Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ponytails and Body Glide: A Celebration of Running

We did something last night. Logan, Lindsay, the roommate and I ran 2.5 miles in 20 minutes.

2.5 miles in 20 minutes. 2.5 MILES IN 20 MINUTES!!!!! Hello, that is a big deal. We deserve a major award. (Too bad it can't be a leg lamp like the major award from A Christmas Story...because I already have one. But that is a different story for another day.)

So let me give you a quick run down of last night: We arrived at Murray Park at 7:30 P.M. We chose to run at Murray Park because we knew how far it was thanks to the Do Life 5K we ran earlier this month. We decided on a 20 minute non-stop run to see how far we could go during that set time.

We ran. And we ran. And we ran. And we ran. At the halfway point, we turned around. And we ran. And we ran. And we ran. All the way to the where we started.

When it was over we felt great. And sort of looked like this, expect my mom wasn't there.
Lindsay mapped our route in the car on the way home. And it was 2.5 miles. HOLLA.

So in celebration of this new running accomplishment (and feelings of Badassness), I have decided to give you a full recap on this whole running journey.

Without further ado...
So there it is: Two months of sweating and schmoozing my friends to run with me every other day. Seventeen posts about being terrified of changing the running routine, loving the good runs, hating the bad runs, preaching about new shoes, crying over sore muscles and fellowshipping with three awesome people who can tolerate me yelling encouraging words the entire time our feet hit the pavement.

I love it. I'm so proud. I can't wait to share more of it with you.

Tell me about a recent accomplishment you've had. (Feel free to comment on the blog. I've changed some settings to hopefully make it easier for you.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Working It Out

I went home from work early yesterday due to an unruly stomach ache. Sharp pains were shooting into my side. It was terrible. And it was the second day of the stomach ache.

On Monday morning, I got up feeling a lot like myself. So I thought it would be a good idea to try a lower ab workout I found in Real Simple magazine. It had six moves about 10 reps each that I was suppose to do did two times.

Midway through the first round, I was feeling the burn. And I started to get a weird headache, as well as feeling cool and sweaty. (Cool and sweaty is not a good combo for me. It usually means I'm about to be sick sick.)

So I did half of the workout and decided to eat a small something to help settle my stomach. Well, it didn't work. I felt bad all day Monday, and the badness flew into Tuesday. Hence the going home early bit.

Despite my unruly stomach pains, my half-aced attempt at the lower ab workout was a success. I had a stomach ache and sore stomach muscles. And the stomach muscles are still sore today.

Point of Today's Post: I'm sharing the Real Simple workout with you. Because 1.) it makes you feel the burn, 2.) it actually works, and 3.) it doesn't take very long to complete.

I'm trying to get into a groove of doing other things to supplement the days I don't run. And I feel the need to work on my lower abs and core because I feel like that area needs some attention.

The goal is to be toned. While my legs are toning up from the running, the rest of me is staying the same. And that just won't do when the goal is to be toned.

So do the lower ab workout I've discovered, and let me know what you think.

Hope everyone is having an awesome day!!!

