Random (Talk To Us) Tuesday – Great; Sick edition

Oh God, blog obligations. I almost forgot. It’s because my brain is stuffed with cotton balls and marshmallows. Or so it feels like.


Seriously Shawn

  • I got an oil change on Friday and man, I just love the feeling of knowing my car is all well and good. I drove junkers for years and that constant state of worry that it could die ANY SECOND was crap. My car may be 5 years old now but it’s a hell of a lot better than my old ones.
  • I guess the reason I was battling such malaise yesterday was that I am now sick. Feels like a cold and I tell you, I have zero interest in doing work or going to my son’s field trip this morning. Ugh. But I have to.
  • Why couldn’t I have gotten sick last week, when I had far less work to do?
  • Oh, because life isn’t like that, is it? No no, it waits until you’re totally overwhelmed and have NO TIME to be sick… and then it breaks down on you.
  • The weird thing is that the sickness is making me really hungry. Starving. I just had a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit (from home, of course) and my stomach is still growling.
  • I think the yo-yo weather is the reason for my sickness. It had gotten really nice lately – like 50s and low 70s – and then it started doing this really dumb 40 degree swing crap. 30s in the AM, 75 by lunch. WTF, Mother Nature? Why you gotta be such a bitch?
  • As you can tell, this illness is making me testy. Rather punchy. And I get to spend all morning with 20 3 and 4 year olds at the capitol. Oh, can you feel my excitement? It’s just brimming, I tell you. (Largest eye roll you have EVER seen.)
  • All I want to do is go home and read. I found this new author a while ago (ok, new to ME) and she writes really great romances (ok, some of them are pretty steamy) but one series is set in a fictional town in Colorado and the people there are all so funky It’s really quite charming. Oh but anyway, two books from the one I am about to finish, one of the characters is an ex-Russian mobster. And I’m kind of excited about it. I don’t know why. This is relevant because:

Andrey Zakharov, Russian model. And this photo is hot. Just sayin’. Happy Tuesday!

MMMM + Weekend dawdlings

Yes, my friends, we dawdled this weekend. Sure, I got some cleaning done because my wonderful husband kindly removed the kids from the house for an hour – and we made a Costco run – but other than that, we spent time outside and we watched movies and we drank margaritas. We have a grand life, I tell you. Ash and I bawled our eyes out while watching Hook, which I used to love as a kid but see in a whole new light as a parent. And Mr. Popper’s Penguins, though I had no interest in it at all, was actually pretty awesome, and reminded us how important family s above all else.

I have quite a bit of work this week and I think I may be getting sick… but I’m going to push through it. Happy Monday!


This week’s theme is Broadway tunes, which I admit to absolutely loving!

Here is a revival of Camelot on Broadway, complete with Richard Harris, who was THE best King Arthur.

The below is not Broadway but royal theater. I chose it because A.) I love Oklahoma and b.) It was Hugh Jackman!

Friday Confessional – Can I Just Run Away edition

I confess… I am eating a terribly potent everything bagel, which means my breath is going to be something to fear later.

I confess… I am pretty broke, even though we just got paid. I have A LOT of little things to do, like oil change, etc.

I confess… I have been really freaking tired this week. I may or may not have slept on the couch every single night…

I confess… I have just been out of sorts. Don’t want to do much and have no interest in anything. Isn’t that, like, depression? I don’t think I am depressed. A little overwhelmed. And subject to mood swings. This weekend, I am going to try to clean. But my Father-in-law is coming on February 10th so that right there will be my impetus for a full house cleanse.

I confess… I feel like there are some people that are mad at me but I can’t – for the life of me – figure out why. I have kept to myself a lot at work lately so I can’t have done anything… right?

I confess… I need to buy new running shoes. You’re supposed to replace them at least every 6 months, if you run a lot. Mine are one year and 6 months old. WOW.

I confess… I am sick of my layout. (I already changed it to a reddish). Mostly because it’s not very cold here in Tally right now and it doesn’t feel very wintery. But then again, it’s  not Spring yet. That’s just dumb. Mother Nature, pls get yer sh@t together. Thanks!

