Monday, December 24, 2012

The Big Adventure

So, Adventure Lady has been on one BIG adventure since last report.

Specifically, she has (borrowing from Elf), passed through the seven levels of unemployment, sailed across the sea of Job Searches and finally walked through the Lincoln Tunnel, I mean the interview. 

Yes, boys and girls, I lost my job.  Strange as it may seem, this is good news, because NOW I have a new job with structure and flow and a chain of command!  Working for nice people!  With real office supplies!  I no longer have to beg pens from banks.  Color me ecstatic.  Color me thankful.  Color me relieved and incredulous and all sorts of happy, happy, happy. 

Merry Christmas, peeps.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Adventures at the Ballot Box!

So, there was some voting going on Tuesday.  And, good American that I am, I wanted to participate.  But, because I can do really really stupid things, my photo id went to Knoxville while I stayed home.


(still my favorite emoticon)

A quick Google revealed that I was entitled to vote provisionally and I could bring my id in to the election commission within 2 days to be COUNTED, so off I went to the polling place.  The man behind the table asked me for  id and I said I did not have it, but understood I could vote provisionally. He gave me a look and away he went.  He returned with a file of instructions. I was diverted to a table on the other side of the gym and we endeavored to figure out how to accomplish a provisional vote.  I was, at 6 PM, the First*.
So, I did my little paper ballot and folded it up middle-school style to fit in the too-tiny envelope.  I was told I was eligible to vote in a certain state race, but was unable to because it was not on my pre-printed paper ballot.  No one seemed too concerned about that, and I didn't press the issue because I knew that election was already won.  But their unconcern did concern me.

And finally, I prepare to cast my vote.  To place it in that most sacred of American institutions, the ballot box.

And I can't.  My election helper held  the box up.  He turned it over several times.  He caressed every corner of it and so did I.  Every orifice on that sucker was locked up, nay sealed up with all kinds of official looking wires and tags and actual locks.  He took my envelope and shoved it into a crack where the lid and the body meet and that was that.

Now, sure, that was a little bizarre.  Well, hell, actually, that was a LOT bizarre.  No way to put the vote in except in a manner that would probably (in Florida) cause the ballot to be declared invalid.  But I'm a trusting person and I was 99.9% sure this election wasn't going to hinge on my vote.  But I like to participate.

Today I went and presented id and again flustered the election commission to pieces. This whole provisional thing was new for me as well.  But since this was the first, or possibly the second election requiring photo id, I would have thought they might have made some, ahem, provisions for these kind of situations.

So that was my 2012 Electoral Experience.  Ballot obstruction and poll workers more at sea than the borough of Manhattan.

But my American dream came true.  Again.  In spite of everything.

*seriously?  at 6 PM?  I'm wondering how many people did not have id and did not press the issue.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My 2nd 5K

I finished it!

The On Cosby Moonshine Run, 2012.  And I finished 38th out of 88, I believe.  I read the results whilst near-frozen, so I could be wrong by a little, but not a lot.  I did not, however, meet my goal, which was to finish 2 minutes better than my first one.  So, maybe that was a bit ambitious.  My official finish time was 31:11.  It must be noted that this race was actually .26 mile longer as recorded by my Garmin, so the fact that I finished 25 seconds slower but went further is, like, wow!

First in my age group as well.

Pictures to follow as soon as my cheerleaders (I had 3!!!) send them to me.

The weather was warm enough that I went shorts, long sleeve T and light jacket to start.  The jacket was removed in the first half mile and was secured around my waist for the duration.  Which was a good thing.  I didn't know any other runners or walkers, but they appeared to be a fun bunch.  Truly, I was scoping out the competition, because that pernicious competitive spirit was upon me.  I don't think I'd gone quite one mile before the overall winners passed me on their way back.  Several (better) people in front of me cheered them, but I thought 'oh HELL no.  too soon!' but I did smile at the second place guy because he was polite and friendly during my warmup.  The course was a gradual rise up Highway 32 towards the Cosby Campground but turning left onto Liberty Road after about a half mile.  Then it was a nice downhill along a creek and through some lovely homes (but I really wasn't looking at them!).  The long slog back up was not pretty, and I had to break down and walk twice.  >.<  My favorite face again.  That was another goal I didn't quite meet.

But I finished and I felt good.  I have trouble comprehending how far out of shape I was and how long (at my AGE) it takes to get back in.  Shape, I mean.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Oppan Gangnam Style

and no, I'm not going all Psy on you.

I was reminiscing about my misspent youth and how I wanted to be in a gang.

Now, there aren't any gangs for suburban white girls (with the possible exception of sororities), so I had to invent one.

