Thursday, July 30, 2009

I am so looking forward to next Sunday!

Yesterday was a big day for me. I got on my bike and rode for the first time without Adam. It was so liberating and so much faster than walking to the beach. Although I actually stopped on a grassy knoll instead of going all the way to the beach. It was perfect for a couple of hours of laying out and reading my book. If there hadn't been a Cubs game going on in the afternoon, I probably would have rode the bike to do my errands but I had to pay a little visit to the box office and there is no way that I'd ride through the mess that is Wrigleyville yet (or ever?). I got tickets for the Iowa Cubs vs. Las Vegas 51's AAA baseball game that's being played at Wrigley on the 9th. I love minor league baseball and since we don't have a car to get to the teams in the far 'burbs this makes it easy to catch a game this season.

But the real reason that I want to go is this:

I'm telling you right now, you haven't lived if you haven't seen the Zooperstars. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to halftime or between innings entertainment and I should know, I spent an entire season working for a minor league baseball team (and before that spent more summer nights over various seasons than I can count at games with my friend Sally's family). And if you know about minor league baseball, teams are the king of gimmics between innings. I remember laughing my ass off when the Zooperstars came. I might even have shed some tears from laughing so hard. They put all other inflatable mascots to shame.

Check out all their crazy characters here:

Needless to say, I won't be working so I have no idea how much MORE funny they'll be after a couple of beers. I can't wait!! There is also a pizza place on the way to Wrigley that does an all you can eat Sunday morning beer and pizza brunch that we've been wanting to try. That might be more interesting (and cost-effective) than ballpark food.

P.S. I am so mad at myself that I didn't take my camera on my bike ride yesterday because I want to show everyone the lakefront path that I am totally blessed to run on almost every day. If the weather is nice tomorrow, I will do my best to remember to take some photos!

Running Log: 7 miles if the storms hold off

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's baaaaaaaack...

I was starting to worry that I'd never see my Blackberry again and I have to tell ya, once you have a Smartphone, it's pretty hard to go back. It took me half an hour to type one sentence and my email on my old phone was so annoying!

It came about 20 minutes before we were leaving for the Cubs game and at the very end of the day. What a sweet surprise! I had just enough time to call Sprint to have it activated. The Cubs game was fun, we ate just about every awesome thing you can have at the ballpark (hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy, peanuts, Old Style). Sadly, the Cubs lost but I was just happy to be sitting in a section with beermen and hot dog vendors (I might be the only person in Chicago that hates the bleachers at Wrigley).
Running Log: Cross Train Day, which means I'm trying out a new "weightless" strength training workout I got from If all else fails, Wii Fit Yoga and Strength Training... oooh or maybe both!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Division Leaders

Tonight is our last night of preseason purchased Cubs tickets. I'm super pumped because we aren't sitting in the bleachers! YES! That also means that...

I will be looking for my favorite beerman in the world!!!

He's phenomenal, I think if you go to You Tube you can search for "best beerman in the world" or "cubs beerman" and there are videos of his amazing-ness.

And sorry single ladies, I guess I won't be able to search Chicago for Bachelor Ed for you. But maybe Jillian will move here and we can become couple friends with them. You know I love Canadians.

Blackberry watch: still not arrived :(

Running Log: 7 miles

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear Blackberry, Please be waiting in the mailbox for me...

You never know what you have until it's gone. And my sweet, sweet Blackberry, you have been gone for almost a week now. I promise to be faithful to you (and by faithful, I mean I will zip up the pocket of my totebag when crawling up and down stairs at 5:00 a.m. in random hotels in Montana so you won't fall out into the hallway) and take better care of you. I know we have our moments, like when you melted down in Canada when you weren't even being used, but I can move past them if you'll just come back to me. Did the man and his son that found you treat you well? Did they really mail you back to me or are you just lost and doomed forever?

Now that I have activated my old Sanyo Katana (which I had no choice, I hate it that I'm cheating on you), I feel the full magnitude of missing your full QWERTY keyboard. T9 makes me take half an hour to type one sentence. Oh and your ringers are so much more peaceful (as is the fact that you vibrate twice before you start harrassing me with your tones and rings... Adam almost had a heart attack when the crew desk called this morning, oops).

My sweetness, I will be home this afternoon and the anticipation of seeing you in the mailbox will get me through a long day. And I might go postal if you have been hurt in any way by the USPS. I know now not to take you for granted.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crunch time

Ten miler today. Knee has been nagging me all week, probably because I was trying to catch up with my plan last week and overdid it.

I am exhausted this morning but determined... off to the path I go!

