely; you know who is game to play and who isn't.
So, to think of seven things that are different from the five things I blogged in the last meme about me ...
  1. I used to hate black licorice as a kid.
    That included black jellybeans and Good & Plenty. J├Ągermeister shots in college got me over the hatred. It's still not my favorite, but I can deal with it now.
  2. I sang back-up for Kenny Rogers.
    ... with my college choir. He was touring with his holiday show. We learned the music and were really singing, but they piped in the choir from the recording on top of us. I have a photo from the newspaper that I should scan in one of these days!
  3. I also shared a stage with John Astin.
    He was a guest reader at my community choir holiday concert a few years ago.
  4. Sometimes I forget to zipper my pants if they have extra buttons or hooks.
    Which is pretty much any pair of pants other than jeans or cords. I've got to be careful!
  5. I don't like it when I have to cut up my salad.
    It should already be in ready-to-eat pieces! Panera did not do a good job today.
  6. People that know me now are usually surprised to know I dyed my hair odd colors on college.
    Purple twice, dark pink once. Sorry, I don't have any photographic evidence!
  7. I am pretty addicted to HGTV.
    It happened immediately after I became a homeowner. My parents were big home-show watchers and I always laughed at them. Now I get it!

Since this meme is so old and just about everybody's done it, I'm not going to tag anybody.

If you missed it the first time around or have thought of seven more random/weird things you'd like to share, consider yourself tagged!

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

list day 13: remembering my pop

I grew up calling my maternal grandfather "Poppy" or "Pop," my grandmother "Nanny" or "Nan."

Now that I'm home again (brief break between funerals), I wanted to post some photos. Aside from one old shot, I only have photos of the Pop I knew.

In his youth:

young pop
Not sure what year, but whatever it was, it was a really long time ago!

late 1986/early 1987:

me and pop, 1987ish
Pop and me. He was 74 here.
(I can tell because had bad 80s layers in the photos from his 75th birthday.)

nan and pop christmas 1993
Nan and Pop at Christmas.


at our wedding, 2001
Nan and Pop at our wedding.

Ever since he hit 90, if you asked him how he was, he'd tell you he was tired. At least now he can rest.

Goodbye, Pop. We'll miss you!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

list day 12: adding one more to the list

I spoke too soon the other day.

My grandfather passed away yesterday in his sleep. He was 95.

I almost put a disclaimer on that other post, that there are some family members we know had limited time left. He would have been one of them.

He'd been fading over the past five or so years. My grandmother, who is ten years younger but not without her share of health problems, had been worrying about him. He didn't listen to her anymore, and she'd worry that he'd wander off.

I won't see her until Saturday, but my Mom thinks she's doing OK. It's been hard, and now he's at peace.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

list day 11: messes

Remember NaBloCleanMo?

I vowed to clean up a problem area of my house every day in November, complete with before and after pictures.

Ever wonder how that held up?

Well, let's just say I had to force myself to clean up my dresser again when I couldn't find a dress I needed to pack for the funeral.

For the most part, though, my cleaning was a success!

Messes that returned:

  1. Bedroom Dresser
    As seen here. I cleaned it up last night.
  2. Living Room Clutter
    It keeps coming back. I haven't figured out how to contain the clutter!
  3. Sweaters in the closet
    Stayed somewhat neat, just needed a little straightening up. The lost dress was hiding beneath the sweatshirts. When it wasn't hanging up, I realized I had stashed it somewhere because I wanted to have it cleaned ...
  4. Clothing in drawers
    When all of my running clothes are clean, it's a tight fit in that one drawer. Also, my shirts in other drawers, which I didn't photograph last time around, are a bit of a mess. I just have to downsize so I can contain it all!

Well, I'm out of here. I'm not sure if I will be able to write tomorrow. I may have to owe a list and blog from my cell phone as to not forfeit March NaBloPoMo!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

list day 10: departure

My husband's aunt passed away today.

It was expected. Earlier this month, we were told the doctors gave her five days.

We found out on that fifth day; she lived another eight or so. They had taken her off all her medication. After four open-heart surgeries, there wasn't anything else they could do for her.

I don't know much about her last two weeks yet, but we know as they were moving her to hospice care, they said she seemed at peace.

She looked well when we visited her in the hospital over Christmas; I'm glad we got the chance to see her. We're now headed up to Rochester, NY for a few days for services and the funeral.

I feel fortunate that I haven't had to say goodbye to too many close family members. My paternal grandparents passed away when I was eight years old. My father's sister when I was just out of college. My father's brother a few years ago.

There are, in fact, more pets buried behind the garage of the house I grew up in than funerals I have attended.

Today's list will be of the pets I've said goodbye to. Somehow, it seems a little less morbid.

