jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I need to be productive today. I have let myself sleep in and relax a little bit, but soon it will be time to get this shit moving. I'm working on my real estate tools, going through the slow and tedious process of adding everyone I know who might ever buy or sell a home in Oregon to my work database. I have ideas swirling around for my website, too, but I haven't decided on anything concrete yet. My friend Paul gave me the BEST IDEA EVER for one of the tasks I have to tackle, but I'm not going to write about it specifically because that will spoil the fun surprise that's coming.

Other things I need to do today: go to the gym, go to the fabric store and get materials for the next project in my sewing class, whatever real estate work I can do, and maybe be crafty. I have some incomplete jewelry projects I could work on, and may do some practice stuff with my sewing machine. Blazers fan fest is this evening, and i'm going to that with Shellie, so I guess I need to get all these things done before then. I am so freaking excited that it's basketball season again, finally. I love the Blazers.

Last night, Z and I went on a movie date for the first time in a long time. We didn't know anything about anything that's showing now, but we both liked what we read about The Skeleton Twins, so we decided to go see that. It was definitely a good movie. But. It was kind of absolutely the wrong thing for us to see together. Way too many parallels to the shit we've been going through, and it got really hard to sit in the theater together with that weight on us both. We did talk it through after the movie, though, and I'm really pleased that we were able to do that in a healthy and productive way. I was really afraid the effect of the movie would be that we'd both be bristly and uncomfortable with each other for days, but we talked and the bristliness went away within a few minutes instead. Yay progress! So my review of the movie is that it's good and often funny but you shouldn't see it if you're in the middle of relationship struggles, and you definitely shouldn't see it with the person with whom you are relationship struggling. 
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I usually never go this long between updates!  Apologies -- I just purchased Civ V after not playing for years, and suddenly all my free time disappeared.  Funny how that happens.  (It's a great game, by the way...but it's looooong and if you're like me, it will rob you of sleep and productivity, so don't say I didn't warn you.)

Since I last checked in, Kelly turned 30, and we celebrated in style.  We joined a new friend from our board game group and his girlfriend for a hike in the Gorge, happy hour at Edgefield, and then we split off and Kelly and I went to the Blazers vs. Jazz game that evening.  I was super bummed because Gordon Hayward has been injured and didn't play, but at least my loyalties weren't at all divided, then.  The Blazers won another thriller, and when the confetti fell from the ceiling, I told Kelly I'd arranged that for her birthday.  The next day was Super Bowl Sunday, and we went to Linda's for a little soiree, but that was more bridge and food than football.  

My work week was a little nutty this week.  The underwriting company that we work with is doing a huge audit, so I had to sift through lots of files to find specific documents that they wanted.  This is not easy, when an insurance policy is ~100 pages long, and I'm looking for a specific page, and I'm not really clear what that page is supposed to look like anyway...I usually only deal with the claims, not the policies.  I don't really like not knowing what I'm doing, and that made it the most stressful week I've ever had at work.  Still, really not bad.  Just comparatively so.  I did learn that most of these insurance policies have exclusions for things like terrorism and also "undeclared civil war."  "Sorry, we won't be covering your accident.  You see, it wasn't road rage, but an act o undeclared civil war."  Seems like that could be a pretty vast category, if adjusters wanted to be assholes and just deny every claim.  I've never known it to come up, though :)

Running training continues.  I'm <2 months from race day now, and while I'm feeling fairly confident about it, I'm also starting to feel the effects of harder training.  Twinges in my legs that I haven't felt before, lower back soreness...so I'm icing things and stretching thoroughly and hoping that my body will hang in there through the race.  If the aches and pains don't go away, I think this will be my one and only half marathon.  I'm just so afraid of injuring myself (especially without health insurance) that I'm going to take my body's signals very seriously.  But I do like that I'm running longer distances, and hope I can keep at it, just maybe not quite as many miles as I'm putting in throughout this training schedule (20-25/week...still less than a single whole marathon, but more than human bodies were really built for).  And I look forward to getting back to a more varied activity plan.  Right now I do five days a week of cardio, but only one of those days is not running.  Tomorrow I have an 8 mile run on the schedule.  

