Thursday, August 30, 2012

A post from the dog

Yo. Pippi here. (Yeah. I pretend to be from the street. You got a problem with that?)

I need to discuss something with you all, my adoring fans.

For some reason the people around my house think it's OK to walk around in my presence outside. And THEN when I let them know who's boss my mom won't let me get at 'em. I KNOW! Isn't that why she adopted me? To protect her?? (and also, who wouldn't love this face? I mean, let's get real).

So anyway, while this is going on she tries to get my attention with a treat, but who can concentrate on treats at a time like that? There's an intruder walking around in my neighborhood!

Last night my mom had a conversation with me about how she is the leader and doesn't need me to protect her on walks. She said I don't need to bark at everyone. But I'm still skeptical. This morning I went batshit as soon as I walked out of the house at the neighbors a few houses down getting ready to walk to the bus stop. My mom's attempts to get my attention didn't work.

You guys, mom threatened to give me away this morning. For free.

But I'm friggin adorable!

She also wanted me to tell you about how, when it's time to go to bed, I get so excited that I stand at the top of the steps smacking myself in the face with my wagging tail. But don't believe her. I'm hardcore.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Two steps forward and three steps back

Just had to share a little bit of funny before getting into the nitty gritty.


Dog training is a ridiculous process. Ridiculous, I tell you. Trainer Ryan said there will be days when it seems like you're sliding backwards in the process, but FOR THE LOVE why can't it just be that Pippi decides, you know what, today I don't want to give you my paw to shake.

We're currently working on being nice to strangers. She's supposed to sit for greeting and keep her butt on the ground and just let them pet her. Simple enough, right? Yesterday on our walk a group of kids wanted to pet her and ask me questions about her. No problem. She walked up to them, sat down, handed them her paw, and tried to lick their faces. When she was done, she walked away. It was something I'd only dreamed about. I was so ridiculously happy with her. I thought we are finally turning a corner with this people thing.

This morning I just happened to walk her at the same time people were walking their kids to the bus stop and she was getting spooked by everyone and barking like she wanted to get at their throats.  Seriously, dog? Just when I was starting to think you were learning! If it were a different circumstance and people weren't on a time table to get their kids to school on time, I may have done the, "Hi, I'm trying to teach my dog to sit for greeting. Would you mind helping us out...?" and then she would sit and be nice because, dude, what's better than a stale dog treat and someone paying attention to me!!? I guess, until we get the hang of this stranger thing, she's just going to scare the shit out of people if it's not a good time for them to pay attention to her and hand her a treat.

I hate this.

So, this brings me to another story that happened in training class this weekend. We were walking around the store, working on the "heel" and "wait" commands and a guy startled Pippi and she barked. Instead of not being a douche bag and either walking away or giving her a minute to understand he's not a threat, he leaned down and shoved a fist in her face which I guess was his way of saying hi to a dog. Pippi don't play that game. She growled at him and showed her teeth and I pulled her away and walked the other direction. He then went to Trainer Ryan (who saw the whole thing) and said the guy tried to say Pippi bit him. Ryan told me Pippi did nothing wrong, that it was the guy's fault, so I was right in not scolding her in that circumstance.

Take note, ass wipe.

Other than these slip-ups, we're doing pretty good with other parts of training. Now, "on your bed" results in Pippi running over and plopping down on her bed all excited. I can even knock on the door without her barking every. single. time. Small victories, I guess. Thank goodness for those.

I have another run scheduled with Mike today after work. Hopefully I won't slow him down too much again. He mapped the route this time and promised me there's only one substantial hill. We'll see.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm a punk after all

I've decided why I was ready to give up on Daily Mile a while back. It all came screaming back to me.

The furthest distance I have any desire of running at one time is a half marathon. I have much respect for those running full marathons and further. That's just not my thing. I just don't have the attention span or the will. Plus, I need to keep it real with my cross-training also. That being said, the reason I started my Daily Mile account was to hold myself accountable for my training runs. I understand that, by posting my runs, I open myself up to ridicule. I know it's out of love. Right, you guys? RIGHT?? Anyway, lately, my brain thinks it's more of a tool to compare myself to everyone else.

In training for my half marathon, this past weekend my long run was seven miles. Friends who are running marathons at the same time as my half marathon are running 16–18 miles at this point. Considering a marathon is exactly twice the distance of a half marathon (duh) it totally makes sense. I, however, feel like a pansy. But I shouldn't. I'm right on track with my training plan.

