Sunday, June 29, 2008

BLAH blah blah

The last three days have been exhausting. Granted, I'm not one of the athletes, but dang, being a spectator and volunteer is a rough job. With the weather in the 90s, running around from one place to another and being on my feet volunteering for over 18 hours the past few days has worn this girl out.

Last night I was really hitting the wall after going out after the races finished on Fri night. The runners met up and walked to the closest watering hole to have a few beers and laugh until 1 A.M. about our crazy crushes on the elite runners that we see fairly regularly around Tracktown. So last night, low on steam, I was talking to my friend T on the phone while icing the knee. The thing is, T and I always seem to be on the same page, which makes it easy. We were contemplating our lives and what we're doing to make them the best they can be.

We came to the conclusion (as we prob have a dozen or so times) that yes, we want to be doing something great, but what, how or where...we're just not sure. One thing I know, is that what I'm doing is not working. I mean, literally it's working (I work, I get paid, I have friends, I have a place to live, etc), but for my soul...not so much. Check please!

I'm the kind of girl that doesn't want to settle just because a job/guy/place is OK. Why settle for average when you know the potential is so much greater? Hence the reason I enjoy self help books, Oprah, training for marathons, etc. I want to leap, but I'm too afraid of the fall. At some point, I know it would probably be best for me to make that crazy leap of faith, fall flat on my face and realize that I'm capable enough to make a bad situation great. But I've been playing it safe for 25 years, so why change that now?

Because I need to. Each time we have these pep talks I feel like I'm on the diving board slowly inching my toes closer to the edge in preparation for the leap, but when that will take place, I'm just not sure. I'm too afraid of belly flopping or slamming my head into the board. I envy those who can take risks around every corner, not caring if their heart will get stomped on, knowing they'll find a job in a new city, be excited to make new friends, and go back to school for something they've always wanted to do.

When I'm reading a good book or doing yoga or training for a marathon, things seem to be better. I have a purpose, a mission to somehow better myself. These things are great, but are they great enough? While I love so many aspects of this place (running community, awesome friends, outdoors, great food, etc), I know I need to get out there and be pushed before I allow myself to get too comfortable in any one situation.

I don't really know what I'm saying, but just trying to get those toes to the edge of the diving board. Every little bit helps.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Welcome to Tracktown, USA


The calm before the storm is no longer.

For a while it seemed like nothing much would change around here with the trials coming to town. And then 60 days ago it's like the city realized "Oh crap! The Olympic Trials are coming. We better get to work!" They then proceeded to rip up and repair what seemed like half of our city's streets. Well, the roadwork is done. The fresh bark dust and flowers are in place and the new running trail and mileage marker signs are now posted.

The countdown clock at 5th Street Market should read 3 days now and we're sure noticing it around campus. Friday, Eugene 08, the Olympic Track & Field Trials will be in full force.

Since my office is in the midst of the madness, I have a front row view. In addition, I'll be volunteering my butt off for the University and USATF Media Services for 40+ hrs and watching a few days from the stands. I'm just ready to be in the thick of it all. I expect these ten days to be sleep deprived, inspiring, stressful, fun, crazy and overall an awesome experience.

The shopping cart can get ya

I may or may not have purchased this dress.


Ok, and this one in a moment of weakness.


The way I see it...they were just sitting there in my virtual shopping cart for weeks and I kept thinking about them. I've been in search of the perfect summer dress and Anthropologie just happens to have some that are to die for. So, I leaped.

One is back ordered til late July and the other is on the way. I had been contemplating whether or not the long dress works for a girl who is 5'3", but finally decided I didn't care. The worst thing that could happen is that both make me look like a preggo cow and I'll have to send them back and my bank account will be all the more satisfied as a result. Fingers crossed they're freakin' adorable.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh weekend, don't leave me now

A girl could get used to a three day weekend, seriously. Thursday night after work, I drove my mom and little bro the five or so hours up to my grandparents cabin where they live during the summer. It always promises to be a relaxing, beautiful, soothing-the-soul kind of time.

The cabin (or property rather, as there are multiple simple cabins gramps has built for guests) sits on the waterfront, my grandpa owns a sailboat which he gladly takes us out on whenever the wind picks up and my grandma makes a campfire every morning when she gets up. It's always been my little oasis growing up and as life gets busier, even more so. We've been coming every summer since I can remember and even before then.

My great grandparents bought the property about a 100 years ago and let me tell you, we've put it to good use. As a kid, mom (an elementary school teacher) would drive us up for a week or two at a time a few times during the summer. All the cousins would be there on the beach splashing, sailing, catching crabs, floating, reading, getting burned and having hot dog cookouts.

Gramps cooking pancakes and grams scrambling the eggs!

