Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feliz Navidad!

Here Jenn and I are after baking and decorating for 6 hrs a few weeks ago. Gotta love those gingerbread men!

I'm back in the office recovering from the sugar coma I've been in for the past four days. From coffee cake, to ginger snaps, to margaritas, wine and chocolates, I've had my share of sugar and fat to last me until the end of 2008. I'm pretty sure I was never hungry Christmas day thanks to those 14 gingersnaps, the cup of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, and goodies from my stocking. Damn Gina, it's time to get back on that healthy eating wagon. Luckily, I managed to run 11 miles on Christmas Eve to keep up my training for an upcoming half marathon in a few weeks and to help burn off some of those evil, but oh-so-yummy cookies.

It doesn't really help that this morning when I finally arrived at work, (tired from last night's dinner and drinks with the high school friends in Portland) that there were fresh cinnamon rolls sitting in our office. Double damn.

Anyway, I'm trying to get some stuff done before I pack tonight and then head back to Portland tomorrow for my 5am flight to El Paso on Saturday morning. Yawn.

I hope Santa was good to you this year (assuming you didn't deserve a pile of coal in your stocking). I unexpectedly received a Garmin Nuvi from the parents so I can travel to my heart's content in any city without getting lost. Cheers to no longer printing off MapQuest directions!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Creativity and all that jazz

Prior to a month or so ago, I really never gave myself the time or the option to explore my creative abilities. Sure, coming from a family of artists, I know I have some creativity in my blood and I am pretty good at scrapbooking and decorating cupcakes, but let's get serious. I think our society looks at creativity sometimes as a hindrance to our daily lives that is acceptable just as long as it does not to interrupt the productivity of the working world.

A month ago I went to the library in search of a few "this is the career path for you" type books and some general good advice on dating for the lame. I emerged with several books, the gem of which, was Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way Workbook." This week I'm on week four, "Recovering a Sense of Integrity."

In the past three weeks I have learned a lot about myself that extends beyond just my creative talents. Cameron puts you up to ten or so tasks per week, usually involving some writing, creativity and thought. From "Artist's Dates" to dreaming up 5 lives you wish you could lead (professional athlete, photographer, wedding planner, fashion designer/consultant & singer) to listing people you both secretly and publicly admire, this workbook is way cheaper than therapy or a month long retreat to some yoga farm in the hills of California. I highly recommend it!

The biggest challenge so far is trying to write my daily morning pages (three entire pages!), which usually add about thirty minutes to my morning routine. Lately, I've been saying "goodbye" to my brisk morning walks and instead writing three pages of randomness and bits and pieces of what I remember from my dreams. Supposedly, this takes all the random and seemingly useless thoughts you have running around your head and paves the way for a productive day because you have cleared your mind of some of the clutter that can slow you down. Anyway, now I'm just rambling. Time to hit the gym before the holiday madness ensues!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Patient

I've been patient, I've been nice, I've been understanding. But there is a point at which my nerves and patience reach their limit and today is that day.

For the past nine months I have been operating unknown to everyone and their dog it seems, without a boss (ok, minus the past few months) doing all of the membership program, filling in the gaps my boss left, and have been sapped of all possible knowledge I once had. I understand the University has it's HR processes, but when offered a "promotion" it seems as though you should receive it sooner than three months after you have been notified of such. Give me the job already.

I admit the soreness in my throat and the feeling of nausea aren't helping my current state of positivity, but I also have to recognize that in the real world where time and money really do matter, I would not still be dealing with this promotion. Today, I had the privilege of interviewing for a job I have been doing for several months now. Welcome to the most awkward ten minute interview ever (of my life anyway).

1. "What do you feel qualifies you for this position?"
-Uh, the past two years!

2. "What experience do you have with membership programs?"
-Again, the past two years doing just that.

3. "Tell us about a print project you did from start to finish."
Oh, god. Like everything I've ever produced for a campaign. I work with my boss to solidify the ideas behind our campaign, send text and photos to designer, have designer mock something up, go back and forth with edits until fabulous and ready to mail.

4. "Tell us about your experience with working on a team. Give us one example of a successful situation and one example of a team that was unsuccessful."
-(Thinking "Oh, Lord") Lacrosse team, current staff, refer to valid event using team situation and refer to crappy business group where no one lifted their weight but myself and another guy.

5. "Where do you see your career going?"
-I have no idea. I'm just trying to figure out what I want to do and right now I'm passionate about the university. (Trying not to burst into tears and admit what I'm really thinking because honestly, I feel so lost and clueless about what the hell I'm doing with my life.)

Bonus: "Do you have any questions of us?"
-No.

And, done. Why do Mondays always suck so much? Sorry to be a downer. Maybe some more sleep will fix the funk I've found myself in.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cheers to solitude

As I was sitting in one of my favorite campus restaurants eating yummy tomato soup and salad, I realized I'm pretty good at being alone. Not that I always want to be alone, but none the less I'm good at it. Everyone else in the place was happy to have the company of their coworkers, friends, spouse or newspaper. I was perfectly happy to be sitting there with my book and my thoughts.

Life after college has afforded me large chunks of time alone to do the things I once enjoyed with roommates, teammates, and close friends. I've become accustomed to hanging out with me, myself and I so much so that when it comes to having to share a meal or hang out a friend's apartment, I have to think twice about it. When you spend the majority of your time outside of working doing WHAT you want WHEN you want to, being flexible with other peoples' plans for you can be hard to do.

So I wonder, if I do find someone I'm interested in hanging out with (outside of my running groupies) or meet a guy I want to date, will I be willing to rearrange my schedule? I think I will, but I'm not sure. At the moment, being stuck feels normal to me. Stuck in my ways of working, working out, eating, watching Grey's Anatomy and sleeping. Even something as simple as going to a basketball game makes me tense. How long can I work out? When do I eat dinner? Will I get enough sleep? Luckily, I'm pretty resourceful and am able to juggle my minimal time (and a Luna bar) pretty well, but when it comes to building relationships I think it might take more than just an hour here and there. But for right now I'm happy, happy to go to a movie by myself, get takeout, laugh and cry with Grey's on my couch and do a lot of reading and writing. I think when life's ready to throw me the right person, I'll be ready.

Friday, December 7, 2007

El Paso it is...


The Ducks' football season ended a little less eventful than fans had once hoped. With our loss in double OT to the Beavs, leaving us with an 8-4 record we are off to El Paso, TX for the Brut Sun Bowl to play the No. 21 ranked South Florida Bulls. One of the perks of working in my department at the University however, is that I'll be heading to the bowl game on Dec. 29 for the Dec. 31 game. As luck would have it, one of my coworkers and partners-in-crime and I will be diverting our return home by way of...Viva Las Vegas!

