Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Missynation Goes To A Rave

This past weekend, I traveled to Las Vegas with Hubs and another couple we are friends with.  Originally, Hubs wanted to surprise me with the trip to see Celine Dion’s new show at Caesar’s.  (is that the rave she’s talking about?  Perhaps she doesn’t know what a rave is???)

We made the travel plans back in January and were all very excited to head out west to see Celine chest-pump her way through her greatest hits.  Ok, so maybe we weren’t ALL VERY excited… poor Hubs was a good sport (seeing as how this would be his 2nd Celine concert…)

Anyway, as we were making final plans of what else we could do in Sin City, we discovered that the Electric Daisy Carnival was taking place the same weekend that we would be in town.  For those of you that have never heard of the Electric Daisy Carnival, it is a three-day, dusk-to-dawn, electronic music festival held this year, for the first time, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  It has been held for the past dozen or so years in Los Angeles, but LA basically kicked the festival out after last year when a 15 year old girl died from a drug overdose.  Sad.

Now, I will admit something here.  (as if admitting that I do, in fact, like Celine Dion, wasn’t embarrassing enough…) I am a closet techno music fan.  There. I said it.  I like to dance.  Ok, so, I like the idea of dancing more than actually dancing; I feel very self-conscious when I dance…  like I’ve got a fierce “white-man’s overbite” going on…  nevertheless, I like techno/dance/electronica music. J

So, on Friday, Hubs called me to ask if I would be interested in going to the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) since the other couple that we were traveling with was going to go.  The husband was going to surprise his wife (my friend, Paige) with tickets for Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Since my motto is that “life is an adventure”, I figured why not? When else am I going to have the chance to attend a rave?  And, if I’m ever gonna do it, why not attend one in Las Vegas?  So, we bought the tickets and made the plans.

I will admit to being a little nervous.  I had no idea what to expect.  Would it be a rampant drug-fest?  Would there be fistfights?  And, most importantly, what the heck was I going to wear????  I had no idea what appropriate “rave attire” was, let alone if I had anything in my closet that would suffice. Hubs made me feel a little bit better when he declared that he would probably just wear jeans and either a “Funkin Gonuts” shirt (printed in the color and script of the Dunkin’ Dounuts sign) or a t-shirt we bought at the Wal-Mart in Lexington, VA with the tootsie pop owl and the phrase “Keep on Lickin’” on it.  (yep, we’re a classy bunch!)  Hubs declared that it didn’t really matter since no matter what he wore he’d still just “look like a cop.”

When it came time to head out, I opted for a simple outfit of shorts and a tank top and some ballet flats.  I thought about wearing my running shoes (the only other closed toe shoes I had with me; I was not about to wear flip-flops or any open toed shoes; at this point I was cursing myself for not packing that extra pair of shoes that would have most likely been my low-top converse chucks… see ladies; when in doubt, pack the extra shoes! J) but I was afraid wearing my tennis shoes to a rave might make me look like I was commuting to work…  I shouldn’t have bothered.  While the ballet flats were sufficient; I probably would have been more comfortable trekking from the parking lot in BF, Egypt and ALL over the speedway infield and tennis shoes were NOT the oddest form of footwear I would see that night.

We left for the EDC at about 11:30pm and got to the speedway about 12:15am.  We got our “tickets”, which were actually just little plastic credit-card like things, and our “VIP” wristbands (by the time we bought the tickets, they only had VIP tickets left…) and then went through 2 pretty extensive searches.  I mean, it wasn’t quite TSA-style groping, but they made us take stuff out of our purses and patted us down and went over each of us with a metal-detection wand.  The lady who searched my purse informed me that “open chap-stick is not allowed.”  I almost had a heart attack.  Anybody that knows me knows that, while I am not a drug addict or user, I am an admitted chap-stick addict.  (plus, that was the only chap stick I had in the desert…)  As hard as I tried to dress to fit in, I must have also looked like a cop because she let me in with my open chapstick. J

After we went through security, we took our fancy wristbands and “VIP” lanyards (and I took my contraband chapstick) and headed towards the festivities.  It was quite a sight.  There were 6 (SIX!) different stages all pumping out dance music.  We headed for the “main stage” to see some folks that we were familiar with (and, by we, I mean Paige & Chris, the other couple we were with; they were very knowledgeable about who was playing. I admitted that I only knew one “famous” DJ and that was Paul Oakenfold… although, I do have some Numeriklab on my ipod…)

We made it to the VIP area of the “main” stage, also known as the “kineticFIELD”, and saw the end of Benny Benassi’s set.  Next up was David Guetta.   The whole scene was a sensory overload experience and it was actually a lot of fun.  I’ll let my videos speak for themselves…

My apologies for the unsteady nature of the video; I was trying to focus on some folks dancing with glowsticks... (i'm easily distracted by shiny objects)

There are 2 guys in LED light suits on stilts walking around the front of the stage.  Pretty cool.

I danced. I people-watched.  It was fun.  Some point, around 2:30am, my energy level just bottomed out and I could have just sat down right where I was and gone to sleep.  A. I am old but B. to be fair, I had been up since 5:30am eastern time Saturday morning, so I was not operating on much sleep…  We headed back to the car (parked in BFE) after David Guetta’s set was finished and I made it back to the hotel at about 4:15am.  Although my ears were still ringing, I don’t think I’ve slept that hard in a long, long time…

Final thoughts:  it was fun and I’m glad that I went.  I felt really, really old at the rave.  Although, the following night at the Celine Dion concert, I felt really young & spry.  Especially compared to all the hoverounds and little rascals that I saw lining the isles… J

Monday, July 4, 2011

Party Time with Patty

Missynation traveled to NYC last week for a work training seminar.  Since the training was held on a Thursday, Missynation took the following Friday off to hang with her BFF, Patty.  Patty lives in Oyster Bay on Long Island, and Missynation got the chance to stay with Patty at the lovely home she shares with her husband, Tom.

