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Run, L.A., Run! (Possibly walk at a brisk pace, L.A., walk at a brisk pace!)

*Update at the bottom*

The other day, I was over at CoSi and BoBo’s house for our I want it to be a weekly tradition type thing game night. It was a bunch of people catching up from high school, including, but not limited to, the afore mentioned Cosi and Bobo, FunSized, Arrington (and significant other), and HSM.

I don’t know what “high school reunion” means to you, but to me, it means that game night turns pretty quickly to high school story telling random conversation of everything we haven’t talked about in the past x amount of months catch up time.

train of thought

So, we’re the midst of the whole catching up, and somehow, the topic of Arrington and his constant running comes up. He ran like…track, and cross country, and those other running things…the ones where you run just to run.

Basically, this is how I see our trains of thought regarding the "fun" and "usefulness" of running.

Basically, this is how I see our trains of thought regarding the “fun” and “usefulness” of running.

Arrington is telling us about the next marathon he’s going to be running in, since he runs them all the time, since he’s capable, and doesn’t weeze and die while running like I do.

That’s when I’m thrown for a loop. “I’m going to run a 5k!” FunSized announces. “I’m training for it.”

“You should totally do it!” Arrington tells her.

“What’s that one that everyone is doing?” I ask. “The Color run?” I think to the pictures of people doused in various colors while running. Besides the running, it looks pretty exciting. “I added that to my bucket list.”

“That looks fun!” FunSized says. “Let’s do it!”

“Let’s all do it!” CoSi says.

“We can do the one in Lansing!” Arrington says. “We can even tail gate too, and cross two things off your bucket list”

It sounds exciting and fun and all sorts of friends that I love more than life itself, but it isn’t until later that I start to think more about it.

Conversations w Dad

I’m not a good runner. I remember being in high school, having to run three miles, and being completely winded.

Random conversation from a high school run.

Teammate: So, Boyfriend got me flowers to apologize for being a jerk.

Me: *Silence*

Teammate: I know you don’t like him.

Me: *Silence*

Teammate: L.A.! Seriously?!

Me: *wheeze* Yeah, flowers. *(inner monologue) if I say more words, I won’t be able to hate anyone because I’ll be lying dead on the street in downtown Grand Rapids.*

I ended up talking to VS about this running thing later, because while I did soccer in high school, she did track. She runs. She knows what’s up. Both with the running, and with me being a terrible runner.

Chat with Jade

So, VS sent me this link called like “Running for Dumbasses,” and I downloaded an app on the recommendation of FunSized which allows to walk (live) and run (die) in increments of pain and anguish. And hopefully between the two of those, I’ll manage to make it successfully through a 5k.

Have you ever done one of these marathon things? What do you do to prepare? Slash, how do you feel about following me with a rickshaw for when I get tired??

Tweet me or comment with any advice or words of encouragement. After all, if I die, whose blog will you read??

A big fat thank you and snuggle to everyone who’s been encouraging about this whole running thing. I downloaded that App (Couch to 5k, for those who has asked) at FunSized’s suggestion, and have learned that 60 seconds is really, really, really long when you’re running and that 90 seconds is incredibly short when you know you have to run some more at the end of it. But the whole point, I suppose, is that I’m running? Right?

Let me know if you’re signing up for the color run — I want to know what other people are doing for this training thing. Also, I saw pictures of people running in tutus. I’d like a tutu. Or a crown. Or a horse drawn carriage. Whichever.

Let's get colorful.

Let’s get colorful.

*Update*

I’m not doing everyday with the running. But I’m doing more.  Last week Sunday:

And then again this Sunday: 3.09 miles. It hurts so good.*

*Not really. It hurts so bad. But I’m sure it’ll be great when I’m all multi-colored**.

**I’m still lying. I’m still think I might die a multi-colored death.

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And we’ll all float on, alright?

So, something you may or may not have learned about me over the past year or two I’ve been blogging is that I’m the keeper of a fabulous bucket listI’ve been keeping a bucket list for years and years now, since the 1990’s of my childhood. And now that I’m getting older, I get to cross more and more things off of the list.

Ride a zamboni? Check.

Be on the big screen at a sports event? Check.

Dance on a bar, albeit in a somewhat less talented fashion that the girls in Coyote Ugly?

Oh, that’s a big fat “check because I danced on a bar with my BFF and a Greek Man”

You can thus imagine how exciting it is when I get to cross another adventure of the list.

Today’s adventure in L.A. land? Tubing. To be correct, a floatdown.

You may remember a movie from back in the day. Before Britney Spears shaved her head and attacked things with umbrellas. When Sabrina was a teenage witch with a talking cat who told us to be damn grateful that it was Friday.

Somewhere in the realms of this movie is a part where all the cool kids in high school (which we’ve already acknowledged that I really wasn’t, break my heart) get  together in similar bathing suits and float on a river.

