Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#241 New Line

A friend of mine had this on her Facebook wall the other day and I thought it was very funny, and very appropriate for me right now. Sometimes all you can do is laugh!

"Everyone I know is getting married or pregnant. I'm just getting more awesome." - Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

Monday, December 19, 2011

#240 Luminary Ride

Each Sunday before Christmas, some Irvinington residents put out luminaries along their driveways and streets. It's a beautiful sight! In the past I've either walked or driven through the neighborhood to look at them and all of the Christmas lights.

This year I decided to do the CIBA Luminary Ride. At 5:30 approximately 50-75 people took off from Broad Ripple and rode along the Monon Trail to the far east side. Going out was fun - there were a lot of other riders and cars were nice to let us all go through intersections. However, once we got to Irvington, the group splintered due to traffic, etc. We made it to Audubon to see Santa and there were only about 10-15 people. My friend and I decided to ride to Julie's house to say hi and use the toilet. By then it was around 7 p.m. and we still had to ride back to Broad Ripple. And we were by ourselves. I was a bit nervous about riding on the Monon with just the two of us, even though my friend was a guy. We decided to go on and after he fell after hitting a hole covered in water (I hit it first but popped right out and then yelled too late), we made our way down Michigan. We saw flashing bike lights in the distance so sped up and finally caught them just past Tech High School. There were five of them so rode behind all the way back. I made it to my car just after 8 p.m.

Overall it was fun. A little cold, but I was actually fairly comfortable the entire way. I was disappointed that my hands were cold - I just bought new cold-weather bike gloves. I put toe warmers in my shoes and that helped a lot. If I did it again, I would have someone drop me and my bike off at Broad Ripple and then ride one way. One way is enough and that would leave me more time to actually ride around and look at the lights.

After I got back to my car, I cranked up the heat. Back at home, I kept my bike clothes on and ate a late supper. Then I sat on the sofa with my blanket covering me and watched an hour of Geek Love on TLC. Was a funny way to end the evening!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#239 Orga(ni)sms

Last night I met some work friends and some former work friends downtown. We get together once a month to catch up. Denise told a story about her daughter who is in her first year of middle school. She was somewhere with her daughter, her daughter’s friend, and that friend’s mom. Her daughter was talking about a class at school and mentioned that “Mr. ‘Smith’ hasn’t taught us about orgasms yet.” Denise held it together and told herself to not laugh or have any kind of reaction. Then her daughter’s friend said, “I think you mean organisms.” It was a science class. Too funny! Denise and the other woman had a good laugh about it later, and Denise even sent an email to the teacher about what her daughter had said. His response was something like, “Yeah, we’re not going to cover that in my class.” I love that her daughter and friend were so matter-of-fact about it. They probably have no idea what that word means and it didn’t even occur to them that what they said was inappropriate, especially when talking about a teacher. Ahhh, the innocence of youth!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

#238 Another Marissa Update

My last Marissa update was in October (Post No. 222). I just read on her blog yesterday that she is having surgery this Thursday (December 15). She recently had her first seizure since January so the docs are going to try another procedure. (The link to her blog is on the left side of my page.) Please continue to pray for her!

Monday, December 12, 2011

#237 Mary and Joseph

It's that time of year when thoughts turn to the baby Jesus (for some people, anyway) and his parents, Mary and Joseph.

I have a friend named Mary who I’ve known since we were in kindergarten together. She and her husband, Joe, live near Fort Wayne. Her parents and some siblings still go to my church so I see her once or twice a year, usually around Christmas. Her parents had a Christmas open house last Sunday and I was able to visit with her.

Mary and Joe have 10 children. The oldest (twins) are 15 and the youngest is four. He just turned four and Mary said it was a milestone birthday because now they don’t have any kids in car seats (for their 15-passenger van). And not only does Mary have a house full of kids, she also home schools them. Amazing! As I said before, I don’t see her or the kids that often, but they are some of the best-behaved kids I’ve ever been around.

I used to laugh because I’d see her mom at church in December and she’d tell me when Mary was going to be in town. She would usually say, “She’s pregnant again!” Another Mary and Joseph expecting a baby around Christmas time!

#236 Annie Strikes Again

Last Friday I visited Annie's Resale Shop (see Post No. 206) and bought three pair of shoes! Are you kidding me? Shoes??!! I walked in and immediately saw two pair of short boots on the floor. They were size 11 and a similar style, one black suede (Naturalizer), one brown leather (Clarks). They fit! I have found that some boots run larger so wasn't entirely surprised. I then spotted a pair of leather dark plum strappy dress shoes in size 12 - BCBGirls. About a 3" heel.

A month or so ago I found a pair of Buckle jeans with a 35 1/2" inseam. And last week I wore a pair of Ann Taylor wool pants to work that I bought at Annie's. They originally had a 3" cuff at the bottom that I let out and pressed. I think each of these was $6.50.

LOVE Annie!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

#235 The Incredible Shrinking Woman

I had a physical at work a few weeks ago (to comply with requirements to get a health stipend) and after I was measured the woman told me I was a little over 6'5" so she would list me as 6'5". What??!! I haven't been 6'5" since middle school! The shrinking has started! I hear all the time that most people shrink over time when their spine compacts. My mom, who just turned 84, used to top out at 5'9" and she's way under that now.

When I was younger people would ask if I was still growing. I told them no, because my pants were still long enough. The other day I bought a pair of jeans at Annie's that were long enough - the tag said they had a 35 1/2" inseam and I almost didn't try them on. They fit great! I usually wear a 36" and look for a 37" inseam if possible. I guess I AM shrinking! By the time I'm 84 maybe I'll be around 6'0" and will have a bigger pool of men to choose from.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

#234 Tigers Beat

My Auburn Tigers lost to Georgia 45-7 today. My friend Alyce's DePauw Tigers lost to Wabash in the Monon Bell game 45-7. Not a good day for the Tigers.

#233 Whatever Lolo Wants...

Last Sunday some of my Apple Cider Century Team (see Post No. 221) got together and rode Lois' remaining 42 miles with her (she also goes by Lolo). It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day and I think the temp topped out at around 60 or 65. It was pretty cold at the beginning though. This time I was prepared with my new gloves. I also wore my "ninja" hat (balaclava). It's all about layering! And teammate Steve provided Hotties for everyone (toe warmer thingys).

Although the riding went off without a hitch, I did have two mishaps. First, I managed to lock my keys in my car right away. Thank goodness for a small town (Franklin); the police came in about 15 minutes and got my door open.

For the second mishap, Lolo told me to park in the driveway of the yellow house across the street because no one currently lives there. (That, and my brilliance, contributed to me locking my keys in my car.) I did as she said. We were about five miles away from her house (returning) and I got a call telling me that a woman was stuck in her garage because my car was blocking her. What? Apparently when Lolo pointed to the yellow house, I thought she meant the yellow house right across the street from her, not the yellow house next to that yellow house. I raced on ahead of the rest and moved my car. The woman was sitting in her car waiting for me. I apologized profusely as she continued to back out of her driveway and take off. Oops!

After the ride we enjoyed pizza and fellowship at Lolo's house. It was the perfect end to another fun-filled bicycling season.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

#232 Andy Rooney on Women Over Forty

I came across an article on Facebook just now and thought it was pretty funny, especially being a woman over 40. I've always enjoyed listening to Andy Rooney. I will miss his quirky dialogue at the end of 60 Minutes...

#231 Short My Shorts

I got to the gym locker room this morning and after taking off my coat and my long-sleeved shirt, I proceeded to take of my sweat pants. To my horror I realized that I had forgotten to put on my workout shorts. I have forgotten underwear and socks, but NEVER my shorts! What the... I did some low impact walking so as not to sweat too much in my ginormous sweats. Sigh.

Monday, November 7, 2011

#230 God Bless You!

No, I didn’t sneeze. I was at CVS Sunday and an older woman behind me in line said, “God bless you! You are so tall!” She had a foreign accent; Italian maybe? I just smiled. She was cute. And little. And yes, He has blessed me!

Friday, November 4, 2011

#229 Down In Front!

Yesterday at work we took an aerial group picture of available staff members for a holiday card. We all stood on the main floor atrium while the photographer stood on the third floor looking down on us. It just so happened that I wore a new pair of 4” heels so I was especially tall.

I moved as far to the side as possible but still had people behind me saying, “Down in front!” They were joking (I think) but I did feel bad so I moved even more to the side and took my shoes off. I then heard someone say, “Yeah, that didn’t help.” Awww man, give a girl a break! Oh well, sticks and stones…and I have cute shoes from Nordstrom Rack.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#228 Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign

I believe in signs. I believe God sends them to me just when I need them most. I don’t get signs often, so when I do see one, I know it and I realize its meaning. I don’t really ask for signs that often either. Usually when I do I don’t get it right when I want it. Then later on it just appears. Wham-o.

