Thursday, November 27, 2008

Grand Final

Well thank god that’s over. So today was it, the end of race season 2008. My sister and I ran the Columbus Turkey Trot, and I got to tell you, perhaps I’ve been off the wagon a few weeks too long, but five miles felt something more like 25. It shouldn’t have been that way, but it was.

Ah well. There’s really not too much to report about the race. It was poorly managed, kind of a shitty, boring course, and completely disorganized. The four mile race we opted for last year -- despite the bitter cold, freezing rain conditions, and poor parking situation (we ended up walking through a field blanketed with goose poo to get to the car) -- was a much better race. And, that one gave you a free bottle of wine at the end, instead of this race, which gave, well… nada… to those of us who were near DFL. I hear some people walked away with a free pumpkin pie. Well golly gee whiz.

So, that’s it. I don’t really have an excuse, much less a story. It was slow going, from start to finish, and I even took two 30 second walking breaks for no good reason except that I spent miles 1-4.98 wanted to walk off the course and head back home.

It’s OK. I have to tell you. It’s amazing that I even have “race seasons.” I mean, really? Who do I think I am? But this year, I finished three half marathons, one marathon, one triathlon, a 10 mile race, a 5K, and two 8Ks. I set new personal records in both an 8K and a half marathon, and I had a stellar showing, if I do say so myself, at my first multi-sport race. I had some less than stellar races -- a marathon that, while I’m so happy I’m finished, I know I have a better time in me; a couple fast and flat half marathons where I thought I would easily beat hilly Flying Pig PR, but didn’t even come close; and this, a measly five mile run that by all accounts I barely finished.

I suppose you win some and lose some. You finish most. You start all.

I haven’t quite hashed out 2009 yet. The Indianapolis Mini Marathon is the only race on the schedule, but I imagine there will be others.

Oh yes. There are always others.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Check In

This may not be the best week to “report in” on my weight loss efforts since I will struggle not to spend Thursday on the couch with my sister eating leftovers two hours after Thanksgiving dinner, but hell, why not? Let’s do this thing.

So, after one month following Weight Watchers as best I could, I have lost 7.4 pounds. Now, this is progress. I probably could have done better, but I could have done a lot worse. I made a lot of steps to really commit myself. This time around, I’m working to be more honest about it, not trying to hide it, though not harping on it, and asking for help from others (“MM, if we’re going to go out to eat, can we get sushi instead of Mexican?” and “@, if I order anything besides a salad at lunch will you please throw your body between me and the waiter?”). I have, however, had my moments of trial, such as not sticking to the plan while on my final business trip and drinking my weight in beer this past Saturday.

I’ve also switched up my workout routine. Sadly I have stopped running for the time being. I know it sounds crazy, but running does not help me lose weight, at all, ever. Every guy I know who starts running drops a shit ton of weight, but I know other women who struggle with this as well. Frankly, it’s not fair, but it’s true. I have a theory, which is that my heart rate just gets too high, out of the fat burning zone. So I’ve adjusted. I can only imagine that my running will improve when I start training in February for my next half marathon and (God willing) there is less of me to drag through a 13.1 mile course.

For the time being, I’m doing a lot of elliptical and power walking on an incline on the treadmill. I try my best to keep my heart rate under 80 percent of its maximum. I’ve also added strength training. Feel free to roll your eyes, but I bought this book. Despite the slightly ridiculous title, it has an easy-to-follow strength training program that lasts about 45 minutes and uses minimal gym equipment (free weights, a step, and a ball). The program is designed to be 24 weeks and the routine changes approximately every two weeks. Running buddy Meg was enlisted to make sure I stick to it, and so far, I’ve been impressed with our dedication to lifting weights three times a week.

