"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is it a sin....?

To covet thy neighbor's dog?

Meet my sponsor's new puppy Luna (short for lunatic)

 Taken on her first hike with Auntie RBR. Some say "Auntie", some say "puppynapper". Toe-may-toe, Toe-mah-toe. 

 Luna is an 8-month old, terrier mix puppy that my sponsor adopted from NARF (Nike Animal Rescue Foundation). She is stubborn, crazy, destructive, and I am totally and completely IN. LOVE. WITH. HER.

Couldn't you just die of the cuteness? Yes, I am holding a dog snack above her nose, but I prefer to think she would look just as adoringly at me without it.

My sponsor lost Roadie, her 11 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, about 4 months ago when he suddenly went into liver failure, stopped eating and had to be euthanized. Not to speak ill of the dead, and if you have read this blog you know that animals are very important to me, I love them all, but her dog, ....

was a seriously dangerous, NUT JOB.

Let's just say, that if anyone less kind, loving, and compassionate than my sponsor owned him he would have been guarding the gates of hell a LONG time ago.  In the interest of fairness, she has been my sponsor for almost 20 years now, I imagine if I had not also found her, you could say the very same thing about me.

My sponsor picked up Roadie (on the road, hence the name. Plus her husband is in a band. I know, I rolled my eyes too at the "coolness") as a lost 4 month old puppy. She was headed out of town for the weekend, so she asked me to take care of him for a few days. In that time I could tell that Roadie, even as a young puppy, had some dominance and aggression issues and I warned her that it was imperative that he be trained and socialized or he would be a problem. As it turned out, I was right. REALLY right.

Boston Terrier doing his best Anthony Hopkins. Priceless. Difference is Roadie was almost 100 pounds of psychopathic pooch.

My sponsor grew up on a farm where you let dogs, be dogs and she did not really see the importance of training. She also thought I was a bit obsessive about training with Lucy and that Lucy was overly controlled by me.

Not to be snarky, but I can have people over to my house and I am reasonably confident my dog will not rip their throats out if they make eye contact with her. If that is "overly controlled" I am ok with that.

 OK, fine, maybe she is a wee bit 'overly controlled.'

Anyhoo.... my sponsor wanted to avoid having that type of dog in her home for the next 11 years, so I was THRILLED that when she was ready to adopt she told me repeatedly that she would listen to anything I said and wanted me to help her pick her new dog.

Enter, Luna

We met her at a pet fair and she was the perfect dog for my sponsor and her family and ...

...for me. *sigh*

Before our hike we did a short walk at the park with Ms. Lucy (At 13 years young, Lucy is not much of a hiker anymore, but she was a BEAST in her day) and Luna was a perfect respectful young lady. She could blend right in to the family.
See?! She loves me!

Like the wingman that watches his buddy leave with the hot girl he spotted first and chatted up while screening for signs of excess emotional baggage or Fatal Attraction tendencies, I must sit idly by and watch MY dog go to puppy class with my sponsor. 

I have a full blown case of puppy fever.

 Hubby says, 'no', but this ain't my first rodeo. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I am not okay.

The following is a conversation with a coworker that has been known to describe me to others as an 'unstable hot-head', but before you shed too many tears at my expense, I have been known to describe him to him as a 'self-important prick.'

I am more of a cut-out-the-middle-man kind of gal when it comes to gossip and slander, and quite possibly an unstable, hot-head.

SIP: Hi, RBR! How are you? (He is not excited to see me, he needs something. Usually, if we are unfortunate enough to make eye contact we exchange head nods.)

RBR *struggling to get copy machine to accept the science department code*: I am fine. How are you, SIP?

SIP: Good, but, boy, I am sooooo busy.... [goes into long winded soliloquy about all the meetings and activities he is doing this year, in typical martyred teacher fashion. I would list them for you, but I stopped listening immediately after asking my question]

RBR *muttering to copier as it eats my originals*: Motherfucking, piece of shit....

I start repeatedly pressing clear button with more vehemence than is really necessary

SIP: You sure you are ok?

RBR: I am fine. What can I do for you?

I kick copier as it jams and the screen gives me convoluted instructions as to how to make it happy again. "Open door at 'A', slide 'B' to the right, to clear paper passage at 'C', while standing on one leg and reciting the Gettysburg Address in Swahili...."

SIP: As I think you know, I am on the Blah, blah, blah committee, where we sit around pontificate, kiss each other's asses, and never accomplish a fucking thing other than to waste time and try to sound important, ... Well, we have our meetings on Thursdays. I was wondering if you could cover my [insert his laundry list of  Thursday night afterhours commitments] the first of which is tonight.

(ok, he did not say all that but he did try to offload THREE commitments in one fell swoop, which is very assholish, IMHO)

Meanwhile the copier refuses to take three of my originals and starts printing tests are missing 3 pages while making a godawful noise.


I punch the copier lid hard enough to make the godawful noise worsen. 


I start to bang my head on the copier.

RBR *turns to SIP, now looking like I am going to cry*: What? What do you want me to do for you?

SIP: Uh, nothing,but I don't think you are 'ok', though. 