Wednesday evening, after I traveled into NYC from DC and then took a Long Island Railroad train out to Long Island, we traveled to have souvlaki at a lovely place right along the beach.  It’s too bad it was kinda rainy, or else we could have sat right on the beach and enjoyed our gyros.  It was so tasty.  I must say, I’m a little disappointed at the lack of tasty Greek places in DC.  I’ve found a few really good kabob places where I can get hummus and dolmas in a pinch, but so far, I haven’t been able to find any Greek places. L  So, I was particularly excited to enjoy what the Souvlaki Palace had to offer. 

Tasty Chicken Gyros
After I completed the training session, much fun was had.  Missynation got the chance to visit not one, but 2, count ‘em, TWO authentic Long Island diners!!!  We had dinner at one, a two-story diner, that was quite a sight to behold.  I ordered “Long Island’s Best” mac-n-cheese that ended up being enough to feed a small army. 

Long Island's "best" mac-n-cheese (notice the fork for scale)

The next morning, we visited another diner where I enjoyed breakfast.  I ordered the Apple ‘n Cinnamon pancakes that came with eggs, sausage, ham AND bacon (like I needed that much food…) and the world’s smallest OJ.

World's Smallest OJ (sweet 'n low added for scale)

Ridiculous amount of food...

After our filling breakfast at the diner, we headed out to Jones Beach State Park.  I will admit that, before my tour of Long Island, I thought Long Island was all just industrial parks and crammed row houses.  However, Jones Beach was really pretty.  There is a lovely boardwalk that runs for (seemingly) miles along the beach and I saw several folks out walking and running, even in the rainy weather.
Some birds chillaxin' at Jones Beach

Rainy morning at Jones Beach State Park
Before I left to take the LIRR back to NYC for my return trip to DC, Patty & I enjoyed a manicure/pedicure together.  I was so excited because this was the first time in over 2 years that I’ve been able to have a mani/pedi with my friend in person.  (Often times I will chat on the phone with her while getting my toenails gussied up, but nothing compares to the joy of being able to sit next to my friend and relax while we shoot the breeze.)
Pedicure with Patty!

I ended up enjoying a very relaxing and fun time hanging with my friend in Long Island.

As such, I declare my friend’s new nickname to be: PartyPatty.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Missynation gets into a fight with the Self Check-Out Scanner

Last night, on my way home from work, I stopped off at the ol’ grocery store to pick up some necessities.  Like cat food.  And dinner.

Since I was only getting a few items, I grabbed a hand cart and started off through the store with my hastily scribbled list.  Of course, I ended up with a few other things than were on my list and, by the time I’d finished, the hand cart was pretty well overloaded and was leaving a permanent mark on the crook of my arm.  The regular check-out lanes were pretty busy with people who, from the looks of their carts, were engaging in their weekly/monthly shopping trip.

As I only had “a few” items, I decided to go for the self checkout lane.

The following is a rough script of what transpired…

Self Checkout Scanner: Please scan your first item
Missynation: [scan] [puts item in bag]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please remove item from bag.
Missynation: [removes item from bag]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place the item in bag.
Missynation: [glares at machine; places item BACK in the bag.]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please scan your next item
Missynation: [scan]… [wait while holding can of parmesean cheese over bag]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place the item in bag.
Missynation: [placed item in bag; scans next item; puts next scanned item in bag – I’m not a slow lorus for crying out loud…]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please remove last item from bag.
Missynation: I really don’t like your tone… [removes last item from bag]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place the item in bag
Missynation: Really? It’s ok now? [places item BACK in bag… waits]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please scan your next item.
Missynation: [audible sigh; scans milk carton]
            {at this point, the bag is pretty full, so I pull the first, full bag of the bag holder thingamajig and put the milk carton in the new bag.  I move the first, full bag to the side.}
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place the item in bag.  Please remove item from bag. REMOVE UNSCANNED ITEMS FROM BAGGING AREA.
Missynation: There are no unscanned items in bagging area.  It’s just the first bag of crap you’ve already scanned.  Drop the ‘tude…
Self Checkout Scanner: Please wait for assistance {at which point the screen goes blank and a big clip-art picture of a cashier appears on the screen.}
Missynation: I don’t need assistance.  I just need you to let me put the milk in the bag!  [I pick up the first bag and put it on the side]
Self Checkout Scanner: {kinda with a smug voice} Please scan your next item
Missynation: {under my breath}self-important scanner machine
Self Checkout Scanner: Please wait for assistance.
Missynation: Aw, come ON!  I DON’T NEED assistance!  I just need you to back off and let me scan my items and them put them in the bag at a normal speed!
Self Checkout Scanner: {pause}  Please place item in bag
Missynation: {glare… pause… glare some more}
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place item in bag
Missynation: don’t push me…
Self Checkout Scanner: Please scan your next item
            {now, I’m down to the big bag of cat food… then I’m done.  Free from the tyrancial machine with the trumped up attitude of self-importance}
Missynation: [scan big bag of cat food]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place item in bag
            {now, the bag is so big that there’s no point in putting it in a bag, plus, it won’t fit in the bag I am currently “working on”, so I just put it on the floor.}
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place item in bag.
Missynation: [sigh] I don’t want to put this in a bag.
Self Checkout Scanner: Please place item in bag. [pause] Please wait for assistance.
Missynation: NO!  I will NOT wait for assistance!  I don’t NEED assistance!  It’s a big bag of cat food!  No bag!  Bad scanner.  Let it go!
            {I should note that at this point, I glanced behind me to see three other people waiting in line for the next evil scanner marvel of technology to become available.  Two of the people looked at me like I just escaped from the looney bin and I swear took a tiny step backward.  The third guy, who I should note was carrying in his arms a box of Hot Pockets and a bottle of Cabernet, just smiled at me and gave me a knowing nod…}
Self Checkout Scanner: Please wait for assistance.
Missynation: [gives in and shoves the bag of cat food into a plastic grocery bag.  Said plastic grocery bag then rips.]  HAPPY NOW?????
Self Checkout Scanner: Please scan your next item.
            {as I am now done scanning all my items, I finally find the “Pay Now” button and mash it on the screen out of frustration.}
Self Checkout Scanner: Please wait for assistance.
Missynation: [glares at screen and smug scanner]
Self Checkout Scanner: Do you have any coupons?
Missynation:  If I did, I sure as hell am not going to try to use them here with you. [gently taps big “No Coupons” button]
Self Checkout Scanner: Please select your form of payment.
            {I was actually able to make it through the rest of my transaction relatively unscathed, except for at the very end, when the little piss-ant machine had to get in the last word}
Self Checkout Scanner: Please remember to take your receipt. Please remember to remove all your bags.
Missynation: [picks up her three bags and the ripped one with the cat food in it gives out and the bag of cat food falls right on top of Missynation’s foot] Sonofa…

So, yep, I’m now that girl that gets into fights with inanimate objects (and, apparently loses) and yells at the self checkout scanner in the grocery store.  Next time you see me, say hi!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What the ????