What do you do help you feel better when you are sick?
~~~ I tend to wrap myself up in a blanket in my chair or in my bed and watch mindless TV or movies. I also eat toast with a smear of butter or some kind of soup.

What  kind of activities do you like to do on your off days?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ho Hum

It's 80 degrees in Little Rock today. It feels perfect for the first time since March. We basically skipped spring and went straight from winter to summer this year. And on this beautiful 80 degree day, I feel ho hum. As in just ok. Ordinary. Nothing spectacular. Normal.

Lots of things have happened over the weekend. I apologize for not sharing sooner.

The roommate and I have ran three times. Twice within two days. We rarely do back-to-back run days, but it felt nice to be out there. More on last night's run in a bit.

My little got married. You may recall her bachelorette party I attended last weekend. Well she is officially married to her hubby. And they are leaving for their honeymoon today. Don't ask me where because I have no idea, and neither does she.

The geese were out last night. We had to stop so a goose could cross the road so I snapped some pictures of these beauties. So elegant with their long necks. It's strange to me that they walk around with their mouths open most of the time.

Last night's run was a very sticky, sweaty one. Logan and Lindsay are back. Thankfully. And we were all not feeling a run, but we did it.

The roommate and I got to the Big Dam Bridge a little bit before Logan and Lindsay. As the roommate was putting her purse in the trunk, I stopped her from shutting it so we could look for this African Tales book she swore to me was in there years ago.

(This African Tales book was from a class we both took at UCA dedicated to African/African American Studies. The book was full of awesome short stories, or African folk tales, that we loved. I sold my book back to the bookstore, but the roommate swore she kept hers in the trunk.)

As we were searching for this book, she says it's not in the trunk. She then points out three pairs of old tennis shoes.

She said, "Look. It's those shoes you told me to get rid of before we moved out of the house."

She sounded so proud. Like she had tricked me.

Now let me explain something. The roommate has a hard time letting things go. And by things I mean items. When we moved from the house we lived in for three years to a 900 sq. ft. box apartment, we both had to rid our closets of unnecessary items.

She got rid of three trash bags full of clothes and t-shirts that were too big for her or that she never wore. But the shoes were another story.

She had a laundry hamper full of shoes I had never seen on her feet. I advised her to keep the ones she wore all the time and the ones she couldn't live without. The girl has umteen pairs of tennis shoes, and she chose three pairs to get rid of.

Unbeknowst to me, the tennis shoes never really left the building. While they didn't make it into the new apartment, the rogue tennis shoes have lived through three moves in the roommate's trunk. And I don't see them leaving the trunk anytime soon.

I remember praising her for getting rid of so much stuff when we left the house. And praising her again when she cleaned out her dresser drawers and closet on her own before be left the box. But yesterday I was taken aback with the trunk shoes. And even more taken aback with her sly giggle of her having pulled the wool over my eyes for two years.

You think you know someone, and then BAM. They sneak the tennis shoes back in. It's not a big deal. I just think it's funny. Funny that she hasn't worn them in 3+ years. Funnier that the shoes have been in her trunk for two years and she thinks she's sneaky.

I'm going to use my persuasive abilities to try to get those tennis shoes to Goodwill. I don't know where they will go after the trunk....Maybe under her bed or in some kind of secret hidden shoe compartment...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Too Much Criminal Minds

When I left the house for my lone run yesterday, my car informed me that it was too hot to run at 7:30 P.M.
Of course I didn't listen and went to the Big Dam Bridge trails anyway. I felt pretty nervous about running alone. Not really about the running part, but I found myself to be a bit paranoid about someone killing me and leaving me for dead in the woods.

Yes, it's morbid and a little strange that I would think about that. I blame U-Verse for multiple marathons of Criminal Minds. It's on all the time, and I watch it all the time. 1.) Because I love the show, and 2.) because Shemar Moore is beautiful.

So last night as I was running to beautiful scenes of the Arkansas River and wooded trails, I kept thinking of how I needed to get a RoadID so the police could identify my body. And I was totally sizing up each person that passed me on the trail. (I've decided that my fight or flight instinct would kick in, and I would be able to out run just about anyone...unless they are on a bike.)

It was a beautifully glorious run by the river. I enjoyed it more because it was more like open space, unlike other parts of the trail.

I found myself really tuning into my breathing since I didn't have anyone there to talk to, and I didn't feel that talking to myself would be acceptable. So I focused on breathing and how my body reacted to the run. It was a far better run from Monday.

By the time I reached the wooden bridge that smells of a beach boardwalk, I had one 5 minute run left. And I was about to enter the wonderfully shaded area on the trail. It's covered with a canopy of trees with awesome green foliage, and it makes the perfect end to a hot run.

