We took the leap and didn’t sleep …

I’ve been MIA.

I wasn’t online all weekend even though I’ve been back home.

I’ve been sleeping a lot, trying to rehydrate.

I’m behind on headlines and news in general.

I was at Disneyland for 24 hours, that’s why!

Image

Full recap to come. I haven’t even posted all my photos on Facebook —yet. Let me just leave you with the photo above and these thoughts: Star Tours is probably the most popular ride there; a “dark side” of Disneyland may exist; it is possible to make a ride stop because you and your friends are stupid; we saw actors filming my favorite TV show at the park! Disneyland remains to be the happiest place on earth.

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A growing love/hate relationship with the snow

As a journalist, you’re never supposed to generalize but I’m certain it’s safe to say that every kid loves snow. (Or, every kid who lives somewhere where there is a chance to snow but doesn’t on a regular basis: i.e. the Seattle area).

I love love love love loved snow days. Yes, you heard me correctly. loved. past-tense.

I am no longer a kid. And, I no longer love it when it snows.

When you’re a kid, your parents or the school bus driver gets you to school. You don’t have to worry about no one in the city being able to drive in the snow — even if it is only one inch. Or, if you’re really lucky, the admins cancel school! You get to put on your ski-wear and make snowmen and snow angels all day long or have snowball fights with the neighbor kids — with intermittent breaks for hot chocolate and chicken noodle soup.

When darkness falls, you still play outside on he snow-covered streets with your younger brother while your parents yell from the front door telling you to come inside because it’s cold, dark and you have to get ready for school tomorrow. (Who are they kidding? With all the snow that accumulated, school will be canceled again).

Even when I was in college, I loved the snow. This was a mere three years ago. But, the difference was that I could walk anywhere I needed to (i.e. class, friends’ houses). I was used to riding the bus to my internships so I continued to do that if it snowed. Snow didn’t ruin my commute when I was an undergraduate so I loved it.

Now as an adult, I don’t like it. It’s an inconvenience. It makes my work commute difficult. I hate driving in the snow mainly because it’s scary even when your car tires do the slightest skid-slip and I don’t know how to put chains on my car. (Typical female incompetency, I know). Plus, lots of people decide that when it snows here, they won’t go to work. Well, that makes my job harder because I need to get a hold of them for stories I am supposed to write for this thing called a newspaper I work for. The press never takes a snow day, unfortunately.

So, when I woke up this morning and saw that there was in fact, snow outside and snow falling from the sky, I got that negative “I-can’t-believe-it’s-snowing!-Make-it-stop!” attitude. And it wasn’t just small white flakes. They were — and continue to be because it’s still snowing as I type this — big flakes that were sticking to the streets and sidewalks.

As I gave a mini prayer — for the snowfall to cease —  to Buddha or the snow gods or whoever/whatever will listen to my grumblings (I guess that’s probably YOU reading this! Thank you!) I put on my big jacket, scarf, gloves, and snow boots and headed out the door.

I was going to go on a snow walk.

Because, no matter how old and grumpy I get, snow is snow.

And snow is beautiful in the city.

It just better all be gone by Tuesday morning — shout out to MLK, the reason I have no work Monday — so my work commute/day isn’t deathly.

And, I guess today’s running and lunch dates will probably have to be rescheduled for next weekend.

For now, everything is peaceful and magical. And snowy.

I may still secretly love the snow, despite my above reasons to hate it.

I miss bowling, there I said it.

Sometimes I fear that bowling will disappear forever.

Bowling is one of those things that I am better at than the “average friend,” but horrible at when compared to “good bowlers.”

My dad was into bowling — he has his own bowling ball somewhere in the basement and I think even his own pair of shoes — so we’d go often to the lanes when I was growing up. The one known trophy he earned was one from a bowling league.

