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Friday, April 30, 2010

Phone Interview

Something stupid happened during my phone interview. My computer shut down. For no reason, out of the blue, of its own volition, my computer announced, "Firefox.exe is shutting down", then the whole machine promptly closed up shop. This was kind of a problem because I had opened my resume on my screen, plus a document with notes on various accomplishments/areas of experience. These were my interview prompts. Having them suddenly vanish took me aback a little. It was like giving a speech and having your notes blow off the podium in the middle - you still know what you're going to say, but it will come off as less polished! I hope it didn't affect the interview too much but I will admit this was not my best interview. I felt like none of the questions allowed answers that could showcase what I have to offer and it is very hard to judge if your answer is too long or too short over the phone. You're working with no visual cues and precious few audio cues either ("Hm!" "Ah!").
I turned my computer back on and off course it is behaving perfectly docilely now. It's never abruptly shut down before and I'm very sure it will never do it again. Traitor. It probably works for the competition. Maybe my computer is a spy! This very post may be used against me later! It's probably emailing every word I type to another applicant so they will know my weaknesses!
Hm, anyway, tonight I am going to get sushi with a group of people I never met. I found them on Meetup. I was hunting for a book club and found this interesting website that basically throws strangers together based on interests. Thanks to my crazy schedule I have had to pass on a book club meeting in a wine bar (Doesn't that sound fun?) and a sketch group that meets at Barnes and Nobles. Honestly the only reason I skipped that was that it met in Metairie. I'll be darned if I travel to a suburb to draw. I hope they meet closer to my home next time. I need some artistic inspiration!
These "meet ups" are a pretty good idea for me, because we're in a strange sort of friend situation over here. There are 3 components to the friend situation:
1. Hubby is 8 years older than me so his friends are all older and have families; they're in a different place in life than we are (we asked one friend to dinner this week and they told us that they had to be HOME by 5 because bedtime was 5:30 at their house).
2. I graduated...and my school friends all went their separate ways. Of all the girls I used to hang out with outside of school only one stayed in New Orleans, but she went on to a residency, and I rarely see her because she is so busy.
3. Katrina. Many life-long friends simply don't live here anymore.
Basically, we're in a time of shifting friendships - people coming and going, marriages, lots of baby-making. LOTS. Everyone I know has a baby or an impending baby!
So, I'm meeting new people with similar interests. I think it's a quaint idea. As long as one of them isn't an ax murderer or internet predator, I'll come back and report.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Can I have a leetle break?

This week I have to: create slides for our company to use for doctor/patient/pharmacist education, compose a presentation for my market, complete a 17-hour HIV certification course, turn in volumes of expense reports, participate in a 3-hour conference call seminar, have a phone preliminary job interview (!), and plan my little brother's graduation party for next weekend. This is an ordeal because we will have 22 guests, and my apartment seats 14 max. Including the toilet. Plus my dad is a vegetarian, one of my brothers eats only red meat, Abe does not eat fried food when training for a race, and my aunt has multiple food the menu is a little up in the air. One of my brother's roommates was invited, and he RSVP'd with his whole family who is in town for HIS graduation, which sort of forced me to include him as a co-honoree. So now I'm hosting a party for Bob, too, whom I've never met.
In addition to having a party next week, we are hosting my aunt (from MD) and my older brother (from TX) and will be doing the whole New Orleans/French Quarter tourist thing. And we'll be driving brother and wife back and forth to Mississippi where they're staying. And then there's mothers day. And four in-law birthdays. All that same weekend.
So, if I get a little quiet over here, forgive me, ok? I'll save all my funny stories and tell you when I'm not on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
See you later!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A perfect Sunday afternoon

Here is the perfect Sunday afternoon:
Incredible 70's weather.
A quick run.
A walk with the hubby to Plum Street Snowballs.
A Pina Colada cream snowball. MMMMM.
Keep walking to Audubon Park.
Long game of football (my throwing arm is sore!).
A few fun photos (see above. It really was a beautiful day!).
Walk home and eat Lebanese food and split a bottle of red zinfandel in front of the TV.
Go to sleep early.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My life insurance physical