Here they are. Chilling on a river.

And just like that, it was on my bucket list. So when BabyDaddy pitched going to the Port Huron Float Down this past weekend, all I thought was:

Check.

Things I learned from the Port Huron Float Down this weekend:

1. Floats= Big deal of the float down. Surprise!

BabyDaddy and I went on a “float finding quest” the day before the floatdown happened. End of summer, trying to find big pool toys? Very, very hard. GoldDust had discovered a discount toy store a few days before and would spend the day on a giant sea shell which I swear was actually a giant blow up vagina. It kept that nickname the whole trip.

I, meanwhile, luckily stumbled upon a giant turtle, which when blown up, resembled more of a baby dinosaur.Either way, I learned that giant pool toys are not the most durable. The floats all get tied together, so…

The epic tale and fail of the giant turtle float.

2. You’re gonna lose shit…

Brought a pair of Coach sunglasses. Leaned back or something at some point, and off they went. Gone forever. Not quite sure exactly how they went missing.

3. …So bring extra…

GoldDust and I came prepared with drink, but somehow neglected to bring cups. We thus ended up borrowing them from some other people floating with us.

Balancing on a float while not spilling booze and not falling in? This takes skill. There is a direct correlation to the amount of skill you have at keeping your cup upright to the amount of liquid that’s gone from the cup into your system. Thus…

That’s right. My second cup. I remember breaking the first one, when I fell in the water and tried to keep the cup out of the Lake. I did, but my grip of steel broke poor red solo.

4. …don’t bring too much extra…

See comment about straight vodka.

And thus, another item gets checked off the bucket list. Has anyone else gotten to check anything off their list lately?

 

 

Hook ups, let downs, and the quest for a published book.

I’ve been looking into making new business cards for me. Something along the lines of the whole “finding l.a.” blog I used to have:

Finding L.A./Here I am.

But of course, I’d take a better picture, and possibly wear one of those weird gloves with no fingers just because I can say, hey, I wore those weird gloves with no fingers, and I can prove it, it’s on my business card.

But then, I get to the back of the business card and it would say:

L.A.

Blogger

Don’t get me wrong. I love to blog. I love everything about it. I love getting to write and the fact that people are reading it. I love feeling like I might actually be funny or helpful or amusing or well dressed or something to be worthy of having you fabulous peoples read me.

But at the same time, sitting at home on my desk is this 262 page masterpiece that took me 6 years to write.

Hook ups, Letdowns, and the other Nine Inches (C)

By me. About me. Slightly changed to protect the innocent, namely, me. And of course, it is unpublished.

You have absolutely no idea (unless you are also a struggling psuedo-writer like me) what I would do to get this damn book published and be able to print out business cards that say that I am a published writer. I would love to be able to send a book to you, my favorite peoples and be like. Look. You read the blog and you comment, so here’s a copy of my book, and I autographed it for you with a little cartoon of me giving you the peace sign (Recipients of #LettersFromLA will understand that).

Thus. I’ve decided. I’m going to try [again] to get it published. I have a lot of editing to do. Rewriting, scrapping parts, filling in gaps to make my characters feasible as actual people since I hate when people bitch about character development. But it’s doable. I don’t care how many of these query letters I have to send out to get someone to read this thing.

This is a life goal, kids.

Publish me. Or if you know someone who will, put them in contact with me, will ya?

In the meantime, please enjoy this (C)opywrited portion of my book, which is completely unedited for your rough draft pleasure:

October swung in and it was officially freezing. Jack stood outside waiting with me for my ride. My dad picked me up for our choir practice at the dorms on his way downtown. We practiced every Monday since the beginning of the year when we both auditioned for a select choir that sang with the city orchestra. A few months later, and we were just two weeks away from our first concert.

“Hey Dad.” I slid into the car, relishing the warmth of the car.

“That wasn’t Ryan.” He replied as a greeting.

“Nope, that was Jack.” He had met Jack a few weeks ago when Jack and I had hid out at my house.

“Are you with Jack now?”

“No, Ryan and I are still dating.”

“Are you and Jack dating?” He asked.

“Ryan and I are boyfriend-kind of dating, Dad.”

He laughed. “Whichever way that is. I think you should ditch them both and date the cute tenor.

We arrived at the music room to find that snacks were being served. Always a pleasant surprise. I made myself a plate and sat on the window ledge while my dad struck up a conversation with another choir member.

A few minutes later, Danny and Connor came in. They had auditioned just after me. Danny waved and came towards me while Connor bee-lined for the food table.

“Late.” I commented as Danny reached me.
“Early for singing, late for food.” Danny replied. “Anything left?”

I held up my plate and the remainders of a brownie as evidence. “One more bite.” I offered the brownie.

