Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Snorting Salt Water

It's like watching a train wreck, isn't it? You want to turn away, but you can't ... you may even find yourself whiling away the minutes on YouTube watching other people use the neti ... it's hypnotic. The lady in this video is hysterical ... you know she's trying not to laugh, especially since she's being filmed. Notice the complete lack of expression, almost indifference even. She doesn't even smile after it's over (as in - "Yippee, no more saline coming out of my nostril"), blows her nose with such, um, conviction and the exercises at the end, truly inspirational - the whole performance is quite commendable, in a completely nondescript kind of way.

I know it's been over a year since Oprah discovered it, but I've never been one to be the first to try something "new" ... yes, I know this is an "ancient" technique, but I don't like to be "manipulated" by media hype either. A little stretch, but you get the point.

The experience is a bit odd, and not quite what I expected. I giggled, because I was standing with my head over the kitchen sink with a tea pot looking object filled with salt water shoved up my nose. When the water started pouring out the other side, EXACTLY AS IN THE VIDEO, I just had to laugh. Not only did it tickle, but I just pictured how it would look to someone else (mainly because I was mesmerized by the many examples on YouTube).

An important fact, that Miss Heather repeatedly reminded me, is that you must breathe out of your mouth through the entire process.

Laughing/giggling, no matter how tempting, is not one of those things that should be done while one is pouring salt water in one's nostril. It kind of bubbles, and then some of it takes a detour to your throat. I also think this will be something I do in private ... if I can swing it, alone in a dark room (with a sink). Have you ever laughed so hard that whatever you were drinking the moment before came out your nose? This is very similar.

For me, my thoughts were "don't giggle, don't breathe through your nose, don't breathe through your nose, don't do it, stop it, you're laughing, don't breathe through your nose, don't laugh, there's water coming out of your nostril, don't giggle ...". I can only hope that with practice, it won't be so funny or I can at least resist the temptation to snort.

All in all, I feel cleansed ... although I have a strong sense of being at the beach. Since I complained about all of the allergens in my neck of the woods, and since so many people have recommended this little device to me, I decided to try it. I have to believe it will make a difference (providing that I actually use it).

I have to go blow my nose now.

Oh wait, you have to see this one last video. His facial expressions are priceless.

My Groove Thing

Today's Heads or Tails Tuesday topic is Heads: Shake. To play, go here.

Yeah, I know ... but it's actually in my iPod - I have it listed in the LONG RUN playlist ... around minute 100. It's amazing what the music tempo can do to my running tempo.

Although, just recently, it came up on the shuffle during one of my short runs. Again, keep in mind, I'm not really running, per se ... just sort of jogging slowly or walking quickly with actual running movements thrown in for spice every few minutes. It's the best way for me to keep going for long periods of time.

So a few days ago, this song came up on the shuffle setting, maybe around minute 35 or 40 and I just had to dance ... getting rid of that lactic acid build up is always a good thing.

I was by the river - close to a bench overlook, so I tried to
make it look like I was stretching, thus hopefully evoking some either pity or empathy from any poor passers-by. If only I had thought to take a video with my phone.

Dance like nobody's watching, right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How I would Change where I live

This is an easy one ... This week's Heads or Tails meme is "How I would change where I live" ... let me count the ways, shall I? Well, maybe not.

For nine years, I have lived in Atlanta, GA. Nine, (9), "neuf", "nove", "neun", wow - time flies. Technically, at this exact moment, I live in metro-Atlanta, although I am within 2 miles of the city - which,for those non-Atlantans, is OTP (outside-the-perimeter).

My husband, native Atlantan that he is, grew up ITP (inside the perimeter). This apparently, is a significant and quite important fact to know. Once you move OTP, from ITP, you typically PLT (pay less taxes), but do not have a VIA (very important address). All of this was completely lost on me as a YWS (Yankee who stayed).

It still is somewhat lost on me, but I have found myself specifically describing the area in which I live as the distance away it is from the Chattahoochee and the Fulton County line (which for us means Atlanta, GA mailing address). So what would I change?

Not my address ... my husband has reconciled himself to being able to see Fulton County and "The Hooch" from the stop sign at the end of the street. It means paying 3% less tax and he for some reason appreciates that.

Oh wait, I started to digress ... again.

In thinking about it seriously (because I really do routinely ask my husband if we can move), I came up with only 1 (one) giant thing I would change. Overall, it's a quite a diverse place to live with respect to culture, food, music, art, economy, politics, and other socio-economic thingies. I can circumvent the horriffic traffic on most days and the weather overall is pleasant for about 300 of the 365 days.

