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Onward Bound

Sometimes life is tough. Sometimes life is awesome. Sometimes it a little bit of both. Either way, you have to keep going. I'll be running, laughing, crying and sharing it all here.

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    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    stick it to me, baby

    I just fashioned a piece of tape into a tape bubble and stuck it on my forehead. Maybe genius thoughts will accidentally get stuck on the tape bubble and find their way into my brain. Because that's the kind of week I'm having.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Do any runners still read this blog?

    Hello 'ello 'ello 'llo 'llo 'llo 'o 'o 'o....

    I know this blog has taken a bit of a diversion from running, but if there are any readers who are runners with Garmin trainers, I have a question for you. I do still run, by the way. Almost more now that I have Gertie in the city. I just don't talk about it much. Well, because I've had more interesting things to talk about lately....

    Anywho, I'm thinking about getting a Mac Book and want to know if anyone has encountered any compatibility problems with Garmins and Macs. I'd love to hear from you --- the good, bad and the ugly. Many thanks in advance!

    Here Kitty, Kitty

    The boyfriend has a cat. Well, technically his roommate has a cat, but for all intensive purposes, there is a cat at the boyfriend's house. And this has been a little unnerving to Gertie (read: Gertie's Mom who is terrified that Gertie might be even less of a vegetarian than she is.) who has never really met a cat. At least not long enough to decipher how she feels about cats. For the past month, (whee! It's been over a month!!! Look at me in the big relationship!) we've kept Gertie confined to a certain proximity of space when I've been over. She's been able to see Kitty, but always at a distance. The two have co-existed with Kitty slinking by to take a look at this dog skidding around his living room hardwood floors, licking his owner and others, flopping on people's laps and in general being the lovable spaz that she is. (That's right, Justin. I said love able spaz!)

    But last night, we made a huge step for all dog kind. Gertie met Kitty nose to nose. I actually didn't know it was happening or I would have probably set up an intervention. But the boyfriend, who was in the kitchen at the time, apparently thought it was as good a time as any to let them meet. Imagine my surprise when I walked in and saw Gertie less than a foot away from Kitty.

    And Kitty was still alive.

    And Gertie was, well, more interested in the food that boyfriend had going on than the Kitty treat sitting in front of her.

    Later on, in the living room, Kitty stopped by to flop on the floor near Gertie, who didn't seem to mind the company.

    Maybe we can just all get along.

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    100 Things About Me (Part II)

    I know you've been waiting on pins and needles for me to finish this.

    The wait stops here.

    51. I am a Klutz (capitalization intentional)

    52. I don't bake

    53. I don't recycle as much as I should.

    54. I make wish lists for things I want to buy but can't afford. These lists live in my dayplanner.

    55. I sleep walk.

    56. My parents used to put a gate up to prevent this.

    57. My friend Dawn improvised with an ironing board once.

    58. When referring to my friends, I often claim ownership "my friend Dawn," "my friend Jenny" and so on... I don't know why I do this, but I do.

    59. In seventh grade, I laughed so hard I peed my pants in the middle of cooking class. Unfortunately, I had a (non-related) detention that afternoon, which made for a very long day.

    60. I saved every note written in seventh grade; they are still folded up into little triangles.

    61. I love to be the passenger.

    62. Spontaneous trips are heavenly.

    63. As long as I have ample time to fret about what to pack.

    64. I heart my job.

    65. I refer to my parents by their first names when talking about them.

    66. Hi Terry.

    67. When I see a cute dog, I have a tendency to gush and sometimes shriek a little. In general, I refer to dogs as "boogies."

    68. I sometimes need to use my inside voice.

    69. But I prefer my outside voice.

    70. I was never popuuuuular.

    71. But I love the song.

    72. I do not. Repeat. Do not. Do scary movies.

    73. If a move becomes at all terrifying, a pillow is required to hide behind.

    74. I love happy hour.

    75. Who doesn't?

    76. When picking out a book, I read the back cover or inside flap and then at least the first page. I know pretty much right away if a book is going to carry my attention.

    77. When I concentrate, I chew the side of my tongue. It looks really stupid.

    78. I wear skirts more than pants.

    79. Every winter I pray that tall boots and skirts won't be out of style.

    80. Eventually this will happen and I will be that lady stuck in the fashion dead zone.

    81. Speaking of winter, I hate to drive in the snow and/or ice.

    82. Considering my summer driving record, it is probably best that I avoid winter driving all together.

    83. I let Gertie kiss me on the mouth.

    84. Aside from the ceramic flat iron, I think on demand and DVR technology are two of the greatest inventions of my adult years.