And it also increased my Criminal Minds/death paranoia. And I saw a black trash bag full of some lumpy substance. Ususally my first thought would be trash. But yesterday it was dead body. I know, I've got to do something about this. Morbid thoughts are not normal, and I don't usually have them.

Logan, Lindsay, the roommate and I alway talk about how the River Trail would be the perfect place to dump a body. So why wouldn't I be concerned to see a black lumpy trash bag in the middle of the most secluded part of the trail???

Thankfully I made it out alive. And it was a good run. Much better than the last one. I think my snacks from yesterday and the gallon of water I drank really helped. Ah, to be smart about the choices you make on the days you run. It really makes things better.

I was/am happy to be alive and to have had a good run. Things I need to look into: a RoadID and a Spibelt. I'm still nervous about losing my keys and I'm going to need a place to put my phone once the Couch to 5K training is over.

In other news: Thanks to my friend Shanna from Keepin' Up With The Moody's, I will be working on a bucket list for some of my future posts. I know you are dying to know what I want to do with my life before I kick the bucket.

P.S. Keep the ideas coming. I love to know what you want to read about.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

GPOYW: Work Edition #2

I know I don't do this regularly, but I fear that I'm out of terribly interesting things to say on this beautiful Wednesday. So today you will get a picture of me---hence the GPOYW.
On this beautiful Wednesday, I chose not to get out of bed until 6:20 A.M., even though I needed to shower and wash my nasty hair. So I did just that. I got up, showered and left the house by my normal time. You will notice the lack of make-up. Sometimes I can't justify putting on my whole face when I know I will just sweat it off when I run. And I'd also like to throw out that I'm planning a hair cut as soon as I can get in at my salon. The horse hair has to go...well some of it anyway.

Yesterday after work, I drove straight home and took a nap. I was exhausted when I left the office, and I needed a break. And the nap provided just what I needed. And vino provided the rest.

I have fallen in love with Barefoot Riesling. It's cold and tangy and just plain good on a hot summer evening. And after a stressful day at work. I spent the majority of my work day yesterday screaming obscenities and harrumping at my computer. And in my down time I was mulling over the bad run from the night before.

Don't worry. I'm mentally and physically preparing myself for my lone night run. Mentally, I have let the bad run from the other night go. Physically, I'm being smarter about my food and drink choices.

My snacks thus far: one apple, a to-go pack of Jif peanut butter, a banana, 33.8 fl. oz. of Smart Water. My unseen snacks of the day were one Iced Oatmeal Raisin Luna Bar and a small bag of fresh cherries, but I ate those before I could snap the picture.

The theme for today is hydration, hydration, hydration. I'm consciously making decision about what I'm putting into my body on run days, especially after the salsa fiasco. Salsa is not a meal. And Gatorade is not water.

Switching gears.

Sometimes when writing this blog, I find myself struggling for things to talk about. It's been especially difficult since school is out and work is semi-calm. I don't really have any crazy stories about weird events that happen to me. I don't have a boy in my life who does crazy things for me to tell you about. And my running posts can only be so interesting and entertaining. Let's be honest. I run the same routes every day. I run with the same people every day. So....

This is where you come in. I know people read this. So I'm asking for suggestions on things you want to hear from me. It can be about anything. Any topic. I'm curious to know what you want to know about, or what topics you would like for me to talk more about.

I'm basically an open book when it comes to what goes on this blog, and I love the aspect of sharing things. But I need to know what you want to read about.

Here's a list of topics I've touched on in the past:
Graduate School

Those of you who have been following for a while know that I tend to latch on to a certain topic or topics depending on what's taking over the ole daily grind. I'm sorry for that. And I will try to do better with mixing it up.

So shoot me some ideas on Facebook (because I attach all posts to FB) either on my wall or in a direct message. Or you can follow me on Twitter @ashtenbrook. Send me a tweet or a direct message, and I will use the topics you come up as new blog post ideas. Awesome blossom.

I can't wait to see what you come up with. Sometimes I get in a creative rut and need help getting out of it. So blog readers unite and come to my creative mind's rescue.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Running Frustration

I think the roommate and I got a little overzealous when it came to running the past few days. We decided to try the 20 minute run. You know the one where you run for 20 minutes without stopping. We totally did it. It was a complete success.

We were a little excited.

Last night we went to a run at the River Trail just like we always do. As soon as I stepped out of the car, something was off.

I was dripping with sweat and had done nothing to provoke it. Stretching felt like a chore. Just not good. There was no relief for my aching muscles and joints.

But we ran anyway.