I don't know what I find more disturbing; the fact that they make "Dynasty Barbie" or the fact that they charge $44 for it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's the Little Things in Life...

I had a little moment last night/early this morning.  And, since I have the disease known as sharingitis, I will tell you about it.

I went to bed last night around 10pm.  (I know; I am old…)  I was so tired that I had a hard time making it through one chapter of my book (currently, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief).

I finally made it to the end of the chapter and, before I could even put the book on the nightstand, I was asleep.  Yay!  I love sleep.

Sometime later, I woke up because I had to go to the bathroom.  I was also very hot because I was ensconced by the two cats (aka, personal radiators; I seriously think that those folks who talk about how great Citgo is for giving them heating oil should just go out to their local shelter and adopt some furry friends and they will soon be complaining that they need power to run the fan…  who knew something that weighs less than 10 pounds could produce more heat than a nuclear reactor????

I debated for a moment if I could just hold it until it was time to get up, because usually, I wake up to go to the bathroom at 5:13am or something really close to the time the alarm goes off and then I’m like “man, I just got cheated out of 17 minutes* of sleep.”  After realizing that it would probably not be a good idea to try to hold it, I decided to suck it up, get out of bed and just use the bathroom.

(yep, this blog has now devolved to me telling you about my bathroom habits.  You’re welcome.)

I tried a couple of times to get the cat on the outside to move, but Clara seems to gain about 50 lbs. when she’s sleeping and becomes an immovable object.  (curiously, she also insists on sleeping with some part of her touching me, usually her butt, hence the feline-induced night sweats…)  I finally (literally) chucked her off the bed and dashed, ok, stumbled down the hall in a sleepy stupor, to the bathroom.

Finished my business and stumbled back down the hall.  Climbed back into bed and glanced at the clock to see how much longer before the fateful buzz.

12:26 am.


I had HOURS left before the stupid, evil alarm would go off.  In fact, some people I know probably hadn’t even gone to bed yet!

I was sooooo happy.  And immediately nestled back in my bed to return to my joyful slumber.

Lame? Yes.  I’ll still take it as a small victory.

Like I said, it’s the little things…

*I usually do not do complex math that early in the morning.  Or, ever, really.  In all honestly, my real reaction is usually something along that lines of “%@#$^&@#* alarm clock…”

Monday, April 11, 2011

Random Thoughts on... Crunch 'n Munch

I am usually a pretty shy person.  But, every once in a while, I will strike up a conversation with some random stranger about something innocuous.  (maybe it’s my insecurity that, where there are 2 people in a room, why ignore them and pretend they’re not there?  What is the saying? ‘A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet?’  That could be how Ted Bundy was so good at what he did… suckers like me…)

Wow, this went off the rails faster than usual. (Suddenly the Crunch 'n Munch company posts a comment requesting that I please not mention their product and serial killers in the same sentence.)

So, last Friday, I was in the kitchen getting some hot water for my tea and the vending machine guy was also in the kitchen restocking the vending machine.  He had the big box o’ snacks out and he was refilling the vending machine from the box, selecting random items.  I spotted some Crunch ‘n Munch and suddenly was overtaken by Extrovert Missynation.

“Ohhhh, Crunch ‘n Munch!  Could you put some of that in the vending machine? I love Crunch ‘n Munch.”

Mr. Vending Machine was polite enough to fill up the machine with some Crunch ‘n Munch.

Then, he filled up a WHOLE ENTIRE ROW with Crunch ‘n Munch.
I was so excited.  (I know, it doesn’t take much and I live a rather boring life…  I am also aware of the high percentage of my posts that involve/revolve around food.)

I thanked the guy for indulging my Crunch ‘n Munch cravings.

Later that morning, I was craving a snack.  You know, something that’s a little bit sweet, a little bit salty.  HEY!  There’s Crunch ‘n Munch in the vending machine!  And that’s just popcorn (a whole grain!) with a “little” caramel on it. Plus, peanuts, so there’s protein.  Yay!

Yes, this is how my mind works when I’m hungry…

So, I grabbed my dollar, headed down to the kitchen and hit the ol’ A-9 button for some Crunch ‘n Munch goodness.
For 90 cents.

And then I opened the bag.
90 cents?!!?  For this?????
The bag’s only ½ full!!!!  What the Crunch ‘n Munch!?!!??

So, I paid 90 cents for 1 oz. of Crunch ‘n Munch.  Now, I’m no economist, but I work with a lot of them and I’m pretty sure they would tell me that was a bad deal.  I got hosed.
Curiously, my Crunch ‘n Munch cravings trailed off.  

Until Thursday afternoon.  I glanced at the vending machine (as I filled up for my 3rd or 4th cup of tea that day) and noticed there was a lot of Crunch ‘n Munch left in the vending machine.

Suddenly, I felt, conflicted.  Am I responsible for making sure the Crunch ‘n Munch is eaten so Mr. Vending Machine doesn’t think he made a bad choice indulging my craving?  Should I start a division-wide publicity campaign for the Crunch ‘n Munch?  What the heck is wrong with me and how do I fix this????

I figured I’d give the Crunch ‘n Munch another shot.  Maybe I just got a stingy bag.

90 cents.  A-9. Drop.

Still ½ full.

I tried. I bought 2 things out of the vending machine over the last week (and that’s actually 2 more than I usually get).  I cannot single-handedly consume the entire overpriced Crunch ‘n Munch in the vending machine.

I felt fine about my decision and my actions.

