Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
So, recently I heard all the hype about this book series called Twilight. I heard it was Harry Potter for prepubescent girls. So, it peaked my interest. I ordered it and read it. And, oh my, what a story it is! I bought it and read 100 pages the first day. I just couldn't put it down. Needless to say, I finished the book in about 8 days. That's the fastest I've read a book since college. I became consumed with the story--sucked in like it was the last book left on Earth. I immediately became involved with the characters.
The story is simple, yet vivid; I can plainly see the images in my mind as Stephanie Meyer had intended. The story certainly isn't Pulitzer Prize winning, but it's an easy, well articulated book filled with the emotions and realities of a young high school aged girl in love with someone she will never be able to have. The captivating and enchanting detailed descriptions of the characters provided by Meyer keep you wanting more. You desperately want Edward to brush Bella's arm, so you can read how her pulse quickens and her face becomes flushed. You really do want to know what might happen next. You understand how Bella feels differently from the others, and how she is desperate to fit in. You want her to be with Edward. You want her to live, but at the same time you want her to die. You want her to be able to spend all eternity with the love of her life. You want her to become "a cold one." You want it for her. In life and love, only death can truly bring them together. You truly yearn for more...well, I did.
After I finished the book, I immediately started on the second one. In fact, I ordered the 2nd book after I started the first one. Being without these characters was unfathomable. Like a heroin addict, I had to have more. I didn't want to go one day without knowing the rest of the story. So, I'm now on the 2nd book and just read another 100 pages today. I've already ordered the next 2 books and awaiting their arrival. I know I should focus on my own reality, but Bella's is much more amazing and dark.
So, I highly recommend the Twilight books. I haven't seen the movie, but I heard it was crap. So, don't waste your time. Instead, read Meyer's words and create your own movie in your mind. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!
Because I have been spending every free moment reading these books, I have been neglecting my usual blog posts. As you can see, this month has the least amount of entries since I began blogging last May. So, you can blame Stephanie Meyer for my recent blog silence.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
"I'm thirsty, mommy!" he yelled.
My heart nearly jumped out of my chest, because I was startled from my dream. My heart pitter-pattered as I tried to figure out what country I was in. When I realized I was in the comfort of my bedroom in Japan, I realized my kid was still standing there waiting for a response. Because I was silent for too long, he walked over to Husband's side of the bed.
"I'm thirsty, daddy!" he yelled in Husband's face.
"Huh..." Husband responded.
So, Jude came back to my side of the bed and yelled, "I'm still thirsty, mommy!"
I'm sure he wanted to say Look mom, I'm freaking thirsty...get your butt out of bed and get me a freaking glass of water! I could hear the frustration in his voice.
I peeled the covers off of me and stumbled out of bed. I told him to pee and then followed him to the toilet. The kid is 4 years old and has amazing bladder control. However, I don't give him more liquids at night until I know the kid has an empty bladder. So, he pottied and then followed me to his restroom. There I grabbed a disposable paper cup from the dispenser and filled it with water. He drank it and then asked me to sleep with him for a while.
We both piled onto his twin bed and tried to get comfortable. Keep in mind, sleeping with a 4 year old little boy is like sleeping with a wild hog. They toss, turn, wiggle, shimmy, flop, jump, grunt, and make weird gurgling noises. After ten minutes of break dancing in his bed, I yelled, "Stop moving!" Thankfully, he obliged. Then, he started talking to me, asking me weird and obscure questions about the universe. Keep in mind, it was midnight and I was tired. All I wanted to do was return to my dreams. But, the kiddo was wide awake and decided that if he was awake, I should be too! After 10 minutes of talking, I yelled, "No more talking...go to sleep!" He whined and whimpered. Then, he stood up and put his head near my feet. I tried to sleep but he kept kicking me in my groin. He kept wiggling and kicking. I was in a half-awake half-asleep state getting kicked in the knees, upper thigh and groin area. I desperately wanted to kick back in self preservation, but I didn't. I just closed my eyes and endured the torture until I finally fell asleep. A swift kick to the groin woke me up around 2 AM. I got up and moved to my bed. I had a horrible crick in my neck from Jude's miniature pillow. My back hurt, and I was exhausted. When I finally started to dream again, the damn alarm went off. It was 4:20 AM. I had planned on running, but I just couldn't leave the comfort of my bed. I swatted at the alarm like it was a horse fly. Husband heard the commotion and asked if I was running today. I grunted and was back in my dream.
