Racing for the Cure

We did Race for the Cure this weekend, (although in my case it was more "Leasurely Stroll for the Cure"). I will get up at the butt crack of dawn when it is less than 40 degrees (it was still dark outside! And really cold!), but I draw the line at running. Cold and early fulfills my quota of charitable hardships without having to resort to physical activity.

I did get a doughnut and hot chocolate for my troubles though, so I'll be back to do it again next year.

Goooooooooo team!

Lovin' the Lava

I decided I needed more peace and tranquility at work, and since quitting isn't an option, I dug my old lava lamp out of the closet and brought it to work.

Like myself, my lava lamp missed the 60's (and 70's for that matter), so we're "retro returns". Like a Disney movie, my lamp has been "released from the vault and digitally remastered for this generation to enjoy". Lava 2.0 you could say. (If you don't have one, you can always download the screensaver version).

Anyway, I brought my lamp to work to soothe me. And I am soothed. I am completely mellow. I am losing all productivity because I spend all day watching the lava levitate. And I don't care. I can sooooo see why these were a such a hit with the drug induced hippies. The little lava blobs look so happy. Like they're jumping up and down on a trampoline in slow motion. You can almost hear them going, "Wheeeee!" They float up. They float down. Doesn't matter to them...they're just along for the ride. Like Jell-O ate some magic mushrooms. I keep thinking how much fun it would be to grab those globs and squeeze them (although the rational part of me knows that they're hot molten wax, so that would NOT be fun in reality). I keep touching the glass anyway.

Wha...? How long have I been sitting here?

Tony's new hobby

Tony has rediscovered hockey. He played when he was a kid because the sport actually existed in Illinois, whereas children down here are like, "Skate on ice? That's crazy talk. Ice is for cooling your sweet tea. You'd never be able to even get your foot inside the glass". So when my little Yankee transplanted himself down here, he thought his hockey playing days were over. And they were...until now.

Tony has discovered the one place in town (actually, the next town over) where they teach and play hockey. He's in 7th heaven. Finally, he's found his own little slice of home in the South. Here he can skate, and play hockey, and wear ridiculously bulky padding, and claim that Southerners talk too slow, and that the humidity is killing him, and hate sweet tea with all the other Yankee transplants who have congregated on the rink.

I've been watching this slowly build over the last three weeks. First, he was just going to pop in on his day off and do some skating, just to see if he could remember how. Then he decided that he really should just buy his own hockey skates. Then he brought home the brochure with the class times, scrimmages, and league play dates. Then he was renting the equipment. Yesterday I came home to a living room filled with hockey pads, hockey sticks, hockey socks (which technically don't have a foot, so should really be referred to as hockey leg warmers), hockey helmet, hockey tape (for putting on the stick apparently), hockey jersey, hockey garters, hockey underwear, and a hockey equipment bill for several hundred dollars. It seems that it's officially hockey playing time.

Last night was the Tony's first adult hockey class. (Seeing how he hasn't played in 18 years, he thought he might need to brush up on a few of the skills). I went along for the fun. By the way, I will tell you the reason why no one knows that we even have hockey down here. It's because they only play hockey late at night, when all the sane people have already gone to sleep because they know they have work the next day. The class didn't start until 9:50, and we didn't get home until midnight. My guess is they would automatically double the hockey class size if they started at 7pm instead of 10pm.

Anyway, he got all dressed up in his new little hockey outfit (he looked so cute!) and did the class. (I surreptitiously took pictures while he wasn't looking. Apparently having your wife make you pose while she snaps photos ruins the tough guy image). It all looks pretty easy to just glide around on the ice while holding an oversized stick. Not so, says Tony. It's very hard. Very strenuous exercise. (Apparently Tony's last sport- laying on the couch while watching TV- did not prepare him for this kind of physical activity). But despite the sweat and running into the wall a lot and swinging madly at the puck with 13 other people standing on top of him, Tony's really pumped. I think he's found his calling.

Sophisticated bathrooms

Gary decided to bail out on hiking this weekend (lame-o), which is why I found myself with a fantastically free Saturday and nothing to do. I was going to lounge around, I was going to watch tv, I was read and soak in the tub and do absolutely nothing. It would be glorious.

Yeah. That lasted half an hour.

