Monday, 30 November 2009

Plus one

I can't come out to play today, because today is my birthday! So I have lots of cake to eat and gifts to receive. Speaking of which, I believe all the gifts from you guys have gotten lost in the mail. Incompetent fools. Try harder next time.

Anyhoo, once I've been revived from my sugar coma, I'll post again. Hope everyone had a great weekend and survived Black Friday. Here's to a painless week ahead.

Later gators.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Check

So far so good this week. I’ve swum twice and got in a slow and steady three miler yesterday morning. Sweet!

The swimming is definitely improving which is making me very happy. Swimming was on my to-do list for ages. You know those items you always hope to tick off, but don’t because you don’t have enough money, aren’t thin enough, aren’t brave enough, etc. Well, screw that shit. I’m sick of waiting. I figure about a third of my life is over, so I better make the most of what I have left. I hope when I’m in my sixties and seventies I’m one of those scary broads who can outswim, outrun, outfun pretty much everyone and don’t give a rat’s ass that the elasticity in my skin is shot and my hooters are better acquainted with my knees than my torso.

Speaking of ticking items off the to-do list....I’ve always wanted to run in a turkey trot, but haven’t been able to since I live in England and they don’t do those here for obvious reasons. Well, to hell with that. Tomorrow morning I’m heading out for a 5k run—Xenia’s own one-woman Turkey Trot 5k. Take that, colonial oppressors!

However because of work deadlines, I can’t take time off to celebrate Thanksgiving properly so all you lucky bastard Americans need to eat for me tomorrow. Particularly pie. Please eat a slice of pie for your homegirl. It’s all I ask. I know it’s a hardship, but try to take one for the team, okay.

And in case any of you were still wondering, my bike does indeed have a name now.

Meet Aeolus.

Big thanks to Mike at Running is Funny for naming my wheels. Aeolus is the perfect combination of Greek mythology and puerile humor (heh, he said wind) which totally fits both my bike and myself. I tip my hat to you, sir. In fact, if you so desire, I’ll even send you a Popener as a proper thank you. If you don’t want it, then you can choose another recipient from amongst all the irate commenters who will be sure to vent their rage. It’s up to you.

Since most of you will be in a tryptophan coma soon, this will be my last post for the week. Enjoy the holiday, my fellow Americans. To my Canadian friends, have a great rest of the week. Catch you guys again on Monday.

Later gators.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Prelude to Suckville

In a week’s time, I’m set to begin marathon training. Yeah, that’s gonna bite the big one seeing as I’ve only been running about once a week for the last month. Oy.

I’m not sure what I should have you all betting on—whether I’ll actually get all four scheduled runs in the first week or when exactly I’m going to get hobbled with an injury. Eh, I leave it up to you guys.

My running may be patchy, but at least my swimming continues. Went to the pool this morning and even after showering and eating lunch (chilli beef and rice soup from Pret A Manger—yummy) my hands still smell like chlorine. Lovely.

This weekend I went to a friend’s for dinner and to watch illegally acquired episodes of Glee. I’m not much for musicals. In fact I tend to hate them violently. But my friend assured me that the show was really quite good and worth a watch, particularly for the eye candy.

Hello, Mark Salling.

I'm a sucker for beard stubble. Sue me.


The good kind of man-boobs

At first I felt kinda dirty for lusting after him since he plays a 17 year old on the show, but then I found out that he’s actually 27. Totally legal. Huzzah!

And because I have nothing else to say, need some filler and want to take an unprovoked potshot at Vanilla Ian by stealing his schtick, here are recent photos of Julia Roberts running.

Courtesy of Popsugar

I had no idea she was a runner. Julia always reminds me of my sister Z which may be why I didn't think she was a runner--Z has shoddy knees and therefore does not run. Although they don’t look much alike in the face, they’re both tall, slim and have gigantic lions' manes for hair, though Z’s is dark brown. Okay, maybe my real life peeps-celebrity associations aren't spot on but at least they're interesting. My mother reminds me of Kathy Bates and my father of Sadaam Hussein. No, I'm not explaining those. You'll just have to guess...and be terribly frightened in the process.