My first big sign came in high school. I was trying to decide which college to attend. I had a few in mind but it’s a huge decision for a 16-year old. I prayed a lot about what to do and eventually asked God for a sign. I had lived in the area around my high school most of my life and had travelled the roads to my school many times. One day I drove down the residential entrance and for the first time noticed a street sign, “Auburn Drive”. Some time later a girl walked into my English class with an Auburn sweatshirt on. Her sister went to Auburn. The last sign was in a book I was reading for class – it mentioned a girl with auburn hair. Wham-o, I’m going to Auburn! Now, I did evaluate each school I was interested in and made sure they would be good fits for me, but I must say the thing that pushed me over the edge was the three signs. I had a wonderful experience at Auburn and can’t imagine having gone anywhere else.

My next big signs were related to a boy I met at Auburn. One came while we were in school, one came about 14 years later. Both came out of nowhere, but I had all the confidence in the world once I saw them that something wonderful would happen. It did. Twice. It didn’t last forever, as I had hoped, but I don’t regret a thing.

Now to my most recent sign. I won’t go into too much detail, other than to say it’s about another boy. (Ok, he’s over 40). I’ve been over-analyzing things like women tend to do. Finally last night, while driving to play tennis, I asked for a sign to make me feel better. Then I went to tennis and forgot about it. After tennis, wham-o! There’s my pink, flamigoed sign. Thank you God! And thank you too, Ava.

Monday, October 24, 2011

#227 Napoleon's Dynamite Ride

Last Saturday I led a Central Indiana Bicycling Association (CIBA) ride on the southeast side of town.

The ride went very well, once it got started. It was my own fault, but I had a pretty hectic morning. I put off making copies of the map and when I got to Office Depot at 8 a.m. Saturday I saw that they open at 9 a.m. on the weekends. I had to be at the site (well, was supposed to be at the site) at 9 a.m. I drove downtown to work to make copies (yes, I plan to repay them) but was then stuck in traffic due to a running event. Agh!!! I thought I had avoided it! It was 8:45 a.m. and I had 15 minutes to get to the start. After five minutes of praying and freaking out, I asked the policeman directing traffic if he could let the guy in front of me turn right so I could also turn right to get going. He said there was a break in runners coming up and he would let us through. HUGE sigh of relief. I made it to the highway and then hit Southeastern Avenue. TRAIN. OMG. Turned around, went to Washington Street and proceeded to get to Southeastern another way. I finally made it to the start site at 9:15 a.m. in time to use the church bathroom and be back at my car before the first person arrived. Whew!

After the rocky start , all was well. The day was sunny and fairly warm, about 30 riders showed up and they all seemed to enjoy the ride. Krista and Julie helped me at the rest stops. Thanks ladies! Until next year!

Almost forgot - why is it Napoleon's Dynamite Ride? The route passes a llama farm. "Tina! Come get some dinner!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

#226 Hill Yeah!

Last Saturday/Sunday I rode in the 44th annual Hilly Hundred. It was a great weekend full of sun (and eventual warmth) good food, good friends and a little wind (ok, maybe a LOT). My friend Jan recently bought a road bike and did a great job after only training for a couple months. Way go go Jan! We also rode with former Hilly buds Joe and Steve.

My personal goal was to ride up Mt. Tabor (.2 miles, 21% max incline) and not go to my granny gear. Mission accomplished! That hill is a beast. I get nervous about five miles before the hill when I realize it's coming up.

A great day with no bike issues/mishaps. That, in itself, is a success!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#225 Freudian Slip?

After my last post, I received this email from one of my brothers:

"You really should proof read your blog.

Your first line is “Today is my birthday! Happy birthday do me!”.

The subconscious works in strange ways."

I have since changed the spelling error but thought it was too funny not to share. He's always looking out for his "little" sister.

Monday, October 17, 2011

#224 They Say It's Your Birthday!

Today is my birthday! Happy birthday to me! Although today is kind of a sad day too. My fifth grade teacher, Mr. Pride, passed away last week from cancer and his funeral is today. As I was driving to work thinking, “It’s my birthday!” I also thought about what a sad day it is for his family. And the news of Dan Wheldon’s death is also very sobering. So on a day that I am celebrating another year of life, I am also saying prayers for those who have lost a loved one. Treasure each day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

#223 Ranger Danger

So the formerly-mentioned Marissa is friends with Brandon, who is the brother of my friend, Jen. Small world! (Check out her post Proud Friend in September.) I work with Jen and during the past few months she has given us updates on Brandon going through Ranger school. If you look it up, it sounds like the most demanding, crazy, incredibly exhausting thing anyone could ever do. There are several stages and they can get "cut" at the end of any stage. I am happy to say that Brandon made it through and is now an Army Ranger! Way to go Brandon! And War Eagle!!

#222 Marissa Update

I haven't been blogging much lately and also haven't checked out any other blogs for a while. I looked at "A Day In The Life" today (see my post Nos. 152 and 189) to check up on Marissa. She is doing well but still receiving treatments. Please continue to keep her in your prayers!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

#221 I Would Bike 100 Miles

Three years ago I did my first century and first event with the Leukemia Society’s Team In Training (TNT) Program. Sunday, September 23, I completed my second century and second event with TNT. The team set off in the dark at around 7:30 a.m. from Three Oaks, Michigan (we couldn’t see much. Watch out for the manholes!). Saturday and Monday were fairly nice, even sunny, days. Sunday? RAIN. It rained pretty much the entire ride.

By the last rest stop we realized that the 100-mile ride was turning into something longer – eventually 106. Six extra miles may not sound like a lot, but when it’s cold and raining, it is. Luckily, the sun finally came out the last five miles or so and I was pretty much dry by the finish line (the high winds helped too).

We did have one accident during the ride. Seventy-three year-old Lois went down mid-way thorough the ride and had a concussion. She went to the hospital in South Bend and was released a short time later. She now wants to ride her remaining miles with the team to complete her century mileage. We plan to do that later this month. What a lady!

At mile 80 we stopped at one of the rest stops and I had a snack - an Uncrustable. The coaches told us not to eat anything on the ride that we've never eaten before in case our stomach didn't get along with it. Well, I've eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before, so didn't think anything of it. Until my stomach started hurting and I had stomach cramps for the next 30 minutes. I had put an extra Uncrustable in my back pocket for later, but trashed it. Maybe the nutrition information should have been a warning - 350 calories, 150 calories from fat. A long list of ingredients I couldn't pronounce. Peanut butter and jelly sounds so simple...

Luckily my stomach recovered by the end of the ride. They had a free pasta dinner, which I took advantage of: spaghetti and salad with lots of fixins. I then proceeded to eat four small bags of Doritos, Fritos, Lays and Cheetos. And my granola bar. And an apple. "I can't stop eating!" We finally took showers and ate dinner at Redemak's.

It was a long, physically draining day, but a great one. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you train (thanks coaches!), when you have the support of a team and when you have a real purpose for what you do. For some it was also an emotionally draining day. Most everyone on the team has their own story of a friend or family member affected by leukemia. Some beat it, some did not. We ride to celebrate those who made it, as a tribute to those who didn’t, and to help raise money to fund new medical procedures for those who still struggle or will be affected in the future.

I am so proud of the Apple Cider team! What a great group of people! Our Indiana/Illinois/Southern Ohio TEAM of 54 people raised over $115,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We also had a great group of coaches and mentors. If any of you have ever thought about doing a TNT event, I highly recommend it. It will change your life! And you, in turn, will change the lives of many others.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

#220 My Life In France

I did live in France (Aix-en-Provence), but for only a couple months. However, I just finished reading “My Life In France” by Julia Child. Cest magnifique! I have a small fascination with Julia Child and France, and Julia played a small part in me starting this blog (see Post No. 1). One line in the book really stood out: “The sweetness and generosity and politeness and gentleness and humanity of the French had shown me now lovely life can be if one takes time to be friendly.” After one year in France Julia had learned to speak French, but was not yet fluent. She had heard others complain about the French being a bit stand-offish. However, she made an effort to speak the language and wanted to learn French cooking. In my short time in France I found the same to be true – I made an effort to learn French and believe that I was friendly to them, so they were friendly back. Vive la France! I also believe this sentence carries over to wherever you may be at the moment.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#219 Bike Day

I don’t know what else to call this day, as I was consumed with all things bicycle. My day began at 9 a.m. on a 67-mile ride that started downtown and headed southwest to Brooklyn. (We did not get any bagels.) I rode with my friend Steve and his wife Susie. About 15 miles in I noticed a small group of cyclists on the side of the road – one of them was Steve & Susie’s daughter, Abby. We immediately pulled over – Abby had an accident and was pretty banged up. Luckily, no broken bones. There was a 3” drop off on the side of the road. Her tire went off the side and the bike fell to the left into the road. So thankful she wasn’t seriously hurt and no car was behind her. Her husband was with her so after they loaded them in the SAG car we three set out again. Steve made a comment about how fragile life is. Life can change in an instant. That was a foreboding of more to come later in the evening. We had three big climbs, one that was really steep – Observatory Hill. We finished up around 2:30.