This morning I had a mini-physical for a life insurance policy the hubby is buying (should I be scared?). I learned a few interesting things, like my height and weight. I discovered I'm closer to 5"8" than the 5"7" I've been claiming (which explains my high water slacks a little) and that my estimated weight that I've been telling people is off by like 8 pounds! Oops. Give me a break, people, I don't own a scale!
The funny part of the physical was - as always - the blood pressure and pulse part. After 3 attempts at a blood pressure (and switching to a child's cuff for my skinny arm - I guess I need to do some upper body strength work!) the technician grunted, "Either you're about to die right in front of me or you're a long distance runner." Haha. My blood pressure was 92/60 and my pulse was 40. That's after two full cups of coffee.
I get this response fairly often. When I was in the hospital after surgery my nurse called a "rapid response" (Not a code blue, but it means they're concerned that you're about to code) based on my blood pressure readings. I was sitting up and talking! I had to persuade the code team that I was fine by singing aloud!
The technician also told me that she lost 12 pounds over 2 months by switching to water instead of diet coke, and she pulled her shirt up to show my dog bite marks she'd gotten at another client's house. She lost me at the disrobing. I can insult diet coke all day long, but I really don't want to see anyone's abdomen. You?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Product Review: Shave Secret

Do you long for a close, smooth shave? Are you un-thrilled by the rust ring in your shower from your shaving cream can? Do you have hours of your life available to dedicate to cleaning your razors out with an embroidery needle?

Then Shave Secret is for you!
I got a sample of shave secret in my packet from the Mardi Gras Marathon. It's basically an oil you rub on your skin before shaving instead of using shaving cream. The pros? You only use a few drops, so it lasts for ages, and you get an amazingly smooth shave, irritation free. The cons? It makes your razor yucky. It fills with gunk. It's ok if you don't mind picking oil-skin-hair cement out of your razor with a needle, but if that's not how you want to spend your time, skip it.
I am on the fence about buying this now that I've finally finished the sample. I loved the close shave (I'm used to bristles), but having to clean your razor after every few uses is a little annoying.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New shoes and JOB SCARE

Last night our wonderful landlords took us out to dinner at River 127, a restaurant atop the Weston in Canal Place. The dining room overlooks the Mississippi River and the French Quarter. It's a lovely view, especially when the sun set and the lights started to come on across the city. Looking over the pattern of lights reminded me of the days following Hurricane Katrina when lights in the city were such a sign of hope. At first the nights were nearly pitch black; then more and more areas would light up at night.
I had crab cakes, followed by brandy at the landlords'. Of course we live in a double so...we had drinks next door. We always joke about finding our way home later and "don't drink and drive". We adore our landlords.
My news shoes also arrived yesterday! I haven't used them yet because they showed up right after I finished a 10-mile. So I can't review them yet. But they do fit, although you can see in this picture that they are a little longer and a little more narrow compared to my Nike Craps (I renamed them). They felt great when I put them on - all new-shoe-squishy - but I'm worried about the narrow toe. I have super wide feet. I'll give a full review after I try them!

While I'm talking shoe allow me to explain my bitterness with my Nikes. I am disappointed because I was persuaded to buy this expensive shoe because supposedly the wide toe box would fit my wide foot. Well - it would, if I didn't have long feet. Apparently the toe box is the same on all shoe sizes and the length is only adjusted in the body of the shoe. (You can actually see in the picture that the toe area looks really short.) That means that my foot starts widening before the shoe does - therefore major pinching! I couldn't really tell until I ran in them: the first time I wore them my feet were covered in blood blisters because of the pinching and unfinished rough edges inside the shoe. That's kind of bad, but what upset me is that at about 300 miles the sole was totally worn off. I'm running on subsole now. I just expect longer life from a shoe, that's all.
What running shoes do you wear - and which ones have been a disappointment?
Anyway. Back to my JOB SCARE! I finally was invited to apply for the clinical position I really really want in my company. I applied last week. Last night I got an automatic email telling me "thanks for applying, we're looking at other candidates who meet our qualifications"! I freaked out! I've been specifically groomed for this job! Of course I immediately forwarded it to my district manager. He's a good guy, so I assumed he would have personally called me if I'd been passed over. Well, I got a call from him in about a half hour. He was sort of laughing - it turns out that I was automatically rejected for not meeting the requirements for the job. I answered "no" to the "have you been a manager for at least one year" question and was kicked out of the system. To get me back in he called the clinical supervisor and got him to re-write the job requirements! So now I'm eligible again but I had to re-apply this morning. So back to square one here. At least I got practice being turned down, so if I DON'T get the job I'm already kind of prepared for bad news!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Drama-Filled Day