Kelly and I went downtown today, specifically because I did not want to spend the whole day playing Civ.  Well, I DID want to spend the whole day playing Civ, but then I'd feel shitty, so I decided I needed to go to American Apparel to get more awesome knee socks, and asked Kelly to come with me.  This is safe, you see, because Kelly hates shopping.  I can't get into too much trouble with her.  Yeah, turns out that's not true.  Kelly hates shopping for clothes, sure, but she's outdoorsy and athletic and needed to go to REI...where I managed to find a rain jacket that will be perfect for biking this spring.  Then I remembered Nike was near the food carts where we had lunch, as is the rule when you go to downtown Portland, and I'd been meaning to get some new running shoes before they discontinue the line that I've been wearing for my training.  And compression socks for running, because sometimes my calves get tight, and I've heard those are great.  So we went into down for socks and a food cart lunch, and somehow I ended up spending my whole paycheck.  It's cool, though.  All that stuff was stuff I did legitimately need (at least a little) and would have eventually purchased.  And hey, I didn't sit on my ass and play Civ all day!  (I have still played several hours of it.  Sigh.  Eventually the magic will wear off and I'll be able to focus on other things.  I hope.)

Anyway that's what's up with me lately.  Basically more of the same.  I play a lot of games, run a lot of miles, and go to work in between.  
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Work has been uncharacteristically busy the last couple of weeks.  Not a complaint, just an observation.  I have been quite tired lately, though, because I haven't had any whole days off to sleep in or take naps, and I've been staying out late (for me) -- Blazer game, bridge club, and tonight is board game night.  If the weather is nice tomorrow, I want to go hiking in the gorge, then Kelly and I are going to the Blazer game in the evening.  It's against the Jazz, and the NBA's most adorable player, Gordon Hayward.  Swoon <3 <3.  It's also Kelly's birthday tomorrow :)  I called the Trailblazers office to see about getting a birthday message on the jumbotron for her, but I was informed that it's sold out -- apparently you have to book that shit months in advance.  Who knew?!  I'm sure we'll manage to enjoy the day in spite of it.  Especially if we're able to meet Gordon Hayward.  Not that we're even going to try, I'm just putting that out there in case the universe feels like being generous.  (Do you think the universe reads my blog?)

My running program is going nicely.  I haven't missed any days since I had the flu a few weeks ago, and my long runs have been going fine.  It's the back-to-back-to-back short runs that are most difficult, but I've been handling it.  Today, I took my phone to listen to Pandora instead of my Zune.  I've done that a few times and I've found that not knowing every song and not knowing what's coming next makes it easier for me to just check out and enjoy the music.  Today was the first time that I left my Zune completely behind, though -- I almost always take both, but of course, the day I don't have a backup is the day that Pandora dies.  It played one song, then switched to "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls, which is a total anomaly for the station I have it on while I'm running (usually dance music or hip hop), but it quit midway through the song and never came back online.  So the remaining 23 minutes of my 3-mile run today were in silence, except for the pounding of my feet on the treadmill (not nearly as soothing a rhythm as a road or trail).  Longest 23 minutes of my life.  Perhaps an exaggeration but not a big one.

My friend Kat posted an essay on my facebook page that totally made my day.  The essay was by a childless woman who was answering a question about whether or not she regretted never having kids.  She said no, and went on to explain how she feels like she was born to be an auntie and how lucky she is to get to have that role in life.  The part that really warmed my heart the most was that Kat said she read it and immediately thought of me.  Aww :)  Does ANYONE love being an aunt more than I do?  I dunno...I think my nieces' other aunts are pretty into it, but who wouldn't be with these girls for nieces? 

