Wednesday, March 31, 2010

mixed feelings

So we're seriously considering selling our house, since Princess Charming has a wonderful job 90 miles away (and has been doing a terrible commute - and crashing at my parents' sometimes - for well over a year). This wasn't really the intention when we bought it two years ago, but no one can control small businesses (not ours!) going under and in that case no one (logical anyway) can turn down a position with a great company that is a great fit when facing impending unemployment, even if it is rather far from home.

I am so stressed out about this.

There's a lot of reasons for this, but a big one in New Jersey. HOWWWWW do I keep going back? There's benefits, don't get my wrong. My family (well, my parents...I have a tiny family) is there, I have a couple of friends I'm still in touch with there....but it is Jersey: the land of the strip malls, incredibly high real estate taxes (and housing costs to match), fake nails, bleach blondes, and really wretched traffic on "highways" that resemble access roads in TX without the attached freeways. And there's this vague sense of failure at moving "home," even though this time it has nothing to do with me personally and really is a great career move for Princess Charming.

Also, I clearly need a new job to make this work (shhhhh.....I'm not discussing this in my current job yet), and given NJ's current state budget, this is a problem since I work in higher ed and don't really want to commute to NYC from the area we plan to live in (likely 45 min via bus or train, then some subway time, for at least an hour total without accounting for delays and walking...yuck...that's worse than what I do now), so I have no idea if the schools are going to start hiring (not a lot of private schools- i.e. schools with cash - in NJ). Postings have been slow so far, and I don't want to just take A job. I want THE job. OK, maybe not THE job, but something on the right path for my career and in an appropriate pay range for my experience and education.  Easier said than done, especially when thinking about keeping our commutes reasonable.

And lastly, I am really sad to leave here. Not for logical reasons. I don't have a bunch of close friends here. I'm not attached to SEPTA. I'm a little sad to leave our house which we've made a good little home, but not super sad (its a 1950s split for heaven's sake!). I am, however, pretty bummed to leave my rugby team here and my college kids that we coach. I am really dreading telling both of them, and sad about it to the point I'm really tempted (well, lets put the job hunt IFs aside for this) to just figure out how to stay through the fall competitive season. I was more reasonable about this before our tournament this past weekend, and am now totally bummed. I spilled the beans to a teammate on the plane, and her reaction was "but, if you get a new job, this is it! you'll be gone after the spring!" Yes, I know that. But hearing it is weirdly heartbreaking. And my two top college players came on the trip (and were rock stars) and I already feel like we're abandoning them and totally letting them down by moving and I have no idea who we can find to replace us for their fall season. I am sad on their behalf sort of, and don't want to put that kind of pressure on their captain. This, logic says, is nice of me but a completely irrational reason to put our lives on hold. We do get paid for coaching, but it's not much, and probably works out to something like $5/hr (I don't want to do the math on it).


I know this is a good thing and good for us family and career wise, and I know things could be worse in a multitude of different ways and that we have it pretty damn good, but I'm still kind of bummed out today.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

this picture

pretty much sums up my weekend.

and it was pretty good!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I've hit the point of the semester where something has to give. Its busy season at work. Rugby is in full swing. I have stuff coming due in both classes. I have a half in 6 weeks. I, um, need to turn in my qualifying exam in 22 days. And, uh, we're listing our house. I might throw up.

I think for the foreseeable future (read: until April 15, or May 12, we'll see...), I'm going to have to ditch the weight room and pretend running + rugby is diverse enough workout.  And I'm pretty much ditching my classes until this exam/lit review is done (except I have a - gag - group project also due April 15, and I guess I need to participate in that). No reason I do a semesters work in 3-4 weeks for these courses since I'm writing 3/4 of my lit review in 3...

I really need to work on my procrastination and priorities.

Monday, March 22, 2010

good dog

Or not.

We love our Bailey like a baby. I'm sure he'll be second seat when we have an actual kid, but for right now, he gets new toys and special trips to the park and a heck of a lot of attention.

So you can imagine my horror when we returned from some errands on Sunday to find an empty brownie pan on the floor. I admit half my horror was from the fact I was planning on making sundaes with that half tray....