My old friend, Gyminee ( I haven't mentioned it lately because I haven't been keeping up with it. There was this whole name change from Gyminee to Daily Burn (which is probably a good thing, Gyminee sounds kind of dorky) and we just lost touch. Meaning I haven't been plugging in any food entries or workout logs. It's so much more constructive for me than some of the trash flight attendant gossip I spend my days reading online. So, back to the grind for me. I have a Luna Bar, 10 miles and a GU all waiting for me. Here's to the left knee not bothering me!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pretty Flowers

Adam brought me these from a farmer's market last week and I finally had to throw them out, boo!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yellowstone in Pictures

I can't possibly explain how cool that Yellowstone National Park is. It's a place that you have to see for yourself and when you leave, you take away a great appreciation for just how big, diverse, amazing and awesome our country is.
I think people go there for 2 reasons: the wildlife and the geothermal activities. Basically there is a volcano really far below the park that causes geysers, paint pots and hot springs all over the place. Half of the geothermal activities on Earth occur there. I was only there a few hours but it's definitely in my plans to go back.
Check it out: (these pictures are courtesy of my flying partner, Denise, who organized the rental car and trip and actually had her camera with her)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Crisis Averted!

So I have been awarded a voluntary furlough.

Yes, you read that correctly, awarded. I feel like I have basically been handed a 30 month gift. I keep my medical, dental and vision benefits (at a cost of only about $8 a month) and I can still travel when I want to, although only on United because I won't have my crew badge. I keep my seniority so when I come back at the end of this time, I'll be at a higher pay scale and ever closer to the holy grail of the 5 year mark.

I am making a list of goals, or a To Do list of sorts, to guide me in the things that I want to accomplish.

My plan right now? (btw, I still work until Aug. 31)

-visit family at home for awhile
-get super ready for the marathon
-China in November
-collect unemployment at the beginning
-find a fun job for the rest of the time

I can't even explain the weight that has been taken off my shoulders. For the last week of the voluntary bid period, the numbers looked terrible and I was looking at a straight lay off with no benefits. 700 people put in for the voluntary in the last 24 hours and boy, am I thankful! I feel so incredibly blessed to have this crazy opportunity to keep my medical benefits and be grounded with a little more routine right now.

I just had a killer trip with a layover in Bozeman, MT where we rented a car and drove down to Yellowstone. Phenomenal! Unfortunately, this was totally unplanned for me so I didn't have my camera. Hopefully the pictures that I took on my Blackberry will turn out ok. BUT, I dropped my Blackberry in the hallway of our hotel because there were no elevators and I had to carry my bags up and down 2 flights of stairs so I'm waiting for this (hopefully!) nice man to mail it back to me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Training Away...

For the first time, I am starting to feel better about my marathon training. I slacked off for almost two weeks around our Boston trip and I was getting behind and overwhelmed. I was able to get some really good runs in over the last week. My pacing has stayed the same, but I'm starting not to worry about it. I'm also freaking out less about the bad days and the bad runs and learning what my body is willing take in the way of punishment from me (the key to this? rest days!). My goal is just to finish and I know that it will take me close to five hours. The battle at this point is going to start getting mental and as long as I can look at it as taking five hours completely to myself to listen to my music and enjoy the scenery of Chicago, I think I'll be just fine....

Easier said than done but I think I'm getting my mind in the right place a little more each day, although 26 miles is so SCARY!

I am sore like no other because we rode bikes all over town yesterday (in addition to my nine miler) and I wasn't used to being in the saddle because missed our normal Thursday night ride for two weeks in a row.

You'd never have known it's July here yesterday, I had a jacket on at the beach!

One of my vistas from yesterday's run. I assume that part of my exorbitant tax dollars paid to this city gives me the privilege to run along the 18 miles of Lakefront bike and jog paths. More on the Lakefront path to come!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

5K of debauchery

Last Thursday we ran the Chicago Fire Department's 5K for the Kids (not sure which kids we were running for, but I digress). Adam has been running this race for a few years because his company pays for their entry fees to a lot of local races (SO JEALOUS!) and it's one of his favorites because beer tickets are included with the entry.
I was scheduled for an 8 mile run that day as part of training so I ran from the condo to downtown (~6 miles) plus the 5K race. It was hot and I was not feeling so great about it because of our gluttony during the Boston vacation but we still ended up with 10:30 splits. I found a little bit left in me at the end of the race to kick it up a notch and make the boy sprint with me for a few hundred feet.

As promised there was much beer at the end of the evening. At first, we had to wait in huge lines to get it but we were smart enough to get as many as we could carry at a time. A bunch of the guys and gals from their company got together to close out the evening with a raceous game of flip cup. It's been years since I've played it and my skills were a little bit on the rusty side. Oops. The firefighters also had a DJ so we got to jam. My personal favorite was this guy who did a kickass MJ tribute. He tore up the dancefloor, er, mudpatch.