Okay, that’s more than enough of my rambling. Have a great week, a short one for my fellow Americans. Catch up with you when I can.

Later gators.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Say my name

I’ve gotten off my duff and have one run in so far this week. I was supposed to get in another this morning, but since I was kept awake last night by the fight my crackhead neighbor was having with her possibly-no-longer boyfriend, that just didn’t happen. The run is rescheduled for tomorrow morning barring more ruckus from her house. Damn these thin English walls!

Yesterday I had my last swim lesson. My instructor was quite impressed with the progress I’ve made and I have to say so am I. I was a total catastrophe in the beginning and needed to plug my nose with my hand. Now I’m a little more coordinated (only thrashing around half as much) and can use both arms to propel me forward instead of holding my nose and praying to the sweet baby jesus not to let me accidentally swallow half the water in the pool.

Score!

My plan is to continue with swim practice three days a week. I’m still searching for the right rhythm and timing in both the front crawl and breast stroke. I think it’ll be like riding a bike—one day it’ll all just fall into place.

Speaking of bikes, take a look at mine:

My trusty steed

I’ve been trying to think up a name for him. And yes, it’s definitely a him. For Frayed Lacesname-her-bike contest, I suggested the name Hades. I was thinking of using that for my bike, more in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way since my bike is so NOT badass like hers. I don’t know. What do you guys think?

One more thing before I go. You know how I said I signed up for one last race this year? Well, guess what I got in the post yesterday...

Ho, ho, ho!

Christmas has arrived early this year. Good lord, what have I done?

Later gators.

Monday, 16 November 2009

American-style

Thank you, ladies, for all your excellent advice. Right now I’m treating last week’s episode as a one-off but if it happens again, off to the GP I go.

This weekend, I ran both Saturday and Sunday. Short distances as I’ve hardly been running lately and I didn’t want to risk injury by going all gung-ho crazy at the start. This morning I awoke amidst a rainstorm and got my shit together to head off to the gym for swim practice. I’m gonna learn how to do the front crawl properly even if it kills me. Which should be about Wednesday, I think.

Anyhoo, as the holidays inch ever closer, I’ve been making travel plans. I’ll be flying back to the states in mid-December and hanging out in the homeland for about three weeks. Three weeks of quality friends and family time, but, more importantly, three weeks to consume vast quantities of my favorite foods which I can’t get in England. I realize I don’t live in the backend of nowhere but there are plenty of foods you just can’t get over here. At least not without selling off an appendage or two to pay for it.

Here’s my list of must-eat foods while I’m stateside. So far, that is.
  • grandma’s balls (of the chocolate peanut butter variety—get your mind out of the gutter, pervs)
  • root beer (also possibly a root beer float)
  • chinese food (it’s different over here—not bad, just different)
  • christmas dinner (turkey with all the trimmings—I’m probably missing out on Thanksgiving so I’m really looking forward to this)
  • cheesesteak with mushrooms (from my cousin’s restaurant)
  • pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms (also from my cousin’s restaurant)
  • York peppermint patty
  • applesauce (they don’t do this over here—only this ultra sweet bramley crap for cooking with meat. I want my snack pack, bitch.)
  • different dishes of greek food (because it always tastes better when made by my family)
  • Cheetos (Z and I have a long-standing tradition of eating Cheetos and playing board games during the holidays. It’s our thing. Don’t judge.)
  • fudge (mom’s is the best)
  • pie—pumpkin, apple, blueberry... I don’t care just give me a slice.
  • Mexican food—preferably a chicken chimichanga and some garlic nachos with some super hot salsa.
Obviously I’ll also need a supersized bucket in which to vomit after I consume all of this crap as well as a seatbelt extension on my return flight to England. I don’t care. It’ll be worth it.

