they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Since when is love a battlefield?

There are certain times when I run across song lyrics from the 80s and I think, yes, they had it so right. This is not one of those times.

As I was cruising up the eight or so levels of the parking garage at work yesterday to get to my coveted roof spot, I was listening to Pat Benatar sing "Love Is A Battlefield." As soon as the first chorus began, I had visions of running in place wearing a leotard, sweatband and legwarmers. Oh, and of course those really huge headphones with padded earpieces. So, in my head, I looked like an air traffic controller going to a Claire Huxtable-esque aerobics class (side note: possibly the best episode of The Cosby Show EVER.)

Anyway, the song really pumped me up and in my head, I thought “Hmm, if I ever get an IPod, maybe I’ll download this song so that when I’m approaching mile 5 or mile 13 and I’m tired and my legs feel like cement good old Pat can get me going again.” But then, I started to listen to the lyrics and I thought aloud, “Are you kidding me?”

Since when are there no promises and no demands with love? And I hate to disagree with Pat, but being “strong” does not mean that no one can tell you you’re wrong — that’s being stupid. Also, who would love someone who is constantly making them go and then making them stay. And, Pat, if you are the best thing this guy has ever had, he shouldn’t hurt you so bad. Point settled. And finally, images of you being trapped by someone’s love and chained to their side doesn’t exactly make me believe that you, Pat, think“There is no way this will die.” If you do really think that, you may need to seek counsel.

Here are the full lyrics. Enjoy
We are young, heartache to heartache we stand. No promises, no demands. Love is a battlefield. We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong. Searchin' our hearts for so long. All of us knowing, love is a battlefield.
You're makin' me go, then makin' me stay. Why do you hurt me so bad. It would help me to know, do I stand in your way or am I the best thing you've had. Believe me, believe me, I can't tell you why, but I'm trapped by your love and I'm chained to your side.
When I'm losing control, will you turn me away or touch me deep inside? And if all this gets old, will it still feel the same? There's no way this will die. But if we get much closer, I could lose control. And if your heart surrenders you'll need me to hold.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Why there is never a dull day at my house.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

We ran, we finished, we're tired.

Right after the race, right before the fatigue really set in.

Here I am finishing the half marathon. I don't have my official time yet ,but the clock said 1 hour 54 minutes when I crossed the finish line. It felt good.

Me and my running buddies, Mark and Brad, pre-race. It was 6 a.m. and we were feeling strong - obviously.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

About the taper.

The taper is killing me. I’m used to running 30 or 35 miles a week. That’s what it took to get into the shape I’m in. That is what it took to be able to face this half marathon head-on. That’s what it took to mentally prepare myself, to realize that I could run for two hours without stopping and without dying. And though I’ll admit the strange comfort I felt after completing a long run may have been a bit obsessive, I’m used to my stopwatch ending at around 102 minutes, until this stupid taper, which is what I’m dealing with now. Experts advise that the two weeks prior to racing a half marathon, every runner should practice the taper. Basically, it means forgetting everything you learned about long runs and going the distance and running for speed. For two weeks, you’re supposed to rest often and run little. No more 11-mile long runs, no more 8-mile long runs — none of that. Just short, three or four mile runs and lots of walking and, if you’re me, worrying. I’m not very good at the taper, it’s making me feel bloated and unhealthy and unprepared. It’s making me forget that I am ready to run and that I will be fine. In my silly brain, it is unraveling everything I know that is true and is, instead, replacing truths with half-truths and confidence with unhealthy levels of angst. I may not be good at the taper, but I am a master of this little thing I call anxiety.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

If that is sarcasm, it must be Tuesday.

Gus resembled a Hippopotamus today for two hours too many. Apparently, he thought he’d try to make friends with the backyard bees. I don’t think the bees liked him very much because four of them stung him in the face. And then, his face swelled to three times its normal size and when I got home to let him out for lunch, I may have freaked out a little.