I christened it Vigilante Force and my idea of it was equal parts Merry Pranksters, Wild Wild West and The Avengers.  I forced my friends to join and we used to terrorize the seasonal personnel who lived in our neighborhood.  With endless games of Kick the Can and catchy catchphrases like 'be a lert!  the world needs more lerts!'  Oh, it was a simple time.  Anyway, here's a good song about gangs and growing up.  Not that I'm in any way, shape or form condoning violence.  Unless it's in a moderated forum/presidential debate.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Attack of the Ginormous Insects!!!!

(cue spooky music)


Well, actually they - and by this I mean it - came from the parking lot of Kroger's the other day.  It flew at me, not quite bee-like in its determination but speedy for its size, and I brushed it away.

Or rather, I THOUGHT I brushed it away.  When I felt evil little footsteps on my throat, I realized different and did the GetItOff!GETITOFF!GETITOFF!!!! Dance.

Point, me.

It relocated to my windshield and continued to terrorize me while I drove.

Point, bug.

I did stop panicking long enough to snap a quick phone photo and if you are observant, you will notice the antenna of his alien overlord master in the corner of the photo.  Holy Orson Welles, Batman!

Anyhoo, this is a stink bug, a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug to be precise, and we are having a bumper crop of them this fall.  Trust local tv to inform and forewarn on what must've been the slowest news day ever.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Co-op Adventures

Soccer took me to Knoxville this past Saturday, so an adventure was planned.

Been wanting to check out the Three Rivers Market on North Central Street, but had qualms about taking my Soccer Mom self into such a den of hippie freakiness. 

Or at least, that's how I pictured it.  Creaky wooden floors, dust motes riding the sunbeams down from the transom windows.  Flower children smoking clove cigarettes in the parking lot.  Everything smelling of patchouli.

Well, no.  Perhaps the windows are a bit transom-esque, but all in all in no way resembling my mental picture of a health food co-op.  It was bright and new and the very epitome of the 21st century modern market place.  And they have EVERYTHING, and a lot of it is organic.  I loved the bins - oat flour, flax seed, spices, etc.  THIS is where I'll be buying that sort of thing when I'm in town.  I just did a walk thru and picked up a couple of things (chronically short of cash, I am).  Organic avocados at $1.29 each were my bargain-of-the-trip and Josie bought some kind of protein bar that she said was really good.  I think it was a PowerBar.  Do not quote me.  Three Rivers had all kinds of beers, a hot food bar, local meats and cheeses, and an unbelievable assortment of foods that go under the heading "whole grains." 

Then I went downtown and littered.  And I had the children help.  Technically, we recycled, but since we're not  Knoxvillians, I'm pretty sure the Recycling Authorities would consider this a crime.  My bad.

So, out gallivanting in parts unknown and committing crime.  Adventure Level 7!

p.s. I also stole the photo from Three Rivers, so consider that crediting the source.  :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

F is for Friday, F is for Fun!

So, here's a picture of my dog, Luci, giving all her attention to the SCHS girls soccer game versus Cocke County High yesterday evening.  (We won!  Yay!)

Other fun things I can't wait for:

Stomp Out Breast Cancer, coming October 6th here in beautiful downtown Sevierville.  A Wine Walk (starting at 9:00 AM!) to benefit breast cancer research.  All over the Parkway!  What about this doesn't say fun????!!!  I'm bringing a friend sister.  Why don't you?

The Santa Hustle Smokies 5K/Half Marathon run.  Please, God, no snow.  But, heck yes to Santa beards and attire!  Must start planning costume now.  Who's with me?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To Kindle or Not to Kindle?

How to spend that birthday money?  That is the question.

Been thinking about a Kindle.  Everybody I know that has one, loves it.  I'm wicked tempted, but I have approximately 10 thousand paperbacks to be read at my house.  I love the feel of a book in my hands, cracking the spine, turning the pages.  I also love cool toys.  And I realize this is not and either/or situation.

What say you, dear reader?  Do you embrace technology or get all Luddite and threatened?

EDIT:  I went for it, dear readers.  A basic Kindle is en route to me now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How I Spent My Birthday Weekend

hiking.  Once in the rain and once in the cool fall sun.

Saturday we did the Pete's Branch Falls hike in the Horse Creek area of Cherokee National Forest.  The weather has been hot and dry and Pete's Branch was largely gone and the falls were nonexistent.  However, it began to rain a bit as we approached and sought cover under the bluff.  Enough rain fell for a trickle to begin where I imagine a beautiful falls normally flows.  Nice easy hiking, and no one else on the trail.  While we got a little wet, overall it was a good hike.  The dogs got to run and the people had fun.