    85. I text my hairstylist.

    86. I'm not opposed to online dating.

    87. When I worked in commercial radio I had my own news jingle.

    88. I love striking up conversations with complete strangers.

    89. I'm really looking forward to completing this list.

    90. Maybe there aren't really 100 things about me to share?

    91. Nah, that can't be true. I never shut up.

    92. I'll think of 100 more after this list is published.

    93. Some unfortunate soul will have to hear me talk about myself later.

    94. I have my ears pierced and my belly, but I really want to pierce my nose.

    95. When I was a baby, they wrapped me in foil to keep me warm. I looked like a baked potato.

    96. No wonder I have to work next to a space heater all day. They set me up to be cold my entire life.

    97. My passport expires this year. I should do something about that.

    98. I once lost my passport in the Frankfort, Germany airport.

    99. I actually have the worst travel luck ever.

    100. My initials spell SAM. I tried to get friends to use this as a nickname, but it never stuck. Just goes to show you, you can't force your own nickname.

    Don't read this while drinking anything that could go out your nose

    This is awesome.

    Is it bad that I want Chipotle now?

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    me time

    I love it. My own agenda. My own rules. My own destiny. Last night I took myself out for dinner. Crisp greens tossed in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette with bites of salty kalamata olives, crunchy bread with buttery, nutty olive oil and creamy pureed eggplant, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil nestled within the crevices of homemade farfalle. A perfect espresso to finish it off. Heavenly.

    Saturday, July 26, 2008


    Watch it.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Oh to be young again...

    Deep down in the archives of my hotmail (*gasp!*) account, I found an e-mail I sent to my girlfriends - the SB's-during that surreal week in my life between graduation and my first job.

    Backstory: I landed my first job as a reporter in Rocky Mount, NC. I knew no one, but it seemed like the great adventure. My mom and I went down for a week to find a place for me to live, but we stayed in Raleigh, because well, it was Rocky Mount. I mean, it was fine for me to live in, but Mom wanted to stay somewhere with restaurants and shopping. I can't blame her, she lived in London at the time and well, Rocky Mount, while uniquely charming, isn't exactly a stateside destination spot for ex-pats. Anywho, this e-mail accuratley captures my life back then (bad spelling and grammar included. Yes, I was a reporter, but it wasn't for my attention to detail -- more my ability to connect with people and tell their story.) And while life seemed so complicated at the time, it was really quite carefree. Ah, to be young...

    Dear girls,
    Hello to all of you. I'm still alive and am in Raleigh at the Embassy Suites Hotel by the Crabtree Mall. No luck finding an apartment but I am considering renting out a room here since it is so nice and all. Free coctails from 5-8. I can see me now..."Sorry boss, I'd love to stay and finish this story, but I have a free amaretto sour waiting for me in my hotel lobby.") And it WOULD be awfully nice to not have to worry about making my bed and washing my towels every day. hmmmmm...

    In the real world, I found a cute little house today that I am dreaming of renting and fixing up. Sarah, it is near Chicos and that part of town. It is 475 a month, but that is reasonably cheap considering I've seen one bedroom apartments for 550. It has two bedrooms and a living and dining room plus a fenced in yard for Katie. [Katie was my dog at the time] My mom isn't sure. Its not the cost but just the worry of me being in a house with all the responsibilities of a house. Plus they'd have to buy me a fridge and a washer/dryer. Its really old, but really cute. It has white walls and dark hardwood floors. No apartments yet. They are either trashy or too expensive. [It's, Stephanie, it's. No wonder you drove your first boss crazy!]

    I cried today in front of my boss. Yup. This is the girl who can make it through graduation and saying good-bye to her best friends without a tear or even a wimper, but put her in front of a telephone,a conference table, people telling her she can't rent, and her boss and she goes hysterical. I was mortified, but I couldn't help it. I just cried. Then once I started crying about that, I started thinking of everything I had lost and how lonely I was.

    Write soon so next time I come down to the public access computers at the hotel I have something to read after a [crappy] day like today. :)

    Much love!
    Natalya, if you read this, I love you and hope you are having fun in Russia.
    Sarah, I haven't had a [crap] in four days.
    Nat, I wrote you seperate.
    Shannon, I went shopping last night with my mom and got a shirt at abercrombie. I wish you could borrow it.