Ah, America, how I miss you.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Period. Full stop.

[Editor’s note: Gentlemen, I’m going to be nice for once and warn you that this is a serious post about gross women’s stuff. Feel free to skip reading today. I won’t blame you in the least.]

I haven’t been motivated to do any running or exercising this week. The weather has been crap and my body just hasn’t been up for it. It’s that time of the month again for me, which I don’t like to use as an excuse for not exercising, but considering the little episode I had on Monday, I’m gonna let it slide this time.

Monday I woke up early and was getting ready to go to the gym for swim practice. I was in the bathroom when things went wonky. All of a sudden I got really dizzy and felt nauseous. My reproductive organs and lower intestines also decided to join in the fun and went haywire. I almost didn’t know which end to put on the toilet. I decided I’d much rather clean up my vomit than anything that would get ejected from the lower end so I sat down on the toilet and leaned over the rubbish bin just in case.

I took deep breaths and just kept hoping it would all pass quickly. I finally went #2, but it didn’t end there. The cramps continued and they were horrendous. It felt like my uterus was trying to eject itself from my body. For the first time ever I actually broke out into a cold sweat. I soaked my pj top and had tracks of liquid running down my face. Granted some of them could have been tears—I had no idea then or now.

When nothing more seemed to want to come out of my body, I went back to bed and laid down. But the nausea and cramps wouldn’t go away, so I had to go back to the bathroom and hunker down just in case. I did this three times. The only painkiller I had was ibuprofen and I didn’t want to take that on an empty stomach, so I had to wait it out. Finally when the nausea abated, I ate a small banana and took the ibuprofen. I filled the hot water bottle, put it against my lower abdomen and went back to bed.

I slipped in and out of sleep for the next hour and eventually the ibuprofen kicked in. All was better. To be on the safe side though, I decided to work from home that day. Except for being a little bit tired, the rest of the day passed without incident.

The whole thing was very strange. My body has never done that before. What’s also weird was that I was already on day two of my period. If crazy shit like that’s gonna happen, I would expect it more on the first day. I usually get the worst cramps a few days before and the first day of my period, but after that it’s minimal. This was definitely not my norm.

So I’ve spent the rest of the week being a lazy ass. No other incident has occurred but the concern is still there at the back of my mind. I haven’t run in almost two weeks and I feel like a bloated overstuffed cow. My cycle (and yes, it’s a long one as usual) is almost over and I’m looking forward to getting back out there. I’m just hoping that Monday was a fluke. Because if it happens again next month, I’m gonna have to see the GP. And I really don’t want to have to deal with that.

Have any of you ladies experienced anything like this before? Any clue as to what happened to me? All advice is welcome.

Sorry for the seriousness of today’s post. I’ll go back to being my bitchy sarcastic self next week. Promise.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Later gators.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Easy Rider

It’s finally happened. I’ve been talking about doing it for years and finally did it this weekend.

Nope, I didn’t dry hump Colin Firth’s leg or bitch-slap Britney Spears for continuing to disregard my you-need-to-wear-a-goddamn-bra edict. Those are still on the to-do list.

Bitches, I bought a bike.

Now don’t you triathlon freaks go all crazy thinking you’ve got a new convert. F*ck that shit. I know I’ve been swimming a bit lately, but there’s no way I’m going to squeeze myself into sausage-encasing lycra for all the world to see while I huff and puff through three sports, all of which I suck at. There’s a reason why I go to the pool so early—no one else in their right mind wakes up before dawn to use the pool hence it’s just me and possibly one other loon at most.

I bought the bike for transport purposes. My only other mode of transportation in this town is my feetsies, so it takes me an age to get anywhere. It used to take me twenty minutes to get to the gym from my house. Now it takes less than five. Halle-freakin’-lujah!

Of course I also plan on taking some scenic bike rides on the weekends now. There are plenty of trails around here and I also now have an annual pass to Blenheim Palace, which will be a great destination for longer rides.