As fabulous as El Paso surely is for New Year's Eve, we decided to make a minor detour to celebrate the holiday in the city that knows how to do it right. So here's the plan: cheer on the Ducks Dec. 29-31, fly out immediately after the game on Dec. 31 and land in Vegas around 9 pm, chuck our bags in lockers at the airport, head to the strip for a huge street party and hopefully some beautiful people watching, and finally catch our 8 am flight back to the Northwest. Oh Vegas, I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Uplifting Tuesday

Monday was a "Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day," as Alexander would say. Today I woke up in a much better mood, which was improved even more so by starting my day out with a good sweat at the gym. On a much happier note, my new digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix arrived in the mail on Friday! You can expect to see more fun shots now that I have an updated compact digi and will not have to lug my ginormous Canon Digital Rebel XT around just to keep you current on the latest happenings. This one can slip into my purse or jacket pocket pretty easily without making me look like I'm a real photographer or a freaky stalker. Holla!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I've got a bad case of the Mondays

Little sleep mixed with it being Monday and a wind storm taking over the western part of Oregon, makes for a really crappy start to the week. Campus feels really dead with it being finals week and all. And, the fact that the Ducks lost the Civil War isn't helping. So, the Ducks will be heading to El Paso for the bowl game. Not exactly the place I was hoping for, but what can ya do?

I'm feeling stressed out with Christmas coming, even though it's still a few weeks away. I'm losing control of my good eating habits with every box of donuts or cookies that gets put on our snack table at work. Just leave it at the store people...I can't handle it! I feel like I've lost all willpower. Luckily, I'm maintaining my workout regime so I have that to keep me in check. So, here's to the rest of the week filled with salads and good eating habits.

With little patience left for this Monday, I took my stress outside and went a half hour walk during lunch. Still not feeling fabulous, but the head is a bit clearer. A walk can do wonders when nothing else can.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The fog is lifting...

at least in my wardrobe dilemma. I managed to dress into a pencil skirt, pink shell and black cardigan with peep toe heels this morning in five minutes flat. I'm pretty proud of myself. I may not be warm, but I'm dressed and don't look half bad. The fog in my head remains, but I can live with it for now.

On another, but somewhat related note, I turned on the lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City last night to watch the performances and of course the tree lighting. I was thinking that just a year ago at this time I was in the big apple! I need to go back. Fashion is something that has been increasingly intriguing to me even though I can't pull together five decent winter time business casual outfits. Ho hum. Anyway, I loved the jacket Natasha Bedingfield wore during her performance. I'm really into jackets right now. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I love the big offset buttons.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The kitchen monitor prevails


These signs were recently posted in the kitchen of the building where I work on a University campus. They are so angry I found it hilarious. Seriously, I use the microwave in the kitchen a few times a week and the most I've ever seen sitting and "soaking" in the sink is maybe four dishes. It's not like they sit there for a week and take up the whole sink. And no, I do not leave things to soak because I realize my mama does not live or work here. Whoever is leaving these notes is just taking dirty dishes a little TOO seriously. I'll definitely be passing these on to Passive Aggressive Notes.

A state of confusion

Do you ever have one of those days when you're just confused? I have the unfortunate luck of being fairly indecisive. So, last night around 9 pm when I started trying to pack my gym bag for the morning I stared at my closet for a good 45 minutes. Finally, tired and no longer caring I just pulled a few sweaters and decided I would pick one at the gym after I had sweated and showered.

So, when I turned off my alarm at 6am after a long night of confusing dreams, I shoved my contacts in, ate cereal and reassessed today's outfit. Although I had already selected two ugly sweaters to choose from and a pair of black pants, I still wasn't happy. I stood there staring at the closet for another 15 minutes before deciding it was now too late to go to the gym to work out and I would just have to settle with going on a short walk and doing my run later tonight. After the walk, stretching and watching a little of the Today show (which I never do), I had to scramble to get ready.


For another 15 minutes I switched sweaters and camis around until I was somewhat satisfied. I ended up going with my original (but a bit cold for this 33 deg. weather) choice, my short silver bubble sleeve INC sweater and my cropped black INC pants (which still need hemmed and such) with my Franco Sarto leather flats. To add a little warmth I put on a scarf and wool coat and was FINALLY dressed at 8am. I'm dressed and at work, but I'm not pleased. My head and my room are now in a state of confusion and I'm just not sure when I'll come out of it. And to top it all off, it's becoming obvious that I need more winter clothing for work and I'm not sure which money tree that will be coming from at this time of year. UGH.

Here's to a happy Wednesday! I hope yours started out better than mine.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Giving thanks


Over the last few weeks I've been reminded that this is the time when we remember what we are thankful for in our lives. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for...

1. a healthy, happy family
2. high school friends who never let you down
3. the holiday season, which brings Christmas tree lightings, free music and refreshments to the community
4. Borders and its warm, comfy reading and journaling atmosphere
5. a fun group of friends who happen to also love running
6. a good job, roof over my head, and my health
7. holiday parties

What things are you thankful for this time of year?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dating woes

To me, dating is like a foreign language. It's something I desperately want to learn, but feel I don't have the necessary tools to succeed.

Some people do it with such ease, dating almost with reckless abandon for which I am in awe of. It is something I feel truly unable to do but feel mesmerized by some peoples' ability to open themselves to new situations, unfamiliar faces, and ultimately to the possibility of being vulernable. I vicariously live through the dating woes of Mike Cherico and other bloggers and friends to make up for the gutts I can't seem to find. In some brief moments I find these people inspiring, thinking "I could just try that for a month..." But who am I kidding? Chatting up the cute grocery checker or smiling at the hottie in the gym is just about my limit. So for now, I'll keep pondering the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone.

And flirting? Don't think so. I don't even know what one would do to flirt. I'm lame. So sue me. I have this hope that when the universe is ready to bring me a relationship, it will happen...naturally. I shouldn't have to chat up the guy across the bar while flipping my hair and thinking of something witty to say. It should just happen. And beyond being guttless and unable to flirt, I have the slight problem of being pretty darn picky. I have high standards that I'm not willing to compromise and therefore am unable to "settle for anything less than everything," as the song goes.

And sometimes I wonder, "Am I simply destined to be alone?" Perhaps the universe and I just don't get along on all subjects.

So, my question is: Where do you begin when you feel totally lost?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Heisman Hopeful no more


Saturday morning I set out to walk down to the river to watch some of the runners in the EWEB race. On the way back I stopped by Starbucks for a tall soy cinnamon dolce latte. As I was about to leave I picked up the sports section from The Register-Guard. I stood in shock reading the article declaring to the world that Dennis Dixon was out...for good. He will be no part of the lineup in the next two games or even the bowl game thanks to a torn ACL. An ACL that was in fact torn on November 3, a detail he chose to keep private from the public and even his own teammates and announce as a sprain. He then tried to play on it, brace and all, last Thursday against Arizona. With one unfortunate pivot, he was unable to play for nearly the entire game at which point a mediocre at best, second string quarterback, Brady Leaf was brought in. An intercepted pass run for a touchdown by Arizona proved to be just the beginning of a sad loss we shouldn't have had to endure.

