More Books

My reading has really slowed down since the beginning of the year what with school and life happenings. Since my last book post in June, I’ve managed to read five books.

1. Never, Never Books 1 and 2, by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher (Goodreads link and Amazon link)

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I was a little disappointed that each of these books were barely 100 pages because I loved them. The story is about a guy and a girl that lose their memories at the same time and have to figure out what is going on and how they’re connected to each other. It’s kind of like Memento with a love story. The second book isn’t as good as the first only because it gets into some really sappy love letters that I couldn’t unread. But other than that, they are both super fast reads (how can they not be at 100 pages?) and really interesting.

2. The Secret Wilderness by Jennifer Bradley  (Goodreads link)

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This book was written by a friend of mine and she asked a few people at work to read it and give her feedback. It’s a coming of age story about a girl that can shape-shift into a wolf. I don’t think I could really explain the story fully without getting long in the tooth (get it? wolf. tooth. anything?). Anyway, I liked the book but I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first two or three chapters had I not know the author personally. After those couple chapters, it really picked up and I enjoyed it. I did have a few constructive criticisms for Jen that seemed to be the consensus of the girls that read it at work. She’s currently updating it  based on everyone’s feedback, which I’m sure will make it even better. She’s already written a sequel and she’s going to re-release the first book, so I hope she has some success with it.

3.  A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin  (Goodreads link and Amazon link)

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After five seasons of watching Game of Thrones, I’ve officially forgotten half the stuff that happened in the show. So I decided to read the first book as a reminder and I really liked it. The first book is very similar to the first season and was a good reminder of who is connected to whom. Also, Sansa is the worst. I don’t remember hating her when I was watching the first season but hoo boy did I hate her in the book. I will definitely read the second book but I need to wait until I’m ready to take on another 800 page monster.

4. Lock In by John Scalzi  (Goodreads link and Amazon link)

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I’ve been reading a lot of book samples lately to see if they’re worthy of buying and this is the first one that I wanted to keep reading. This book reads like a FBI crime drama married I Robot and had a book baby. I’m surprised I liked it because I don’t even like crime dramas, so I’m happy I listened to Matt’s book review and gave it a shot. I noticed when I bought it, it was labeled as book 1 so that makes me kind of excited that there will be another one. Plus, it’s one of those books that doesn’t end on a cliffhanger so you won’t feel stabby at the end.

 

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A Weekend of Bad Decisions

The week started off innocently enough with a visiting Melissa. (Similar to a traveling circus, but not.)

I mean, obviously she couldn’t keep her hands off of us.

That’s the Orlando Eye behind us if you’re curious.

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Melissa was in town for work, so on Wednesday Michelle and I met up with her on International Drive (a.k.a. tourist central) for dinner. We went to the The Yardhouse and I was apprehensive because it’s a chain, but man, it was good. I’ll be going back there. They have something like 500 different beers and I ordered a Corona Light. Then I got shit from the server for my choice. I made sure to tell him to watch his mouth before I ordered a Michelob Ultra.

The three of us hung out and caught up for a couple hours. It was too short of a time but I’m always happy to get in some Melissa time however I can get it. Plus, it was probably the most I had seen Michelle in a month, even though we literally work 50 steps from each other.

On Thursday, the other Melissa came into town.

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{Insert Melissa here}

I laughed when I saw we took identical pictures with them. Soon, we won’t even be able to tell them apart.

Thursday started the long weekend filled with bad decisions. First, there was drinking at one of my favorites, Mucho.

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Mucho has my favorite drink of all time, the Eola 101. The drink is named after the street Mucho is on, and no it’s not missing a “b” in there. It’s basically tequila, champagne, agave, and lime juice. Melissa wanted to try the drink that I’ve been talking about forever and requested to go there. When she took her first sip and I asked her how it was she said, “it’s ok.” Then she had two more. So I think my point has been made here.

Friday, there was drinking all day at the beach.

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We were starving by the time we got there, so the day started with a burger and fries that were surprisingly good for pier food.

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Then the day ended here.

