Monday, December 28, 2009

Breckenridge - The first three days

Wow! I just realized that we've only been here for 2.5 days.  It already seems like much longer, but that's actually pretty fantastic.

We flew in on Christmas day, which is an awesome day to travel if you're not of the mindset of caring when you get somewhere.  The airport was nice and quiet even though our flight was full.  We met another family and a single guy that were all coming to Breck.  We haven't yet run into them, but I figure at some point we may.  Christmas dinner was at The Hearthstone where I had a couple of nice pieces of elk.  The altitude change was not nice to the belly though, and we all ended up a gassy mess, lol.

Saturday we just hung around and checked out the town a little bit.  We had originally planned to do a little warm-up day but decided that we needed the day to continue to adjust to the altitude.  It's nearly 2 miles high here.  Crazy.

Sunday we hit the mountain full force with everyone going into their separate lesson.  Amazingly enough, the place isn't jam packed which meant that Kiddo basically had a private lesson since there was only one other teen in her group and I had a private lesson because no one else signed up for the particular thing that I did.  Lovey also had a private lesson, but that's because he booked it in the first place.  We were all on the mountain from about 9:30 till 3 and let me tell you, at 3, we were all exhausted.  Running 3 miles 3 times a week does absolutely nothing to prepare one for all day on the mountain.

Because it's vacation, I must have a massage (or two).  First massage came from the lovely folks at Blue Sage Spa.  Super nice people, but most people here are.  Deep tissue massage followed by a seaweed therapy detox.  All I can say here is ahhhhhhhhhhh.  We managed to stay up until 10pm(!) 

*SIDEBAR*  I just saw the Charlie Daniels Geico commercial.  So funny.

This morning, we had it planned to go to the grocery store and run a few more errands.  Well, that was, until I could find my driver's license.  We turned the house upside down looking for it to no avail.  I called the massage place and they didn't have it.  I called the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory where I picked up yumminess after my massage and they didn't have it either.  

Panic started to set in.  How in the world was I gonna get home?  On a lesser scale, how could I take part in the champagne toast on New  Year's Eve if I couldn't prove I was old enough to do so?  My mouth started to get dry.  My stomach started to sour.  I have effectively ruined, sorta, vacation.  Our whole crew retraced my steps from last night.  We didn't find anything.  As it is, my head is always full of random thoughts, but everything was even more jumbled now.  I stopped back in the spa and they said I should call the police station to see if anyone had turned it in.  Another bust.  The other half of our crew went into the visitor center to see if anyone had turned it in there but no luck again.  We left them information to get in contact with us if, by some slim chance, someone turned it in.

AT&T service has been spotty at best for the last couple of days here.  That has led to missed and/or dropped calls and NO TWITTER from my phone. Boooo!  As such, I didn't hear my phone when it rang and it took hours for voicemail to show up.  It finally buzzed through when we were in the grocery store.  And you will never believe this, because I still don't believe it and it's happening right in front of my face, but the visitor center called and said that they have my license!!  Some kind soul found my license and turned it in!!  Breckenridge is OFFICIALLY my favorite town in the world now.  I don't know if it was a local or if someone else on vacation, but whoever you are, THANK YOU!!!

Tonight, we're still trying to recover from yesterday and prepare for tomorrow.  We've all decided that a calm day of riding greens rather than the blues and blue-blacks we rode yesterday would be a good idea.

Oh!  Photos!  You can see all of them here.

Also, I haven't forgotten about the blog challenge.  I'm thinking a minimum of three posts a week with a minimum of 100 words.  It's only for bragging rights and getting ourselves into the habit of writing a little more.

That's it for now and I'll be posting more as it's needed.  Hope all's well in each of your respective worlds.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When TV sneaks into daily life

Yesterday, I spoke to MommaShyner about general and random things as is the norm. She mentioned that she was going to the football game tonight as her neighbor was nice enough to pass over her tickets for the evening (she's a season ticket holder; isn't that nice of her?). Off the top of my head I didn't know who was playing but MommaShyner felt that it was the Dolphins.

I know. It isn't.

Later last night, I was relaying the story to Lovey including the Dolphins part. He knew that it wasn't the Dolphins but wasn't sure who it was. In a stroke of brilliance, I realized that it was the Colts and told Lovey so.

We discussed the importance of the game for the Jags and that it would likely be a good game. Lovey mentioned that maybe the Colts would start sitting players, though, in preparation for the playoffs. I agreed that it would be a good game and, following my moment of brilliance with a moment of sheer stupidity, I said:

Maybe she'll get to see someone like Peyton Manning, maybe.

To which Lovey replied:

Maybe.

First, yes, just that quickly I forgot that we said that players might sit. Second, dammit Manning! You're seeping into regular conversations in our house and we're not even Colts fans!

Thanks for tuning in to your daily ramble featuring MiamiShyner.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend drinkend

In an evening that was a throwback to times when I used to party hard, we really had a good time Saturday night.

Location: Coconut Grove
Venue: Crazy Pianos
Time: 9pm......

So, yeah, it would've been 9pm had they not screwed up the reservation, but after a brief (one hour) wait, they did get it together and we were able to get our party on. Upon our arrival, Lovey dropped me off and went to park the car. I went inside to check on our non-existant reservation. While checking out the scene, one of the bouncers was hitting on me...hard. Like, I have bruises hard. But hey, who doesn't need an ego boost every now and again? And he was hawt.

There's me and Lovey. I'm a few beers in at that point. This is also why I typically hide from the camera, particularly when I've been drinking. One eye gets all droopy and I forget to suck in my tummy and I'm never happy with the results. BUT, even if it doesn't look like it here, I looked DAMN HOT Saturday night.

That second photo was a little earlier in the evening where I'm still looking like I have complete control over everything, lol. Good times had by all.


I must thank The Negotiators for getting a nice piece of change lopped off the bill along with fantastic chocolate cake with ice cream and a big ole sparkler!

While we certainly had fun, I am starting to realize that I can't party hard like I used to. I think that with every sip of water on Sunday, I rehydrated some dried up alcohol particles and got drunk all over again. Yikes!

Know what though? I'm sure I'll forget by next year and do it all over again! :-D

Friday, December 11, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Mr. Rooney, Coach Tomlin, et al:

Hi. You don't know me; we've never met. I am just another of the millions that are proud to be a part of the Steeler Nation...most of the time. You see, I came into the world a Steeler fan 36 years ago. I came up in a part of PA where Friday night was high school football, Saturday morning was pee-wee football, Saturday afternoon was college football and Sunday was the icing on the football cake with the Steelers. My father played, my brother played, and I played PowderPuff. In high school, it wasn't enough for me to be the mascot and cheer on our football team. It wasn't enough to be a cheerleader and cheer on our football team. I did both, but I didn't find true happiness until in my senior year, I was the first (and last) female manager of our football team. So yes, I know from football.

I've followed the Steelers with a passion for over two decades. I've been fortunate enough to meet many of the players. I've been through the ups and downs right there with the rest of the Steeler Nation. I understand that no one is perfect and no one (in current times) is going to win all of their games (without the help of the NFL *AHEM*), but this season has been an extreme disappointment to all of us. I'm sure that I don't need to point out that we're in a downward spiral, losing three of four to the crappiest teams in the NFL. Now, the last time that I checked, not a single member of the organization was a cardiac surgeon, so if you'd kindly stop ripping out my heart, I would appreciate it.

Maybe I'm to blame. Maybe I jinxed the team. See, I don't live in the viewing area so I only see the nationally televised games. But, the Steelers are my team and simply waiting on the updates on line wasn't enough. Last year (and a few before that), I listened to our hometown guys doing the game on Sirius and that was great, getting to hear a little slice of home. This year, however, I decided that just hearing the game wasn't enough. I wanted to see every game and not just the nationally televised one, so I got Sunday Ticket.

Let me explain a little something here. I love my team, no matter how well/badly they're doing (on a Superbowl high when I made the purchase), but that doesn't change the fact that the economy sucks and I overlooked that fact because I LOVE MY TEAM! I bought my daughter, the next generation of Steelers fans a #43 jersey to continue the tradition of love. I bought myself a new jersey because I LOVE MY TEAM. All this I do because I stand behind the black and gold. Always. That doesn't mean I'm not pissed off about the poor showing this season.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this regard. I'm sure that there are plenty of "veteran" Steelers fans who put forth their hard earned money to show their support of Pittsburgh and the Steelers and its proud history. Plenty of other fans who will likely never make the league minimum for ROOKIE players but still show up for every game. Plenty of other fans who are heartbroken that we fell, er skyrocketed, from grace like Milli Vanilli or Elliot Spitzer. Let me clue you in on what you might need in the draft next year: a new 12th man because your current one might not make it until next season.