And because this isn't your typical cabin, there's always the work...the wood splitting, hauling, cutting brush, etc. The kitchen is outside. The cabins are basic A frames built for sleeping with little insulation or amenities other than the lodge (where gramps and grams sleep, where the computer is, and where everyone congregates to read before bed). The campfire, near the outdoor kitchen, is where we sit, chat and drink tea/coffee in the morning before breakfast as everyone is waking up. I wouldn't exchange this place for anything.

And sadly, my three day weekend is quickly coming to an end. Sigh. In better news, I went on a hike and bike ride when I got home. Afterward, the knee was still feeling good and I was feeling ambitious so I set out for a joggy jog to see what would happen. I managed about 12 min of running big laps in the grass around the park before it started nudging me to stop. So I did and finished with some stretches and knee strengthening exercises I found online recently. It's about time this thing started functioning properly.

And that blood donation incident last week...I now have a six inch bruise running down my arm to show for my generous gift.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I gave more than just blood today...

I didn't give much sweat, but I'll admit I shed a few tears.

I donate blood fairly regularly, being the good person that I am. Ok, maybe it's just the fact that I haven't had West Nile virus, haven't lived with anyone with Hepatitis B or had sex with a male who has had sex with another male before 1979. I think that's one of the questions.

Anywho, today it hurt like hell and I cried. Apparently, having low blood pressure and being a small person isn't so favorable when giving blood. The first sign was when she said "oh, it looks like a pretty small vein, but I think I can do it." Great lady, stab away. Well, she tried all right and sure enough no blood. Ignore this if you're queasy. I did. I shut my eyes and willed the tears to stay inside, but no dice. My fav lady came over to help and move the thing around until the precious red stuff started flowing into the bag.

When I was nearly finished, one of the nurses says, "oh, this is a slow draw. If we don't finish in a few minutes we'll have to throw the donation away." Are you serious? No freaking way. I did not come in here to get stabbed and then get a pint of my perfectly good blood thrown away. So I squeezed that damn rubber ball like no one's business and wiggled my feet around (b/c apparently that helps the blood flow) and got 'er done in time. Note to self: next time act like a crazy woman and flail legs so as to pump blood much faster and help distract you from the thing in your arm.

Now I have a bruise and an arm that hurts to even bend. So much for being a good person. And lady, every time you say "no strenuous exercise for 24 hrs" please know that in my mind that means "don't go run a marathon tonight." Just sayin'...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Picky much?

Well, I said the date jeans resulted in a few real dates, but not necessarily magical, swooning dates...just a guy and a girl hanging out, getting to know each other. Ok, maybe the jeans didn't have everything (or much of anything) to do with the whole landing dates thing, but hey.

Friday's date was good. So here's the deal...we had previously been set up. A story I'm not sure why I never mentioned here, so here goes. This past fall I went home to visit my family one weekend. My mom and I went to watch my high school's football team play (and watch my youngest bro play in the pep band). Dad isn't much of a football fan (or any sport for that matter) so he stayed home. Afterward, my mom suggested we go join her friend, R and husband, W (who is one of the radio announcers for the games) at the local brewery downtown. Well, after a bit in walks the other radio announcer (a cute, 27 yr old guy who happens to live in my city). Unbeknownst to either W's sidekick or myself, this was a freaking set up! We all hung out for an hour or so and parted ways. I really didn't think anything of it.

Well, two MONTHS later mom and I are walking through Safeway to get refreshments prior to seeing some chic flick and she says "Ok, you're going to be really mad at me." Um, what?? "No, I can't tell you. You're going to be mad." No seriously, mom. Just tell me. Whaaaaat?! "Remember that night we went out to drinks after the football game?" Um, yeah. "That was a set up." WHAAT? Ha. Wait, why did you wait this long to tell me?! "I thought you'd be mad at me." I'm more mad that you waited so long to tell me. "Well, he asked for your number and I gave it to him and he might be calling you sometime soon. He was too shy to ask you for your number that night." Ha. OMG, that's hilarious.

So, seven months later, he calls. I don't usually pick up calls from numbers I don't know, but for some reason, this time I did. He asked me out, I said yes.

Now the date. He picked me up. (I hate being picked up, especially at first b/c hell, you've lost your escape route. But then again, I guess that's what I always do in relationshipy situations...escape.) We went to get dinner and drinks at this casual, cool bar and grill downtown. It's nice to be in a place with distractions of flat screen tvs and drunk college kids (or 40 yr old men out on the town looking for college girls to hit on) in case you need a conversation piece.

The thing is, he's nice and cute and can keep a fairly good conversation because of the whole part time radio announcing thing in addition to bank telling. He's a small town guy who is close to his family (ah, sweet...so am I). We stayed chatting for about 2 1/2 hrs until I was tired and ready to head home for a night's rest before the other bro's (not the freshman in hs, trumpet-playing bro) college graduation.