Danny bit the brownie out of my hand, catching my fingers in the process. “Good.” he smiled at me.

I laughed at him, holding up my thumb which he’d coated with frosting. “Messy, more like.”

Danny shrugged and took my hand, licking the frosting off me. ‘Better?”

“Not quite sanitary.” I teased him.

He sat down and patted me on the leg. “At least it tastes good.” He left his hand there. “Sweet.”

“It was a good brownie.” I agreed.

“I mean you.” And with that, Danny squeezed my leg and headed into the music room.

Big Rink. Slow Vehicle.

By the way, if you don’t know how the Zamboni Tale started, check it out here first.

You know what’s unfortunate about living in Michigan? It snows. No, actually, it’s not that it snows, because it’s lovely to have a white Christmas (even though we didn’t this year). What is unfortunate, is that it snows, and everyone drives like a bumblefuck.

So, there I was, trying desperately to get downtown in order to accomplish a bucket list item, and fucking SNOWMAGEDDON was coming down on me.Not even snowmageddon. More like two inches of snow and sleet in order to slow traffic to a crawl.

A sum up of the driving in snow thought process.

Granted, I know how Michigan driver’s are. Macy and I agreed, if it weren’t for my moment in the sun upon the ice polishing machine of the GODS, we would have never tried to deal with the roads. But the zamboni called. So off I went.

We got to the game. The line for tickets was horrendous and long. I was never going to make it.

But there’s reasons to have a friend with connections, and Macy proved this twelve times over. She mentioned to her friend working at the arena that I was THE zamboni rider.

The man pulls me to the front of the line to get my tickets. Things are still taking too long. He pulls me out of the line, and next thing I know, he’s leading me through random doors with card scanning entrances and past all sorts of people with earpieces and clipboards.

“Dear Lord,” I think to myself. “This is the secret service of the AHL. I AM IN THE BELLY OF THE HOCKEY BEAST.”

I debate texting Poof to tell her where I am. I debate taking a picture of the underbelly. But the man is rushing, and I don’t want to miss my zamboni ride. I take mental note to tell her about this later.

“You know,” Macy’s friend with the earpiece tells me. “Since you’re so late, they might have found another rider. You might have to give up your ride.”

My heart breaks a little.

“It might be a little kid,” he continues.

“Well,” I say. “If it’s a little kid, I guess I’ll let him have the ride.”

In my head, however, I was thinking I’d stab anyone who tried to steal my zamboni ride. I had sharp things in my purse. I had heels on. I could take anyone down to get on the zamboni.

But we get there, and there’s no other rider. There’s another girl for the other zamboni. But just one. No little child to make cry. Thank God. The other girl and I make nice. I learn she’s riding the Zamboni because it’s her 21st birthday. She asks why I’m riding.

Short answer: it’s on my bucket list. Also, I have a blog.

The 21st Birthday Girl and the Blogger

Another man comes up to me. He’s holding thundersticks. They glow. I’m wondering exactly why they have these, when we’re both twenty something girls.

“This was the closest thing we had to light sabers,” he tells me. I’m ecstatic. I immediately text Poof that they gave me a light saber. Her reply? Of course they did.

“Can I take a picture of you two?” He then asks us. We both nod.

I turn to the other rider. “CAN WE PLEASE BATTLE?!”

Once Again…BATTLE ROYALE! Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/griffinshockey/

We discuss our respective lives waiting to get put on the Zamboni. We make a short video: 

Then, they put me on the Zamboni. I’m riding on a zamboni with french fries on it. It makes me wish Ronald McDonald were driving.

Note my driver in the background. Not Ronald McDonald.

The Zamboni has a giant seat belt with seventeen different buckles. I ask the driver if anyone has ever fallen off and gotten sucked up with the slush. He just chuckles at me. And then part of my seatbelt comes unbuckled. I have a fear I’ll be the first one gobbled up by the zamboni. I never should have told them I wanted to steal it.

We pull onto the ice, and I am unsure what to do. I make another video: 

Then, I remember all my friends teasing me about practicing my beauty queen wave. So, that’s what I do. I wave with my thunder stick. I take pictures. A girl on skates asks me if I’m taking pictures and I shrug at her. Of course I am. By this point of the ride, this is what I’ve learned: it’s a big rink. And a slow vehicle.

I’m on a Zamboni. I have a light saber. I have the best life ever.

My ride ends. I’m running high on life.. Bucket list item #50-something. CHECK.

The guy asks if I had fun. I nod. I wanted to take a picture with the machine and my driver, but they close it’s little Zamboni door before I can. 

“Damn,” I think. “They really thought I was going to steal the Zamboni.”

Excitement over, they walk me back up to the arena, where I regale Macy of the tale, before opening up twatter.

Oh. And on a final note…