The problem is that my favorite station (HGTV) are all about people doing something, like gardening or building something or redecorating their house. And I cannot, in good conscience, watch other people redecorating their houses without taking a good hard look at my own. Anyway, I was watching the Design Remix crew redo this guy's bachelor pad (thank goodness! He I dare say it? White. Walls. White. As in, the way the builder left them. Barf. It's a good thing that Karen got there when she did). Anywho, as she's fearlessly slapping paint on the walls and covering a truly hideous couch with a slip cover, she turns to the camera and says, "Brown is a very sophisticated color". Sure enough, the guy's room looks great, which reminds me how much I HATE my guest bathroom. Hate. It. It has the same dirty looking paint and horrible country floral wallpaper border that the previous owners put up. The only reason that it survived as long as it has is because I just don't know what to replace it with. But now, now I am emboldened! I will transform my guest bathroom! People will ohhhh and ahhh over it. It will inspire! So off to Lowe's I go.

Normally, picking out new paint would be easy. Just paint it blue. (I love blue. It's the one color that I'm drawn to, over and over. The outside of my house is blue. My living room is blue. My kitchen is blue. My office is blue. My garden theme is blue. Blue makes me happy. Unfortunately, Tony has gotten a little blued out. "No more blue rooms!" He says. So I'll just have to find something not blue). Easier said than done. I throw out the reds, yellows, greens, purples (although I thought about that one for a while, being a cousin of blue, after all) cremes, oranges, and all colors in between. Then I spy...a brown. Normally, I wouldn't even consider brown walls (ack!), but Karen's little voice in my head says "Brown is a very sophisticated color" AAAAND, it's not blue. And I need to branch out...explore outside my color comfort zone (blue). Plus, it's the color of good melted chocolate, and how bad can that be? So I get some. Brown is a very sophisticated color. And I take it home. Brown is a very sophisticated color. And I strip the old wallpaper off (already a huge improvement) and I slap the first brushful of color on the walls. Brown is a very sophisticated color. And I paint some more, (brown is a very sophisticated color) and step back to get the full effect, and brown is...the color of poop. I have painted my bathroom poop brown. While it may inspire regularity, this was not the effect I was going for. But maybe that's just me. Maybe everyone else will still ooooh and ahhh over my sophisticated bathroom. Tony comes home and glances at the new bathroom color. "Looks like poop" he says, as he heads back towards the bedroom. "BROWN IS A VERY SOPHISTICATED COLOR!" I yell after him.

Actually, the brown is growing on me. Once I got over the initial shock, I realized that it is kind of a nice color, and isn't quite so poopy once it dries. It's the color of melted milk chocolate, and has a rich, creamy look. Kinda like a dark suede. And it does look sophisticated. And classy. All I need now for it to be perfect are some bathroom accessories in a coordinating blue.

YouTu-be, or not YouTu-be?

And here I thought I was the only one addicted to YouTube.

The thing that gets me most is all the lip syncing. I could spend hours watching complete strangers dance around singing songs that I know they're not really singing. But I'm hooked, and apparently I'm really not the only one.

It started with Numa Numa guy, and after that, I really couldn't help myself.

A little something from the 80s, 90's, and 2004.

The latest three songs on my playlist:

Standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hands - Primitive Radio Gods
What about Everything - Carbon Leaf
Betty Davis Eyes- Kim Carnes

A little varied, yes, but I like to think that I'm eclectic.

And by the way, I googled Betty Davis, and her eyes are scary. Definitely a case of hyperthyroidism.

Helicopter Game

Say goodbye to productivity for at least the rest of the day.

It's...Helicopter Game!

By the way, my high score is 1058. Beat that, you ruffians!

Picture this

I read an article that said that blogs are more interesting if you put lots of pictures on it. How this blog could possibly be any more interesting, I don't know. But just for you, dear readers, I'll add some more photos. Incredibly interesting photos, that will keep you riveted to your computer screen.

Like this one, which is last year's Halloween costume (and incidentally, the winner of the company costume contest).


I must admit that I was scared for the first half, but my dear alma mater pulled it out!

Go boys go!

Doin' the funky chicken dance in my living room.

"I will walk 500 miles and I will walk 500 more..."

You'll be happy to know that I survived my second hiking trip also. This time we actually did two little trails, one of which (Mingo Falls) ended in this FANTASTIC waterfall. The trail to this one is short and easy to navigate, but requires hiking up about 150 stairs to get there.