I didn’t mind it though, the bowling. If we had days off from school, I’d suggest we call one of my friends and have him take us to the HUB — may you rest in peace (the student building at UW that had a bowling alley in the basement) — because I found it fun. And, I wasn’t that bad at it.

Several birthday parties were held at the HUB. And while most rec teams held pizza parties at Round Table or Godfather’s Pizza — may you also rest in peace — our basketball team had our end-of-season pizza parties at the bowling alley. I was regularly scoring more than 100 points in my youth.

The other day I went to cover the last regular season game for one of the local high schools in our coverage area. They won all 12 regular season games and are undefeated going into postseason play. Seeing those high school girls easily bowl 150s or more made me jealous.

That could have been me if my high school had a bowling team!

I could be bowling like them had I taken up a bowling league in college rather than ultimate frisbee!

If I were to be the type of person who had regrets — which I am not — it would be that I didn’t get more involved in bowling. And soon, it may be too late since every few months, it seems as though another bowling alley shuts its doors for good.

At least we still have our “hip” bowling alleys slash bars that serve the 21+ crowd and overcharges its patrons. My last birthday was celebrated at one of those establishments. I think I bowled a 135. And drank a white Russian and had a birthday cake shot, among other things.

Those high school girls put me to shame.

Resolutions 2012: It’s time for some resolving

If you know me well, you know that I am a pretty tolerable person. And by that, I mean that I can tolerate a lot. Not that people tolerate me — they just don’t have to!

I tolerate a lot but there are some things I just do not like. The short list is needles and bodily fluids. My resolutions for the year are going to be real fun.

Donate blood and do a triathlon — don’t worry, not simultaneously.

Why give blood?

Ever since the blood bank people would come to high school lunch to persuade students to donate blood, I never thought once about it. Needles and blood? Nope, not interested. I hate needles and blood. In college when I would walk to class and see the little signs propped next to trash cans reading “Donate blood today!” I thought about it. I thought about how it’s great that some people are able and willing to donate blood to help a stranger out.

I spent the summer of 2009 in Cambodia. I had to get many shots before this summer in Cambodia. I had multiple visits to the health clinic so let’s say by the last time I went before my trip, I had gotten sort of tolerant to needles. (Don’t worry, I swear to Buddha you will never find me shooting up in a dark alleyway). It just made me think that maybe — sometime in the very far far future — I could muster up the courage to attempt to  donate blood.

Last year I covered a story on the top blood donors in the county. Along with it I visited the local blood donation center and met a few other folks who were donating that day. One person included a young woman — about my age — who said she was donating for the first time ever. She said she had always avoided it before because she was scared of needles. If she can do it, so can I, right?

The least I can do is try. Because I am a vegetarian don’t eat meat except for bacon, if they tell me I don’t have a high enough iron count to donate blood, I will go home and eat a large steak amount of spinach, and be back the next day. I know I will definitely meet the minimum weight requirement — I’m pretty sure I have a good 20 pound buffer that won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Nothing will stop me this year from donating. I may not even know what blood type I am — mom, what am I? — but somebody who really needs it is going to be getting some gosh darn good blood. (OK, now I’m starting to gross myself out. I don’t like bodily fluids, remember?)

Why a tri?

Once again, if you know me well — or have read more than one blog entry here — you will know that I am a runner. I’ve done a marathon here and there. I ran my first half marathon in 2006 and (I think) as of last November the count is at 11. I can run for days but I cannot bike or swim to save my life. Actually, that is not completely accurate. I never did swim team or anything like that growing up but my family had membership to the local pool club and I took lessons. I had several birthday parties at that pool. I think if someone were to push me off of a boat, I’d have sufficient skills to save my own life (so long as the shore is not hours and hours away. I don’t think I could swim for hours and hours).

[Proof that I can swim]

Yes, I understand that my younger brother is at the forefront of this photo, but look at me to the left! I may have my eyes closed but at least I do not have a flotation device like my brother (and cousins behind me)!