But an hour or so after this discovery, our semi-lethargic dog got me worries (nevermind that he'd had a pretty busy weekend and is typically lethargic on Sunday evenings).  A call to the emergency vet, a trip to CVS for hydrogen peroxide, and a good puke later, we were on our way to the e-v (what does one call an emergency vet for short), since many calculations and some confusion about the type of brownie mix and amount of added chocolate chips led the vet to think Bailey had probably had a high enough dose to warrent treatment. I kind of think he would have fine with just the hydrogen peroxide - which revealed he ate most of the brownie whole - but I know if I got home from work today to a pup in a coma or worse, I'd be beside myself with guilt. So, it was a $374 batch of brownies ($1 mix, $1 ingredients, $2 hydrogen peroxide, $369 at the vet).

He is cute though.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


So I've been really on the fence about posting this, but perhaps I can have some blog accountability for my weight like for my running (hey, it seems to be helping a little!).

I've been up and down from average to somewhat heavy since I was...oh, 10 or so. Most recently, I put on about 10 lbs in the year before our wedding and a few the next, so I'm about 20 lbs over my goal at this point. Not a particularly lofty goal I think, just a couple of lbs under the "overweight" limit on the (really ridiculous) BMI chart, but I know that's where I've felt good in the past.  To be honest, I've gained the weight so slowly this time I only know its there because some of my pants are too snug to be appropriate....given the fabulous weather lately, dresses solve that problem, but still its not good.

More so, I'm feeling slow. My long runs lately have been around a 10 min mile, which is 30-45 seconds per mile slower than I'd prefer for half training...that's around where I was training for my two fulls a couple of years and 15-20 lbs ago! 

So, as of Monday, onward and up...err, downward. I've had a Weight Watchers online account off and on for a long time, so its time to get on the ball. I have 6 weeks to my race, and I'd like to feel a little better by then.  I suppose I could start tomorrow but I'm out of town so many of the next few Sundays that seems like the wrong day to plan a weigh in :)

And I really want to be at my goal and super fit before we have a baby, which is hopefully not too far off. Have to start somewhere :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

training week 5, done

Sorta. Well its done, just not great. My schedule looks weird because I totally deviated from what I was supposed to do.

Monday: planned day of rest
Tuesday: 2 easy with pup, rugby practice
Wednesday: 2 easy with pup, lifting (lower)
Thursday: rugby practice
Friday: 2 easy with pup, 2 easy, lifting (upper)
Saturday: unplanned day of rest
Sunday: 9 miles long

Instead of my speedwork, easy, tempo and long run totaling 20+ miles, I ended up with 4 easy 2 milers (3 with Bailey) and my long run, for 17 miles this week. Blah. At least I got the most important one in. I was just lazy about the speedwork early on this week, and I was worn out from lifting and practice later in the week and didn't get over the mental hump.
I did lift twice, which I'll count as what I planned on seeing as I switched from NROLFW for now to a modified (half!) version of the end-of-preseason plan our coach recommends for our elite athletes (which is why I'm doing half, hah). My legs were just *dead* the day after the legs day. I need to plan that better this week.

Up for week 6:
3 easy
4 tempo
10 long

2x lifting
2 practice...I need to start planning a lot better and working through being tired now! Somehow a couple of years ago I trained for a full through rugby season, but at the time I wasn't taking classes on top of everything else.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

onto those stairs!

When we re-did our den, we took two layers of carpet off the stairs. It was only on the top of the steps though, and quite well glued down.

A few months bit later, Princess Charming embarked on the Great Adhesive-and-Decayed-Carpet-Pad Removal Project. A little multiple choice for you - this stuff is
a) Gross
b) Stuck
c) Both

If you guessed C, you're right! A little water and elbow grease? Nada. Windex? Nah. Pinesol and steel wool. A little - a very little - success. The pad sander? Just a gunky pad, but semi-success.

The winner? Paint thinner and a rag to soften, and a flat blade to remove.

It took her about 3 hours to do the five stairs, but they're de-junked now. My project for the week is to wash them, and we'll sand and probably stain them next week. The edges aren't in as good of shape as the middle, we assume from extra adhesive. Yuck.

Monday, March 8, 2010

about that long run...

So yesterday, I had a great 8 miles in the 57 degree sunshine.

Well, make that a great 5.68 miles and a so-so 2.22 miles.

