To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It Is Settled!

I officially have my Halloween costume not only picked out, I have purchased it and made sure it fits. It is a tighter fit than expected, but that's okay. It fits, that's all that matters.  I took a departure from my traditional dark, gothic twist on costumes. I think of it as cute and girly, with a hint of sauciness!

Three weeks from tonight you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the costume via facebook. I'll be sure to upload photos from my phone. But until then .... you'll just have to sit and wonder what R**** R** came up with for 2009!

1998 Nose Brain

Do you ever have a smell pop into your memory? Its not even remotely close to any smells in your nose range, but you just get that smell in your brain?  It just happened to me.

It is the smell of the Memorial Union food court area at Oregon State University. Not too many students around, but Burger King is filling the air with a mixture of hamburger and fries and ketchup. The ketchup is the part that is really present in my smell memory right now.  I miss those days. Sitting at a table between classes pretending to study, but really just day-dreaming and people watching and picking up football players. Wait, what? Never mind. Moving on ..... (shout out to the '98 team!)

You can't get that same smell anymore. Burger King is long gone, as is Woodstock's Pizza. I guess I'm glad I was at OSU when I was. We had yummy food back then. I really do miss that place so much. If it was at all practical, I would totally do college over again, or go get my masters. For now I suppose home football games will have to do on satisfying my overall college cravings!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Milestone #3 Completed!

Not much to say really for this one. I've completed my third milestone, which is that I successfully finished week 2 of 5K training. I really pushed myself on the last run to go farther in overall distance than I have so far. The running was only in 90 second intervals, so I had to maintain a fast walking speed to get in the extra distance. I was proud of myself for doing that - especially since I had some major hills at the beginning and end.

I have started week 3 already, and I really like week 3. I find it easier than week 2 actually - maybe that just  means I'm finally getting used to everything? I don't know. I could do without my little limp during the initial running. The last two night's I have had to just kind of "run it off" and then I'm fine. Maybe I should stretch a little longer tomorrow night before I run.

Anyway - that's it for milestone two. It was a challenge, but I did it... I'm ready to finish out week 3!

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's the Opposite of a Green Thumb?

Whatever the opposite is ... that's me!

In 2006 when I started my job at the City I found myself at Rite-Aid during a break just staring at a "plant in a box" type of thing. For $4 I could get a pot, dirt, and bulbs to plant. Well why not?!? I had a window right behind me and it seemed simple enough.  So I bought the plant. I believe it was supposed to be a lily of some sort. Eventually it did bloom. It was very tall, big petals. It was nice to look at, but it didn't last long. Now it is 2009 and I still have the plant. But it seems now all I can grow in it is some sort of grass type thing.
The gals at work tell me to just keep watering it and eventually it will grow again. I keep trying. I did get the start of something a few months ago, but it never amounted to anything at all. Darn! They've also suggested me planting it in the ground at home. Eh, tht seems like too much work. Then I really would totally forget about it and never water it. As it is my plant gets water when I am emptying my water bottle before freshening up my drinking supply. So anyway - there's my pathetic little plant. I might just get myself a fake floral arrangement for my desk... that would be pretty hard to kill, right?!?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tough Decisions

It is coming. It is so close I can almost smell it. It is Halloween!!

I am so excited for nearly all things Halloween. (I don't like hiding from trick or treaters when I'm home alone or being nervous about being attacked --- that can be a story for another blog.) If I wasn't going to be out of town on Halloween night, I may have actually handed out candy this year since I have Michael around, but oh well.

What I am most excited about - at this moment anyway - is Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. It is such a crazy event I can't even begin to describe it. After vacation I'll be sure to have a blog on it. Anyway - all I can really say is it can be terrifying! My first time experiencing it was in 1997 and I was almost in tears.... I loved it!!! The scarier the better!!

This year I also get to go to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Jessica and I will be dressing up and trick or treating with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald .... the whole gang! Jessica has her costume already done. This is where my tough decision lies.

I wanted something simple. No wigs. No tights. No high heels. Something that would work well in the humidity. Something that would be easy to get in and out of rides with. Something comfy that I can wear for over 5 hours (7pm to midnight!!).  I realized I should just be an over-the-top 1980's New Kids on the Block fan. I have leggings. I have authentic early 90's KNOTB shirts. I have enough hair to style. I have a hot pink purse I bought just for the costume. I have a gigantic button with the boys on it. This would allow me to just go comfy in Converse or Keds. I wouldn't have to worry about a wig. I could just wear my skirt, leggings and old pajama top and be set.