Margarette Falls was tackled on Sunday afternoon, under those intensely blue skies September sometimes gifts us with.  Odd to remember my 13th birthday was spent similarly - my first Sunday in Tennessee.  Lots of people out hiking this trail, some with dogs, some in (high-heeled) clogs.  This is a Turtlehead (? - not quite sure about spelling) and it is a member of the orchid family according to a learned hiker we met who lost his KFC to a lost dog he tried to help.

My little black dog enjoyed the walk.

400th post!

And people said it couldn't be done.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Golden Year Begins

Yes, I am officially a year older.  No, I am not 49 and holding.

I am 49 and Golden.

Me and David Bowie.

Take THAT, haters.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

To Feed the Ravenous Horde

who read my blog.  All three four of you!

I was thinking about writing about running.  Again.

  >.<  (this is my new favorite emoticon, btw)

and I realized just how deeply I obsess over new things. There was Elvis.  Then Tim Armstrong.  And  drawing

So, NOT about running.  Or sweating.  Not one word about sports bras. Ix-nay on the cute running shoes, slinky running socks, jazzy running shorts.    Not one syllable, except to say that I forgot how quickly the gentle drops of boring begin to fall when people talk about running.  My bad.


So, about these adventures I'm supposed to be undertaking.  What's up next?  Ziplining is what I want to do for my birthday, but I might be On Cosby then, as in out at the cabin.  With family.  And I can't afford to take them all! 

Suggestions?  What are all the other baby boomers doing for their 50ths?  What's hip and happening - other than my language?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gotta Getta Blog Post



I need 'em.

I completed my first ever sporting competition, that 5k.  Been walking a lot, and running some, and I think I'm precariously near the addiction point, but still waffling on the whole getting-out-of-bed thing.  It's hard when you're not sleeping well.  I like the idea of being a runner, the actual running not so much.  It takes me at least a mile to feel like being out there walking or running anyway.  I used to be a trail runner, back in my early high school career, before the cigarettes and when I was still thought of myself as a kid, not a neurotic teen.  (n.b. in my heart of hearts, I *still* feel like  a kid - particularly when my boss is yelling).  A bit directionless now, adrift in the afterglow of my medal-winning run.   So, I'm going to nail myself down some goals for the next few months.


1.  Next 5k in October - the On Cosby Moonshine Run.  I will take 2 minutes off my last time, which I officially record as 30:44.  Eep, that sounds ambitious!  Eep, I'm all linky-linky today.  I will incorporate this into a mini-vacation at the cabin.  Hot tub!  Steaks!  Wine!  Yaaaaaaaaaaahoooooooooooooooo!

2.   In that active vein, I want to do the Santa Hustle as well.  My goal here?  To have a great time.  I'm hoping for eggnog instead of water.  I'd bet it'd be easier to drink.  I'd like my time to be at least in between the previous two; that is, better than the first (to show improved fitness) but slower than the second (so I can enjoy the run).

3.  To get back in the morning pages habit.  I bought a bunch of comp books at Staples for 10 cents a piece - now I just need to start writing in them.  Hard to figure out WHEN to do them.  I like to get my exercise over with first, and then it's morning chaos as we get ready for work and school.


I got 'em.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My First Ever

Competitive sporting event. 

S R S L Y.

I do not remember ever competing on a team or as an individual in any kind of "official" competition.  I almost made the volleyball team in 8th grade (but I had to relocate), and I did do some running for exercise in high school (until I went to France and got out of the habit in 7 quick days).

So, here I am at the beginning of the first annual Racing to Remember 5k to benefit Alzheimer's Tennessee.  Did not even know I was being photographed.  Don't I look Serious?

I was a bit nervous.  There were, while not actual hills per se, some rises.  and I've been running the flattest flat that ever was.  I was advised to start slow and I did.  I chose a person to follow and follow her I did until she started walking.  Then I found another person to follow, and on and on.  I had two gentlemen, one slightly ahead of me and the other slightly behind me, who were determined not to be beaten by a girl, and that was all kinds of annoying.  I was just trying to finish.

And finish I did.  I only walked twice.  Once, when I attempted to drink water (bad idea) and again towards the end near the top of one of the blasted rises.  My goal was to run the whole thing, and while I didn't, I'm hella proud that I completed it.  All by myself.

At the end, everyone sort of gathered about, drinking water and visiting, and I ran in to my yoga friend who BUSTED it with some ungodly 27 minute time and a whole bunch of other people I knew from high school and through my kids.  I would have left, but the road out was blocked with sweaty bodies.  So, I hung out, chatted and won a door prize!  Then, to top it off, I won medal.  2nd place in my age group.
I would have been happy with the t-shirt.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Day Before...

(cue thought-provoking serious music)

Tomorrow, I run.