The pace started out at what I'd like to call ridiculous fast. Too fast for the way I was feeling. My breathing was ok, but something still wasn't right.

After the first 8 minutes, I was winded. Like seriously winded. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. It took the entire 5 minute recover time for me to feel the slightest bit better. But I knew what was to come; more running.

The second 8 minutes was much like the first. It was hot, sweaty, achy, and just not good. I had to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other. And when I looked down to check the time left, I almost cried when the timer said I had only ran for 2 minutes. I thought for sure it had been longer than that.

But I plodded through the last 6 minutes. The roommate was spitting encouraging words the whole time, but other than that, it was silent. I couldn't talk. And I'm not sure if I couldn't or if I just didn't want to, and that is unlike me.

Ususally I am yelling at the group to hurry it up. But yesterday that was not the case. If I was talking, I was answering a question that the roommate had asked me or I was praying out loud.

When the last minute came, I pushed myself. I made myself go just like I make Logan, Lindsay and the roommate go all the time. I knew I couldn't give myself a break. That would be cheating. Nothing was wrong. Nothing hurt. My breathing was fine. So I pushed on for the last minute to prove to my mind that I would overcome its tricks.

It was just an off day. A really off day. I left the Big Dam Bridge frustrated. I couldn't understand why everything seemed business as usual, and then it turned into a bad run. I got home, took a shower and still couldn't shake the funk the run had put me in. Or I should say the funk I had put myself in.

So let's put it into perspective.

I had a bad run. Nothing hurt with the exception of minor aches and pains. My breathing was normal. My pace was normal, yet it felt like a sprint. My body felt ragged when it was over. My mind felt defeated.

What did I eat yesterday? Too much homemade salsa. Gatorade. Banana bread. Not really a meal in there. Or water. I feel like this had a lot to do with it. Homemade salsa, while delicious as it is, is not a meal. There is no substance there. It's basically just liquid. Gatorade is not water. Lesson learned.

I run again tomorrow. By myself. It's the first time to run alone since we started this whole thing. And after yesterday's run, I'm a little nervous.

What do you do to cheer yourself up after a bad run?

What foods don't work for you on run days?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bachelorette to Baking

This is my little.
Last night, a bunch of us celebrated the fact that little is getting married next weekend. Let's call it the Bachelorette Party. Little is not her real name. I just call her that because she is my little sis from sorority life. Her real name is Natalie.

Little wanted to have a few drinks after we all saw a play and had dinner. So we gave little drinks.

You only live once right? So we made sure she took some shots. When we left the bar, little was a bit woozy. But happy. Super happy.
It was a good night with good people. Congratulations to little and her soon-to-be hubby Jade. I am so happy for you, and I can't wait to partay next weekend. Yippie!!!

I got home at 1 A.M. and woke up for the day at 9 A.M. A full 8 hours. I feel refreshed. After having my morning coffee, I was in search of something for breakfast. And there was nothing...because I haven't been to the store yet. So I improvised.

I had three overripe bananas. First thought: Banana bread. So that is what I did.

What you will need:
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 (or 5 Tablespoons) of melted butter
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 C. flour
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan before starting on the batter.

Mash bananas in a bowl with a wooden spoon (or just a big spoon). Pour in melted butter. Stir to combine. Add brown sugar, egg and vanilla.
It will look something like this, but don't worry it will get better as you add the dry ingredients.

Put in baking soda and the pinch of salt, and mix to combine. Add flour last. Stir until everything is well combined. I didn't use a mixer and my bread turned out perfect. So don't break out the mixer and dirty another piece of equipment.

Pour batter into the butter/floured loaf pan.
Smooth as best you can. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the top of  the bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
The final product.
Golden and delicious. Transfer to a cooling rack so you can eat it quicker.
My makeshift cooling rack consisted of a 9x13 pan topped with an oven rack the roommate and I must have stolen from the old apartment. Oops. Sorry I'm not sorry.

Cut into pieces and enjoy.

This was a very easy recipe to make. The cooking time is enough time to successful clean your bathroom to the highest quality, which is what I did while it was baking.

Banana bread, the perfect Saturday morning treat. The roommate and I will be running this evening. So there will be a lovely post about tonight's run tomorrow. Hope you're having the greatest Saturday.

What did you do last night?

What is your favorite breakfast item?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A White Sand Wedding

The last time I went to the beach it was the week before I started my Senior year in college. The roommate, our friend Abby, and I (plus a group of other people) went to the Gulf Shores for a pre-school year vacay.
And we haven't been back to the beach since then.