Am I fan? Yes. Do I love my team? Obviously. Have I ever been to a game? *looks down at the ground and toes the dirt* No. Nearly a month ago, Steelers, I asked you if you were just tossing out the rest of the season. You didn't say yes, so I took that as a no. I guess that's my mistake. Why did I ask in the first place? Well, you see, you're coming to town (Miami) in January and I am finally in a position where I can attend a game. I wanted to know that, for the last game of the season, your hearts would still be in it. I wanted to know that I would love my first football game. I guess, that come Sunday, January 3, I'll have to make my own fun, and don't worry, I will. I'm sure that you guys will show up, in body if not in spirit.

I'll still love you always, Steelers, when you're riding high on top and no matter how many times you disappoint me. I'll still be there on January 3 to cheer you on even though the game will be meaningless to you (but likely not to the Dolphins). So, if you've got an apology for me, or an explanation, or a refund for my Sunday Ticket for the games you've thrown away, I'll be the black girl with dreds in the black Hines Ward jersey sitting in section 246. See you then.

With all that's left of my heart,

Miamishyner

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend dinner!

Over the weekend, Lovey and I had the opportunity to go out to dinner as Kiddo was out doing Kiddo things. Our decisions always go a little something like this:
  • Should we order in or shower and go out?
  • Pasta? Sushi? Mexican? Chinese? What?
  • How far do we want to drive?
I really should make a flowchart for us to make these decisions easier.

We decided on go out, Mexican and not far which led us to Talavera in Coral Gables. As you may know, I LOVE Mexican food (Tex Mex also although it's not Mexican) and basically 99% of everything about Mexico. (See also, wedding there in June and lived there for a couple of years.) I even learned to love tacos off the street that I would have previously turned my nose up at. I am plotting a trip to Chicago simply so that I can visit Frontera and XOCO.

It was still relatively early (for Miami) when we arrived at about 7:45pm. While there was no wait, the restaurant was still pulling in a good crowd. They didn't reach a wait while we there, but the steady flow of business was maintained. We were warmly greeted and given our choice of several open tables.

Chips and salsa arrived promptly for us to munch on. Talavera provides two types of chips and two types of salsa. Right, I neglected to take a picture of the chips, but one looked like a flour tortilla that had been cut into smaller pieces and fried and the other was blue corn.

The salsa on the right had a slightly sweet taste to it with a kick. I honestly don't know what was in it. The salsa on the left tasted like tomatillo and cilantro and had a mild spice. Both salsas tasted better with the blue corn tortilla although I'm not sure why.

The menu has plenty of choices and we refrained from gorging ourselves on the first visit. As appetizers, we both had a cup of soup. The cups are normal sized cups with just enough soup. Lovey had the black bean which looked fantastically hearty and tasted just as well. I had the tortilla soup. I will admit that at first glance, I was put off by my soup as it just didn't look anything like I thought it should, but after the first taste, it didn't matter what it looked like. Tomatillo was certainly utilized in the tortilla soup but it gave the soup a light and refreshing quality. Each of the soups had small strips of tortilla and a sprinkling of cheese in them.

Before moving on to the main course, of course we had margaritas!! Lovey had The Original and I had The Ambitious. While I didn't try his, I had my hands full with my own. Let's just say that the bartender makes a damn good drink.

After much indecision, I finally settled on Tacos de Chilorio and Lovey had the Mexico City Beef Tacos, left and right respectively.

Wow! Let me start with the rice. I love when Lovey's mom makes rice. I don't know what she does to it, but it's fantastic. Talavera is giving her a run for her money. Each order of Tacos de Chilorio comes with a small side of guacamole which was also quite tasty. You would think that five tacos is an awfully large serving, but after you eat the first one, you know you'll have no problem finishing the rest. The pork was soft and delicious.

The Mexico City Beef Tacos are just as delicious. Although you can't see them, the tortillas are the same size as the ones you see on my plate and they're hiding in that little silver basket. I don't know if it's the cut of meat or what they marinate it in, but the beef was just plain fantastic and I don't really care for red meat. Lovey had no problem putting them all away.

I believe the dessert menu changes often as our server explained them to us rather than providing a menu. The only sadness of the trip was that they didn't have the fantastic sounding churro dessert. We instead had a chocolate souffle with a scoop of ice cream. It surprised us with just a touch of spicy, just like it might in Mexico.

The bill came in at the regular price it does when we go out for a meal and have three courses and drinks, so I didn't find it to be overpriced, or even expensive, especially considering that 40% of our bill was liquor. All in all, it was a lovely meal in a lovely environment and I can't wait to try it out again.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decoration End Game

Ok, so here's last year's real tree:




















Not horrible but not great and certainly no Blue Room tree. Did you see the First Lady's tree?!?! It's so beautiful. Like *tear* beautiful. See it here.

Then here's this year's tree:




















Hmmmm. I think I still liked the real tree better. I should try to take a picture in similar lighting for a better comparison, right?

Friday, December 4, 2009

The OCD Christmas Tree

When I was growing up, decorating the tree was like a sacred ritual. Although we never had a set day to set up the tree, when it eventually showed up in the yard, we knew it was close to time. Real trees were the route we always took, on several occasions even going out to the tree farm to pick our own.

We did a little decorating outside the house but left the major light displays to the folks across the street. They were a great landmark when giving directions to our place. Inside, the windows that faced the front got some spray snow and the banisters got some garland, but the crown jewel was the tree. I watched in awe as my mom would transform a plain old tree into a piece of art.

There were two key components to the tree: bubble lights and the chirping bird. Bubble lights are straight 70s and they rock so hard it should be illegal. Can you imagine that bubbly goodness on your tree?!?!

I wish that I could upload sound so you could hear what the product description calls "the joyous sound of a bird chirping". It's not joyous really. It's pretty annoying after a while but that never stopped us from hiding it in the center of the tree like it was a little bird's nest. People were always amazed by it too. We all just found that to be hysterical.

My mom would decorate and I would hand her the ornaments and as I got older, I was allowed to place some ornaments or add the final touch of icicles. I believe that I was about 14 or 15 when the honor of fully decorating the tree was bestowed upon me. No pressure!! Welcome in OCD.

With this great task upon me, I was so careful to place each ornament just perfectly to try to live up to the standard of trees before mine. I'm proud to say that my trees were all beautiful. My tree OCD, however, never left.

Fast forward 20(!) years to current day Christmas where I'm solely in charge of the tree. For the last three years, we've been buying a fresh cut tree because I love the scent of pine when I walk in the front door. I'm not so sheltered, though, as not to realize the importance of our natural resources. This year we bought our first fake tree.

Obviously, I didn't immediately fall in love with this idea nor the looks of the tree when Kiddo and I first started putting it up. It came pre-lit with various colored lights. They're bright. Really bright. While the family photo albums have already been handed down, the Christmas decorations have not yet. My tree is without bubble lights and chirping birds. Sadness. It is full of pretty red and silver ornaments with some splashes of other color here and there.

What I've learned this year is that fake trees are heaven for those with tree OCD. It's taken me three days now to finish decorating the tree. Partially because there's just so much life to take care of outside of the tree, but mostly because of the OCD. Every ornament must be hanging down perfectly straight. Yes, I'm off my rocker. But the fake tree is AWESOME for this!! If an ornament isn't hanging properly, I can bend its branch or the ones around it to make room! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Also, I need to have the amounts of red and silver be in just the right balance. Icicles can't be clumpy and have to be just the right amount and spray snow can't be overdone. I need help.

I am hoping that I will be able to finish the tree tonight and put away my tendencies for one more year. If I do, I'll post a photo. I know that I'll never be fully satisfied with the tree's appearance, but that'll do pig, that'll do.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How I Met G$

Preface: G$ is Garen Gueyikian, formerly Granian, currently the frontman for Kill The Alarm.

