Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cleveland Rocks


If I’m going to be crappy about writing in my real journal, I should at least throw up mini-posts from time to time to supplement my ever failing memory banks. 

This weekend was a bit of a travel whirlwind. I hit up a friend’s 50th birthday party Friday night which was fun and ridiculous. 

I don’t know why the hats came out but, with a nickname like Jingle, I was required by law to grab the Santa hat. It was great to catch up with friends that were in town from Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and even Sacramento to celebrate Eric’s birthday. 

Saturday morning I had to tear myself away to head just south of Cleveland for extravaganza #2 of the weekend. Who can resist a good pig roast?

It’s always a good day when Piggy and Gopher come to town. Or come to a town 3 hrs from home. There was pork – naturally – and all sorts of other amazing food, including bacon blue cheese cole slaw and an amazing cookie recipe that I’ll have to try soon that includes amaretto.  

Unfortunately, after two days of pretty much non-stop people, this introvert REALLY needed a break. I have yet to figure out how to balance my desire to spend time with people I don’t get the opportunity to see that often with my need to sit in a quiet room with yarn or a book. 

That being said, I sucked it up and stayed longer today than I really wanted too and we drove up to take in a Tribe game. The Indians were always my dad’s baseball team, so I rooted for them for his sake (and because they were playing a game from that state up north. Otherwise, I was just there for the hotdogs and cold beer. 


18 for 2018

I’ve been catching up on old podcasts and went on a run today, listening to “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.” Sure, it sounds a little woo-woo self-helpy, but who couldn’t stand to be a little happier?

One of the episodes I listened to today – number 147 – is all about coming up with 18 things that will make you happier in 2018. They don’t have to be massive, world-altering acts – just things that you feel will generally improve your overall happiness. 

Between phone calls and emails at work, I started to scribble mine. I got a little excited about returning to photography, can you tell? It needs to be fine-tuned a great deal and maybe go a little deeper but it’s a good start. 

My original New Year’s resolution was an adventure a month. “Adventure” is a bit of a grandiose term for what I would really be doing but essentially the idea was to do one thing a month that was new and different: attend a new Meetup group, weekend trip to Indy or Cincinnati, catch a Reds or Tribe game. I’m in a rut and need to shake things up. 

Exercise in Futility

So, there’s a solar eclipse rolling through these here parts in just over 48 hours. As usual, I put off looking for glasses til the last minute and – like the rest of the universe – am finding them impossible to find. 

I’m a last ditch effort, I went to the Centerville-Washington library where they were giving away pairs of glasses. 

Needless to say, I didn’t make the cut. The excitement came when a woman who had been in line since sunrise let her husband and children in line with her just 5 minutes before the giveaway, so the people who had been there for hours were suddenly cheated out of tickets.  To say there was anger is an understatement. There were several older people who missed out because of this family’s entitled sense of self-importance. Fortunately, it didn’t descend into a physical altercation but it very easily could have. 

As for me, HRG is disappointed that she didn’t get any eclipse glasses but she got consolation donuts so she’s good. 

That Can’t Be Right

Twenty months? It’s seriously been twenty months?  I mean, nothing has happened in a year and a half but that’s no excuse for not posting even the most basic “W’hoo! The Cubbies won the World Series!!” post.

No, really, they did. It was awesome.

Same job, same exciting non-social life, same knitting works-in-progress.

I did go to Charleston to do a 10K and later to Buffalo to visit a friend and do a 5K.

Will try to do better and bore on a more regular basis. The Happiness Project suggests one-sentence daily journaling as a project. If I manage a paragraph, in call it a win.


You Win, Universe

I thought once the page on the calendar turned and the horrid month of December was put behind me, I’d finally be able to exhale and start to relax again.


Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!  My tire pressure light had been on for a few days and I did the responsible thing – I took it to the dealership at the crack of dawn and asked them to check my tires. Once again, they patted me on the head and told me, “Oh, little lady, it’s just because the temperature dropped recently.” Yeah, well, I wish I had that dude’s phone number as I was sitting on the side of the interstate at midnight on my drive back from C-bus. Then again, I can’t be held responsible for what I would’ve done with a tire iron. Roadside assistance swept in to the rescue after about 45 minutes but I was still mad a hell. Looks like I’m driving the Buick for the rest of the week!

That’s the other thing – I was on my way home from a whirlwind trip to Columbus for the Capitals-Blue Jackets game (a little belated birthday present to myself). Apparently, the boys didn’t get the memo because they ended up losing in a shootout. Ah well, we got a point out of the hot mess and frankly I knew they were going to lose. Apparently I’m quite the bad luck charm for the Caps at Nationwide.

Had fantastic seats adjacent to the Caps Road Crew, so I wasn’t alone in sporting my Backstrom jersey. However, between the seats, the snacks, and the %#@(!#* new tire, it turned out to be quite the expensive little venture.

Happy 2016!

Apparently, I feel it’s time for my annual blog post.  So ashamed, but I just haven’t made blogging a priority.  Maybe if I can convince myself to make one day a week my regular blogging day, I can at least eke out 52 posts a year? I suppose it would also help if there was anything going on in my life that I felt was blog worthy.

