Monday, January 31, 2011


I think Mother Nature is reading my blog. She clearly saw my post on Friday, taunting the east coast for all of their cold weather. After wearing flip flops all weekend, this morning its snowing with a low tonight of -9. Tomorrows high (thats right, high) will be -2 with a low of -15.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ok Katie, you win.

Today's post was going to be about the Oscar Nominated movies I've been trying to get to, but apparently, I've been tagged. So here goes:

1.) I'm terrible at thinking up facts about myself. I'm pretty much terrible at trying to recall anything in the moment. Especially with Jeopardy, I usually feel like the answer is on the tip of my brain and I just can't think of it. I got a one-a-day Jeopardy calendar for Christmas and my 'pod' at work (four cubicles in an open layout, currently there are only three of us) - we play every morning and keep score throughout the month of who wins the most money. This morning we finished out January and Dave kicked our butts. His amount of random trivia would make my dad proud.

2.) I started this blog because it pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I hate being the center of attention. Walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid terrifies me so much each time, I hate to think what it would be like should I ever get married. I've gotten a bit more comfortable with the blogging, but still don't feel like my life is terribly interesting nor that I'm a very good writer. It's been nice for keeping family up to date, though, since its normally too late to call them once I am out of work. Over Christmas, I found out that my dad must be emailing entries to people, because several somewhat random people mentioned a few things I had written about. It made me uncomfortable at first but hey, thats the point right?

3.) I am terrified of the dark. Its one of the only things I'm legitimately scared of. I pretty much will try anything once (with the exception of new foods), but even the dark of my own apartment scares me sometimes. This is made worse by the fact that I fall asleep to reruns of Criminal Minds each night.

4.) I am really enjoying the amount of free time I have had since completing grad school. After living that way for 3.5 years, I hadn't realized how draining it was. So far in January I've been seeing more movies (been trying to get to a lot of the Oscar nominated ones) and reading more. I'm about a decade behind, but I've just started the Harry Potter series and am on the second book. I am also trying new restaurants and going to happy hours more. By March, I may be a poor, fat, alcoholic, but at least I'll be happy.

5.) I'm going to New Orleans next Wednesday. I recently realized that its my first real, relaxing vacation since the Mexico incident of 2008. I really enjoyed the road trip this summer, but I couldn't get my mind off of worrying about all of my things and whether or not they were actually traversing the country in a timely manner, unscathed. New Orleans was up there as my favorite place visited this summer, so I am eager to go back (Charleston SC was a spontaneous addition and my second favorite).

6.) I actually really like doing my taxes. I got my W2 on Wednesday and finished them Wednesday night. Because of grad school and my move this year, I'm getting a decent amount back (which will promptly go towards my credit card and grad school payments).

7.) Although I'm a terrible packer, my mind always works in terms of logistics. I always plan out how long it will take to get somewhere, the best route to take, and pretty much hate backtracking. I write everything down in my dayplanner and have a crazy good memory once I've written something down. But if I don't write it down, I won't remember it. I leave myself post it notes and am slowly (or rapidly) turning into my mother. Although she's nearly 60 with barely any grey hair, weighs almost 30 lbs less than me, and knows how to have a good time, so I suppose there are worse fates in life :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.) When I was planning my move out here, everyone kept telling me that I was crazy and the winters would be horrendous and cold.

Today its going to be 54. 58 tomorrow.

The east coast? Getting slammed by yet another significant storm. Brr.

2.) Graduating felt a little anticlimactic. No 'last class', no graduation ceremony. It just kind of ended. I felt a little better last week when I got my diploma in the mail. I sat it in my coat closet, right next to my UMD one. Both of them are still in the packages they were sent in. I've decided that if I ever get my own office again (right now 95% of us are in cubes), I will pay to get them framed.

3.) View this video. Now. it will make your day better.

Monday, January 24, 2011

mmmmm meat.

After a completely unproductive Saturday (every time I stopped moving, I fell asleep), I got all gussied up and met my boss and her group of friends out at Fogo de Chao. So.Much.Meat.

It was my first time at Fogo. I had been to a brazilian steakhouse before, in Mexico of all places, but the meat-serving pace there was much slower. As soon as I flipped my little "i want meat" medallion from red (hold the meat) to green (mas meat, por favor - and yes, I know they speak Portuguese, but spanish is as close as I can get) - it was nonstop meat!