I showered at the YMCA a couple blocks away, and then checked in at the Mass Ave Criterium race volunteer tent. Had a quick lunch at Yat’s (Yum!) and then Julie and I took our places on the corners of Mass/Michigan/New Jersey to be course marshals. Our shift was 4:30 to 7 p.m. I wasn’t sure how I would feel standing in the heat after riding so far. I actually felt pretty good. I think Yat’s and me having an umbrella to block the sun saved me. After our shift, Julie had her Yat’s (she didn’t bike in the morning) and we settled in to watch the pro race at 7:50 p.m. The race was going well, but we noticed a large, dark cloud coming our way from the west. I happened to be on the phone with Paul (they took Megan to Purdue today!) and he told me to get out of there because a storm was coming. All red on the radar. With about six laps left, I decided to take off to the car, which was four blocks away. I carried a camp chair on my back and had my bike with me. I made it to the car right before the downpour. After I dropped Julie off at her house, she texted me that the stage had collapsed at the State Fair. I couldn’t believe what I saw on the news when I got home. Who would expect something like that to happen at a concert? One minute you’re excited to see a band; the next your world is falling apart. Another big reminder of how fragile life is.

#218 The Biggest Name In Comedy

Last Friday night I saw Costaki Economopoulos (billed as the “biggest” name in comedy) at Morty’s Comedy Joint. He’s a regular on Q95’s Bob & Tom Show and is one of my favs. I went to the 10:15 p.m. show, as I had gone to the zoo right after work until 9 p.m. for a work summer picnic. I did get reprimanded by a policeman as I tried to drive around a drum & bugle core group walking VERY SLOWLY down the street to the stadium all in a huge line. I wanted to yell, “I’ve got to get to Costaki!” but he just waved me in another direction.

Phil, Michelle and I met up at Morty’s and were early enough that we were able to meet (and get a pic with) Costaki. I’d never seen him before – very cute!! As you can guess by the name, he’s Greek. About 6’2”, dark hair, glasses, great smile. He was very nice and I told him that even though he is the biggest name in comedy, I am literally his biggest fan. Corny, I know, but it’s my go-to line! He laughed and said he loved tall women.

His show was great. I’m always fascinated by how a comedian’s mind works, but his viewpoints are particularly interesting. His intelligence, humor and good looks makes for an overall attractive package. (Get your mind out of the gutter!) :-) FUN day that ended on a funny note.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#217 Really!

I am copying, "Really!" with Seth Myers and Amy Poehler from Saturday Night Live:

Are ALL the cute, tallish men in this city married? Really!? I used to feel like I never met any tall men. Well, I meet them now. But they are all married.

Is there ANY man (well, preferably tall) in this city who is not intimidated by tall women? Bueller, Bueller, anyone, anyone? Really??

That's all I can think of right now. It's enough to get off my chest though.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#216 Gwendolyn In Heaven

No, Gwendolyn didn't die, but she did post a picture on Facebook of herself (6'7") and her husband (7') along with two other guys taller than her titled, "Gwendolyn in Heaven." She posted it for all of her FB girlfriends over 6'5" (I wonder how many she has that fit that category?) and said she loves to feel petite. Ha! It is a great picture. And the guys are really cute!

Monday, August 8, 2011

#215 80s Night!

Last Saturday night I saw Night Ranger, Foreigner and Journey. I went with Heidi, Paula and Paula’s husband, Tommy. Awesome! All the bands looked and sounded great. I’ve seen Night Ranger a couple times and saw Journey a few years ago. I regret that I never saw the original Foreigner and Journey bands back in the day. The current Foreigner/Journey singers (Kelly Hansen and Arnel Pineda) are both great, but they’re no Lou Gramm or Steve Perry.

The night was perfect – not too hot, nice breeze, beautiful sky. The place was packed by the time Journey started. The crowd around us was fairly well-behaved. One guy almost danced into Heidi but he apologized. Someone dropped a beer on our blanket and we had soggy feet for the last part of the show. And the pot was wafting around (quote of the night, “Oh THAT’s pot.”). The people-watching was pretty good too. There was a family in front of us and the moms (around my age) were dancing up a storm, while their teenage sons stood behind mimicking them. To our right, a 20-something guy picked up a 45-year-old woman with much success. I heard his friend ask at one point, “35 or 45?” Then Paula relayed a conversation she’d had with a blond woman (maybe in her early 30s) who had asked Paula to take a picture of her and her friend. After they’d left, Paula told me that when she gave the camera back, the woman asked how tall I was. Then she said I was cute, and asked Paula if it was hard for me to find tall men to date. Paula told her I sometimes did. Then the woman said, “I’d do her.” Oooookaaaaaay. Well, I guess a compliment is a compliment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#214 Gym Locker

While at the gym this morning, the woman next to me was getting ready and all-of-a-sudden she jumped up to see if anything was on the upper shelf of her locker. She didn’t seem particularly short to me. I can see the top of the lockers while in my bare feet. When I have heels on I can see clear over them all.

#213 Gym Shower

As a tall person, I have a few challenges out in the world. One of them is shower head height. I think I mentioned in a previous post that while on a bicycling trip I once took a shower at a middle school and the shower head came to my waist. I had to squat to wash my hair.

When I take a shower at my gym I have to do a wall squat to watch my hair. A few weeks ago I had a particularly tough workout in my circuit class. We did lots of lunges, then I did body squats for about 10 minutes total. My legs were NOT happy when I had to squat to wash my hair.

#212 Ronnie Milsap

I’ve always liked his songs, so a few years ago I went to see him in concert with a girl from work. The headliner was George Strait. I do like George, but was really excited about Ronnie. As Kelly and I like to say, “Ronnie Milsap is a musical genius!” The stage was set up in the round. There were four keyboards placed around the circle. If you are unfamiliar with Ronnie, he’s blind. A woman led him out to the first keyboard. He sang there for a while. Then he moved over to our side. He moved on again, but something was wrong with the mic or keyboard over there so he moved back to our side. Yes!! He then went to the opposite side of the circle to finish. I’m so glad I got to see him live. I just love his songs and especially love that he’s always smiling. He seems to have such joy in his heart.

#211 Dual Survivor

I have another new favorite show. This show also has two men. And to prove it’s not all about the “eye candy”, I do not find either particularly attractive. :-) The show is Dual Survivor and the two men are Cody and Dave. Cody is a hippie with long braids, a ring in his nose and he never wears shoes. He lives in Arizona and is a a minimalist and primitive skills expert. Dave is a military-style survival expert and professional hunting guide and tracker. In each episode, Cody and Dave are placed in a common survival situation such as marooned sailors, lost hikers, trapped divers, and stranded mountain climbers. They then have to survive for a few days with only the gear that a person who found themselves in that scenario would have.Along the way, they demonstrate how to survive off of the land and make gear they need to survive. I was at my parent’s house yesterday and Paul and Aaron were watching it. At first I was repulsed by the bugs, dirt, etc. Then I found it interesting. They are both very smart and I learned a lot about survival. After I got home I turned on my TV and there was a Dual Survivor marathon so I watched about two and a half more episodes. It’s just fascinating! Who knew you could tap a birch tree for water? Or that there is sometimes water inside bamboo?

Monday, July 18, 2011

#210 7 Footers - Where Are They?

The summer double issue of Sports Illustrated has an interesting article about 7 foot basketball players - where are they now? Turns out a gal I met while at Colorado Springs is married to one of them. Gwendolyn Gillingham played at North Carolina. Her sister, Heidi, played at Vanderbilt and I played against her in college and also roomed with her in Colorado Springs during a "big girls" basketball camp. Attendees had to be 6'4" or taller. What a sight we all were walking through the airport!

Friday, July 15, 2011

#209 Well Heeled

Nancy and I planned to wear our 4" wedges (see Post No. 187) to work on the same day. Ta daaa! Don't we look fashionable! Ethan is not happy I'm topping out at 6'10" today.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#208 Property Brothers

Two of my favorite shows are on HGTV – House Hunters and Property Virgins. I love seeing all the different houses in all the different cities/countries. Recently I’ve added a new favorite to my HGTV list - Property Brothers. Instead of looking at great houses in your price range, the brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, show you the house of your dreams, only to then tell you it costs $1 million. (That was last night’s episode.) Not bad – only $650,000 over your budget. So what to do? Then they show you hole-in-the-wall houses below your price range, but tell you they can help you fix them up to become your dream home. Drew is the realtor and Jonathan is the renovation guy. I love it! I am amazed though that most people have absolutely no imagination when looking at houses. Carpet can be removed. Walls can be painted or town down. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but how cool to be able to create your dream home! One bonus about the show – the brothers (twins) are easy on the eyes AND 6’4”. They are now on my celebrity crush list. I think they need a tall woman sidekick. ;-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#207 Hide and Seek

A couple weekends ago Krista and Kenny had a bonfire. A small group of us had a lovely evening talking and eating. Around midnight we decided to play hide and seek. Mind you, most of us were over 40. Two were in their early 30s. And all but one wore flip flops. (It IS summer.) For an hour we crazy adults played hide and seek in Krista and Kenny's great yard/woods. It was awesome. There was one collision, but no major injuries. Julie was "it" three times in-a-row. We'll give her a break - she was wearing the aforementioned flip flops AND was hobbling a bit from her broken ankle from earlier this year. We also had multiple mosquito bites. It was all worth it. Next time I will throw sneakers in my car.