Huge FAIL to us for forgetting jackets... all we had was race t-shirts to put over our sweaty clothes. And yeah, there are still nights in Chicago where you kinda need a jacket. And I realize it is mid-July at this point. This is why we put up with crap winters, people.

Awwww yeah- FLIPPY CUP!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Go Cubbies!

So today we were walking to Dairy Queen for some much needed Blizzard treats and we were on Addison only about 5 blocks from Wrigley Field. There was a dude on the corner asking if anyone wanted tickets for tonights game. I told Adam that we'd check with him on our way back from DQ and if he was still there (and had a decent price) that we'd know it was fate. Of course he was gone after our 30 minute walk, treat break, and trip to CVS.

Now I am sitting here watching the game on Sunday night baseball and it looks amazing. I totally wish I were there. The irony? I am 99% sure that I will have a 5 a.m. check in tomorrow, which means I have to get up a little before 3:00. Which I've had to do the past two days already. I am exhausted but that is how much I love summer and baseball. Oh well, another game perhaps?

Friday, July 10, 2009


I saw this on another blog and thought it was cool... especially since I am sitting in Caribu coffee feeling over-caffeinated nervous...

excited about the summer, the beach, marathon training in this beautiful city
worried about the economy and now how that's consequently affecting me and my loved ones and worried that it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better
reading trying to finish One Day at Fenway and my overgrown magazine collection
creating more photos for the walls of the condo
loving the time I get to spend with Adam, work has been getting in the way of that more than ever lately so I feel like our time together is more precious now and it just gets better and better (and OMG I am becoming a mushy person... SICK!)
hating people on the bus... seriously, today was one of those days that makes me want to get a car, like, tomorrow
wondering what the future holds for me... I will have major decisions to make soon and it feels so weird to not be able to really make long-term plans right now
craving some coffee but I know I will have an early work morning tomorrow so that is completely out but this Caribu smells delicious, oh and I'm starving so any food at this point
listening to a great mix of stuff that they are playing here, I think I heard Dave Matthew's new song and I liked it
watching this summer? bachelorette, so you think you can dance, trying to get into america's got talent but we'll see, I usually try to catch the today show, I love Natalie Morales
netflix-ing Confessions of a Shopaholic! and I've had it for more than a week but haven't watched it yet! Blast!
wishing that I could take a camera with me on my runs, I get to see some awesome scenery when I'm traipsing around
hoping for some answers and looking to God for some guidance right now

Boston Part II

Now... for the original reason for our trip was to take Adam to Fenway Park for the first time. Going there definitely makes me appreciate that we live SO close to Wrigley Field and never have to take public transportation to the game. We went almost 3 hours early and the T train was still a giant mess of people. I love Red Sox fans so much! They have an undying love for that team and it brings the entire region together.

The game we went to was really special (even though the Sox lost, so sad!) because it was the first time that the old shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra, was returning to Fenway Park. Nomah, as they say with the Bahst'n accent, was a huge fan favorite during his time with the Sox. He got traded in 2004 to the Cubs (I was super pissed at the time) for a couple of players that were instrumental in the first World Series win for the team in over 80 years. It was awesome though because the Red Sox had a tribute to him on the scoreboard after the first inning and he got a standing ovation at his first at bat. He had to do a ton of curtain calls after the tribute and he said on Sportscenter that night that the tribute and fan reaction meant so much to him and that he was really choked up. He played great though, as did the rest of the A's, so we were a little disappointed in the loss. I guess we'll have to keep going back until we see a Sox win!

Before the game, we met my cousins Marybeth and Ashley for a Duck Tour. They do these in several different cities but I think Boston is the original city for the tours. They take you in a boat/tanker thing from WWII and drive you around the city before going into the local river. I think it's the best way to see the city and it makes me so sad that we don't have them here in Chicago. Adam even got to drive for a bit when we were in the Charles River. I think this was my third time on the tour, Ashley's second and probably the tenth time for Marybeth but they never get old because each driver has different personality. Even though the rest of our group was kinda lame-o, our driver, Paul Reverse, was pretty cool.

One of the other ducks in the water...