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Things that make me go grrr

    People make me crazy sometimes. Particularly in their cars. Particularly at gas stations. I mean, clearly, I have my own issues but I like to think my gas station manners are up to par.

    Consider the following:

    Quick Trip 12:30 p.m. in the 816 where gas prices dip a little lower in this town.

    More cars than pumps.

    Cars line up behind cars, while others lurk further out, completely blocking the flow of traffic.

    At pump no. 10, I see a woman sitting in her car. I zip in to wait behind her. Then I realize, she's not "plugged into" the pump. There is a total on her payment screen so I assume she's already filled up and is waiting for her passenger.

    No problem.

    I'll wait.

    I mean it'd be nice if she would pull up to the parking spots and wait, but maybe it will just be a second.

    De de de...

    Finally passenger returns, yacking on her cell phone, carrying misc. treats and beverages. She then goes around to the driver's side (is she handing over the food before she gets in?) and driver gets out and passenger gets in driver's seat.

    Maybe it's a slow-motion Chinese fire drill with QT snacks involved?

    The driver then leaves the car area entirely to go into the store.

    By this time, I'm already assessing my options for other pumps because tick-tock people! But really? Really?

    Out of my rear view mirror (because I have now moved, but am watching this scene unfold from another pump waiting zone) I see the new driver (former passenger) waiting for her friend. More cars have lined up and she just sits there.

    Finally, driver #1 returns and passenger returns to passenger's seat (still yacking on her phone, by the way) and driver returns to driver's seat and they speed off.

    Madness. Absolute madness.

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Cleaning House

    Yesterday I spent the afternoon cleaning out the house I lived in with my ex-husband. It was physically and emotionally grueling. A the end of the day, I felt drained and yet cleansed. It's a task I've avoided since the divorce, but something that needs to be done. Unfortunately, there is a second house that needs to be cleaned out (long story as why there are two houses, but just take my word for it.) and so next weekend will involve more cleaning. Houses are just houses, but it's amazing the energy they take on from the time spent living in them. This house was particularly rough because the end took place there. I felt some of that old energy grip me as I cleaned. So I'm glad it's done.

    By the way, I have a computer desk, a bookshelf, printer, lamps, an exercise ball, oil based space heater, two baby gates and some random dishes for any takers. E-mail me...

    There was something that my ex-husband left at the house that I needed to get back to him, so I took it to our former best friends' house. The husband of this couple was out in the garage. Suddenly I felt like I had been hit by a tank. And I couldn't' talk. He asked me what was new. The answer "everything" seemed appropriate. I heard myself trying to tell him how happy I am now and that I'm doing really well, but it was out of body. He looked at me with a look of pity and possibly a little judgment and I was wiggling in my skin. I rambled on for a little bit longer, handed him the thing and left, sending greetings to his wife and telling them to call me for a drink if they were in my neighborhood. (I'll be surprised if I hear from them.)

    After the awkward delivery, I needed some time with my friends. The friends who have been there for me to help me clean up this entire mess. I called the one friend I know I can always go to.

    What are you doing?


    Beer in two?

    And beer and yummy Mexican food later, I felt the energy from my new life return with a big 'ole virtual bear hug.

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    There's no place like home

    I had a warm fuzzy moment about my apartment today. Actually I was at work. I keep a picture of my residence on my white board above my computer. (Wow, that's an incredibly dorky admittance.)

    I love where I live. Love. Love. Love. Sure, it's tiny. It has linoleum. And no one in their right mind should ever open my microwave. I'm not sure what the last girl had going on in there, but I've never been able to get it quite right. My dishwasher is crap and when it's windy outside there is a wretched noise in my kitchen. But it's my little world of bliss.

    That's why I was so surprised when after Gertie and I went on a run today, I couldn't get in my front door. As in, my key wouldn't work. It dawned on me that my front mat was missing, and so was hot neighbor's, but once the management took the mats away to deal with a maintenance problem. I just figured it had happened again. But then I looked up at the number and realized I was at the wrong apartment.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Riding Old School

    I've sorted out the "totalled car" situation and to make a long story short, I'm driving a car, the car, I drove in college and throughout the first part of this decade. It's a little surreal to be back in this particular vehicle, but I'm proud of myself for this decision. This car has been with me for a long time. It's seen me through college, first jobs and been with me in five states. There is something comforting in that.

