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Archive for June, 2009

I wrote the other week about the Run Amuck race I was doing at Quantico. Part race, part obstacle course – all mud…and possibly manure. I don’t want to know. And I waited to write because, well, pictures make the post.

The first mile was easy enough, though it kind of felt like a trap. We ran by the mess hall and some residence halls (I think) without an obstacle in sight.

Pre-race smiles...and no mud

Pre-race smiles...and no mud

And then we entered the woods.

The paths were bad on their own, just from all the rain we’d been having. Straight mud. Which made it so much more entertaining while leaping over hay bales and hopping through tires. There’s nothing like unsure footing to spice things up. That was especially fun on the many hills, as well.

About a mile and a half in or so, we hit the first mud pit, but “mud pit” is kind of a misnomer. It was more a giant pool of filthy water (think pig sty) that was usually about three feet deep, but more if you caught an uneven surface area.

runamuck

After more hills (one of which included a brief rappel down), crawling through mud, trying to stay below the faux barbed wire (caution tape), and one last pool, we hit the final challenge: crawl uphill, through the mud and rocks, underneath a tarp, and try not to let whoever’s in front of you kick mud into your mouth.

Win, win, win, FAIL. I was spitting consistently for the final quarter mile, trying to purge the mud from my system. And trying not to think about anything else that was in it.

But, regardless, as you can see, I was thrilled to be done.

finishrunamuck

And I will definitely be doing it next year, should anyone want to join. Honestly, it’d be worth it even just as a spectator.

me_postrace

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With the passing of Michael Jackson, several people in the blogosphere have written posts about growing up with his music, and just how much certain songs meant to them and contributed to their memories. And it made me think about music in general, and the amazing amount of influence and recall-power that it has.

memorylane

There are the traditional, perhaps cliche, memories – the prom theme songs, for instance. My favorite prom’s theme song was “Fields of Gold” and, while I don’t hear it often, when I do, it takes me back to one of those perfect nights, when you wouldn’t change a thing.

But there are also those songs that you hear – maybe in the car during a road trip, or with a certain person, or the ones that you don’t even realize are significant until you hear them again – that are just as memorable.

  • When I hear Bon Jovi, I think of high school dances, shouting the chorus to “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
  • Rihanna makes me think of last summer, when “Rehab” was constantly playing on my iPod, for better or worse. And “Disturbia“, surprisingly enough, takes me back to last summer’s week at God camp, as we listened to it in the car, non-stop.
  • Additionally, at the risk of completely embarrassing myself, I used to own the Ja Rule CD “Pain is Love” (I sadly can’t find it anymore) which reminds me of PiC and myself driving around back home, in our high school years, looking for just enough trouble to have fun, but not enough to cause any lasting damage. Those stories could be posts, in and of themselves.

Some memories are more bittersweet than others, but there’s something – I don’t know, comforting, maybe? – about being transported back in time, just for a three-minute song span. Music is your own little time machine.

The best songs, though, are the ones that you can listen to over and over again, the ones that you never tire of, because they have the power to evoke multiple memories and be a time capsule of sorts. I have one from high school (“Drops of Jupiter“), that’s full of memories, and one from this past year (“Use Somebody“)* that I can feel filling up.

And when I play them, it’s two very distinct trips down memory lane.

What about you? Which song(s) would you call your time machine?

*And here, just because I love it:


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This past week felt like I was burning the candle at both ends. I was constantly exhausted, stressed and, quite honestly, a little cranky. I’d already decided to take today off as a mental health day.

And then I realized that it wasn’t just for mental health, but that all the stress and exhaustion has actually manifested itself into something bigger. I’m actually legit sick. Complete with the stuffed-up-can’t-breathe-ness and the hacking cough that makes people run for the Purel. So attractive.

sick

I wanted to use my mental health day to both be productive and relax – preferably in the park, in the sun. As it is, it might be a while before I even leave my bed. Thanks a lot, God.

Appreciate it.

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When I was younger, I had my fair share of teen idol crushes. That’s part of why I love all the flashback VH1 shows – full of childhood memories. But my walls are no longer covered with pages from Tiger Beat and J14. I even finally took my Nick Carter poster down from my bedroom door back home in Philly. And I rarely think back to these crushes, mostly because many of them have faded from the limelight.

BUT, the other night I had a dream that reminded me of the boy I loved even more than Nick: Devon Sawa. He made my 12-year-old self swoon.

devon71wg

Who could forget Now and Then? When he proved the “truth” that every mother espoused: boys only tease the girls they like.

Or Casper? Another pairing with Christina Ricci, this time as the friendliest (and sweetest) ghost you know.

And, my favorite, Little Giants, where he has a classic conversation with Becky, aka Icebox:

Junior (aka Devon): You wanna learn how to kiss?

Icebox: No. Why, do you?