#206 Good Will Toward Women

For the past month I have been perusing Goodwill. And Annie’s Resale Shop in Irvington. A friend at work mentioned she got tons of outfits for around $60 at consignment stores so I decided I would give it a try. Yesterday I wore an outfit (not counting shoes) that cost under $10. I took my mom last Wednesday to two Goodwills in Carmel and we got some great deals. I even bought a great table lamp. At Annies I found a tan pencil skirt with the tags still on for $5. Recycle, reuse!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

#205 Shopping for Comments

While grocery shopping last week, a woman in the dairy section asked me for help. She couldn’t reach the strawberry cream cheese and asked me to reach it for her. She was older, very cute, and asked very nicely. I was happy to help.

Later on that day I was in the Goodwill. While perusing the clothing racks, a shorter woman next to me looked up and asked, “How’s the weather up there?” Again, it was an older woman. This time, not so cute, not so nice. However, I still smiled and said, “It’s great!” and kept shopping.

#204 Ultimate Pizza

My nephew and his friend Eric constructed an ultimate pizza the other night. They started with a medium cheese pizza from Little Caesars. On top of that they added a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme, a Big Mac, a Wendy’s Baconator, a Burger King Double Whopper, Wendy’s fries, and cheese. Aaron, Eric and Eric’s parents ate it. Aaron said it was actually pretty good. I’m not sure if he tried to calculate the fat and sodium content of all that junk food. Ahhh, to be 19 again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

#203 120 Minutes

You can get a lot done in 120 minutes. Read. Clean the house. Mow the lawn. I prefer to listen to 120 Minutes. Back in the late 80s/early 90s, there was an MTV show called 120 Minutes that played alternative music videos for, well, two hours. I LOVED this show and its music. I still have a cassette. At the recent Woodruff Place street market I bought a CD for $1: Never Mind The Mainstream Volume 1. It even has CD bonus tracks my cassette doesn’t have from World Party and Modern English, to name just a couple. I played it at work yesterday and it greatly improved my mood!

#202 I Kid

I just heard about a new show on TLC called "I Kid with Brad Garrett" that begins June 28. Check out this link. It looks hilarious! And I’ll be able to watch my former beau (see Post No. 29) on TV again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

#201 Late For Work

The entire month of June I've arrived at work on time (well, mostly on time) at 8 a.m. for summer hours. (We normally begin the work day at 8:30 a.m., but in June/July/August we come in at 8 a.m. and every other Friday get off at Noon.) This morning I got up and got ready, and didn't even realize I was late until I pulled into the parking garage and thought, "Why is the garage so full?" I looked at my car clock (again) and it finally hit me that I was late. I need more sleep.

Monday, June 20, 2011

#200 Out On The Town

What’s it like when a 6’6” woman goes out at night to a club? There are several possibilities, and all of them happened in one night last Saturday night. After the reunion, four of us high school gals headed downtown to Ike & Jonesy’s for some 80s music. Well, they USED to play 80s music. That night it was hip hop and rap, and the crowd was much younger than I’d experienced in the past. We ended up staying about half an hour. Following is what happened in that short time span:

The Older Man – Older men love me. I usually get hit on by men in their 60s. I was in line to get in when a Tom Jones lookalike came up to me and said he wanted to dance with me later. He buzzed around me once we got onto the dance floor. I nicely ignored him (is that possible?) and he finally went back to his buds.

The Walk-By – When I’m out in a crowd, inevitably a group of guys will send one guinea pig over to walk by me to judge how tall I am. I was on the dance floor (standing, not dancing; I don’t like hip hop too much) and noticed two tall guys in a corner. I caught their eyes a couple times. Kinda cute. I went to the ladies room and when I came back one of the guys was standing near my friends. I stood right next to him. He must’ve been standing on a step earlier because he wasn’t as tall as I thought he’d be. He never said anything. I never said anything. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him communicate with his friend. First he rose up on his tip toes to make himself taller. Then he put his hands up by his chest like he was telling the guy how tall I was. One full hand and one finger (six – six). I just shook my head and turned around.

Free Drinks! – We had just walked in and, Wham!, Tony offered to buy me a drink because I was taller than him. He was pretty nice and good natured, and said that as long as he was in there he’d buy me a drink. Cool. He wouldn’t buy Heather a drink though. I tried to order two at once to get her one. Tony’s too smart for that.

Shoe Glance –Men look down at my feet to see if I’m wearing heels. Nope. In college I would go to fraternity band parties and guys would look down and say they thought I was standing on a cooler.

I’d never been out with Heather before and I think she was shocked at the attention I got. I must admit, I usually get just one of the above so it was an exceptionally busy night.

Now where’s that 80s music?

#199 Back In Time

Speaking of high school, I loved high school. I had great friends and had great experiences. I played volleyball and basketball. I was in the Spanish Club and got food poisoning in Cancun on Spring Break (there’s nothing like getting sick on the beach and covering it up with sand). Like I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t popular, but I had a great circle of friends. So what’s it like being the tallest girl in high school? As I told one of my former classmates at the reunion, my first driver’s license listed me as 6’4” and 145 lbs. Yikes! (Note: I’m more than 20 lbs. heavier now.)

I did not date in high school. I had crushes. My first big one was on the tallest boy in school. He was my height – 6’6”. The second, probably biggest, crush was on a guy who was 6’4”. Both had no interest in me whatsoever. They played basketball, football, baseball and dated cheerleaders. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I was a tall, skinny girl with a mullet. I don’t know that I would have dated me either. Even with the mullet, I had a couple guys ask me out. One was kinda cute and played football, but I refused to go out with someone a lot shorter than me. He called me a few times. Being so shy, I don’t think I said two words to him on the phone. He finally gave up.

It would have been fun to go on dates with boys I liked in high school. However, I wasn’t scarred for life and I did have a great high school experience.

#198 Reunited

Last Saturday night I attended my high school reunion at a country bar on the east side of town. I would guess about 50-60 people came. Henry Lee Summer played that night. Blast from the past – he played at our senior prom. He’s had his ups and downs, but he sounded great. I went by myself and had a great time catching up with lots of people. I had a small circle of friends in high school and was pretty shy so didn’t talk much to other people back then. And although everyone remembers me, I wasn’t popular by any means. They remember me because I played basketball and was the tallest girl in school. It’s fun to see people after all these years and feel comfortable enough to talk to them now and find out what they’ve been up to. A very fun night!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

#197 Hal Ketchum

My favorite country singer is Hal Ketchum. I first heard of him in the early 90s and saw him once in concert at 8 Seconds Saloon. He’s not the most well-known amongst the average country music fan. I’m sure most of you, if not all, asked yourself, “Who?” As with a lot of the musicians I like, there is just something about him. He has a great voice and is an amazing songwriter. And he is dead sexy.

Three years ago Megan and I took a road trip to Nashville during her fall break. Before the trip I had no idea what a big country music fan she was. We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman and also toured the current Grand Ole’ Opry. We even took advantage of the shopping right across from the Opry at the Opry Mills Mall.

I ordered tickets online for the Opry and as luck would have it, Hal was performing that night. He is a member of the Opry and was on a regular rotation at that time. There are basically three parts to the show and each performer sings two songs. Our seats were in the front row off to the left side of the stage right where the performers entered and exited so I got a great view of him. We also got to see a new artist that we’d just heard on the radio on our trip there – Luke Bryan. When he started singing Megan and I looked at each other and said, “It’s the guy from the radio!” (We'd just heard, "All My Friends Say")It was a wonderful show.

#196 Summer Slam

It always seems that during the first couple weeks of June I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. (A tall chicken though.) There's the Woodruff Place Flea Market, Talbot Street Art Fair, Harrison Center for the Arts fair and the Italian Festival. Then there's my work summer meetings (including committee dinners). My lawn and garden need work and I have laundry to do. Throw in a family member becoming a minister, a Fever game, a high school graduation open house, and then I decided to join the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training Program for a 100-mile bike ride in September, which brings more meetings and training. I go, go, go until 10 p.m. and then fall into bed around 10:30. Then it’s harder to get up at 5:30 to go to the gym. It’s all fun and worthwhile stuff, but I’m ready for a break. I have nothing planned next week! Wait, I did make an appointment for a bike fit...here we go again!

#195 Head Rush

I occasionally have head rushes. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, a “head rush” is when you get up too fast and it takes several seconds for the blood to get to your head. In the meantime you can't see anything - your vision goes to black. I used to get them more when I was younger, but now usually get them when I’m getting out of shape or am a bit dehydrated. Once I was in a doctor’s waiting room sitting for a while and when they called my name I stood up and couldn’t see a thing. I didn’t want anyone to know so I kept walking very slowly until I could see again. It’s a miracle I didn’t walk into a wall. Although I actually did walk into a wall at home. Usually when I get them I bend over and put my head down by my knees. Not the best look. I’ve done this in front of my friends after getting out of a car. They all take off in the parking lot and I’m standing by the car bent over.