For just a few short minutes this devoted fan stood there in her own little fuzzy bubble unable to fathom the fact that Dennis Dixon, the #1 Heisman candidate, had finished his college career. Granted, if his knee heals perfectly after the surgery, he may have some hope for the NFL, but who really knows at this point. I just stood there trying not to cry. As an athlete and someone with a true passion for athletics, I know what this must feel like and mean to Dixon. My heart breaks for him and an entire team that had National Championship dreams.

My frustration with the article, the media and the sports world's attitude in general is that they treat the injury as though he's died. Yes, he's out for the season, but it doesn't mean he is not a good football player, person, athlete or student. The article mentioned as many others have, that he's no longer a Heisman candidate. If you ask me, he still deserves to be in the running. With just two season games and a bowl game left in his senior year, he's hardly unable to prove what a great football player he is. But with the fear our society has of anyone or anything that is damaged, injured or imperfect, he has no chance. Dennis Dixon is Heisman Hopeful no more.

Dixon, my heart aches for you. Thanks for a great four years. Your smile, tenacity, athleticism and leadership have inspired beyond just those on the astro turf. Go DUCKS!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The much anticipated...

8 Things I'm Passionate About

Life
Friends
Family
Saying what I'm thinking
Standing up for what I believe in
Working out
Photography
Being successful

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

Qualify and run the Boston Marathon (I just have to cut 9 min off my marathon PR)
Move and live in another state (for at least a year or two)
Travel to Africa
Learn to speak Spanish fluently
Find the man of my dreams
Have babies
Live on the same street with my friends (Thanks for reminding me T)
Believe in myself

8 Things I Say Often

"Hey, what's up?"
"Nothing."
"Alumni Association, this is Lauren."
"I'm just leaving run club/the gym."
"What an idiot."
"Are you serious?"
"Go Ducks!"
"Hahahaha (insert LP cackle here)."

8 Books I've read recently

Be Happy at Work: 100 Women who Love their Jobs, and Why
French Women Don't Get Fat
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Shopaholic Meets Manhattan
Shopaholic Ties the Knot
Into the Wild
Glamour (I know, I just can't think of any other BOOKS I've read recently)
Runner's World

7 Songs That I Could Listen to Over and Over

"Bubbly" by Colbie Caillet
"Home" by Michael Buble
"Tiny Dancer" by Elton John
"Amazing Grace" by Chris Tomlin
"Irreplaceable" by Beyonce
"Don't Take the Girl" and pretty much everything by Tim McGraw
"Wasted" by Carrie Underwood

8 Things That Attract Me to my Best Friends

Ability to make me laugh
Honesty
Integrity
An appreciation for sarcasm
Hard working
Reliable
Unique in their own way
Willing to get crazy once in a while

5 Things I Have Learned This Past Year

Eugene is not as bad as I once thought
I'd like to figure out how to take myself a little less seriously
I want my job to be a reflection of who I am
I'm more creative than I give myself credit for
Organization will make you feel less stressed

Now, repost on your own blog and tell us all about your fabulous self! It's fun and a good learning experience.

Monday, November 12, 2007

People watching made easy

While the streets of SF provide for a wide array of Glamour fashion DON'Ts, the Oakland Airport provided us with quite possibly the most hideous outfit of the weekend. Who knew the peasant, mouse look was in style? Not me! And don't even get me started on that floor length prairie skirt or the knee high slippers/moccasins. To get your very own knitted stocking cap fully equipped with mouse ears, please contact...your great Aunt Mildred?? Enlighten me, what awful Fashion DON'Ts have you seen lately?

Jolyn and I enjoyed our weekend in San Fran visiting Annie, her bf Whit and her roomies Laurie, Matt and Clyde (the basset hound). The highlights included walking around the entire city of San Francisco (twice!), hanging out at Fisherman's Wharf, a night at The Saddle Rack (the nearby cowboy watering hole), wine tasting in Napa and of course laughing about random things. Things such as the 80 year old man who danced with our group, the guy who paid the old man $5 to cut in and dance with me, the bum with dreadlocks 30 years in progress and Whit being our all-knowing wine connoisseur...just to name a few.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Weekend in SF!

I'm off for a fun weekend of hanging out with high school friends in the big city of San Francisco. Jolyn and I are heading down to visit Annie who works at an accounting firm in the city and her bf and roommates. I'm getting so excited! I love traveling and seeing friends. I'm not sure there is anything better.

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the whole experience of flying. Some people I know hate airports. I however, love flying and the people watching that ensues in the airport while you're pretending to read a mag and drink your Starbucks. Jolyn and I will surely be making fun of other innocent travelers on our journey. So for those of you also travelling, look out!

Here Annie and I are last fall when I came down to visit when Oregon played Cal. We went out to lunch in the city at Samovar Tea Lounge that made amazing food to boot right near the MLK Jr Memorial and gardens.

Monday, November 5, 2007

How about them Ducks, eh?


Saturday was pretty much perfect. ESPN Game Day was back in Eugene for the second time for the match up between the ASU Sun Devils and the Oregon Ducks. I was up at 6 am to get all Ducked out and layered for a foggy, 30-something degree morning. With tea in hand, beanie on head and my huge pillow of a down vest on, I forged the morning with a few friends and a few thousand other die hard fans. The taping lasted from 7 to 9am, with all announcers voting for our Ducks to come out with the W, including Corso who donned the Duck head.

Afterward, we made our way over to The Cooler, the nearest watering hole for breakfast and mimosas. With our order in by 930am and mimosas in hand, we patiently waited for our grub for the next two hours (yes, TWO!) with a sea of other Ducks and Devils. By this point it was time to head over to a friends house for pre-game festivities across the river. So off I went. By 2pm we made our way back to Autzen, grabbed a spiked coffee at a tailgate and headed into the game.

With a 3:45pm game start I was pretty exhausted, but the energy of Autzen always seems to breathe new life into your screaming, cheering, crazy fan self. By half time, my friend Stefanie, her sister Christine and I had were well on our way to losing our voices. The game was pretty amazing. Our Heisman hopeful Dixon was on fire and our Ducks won 35-23. The fans, especially students rushed the field and were jumping up and down around the players for at least 10 minutes. By the time I made it down to the field from the 79th row, the team was gone, but the fans were not. Autzen is a pretty great place to be on game day.

Here I am trying to survive the wrath of Catherine. She decided to tackle me on the field multiple times. Apparently, she forgot she's not a member of the UO football team.

Let me tell you, our world at the UO just got a whole lot crazier. The phones and e-mail are already relentless and we won't even know which bowl we're going to until Dec. 2! Give me a break people.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What I'm looking for...

Or at least the top 25 things I can think of right now that aren't directly related to my future man's looks. This is in response to "Man Needs Date" AKA Mike Cherico's blog b/c he can't seem to date anyone who's not his type (blondies) and therefore was challenged by readers to list what qualities (besides looks) he'd like to see in his future Mrs. Right. My first five are most important and the rest are in no particular order, other than being paired with their beginning word. I've got to satisfy my type A personality somehow. Some are borrowed from Mike's list. So here goes...

