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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There's A Wheelchair in the Flume!

It was the Summer of 2002 (best summer ever!). I was the "Checker" on the Kali turntable. (The Checker makes sure everyone is seated and buckled in before the raft leaves the turntable and free floats into the flume. Believe it or not, putting on a seat belt is a nearly impossible idea for some guests to grasp. Sad but true.) Being the peak of the Florida summer, we were all drenched in sweat and doing whatever we could to keep our pixie dust and maintain a fun atmosphere. It is this one moment on this one day that will forever hold the title of being THE funniest Kali River Rapids moment EVER!

My dearest friend, Robin, was one of the crew assigned to loading rafts.  We had a family waiting to get some extra assistance at our "wheelchair dock".  Being the awesome duo that we were, we flawlessly maneuvered an empty raft into position so that Robin could load the guests.  Everything seemed to be going well. Seemed to be.

Once settled and ready for their white water rafting adventure, Robin flipped the switch and released our eager guests.  As they floated away something unusual happened. Apparently the "parking brake" was never applied, and a wheelchair covered with belongings was now en route to the flume. Before Robin could stop it, it was gone!

The chair quickly sank, leaving behind hats, waterbottles, etc.... to float on the surface. Seeing as we were both trainers that took our jobs seriously, you'd think we would have handled this differently!  While Robin grabbed a net and begin retrieval of the floaters, I called up to our "tower" aka "base" area to have maintence come pull the chair from the water.  (Thank goodness it was just a Disney rental!!)  Sounds all fine and mature, right? Wrong!  The entire time we did this we were literally falling over in laughter. We could barely speak. Here we were, two cast members that should always be setting a good example, but instead we are laughing too hard to even function.

Fast forward about 6 minutes when our rafters return. We weren't sure how they were going to feel considering without a doubt they saw what unfolded.  Still trying to contain our laughter, they were now upon us. "Hey," says the 20 something grandson, "have you seen Grandma? We left her in the wheelchair!"

Phew! They found the humor in it too -- and there was grandma just cracking up over it all!  What a relief! Really, they were a fun great group of guests. I am so thankful they chose to laugh instead of yell!

**Meanwhile, unbeknown to Robin and I, something else funny was occurring.  Dawn, our man-eater cast member in the tower had radioed our manager to tell them what had happened. Instead of switching over to our private frequency (60B! Ha, I still remember!), over the park-wide station she said:  "We have a wheelchair in the flume. I repeat, there is a wheelchair in the flume."  It is now important to note that as a park full of cast members heard this announcement, they did not realize it was an unoccupied chair! For all they knew we had a disabled person sinking to the bottom of the Chakranadi River!

For weeks would we continue to be teased. The most common joke?  "Hey, we need a wheelchair - oh, go and check the Kali flume!"

Maybe it is a "you had to be there" moment. I am sooooooo glad I was there! It was priceless!

(The picture to the right is not me. It is not Robin. It is actually my friend Mengkha. BUT the raft she is cleaning is in our wheelchair dock, where this entire fiasco took place. Ah, good times!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Un-dateable: A Lesson in What Not To Do

Of all my friends, I realize I have dated the least amount of people. I realized earlier this year that this is because I am un-dateable.  I thought perhaps if I reflect on those characteristics that make me un-dateable, maybe I could help other people that are looking for advice. It could be sort of a "don't" list. Don't follow in my footsteps, and you'll be set for success!

