Friday, December 28, 2007

The James Bond Meme (shaken not stirred - there are no nearly naked chicks here)

Brian tagged for the aforetmentioned, Cravey nicknamed James Bond meme - this time, instead of me telling on myself, I had to ask my friends to tell on me., and they were only too happy to oblige - no surprise there. Here's the results:

From Renn:
Cravey is handier around the house than most men, and generally more reliable.

She also doesn't suffer fools.

(Is this Renn, or what? Short, to the point and funny. Me likey)

From The Real Mandaroo:
cravey cusses at loved ones when she sleeps*

cravey likes to drink and watch little kids bust their ass*

cravey is a splitter. she'll split things with you in a restaurant. and she knows that crab cakes and green tomatoes make total sense.

*best friend in a hurty time

*will tell you what you need to hear and not bullshit you.

*has a mad crush on rob zombie. which if you see his movies...makes you say, 'huh?' cuz he's fucked up.

*likes a little righteous violence

*eats desert for breakfast

this is why i love cravey

(love you back roo)

From the double-secret-probation-blogger-formerly-known-as-prince (ok, not exactly but I'm not sure he doesn't want to remain anonymous)

From your blog, you're a Christmas-hating curmudgeon who loves running, German shepherds, close friends, and having your house unmolested.

The less obvious stuff: you are intimidatingly kind and pretty, smarter than most people, easy-going as long as things are going your way, incredibly generous, and you smile all the time.

(hands down, one of the nicest things anyone a relative stranger has said to me, EVER)

From the magnanimous Tiff:

1) you are a hysterically funny woman
2) you have a penchant for terrifically ugly running shoes

I thought of a bunch of other things, but then realized that because who you are on your blog is very much the same as who you are in person, I'd just be saying what people already know.
oh wait.

3) you have stunning green eyes.
4) you know that lipstick is a girl's best friend

Okay, I think I was supposed to have six people respond, but only these guys responded, so that's all you get, and other than typos (Tiff) there was no editing. Really. It appears, these people really do like me.

Which seems as good a way to end a year as any.

Very best wishes to all of you in 2008.

I like you back.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I found something I like about Christmas!

I like the holiday pictures of my friends and their kids.

I like it that they remember me at this time of year. Some of them pose with their beautiful kids or sometimes it’s just the kids. Either way, they make me happy. I’ve hung them all on my refrigerator and they’ll probably stay until next year or until they fall off, whichever comes first.

Tonight, I was looking at them while I reheated some leftovers – blonde curly haired sisters Gabby and Grace, little Kyle in his Christmas suit; Sister-Staci and Adrian with puppy dog Eesa, and Debbie with her boys; Astin, Max, and Luke.

I love it that my friends know me well enough that they send the pictures, but skip the annoying Christmas update letter. This is one of the small reasons I am friends with these people.

My friends are well and happy, they have had their share of ups and downs this year, but at the end of the year, they took a minute to think of me and to send me a piece of their greatest joy. It’s right there on my refrigerator, smiling back at me. That's the only update I need.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Awful Truth

Last week I had hardwood flooring put down in my living room, my master bedroom and the little hallways in between. It feels like months since I first wandered into home depot and started trying to poking around at my choices of hardwood, pre-finished hardwood, laminate, tile, and don’t get me started on colors. By the time last Thursday got here, I almost leaped out of my skin when that big black diesel truck rolled into my driveway.

Three guys pulled up and started unloading large table-saw looking things, extension cords, air compressors, nail guns, staple guns, and other stuff I didn’t recognize. They came in, looked at the furniture I moved, and the furniture yet to be moved, they took humidity measurements. I had to run up to the office and right before I dashed off, I asked, “so how long do you think this will take?” The answer came back from Jerry, the veteran of the group and I really wanted to believe he was kidding.. “I’m going to say two days.”

“Two days! Two freakin’ days?!#@!!, I didn’t plan for two days working at home! And by the way, why the hell didn’t someone tell me that? I scheduled this like three weeks ago, and NO ONE Said anything about two days! What the hell am I going to do with my dogs crammed upstairs for two whole days, never mind the fact that I can’t even get to my sink, or my stove.. TWO DAYS!!! AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!”

Okay, so that’s not what I said. What I said, was “okay, I’ll be right back” and off I went to pick up a replacement laptop since oh-so-conveniently sometime during the night I murdered mine, and no, I don’t know how it happened Mr. IT-Help-Desk Person, No I did not drop it, run it over, dunk it in water, or anyway mutilate or mistreat it. I swear. It committed suicide. It hated me. This is something I can live with.