For the first time in a long time I had a running buddy for my seven-mile run. It was a tough run and I kept having a hard time catching my breath, even though I wasn't out of breath. I know, it makes no sense. Maybe it was the humidity? I have no idea. I kept apologizing to Mike (my running buddy, who is training for a full marathon) for slowing him down. When we were done, he told me I'm better than I give myself credit for. In other words, "Hey idiot, believe in yourself." Lesson noted.

Journey would approve.

In other news, when I was in Boston in June, I got new running shoes.

Defyance 5. My "Boston shoes".

After so many failed pairs of running shoes, I had high hopes for these guys. I'm happy to report that they are awesome! I finally found a running shoe guy who knew what he was talking about and put me in a pair a half size larger than my regular shoes. It was magical advice. I'm pretty sure now that I've found a shoe that works, they're going to retire it. Next time I need shoes I may just have to have  Alyssa fit me for shoes (you know, since Boston is pretty far away). Get ready, Alyssa. It shall be your payment for taking a summer job at a running store.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I attract stupid

I'm being harassed by the US Census Bureau. You think I'm kidding. Not long after I moved into my house (less than three months ago), I received the forever long census "survey" and, after reading that it is my legal responsibility to fill it out and send it back, I did so.

I have no relevant picture to go here, so you get this one. You're welcome.

Fast forward to August 2 (20 days ago), I received a call from them which i didn't answer since I don't make a habit of answering calls from numbers I don't know. (I later looked up the number and it turned out to be the Census Bureau). Since then I've received SEVEN calls from the number. Finally one day last week, out of desperation to make the madness stop, I answered. The guy on the other line started asking me what seemed like every single question from the survey I'd already sent back. I confirmed that they'd received my survey and asked why I was being asked all these questions. His best guess was that the machine that reads the surveys didn't catch all the answers. Now, I KNOW my handwriting is easy to read. I call bullshit.

An example of part of our exchange:

Dude: "Do you have trouble walking up stairs?"
Me: ""
Dude: "Have you ever given birth to a child?"
Me: "no"
Dude: "Do you have any grandchildren who currently reside with you?"
Me: <long pause because, seriously, are you kidding?> "No."
At this point I'd been on the phone for more than 15 minutes and that's really as much time as I was going to allow them to steal from me. I told dude that I had to go and hung up. Right away, they tried to call back. I didn't answer. Since then I've received more calls.

I have so many questions about this. The topmost of which is Is it possible to turn the US Census Bureau in for harassment?? Why is this so fucking important? I'm a single white female living in a house that I pay a mortgage on and I'm healthy. That's really as much information as I'm comfortable divulging. You know, that and the names of my grandchildren.

I've done some research and found out that I'm not alone in this. Of all the amazingly moronic things in this world. I swear I attract stupid.

Anyone else in this boat with me?

Ending this thing on a high note.

Monday, August 20, 2012

More protein please

Friday at work, I got to pretend to be super important.
Outside the front door of the NC Legislative building

Inside the House chambers. Fancy!

Saturday morning, I got up and went for a run. I was supposed to run 7 miles but 4.5 was all my legs had in them. I was struggling the whole time and was hoping after the first mile my legs would be warmed up and feeling better, but it didn't work that way. After posting on Daily Mile and taking a look at what I've been eating and drinking, particularly after workouts, it became clear that maybe I need to up my protein intake.

Apparently roam rolling isn't the problem.

If I'm being completely honest, I've been probably getting the majority of my protein from peanut butter which, it turns out, isn't actually that great of a protein source. I went grocery shopping and I now have chicken, sausage, bacon, and beans in my fridge. I already had almond milk in there, so I'm not a complete dunce. Post-run chocolate milk sounds good to me!

I guess someone left it here in case, mid-run, I was feeling a little randy?

Pippi and I then went to training class. Whenever Trainer Ryan explains what we'll be learning this week, I'm always hesitant to believe it's possible. This week we're practicing the first skill in having Pippi go directly to her bed and lay down when someone comes into the house (or knocks on the door). Yeah, I'm skeptical too, but one step at a time. For now we just need to get down "on your bed". Here's our progress:



The next step involves someone actually coming over and helping me by knocking on the door or hitting the doorbell over and over and over so we can practice. That's so much easier said than done. I may need to ask my firefighter friends for more help. I'm assuming pizza and beer will be motivation. (If you're reading this and live near me and want to assist in this super fun exercise, let me know!)

