In with the New

Nothing like chopping your hair on one of the coldest days of the year. (It was 39ºF coming into work this morning, which might as well be -10ºF by Orlando standards.)

My hair has been driving me crazy lately. Just drying and styling it is like an all-day event that requires bathroom breaks and catered sandwiches for when you get hungry. So it was time for a change. I got a natural ombré to darken my hair a bit (which my friend matched to my roots) and a long inverted bob (that I’ll get more inverted next week now that I know I like it).

Here’s what I look like today (in poor lighting).

I’m not really great at styling it yet. I need a couple days to figure out how to do it. But, it’s so nice (and scary) to get rid of all that hair.

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By the Numbers

Alright, let’s start out with the important stuff first.

1. If you’re a fan, you already know the Veronica Mars movie has a release date: March 14. Or what I have now dubbed it, New Christmas.

That’s the official poster. I posted it on Facebook last week and two of my friends thought Kristen Bell was me at first. Obviously, they have been promoted to best friend and all other friends have been demoted. To say I’m excited about New Christmas would be an understatement. I haven’t been this excited about a movie since Terminator 2 (I’m serious, work with me here). I was 15 when T2 came out and I wanted to see it so badly that I remember thinking, “I hope I don’t die before this comes out.”

I know, not normal. But just in case, I’m going to be looking both ways when I cross the street so I make it safely to New Christmas.

P.S. All three seasons of the show are on Amazon Prime video. Watch it. You won’t be sorry.

2. Speaking of Amazon Prime (my newest obsession), I’m currently watching Season 2 of Justified, which I’m loving.

Does anyone else watch this? I feel like I never hear anyone talk about it.

3. I got a new nightlight for my bathroom.

I have no idea why I’m showing you that. Probably because hubs is not impressed with it like I am.

4. We did a little Pants snuggling the other day. Look at those feets!

She’s hating that by the way. Her eyes are wide, her ear is slicked back, and she’s breathing heavy. But if she’s not trying to get away, we try to soak up the lovin’ while we can.

5. I’ve never met an animal so small that smells so badly.

He’s also camera shy. But, seriously, his cage stinks. He’s cute, so I’ll keep him. For now.

6. I have a half coming up next weekend.

I’ve been trying to work on my speed but I’m not so sure I’m getting speedier. My runs average around a 9:30 mile, which is faster than my last two races but might not mean anything since I always choke on race day. Either way, I’m looking forward to it because my DC lovah, Melissa, will be coming into town to stay the weekend and run it with Michelle and I.

I’ve been obsessively checking the weather since last week and so far it’s looking like it might not be 100% horrible. So all you Northerners, keep sending those cold fronts down here, mmmkay?

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Winter is Going

So, Winter came to Orlando.

That picture is Winter. The untrained eye might not be able to see that it’s 40°F but if you look real closely, you can tell.

Winter lasted two days and they weren’t consecutive, but I will take whatever I can get. So both days, I made sure to enjoy an outside run while everyone else stayed in and bitched about the weather on Facebook. So please let me take this moment to model my winter weather running gear that I get to use once a year.

So yeah, that’s about it. Two hats. The important part is that it was cool enough to need to keep my ears warm and my nail beds were purple at the end of one of the runs. Normally one would see that as a bad sign, but not me. I don’t take frostbite for granted. I’ll purple up these extemities when I can. #coldweatherlover (And if you’re interested, one run was 11.25 miles and one was five miles, both around a 9:30 pace.)

All of my runs have been in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17s. So far, so good with those. In fact, my little online shopping addiction is still in full swing. Sooo…this happened.

I hope the WR17s don’t end up sucking (like every other shoe I’ve worn) because now I have two pairs. They’re just so light! I love it.

In my Brooks Glycerine 10s, I felt like I couldn’t lift my legs after about 7 miles. It was frustrating and made my runs so hard even when I was feeling good. I checked recently, and the Brooks weigh 10.1 oz compared to the WR17’s 7.8 oz. I’ve been running for years so you think I would pay more attention to stuff like that, but nope.