But after a visit to the vet, a steroid shot and some Benadryl, Gus’ face was well on its way back to its normal size — until the Benadryl began to wear off and it was about 8:30 p.m. and I was home alone and I didn’t know what to do, so I called the emergency vet to inquire about my options. I learned that if he became hippo-like again, I should take him to their facility, but if just the black part of his face was swelling, I should hope he falls asleep and check on him again in the morning. Easier said than done. Benadryl seems to have the exact opposite effect on Gus as it does on me. I fall asleep in an instant, he become crazy hippo dog. And in the middle of crazy hippo dog's third lap at a full sprint around the house, Nick called to tell me he was on the way home from his softball game. The conversation went something like this:

Me: (A bit panic stricken) I’m so glad you called, I’ve already been on the phone with Mission Med Vet and we might need to bring Gussy back in. I’m really worried about him and his face is swelling again.

Nick: (Calm and annoyingly collected) I’m sure he’s fine, we’ll keep an eye on him.

Me: (Trying to be calm and collected) Well, it will be easier for us to keep an eye on him if we are both here. Where are you?

Nick: (Very much sarcastic) Somewhere on Johnson Drive like half the way to Colorado. I don’t know, I’ll probably be home in two hours.

Me: Maybe you could stop being such a jerk, that really wasn’t very nice.

Nick: You’re right, I’ll be home in twenty minutes.

It’s been twenty minutes, Nick is not home yet and when he does get home, I hope he left the sarcasm half way to Colorado.

And the countdown begins.

In four days, I will either finish or die trying. I will wake up at 5 a.m. and put on my dryfit running tank and shorts and special socks that wick away moisture. I will tie on my broken-in Asics and I will fasten my hair into two neat pigtails. I'll make sure my orange nike watch is strapped to my left wrist and I will probably have a stomach ache. I'm already anxious and I see this only getting worse, so to try to curb the anxiety, I treated myself to a piece of cherry kringle courtesy of a client - probably not the best choice four days pre-race. Don't tell.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A reminder that we're all human

President Bush wrote a note to Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, asking if it was possible to take a bathroom break. It's nice to remember that no matter how powerful or famous we get, we are still, at our very essence, humans.

On another note, I would like to be the sort of aged lady who can say "It's a good day for ducks," on a rainy morning and that people would smile at me and wish that one day, they could be the sort of old lady who can say something sarcastic and slightly bitter with the best well-meaning intentions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why I hate Steve Toomey.

Steve Toomey, oh how I hate you. You are blond, and I wish I was. You are a triathelete, and I can't swim worth squat and you have a really nice house on a golf course. You are also funny and sarcastic, traits I just don't posess and so, I hate you because of your perfection and because you are such a good boss that Nick may never be satisfied with another. I also hate that you tell Nick he married up, which makes me feel badly about myself and that you like my dog, which is maybe the worst thing you can do to me. So, you're right, I hate you. No, I will not go to dinner with you and Nick and Sherry. I just can't stand to be around you. And next time I'm visiting Nick, I will make an extra effort to say hello to everyone but you, Mr. Toomey. That's how much I hate you.

Disclaimer: I really don't hate Steve Toomey.

How to use sarcasm to win my heart.

My contacts felt funny in my eyes this morning when I woke up. They felt even funnier as I ate a handful of dry cereal and talked (yes, talked) to Gus. We talked about how his morning was going and if he needed to go outside to go potty. After deciding that he was going to be stubborn and hold his “potty” for a bit, I thought I should probably take my contacts out to clean them. That’s when I looked in the mirror and saw an alien looking back. My eyes were swollen and puffy and they’d never been swollen or puffy before. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the freezer, grabbed a frozen bag of edamame, and stood there with the bag to my face. It didn’t help. So, hoping for a bit of concern, I asked Nick what I should do. “Live life,” he said. Great. Thanks Mr. Sarcastic. Next time, I’ll just stick to Gus and the edamame for my answer. So, I’m wearing my glasses, which make me feel like I’m 12 again. But, thanks to Nick, I’ve decided to go ahead and live life today. Who knew his answer would ring so true.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Goodbye, old friend.

