That’s the night when the lights went out in Five Points…

Sometimes it really feels like the world is conspiring against you. I suited up for a run in the neighborhood, but when I walked outside, the clouds looked ominous and I saw a few flashes of lightning. Change of plans! I queued up Gossip Girl and fired up the treadmill.

Harper tried to join me (we trained him to walk on it so he can get some extra exercise in the winter, and now he loves it).


Maybe five minutes into my workout the clouds let loose with rain and thunder, and I was feeling good about my decision to stay inside. Until a few minutes after that when the power went out and brought my treadmill to a stop. Wanh, wanh.

Change of plans again. I texted my neighborfriends and we drank some beers in the dark and then cooked dinner on the grill with the help of headlamps. Have I mentioned we have kind of won the neighbor jackpot?

And neighborfriends are the best kind of friends because you can have three beers and not worry about how to get home. 

It’s fun living in a swing state

I went to the rec center last night, and upon arrival realized I had forgotten my membership card, a lock for the locker, and headphones. Defeated, I went home, but I rallied! Put my Garmin on to charge while I changed clothes and chatted with my mom for a few minutes. Then I struck out to run and see how the ankle was feeling. By the time I got to the park by my house I was feeling pretty good, enjoying the sunset, and trying not to swallow too many gnats.

Until I realized that ahead the running path was cordoned off with police tape. There were cops everywhere, and a crowd was starting to gather. I moved off the running trail and passed some stern looking officers. 

I was thinking gang violence or at least some kind of shooting. I hesitantly asked, “What’s going on?”

 “The President’s coming.”

 “Of…the United States?”



 “Sorry, yes. That was not that great of a joke.”

 “Oh. Cool.”

 Word was his helicopter was supposed to land briefly, but I didn’t see or hear any helicopters as I finished my loop. Kind of a fun surprise, it would have been more fun if I actually got to wave. Or, OMG, if I had been at the random bar where he stopped in Boulder. (First photo: I wish so badly that was me.) 

Temple Grandin, I’m pleased to meet you!

So, I have been mulling over how I’d like to say this. But I got to meet Temple Grandin at a book signing. And I am a fan of hers to be sure. Animals Make Us Human is one of the most interesting books I have ever read, and the movie about her life was wonderful and compelling. It was really cool to get to hear her speak (at a book signing at the Tattered Cover). She was engaging and charming and very funny.

But, well, she is autistic. That’s what makes her great at her job. It’s also what made our book signing exchange go like this…

Me: Hello! It’s so nice to meet you!

Her: Okay.

Me: Thank you so much for signing my book!

Her: Yep.

And scene. I took my book and slunk off.

Awkward. And I admit it stung a little, even knowing I shouldn’t expect the most elegant social skills. I get really emotional when I meet famous people I admire, or even just see them in real life. I get a lump in my throat and definitely want to cry. I suppose it’s a strange feeling to have a really personal connection to someone’s work or music or writing and then to face this persona as a real person.

Also awkward? This couple sitting in front of me who kept stealing kisses.

I was like…hi. I’m right here. Really? Okay. That’s it. I’m putting your picture on the internet! With a blue dot, like on cops, because Denver’s kind of a small town.

Half Marathon Training (and Life) Recap – Week 10 – Still Injured Edition

So, my right ankle and I are in a fight. It’s being cranky, and I am bending over backwards apologizing and groveling and cajoling to try to make it feel better.


Monday – Minds Matter! Five more weeks until we’re out for summer! It’s fun, but I am ready for a break.

Tuesday – After three days of not running, tried running on my treadmill. Ankle Pain! Switched to the bike. Oh! And I went to a Temple Grandin book signing. It was pretty cool.

Wednesday – Swam a mile. Bright side to not running: MOAR SWIMMING. I think I will always be a 40 minute mile swimmer. No matter how much I swim I don’t seem to get faster.

Thursday – Tired! Watched tv shows on the internet. Did not do my scheduled 10 mile run because of The Ankle Pain.

Friday – Minor dog emergency! I took Harper for a quick trip to the park before a planned exercise bike workout, but he injured two of his paw pads and they were bleeding a little. Ack! He is totally fine, but it was scary and I was on the phone with the vet and trying to keep him from licking them too much.