Until the next morning, when I was headed to the kitchen to get some hot water and I heard the rustling of candy wrappers and chip bags.  Mr. Vending Machine was back to refill the vending machine.

So, I did what any self-respecting person would do.  I quickly and quietly dashed back to my office to wait a few minutes until he left.  I didn’t want to have to explain how the Crunch ‘n Munch was still there. I didn’t want to say “90 Cents for one friggin’ ounce? Of popcorn?  Are you crazy????”

Le sigh.  (ok, le cower…)

Next time I want Crunch ‘n Munch, I’ll just go down the block and pick some up from the CVS.  At least then, I’ll get some extrabucks for it…

Friday, April 1, 2011

Following the Pie Truck Around

Sadly, I have not been going to the gym as much as I would like… well, let me clarify. As much as I should.  And perhaps that’s where the problem lies: I have been going as much as I like

I did go to the gym on Monday for Pilates and I went to the gym Wednesday for a workout with my trainer.

And, since I aim to be as honest as possible here, I’ll admit this: I had pie for lunch yesterday.
Yep, you read that right, pie.

I read on the blog Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore a while ago about something called the “Baltimore Bomb” pie.  It’s made up of Berger Cookies (which apparently are very famous in Baltimore) and a kind of vanilla pudding/chess type filling.  There is a place that makes the Baltimore Bomb called the Dangerously Delicious Pie Co., and, I recently discovered that they have their very own food truck.

The food truck phenomenon has hit DC hard.  Over the past year or so, we have seen an explosion of food trucks.  I’ve seen the empanada truck, the Mac ‘n Cheese truck, the Lobster Roll truck, various cupcake trucks, and several others.  So, when I heard about the Dangerously Delicious Pie truck, I was intrigued and figured this could be my chance to try to Baltimore Bomb pie without, you know, hoofing it to Baltimore.

I started following the Pie truck on twitter, hoping that someday, they would schedule a stop close to my work.  That day finally arrived.  I got the twitter notice, or “tweet” that they would be just one block from my office.

So, I walked out to the pie truck, and perused the menu. They did have the Baltimore Bomb pie, but they also had so many other types of pie.  And, they weren’t just sweet pies; they also had savory pies.  Since I had actually forgotten to grab my lunch before I rushed out the door in the morning, I thought I might try one of their savory pies for lunch and grab a sweet pie to save for later.  Then, I saw they had a chocolate peanut butter pie.  Hubs s chocolate & peanut butter.  So, I picked up a piece of that to give him for after dinner.  I also got a slice of the Baltimore Bomb to try at home with Hubs.  And then I saw they had something called “winter berry”.  It had apples, blueberries and cranberries.  So, I thought, I’d like to try one of those.

I am embarrassed to type that I got 4 slices of pie. (in my defense, they were not all for me; all except one was intended to share!)  When I got back to my office, I was so hungry that I just started scarfing down the savory pie (which had steak, mushroom, onion and gruyere and a little bit of cream.)  I had about 3 bites before I realized it was just too rich.  I knew that if I ate the rest of it, I would have the biggest stomach ache later on.  Plus, it was a little heavy on the onion and I’m more of an ‘onion-in-moderation’ type of gal.  So, I had a few bites of that pie, but I was still hungry, and I wanted to kinda get the flavor of the savory pie out of my mouth. 

Sooooooo, I turned to try a bite of the winter berry pie.  It was sooo good.  Just the right amount of sweet and tart.  Sadly, before I really paused to evaluate the situation, I had eaten most of the slice.  At least, in my defense, it had a lot of fruit in it.  (No?  Not going for that one?? Ok, give me a minute…)

I did stop myself before I finished the whole slice.  I left about 1/3 of it.  But it was gooooood. J

Until about 2 ½ hours later when I found myself in the gym, working out, and intermittently burping up the savory pie…  not good.  (Curiously, the fruit pie was just fine, with no encores… I blame all those dang onions!)

I did make it through the workout without tossing my cookies (or pie, as the case may be) but I think I learned my lesson.  That lesson is: Pie is not a wise pre-workout meal choice.  Message received.

And, that workout was TOUGH!  I was dying about 20 minutes into it.  One new thing my trainer had me do was the “rope swing.” I’ve seen folks do this on The Biggest Loser and always thought, ‘what’s so tough about that? Looks pretty simple to me.’ Heh.  Well, God heard me and had his finger on the “Smite” button.  It. Is. HARD!  It’s a huge, heavy rope and just swinging it back and forth is exhausting!  So, the point is, if you are looking for something new and challenging, don’t ignore that huge rope in the gym.  And, whatever you do, do not mock it; it will make you pay.
(I actually asked my trainer if he would take some pictures of me doing some of these exercises, but he said he would probably get fired if someone complained that he was taking pictures on the floor; fair enough. Although I would have loved to have some pics of the rope swing to show you…)

Later that night (I promise, I’m getting to the point) I shared my pie purchases with Hubs.  He really liked the chocolate peanut butter pie.  He thought the Baltimore Bomb was “ok.  It’s good, but not great.” Which was just fine with me because I thought it was quite tasty!  And, I’m not a huge fan of chocolate & peanut butter, so I was happy to let him enjoy that one.

After we finished our respective pies, (and Hubs told me some nasty & sad story about a man who ate so much and didn’t get off a chair for 2 years that he got stuck to the chair – literally.  Thanks for at least letting me swallow the piece of pie I had in my mouth before sharing that Hubs…) I realized that, if I counted the 3 bites of savory pie I had at lunch, and I should, I had eaten 3 slices of pie that day. THREE!!!!

That’s when I said to Hubs, “I think I need to unfollow* the DC Pie Truck.” 

(*now, for those of you who are familiar with twitter, you know the term “unfollow” means that you basically elect to no longer get tweets from a certain source you previously signed up to get tweets from, right?  You just say, “thanks, I don’t need to know about your comings and goings on a minute-by-minute basis anymore.”)

Hubs then says this:
“Yeah, I think you should quit following the pie truck around.”

Deep breath.

I’M NOT FOLLOWING THE PIE TRUCK AROUND!!!!!!!  I’m not chasing after them in the streets screaming “I NEED PIE!!!!”

