Friday, November 30, 2012

Five things Friday

It's been so long since I've posted now that the only logical thing to do is to write a list post to catch up and what better day to return than Friday!?

1. 
Lions and tigers!
video

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I took this video at The Conservator's Center. Yes, those are lions and tigers chillin out together after a big lunch on the top of that platform. We basically got to get as close to the animals as two chain-link fences about two feet apart. It was incredible.
Lions and tigers and wolves!























2. 
I have a new friend!
FrostyTheFingerPuppet






















HappyTriGirl posted a few hilarious pictures with her Frosty in them and I inquired about how I could procure one for myself and, just like that, she surprised me by sending me one! They've even got their own hashtag on Twitter—#Frostythefingerpuppet. Best package ever. It's the little things in life.

Also, is my dog the only one who thinks all stuffed animal-like things are hers? I don't even buy her plush dog toys because she destroys them in five seconds, so I'm not sure where she gets it from.


3. 
Pippi's left ear has gotten limp. I'm not sure why. It's floppy now when she walks. 
























Maybe it's just gotten lazy in her advanced age of two years old.
Wednesday was the big day.



















4. 
I had a date night last week. I divulge no other information than that at this time. We decided, after a bottle of wine between the two of us, to drive to Harris Teeter and buy another large bottle. 

















We then finished that one, too. And I went to work in the morning. Best idea ever.

5.
Insanity update: starting over. My friend, Mike, decided he wanted to start Insanity and we decided we'd work out together a couple days a week, which involved me starting the program over this week so we'd be on the same schedule. So far I haven't noticed any real changes other than the soreness. Oh the soreness!
That chic on the left shows me up on a daily basis. Bitch.

  





















Do you celebrate your pets' birthdays? Growing up we always did and I'm following tradition. I even sang to Pippi while tossing her treats. She seemed impressed...with the treats.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On going insane

In my many years on this earth, I've tackled lots of types of workouts: running, swimming, yoga, kickboxing, workout DVDs, spinning...and now I'm venturing into the world of Insanity. I've only tackled two days so far, so I've got 58 more heart-pounding days to go.

At least my birthday lands in the "recovery week".


























Don't let the "fit test" fool you. I was all "Oh, day 1 is just the fit test. I'm sure it won't be that hard." And then I learned a lesson that I will be cursing Shaun T. for for the next 58 days. Adding "power" to the beginning of a well-meaning exercise makes it 500 times more evil. Adding "suicide"? Well, you can imagine.
































I've mentioned this before, but I really hate the "quick feet" exercise because, well, any part of me that can jiggle, does jiggle. And that just ain't fun. And now, I have new exercises to hate even more. The Heisman and 123-123.
Basically  jumping side-to-side doing this. Over and over.















Yesterday's workout was Plyometric Cardio Circuit, meaning I got to do these things over and over, each time faster than the time before (in theory). Truth be told, I only got through 20 minutes of the 40-minute workout because I'm now dealing with balance issues due to the junk in my head not going away. I haven't been able to hear out of my right ear since Sunday. Mucinex to the rescue!

I like to call this "doing it right."




















By the way, it really bums me out that the Mucinex boxes don't feature the phlegm monster from the commercials.














But I digress.

I remember the first time after I did my favorite workout DVD, I struggled to walk up stairs for three days but then doing it a year later it now seems easy. With any luck, by day 60 these workouts will seem easy. Right, guys? Right?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My take on "Adopt. Don't Shop"

I've sunk to a new low. A quote from "Ghandi"? I demand references!
















I read an article/blog post this morning that I'm feeling the need to share...because I respectfully disagree! The title of the article is Adopt Don't Shop-the most dangerous advice. Here's a little gem from the article.
Whenever I see [adopt don't shop] it makes my blood boil. It is one of the most irresponsible and incredibly stupid “emotional demands” I have seen. It bothers me, not because I breed (which I do), but as a person who helps people deal with animal behavior concerns.

The goal of finding homes for shelter or rescue animals should be based on the concept of finding the right MATCH, not the right home. The right home, will be the right home for any dog, the right match of dog-owner is the key.
Funnily enough, I agree with the second paragraph. And this is why any good shelter or adoption agency allows you to essentially "test out" your relationship with the dog first. They don't want you to end up with a dog that isn't a good match for you, and if you have any issues, they want you to bring the dog back to them! In fact, I had to sign a contract to that affect. If, at any time, I need to give Pippi up, I am contractually obligated to bring her back to the adoption agency.

And, just like that, this person's entire argument is blown to pieces. I'm sure there are agencies and shelters that don't have this agreement, but I doubt any of them would want you to keep an adopted animal if it just isn't the one for you. There are MILLIONS of dogs and cats in shelters. Why wouldn't they allow you to look around until you find the right fit? And also, why is this person so sure bred dogs are a better fit for everyone?

SuuuuperMuuuutt. Duh nuh nuh NUUUUH!


Petfinder.com is the website where I found Pippi. Look at those numbers. It's sad.
















I'm a huge proponent of adopting dogs (or cats) instead of buying them from breeders or pet shops...in most cases. There are so many dogs and cats put down daily because there aren't enough homes for them all, and there are people out there breeding more dogs, many of which are likely to suffer the same fate. Also...puppy mills. Don't get me started on puppy mills. I once read an article on "the truth of euthanasia," which I can't find at the moment, but you can imagine.

This was essentially the gist.



