Saturday – Swam 1,000 yards. I don’t like swimming for less than 30 minutes but I just wasn’t in the mood to go long. Decided I’d go for a 2 mile run to see how the ankle felt. I felt awesome until exactly 1.6 miles in and then I felt pain. Headed over to yoga with my friend.

Sunday – Bailed on a meeting of the Ladies Walking Club because it was a cold and windy and busy Sunday, went to yoga again. Both Saturday and Sunday’s classes were hard and I am still sore.

Since I’m less than three weeks out from my first half-marathon (and the registration fee was ridiculous) I’m feeling pretty grumpy about my ankle. I even went to acupuncture yesterday for the first time to see if it would help.  It was an overall pleasant experience, but I don’t know. I’m not sold, but I’m not a total skeptic. Chris swears by it, but he’s generally a lot more…eastern medicine-y than I am.  I’ll see how I feel in a few days and maybe go back again next week.

I’m a unicorn!

Black Pants: My Journey Through Polyester and Back

True fact: there was a time in my life when I did not own one pair of black pants. On principal. Because every sorority girl at my university (except me) seemed to wear only black pants ever, and I was not interested in dressing like them. Oh, Past Mel. Such a special snowflake rebel.

But any regular workout regimen probably involves a good amount of black pants. I had somehow been scraping by with one oft-laundered pair of black knee pants, purchased at Target five or six years ago. I just wore them for everything. They fit, they have a pocket in the back that’s big enough for my phone, what else do you need?

Then my stock doubled; my parents bought me a very fancy pair of CW-X running tights for Christmas. But those are really just for running. They’re not comfortable for biking or yoga.

The other day, though, I held up my trusty Target knee pants and realized if I held them up to the light, I could see directly through them. Especially in the part worn thin in the booty. Which means in just the right light, in just the right pose, I was probably flashing people in yoga. Sorry, yoga friends!

So yesterdayI became a lady who owns sort of fancy yoga pants. Fancy I guess in that they are basically special pants I bought just for yoga, and fancy because they were a whopping $62. (They’re these Nordstrom brand ones, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.) I tried on maybe a dozen pairs total.

I’m a little embarrassed to own $62 black stretchy pants, but I figured the nicer ones from Target are $30-40 anyways, so I was only spending a little more for what I presume is a better product, though that’s probably 100% BS rationalizing since my last Target ones have lasted this long. But I mean…Nordstrom is also closer to my house. So…I also saved maybe a nickel on gas? Yeah. There are few purchases I can’t rationalize.

And! Definitely no flashing. I did a lot of this to make sure. And then took pictures to share with you fine folks.  You’re welcome.

Books #6 and #7

For March and April my book club decided on a Hemingway one-two punch of A Moveable Feast (Hemingway’s memoir about living in Paris in the twenties with his first wife, Hadley) and The Paris Wife (roughly the same time frame, but told from her perspective and technically a fiction book).

I definitely recommend this as an interesting combination. Lots of good discussion on both books. I wish we had read The Paris Wife first because the narrative was much more clear whereas A Moveable Feast jumped around quite a bit and was more of a collection of vignettes than it was a cohesive story.

A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

This wasn’t my favorite but I don’t really feel like I can assign it a number of stars.   it’s obviously a big important book by a big important writer but it was a little confusing just not my cup of tea.

The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

I liked this quite a bit. Even though Hadley was making me bang my head against the wall, I was still rooting for her and when she opted not to jump into the water I cheered! It was a quick read, though I’m not sure exactly why. It wasn’t especially light material, but I think the plot was just really good, even though I knew the ultimate ending already.

Up Next:

A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

I am in love with this so far! I think I’m dragging my feet because I don’t want it to be over.

Money Saving Fail

Today I decided I would skip spending $5 on tacos and eat the can of soup I had at work instead. To save money. 

So, I spent my lunch wandering around the 16th street mall and ended up buying a dress. That was…more than $5. Not my fault! The consensus was YAY.

And thennnn I went back to my office and dropped $150 on concert tickets.