Really, I’m not. Really.

So, last night, right before I went to bed, I unfollowed the DC Pie Truck.

But I’m still following @BronxZoosCobra.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Watch Over You

Sometimes, music and song can sum up feelings better than anything else.

"Watch Over You" by Alter Bridge

Leaves are on the ground
Fall has come
Blue Skies turning grey
Like my love

I tried to carry you
And make you whole
But it was never enough
And I must go

And who is gonna save you when I’m gone?
And who’ll watch over you
When I’m gone

You say you care for me
But hide it well
How can you love someone
But not yourself

And who is gonna save you when I’m gone
And who’ll watch over you
When I’m gone

And when I’m gone
Who’ll break your fall
Who will you blame

I can’t go on,
And watch you lose it all
It’s more than I can take

Who’ll ease your pain
Ease your pain

And who is gonna save you when I’m gone
And who’ll watch over you

And who will give you strength when you’re not strong
Who’ll watch over you when I’ve gone away

Snow is on the ground
Winter’s come
You long to hear my voice
But I’m long gone


Friday, March 25, 2011

Missynation Takes the Bus

On Wednesday, I took the metrobus for the first time ever.  Like, in my life.

I’ve taken metrorail thousands of times, so it’s not that I’m a neophyte to public transportation or some sort of Public Transit snob. I’ve just never had a need to take the bus.  I usually take the subway (or Metrorail, as they call it here, or, just metro…) to work or I will walk to & from work since I only live about 2.5 miles from work.

My friend recently moved to the Columbia Heights area of DC and she suggested that I take the bus up to Columbia Heights to meet her for dinner one night and see her new place.  She even mentioned that the bus that would take me right up to about a block away from her place and the bus could pick me up one block away from my work. 

A sign for the bus stop!

And, look!  A bus stopped!

I’ll usually try anything once, so I was game.  But, did I mention that I’ve never taken the bus before?  ‘Cause I haven’t.  Ever.  Except once, years ago, in Edinburgh, Scotland and I ended up going on an extended tour of the city at about 11pm.  Until the bus driver stopped the bus, told me I’d run out the original fare I put in, and had to pay again.  I had no change, so I had to run (literally; he said he’d wait 2 minutes) to a Sainsbury’s (which is a grocery store in England & Scotland) to try to get some change.  It was bewildering.  And, I think that bus driver was a jerk.

So, I was a little nervous about taking the bus.

I must have checked the schedule two dozen times to be sure I would get to the bus stop in time. (mind you, the bus stop was a whole 5 minute walk – if that – from my office.)  When I got to the stop, I quadruple-checked the schedule and that it would go where I needed it to go.  I even counted the number of stops listed before I needed to get off. (What? Who said I was paranoid? I’m not paranoid…)

I studied this like I was going to be tested on it

Two other busses came by before the one I was supposed to get on.  People waiting seemed relaxed and it seemed to be pretty straightforward.  Nobody seemed to be panicking. 
not my bus

MY bus!!!!
Finally, I saw “my” bus coming up to the stop.  I got on, swiped my smarttrip card, and sat down in the first seat I saw.  Everybody seemed relaxed, like this was no big deal.  Some folks were reading the paper, some folks were chit-chatting.  Two girls sitting behind me were discussing where to get off and what bus to transfer to to get where they needed to go, so at least I wasn’t the only one a little unfamiliar with the whole system. J

It turned out that I didn’t need to memorize the number of stops, because for each stop, the automated system on the bus would announce the next stop.  So, I just had to listen for “Irving & 14th Street, Next.”  Which allowed me to just look out the window at different parts of the city that I never really explore.  (Until my friend moved a few weeks ago, I didn’t know anybody who lived in that part of the city, so there was really no need for me to go up there.)
Inside the bus.  Notice the sign announcing the next stop.

 I saw lots of interesting statutes, different embassies, and a bustling area of the city at rush hour.  I also noticed an interesting ad on the bus that said “Use Cocaine? We want to talk to you!” (I bet, I thought.)  It was an ad looking for cocaine users to participate in a study on the effects of cocaine on the body and brain.  (not real sure why we need a study done on that.  Didn’t those folks see those ads with the whole egg that said ‘this is your brain’ and then an egg frying in a frying pan that said ‘this is your brain on drugs’?)  I haven’t yet seen that ad on the subway.  I have seen the ad asking if I take antidepressants or if I’m going through menopause, because they want to study me if I’ve got those things going on…

sorry it's blurry.  The ad says "Use Cocaine? It's confidental!"
I finally heard my stop announced and another person on the bus pulled the cord so “Stop Requested” was announced.  I was a little relieved, because, I didn’t know if I was supposed to say I needed to get off and if I didn’t, would the driver just ignore that stop?  On the Metrorail, the train stops at every station, regardless of whether someone gets on or off.  (I’ve only heard of them skipping a station once in the 10+ years I’ve lived here and that was on the blue line during a rush hour where the trains were really backed up and so they skipped the Arlington Cemetery stop, which actually made sense because it was after dark and I think the cemetery was closed anyway.)  Point is, the trains stop at every station.  Does the bus? I don’t know.  So, when someone said they needed to get off, I was somewhat relieved and just got off at the stop for Irving and 14th street.
Fin! At my destination

My friend was right there to meet me and so we started walking around until we found a nice place for dinner.

So, Missynation survived her first trip on the bus.  And I didn’t even have to run into a Safeway and get change!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anybody home?

It's been a while since I last posted anything, and even that was some random ramblings on tea...

truthfully, not a lot of good stuff has happened in the last 3 weeks.  I've had to deal with some family drama, and I've learned that I have incredible friends and a supportive husband, but that hasn't really made the crap any less crappy... le sigh...

I did have a couple of things that I thought about blogging about before they happened and after, but in the moment, I didn't remember to take any pictures so it feels kind of lame now.  (to be fair, they both invovled food; taking two friends to 2 restaurants they hadn't tried before, and one of the restaurants was "Hooters" - don't judge; the wings and buffalo shrimp are really good - and so whiping the camera phone out in "Hooters" might have led folks to get the wrong idea...)
The other one involved introducing my freind to the joy of Chik-fil-a.  She hadn't been there before (or at least in a really long time), so we met for dinner there (yes, I know that sounds lame, but, again, don't judge...) but, I was so hungry that I scarffed down all my food before I thought to capture the moment on film. 