I love live music. At any time you can give me a guy or gal with a guitar and a mic and let him or her have at it and I'll listen for hours, providing said performer is good of course. Back in 2001, before I left for parts unknown, AKA Club Med, I did my best to fill up my MP3 player (not iPod, I wasn't that cool yet) with as much music as humanly possible. One of the songs I happened to download was "Whole Again", but, it was mislabeled as John Mayer so I still didn't have the full knowledge.

Fast forward about two years. Still in parts unknown, just different parts with different people. My roommate, Ant, at that time was someone I knew from almost day one of my Club Med days. (Shout out to I Fly!) One afternoon, we were chilling in the room, listening to some music when "Whole Again" came on. Ant went over to make sure he was hearing what he was hearing and then asked me how I knew of Granian. Completely confused (although G$ really has a COMPLETELY separate sound than JM) as I was under the impression that I was listening to JM, I requested an explanation.

Proving once more that the world is indeed quite small, Ant went and pulled out Hang Around and played "Whole Again" again. Having already been in love with one song, I devoured everything else Ant had by G$. In an awesome twist of fate, it just so happened that G$ was coming to visit us at Club Med to do a little performing and a lot of hanging out and having fun.

If you've ever met G$, you already know that he's one of the most down-to-earth people around. None of that I'm-a-rock-star attitude crap. He sat around with us, played, sang, and completely caught me off guard when I was singing along (quietly) and he abruptly stopped playing, trying to catch me singing. Ha! No I will not sing in front of the professional!

G$ came to visit a few more times (that I got to be a part of) and never failed to provide us with great entertainment. It is because of him that I will now play the hell out of "Shape of My Heart" by Sting and "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel and I'm not afraid to say that I like G$'s versions better.

If you haven't yet, click on one of the links above to get the G$ Experience. You won't be sorry.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Yard House - A review

Look! I don't write anything for 2 weeks then I give you 2 posts in one day. Que exciting, non? (I know you like my FreSpanglish)

This past Saturday afternoon, Lovey and I took a journey over to Merrick Park, which is basically the mall where I can't afford to shop. No matter, though, for Merrick Park houses what could very well be my new favorite restaurant, The Yard House.

Lovey and I had tried once before to come to this place, but it was on a Saturday night and it was jam packed. Neither of us is big on crowds and we really just wanted a drink and maybe a snack, so we took our business elsewhere. I am not, of course, faulting them for being busy. We knew that we needed to give it another shot and let me tell you, they really came through.

Being a sports/beer bar, the two things you might notice first upon arrival are, well, the tons of televisions and the huge bar. The hostess even asked if there was a specific game on that we wanted to watch so she could put us next to that television. Quality.

Service was above average. Our waitress was knowledgeable (which is no small task considering their beer menu alone!) and friendly. We only had to look for her once and that was more because we were dilly-dallying and not her.

Let's talk food!

I'm not a foodie. Basically, if it tastes good, I like it. You know how things taste FANTASTIC when you're hungry? Well, I was hungry but I'm fairly certain that the food was also just really good.

We started with their Spinach Cheese Dip. By their definition it is baked with feta, jack cheese, parmesan and cream cheese served with crispy flat bread. It's hard to mess up a dip. The Yard House needn't worry. They do this well. Truthfully, the dip isn't that spectacular, but the flat bread really makes the dish. When they say crispy, they really mean it. It very well may have been fried but it had no greasy texture at all. Sorry, no picture of this one.

Because TYH has a gazillion beers on tap, they have a six-pack sampler that allows you to (ever so slowly) work your way through their selection. They're even nice enough to change it every Tuesday. Those are the six that we had over on the left and they included: Erdinger Hefetrub Weisse, Shock Top, Brooklyn Lager, Murphy's Irish Stout, Highland Gaelic Ale, and Dogfish 90 Minute IPA.

As far as beer goes, I'm no connoisseur, hell, I can barely spell that. I do, however, know what I like and do not like. Two beers fell into the "Oh hell no I'd never drink that again" category , two were "Hmmm, I'd try it again I suppose" and two were "Damn, that's pretty good".

The good:
Erdinger and Murphy's Irish Stout
Honestly, I was surprised at the Stout. I went in fully expecting to not like it. I was wrong. It doesn't have that fizz of beer but it still has a nice kick. Seems perfect for dropping a shot of Bailey's/Jameson into. The Erdinger, well, if you have a chance to, I suggest you try it. It's brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law. It's smooth and tasty and a 5.3 kick compared to the Stout's 4.0. (Stout is the upper right corner mostly hidden and Erdinger is center hidden.)

The not-quite-bad:
Shock Top and Brooklyn Lager
There are some things that I just don't care for and citrus flavored beer happens to be one of those things. I don't want a lime in my Corona (when there's absolutely nothing else available), nor do I care for Micheladas. That said, a beer with orange flavoring isn't likely to win my favor. Granted, the Shock Top didn't totally disgust me and I'd think briefly about trying it again if I were in that fram of mind. Oh, and it's cloudy. I don't like that. Brooklyn Lager I've actually had before, but I didn't remember until I tasted it. Some things I recognize by their bottle. It's a little strong and bitter for me, but I'd still drink it again to try to give myself some culture. They weigh in at 5.2 each. (Shock is in the back row, left, and Brooklyn is front and center.)

The ugly (for me):
Highland Gaelic Ale and Dogfish 90 Minute IPA
Oh my. These two are not two that I will be revisiting. I'm sure there are people out there that like, maybe even love these beers....it's just not me. These two are bitter, bitter, bitter. I guess that's "hoppy". Dogfish has been called the best IPA in America by Esquire magazine, but maybe my palate just isn't ready. To keep with the flow of things, though, they come in at 5.8 and 9.0(!). We were buzzed before the food came. (Highland is front left and Dogfish is front right.)

On with more food!

Lovey had the Mac and Cheese which I did not get a picture of because he was busy tearing it up. I had a bite. It was pretty good for mac and cheese. It also had chicken, mushrooms and bacon and it's just so hard to go wrong with bacon.

I had the Chicken Enchilada stack shown at the left. I guess it looks kinda gross, but it tasted fantastic! When I ordered it, the waitress asked if I was okay with spicy food so I was expecting a little mouth burn. That was probably my only disappointment in the entire trip. It wasn't spicy at all. Or maybe it is to some people, just not those who worked in a Tex-Mex restaurant for four years or lived in Mexico for a couple. It's got chicken and pasilla peppers (which I had never had before but wow are they good) along with a garlic cream sauce and the mandatory tortillas. Also, it doesn't look huge, but I barely got through half of it and the other half was even better the next day!

Part of the reason I only ate half of my entree is because I LOVE DESSERT! It is, by far, my favorite part of any meal and I will skimp on appetizers and my entree to leave room for it. Priorities? Whatever.

The dessert menu isn't huge, but the portioning is perfect. It's enough to quiet your sweet tooth, but not so much that you feel like a total hog for eating the whole thing. That little baby over there is a creme brulee. Only my favorite dessert EVER. On the side and the top there are carmelized bananas. Under the bananas was the delicious goodness that I was waiting for plus a surprise I wasn't expecting. You see, well, no you don't, but anywho, on the bottom was a layer of chocolate which was a nice touch.

Overall, I've nothing to complain about from TYH. It was a mildly expensive lunch but hey, we're stimulating the economy. If there's one in your area and you haven't been, get on your horse and ride!!

Reflections on my first 5K

Well folks, after all that counting down, it's finally over and done with. In the beginning, I had a lot of lofty goals but as we drew closer, I came to a more realistic goal of just finishing. I'm happy I brought it down to that because that's a goal that I accomplished.

The organizers kept saying that there was record attendance for the Turkey Trot this year. I believe it. There were tons and tons of people there. 4000 was the number that they were quoting. Out of those approximate 4000 people, I fell into about the 770 range. And you know what, for my first time out, that's not too bad. I was 32 out of 99 in my age/sex group. Overall, a pretty decent showing.

It rained, hard, for pretty much the entire day before the race. Know what that means? Puddles. Everywhere. One that was basically a lake. That lake puddle? We saw it when we walked in and purposely avoided it. Didn't matter as it was part of the course and everyone was forced to splash through it. Ouch blisters from running in wet shoes. :-(

I found out (the hard way) that the course I had been running to train is actually a half mile shorter than the full 5K distance. Recalibration of the Nike+ has already occurred so I know what I'm actually up to from here on out. In an odd turn, I jogged the 5K this morning at a pace only slightly slower than I ran it Thursday. Stupid me, getting off my pace in the race.

