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Oct. 13th, 2009

Sarah McLachlan

Am I a nerd now?

My old mp3 player, which Mark gave to me a while back when he upgraded his own, broke on Saturday. So, I bought a brand-spanking new one...

An iPod Nano, 5th gen, in blue!

I also bought the Nike+ sensor and synced my first run their website on it tonight.

Only 2 more days until San Francisco! Yay!

Feb. 15th, 2009

american beauty

The nose knows

I went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts with Mark today, and when I was in the bathroom, I blew my nose. A little girl who was in another stall with her mom asked her, "Mom, what was that?" The mom answered, "That's just a lady blowing her nose." Then the little girl said, "It sounds like pooping."

Yes, ladies and gents, when I blow my nose, it does make noise. Most discerning ears can tell it from a fart. My dad says it sounds like a tuba, and Ken Hodgson found what note I blew on the piano during Concert Choir rehearsal once at UMM.

I haven't written for a long time, and it feels great to be back.

Nov. 9th, 2008

Are you free?

Yes we can!

First of all, I want to say how incredibly excited I am that Obama will be our next president. I hope and pray that he will deliver on his promise to change the country for the better.

And now, because I don't update this thing nearly enough anymore, here's the low-down on what's been going on in my neck of the woods:

--Seth's 3rd annual Halloween bash was a blast. Mark and I went as characters from the British TV show Spaced; he dressed as Mike from episode 6 (the clubbing one), and I dressed as landlady Marsha. Wearing my oversized red sweater, long auburn wig, carrying a bottle of wine and smoking a fake cigarette made me feel like a 40-year-old washed-up hooker the whole day. I received the best chuckles and looks from my co-workers when I went to work dressed like that.

--I went to a Holy Spirit retreat on Nov. 1 and it was powerful for me. I thought a lot that day about being confirmed as a Catholic when I was a sophomore in high school. When the bishop anointed me with oil on my forehead, I felt like crying. This time around, I really felt like something holy invaded a portion of my body. As Jody and Kim prayed for me to receive the holy spirit, the palm of my right hand felt as if I was holding a racquetball. The pressure almost made my hand feel as if someone was holding it, too. My right arm felt tingly and warm, and my right hand trembled a bit like a Parkinson's tremor. Also, the muscles in my right butt cheek were twitching. God must have a sense of humor; Jody commented that the Holy Spirit was giving me "love taps."

--God has been changing my heart little by little over the past few months, and I can now say that I'm thankful for the direction my life took this summer, even though it was difficult. I'm in a better place, but there are things that still need to be worked on. I'm getting more involved at Mercy Vineyard; I joined the prayer team recently.

--Mark and I started dating again, and so far, it's going well. This time, it's different. I'm looking foward to seeing where this goes.

--If you have a chance to see a show at the Guthrie before the end of the year, I highly recommend Shadowlands. The play concerns the courtship and brief marriage of author C.S. Lewis to his American wife Joy Gresham. If you're looking for reflections about love and suffering, this is the play for you.

Oct. 8th, 2008


Being sicky is icky

I ran the TC 10 Mile on Sunday, after spending the days prior to that hemming and hawing and wondering if I had lost my mind. I wondered if I should even try to run that race, as my right knee was still healing. It seemed like my nervousness was causing a little added pain to my knee. But, I'm glad I didn't concede to the fear I had been feeling. I had tried to run this race for the previous two years to no avail, so was very thankful to finally do so this year. I finished with a respectable time of 1:37:52, according to my timing chip (1:41:52 gun time). Mark was there at the finish line, cheering me on, and letting other spectators squeeze in beside him under his golf umbrella to avoid the falling rain.

Unfortunately, I now have a bad cold, caused partly from the rain that started falling as I finished my last quarter-mile of the race, and also because half my office is sick. I came home from work early today, and though I should be resting, I figured an update on the life and times of me might be desired by you, the fine readers of this LJ.

The previous weekend, my cousin Bill got married to his first serious girlfriend, Julie. Theirs was a pretty wedding, and I enjoyed seeing my relatives and parents. I also came back to the Cities with a bunch of produce from my parents' garden. I haven't had to go grocery shopping, save for the occasional trip to Target to pick up a gallon of milk, for the past three or four weeks. Rock on!

I had my two-year review at my full-time job a couple weeks ago, and it went well. I also got a raise. Now I can really quit my bartending job. The verdict is still out on that, however. I keep going back and forth between the extremes. The worsening economy is definitely influencing my decision, though if the banks fail, my hard-earned money might disappear.