(Has this blog really devolved so much that we now just have shots of Missynation's fast-food dinners to look forward to?????? discuss.)

So, that was pretty lame, but there it is.  I also promised my freind that there would be no pictures of her "stuffing her face" on the internet.  Fair enough.

Other than that, my life has been pretty blah over the last few weeks.

I did go running on Friday afternoon after work.  It was a gourgeous day so hubs and I went for a run along the Potomac River and then up by the Iwo Jima Memorial.  I felt pretty good.  My hip didn't hurt during or after the run. Although it did start to hurt a little on Saturday afternoon; which led me to be paranoid that I'd somehow broken my hip... again.

By Monday afternoon, it felt much better.  Stretching seemed to help too.  I have been taking it easy this week so far. I did pilates on Monday morning, and then I had a strength training session with my trainer on Tuesday.  This morning, I woke up at 0'dark thirty (seriously, 5am.  It was dark outside) and went to the gym (le shock!) and went swimming. (le double shock!!)

So, that's what I'm trying to do.  If I commit to doing something physical every day (for a goal of 60 min), maybe that will help with my weight loss.

As I told my buddy, Starbuck77 on Saturday, since I was put on crutches back in August, I've gained about 15 lbs., which means a lot of my clothes don't fit so much anymore... (le grrrrrr)

So, I'd really like to lose some of the weight I gained when I couldn't do anything physical but drown my sorrows in cookie crisp... (le white trash...)

I'm inspired by my other friend (and fellow blogger) Angela, and her daily updates over on The Mission Continues (http://flexsummer2010.blogspot.com/) so, I'll share my weight loss goals here with you.

Right now, I weigh (cough) 138lbs.(cough) What's that?  You can't read that?  Oh, all right.  It's 138 lbs. (le jiggle)
I would like to lose at least the 15 pounds I gained since August, so I guess that would leave me with a goal weight of (carry the 7... remainder of 4...) 123lbs.  (Yep, I had to bust out the ol' calculator for that one... classics major here, folks!)

Ideally, it would be nice to be in better shape (and hit my target weight) by the time I head to Las Vegas at the end of June with my freinds.  That way, I won't feel so self-conscious sitting out by the pool.  (and, what's the point of going to Vegas in the middle of the summer if I'm not going to sit out by the pool a little????)

So, while this isn't strictly a fitness blog, and my freinds have mentioned that they aren't so interested in reading all about my running and stuff, (not to mention I only have one follower and I don't want to drive them away... :-)) I'll probably just add my updates to the end of my regularly random posts...  that way you don't have to suffer through a daily log of food diary type entries unless you want to and you can still be party to the fleeting thoughts that come into (and go right back out of) my head...


Ok, well I've got to go plan what fast-food joint I'm gonna hit up for lunch so I can take random pictures of my food to post for the world to see.  KIDDING!

but, really, le bye!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Random thoughts on... TEA

I am not a coffee drinker.

There.  I said it.

Hubs is; he's a HUGE coffee drinker. (like 10 cups a day, some of which are brewed and consumed late in the evening!)

I like tea.  Lots of different kinds of tea. 

In fact, taking a look at the collection of tea I have in my desk at work makes me wonder if I don't have a problem...

keep in mind, this is just the stuff I have AT WORK.  There's even MORE at HOME!!!  Plus, this picture doesn't include the loose bags of P&G Tips, Maple Tea, and Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos Red tea stashed in a little baggie...

Now, while I don't enjoy drinking coffee, I love the smell of it.  And, occasionally, I will drink a cup.  Particularly if I happen to find myself at a Dunkin' Donuts; I'll get a medium french vanilla with extra creme and extra sugar.  One the rare occasions that I do have a cup of coffee, people usually make fun of me beacuse I put so much creme and sugar in it.  But, with tea, I drink it straight up. 

Actually, I can't stand milk or sugar in my tea.  I think it tastes gross.  (I know, I know, my "Southerner" card has just been revoked and Southern Living has just cancled my subscription immediately, but I CANNOT STAND sweet tea.  I think I am the only person born below the Mason-Dixon line that always orders UNsweet tea; even at chik-fil-a and Bojangles...)

I prefer to enjoy the flavor of the tea all by itself. 

Somebody once told me that they try to like tea, but after a few sips, they realize that it just tastes like hot water to them.  Not me.  I don't want to sound like a tea snob, but I can DEFINTILEY tell the difference in taste between a certain black teas, green teas, white teas, and hot water.

I just finished drinking a cup of the "Chocolate Mint" tea included in the picture above.  I must admit, the first time I tried it, I was skeptical.  And it smells a lot stronger than it tastes.  But it tastes so nice; it's like an Andes Mint, without the sweetness.  It also has the benefit of making my office smell really nice and reminding me of a crisp fall day. 

There are actually many teas that have a flavor memory for me: The Mango Ceylon reminds me of the middle of summer beacuse that is when Hubs first gave me an iced tea pitcher along with a box of Mango Ceylon to make iced tea with.

Bigelow's Constant Comment (which is one of my absolute faves: if any freinds are ever stumped on what to get me for my birthday, you can seriously go to the grocery store and get me a box of this and I would be soooo thrilled!  In fact, it's a gift my dad gives my mom every year for Chirstmas and she loves it. - or, she's a really good actress...) anywho, Constant Comment reminds me of the holidays.  A spicy citrusy blend that just FEELS like November and December to me.

And, I find watching the tea brew in my cup kinda relaxing.  I enjoy watching the layers of flavor emerge from the tea bag as its submerged in the hot water.  Seeing the flavors swirl from the bottom to the top as the water darkens and the tea steeps stronger. 