Then we did a second trail, Kephart Prong (which meets up with the "Sweaty Heifer Trail", by the way) which was 2 miles up and 2 miles back. It follows a great stream, and has some old building ruins from a former Civilian Conservation Corp Camp that was there from 1933-42. You can also see old railroad remains that were left when Champion Fiber Company logged the area in the 1920s. I wasn't nearly as exhausted this time around, and even if I was, I'm not admitting it because Jessica brought her "almost eight" year old son with us, and he ran the whole way.

Today's wild animal spotting was the wild turkey, who, due to proximity to my person, was actually a little scarier than the black bear. (Those turkeys are bigger than butterball makes them look! And they were not scared of us at all, which is a little freaky).

This is all of us (minus Greg, who is taking the picture) on one of the "foot logs" (read: narrow slippery log with rickety "rail" on one side, which would probably only impale you if you slipped off the "bridge" and fell the 15' to the boulders below, where you would no doubt crack your head open like an egg and drown before anyone could get down there to save you). Fun times, fun times.

Here we have the view on the car ride up and over the mountains. Pretty cool how the clouds look like a lake, huh? We pulled over and took a few minutes to snap this picture (and in my case, allow the car sickness to pass. I love the mountains, but hate driving in them).

If you want to see more pictures, shoot on over to Greg's site.

Titantic toes with talent

Seems that Stephaluffagus is defending her freaky toes, and has provided a pro-toe website as backup. Now, I'm all for toe dexterity, and have been known to pick up several items off the floor, flex toes individually, and even turn doorknobs with my impressive toe grip, but would like to note that my extremely talented tarsals are still normal sized. Cute even.

I'm not saying that long toes are bad. I'm just not a long toed person. (Not that there's anything wrong with that). Don't send me anti-toe hate mail. I'm just dissing Steph's toes because she's family, and I've known her toes for a long time.

Science Gives Us the Finger

Long fingered freaks finally have something to celebrate! This study finds "women with ring fingers longer than their index fingers had performed better at running and associated running sports such as soccer and tennis." (Mine is indeed a tiny bit longer than my index finger, which probably means that I can run, but would rather not). The study goes on to say that this is genetic, but I figure that it started when the long fingered cave-girls got better at running because they had to chase down the short-fingered cave-girls who were no doubt calling them "monkey hands". Being long-fingered and slightly over 5'8", I can still claim that it's instinct that makes me what to pummel the "dainty" and "petite" women who can wear the fitted shirts that actually hit them at the waist instead of the lower ribs.

Too bad the study didn't say anything good about your freakishly long ape-toes, huh Stepher?

Grotto Falls

So in a new attempt to get my lazy butt off the couch and be marginally social, I went hiking yesterday with a group of people. They go every weekend and do day hikes up in the Smokies, and I figured, why not? It's just walking. (This is the point where the experienced hikers smirk).

Anyway, I pack my granola bars and some water, and put on my boots, and dress in layers, and do all the things that I know good hikers are supposed to do. I even put my granola bars in tupperware so that the black bears won't ambush me. And off we go.

At this point, you dear reader, are expecting me to have done something stupid, like fall off the side of the mountain, or get attacked by bears, or trip and break my leg. Well, shame on you, for having so little faith in me. I did none of those things. I did, however, realize that I am not in as good of shape as what I thought. A mile on the treadmill is HUGELY different than a mile uphill over rocks and exposed roots and rotting logs and stuff. We had gone about 100 yards and I thought I was going to die. The rest of the group is chatting about different things as they leisurely make their way up the hill, and I'm gasping like an asthmatic at a perfume testers convention. The poor guy who organizes these hikes is glancing like me like he expects me to keel over at any point. (He also looks like if I do, he's just going to roll my body off the side of the mountain and be done with it). But right about the time that I'm seriously considering just stopping and waiting for the bears to find me, I see the waterfall. It's fantastic! Like something out of Jurassic Park. (Well, maybe a smaller version of it anyway). After that, I totally forgot that I was on the brink of death. As a matter of fact, I felt fantastic! I'm not even sore today. I figure it just took my body a while to remember what physical activity feels like. Next weekend is the 8 mile hike. I can't wait.

Pictures here on Greg's official hiking site.