I had a dream the other night that I was hanging out with Rachel and helping with the girls, and we witnessed Bess take her first steps.  In the dream, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I burst into sobs.  Truthfully, that's probably exactly what would happen if these events were to play out in real life.  I woke up with crusty eyes, so I'm pretty sure I had been crying for real.  Are first steps really that big a deal?  FSM willing, she'll take millions of steps in her lifetime, so why is it that people get so sentimental over the first ones?  It's funny how things that most adults take for granted in their lives are huge milestones for little ones.  I mean, I do get it.  Each of these firsts is a step toward the person they will become, and that is exciting and sentimental.  And I am one sentimental motherfucker of an aunt.  William laughed at me when he told me Rachel was pregnant with Frankie, because I cried.  No one else did.  Not even he or Rachel.  What can I say, being an aunt is overwhelmingly awesome, and I'm so glad I get to do it!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)

So many stories from the last few days.  This is going to be a long one, but here's an overview of what's included:  my niece is hilarious, fighting with old ladies, bridge and a bet for the ages, the saddest cake story ever, running is hard, the Blazers are awesome.

Long entry is long )

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I was really sore after my run yesterday (and for the entire rest of the day) and I really wondered how I'd make it through another 3-mile run today, as prescribed by my training program.  I did a lot of stretching and IcyHotting before bed, and somehow I'm feeling okay this morning, so I think I'll be fine when I hit the treadmill on my lunch break today.  I've worked out a plan to reward myself:  every Thursday night, get Indian food for dinner.  Then have leftovers for lunch on Friday after my 3rd consecutive running day.  Something to live for.  I love Indian food so much...

I also really love the Blazers.  My team has been winning a lot lately, and beating some great teams, but a lot of these games have been clumsy limps to victory against teams that we should have destroyed, so I wasn't getting my hopes up for last night's game against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.  I was at best cautiously optimistic.  Throughout the game, the Heat looked stronger and more composed than the Blazers, but they were never able to build a huge lead, and sure enough, Portland put together a nice charge in the 4th quarter, taking the lead with 26 seconds left and holding on to win in dramatic fashion.  I was beyond ecstatic.  It's still early and who knows if we're a true playoff team (no one thought so a month ago, that's for sure), but I really enjoy watching them.  It's a fun time to be a fan.

Tomorrow morning I fly to SLC for a sectional with Max.  Hopefully the fog here and the snow there won't delay me, because I'll be cutting it kind of close for the first session.   Since I have to wake up at stupid o'clock to catch my flight, I'll probably just go home and get in bed right after work tonight.  Definitely looking forward to that, but the day has been slow so far and I'm out of plane crashes to read about.  Anything good on the internet?  That's sfw? 
jianantonic: (Default)
I got home from my extended trip to New England after midnight on Tuesday/Wednesday, and was up before the sun to get to work yesterday morning.  I was supposed to play with Z at the bridge club, but the prospect of staying up past 6pm just did not appeal to me, so I bailed and got into my PJ's immediately upon returning home.  I had some food, waited around to see if any trick-or-treaters would knock, and when none had by half an hour past dark, I turned off the lights and crawled into bed.  I pulled up a live stream of the Blazers' season opener, a home game vs. the Lakers.  Everyone, including me, expected this to be an absolute blowout, so I figured I'd watch long enough to get depressed about it and then go to sleep.  But then a magical thing happened... the Blazers played well.  And they kept playing well.  And they dominated throughout the whole game, which I stayed up and watched because I could not turn away from it.  And that is why I am extremely tired today.  But go Blazers!
jianantonic: (Default)
Things are busy and exhausting, but I'm in a mostly good mood.  Since I left off, I've been to Olympia for two two-day stints.  The bridge was good but non-great, but the company was spectacular.  I had a good time and I'm glad I went.  Sometimes I get a little bummed that I can't play more, but the six sessions I played in Olympia were just fine. 