He should:

1. be smart, witty and intelligent
2. make me laugh and have a good sense of humor
3. be open and non judgemental
4. be caring and generous
5. be highly motivated
6. appreciate good food (especially Thai and Italian)
7. be willing to watch a chic flick with me
8. be able to tolerate my affinity for both country and hip hop
9. be spontaneous
10. be confident, but not cocky
11. be honest and trustworthy
12. enjoy sports (playing and watching)
13. enjoy a good wine, beer or coctail
14. enjoy road trips
15. enjoy big cities
16. get along with my family and friends
17. have some fashion sense
18. like to cook
19. like snow sports (or at least be willing to learn)
20. like the outdoors
21. like kids and want a family some day
22. like to cuddle
23. like to travel
24. like to read (books, magazines, blogs, etc)
25. not spend more time getting ready than I do

So, what's on your wish list?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

It's a perfect day outside. Perfect for say, a night of trick or treating? Now that I'm just a tad too old for that, one's Halloween plans on the night of tend to be a bit more relaxed. I think we might head out to the corn maze and have a few drinks and snacks at Laura's place in hopes of giving out candy to any kiddies daring enough to knock on her apartment door. We'll see what happens.

I recently moved into a new office and I'm loving the view! This was the view from my window last week. I actually have windows now and a door and walls (3/4 walls mind you, but all the same it's a step up from the cubicle that was in the entryway of our office). My old location lent to being a part of every single conversation going on in the office, whether or not I wanted to be. In addition, this meant I was the point person to ask about a myriad of random things (jammed copiers, where so and so is located in our building, football tickets, etc). But now, in addition to having a great view, I'm able to focus on my projects a bit more.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sugar high


Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who have just a bit of a sweet tooth. On the average work day I have to fight not to dip my hand into the candy dish every single time I walk by the front counter or make multiple stops at our snack table, which usually has some sort of baked good or leftover snack from a recent Trader Joe's trip. This is suicide for someone who is trying to maintain a healthy diet.

Luckily, however, I run and workout more hours than I care to admit and therefore am able to consume the sugar and lard without worrying too much that it's going directly to my thighs and ass.

The last few days I have practically ignored the candy dish without even trying and just ate the healthy stuff I brought from home. Go me! Until now. As I'm writing this, my coworker brings me a molasses cookie (my favorite) from the Eugene City Bakery. She knows I can't resist them and well, we just kicked some butt on an e-video we produced and sent out to our alumni. So, I guess this was the celebratory cookie instead of a glass of wine.

Interested in what makes Ducks so proud? Click here!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween festivities


Saturday we had a shin dig with the running group. Luckily, I didn't overindulge and this happy pirate enjoyed a night of dancing, hanging out with friends and Halloween-themed beverages, including 'Ma's Apple Pie' and 'Blood Beverage.'

The costumes were by far the best part. Who knew a bunch of runners could be this creative? Thank you Phil and Jill for this creepy, but hilarious shot.



Candice had a little too much fun. Or perhaps she had just the right amount. Maybe it was me that needed to get a little crazy. Here she is the next a.m. with a throbbing head.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ode to the Meme (let me explain)

“So, here’s the challenge: make a list of five strengths that you possess as a writer/artist. It’s not really bragging, it’s an honest assessment (forced upon you by this darn meme). Please resist the urge to enumerate your weaknesses, or even mention them in contrast to each strong point you list. Tag four other writers or artists whom you’d like to see share their strengths."

1. I'm blatantly honest, unless I know someone I'm writing about will be offended or hurt if they read it.

2. I think photographs are vital to telling any good story (hence the reason I take at least one of my digital cameras everywhere). Sometimes, the photographs are even more important than the words themselves.

3. I see things very visually, which allows me to be pretty artistic in my scrapbooking, using complimenting paper colors and spacing and aligning photos just so on each page.

4. I have perfectionist, type A tendencies and therefore will not publish a post until it's complete. And sometimes I'll even come back to a blog a few days later because a sentence isn't perfectly worded. Thank you J-School for instilling in me the ability to write concisely and edit thoroughly.

5. Writing is like therapy for me. Whether or not anyone is reading it, I enjoy the process of using my thoughts to create something.

PS-I'm not tagging any other writers or artists b/c I don't believe in chain letters and that's what this reminds me of. But thanks for the challenge Kayla!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Run Like Hell 1/2


Yesterday, Candice, Kristin and I (partners in crime from the Eugene Running Co.) ran the Run Like Hell 1/2 Marathon in Portland, OR.

The night before we drove up and checked into our hotel. Then we met up with a few other ERC friends for dinner at Pastini's (yumm) for some much-needed carb loading and then the Saucebox for a good drink (because what runner doesn't need a drink or two the night before race day).

Because it's 10 days before Halloween they encourage costumes. However, we seemed to be in the minority joining in on the costume contest, but we rocked them like nobody's business. Since there were three of us it made for an entertaining run with spectators yelling "oh, there's another one ahead of you" and "bzzz" and "the third must have stopped to pollenate." Haha, so funny. But the costumes definitely made the 13 miles a little more bearable.


It was a gorgeous day and the race course was cool, taking us downtown Portland and then uphill for about four miles to OHSU and then all down hill from there. Luckily, there was no rain or wind and the sun even made an appearance.

Afterward, we showered, headed to Pioneer Square for free beer and food and then did a little shopping at Nordstrom and JCrew. Lucky for me, I didn't find anything I HAD to have so I escaped with no large dent in the bank account. It was pretty much a perfect weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Flossing in traffic

Some people like to sing to their radio (ok, I enjoy that as well), but for whatever reason I tend to get the sudden urge to floss while I'm driving. After several days of just wishing I had some floss sitting around on my way to or from work or running, I put an extra roll of it in my car. The way I see it, flossing in the car is better than restricting myself to flossing only in the bathroom at home and then never remembering to do it.

Yesterday, on my way to run club I was flossing it up and everyone I passed seemed to notice. I received many grins from passersby on my two mile route and I hope they all have a new outlook on the productivity that is possible while driving. Granted, it's not always the safest and sometimes I'm driving with one hand or an elbow, but I haven't been in any fender benders yet and I haven't tried flossing on the freeway.

Besides, the next time you go to your dentist, don't you want him or her to say "it's obvious you've been flossing?"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Do you ever feel like...

you're just too picky? Last night I met a perfectly nice, attractive, athletic male who doesn't do drugs (I hope) AND is in law school and yet, I really wasn't that impressed. As we talked and flirted, the whole time I'm thinking "nope, not quite what I'm looking for." The hard part is, I really don't know what it is that I'm looking for.

My friends and family continue to tell me I'm too picky and at some point you just have to take a chance. But for one reason or another I can't seem to bring myself to date someone just for the sake of dating them when I see no potential for a future. And then I have to wonder, if I did take a chance and just dated randomly, whether or not he meets the checklist, would that make it easier for me to pursue someone I'm truly interested? Part of me knows that just getting out there and getting it over with would make everything after that seem easy, but I'm a chicken.

Either way, I'm going to stand by my personal motto. I believe that no one should have to settle for less than they deserve or desire. And frankly, I'm just not desperate enough to do that yet.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fall and all of its fabulousness

Not a lot has been going on the past week or so (other than the usual routine of working, running and sleeping). In that time however, a shift has occurred. Fall is here!