I spent the remainder of my weekend cleaning and painting walls. I finally finished the stripe wall!

The colors are a nicer in person. Promise.

Mom. Tell them how I helped. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom.
Just don't look at it up close. Painters' tape is a damn joke!

On Sunday morning I set out to clean the house and I got halfway done vacuuming the first level when my "check vacuum bag" light came on. I figured it would be an easy, quick trip to WalMart and I'd be back in business. Yeah, not so much. Apparently the worst day to shop at WalMart is a rainy Sunday the day before the college semester down the street begins. For crying in the sunshine! On the way home I had to stop at the frozen yogurt place to console myself.

At least my vacuum bags smell freaking delicious.

I hope your running was much more pleasant than mine this weekend. What do you eat or drink after runs to recover?

Have you ever found something completely random on the ground while running/walking/biking/skipping?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A hot canadian actor. No, really.

I found another awesome messed-up crime drama show on Netflix. It's called Durham County. I was really hoping it took place in Durham County, NC (the next county over from where I live), but alas, it's based in Canada.

Dun dun dunnnn

Plus, the lead actor is kind of a fox for an older man.
Hugh Dillon, you sexy beast.

Speaking of TV shows, I've decided I want to get basic channels. Now that I pretty much missed out on the Olympics and realized if I could get basic channels, I could watch certain shows (*cough* Bachelor Pad *cough*) in "real time" and my life would be so much more awesome. After talking with some friends, I decided to order a digital antenna.

SuperSonic. It's got to be good, right?

Hopefully it's the answer to my free tv-watching experience.

Yesterday I took my first kickboxing class in a while and I have a new favorite instructor. Dan. Yes, a dude teaching kickboxing and being super entertaining at the same time. Dan can do a side split. Yeah. I know. He was so excited about the class, he was practically vibrating in the minutes leading up to it. Maybe I can hire him to be my running coach. I'm pretty sure that would motivate me.

In closing, I want to ask a sort of personal question. You don't mind, right?

Yesterday there was an unofficial poll going asking whether women wear underwear or go commando while running. I never knew going commando to run was so popular. Am I the only one who wears undies while running?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another post about knobs

This weekend I met my firefighter neighbors in a very unconventional way. I locked myself out of my house taking the trash to the dumpster. I know. I'm super sly.

First they tried slipping it open with a tool but that didn't work, so, after realizing all the windows on  my first floor are locked, they got out a ladder and she climbed up to check out the second floor windows. All locked. After some discussion, they decided the cheapest option would be to break out the big guns and cut off the knob. An ax, crowbar, and electric saw later, we had a knobless door.

Who DOESN'T like to end the weekend with an emergency
trip to Lowe's?

This has been in my purse ever since. Not sure why.

Moooom. Get IN here!

The she neighbor volunteered the he neighbor to help me replace the knob but, being the stubborn homeowner that I am, I did it myself. I'm a handy lady, folks.

The creepiest part of this whole thing is that we had a ladder, heavy tools, electric saw, and three people essentially trying to break into my house and not one neighbor came out to make sure everything was okay. I didn't even notice any curtains rustle. Real great Community Watch, guys.

At least I know I have some nice, helpful neighbors...and some creepy ones.

Oh, I also built myself a bookshelf...

and began painting the wall in my upstairs hallway in stripes.
Get my good side, Mom!

Have you ever met a neighbor in an unconventional way?
I like to make my clumsiness known at first impression. It's just easier that way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Trash TV makes me feel smart

This past weekend I decided it was time, again, to be crafty. I'm getting increasingly sick of looking at my sad, naked walls. Thankfully, I had all the supplies I needed for a new project: some canvasses I'd gotten on sale and hadn't used, fabric I purchased from Etsy, and staples.

Pretty fabric.

I'm not going to pretend I didn't get this idea from Pinterest


All-in-all, this probably cost me maybe $40. Since I already had the canvasses, I only recently spent the $24 for the fabric, and I have a good amount left over to add more canvasses...after payday.

I then had another bright idea for the third wall in my dining room, between two windows.

Fabric is so versatile.

At least it's prettier than Pippi's wall.
My dog is so high maintenance.

Now, the fun stuff.

I decided this week to take a couple of vacation days. Since the thought of taking a staycation at my house seemed about as fun as spending a day at work, I jumped at the chance to take my staycation days 20 miles away, with friends. Unfortunately, due to meetings at work, I had to split my days off up but in the long run I think it was a fantastic idea.