And then I went to the Halloween store down the street. Now I just don't know. I could be a pirate wench. A German beer girl. A clown. Snow White. A vampire. Something evil . . . I am drawn to doing something a little dark. But then peppy and obnoxious could be fun - and come naturally to me.

I'm just torn. I have less than 3 weeks to figure this one out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Progress Report #1

I can't believe I actually took this picture, let alone posted it. R**** - in the morning - a hint of lipstick, no other make-up, unwashed hair, sweating, panting, trying not to collapse. This is why I run in the dark!

After the big gold-digger rant (and boy did it feel good to write, too!!) I figured it is time for a quick running progress report. So far, so good! I'm in the middle of week 2 and haven't given up yet. I have NO plans to give up. Given there are 24 hours in a day, a few minutes of running is nothing. I don't see why I can't just have this be a regular part of my routine. It is getting to the point where it does feel like a normal routine of putting on my new socks and shoes and watching my dog go out of control bouncing through my home thinking she is going with me. Poor Lady - she just can't keep up. She needs Michael to take her on walks I think!

I'm enjoying the night time running. Aside from people not being able to see me dying as much, its easier to see into people's houses to see what TV shows they are watching or to see that they are eating ice cream cones. Man, nothing like seeing them lick that cone while you are chugging along and drooling! The weather is also working well with me in the evenings. Since we just set a record high temperature this week, I'm happy I've chosen to go when it is cooler. I'm sure soon enough it will be chilly and I might have to add a layer to my skimpy wardrobe, but for now I'm comfy.

Running in Sunriver was a challenge. First my iPod didn't have my running podcast on it anymore, so I had to just kind of use my cell phone as a timer. That was fine, but I felt I was struggling. My dad thought it was because I was running for the first time at about 3,600 feet, as opposed to my regular 530 feet. Orlando is at 98 feet --- and humid, so I'll be interested to see how those conditions affect me. I think by the time March is here though, I'll be prepared and get through it better than I probably expect to at this point.

Anyway - its going! I did 4 runs on week 1 instead of 3, and tonight will be run 2 of week 2. Its amazing how much you can notice just adding 30 seconds to the spurts of running!

Fun in the Sun

I haven't visited Sunriver since I was in the 7th or 8th grade. It is a place I always thought of visiting again, but never really had the opportunity. This last weekend I finally had my chance!

Michael and I took a leisurely drive to Eastern Oregon after work Friday night. Once in Sunriver we only had to turn around TWO times! I do believe it is a standard rule that you MUST get lost when arriving in Sunriver.

We were staying at the Pines in a condo with my dad - right on the 8th tee! I fell in love with my bathtub. It was huge and I was more than happy to take advantage of it.  The fireplace was my favorite though - nothing like instant flames with the flip of a switch!

I started my weekend with a nice jog on the bike paths through the golf course. Hard to believe I've become one of "those people" that exercise on vacation.  After running we hit the Village shops in a quest to find the soda fountain I remember from grade school.  I was so excited to discover it still in operation - it hasn't changed one single bit! Once that mission was completed I knew it was time for the next . . .
Bike riding. How many hours did I spend on bikes with my cousin and Heather R** in Sunriver?!? Our bikes were just as I remembered .... big and clunky! I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Michael and I probably covered at least 5 miles of paths going through vacation homes, along the river, by the stables, ending at the airport. One of the horses was eating and near the fence, so we felt the urge to rush over and pet it for a few minutes! The scenery was lovely. Mountains on one side with only the peaceful river separating us, and big open fields with horses on the other side. I could have kept riding, but the sun was trying to set and my little tooshie was getting sore anyway.

After my dad cooked up some steaks and corn on the cob (mac & cheese for me!) he took Michael and I to the Observatory. It was so cool! I have always loved space, yet never made it to an observatory. The sky was absolutely brilliant to look at. No moon, no clouds. Just thousands, nay millions, of stars. Through the telescopes we saw some star clusters, the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy . . . and the highlight ... Jupiter with four of its moons all lined up in a perfect row. It was a really fun, different way to cap off a day in the great outdoors.

On Sunday before leaving town we went over to the Lava River Cave. It was at least a mile long from the opening to the end of the tunnel. The temperature inside was a chilly 42 degrees, and absolutely NO light at all. I was the lucky one to carry the lantern, so my hands stayed nice and warm! It was fascinating to see all the different textures lining the walls ... plus it did feel like another crazy "Goonie adventure"!