  1. Princess
    Our dog growing up, a doberman mix. We got her when I was two. She lived 16 years.
  2. Henry
    My hamster in 2nd grade. I think he lived a couple years.
  3. Patches
    Hamster #2.
  4. Peppy
    Hamster #3
  5. Perky
    Hamster #4, the only girl hamster.
  6. Muffy
    Guinea pig. Only lived about a year.
  7. Tweety
    Parakeet. He lived over 10 years, it actually may have been 12. We didn't expect that! My mom had to take care of him when I went away to college.
  8. Several goldfish. At least one's name was, creatively, Goldie


Sunday, March 09, 2008

list day 9: employment

I've seen a few people write about their job history lately, and thought it'd make a good list!

High School:

  1. Babysitter
  2. Employee at a "healthy" fast food place
    Our main products were fat-free ice cream (that was actually pretty good) and salads.
  3. Scooper at Italian ice hut


  1. Intern at graphic design studio
    I wasn't paid, I needed the hours for my degree. Does that count?
  2. Assistant computer graphics teacher
    At a summer camp for music and art. I went there when I was in high school. So this one time, at orchestra camp ...
  3. Waitress at a restaurant on a marina
    People would often come by boat. Mostly outdoor seating, so business was slow if the weather was bad!
  4. Campus computer lab attendant
  5. Waitress at a golf course restaurant
    Another weather-dependant job! On bad-weather days, we'd polish the woodwork.
  6. Assistant in campus office of student activities
    Aside from general office work, I also put together the "meet books" for incoming freshmen.

After College:

  1. Webmaster for newsletter publisher
    I was here for about 3 1/2 years.
  2. Web developer for software company
    I started as the webmaster, and switched departments after eight months. I've been here 7 1/2 years.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

list day 8: i am crazy

Saturday mornings, I run with my friends.

This morning, we were a bit worried about the weather. We had plans to meet at 8:30 a.m.

Around 7:30, one of my friends sent out an email to see if we were still planning on going. It was pouring by her house.

Another friend responded that we'll see what happens in an hour!

I immediately went and checked the Live Super Doppler Radar, which looked like this at the time:

I had high hopes. It looked like the storm would be moving out of the way. I started getting ready to go.

One last check at 8:00 produced the following:

Excellent! It looked like we'd be clear for a little while.

We altered our plans to run in a park with a four-mile loop, with the option to add a couple paths to bring it a little over five.

There were some shelters in the park, just in case a predicted thunderstorm rolled through. (Normally, thunderstorms immediately cancel runs, but it only seemed to be raining.)

When we started, it was foggy, but no rain. It was actually a bit warm, around 50F and humid.

About 20 minutes into the run, we took a brief break to tie our jackets around our waists.

Not a minute later, the skies opened up. Of course, my partly water-resistant jacket was now around my waist, and my tech shirt got drenched.

It poured for just a few minutes, but the damage was done. I did, however, swap the soggy shirt with the windbreaker at our bathroom/water stop. Still wet, but more comfortable!

After the loop, half the group wanted more mileage and took the shorter four-mile option. A friend and I decided our bodies were done running for the day, and chose to walk two more miles instead while they ran.

It rained again, but we were already wet. At least we had dry clothes in the car -- we always go out for breakfast when we're done!

Anyway, the point of this post is that yes, I run in terrible weather, and we realize we're crazy!

Here is a list of most of the races I have run since I started in 2004:
  1. 5/2/2004 - Patriot's Cup Corporate Challenge 8K
  2. 11/21/2004- Cold Turkey 10k
  3. 2/12/2005 - Annapolis Striders Valentine's Day 5K 2005
  4. 3/6/2005 - B&A Trail Marathon/Half Marathon - Trail Run - 13.1Mi
  5. 6/5/2005 - Womens Distance Festival 5K
  6. 7/9/2005 - Women's Distance Festival/Run After The Women 5K
  7. 7/10/2005 - Women's Distance Festival
  8. 8/7/2005 - Dog Days 8k Run
  9. 8/28/2005- 30th Annapolis 10 Mile Run
  10. 9/3/2005 - Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon 2005
  11. 9/11/2005 - Annapolis Striders B & A Trail 10K 2007
  12. 10/2/2005 - Annapolis Striders Metric Marathon
  13. 11/19/2005 - Cold Turkey 10K
  14. 11/24/2005 - YMCA Camp Letts 10K Turkey Chase
  15. 1/15/2006 - P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & Half Marathon - Half Marathon
  16. 2/11/2006 - Annapolis Striders Valentine's Day 5K 2006
  17. 5/7/2006 - Governor's Bay Bridge Run
  18. 6/18/2006 - Dawson's Father's Day 10K Run
  19. 6/25/2006 - Baltimore Women's Classic 5K
  20. 7/9/2006 - Women's Distance Festival
  21. 8/6/2006 - Dog Days 8K Cross Country Run
  22. 9/3/2006 - Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon 2006
  23. 11/4/2006 - Downs Park 5 Mile Run
  24. 11/19/2006 - Cold Turkey 10K
  25. 12/10/2006 - Annapolis Striders Anniversary Run 15k
  26. 5/6/2007 - Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon 2007 - Run-Marathon
  27. 6/30/2007 - Reston Runners' Spring into Summer WDF 5K
  28. 7/8/2007 - Women's Distance Festival 5K
  29. 7/14/2007 - Women's Distance Festival/Run After The Women 5K 2007 - RUN-5K
  30. 8/25/2007 - Women's Distance Festival 5k "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" 2007
  31. 9/2/2007 - Rock n Roll Half Marathon 2007
  32. 9/16/2007 - Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run 2007
  33. 11/18/2007 - Cold Turkey 10K 2007
  34. 12/9/2007 - Anniversary Run 15K
  35. 12/15/2007 - Celtic Solstice Five Miler 2007
  36. 2/9/2008 - Annapolis Striders Valentines Day 5K 2008
I know there are some missing; these are the ones tracked by Athlinks.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