I attempted a long run on Saturday, and I just couldn't make it happen.  And my last 10K was really unfun, too.  I have plenty of excuses to point to about struggling with my running, but the bottom line is that I haven't had a good run in a really long time.  So I'm taking a little break, and I'm going to reboot when my travel schedule settles down.  I'll keep running, but I'm not training right now.  Just working out, not pushing for extra.  Hopefully a little time off will reinvigorate me.  I'm already signed up for my half marathon in April, so it's not like I'm abandoning those plans. 

On Monday, Shellie and I went to the Blazers' preseason game against the Jazz.  We were able to get really great seats on Stubhub for not too much money, so I'm going to probably go that route for most of my tickets from now on.  I'm pretty sure the Blazers are going to be just awful this year, but I'm prepared for that.  It'll still be fun to go to the games. 

The house is great, but progress has slowed a lot now that it's comfortably established.  There's still a lot more we should do, but very little motivation, since everything is more or less livable as is.  Need to just do it, though. 

Shopping tonight for shoes to go with my awesome African dress for Jess' wedding this weekend!!!  So excited for that!  The wedding, not the shopping...but also the shopping.


Jun. 28th, 2012 06:49 pm
jianantonic: (Default)
I had a kind of funny realization today at work.  My little sister and I have a lot in common, but we're way different in a lot of big ways.  Academically, for instance.  Our interests barely intersect.  I'm way on the humanities side of the spectrum, and she's all sciency.  I live in the awesome Pacific Northwest, and for reasons I'm not sure either one of us will ever understand, she's chosen the midwest for her home.  As a teenager, I always worked retail, and she worked construction.  We've followed very different trajectories.  And yet, on the phone this afternoon, we spent about 30 minutes comparing notes on trucking accidents, because somehow we both ended up working jobs that revolve around trucking accidents.  

I process insurance claims for the trucking industry, and she works as an environmental consultant, and has to follow up on spills of any kind that happen in truck crashes.  I've known one trucker in my entire life.  Other than that, I don't think I have ever known anyone whose occupation was even remotely related to the trucking industry, and now both my kid sis and I have jobs in the field.  Just strikes me as weird.  Actually I guess neither one of us is in the industry, so much as in the business of dealing with their shit.  

In other news, the NBA draft is going on right now.  I don't follow college hoops enough to really have an opinion about it, but it's still exciting to have news.  Blazers fans on Twitter and FB seem to be pretty disappointed with our picks, though.  I did read the scouting reports and projections about who everyone thought we'd pick, and while one of those was accurate, we used our #6 pick to get him when he was still projected to be there at #11, our second pick.  And the guy we took at #11 is...who?  Some white guy from Illinois.  I'd never heard his name before, which suggests to me that he was not in any of the scouting reports I read, which further suggests to me that no one expected him to even be a first-round pick.  Sigh.  Blazers, why you gotta gamble?  Best case scenario, it's a gamble that pays off.  Worst case?  Well, I'm already used to my team sucking a lot.  And I still love them anyway.  
jianantonic: (Default)
My mind is buzzing.  So much is going on, and not going on, and rawr I need to get it all down.

Yesterday, I asked Z if he would go for a hike with me.  The forecast wasn't great, but I don't mind getting wet, and I wanted to mix up my exercise a little bit.  He said there was a new state park in Tillamook (about two hours from here, on the coast) that he wanted to check out, and there was a 3-mile hiking trail and some falls there.  Also, the forecast was better there than in the Gorge, so we headed west (it will probably always be weird to me that west is toward the coast). 

There was some crappy weather on the drive, but by the time we reached Tillamook, it was lovely out.  We stopped at a little scenic area before the park to stretch our legs and see some more falls.  We hadn't wandered far from the car and were taking some pictures while frolicking by the river when all of a sudden it started pouring hail.  Hail in Oregon is a lot different from what I grew up with in Virginia.  First of all it's way more common out here, but it's rarely as fierce as east coast hail.  The hailstones are tiny and the storms pass very quickly.  But this was one of the more intense storms I've seen out here.  Anyway we got back in the car and headed to the state park with the alleged 3-mile trail.  When we got there, though, the only trail that was marked was just a 1/4-mile walk to a fall.  Kind of a long way to drive for a 1/2-mile hike.  We walked to the fall and took pretty pictures, but there were lots of downed trees obstructing the trail past that point, and a rather permanent-looking sign that said "Trail Closed."  So I guess there used to be a longer trail...