But, I’m perhaps not jumping for joy because 7.4 pounds really just puts me back into my “normal” weight range, the range I have hovered in for the past two years. It’s arguably not too difficult to maintain this weight. I’m not overly sensitive about it, the way I was three weeks ago, when I felt my jeans getting a bit snug. The real challenge will be the next 10 pounds.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Full Circle

One week until Thanksgiving people -- the greatest holiday ever. Why? Because nothing is expected of you. No gifts, no crazy social affairs, all you have to do is sit on the couch and eat and watch awesome movies about teenage girls finding their fathers/friends/soulmates and/or participating cheerleading/quasi-cheerleading/dance/drinking competitions. And by you, I of course mean me.

Oh something.

Do you ever want to blog and you know that you simply must have something to say because all this stuff has happened and yet the words just aren't forming?

Can you guys believe it's Thanksgiving? Wasn't it like 80 degrees last month? Now I'm just cold all the time.

Real stuff now.

So, last weekend, MM and I spent some time visiting potential wedding venues. We checked out Promontory Point, Berger Park, and the South Shore Cultural Center, as well as A New Leaf, which we had previously held for a wedding date in December 2009, but then I got all crazy like, "AH! I don't have a vision." And then, I got even crazier and was all, "I want to get married when it's warm outside!"

First, we went to Promontory. It's every bit as beautiful as you imagine it is -- a perfect setting with the Chicago skyline looming in the background. For the sake of full disclosure, despite all the serenity and loveliness that is Promontory, I had (and still have) one major sticking point with this place. Promontory is known as a "comfort station." This means that people -- guest or not -- can use the restrooms at any time, which means, yes... someone, anyone can wander in during your event. While I totally get it from the viewpoint of reality and living in an urban area and whatnot, I just... yeah... that's not a variable I'm comfortable with.

Next, on a whim and since we were already fairly far south, we visited the South Shore Cultural Center (fun fact: my 20 mile point-to-point training run ended here). The atrium was interesting and beautiful, but a little too ballroom-y for our taste. From there, we headed north to Berger Park. The "grounds" at Berger Park include a house and a small backyard on the lake. It was not what we were looking for. Even for a smaller wedding, we would be hard pressed to hold a reception in the house, and the area out back for the ceremony was tiny, and not far from a busy street.

We decided that we would take one more look at A New Leaf. Just for good measure. This time, I spent much more time in the space. We checked out the third floor, the "ceremony" room. We looked at the garden courtyard, which was much larger than I expected and really quite stunning in a shaby chic kind of way. I conceded that, yes, I did in fact like it better upon a second look.

We held another date for A New Leaf in August because what would be the point of paying for use of that courtyard garden if we couldn't actually go outside? The decision was all but made. And then, that evening, while lounging on the couch with MM, panic -- panic that no one would dance because the dance floor is on the second floor -- panic that if no one danced no one would have fun, and horror of all horrors, what if no one had fun at our wedding?

I frenziedly searched the Internet for more ideas, and to my credit, I found a few yet-uncovered, unique venues that were buried underneath pages of hotels, banquet halls, museums, and gardens. MM told me to calm down, that we had made our decision and it was going to be OK. I calmed down, and I believed him... until 24 hours later when, while at work on Monday afternoon, I freaked out all over again and started calling other venues.

Then something strange, but incredible happened on Tuesday morning. In a blink of an eye, I saw it -- the details of my wedding, the layout of tables, the timing of cocktails, dinner, and dancing, the color of the skirting, the flowers, the food, the everything... at A New Leaf.

We're signing the contract tomorrow. Yay stuff.

Friday, November 14, 2008

If Not Now

So, it happened… it was bound to happen… inevitable, if you will… I just didn’t expect to happen so soon.

I cried -- my tears shed in the name of wedding planning. Really, it’s even planning at this point, more attempting to plan.

This location mess is quickly becoming a saga, isn’t it? To quickly recap: MM and I looked at a A New Leaf, a venue for both our ceremony and reception and put it on hold for December 12, 2009 -- the first Saturday that wasn’t already booked for next year. It was unique. It was semi-reasonably priced for being in prime Chicago location. It was… not what I expected. It seemed small, and just… I don’t know. By all accounts the weddings there are amazing and gorgeous, but there is just something about it that I can’t seem to put my finger on. I like it... but... I guess ultimately I just can’t picture MM and I getting married there. Another wrench in this “OH SHIT we need to book a site three months ago” mess is that we have been waiting for MM to receive his 2009 work schedule complete with his two furloughs (forced vacations of approximately three weeks each) so we can choose an appropriate date.