So, with that, let's take a look at reasons why I am unattractive to the opposite sex (at least those that are of the heterosexual variety)!
  1. I have gay friends. To me, this should not be considered a deal breaker. I don't set out to be friends with the rainbow loving population, we are just drawn to each other like a magnet. My choosing them to be friends based on sexuality is about as silly as saying they chose to be gay. My gays are like the best girlfriends this fruitfly could ever ask for! THEY are the ones that accept me unconditionally, even with my flaws!
  2. I have a "beauty mark" on my right chin area. Apparently this is disgusting looking and a major turn off. Oh how nice it was to be told that TO. MY. horribly disfigured FACE.!
  3. Location. Location. Location.  If someone wanted to date me, he'd probably never find me because of this little valley I live in. It really is a pretty place though. Nice and small, and close to many different "attractions" - if you enjoy mountains, rivers and oceans like I do!
  4. I'm not crazy. I am not bi-sexual. I don't have crazy tattoos. I'm not a stripper. I have never tried drugs. I don't drink excessively. I'm not from some exotic local. I'm just a normal all-American girl that knows how to behave, yet still have fun. But if you're turned off by that - I'm soooo very un-dateable!
  5. I used to work in Walt Disney World. Over 50,000 people work there, yet this seems to make me strange and someone people look down on. I still don't get it, but I'm guessing I'll just have to accept that. Who knew that having a job, regardless of location, and performing well at it would make you unattractive?
  6. My music choice. I enjoy a wide variety. Apparently though, having my own opinions on music and enjoying what I enjoy makes me unappealing. I embrace diversity, but alas, I guess that isn't always accepted.
  7. I'm not a model. News Flash! I know, right?? You all thought I was a perfect size 2, weighing in at 110 pounds, standing tall at 5'10". Sorry to disappoint you! I'm just 5'5 3/4". I don't dare post my weight. I have legs and a back side that are getting more and more muscular every day from running. I don't have 6-pack abs and I really don't think I ever will. I'm not fat. I'm not skinny. I'm just me. And I'm fine with me. But I've learned people just want to date a hard body with huge boobs. That will never be me.
  8. I'm not married. What? Okay - so this one is more of a joke. Someone once told me years ago "it's not cheating if you're both married!" It was said as a joke, but to this day it still gets brought up. So I guess if I'm not married, no married guy is going to be into me??  Alright - had to have a more humorous one in here because I can't possibly stay serious for an entire blog!
  9. I'm not a dude. I know - ANOTHER News Flash!!  Let's face it - the men who like me most are gay! 
  10. Guys don't want to date non-beer drinking vegetarians. Some day I will figure out why people care what I do or don't eat. I always look at it as it is food going into MY body, so it should only matter to ME. This non-meat eating lifestyle of mine has actually been a deal breaker before. 
Ten seems like a good number to end on, but we know I could continue for another 10! The pathetic thing about this list is that I'm not even making it up. I've pretty much been told over the years that these are reasons why I am un-dateable.  But you know, thanks for telling me! At least now I know to not get my hopes up.... Ever. I will just continue to be myself, as strange as I apparently am, and be happy. Happiness is what matters!

Ooh - honorable mentions:  I drive too slow and don't pull out in front of moving cars. I've worn the same skirt more than once. One time I wore horizontal stripes. (Gosh, its like I just found an untapped memory bank here!) I only got a B.S. in Psychology from a real University. (Wow - the things that some people will complain about is crazy!) I got to bed at a reasonable hour. I text with my friends. I respect people's homes and their "house rules". 

So, basically - I just suck. Well, I do.... if I actually believed all of the above were legit reasons to find someone too horrible to date. Fortunately, I have my head on my shoulders! I know I'm a good person. I'm fun. I like to get outside and be active. I enjoy time with friends. I know I'm not beautiful, but I have to believe that I'm not horribly disfigured as I was once told! And if breast size is REALLY a reason to rule me out --- then please do. I'm totally not in the mood to deal with such shallowness!

In conclusion - many might think I suck - but I know a lot of people who do like me. I have my friends. I have my family. I'm set!!
Go me!

Vote For Annie!!!

The KDUK Baby Idol competition is heating up! We are down to the Top 10! Top 10 out of I don't know how many. The winner is announced on Thursday. This is your chance to help out and help little Annabelle be the winner that we know she is!!

You are allowed 3 votes per day - and all 3 CAN go to Miss Annabelle. So what are you waiting for??? Click the link and have your voice be heard!    

Look at that face - how can it not be THE winner??  So, in conclusion .... VOTE!! Vote for Annabelle W! This is our final push to the finish. Let's Do This!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

15 Minute Babble: Updates on Nothing

  • I babysat a 7 week old cat this weekend. She has no name, but I call her Kit Kat. She seemed to respond. My girls were pretty well behaved, too - which completely shocked me. Kit Kat was so light and tiny. She'd crawl right up my pants and I wouldn't notice until I felt a nail on my skin. Very cute - but now we know that we won't be adopting a new cat of our own any time soon ... Miss Bell would NOT be happy with a permanent feline resident other than herself in our cottage!
  • I haven't been able to run since last Wednesday. I spent Thursday sitting on ice. I really want to get in one more run before Saturday's 10K. It will be my first 10K and I want to give it my all. I just hope my body wants to, too!
  • I miss Mike and Clark already. And Vegas. And Daniel and Alex.
  • Sometimes people come up to me and tell me completely random things. So random that I don't know what they are talking about or why they are talking to me about it.
  • I have ordered another running skirt. This one has the tattoo capris as well, but is red! I have only one shirt that will match. I think it is time to start finding some good running shirts. I really want to go back to Dick's Sporting Goods again. They had everything!
  • I am so freaking tired of limping. I am debating going to the doctor. I don't want to. I just want it to miraculously heal.
  • The Great Urban Race is coming up soon - just 3 weeks away I think. It is time to start studying up on Portland's points of interest!
  • I had some nice chats with a couple friends this weekend! I NEVER instant message with people, but it was enjoyable!
  • I really want to eat the peanut butter cookie I bought in Disney World on this past trip. I've been saving it for a special occasion. Is a pouting hip enough reason to eat the cookie??