Ok, folks, get yer confession on with the fab Mamarazzi:


Spin Cycle – Dream Job!

Of course we all have this notion of what the perfect job would be. I think a lot of people sit at their current job and wonder what it would be like to do all the stuff they really want to do. And for others, I am sure they love what they do. Maybe it isn’t perfect but they enjoy the majority of it. For me, I guess I always just assumed I would teach. I had this fantasy ideal of wonderful high school students who loved writing as much as I do and I’d get summers off, etc.

When I first came back to FSU in search of a job, I also applied to every high school in Leon County. I attended their Hiring Fair and interviewed with a few of the high schools, certain one of them would appreciate the fact I had taught college freshmen and, hence, knew what high school kids needed to know before that. At one point, right before the start of Fall semester, I got a call from someone at Lincoln High saying they wanted my resume and to get me in the office to look into getting hired. Somehow, things did not turn out. I dropped off my resume because no one was actually in the office and never heard from them again. Looking back, I am kind of glad. Most teachers who got hired on that year were laid off the next and besides, I don’t want to teach if my plans and teaching style will be scrutinized to the degree they do here.

Where I work now is by no means my dream job. But to be honest, it fulfills most of the requirements I have for what would be perfect. Hours are 8-5 with hour long lunches. They’re flexible with time. If I have to go pick up my kid because he’s sick, I can up and leave. This is mostly because I work under my awesome boss, who is the director of a specific program within the English department. So though I am under the office manager officially, I don’t work on the fourth floor in the main office and I run anything like leaving, etc by my direct boss. And she’s amazing. The rules that apply to the other staff do apply to me but I have that loophole on my side.

I love interacting with the grad students on the level I do. When grads come in as students, they also get an assistantship to teach. I’m their go-to for info on that. I meet a ton of new people each Fall and make a lot of cool friends. It helps that I am a lot more easy-going than the folks upstairs. Most TAs come to me even for stuff the main office people are supposed to do, because I am helpful. And not a slacker. I admit, those people make me look good. But I also hold myself to a high standard here. I make sure I do my job quickly and efficiently.

The other bonus is that I get to teach a class. This is due in part to my boss again. She knows this 40 hour job doesn’t pay me squat but with the class, I make enough. So I still get to teach writing to students. Honestly, this is as good as it’s gonna get, under the circumstances. Maybe someday if we move, I will find some other sort of gig but for now, this is pretty good.

Second Blooming

WWTK Wednesday – Good questions!

PhotobucketHosted by the above and Queso and Crazymama.

{1} What is your favorite room in your house and why? Bonus points for a picture.

I’m going to go with my living room, even though it’s kind of small and I want a new area rug. At night, it can be really cozy!
{2} What is your favorite time of day and why?

Oh man, I was JUST thinking about this the other day. I have two but I always tell people dusk, because there’s something awesome about driving as the sun has dipped behind banks of clouds and the sky is painted in golds and maroons and vermillion. BUT, I really love the 10 minutes in the morning – right after the alarm goes off and Ash is in the shower – when I get to lay in bed alone. I am half awake and savoring the time before the day begins. It’s so… full of hope.

{3} What is your favorite genre of music (or band/singer) and why?

I’m pretty fickle about this. I was always a rock n roll kind of gal. Growing up, my dad used to sit me at the record player and put big ol’ headphones on me and choose the record. Sometimes it was the Beatles or the Stones or Hendrix. Other times it was more mellow like Moody Blues or Todd Rundgren. But as I got older, I got into my own bands like GnR, Motley Cure, Def Lep. I progressed into heavy metal like Pantera, Anthrax, Megadeth but then mellowed out when I went through a Sinatrs and Sade phase. I also still hold a special place in my heart for Grunge. Soundgarden and Pearl Jam and Alice in Chain… you guys rule. And of course, I’ve dipped in an out of Country and hip hop, etc. So really, there’s nothing I DON’T like, except most pop stuff. I couldn’t tell you most of the new “artists” out there. And with the exception of Gaga, I really don’t listen to new poppy junk.