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Only my liver knows how many hours we stayed there but let’s just say the sun was starting to set and we were there long enough to make it to their evening happy hour.

Saturday night, there was drinking at Vanbarry’s which I guess we can assume didn’t happen since zero pictures were taken. Then, Sunday afternoon there was drinking and brunch at Mucho again.

Shrimp and grits with a side of chorizo.

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$10 all you can drink mimosas.

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So. many. mimosas.

I had planned to take us to another one of my favorite places for lunch instead, but that involved a long walk around a lake that none of us felt up for after the previous night. That turned out to be a good idea since the the aftermath of brunch looked like this.

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I have to say, I don’t think I’ve drank that much since my twenties. My body did not appreciate Monday. However, two good decisions were made in the weekend of bad decisions. At one point, Melissa ate a salad which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. She also talked me out of buying a donut on three separate occasions (which I did not need, trust me). So I’ll just consider the weekend a success.

I’m sad she’s gone but I had a great time. Apparently she had a great time too because she already booked her next trip out in March, so we won’t be apart for long. Also, the girl sheds like a collie and left enough long hairs around my house that I’m sure I’ll be remembering her visit for months to come.

 

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Feeling Meh

I feel meh about running lately. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get that warm fuzzy feeling back that I usually have with running. I’ve been running 3 or 4 miles a few times a week but wanting to continue on past those miles is not there. I have a half marathon at the end of October that I need to start training for, probably starting now, and I’m dreading it. I just want running to make me happy again.

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Also not helping the running situation is the 5 lbs I gained on vacation that have not come off. I have been *trying* to get them off, but it’s not happening. I mean, trying is relative because this happened on a Tuesday.

But I’ve been trying for the most part. And because I have been struggling to get these 5 lbs off for two months now, I decided to name them. They shall be called “Lindsey.” Be careful in Canada, ya’ll. The poutine checks in, but it doesn’t checks out.

Anyway, the good news with running is that I know my speed runs have been getting faster. I’ve been cleaning up old posts on the blog and my speed runs from a few years ago (on a treadmill) are closer to my normal runs now (on a treadmill), so that’s nice to see. Speed on a treadmill doesn’t always translate to running faster outdoors but weighing less does so that’s what I want to do. Weigh less, run fast, and PR a race or two this year. I just need to get out of my running meh.

This weekend should be fun but it won’t be doing my “Lindsey’s” any favors since this girl is coming into town today.

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I might have some “Melissa’s” before the weekend is over. Diet starts Monday?

 

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Three Things Thursday

1. I have a new TV obsession.

Please believe me when I tell you that I did *not* want to watch a show about a talking horse. But a friend recommended Bojack Horseman and there was nothing on the DVR and one thing led to another…and now I’m obsessed. When I watched the first episode, I was just confused and entertained enough to watch the second and that’s when it really got me. Hubs and I just finished both seasons and the Christmas special and now we’re going to start it all over again. It’s really funny but it also has an awesome continuing story line that can really hit you in the feels. You know a show has some good writing when you are really concerned for an animated talking horse’s welfare.

2. This is happening next week.

When I found out Heathers The Musical existed and was coming to town, I about lost my shit. Heathers is easily one of my top favorite movies of all time and began my deep and continuing love for Christian Slater. Plus, it’s at a brand new performing arts center downtown that I hear is really nice, so I’m excited to see that too. I hope they do actual lines from the movie so I can quote them all and annoy everyone around me.

3. Beetlejuice 2 is happening.

My inner tween doesn’t know what to do with itself between this, The Craft remake, and the Heathers musical. Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, and Tim Burton are all on board so it’s got a lesser chance of being a suck fest. Sequels almost 30 years later aren’t usually the best idea, but I’m interested to see what happens with this one.

And that’s all I got for today. Hope you all have a good weekend. :-)

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Work Stuff

Last week, my job moved to a new building. This will be my third building and fifth cube since I started two years ago. I don’t know what it is about this move, but it’s gotten everyone into a decorating mood, including me. I figure if I’m going to sit in a little box for eight hours a day, it should look moderately cute.