Yesterday EXHAUSTED ME because it was chock-full o' drama.
I was working an hour away in Mandeville and decided to leave early and go out of my way to Covington to my parents' house. I had an extra gym bag to drop off for one of the brothers to use. You have to share in big families. To get to Mandeville and Covington you have to cross Lake Pontchartrain on a 26 mile bridge. As I neared the other side, traffic started slowing to a stop. Emergency vehicles started passing me and I realized there were helicopters overhead and police boats in the water. Traffic began piling up behind a row of police cars and I spent about 20 minutes just sitting. While I sat there one of the firemen in the firetruck next to me rolled his window down - he recognized me from the Crescent City Classic! We had finished near each other and had chatted. We finally inched forward and I saw a car on the side of the road and a woman just crying her eyes out. I heard the story later - it turns out that a couple was having an argument in their vehicle and to make a point the guy got out and jumped off the bridge! But the car behind him, who witnessed it, stopped and saw that the jumper was struggling in the water and really could not swim. So the driver actually jumped in and rescued him, keeping him afloat until emergency workers could lower baskets into the water. Some people are CRAZY!
The driver who rescued him was pretty brave...makes me think maybe I should learn to SWIM!
So I didn't have enough time to visit the fam - I just stopped by Abe's work and picked up a free coffee :)
Work was busy, as usually, and complicated by two more major pieces of news: A manager in our company was demoted (more drama) and, distressingly, the dean of my former college of pharmacy committed suicide. I did not know him very well, but he was a close mentor to many of my co-workers/classmates. I had the impression that his personality was not 100% stable but his death was a shock to many.
I think processing all this insane news made me tired. I was so sleepy when I got home I could barely eat my red beans and go to bed - all this drama is wearing me out!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gulf Coast Classic 10k

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a run! The weather was incredible - '70's and sunny - and the course was so pretty. The race started at the War Memorial Park in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Part of the course was on Scenic Drive, a road overlooking the beach and lined with huge Southern homes. Since Scenic Drive is elevated, these historic Confederate era mansions survived Katrina.
The race was small - only about 300 people ran the 10k - which was a nice change from the 20,000 or more a few weeks ago at the Crescent City Classic. David and I ran the 10k and my too-cute sister in law Liz walked the 2 mile. That was kind of fun because she was finished first and could cheer for me at the finish - I never have people at the finish line; I always finish before David and my brother Abe is so fast he's usually home before I get there, haha! Here we are looking all cute and sweaty.