{4} What is your favorite “go to” snack? Is it something you keep on hand?

Hmm, tough one. I would say… granola bars of any kind. And I don’t usually keep them around; if I keep snacks in my office, I mindlessly eat.

{5} What is your favorite form of exercise or way to keep moving?

Well, obvs this answer is running! BUT, I like what Mamarazzi said: sex is WAY more fun. ;)

Random (Talk to us) Tuesday – Waving, Not Drowning…Yet edition

Oh Lordy, is it that time again? Time to rummage up some random thoughts and lay them down for your readers? Yup. It be.


Seriously Shawn

  • Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.The Ouroboros represents the perpetual cyclic renewal of life, the eternal return, and represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth, leading to immortality.
  • I have been fascinated with it for quite some time, in the sense of my life’s actions being cyclical. Here are some photos of its depiction:
  • I’d like to think that yes, my life is cyclical but I can break out of the commonplace daily minutia if I try. Just like I wrote about how I think everyone can lose weight if they try (in my spin cycle post) I think I can break the Sisyphean cycle or Ouroboros cycle of things.
  • I managed this when I started running. This is why I want to come up with a good quote to add onto an ouroboros and make it a tattoo.
  • Let me tell you how excited I am to get inked again. It’s been over a decade since I was last under the needle and I am anxious… in a good way. I want to remember what that pain/pleasure threshold is like.
  • Ash is not a tattoo person but he wore a temporary pacetat  during his marathon and admitted he liked having it. This, coupled with a good run I had the other day, gave me the idea to start coming up with a design I would always like. I will take a bit more time but I am pretty sure I figured something out. I will show you all soon.
  • Meanwhile, I am keeping afloat as far as my online jobs are concerned. It’s been difficult doing all the grading and keeping up with so many different sites and students and policies. I am becoming more organized and still managing to be a mom/wife/runner and blogger.
  • Isaac is interested in the potty. He has so far sat on it maybe six times and has had success twice. I know he’s a wee bit young (21 months) but hell, if he wants it, I’m game. I’d love for him to be out of diapers by the time Ell goes to kindergarten. Think of all the money that will free up!
  • I begin TAing another class today and as soon as I am done blogging, I have about a gazillion and one things to get done before 11:30 when I plan to take one of those errand lunches; there is much to be done. And then? I have student conferences all afternoon.
  • SO, Oscar noms go out today. Do you have any personal favorites? I don’t think I saw any of the movies that’ll be for best pic but maybe. I don’t remember. Once they get revealed, I am sure that will jog my memory.

Speaking of movies, today’s Man Candy is Jeremy Renner who is slated to play Hawkeye in the upcoming Avengers movie. I think he’s perfect to play Clint. Look at his arm! Drool. Ok, happy Tuesday!

Ohh, I see what you did + MMMM

WordPress seems to have changed their editing layout. (maybe I am doing something wrong?) It looks like they want more people to treat it like Tumblr or something with quick video or photo posts. I see how it is; we can’t handle long posts anymore. Our world has become only able to cope with Twitter-esque info. God that’s sad.

Anywho, despite the changes to my bloggy dashboard, I feel pretty good today. Got in bed around 11 PM and probably drifted off by 11:30. Woke up with the alarm at almost six and actually felt rested! It’s a miracle! This week is all conferences with my class so more work and less work, depending on how you look at it. I just have to stay afloat; never allow work to drag me under. Le sigh. But – clap clap – no whining here today because it’s Monday and a freebie week!


I couldn’t think of any good songs but I heard this one this morning and had wonderful memories of being in middle school and hearing this one every time I rode the Himalaya at the carnival.

Get it, GnR, you will always be one of my favorite bands.

Friday Confessional – It IS good for the soul, I promise

I confess… I spent ten dollars on breakfast today: smoothie with energizer and a ham, egg, and cheese sammie. I spent too much.