I have to admit that usually, the darker, colder days make me cranky and tired. But this year, for whatever reason, they make me genuinely happy. The beginning of Fall means the start to a number of holidays, all of which I LOVE!

Here are the things on my "Fall Must-Do" list:

* Carve pumpkins
* Put together my halloween costume (at least a few days before the actual holiday)
* Run through the haunted corn maze
* Read a few good books
* Try some new recipes
* Revamp my fall wardrobe (because you always need a good excuse for buying more clothes)
* Enjoy numerous Starbucks carmel apple ciders and cinnamon dolce lattes

So, what's on your list?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Glory of the Red Bullseye

Last night after going to the gym, making dinner and showering I decided to make a quick run to Target to purchase a yoga mat for the class I'm taking through the University. Naturally, I have one already but it's at the 'rents house and I won't be visiting them for at least a few weeks so I had to get a new one.

As most of you probably know, a quick run to Target always turns into a shopping extravaganza. First stop: accessories, next: clothing, next: yoga mat!, and finally: food. Expecting to only purchase a yoga mat, I didn't grab a basket so I had a huge pile in my arms when I walked up to the register @ 9:40 p.m.

2 pairs of work pants + 1 dress + 1 pink yoga mat + 2 boxes of cereal = $97.20.

Now, if only I had accepted the offer to open a Target card, I could have saved a whopping $9.72.

Friday, September 14, 2007

All Hail the Neighborhood Association

Thursday nights, for whatever reason, most of my usual running group chooses to subject ourselves to doing hill and speed workouts led by a few eilte athletes living and training in Eugene, OR for the 2008 Olympic Trials.

Last night our workout was held at Hendricks Park, which if you don't know it, is quite the beast of an incline. About halfway through our workout as we were running through the Rhododenron Garden, a few guys from the Neighborhood Association, or rather Anal Association, charged up to us and started yelling that organized sports are not allowed in that part of the park. Of course to which we responded "we didn't know that." Shaking, he yells, "it's posted on the sign!" We of course just move a little further down the hill and complete our workout trying not to die.

I simply can't understand why some people waste their energy and time in life on complaining about such meaningless details. I have to assume these people have nothing better to do with their evenings than hassle fifteen friendly runners who are simply out to make their butt muscles just a little more defined.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Baking

You could pretty much say I'm a sugar fiend. I enjoy anything made with loads (or a few tablespoons anyway) of the real stuff, no splenda for me . My favorite form is in baked goods, which is pretty tough when you work half a block from the Eugene City Bakery.

Unfortunately, some people make these tasty treats that look so divine you almost don't want to eat them, almost. As for me, I can whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, or make a Betty Crocker cake, but who are these gods and goddesses making pastries look like heaven?! For now, I'll just leave the baking to the experts.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Don't make me get personal...or you'll be bored.

Ok, so I have to admit this is a bit corny, but I had an "epiphanal moment" this evening while watching The Nanny Diaries.

This guy playing Scarlett Johansson's love interest was just my type and so stinkin' cute I could hardly stand not smiling at him. Anyway, it occurred to me that while he is the kind of guy I normally go for, or would like to go for, I'm afraid I'll never succeed at getting a guy like him. And it's not because he wouldn't be interested (although he might not be). But I think it may never happen because I don't believe enough in who I am to be confident toward the guys I like and want.

It makes me wonder if this is just typical for my age or if I really am too critical and lack the confidence in myself that other strong women my age have.

And because I don't fully love myself, I'm unable to truly express who I am to those I don't know really well (everyone other than my family and high school friends basically). Why the hell is that?!

The other night @ Villard after run club, one of the guys was like "Lauren, we realized we don't know anything about you. Tell us something." All of a sudden, everyone at the table was all ears.

For almost four straight months now I have hung out (but mostly ran) with this group 2-3 nights per week and they don't know anything about me. The sad thing is I had nothing of substance to tell them. So, I gave my stats: age, hometown and occupation. Boring. That's the best fucking thing I could come up with.

So, after thinking about it I came up with a few answers that would have been more interesting and real than what I provided.

1. I love (ok, I'm obsessed) within running or any form of working out. This, I realize, would probably be uninteresting to a group of runners.
2. I love food, preferably organic (thank god I love to work out).
3. I don't know what the hell I'm doing in life career-wise, but I know I love to run.
4. I'm a perfectionist, but have always had a messy or rather disastrous room.
5. I love a good chic flick or fiction about the glamorous life of some city girl.
6. I don't trust men and am not sure I ever will.
7. I'm hypersensitive and analyze everything so much so that sometimes I wish I were a guy.
8. I'm concerned about everyone else before myself.
9. I love Duck Athletics.
10. I love country music and occasionally tip back Coors Light while camping and wearing my cowboy hat.
11. I love to travel, but am pretty sure I haven't left the country yet (besides Canada and Mexico) because I'm terrified of not knowing what to expect and being unable to control my environment.
12. I am inspired by Oprah and hope to someday make a difference in the world the way she has affected change.

Ultimately, I realize I didn't give any of these answers because frankly they're just too fucking personal to say out loud.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

Ever since our trip to Vegas, Britney and I are pretty much BFFs.

After hanging out with Brit, T and I enjoyed a few other highlights of Las Vegas, which included:

1. The glorious Mandalay Bay pool and it's wave pool and lazy river (thanks to the kid whose inner tube I stole)
2. Yard long margaritas
3. Wulff and "the girls"
4. Constantly seeking out a Starbucks to keep you awake until 4am
5. Tao night club and all its erotica
6. Spotting so many trashy whored out young women we could fill a Glamour Fashion DON'T book with them

The bottom line is, whoever says they don't like Vegas hasn't truly experienced it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hood to Coast

If you haven't heard of Hood to Coast, it's the craziest road race in Oregon where 1,000 teams of 12 run a total of 197 miles from Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood to Seaside on the Oregon coast in 24 hrs or so. I ran with the Eugene Running Company team, a group I run with a few times a week. Our van #1 started at Mt. Hood at 445pm on Friday, which put my van starting our legs around 10pm. As the last runner in the rotation, I was running into Portland at 1 a.m. with my headlamp and reflective vest.

Each of my three legs were 5 to 6 miles long with few rolling hills. So, after 24 hrs of no sleep, eating no real meals (consuming cookies, chips, candy, bananas, and lots of water), and running 16 miles or so in a day, I was exhausted. Our team finished in a little over 24 hrs and placed 61 out of 293 in our category, averaging a 7:32 mile.

Two major setbacks: 1. Van 1 drove to the wrong exchange and put us back an hour and causing one of our runners to run two legs in a row. Van 1 simply wasn't having luck this weekend. 2. When they pulled into Seaside, they realized they had some car issues with the '89 Suburban we had borrowed. Diagnosis: leaking break fluid which got onto the back tire and started a fire. This meant we'd had to figure out how to get everyone back to Eugene with one eight passenger van, logistically impossible.