I went back to the drawing board early this week, and extracted a sort-of vision of our wedding day, and tried to figure out how important that vision actually is. It was really Freedom Runner’s comment on a post from earlier this week that made me realize that the ONE THING I had been fairly adamant about was a late summer/early fall wedding. Why? Because I want a venue with an indoor/outdoor option that could be used. Outdoors in Chicago in December? Sure, it may be a fabulous patio or terrace or courtyard or grassy area or whatever, but it ain’t happening here.

I began hounding the folks at the Chicago Parks District about two of their venues: Berger Park and Promontory Point. Sure, I haven’t seen either of them, but I basically fell in love with the photos from Promontory Point. It has the same sort of romantic, exposed brick look that New Leaf does, but when I look at the photos, I can really see MM and I getting married there on the lakefront -- the ceremony on the back patio, a cocktail reception on the front patio, dinner and dancing inside. Plus, bonus, it’s significantly cheaper than New Leaf.

But we can’t even look at it. Why? Because it’s closed. And, adding insult to injury, it’s booked anyway. For every single Saturday in 2009.

From the Parks District:
At this point, I can only arrange site visits for applicants who have a tentative hold on a date at Promontory. Although we don’t give out availability without an application, I will tell you that all of our 2009 Saturday evening reservations are already booked. We have limited Fridays and Sundays available. If you’re still interested, submit an application, and we can further discuss.
I called MM to tell him that not only can we NOT look at it because we haven’t submitted an application, but also it’s moot, since every single location ever in Chicago is booked for all of 2009, and we will never ever get married because the Universe as well as all Chicago venues, caterers, rental companies, Parks District staff, DJs, florists, God, and everyone else is against our wedded union.

Dramatic much?

Oh, and there were tears.

MM told me to stop crying. He asked me when I wanted to get married. I told him. He answered: Then we’ll do it on a Friday or a Sunday. Put the application in, pick a few dates, we'll look at it, and whatever the date ends up working, I'll manage my schedule around it. The important thing is that we get married.

Is this the moment where add the mushy shout out to MM and the requisite, "This is why I'm marrying him?" It is. I'm new at this, bear with me. I also don't want to make myself sick at at myself. We have, at bare minimum, 10 more months to put up with me.

So I put in our application. The very nice woman at the Parks District, who has answered a million and a half questions for me (Can I put four possible dates on this applications instead of two?) will call me Monday to discuss Promontory Point, and in the meantime, MM and I can check out Berger Park tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happily Ever... After I Give You All My Money

A few wise women/friends/confidants said, "Lou, it really sounds like you're not totally sold on this wedding venue. And, if you're not totally sold, you should stop worrying about putting down a deposit and just take your time to look at some other places." You know what they say... when you know, you know. Just like with MM. If I was as on the fence about him as I am with the wedding venue we looked at last week... well, you know.

So, with the help of some of the same friends, I (and they) did a little more research. Last night, I typed the words "Chicago" and "Museum" into the Google, and started looking at the options. Yes, I know that museums are often over-priced when it comes to renting them out for events, but hey... why not? It can't hurt to look.

First, I came across The Field Museum -- a lovely building, located on Lake Michigan, south of downtown, but not too far south. Sure a grand hall that can handle a dinner reception for well over 1,000 is bound to be $10,000, but a terrace? A terrace doesn't even involve walls or a roof over your head. It's just a big, fancy patio for all intensive purposes... and wouldn't it be soooooo pretty to be on the water at night on a terrace underneath a tent? Oh, yes... it would.

Maybe... just maybe... it's semi-affordable...


Not a chance:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding holding a wedding reception at The Field Museum. The following is detailed information on areas we use for wedding receptions.