Wait, I guess that I don't have a pace, per se. When I run in the mornings, I just go. I know then what feels comfortable and I do it. This was my first time running with other people. You see, I have a little bit of an issue with being competitive. That's partially why I love group fitness classes. I will push myself until I bust a blood vessel just to not be the one that quits. Well, I let my competitive nature get the best of me and rather than run at what was comfortable, I stepped it up a notch to keep up with those around me. Bad idea. At around 2 miles, I had to come to a complete walking pace because I was just beat. I'd say I maybe walked for a quarter mile before I got back to running. I now know that I need to train with a group so that I can be more used to what I need to do on race day.

Now that I have that all behind me, I'm ready to train harder, better, faster, longer. There's another 5K in 2 weeks but I don't think I'm going to play in that one. If I don't, though, there isn't another official race until January 17. That's a tough call and very little training after returning from vacation (only 25 days left!!) and some seriously heavy tailgating on 1/3/10 but we'll see.

Thanks, as always, for stopping my and seeing what I have to say. I hope your holiday weekend (if it was a holiday weekend for you) was fantastic and that your upcoming week is even better. :-D

Hep!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We can rebuild her, we have the technology

Well hello there! Haven't seen you in a few days. How have you been? Good, bad, indifferent? I can only quote Mr. Tupac Shakur here and say "Keep ya' head up."

QUESTION?

Me? I've been keeping fairly busy doing nothing. Not that I don't have anything to do, but I seem to have misplaced all of my "hey I wanna get up and do stuff". I kinda feel like Bitch Shyner (see Family Guy) and the normal me went on vacation or something. The only thing that stays on schedule right now is my thrice weekly run. There are, after all, less than ten days left until I push out this 5K then rush back home to go to bed.

I've been told that I try to do too much. This may be true. While I like to have a lot to do, I tend to try to take on too much and then get overwhelmed by it. Yeah, I'll just keep doing it though.

INTERJECTION!

I am not a bandwagon fan. I love my black and gold always, through good times and bad, and this past Sunday was definitely bad. This week, I'll still be yelling at my TV, wishing the boys all the luck in the world and watching them take it to the Chiefs in their house.

The remainder of this post may jump around a lot, so if you're not up for the Blair Witch of blogging, you might want to just quit reading here.

Begin brain dump...

I have four more practice runs before the race. As long as I don't falter during the second mile and save a little oomph for the end, I should be able to break 27 minutes. Woo! I'm fast! Yes, I know, not so much.

Fairly certain that all clothing items that were needed for the upcoming snowboarding trip have been purchased. All that remain are lift tickets and lessons. Do you have any idea how wonderful Colorado is? Wonderful.

Only another class and 3/5 to get through until I'm done with this degree, thank you Jeebus. I will officially be one of the many to have gotten that paper. I'll also likely be one of the many to not do much of anything with said piece of paper.

Certification information arrived so I need to make time to start reading it. 12 week program to ready myself for the test.

Deposit made. Dress selected. Save the dates ordered. Favors pretty much figured out. Am I done with the planning for this yet?

*Lyricist says: There's some stuff you're gonna see that's gonna make it hard to smile in the future. But whatever you see, through all the rain and the pain, you gotta keep your sense of humor. You gotta be able to smile through all this bullshit. Remember that. *

Other things still to do: paint pretty much the entire house, Saturday lawn, clean the corner shelf (OMG, you should see THAT mess), figure out what to do with this whole social networking concept that isn't for me.

...End dump

You do realize that I give you all of these things to think about so I can stop thinking about them and actually get some stuff done, right? I know, I'm terrible, but once again, I think Tupac said it best when he said "Only God can judge me. All you other motherfuckers get out my business." No, not really. Well, not the second sentence at least. If I didn't want you in my business, I wouldn't tell it to you.

I wanted to give you a fun video here, but it doesn't seem to be working. You might be able to see it over on my other home.

Later!

Friday, November 13, 2009

ROCO Friday - Very Superstitious


Yeah, go ahead and click that and start jammin'.

GO AHEAD! (The sermon can't start without the music.)

Good day to the congregation. Today, the Reverend MiamiShyner is in somewhat of a p-funky mood. You know, that's better than just regular funky.

It's Friday the 13th! No ladders, no mirrors, no cats. Or no seeds, no stems, no sticks depending on how you run your game. Not legal but I ain't hatin on ya. Seen the green do too much good.

Speaking of doing good, know that the Reverend MS practices what she preaches. There was a guy on the street this morning asking for help to get some food. Honestly, he didn't look homeless but that doesn't mean he wasn't hungry. I got him a sandwich cuz I'm nice like that. It's payday, I can blow a couple bucks putting out some good karma. ROCO!

Let us not forget our countdowns. 13 days, under 2 weeks left until I chug out this 5K. I have no idea why I'm even worried about it as I run it three times a week. Could be the same reason that I would get nervous before shows even though we had done them 20 times before. :-) I'm still a slow 27 minutes and change but I'm just concentrating on finishing. 43 (Troy!), 86 (Hines!), 212 (20 Sepulvedas + 2 Batches) till vacation, graduation, destination. Steelers on the brain much?

HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!

Very exciting, for me at least, is that my information arrived this morning for my group fitness certification. I really enjoy torturing myself by having too much on my plate at all times. I also believe that I'll be a kick-ass fitness instructor. I'll work my way up to personal trainer after that. My plan is to have experience in a couple things before we move so I can be ready for anything.

Yesterday, I tried an apple cider vinegar rinse on my hair. It does remove a lot of buildup and residue but good gravy it stinks. After rinsing with hot water forever and then another shampoo, I think my hair still smells a tiny bit like vinegar. I'll have to try another shampoo this evening but it was totally worth it. Likely not noticable to anyone but me but it looks cleaner and healthier now than it did before.

My congregation, go out into the world and spread the good ROCO word. People need to know about this! Just imagine if everyone was this happy every ROCO Friday. It might lead to ROCO Thursdays and who knows after that! We could all be happy! Let's get on it. :-)

Have a great day, a great weekend, and most of all, have a ROCO Friday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sometimes, the days just sneak away...

Wow, its been a few days, huh?

I suppose that's just fine and dandy as I never promised I would write daily, at least I didn't promise it to you guys. I only promised myself that I would try to write more often if for nothing else than to try to keep my sanity. So here I am. Hi! *waving*

At times, these things are likely boring to you, but I need to keep track of them and I like to look back at my blog down the road to see what was going on back in the day. :-)

With their fifth consecutive win, the Pittsburgh Steelers take the Denver Broncos....and stuff them mile high. Great game. Thank you, gentlemen.

The countdown continues. It's a mere 16 days until my first 5K. I already did my registration and everything. I just have to pick up my packet in a couple of weeks. I am hoping against all hope that Ida will be long gone tomorrow morning. She caused a little havoc yesterday morning as I TRIED to run. But, when the wind is blowing at about 15mph with gusts up to 30, it's a little tough.

Next on the agenda is vacation! I can't believe there are only 45 more days! We have most of the big stuff handled like flights, house, and equipment so now we only have lessons, food choices and the ever-important spa day for scheduling. I picked up some sweet Under Armour that I really hope does a good job. I hate being all bulky on the mountain!

Holy smokes, shortly after vacation finishes, 36 days to be exact, is graduation! It took me a while, but I'm proud to say I'm finally getting that paper. The question becomes what will I do with this elusive piece of paper and will it mean anything to anyone of importance? These answers and many more on the next episode of Soap.

Do you think that's enough to worry about? You're right, it probably is, but I'm not being me if I'm not overloading my plate with things to do. As such, the short list of the rest of it is below. The first bullet deserves its own paragraph or entire post, but that's for a later date.
  • Hi, wedding. I guess you're not gonna plan yourself although I have thankfully little to do to plan you. But every time I think about it, I remember something else. Aargh.
  • Group fitness instructor training - Yes, I ordered all your stuff today. I hope to be certified by the end of January. That's certified, not certifiable, which I already am.
  • Social networking - It's more than just talking to you guys! :-D And I told my chiro that I'd see what I could do for him. Is it weird that I would only be able to do the whole social networking thing for someone I know/something I believe in?
  • Business plan - So I've got this idea. I just need to gather materials, put in some labor, create a website, register a domain name. OMG I have a lot of crap to do! As I'm getting closer with this idea, I'll share. I promise.
I suppose that's enough brain dumping for now. Thanks for listening/reading. I may get back to normal blogging without countdowns soon!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Countdown, now with Mexico!