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vegas: There's Booze in the Blender.....

.... and soon it will render that frozen concoction that helps me hang on (and on and on and on!)  For the most part this sums up one of my Vegas highlights. I came close to nearly being wasted away again in Margaritaville!

Shall we back up to Friday? Okay!

Friday night was all about the party - hm, the whole weekend was about the party!  First off was a gigantic pina colada from the Big Chill inside our hotel (New York New York). It was pretty darn tasty - and admit I felt the effects of it pretty quick!   

After dinner we were ready to get dressed and head to FreeZone for a night o' fun! Upon arriving, I  had my first of 3(?) Long Island Iced Teas. Mm, mm, good - yet kind of weak. I was shocked by the lack of alcohol in it - especially for a Long Island. But I think the scary butch bartender didn't like me, so maybe I was just being punished for being too girly. Whatevs!  I also bought a Sex on the Beach shot. Seriously - was there a single drop of alcohol? I don't think so!! 

Saturday morning I woke up feeling great! Woo hoo to no hangovers in Las Vegas!!  We hit the Titanic Exhibition (obviously!) and then continued toward the Mandalay Bay. What was that I spied upon entering?? Why it was Fat Tuesday of course!  This time I went for my traditional Vegas drink - the strawberry daiquiri - with the extra shot for only one dollar. Oh how delicious that extra shot was, too! I wandered all over with a bright red tongue that day - and loved it!

One Saturday beverage wasn't enough! When we made our way back to NYNY to relax at the pool we made a quick pit stop back at the Big Chill. This time another  strawberry daiquiri AND a round of jello shots. Sadly the shots were NOTHING to brag about. It was pretty much just jello. When I make a jello shot - you know it is a shot!!  But the daiquiri was nice, and the perfect drink for sipping poolside!  The evening found us back at FreeZone for more dragalicious fun! This night I opted for Sex on the Beach -- about 3 or 4 times! It was yummy, but again - totally WEAK!!

Then comes Sunday. Oh Sunday. Where did the time go? Oh that's right .... it went in a blender!  Our first drink stop was at Caesar's Palace. The lame ass bartenders helped Mike and Clark with two drinks that I hear were quite tasty and refreshing. Did they help a sista out?? Nope! I was denied. They both just walked away and left me hanging. So I figured something better was waiting for me elsewhere, and we continued on our way down The Strip.  Fast forward to The Flamingo Hilton and Margaritaville!!! I was a girl in Parrothead Heaven!  First up (as I like to have multiple drinks, and always try a new frozen concoction!) was a Wildberry Colada. It was pure divinity!! Totally worth the wait!!  Pina colada with wild berry - oh so smooth. Oh so tasty!!   Have I had enough exclamation points yet?? Here are a couple more. !!!!!!   I was browsing through the gift shop to find THE souvenir of my trip, when I spotted it. It was a blender. It had margarita in it. It had a handle. I looked at the woman standing by me, and in total awe asked here where she found that beautiful piece of tequila filled mastery.  She pointed back at the bar I was just at - - - and I was on my way! Bye bye, colada, down the hatch! Next stop - the REAL Margaritaville!! $32 later I was carrying around about 40 ounces of a blended margarita. It got pretty heavy and took me hours to drink, but my oh my was it worth it!  Let's have a photo of it now, shall we??

And this concludes my drinking in Fabulous Las Vegas!  I figured after that refreshing margarita nothing could top it - so why even try?

Cheers .... and Fins Up!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Progress Report #8

I guess this is the opposite of a Progress Report. More of a status update with what's going on in my running life.

I'm hurt. Put me on the injured list. 

I'm NOT happy about it at all.

May 4th is the date I can point at as to when this began. It is my left hip. It is so stiff. Today I couldn't even lift my left leg up to put my shoe on. It will move - if I use my hands and lift my leg myself. 

Today I'm periodically sitting on ice and have taken some drugs to help ease the pain.  Only 20 minutes of running last night, after a week long break, and now I'm worse than ever. I'm going to take it easy - and if it doesn't improve I'll have to give in and go to the doctor.

All of this going on .... and I have my first ever 10K in just NINE days!