* Stanley Field Hall, our premium event site includes 2 levels of reception and dining space as well as access to SUE, our world famous T-Rex. Additionally, guests may tour galleries on both levels of the museum. Stanley Field Hall is $10,000.00 for the first 3 hours. Each additional hour is $3,000.00. We ask for a $10,000.00 non-refundable deposit which is applied toward your Final Invoice.

* The intimate mystery of Rice Hall includes access to the stunning collection of dioramas in the Hall of Asian Mammals. Capacity ranges from 25-250 guests (cocktail reception). Full dinner seating is available for up to 150 guests. Cocktails are served in the hall leading to the Rice Pavilion, which is home to the world famous Man Eating Lions of Tsavo. African Mammals and a panorama mural of the African Plains grace this beautiful event space. Rice Hall is $6,000.00 for 3 hours. Each additional hour is $1,000.00.

* The architectural splendor of The Field Museum is celebrated and revisited in our newest event space, the East Atrium Pavilion. This space is a sky-lit beauty providing easy access to our building from the east side of the museum. Guests enter the atrium and may cocktail in the entryway or in the adjoining hallway. Both areas provide reception space for up to 400 guests and full dinner seating for up to 350. Saturday evening in the East Atrium Pavilion is $8,000.00 for the first 3 hours. Each additional hour is $2,000.00.

* We also have Terraces to rent. A tent is recommended for inclement weather. A cook tent is also required for the caterer. The Northeast Terrace is $6,000.00 for the first 3/hours and $2,000.00 for each additional hour. If you wish to book the Terrace along with Stanley Field Hall or the East Atrium Pavilion the fee is $3,000.00 flat. Tenting may be arranged through one of our preferred tent vendors.

Venue rentals include coat check, museum security, housekeeping, event management, support staff and electrician. Rental does not include catering, bar packages, equipment rental or audio/visual services.

Table and chair rental is provided by Hall's rentals, exclusively and your event manager will handle this for you. Here is a sample list of prices for tables and chairs:

60" dining rounds @ $9.50 ea.

72" dining rounds @ $11.50 ea.

48" dining rounds @ $8.50 ea.

30" cabaret tables @ $7.50/ a.

Hi boy cocktail tables @ $12.00 ea.

Black Padded folding chairs @ $4.00 ea.

Black Versailles ballroom chairs @ $9.50 ea.

3 X 4 stage sections @ $21.00 ea.

Delivery, set-up and removal: $950.00

We work with a list of 4 caterers and 5 floral/decor vendors to choose from. They will invoice you separately. Caterer's handle your linen, china, flat wear and glasses. They also provide all the non-alcoholic beverages. Decorative lighting (if desired) is provided by Frost Sound & Lighting who is our exclusive vendor. ALL OF OUR EXCLUSIVE VENDORS ARE INSURED WITH US AND DO NOT REQUIRE ANY ADDITIONAL INSURANCE FOR YOUR EVENT. You may bring in your own D.J., band or orchestra - they must have their own insurance.

You must also carry insurance for the day of your event. Your regular insurance carrier can provide this.

Parking at The Field Museum is arranged through Soldier Field and Standard parking. The lots operated by Soldier Field are located on the museum campus and are easily accessed by your guests from Museum Campus Drive. You may arrange for an attendant for a nominal fee, which will allow your guests to pay cash to self-park. If you wish to purchase the parking spaces in advance or provide a valet service, you may do so. Please contact Soldier Field in advance of contracting your event in order to arrange for guest parking. The contact person is Amy Whelan. She can be reached at 312-235-7202.

If you would like to discuss any of the above with me or to make an appointment for a site inspection to view any of the above areas please call or e-mail me.

Thank you for considering The Field Museum for your wedding.
And with that, the consideration ends.
Dear The Field Museum:

You must be out of your mind. The money I would spend to hold a ceremony/reception at your facility would run me approximately:

*Terrace for 3 hours: $6,000
*Extra 2 hours because 5 hours seems more reasonable: $4,000
*Tables: $100
*Chairs: $4oo
*Delivery, set-up and removal: $950
*Total, not including caterer, tent, bar, flowers, dance floor, DJ, decorative lighting and insurance: $11,450

This of course does not include all of the other crap that ends up in a wedding budget, including my dress, various gifts, transportation to and from various places, invitations, photographer, cake, wedding rings, and the all encompassing "miscellaneous." We are only going to go semi-broke planning and paying for this wedding, not totally broke.