I've been training for a couple of months, adding 30 seconds more running here, walking 30 seconds less there and the first Monday after I got back from My Paddleboarding Adventure, I knew I had to leave the dog in the crate and see how far I could go, so that I would have some idea of how deeply I might be embarrassing myself on Saturday.

I don't think I slept two hours in a row Sunday night.  I kept waking up with dread, thinking I'm going to try to run and I'm going to DIE a quarter mile in.  Fear and dread!  Anxiety and trepidation!

And it went...

well.  Surprisingly well.  I walked my normal five minute warmup, and started to run.  I promised myself that I would stop when I felt physically unable to continue.

I kid you not, I became Forrest Freaking Gump.  I didn't run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours, but I ran about 25 minutes without stopping.  Without throwing up.  Without a side stitch!

And I felt like I could've run more if I'd needed to.

I did feel like I was in early shin splints, but that wore off with some ibuprofen and some rest.  I planned to do this run-until-I-can't one more time before race day.

And my schedule went all to hell.  Did not get to run again until this morning, and I sure didn't want to run two days in a row, but I'm going to.  Did the 5 minute warmup, which is probably just under a quarter mile and ran all but the last 2 tenths of TWO miles.  My left ankle complained a lot at first and then shut the hell up.  In short, in the words of Gwen Stefani, I am hella positive for real.

But, good dress, bad show as the actors say.

Say your prayers for me tomorrow.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The Adventure Begins

Well, technically, it started the minute we merged on to I-75 and began our Quest for Fun, me and the Little Amiga, a/k/a Jose, a/k/a #2 daughter.  Me driving 550 miles south, solo so to speak as #2 is not yet of driving age.  Yes, I was nervous.  Yes, I was a little scared.  I saw more than one lady in the breakdown lane staring intently under the hood of her vehicle and I said several prayers that that would NOT be me on this trip.  I remember hitting the Point of No Return just outside Birmingham and thinking this is where, if I do need help, I call Mom and Dad, not my husband!  (And technically, it would have been AAA anyway).

Ok, so I stretched myself a bit.  Went out of my comfort zone.  Waaaaay out at times.  There's a fine line between stretching your wings and flapping your arms in a lunatic fashion.  See me above on the SUP, the Stand Up Paddleboard.  Which is new my Favorite Thing EVER.  Spent three hours learning how to do this.  The toughest part was getting it back across the street to the rental shop in a driving wind.  Awkward.  #2 saw a porpoise fin in the water behind us.  Set a new SUP record in her age group.  Unofficially, of course.

I also braved my fear of heights and rode the 360 Pensacola Beach Observation Wheel with my Dad.  Very nervous going up, but it was so quiet and smooth I got used to it quick.  I did not like seeing the very ordinary rubber tires that they use on it - what they are for, idk, some kind of cog buffer, I suppose.  But it was a very cool experience and some good views.

Note:  #2 is sitting in the van beside the handicapped parking spot.  She would not conquer her fear of heights on this trip.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why "Adventure Lady"?

and, why adventure, lady?

To answer the first, being of a certain age, I find it inappropriate to address myself as Adventure Girl.  Adventure Woman sounds kind of cheesy, with delusions of superpowers and tacky outfits and vestiges of Feminist monovision.  Adventure Lady is the Goldilocks Solution.  Not too silly, not too tweeny, just the right amount of that ole je ne sais quoi.

I am, after all, a lady.

As to the why adventure question, I covered that a bit before.  My Golden Year.  I need to stretch myself.  Stuck in a rut, that's me.  Seriously, I always drive the same path to work and the same path home.  The only time it changes is if I don't have anyone else to take somewhere.  It took me 3 days to work up the nerve to drive McCarter Hollow Road, even though I pass it every day and I *know* it comes out on Jayell, where I'm usually driving anyway.  When it's that hard to think outside the box, you've got to change more than your underwear.

So, this next year is about change and pushing boundaries, pushing envelopes, pushing my SELF out of her little hidey-hole.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Adventure Lady Takes Off

wherein I announce my intention of having grand adventures of which to blog.  About.

Sorry about the dearth of posts, peeps.  Nothing has been happening that I want to write about and I find myself in the all too familiar position of having been there/written that for far too long.

I will soon turn 49, which will be my 50th year breathing in and out.  If I'm counting correctly, that is.  We all know my math skills and the years I turned 36.  Oops.  But anyway, I've decided to make it My Golden Year.  And not knowing anything else to do for such an auspicious occasion, I've decided to Have Adventures.

Don't worry.  My idea of adventure is taking a road I've never traveled or trying a new food.  I do intend to try a zip line.  Damn.  Cat's out of the bag on that one.


To Infinity and Beyond!!!!