I'm a trooper. I will feel better and I will run that race. I just might collapse when it is over!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vegas: A Food Review by a Girl Who Doesn't Like Food

I thought I'd break up blogs on vacation into smaller "reviews". The first one, and this is because I am currently STARVING, is food!

Pizza. That's what I ate. Every single day I had at least one slice of pizza. And I LOVED it!! I want more! Now, now now!!!

Let's just break it down day by day.

FRIDAY:  I started with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich and VERY delicious fries at the bar in the Medford airport. I had over an hour to kill just while waiting to be able to check in. The setting was very roomy and service was fast. I was a happy camper!  Upon getting to Vegas, I was obviously not hungry... just had an insatiable thirst for something. Something slushy with rum! So my "dinner" was a ginormous pina colada. Delicious!  I watched the boys eat dinner at the buffet inside Excalibur. I wasn't really in the mood to pay $30 for something where I knew I wasn't going to find much to eat - and I wasn't that hungry anyway. Fast forward to after midnight. We returned from the bar and I knew I had to eat something - or possibly face the consequences the next morning. I knew exactly what I wanted .... pizza from NYNY. I get it every time. It was so warm and hit the spot. The service was extra speedy too!

SATURDAY:  We started off with a nice breakfast at the Luxor. It is sad that I thought $20 for French toast, Pepsi, hash browns and a tip was reasonable. There was an ample amount - I even shared my French toast - and anybody that knows me knows that I do not share food. Ah - the joys of being the girl with body image/food issues!  Later in the day - after downing a few daiquiris, we had .... pizza!! More NYNY pizza - this time complete with jello shots that were lacking in alcohol. Pretty much we had yummy pizza with jello for dessert. The boys didn't enjoy their pizza as much - but they are total food snobs. Yes, that's what I said. You guys are food snobs!!!  :-)   Oh wait, we ate again!  After the club we found ourselves at MGM Grand for a late night snack. We found a cafe and thought that seemed like a good choice.... until we saw the prices. $17.50 for fish and chips? $16.95 for a BLT?  No thanks! We found a "food court" area - I had .... pizza! The boys had Nathan's hotdogs. This reminds me! Somewhere else in this day I got delicious Nathan's French fries. OMG how much I love those!! I was eating them in the room when I started choking and a fry nugget flew across the room. (I exaggerated only slightly with the flying part.)

SUNDAY:  Sunday was a winner!! Breakfast - a toasted bagel and cream cheese in a NYNY bakery area. My first time ever having cream cheese on a bagel!  After pounding a wildberry colada at Margaritaville I discovered THE Ultimate Souvenir Glass ... the Blender!! $32 later I had the biggest margarita I have ever had. And it was good! BUT this, combined with the heat, resulted in a dash for food. I found some yummy pizza at the Paris hotel. This was a thin triangle slice, as opposed to the very thick, square slices at NYNY. It did its job. Not anything fancy with regard to taste, but I needed greasy food and water ASAP, and it fit the bill!  But now let's get to the GOOD stuff. I use "good" loosely here.  This gets its own paragraph.

The cheap buffet at Circus Circus.  You know what? No. This gets its own blog!  Stay tuned!!!

MONDAY:   I was a bad, bad girl. I had a Cinnabon. And I enjoyed every sinful moment of it!  

And now I am home, having not eaten anything "real" yesterday - and I am starving!!! Can someone ship me some of that NYNY pizza???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Laaaa La La La La La......

(That was Crocodile Rock by Elton John, just in case you didn't catch it!)

I felt like it was time for another blog, but yet I have no one set topic jumping out at me! And thus, another random bit o' nonsense!
  • VEGAS VEGAS VEGAS!!! If you missed the memo, Vegas is this Friday!!
    • I am so freaking excited to see Mike and Clark again! I haven't seen Mike since October 2008, and Clark since January of '08. We are so overdue for some good quality time together. Vegas is the perfect setting!
  • My left leg/hip area has been bugging me. Finally I can walk again without a limp. Woohoo!!  We shall see if that woohoo continues tonight after my run.
  • Cautiously optimistic, I've found myself smiling a lot in the past few days! 
    • I blame it on the running skirt! It is important to look your best, even when you are panting and sweating like a pig!
  • The first 10K of my summer running season is rapidly approaching. I'm not gonna lie - I'm pretty freaked out by it.  I can do it. I can do it! I CAN do it!!
  • Oh, yeah, so who likes hummus now? I do!
  • I bought some new plants. One seems to have died within 24 hours. I want to have a green thumb so bad, but I guess it is just not meant to be. Dammit.
  • Did I mention I'm a little bit excited about Vegas?
    • Not only do I get to see Mike and Clark - but also Alex & Daniel!!!
    • And as if that isn't enough - an old classmate that I haven't seen since Grad Night '96 - she'll be there, too!
  • I am planning on stealing Baily - Alex's dog. He knows this. So I fear he will keep me far, far away from that cute little guy.
  • I stayed up until 2am last Saturday night. I haven't done that in ages. It was so worth it. Time flies when you're having fun! 
    • Lady was also having fun. Good grief, my dog is a slut!
    • Tinker Bell even enjoyed herself. This is HUGE!!!
  • I'm really hungry. I have to put gas in my car at lunch. I don't feel like doing it. I totally should have done it last night.
  • Um............ that's all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Nasal Detective - Investigation Complete!