No, not Ron.

Did you miss me yesterday? Psh, now, don't tell fibs to spare my feelings. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

The good Reverend MiamiShyner is not in attendance today but she wishes you all a ROCO Friday nonetheless.

As we all may know, the countdown now stands at 20 days until I try to run this 5K. I have faith that I can do it. I'm training and I can do the distance. I'm just hoping that it's not excessively hot/cold/windy that morning.

Even though formerly Hurricane Ida, currently TD Ida and probably Hurricane Ida again in a few days is a ways away from us, we're still feeling some of her effects, namely wind. Due to the wind, I was surprised to have come in at under 28 minutes this morning. Not super quick by any means, but way better than I ever imagined I would be when I started the program 8 weeks ago.

You should stop reading here if you do not want to read my sappy relationship stuff.

Who has so many countdowns going on at once? No one in their right mind which means me. :-D
  • Turkey Trot in 20 days
  • Vacation in 48 days
  • Graduation in 92 days
  • And the latest addition to the list, 218 days until the wedding
As some of you may have known, Lovey and I had plans to make it official in the early summer of next year. I was super excited and ran through several location options before deciding on Vegas. Then I changed my mind. I'm a chick, I'm allowed.

Vegas seemed cool but it was also a little bit of a hassle. I'm not all for the details, I just want the end event to be nice (and I don't want to hire a wedding planner). Vegas fell by the wayside. I found a place closer to home. Literally 5 minutes away from our house. It was beautiful. It was perfect. It was.....$20K! WTF man. For one day! I am not ballin' like that.

At that time, I basically scrapped all wedding plans. I am just stubborn like that. I want it all or I don't want anything. I'm pretty sure that my mom was bummed about it but I was done. I figured that the money I was saving for a wedding could be used for several other things. I was a little sad but I've really never been the one for tradition.

Fast forward to yesterday. Whilst perusing the internet, I came across something that just blew my mind. I could have a ceremony that was far from traditional in a place that was far from home for a price that was far under the place that I had been so excited about. SCORE!

So now, it's back on. Mom's excited. Lovey's excited. Kiddo's excited (this will be her first time out of the country). I'm excited. I get to have a beautiful beach ceremony in the country I love most right under our own. Seriously, I love it so much that I feel like it's like going home. I get to spend 9 days being treated like a princess and I can't wait.

Now, to search for that perfect dres....remember, buck tradition!

Have a great weekend, folks! There's football to be watched. Let's go STEELERS!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

22 days...tick, tock, tick, tock

Wow, you are going to get SO tired of hearing about this!
But you just can't stop reading. You think you might miss something cool or funny, don't you? Of course you do, so first, let me reward you with something I find highly amusing:

WE CAN LEVITATE!

Okay, I can't. I didn't get the Evite for training and whatnot. I would be nothing but trouble if I had a superpower like that. Oh, wait, I'm already nothing but trouble. Huh.

It's Wednesday and that means it's a circus kind of day. While I had gone back to flying, I'm now heading back to "under the tent" type activities. I realize that you may not know what the heck I'm talking about, but if you're interested, leave a comment and I'll explain. Otherwise I'm just talking to hear myself talk, or writing to see the paper fill up.

Somehow, I've just realized that I can take a yoga class and an under the tent once a week for the same price of flying once a week. You do the math.

This morning, I finished my run 16 seconds faster than yesterday's run. That isn't a lot, but it's a start.

.......by the way, I'm having my lunch right now and I am so, so disappointed with the plantain chips from the vending machine. I wanted salty and crunchy but got kinda stale and plain instead. Should've gotten the Sun Chips like the original plan.......

It's already November 4, folks. Do you know how much of my NaNoWriMo project I have done? You guessed it, zero words. I don't know why I sign up for that torture every year. I have yet to complete it...or start it for that matter. Life keeps getting in the way. Shame too, because the story is rolling around up there just waiting to get out. Maybe one day, grasshopper, you will snatch the novel from my head.

Let me take a moment to thank you for stopping by and reading my extra grey matter. I'm going to keep writing it, so you can just keep reading it. :-)

Until tomorrow....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Countdown Continues.... And VAMPIRES!

23 days to go and the training continues.

I can't run every day yet (and I'm not sure that daily running is a great idea) so for the morning workout, I alternate running and a yoga/pilates blend with a full-on yoga class on either Saturday or Sunday, depending on what time the Steelers play.

In case you are unaware, I am scared of needles. Not knitting needles, not sewing needles, but those hollow-tip mofos that burrow into my arm and try and steal my life sustenance. Why? Why do I have such an irrational fear particularly since I'm sporting three tattoos and four ear piercings along with previously having had my tongue and bellybutton pierced? Well, let me tell you.

WARNING! If you are squeamish or share my fear, you might want to skip ahead a couple paragraphs.

When I was but a young lass, I used to have the most horrendous headaches. Could this be before everyone knew what migraines were? Maybe. At any rate, my dutiful parents took me to the hospital because I swore up and down that my head would explode at any second although I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to complain. My mom tried to keep me awake on the way to the hospital but I still dozed off.

Upon arrival to the hospital, my mother gave the pertinent information and in we went. That's right, in we went. Do you remember those days? When you didn't have to wait 4 hours in the ER to be seen? Once inside, a nurse came over to draw blood. I am quite certain that it is with this wench that my fears began. Right now, at 35 years old, I have tiny veins that are quite difficult to see, (thankfully, phlebotomists have come a long way) so you can imagine how they would've looked about 25 years ago. She prepped me and then poked me. And missed. And pulled out. And poked me again. And missed. (geez, this sounds like a porn) Instead of pulling out the second time, she instead decided to just move the needle around in my arm until she struck red gold.

That. Shit. Hurts. Like. Hell.

That was it, I was traumatized. It never really got any better. My veins didn't get bigger and the skin on my arms didn't get any lighter which meant I dreaded any forced bloodletting. I have never donated blood in my life. It used to be that I didn't weigh enough and then when I did, I started getting inked and pierced annually so they wouldn't want my blood and I didn't have to feel bad about not donating.

Once, a phleb went in one arm, poked around, couldn't find anything, went in the other arm, still couldn't find anything, and then ended up having to go in the top of my hand. FYI, by the time she made it to top of the hand, my roommate was physically holding me down in the chair trying to get me to calm down. Probably didn't help that I was mildly hungover and super grumpy as I had just lost my, ahem, friend, at the time.

Back to current day, this morning to be precise. It was time for the annual bloodletting. I hate it, but if I'm paying out the nose for my insurance bi-weekly, I'm damn sure gonna use it for all it's worth. Fortunately, I had made an appointment because I might have gone ballistic if I had to sit in there with the oldies but moldies and no one to talk to.

I'm happy to report that this morning's phleb at least had full use of all ten of her fingers. I am NOT down on anyone with a disability, but it isn't comforting when you're already nervous for your phleb to have 3 out of 5 fingers fused together on one hand. With the nails painted. #truth

A testiment to the advancing knowledge of phlebs, she knew to use the butterfly before I had to ask for it. In her idle chatter to keep my mind off of things, she tells me how she doesn't really like using the butterfly because it makes the blood just. drip. out. BLORF! But hey! Not in my case! "The blood is just POURING out of you!" Double BLORF. 5 tubes later she was done minus the blood she dripped on my arm. Look, I know it's mine, but I still don't wanna see it.

And so, I survived another year. In another few days I can impress you all with the results of my bloodwork. I know you're on the edge of your seat......

Monday, November 2, 2009

Turkey Trot Countdown! T-24 days


Well, it is official. Today I registered for my first 5K. So, on the morning of Thanksgiving, when most of you will either still be sleeping or beginning to slave over the day's dinner, I will be out putting in 3.1 miles on the road. It's funny, 3 miles doesn't really seem like a lot, but for someone who, for her entire life, has thought of running as the worst possible form of torture, this is truly an accomplishment! I have a Nike Mini to prove it!