Our whole crew with Paul Reverse...
I wish we were still on vacation. I have to go back to work tomorrow, which I am totally dreading. Only a week before the furloughs are made official and it's not looking good for me at this point. I know it's all everyone will be talking/thinking about so it's kind of a negative environment. I guess when I take a look back on everything that's been going on lately, it's kind of amazing that I've lasted this long in such a crappy economy! I have ideas in mind for whatever happens, it will be nice just to know for sure because I have different plans for each of the three scenarios. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers this week, and not for any particular outcome, just for me to keep my sanity until next Friday! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Boston Trip

We were so lucky that I never got called for a trip on July 4th (but I still got paid for being on call for the holiday, YES!) so we got to leave for Boston a day early that afternoon. My cousin Julie, who is a real Boston superwoman, found us a hotel room in Harvard Square for the extra night. We checked in, I walked into the bathroom and there was a remote perched on the bottom of the mirror. Could it be? Yes it was!! Only two words were printed on it and they were all Adam needed to hear that he'd be able to accomplish one of his life goals.

"Mirror TV"

Yes, people. My boyfriend had one of his life goals to be able to use the facilities while watching television. It's the simple things in life for him. The extra TV, which actually synchronized with the main TV, came in so handy the next morning while we were getting ready and watching the marathon that was Roddick/Federer at Wimbledon.

Anyhoo, the INDEPENDENCE DAY fireworks in Boston are the best in the country. I guarantee it. We used to watch them with my grandmother when we were really little because they are on TV every year. They were awesome but what was even better than the fireworks show was the sideshow that is my Auntie Jean. She loves her some fireworks!! I was cracking up listening to her scream "WOOOOOOOO!" every time there was a good one.

The weather was beyond awesome for our first three days there. On Sunday we went downtown with the cousins to piddle around at Quincy Market and get Adam some Boston Clam Chowda. We ended up with some extra time so we decided to check out a Harbor Cruise. I am so glad that we decided to shop around because that is how we found....


For those who know me, I love speed boat tours. Codzilla was my third after doing the Beast in NYC and the Seadog here in Chicago on Lake Michigan. Not to burst anyone's bubble but Codzilla was by far the best one that I've ever been on. WE GOT SOAKED and the driver rocked that boat like nobody's business. We laughed so hard that Julie was bawling.


Tomorrow I will post more about Monday's Duck Tour and the game but we had a total blast. I can't thank my awesome Boston branch of the family enough for hosting us and showing us a fab time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Have you been watching the Bachelorette?

It's Monday, Monday, Monday! A new week begins (for those of you with normal schedules) and it's finally time for a new episode of the Bachelorette!

Sadly, I've been watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise since the second season when I was living in the duplex with Char and Mere. Back then, they were churning out about 3-4 seasons a year, always with the finale just in time for the network sweeps. These days it's been relegated to mostly summer filler status but I still come back every season (except for the old people season with the pro fisherman... booooooorrrrring). When we lived in the sorority house, Charlotte and I were pretty much the only people that had cable (and therefore TV period) in our bedroom so we'd pack 'em in for Bachelor episodes. Those were the days, we'd have 10+ people in the room and I remember getting in a huge fight with Ashley Hardin once because she kept talking during the important parts. Needless to say, she was the only person to ever get kicked out of a Bachelorette viewing party.

Anyhoo, this season, as contrived and barfy as it's been, has not disappointed. I dearly adore Ed from Chicago. Reid is not so bad either. As always, there are several tools, the most glaring of which is Wes. He is absolutely HIDEOUS! And just an FYI to all you Jake lovers out there: homeboy works for an "express carrier" meaning that he probably makes about as much as me. I also just thought he was boring and had no personality. And he cried over the railing. I think on these shows unless you are in the final two, you are not allowed to cry. What were you expecting? You had 1/25 odds of getting the girl (actually 1/30 in this case). Lame.

Tonight, I'll be chowing down on a Fenway Frank at the Red Sox game so I'll miss the show but that will probably be the first thing I want to catch up with on the DVR!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

(Karma reared it's ugly head after I posted my little advice column, I mean, rant about airports the other day. I seriously had the three day trip from hell. I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to write about the horrors. I'm still having nightmares about the crazy man that doesn't live in our reality... and it took about an hour of crying to complete my return-home-decompression- process.)

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone a friendly reminder that in fact, we are not celebrating "July 4th", we are actually celebrating Independence Day. (Have you ever wondered why we do that with just this one holiday? No one ever says, "Happy December 25th!")

I hope y'all have a great Independence Day! I will most likely be doing a one day turn and missing the fireworks because we are trying to catch the 6:00 a.m. flight to Boston on the 5th, where we'll get enough American Revolutionary history to make up for anything we might miss. Oh and I'm hoping all of the lunatics here in Chicago that think it's funny to shoot off fireworks in the city limits survive with out injury. I would tell you about my irrational fear of the fireworks not operated by licensed professionals but that's enough for an entire post. Ciao and enjoy your holiday weekend!