I woke up this morning beat to hell! My knees hurt, my back hurts, my neck hurts, and I'm one tired Mexican! I wish I could start an IV drip of caffeine. I'm going to need it today! Oh...the joys of motherhood!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I had my alarm set for 5:30 AM, but my guts had other plans! Yes, my bowels woke me up again! What the freak! I also had an incredibly wacko dream. I dreamt that a gay friend of mine asked me to have his child. He wanted me to get prego with his baby, and then let him raise the baby as his own with his partner. I know, it was weird. So, now I'm awake thinking about what I need to do in preparation for my 12 mile run this morning. Since Tokyo Marathon is just a month away, we are starting to taper our running schedule. We have one more 20 mile run next Saturday, and then just a few shorter runs until the race.
I'm really starting to look forward to race day. I'm anticipating it like it's graduation day. It's amazing to see how my running has changed over the last 6 months or so. I recall mentioning to you last May that I had lost my running Mojo. Obviously, I found it. I'm so thankful for that. When I'm running, everything comes into place. My world feels complete and meaningful. I feel truly alive and invigorated every time I challenge myself to a run 14 miles or longer. I love to set a goal each weekend and then achieve it. It makes me feel amazing. I guess, I'm somewhat addicted to the runners high, but mostly I'm addicted to each small accomplishment. Running and training for a marathon is amazing on so many levels. I highly recommend it, if you are up to the personal and physical challenge. I guarantee your life will never be the same again.
So, now here I am. I should be getting to run, but instead I'm telling you that I should be getting to run. I should get off my butt and log off, but I'm just not ready to begin to the process this morning. So, have you ever wanted to know what I do to prepare for a long run? Well, if not, I'm going to tell you anyways. After all, this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want! So, here goes:
The alarm goes off. I turn it off. I roll out of bed, stumble and drag my feet to the couch where I collapse until my eyes can focus. I have to drag my feet for fear I might step on one of Jude's plastic dinosaurs with spikes, or I might step on a small, plastic Killer Whale--those are the worst to step on. The dorsal fin is hard and sharp, causing excruciating foot pain if stepped on. So, I perch on the couch until my eyes can focus. I turn on the TV and watch useless Japanese television shows until I am awake enough to go into the kitchen and get a large glass of water. I get my water and return to the couch, searching for something worth watching. I drink my water, becoming more awake and aware of the world around me. I sit and drink until the glass is empty. Then, my bowels usually begin to process the water and I have to go. I go. I return to the couch.
If I don't go, I can't run. I cannot run with heavy, full bowels. I just can't do it. I MUST be empty before I run. My bowels usually work like clock work, but sometimes they got off, causing me internal distress and making running impossible. This morning my bowels were emptied first, then I sat on the couch. I know you don't want to know about my bathroom habits, but for a runner, your bowels can become your worst enemy.
So, I sit on the couch allowing my senses to return after a nights sleep. I don't have restful sleep, because I always dream. And, I always remember my dreams. I dream almost every night, and I'm tired almost every morning. I hate it, but I don't want to take anything for fear of becoming addicted. I come from a long line of great alcoholics. I know I have the ability to become one myself or to become something worse. So, I try not to take anything I don't absolutely need. Remember, I'm already medicated!
So, when I'm finally able to focus and think, it's time to get dressed. I usually put on my contacts first. Seeing is important. (And, yes, I wear contacts. I have worn glasses/contacts since the 6th grade!) After I put on my contacts, I brush my teeth and wash my face. Then, I go to the computer to check the weather and temperature. I dress accordingly. I wears tights if it's 45 degrees or cooler. I wear shorts if it's 45 or warmer. My clothes are usually picked out the night before and lying on the edge of the couch waiting to be worn. But, I like to check the weather multiple times just to make sure I know the conditions I'll be running in. There's nothing worse than to be out on a 15 mile run ill prepared for the weather conditions. The weather can break you, if you let it.