Mark and I toured the Leinenkugel's brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI the weekend before Bill and Julie's wedding. Nothing beats being able to purchase beer on Sundays. :)

Now, it's time for a nap!

Sep. 15th, 2008


"In the still of the silent dawn, another day is born"

I update this thing less and less as time goes on, it seems. I don't have a whole lot to write about. Mostly, I'm just trying to figure out stuff... where I'm headed in life and what my purpose is, moving on, reconstructing the past to fit new revelations. Perhaps I should elaborate further... with an update:

--I saw my primary care doctor regarding my knee, and she thought physical therapy would be beneficial for me. I've had two sessions so far, and they've greatly helped. My exercises strengthen muscles that have a tendency to get ignored when running, and also make sure the kneecap stays in alignment. I started running again, but short distances (e.g. 3 miles) and only once a week. I ran/walked 6 miles this past Saturday, and my knee hurts a bit today.

--I discovered that Ryan is now in a relationship with someone else, and honestly, I'm pissed off and hurt simultaneously. He never gave me a decent explanation for why he broke up with me, but now it all makes sense. All those lines about how he was "messed up" and "needed to work on his issues" were just a load of bullshit. Guess he found what he wanted... someone in Spokane who loves kids as much as he does. She has two of her own, so they're built into the relationship--an instant family. Honestly, I feel sorry for her because he'll probably put her through the same crap he put me through, and in the process, will hurt her two kids as well. I feel utterly deceived. He led me on, thinking our relationship was going to be more than it ended up being. He fooled my friends and family into thinking he was a great guy and a good fit for me. And now I wish I never met him because this whole ordeal just wasn't worth it. I hope one day he's sorry for the way he treated me (i.e. something easy to discard when she's lost her usefulness). But through this, I've realized that I can do so much better than him. I am worth more than what he did to me. And now I have closure.

And now for more upbeat news...

--I went to the MN State Fair and the Renaissance Festival during Labor Day weekend and had a great time. I tried the chocolate-covered bacon at the Fair... it wasn't bad, but not a combination that really fits together. I also got my fill of cheese curds, hotdish on a stick, Sweet Martha's cookies and milk, and a strawberry milkshake. RenFest was also enjoyable; I love dressing up in my costume, perusing the shops with my friends, and drinking mead. :-)

--Still liking Mercy Vineyard Church a lot; it challenges me. I hope to be more involved this fall by joining the prayer or worship teams.

--On Sunday afternoon, I toured the Chateau St. Croix winery and vineyard in St. Croix Falls, WI. The winery is like a European estate, with a slate chateau nestled in Western Wisconsin's slightly rolling and fertile farmland. I sampled five of their wines, bought a bottle of their 2007 Golden Harvest white wine and a slab of cheese with merlot mixed in, and also received a wine glass as a memento from the tour. I'm thinking of checking out another winery this Sunday, if anyone's interested. I just need to find another relatively local one...

Aug. 16th, 2008


Looking for inspiration...

I haven't updated in a while, and thought it was about darned time I do so:

--My orthotics seem to be helping my right knee, as the pain as decreased, but I still have slight twinges of pain. I ran for 15 minutes on a treadmill last Wednesday, and my knee hurt worse afterwards. I plan to try running again next week, but am worried that my knee will still continue to bother me. I'm down to the wire concerning the TC 10 Mile and training for it, and I really don't think I'll be able to participate in it this year. I could walk it, but it wouldn't be the same. Bummer... I thought I'd be able to this year after missing out the last two years. I think I may need to change my stride when running, as well, in order to prevent the knee pain from flaring up again.

--Misty, my beloved cat whom I had had since I was nine years old, died last week. She was almost 18 years old, so her death wasn't unexpected, but my parents said she had been eating well as of late. We thought she'd be around for a few more months. I drove up to LF on Sunday (the 10th) so my parents and I could bury her. She was a great companion, and I miss her terribly. When I was hanging out with Seth on Wednesday, I was petting his cat, Magenta, and I suddenly teared up because I missed Misty so much.

--I saw a career counselor last week, and am thinking about various career paths. I also took a spiritual gifts test at church, and discovered that counseling was on my list of manifest gifts. I've been thinking about grad school lately (which is a bit of a surprise, considering I've told many people that I just want to work), and may consider going for counseling. However, more research is required, plus I need to take a few more assessment tests.

--I religiously watch the Olympics (both Summer and Winter Games), and have been enjoying the 2008 Summer Games. That Michael Phelps sure is something; I hope he does win eight golds (he has seven racked up as I write this). Watching the Olympics, especially during this uneasy and difficult time in my life, has been truly inspiring, and gives me something (and some people) to cheer for.