Home again, I worked on my front porch while the banging, clanging, air compressoring, skill-sawing, and my very favorite part, the arguing went on. Delightful. At the end of the day I was stunned at how much I got done under those conditions. I can’t say I’ve ever worked on a porch swing before. I ran out at the end of the day because, well frankly, they were driving me crazy. I couldn’t take their bickering anymore. (Dear Mom and Dad, I’m sorry about all that, I love you.)

I got back and mercifully, they were gone. I almost cried. See, I figured, they’d finish one room, and I could at least put one room back together, you know, find my sink/stove again. But No. This was not to be.
They did ¾ of the bedroom and a little more than that of the living room. This will never make sense to me – and I was very unhappy. I spent that night somewhat miserably chasing the puppy around and pulling pieces of wood, carpet tacking strip, carpet and carpet padding out of his mouth. I had to go out and buy a toothbrush, since my bathroom was 100% blocked by my lovely, comfortable and fully dismantled bed.
I slept for all of 4 hours on my couch.
I was up and had been working (!) for 3 hours when they arrived for Day 2 at 730am. I bolted for the local coffee shop at the start of the first argument. Those first 3 hours were productive. Even over the coffee grinder, espresso maker and the coffee shop girls cheerful welcome to each and every patron. My job being what is, I was doing a lot of hurry up and wait. Hopeful that the large man working on my floor was right when he said they’d be done by noon, I ran home to check.

Only if a dozen men showed up would they be done in an hour and half.

This was becoming a serious lesson in patience and in taming my ADD qualities.
I had no idea I was this bad.
I was a woman on the edge, there were sweaty men and their crap all over my house, and more importantly my crap was all over my house, but in the wrong places.
It was making me nuts. Like Jack Nicholson in The Shining nuts.

My good dogs were shoved in rooms or cages locked away upstairs on a sunny 70-degree December day and I had quite simply HAD IT.
(1pm. Not done) I let the dogs out. I didn’t ask I just did it. We all went outside, we played ball, we had a little lunch..We played ball some more.
(2pm. Not Done) I checked on my work project. I waited some more. I got out the leaf blower I chased leaves. I chased dogs. I even succeeded in not losing my shit all over the large man when I came in from the backyard to discover his grimy paws in my freezer helping himself to ice cubes. I am a generous person, ask and you shall receive, but helping yourself? Not so much.
(3pm. 1 room done – hooray!!). I locked the dogs outside and put my living room back together, I cleaned up after them, I swept, I vacuumed, hung pictures. I moved furniture. Marginally further away from the ledge, I curled up on my couch and got some more work done.
4:30. Equipment starts going out of the house. I think I swept them out of the house with the staples and carpet tacking strips and cardboard boxes. I almost tap-danced. I made my bed. I put my stuff back where it freaking belongs.
Then I took a shower. Then, I looked at my floors, and damn. They. Look. Good.

If someone had told me it would be like this, I would never have gone through with it.
Or, I would have moved out.

You know how every neighborhood has a crazy cat lady?
I think I’m her. Substitute german shepherds for cats and Voila. I'm her.

I'm pretty sure this isn't what my parents invisioned.

Oh, and PS. Kim - I did get that stupid project out - at 5:12 pm.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The end of the year ADD Post

I'm not a Christmas person. I'm just not. Deal with it.

Furthermore, I think Christmas music a vile invention. Particularly Barry Manilow singing Chistmas songs, in case you were wondering, but to be honest, I don't like any of it. When I lived in Northern Virginia there was a spoof Christmas song - spoofing Baltimore - that I loved. I can't remember what the name of it was or who recorded it, but it was a mockery of Winter Wonderland, sung by a guy with an exaggerated Dundalk (suburb of Baltimore) and involved things like VD and impregnating your girlfriend. So that ought to give you an idea of my christmas music taste. Oh, and don't even get me started on that Grandma got runned over by a reindeer song. I will gleefully beat you to death with a Christmas wreath if you sing or play that crap anywhere near me.

I love me some Christmas lights though. In Virginia there was a street - Juniper Street - in Sterling, the whole street went apeshit over christmas lights. The houses had themes, cool themes. One had spiderman (Hi Mat!) in lights climbing the side of their house; another had Snoopy on waterskiis behind santas sleigh; one house had the grinch on their front lawn stealing a real, decorated christmas tree, there were many more, it was a big street, but those were my favorites. They also had a large donation box for a local charity, and the week or so before and the week after the holiday, they gave out hot cider and cocoa for the people walking around admiring the lights.

I looked forward to going down that street every year. I took everyone I could think of with me. Of note, this was not always appreciated.