I think it is important to note that my personal life has taken a bit of a hit as of late, I was up at my latest weigh in, I am about to start my period, and it is raining today. The later is significant in that California schools do not have enclosed hallways. They are little more than glorified overhangs. Therefore, if it is windy your journey to the main office results in you getting soaked through and the rain plastering your bangs to your forehead giving you the oh-so-hot drown rat appearance. Plus my extra warm fleece is no longer 'extra warm' and smells a bit like wet dog. It is currently 6:45 am. *sigh*

Fine. I am not okay, but at least I do not have any extra Thursday night duties to cover. Being an unstable, hot-head has its advantages.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Race Report: Coyote Hills 10k trail Run - January 29 , 2011

Two Saturday's ago I ran Brazen Racing's Coyote Hills 10k with my buddy Jo Lynn. It was a great race

(Full disclosure: It was a tad over crowded for my taste. I have no idea what the costs of putting on a race like this and trying to eek out a living are, so I am not going to judge how many sign ups they allowed. But I will say I would have preferred less people on a course that had an out and back trail section. As usual though, they had plenty of support and the race ran as smoothly as I have come to expect from their races, but it felt more like a crowded road race than a trail race IMHO)

Jo Lynn and I posing with the Dumbarton Rock Quarry (aka a big, fucking hole in the ground) behind us.

After 2 weeks of spring-like weather here in California I was having trouble adjusting to the cold. (I am certain that those of you who had to chisel your way out of your homes to go to work after last week's ice storms back east are flipping me off right now. My apologies. The ridiculous property taxes on my 900 sq ft house would make you feel better, I assure you.)

I do not have much to say about this race. It was nice. I love running with Jo Lynn.  I got to see my buddies Ron and Katie (who have thrown my old, fat ass over and now run together without me. hmpf). But were there any funny stories? Not really.

RBR, Katie, and Jo Lynn *

*Yes, I cropped the shit out of this picture. There was a concern I would be charged with spandex abuse for what those poor shorts had to do to cover my ass.  

*Notably missing Ron and RBR pic* 
I do not have a cute pic of Ron and I to post. I am not self confident enough to post pictures that I can not crop into acceptability. Sorry. Next race big guy!

I did not even get an It's It after the race. *collective Awwwww! from the audience*

Let me clarify, lest you think that either 1. I was too slow, even at the 10k distance, to finish before they ran out of It's Its. or  2. I found "God," have sworn off all high fat, low nutrient foods,  opting to "fuel" my body and eat only for function not pleasure, choosing lean meats and dark, leafy gree...

Hoo! I can not even type that with a straight face!  

So, no. That is not why. Actually, I am doing pretty well on my diet and 6 miles is not enough calorie burn to justify the 340 calories and 18 grams of fat in an It's It. (Ok, I will be totally honest I just looked that fact up.  I thought it was more like 600 calories and had I known it was only 340 I may have gone for it. So Brazen, keep an Its It on ice for me at the next race)

Reminder of the ice cream-y deliciousness that is an It's It!
Reminders of why I do my job/In case you forgot I was a nerd

I often bitch and moan about my job, but occasionally I get reminders of how really, really cool my job is.

End of the semester gift: My students presented me with an end of the semester gift. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but it did not arrive in time. Yes, loving this shirt as much as I do makes me a nerd. The fact that I wear it ALL THE TIME makes me an uber-nerd! I an ok with that

How awesome is this shirt?!

At last weekend's lab (To my fellow teachers: Yes, my students are so dedicated they come in on Saturday morning to do labs! It is ok to hate me.)

The students created squash prep slides of garlic root tips and then stained them to look at the phases of Mitosis. This is not as easy as it sounds. In a world of such easy access to excellent visual images made by the most advanced technology, students are often underwhelmed by what we can create in the classroom. It is a different story when they get to struggle to with tougher techniques like doing a squash prep thing enough to see individual cells yet not so hard that you create a hot mess of cell parts, or driving stain through the cell wall of plant cells to stain the DNA without destroying the rest of the cell and turning the whole damn thing blue, which was their task for one part of the lab:

Student *grumbles*: This is my fourth slide! If it is messed up again, can I just Google it to draw the picture?

Ms. RBR *looking through microscope*: DUDE! (I know, I am the paragon of professionalism) That is beautiful! Let me get my camera!

Student *trying to hide proud smile*: Finally. God.

Ms. RBR *taking a picture of the microscope field*: Quit whining and look. (Ok, and paragon of patience as well)

Student *looking into scope*: Whoa. That is kind of cool.Can you email me that picture? I want to show my mom.

Taken with my pink point and shoot camera that I just held up to the eyepiece. Pretty cool, huh? The pointer is on a cell in telophase of mitosis.

Bits and pieces:

My heart is breaking for a dear friend going through a very tough time. I think they know I would do anything to make it better, but I guess that only time can do that. Love to you, buddy.

LA Run buddy is now well into her third trimester. Due date is April 16th. She is uncomfortable as one would expect with an almost 8 month old human nestled within her intestines, and routinely doing the macarena on her bladder. She still exercises 4 times a week, works like a beast, and is the funniest and most loving and beautiful person I know. I have to throw a fucking baby shower and I hate attending baby showers, much less throwing one, but since I do not have to make the human or push it out my hoo ha I will keep my whining about it to a minimum.

My depression is improving.

Jo Lynn and I ran a great 8 miler yesterday (ok, 'great' is strong. I tried to bail at 3 miles and she would not let me, but we got it done) and are running the PCTR 20k at Lake Chabot on February 20th.

I have chosen a spring marathon Avenue of the Giants Marathon on May 1st.  (Although, I would rather be heading to Wisconsin to run Diana's first marathon with her *sniff* I just can not make it happen this year. I will be there in spirit, girl! You will rock it!)

Ok, that is enough randomness for one day...