What I am trying to say is I am not a strong biker or swimmer but I can do them both. Someonemay try to tell you that I cannot ride a bike because he has never seen me do it, but he is wrong.

 [Proof that I can ride a bike]

Yes, this photo was taken when I was 6 years old but they say one never forgets, right? And look, no training wheels!

I’m going to do a triathlon this year because the thought of one scares me. Doing things that scare you, help you grow or mature or something, right?

People make resolutions like “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to eat healthy” but those are really hard to accomplish if concrete goals are not made. At the end of the year, I can come back here and say “Yes! I donated. Yes! I did a triathlon!” (Or, if I am a big fat failure I will say “I failed, I did not donate blood or do a triathlon because I am loser!”) I will either do them, or not. But, I will!

I don’t normally do resolutions. Last year it was something like “read more.” Yeah, that turned out real well. I probably watched more TV than I ever have in my entire life — that’s what living alone does to you — while finishing maybe a mere five books.

For some reason I can tell that this is going to be a good year. And, with good years come good resolutions. Here’s to doing things I don’t want to (but that I secretly do want to!)

And, if you’d like to come with me and hold my hand while blood is taken from me OR have cookies and juice boxes waiting for me after I donate  OR do a tri with me OR be part of my cheer squad on race day, there’s a sign up sheet at the bottom of this post. (You’re more than welcome to sign up for more than one task).

Oh, and I’m not self-centered or anything … what are you resolving to do this year?

2011 Picture of the Day: A full year in photos includes lots of rain, running and smiles

Here it is folks. The highly anticipated 2011 POD.

But, before I disclose the secret link to all my wonderful photos that document the year, you have to read my wonderful prose. (If you decide to scroll down without reading, your keyboard will give you an electric shock. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you).

What is a pod you ask? It stands for Picture Of The Day. Yes, I took at least one photo each day in the year 2011. However, if you notice that I am in the photo with other people, then yes, you are correct, I am a liar and I did not personally click the button on the camera. So, POD 2011 is made up of mostly photos I took with some taken by others with my camera. (OK, I lie there too. Some photos are taken with my work camera, or my dad’s camera. But I was present for every single photo taken).

January 11: Guess where this is (correctly,) and I'll give you a crispy dollar

January 29: Tell me why Chris is doing a squat and I'll give you a high-five

And, you may be really observant and wonder why there are 367 photos in the album. It wasn’t a leap year. But, go through all the photos and you will figure out why there are not 365.

If you are really super observant, you will notice that I missed one day in the year. I cannot for the love of baby Jesus know what I did on this day. I have checked every personal planner, work schedule, family calendar to remind myself what I did that day. I rampaged through all my photos on my hard drive, on my dad’s computer, through Facebook and nothing. But, I make up for this “missed” day — which you will have to find by going through all the photos.

July 13: What are we advertising? (Not for a new printer!)

Why document the year through photos? It’s something a high school friend of mine — who is pictured a few times throughout the album — started.  And I’m a sucker for following the lead of those I admire. I did a full Picture of the Day in 2007 and then in 2009. Both of those, I printed and made into a physical album. This year we went digital. We’re high-tech now! Also of note in case you are interested, 2010 I was lazy and this is how the year was documented.

September 12: Can you tell me what time of day this photo was captured?

December 16: Why do we (try to) spell out H-O-F whenever we are together?

OK, enough with my ramblings. Hopefully, the above photos have intrigued you enough to check out the whole album. (Or, maybe you want the answers to the questions in the captions! If that is the case, you are in luck! Most of the answers are just a click away!)

Picture of the Day was made possible by the letter U and number 2011. Thanks for making the year a memorable one even if I did dismiss it at times. And, by no means does the number of times an individual person, place or thing appear in the album indicate how much love I possess for him, her or it. S/he or it was just at the right place at the right time — when yours truly had a camera!

Enjoy

[That right there above is the link to said photos in case you were confused.]