When I started running, this street was always included in my routes, no matter how out of the way it was. (P.S. those big, inflatable, floaty character things are a little creepy during daylight hours, but at night, or pre-dawn? totally creepy) I swear you can feel them watching you.

Every year, I think I'm going to decorate my house with pretty white lights, and every year I don't do it. I go look at the lights, I imagine what it is I want. Then I realize with my luck I'd probably overload a circuit and burn my house down, and well, somehow I think that would not help with the fact that I'm not a christmas person.

I'm glad the rest of you do it though, it's truly one of my very favorite things about the end of the year, and since the end of the year usually finds me just wishing it would get on with it and over it already, I try to make the most of the few moments I find myself enjoying the current moment.

The turning of a new year always motivates me. I have some internal device that kicks in and tells me to make this year better, brighter, just more (Staci) than the last. Of course I run through the standard list of telling myself that this year, I will: clean baseboards, balance my checkbook, give more to charity and rotate my tires on a regular basis; and no, I never actually do these things. I'm not a new years resolution-er either. Generally those people bug the crap out of me. Especially the ones that join the gym -- because all of a sudden there 4457 more people in my gym and I can't accomplish what I need to. I KNOW I should be more selfless and encouraging but quite seriously, by mid-February 4455 of them have given up, and I'm just glad I can use the chest press with-out a 90 minute wait and a need to run for a snack.
Go ahead, call me selfish. I'll wait.

This year I may make an exception on the new years resolution thing. If not, I'll likely need to call on friends to stage an intervention (sidebar: I may also need an intervention from the show Intervention which is likely a whole 'nother kind of sickness I'm not ready to face, so hush) because I have a problem. It's name is E-bay, and I am an addict. Where is my Jeff VanVonderen when I need him? Last night after paying for my 6th auction win in 28 hours - that's right I said 6th - I found myself researching leather sofas on E-Bay. This is not good. This is not good. This is not good. Oh, and this? All the fault of the Redneck Scottsdale Princess, I'm just not sure which personality I need to blame.

If I am able to avoid the e-bay bankruptcy, I have trips with friends, more intense dog training, the start of competing with my own dog, family weddings, and just maybe another marathon in the works. If I'm really lucky I'll get to meet some new people and make some new friends along the way - there's a Bruce Springsteen fan in Austin I'm dying to meet, and a chance I'll be in Austin next fall. And then there's the best part - there's stuff I don't have any idea about that's coming.

Squeeee! it's like um.. huh.
Now there's a new way to look at things.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The return of an old friend

For the last few months, in the back of my head I've been reminding myself on a daily basis that I ran a marathon in 2005. That not only did I run 26.2 miles, but I did everything that goes along with the actual race, ie the training. FIVE MONTHS OF TRAINING.

This fall was going along nicely. I was training for the Raleigh half, I was working through the umpteenth injury of year, but I was still putting them down. Then the stupid toe thing happened and it blew my long run mileage off the map, and I was out for the race. The "toe blow" wasn't just physical in fact, it's what it did to me mentally that had had me chanting the marathon mantra. It was really getting me down. I missed running. The first frost came and my brain immediately went to how much I love frosty early morning runs ...and I was quietly snarky about the runners I'd pass to and from work each day.

Last week, I went for a run. Three miles after work one day. It was rocky. I felt rhythm-less in breath and pace, and awkward (feelings I usually reserve for dancing). Friday night I ran again. It was awful. Painful. Breathless. Slow. N.e.v.e.r.e.n.d.i.n.g... and it was only 3 miles.

Tonight I laced my shoes and set IPOD playlist and hit the road. Just three miles was the goal. Running normally clears my head. Not tonight. The thoughts came as fast as Rage Against the Machine's Township Rebellion and with it the 2 mile mark. Two more RATM songs and I'm at 3 miles. I'll just run til I hear Lenny Kravitz tell me he can't breathe without me., that's worth running a few more minutes, so is hearing my favorite song lyric ever - 'first one to complain leaves with a blood stain' .. yeah, I'll just run to the end of this song, I love running when Christmas lights are up, man my hair is getting long, I wonder what 2008 will bring, I really wish I had some pie at home, okay, just one Manson song, how do you *not* run during 'The Beautiful People'.. and then there it was the 5 mile mark. Enough.

My pace is slower than it was three months ago.
It was only 5 miles.
But I found it again, the reason I love running.
Running doesn't let me take it for granted. It gives me what I give it. No more, no less. It kicks my ass but leaves me feeling stronger. There's a new challenge on the other side of street even when it's the same street day after day. It never changes, but it's always different.

It's good to be back.