I confess…I saved some work until the last minute and I am gonna be BUSY today. But it’s my own fault.

I confess… I got all ready to take a long hot bath last night – because I needed to rest my eyes – no kidding; they went blurry from all my work on the computer yesterday afternoon – but then, I only sat in the tub for 20 minutes. I couldn’t find a way to calm my mind. All I could think about was doing more work, be it housework or homework.

I confess…I’m doing a Girl’s Night Out at some place where you BYOB and the they give you introductions on painting. Each person leaves with a finished canvas. It sounds kind of cheesy but it might be fun!

I confess… I am not really in the mood to go out tonight though. Not feeling very social today.

I confess… Kettlebells kicked my ass! I did a round of youtube videos for about 20 minutes Tuesday night. My legs hurt on Wednesday but not terribly so I ran 3 miles. Then on Thursday? I could barely walk down stairs and the toilet hover at work? Nigh impossible!

I confess… I got off-topic talking to one of the TAs and now I am behind on work! Which means, I’m out! Have a good weekend.


Spin Cycle – Unpopular Opinion time!

Ok, this post may make some haters out of my readers but since we aren’t allowed to stay silent, I’ll put my spin on something I believe in. I fully believe anyone out there can lose weight and I am sick of hearing people tell me they can’t. (I realize this may or may not matter in the grand scheme of Important Things, but I will try to make it.)

I am sick and tired of people getting all up in arms about saying words like ‘fat” and ‘diet” as if they are forbidden. Weight is such a touchy subject these days because so many Americans are, well, overweight. I believe I have earned the right to be blunt and open about weight and fat and losing it because I was once BIG.

I’m not even kidding folks. I once ate food like it would go away tomorrow. I ate entire boxes of mac and cheese by myself. It’s 3 AM? Sure, let’s eat a pizza. We frequently ate McDonald’s for lunch AND dinner, not ever having eaten breakfast. I was a misshapen sack of lard compared to the athletic child I once was. This all took palace in college where I struggled to figure out what in the hell I wanted to study and just who I was. I suppose I ate to feel better… or to feel anything at all. It was a rough time.

I was the person in high school who lied about having asthma (though I did suffer from it) just to get out of having to walk the track in P.E. Before moving when I was 14, I was a swift runner, a natural gymnast, and I swam all three years of middle school. Somewhere along the way, I stopped caring what I put not my body and let myself fall into disuse. Your body is a machine and I feel it should be honed and toned.

Ash and I did  lose weight together in 2004 and 2005. Search my site for ‘Gold’s Gym” and some entries will come up detailing our weight loss. I went from 171 pounds to 127 at my absolute lowest:on my wedding day. Two kids later, I was 18 pounds away from that but the weight had redistributed itself and I was back to being a blobular mess.

As I have written about before, I started running six weeks after Isaac was born because I saw how much weight my husband was losing by doing it, though he did it for completely different reasons. I ran two miles every other day and just about thought I’d die. Isaac is twenty one months now and though I am still 8-10 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight, I have run multiple races at decent times (between 9 and 11 minutes miles, depending.)

I think we can all lose weight regardless of size or injuries, etc. I have knee pain all the time but with the help of Glucosamine supplements and a knee brace, I’m good to go. My asthma has actually improved since I began running.

This is something I want to impress upon my kids. I think it’s really important they know about my struggle and how they can eat healthy and exercise and be involved in sports, etc. It’ll make their lives richer.

I have watched Biggest Loser in passing and I see 3-400 pound people being forced to run up hills and do push-ups and I think, that must be awful! But they’re doing it and most of them find success. I don’t believe everyone can reach some ridiculous goal of being muscled and fit but I do think that anyone can run and do something and the vast majority of folks who whine about being fat are just afraid. They don’t know where to begin. I’m sure this is offensive to some but that’s my stand and I’m sticking to it.