I admit I was happy when it was time to go home, and the drive actually seemed to go by pretty fast, so that was nice. I'm still in recovery - only getting 2 hours of sleep on Saturday night pretty much killed me for the next few days. All in all I had a great time exploring new places and seeing new things with my dad! Much better than trying to visit Ohio!  ;-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Milestone #2 Completed!

I've decided to start having multiple milestones. I think I like the feeling of accomplishing something, so I want to set mini goals along the way to the BIG goal just to keep me motivated.My 1st milestone was just registering and paying for the two 5K races coming up.  My 2nd milestone --- I have finished week 1 of the 9 week training program!

Its one small step for most people - but one GIANT step for R**** R**!! Um, yeah - if you didn't know --- R**** is not a runner. . . yet!!

Last night was my final run for week 1, and I did it with  my best time results so far. I did the full 29 minutes, but actually added some distance traveled in that 29 minutes. I did 2.5 miles. all by my little ol' self!To everybody else I'm sure that isn't that much. But for me, someone that thought she could never run a mile - making progress toward the longer run is a huge deal. I'm excited to start running more and walking less, but I will follow the program the exact way that little voice in my iPod tells me.

Oh and speaking of iPods.... you know how they sell fancy gadgets for it, including arm bands for running? Yeah - I made my own during my warm up walk. Its called a sports bra! My iPod fit just fine in there and let me have free hands for pulling my hair back in a tighter pony tail.

So anyway - I did the first 3 nights, and because I am so motivated, I am going to tack on a 4th run for this week on Saturday morning. Monday will start week 2 and new running adventures!

And a little note to Holly .... you know your blog about being one of those "those people" that looks into fitness centers when they go on vacation? Yeah - I just realized I suddenly became one of "those people" too! I realized it when I was printing out the bike/running trails in Sunriver. Yikes! This is like a big 180!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Milestone #1 Completed!

I did it! My first milestone has been accomplished. First - and easiest. I have signed up and paid for TWO 5K races. I never thought I'd be in ANY sort of race, let alone one involving my legs and running and something over a mile!  Registering was the easy part - now I have to do the hard work and keep on training to be able to complete both races in an okay time!

Holly asked me if I had any rewards for myself upon completing my races. Well, I guess I do!

Crossing the finish line will be my reward for December's Beaver Fun Run! Just to show myself I can do it all on my own in a given amount of time is all the reward I need!

The Royal Family 5K (part of Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend) has a bigger reward. Bigger reward for a bigger challenge. The distance is the same, but I am thinking that going from training in the fresh, cool Oregon air to racing in Florida's sunny humidity is going to be a challenge.  I am arriving a few days before the race and expo so that I can get re-acclimated to the time difference and temperature. My reward - the best reward! - is a trip to Walt Disney World!!

My mom is joining me as my cheerleader (I hope)! The invite is open for anyone else that would like to come and cheer or come and race! My best Florida friend, Brian, might be my running buddy - which would be good for me. He won't settle for last place, so I know he'll help me do the best I can! I guess his Army way will rub off ... we will be all that we can be!

So Milestone #1 down - off to work on Milestone #2!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Have Another Idea!

March 2010, Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney World ... Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  I looked at the 5K course map --- a 1/2 marathon is waaaaay out of my league and desires at this point  --- and I KNOW I could totally do it! The race goes through Epcot. I've trekked through Epcot in record time before, without having it be a test of my endurance. I have NO doubt I could do this and NOT pass out!!

SO - anyway - this is my latest idea.


Anyone want to join me??

IF you are interested ...  Disney's Princess Half Marathon Overview

Corvallis, Here I Come! aka My BIG Announcement!

No. I'm not moving to Corvallis.  But my body will be moving IN Corvallis!  What is this crazy girl talking about you ask yourself? (Come on Deb, you know you're curious!) .....

I have set a goal for myself. I again have Holly to thank, and also Kevin and Shannon. All 3 of them have put on their running shoes this year. As mentioned in my prior blog, I've decided to join the running community.  I figured I can't just run for the sake of running. I want to have a goal. A challenge. Something to aspire to. Something to look forward. Some sort of reward for the effort I am putting out and the hard work I'm about to go through.

My BFF in Florida is Mr. Fitness and helped encourage me and give me advice on the matter. And so my mind is set ....