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Beads for the ladies

    My bachelorette party was a small affair. My maid of honor, Shannon and my other Stephanie took me out in Wilmington, N.C. On the whole, it was pretty calm. No naked men, male genitalia cakes, no games etc... I liked it this way. Shannon did bring with her some Mardi Gras style beads. She intended for me to hand them out to young lasses, but apparently I had my own idea of what I should do with these beads. Two bars into our crawl, I became appalled at the amount of young college-aged women grinding up on guys who could care less about the brains attached. These women needed saving. They needed beads. I began distributing the beads, with the advice, "Stay in school, don't trust men and focus on your career." It seemed everyone wanted some beads to wear. Soon, girls were coming to me asking for the beads. Now remember, even though this is a calm affair, I'm still a bachelorette and I'm wearing a veil on my head. Advice+veil did not match.

    My friends dubbed me the "Bride Mother Teresa."

    And since the marriage didn't work out, I can't exactly wear that title anymore. Out of respect for Mother Teresa's faith, I will not go with "The Divorced Mother Teresa." Making her a bride was bad enough.

    But my intentions to save others remain the same, so I'd like to present Stephanie's rules for divorce -- for the ladies in the house. Kindly note, these beads of wisdom are not intended to meet everyone's specific divorce situation. For example, I didn't have children. Take my ramblings with a grain of salt. However, unlike the last time I dispensed beads, I am sober.

    The Beads:
    • First and foremost: Take care of yourself. At this point, your marriage is over. You are not a "we" and you must start to think like a "me."
    • Find a place to live where you are completely at peace. This is going to be your retreat, your refuge and your new life will start here.
    • Try, try not to go down negative paths with your ex or his family. You will slip and fall here. You will do and say things you regret, but be strong and use as much self-restraint as you can.
    • On that same note, DO NOT engage in ANY communication with your ex's new girlfriend. (If you are so lucky to have an ex with a new girlfriend.) Even if she tries to engage in diaglogue with you, be the bigger person and don't, don't, don't lower yourself to that level.
    • Find your true friends and lean on them. They will rise to the top. They will be the ones who answer the phone at 2 a.m., who bring you tissues and junk food, who allow you to text thoughts intended for your ex, who will celebrate your triumphs and most of all, who won't judge you.
    • At the same time, find your inner strength and know you can make it on your own. Slowly you can start to wean yourself from the dependence on your ex, your friends and your family and you will find a powerful new you.
    • Date when you are ready. It's ok to pull the cord on dating if you decide it's not for you, but if you even have an inkling to date again, go with it. It can be a lot of fun. It can also provide some perspective on your situation.
    • Use retail therapy with caution. A little can be ok.
    • Take life one day at a time. Time is your enemy and your best friend.
    • Read anything that makes you feel better. Not every divorce guide book is for you, but find a few that you can glean some nuggets from. It will make you feel better to...
    • Know you are not alone. E-mail me if ever want to talk.

    This is creative

    Last night my fortune cookie told me I would be exceptionally creative today. I have sat here in front of the blogger.com screen trying to figure out how to make this alleged creativity happen.....nada.

    So let me just tell you what I've been up to today.

    My Sunday Morning
    by Stephanie

    I tried to sleep in a little. But Gertie was having none of it. So we were up and at 'em. At home, I made some coffee. I was out of cream which was sort of sad, so I overcompensated with gobs of sugar. Earlier, I had picked up the mail and needed to sort out an issue with Time Warner. Of course, I sat on hold for 24 minutes. Gertie was not a fan of the music playing on speaker. While on hold, I took care of some laundry, tidied up a tad and finished off the sugar coffee.

    Gertie was nosing the leash and I knew I should run so I changed into running gear and we headed out into the morning sun. Three miles later, we are home and I am blogging about my Sunday morning.

    The end.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    I stand corrected

    Clearly the cool kids (and super awesome kids) know WAY more about this sort of concert going than I do. Apparently, I needed to cite the artist's name correctly as shown here:
    Snoop Dogg.

    I apologize to Mr. Dogg and his agents for this grave misrepresentation. (And vice-versa to all the Snoop Dog's out there for the mistaken identity.)