So, I get dressed and drink another glass of water. I also eat a breakfast bar. If I run 18 miles or longer, I eat 2 breakfast bars. I load up my fuel belt with fluids, cell phone, keys, Yen (money), Sport Beans, tissues, asthma inhaler, and breakfast bar. I know, I'm a freaking pack mule when I run. But, knowing that I have each of these items gives me comfort when I'm out running for 3 hours or so. I need the water to drink, the beans and bar to eat, the phone just in case I get hit by a car or another run gets injured, I need tissue in case I have to pee behind a tree...I need everything I carry. I must have them or I can't run.
I put on my shoes, hop in the car to meet my running buds, and off we go.
I'm like a super superstitious Major League baseball player. I must have everything just perfect or my mind will wonder about it while running. And, if my mind is on something else, chances are I will not have a good run. I must know that I'm prepared for hunger, thirst, emergencies, the toilet...I'm prepared to be self sufficient for the next 20 miles or so. And, I usually am. Occasionally, I drink all 24 ounces on my belt and must stop at a vending machine to purchase more water. But, I'm happy to be ready for anything on the run. Two weekends ago, I even carried a rain poncho for fear of rain on a 20 mile run.
S0, that's my process. It's long, detailed, obsessive and compulsive. Everything must be just right. I must have a certain type of food, Sport Beans, and tissue. If anything is off, I'm off. And, that's just not acceptable in my book. I prepare and prepare again. I'm neurotic, but here my neurotic behavior comes in handy.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Here's a picture of the crazy ass chimp named Travis who ripped off a woman's face and hands. Okay, what person in their right mind decides to keep a chimp in their house in Connecticut and raise it as a child? Who gives a wild animal wine every night before bed and Xanax? What lunatic would do this? Well, her name is Sandra Herold. I'm sure you've hear about this story on the news. It's a ridiculous story that should have never happened! This woman should have never kept this wild animal in her house. He's huge, powerful and WILD! What the freak?? This woman is obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed! She should be held accountable for owning a wild animal; therefore, allowing it to maul her friend. I know she didn't encourage the animal to harm anyone, but by keeping a wild animal in her house, she should have expected the inevitable! What a moron! I hope she has to pay her friend's medical bills! And, I pray her friend survives the attack, so she can sue the pants off of Ms. Herold.
What the hell?! Look, if you think owning a wild animal is a good idea, then you're as stupid as you look! Ms. Herold deserves to be slapped and then put in jail for being negligent! What a dumb ass!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
As I walked to my car, a police officer stopped me and asked me for my personal information in case they needed me for an investigation. I gave him the information he needed and asked a few questions about the situation. It turns out that the young boy had walked several blocks to the main street. His mother was in the restroom and his older siblings were supposed to be watching him. I told the police officer that I hoped the parents get in trouble for their irresponsible behavior. Then, I drove off thankful for the sweet, humorous, little boy sitting in my back seat. I was so happy to have MY son in MY car under MY protection. I was so happy to see him and have him that I took him to the store to buy a new toy.
I kept hugging him and thanking God that I'm HIS parent. I'm thankful that he's under my care...my obsessive, over protective, hovering care. I'm glad he's mine, and I'm responsible for him.
So, even though I ran 8 miles this morning with my running buds, I was still able to keep up with the first responders. It felt wonderful to know that my running was called upon to help someone in need. I don't know what would have happened if I wasn't able to get the police officers quickly to the wondering child. I'm just glad that God called upon me to use my acquired skill...running!
Just another day in Weenie's World!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
"I think we just had an earthquake," I told him quietly.
"Don't worry, Mommy, it's just the plates moving around under the ground...it will be okay," he said in a drowsy, hoarse voice as he rolled over and went back to sleep.
After the conversation, I got up and checked the computer to see how big the earthquake actually was. It turned out to be a very small 4 point something earthquake-- a very mild one. However, the epicenter was in Chiba--one prefecture over. I was relieved to see it was nothing major.
Just another day in Weenie's World!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The guys waiting for the train to Ome.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Before the haircut...as you can see, he wasn't every excited about getting a haircut...