Funny thing about this race: we were running IN TRAFFIC. There were signs up to "watch for runners" but literally we were running in 2-way traffic for part of the course! I think that we were on a road that was an only outlet perhaps? Luckily I didn't get run over. Hehe. Despite that, I had a great race. This was easily the prettiest 10k course I've run, especially in yesterday's gorgeous weather. I was taking it easy, chatting with runners, stopping to read some signs up on the mansions (fascinating; I know little about Confederate history), and actually added time to my last 10k. But I still finished 3rd in my age group! (Don't you love small races?). I was the 6th female and somewhere in the 30's overall. I didn't expect to place so we left soon after David finished, and I didn't find out how I did until I got home. Darn, my living room decor just isn't complete without a sparkly royal blue and gold trophy, you know?
A cute story from this race: A man with 2 kids in a jogging stroller won the 2-mile in under 13 minutes. Before the race started, one of the kids was BALLING his head off. I mean, screaming! Everyone could hear this kid wailing as we were lining up. But as soon as the gun went off that kid shut up and enjoyed the ride! I think he was mad that he wasn't moving - he probably expected to sit in that stroller and take off. Too funny.
Runner readers, I need advice. I used to suffer a lot from nausea while running, and would often throw-up when running. Last year I thought I had gotten the situation under control, but mainly that was thanks to slowing down. Lately the problem is returning. Yesterday I actually stopped to throw up, although I got the urge under control. It happens more in hot weather and is NOT correlated to effort - I can be doing fine and feel sick. It occurs more often in a crowded park or during a race (could it be motion sickness from watching bobbing heads around me?) and it is worse if I'm running under 8 min/miles. I've stopped eating at all before I run, but I still have coffee. Any advice? This is really slowing me down.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another busy weekend

Yesterday (while I should have been preparing for a lecture) I discovered a 10k race on the beach in Pass Christian, Mississippi tomorrow. So I told the hubby we were doing the race. You know what a good sport he is? He just said, "Ok." Mind you, David hates exercise. But I think I'm slowly converting him. You see, I gave him the option of doing the 2-mile fun run instead, and he actually opted for the 10k. Looks like my brainwashing is working!
I actually have a packed weekend. I'm off work today and I already did a kickboxing class (fun way to cross-train!) and some groceries. I also stopped at a fruit stand and loaded up on inexpensive, fresh produce. Avocados were 6/$5: who could pass that up?
Now I'm reviewing for my presentation at the Tulane residents conference this afternoon, and I also have to squeeze in work on a presentation I'm writing for the company, plus start a CE course I'm required to do as follow-up to the HIV symposium I recently attended. I also need to pack some clothes, because after my presentation we're going to Bay St Louis to spend the night before the race (my in-laws' house is about 10 minutes from the start). The race is along the beach and should be breezy and beautiful!
We're leaving Bay St Louis soon after and heading back to NOLA for a christening - then I have work the next day!
So...just a little busy today. I have to give those slides a once-over now, so happy Friday to you and see you Monday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brand New Shoes!

Last night I bought new running shoes totally on a whim and without trying them on. Crazy! But I'm so excited. Take a look:

They're Karhus, a brand of Finnish shoes with an adorable history (seriously, they sold their three stripes pattern symbol to Adidas back in like the '40's - couldn't Adidas have thought of another, more original symbol?). I bought the speed shoes, which I guess are their racing flats.
There's a two-fold reason that I bought them.
1. I love my pronation. Yep. Love it. I pronate a slightly to moderately but it is very obvious when I run because I have extremely high arches. You can actually watch the arch dip and roll in. (It fascinates people who sell shoes.) Naturally, everyone who sells me shoes tries to correct this, and with disastrous results. There is a direct correlation between stability shoes and knee pain - the more stable/motion controlling the shoe is, the more severe knee pain I develop. Right now I'm wearing neutral/mild stability Nikes with 300 or 400 miles on them. Because they're Nikes (BOO!), they're basically totally worn out already. Support is gone. They're like dirty rubber socks. And that means they're finally comfortable on my knees! I can't promise this will work for everyone, but I need to allow my body to correct itself when I run. I've been walking and running on these same feet for 27 years and my body has adapted. Trying to "fix" my gate with shoes = poor patella tracking and pain. The Karhu concept actually encourages a little pronation and works with it to promote a fast transition to the front-foot. I saw Karhus at a booth at the Marathon expo and it piqued my interest.
2. The real reason I bought them, though, is that I can't pass up a good deal. I was Googling "Karhu" and what do you think popped up? A huge sale at Sierra Trading Post. The flats are on sale from $114 to $39! WHAT!!!! Furthermore, I used a coupon code to get an additional 20% off - so even with shipping, my total was under $40. If you're interested, the coupon code is 2ADVENTURE and can be used on any order - I think it expires 4/19 but not sure.
My plan is - if these shoes work out, I basically guessed at the size - to work these shoes in for fast runs and speedwork - and wear them and my Nikes (BOO again!) at the same time. I mean not exactly the same time. You know what I mean.
Has anyone else tried Karhus, besides this runner? Thoughts on the technology (or lack thereof) in this shoe?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I want to do this marathon!