It's hard to believe that 8 weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have run to the bathroom and just this morning, I put in 3 miles. I'm also starting a glucosamine/chondroitin regimen since my knees have seen better days and my Q-angle is just plain huge! I have no doubt that the right knee will need scoped before I turn 40. I'm currently just hoping to get it strong enough to make it through a week of snowboarding over Christmas.

I had been "dieting" for a couple months and no matter what I did, it just didn't matter. I looked the same. I weighed the same. I started to wonder why I was bothering. Granted, I know that I'm just a SOLID young lady. I stand just under 5'2" and I stay around 130 pounds, but that also includes a good 3 pounds of dredlocks and 2-3 pounds of boobs.

Running (or at least the process of working my way up to running) has given me the figure I always wanted but could just never achieve. No more muffin top and no more looking like I just finished off the whole turkey when I just had a sandwich. Yes, I'm super vain like that, even realizing that I'm just cute ('cept to Lovey of course), but it's been a long time of growing out hair, going to the dermatologist, and one time under the knife to get to this point where I can be happy.

Back to the Thanksgiving speak, we have an office shindig every year. This is year four for me. The first two years I made Gram's kick ass mac and cheese and they tore it up! Last year I deviated a bit and made a three bean and sausage casserole. For a bunch of hispanic people, they were awfully shy about having some beans. No matter though, I kept a pot at home for me and the rest went to a shelter for the needy. All good.

This year, I'm making a huge ass pot of greens. I don't care if I have to wipe out 3 grocery stores to get it done. Do you have any idea how delicious greens are? If you don't, man are you missing out. But, this is also coming from a person who's been eating them for nearly 30 years.

So, in case you hadn't noticed, my blogs tend to ramble on and jump a bit, but that's how my mind works. Be happy. If it worked in straight lines, I would've taken over the world by now!

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Friday, October 23, 2009

ROCO Friday - The Rain

As in this video that YouTube doesn't allow to be embedded but I think Daily Motion does:

That's right. Today's wisdom is brought to you by Mr. Oran "Juice" Jones.

When I was growing up, my mother and I LOVED this song. It was just so cool and so funny and probably so true. (It was 1986, gimme a break, huh?) So let's see what Mr. Jones has to say for himself:

Tossing and turning another sleepless night
The rain crashes against my window pane
Jumped into my car didn't drive too far
That moment I knew I would never be the same.

Now here you are begging to me
To give our love another try
Girl I love you and I always will
But darling right now I've got to say goodbye
'Cause

I saw you (and him) walking in the rain
You were holding hands and I'll never be the same.

POINT #1: As the song continues, you'll be able to appreciate Mr. Jones' actions and reactions regarding the alleged incident.

(I saw you)
Hey hey baby how ya doin' come on in here
(Walking in the rain)
Got some hot chocolate on the stove waiting for you
Listen first things first let me hang up the coat

What a gentleman!

(You were holding hands and I'll)
Yeah how was your day today
Did you miss me
(Never be the same)
You did? Yeah? I missed you too
I missed you so much I followed you today

Oops, turned stalker

(I saw you)
That's right now close your mouth
'Cause you cold busted
(Walking in the rain)
Now just sit down here, sit down here
I'm so upset with you I don't know what to do
(You were holding hands and I'll)
You know my first impulse was to run up on you
And do a Rambo
(Never be the same)
I was about to jam you and flat blast both of you
But I didn't wanna mess up this thirty-seven hundred dollar lynx coat
So instead I chilled -- That's right chilled

See, why can't we do this in current times? No shootingkilling/stabbing. Just chilling!

I called up the bank and took out every dime.
Than I cancelled all your credit cards...
I stuck you up for every piece of jewelery I ever bought you!
Don't go lookin' in that closet 'cause everything you came here with is
packed up and waiting for you in the guest room. What were you
thinking?
You don't mess with the Juice!
I gave you silk suits, blue diamonds and Gucci handbags.
I gave you things you couldn't even pronounce!
But now I can't give you nothing but advice.

Classic lines begin in 3....2....1....

Cause you're still young, yeah, you're young.
And you're gonna find somebody like me one of these days . . .
Until then, you know what you gotta do?
You gotta get on outta here with that alley-cat-coat-wearing,
punch-bucket-shoe-wearing crumbcake I saw you with. Cause you
dismissed!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I would use these lines.

That's right, Silly rabbit, tricks are made for kids, don't you know
that. You without me is like corn flakes without the milk! This is my
world. You're just a squirrel trying to get a nut! Now get on outta
here. Scat!
Don't touch that coat...

If this doesn't make you smile, then I really don't know what will. And it's Friday, so I'm all about some smiles.

By the way, do you know what else? I ran three whole miles without stopping this morning. I am well on my way to running my first 5K. My goal is to finish the 5K in 20 minutes. This morning, I did the 3 miles in 25. So I need .1 more mile in 5 less minutes. I can do this!

Last but not least, as the good Reverend Miamishyner is out and abouts and I'm just filling in for her today, let the congregation say:

ROCO!!

Have a great weekend folks!


Friday, October 16, 2009

ROCO Friday - Running Down A Dream

All hail the Friday ROCO congregation!

The good Reverend MiamiShyner is pleased and blessed to have made it through another week. Let the congregation say ROCO!

I am also blessed to have such a wonderful congregation. I may only see you once a week, but know that I appreciate you and keep you in my thoughts.

There are some days when I feel that this song is just appropriate. Many days on the way home from work, we open the song:
It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
I had the radio on, I was driving

But long before I get to that point, somewhere before the halfway point of my run, I feel like this:
I felt so good like anything was possible
I hit cruise control and rubbed my eyes

Music can speak to you, ladies and gentlemen, if you'll just open your ears. ROCO!

Maybe you've noticed your Reverend looking a little more trim these days, maybe not. Well, I am running down my dream in small steps. The first step is to run a 5K. I'm more than halfway finished with the training for this and my first 5K is on Thanksgiving morning. That's right, I'll run and then come home and stuff my face. There are several 5Ks that I want to run before working my way up to a half marathon, and then finally, a full marathon. I must be insane. :-)

So, congregation, I ask you, do you know what path you're on? Do you have a path? How can you run down your dream if you don't have a path to follow? Tom Petty's mama didn't raise no dummies.
There's something good waiting down this road
I'm picking up whatever is mine


I hope that you'll all realize that you each have something good waiting down your road. Take the time to pick up whatever is yours.

With that, my dear flock, I ask that you go forth and spread the good ROCO word. Have a wonderful weekend. Be safe and have fun. And last but not least, ROCO!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm in love with...

A) A stripper
B) A man nearly twice my age
C) A girl
D) You
E) My car
F) Mary Jane

Did you pick one of those? Let me know. :-) Me? I'm in love with my chiropractor. Not real, let's get married and spend the rest of our lives together love, but OMG you took away a pain that's been haunting me off and on for the last 15 years love.

My relationship with chiropractors has been on-again/off-again for the last, oh, 20 years or so. I really like the way I feel when I'm totally in line and functioning at 100% but I just haven't always had the money and/or insurance to keep myself at that state. I am fortunate now to be able to do both and oooh, how I love it.

Friday's initial visit went well. I found out for sure that I'm an underpronater so I have the right shoes for running. I'm all kinds of crooked with my right hip and my left shoulder sitting higher than their respective partners. I also have knotty muscle issues that make my back achy, my bra too tight..oh wait, no, just achy back + right foot that turns out kinda funny to the side.

All that is fixable and will get fixed in the upcoming visits but the best part hands down is that the pain that I've had for so long is gone. GONE! For some reason, I have a nice bruise where the pain was, but I care not because the actual pain has left. This was no run-of-the-mill pain either. This was OMG someone just stabbed me in the back with a scorching hot needle a few times pain. No more. I shan't even mention it again.

So, at least the Steelers managed to pull off another win. Did they play a strong 45 minutes? Yes. Once again, though, at right about the 8 minutes remaining in the game mark, it all went downhill. I would really like to get into the locker room to see some of those guys naked. I would really like to get into the locker room to see what the hell is going on in the fourth quarter!! Just seeing if you're paying attention.

On another football note, of course I follow the Steelers on Twitter and all players who have personal Tweets, but I also consort with the enemy and I follow Chad Ocho Cinco. He's pretty amusing sometimes. Today, as he's done in the past, he offered to buy lunch for whomever showed up at his chosen place. Since said place is a few blocks from work, I stopped over.