I also think I solved my headphone situation. I hate ear buds. They never stay in my ears. But I found these at Best Buy for $16 (they’re cheaper in store) and thought I’d try them out because I like to buy things, hate them, and never use them again.

Turns out, I like them! They don’t budge because they go around my whole ear lobe, they don’t make me look like a giant tool, and I think they display my Hobbit ears nicely.

So basically, running is going OK right now and I’m trying not to get too stressed about my race in two weeks. I have a thing for having good training runs and shitty races and I want to change that. So we’ll see how this next one goes.

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My Favoritest Holiday of them All

New Year’s Eve turned out better than I thought it would. Hubs and I had no plans and didn’t know what we wanted to do. So, we decided on the 30th to invite a bunch of people over and see if there were other plan-less losers like us.

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There were!

More people showed up than we expected and I only knew 50% of them (friends of friends and whatnot), but it was a good time that included a lot of Fireball (on my part), champagne at midnight, a broken martini glass, a few spilled drinks, fireworks, and Duck Dynasty confetti all over my kitchen floor. (Whoever brought that is off the invite list!)

I also got to hang out all night with my friend (and extremely sporadic blogger), Klainie, who I haven’t seen in awhile, which makes no sense because we work together.

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The house across from us was having a party as well and I think we were in an unspoken fireworks-off, which I’m sure is a thing.

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What they won in height, we made up for in originality when our friend sprinted through the neighborhood with a lit firework.

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Don’t try that at home, kids.

Hubs and I ended up going to bed around 3am. Our friend, Jamie, didn’t make it that long. She has a knack for falling asleep when the mood strikes and she did not disappoint.

I realized this year that New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday. It’s the first day where the stress of the holidays is gone and you can just enjoy yourself and be absurdly lazy. Plus, the first day of the new year always feels fresh to me. I love it. I never feel that way any other day.

So, on my favorite day of the year, I ate pizza for breakfast, took a surprisingly long nap, and watched hours and hours of the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy. I look forward to that marathon every year. It is totally my favorite thing about New Year’s Day. (And no, watching it on Netflix is not the same.) Those old episodes are so good and they remind me how much I love the ride at Hollywood Studios. I even managed to run three decent miles in the evening, so that Fireball tried and failed to keep me down.

Paula: 1, Fireball: 0

It’s already a good year.

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Catching Up

So that Christmas thing came and went, huh? It’s been a weird holiday season. When the temperature barely dips below 80, it’s hard for me to get my holiday spirit pantaloons on. It doesn’t feel like the holidays, it feels like summer with more potlucks.

Anyway, besides being bitter that I’m still wearing spaghetti straps and flip flops, here’s what’s been going on:

1. I miss TV.

Whoever decided it was cool to put shows on hiatus in December and January is just a horrible person that doesn’t consider my feelings. How else am I supposed to avoid family and social interaction?

I’ve watched more movies in the past couple days than I have all year. (The Heat, The World’s End, Insidious 2, White Christmas, and about 10 random movies on TV (with commercials) that I already own but am too lazy to get from the next room. TV, please come back to me.)

2. House of Lies and Being Human start next month!

I’ve been waiting so long for you both.

3. My favorite Austin cutie patootie stopped by for a visit.

She drove to Orlando during her holiday with family just to see meeeee! To thank her for making the trip, I took her to five bars and made her walk all over downtown after she flew in from New Jersey and drove four hours from West Palm. But most importantly, I thanked her by looking twice her size in that picture. (You’re welcome, Melissa.)

We also hit up a local place for brunch the following day and her boyfriend, Brad, was kind enough to take a picture of us.

4. I don’t have much to share about Christmas. Hubs and I spent the holiday together, vegging out on the couch, and doing a lot of nothing except shopping online (that might have been just me). It was a nice and low-key holiday.