I stumbled upon the Freedom's Run marathon and I really want to run it! The race centers on historic Civil War sites in the panhandle of West Virginia and into Maryland.

Not only is it a scenic run packed with's packed with MY history. I lived in West Virginia for about 4 years and we frequented these areas at least once a week. Actually we generally went to the Potomac Tow-path/C&O canal once a week for walks that my dad helpfully termed "death marches" and explored Antietam probably once a week as well. Harper's Ferry was a more rare treat. In historic Harper's Ferry there was a shop that sold hard candy in a stick for ten cents, and choosing which flavor to buy is a stand-out childhood memory. I'd love to revisit some of these places!
A few problems: The course is a lot of dirt roads (Trust me. I know this from multiple "death marches"), which are hard to run on, and very hilly (it's the Mountain State, after all!). Plus the race is early October, which puts training smack in the middle of a New Orleans summer.
What do you think - should I go for it?
Check it out here!

Monday, April 12, 2010

While I was away... hubby bought a car.

Yes. While I was on a business trip my husband bought a car. You read that right. But he has my blessing. The poor man was driving a 12 year old Civic that has been in an accident and flooded and was literally falling apart. Oil gushed out of it. The windows wouldn't roll down anymore. The CD player (in the trunk, folks) broke. It made so much noise driving that we couldn't talk on the phone in the car. Parts occasionally fell off. The brakes had the effectiveness of sticking a Popsicle stick into bicycle spokes. Chunks of foam sprayed out of the vents when you used the A/C (which still works! Anyone want to buy a 12 year old Civic with the proverbial "cold A/C"?). The worst thing about the car was that it refused to actually die. If it would just croak, we would just replace it!
Well, while I was away my husband saw an ad for a 2008 Subaru Impreza hatchback. This is actually the car we had picked out when the Civic flooded (that was before USAA elected to repair it instead - and stuck us with a flooded 12 year old car). In fact, it was even the color we liked, and it is still under warranty and has under 20k miles on it. The owner was moving to England...TODAY. So the hubby took it for a test drive and did a mechanics once-over, offered her UNDER THE TRADE IN VALUE (and well below Bluebook!) and she took the offer!
The car is basically pristine and was a great deal. So I understand why he couldn't pass it up!
Now I have allowed the hubby to go on a guys trip to Vegas without me and buy a car while I was out of town, so I think I am officially the best wife ever.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A post on conferences and dry air

Here I sit at my desk enjoying some late afternoon breezes, an orange, and some peanuts (I'm having a mid-workout snack. I finished a run and needed a bite before heading to the fitness center to see what they have to offer). My conference is over, and my head is spinning with new information and plans. I think the company - or my district, anyway - has a lot of work to do in order to profitably serve the HIV population. I enjoyed meeting other clinically-minded pharmacists from around the nation. Thirty of us were invited to attend and we all have different backgrounds: some have established HIV practices; others (like myself!) come from a district with no HIV program in place at all. I got a chance to pick the brains of several experienced pharmacists and took some good notes. So that's a great thing about these conferences. However, there is a downside. You get to see the yucky, stupid side of your co-workers. Yes, I am talking to you, D-bag pharmacist who got drunk and would not stop hitting on me and insulting women all in the same breath. This is a company event. Sober up and please shut up!
Other than, you know, some jerks, I'm enjoying my time. I just got back from a 45 minute run in the neighborhood around the hotel during which I barely leaked a drop of sweat (it's 87 degrees) but I did have two nosebleeds! I am so obviously not used to this dry climate. I bled all down my arm and showed back up at the hotel looking like an accident victim (I couldn't find any faucet outside to wash up since I was unfamiliar with the area).
As I was just typing this I realized that I definitely DID sweat - it just rapidly evaporated. I'm figuring this out because as I type white powder is poofing off my hands and arms - it's salt! In NOLA sweat just stays on you until you wash it off!
I'm off to check the gym out, then a group of us who are staying until tomorrow are going to meet for dinner. Wish me luck with these lonely youngsters. I don't want to have to beat anyone up.
PS -Sorry about the no pictures. I took some pictures, but I didn't bring the cable for the camera and my laptop doesn't have a card port.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Welcome to Phoenix!