#194 Sweet Jane

I first met Jane Pepper in 2000 when I started volunteering at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships (formerly RCA Tennis Championships). I only saw her once a year for a week, but we clicked right away and each year we picked up right where we left off. She was one of the nicest, funniest, most radiant people I’ve ever met. (One memory that sticks out is of a Saturday Night Live skit we’d both seen that was about Wal Mart greeters. They would talk to each other and would always say, “I knowwwwww!” We would do that while we greeted the tournament attendees in the hospitality area.) Each year I’d look at the volunteer schedule and hope that I had at least one session with Jane. And each year at the end of the tournament I’d make a silent promise to myself that I’d call her up and we’d get together during the remainder of the year. For whatever reasons, I never did.

She was murdered in her Broad Ripple apartment in the fall of 2007. When the 2008 tournament rolled around, it wasn’t the same. We still had fun, but we all missed her presence. The tournament’s last year was 2009. Last summer a core group of volunteers got together and reminisced about the fun we had, and how much we still missed Jane. A couple of the women had known her since college.

Several weeks ago I read that her killer was sentenced to 88 years. I’m thankful they caught him and he’s being punished; although who knows how long he’ll really serve.

R.I.P. Jane.

#193 Shopping Spree

I walked to the mall today at lunch to check out some big sales. Gap, Clark’s and Bath & Body Works. While in Bath & Body Works, one of the sales people (a young man) came up to me and said, “I love you. I love tall people.” He was kinda tall. Then he talked about people asking him to reach things and hating short people. That was a quick turn from love to hate. My disclaimer - I don't hate short people! Unless they ask me for a step stool.

#192 Step Stool

Monday I had lunch at a local restaurant, Tortas Guicho Dominguez y El Cubanito. First of all, very good! The funny part came as my friend Tammy and I got into my car to leave. A man was walking down the street (ok, he was a little short) and he asked, “Do you have a step stool?” I didn’t really get it at first, so just answered, “No, I don’t.” thinking what a strange question it was. Then I realized what he meant.

Monday, June 13, 2011

#191 What a Racquet

At the age of 42 I recently bought my very first tennis racquet. My previous racquets include a Wilson my parents bought me in the ninth grade when I played on my first and only team (my coach used to give us scratch and sniff stickers to put on our racquet covers when we won) and another Wilson that had been used at youth clinics and was given to me by a co-worker who felt sorry for me because I still played with a racquet from the ninth grade.

Over the years I’d thought about buying a racquet but never followed through because I didn’t know what kind to get. There are so many! After 18 weeks of group lessons and playing with several loaners at the club (Dunlop, Prince, Wilson, Babolat and Head) I finally chose the Head Extreme MP. I had lots of help from the pro shop staff. I love my new racquet. My last group lesson was in May. I picked up the racquet after the lessons ended so haven't actually played against anyone with it. I did use it once hitting against a machine. Since the sub thing hasn't worked out so far, I keep looking at it sitting in the corner in its matching bag. It looks lonely.

#190 Foiled Again

I haven’t played tennis since my group lessons ended in May. I did get on a wait list to be a sub for a mixed doubles league. Subs play for free! I figured that would allow me to play all summer according to my schedule. I naively thought I’d be the only one on the sub list. So they sent an e-mail out a couple weeks ago asking for two subs. I had given them my personal e-mail address so I didn’t respond until after 5 p.m. Subs are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. I was not first. Or second. I gave them my work e-mail so I could be faster the next time. Well, I was out of the office last Friday afternoon and THAT’S when they sent the e-mail. Darn it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

#189 Marissa's Miracle

In Post #152 I told you about Marissa, an Auburn graduate who discovered she had a brain tumor in January. I just read on her blog "A Day In The Life" (see my blog list on the left) that they successfully removed it! Praise the Lord! She still has to go through chemo, but this is a truly amazing event. Please continue to keep her and her family in your prayers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

#188 Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

So the woman in post #186 who mentioned not knowing there was a bar in the bathroom is Nancy. (You made the blog!) Today I brought up the shoes again and she asked me if it bothered me when people go out and buy the same thing I have. I asked her if she bought the shoes - she did! She stopped at Nordstrom on her way home from work Friday. Her son is getting married soon and she needed them for the rehearsal dinner. I have no problem with anyone wearing what I have. I think it would be fun to wear them on the same day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

#187 Heel Yes

Today I have set a personal record for shoe heel height. I am wearing a pair of 4” wedge platforms (Franco Sarto Carnival Wedge in black). Last Saturday Julie and I stopped at the Nordstrom half yearly sale (taking a break from celeb searching during Indy 500 weekend). It seems like when I shoe shop with someone else I end up trying on the highest heels just to be funny. So I tried on a cute pair of open toed black patent slingback wedge platforms (whew!). And I thought they were really cute. And I bought them! While looking at them in the mirror I noticed other patrons staring at me. And I swear I heard someone whisper from the other side of the sale rack, “She’s really tall even with no shoes on.”

I wore them around the house a bit to see how they felt. Wow I am really tall in these shoes. I told some friends at work about them. And today I brought them in to wear at work to see how they feel wearing them all day. I asked opinions from about five people. My main concern is that I not look ridiculous. I know what I like and am comfortable wearing most anything but wanted an honest opinion about a 6’6” woman wearing 4” heels. I got the thumbs up. Well, from everyone other than Ethan, who is 6’8”. He doesn’t like it when I wear heels. He’s really kidding, but deep down inside I do think it bothers him a little. His wife is tall so he’s ok.

I have discovered two issues with these shoes: 1) My legs will not fit underneath my desk so I have to sit somewhat like a man; and 2) I have to duck when walking into the restroom stall so I don’t hit my head on the bar. I mentioned this to another woman here and she said, “There’s a bar in the bathroom stall?” She never noticed.

These shoes will hereby be known as my “Nordstrom going out of business” shoes. Or maybe I should call them my “hit my head on the bar in the bathroom stall” shoes. Be careful out there ladies.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

#186 RIP Nordstrom Circle Centre

It was announced today that the Nordstrom at Circle Centre is closing. I don't know when. I did go to the half-yearly sale yesterday. I did try on a couple pairs but didn't purchase either. We still have a Nordstrom at Keystone, and will (hopefully) still get the new Rack in Castleton, but that's way on the other side of town. Bummer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

#185 Capri Diem

I’m not sure what this phrase means. I just made it up. “Pant day?” I thought it would be funny to put a twist on the word capri, since today I am wearing a pair of capris (cropped pants). For many years I refused to wear capris. I thought that if I wore them people would look at me and say, “That poor girl grew out of her pants!” One day Julie and I were shopping at the Eddie Bauer outlet store in Edinburgh. I found a pair of raspberry red tall capris. Since they were a different color than the norm AND technically were talls, I tried them on. Julie tried a different pair on. Inside the dressing room we both came out and I asked her, “Does it look like I grew out of my pants?” She said no, so I bought them. Since that day I have embraced the capri and have bought many more. They are a great summer pant. I even have a pair that are regular-length pants and I turned up the 3” hem to make a cuff. The fashion experts say that cropped pants make women look shorter so regular-height women really shouldn’t wear them. Well, then, they are the perfect pant for me!

#184 Carpe Temporis Punctum

Usually people say “Seize the day” but I wanted to say “Seize the moment”. A couple weeks ago at work I was reminded about how important it is to do this. I will not go into detail, but I had an opportunity to do something and passed on it, thinking the opportunity would present itself later in the day. I ended up being very disappointed that it didn’t. So make sure you carpe temporis punctum!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

#183 Chris O'Dowd

I have a new celebrity crush. I saw "Bridesmaids" over the weekend (loved it!) and the part of Officer Rhodes is played by Chris O'Dowd. I'd never heard of him before. He's Irish and has been in some British TV/movies the past few years. Very cute. Great curly hair. And very funny. (Check him out on Conan.) Then I found out he's relatively tall - 6'3" or 6'4" (depending on which website you believe). He's cast in an upcoming movie "Friends with Kids" scheduled to come out in 2012. I am very much looking forward to seeing him on the big screen again.

#182 Nordstrom Follow Up

Alas, I was a week early for the half-yearly sale. Bummer. I did have a nice walk though. And on the way back to the office I passed a tall, cute guy. Probably 6'7", dark hair. I don't think he had a wedding ring on. I smiled at him. He smiled back. I wish I had the guts to talk to him, but what would I say?

Friday, May 20, 2011

#181 Bike To Work Day!