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
With the recent volcanic eruption some 80 miles away, Jude and I have been spending lots of time talking about volcanoes. For a 4 year old, the concept is some what understandable but consists of some arbitrary concepts I'm not sure the kiddo understands. For example, molten lava, plate tectonics, pyroclastic blast, etc...these are all very complicated words and ideas for a little guy. So, last weekend at breakfast T mentioned that her nephew had recently created an erupting volcano with some household items. That conversation got me thinking. (For the record, anytime I'm thinking...you better watch out! No good can come from it!) I began to think that for my son to actually understand a real volcanic eruption, I should create one and let him watch in awe. So, that's exactly what we did yesterday, twice.
So, I went on the Internet and found the easiest volcanic eruption recipe I could find: Diet Coke and Mentos candies. We went to the store and bought the ingredients. The ingredients were actually quite difficult to find here in Japan. I couldn't find a 2 liter Diet Coke because they don't have them in Japan, so we used a liter and a half. Mentos were a wee bit difficult to find as well, but I wasn't willing to quit at my task. I was determined to create the eruption...no matter what. So, here is the result:
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
The weather conditions weren't perfect, but we fought through. During the run, it was about 44 degrees with wind gusts up to 30 mph. Luckily, there was no rain-- just a really strong wind that nearly knocked me off my feet several times. Like all my other runs, I chatted and put one foot in front of the other. I didn't feel great, though, unlike last week's 17 mile run. Yesterday I felt tired and my stomach was uneasy. At first, I just wanted to complete 18 miles, because I was feeling tired. But JD convinced me to push through and cover the 20 miles I had mentioned earlier that I wanted to run. Since JD had a Garmin (running GPS), he decided to keep track of the distance, pace and time.
Around mile 10, we picked up a new runner named Ash. He has only been running for about a month, but he's in great physical shape. Yesterday was the longest run of his life. We chatted and ran like any other long run. But at mile 16, I started to feel nauseated and my right leg was talking to me. But, JD and Nash kept pushing me and encouraging me to be strong. At one point, the wind was so strong it moved me mid-stride. So, JD and Ash got in front of me to create a protective wind barrier for me. It helped with the wind, but made me realize just how wonderful running buddies can be.
So, we ran and ran. At one point I realized I was running faster than normal. I could tell that my breathing was slightly more labored than usual. But, I just ignored it. I thought I was just feeling more tired than normal and that was causing my breathing to be slightly off. At mile 18, I desperately wanted to stop. I was tired, my leg hurt, my stomach was uneasy, and I just wanted to quit, but JD and Ash wouldn't let me. JD would hold his behind him and motion for me to hurry up. It was like he as saying Come on you can do it without saying a word. His hand gesture was pulling me the way. It was louring me to the finish line. But by mile 19, my breathe became loud and heavy. I wanted to stop and walk, but my new running buddies just wouldn't let me. Ash would scream out at the top of his lungs, "You can do it Little Momma!" I'm sure he woke up several sleeping Japanese people along the route. When we had to stop at a train crossing, Ash said these word, "Don't let me beat you, Little Momma...don't let me beat you!" And, that's all I needed to hear. Those words gave me the power and strength to finish strong. At that moment, I decided to suck it up and run it in. I refused to give in the tiredness, the pain, the soreness, and the fatigue. My mind began to take over my body. I took control and turned off the pain. I told myself I was a marathoner and to not give in to the pain. I said about 4 "Our Father's" and about 15 "Hail Mary's" and that's all I needed. I ran it in all the way to the finish. I felt tired but relieved to be done.
When we finished, JD said, "See...we ran 20 miles in 3 hours and 25 minutes...good job!" I realized I had just ran the fastest 20 mile run in my life, and I felt like crap. Then the possibilities starting shooting through my head. What if my leg didn't hurt...what if my stomach wasn't upset...what if I wasn't tired?? Could I have ran 20 miles even quicker?? Come to find out, Ash and JD were lying to me about our pace during the second half of the run. They had me running about 9:45 miles. That's much faster than I normally run. I usually run about 10:15-10:30 miles. I thought we were pushing the pace during the second half, but I was relying on them to tell me the truth, and they didn't. Sometimes the best running buddies are those that lie. They lie to you when you need it. They lie to you to push you beyond what you think you are capable of. They lie to you so you can achieve goals you never thought were possible. For that, I'm grateful.
So, now I sit here at the computer tired and sore. But most of all, I'm grateful for great running buddies that encourage, push and lead the way.
Thanks so much JD and Ash! You guys rock!