Kooky, right? Some folks enjoy the hustle and bussel of yelling their order to an indifferent barista in the special starbucks language, but give me a clean mug with some hot water and a bag of tea, and I'm a pretty happy girl.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The best way to end a stressful day

Yesterday was a very stressful day for me.  It was just non-stop, go go go all day.  My four projects that have been just sitting around on various peoples' desks all pulled a Lazarus at the same time and all became "high priority", which means I went from having stuff to do, but not overwhelmed, to panic-everything-has-to-be-done-by-next-Monday...


I would much rather be busy than bored (I find it makes the day go by faster when I have stuff to do) but there has to be some middle ground between "I've reached the end of the internet" and "I don't have time to go to the bathroom I'm so busy...."  Right???

So, when hubs called to ask how my day was going, I couldn't even muster up frustration; I just responded "Meh..."  Then, he asked what I wanted to do for the evening.

Now, I know I probably should have responded that I wanted to go to the 6:30 spinning class and follow that up with the Gentle Yoga class for the evening.

But, I really didn't want to go to the gym.  I wanted to go home, put on my pre-pajamas (loungy clothes), watch Pushing Daisies on the Netflix, and have a root beer float.

That was my dream plan for last evening.

Hubs agreed that we could make that happen.  Since we didn't actually have any vanilla ice cream (or, any ice cream) at home, we figured we'd walk by the Safeway on the way home and pick some up.  Plus, we needed trash bags.  (Exciting, I know.  But we really did need them.  We had none at home, and, as mighty as those Wegman's plastic grocery bags are, I don't think I can make one fit our big kitchen trashcan...)

So, we hit up the Safeway before we went home, picked up some trash bags (mission critical), French Vanilla Ice Cream (mission EVEN MORE critical) and some taco shells so we could make tacos for dinner.

After we got home, and I briefly collapsed on the bed from the exhaustion of the day, I slipped into my loungy clothes, made some tasty tacos, and went downstairs to enjoy the fireplace, a persistent kitty who decided that she REALLY wanted some taco, and watched an episode of Pushing Daisies.

Then, the grand finale:  I made my root beer float (complete in ice cream shoppe glasses that hubs procalimed he didn't know we had or even why we had them... whatev) and enjoyed another episode of Pushing Daisies.

It's the picture of happiness for me: a fire, Dolley on her perch, a tasty treat... all that's missing is Hubs, but he's right beside me enjoying his own root beer float
Sooooo good.

That was my evening and, for my money, the most relaxing end to a very stressful day. 

Besides, there will be another spin class...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"You're petite, but you're not a noodle..."

What does that MEAN????

Yep, those words came out of my orthopaedists mouth yesterday as we had our last date; or, right before he said "good luck; come back if you have any problems."

As I went in for my umpteenth follow-up appointment, he did all the usual strength and flexion evaluations and then he asked if I had been running.  I said "yes." (don't judge; I HAVE been running, just not as much as I probably should have) and then he asked if I had any races I was training for.  I explained that I've got the half marathon in May that I'm working towards and then said "don't yell at me, but I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon" and then I explained how it wasn't really my fault and hubs' puppy dog eyes and all that. 

To which my doc said it was ok and I should go for it while being mindful of the limits of my body and then he said "look, you're petite [pause], but you're not a noodle."

I just looked at him.

Huh???  I don't understand.  Then he explained... "See, I love to run, but I'm not a super skinny guy..." (Now, he's no Russell Brand, but he's not exaclty Dom DeLuise either) "and you're not a ...[makes hand motion like he's fitting his hands around barbie's waist] like other runners..."

So... I think he was saying that I've got some girth on me???? I'm not a waif????

He soldiered on "and I can run half marathons and ten milers and 10Ks. But my knees just can't handle a marathon."

I think his point was that maybe my body isn't built for a marathon?  Maybe??

I don't know, but it was an odd conversation.

If anybody else has any idea what the heck the phrase "you're not a noodle" means... feel free to share. The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Something to Work Towards

Well, despite all common sense and the writing on the wall, I've done it.

I've registered for the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon.

Now, if you didn't follow me over here from my active blog, which, lets face it, would probably be all (2) of you, you probably don't know the back story.

This is actually the 4th (FOURTH!!!) time I've registered for the MCM. The first year, I developed a stress fracture in my left shin.  I was able to heal up in time to switch my Marathon registration to the 10K and run the MCM10K, which is held on the same day as the marathon.  The following year, I developed achilles tendinitis and had to do the same thing as the year before; switch to running the 10K.  Now, both times, I will absolutely cop to not training (or, not training properly; as in, not running for several weeks/months and then panicking and going out to run some distance I wasn't prepared for).

Last year, I was so proud of myself.  I had learned my lesson from previous years.  I was training smart; I'd even joined a local running club for a smart, sensible, progressive training program.  Yes siriee, the third time was the charm!  This would be my year!  I would finish the Marine Corps Marathon!  And on Halloween in a cute costume, no less!

Or, here's another idea: I could BREAK MY HIP and end up on crutches for 2 1/2 months and not allowed to do ANYTHING PHYSICAL for the majority of the year from mid-July through December!  How 'bout THAT???????

Yeah, so, that's what happened; the 2nd option there.  And let me say (again), it SUCKED!  Large time.

So, after talking with hubs (who is some sort of bionic freak who has run and finished the MCM the past 3 years in a row; and he didn't even train for the 2nd one!) I decided to take the plunge and register for this year.  I am going to give it a shot.  My training will be slow.  Like molasses in January slow.  I am not looking for any kind of time goal; it'd just be nice to finish before they take the banner down, ya know?  And, if it doesn't look like 26.2 miles is possible (or safe, more importantly), I will shift, once again, to the 10K.

I don't like that plan too much.  It's never my goal to register for a race and then downgrade.  But life seems to get in the way and if my body isn't ready, I will listen to it.

So, that's my crazy for this week.  Feel free to leave any comments telling my how stupid this idea is. 

In the meantime, I've already started training; I ran 2 times this week so far.  Once outside for 50 minutes at a 1 min run:4 min walk interval and once on a nice new treadmill at the gym for 35 min.

So, yay.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kauai Kicks Our Butt... [Monday, February 7, 2011]

Or, time to say goodbye.

Monday was our last day in Kauai.  Our flight didn’t depart until 9:45pm, so we had the whole day to spend on Kauai.