It's Bike To Work Day! I rode my bike today! It's amazing how great the day seems to go when I bike to work. It helps that the sun is out too. I may even go for a walk to Nordstrom for lunch and check out the women's half-yearly sale. I will let you know if I find any cute big shoes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

#180 If The Shoe Fits

Last month I was deciding between two pairs of shoes at Nordstrom Rack. Both flats and gold colored. One was a more known brand and looked more comfy, with a little arch support, and was a little more expensive. The other was more flashy, with jewels on the toe, and I think this one was an additional half price or something. I bought the flashy shoes.

After wearing the shoes for a month, I now know that they are not very cushiony, they are little tight (I usually have trouble with shoes coming off my heel, so initially thought this was great), and some of the jewels have come off. I still like them and they are very cute, and I've sewn the jewels back on. However, if I could I'd probably trade them for the other pair.

I was thinking today about how buying shoes is like picking a mate. You really need to try someone on before you "buy" them. Spend time with them, wear them around a little and make sure they really fit you.

And like my big shoes (size 12), I need a big/tall man. ;-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#179 Breakdown

So I rode my bike to work this morning. Well, I attempted to ride my bike to work. I was riding smoothly until about 3 miles in. Then I felt some resistance in the back. At first I thought I had a flat. Nope. Then I checked the brake pads and frame. No rubbing. I have no idea what it was, but it’s got to be something with the gear/pedals. I kept saying out loud, “What IS IT????” I finally turned around and scooted home. I could coast fine but when I tried to pedal I still felt resistance, so I pushed with my left foot. I'm sure I looked ridiculous. I rode a total of 4.7 miles and it took me about 50 minutes. It took me 20 minutes to go 1.5 miles back home. It usually take me about 40-45 minutes to ride the full 7 miles to work. Thank goodness I did make it to work on time.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

#178 Hide and Seek

My house has been burglarized twice so I learned to hide things well. Unfortunately, I hid some things so well even I couldn’t find them. My problem is that I move my hiding places around and what seems like a brilliant location at the time seems to leave my brain once a few days go by. I once couldn’t find my camera for several weeks and finally found it by chance while cleaning the house. I still can’t find one ring. It’s probably hanging out with my silver hoop earring (Post #177).

#177 Lost and Found

I have a history of losing things (mostly jewelry) and miraculously finding them again, sometimes months later. Following is a short list, sure to grow as I grow in age:

• In high school I lost a necklace that I had put in gym locker during practice. While walking out to the car I found it hanging on the front of my coat.

• I lost a gold hoop earring and found it probably a year later on the floor in my garage. Once side was a little banged up, but not really that noticeable, so I just kept wearing it.

• I lost a gold hoop earring AGAIN and after several months of waiting to see where it would turn up, I broke down and bought another pair. Another few months went by and I found the first gold earring in the gear shifter thingy in my car.

• A month or so ago a lost a gold dangle earring. Last week as I was pulling into my garage I saw something shiny on the garage floor, just to the left of where I park. When I opened my door I saw not only the gold dangle earring, but my watch, which had fallen off earlier that day. I hadn’t even noticed my watch was missing.

• I lost a silver hoop earring about two years ago. I still haven’t given up hope.

• I really lost the necklace I first “lost” in high school about 11 years ago. I had another one made (it had been a gift from my aunt for my baptism) so I guess technically it “reappeared”.

#176 Play On, Nashville

May 3, 2011, marked the one year anniversary of the Nashville flood. And I thought I was just going to a really great show at the Grand Ole Opry! I try to check the Opry’s lineup every week and saw that there was going to be a show with Luke Bryan, Little Jimmy Dickens, Dierks Bentley, Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley and Alabama, among others. What a lineup!

A friend of mine went with me. We arrived in Nashville at 3 p.m. Central time. Our plan was to get the tickets, walk around the Opry Mills Mall and then go to the show. Upon arriving at the Gaylord hotel/mall/Opry area my friend commented that the mall parking lot was kind of empty (we’d been there before and it had always been pretty full). I said something like, “Well, it’s a Tuesday, so maybe not many people are out today.” We’d usually come on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday. As I drove closer I saw fencing going all around the mall. I asked a worker if the mall was closed. They said it was and would re-open next year. What?!!! I felt like we were in National Lampoon’s Vacation movie, arriving at Wally World. “Sorry kids, the mall’s closed!” We drove to another mall about 10 miles away. It was nice, but no outlet stores like Opry Mills.

Back at the Opry, while waiting for the doors to open, we noticed some TV cameras outside. We still had no clue about the anniversary. Only until we were in our seats watching a taped introduction by Carrie Underwood, which included pictures of the flood damage, did we put two and two together. Huh. Didn’t make the connection, Mr. Obvious.

For those who have never attended an Opry show, it’s actually a radio show with several performers, each playing two songs. Two performers play their sets, then they break for commercials. Then the next two performers play, and so on. Each time a performer comes on, the audience is allowed to come up to the front of the stage for that set. You have to stay low so as not to block the view of those in their seats. Security makes the audience go back to their seats after each set. Then they let you back to the front to do it all over again.

My friend and I went to the front for Luke and Brad. We had seats in Row K and didn’t feel the need to do it for each artist. Note for next time: don’t wear skinny jeans. I almost cut off my circulation. It’s not comfortable to squat for 15 minutes at-a-time.

Here are pics of each artist.

Luke is a cutie. And he’s got a great butt.

I didn’t take a picture of Little Jimmy Dickens, but he is a cutie too. He sang a couple songs and told some jokes. At 80, he’s a little spitfire.

Dierks is cute too.

Trace is not "cute". He’s dead sexy. You’ve got your little Luke, Dierks and Brad. And then Trace walks out, all 6’6” of him, solid as a rock. Ooooeeee, shut your mouth, slap your grandma!

Charlie was great. To hear The Devil Went Down To Georgia live was amazing. He played that fiddle so hard the strings were shearing off at one end.

My friend’s favorite (besides Luke) is Brad. LOVES him. She was right at the edge of the stage. He played his new song “Old Alabama” and the band Alabama came out to sing with him. They don’t tour anymore so that was special. The last song they played together was Alabama’s “Tennessee River”.

As we walked out of the Opry, my friend said, “Best concert EVER!” It was a great experience.

After the show we hopped back in the car and drove home. Really. It wasn’t too bad and I wasn’t really tired until I got home and finally went to bed at 4 a.m. One bonus – gas was $3.69 in Tennessee. What a bargain!

The day trip was totally worth it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#175 Ma Bell

My mom called me at work yesterday to let me know their home phone wasn't working. I called AT&T and reported a problem on their automated system. A recording told me their phone would be fixed "by April 22 at 8 p.m." I let her know what they said. I also told her to keep her cell phone turned on so I could call her back. She said, "That's a good idea!"

So this morning she called to let me know their phone was working again. She called AT&T herself this morning and told them she was 83 and the phone is her lifeline and she'd like it fixed as soon as possible. By golly, they fixed it! Hey, if you've got the hand, play it. She then told me she was turning off her cell phone.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

#174 Houston, we have a problem...

Krista, Kenny, Julie and I traveled to Houston for the men’s Final Four. Here is a recap of our fun-filled stay:

Julie and I arrived Friday and met my boss and some work people for dinner at Mia Bella Trattoria on Main Street. It was awesome! This place has the best oil dip for bread I’ve ever had. Krista and Kenny arrived in town later that night and we met them back at the hotel. Our hotel was nice; however, our room had one king bed and a pullout sofa (first problem). With a 6’6” (me), a 6’3” (Kenny) and a 5’11” (Julie), that left not much bed space. We let the married couple take the king, Julie took the sofa bed and I slept on the sofa cushions on the floor. Not bad, but a little short.

Around 3 a.m. Saturday morning I heard a knock on our door. I think the first knock woke me up. A minute later another knock. I was waiting for them to give up, but another knock. After yet another knock I finally got up. I looked out the peep hole and saw a bare chested guy in his 20s standing there with a Kentucky glass in his hand. I opened the door (that had the safety bar on it) and said, “Dude, this is not your room. Please go away.” He then invited me (mind you, he hasn’t even seen any part of me) to come out to the pool. No thanks.

Saturday brought a partly sunny, warm day. We hit McDonald’s for breakfast (a McSkillet burrito and a yogurt parfait became my breakfast for the next three days). We walked over to the Hilton Americas to check out some coaches. I didn’t write all the names down. but here are a few we saw: Gene Keady, Steve Alford (they were not together), Wimp Sanderson, Mike Brey, Matt Doherty (he ran into Julie in the lobby), Bruce Webber, golly, there are so many I can’t remember all of them. We also saw Jimmer Fredette on the street. Jimmer!! My girl Maddie loves you!

Julie and I had a nice adventure picking up our tickets from Reliant Stadium Saturday afternoon (second problem). We weren’t too happy with the ordeal, and her ankle wasn’t too happy either, but we got them.

We had lunch at Yao’s. I didn’t make the connection (Ms. Obvious!) until I walked in and saw Yao Ming’s picture on the wall. Very good. I especially appreciated the high doorways and ceilings. I heard he has his own dining room with a big table and chairs.