All that is about to change. Thanks to my best friend from high school Shannon and her soon-to-be hubby Garrett. The love birds are getting married at the beach. Destin, FL to be exact. The roommate's favorite beach.
Photo by: Natalie Gray Photography

After a long road to the alter, Shannon and Garrett will be getting married at a causal ceremony on the white sands of Destin's beach. And I could not be more thrilled. It is the wedding she's always wanted. A small, causal beach wedding with close family and friends.

And the roommate and I will be in attendance. I'm actually the Maid of Honor (MOH). So my presence is greatly needed at this wedding.

So in August, the roommate and I will be roadtripping to white sandy beaches. Hopefully Logan will get to come with us. I have a feeling this will be an epic beach trip and wedding filled with awesome stories to tell later.

In celebration of Shan and Garrett's upcoming nuptials, I decided to share the highlights from the last beach trip to get you all in the spirit for what is to come.

We met a seagull with a bum leg. We called him Gerald.
We made a sand castle adorned with seashells.
There is nothing like a good book and a cold beer on the beach. I took advantage of this fact, and I plan to do so in August as well.
Salty sea air does something amazing to my hair. And the sound of waves crashing on the shore is one of the best sounds in the world. And I love the fact that white sand has the ability to burn the soles of your feet in the matter of seconds. It's something of joy.
The roommate and I act like fools when we go to the beach. Neither of us can sleep the night before the trip. We scream at the first sight of water, even if it's not the ocean. She hangs her head out the window as soon as we cross the Florida state line claiming that she can "feel the beach upon us."

We get up with the sun. Beach it all day. Pack lunches to take to the beach. Bring enough booze to last an entire month. Make 982457 playlists and cds to enjoy when beaching. And get a twinge of sadness when the sun starts to go down for the day, but excitement builds for the next day when we will do it all over again.
Congratulations to my dear friends Shannon and Garrett. Getting married on the beach is the best thing you could have ever done for your beach bunny friends. When I say we can barely contain our excitement, it would be a total understatement. I'm basically busting at the seams to pack my bags and head to the surf. Oh, and to see you guys get married.
Photo by: Natalie Gray Photography

And you my dear blog readers will not be left behind. There will be play-by-play posts of all beach and wedding activities. So you will get a front row seat to the roadtrip/beach party/wedding of a lifetime. It's going to be awesome! Get that umbrella ready to slide into a nice icy beverage because the party starts in 36 days. Ow ow!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Future Running Endeavors

Everyone knows my philosophy about good running shoes. It's something I preach. Lindsay got fitted for running shoes today. So that makes Logan the laggard of the group when it comes to getting new shoes. Help me people. The girl needs some new shoes. She's running in Nike Shox from her Sophomore year in college. #yikes
I'm a tad bit jealous of Lindsay's PURPLE shoes. Grass green and UCA purple = my two most favorite colors. And Easy Runner fitted her in a sweet pair of Brooks.

We are Brooks Buddies!! I was too excited about our run tonight for a lot of different reasons. 1. Lindsay was going to have an awesome first run in her shoes. 2. We changed the routine to run 8 minutes, walk 5 minutes, run 8 minutes, cooldown. 3. I look forward to the run all day long.

It's weird how that happens. In the beginning, I was running to complete a goal. Now I'm running because I want to/like it AND because I have a goal.

After the first 8 minute run, we felt good. It didn't seem that different. Or too difficult. The 5 minute walk was more than enough time for us to catch our breath. So we felt the same starting the second run, which has never happened before. Usually we are all sucking air and praying that we are close to the end. Tonight was not the case.

The second 8 minutes conversation still flowed nicely. Our pace was quick, but right on. I say quick because it was quicker than normal. I wish I had a fancy watch to tell you exactly what it was, but nobody has $300 to get one.

The sun was setting at the end of our run. The last minute we really pushed ourselves. We ran hard and fast. The pace was cray cray fast. And who was leading the pact: The Roommate. She was in rare form and kicking all our butts.

We finished the second 8 minutes hot, sweaty, breathing heavy and joyful!!!! It was the best run we have ever had. Hands down.

I've been nervous about admitting this next thing on the blog for about a week now, but it is time that I fill you in on our future running goals.

5K in October, obviously. That is what we are training for now. Then a 10K (6.2 miles). Then a half-marathon (13.1 miles). Then a marathon (26.2 miles).

Don't worry. This will be over the course of a few years, but it will happen.We will make each other do it. Logan will do it. Lindsay will do it. The roommate. And me.

The marathon is the only one that truly terrifies me. The thought of running for 26.2 miles makes me feel sick, but I want to do it at some point. The thought of 13.1 miles gets my blood pumping. I want to do it. And I want the 13.1 sticker to prove it.

So there it is. On the Internet. I admitted it. I set the goals. That means they have to happen. You have to keep me accountable.