This is my quilt. It is old and worn and I sleep with it every night because, I've always slept with some sort of security blanket. (Yes, I am almost 26-years-old, but who's counting?) Gus likes to chew on the strands of the quilt that are loose and I was afraid that maybe, he was eating the quilt. But, until last night, I had no proof. My self-inflicted innocense was shattered when I found a pile of undigested quilt strands that Gus had thrown up in the backyard. I felt sick and selfish and immediately decided that it was finally time to part with my old friend. I cuddled with it one last time, snapped a photo and walked it outside to the large yardwaste trashcan on the driveway. I knew if I threw it there, I would be less likely to try to retrieve it in the middle of the night when I wasn't feeling as secure as normal. And I'm happy to report that this morning, the trashcan is where the quilt remains.

Friday, September 09, 2005

On love and living.

Once we were neighbors. I was the snobby one and he was the gentleman. He would sit at his window and wave at me when I got home from class or from the gym or from Wal-mart and he always had the nicest smile. It was the kind of smile that made me stand at attention. I knew there was something special about the man behind the smile and so I became increasingly less snobbish and I started to realize that when he waved as I walked by his window, he was waving at me and not at some figment of my imagination beautiful blonde who I believed to be right behind me on the stairs. And so one day, I waved back.

Once he was my classmate. I was the journalism student who had to take economics to complete course requirements and to be able to graduate. I was the one who attended class religiously, scribbling down notes and graphs — none of which I would understand weeks later when I opened my notebook in the library to study. He was the one who understood econ. He got it and he was smart and funny and I would dress up to go to class just hoping he would show up. He didn’t come often. He didn’t have to. But, when he did show up, he’d slip into the seat beside me and I’d have on extra vanilla body splash and a sweater I’d borrowed from a friend because I thought it looked good with my eyes and that maybe, the sweater would catch his attention and he would notice how pretty I looked. I was the one who studied fifteen hours for each exam and still barely passed. He was the one who read my scribbled notes over once and passed with flying colors. He was also my study partner.

Once he was my boyfriend. He was the one who wrote me the nicest cards I’d ever received. He was the one that I talked to for hours each day and each night and he was the one who I grew with. I was the one who was young and immature, all the while certain that he was what I wanted. He was the one who first knew we should get married. He told me one night while it was snowing and we were standing in it and it was beautiful and fresh and it was really cold outside but, I didn’t feel the chill. I was warm, from the margaritas and his embrace and from the glow of my future, staring me in the face.

Once he was my fiancé. He was the one who came home with me every weekend to plan our wedding and to dream — about where we wanted to live and what we wanted to do, about where we wanted to go to church and how many people we wanted to befriend. I was the one who was a mess. I was anxious and depressed and sometimes, I didn’t know how to go on. But, I knew that he loved me. He told me he did and I believed him and I knew that if he loved me and God loved me, then I was worth something and so, I got better. He was the one who held me. Tightly, he held on through fits of rage and tears and confusion and bitterness and through times when I was so mentally spent, I didn’t know myself.

He is my husband. He is my support and my backbone and my reminder that God is real and that I am loved. He is my sanctuary and my shelter and my best friend. He is a grill master and has perfected what he calls, “the smell that makes neighbors jealous.” He is a leader and a seeker and a finder and he is an inspiration to me and to our friends and I am the one learning. And, I love him.

But, I never even wore my white pants.

I was at the grocery store last week doing some quick shopping when I decided I needed chocolate. So, I took myself and my groceries to the candy aisle where I assumed I would find the usual, run-of-the-mill selection. I don’t know if it was the vibrant orange and black packaging or the overly stocked quality of the shelves that shocked me the most, but I let out a quick gasp and then asked myself the following question: “Why on earth are they selling last year’s Halloween candy now?” And then I continued my thought with, “Hmm, better for me because it’s probably all on sale.”

Except, nothing was on sale. Bags of candy were at least $4 and that’s when I realized that it was September and that the candy in the aisle was actually for this year — and thank goodness I hadn’t made my "old candy" proclamation aloud because then, I would have really been embarrassed. It’s also a good thing I realized it was September as soon as I did because I nearly had my white pants ironed and ready to wear at home. So thank you, candy aisle, for helping me avoid the fashion faux pas of wearing white pants after Labor Day.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

He got a big one

My little brother, Evan, lives in Denver. I miss him. He goes fishing all the time. At first, he enjoyed the view and the lakes and the mountains a lot more than the bounty of fish he wasn't catching. But, a few weeks ago, he caught 15 rainbow trout in one fishing session and happened upon a herd of elk. I guess that beats fishing in the semi-polluted Leawood, KS, streams and office park ponds. Good for you, Evan. Come home to visit soon.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

And in the bathroom was a hummer

Now, I know what you're thinking. But, I'm not talking about the tank-like, gas-guzzling, vehicle. Not that kind of hummer. That might have been better though. Instead, it was a woman who must have been having one of the best days of her life because from the second she entered the bathroom including the whole time she sat in the stall and throughout her handwash and elegant exit, she hummed and sang and um, made me feel uncomfortable.