I mentioned in an earlier post that our snorkeling cruise was canceled on Friday, so I rescheduled it for Monday.

I regret this, for a lot of reasons.  First of all, and not related to the actual cruise, this meant that, to be at the pier “on time at 7:30am” we had to pack up all our stuff and get everything out of our room before we left for the cruise because check-out was at 10am and, unfortunately, the inn keeper had another couple coming for our room that afternoon and she needed to clean it.  It would have been nice to be able to sleep in a little bit and pack our stuff up a little more leisurely than running around like crazed roosters at 6am!  Also, because we had to check out of our room before the cruise it meant that we didn’t have a bathroom (and, hence, a shower) to return to so we could clean up afterwards.

Unfortunately, things just got more annoying.  When we got to the pier at 7:30 to check in (for the 8am sail) there was nobody at the office.  I wondered if they didn’t cancel the tour on Monday too and fail to inform us, but when I called the number, the lady informed me that she was “about 5 minutes away.”  Hubs and I looked at each other.  This was not a good sign.  When the lady finally showed up to check us in, she told us that some other people signed up to go on the cruise were “running late.”  She checked us in and told us to go wait by some picnic tables and the “boat girl” would be by at about 8:15 to pick us up and take us to the boat.

8:15?????????  Then why did we bust our humps to get here at 7:30????? Grrrrr.

Another family showed up shortly after 8am and the “boat girl” finally strolled up around 8:30.

I understand about the Aloha spirit and island time and all that, I do.  And both hubs and I would have LOVED to sleep in 45-50 minutes longer.  Really. Grrrrrrrrr.

As with the last boat trip, I tried to be optimistic.  It was supposed to be a lovely day weather-wise and hopefully a great day for snorkeling.  It might be nice to just relax on the boat for a little while. Or not.  There was nowhere to relax on the boat.  And, there was nowhere dry on the boat.

Since I don’t want to spend the entire post complaining, I’ll try to hit the highlights.  We did get to snorkel.  It wasn’t as much as was promised (one location instead of 3), but at least we got to get in the water.  I saw porpoises (porposi?) and lots of sea turtles.  I saw more whales.  I could have done without the constant dampness and the 2 hours of just trolling the waters off the coast of the harbor.  But, at least I got to see some dolphins. Check.
I know i said "dolphins" above; it's just 'cause I'm having a devil of a time spelling porpous poirpose
porpoius??? let's just go with that...
porpoises, porpoisi??
more than one...
After we left the boat, we were a bit disappointed.  We had planned to return to Salt Pond Beach Park because we knew they had showers there where at least we could rinse off.  Since we still had our snorkeling gear in the trunk and there is a nice reef at Salt Pond beach, we decided to go snorkeling one last time.

We plopped our stuff down on the beach, just brining a minimum of the snorkeling gear, flip-flops, a bamboo mat and one beach towel; we left everything else in the car.  Hubs took the car keys and put them in a ziplock baggie and tied them to the inside of his shorts pocket.

The snorkeling was, not so great.  It was really murky and hard to see anything, probably because it had gotten a lot cloudier by the afternoon.  I decided to give up and go sit on the beach when hubs comes up to me and says “the day just got worse. The keys are gone.”

What? Does not compute.  It didn’t register for a moment and then he spells it out for me: “The rental car keys fell out of my pocket.”

Oh fuuuuuddddgggeee.  Except, I didn’t say fudge.

What do I do??? I will call AAA. I’ll call the rental car company.  I’m not calling anybody, ‘cause my phone is LOCKED IN THE CAR!!!!!

I’ll go ask the lifeguards for some help.  We can’t possibly be the first tourists to lose keys in the ocean.  Right????

So, I stroll over to the lifeguard station while hubs continues to search for the keys, in and out of the water.

First of all, I want to give a HUGE shout-out to the lifeguard at the Salt Pond Beach on Monday, February 7.  He was awesome and helpful.  He offered his cell phone and went out in the water to look for the keys too saying “I need to get in the water anyway.” J  He was kinda the human version of the turtle from “Finding Nemo”, which was awesome. 

While hubs was on the phone with the rental car people, I walked along the beach searching.  There is a rocky outcropping right off the right side of the beach and so I walked over to look and see if maybe, possibly the keys washed up in any of the rocks.  I could see hubs across the beach, talking on the phone, looking forlorn, and I could see the lifeguard snorkeling around the reef area looking too.  It had been about 30-35 minutes since I heard those words “the keys are gone.”  I walked over to the rocks for the 3rd time.  There was an older lady sitting in one of the tide pools on the rocks.

Out of the corner of my eye, wedged under a rock, I spotted a shimmer of pink and plastic.  I squealed.  I ran over (on the sharp volcanic rock) and reached down and…

TA-DA!!!!!!  Behold the ziplock baggie with the keys!!!!!!!

Actor dramatization of keys in baggie

The woman sitting in the tide pool asked if I lost a contact.  No honey, something much more important.  I informed her that we lost the car keys and that I had just found them.  Then I said (and, sadly, I am not making this up) “I don’t know who you are, but I’m going to hug you.”

(hangs head in embarrassment.)

I saw the lifeguard, told him I found the keys and thanked him and he said “That’s good.  Tell your husband he owes you a lobster dinner!”  then he went right back to snorkeling.  I guess he really did need to get in the water. J

I RAN across the ENTIRE beach (which, despite what Bo Derek might say, was really hard) to my husband and showed him my glorious find: the ziplock baggie containing the car keys!

At that point, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

I did have one more pleasant surprise before we left.  Throughout my week in Hawaii, I was looking for animals I’d been told I’d see.  Whales? Check.  Dolphins? Check. Sea Turtles? Check.  But I hadn’t yet seen a Hawaiian Monk Seal.  Oh well, I thought.  And then, as I was rinsing out my hair under the outdoor shower, I looked up and what do I see?  A Hawaiian Monk Seal, sunbathing on the other side of the beach (on the other side of the rocks from where we were.)  Seal? Check.  It put a smile on my face.  (not as big a smile as finding the car keys did, but nonetheless…)

and we could even unlock it!!! YAY!!!!!

Aloha, Kauai.