But I absolutely hate the pollen - HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT! (envison now if you will, me jumping up and down, waving my hands wildly). We get this nasty yellow/green dust beginning in April - lasting through the first of May) that coats everything from outdoor furniture to lungs. It's so thick in the air, you can SEE it ... it's just icky (I'm really trying to G-rate this). People walk around with masks over their noses and mouths for weeks.

But the azaleas and dogwoods are just delightful.

Over the past few years, I routinely get seasonal sinus infections. I've tried various remedies (if you can name it, I probably tried it) - but it just doesn't work. And no matter how much I appreciate the beauty of the flora and fauna, the pollen is disgusting. Fortunately for me, I've recently started to get sinus infections in the fall, too. I am SOOOOO LUCKY! No attractive yellow green dust, just the normal fall allergens. Apparently the relentless assault of spring has finally broken down my defenses during the fall.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor, only to find out that now I have a type allergy induced excema on my ankle and shin. Upon leaving the office, I phoned the dear husband and inquired if he would accept a doctor's written excuse as reason enough to move. He laughed, then sighed, said no ... waited for a strategic pause to see if I was going to break out into convulsive sobs (which somehow I managed to contain) and then suggested maybe we could move somewhere to the coast of Georgia ... in about 10 more years.

Oh, sure ... now we can look forward to Hurricane season. At least maybe the high winds would blow away the pollen.

If you laughed, vote for this post here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Proof

... of my unfaithfulness to you all. Still riddled with guilt, I have made more posts in a week than I normally do in a month. And there's more to come ... but that will have to wait until tomorrow, because when I logged on tonight, the following confirmation was beaming in my in-box.
Hi Lisa,

Your article is now live at: Like a Fine Wine, Fundraising Should be Savored

My first official published piece. Sorry to gush, but it's so cool - or, well, it is to me.

To recap, I ran a full marathon (that's 26.2 miles) in January (in Phoenix). It was my first and I'll have to say it was definitely life changing in many ways. I did this in order to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of a dear friend who was diagnosed with lymphoma. I managed to raise $5000 in less than 4 months - mostly through word of mouth and blog posts but I also hosted a wine tasting fundraiser at my home. It was the latter that I wrote about for the Step By Step Fundraising web site. It's a fabulous resource for fundraising efforts - go there for ideas and be sure to tell people about them.

I have to go now and drink some wine in honor of my article and also a toast to my friend in whose honor I ran, and to the Step By Step site, and quite frankly to all of you!

Hmmmm ... methinks I will need either a smaller glass or a bigger bottle.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My theory on the origin of meatballs & grape jelly

Awhile back, I hypothesized on the theory of how someone came up with the recipe of meatballs and grape jelly. I laugh every time I think about it. I'll do the recap here, but please click here to view the original. Please note that I'm posting two days in a row, because I'm still racked with guilt over being consumed with trying to figure out ways to monetize the blog.

I'll get straight to my primary theory - I actually have two, but you'll have to go here for the other one. This week's Heads or Tails meme is Heads: Recipe - to participate, click here.

Apparently, there are other ways to serve meatballs ... although the thought of compromising a good meatball in something other than tomato sauce has been somewhat elusive to me, I am exploring the idea. Kind of like an adventure in food.

I have had the ever classic, "cocktail wiener" - but alas, I had no idea what was in the sauce. Maybe it should have stayed that way. Now, I learn from some of my closest friends that meatballs are good in a sauce made of grape jelly, coca-cola, and chili sauce.

I say it sounds like something invented by accident by people who are stoned.

"Dude, what have you got to eat around here?"
"I don't know man, I think there are some meatballs in the fridge"

[Dude goes to fridge, starts looking for the meatballs pulls out some jelly, chili sauce, and a coke then finds the meatballs and sets everything onto counter]

"Wow, man, these meatballs need some help - hey - what are you doing?"
"I don't know dude, I thought I'd put some chili sauce on them"
"Oh no, I think I just spilled the coke in there too"

[Snort - laughter ensues]

"HA HA [as he squirts the jelly into the mix] "What else do you have in there?"
"OMG, these are the best meatballs ever!"
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Guilt, sugar, and caffeine

One of the Southern expressions I failed to interpret correctly when I first arrived here, was "gimme some sugar". Sure, I got the "gimme" part ... as in "give me", but I always thought that when someone asked for sugar, you got a cup or bowl, and poured out the white granules from the Domino bag. I'm no rocket scientist ... but I'm pretty sure that when someone asks for sugar, that's what they mean.

I was wrong.

A few mornings back, whilst still in the throws of my unfaithfulness, I decided to bake some cinnamon rolls. I figured that since I was going to run 4 or 5 miles that morning, I would just pop those fresh little morsels right in the oven and carb up on sugar before I left. I'm no elite athlete, either ... or I would be eating my favorite Clif bars for breakfast. I'm just happy running blissfully on sugar, the white granulated kind.

