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 ( 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.