So here's where picky/sassy enters. Things went well. No red flags or total turn offs, but nothing special. He opened doors for me, paid, all the "appropriate" date moves. He seems like a great person and we have a lot in common, but I didn't feel a spark. I know that things can develop with time, but this girl is looking for something special, not just a guy to date. Not to say that I'm looking to marry tomorrow, but just that I'm not going to date someone just because. I think the butterflies and the sparks and the racing heartbeat are all important. And, I want a guy who has big plans, is cool with trying out a new/big city, likes to travel, is adventurous, etc. Ok, I know...picky. Seriously, Sass, do you ever plan to land a man? But you know, I'm not willing to settle.

I'll prob give the guy another chance, but I also think it's really important to not lead someone on. Anyway, here's to not settling for less than you deserve or desire. You shouldn't have to. My personal motto.

Friday, June 13, 2008

the date jeans

About a year ago I walked into Nordstrom in search of my new favorite pair of jeans (b/c I'm obsessed). This tall, leggy brunette came over to help me and showed me their newest arrival, "the perfect pair of date jeans."

As I stared at the cute little design on the pockets, all I could think was "Girlfriend, you have no idea how few dates these jeans will see if I buy them." But to appease her, I grabbed my size along with some other styles and headed into the dressing room.

Being considerate as she was, she even thought to bring me a bright pink baby doll top to try on with the jeans. Um, yeah...that might look good on 5'8" and above, but on 5'3" it just makes one look short and pregnant. Thanks, but no thanks.

I tried them on and frankly thought they made my legs look like short little sausages (attractive, no?), but for some reason felt obligated to buy them. Yep, no joke. I mean seriously, this gorgeous, super model sales girl was working that sale and even told me they looked great on. What could I say? No? That would be like saying I was giving up on dating and I wasn't about to let that happen. Well, lucky for me, my legs didn't actually look like sausages in my new Citizens. It was just my demented thinking playing mirror tricks on my mind.

As I pulled them out of my closet tonight, I realized they're finally the date jeans. And thank goodness for that. They might not turn me into a tall, leggy brunette, but that's okay by me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Someone turned off the heat and it's not funny anymore. Hello, June...where are you?

While everyone on the east coast is dying of heat exhaustion, we out here on the west coast are freezing our arses off! I temporarily rehired Mother Nature for Sunday so we could have a fabulous day in the 70s of elite track and field competition and then fired her again on Monday when everything turned to shiz.

I'm still pissed I'm wearing pants and sweaters to work and that my bod is not cooperating with me. Come on you, just work already! My knee feels like somewhat of a rusty hinge in need of a good dose of WD-40, but I'm afraid that won't do the trick. I'm walking with a limp and it only temporarily goes away if I get on the bike and ride for 20 min or so to get it movin' and then poof back to being crippled I go.

So, I'm taking this as a sign that it's not just going to heal on it's own by taking a break from running. I'm actually going to have to do something with that referral I got last week and see a knee doc. Barf. I've seen so many phys therapists, massage therapists and docs for my knee/back/etc probs from college on, that I just get tired of walking them through the long winded story of me doing too much to the bod and then ending up in this similar state. I know I should prob take time off to recover, but seriously I don't comprehend that vocabulary. It's not in my dictionary. Sorry, pick another word thanks.

I went to the gym twice today to do some cycling and lifting. It's all I can do not to hop on the treadmill (even if I do walk with a limp). Plus, if I'm not working out, I'm terribly bored. To celebrate my non running, crippled status, I called my favorite thai place from work and ordered a tofu phad thai-medium spiciness please! and came home and watched Superbad. I really needed that.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Unrest

It's getting to that point again. Every few months or so it happens. I feel the need to escape, immediately. Escape from the safety net that is my current life, job, city, routine, etc. And then the feeling slowly subsides and I forget that being comfortable is not necessarily what I'm looking for right now.

The fact is, deep down I want to be challenged both mentally and emotionally from a job (or going back to school for another degree), moving to a new city/state and finally being forced to meet new people. But then weekends like this past one make me think "why would I ever want to leave this place and these great people?" From Sex and the City and drinks out with the girls, to an awesome Pre PRE party to the Prefontaine Classic track meet, I couldn't have asked for more.