Is there a 12-step program for shopping online? Because I need it. Especially if the first 11 steps involve buying something. I did 90% of my Christmas shopping online (glorious!) and I just got Amazon Prime which, as it turns out, is a shopping enabler. Now I need to buy everything, but only if it’s delivered to my house in two days.

Alrighty, I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year. Be smart. Take a cab if you need to. Or go to bed at 11pm. Or end sentences in prepositions. Whatever you’re into. Just make it happy.

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Happy Holidays

Stuffed shells are in the oven.

That’s what dinner for two looks like. Unfortunately, that’s also what the extent of my cooking ability looks like.

Pants took an adorable Christmas Eve nap. (Her face kept twitching. We think she was dreaming.)

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And Jon Hamm is still alive and kicking.

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I don’t have much time to write but I just wanted say that I hope you and your families have a happy holiday and I wanted to say thanks to all of you who take the time to read this little blog of mine. I appreciate you all.

As a gift of my appreciation, I will share this picture of my mom and I, circa 1989, that she sent me in a Christmas card this year.

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Ok, that’s a terrible gift. I’m sorry.

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That Time I Didn’t Totally Hate Running

My work had an ugly sweater contest yesterday. I came in third!

(If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen this.)

That’s not a sweater. It’s a t-shirt. This is Florida people. Don’t go thinking we own actual sweaters around here. I had a hard time deciding between this shirt and the one that said “Merry Christmas Bitches!” Obviously, I chose the more work appropriate holiday humping shirt and it paid off handsomely. And by handsomely, I mean not at all because I didn’t get jack for third place.

I didn’t let the lack of a (deserved, if you ask me) prize get me down because my new Mizuno Wave Rider 17s came in the mail!

So pretty! So shimmery!

I went for a four mile run and the jury is still out on if I like them. The ankles are comfortable but the top of the shoe is really tight, which I’m not sure I like. They also might be a touch too narrow, but that could be in my head because the blood blister on the bottom of my pinky toe (from my last race) is aggravated by running in general.

I’m going to loosen the laces for my next run and see how it goes. I may or may not return them for the wide version. I’m a little apprehensive because I’m afraid they’ll be too wide. #neverhappy

Anyway, I’d like these shoes to work out for me. They’re light, cute, and make me feel like prancing. Also, I don’t want to go around presuming they are magical or anything but…

I’ve never had an outside run where most of my miles were in the eights. Usually I hate running outside. It almost never goes well and I’m miserable, but yesterday wasn’t so bad. Well, my face was covered by at least 40 gnats at the end, which was disgusting. I don’t want to think about how many made it in my mouth. That is probably #6 on my list of why I hate running outside. I’ll go ahead and answer the question you’re probably already thinking besides, “how could a runner hate running outside?”

Reasons I Hate Outside Running

  1. Humidity
  2. Heat
  3. Lack of available bathrooms to poop in
  4. I have to carry water or run a boring loop with water fountains
  5. I might get shot
  6. At least 40 gnats in my face

So what I’m saying is, either the shoes are powered 9:00 minute mile cheetahs or I became amazing within one week.

I’ll keep you updated on that answer.

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Five for Friday

1. I went for a run last night. This was my view.

That means my run was not on my beloved treadmill, but outside in the land of gnat clouds. The temperature was in the low 60s (that’s our cool front) when I started and everyone on the path was already in winter jackets and long sleeves. Florida is hilarious when it dips below 72F. There is no reason for any of us to own a quilted winter jacket.

2. I ran five miles. I didn’t feel omgamazing but I felt alright and this is how it went.

I know it’s only five miles (no walking! hive five), but I couldn’t even get one mile like that during my race. Apparently I’m not meant to run races but boring mile loops around a lake.

3. I got my first Christmas card in the mail. (From this girl who just changed her blog name. You know you’re gonna have to change that again in 10 years right?)

There are several things I like about how this was addressed. Probably the first being that all our last names are Hamm. There’s something delightful and disgusting about the name Pants Hamm.