Now all I have to concern myself with is playing in English traffic. Which side of the road am I supposed to cycle on again? *gulp*

Yeah, yeah. I know none of you give a rat’s ass about any of this. You just want to know who won the Popeners. Well, here you go, you greedy bastards.

The Popener for the funniest comment goes to joyRuN. Sweet baby jesus, woman, your desperation is freaking hilarious. I know I’m going to hell for laughing at you as much as I have, but damn that was funny. Thanks for the entertainment. You’ve well earned your piece of blasphemous Catholic tchotchke. But seeing as you winning has probably enraged G, you might think about posting that photo of your ass to appease him. You did offer after all.

The random winner of the second Popener was commenter #7...
...who is the fabulous Merry.

Congrats ladies! Just email me your snail mail addys and I’ll get those Popeners out to you this week. However it may take them a while to arrive....if they do at all. The Royal Mail was on strike for a while, but now it seems a cease-fire has been declared until the new year. But there’s still bitter underpaid postal workers to contend with as well as a backlog of mail to get out. Lovely, no?

Okay, that’s it from me. Have a happy rest of the week, everyone.

Later gators.

Friday, 6 November 2009

What would you do for one?

My self-hate reasserted itself as I again went to the gym ass-early yesterday morning for more swim practice. I continue to look like an uncoordinated gasping hot mess while attempting a front crawl. It’s a beautiful sight, I’m sure.

This afternoon I resume my swim lessons where I can not-so-proudly tell my instructor that I’ve made sod-all progress and she needs to repeat everything she taught me last time. Awesome.

My attempts at swimming have been the only exercise I’ve gotten in this week. I had also planned to run this evening, but scratched that to accept an invite for dinner at a Greek restaurant. Of course, I’ll be making up for the calorie fest (flaming cheese!) this weekend by running both days which is not really a hardship since I’m itching to get back out on the road. I miss running.

With not much else to say (unless you want to read about my dissertation--yeah, I didn't think so), I thought this might be a perfect time for a giveaway. Thanks to my recent sojourn in Italy, I’ve once again stocked up on the holy grail of tacky souvenirs, the Popener. In order to be the recipient of one of these fine pieces of Italian craftsmanship (to which Viper can attest seeing as the one he won broke during its first use), you need to leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What would you do for a Popener?

Funniest answer (to be judged by myself and my officemates based on the answer’s ability to make tea/coffee come out of our noses) will win a Popener. To be fair to those who are funny bone-challenged, I will also have the random number generator choose a second recipient for a Popener. Because I’m awesome and that’s how I roll. And no, the same person cannot win both. Because I said so, that’s why.

Deadline for posting an answer in the comments is Monday, November 9th by noon EST. The winners will be announced Tuesday barring any unexpected academic crap that I may have to deal with.

Have a happy weekend, everyone. Catch you again next week.

Later gators.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Apparently I hate myself

This conclusion resulted from a realization that some of my actions of late fall into the two main categories of self-hate.

1) Causing oneself pain voluntarily, and

2) Putting oneself in embarrassing situations. Again, voluntarily.

So, what exactly have I done to myself lately?

Well, this morning I woke up (voluntarily!) at 6:30 am after less than six hours sleep to drag my ass across town (20 minutes on foot) to use the gym pool. I’m continuing my swimming lessons this week and next so thought I should get in some practice. The result—I still suck at swimming. Basically I look like a retarded baby whale missing a flipper.

While that is embarrassing, I’ve also managed to set myself up for a total mock-fest in December. I’ve officially signed up for one last race this year—a two mile run in mid-December. What’s so bad about that, you ask? Well, while running those two miles, I’ll also be sporting a felt Santa suit and beard. Ho, ho, ho, bitches!

In an effort to morph my self-hate into general misanthropy, I’ve coerced nearly a half dozen friends into joining me in this endeavor. However, to date, I am the only one to have actually registered for the race.

Misanthropy wins. I hate people.