Second Blooming

Wow, tagged in a meme

Vandy tagged me in a meme and I can honestly say I haven’t done one of these in a LONG time!

Anyway, here are the rule:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.”  Legitimately tag 11 people!!

Wow, this is hard, yo!

Ok, one is done so here is #2:

  1. My second favorite time of day (after dusk) is the ten minutes after the alarm goes off and before I get in the shower. I drift; think about how cozy my bed is, hear the caps on Ash’s shampoo opening, listen to the hum of the shower, and think of how I can make my day great.
  2. I was afraid of dogs until we got one when I was 13. Before, I got chased buy a lot of large dogs and they terrified me.
  3. I’ve come to find that my life feels weird if I don’t have a constant game of Words with Friends going.
  4. My right ankle clicks when I rotate my foot. This is probably from childhood gymnastics injuries.
  5. I have a soft spot in my heart for the relationship between Sam Witwicky and Bumblebee on Transformers.
  6. I had a great great grandmother by the name of Zadie, which I think is a great name.
  7. Whenever my kids get cuts, I – only recently – seem to react with a full body shudder. I never used to be so squeamish.
  8. I really believe that the full moon makes people do weird things.
  9. I was a spelling bee champ in elementary school.
  10. One of my best friends from elementary school married a guy we went to middle school with and they just had their second kid but she a.) isn’t on Facebook and b.) he has no pictures of her anywhere. And this drives me nuts!
  11. I kind of want that elusive third child but know we cannot really afford it.

Alright, that was hard! Here’s part 3; the question from my tagger:

Do you have a nickname? Not anymore but people used to call me Claire Bear or Claire-voyant.
What is something you’ve always wanted to do, but never mustered up the courage to try?  Hmm, I’m going to say hiking. I know that’s silly but I want to hike part of the Appalachian trail but just haven’t committed.
What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you go through with it?  Funny enough, I wanted to write and/or teach. I do both!
Would you rather have a housekeeper or unlimited spa services? Spa services. I actually like cleaning my house but I would love to be pampered whenever I want.
Do you collect anything? When I was a kid, I was an avid pen and pencil collector. These days, I only collect comic books and if they count, paperback!
How did you name your blog? I liked the idea of the Latin word to write so I added the “Unknown” part because when I began it, I was relatively unknown in the bloggy universe.
What is the best compliment you have ever received? Wow, I don’t know. I tend to get embarrassed when people say super nice things but I guess whenever Ash tells me I am a good mother and wife, that’s the best.
What was your “Oh no, I’m turning into my mom/dad” moment? It had to be when I realized that I asked Ash, “Are you sure?” too often. My mom does that and it drives everyone crazy!
What is your quirkiest habit? I can’t think of any besides when we go over a speed bump, I hum a little “hmm hmmp” noise as the tires hit. Weird, I know.
Favorite 80s movie? I think it has to be Back to the Future. That’s a classic!
Name one thing you are proud you have accomplished. Having kids; too obvious. Finishing 3 half-marathons. Yeah.
Ok, part 4: my questions for the be-tagged:
#1 – Name the best restaurant you ever ate at and what you had.
#2 – If you coudl meet any one person – living or deceased – who would it be and why?
#3 – Did you go to college? Did you enjoy your time there or no?
#4 – There’s a wild animal in your house, how do you react?
#5 – Do you know the Muffin Man? (LOL)
#6 – What is the highest point you have ever been? (i.e. tallest building, etc.)
#7 – On a scale of one to ten (10 being highest) how do you rank your ability to motivate yourself?
#8 – Someone left a note on your car saying ‘You’re great! Have a good day.” Are you skeptical or thrilled?
#9 – What is the last thing you read? (does not have to be a book)
#10 – Batman or Superman?
#11 – What is one world issue that you wish you could solve with the snap of your fingers?
Now, 5 & 6
Mike at Black Coffee…
Mo Mommy
Lisa at The Happy Nashes
Lex at Dorksims
Ricki Jill at Art @ Home
Catherine at In Between
Magnolia Blossom