The longer I stay, the harder it gets to imagine leaving and for someone who is terrible at goodbyes...I'd rather just avoid that whole dilemma. And really, should I be complaining when the economy is going to hell and I have health insurance and a paycheck? Oh wait, reality check Sass, you still haven't moved into your own apartment like you said you would two years ago because that paycheck goes only so far when you shop and travel like a fiend. GAH! What's a girl to do?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yummy in the tummy


I snagged this awesome recipe from Joy the Baker, a new fav baking blogger. When I find a good recipe for something that I prob shouldn't eat an entire batch of, I promptly figure out who I can make them for, while testing two or three of course so I don't end up being taunted by a dozen cookies, muffins, cupcakes that are ALL mine to devour ASAP. I decided to make these chocolate mini cakes for a friend's bday and for some coworkers (and of course I tried a few myself). After making some awesome gingerbread pancakes thanks to Joy's blog, I knew she wouldn't lead me astray. Not gonna lie, I kind of love being Miss Domesticity once in a while.

These things are heavenly just out of the oven. The inside is seriously gooey chocolate. So good. Don't take my word for it. Just make them.

Gooey Chocolate Cake

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (4 ounces coarsely chopped,1 ounce very finely chopped)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons of sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogenous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

*I always use 1/2 the instructed amount of butter in baked goods b/c I just don't think they need as much. And of course, they still turned out great!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why I turn my cell phone off at night

Tuesday night, after taking my brother and his gf out for yummy italian, I came home and read blogs and a fiction novel and just generally wasted precious sleeping hours before crashing around midnight. Shortly thereafter, on my way to a deep sleep, I woke to a noise, grabbed my alarm clock thinking it read 5:30 A.M. and got up.

I stumbled across my room to find the noise (the song my cell phone plays after I receive a voicemail). God da*mn f-ing phone. Just shut up already! I grab the phone, but not before grabbing a snack size luna bar that was sitting in my gym bag, opening it and taking a bite! Realizing it's my least favorite flavor, lemon, I throw the rest in the garbage and walk to the kitchen and have a bite of bread. WTF?! I wasn't even hungry.

Opening my phone, I realize it's only 1:30 A.M. Insert more swear words. Dam*it. Precious sleeping time gone to waste.

The funniest part is that all the commotion was caused by previously mentioned crush who I figured wouldn't be calling. Well, he did call and text Tues night/Wed morn and left a very cute message. Alcohol induced or not, it was cute. I didn't delete it. Don't you just love saving voicemails or texts that make you smile later on? Like when my dad texted me about a 1/2 marathon I ran this fall and said "great job. i've been waiting to hear all morning about it. so proud of you. you go girl." Is that not the cutest thing ever? Love you dad!

Anywho, miracle of miracles, I was able to get back to sleep after crazy phone commotion. The whole reason I turn the damn thing off is so that I don't have evenings like that one. I'm the kind of girl who saves a precious few hours to sleep, so she needs those hours to be quality zzz's.

Plus, don't take this the wrong way, but I figure if someone calls in the middle of the night about a friend/loved one who is in bad condition or has passed away, there's nothing I can do about it. Not a single thing. If they died, it already happened. A phone call will not change the outcome, no matter how much I might wish it could. And that my friends, is why I turn my cell phone off before hopping into bed...most nights.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's June...

and I'm wearing pants, a sweater and closed toed shoes. This is unacceptable. Rain, please stop. Mother Nature, you're temporarily fired.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Blogoversary Belated

I realized late Fri night at previously mentioned work function, that I had spaced my blogoversary in Friday's post. Not that I was really waiting around for it, but recently realizing that I had been writing in public for a year now seemed a little crazy. It just doesn't feel like it's been that long. At first I started because my amazing friend T did and she sounded so fabulous and I love to write so I thought, what the hey, I'll give it a try.

Bottom line is, I'm glad I did. I've met some amazing people and shared some great connections with bloggers all over the U.S. (and the world) as a result. A year ago, I didn't even think it was possible to be friends with someone I'd never actually met. Technology has changed all of that.

My life is fairly mundane, so finding anything worthy of writing about can be trying at times. But Friday, I found myself in a situation I just couldn't help but laugh at. There I was, 1:30 A.M. sitting hand in hand, talking with a guy I've crushed on for a few years now since we first kissed, in my car outside his house (Just imagine the hysterical laughter that was going on inside my head). A few kisses later, we're still the same. Neither of us has the guts to put it out there and make something happen, but it was a fun night all the same.

To say I don't let people in would be an understatement (okay, beyond this babble of a blog). The guy input me as "Angry Sassy" in his cell. Does that tell you something? Yeah, and I wasn't even trying to be sassy, rude or sarcastic that night. Trust me, you'll know when I am. The problem is, when I don't feel in control of a situation, I can't help but be on the defense. Anyway, he said he'd call. He didn't. I'm not surprised or all that upset, but really guys, if you say you're gonna call. Just call.

The remainder of the weekend was spent napping (because once you hit 25, drinking, dancing and getting five hrs of sleep just doesn't cut it), working, watching Grey's finale (truthfully, I shed a few tears), seeing What Happens in Vegas (corny, but kind of funny and cute), getting a FABULOUS pedicure, Target-ing, biking and more napping.