Well, here's the thing ... on the mornings I run, I don't drink coffee before I go ... it's my little treat after the run and on long runs (over 8 miles), I use Espresso Love, the GU with caffeine in it for a little boost to get me through that last little bit. But, I digress.

So I popped the Pillsbury's into the oven, got my running clothes on and counted down the ticking clock. There were five in total ... when the timer buzzer went off, I successfully removed four from the cookie sheet but I just couldn't get that last one off ... no way, no how. I was thinking to myself, "GIMME SOME SUGAR, expletive" - translation, "I want the cinnamon rolls now, please". Finally, I just pulled off the top of the roll. And guess what I found underneath?

That's right, THE LID to the icing. I had to take a picture - definite blog fodder. After getting the large metal spatula that we use from grilling, I was able to pry the metal lid that had fused itself to the metal cookie sheet and fortunately minimized the damage to said cookie sheet. Between the laughing, crying, and the huffing and puffing it took to detach the lid, I sufficiently depleted my store of running energy - so I ate a cinnamon roll and read my latest copy of Runners World. I think the article was about nutrition.

After that workout, I felt a twinge of guilt for not actually running, since I am still technically in training for the Thanksgiving Half Marathon. So to assuage that guilt, I decided to surf the internet a bit ... and based on my confession on Friday, we all know what happened. Neither the sugar nor the monetizing your blog articles helped me feel better, just sluggish and even more guilty. Then I realized the problem, I hadn't had any caffeine yet. That would explain my failure to notice the METAL LID that I had placed on the cookie sheet. So I made myself a pot of coffee to drown my sorrows and ate another cinnamon roll and sadly to say, continued to cheat on you, my dear readers.

When my husband got home and I got to the "gimme some sugar" part of the story, I promptly received a kiss. I look at him with the "what was that for, why are you not listening to me?" expression and then realized our language barrier. It is indeed, a constant struggle - but in this particular instance, one that has it's perks.

So the moral of this story is (and I know some of you probably were wondering) three-fold. When you're training for an endurance event (in this case a half marathon), cinnamon rolls are not the breakfast of champions. When you're explaining your need for sugar to someone from the South, don't be surprised if they kiss you. And finally, by all means, if you need caffeine for your brain to function in the morning, DO NOT attempt to make something that requires you to pull things out of a can and put them in the oven.

Disclaimer: Although product placement was used profusely in this post, no payment was received by the writer neither directly or indirectly for her endorsements. :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Confessions of a Novice Blogger

OK, I'll admit it ... I didn't want to at first, I felt ashamed. But I just can't keep it to myself any longer.

I've been cheating on you, my dear blog readers ... There, I've said it, but I feel dirty. It all seemed so innocent when it began. I was idly surfing through blogs, reading my favorites, meeting some new ones, and then it happened ... I started skimming the ads enticing me to "blog for money". The adrenaline started to pump as I dreamed of making a gazillion dollars overnight or at least finding modest fame as a freelance writer.

Gradually, my flirting became more serious - not only did I just make casual glances on the monetizing sites, I found myself spending time clicking deeper and deeper into each of the topics. One opportunity after another, they all seemed to run together. Once, after at least two hours, I found myself in a stupor, not knowing how I got to the site I was on. There was perspiration on my brow, my heart was racing, but I felt cheap.

Then one day, I found myself answering an ad ... on a freelance writing website ... I don't know what came over me. I couldn't stop myself. I have to get myself in a program or this just might never end.

I feel oddly better now that I've confessed ... but if you don't hear from me in a while, you have every right to be suspicious. I just don't know if I can stop myself.

Maybe it's just a weird form of procrastination.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Lazy Blogger's way out ...

Thanks again, Vixen ... I knew I could count on you. Sure, I could regale all of my faithful fans (I think I'm up to 3 now) with some enlightened, entertaining story. But I don't have it in me today ... nor apparently since last week. Or, I could actually post my cool award and award others ... but that looked like it was going to require some thought ... so thanks to Vixen, you get the post by "Lazy Bloggers Post Generator" - so awesome ... and oddly enough, can be configured to sound close to the truth ... hmmmm - those wacky Aussies.

"Oh for crying out loud! I just discovered I have not updated this since you last visited... You would not believe the fairy dust I have to clean up. Please don't abandon me!.

I am absolutely consumed with discovering time doesn't stand still, hoping you haven't found other blogs, just generally being the life of the party to anyone unfortunate to cross my path, my day seems to be packed from crawling out of bed at 6.30 to 11pm at which point I fall asleep on the couch. I am not complaining though. life is good.

I will try to remember I promised you I will make more of an effort to blog more often until the nice men in the white coats come back. Seriously! Unless of course the pool with the cocktail bar is heated!."