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I’m not done yet. I still want to buy a few canvas prints and maybe another fake plant since those are the only ones I can keep “alive.”

I like that cube decorating has given me all sorts of new excuses to buy things I wouldn’t normally waste money on…like rock bunnies.

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Basically, some dude picked up two rocks off the ground, glued them together, and asked me to give him $5.00 for it, and I was like, “ok, sure!” I also found this kitty post it holder online that I *had* to buy because ADORABLE. I might tape some bunny ears to it.

kitty post it holder

In our last building, I shared a big cube with an older gentleman who said about two words a day, so it’s quite the difference being in a chatty area. At first, I wanted to punch everyone around me but I’ve been learning to find the entertainment value in my co-workers. Here’s a sampling of a few things I’ve overheard:

Co-worker 1: Who’s instant messaging with “Joe?”
Co-worker 2: Not me. Is this a trick question?
Co-worker 1: Oh, nevermind. It was me.

Or co-worker 1 asking: “When you say 1 through 8, does that include 8?”

Literally every day some crazy shit gets said where I feel that it has justified my coming to work that day. So I’ll have to say this move has been successful.

I also have almost direct access to my work bestie, Cheyanne. (Usually the powers that be try to separate us and for good reason). Earlier in the week, I said I was hungry and she asked me if I wanted broccoli. I looked over and saw this.

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That’s friendship right there.

So, I have a cute cube, I sit near some crazies, and I can get some cube hole broccoli whenever I want. I think that’s about all one could ask for in their profession.

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Crap from my Phone

I take a lot of pictures with my phone. Then, a couple weeks later I’ll go through them, wonder why I took them in the first place, and delete them. Today I thought, “hey, I have a blog and can put those crappy pictures on there.” So I this is the start of a random pictures post on a sorta regular basis but not really because once I say it will be regular, it won’t be.

1. Here are two guys I was standing behind in line to get food. They are both playing the same game. With each other.

2. The cover of a Highlights magazine I found during my beach weekend. I don’t want to call alarm to anything, but that kid is sitting on a floating balloon and there are weeds growing in the pool.

3. This menu, also from the beach condo weekend. If you don’t see it right away, then we can’t be friends.

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4. I went out with some friends on Friday. I’m a real entertainer as you can see. Who wants to hang out with me?

5. While I was out, I ordered a Three Olives Loopy and club soda (don’t judge, alcoholic fruit loops is the best). The server asked me if I wanted a lemon or a lime and I told her to surprise me.

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The joke was on her because I ate that and it was delicious.

6. And lastly, hubs sent me this the other day and it made me laugh enough that I saved it on my phone.

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Hope you’re all having a good week! :-)

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I got new shoes…again.

I know everyone says they’re busy and no one likes hearing about how busy other people are, but I’ll say it anyway: I’ve been really busy.

Besides some random stressful things that I’ll talk about one day, school has been kicking my ass the last two weeks of the semester. The instructor doubled-up some writing assignments and back-loaded most of the quizzes while we’re also supposed to be working on a 20-page annotated bibliography (because that will help us in life). I can’t wait to write the end-of-semester evaluation for the class because I’ve got a whole page of “recommendations” already written out for that mofo.

Anyway, enough about that. More importantly, a new shoe purchase was made.

Those are the Nike Air Zoom Vomero 10’s and so far I mostly like them. They have a raised area in the heel that feels a little weird but my speed runs in them have been pretty good, so maybe I’m just not used to it? Either way, I think they’re cute and looking cute is important to my vanity. I’m not sure if they’re good for distance yet, but I’ll find out next month when half marathon training starts.

I also tried out the Hoka One One courtesy of my running wife.

I highly recommend running wives. They buy new shoes and let you try them for free.

The Hokas were nice and cushy but rubbed my pinky toe a little. Not enough to hurt but maybe it would if I ran a longer distance in them? My legs are definitely not used to the 5 mm drop because my calves were already getting sore at the end of a mile. I can say, if I decide to go to a lower drop shoe, it would be these. I like lightweight shoes without feeling like I’m running on bare pavement.