Lucky for me, my mom had come to watch me finish the race so I got a ride home with her and avoided most of the logistical chaos. The team ended up getting the hunk o junk towed to Portland and then rented a car to get everyone else back to Eugene. All in all, everyone arrived home safely and had a great time. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Laughing so hard you're crying

The whole summer had been building to this weekend, the pinnacle of it all, and now it's over. Jessica and Scott's wedding. It was a four days of wedding preparations, celebrations, reuniting, and exhaustion.

Thursday three of the bridesmaids rolled into town to meet the bride to be for lunch and then headed on to the Charm Bracelet Trail around downtown Pendleton. Then, it was on to the Bachelorette for dinner and drinks and then meeting up with the boys for a long night of drinking and dancing.

Friday included decorating the reception hall, the bridal shower at the country club, the rehearsal, the chuck wagon rehearsal dinner, campfire and finally sleep. After sleeping just four hours the past few nights, Friday was truly trying on my patience and energy. When we stepped into the church at 4 pm Friday I was running on adrenaline and was not prepared for what crazy Father Clemens had in store for us (Yes, Kellen Clemens', former UO quarterback, uncle). And I almost lost it right there in the church when he told us that the entire bridal party would be coming up to take communion and those who weren't Catholic had to make a big X with their arms when doing so. You've got to be joking me.

Saturday we woke up @ 6:30am to go on a run with the bride up to the top of this hill as the sun rose. Then on to the hair salon for curls and bobby pins and finally on to the church to get dressed and take pictures. The ceremony started fashionably late and was painfully long. After that we stayed around for another hour finishing pictures and finally arriving at the reception where guests had eaten and were no longer sober. Scott's high school friends did their part to empty the place of alcohol by standing at the bar the entire reception.

So here's where the most fun night of my life started. Around 9pm the bridal party, friends and family gather at the fine dining and drinking establishment called Hamley's where we have a few drinks and most of the guys simply continue to drink themselves into oblivion. By 11pm when a few of the guys get cut off by the bartenders, we move on to The Rainbow Cafe across the street. Just imagine a trashy, redneck bar that serves beer in cans and hard drinks in plastic cups and decorates with Christmas lights all year long. Two highlights: one friend is howling at the moon and the other is collapsing her knees and laughing at everything the male on her arm has to say. Next stop: Crabby's, an even trashier, scary undergrown dance bar where we are clearly the hottest crew in the joint. For the next few hours Jackie and I remain sober and crazy dance with all our drunk friends laughing hysterically about every five minutes at the way Joe is "pop, dropping and locking it" or how Riley managed to keep his ass on the bar stool in his comatose state. Good lord, who knew you could have that much fun with a bunch of drunkies?!

You know you're having fun when you're standing on a street corner in downtown Pendleton, doubled over laughing and crying at the same time, and trying your best not to pee your pants. It was a night I will never forget full of chaos, scandal and hilarity. And I loved every minute of it. Thank God for amazing friends.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time

A friend of mine (name removed to protect the innocent) seems to think she has all the time in the world to read books, ride her bike, catch up with friends, etc. As happy as I am for her, I have to say that I simply can't find enough of it lately. And that seems to be the way things have been for me the past six months or so since our Marketing Director and my supervisor quit.

After getting nine hours of sleep I still didn't feel rested from the weekend's extravaganza. Then, I was off to an early morning appointment, getting me to work at 9:15am. Shortly after I got an e-mail saying I needed to be in Sprinfield for a press check @ 10am for a calendar we produce. After driving my butt over there and waiting in an empty conference room and trying not to fall asleep for an entire hour, I was fed up. Without any notice from the printer as to the delay in bringing me my said proof, I had to leave because frankly I didn't have the time to sit there and wait any longer. I returned to my office and started answering e-mail upon e-mail I had missed last week and tried to remedy a few dilemmas.

As the day wore on my patience for small annoyances became less and less. To add to the stress I was feeling, it just so happens that the pavers were outside our building all day ripping up and laying down new asphalt in preparation for next summer's Olympic Track and Field Trials. At 4pm my boss calls to say that the street crew says we'll be stuck in the parking lot for hours if we're not out by EXACTLY 5pm. So, I send out a friendly note to our entire building only to find out my boss was exagerating and it would only be 20 minutes that street access would be unavailable. Knowing I won't be leaving by 5pm I make a 10 block circle just to get to the other side of my building and park in the lot that is safe.

It's now 6:36pm and I know I'll be here longer attempting to finish something just so I feel I've been productive today, but I have to wonder...do I have time to go on a run tonight? Time will only tell.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wedding Season

One thing I've learned this summer is that weddings don't come without a lot of stress, planning and surprise. This weekend I'm in a wedding for a good high school friend who found the man she will spend the rest of her life with at college. Every time we chat there seems to be yet another thing that the priest has demanded or that the cake lady is unable to do. At points it seems like a comedy show. Today for example, Jessica found out that the cake lady no longer knows if she can make a spice cake because Betty Crocker may not have the flavor. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't know of many wedding cakes that are made from boxes.

In the scheme of things I have to keep reminding Jess (and myself) that none of it is really that important. Saturday, August 18 is just one day, but their marriage is forever. This will be my third wedding of the summer and I have to say that with each and every one of them I have been truly amazed at the amount of preparation and time each bride and her family and friends spend on the miniscule details of this one day. It makes me wonder, if we all spent as much time working on a relationship as we spend planning a wedding, how many more successful relationships or marriages would there be in the world?

I truly believe marriage is forever and because of that I am terrified of making any kind of commitment. But for now, I'm just excited to head to Pendleton and let the wedding madness begin. I can't wait to see the high school gang in Eastern Oregon, drinking beer together, and celebrating Jessica and Scott's new journey.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Perfect summer day

Today was a pretty good day. This weekend is the only one this month in which I am actually staying in Eugene. I woke up to the sun shining and went on a ten mile run. I know, I know, that's a long way. I ran down past Autzen Stadium, across the river and through the desolate University of Oregon campus and up some hills and then turned around.

Then, I got home, showered (after waiting a while for my roommate to take his sweet time in the shower) and hauled it down to the Saturday Market to hang out with my good high school friend Joel who was in town for a few hours. Sometimes a good dose of home (or what reminds you of home) is all you need for a delightful afternoon. We wandered around looking at the hippies and arts and crafts, bought some organic produce and chatted.

By this point it was pretty hot so I went over to Laura's apartment for a good dose of pool and tanning time. The apartment "tools" were out in full force throwing their football around, doing cannon balls and having girls lather baby oil on them. Lucky for me, I had a book and tried to remain engrossed in it so as not to stare at the buffoons.

After doing some errands, I came home to work on the scrapbook I'm making for Jessica and Scott's wedding (which by the way I really need to get a move on if I want it to be fairly finished by Wednesday when I leave for the wedding in Pendleton). Then, I went running AGAIN. Yes, I know you're thinking this is a bit exessive and frankly, it is.