On December 5, 2009 I will be running in my first ever race of any kind! It is the Beaver Fun Run in Corvallis, Oregon. It starts and ends at Reser Stadium. What a perfect setting. I am always inspired once I step foot on my old campus, so what an ideal place for me to try something I never thought I'd even consider, let alone sign up for!

So, Corvallis residents (Deb. Steve. Steve. Rachel. Baby.) and family members and friends .... come cheer me on!!  I'll be the blond girl trying so hard to not pant and pass out - while decked out in her finest orange and black running gear.   *Guess I better go out and get some orange and black running gear now!*

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good bye Couch - Hello 5k!

I have to thank Holly for inspiring me on this latest adventure!  I keep reading her blog every day. She and her husband seem to be having so much fun with this Couch to 5K program that I HAD to give in a try!  Two weekends ago I bought my first ever pair of Nike running shoes. I took them out for a test run last week and Wow! If I had known how great the right shoe is, I would have been running ages ago!

Taking Holly's advice, I downloaded the Couch to 5K podcast. I am feeling so motivated! I really think just having someone in my ear telling me exactly what to do and when, I can do it! I've asked Michael if he wants to join me - his reply: "probably."  

So we'll see what happens tonight when I put on my shoes and ask him to join me!

I'll keep you updated on my progress - and I hope it is as fun as I am wanting it to be!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Channeling My Inner-Goth

Okay, so my inner-goth isn't always so inner - but I suppress it most of the time.
I gave my blog a make-over! I liked the pink, but its been a few months and I wanted something more "me".  So I have switched over to my trademark red and black!
I like it. It has ME written all over it - obviously. I mean it is MY blog, so I would hope it reflects R****!

A New Beaver Believer??

I hope so!!

Last Saturday was the first football game of the season for Oregon State University - and it was a home game at that!

Silly Michael thought he had to be a Ducks fan because North Dakota has green as one of their colors and so does Oregon. Oh Michael Michael Michael.

I was so happy to take him to one of my all-time favorite places to be .. the OSU campus. We had great seats for the game, walked away with some new Beaver gear and ended the night with some delicious pizza from Woodstock's!

All in all - I think we might have a new Beaver fan on our hands!

*Oh yeah - the Beavers won the game. A near shut out - but not quite. I guess that's what happens when you have your 2nd and 3rd string playing instead!*

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Simple Walk-Thru

I was in grade school.
I was mortified.
Now it would be funny.  Back then - not so much.

My dad and I were out and about in the bustling 'Burg.  We were driving in his old pick-up truck. It was time for food, so we made what was supposed to be a quick pit stop at Wendy's. I imagine I was getting some kid's meal consisting of a square hamburger with only cheese and ketchup, fries and a Frostie. Our order was placed at the drive up and it was time to pull forward on our way to the pick-up window.
We never moved forward.

The pick-up died. We weren't going anywhere. I'm sure I "helped" push it out of the way so my dad could work on it and get it going again. But there was still the issue of our food. 

What was the solution?

I, little old grade school R****, had to WALK through the DRIVE-thru. Cars in front of me and behind me, and there I stood. I imagine my hands were trembling as I held the money - but mostly I was just completely mortified. You drive through the drive through - not walk - especially as a chubby little girl.

So embarrassing. I think about it now every single time I drive through that drive-up. Thank goodness I have a trusty, cute car (knock on wood...)!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Honey, I Expanded the Inspiration!

I don't know what it is about this music, but every time I hear it I feel so inspired. Inspired to write. Inspired to paint. Inspired to photograph something. I end up having what I consider to be brilliant thoughts. I get excited. Excited to start jogging running again. Excited to try to kick Michael's ass at checkers tonight. Excited to take my dog for a walk. VERY excited to help Jessica pop her WDW cherry next month!

What is the music? It is the Honey, I Shrunk the Audience pre-show music.

I'm going to go on a limb and say that the majority of my readers have no idea what it is. But I know some of you do. It starts with Epcot feeling instrumental music, then "True Colors", and more instrumental. The end is, of course, capped off with a message welcoming you to the Imagination Institute and, for your safety, reminding you to not put on your safety goggles until you are safely seated in your seat safely.

It is making me so excited! In general, you can't really top a Walt Disney World vacation... unless you are going with someone on their very first Walt DisneyWorld Vacation! Jessica has never been, and I cannot wait to watch her experience all of my favorite things for her first time. I hope she enjoys the sights, sounds and smells as much as I do. For me, it is the little things that I look forward to.
  • Walking down Main Street at night with all the twinkle lights shining and the amazing background music helping to frame my memories.
  • The first entrance through a theme park turnstile.
  • The first sight of Cinderella's Castle, the Tree of Life, Spaceship Earth, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
  • Cheesy jokes that some roll their eyes at, but I find funny enough to make me laugh out loud.