AND HELLO, beautiful, shiny, sleek hair! Where were you when I needed you in New Orleans?! I've been here for an hour and I already don't recognize my hair.
This is just a quick post that serves as a shout-out to the Chandler Fashion Center Marriot. This place is great! They allowed me to check in at 9 am instead of 3pm, and when the concierge saw my laptop bag he asked the clerk to upgrade me to a suite with an office. So yeah! I'm in a top-floor suite with a view and I'm working on that darned continuing education article, at a desk with all manner of charging outlets, and using free wifi. This is so much nicer than crashing at Starbucks with my luggage like I had planned. I did get some Starbucks at the cafe downstairs, though - getting up at 4 am makes a gal tired. I plan on getting some work in this morning, then going for a run around the grounds before registering for the conference and meeting my company for dinner. Here's to getting things done!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breaking Beauty Rules

Subtitle: "How to totally misuse items in your makeup kit".
This might be my single biggest lazy beauty trick. And 'cause I'm a sweetheart, I'll share it with you!
It's about eyeliner. To me, eyeliner should give the impression of thick lashes (or enhance thick lashes), not "define the eye" or circle the eye or underline the eye or ring the eye. Basically, I'm too lazy to put mascara on (It's so hard to get right, so time-consuming to apply correctly, so difficult and messy to remove), so I let my eyeliner do the job instead.
The big secret? Use lipliner instead. I mean a high quality, self-sharpening one (the kind that telescopes out of the stick). There are a wide variety of lipliner colors available, but they all have one thing in common: a red base. This makes your liner look incredibly natural. If you look at your lash line you'll notice the skin has a pink, red, or purple tint in that area. Selecting a color that picks up that tint makes the line look much more natural and gives the impression of naturally thick lashes. A plain black or brown can't blend in with your skin and therefor does not appear to be part of your lash line at all, but a fake line of pigment (which is what it is). You have to go with a red!
I promise.
Right now I'm using Revlon Colorstay in Figs, but I've also used Eggplant, Wine, Blackberry, and Plum. If you have lighter lashes, you would probably look great in Sienna, Nude, or Rust.
Now go try it and then tell me how impressed you are.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Some gross things only happen to me.

Yesterday I worked an early shift in Mandeville (across Lake Ponchartrain) and decided that, since I was already over there, I would go for a run on the Mandeville Lakefront along the seawall.

So I packed my gym bag and changed in the bathroom before heading to the lake. It was hot out, and I realized that I hadn't filled up my water bottle. It was about 1/2 full and I had an hour drive back home. About a mile in I stopped to stretch and eyed the lake thirstily. Here I was, all hot and thirsty already, and there was this huge body of water just feet away! I know I shouldn't drink lake water - the lake is polluted and can be brackish, and is probably host to a variety of parasites. But it was SO hot! I tiptoed down some seawall stairs and slurped up a little handful of water. Ahhh! I resumed my run - then stopped short in about 3 yards. Less than ten feet from my little drink there was a dead dog floating in the lake. It had obviously been dead for awhile and was starting to decompose. I'm not joking. I couldn't see it when I got a drink because of the position of the stairs.
In better news: My friend Steve who came over for lunch after the Crescent City Classic talked my into weaning myself off my knee strap. He pointed out that relying on the strap prevents development of muscles that keep your patella tracking correctly. So yesterday I left the strap off and I was surprised that it wasn't too painful. This morning it is a little sore but I think I'll skip it again on today's run. I'll let you know about my progress with that.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dress re-do

On my recent shopping spree I bought a FREAKIN' CUTE (sorry to get all high school on you there) dress at an undisclosed location (ok, ok, it was Rainbow). Weeell...the dress was adorable on the hanger.

