Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So here I am...

Sitting at work, talking (virtually) to (fake Internet) friends, ringing in the New Year with my husband (who is sitting two cubes away — psst...Happy New Year, honey!).

Fun.

2008 is almost over. It was a year full of rolling hills of anticipation and letdowns, but I survived with my sanity mostly intact.

Let's recap shall we?

January: My friend Jennifer moves to Costa Rica, leaving me behind in God-forsaken Arkansas. Kansas beats Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. I watch the first the half at work, while screaming at my co-workers that the Jayhawks were going to lose even though they never trailed throughout the entire game.

February: Hmmm. I know Valentine's Day was stuck in here somewhere, but hell if I remember anything about this month. (Hint to hubs: Make Valentine's Day more memorable this year.) Oh yeah, I buy Ryan a BlackBerry.

March: I turn 25. Ryan is out of town. Ryan almost dies in the Georgia Dome. KU starts its march to the National Championship. I am certain the Jayhawks will lose in the Sweet Sixteen, but I pick them to win it all in a game over Memphis anyway.

April: I win lots of money. And then my grandfather dies.

May: Ryan and I have first wedding-related event in Omaha. More people host the shower than attend. I meet Anna and am extremely thankful.

June: After what seems like forever, I convert to Judaism. Ryan and I have shower in Topeka. I apply for a job on a whim, interview and fall in love with it.

July: I get offered dream job, cry for days then let guilt win. I apply for business editor, don't get it, then buy myself an iPhone to make myself feel better. I make an appointment with a therapist.

August: I go to two appointments with therapist. She tells me I need to stop protecting everyone and says I should take anti-anxiety medication. Therapist gets sick, canceling our third appointment. I never go back nor get the medication. I get married and forget to smile going down the aisle.

September: Ryan and I go on our mini-moon during Hurricane Gustav or Ike. Instead of swimming we watch the RNC and heckle Joe Lieberman and Sarah Palin. I relaunch my blog. Ryan turns 28. I go to several KU football games. My dad goes to none.

October: I finally give "dressy casual" the finger. Ryan and I celebrate three years of togetherness by taking a "pleasure trip" to Van Buren in an overpriced caboose. It is pretty awful. We meet Laine and Adam at a cool wine bar with weird hired help.

November: I host Thanksgiving. No china is broken. Kansas beats Missouri. Ryan and I rejoice in the snow. We leave Olivia for an extended vacation with the grandparents. Our house is free from hair for a month.

December: Ryan and I drive all over the place to celebrate the holidays. I go to California for the first time. We finally collect Olivia, much to Ryan's excitement. I find out I'm going to Israel. I get another invitation to an event demanding "dressy casual attire." I decide to get some anti-anxiety medicine. I can't bring myself to take medicine. I get new job after interviewing internally. I accept my Birthright trip the same day Isreal bombs Gaza. I win "Most Fabulous Wedding of 2008" from the Realies. Kansas beats Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. I want a Wii.

Book Review — Have You No Shame

Have You No Shame?: And Other Regrettable Stories Have You No Shame?: And Other Regrettable Stories by Rachel Shukert

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm a big fan of memoirs and have taken quite an interest in book from a Jewish perspective since my conversion. They seem to help fill in gaps in my Jewish experience. I have to say that even if I grew up Jewish, I probably wouldn't have had the same experiences at BBYO or the same fascination with gas chambers, but this memoir was still telling nonetheless. It's incredibly brutal and honest and definitely provided a hilarious escape for a few hours.


View all my reviews.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Running Log #1

This'll bore you to tears. Sorry.

Workout — 0.25/.5/.25 intervals with .25 in between.
Total mileage running — 1 mile.
Total mileage — 2 miles
Time — 30 minutes including cooldown
Pace — 5.5 mph for the quarter-mile intervals; 6 mph for the half-mile portion
Highest Heart Rate — 195 (yikes, I don't think this is good)
Average Heart Rate 150
Calories Burned
— 234
Overall Report
— Not bad, but my upper body was sore from body pump the day before.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ouch.

Les Miles' Body Pump is NOT my friend.

I took my first Body Pump class at the new Lowell gym today, and it was not pretty. My upper body must literally have no muscle whatsoever, because it was shaking within the chest set. (For those of you who don't know about Body Pump, it's a 55-minute class that is broken up into 10 "tracks" that is set to music. Each track works a different muscle group — warm up, gluts, chest, back, triceps, biceps, calves, shoulders, abs, cool down.)

Let's just say that it hurts to raise my arm to drink from my water bottle.

I WILL stick with it, but it's going to be tough. I really need to work on my upper body strength and focus. My lower body strength and abs are all right. I'm hoping to do Body Pump three times a week and run three times a week. My goal is to run the Hogeye 5k in early April and the four-mile Trolley Run in Kansas City with Erin at the end of April. That's a lot of fitness goals to have for the first four months of the year, but I figure if I throw enough shit on the wall, something has got to stick, right?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Here I go...