Since I never succeed in keeping resolutions, this year I’m just going to go with goals. My photo-a-day entry today sums them up nicely:


Snap more, knit more, sweat more, travel more, read more & write more. That’s not much to ask is it?

To that end, I’m planning to:

  • Visit the two local photography clubs in the next couple of months to decide if I want to join either of them;
  • Attend knitting guild meetings and attempt to make more of the Saturday knitting meetups. Somehow the stitches flow easier with company;
  • Make sure my rec center renewal went through. I also think I may finally join the Ohio River Road Runners Club. I’ve already registered for the Pittsburgh Marathon 5K. The Hall of Fame 5K is also on my to-do list, as well as the Asheville 10K. Other events are TBD;
  • Traveling is a toughy.  Due to budgetary constraints, most of my travel for the next couple of years will most definitely be domestic, but I’d still like to renew my passport (it helps to know I have a standing invite to Toronto). Savannah is on tap for March & Asheville is in the works for June, along with randomly scattered trips to Western PA. Everything else is up for grabs.
  • Reading & writing are two sides of the same coin. Whipping my way through a stack of trashy romances is never a problem; reading novels with slightly more substance than fluff isn’t my forte – I blame being an English major.  I love the written word but sometimes I just want escapism.  Going to try to work on finding a balance this year. As for writing, I made the potential mistake of soliciting a dozen penpals from my Facebook friends. Only time will tell if I manage to get letters in the mail.

Almost a year?!?!?

I had no idea.  I mean, I knew I hadn’t posted anything in a while, but a year?!?  I guess when you’re just throwing words out into the ether, when there’s no echo, you don’t think much about it.  Since putting down words has always been more about me than y’all (sorry, y’all), I should do what I can just to catalog the ins and outs of mi vida loca – if for no other reason than to distinguish the days that run one into the next.


I still love photography but I’ve struggled to continue to pursue it. I can make all the excuses in the world, but at the end of the day it’s just me being lazy. My problem now, as it has ever been, is that I expect people/places/things to jump up and down and say TAKE A PICTURE OF ME.  I either don’t possess or have yet to develop an artist’s eye – a way of seeing something and being able to compose the photograph in my mind’s eye, rather than the camera and then editing to death with software.

I went to a photography Meetup with a Cincinnati-area group last weekend.  We shot an event called Garage Brewed, a motorcycle show that took place at Rhinegeist Brewery.garage

There were some interesting cycles – I find I have a decided preference for the more classic Indian & Triumph bikes – but I wouldn’t say I got any shots I really loved.  The only way to get better is to keep shooting, but I guess I’m just not as creative or accomplished as I feel I should be, so I just give up.

Awards ghetto1 goggles

The downside to my experiences with this particular meetup group has been that, while there have been events at which people have gathered, there hasn’t been any sort of social aspect.  I really miss that about my DC photo meetup crew. There were a couple of familiar faces and I’ll probably go back because there are a couple of events that sound like fun, but I may propose going to a coffee shop or a bar for a pint afterwards just so we can actually sit down and talk.  I’m vaguely considering setting up a photo group in Dayton – the only ones here tend to be portrait/person based, which holds ZERO interest for me.

Ten days ago I said I would blog every day in February.  Today I finally got around to my first post.  Hopefully my next won’t be 46 weeks from now.

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Buckling Down

With the absolutely miserable weather we had in January & February, I really let my gym attendance slide.  It was all I could do to slip and slide to and from work; the last thing I wanted to do was risk extra miles in the ice and snow.  Despite the fact that we have late-season snow forecast again for Wednesday, I have to get back into my habit of hitting the gym 4-5 times a week.

Unfortunately, that’s the easy part. Once I’m in the habit of heading to the gym, continuing to hit the elliptical for 45 minutes a day isn’t that difficult. My downfall is food.  Oh, how I love food.  Sweet food, salty food, crunchy food, smooth food.  Mostly carb-y food.  Mmmm, carbs.  Unfortunately, I think my pre-Diabetes is rearing its ugly, ickyness-inducing head so I need to lock down.

I need to get back to seriously monitoring my portion size, easing off on sweets and increasing veggie intake.  I’ll never be able to go full paleo, but I need to try to make smarter decisions.  This will require getting HRG (Her Royal Grandma) on board, since she’s the one who is preparing more of the meals now that I’m working.  As she’s nearing 90, making sure that she eats and keeps weight on is more important than me taking pounds off, but I have to find a happy medium.

I was thinking of trying to persuade her to do a Meatless Monday sort of thing or something similar. Does anyone have any vegetarian or veggie-dominant meals they’d recommend?

ImageAin’t nothin’ gonna break my stride…

With Karen’s wedding in less than three weeks, I’m not even pretending that there will be any sort of notable weight loss between now and then. However, there’s a camping trip three months from now that I can use as a marker.  So, putting it in print here and now – 15 lbs by the second Friday in June – Friday the 13th.  Aaaaaaaaaand, go!