On me it made me look like I had two butts. I'm serious! The large peplum imitates, you know, the hip area. Ideally, a peplum should be placed parallel to your hips and rear - ie, the widest part of the peplum corresponds with the widest part of your bum, and the top of the peplum cinches in at your waist. This dress didn't fit that way at all. Perhaps this is a direct result of shopping in a pre-teen clothing store, but I think that's just a correlation. Whatever the reason, or reasoning on the designers' parts, the peplum started above the waist and ended mid-rear. This gave a profile of, well, two butts.
I have used a handy piece of torn notebook paper to illustrate this design concept.

Not one to waste $10, I grabbed my trusty sewing scissors and performed dress surgery. I removed part of the peplum and restitched it as a sleeker "mini peplum" that totally flatters!

Now I'm back to one butt, albeit large. You see it is totally holding its own and did not need back up from a second butt. What do you think - worth the $10 and a half hour of sewing? I say yes!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crescent City Classic 10k!

Sorry about no awesome race pictures of my brothers whizzing across the finish personal photographer was running, too, so I might have to post some ugly MarathonFoto picture in all their pirated glory later (please excuse the watermark).

I had a WEIRD race. It was weird because I felt bad the whole time - like I was dehydrated and it was a lot of effort. This is the second race I ran where I started out dehydrated, and both had the same thing in common: two hours before start with no water available! I think I'm on to something with these races: I have GOT to hydrate better, the day before and morning of the race. And I guess I could skip the half-bottle of Chardonnay the evening before and the mugs of coffee early in the morning, right? But despite that, I did make my time goal - BARELY - finishing in 47:59. I'm happy about the time but I still feel like, "Ugh, bad race" even though it really wasn't. The weirdest part was after the race though. As I crossed the finish I was kind of gagging a little - just a little racing habit I have when it's hot out, sorry folks. I got pulled into the medical tent! I promised the EMTs I was ok but I think they just wanted me off the finish line. They made me sit, but then they started rushing to help a runner who collapsed at the line. Since they put him in a wheelchair, I got up to move out of their way. And another EMT walked over and started shouting at me and actually manhandled me out of the area! I was so surprised I could barely blurt, "I'm here because the EMTs made me sit down!" and he said, "Oh, oops, you're in medical? Oh." Well, too late pal, you already physically shoved me outside the police barricade! Only me. (however, I do want to mention that all the other EMTs were so sweet and helpful. This guy was an aberration).
And how did the fam do?
Wonderful of course! Dad walked it in 80 minutes; David actually shaved 10 minutes off last years time and finished in a little over an hour.
And the brothers? This was Sam's first big race. He ran his first actual race last week, a 5k, and placed 2nd in his age group. Today he ran in 43:06 and was in the top 500 finishers! He also got a chance to talk to one of the Kenyan competitors before the race, who very politely inquired about Sam's goal time!
Abe did well at 36:29,placing 55th, but I think he's a long distance runner at heart. His 1/2 marathon time only added 6 seconds per mile. However, he had some shoe complaints: he wore new racing flats today and decided he doesn't like them at all. It's his first pair of flats.
We had the family and some friends over for lunch after, and now I'm seeking COFFEE.
Happy Easter to all!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Business Trip in Phoenix