Even though I bought new shoes, I’m still considering buying another pair. I’m deciding between the Brooks Ghost 7 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18’s. I used to like the Ghost 5’s but the new models are heavier which I don’t like. The Wave Rider 17s caused my hip problem so I’m apprehensive about the 18’s. So to sum this up, I have shoe anxiety and I’m never happy. The end.

 

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Beach Weekend

Ever since I was in Toronto and found out that most Canadians spend their weekends on a lake because they either have a lake cottage or know someone with one and I have neither, my life has felt empty and meaningless. That is, until this weekend when I found out that I have a friend whose dad owns a beach condo.

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That’s the view from the couch. My quality of life has just increased.

Saturday evening, hubs and I drove to New Smyrna beach with our friend Jamie to spend the rest of the weekend at the condo. We started with a trip to the grocery store for the essentials.

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That was surprisingly not enough champagne. I believe the words, “I told you we needed 9  bottles” was spoken on Sunday.

Since we got there later Saturday evening and it was raining and gross out, we stopped at a local restaurant for dinner. I can’t remember the name of the place but the food was awesome and they had an America deer.

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Jamie’s creeper face.

We went to the condo afterwards, watched the sun set, and then watched What We Do in the Shadows, which is a vampire mockumentary. I’d recommend it. It’s funny. Particularly when one of the vampires is talking about how he likes virgins the best.

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Jamie went to bed early because she’s lame, so hubs and I took a nighttime walk on the beach and watched the stars. The night was really clear so we could see the Milky Way. It’s usually too cloudy to see stars well here, so that was a treat.

Sunday morning, Jamie made up for her lameness the night before by making us breakfast.

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Now I think I need feta cheese and spinach in my eggs for always. I ate a cupcake and a brownie just before that to even out the nutritional value. Breakfast was followed by mass quantities of mimosas for proper hydration, and then a long, unintentional nap on the couch. I had my bathing suit on and everything but somehow didn’t make it out to the beach.

After my nap, I did hang out on the patio and watch hubs boogie board.

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The patio was closer to the beach than being on the couch so I’ll consider that a win. Baby steps. I don’t wanna get too crazy.

Sometime during the day, hubs discovered that his swimming suit has a built-in bottle opener. (?? and !!)

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And of course Alan enjoyed his first beach trip.

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Overall, it was a nice, fun, relaxing weekend. I got to lay around and do nothing (my favorite), sleep to the sound of waves, and watch hubs kill a waterbug with just one tissue. A waterbug is basically a giant cockroach that lifts weights. And now I know they can fly. I could have done without that information. But other than the waterbug part, it was a great weekend.

 

 

 

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Three Thing Thursday

It’s been a long time since Three Thing Thursday has made an appearance here so let’s all welcome him (her?) back.

1.  Apparently there has been a dress of mine on my bedroom floor for quite awhile. I either didn’t notice it (unlikely with my mild to moderate OCD) or thought it was a shirt of hubs (more likely because I would leave it there). After many days on the floor, hubs decided he’d pick it up and put it on the bed so I’d see it and put it away. Only, according to him, yesterday I made the bed around the dress and left the dress on the bed (sounds about right). Last night, he decided to try other methods to direct my attention to the dress.

That was a little jarring to see when you’re casually walking into the bedroom, but also funny. Points to hubs for original use of Pig Newton (he’s officially named).

2.  There are new Lay’s flavors coming out. So you don’t have to click on the link, they are:

  • Southern Biscuits and Gravy
  • Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro
  • New York Reuben
  • Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries

Suspiciously missing from the list is my new beloved Ketchup flavor. Is America not good enough for ketchup flavored chips? Why do you hate us, Lays?

3. I’ve been meaning to talk about this for awhile now but [insert excuse here]. Better late than never, right? Anyway, many months ago, hubs told me that my package arrived. Only, I didn’t order anything. When I opened said package, this is what I found.