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Cornelius made me do it

I spent the weekend in Ohio’s fair capital city.  Despite the fact that Pi Day isn’t officially until next Friday, I signed up for the 5K almost entirely because I wanted the medal. My friend Eric was awesome enough to let me crash at his place so I wouldn’t have to get up at o’dark-thirty to make the drive in time.


I picked up my BF, Janet, at 8ish Saturday morning and we headed to the park.  It was a little chilly when we started out, but once we were moving, it felt good outside.  We met our goal of finishing under an hour and I think Jan had a good time, when all was said and done.  Of course, I couldn’t resist having my medal engraved…



After running home and cleaning up, I crashed a mini-class of ’88 reunion for lunch.  It was great catching up with Jen, Janet & Robin.  I’ll have to head back east next month and try to catch up with even more people I haven’t seen in an age.

By now I’d pretty much decided I wasn’t going to head back to Dayton until the following morning, so I decided to check out the Brewery District.  Bellied up to the bar at Columbus Brewing Company and ordered a flight.

ImageUnfortunately it was WAY heavy on IPAs.  I just…blech, not a fan.  I’m always a fan of wheat beers, even the raspberry ones and (1) Jackie O’s Razz Wheat didn’t disappoint.  (2) CBC Pale Ale was okay, but starting to tilt towards that IPA flavor that I’m not a fan of.  The (3) Weasel Boy Plaid Ferret was a tasty caramel-chocolaty change, but then we ramped into IPA-ville.  The (4) CBC IPA and (5) Head Hunter IPA were as meh as I expected.  CBC’s Nightstick IPA was better.  Maybe I like the black IPAs better because there’s more other flavors burying the hop-fest.  Last but not least, the CBC Sohio Stout which I really liked.  I got a bonus taste of the Ryborg Farmhouse Ale, which I would put somewhere between the CBC Pale and one of the IPAs.  Wouldn’t turn it down, but doubt I’d go out of my way to hunt it down.

As happens when you spend all afternoon sampling beer, I ended up chatting with people at the bar.  By far, my favorite partner in crime was the semi-driver, Cornelius.  Tales from his truck-driving days & his brief period of teaching middle school in Florida made the afternoon (and the dreaded IPAs) fly by.  Unfortunately, Cornelius also tried to turn me into a scotch convert and got me a double of Dewar’s.  I sipped some of it, but I honestly wasn’t able to finish the whole thing, not if I wanted to have any chance to drive back north.

My second 5K of the year is in the books.  Next up, the Flying Pig Tri-State Running Company 5K in Cincinnati in early May.


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Perennial Resolution

I made a metric shit-ton (well, four) New Year’s resolutions this year. The first one shouldn’t even really count.  I mean, doesn’t virtually everyone who bothers with resolutions make one about losing weight/become more healthy/exercising more?  As I’ve been overweight practically my entire life, I feel like this one is made and forgotten as a matter of course.

This year, I’m going about it a little bit differently.  I’m trying to make specific sub-goals.  Something easily quantifiable.  In no particular order:


Go to the gym/workout 4x a week.  I was easily doing 5-6 times a week while I was unemployed but motivating to go after work is SO much more difficult, especially now that the weather’s crappy.  We’re supposed to get another round of significant snowfall tomorrow into Monday so we’ll see if I feel like fighting the weather and the roads to start my week off on the right foot.  I’m in a wedding in two months so I definitely need to do my best to be able to fit into the dumb dress I bought several months ago.


Eat better.  I need to get back into the habit of tracking my food & measuring out portion sizes.  I also need to cut back on carbs, though it’s unlikely I’ll ever get rid of them entirely (I like bread WAY too much).  I also need to increase my vegetable intake, either by mixing it into things like tonight’s Chicken & Sausage Stew, or by making sure to include them in every meal and having them for snacks.

Do six 5Ks in 2014.  Originally, I said one per month but decided that was crazy talk.  I got off to a good start by doing the Commitment 5K on the 1st, so now I just need to find 5 more.  I’m seriously considering the Pi Day 5K in Columbus the second weekend of March, but I should probably find a couple closer to home.  I’d love to do one in Chicago with my friend Tammy or back in VA with friends, but we’ll see how the schedule ends up looking.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be up to running one, but I’d like to at least run/walk a couple of them.  My baseline time – walking the whole way – was just under 50 minutes.  Hopefully I’ll shave a few minutes off here and there.


10,000 steps.  Now that I have my handy-dandy Fitbit Flex, I’ve become obsessed with making the little bugger vibrate to indicate that I reached my step goal.  Of course, I’ve noticed as I walk laps around the house to increase my step count, I’m counteracting anything good by pausing at the cookie table at the back of the kitchen on every other pass.  As almost all of the holiday cookies are now gone, this shouldn’t remain a problem for too much longer.

Miscellany.  Parking farther from the store or office (though this is tricky with temperatures hovering around zero).  Fetching my morning (and afternoon) coffee from the oasis that’s farther from my desk (and taking a circuitous route through the cubicle farm).  Jumping jacks, planking or push-ups when the other team scores during Caps games (which is far too freakin’ often).

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