Deep breath. And go.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Testing My Sanity

It's 4:42 P.M. Usually I've been home for about an hour and 42 minutes. Obviously today doesn't fit that bill.

It's been one of those days. You know the type. So this post will be an attempt at self therapy and self medication.

Case in point:
My version of self therapy and seld medication: Blogging and vino. So with that you get this.

I had to work on a Monday, which rarely happens. Summer camp at my office is in fun force, and we are trying to get everything settled so it can come to a close. I've been teaching some of the older kids how to blog, and today was a day we spent in the computer lab typing our work to be posted on said blog.

Stressor Number 1:

One of the 5th grade boys did not want to participate in today's activity. When I asked him why, he responded with a hand touching his throat and forehead, meaning that his throat and head hurt. I asked him if I needed to call his mother to come pick him up because he was feeling so bad. He shook his head no. So I told him he had to participate if he felt good enought to stay at camp. He just stared at me.

When I checked on him 20 minutes later, he had typed nothing on his paper. So I decided to watch him like a hawk. He would only write if I was standing directly behind his chair.

After 45 minutes, his classmates had all finished and went back to their classroom. He had written two short sentences. Then, the 4th graders came in.

After 45 more minutes, the 4th graders were finished and back in their classroom. And he was still sitting at his desk NOT typing. He had written at total of five short lines in two hours. I kept him until lunch time and made him type. What a tyrant I am.

I took him back to class and talked to his teacher. She said he fell asleep in class before coming to my class. Well that pissed me off even more. As a student, I would have never EVER fallen asleep in class. And I forgot to tell you that he argued with me when I was checking his spelling and grammar. Apparently he thinks he knows more than a college graduate and an ALMOST Master of Journalism. And I think he is totally cray cray.

His teacher suggested I write him up for his bad behavior and lack of drive to type a worthy paragraph. She also told me she had spoken to his parents and grandma FOUR times, and his attitude had yet to improve.

So once he had eaten lunch, I pulled him from the group and took him to the office. And then I told him I was writing him up for a bad attitude and a lack of following directions when asked. I told him that middle school would not put up with a boy who didn't do his work. And that I take a lot of time out of my work day to come teach him about blogging and writing for the Internet.

And then he cried. And I blew it. I said in an appalled voice, "Are you crying?????!!!!" I could not believe it. He didn't have the will to do the work, but he had the guts to cry in front of me when he got in trouble for it. I don't feel bad for him. I know I'm terrible.

Stressor Number 2: The summer campers are selling handmade products in the River Market tomorrow. So I have been trying to get local media outlets to come out and support us. I've written a press release, and I've sent all my information to the Communications Office. And nothing has happened. It's been over two weeks.

So I call my office's Communication's liaison. And she didn't answer. Keep in mind that I've sent her numerous e-mails, left voicemails, and I spoke to her last Thursday. She told me Thursday I would know something today.

So I call the other woman who takes care of media relations. She tells me she won't know if anyone is going to come the River Market sale until tomorrow morning after the local media meet and discuss story options. Ummm....tell me why someone couldn't have told me that to begin with.

Stressor Number 3: Facfocus, the UALR faculty listserv that sends out 8497254875487 pointless e-mails per day, did not send my River Market sale flyer I sent at 8:30 this morning. So I sent it again at 2:30 this afternoon.

Nothing happened.

So I called Computing Services. They told me that the server is backed up, but it should be fixed anytime. So my message should go out soon. Forty-five minutes later, my message still hasn't went out. So I call again.

Keep in mind stressor 2 is playing out at same time as stressor 3.

I call again. I get a different guy. I tell him my dilemma. He goes to find the original guy who helped me. While I'm on hold, I rant to my co-worker something like this.

This has been the worst day ever. I can't believe I made a kid cry. And now my dang message won't go out to facfocus. It's just my luck that Computing Services can't fix it today. How am I a Communications Coordinator, and I can't communicate to the publics I need. As soon as I leave here, I'm going straight to the liquor store to get the biggest bottle of white wine. Chilled so I don't have to wait to drink it. Ughhhhhhhhhh!!!

The guy gets back on the line and tell me he is going to transfer me to my original guy. And tacks this on to the end: "A big bottle of wine sounds pretty good right about now."

Yep. He heard me. Heard my whole entire rant. Awesome.

Moral: Be sure to wait for the horrid elevator music before starting the I-had-the-worst-day-ever-and-need-a-big-bottle-of-wine rant. Or else they could hear you.

I left work shortly after that feeling totally defeated. I drove straight to the liquor store and went straight to the wine cooler looking for my favorite vino. I didn't see it. I asked the guy working. Do you have Barefoot Riesling?

He said no.


Defeated yet again.