But, because I'm running the Hood to Coast relay on August 24-25, I kind of have to be ready to run multiple times in one day. There are twelve people on my team from the Eugene Running Company and we each have three legs of approx 5-6 miles each, which will take us from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast. I'm pretty stoked for the relay. I have the final leg so I will be bringing the team to the finish line on the beach. In high school I ran the Portland to Coast and I will never forget what a bonding experience that was. You gotta love smelling sweaty teammates for 24hrs and bonding over subjects you wouldn't dare discuss outside this weekend, let alone the minivans.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Red Lights

The last few days I have been running red lights, a lot of them. I usually pack so many things into my schedule that I don't leave time to actually transition from one thing to the next. Well, lately it's been pretty bad (hence the whole running red lights thing).

Yesterday, I realized as I peeled into the 5th St Market parking lot and bumped and older (mid 80s) gray car as I was trying to park that I was simply out of control. I mean really, was that necessary just to try to make it to run club on time? No. Luckily, I didn't leave any damage.

So, I tried to evaluate why I was feeling so out of control and frankly I'm not sure. Am I stressed? Yes, work is a little overwhelming right now and I can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But in the scheme of things I think my life has been a lot more crazy and I have managed it better.

I think the good thing that has come out of this is that I realized this morning that I am very lucky to be physically and mentally in good shape and alive at all, especially after driving so offensively the past week. I am going to make the effort every day to honor this life and the opportunities I have been given because really, life isn't all that bad. Eugene is a great community, I love running with great people here, working at the University isn't half bad, and the weather's pretty darn great. Granted, I wouldn't mind having a few more friends my age and a posse to go out with on a random Thurs or Sat night, but other than that I really can't complain.

Perhaps I should enroll in that yoga class I've been wanting to take for so long. But in the mean time, I need to do laundry, go running, start and finish a wedding scrapbook for Jessica, and get ready for the long haul to Pendleton for four days of wedding madness. Yeah, that yoga class is going to be put on hold for a while longer.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

8 a.m.

So, like much of the working world, my hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one hour lunch break. As an employee of an office on a University campus, I have to say that the whole 8 a.m. thing seems a bit rediculous. I mean come on, it's not like we're saving lives or ending world hunger. But alas, those are my hours.

Well, most mornings I arrive by 8:10 or 8:15 a.m. before most of the entire staff and stay until at least 5:30 and sometimes don't take a lunch. However, today my boss was here and decided to ask if I would just like to come in at 8:15 and leave at 5:15. I have to say I'm a little miffed. I mean if you know me, you know I'm a damn hard worker and commit myself 100% to anything I do. I have to say that him calling me out on a mere 15 minutes seems like a bit of a slam, especially when you feel like your time and efforts are already taken for granted. Our office seems to be in a constant state of turmoil and we are down three staff members so I have to say in the scheme of things coming in 15 min late doesn't really seem all that important.

Part of me understands I should be here at 8 a.m. to answer the one phone call that might come in and part of me is just pissed. So, here's to a productive day.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ramblings

For all of you out there who love your not so bottled water like it's going out of style, read on. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely a fan of Dasani water if I'm traveling or something, but my Nalgene filled with H2O from my Brita water filter I stick in the fridge do the trick for me most of the time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Step in WHAT direction?

So here's the thing. Most of my adult life (which I realize hasn't been all that long), I've wanted to work at a large corporation. I used to dream of walking to work in my high powered job in suit and heels with no worries socially, financially, or otherwise. At some time or another I have had the desire to work in the fields of fashion, beauty, health or simply changing the world, whether it be for Oprah, Glamour magazine, a PR firm, or as a nutritionist, physical therapist or sports psychologist for athletes. But when it comes right down to it, I can't help myself by working at a non-profit and wondering what in the heck I'm doing?! Anywayr, the dilemma I'm having is which step to take to start figuring this whole mess out.

A few days ago, thanks to MSN, I started watching an episode of roadtrip nation online. It's this great show where groups of three college students travel around in this big green RV for five weeks and try to figure out what to do with their futures as they interview inspiring people around the U.S. At one point, the group interviewed a man who basically said, "Why are you worrying about this? You're not 50 yrs old. If you find out you don't like something you can just switch at any time." Easy for him to say. That doesn't work for those of us who are Type A, anal, and want to know what we're destined to do RIGHT NOW! Moral of the story, the show is great, but it didn't give me any guidance as to what step to take next.

Frankly, I'm not sure I'll ever know.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Just make the spinning stop...

This morning reminded me of an early Saturday morning my Sophomore year of college in which I had stayed a few too many hours at a party the night before and woke up to a pounding on my door and my world spinning around me. That morning I was supposed to drive to the State Motor Pool office with my teammate Tara to get our 12 passenger vans for a lacrosse tournament we had in Corvallis, OR. Alas, I had been irresponsible the night before. If you know me, this is something I am not known for as I am constantly agonizing over making the "right" decision in any situation. But for a few years in college, when long nights, friends and beverages were involved, my common sense didn't always kick in. As you might guess, I was unable to pick up one of the vans and made my way to our pickup point outside the rec in time to be called "Alkie" the rest of the day. I know, not a nickname to be proud of. The first few hours of running around on a grass field in cleats and a lacrosse skirt were interesting, but by noon I was good to go.

However, this morning I am happy to say my world was spinning to reasons unknown to me. I haven't had an ounce of alcohol to drink in the last 48 hrs, even though I feel otherwise. As I stepped out of bed I almost fell flat on my face on my heap of dirty laundry and other assorted items on my floor. As I made my way to the kitchen to turn on the dryer I tried with little success to walk a straight line on the linolium tiles. For whatever reason, my inner ear or cochlea has decided not to function properly today and I must say I'm not very pleased. Let's just hope that by tomorrow morning the spinning has ceased.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Butte to Butte

Last Wednesday, 4th of July and a day off of work for me, I woke up @ 530 am in anticipation of the infamous 10k Butte to Butte run I was entered in. The race starts at Spencer's Butte, goes uphill for a mile or so and then downhill and becomes flat for the remaining 5+ miles to Skinner's Butte.

Thinking I had all the time in the world, I didn't get myself to the shuttle @ 5th St Market until 7:25am. Well, guess what? The line doubled back and looped halfway around the block. Just my luck. By the time I got on a lovely LTD bus it was 8am (start time). And by the time we bumped and bounced our way to 43rd and Donald it was about 8:20am and I had to pee like a race horse. Most of the participants on my bus were walkers who not only had a later start time, but walked just 4.5 miles bypassing the glorious hill. The rest of them ran like hell frantic that they had missed the start gun.

I however, HAD to pee. So, I got in line and waited, did my thing, and started running. Luckily, I had my handy dandy Garmin 305 on so I knew how fast I was going, my heart rate, my overall time, and much more than I ever need to know. The first mile or so was much less painful than I had expected and actually enjoyable with the numerous "good luck" and "way to go runners!" shouts from friendly homeowners, even though I was clearly the only runner around. Soon after, I hit the walkers and spent the next several miles dodging numerous walkers, baby strollers and just plain unexperienced racers. All in all, it's a lot of fun to run in your own city, even if your 52 min race time gets calculated as 1:02 due to a minor error in judgement.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

"Hi, nice to meet you...(for the third time)."