4. Last weekend, we went to see Steve Byrne at the Improv with a bunch of friends and got to meet him after the show.

He’s on a show called Sullivan and Son on TBS that we don’t watch, so we had no idea who he was but we had a good time and Steve was a nice guy. Some of his routine was a little too offensive for me (and I am really hard to offend) but other than that, worth seeing.

5. Hubs and I watched Winter’s Bone last night.

Yeah, I know it’s old. I have a lot of catching up to do. Anyway, I bought the movie on super sale and have been meaning to watch it for awhile now.

I’m going to sum it up quickly so you don’t have to watch it.

*Spoiler Alert*

*You’ll thank me later*

Jennifer Lawrence is dirt poor and raises her two younger siblings because her mom is crazy and her dad’s in jail for cooking meth. Dad jumps bail and disappears “mysteriously.” (It’s not really mysterious.) The dad’s debt threatens to take the family house so she has to find him. She walks from house to house asking people where her dad is while wearing a sweet deer sweater.

Alright, so that happens for about an hour. Oh, and it’s cold out. I guess that’s why it’s called Winter’s Bone because there’s no other explanation. Although, no one ever seems really cold in the movie so I question the temperature.

Anyway, after asking enough people, she finds her dad. He’s dead in the water (literally) and she has to chop his hands off to prove it (best not to ask).  Finally, she gets to keep the house. Then she makes her siblings feel like crap unintentionally.

The end.

When I say nothing really happened in this movie, I am not exagerrating. However, this is what is written on the back of the box.

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Hubs mentioned that we did technically have pulses during the movie. So they got us there.

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A New Attitude

I already forgot about that race that shall not be mentioned. Amazing what a few days and a lot of beer can do. Thanks, beer.

I’m already formulating a plan for my next race in January. I’d tell you what that plan is but then I won’t follow through because, well, I’m a quitter. That’s why part of this new plan (that I will tell you about) involves an attitude adjustment.

Once my mental state goes downhill, it’s over for me. I can’t get it back. I read all these blog posts about how people tough it out and dig deep during a race, and I wish that was me, but it’s not. This basically means that I’m the least competitive person you’ll ever meet because I give up so easily. I find it really easy to stop caring.

So if you like to beat your friends in races – or in anything really – I’m the girl you want to hang around. I’d be like the old lady that Finnick carried on his back in Catching Fire, except I’d be completely able to walk and 30 years younger.

If I was a dog, I’d be this dog.

So, goal #1: Attitude adjustment

I’ve had several people tell me that I get inside of my head too much when I race. Not sure how I’m going to go about fixing that but I guess I have a month to figure it out. So here’s to not being a poopy pants anymore. Also, here’s to not actually pooping my pants anymore. Why not go for two goals?

I’m already excited about my next race, so I think that helps. Plus, you know my attitude is starting to change when this doesn’t get me down:

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Pretty sweet place there.

What do you do to keep up your morale during a race? (If you tell me you repeat mantras, I’m going to delete your comment. haha. Just kidding. Maybe.)

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You Never Know What Kind of Runner You’ll Be

I ran the OUC Orlando Half Marathon yesterday. It was my third time running the race and my 20th half.

I got enough sleep.

I ate my normal breakfast.

Everything felt fine before the race.

My legs felt heavy from the start.

It was hot.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

I thought about DNFing. A lot.

I walked. A lot.

My feet were hurting. (I need new shoes. Again. Sigh.)

My left shoulder pain was back.

I hated every moment.

Somehow I finished.

I was a minute and some change away from a PW. (2:28:11)

I felt nauseated afterwards.

I questioned why I even run in the first place.

I want to forget about it.

I’m glad I had my girls, Michelle and Katy, there to cheer me up.

You never know what kind of runner you’ll be at a race. They’re all different and when they suck, all you can do is try again.

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(If you like happier race reviews, check out this one from Michelle.)

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