Thanks, but no thanks,

Big shocker, getting married in Chicago, or any other major metropolitan area (or anywhere else for that matter), can get a little pricey. As we keep moving forward in this process, I want to balance what's important -- the whole commitment, spending the rest of our lives together thing and not the part where we have a big party -- with the fact that yes, this day will only happen one time and it should be fantastic and as close to "what we want" as possible. MM and I are going to look at two more venue possibilities this weekend. Hopefully we'll find something more affordable, but still lovely.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

I’m home! Well, I’m at work, but I’m in Chicago, and that’s close enough. I couldn’t be more thrilled that my whirlwind tour de United States is O-V-E-R, at least for the time being. Word to the wise, business travel is not all its cracked up to be. Even with a dozen people traveling with you, there’s something very lonely about being on the road on a regular basis. At least that’s how I feel when I travel… lonely and detached from my people (except when @ is with me, then its not so bad).

So, today I implemented what I think is known as a “good behavior” or a “healthy habit” in some circles and decided that I shouldn’t “wait until Monday,” to “start eating like a normal human being.” I should start now. Today. As in Wednesday (is in Wednesday?). Who cares if it’s the middle of the week? This might as well be the first day of the rest my skinny bride life.

By the way, for those of you who are turned off by the use of my term “skinny,” please realize that I mean it a “toned, trim, and happy about my figure” way, not a “scary and anorexic” way. “Skinny” as a word, has a nice cadence to it despite maybe poor connotations, but frankly, I don’t want to be forced to use like 12 qualifiers when I talk about this process. I will continue to eat. That, if nothing else, is something you can count on.

So we start today. The sad truth is that if I wait much longer, I’m going to be forced into a shopping trip to buy jeans a size up, and no one needs that kind of blow to their self-esteem.

Rule #1: When we go shopping for new jeans, it will be because the ones I’m wearing right now are too big. Not because they are too small.

I have joined (rejoined) Weight Watchers. I have a long and storied history with the program, beginning four years ago (approximately) when I lost about 18 pounds with barely any effort. So what happened? Well, I gained it back -- story of my life -- but maybe (just maybe!) it was for a worthwhile reason. When I first lost the weight, I was in graduate school. I was a smoker, and I didn’t exercise, save a 20 minute jaunt on the elliptical maybe once or twice a week at best. I kept the weight off until I gave up smoking once and for all. I gained it back, but for awhile, I didn’t really make a big deal about it. Continuing to be a nonsmoker was far more important to me than a few pounds. A few months later, I found running, which made me hungry, but surely all this exercise would mean an eventual weight loss.

Nope. Not for me.

I tried to go back on Weight Watchers, but when you focus on training for endurance athletic events, it’s difficult to stick to a plan that works by (primarily) limiting your calorie intake. I even went so far as to try to talk to a Weight Watchers meeting leader about how, pray tell, do you balance losing weight with running -- oh say -- a marathon? The leader who is older and probably “doesn’t get it” said, and I am paraphrasing, “You don’t. Pick one or the other.”

I assume she said this thinking that I would, obviously, pick Weight Watchers. Not a chance. I can’t (nor do I want to) imagine the circumstances under which I would have to give up training for endurance events, and frankly, mid-marathon season, I was hanging at the low side of my weight, and the need to lose 10 pounds (15 at the most) was not a priority.

I looked into a nutritionist. I thought about my options. I decided not to worry about until after the marathon, and until I was nearing the end of my business travel for the year.

So, here we are. Why did I go back? Because the best advice I’ve heard about losing weight is that if something worked for you before, there’s a really good chance it will work again. You know, with a little bit of… what’s that called… oh yes… willpower. Maybe some motivation. Some dedication.

