31 December 2011


It's only been a few hours but 36 is already a million times better than 35.  I don't have pink eye, I don't have a hacker's cough, I don't even have a hint of a cold.  I think this is the first time I haven't been ill on my birthday in five years, and I'm taking that as a sign of good things to come.

Thirty-dive, as I like to call it, was full of too many expectations and disappointments.  I decided in my late 20s that if I were 35 and still single I was going to take myself out in a flame of base jumping glory.  That would have happened but I was too depressed about life's disappointments to do much of anything.  But not with 36.  There are no expectations or "coulda", "shoulda", "wouldas" with 36.  It's just a number in my book. 

Thirty-dive can be summed up by one glorious experience:  you can read it in details here.  Thirty-dive was EXACTLY like being hit by a car, dragged across the parking lot, then left to die as it drove on.  So, so bad, yet ironically funny.

I am so thankful I never have to be 35 ever again. 

Welcome 36!  

30 December 2011

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-bye!

You know when you start a new year off quarantined in a basement with pink eye that it's going to be a downhill doozer...and it kind of was.  So, today is my last day of being thirty-frikin'-five and I am hap-hap-happy to see it go!

18 December 2011

Moving on into Fall

So Summer ended and Fall began, and by "Fall" I mean the semester started.  I celebrated by going to my favorite apple orchard.  Oh how I love apple orchards.
And uber large watermelons, I also love uber large watermelons
And pumpkins the size of elephants.
How can one NOT be happy around jumbo produce?  I mean really?

If I were a pumpkin I'd be this one:

Warty and totally inedible. 

Although I was also drawn to this poor confused critter as well:
Merna also took me to a grape stomping party...unfortunately the harvest was kind of sparse and there wasn't a lot to stomp.  I loved it anyway.

Since I'm a super serious doctoral student who spends every waking minute trying to get ahead of the academic curve I signed up for the "Great Gopher Adventure Race"...because spending 8 hours running around campus with 300 undergrad students doing insane feats of strength and force is exactly what serious doctoral students do.

I was lucky enough to drag Kit (she really is a serious doctoral student) with me for the fun.  I thought we'd pound the race out in a couple of hours...but when they say it's going to take 8 hours, they weren't kidding.

We were Team Steve...named for our program director.  We wore our official Gopher gear and had buttons with Larry the Catfish on them (guess he's the mascot for the Mississippi).  A sweet park ranger helped us make the buttons, and let me tell you, we wore them with pride as we ran across three campuses doing things like lugging canoes, rappelling off of buildings (ok, Kit did the rappelling...she's a champ for that)

We played basketball in wheelchairs, ate Popsicles, climbed walls (after 5 minutes of hard core rowing...made for weak arms), fenced,

Identified plants, solved puzzles, and rolled through burr covered bushes
We didn't finish first, but we also didn't finish last.  
And at this point in the academic game, that's all that matters :D

This was one of the highlights of my day:
I heart witty advertising...the kind that can only be found in a bathroom stall :D

15 December 2011

Sum-Sum-Summertime: Part Siete


I hated Ragnar 2010.  After stroking out 3 miles in to my first run last year I pretty much decided I would never run again.  So it makes total sense that I signed up for Ragnar 2011...as the team captain.  Meaning I was in charge of putting the team together and getting everything organized.  I have no idea why I do the things I do, but I keep doing them.

So, team The Pace is Right hit the pavement and ran, and ran, and ran until we completed those 200 miles.  It was HOT (but not as hot as last year), and there were a bajillion hills, but I didn't stroke out!  I conquered that biznatch of a hill that took me out last year.  Oh sure, I was super dooper slow but no one had to drag me off of the course and run for me.  Twhoot!

Here's some pics...I was a seriously bad historian this year, so most of these are stolen.  But here's the first 1/2 of the team:
They were fasty-mc-faster-sons.

I blame their speed on their mass consumption of pickle juice (Melissa luuuuved the pickle juice)
Melissa also loved running

 Probably because she was chasing this guy

Here's the second 1/2 of the team...we ran in the heat of the heat and in the dead of the night...so we weren't pensive...we were sleeping while sitting up

I <3 Matt and his need to climb things
We had sweet The Pace is Right shirts.  And Natalie and I confessed our love for the one and only Barker.

Natalie's last leg
Matt...too, too excited for his last leg.  The guy who left right after Matt was a total jack-wagon and was snotty to Matt...so of course Matt smoked him.  Great moment in sports.
 Kit's last leg
A random shopping cart in the Mississippi
Matt had a slight attack of tachycardia after his last run.  He was just trying to cool off, but everyone who drove by thought I'd hit him.  The chalk outline didn't convinced them otherwise.
Derek's last run
The water they give you on the course...seriously yuck
Amber showing off her awesome balancing skills
Amber's last run
At the finish line where they called "Come on down, it's The Pace is Right" when we crossed the finish line.  

What a great team!  Loved everyone!