Saturday evening I was on the edge of my seat for the entire Butler game. Julie said she’d never seen me like that before. I’m usually very laid back at sporting events, but this was different. I prayed so hard during the entire first game. I was much more relaxed during the second game. I was leaning toward Kentucky but not upset about the end result. I felt bad for my friend Ty, a Kentucky grad.

We got on the wrong bus going back to our hotel and ended up at the Galleria late Saturday night (third problem). We caught a cab there to downtown. The cabbie was interesting. Kenny sat in front and said he had a whole leg cast and also had a hot pot up there. He hummed and whistled the whole trip. Loves R.E.M., he does! Turn it up!

We took the correct bus to the Galleria Mall Sunday. Walked around a while – that place is huge! We had lunch at a Mexican place and sat right next to Buzz Williams and his wife. Other sightings at the mall: Nick Faldo and Eddie Sutton. Went back to the hotel and lay down for a bit to watch TV. Mistake! I fell asleep a couple times. We woke ourselves up to go find dinner. Went to Frank’s Pizza on Travis Street downtown and watched the first women’s semi between Texas A&M and Stanford. We watched the Notre Dame/Connecticut game at an Irish pub. Exciting games! Go Irish!!

We hit Bracket Town early Monday to avoid long lines. We did all the sports – football, hockey, baseball, lacrosse. Fun! We finished up around 1:30. Then I saw a sign that Chris Mullin was signing autographs at 3:45. I was not about to wait two hours for him, so we left, had lunch at the House of Blues, and I paid $10 to get back in to see Chris by myself. I’ve had a crush on him since I was in high school and saw him play for St. John’s. While he was playing for the Pacers I saw him in the free weight room at my gym in Indianapolis. I was in such shock I couldn’t bring myself to speak to him. I regret not saying something. Anything! So I stood in line at Bracket Town and when it was my turn (I’d like to think he perked up a bit when I walked up) I told him I was from Indy and was a big fan. I had on a Butler shirt and he asked if I went there. He was really nice. His eyes are such a clear, light blue. Sigh. The woman behind me took a picture of us for me.

I met up with Krista and Julie afterward, and we went to the Hyatt to people watch. Met up with a friend in the lobby. We did see Kareem and his teeny, tiny wife. Well, I guess most people are teeny, tiny next to him. Krista and I attempted to get a picture with him but were stopped by some guys in suits, “Ladies! Ladies! No!” Sorry, dude. Kareem fished a basketball playing card out of his pocket and wordlessly handed it to Krista. He had pre-signed it.

We caught the bus over to the final game Monday night. A dog fight! Not much can be said about the game. Poor Butler had big problems that night in Houston. Sometimes things just don’t go your way and you have no explanation. I lived that three times with my Auburn teammates. Each Final Four I get a little verklempt and feel bad for the losing team, even if the team I’m rooting for wins. This time was the worst. A hometown team, losing two years-in-a-row. It sucks. But the city is proud of them and they are a classy group.

My Jay Bilas streak was broken. I did NOT see Jay anywhere in Houston. Since Atlanta in 2007, I have run into Jay randomly at away Final Fours. I didn’t see him in Indy last year, and don’t see many people at home since I’m working and not out walking around, so I don’t count my home city. Atlanta was the hotel elevator, Hoop City (now Bracket Town) and the Mexican restaurant in the CNN Center. 2008 San Antonio was the River Walk (several times), the mall escalator and the ESPN desk at the mall. 2009 Detroit was on some street downtown near the Greek restaurant. “Hi Jay!” I think in Houston he reported from somewhere near the Galleria, which was about 20 minutes from downtown.

Overall, it was a great trip, despite some minor problems and the Butler loss. Houston is a nice city, the weather was good, the games were good (for the most part) and the people were friendly. Once again, I’m thankful that my friends like to go! It was a nice mini Spring Break.

#173 Waite a Minute!

Each morning I listen to the Bob and Tom Show on Q95. This morning I heard they’d be talking to John Waite. I logged in as usual to their live stream and…I heard garbled voices. One of them sounded British. AGH!! The ONE day I’m super excited to listen to John Waite. I could stream other radio stations so have no idea what happened. After about 15 minutes I finally got it to work. His interview was over. Ain’t that peculiar?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

#172 H-O-R-S-E Play

So when a grown man sends you, a grown woman, a message that he’s ready to play you in H-O-R-S-E, does it really mean he wants to play H-O-R-S-E? And when he tells you he’s ready to play you anytime, and you respond asking him when he’s available and you don’t hear a peep from him after that, did it really happen? Just wondering.

#171 Date Update

So a few posts ago (#156) I mentioned that I had a date. As of today, no second date. That makes it almost two months later. Here’s the scoop. Basically after the first phone call, he has not called me. Only texts. I’m fine with texting, but it has its place. I’m a little disappointed that has been the main communication from him. What’s a girl to do? Also, when he does text me, it’s usually the day before he wants to get together (once it was the same day). I learned a long time ago to not wait around for a guy to call, or you may end up hanging out by yourself. I have things to do and people to see. So each time he’s texted me to hang out I’ve been busy. Last weekend I offered up the next night since I was free. He agreed. Then the next morning I got a text that he was going to go see his brother. Totally fine; I do understand, but I think I’m done with this one. Very nice guy but since it’s been so long since Date No. 1 I’m taking that as a sign that we are destined to either never see each other again or be friends. I’m cool with that.

#170 Dust Bunnies

Today I wore my 3” platform t-straps. It’s kinda funny when I wear these because I can totally see over the lockers at the gym and can see all the dust and dirt up there. Aaaaachooo!

#169 Hit and Run Again

Last Saturday night I went out to watch the Butler Bulldogs beat Florida to go to the Final Four for the second year in-a-row. Go Dawgs!! We then decided to meet at Michelle and Phil’s house to watch the next game. I got there first and parked on the street outside their house, where I usually do, Krista and Kenny pulled up behind me and we waited for Michelle and Phil to get home.

There was another car parked across the street from me and I thought about pulling up more to give passing cars more space. It is a pretty narrow street. But I decided to stay put. A few cars did drive past and made it cleanly. Then I saw a large, white van come from behind me and noticed it was getting kind of close. Hey, it’s getting really close…BANG!!! It took off my side mirror and scraped the front side of my car a bit. It sounded worse that it looked. My mirror was in pieces on both sides of my car. And, like the other car that hit me last year, the van kept going. Seriously?! You can’t tell me they didn’t feel or hear anything when they hit me?

Long story short, I wrote down the last four license plate numbers, called 911 and waited for the police to come. Krista and Kenny took off after the van but lost it. The officer that came over was the same guy from last year. He couldn’t run the plate with partial numbers since Indiana has about 300 different license plates.

Half an hour later he called me and asked me to come to an address about a block away to identify the van. It was sitting in the driveway. They were arresting the guy and he was going to jail. Holy cow!

Until my insurance settles this I’m driving around with a glued on side mirror (thanks to the guy at the body shop). Miraculously the mirror part was in one piece. I added the back part of the mirror plastic and some duct tape for added stability. Rollin’ in style on the East Siiiide!

#168 Jeanne Robertson

Last Friday night I took my parents (to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary) to see Jeanne Robertson at the Murat Egyptian Room. Jeanne is a professional speaker/humorist who is an Auburn University alumnus. I first heard her speak at a women’s Final Four in Tacoma, Washington over 20 years ago. She describes herself as “six feet two inches tall with my hair mashed down on my head”. She is hilarious! She’s in her late 60s now but still as funny. She’s also a former Miss North Carolina and was in the Miss America pageant in 1963. She basically tells stories about herself (topping out at 6’2” at the age of 12), her husband (left brain) and her son (Beaver). If you ever get the chance to see her, DO IT!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

#167 Tall Day

Within a time span of about 45 minutes, I had two people comment on my height this morning. A woman at the gym said she'd love to have my height and then asked if I played sports, how tall my family was, etc.

Once I got to work, I got on the elevator with a man who asked me how tall I was, if I played basketball, how tall my family was, etc.

Get it out of the way early...

Monday, March 21, 2011

#166 Division III Basketball Championship

I just returned from the Division III Men’s Basketball championship, held for the 16th consecutive year in Salem, Virginia. The final four teams were The College of Wooster, Middlebury College, the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and Williams College. You can read all about the games on www.ncaa.com, DIII men’s basketball. The first two semis were close, with St. Thomas coming back from 17 down with eight minutes left in the game to beat Wooster. Williams beat Middlebury by two in the second game. In the championship game, St. Thomas (Minnesota) beat Williams by 24.

Aside from the games, the town of Roanoke (about 10 miles from Salem) was lovely. We stayed at the Hotel Roanoke, a short walk from downtown. The weather was wonderful (70s) and I was able to take some time to wander the streets of Roanoke and check out some shops. No, I didn’t buy anything. Well, except lunch at Awful Arthur’s.

The Hotel Roanoke is a Doubletree hotel and they give you complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies upon arrival, and then upon request. The record set by a former committee member is around 30 cookies in a five-day period. A current member topped off at around 20 last year. I think I had five. There were times I wanted one, but the check-in line was too long to wait.