Within 2 blocks of where I broke my foot in July 2008, I took a big spill. My lovely wife was riding her bike behind me - I'd picked her up at mile 4 and convinced her to enjoy the sunshine - and said I stepped on a rock. Which, apparently, I should have seen.  (But I'm glad she was there to make sure I was ok and talk me into finishing the run and not just walking the mile to home!) Obvious issues with this sight problem aside - my broken foot was a twig problem- I pretty much tucked and rolled and came to a stop on the curb.  I'd hit my knees pretty hard, but I'm not sure if the tears brought to my eyes were out of pain, fear, or embarrassment. Since this photo (about 30 min after), they've swollen slightly and are a little bruised. Every time I stand I feel like its post game, except its only my knees! I wasn't ready for this!

Somewhat ironically (perhaps), I've taken three pretty good spills running without major injury (this one, the one in December, and one when I was 18 that was clown-like and dramatic and yielded a pretty big scar on my right knee - you can sorta see it in the photo above my scrape (the kind of round slightly discolored area towards my shin)- not to mention a world of embarrassment at my huge knee bruise and massive scab).  Both of the times I've tripped and broken my foot, I didn't fall. Go figure.

On the upside, throwing myself across a sidewalk at a fairly good pace is a nice way to prep my body for the joys of our (run down public park) practice glorified rock and glass laden concrete field.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Training Week 4, done

Monday, planned day of rest
Tuesday, 2 mi easy with the pup & lifting - 2B2 (I think)
Wednesday, 2 mi easy with the pup
Thursday, 2.85 miles with 4x800 & iifting - 2A3
Friday, 5 miles tempo (sorta...I haven't found a tempo pace outside so it was more like 800s)
Saturday, lifting 2B3
Sunday, long run for 8 (more to come on this)

Overall, A!

Up this coming week:
speedwork pyramid (400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400)
3 easy
4 tempo
9 long

lifting x3
rugby starts, so practice x2, plus coaching x2 (that's already been happening though)

Bring on the time crunch.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

weekend shopping

We both took a long weekend, for no particular reason....basically extended lazy date time since we hardly ever see each other, and the start of rugby season means that time will cut in half to probably one weekend day and one weekday evening a week (counting Friday). So yesterday we did a lot of food shopping and I think picked out a rug at Home Depot. We haven't quite committed yet but I'm pretty confident that'll be it.

Today, we got more peet pellets and an extra mini-greenhouse at the hardware so I can start some flowers along with the veggies I'm starting - hopefully to save us a few dozen greenbacks on our curb appeal!  Then we went to B&N for some windowshopping/browsing.

And we bought this book:

Kind of a weird purchase for folks who aren't expecting, but its amazing and includes "sibling" names (which is cool because I figure if you don't like the names that "go" with a name, it doesn't really make sense to go with the name) and lists like "Last Name First," "Italian," and "Why Not." Love it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2010 Census

I'm a nerd. No big secret. I really enjoy the Census reports, seeing the population change, seeing the predictions as to where the country will go (or rather, what it will be) in 20, 30, even 50 years.  I'm currently doing a little project for my policy class that requires reviewing some Census data. Fun.

Andddd the 2010 Census is coming up!  Be sure to be counted! Its anonymous -- and for those of you of non-heterosexual persuasions/orientations/lifestyles/however you prefer to call it - be especially sure to be counted! The better the count of The Gays equals better chances in the pursuit of equality. And really, all I want is to not pay extra taxes none of my married coworkers pay on their health insurance for their families!

Here's a brief primer on being counted correctly, and the most pertinent info:
Same-sex couples can come out on the census form. If you consider yourself to be married, check the “husband or wife” box. Same-sex couples that consider themselves to be partners should check the “unmarried partner” box. In both cases, couples must also correctly identify their gender to be counted as part of a same-sex couple.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cake Balls, a review!

For Princess Charming's surprise party, I ordered cake balls from Jaime at Are We There Yet?
I got vanilla with chocolate frosting and chocolate with chocolate frosting.

They. Were. Amazing.
The Birthday Girl Mid-Cake Ball!

Everyone loved them, especially the vanilla, and they just FLEW!! I got 2 dozen, and I kind of wish I'd gotten more! If you have an event coming up, you should definitely consider ordering from Jaime!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hi March!

The first day of March equals...

14 days to Daylight Savings Time!

The lengthened DST is one of (and possibly) the best things to come out of the last administration!

Downside: It'll be dark when I walk the dog in the morning for a month or so.

Upside: It'll be light for about an hour after I get home from work! Woot!!!