They come around with various cuts of meat on a steak and cut you off pieces cooked to your liking. My favorite was some kind of super garlicky steak, but there wasn't much I passed on. My Scottish genetics had me wanting more meat than could feasibly fit in my stomach, and I enjoyed every last bite.

I went with mostly couples, who each split a bottle of wine between them. Again, being too cheap (ok, ok, mom - 'frugal') to buy by the glass, I got a half bottle, which I deemed 'the single girl special'. I was delighted when it came in an actual tiny wine bottle instead of a decanter. Had I not brought a nice new purse, I definitely would have tried to take it home with me - it was so cute!

We all tried to go out and play pool afterwards, but it was evident that we all just wanted to go back to our respective homes and put on sweatpants. Which I promptly did.

I woke up Sunday morning and went for my first scheduled run/walk. I pushed the running pace for the first and third miles, but the second mile - which is mostly uphill - I felt a little like death. I don't recommend running with that much meat still in your system. It hurts.

Overall it was a good weekend, complete with a Green Bay win and a Jets loss.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.) Today, for the first day in nearly five weeks, I woke up feeling good, happy, and back to healthy. Showering felt good, I had energy, and I'm ready to get back at the gym. This coincides nicely with...

2.) Yesterday I officially paid up my money and registered for my very first half marathon. I picked San Francisco on July 31st. My cousin Jess might run it with me but my running buddy Katie is going to run with! A girl I work with from DC, a Denver coworker and his friend are all running it too. Should be a good time! Tonight I start getting back up to a baseline of 6 mile long runs by kicking off the 5 week training plan Katie awesomely created for me.

3.) February is already action-packed. After I come back from a long weekend in New Orleans, I have 22 hours to turn around, watch the superbowl, and head back to the airport for Seattle. I'm going to kick off a new Army project, but we're staying in downtown (a few blocks from the Space Needle) and I'm definitely eager to pack in as much sight-seeing as possible! I'll be back for a week and then it'll be back to the airport to pick up Marisa!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Put in the penalty box after the Avs vs Canucks game.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Amoxicillin's just not real enough"

Au contraire, Eminem, but Amoxicillin is a bit too real for this kid.

After finally getting meds for my month-long cold, I headed up into the mountains for a ski-filled weekend. We arrived Friday, played some Trivial Pursuit and hit the slopes on Saturday AM. We accidentally ended up on black diamond, but made it to the bottom unscathed! I even learned how to ski moguls correctly and not just use them like little mini ski jumps! I also finally figured out why celebrities are always skiing into trees - those suckers are right in the middle of the slope! Certainly different than east coast skiing.

Saturday night, however, I noticed I was scratching my tummy and found a nice little rash. I tried to think if I had been wearing new clothing or if anything was rubbing, but chocked it up to super dry skin, threw on some lotion and went to bed (at only 8:15, mind you, I was exhausted!)

By Sunday morning, it had become clear that this was not just dry skin and I did a text message consult with my Dr friend Caroline. Thankfully, earlier in the week Allison had mentioned she is allergic to Amoxicillin and can't take penicillin-based drugs so I had a feeling thats what it was. Dr. Caroline said that as long as I had no airway issues, that no longer taking the meds and then taking some Benadryl should help. I picked up some Benadryl on the way to the slopes and made sure the folks I was skiing with would catch me if I fell asleep on the ski lift!

We skied a half day, after which my friends said it was like I was high, since I was quiet and kind of mellow, eyes half open - but I skied nonetheless! Even rallied for some tubing that night - which was a blast!

This allergic reaction is pretty much the most miserable thing I've ever experienced, probably hand in hand with the great Mexico fiasco of 2008. I'm plowing through benadryls and using benadryl cream. I've been googling nonstop, trying to determine how long this will last. In theory, I'm nearly out of the woods and my fingers are crossed that I wake up in the morning thoroughly less red. It might just be a figment of my imagination, but my hands and arms appear to be returning to normal. Katie sent me her custom-made training plan to get my back up to six miles and I'm eager to start - but I'm supposed to avoid sweating! This has been a terrible month, health-wise, and I'm ready for it to be over!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Day 9 I drank a lot of Beer

Day 10 I ate a lot of Pizza

Sometimes that happens.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 8

Rest day!! Didn't want to cut my sleep short and workout before work and had plans for after, so I called today a wash and finally took my sister's advice to let my body rest.