And then I remembered reading this story this morning and thinking maybe, if I took the quiz, I would be the annoying co-worker. But, no, I'm sorry. Now, I'm convinced that no matter how many times I crack my knuckles, nothing compares with humming throughout an entire bathroom experience. (Well maybe talking to yourself on the otherside of my cubewall can get kind of annoying, but I'm willing to forgive just about anything, even humming - I guess.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

If I, too, could be used...

Sometimes, it hurts to breathe. Not literally, but it’s like every breath I take is a gift and I finally realize it and wonder why I am so blessed to have even one more. I certainly haven’t done anything spectacular to earn more breaths than anyone else. And though lately, I’ve been witness to grief and tragedy and pain, I’ve also seen the power of surviving and making it through another day and I’ve seen the way that God puts the right people in the right lives at just the right time.

This year, I’ve come to terms with the fact that not every marriage really lasts an eternity. I’ve listened to the words of a friend who is wounded so deeply, pulling the knife out would only do more damage. I’ve watched a good friend lose a friend in a car accident and another to disease. I’ve stood by as thousands of people lost their homes and possessions and family members to nature’s wrath. I’ve seen cancer turn a man’s life upside down and then right side up, but I’ve also known the way that the lingering pain is mostly unbearable. Lately, I've dried more tears than in my lifetime and still, I feel like I’m not doing enough. Because I’ve also seen the way that lost, hurting people have relied on their friends and their families and their country for support and strength and for the right words to be said when thing ache too badly. And I want to be like that. I want to learn to love with every ounce of my being. I want to learn to give like my possessions are really not my own and I want to learn be thankful for every breath that I’m blessed with. Mostly, I just want to be used and I want my life to be way more than just about me — because it’s not about me, it never has been and I vow for it never to be.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Friday, September 02, 2005

The heartache continues

Taken from a piece by MARY FOSTER, Associated Press Writer, NEW ORLEANS

At the front of the line, the weary refugees waded through ankle-deep water, grabbed a bottle of water from state troopers and happily hopped on buses that would deliver them from the horrendous conditions of the Superdome.
At the back end of the line, people jammed against police barricades in the rain. Refugees passed out and had to be lifted hand-over-hand overhead to medics. Pets were not allowed on the bus, and when a police officer confiscated a little boy's dog, the child cried until he vomited. "Snowball, snowball," he cried.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Talk about perspective...,2933,167683,00.html

Today, I feel uncomfortable being comfortable. I have clean, dry clothes. I have a house that is still standing and is not full of contaminated flood waters. I still have my wedding pictures and childhood memories and my entire family is safe and I know where each person is and how they're doing. I have food and clean water and I have a car that I complain about because I think gas is too expensive and because the keyless entry broke. I'm not at risk for cholera or dehydration and I have access to all of the medical treatment I'll ever need. I didn't have to leave my house and my things and wade through waters filled with dead bodies. I didn't have to walk by houses marked with a red "X," a reminder for the National Guard to come back to them for body removal. I didn't see looters in those houses anyway, stealing whatever was left of the family that once lived there. I didn't see any of that. I didn't have to take my four day old baby through miles and miles of flooded streets to reach a highway overpass that offered me little more than a dry place to sit. I didn't spend the night in a crowded arena with thousands of strangers who were all dirty and depressed and trying hard to just survive. And I most certainly didn't just endure a tragedy that, as one gentleman heartwrenchinlgy stated, would rate higher than the death of a loved one. I didn't go through any of that. Instead, I just watched. Helpless. Confused. And for me, that's not enough. If it's not enough for you, either, please visit this link to learn how you can help.,2933,167683,00.html