The more dogs that are bred and sold in pet shops, the more perfectly good dogs in a shelter or up for adoption will be put down needlessly. My mom's dog is a purebred dog that the previous owner purchased from a breeder. My mom adopted her at under a year of age because the previous owner gave her up because she didn't know she was going to get that big. She's a frickin LABRADOR RETRIEVER! In that vein, I also think having some brain cells to rub together should be a prerequisite for getting a pet. It makes you wonder whether the breeder told the lady "this dog will grow to be between 70 and 90 pounds" or if the buyer did no research and then chose not to hear that part.















A while ago, someone tried to convince me that any dog over the age of six weeks (the age at which some agree a dog is ready to be weaned from its mother) is "ruined," meaning all hopes of training that dog are dashed because whoever owned the dog for those six weeks essentially brainwashed it into not being able to learn from anyone else. They then sent their dog away for six months to be trained by someone else. Oh the irony.

"You told me to get on my bed, so I got on my bed. Now where's my treat?"


















I adopted Pippi when she was six months old and at 1.5 years old, we went to training classes for 12 weeks and now I can get her to do things I never could have imagined she'd ever know how to do and knows commands she definitely didn't know when I first got her. We've learned all these things together. In other words? Six weeks, my ass.

How could you pass up this mutt-tastic face?


















Now, I'm not saying buying a dog from a breeder is always bad. Maybe someone needs a non-mix breed due to allergies or some other concern that I'm not familiar with. I just know that there are so many cats and dogs (and birds and fish and hedgehogs...yes, you can adopt a hedgehog on Petfinder) out there who needs homes that breeding more in order to make money just seems inhumane. Your life gets richer (pardon the pun) and maybe two or three more dogs suffer as a result? That just doesn't sound like something someone who really loves animals would do.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Contractor-grade is my four-letter word

Spin class on Friday was a success! ... Well, aside from the fact that Bree, thee worst spin instructor eeveer was teeaching and her idea of get-you-pumped music is Taylor Swift and Ke$ha. I remember now why I avoid her classes. I had to take it a little slower than normal because I was struggling to breathe, but a made it the full hour! 

As for the running on Saturday, I had a change of plans. I received a check I wasn't expecting late last week for $32, which, as it turns out, is exactly how much a gallon of paint costs. The luck! Since the nastiness left by the previous owner of my house on the master bathroom walls was seriously grossing me out, I decided to start there. I'd decided a while ago I wanted to paint it dark purple.

My inspiration:
No, I'm not kidding.













My final choice:
I've never seen grapes this dark.

I spent the better part of Saturday painting (with ELF on in the background, of course). I've decided my least favorite color in the world is the contractor-grade off-white color they paint walls that sucks up everything, including the previous owner's nastiness and the first coat of paint you try to cover it up with. Also? The big, contractor-grade sheet mirrors in bathrooms are my NEMESIS! I can't seem to find online how much the mirror the size of the one that was in my master bathroom weighs, but the fact that I didn't break it or cut off my toes removing it from the wall, is a miracle. Holy mother of HEAVY! In hindsight, I probably should have asked a big, strong man to help me but patience isn't exactly my strong suit.













Without further ado, my new bathroom:


















Doesn't look quite impressive enough? How about now?


I decided a room of this color needed some big, gaudy gold accents. I'm pretty much in love with the mirror and the picture frame, both of which I got on ridiculous sales, thanks to Michael's and HomeGoods. I always find myself walking around HomeGoods thinking, "I have no idea what this is, but I think I need it." And, in case you missed my previous post about that dog print, you can find it here.

Pippi was extremely unimpressed with my renovation, but, as usual, found herself at home protecting the living room from intruders.


















I also did something that will, hopefully, make our lives a little less crazy and bark-y.
And, like that, I've become the old lady of the neighborhood.


















One more thing I need to share, because it's kind of a big deal in my world—after 30 years, I may have finally figured out a way to make my hair stay wavy. Accidentally go to bed with wet hair up in a messy bun.
We'll see how long it lasts.























I spent the rest of my weekend cleaning the house. Pippi still tries to attack the vacuum. Any advice on how to get this to stop, FOR THE LOVE??

Friday, November 9, 2012

Atrophy

Two weeks of not being able to work out and I'm GOING INSANE!












I've already signed up for a spin class this afternoon and I have grand plans of going for a run tomorrow since it's probably the last weekend of beautifully warm weather for a while. This is either a really great plan or a really super dumb plan. I'll let you know.

Shut up, Johnny.










Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Failing at life like a champ

Remember those two back-to-back races I signed up for for the second time this year (because I'm just so smart?)


Basically, they were the most gigantic wastes of my money ever. I haven't been sick in over two years, but this week and last my immune system decided to kick my ass. Last week, well, let me demonstrate with an annoyingly happy image.























And then this past Friday, the first day my stomach was back to normal, I started with a sore throat and by the time I left work, swallowing or talking felt like setting fire to my throat/neck/head and i had a fever of 100. At the late hour of 6:30, I took some magical medicine and went to bed for the night.

Magical oral anesthesia.














I spent the majority of my weekend doing more of that. Over and over. Sunday I went grocery shopping and then needed a nap. I don't feel any better today but I know if I go to the doctor they're just going to tell me it's a virus and to stop being a whiny little jerk. I should've saved the stuff I blew out of my nose this morning to bring to them. Doctors love that kind of thing, right?

My grand plan was to start Insanity this week, following my last two races, but now even that will be postponed until next week. It took all the energy I had this morning to take a shower. Epic life failing at its best. I had a coworker yesterday tell me to shoot saline up my nose ten times a day and I'll be better in three days. You know, or I could just drown myself. That would make everything better!