So I bought Barefoot Mascato and called it a night.

Did I get anything for supper? Nope.

On a lighter note, the roommate, Logan and I ran last night in the blazing heat.

Here are the highlights:

Yeah, we were totally insane to run last night. It turned out better than we thought it would. Thankfully.

Hope you guys had a great and stress-free Monday. I'm going to drink my supper. See ju tomorrow. It's a new day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Roommate's Not Going to Die

After the roommate's Fourth of July weekend tubing accident, her arm is no better. In fact, it is getting worse. As in spreading up and down her arm and lumps are forming.

So yesterday with fear that the lumps could be blood clots, she attempted numerous times to find a doctor's office that was open. And after being given the run around for more than four hours, she saw a doctor who said it was not blood clots. But the bruise was only going to get worse, although I'm not really sure how. It looks worse than the day the tube beat her up.

In celebration of her not having blood clots, I made a fancy dinner. It's not everyday that you can celebrate someone overcoming a near death experience.

On the menu: Spicy shrimp with roasted brussel sprouts and garlic broccolini.

What you will need:
1 lbs. of peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp
Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes
Brussel sprouts
1 package of broccolini
Sea Salt
Black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. This makes for easy clean-up later, which is something I'm all about.
Cut the ends off of the fresh brussel sprouts, and remove all the extra leaves. ***Note: If you bake the extra leaves, they will turn into burnt brussel chips. Trust me. I tried to take the easy way out.*** Slice the sprouts in half lenght-wise. Throw the halves on the baking sheet. Pour a generous amount of olive oil over the top, and sprinkle copious amounts of sea salt and black pepper. Mix around on the baking sheet, and make sure all the sprouts are lightly covered in oil and seasoning.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then flip them around on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 more minutes. Brussel sprouts should be lightly roasted and glorious.

While the brussels roast, prepare a pan for the broccolini. Put broccolini in a pan, cover with water, put a lid on it and bring it to a boil on the stove.

Begin heating a separate pan of olive oil for the shrimp.

Once the broccolini is boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain water, and transfer cooked broccolini to a plate. In that same pan, heat up some olive oil.

Mince up four to five fresh garlic cloves. (I used two mammoth-sized cloves, but most garlic cloves are much smaller. So just use your best judgment.) Throw garlic into the heated olive oil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Return cooked broccolini to the pan. Simmer on low until everything else is ready.

Remember that pan of oil I told you to heat for the shrimp? Well it should be screaming hot by now. Add red pepper flakes into the hot oil and let cook for 1 minute. The flakes will infuse the oil with its spicy flavor. Turn the heat down a tad.

CAREFULLY add the shrimp into the pan. I say carefully because when I did this last night my shrimp exploded. Not literally, but you know what I mean. Cook shrimp until they are pink throughout. Take care not to overcook the shrimp because they will become tough.

Now plate it up.

It should look a little something like this. And every bite is so delicious. If you don't have access to fresh shrimp at your grocery store, I'm sure the frozen ones will work just fine. Just be sure to thaw them out, or you could have a big problem when you throw them in the oil.

For dessert, I bought an angle food cake and some fresh strawberries. I cut the strawberries up and put them in a bowl with a teaspoon of sugar to get some juices to come out. And then I got crazy and made my own whipped cream.

What you will need:
1 small carton of heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons of sugar

Put your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to make your whipped cream. Pour cream into the chilled bowl. Add the sugar, you can add more if you like. I like my whipped cream very lightly sweetened. Beat cream slowly at first. And then faster. Stop when you see soft peaks form.

It should look like this. Now you will have whipped cream left over. So this morning I did this.

Now tell me how good that looks? Morning coffee is so much happier when it's topped with homemade whipped cream. You guys have to try this. If not for the cake, do it for your coffee. You won't be sorry.

After my coffee delight, I made a froached egg sandwich. I say froached because that is what I did. I fried and poached it.

Put some butter in a pan. Crack the egg into the pan. Once the whites turn white, put 1 Tablespoon of water into the hot pan. Cover the pan and let the egg poach until it's cooked the way you like.

I put my froached egg on a whole wheat sandwich thin, and then I topped it with salt, pepper, cheddar cheese and mango salsa. Something is up with the salsa and egg combo. I'm starting to become an addict. My egg was slightly runny, just the way I like it. It was so good. I could have eaten 5 more.

The roommate and I will be running this evening when she gets off work. The heat has been out of control all summer the last few days, but I think a nice evening run will be really great. Hope you are having a nice, relaxing Sunday.

What did you have for breakfast?

How was your weekend?