  • Peaceful, beautiful locations like Canada pavilion or the China smoking area. Believe it or not - the most serene locations in Disney World are all clouded by the dirty air and smell of cigarette smoke.
  • Standing in line for the delicious chips in the United Kingdom before hearing the British Invasion play.
  • Frontierland's background music.
  • Shopping!

  • Monorail rides - just for the fun of it!
  • Walt Disney World french fries - I'm sure they are just regular, but only taste better because of their location.
  • Ooh - WDW popcorn! The BEST!
  • Visiting my old stomping grounds and remembering the fun of working there.
  • Checking into our hotel room.
  • Everything about Disney's Animal Kingdom, but mostly the quiet trails around the Tree of Life.
With anything, there are the not-so-great aspects.
  • Parents yelling at their children, threatening to take them to the car.
  • Being run over by strollers and SUVs.
  • Brazilian tour groups.
And then there is our visit to other places like the beach, Kennedy Space Center and Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. I LOVE Halloween Horror Nights so much - I imagine there will be a blog just dedicated to our nights there. My dream job is to be an astronaut, so I am really excited about starting our trip at NASA. I think that no matter where we go, or what we do, Jessica and I are going to have an amazing, inspiring time! Who knows what it will inspire us to do --- and we might just not tell you!

Mmm Mmm Good!

Barnum's Animal Crackers.

They are so yummy! Why are they only really eaten by small children out of those cute cardboard boxes with the little string handle? I think adults are getting screwed by not socially being allowed to eat them! Well I say it is time we adults take back the cookie like cracker we all used to love when we were kids!

I, R**** R**, make a motion to bring back the Barnum's Animal Crackers!

All in favor say 'aye'!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Can We Agree to Just NOT Talk?

I was getting out of my car this morning when I had a realization about mornings. Kori and I (see photo to the right!) always joke about not being "morning people", but I realized that's not totally the case we me.

On any non-work day I am fine with mornings. I can wake up early and be in the most chipper of moods! I have energy and visions of what I want to accomplish (or visions of doing nothing.) But I never wake up grumpy - even if I have a hangover! Ha!  What I have figured out is that I smile in the mornings, but once I get to work it stops. I'm fine in the parking lot - but I step in the door and want to just be invisible.  Sometimes the invisibility desire hits in the parking lot - depending on who I might see trying to park their car.

I really like my job. I have fun doing what I do. I just really want some fresh faces around here. It is hard to be excited to sit around people you have no respect for. I just want to have the annoying people and the mentally ill people ignore me.  Please don't say good morning to me 3 times in an hour. If you said it once - that was way more than enough. And please, I get you, please don't ask how my day is going when it is only 7:58am.  I haven't even been out of bed for an hour so I don't have an answer ... and I don't choose to answer you anyway.

Enough already.   Enough.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Telethon Boredom

With the Jerry Lewis telethon thing on this weekend, I was reminded of our own local telethon in Roseburg.  (Do they still do that?)  I don't remember the exact year ... I imagine I was in junior high school - so early 90s. We didn't have an endless supply of television channels back then like we do now. I was home alone and channel surfing. I paused to laugh at how cool lame our telethon was. Never a fan of local TV and radio, I knew I could find some temporary amusement!

The short, chubby man hosting this big shindig was urging viewers to call in. The dozen or so volunteers were perched behind gigantic phones. I wouldn't be shocked if they were still rotary phones, actually.  There wasn't that much action going on. Nobody was on the phone. What kind of telethon was this that nobody was calling in??

Ignoring my phone phobia, I reached for our totally rad cordless phone. I pulled out the huge antenna and started dialing.  With the phone half way to my ear I heard its first ring. Almost simultaneously I heard a ring on the TV. The camera zoomed in on the woman in the back row, far left seat. It rang again - both in my ear and on the TV. I was sure this was MY call! I saw her reach for the phone with a gleeful look on her face. She knew she was about to get THE big donation of the event. Once she lifted the phone, I hung up and smiled. And then I laughed my ass off as the camera was focused on her answering a call ... with nobody on the other line!

Oh it was a fabulous good time - and free!

I still laugh about it to this day whenever I see a telethon in action!