As I type, the wind chill has Denver at -6 degrees, but I must say it really doesn't feel that cold. After work, my coworker Megan took the bus home with me, we picked up my car and headed to dinner near my house on 6th. We nerdily discussed the architecture at Angelo's, a local pizzeria that we are convinced used to be a church and I resisted ordering a glass of wine. We were headed to the Esquire, the local Landmark movie theater that shows the artsy movies, and caught the 7:05 showing of The King's Speech. It was really good!!! Also exciting were the previews - so many good movies coming out during Oscar Buzz season - and what's better, now I have the time to go see them!

While watching The King's Speech, I could help but wonder if Queen Elizabeth has ever seen the various movies about her life. While some are less flattering than others, this one really painted her family, or at least her parents, in a positive light. To be honest, if someone made a movie about my life while I was still alive, I don't think I could NOT see it. Although what a snoozer that would be...not sure anyone else would be seeing it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Days 6 and 7

The majority of Day 6 involved laying horizontal in my bed. Thankfully seeing the doctor was pretty easy and she sent me on my way with two prescriptions. I'm now on a cough suppressant, amoxicillin, mucinex, and sudafed on a twelve hour rotation.

Around the beginning of the Colts game, I went down to the gym in my building to walk on the treadmill. I only walked a mile before my lungs protested and I headed back upstairs. That was the excitement of my day.

This morning I woke up to the first solid snowfall I've seen in Denver. We're slated to get 5-10 inches and it looks like it is well on its way. Tonight's low is -10, followed by a high of 14 tomorrow. Winter has finally arrived. Mornings like this require pancakes and coffee, which I am planning on making as soon as my meds kick in again. I might even get crazy and put in my contacts and watch the Iggles game on the couch instead of my bed (lofty aspirations).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Days 4 and 5

Ok illness, you win. Tomorrow I will go see a doctor. Left work early today for the comforts of my bed, feeling the worst that I have felt since I picked up this dreaded disease in mid-December.
So day 5 was a wash. BUT I'm super sore from Day 3's lifting and my Day 4 workout, but thanks to my inability to read a bus schedule, I at least walked home from work. After waiting ten minutes for the bus I don't normally take home, I watched it pull up diagonally across the street from where I was standing. I signed and headed up the hill for home. A fitting end to my day.

Yesterday I checked out another group class at my new gym. There is a drastic difference between east coast gym classes and Denver gym classes. For my classes at Gold's, I had to get there 10-15 minutes in advance to get in line or snag a spin bike. Here, I am purposely getting there just before the class starts so I'm not the anal retentive east-coaster and I still have to check to make sure I'm in the right room/if the class has been cancelled. The instructor sauntered in a few minutes after 5:30 and only one other person was in the class: Boxing 101. Apparently the other Colorado Athletic Center downtown, the Tabor Center, is all new and even more fancypants and people have been switching to that gym. Personally, all of those people can gladly switch over and leave me to my smaller class sizes and open treadmills. I don't need to see and be seen at the gym. In fact, I'd prefer not to be talked to or looked at at all while working out (I'm pretty sure I make funny faces).

Anyhow, the two of us went about our boxing class. While doing jab/punch/uppercut combos across the gym floor, the instructor asked me my name and told me I had very good punches and that he was impressed! Look out anyone in Denver that pisses me off, I've apparently got fists of fury!

I am very sore from the week of getting back on track, but a good sore. I think I'll start out with some more morning yoga tomorrow before heading off to urgent care (I know, I know, mom - I should have signed up with a GP before I got sick and needed to be seen). I'm hoping they will just give me a z-pack and send me on my way. Next week is full of fun things and I want to be healthy!

The rest of this weekend will include more cuddle time with my humidifier, movies (Easy A is coming tomorrow!) and the eagles game. Sunday evening I am slated to go with my boss and her husband to "Sipping and Painting" in the Highlands section of Denver. You get a glass of wine and a paintbrush and there is a scheduled painting for the evening. I'm hoping its a paint by numbers kind of deal, but if nothing else, at least its free! I inherited both my math and artistic skills from my mother and those skills are poor to nonexistent but at least I'll provide entertainment for the rest of the class.

Overall, down 1.4 lbs since Monday, but I'm guessing that mostly just detox from December.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Days 2 and 3

Double post day - look out!

I didn't post yesterday and today's was 2010-related - back to 2011!