--Speaking of cheering for people, I volunteered at the Urban Wildland Half-Marathon, which was the HM I was going to run this summer if I hadn't been stricken with knee pain. I was a course marshal, located between miles 12 and 13. At that point in the race, runners want to be finished running, and so they need encouragement to keep on trucking through that last half-mile. I enjoyed cheering for the runners, and hope that the runners got the extra boost they needed. It was also a pleasant surprise to see a familiar face in the pack; Kristen (kudafish ) ran the UWHM as part of her training for the Twin Cities Marathon.

--I'm so tired of trying to put on a brave face all the time.

--I need to clean my bathroom.

Jul. 22nd, 2008

Sarah McLachlan

A good poem for hard times

The Forest

A dark forest surrounds me
Closing in around me
Blocking out the light
Concealing my path

Calamaties have befallen me
A love abandoned me
Fear creeps into my heart
And I feel broken, angry and alone

Trust me, a Voice says,
You will be okay.
How can I trust you, I ask,
When everything is falling apart?

Just trust me
, repeats the Voice
And a light permeates the darkness
Illuminating the path in front of me
Enough for one step

I take the first step
And another step of the path is lit
Step by step I follow the light
Compelled by its warmth

I climb a steep grade
The journey seems unending
Weary and winded I walk the lighted path
Keep trusting me, implores the Voice

The hill flattens out
And the light expands all around me
Mountains, trees and valleys come to view
As far as my eyes can see

The light continues to envelop me
And I'm aware of another presence
The body of the Voice hugs me
See, I told you everything would be okay.

©Richelle Maciej, 2008

Jul. 14th, 2008



 --I finally got my car back last Tuesday.  I'm so happy to have "Miss Pinot Noir" back, even though she has no A/C and has a little over 100,000 miles on her.  I can tell that she's been around the block a few times, literally speaking; she's getting old.  I hope that she will continue to be reliable.
--I'm still having issues with my right knee, although it doesn't hurt as much as it used to.  Perhaps it's slowly recovering.  However, if I step funny, I'll feel a sharp pain.  I have an appointment to see an orthopedic specialist on July 22, so hopefully he'll be able to tell me what's wrong with my knee and what can be done to fix it.
--I miss being able to run.  I will not be running the Urban Wildland Half-Marathon on August 2, but I hope my knee will have healed enough so I can still run the TC 10 Mile on October 5.
--To stay in shape, I've done some strength training, stationary biking, and swimming.  Saturdays or Sundays, I walk over to Richfield's outdoor pool to do an hour of lap swimming.  The weather was really nice on Saturday, but unfortunately, I sunburned the entire backside of my body.
--I miss Ryan, and I can't wait to see him August 14-18.
--I'm proud of Seth and Kristen, who are training to run the Twin Cities Marathon on October 5.  I'm so proud of you both (and Kristen, I'd like to make a donation for your cause, but I'd like to do so in person; therefore, we should hang out).  I just wish I could join you.

Jul. 5th, 2008


"And I think I think too much"

Update concerning the aftereffects of my car accident:
--The accident was deemed the other driver's fault, so her insurance company will be paying for all the repairs to my car and the deductible.  I'm so glad I didn't have to use my stimulus check to pay the deductible.
--However, my car is still in the shop.  I should hear on Monday whether or not LaMettry's is finished with it, but they're certainly taking their sweet old time fixing my car.  By the time Monday rolls around, they will have had my car for three weeks.  I wanted to have it back when I returned from Alaska.

In other news, my right knee has been bothering me for the past week to week-and-a-half.  My knee is suffering from similar pain I had when my left knee had patello-femoral syndrome last fall, so my right knee probably has the same thing.  I haven't gone running since Tuesday (both runs last Saturday and Tuesday were painful), which pretty much nixes my half-marathon training altogether.  I registered to run the Urban Wildland Half Marathon on August 2, but now it looks like I probably won't be running it at all, and that greatly disappoints me.  I'm not sure if my knee pain is a result of the car accident, especially since it didn't start hurting until last Thursday, Friday or Saturday.  I just hope my knee will heal quickly so I can get back to running.  I love running and am frightened when I sustain an injury that threatens to prevent me from participating in one of my favorite activities for the rest of my life.

On a lighter note, I will be going out to Spokane again for a long weekend in mid-August.  I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with Ryan. :-)

Jun. 28th, 2008

american beauty

A Trip to the Last Frontier

This is a long LJ cut, but worth it. :)

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