Monday evening Pippi and I packed up to spend some time at Mike and Nicole's. Monday was Mike's 30th birthday so we all went out for dinner. (No, the dogs didn't join).

Nothing says Happy Birthday like a shot of tequila and a

Yesterday was my first day off for the week and it was fabulously fun and relaxing. Nicole, their friend Shane, and I spent the afternoon antique and goodwill shopping. I found my new favorite store.

Darn. I was really hoping to buy a creepy baby doll head!

And then, for my workout for the day, we busted out Insanity. Holy mother of PAIN! The speed at which these people can do these insane (heh. Get it?) workouts is nuts. I'm convinced they're robots.

My favorite part of this whole image is the correct uses of
you're and your.

There was also some watching of The Bachelor Pad. Because watching trash tv is just so much more fun with company. I didn't even know this little piece of genius existed before Monday night. Now I wish I could afford cable.

Using the term "star" extremely loosely.

OH! Milestone alert! Yesterday, for the first time ever, Pippi fetched! Usually I'll throw a ball, she'll run, and then run back to me without having picked up the ball, like she thought I endlessly produced tennis balls. Yesterday, more than once, she actually picked up the ball and brought it back to me! This may seem minor, but believe me, it's like proof that miracles really do happen. I didn't even have to use my magic wand. Maybe this is the first step on my way to teaching her to bring me useful things.

Friday, August 3, 2012

You idiot

Today I am thankful that I have friends who aren't afraid to tell me when I'm being an idiot. Sometimes I think living alone and having no one to talk things through with on a daily basis is warping my brain.

Pippi is only a good listener when I'm rubbing her belly, but she's not so good at giving advice.

Speaking of Pippi, we had another training class last night, at which Instructor Ryan kept telling me, "she's really improving." (each time he said it, I wanted to cry happy tears). Ryan always brings one of his dogs and last night he brought his pit bull, who weighs twice as much as Pippi. At one point, after she growled at him a few times, he snarled at her and she backed down. I gave him a treat to thank him. She got to the point where she and the two other dogs were playing nice together ON leash. It's the little things in life. She CAN be taught!

Next Thursday is our last puppy class and this Saturday we're starting the intermediate classes. Ryan thinks she's ready.

So, to sum up: My dog is smarter than me.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Be a butterfly

Since today seems to be the day of random posts, I figured I'd follow suit.

1. There's a dude at the coffee shop I go to maybe once or twice a week who has one of those pig nose piercings and I just can't bring myself to look at him when I'm talking to him. I can't not look at it instead of at him and it's just grody.
Just WHY?!

2. We have a problem at work (ok, that's an understatement). ONE of the problems we have on my hall at work is...roaches. The grossest thing ever. It haunts me. Without going into too much detail (I am eating lunch), we've been trying to get the appropriate persons to take care of the issue but it's ongoing. This morning my coworker and I came to a short-term solution.
We are nothing if not resourceful.

3. The plate wall is evolving.
Not quite done, but still looking better.

4. I've been running at a nearby park lately mainly because the distances are marked and most of the path is shaded. It's a 1.5 mile path, so running down and back is three miles. My Garmin doesn't like to find satellites down parts of the path, so it never gives me the full three miles. (I knew that little shit hated me.) I had been running with my Garmin showing mileage only, but I'm thinking it would make more sense to run by time only, especially since the only runs on my training plan that aren't by time, but by mileage, are my long runs. (I'm such a genius, it's taken me four weeks to figure this out). At the beginning/end of my run is a huge community rose garden. I checked it out after my run earlier this week and realized that I was stopping to smell the roses. (ba dum dum).
Yellow and pink on one plant. Amazing.

5. She's watching.

Always watching.

6. For the most part, I'm enjoying our weekly dog training classes, but since I'm running after work today instead of doing lunchtime spin class (I had forgotten it is Thursday) I'm choosing training over dinner. Plus, I'm going to show up sweaty and delicious-smelling.
Maybe this face will get Pippi to behave.

7. If you've been keeping up with the Olympics, you know that US gymnast, Gabrielle Douglas, is amazing at what she does...

 also know that her nickname is "flying squirrel"

I'm not so sure I'd take that as a compliment. Butterflies fly. Birds fly. But no, she's a flying squirrel. Freaks.

7. Why do the toilets in women's restrooms have seats that go up? Hermaphrodite?