Ok, I have a rant. What is with people who have met you two, three or even four times and still do not know your name or even recall meeting you (or rather me I should say)?

I have two theories on this:
a) I am just not a very memorable person OR
b) a good portion of people out there don't have a detailed memory

I realize that I have a somewhat unique memory in which I can recall where I met someone, what we talked about, what they like to do, etc. but for once I would like to meet someone for a second time and have them say, "Oh yeah, we met..."

On the occasions in which I have admitted that "yes, I remember meeting you @ ..." I always feel guilty for making the person realize we have in fact spoken before. So for now, I will continue to smile and reply, "Oh, nice to meet you. I'm Lauren. What's your name? Where do you work? (All the while knowing their name and occupation)

Get a life...

This is a speech I found on a friend's myspace that pretty much says it all. Someday I hope to be able to say that I succeeded at doing what she recommends.

"I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank accounts but also your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter's night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've received your test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am a good friend to my friends and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, at best mediocre at my job if those other things were not true.

You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here's what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beer and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the colour of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to live. I learned to live many years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the back yard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived."

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anna Quindlen

Monday, July 2, 2007

Black-bean and tomato quinoa

Thanks to the air miles of which I'll never build enough to actually get a free flight, I have subscribed (for a few hundred points each) to various magazines I would never purchase on my own, including Gourmet. While I don't like to spend a ton of time making a healthy, almost-vegetarian meal for just lil ole me, once in a while they actually have a recipe that sounds good and fairly easy to make. Plus, let's face it...salads become a little mundane day after day.

Tonight's venture was black-bean and tomato quinoa from my July issue of Gourmet. Like many of you, I had never heard of quinoa, but the picture reminded me of couscous. According to the mag, quinoa is a fast-cooking, protein-packed whole grain.

After my usual 7 mile Monday night run with the running group, I rode my bike home and prepared this delicious meal. The best part is, I have leftovers for lunch the rest of the week! I definitely give this recipe two thumbs up. It tasted great and was fairly easy to make.

Ingredients
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I only used 1 tbsp and it really doesn't need any)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup quinoa
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation
Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.

Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

Gourmet, July 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Life without extended cable...


SUCKS! Granted, I'm used to it after living in Eugene with two guys for a year now without my favorite shows to waste away my evenings, but seriosuly, I think I'm being deprived. At lunch today I went into my boss's office to watch TLC's "What Not to Wear" only to realize how much I missed it. How great are Clinton and Stacy?!

And, on my flight back from Nashville, TN in April I caught up on four straight hours of "Little People Big World." Between TLC and MTV, I am being seriously deprived of some of my favorite entertainment just to save a mere $20/month. So, I have to wonder: is it worth it?

Comcast, as much as I hate to say this, "I need you!"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Biofuels

My quest for my last two tanks of gas have nearly left me stranded on the freeway thanks to my own stubborness. I started filling my car with E-10 (similar to filling it up with "regular" when you go to the normal pump) about a month ago or so. Since then, I try as hard as I can to make it those last few miles down the freeway to Exit 189 to the SeQuential Biofuels station where they keep a sustainable garden on top of their mini mart, just so I do my little part to help save the earth.

So far, I haven't run completely empty yet. But I have to say, with just one station to fill 'er up in Eugene, they don't make it easy. For a location near you, check out www.sqbiofuels.com/index.htm.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Let the summer reading begin...

So, last week my friend Jenn invited me to this book exchange party and I have to say, as nerdy as it sounds, it was great! I brought some old books I was ready to part with, threw them on the table, and in exchange came home with about 10 nearly brand new books that I had at one time or another considered buying on one of my many trips to Borders.

While I wasn't picking out great American novels, I did pick up some great girly, trashy, shopping, city-inspired fiction to fill my idle summer hours with excitement. Some people go to Paris or jump off bridges. I live vicariously through the lives of those in the books in hopes that some of it might rub off on to me.

To throw your own successful book exchange party simply send the e-vites, pick a signature drink and some finger food, gather a few good books you're finished with and voila!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Graduation madness

As the parents and suburbans begin to overflow the University streets and sidewalks, I can't help but think how fast the past two years flew by. And I wonder, have I really accomplished anything since June 11, 2005?

The class of 2007 is about to embark on the journey of the rest of their lives and I'm not sure they have any idea what they're getting themselves into. As a naive grad, I thought that with my abilities, motivation and hard work neatly packaged on a resume I would be able to find a job I liked that paid a decent wage because hell, I worked for it!

Well kids, welcome to the real world where decent salaries are merely a dream and the realization that your college loans won't be paid off for another 10-15 years.

So, where did I think I'd be in two years? Well, I can tell you it definitely wasn't Eugene. I guess I thought I'd be in Portland or San Francisco working at a PR firm or doing sports marketing. Turns out, I just couldn't leave the UO. My affinity for the University grew over the four years the more I became involved in club sports, the j-school, working @ the library and going to every Duck Athletic event possible. So here I am working in marketing and membership at the Alumni Association.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that geographically and professionally I never thought I'd be here. When I'm geographically in one place for too long I begin to feel personally and professionally stagnant. The toughest part I've realized about the real world is that a new term doesn't start every 12 weeks. As much as I'd like to, I can't just wipe my desk clean at the end of each term and prepare for a new set of assignments. And even worse, I have to sit inside on a gorgeous day when I'd prefer to be out on the lacrosse field in shorts and a tank top with the rest of the kids.

The great thing about this journey is that one good choice can lead to a series of amazing experiences. I'm just trying to figure out which choice to make. The moral of this story is, it's all up to me. And now, it's all up to the class of 2007. Where will their choices take them?

I never thought two years later I'd be sitting on campus when another class of graduates prepares to don their caps and gowns and walk with their classmates to "Pomp and Circumstance." And come next year, some of them may be thinking the same thing...

Happy Graduation!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The rest of my life (of blogging) starts here


So, I was trying to wait and start this blog until I had just the "perfect" thing to say. However, no matter how long I seem to wait, nothing comes to me. I guess today is just as good as any other day.

This week is my final week of tapering. For you non-marathoners out there, welcome to Marathon Jargon 101. Tapering=the 2-3 weeks prior to a big race when your mileage, intensity and cross training efforts rapidly decline in the hopes that your legs will be fresh in time for the 26.2 miles ahead. After running up to 20 miles at one time, the final taper week can be a bit of a nail biter.

The question is, what the hell am I supposed to do with my time? A normal person would drink beers with friends, watch tv, shop, or stay up late playing Wii boxing after a long, stressful day at work. However, the marathoner practicallly goes insane thinking of the upcoming run, carb loading, limiting alcohol, desserts and fats, and perfectly packing her suitcase with the perfect mix of running and bar hopping attire. Alas, I only have to endure this routine for a few more days. Saturday I'm off to San Diego for the Rock n Roll Marathon. Wish me luck!