I flew through Charlotte and on the way back the flight from Charlotte to Indy was packed. Salem is great at giving gift baskets at the hotel and I crammed as much as I could into my carry on. Unfortunately, my backpack was too big to fit in the overhead compartment and I had to smash it under the seat in front of me. Which left no legroom. AND the guy next to me was very large and took up part of my seat. I was miserable for an hour and kept praying I could make it through the flight without a blood clot in my legs. Remember for next time:

• Do a better job of requesting an exit row.
• Ask Salem to ship you the goodies.
• Even if you have to pay extra to check a bag, it’s worth it to have leg room.
• Look at the nutritional content of a sandwich BEFORE buying it. I was halfway through a Wolfgang Puck turkey remoulade sandwich when I saw there was 1450 mg of sodium in that sucker.

Overall, a great basketball weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#165 Saturday Night Live

Today I experienced a stupendous high and then a crushing low. A friend e-mailed me a link where I could enter a contest to be in an Oprah audience for a Saturday Night Live reunion. OMG! I have watched SNL every week (during the regular season) since college. That's around 25 years. I. LOVE. THIS. SHOW. Anyone who knows me well knows I love this show. I have dressed up for Halloween as various SNL characters. I can do several characters on demand. This was perfect for me!

So when I clicked on the link I found that they had closed the contest. I am crushed. I ended up submitting something for "Do you look younger than you are?" People tell me I look younger than my age, so I wrote one sentence on that and then told them how crushed I was to miss the SNL deadline. I gave it a shot.

I am still crushed though.

Monday, March 14, 2011

#164 Margie at the Derby

Julie brought her mom, Marge, to the roller derby bout last weekend. Actually, it was bouts, plural, as it was a doubleheader. The main bout vs. the Brew City All Stars was really exciting and the Tornado Sirens were able to pull out a victory. Rock on Margie!

Friday, March 11, 2011

#163 Basketball Heaven

Since I’m not allowed to use another term, I will instead say that we have now entered the month of basketball heaven. I am lucky enough to have TVs at work and was able to take a longer-than-usual lunch to watch some exciting conference games. Awesome! As the clocks ran down on two games, more people gathered in the lunch room and I was feverishly flipping between two buzzer beaters (Northwestern/Ohio State and Miami/North Carolina). At one point, a female co-worker told me I was doing a great job of handling the remote. A male co-worker then said, “You use the remote like a guy! And I mean that as a compliment!” I hate it when people change channels and then “forget” to change it back. Foul? Switch. Timeout? Switch. It’s a delicate balance. Hmmmm…I actually DID work hard today.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

#162 Sweet Baby James

Seeing James in concert always brings up memories of my very first JT concert in 1997. I was playing basketball in Seattle at the time and was home for the summer. I usually went to the gym at noon to play pick-up ball, but this day I went later in the afternoon, around 2. I decided to run on the track. I usually notice tall people (i.e., men) and as I ran around in circles on the track I noticed a tall gentleman in sweats and a ball cap lifting on the machines. I remember thinking he looked like a professor. Thin, scholarly. I don't know how many laps I'd run until it finally registered who he was - James Taylor!! I stopped on a dime, walked up to him, and told him I loved his music. He asked if I was going to the show the next night and I said no, that my friend Kathy was going and taking her mom. He asked if I would go if he left me a ticket at Will Call. YES!! Then he asked if I could find someone to go with me, and he'd leave two tickets. YES!!! I told him my name (he didn't write it down or anything) and then we talked a little about the Nike boys basketball camp that was going on. He asked a few questions and then I was on my way. Well, before I left, I said something like, "I'm going to go home and fall on the floor."

At the time I'd been talking to a guy and had gone on one or two dates with him. I thought I'd impress him by inviting him to the concert. When we got there we picked up our tickets (name spelled correctly!) and saw these little stickers in the envelope. I asked a security guy what they were and he said they were back stage passes. What!!??? We went back stage and there was food and drinks. After hanging out a short time I asked someone if James was coming out. I had brought him a t-shirt from my team and wanted to give it to him as a thank you. James did come out and was so gracious. He thanked US for coming. He also said to come back at intermission.

Our seats were in the eighth row center. My date said at one point, "You know, I can never take you to a concert now." At intermission I took Kathy's mom (a lifelong fan of his) back stage to meet him. She got a great picture with him and put it on her desk at work. People used to ask her if that was her husband and she would just say, "Yes."

The show was great! I must admit, even though I love his music, at that time I may have had one dubbed cassette of his greatest hits. I'm not one to buy a lot of music. So after that concert, I went out and bought several CDs. I now have almost his entire collection.

What is it about James? To alter the lyrics to one of his songs, there's something in the way HE moves. Or sings. He's just so talented. And on top of that, so humble and gracious. He is my all-time favorite musical artist. How sweet it is to listen to his music.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

#161 Ben & James

No, I'm not talking about a new kind of ice cream (although I am a fan of Ben & Jerry's). I'm talking about Ben and James Taylor. James was in town last Saturday with "very special guest, Ben Taylor", his son. And what a show it was. Kathy signed up for some fan page and scored us pre-sale tickets in Orchestra Row B at The Murat. Best seats I've ever had for a show. Thank you Kathy, and thank you Jesus!

James came out and sang a couple songs by himself. Then Ben and the band joined in. They rotated songs after that and would sing one James song and one Ben song. Lots of witty dialog in between. It was so cool to see them singing and interacting together.

Ben has been to Indy with his band in the past (Ben Taylor Band) but for whatever reason I didn't go. He is definitely on my list of must see in the future. And he's my new crush. I've had a little crush on James for a while, but he's happily married. Ben is single, 6'5" and more in my age range. :-) As one reporter described him, he "looks rather like a sexy Amish man with his goatee beard and air of whimsical intensity." That hits the nail on the head.

It was also good to catch up with Kathy. She's so busy with her boys I don't get to see her much. I know she'll always get out to see James!

This is my fifth time to see James. Until next time...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

#160 Weighty Issue

I have been thin all my life. I am probably more sensitive about my weight than I am about my height. I hate hearing someone say, "You are so skinny!" I realize that lots of women would love for someone to call them skinny. To me, when I hear "skinny" it means "ugly". Therefore, I refer to myself as thin or slender.

While playing basketball for almost 20 years I was always asked to gain weight to be stronger out on the court. My college playing weight was around 165. In the off season I would drop to 160. The most I ever weighed was whilte playing after college, when I maxed out at 172 after lifting heavy at the gym and taking Creatine. I tried so hard to hold that weight after I quit playing but slowly dropped down to my regular 160.

Overall I like the way I look. I do get the occasional remark that makes me feel bad, like once when someone said, "If you gained 10 pounds you'd look really good." Can you imagine someone saying that to someone trying to lose weight? Even with my issues, I've never worried too much about my weight. I figure it will catch up with me sometime. I'm also thankful I don't have to watch what I eat like most people. I try to eat healthy, but if I want to eat cake, I eat cake!

This morning at the gym I walked by a scale in the hall and decided to step on it. When I weigh myself at home on a really old scale (30 years old?) I come in at around 162. The reading on the gym scale - 169.2. What??? In the morning? I NEVER weigh myself in the morning because that's when I'm the lightest. (I am so backwards from the rest of society!) I asked one of the trainers if their scale was accurate. (Duh, why would the gym have inaccurate scales?) She confirmed it was very accurate. Wow! That made my day!

#159 Brad Garrett

In August of 2008 I went on a “date” with Brad Garrett in Los Angeles (see Post No. 29). Brad is in town this weekend for a charity event, “Laughing Matters” to raise money for the Cancer Support Community of central Indiana. I admit that I tried to get in touch with him to invite him to breakfast or lunch during his stay but I haven’t heard anything. No motive other than I thought it would be fun. This morning I heard he was going to be on The Bob & Tom Show at around 7:30. Unfortunately I was headed to the gym and I missed his interview. I will not be attending the event due to it being pretty expensive (yes, I realize it’s for charity but just can't do it). Break a leg, Brad!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#158 Tax Time

Last Saturday I was at Paul's doing my taxes on Turbo Tax. After entering figures from my W2 I was asked to review what I had entered. Something looked a bit off. That was confirmed when I looked at the top, where it lists how much you owe, or how much you are owed, and I owed the government $1.4 million. AGHHHH! I laughed out loud and Paul yelled from down the hall, "What's going on?" Oh nothing...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

#157 Oscars

I love the Oscars! Unfortunately I had to work all day Sunday so I missed the show. I did tape it so I'll be able to catch up on the glamour/excitement later. I saw some of the red carpet fashions online. Below are a couple pictures of note:

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman

I am fans of both of them, and love that even though she's a bit taller than he, it seems he's ok with that (more than Tom Cruise). And I love that she wears heels around him! Go girl!

Zachary Levi

Not much needs to be said here. He is looking quite dapper. I had to include him, as I do have a Zachary Levi Rule (Post #27).