Days #2 and 3

Yesterday I had plans after work, so I woke up early and dragged myself down to the gym in my building before work. My cough seems to be most active right when I wake up, so I only lasted 20 minutes on the elliptical, but it was enough to get my heartrate going. Since I still had plenty of time, I did my AM yoga DVD and heard my back crack approximately 17,345 times, but it felt good!

Today after work, I seriously contemplated just taking the bus home and running in the gym in my building, but I knew I would never actually do it. I eased into my workout and started out by lifting. My arm muscles have gotten significantly weaker since early December! I hope I can lift my arms to wash my hair tomorrow/put on clothing. I hopped on the treadmill after and tried another attempt at Katie's patented run/walk workout (after my failed attempt on Monday, I just wanted to get in more than one mile). I was delighted that my lungs held out and I made it for three miles/35 minutes! Slow? Absolutely. But I was increasing my speed with each run, from 5.5 to eventually 6.3 and kept the walk 2/run 3 pattern the whole time. I would have probably aimed for 4 miles, but my bus only comes every 30 minutes and the one I wanted to catch was only 10 minutes away.

Overall, I'm glad I dragged myself to the gym. I always am. Its that mental piece of overcoming the "I just want sweatpants and my couch" hurdle that I need to work on, because thats definitely a weak area. Sometimes I just think how far Katie has come this past year and her complete transformation to being incredibly happy and healthy and thats all the motivation I need! As Thom once told me, "Just another way Katie is changing the world." One person at a time :)

Year in Review

Happy New Year! Fairfax 4-Miler

February - Ice Skating at the Sculpture Garden

March - Last Mr. Greengenes Outing at the Ballroom

May - First trip to Denver/Apartment hunting

June - Hanging out at sunrise with Abe (at the Lincoln Memorial)

July - was hard to pic just one picture, but this about sums it up

September - Rockies game!

October- Back east for UMD's Homecoming

November - First day on the Slopes

December - "THE" party of the year

Couldn't find much for April or August, apparently they were slow months.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Return of the Internets!

My stolen internet is back, hooray!!!

I landed back in Denver on January 1st, after celebrating NYE with Katie and Thom in Alexandria. About 12 hours later, my luggage followed along. My cough is still scaring away strangers (literally, today the girl next to me on the treadmill moved over after only a minute). BUT my goals for 2011 are on track (its only day three, I'd hope they are!)

2011 Goals:
Eat a fruit or veggie daily (got groceries yesterday, lots of options!)
Complete first half marathon (July 31st - San Francisco)
Get my AICP (Professional certification for planners)
Start a Roth IRA
generally: less beer, more veggies.

Not as many specific goals as last year, but enough to keep me busy. I'm sure I'll add to it along the way. Lots of general " what should I do with all my free time" goals - read more books (already halfway through the first Harry Potter! yes yes, I'm a decade behind) and go and see more movies when they're actually in the theater (saw Black Swan - stop reading this blog RIGHT NOW and go see it!) I'm lucky that my friends in Denver are big "do'ers" - come up with plans and then stick to them. Already my January is filling up! Checking out some hot springs in Idaho Springs tomorrow, slated to see Next to Normal on Thursday (a bit underwhelmed about this - same director as Rent and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who HATED Rent, but it's 20 bucks and won a bunch of Tonys, so why not?). Next week I've organized an after work bowling night for our office, then my friend Megan and I want to check out The King's Speech. MLK weekend will be up in Winter Park skiing and staying at a condo and possibly an out and back trip to Vegas the following weekend! Busy busy! And January will be filled with guilt-free sundays NOT spent doing homework!

But anyhow, back to goals. During her 20-day no alcohol challenge, Alliy Al blogged daily about how she was doing (ok, I think she made it to 18 days, but close enough). soooo -

Day #1:

Lots of fruits and veggies and healthy meals. Avoided taking any candy from the candy dish at work (huge feat!). Still hacking and coughing, but I went to the gym after work. Intended on doing a nice long run/walk on the treadmill, but my lungs had other ideas. Made it about a mile, then switched to 15 minutes on the stairstepper. I finally rode my bike home (it has been living at the office for about two weeks). I got awesome winter biking gloves for christmas and they were AWESOME. It was about 23 degrees by the time I headed out but my fingers were nice and toasty!

Now I'm snuggled up in bed with my humidifier. Its great in that it helps my cough but man alive does it make my room cold!! I can barely type, my fingers are so cold! (perhaps I should put my biking gloves back on!)

Here's to a happy and healthy 2011!!