I will admit that I wasn't expecting it, but he's really a stand-up guy. He posed for photos and signed everything that people brought over for him. Without a lick of attitude. He's also sporting a nice semi-shiner from the hit that Ray Ray put on him yesterday. The photo below was snapped right as I was telling him that I was there reppin the STEELER NATION, BABY! He was still cool with it. (Dammit, I always look like hell in photos. Oh well.)

That's probably more than enough to fill my section of your brain today. I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and have a great week!

5 days till the Steelers beat up on the Browns
74 days till vacation
118 days till graduation

Giddyup!

Friday, October 9, 2009

ROCO Fridays - Welcome back, Kotter

After a long hiatus, the Reverend MiamiShyner has returned to her flock to once again spread the message of ROCO Fridays. *cue music*

Welcome Back Kotter

Let us reacquaint ourselves, shall we?

Please turn in your hymnals to page 305 for responsive reading.

Rev: And as your boss sayeth unto you, "Can you stay late today?" Let us respond with a phrase fitting the Sweathogs...

Congregation: Up your nose with a rubber hose!

Rev: ROCO! And whosoever wishes to leave early today shall make it known to all.

Congregation: *hands raised energetically* Oooh! Oooh! Oooh!

Rev: And should that one annoying co-worker request that you do his/her work before you leave, the congregation shall say..

Congregation: Off my case, toilet face.

Rev: Let the congregation say...

All: ROCO!

Today, on a day when our President has won the Nobel Peace Prize, when we have crashed a missile into the moon, when it's freezing in Corporate America, we still must give thanks for all we've been blessed to have. Your Reverend is learning to take one day at a time and to enjoy each and every one of those days. Rev MS is spending her last several months in Miami doing some things for herself and she suggests that you do the same be it in Miami or Moscow, Pittsburgh or Portland.

And now, because I know that we all have things to do, I will wrap up today's sermon. Take this good word and go forth and ROCO!

*congregation rises*
*Reverend walks to the back of the church*

Let the congregation say ROCO!

*Rev MS stands at the back of the church shaking hands and kissing the babies of the congregation.*

Chicken and biscuits with gravy and mashed are downstairs. Don't forget to try Sister Kiddo's sweet potato pie!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Flying high again!

Ladies and gentlemen, MiamiShyner is hitting the skies tonight and will be flying high again.

That's right, after a way too long hiatus, I'm heading back to the rig to fly tonight. I'm sure I'll be just a smidge rusty but that doesn't really matter since I'm not allowed (no one is unless you work there) to fly without the safety lines at this particular rig. Does it make a difference? OMG yes! I can only assume that it is equivalent to the difference in feeling with/without a condom for guys? Unless that's just one big load of bull, lol. What do I know? I've been with the Lovey for nearly five years; we don't need 'em.

This morning, I asked myself what would happen if I started just doing some stuff for me. Then I asked out loud on Facebook. The answers I received were: Happiness? Independence? Satisfaction? And you know what, those answers are right.

I've spent a lot of my time here in Miami worrying about doing for others or only doing the things that don't upset others in the least. I am not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it hasn't gotten me where I want to be. I'm no more stretchy, I've no more circus skills, and I'm no closer to being a fitness instructor or a massage therapist. However, I AM a mere four months away from finishing a degree in IT. So, boo for me and congrats to me.

Starting here, starting now for the rest of the time I'm in Miami, I'm going to be selfish. I'm going to *gasp* put myself first. I'm going to take the time to read my three bookshelves of books. I'm going to take the time to blog and write in general. I'm going to fly, spin, twirl and do everything that I want to do (that doesn't break the bank).

Join me as I chronicle my ascent into a new level of happiness. :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Metallica!

Sooooo, last Thursday, Lovey and I along with Lovey's BF and another friend went to see Metallica. Pretty fun and kinda funny that I was the veteran, this being my third show, and those three were the noobs.

Full set of photos is available on my Flickr. But I'll give you some of the good ones here.

James has a tender moment during Nothing Else Matters.
BOOM! Pyrotechnics from Enter Sandman.
The Metallica beach ball drop at the end of the show.


They played more new stuff than old which can be expected when they have a fairly new album out. I prefer the old stuff, but hey, I'm not writing the set list. All in all, good times had by all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Best (stuff I almost didn't) Buy

Oh! Hello there. Remember me? Blog owner/neglector? Well, I'm back and I have an amusing story for you. Or at least it was amusing to me.

Let us begin.

In case you don't know or don't remember, I rock a 94 Honda Accord with on again-off again AC but pimped out 17s (I bought it used) and a nice factory sound system. Now, said sound system is comprised of AM/FM/CASSETTE! Ha, yes, you know those things that aren't even made any more. Well, for the most part, this is just fine. My drive to work is only 30 minutes on a good day. The problem lies in the fact that the radio in Miami sucks. My. Ass. This can make for a loooooong drive.

Do you know where all of my music is? Yes, it's on my phone. I would love nothing more than to hear some of my tunes or Pandora or hell, a podcast on how to speak Spanish, while I'm driving rather than the blah, blah, blah that falls out of the mouths of DJs. How does one go about getting this done?

I think one would start at the brand spanking new Best Buy that opened recently over on the beach. I had one of those old skool cassettes that you plug in and the other end is like a headphone jack for portable CD players. (Let me tell you that I feel like I'm 90 right now talking about this old technology.) Problem with said setup is that at some point, the wire got eaten and so it only plays out of the right speakers.

How am I to impress Miami Hood Rats with my sound system booming from only one side?!?!

As I walked into sparkly new Best Buy, I was greeted by a huge security dude. Hi there very large black man wearing yellow. I will NOT try to sneak anything out past you. I headed back to the section that I thought would hold my treasure. An associate watched me walking around. He actually followed me around for a couple minutes without saying anything. I was in my work clothes so I don't think he thought I was tryin to steal anything.

I got to the point where I couldn't find what I wanted and I was about to leave but the associate chose that moment to ask me if I needed help. Why yes, yes I do. Better late than never. I explained to him what I wanted and he told me that he was sure that they didn't carry the item. He did, however, walk me around to show me a bunch of other things that I could use until he realized that my car is OLD and doesn't have an auxillary jack. Dejected, I headed towards the door.

Enter security dude.

"Did you find what you were looking for?" he asked.
"Sure did not," I replied.
"Well what is it that you need?"
"Something old skool for my old skool car."
"Okay, what is it?"

At this point I told him what I needed then said that an associate helped me but the store didn't carry it.

I. Am. NOT. Making. This. Up.

Security dude moved his magic camera joystick and then zoomed in and pointed to the screen and asked, "Is this what you need?"

Motherfucker! Sure as shit it was!

He pointed me in the right direction and I was able to bump music the whole way home. Security dude said to me that this was the reason that he should be on the floor. I totally agree. I don't know anything about Best Buy's hiring practices and such but I think that later today, wait, not today, today is Metallica, but tomorrow, I'm going over to that store to speak with a manager to let him/her know what a great job that security dude did. I won't throw the associate under the bus since that's rude, but let the big man get some commissions! He knows more than the people you have on the floor!

Gotta run, there are tunes to be played in the car. :-)

Friday, September 4, 2009

For Ginny

Now, that's Church. :-)




Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Separated at Birth?

I'm sure that more than once you've considered if two people had been separated at birth. Maybe they look alike or they act alike or maybe you were just tired and giggling while laying in bed watching football.

That last part was the case when Lovey and I concluded that the gentlemen pictured may very well have been.........separated at birth!

Their similar qualities:
  • Both men have been involved in professional sports
  • Both sport a skullet
  • Both have a crazy, bordering on outrageous personality
  • Both have two children
  • Both have a last name that ends with the letter B
  • Both have appeared on TV and in movies outside of their sport
  • Both are "respected" commentators about their respective sports
  • Both born in southern states
  • Both have been a champion of his sport
  • Both have made a foray into some sort of cuisine
  • Both have the first name Terry
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the long, lost brothers.........Hulk Hogan and Terry Bradshaw!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Holy wedding dresses!

Over the last couple of days, I've looked at 3,000 wedding dresses. That is not an exaggerated number. It's really how many I've looked at online. In that time, I've come to realize that there's a certain style that I'm leaning towards and possibly a designer. My main issue is finding something that I absoutely love that will look superb on me (hard to dress we, the short people) AND fits my personality.