I know what I can and cannot do. I cannot NOT eat carbohydrates or attempt some similarly ridiculously restrictive diet. I do not like the idea putting various types of food “off limits,” because when you tell me I can’t have that bread over there, I will -- within an hour or two -- eat a loaf of it. I also know that I have three long months before I begin training for my next major race, the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, which means that for the time being, I don’t even have to figure out the training versus diet mess.

Finally, understand that talking openly about weight loss in this forum has always felt like the so-called “third rail” for me. Not that this is political, but it’s just so personal, and I’m so freaking weird about it, and I’m worried that each of you will get annoyed with the “Wahhhhh… I’m fat” nonsense, that it feels untouchable. I love my 12 readers (yes, I have 12 now), and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. Or me uncomfortable. But at the same time, I imagine there must be others who struggle and care, or just care whether they struggle or not. And, I guess I hope that this will keep me honest… to a degree.

Bear with me.

Tonight’s Workout: Master Swim, 90 minutes, approximately 3000 meters scheduled. Yikes!
Tonight’s Dinner: Whole wheat penne with pasta sauce mixed with goat cheese + a salad (if I have the motivation to stop at the grocery store).

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Shut In

Ug. I feel gross. I’m in Greensboro, at a hotel that evokes a strange sense of deja vu or "I've stayed here before." In another life... But this is my last business trip until… wait for it… January! Hooray! In approximately 48 hours I will be back in my house with MM, and I will never leave again. Ever. Again. And I will force MM to be shut in with me, perhaps hibernating until spring. Then… we’ll see.

Ohhhhh… stuff… I have been lacking the blog department. I’ve been thinking about the new direction, which inevitably happens every so often. Where are we heading? What do we want to write about now?

Race season 2008 is winding down. In fact, there is only one more race on the schedule. My sister and I are going to run a Turkey Trot together on Thanksgiving in Ohio. And that’s it folks. That is all she wrote. Race season 2008 will be D.O.N.E.

However, given the fact that an 8K need not be specifically “trained for” at this point, the time has come to shift my focus. Oh yes. This much we know is true.

Of course, I’ll talk about all this wedding nonsense. I’ll probably confide that I’m “this close” to booking a reception location based on the fact that it would simply be done even though I’m really disappointed we won’t be able to use the location’s fantastic outdoor space because the first date they have available is December 12, 2009. Not conducive to outdoors. Not in Chicago my people.

See, this is where it helps to be one of those people who dreams of their wedding for… like… ever. I envision nothing. I have no thoughts. No ideas. No clue. I want this event to be magically planned for a reasonable amount of money, and I will show up beautiful, and then we will get married, and maybe go on a nice long (very long) vacation.

I mean, am I a winter wedding kinda bride? I don’t know. Does it really matter that much? I’m not sure.

Stupid city. Stupid wedding industry. Stupid people who booked stuff before I did.


Confession time. I am hating myself right now. I have gained about a million pounds, give or take nine hundred, ninety-two thousand, and it makes me want to cry. If there’s one thing I refuse to be, it’s a fat bride. Yes. I said it. Now don’t go leaving me comments about how I’m “not fat.” This is not a pity party thrown by and for Lou. This is reality people. This is the hard facts. And we must face them.

There are reasons I don’t talk about my weight on this blog. The reasons include: first, dudes I know read this blog. I don’t need no dudes reading about how I think I’m fat. That’s just embarrassing. Why? I don’t know. Second, I don’t know who reads this blog, I’ve posted it all over God’s great cyber creation (well, gosh I do just love my blog) and so what if ex-boyfriends, ex-classmates, ex-friends, ex-patriots (just kidding, I love ex-patriots), exes of exes are reading…

But then again, hell, why not? Other people have this problem right -- being “fit” but “fat”? Supposedly? There must be a remedy to this madness. I will find it. Or I won’t. And, I’ll write about it. I promise. Well, you may not want me to promise because you may be reading this and thinking, “Dear lord, not another one…”

And if I fail, then all ya’ll will be here to tell me that I’m fantastic and never needed to lose weight in the first place. Cause I’m awesome and fabulous and shit (P.S. I predict zero comments on this blog).