(In my defense…row 16! Thanks to an American Express presale.)

So, the next time I whine about not knowing where all my money goes…

It’s for the kids! Drinking, fancy dresses, and volunteering.

So, I always complain about long Mondays, but they’re long because I volunteer for a great cause called Minds Matter, an organization that mentors high-achieving, low-income students. (Now accepting volunteer applications for Fall 2012!)

My favorite part about volunteering is the SAT math prep (I do algebra like other people do crossword puzzles), but my second favorite part is the annual fundraiser! It was on Saturday. Dinner, drinks, dancing, auction, drinks…you know, for the kids.

This year I decided to retire the yellow dress I have worn to basically every cocktail-dress occasion I have attended for the past seven years and I tried Rent the Runway for the first time.


Photo courtesy of 2007. I miss our tiny apartment by the beach sometimes.

Rent the Runway was awesome. I think I will be using it again in the fall for another event. Things I love about it:

·        I got to wear a $400 Badgley Mischka dress to my fancy fundraiser!
·        The grand total was only $64.95 (with a promo code, but it’s the kind of thing where they always have a promo code. I probably get an email from them every other day).
·        I didn’t have to spend any time or money at the dry cleaners.
·        When you pick your dress, they send you two sizes to make sure one fits (good thing since I usually wear a size 12 but needed to size down).
·        They send you a little pack of fashion tape. (Needed one little piece to make the neckline just about an inch more modest.)
·        The reviews online of the dresses are awesome. I love the pictures ladies post of themselves in the dress along with their height and dress size to give you a better idea of how it will look on a real person. (Hi, can we get this at other online stores?)
·        Return process is super duper easy. They give you a prepaid envelope and you just put everything in, seal it up, and drop it in a blue mailbox.

Didn’t love:

·        Getting nickel and dimed for the shipping ($9.95) and insurance ($5) at checkout. Why not just include it in the price since it’s always required?
·        It’s definitely a rental. One of the zippers was a little grumpy and there were a few loose threads on my hem.

My dress was really bright and sparkly and comfortable to boot. I kind of wish I could buy it, but sadly I do not have many occasions for all-over sequins. Although, technically my office doesn’t have a dress code…

Half Marathon Training (and Life) Recap – Week 9 – Injury Edition

Monday – Work, volunteer, followed by a committee meeting. One of those glorious days when I leave the house at 6:30 am and don’t get home until 10. It’s for the kids!

Tuesday – Happy hour/book club, plus it was snowing! So I walked to work and called that a workout. (I mean, my bag does legit weigh 25 pounds when loaded up with my gigantic work laptop and all my other “essentials.”)

Wednesday – Most Glorious Run of My Life ™ The weather was perfect, I had new shoes, and a girlfriend with juicy boyfriend stuff to discuss. (Not that juicy.) Three miles followed by beers on my stoop. I win at life.

Thursday – Left for a 4 mile run but called in quits after only 2.5. My right ankle was killing me. Ow. Not cool.

Friday – I glared at my ankle and willed it to feel better.  Oh, also houseguests arrive. This hardly even registers as an event anymore as I am essentially running a hotel this year.

Saturday – Really, really, really wanted to go swimming but Chris talked me into brunch at Parallel 17 instead, followed by yoga. Brunch at Parallel 17 was not as awesome as swimming. Truly. And then a super fun fundraiser that night! Wore great high heels but did not dance in them for fear of further injury. Glared at my ankle some more.

Sunday – Still feeling a little twinge in my ankle though it’s much better. Went on a five mile meeting of the Ladies Walking Club and then to yoga.

Once again, you would never know I have a triathlon coming up in two months! Swimming and biking? Neverheardofem.  Resolved: that changes this week. Seriously. Also, I’m going to switch back to my old shoes and see if that helps the ankle.

Only four weeks until my half-marathon! I want like a teeny tiny 13.1 sticker so it doesn’t take up too much room on my Nalgene. (And, to be honest, I read too many running blogs so 13.1 miles doesn’t seem that far anymore, just far for me.) Also so I can save room for a big 70.3 one at the end of the year!