I'm sure that I have plenty more searching still to do along with many tryings on and fittings and such in the fairly near future. I'd like to get some feedback though. If you know me (and you probably should if you're reading this), and some will know me better than others, let me know which of these you think best fits my personality (insane) and body type (short but brick shithouse!).

Let's just call them 1 through 7. Obviously, 5 and 6 have two views because I thought it important to show the back. :-)

Love you guys!







Friday, July 31, 2009

I Got A Guy or IGAG

If you're from New York (and I'm sure some other places), you've probably heard and/or used the phrase "I got a guy". If you aren't familiar with the phrase, it's basically like saying, "Don't call that expensive contractor because I know someone who will get the job done for you for way less."

Now, in NY, I believe that this system works. Here in Miami, however, if someone tells you they've got a guy, RUN as fast as you can in the opposite direction. That contractor might cost you an arm and a leg, but in the long run, it will be worth it. Let it be known that when we move and my name is on the mortgage/deed, we will not play IGAG.

We've been playing IGAG in the house for sooooo long and more often than not, it's been a mess. First it was IGAG for painting the house. I understand that painting a house is a big project, but these people took FOREVER to get it done!! Oh yeah, and they got crap all over my kitchen window that they didn't bother to clean.

Next round of IGAG puts up the privacy fence around the house. At least a month to get that one done. The fence is still standing though. *knocking on wood, but not the fence*

After the first two rounds of IGAG outside, I was hesitant to play IGAG inside, but again, it wasn't my decision. First stop, the downstairs bathroom. We had been using it more or less as storage. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have a second bathroom as no one ever has to rush out of one. And sure, the light fixture is nice and the new toilet is fantastic. But seriously, if you have to fix the toilet less than 2 weeks after it's been installed, you've been IGAG'ed. *sigh*

Our kitchen was a little outdated..still is to be perfectly honest, but we got a little upgrade. Drop ceilings with new ceiling tiles. New sinkage. New fridge, although that's just because the old one died. We even have track lighting in there now. Don't get too happy about it though, because less than 2 weeks after it finally got finished, I went into the kitchen and turned the light on and got nothing. IGAG'ed again. No, it wasn't the breaker or the bulbs, just something the guy screwed up. Oh, and he moved to Naples or Tampa or something, so we've been without an overhead light for MONTHS!

It seems obvious that we might have learned our lesson by now, but guess again.

The house is old and doesn't have central air. This is fine by me because I hate the air conditioner anyway. Well, we have heard from a reliable source that once the A/C gets installed, our electric bill should go way down. I swear to you that this installation process started two months ago. And yes, we've been IGAG'ed again.

The first time the guy came, he didn't have the right stuff. Then he couldn't do it the way he planned. So he left the wrong stuff in my living room where it sat. And sat. And sat. He eventually returned and did one part of the job. Then it sat for a few weeks. Yesterday he returned to "finish". Needless to say, he didn't. He did, however, come in with his partner, make a complete mess of the house (I was dusting and mopping the floor after 10 last night), stink up the house (I know it's hot and all, but dude(!) take a shower!), and the biggest insult was that he used our bathroom. He used our bathroom and missed. Thanks dude. Now I have to mop a stranger's piss at 10pm. I suppose it's better than having the bathroom stink, but have a little common courtesy you fuck. And he still has to come back today to connect the electricity.

I realize that getting a legit contractor in Miami is equivalent to getting me to eat okra/asparagus/liver. Impossible! But man, IGAG isn't much better.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wedding Blues

It's been four years and six days since I turned in my playa stripes and a good time it has been. No matter how young I still look (that would be very...still get ID'ed to play the lottery sometimes), I know how old I am, and with this age comes the time to stop, um, hopping and stay in one place.

Lovey and I have been engaged for about a year and a half now. I guess for some people, the whole process has been a long time, but for others, it's way too short. Can't win 'em all (unless you're the #Steelers - hopefully!)

Sidebar: How awesome would it be for them to have a perfect
season?!?! Who's gonna talk smack then? Seven rings AND a perfect
season?

Anywho, the original plan had us getting married in the summer of 2010..the year we make contact. Ha. Of course, I am woman, hear me change my mind because I'm not hearing your complaints. Part of it is due to the economy and part is that I just can't make up my mind.
At various points throughout the process, I've said "Fuck it. Let's just go to the JP." You see, I've never been 'that girl'. The big-princess-wedding-tw0-point-five-kids-white-picket-fence girl. I suppose it's the result of growing up with mostly guys.

I am prepared. If I ever get this nailed down, I have my calligraphy set ready to go as I will do the invites by hand. I might even send them to people that I know won't be able to show up just because they wouldn't believe I was actually getting married otherwise. :-)

I've toyed with the idea of having the wedding at a resort where I used to work in Florida. Dress code = togas. Wedding cake = baked alaska. Lactose intolerance be damned, I'm having baked alaska. Convenient for my family + his family. That idea sorta got chucked although it may get revived.

Another thought in the process is/was Vegas. Keep the togas, change the location. Keep it somewhat low-key (for Vegas, anyway). Airfare is a little bit of a pain though. And hotels. And the organizing. Yikes. Maybe not.

We vacationed in Key West just a few weeks back and almost got married there. This is what happens in KW. You go into a bar and order a drink, er bucket, the big burly biker dude (BBBD) and his new bride ask the bartender why he didn't offer them this drink. He said that we came in and ordered it. (True. I looked it up on their website and knew that I had to participate in this train wreck.) Not to be one-upped by the short black chick and the Cuban dude, they ordered one as well. Then it became a contest to who could throw it down faster. When we were ahead, BBBD said something along the lines of, oh yeah, well we just got married. We countered with we're engaged. BBBD responded with, yeah, but we're married. The bucket almost talked me into going to get married right then and there as not to be one-upped, but I figured that my mom would be pretty pissed if I did it that way.

I believe that, in the end, I have to decide how important it is for people to be there (outside of our families). I don't expect people to drop stuff and fly across the country (for some of them) to attend, but it would be pretty cool. I guess I should make this decision sooner rather than later as I hear that weddings take a while to plan. But when you have your own personal dressmaker (Hi, Mom!) and you have your dress pretty much picked out, I suppose all that's really left is a time and a place.

What say you, dear reader? Resort wedding? Vegas? Take it to the JP and just have a big party afterwards? (no need for household items for gifts, we have enough, lol)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Running Away to Join the Circus

It's something I've actually sorta kinda done, although not really on purpose.

I won't bore you with those details of how it happened, that's for another post, but let's just say that I started off as a bartender and ended up, well, running away and joining the circus.

Have you ever done something one time and then been hooked on it and unable to get it out of your system? That's how the circus got to me. It started off on the flying trapeze, then moved to single trapeze, swinging trapeze, Spanish web, and to a lesser degree, double trapeze. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to fly higher. I wanted to do it all. And I did and it was good.
Here's a little secret: If you want to get in the best shape, possibly of your life, get yourself into some circus classes and take it seriously. It'll take a while, but you will get ripped. There was a point in time where I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "This isn't cute." I was monstrous across the back.

Anywho, the time came when I just couldn't bear to put my liver through another six months of the heavy bag AKA Club Med. There were some great memories and I met some great people, the memories to take, the people to keep in touch with, but the circus! How to take it along?

I found small outlets here and there to get my circus fix. It was never enough. (And it was hardly ever free) I kept at it nonetheless. Because that's what happens when you have an addiction. Both my fiance (Lovey) and my daughter (Kiddo) have given the circus a go-round to some extent. Lovey can do without it; Kiddo loves it although not with my passion. What I really wanted was a way to incorporate family + circus so I can have all the circus I want without the guilt of being away from them.

Two weeks ago, I finally got my wish. In a random conversation, I mentioned that it would be pretty cool if Lovey and I could do double trapeze together. While I expected him to just nod it off, he agreed that it would be pretty neat but said that he was in no shape for it. I told him that I did the majority of the work in the act. But, But, BUT, the conversation got him motivated to get back in the gym! Hooray! And, And, AND, Kiddo is joining in the fun as well!

Now we have family workout/stretching time after work/school and I am well on my way to not running away to join the circus, but instead bringing the circus to me. :-D