So, I’m back in Chicago on Tuesday night. I have a plan… um… sorta kinda. And, we’ll get started, like asap.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Center of the Universe

Holy crap.

We did it people.

It's over, and we live in an amazing country where amazing things can still happen. And here we are in Chicago, at the center of the Universe for all intents and purposes, for, at the very least, one night.

We did it. The world can change. For the better. It has. And it will. We can have some faith now. We can be proud of our country again. And, most importantly, we can stop posting election crap on Facebook.


Are We There Yet?

Holy crap people. The wait begins. Why don't we get a vacation day for this mess? How can I be expected to "do work" when I need to be spoon fed mindless news updates about polling locations and other stuff like who's going to win this here election. You know. I think I'll stay home, glued to CNN, for a little while anyway.

Mom may not be thrilled to hear this, but MM and I have a couple of these fancy tickets to see this B-Rock character live, in concert tonight at Chicago's Grant Park. Wow. I mean, sure, as an officer of the law, MM is privy to "intelligence" that verifies people's fears about this evening, and yes, some shit could go down somewhere regardless of the outcome of the election. But how can we miss this? It's history! And maybe, if I'm there, I'll remember how it all went down if I am ever to encounter this question in a future version of Trivial Pursuit.

It's an amazing time people. Amazing and scary and exciting.

Go vote. Unless you're voting for the other guy and you live in a battleground state. Then do the rest of the country a favor and stay home, or better yet, go vote for that nice Libertarian fella because he hates taxes too.

Jokes people. All in good fun.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


OK. Like forever ago, I was “tagged” by Roisin, which is awesome as I have never before been tagged. I always felt like I was missing out on something with this whole tagging business. Now I’m part of the club. Woo hoo!

So, six random things about myself… Let’s see… Sadly, you hear dozens of random details about myself nearly every blog. Regardless…

Focus. Focus…

OK. In honor of me and MM and our engagement, I will make these random facts about our relationship:

  1. MM and I met at an event called Nerds at Heart. Nerds at Heart is a game night for single nerds and nerd sympathizers. We first met in April 2007, but after MM and I exchanged a few emails, I began seeing someone else. I canceled my date with MM via email. He wrote me back. He thought I was, “realistic,” which totally made me think he was weird. Still, writing that somewhat unpleasant email telling him “the truth” rather than just totally blowing him off was probably one of the smarter things I’ve ever done.
  2. We met again four months later at the Nerds at Heart anniversary party in August 2007. When I decided to go, @ actually asked me, “What if you see MM there?” And I said, “Yeah, that crossed my mind. I think it will be OK.” MM almost didn’t come. He had ridden his bike from the gym and forgot to bring a clean shirt. According to him, he stood outside the bar, weighing his options. Eventually he decided that he might as well come in.
  3. MM wore a Harry Potter shirt on our first date. And not like in an “ironic” way. It was a polo shirt, dark blue, and when I looked closely at the crest, I asked, “Does that say ‘Hogwarts’?” It did. And, he’s afraid of spiders. I killed a spider for him on our first date. For this, he gave me the first book in the Harry Potter series.
  4. On our third date, MM and I spent an entire day together. We went to brunch, the movies, and the beach. We had sushi for dinner and then ice cream in the park. When he walked me home, he pulled the “I really have to use the bathroom” line to get into my apartment. Then he totally tried to make out with me, and I totally kicked him out. Apparently, one of his “player” friends told him to say that if he was serious about… I don’t know… getting busy. Feel free to roll your eyes.
  5. The Harry Potter book was a hit, and eventually, Joey gave me every book in the series. He also gave me a toaster… for my birthday… not cool MM.
  6. MM proposed on Sunday, October 26, 2008 in the park across from our house. I said yes, cried, immediately called my mom, and cried again. We’re going to get married next year, likely in the fall. Check out the close up on Freedom Runner’s blog.
There you go! Six random facts. Now I believe I’m supposed to tag six people. Cause heck, why not?

Good times!