We drove to the coast from there, to another park called Cape Lookout.  On the way there, I got an email on my phone from my boss at the company in Charlottesville that I've been freelancing for.  I had just finished my giganto project and was wondering what was next.  His email was basically, "we don't have anything for you right now...it might be a while."  Ugh.  I kind of had a lot of eggs in this basket, and I was led to believe the work would be more steady.  So this was a bummer and a source of stress, and became the main topic of conversation on our hike.  

We selected the 5-mile Cape Trail, which was mostly flat but extremely muddy, along the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean and Netarts Bay.  The hike was lovely, and Z and I did some excellent brainstorming.  First of all, I'm going to have a chat with the folks in Charlottesville and see just what the future looks like there.  When I first signed on with them, I was under the impression that they were going to have regular work for me, or find a place for my skills.  So I'll dig a little deeper there.  But Z also mentioned that the tournament manager from our district (bridge) is retiring and the district is looking to hire her replacement.  This is a paid position here -- I did this work for free in Charlottesville! -- and it still allows the flexibility of schedule that I really require out of any job.  I got really excited about that, but the problem is that the position has been open for a long time and may not still be available.  We talked more about whether I'm even looking for a career (no, not really) or just something to pay the bills.  Z reminded me that his income is more than enough to support us both, but with all the travel and shopping I like to do, I do need to bring in my own income to cover that stuff.  And also I really want to buy a house out here one day, so, yeah.  I mentioned that I'd really like to work for the Blazers in some capacity -- I have no idea what kind of jobs they might have, but even if it was a full-time thing, maybe it would only be during the season?  Anyway that's something else to look into.  The last thing is Weight Watchers.  I've been considering applying for leader positions there, but you have to be at your goal weight to qualify.  (I'm quite close, but still have a few pounds to go.)  Talked a little more about bridge and my place in that community, took some pictures, enjoyed the hell out of the afternoon, and got in the car to head home.

I went to Weight Watchers while Z looked up the job listing for the tournament manager to see if it was still open (it is!).  I lost almost 2 pounds this week, bringing me down to 149.  My goal weight is 145, but 2 pounds over is close enough by their standards (since I already am a lifetime member), so when I'm down to 147, I'll be eligible to apply for positions with the company.  I don't know what's open as far as leader jobs, but I'm willing to travel (say, if Salem needs a leader an hour away), and I know there are lots of corporate groups that have the leaders come to them, so I'm hoping there are a few openings and I could maybe pick up 2-3 meetings per week, or work as a substitute.  I have been traveling way too much lately to even think about the kind of job that requires me to stay put, but the travel is about to taper off again, and a job where I work one or two days a week would still allow for plenty of travel, just not the six weeks back to back like I just did...

When I got home, I prepared a letter of interest for the tournament manager job and sent it off.  I got a reply almost immediately that while the position has not been formally filled, they are "very close."  Bummer.  But, she went on to say that my qualifications were very impressive and she would submit my resume to the committee immediately.  Yay?  It sounds like I don't really have a chance at it, but maybe, just maybe?  So I'm pessimistically hopeful there.

I still haven't looked into the Blazers thing...I suppose I'll do that today.  Z suggests that I start my own Blazers blog for next season, see if I can make a bit of a name for myself, and then take that to the Blazers organization.  I dunno.  I do think I'd write a good blog, but I also think that there are jillions of people who do that sort of thing for free anyway, and I'm not really convinced it would help me get in with the organization...but if I'm going to watch all the games anyway, I might as well give it a shot...

Anyway.  That's what's going on over here.  If you have ideas for what I should do with my life, feel free to share.


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