This is Phoenix, shown in a picture shamelessly swiped off the visitor's bureau website.
Next Thursday (at the crack of dawn, my flight departs at 6:05!) I'm heading to Phoenix to represent my region at the Clinical Care Options HIV symposium. I'm thrilled to go because HIV is one of my primary areas of interest and has a large impact in our area. Plus when I get back I'll be giving presentations throughout the region to transmit new information to other pharmacists, and I do so love public speaking (seriously, I do).
The problem is that I keep changing my mind about what to pack. Even though it is a weekend conference, I want to keep my appearance professional. But I also need to stay comfortable and be prepared for two extremes:
1. Freezing cold convention rooms.
2. Super hot and sunny weather (temps predicted to be mid 80's throughout).
So...I need your help packing!
Things to keep in mind: I arrive Thursday at 8:30 am and have nothing to do all day until a dinner at 6. And of course I can't check in until 3. So Thursday's outfit should probably be able to go from travel to some sort of all-day activity (I was planning on actually doing something in Phoenix but I decided it might be wise just to work on the CE I'm writing at the hotel coffee shop) to dinner with colleagues.
I don't expect to do much walking.
And Sunday is just a travel day.

My wardrobe has some good basic pieces:
- skinny black or khaki pants*
- black or gray dress pants
- black or brown blazers; short sleeved gray blazer
- gray sheath dress
- black or gray pencil skirts
- a plethora of button-downs, but I'm afraid of them wrinkling
- several long or short sleeved nice Ts that I usually dress up with statement jewelry or a scarf; most are bright colors (teal, royal, yellow, turquoise) but I have black and white as well.
- A few camisoles and pull over sweaters of the nicer variety
- A dressy white cardigan
- Comfortable back heels, black or copper flats
So if you feel like playing mix-n-match in my closet, I would be forever grateful for some guidance here!

*I had these amazing Banana Republic cigarette leg pants in black and olive and always bemoaned the fact that the style was no longer made. Then I found a khaki pair on Ebay and they arrived yesterday - HEAVEN! I love it when I find a discontinued style I adore! I feel so Audrey Hepburn!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was off work yesterday because I have to work on EASTER SUNDAY. Poor me. Actually I traded for Sunday: I was scheduled to work Saturday, but I had already registered for the Crescent City Classic 10k. So I swapped with another pharmacist - who was probably happy to get Easter off!
Working the weekend gives you a sometimes extremely useful day off in the middle of the week. If I have errands to run I love these mid-week days off, but apparently if I don't have pressing matters I just spend oodles of money.
That's what I did yesterday!
First I went to Pier 1, where I found baskets (on sale) to fit my wire shelf so I can pretend it isn't college student furniture. These baskets have been in the works for about a year: I have had so much trouble finding the right size; then when I did find a set of three on Target's website they sent me just one basket. When I called they informed me that the item had been discontinued (nice). The new baskets are shorter, so I am stacking them by twos.

I also bought these tiny bowls on clearance for $1; they match my casual plates and are much more cereal-sized than our big soup bowls.

The real reason for my errand was to buy drinking glasses at World Market, which is right next to Pier 1. Our glasses supply has been dwindling as we clumsily break them; we were down to just 4 glasses! I broke down and went shopping when I tried out a super cheap powdered dishwasher detergent from the dollar store. It scratched all my glassware, making it look like this:

I went with a fleur de lis design on our new ones. I love it! And of course, they were on sale.

I also bought some wine and saki (for some sakitinis!).
THEN (ha! Not done shoppin' yet!) I trotted across the parking lot to one of my secret shopping destinations: Rainbow! Yes, you have to squeeze through racks crammed so close together you have to suck your tummy in. Yes, there are probably going to be highschoolers in there. Yes, your clothes might fall apart in the wash (may I recommend cold water gentle cycle?). But you can get some deals on cute clothes you don't want to spend a lot of money on. See? Adorable dress and totally classic blazer - total $28, 10% Louisiana sales tax included.

I don't think I've ever actually bought this many items in one day in my whole life but I can honestly say all of it was needed - especially the glasses. I had to serve guests water out of wine glasses before! And in my defense everything I bought was on sale or clearance, per my usual habits.
What's your latest big purchase? And since I'm a major snoop, have you bought any cute clothes lately? That's my size? That I can borrow?
Up next: hep me pack for my Phoenix business trip!