list day 7: drinks

It only seemed logical, since I wrote about food yesterday!

Drinks that make me happy:

  1. Something frozen and fruity, with rum
    Preferably while floating on a raft in a resort pool. My favorites are made with fresh bananas!
  2. Wine
  3. Beer
  4. Margaritas*
  5. Diet Pepsi
    I've been drinking less soda lately, but sometimes it's necessary!
  6. Hot Chocolate
    I don't drink it often, but it reminds me of childhood days coming inside after playing in the snow.
  7. Tea with honey
    My choice most mornings.

* The best margaritas ever:

    6 oz frozen limeade concentrate
    6 oz tequila
    3 oz triple sec
    3 oz beer

    Blend with lots of ice.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

list day 6: food

I had a rehearsal tonight; we've got a concert this weekend.

Yet, for some reason we got out 20 minutes early. Of course, we decided to go out for a couple drinks and a giant plate of nachos.

I just rolled in the door a minute ago, with just enough time to get a post in for the day.

Today's list theme is sponsored by that giant plate of nachos.

Top 10 foods that make me happy:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Ice cream
  3. Cake / desserts in general
  4. Pizza
  5. Mexican food (obviously includes nachos)
  6. Sushi (hey, it doesn't all have to be junk!)
  7. Seafood (especially crab)
  8. Cheese
  9. Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  10. Corn on the cob, hot off the grill


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

list day 5: shoe essentials

We've already established the fact that I love shoes. I'm not really sure how many pairs I have at this point, but it's a lot. I think back in November when I was organizing, I had about 75 pairs.

That, of course, was before my January shoe-shopping spree that caused me to cut myself off for a couple months!

Anyway, I'm not counting. I'm just here today to give a list of my top ten essential shoes, to accompany my top ten clothing essentials.

  1. Neutral flats that can go with everything
    For me, I need both black and brown, in both casual and more dressy styles. So item one is at least four pairs for me. Then you add in silver, bronze, patterned, etc. Time to stop counting!
  2. Tall boots
    Again, both black and brown. Again, I have two pairs of each -- dressy and casual!
  3. Ankle boots
    See a trend? I have black flat casual, black kitten heel, chocolate brown, medium brown and black patent.
  4. Black heels
    To go with that little black dress. Of course, these can also be red or gold or silver or ...
  5. Comfortable shoes you can walk for a long time in
    You shouldn't be wearing heels when taking your in-laws sightseeing. I like a pair of non-athletic sneakers for this, as long as they have enough arch support. Occasionally I'll use an old pair of running shoes, but that's not very stylish!
  6. Canvas skimmers
    Something a little more casual for spring and summer. Of course I'm in love with my Keds "Eleanor" series. I've got four pairs (so fun!), plus two pairs in neutral shades.
  7. Flip-flops
    For the beach, pool, and casual summer outings.
  8. Dress sandals
    I like heels with fun-colored straps and wedges, but I've also got black wedges.
  9. Casual sandals
    Like leather slides. I've got brown, black and navy.
  10. Something impractical that adds personality
    Perhaps my multi-color polka dotted wedges, gold peep-toes or red patent heels.

So with a little creativity, I can fit all 80+ pairs into this top ten essential list, right?

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

list day 4: wardrobe essentials

According to Oprah, (and nicely summarized by Susan at Friday Style), every woman needs the following items:

  1. Trench coat.
  2. Black (or white) turtleneck.
  3. Black trousers.
  4. Tunic.
  5. White jeans.
  6. Dark jeans.
  7. Black dress.
  8. White denim jacket.
  9. Black skirt.
  10. Timeless cashmere sweater.