Junior: No. Eww I just got that vomit taste in my mouth.

Icebox: Come on, you gotta learn sometime. I mean if you wanna get a job and have kids and stuff.

Junior: You can have kids without kissing…

Icebox: Yeah, but you can’t get a job. You know, for scientific reasons and stuff.

Huh. Is that how it works…

The thing is, I kind of grew up. (Shocking, right?) I don’t love Devon Sawa the way I did twelve years ago, and the only movies I can think of that he’s been in recently are…well…Final Destination? (Which I never actually saw.)

Tastes have changed, for better or worse. But whenever I go back to my childhood bedroom, I can still see the tape marks from where numerous Devon posters hung. Nick may have had the door, and even JTT garnered a tiny portion of wall space, but Devon had my little tween heart. *swoon* And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If I recall correctly, Lemmonex has asked this question at one point, but humor me: who did you swoon over as a tween/teen?

Or are you still swooning?

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I’ve been a bit of a downer lately. And it may seem like I’ve been only focusing on the negatives, instead of appreciating the little things. Because I have been. But I had a little epiphany last night. In the wake of the unbelievable metro tragedy, I realized just how lucky and blessed and grateful I am for what I do have. And while my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all of those involved, I also realized that there was no better time than the present to actually voice the things that I do appreciate on a daily basis. And that it shouldn’t take a tragedy to recognize them.

  • I love the first few steps of a evening run, when you feel like you can fly.
  • I love the cool shower afterward, that refreshes and rejuvenates.
  • I love slipping into something more comfortable.
  • I love finding out that friends will be visiting for 4th of July weekend.
  • I love friends who call, just to check in and say hello.
  • I love the feeling of accomplishment when I complete something I’ve been busting my ass on.
  • I love my walk to work in the morning, when the sun is shining.
  • I love sitting outside during my lunch break and people-watching.
  • And I love the fact that as cranky or down or pessimistic as I’m ever feeling, there’s always something to be thankful for.

I just have to open my eyes.

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I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about June that makes me antsy. That sounds a little odd, I know, but it’s true.

It hasn’t always been like that; I think it’s safe to say that the June antsiness started in college. Spring semester was long over, and I’d traditionally gotten into my summer rut of working back home. And I needed something to spice things up.

June became the month that I got an extra piercing (or two). It was the month that I decided to fly through the air with the greatest of ease.  And it was about this time last year that I got my tattoo.

This year, I can already feel the antsiness settling in again, quickly becoming a constant state. But I’m not quite sure what to do.

  • Another piercing? I’d want my eyebrow, but I think the combination of my age and job negates that as a viable option.
  • Another tattoo? Eventually, definitely, but I can’t decide what and where.
  • Another flight through the air? I have always wanted to try skydiving. But not on my own.
It looks almost peaceful here...

It looks almost peaceful here...

So, enlighten me, what do you recommend for a summer adventure? Even a mini one.

I’m open to suggestions.

And possibly a partner in crime.

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So, I’m running another race tomorrow. Actually, from what I can gather, it’s part obstacle course, part race. It’s called Run Amuck, and is part of the Marine Corps Marathon Event Series. And takes place at Quantico. Sweeeet.

Now, aside from the website, all of my information about obstacle courses and marines comes from two distinct sources: 1) Saved by the Bell; 2) trashy romance novels.

1) I tried my hardest to find a video clip, but failed. So I’m going to have to count on your extensive SBTB knowledge to remember with me. Think back to the one where an army cadet comes to Bayside and Mr. Belding gets Zack to sign up for the program, as an alternative to detention. And Lisa tries to hit on the cadet (before finding out he’s married).

The students end up in two teams, in an athletic competition that’s finished off with an obstacle course. I don’t remember all the stations, but one was definitely hopping through tires.

tire-run

That’s what I imagine this race will be like tomorrow. Except that I won’t get to hang out with Mark-Paul Gosselaar. And I’ll be trudging through at least two mud pits – each of them about 3 feet deep. Down and dirty, indeed.

2) If I’ve learned nothing else from my trashy romance novels (TRMs, if you will), I’ve learned about different branches of the military. Because they’re always the leading men. And unless those books have led me astray (never!), tomorrow there should be an abundance of ridiculously attractive gentlemen who, not only look like they could run the obstacle course in their sleep, with both arms tied behind their back (please, as if that’s a stretch), but are also really sweet, caring, down-to-earth individuals, with a great sense of humor.

Who says that TRMs encourage unrealistic expectations?

thedefianthero

This is what came up when I googled a particular TRM author. And the book that it's linked with...yeah, I've read it.

I’m doubting that there’s any graceful way to run through tires and scale a wall, but regardless, I don’t see how tomorrow could be anything less than entertaining.

And with any luck, there’ll be some fantastic pictures post-mud pit.

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