You may recall a post about everything smelling like band-aids that I made back in March.

I finally figured it out!!!  I accidentally dropped my "PAID" stamp on the ground, and a whiff of band-aid came wafting up to my nose as I was bending down to pick it up. I delicately put my nose near the stamp - fortunately not close enough to turn my nose a lovely shade of green - and there it was. The stamp is the culprit! The ink apparently smells like band-aids!

This explains why I am smelling it ALL THE TIME!! I seriously thought I was losing my mind there for a while. Ah, this is such a relief!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eugene Marathon Weekend 5K

I talk way too much, so I'll try to make this one short! 

This past weekend was the Eugene Marathon Weekend. I did the 5K on Saturday.

4:30am - my alarm goes off. Silly me felt it was important to go check facebook and my stupid farm, so then in the end I felt like I was running late. I wanted to leave my house at 5:45, but I think it was closer to 6am that I finally left. Got gas on the way out of town, and I was on my way! Things went fine until the exit I was supposed to take was closed and I had to take a detour. I don't know my way around Eugene, so I was mildly panicking about being able to find it and get there on time.

7:15am - got to the race area with 45 minutes to spare! I was happy to see we got pretty cool tech shirts instead of some loud tie-dye cotton t-shirt that I saw in photos from prior years. Another moment of panic set in when I got back to my car to put on my shoes and my number, and I saw I had no safety-pins. Fortunately I ended up finding a big bowl full of them when I got back to the race area. I was scrambling in my head as to how I was going to get my bib to stay on. In the future I will bring my own - just to be safe!

7:55am - we all line up on the street and Flap Jack comes over to the race area. Poor guy - he has to run in basically a big pancake mascot type costume. If you cross the finish line before he does, you win 40 pounds of Krusteaz mix. Yeah, that guy is FAST! I had no hopes of passing him so I didn't even try. I think maybe 10 people beat him last year?

8:00am - we are off and running. I was settling in to my pace and feeling good when I looked up, and there was the biggest hill ever. They said, right before the starting gun, that this course was "as flat as a pancake". Well, this pancake has HUGE lumps!  I decided not to let the hill phase me, and I just kept my pace through the entire thing and even passed people, so that was a boost to my confidence right there! The course went through a nice wooded park along the river. After the hill it was pretty much a flat course -thank goodness!  Feeling cocky, I continued running while making silly faces for my camera. I have my priorities, ya know!

8:32am - Mile 3 was in sight. Click a photo of the mile marker, Click a photo of myself at the mile marker, and then go in for a really fast (for me) sprint to the finish. My goal was to get a new PR for myself .... and at 8:33 I did!!   A fellow runner behind me told me I had a very consistent pace and she made a point to always keep my pony tail in sight. So that was nice to hear. I always try to keep myself at a steady pace, so I guess I did!  Upon checking, I beat my last race time by a full minute - even with that huge hill! The last race was just a completely flat course, so I'm still celebrating the fact that I feel like the hard work is paying off!

10am - I hit the expo and totally scored! The "goody bag" was actually pretty good! I managed to snag a free t-shirt from a vendor, talked with some Disney people (which always gets my ex-cast member pixie dust flowing again!), bought a Prefontaine running shirt to use while I train for the Prefontaine Memorial later this year, snagged a free Prefontaine poster to put up as motivation, and got myself a "Will Run For Margaritas" head band!

Overall it was a total success!

After the race I spent the day at the Enchanted Forest (our corny Oregon theme park that I can't get enough of) and did some shopping. Got home around 11:30pm. Needless to say I spent the rest of the weekend feeling completely hungover. But it was totally worth it!

OH - I found my official stats!

Overall:  334 out of 621 finishers
Division:  24 out of 61
Gender:  165 out of 400
Time: 33:24:00
Pace: 10:47