This has spawned a discussion, since this wardrobe doesn't really work for every woman. Susan has asked us to create our own lists, and that fits very neatly into this month's list theme.

I agree with some of these, and do own most of them. Here are my edits:

  1. Trench coat.
    While I do have a long raincoat, it's not at the top of my must-have list. A nice coat for winter, and a denim blazer for warmer weather get a lot more use.

  2. Black (or white) turtleneck.
    Yes, I do often wear a black turtleneck under a cardigan. But a black top with an interesting neckline is much more flattering.

  3. Black trousers.
    Agreed. Though, I mostly wear my black pants as part of my choir uniform, they make it into work wear occasionally as well.

  4. Tunic.
    Long tops generally don't look good over my curvy butt. But I'm always on the lookout for cute patterned tops that add more interest than solids.

  5. White jeans.
    The only reason I have a pair is because they were $15 on the Gap sale rack. I like them, but am terrified that I'm going to spill something dark on them, so I don't wear them often. More useful to me is a nice pair of jeans, hemmed for flats.

  6. Dark jeans.
    Agreed. I know I just said jeans above, but I wear jeans several times a week. Also, I need another pair hemmed for heels!

  7. Black dress.
    Agreed. I have several in a variety of styles.

  8. White denim jacket.
    I have a white cotton jacket that I love. I think it gives a cleaner look than white denim. I also have lightweight jackets in off white and olive green.

  9. Black skirt.
    My office is very casual, I would feel too dressy in a black skirts. Again, I have black skirts for choir concerts, but otherwise I never wear them. I'd rather see a denim skirt on this list.

  10. Timeless cashmere sweater.
    I acquired three this year. Love.
Thanks for the list idea, Susan. Also, thanks for making me take photos of all my outfits so I have examples!

Now, notice all of these items are clothes. Does Oprah think we don't need shoes?

I think tomorrow, I will be posting a must-have list of shoes!

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Monday, March 03, 2008

list day 3

Growing up, we travelled a lot. We always went on at least two vacations a year, and usually crammed a lot into the time we had.

We never stayed in one hotel long enough to bother unpacking; we'd be off to another location within a few days. Our days were filled with museums, national parks and historical sites. Nowadays, I just like to lounge by the beach or pool. I never had a chance to do that on those childhood vacations!

States I have visited:*

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Delaware
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Florida
  8. Georgia
  9. Hawaii
  10. Illinois
  11. Kentucky
  12. Maine
  13. Maryland
  14. Massachusetts
  15. Nevada
  16. New Jersey
  17. New Mexico
  18. New York
  19. North Carolina
  20. Ohio
  21. Oregon
  22. Pennsylvania
  23. South Carolina
  24. Tennessee
  25. Virginia
  26. Washington
  27. West Virginia
  28. Wyoming
*I at least vaguely remember visiting these states. There could be more that I was too young to remember. I'm guessing I've been to more New England states, too, but I'm not sure!


Sunday, March 02, 2008

list day 2

This morning, I got up bright and early to set up and run a water stop for a local marathon. I've got friends on the race committee, so we always help out. Being a frequent recipient of the water and Gatorade handed out, I like to give back when I'm not a participant!

We made it fun. I made a bunch of mix CDs (I don't have speakers loud enough to use with MP3 players), and we were in costume for a Toga Party theme. I made mine out of pink cheetah-print fabric!

We were outside manning the stop until the last runner came through, nearly seven hours later. I was exhausted, having stayed up a bit too late finishing my mix CDs. After a nice warm shower, I fell asleep for a few hours!

So, that's why today's list is one I could come up with quickly!

Countries I've visited:

  1. Canada
  2. Bahamas
  3. Italy
  4. Mexico
  5. St. Lucia
  6. Jamaica


Saturday, March 01, 2008

list day 1

Since I like torturing myself, I've signed up for NaBloPoMo again. It's happening monthly now, with optional themes. The theme for March being Lists.

If I was organized enough to realize that today was the first day of March prior to, say, 11:45 p.m., I would have come up with a list of lists that I'd be tackling this month. But, I nearly forgot as it is!

So we have an easy list tonight.

Projects that need to be done around my house:

  1. Replace roof
  2. Paint exterior
  3. Finish painting kitchen cabinets
  4. Get new kitchen floors
  5. Get new kitchen counters
  6. Make living room look like adults live here
  7. Rake leaves
  8. Paint / decorate bedroom
  9. Paint / decorate guest room
  10. Paint / update master bathroom
Note that not all items are to be completed by me, but I'll do what I can. The list could go on ... ah, the joys of being a homeowner!