    Phone call

    Me: Hello
    W: Stephanie, it's Whit (also known as my super awesome friend/personal stylist. Ok, she's not just my stylist. She could be yours too. E-mail me for deets.)
    Me: Hey
    W: What are you doing tomorrow night?
    Me: Um, happy hour with my friend, Dawn and then I dunno.
    W: I have a much better plan for you.
    Me: Okaaaaaaaaaay
    W: 311 and Snoop Dog concert.
    Me: Really?
    W: Yup
    Me: Where?
    W: Sandstone. Are you in? (Names list of people also attending.)
    W: In background to her boyfriend: It's Steph. I think she's going! She's so cool!
    Me: Pause. [Thinking (Why was I thinking? This should have been an easy yes, but I was trying to think if there would be any negative consequences that could result in such concert going. Ok, I won't be driving, the ticket is free, yes, I have to cancel on Dawn, but she'd totally understand, I don't have to work on Friday and the concert is free and it's Snoop Dog. Awesome.)]
    Me: I'm in. (duh.)

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    Sometimes you get more than you expect

    This morning, I stopped at a gas station on my way to work to pick up a caffeinated beverage. I'm in this particular gas station at least once a week. The lady at the counter is a very friendly and very beautiful lady from India. I noticed her beautiful henna art and commented on it. She told me she did it herself and then she pulled out her tube of henna and asked me if I wanted to try it. Well now, this is more than frapppuccino stop! Why not? So now I have a lovely vine with leaves on it extending from my wrist to the tip of my pointer finger. I also have a frappuccino.

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008

    Fourth of July Update -- Check, check, check

    So I completed everything I set out to do this past weekend, and I'm pretty happy about that. I'm obviously NOT happy about my totalled car. But here's a recap:

    • Ice cream came from the boyfriend who brought me a butterscotch milkshake (my favorite!) after my car accident.
    • Fireworks. Well, I didn't exactly see a "show." But there was enough bang bang bang to last me until next year. And everyone is in one piece too! There was also a little bonus to the fireworks in that I got to rid myself of a few items...
    • Running- This is what I'm most proud of because after the whole car thing I was a little worried this wouldn't take place. But Saturday and Sunday were rock star running days for me. Thanks for the encouragement, you.
    • Meet the 'rents.- Not only did I get to meet the boyfriend's super awesome siblings, the meeting of the 'rents went very well.
    • And because it's summer, summer, summer time, I'm looking forward to a four day week followed by a visit from my super cool cousin from Chi-Town.

    Saturday, July 05, 2008

    my mid-year resolution

    Who says January is the only time we can resolve to start fresh. I'm starting a new trend: Mid-year resolutions. And here is mine:

    To have no more encounters with emergency professionals of any kind -- inlcuding but not limited to police officers, EMTs and firemen.

    This is out of control.

    Yesterday I was in an accident where my car was totalled. Yes, I'm fine and Gertie's fine (she was with me.) But my car? Not so much. After the great crash of 2008, (actually, it's the second crash of 2008 -- I was rear ended in Februrary.) I remembered something I read right after the separation. It's a book called "Crazy Time Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life." It's a great book, but on page two something rings a little extra true with me:

    Most people go a little crazy when their marriage cracks....Health Statistics tell you that you are prone to getting sick and having car accidents."

    Based on my track record, I should probably consider staying away from cars all together, but unfortunately that's not really an option. So I'm just going to set this little resolution. It's only for the rest of the year. By the time I get to 2009, I plan to have all of this out of my system.

    Thursday, July 03, 2008

    4th of July - will there be ice cream, fireworks and dare I suggest a run or two?

    So three days of summer holiday happiness await me. And I'm super excited because I'm starting the weekend with a happy hour with my friend/personal sage Justin. We need to catch up. Badly.

    I'm not terribly patriotic, I'll admit. But the 4th of July evokes a certain nostalgia in me. I want to see fireworks, run through a sprinkler, wiggle and wave sparklers and eat ice cream.

    I also need to run. Badly. Gertie and I had two mediocre at best runs this week and I can feel myself slipping out of shape. So I'm going to make at least two runs happen this weekend. Really. I am. I hope.

    Also on tap is the big unveiling of the boy to the 'rents. Oh boy. I have decided that we should see Othello. I figure in lieu of a tale of jealousy and murder, any boy has to look pretty good. Actually, I'm not worried. He's pretty cool and I like him. So how can they not?

    Have a great loooooooong weekend.