So, first things first:

I got a new job!

After working more than two years at The Morning News, I will be working at The Morning News.

Yeah, so it's not that exciting, but it's still a change and a challenge, which is just what I need right now. I'll be the web content editor, so truly the possibilities are endless and I can't wait to get started -- which may take a while because they have to find a replacement for me first.

What does this mean? It means I don't have to work nights anymore! Yea! It means Ryan and I will have more opportunities to spend time together. Sure we'll probably fight more, but we might cuddle more, too. It'll even out in the end I'm sure.

Secondly, I finally clicked on the orange button and confirmed my Birthright trip. I bought a ridiculously inexpensive flight and will be staying with Marissa a few nights on the tail-end of my vacation.

So that means 2009 will triple my international experience between my trip to Israel and our trip to Belize. I talked my gyno into giving me some anti-anxiety meds to take for the flights, but she says I need to try them out first.

I keep telling myself to remember to take them before a high-anxiety situation and see how it works out. Is it weird that I can't think of any?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

Let's hope this year we don't melt the blinds!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

O Hanukkah!

So I thought I had enough Hanukkah candles to get me through the week because I vaguely remembered one of the menorahs we got as a gift came with candles. But when I got it out I realized it only came with nine candles (there are nine candles in a menorah, but you actually need 44 candles because you let them burn down every night -- a Jew obviously didn't manufacture our menorah).

Anyway, I only realized this today, so I couldn't buy the candles from the synagogue because it's Shabbat. So my friends tell me that Wal-Mart carries them but not every one. I'm sure almost all of the Wal-Marts and grocers carry them in the KC area in the Jewish food area, but I'm in Arkansas, so I call around...

The first Wal-Mart transfers me to the toy department -- um, OK. I explain that I'm looking for Hanukkah candles. She asks me to repeat a few times and then says she's going to transfer me to furniture. I try to explain that surely hanukkah candles wouldn't be in furniture, and she goes "Sure, that's where we keep all the candles," so I play along.

I get the furniture guy and he starts to ask me for the measurements of the kind of candle I want. (I'm imagining he thinks I want to buy pillar candles or something.) When I explain that these are special candles that would be boxed with Hebrew letters, he seems to get it. He puts me on hold to say that they're out, but they'd have more in a week. You know when Hanukkah is almost over. Great...

I call another Wal-Mart that is near the other synagogue in my area. I tell him what I want. He asks me to repeat about four times and finally says "I don't know what those are" and starts laughing. At this point I'm really pissed off, so I just hang up.

I'm crossing my fingers, because I called Party City and they told me they have many different types of Hanukkah candles. DH is on his way to get them, and if they're just regular candles I'm going to be so pissed.

This has been another edition of "HOW IN THE FECK DO I LIVE HERE?!?!?!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven

Under the Banner of Heaven Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book wasn't really my type of book. It explores Mormon fundamentalism through the purview of a true crime novel. The author goes back and forth between the early period of Mormonism and the more modern murder of Brenda and Erica Lafferty. It's hard to maintain interest in both simultaneously.

View all my reviews.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm Going To Israel

I just found out some exciting news: I'm going to Israel in March!

I was accepted through Israel Experience for a Taglit-Birthright trip.

It is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity and I'm so thrilled to be truly stepping out of my box. Most people know that I abhor traveling (especially flying), but I knew this was a life-changing experience that I couldn't walk past.

I will be going to Israel via NYC on March 4 and returning March 15! It will be my longest trip ever. The trip takes you all over the country, which is only about the size of New Jersey. I'll be able to see the wailing wall, the Holocaust museum, a kibbutz, the Dead Sea, Rabin Square and lots more. There is even rumors of camel rides and spelunking. It is totally out of my comfort zone to embark on such a journey with a group of complete strangers, but I think it's about damn time I do something so exciting.

I'll post more about the trip as I get more information. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

[If I could make the heart symbol it would go here]

Meet, Lauren, the love of my lesbian-wallet life.



She's green and soft and mostly functional. And I love her.

This is not an endorsement...

It's just damn funny. We'll miss you, Amy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Quick update

Sorry I've been absent lately. After the Thanksgiving holiday I felt the need to decompress. I've been keeping myself busy by going to the gym and picking up about 80 percent of the mess around the house before doubling the remaining 20 percent.

I just finished up my grandmother's wedding album, and I thought I'd post a link here. It's a mini-album and it was really important for me that she have this because she wasn't able to make the wedding. Unfortunately I slacked off and I won't be able to give it to her in person tomorrow, but I'll find a way to give it to her by Christmas.

By Michelle Malashock