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Clif Bar sent me a sample of all their new organic trail mix bars. I did a Cliff Bar giveaway over a year ago, but haven’t talked to them since so this was a surprise. Hubs and I ate them all, thought they were delicious, and I promised myself I would mention them on the blog to say thanks. But I forgot. Fast forward two months and Clif sent me another box of the bars. That made me feel like a real jackass because I hadn’t said thank you for the first box yet. So here it is:

Dear Clif Bar,

I’m sorry I keep giving you the cold shoulder when you show up at my door. I’ve been busy and meant to give you the attention you deserve. It’s not you, it’s me. I promise not to ignore you again and to give you the respect you deserve. The two boxes of organic trail mix bars were delicious and very appreciated, especially the wild blueberry and dark cherry flavors.

Please forgive me. I still love you.

~Paula

* This post is NOT brought to you by Clif Bar or Lays. They didn’t ask me to post anything. I just love food.*

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A running update and a 10k

I haven’t been running much and by not much, I mean all the running I have been doing is about three miles tops on a nice air conditioned treadmill. So imagine my delight when Michelle signed me up for Suck it up Buttercup, a hilly 10k in the middle of summer, for my birthday. There aren’t many hills in Florida, but this race managed to find the ones we do have. So that’s what we did Sunday morning.

This was my first race in eight months. It was weird to be out there again. I’ve kinda lost that running magic and I was hoping this race might get some of it back.

We got there pretty early because we needed to pick up our race packets and because Michelle wanted to be in a group picture with some girls she’s been running cheating on me with. We parked with no problem and picked up our packets easily. Then we decided to hit the port-o-potty.

Disclaimer: Poop story ahead.

There was a big spot light on the port-o-potties, so I figured I didn’t need my cell phone flashlight when I went in. Only, the guy that was in there before me had put the lid down. I don’t know about you, but that is concerning to me. Who puts a port-o-potty lid down? And why? Are you hiding something? So I got out my cell for the flashlight because I was not in the mood for surprises. When I turned it on, the first thing I saw was a roach scurrying at my feet. I. hate. roaches. But, it hid in some crevice so I figured as long as it stayed there, I was cool. I did my potty thing including a delightful pre-race poop (I never get those). But, you know when your done going to the bathroom and you stand up and you think, “hmm, am I realllly done?” I had that thought, and as I decided to go for round two, my flashlight caught another roach walking on the toilet paper roll that I just used.

I was out of there.

I don’t even want to know if that roach was already on or in the TP roll when I used it. That effectively gave me the heebie-jeebies for the rest of the race. And incidentally, I didn’t have to go to the bathroom anymore, so there was that.

Anyway, the race itself was decent. It started 15 minutes late because the race director wasn’t there on time. By the time she arrived, she made an announcement that anyone could have made. So I’m not sure what the point was in the delay. The start was super annoying because there were a lot of walkers including women with strollers, small children, and dogs but it cleared up after about a half mile. The whole race was through hilly, residential neighborhoods that were less than scenic, but the after party was pretty cool (with Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and donut holes!) and the race seemed pretty well put together despite the late start. Plus, you get a cute little medal.

I finished in 1:04:48, seven minutes off my PR. My only goal was to run the whole thing without stopping, and I did that. I haven’t been running outside at all and it was humid and hilly as all get out, so the fact that I finished makes me happy. Free race pictures also make me happy.

Not the most flattering but it is what it is.

I am in need of some new running shoes. Big shocker. After my hip injury, I ditched all three pairs of my Mizuno Wave Rider 17s. Now I’m wearing an old pair of Brooks Cloddhopper 10’s. They are so freakin’ heavy but I have no hip pain when I wear them, so I’ve been sucking it up (buttercup). I’m looking for a neutral shoe, no more than 8.6 oz, with an 11-13mm drop. That is apparently the rare unicorn of running shoes.

My next race is the Lighthouse Loop half in October and I need to start training for that next month, so hopefully the running shoe fairy will visit me by then.

 

 

 

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