Category Archives: Random Experiences
This past weekend I got a more-than-healthy helping of all my favorite things in life: Running, Fresh Air, Beautiful Scenery, Comradery, and Competition, and got to do it with an amazing group. And now I’m back…Reality Bites. I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of an amazing group called The Marathongs to compete in a crazy race called Reach The Beach. Reach The Beach is unique because it’s the LONGEST (in distance) relay race in the whole entire country. Holler!!
The longest relay race in the nation? Yep! 204 miles through the White Mountains in NH, starting at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH, and ending at New England’s Jersey Shore: Hampton Beach. The goal is to complete the 204 miles within 24 hours among your team of 2 – 12 people. Our team, The Marathongs, came in 87th out of 480 teams, averaging about an 8 minute pace. Each team member has three legs along the way, giving a little bit of rest in between, but little to no sleep. Everyone on the team ran somewhere between 15 – 24 miles over their three legs. Basically, it was awesome!
Our team comes from all over: West Haven, Ellington, Vernon, and Glastonbury CT, Buffalo, NY, New York City, Boston, MA, and Newport, RI. There were some (super boring) super serious teams, but many dressed up. Our major competition was “The Kilts”, “The Lumberjacks”, who, by the way, ran in jorts – no kidding, and “The Cropdusters”. Most of the teams had really great names. It was really an awesome experience as all the teams were supportive of each other – all with the same crazy goal of running 204 miles and “reaching the beach”.
I think from here, the best way to show our journey is through pictures and videos.
Goofing around before the race, getting our wiggle on!
The MarathonG boys’ dance. Get it boys!!
Who says white girls can’t dance??
It was the longest 24 hours of my life…but surprisingly to most, I’m saying that in the best way possible. Things that happened on Friday afternoon seemed like they happened 2 weeks ago by Saturday night. I dont know if it was the lack of sleep, the overexertion, or the amount of things that happened, but it was truly an experience I will never forget and I’m already counting down the days until the MarathonGs run Reach the Beach in 2014.
There I am on my Monday morning, up and at ’em. Went to bootcamp at 6AM, went back home and showered and ate breakfast and was on my way to get to work on time and everything. How many times can you say that on a Monday morning…well for me, just about never. So since things were going so well, obviously something had to go seriously wrong.
So there I am driving down my street. About a mile from my apartment there is an Agway and they recently put up their new spring advertisement which is HILARIOUS. Seriously, I crack up every single time I drive by. See pic to the side. I was stuck at the red light so naturally I pulled out my phone and snapped a few quick pictures. The light turns green and I go. I make it about 3 feet past the intersection and whoop-whoop, there’s the state trooper right behind me. Greeeaaaattttt!
So I pull over and grab my license and registration, both of which I actually knew exactly where they were, which was a miracle in itself. He comes up to my car and nicely tells me that he had pulled me over for using my phone while driving. (To be fair, while many times I actually do use my phone while I’m driving, in this instance I literally was at at red light and was at a complete stop and only taking a picture. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was “using my phone while driving”. But hey, I’m not about to fight with the guy). He asks me if I was using my phone to use the GPS. For a split second the thought crossed my mind to lie and say yes, but I wasn’t, so I said no. Anyways, the next questions probably would have been ‘where are you coming from/where are you going?’ To which the answers were ‘home and work (less than 6 miles away)’, and I really didn’t feel like looking like that asshole so I just sold the truth.
So I give him my license and registration and he looks at my licenses and reads off the address,
“Is this where you currently reside, ma’am?”
“Umm no, I actually live just right down the street at the address on my registration,” I reply.
“When did you move there?”
-slight hesitation- “September of 2011”. (yes, 18 months ago).
“Ma’am are you aware that when you move you have 48 hours to notify that DMV of your change of address?”
I was not aware of this. And with that, he went back to the patrol car. I sat in my car waiting, all the while (quietly) jamming out to some Taylor Swift, basically just waiting to get my new tickets. Just add ’em to the pile, was my thought process at this point. I just got MAILED a ticket from Illinois from when I drove through in January. I never even got stopped in IL, they just take pictures of people and send out freaking tickets! (bs, right??). Anyways, the trooper comes back over to me, hands me my stuff and says in the most fatherly voice I’ve ever heard,
“Now I know you love your phone, and you need to stay in touch, but it’s just not worth it. You have a new car, so just go out and grab a blue tooth or hook up your phone through your car or something, and texts…well it’s just not worth it. When you’re driving, just put your phone in the glove box and forget about it. It’s just not worth it. They’re really hot on this issue right now, and well, I just wouldn’t want to see you get in any trouble. Now the ticket for the phone is $149, and the inaccurate license information is $117, but I’m just going to give you a verbal warning”.
Ummm are you kidding me? I don’t know if he felt bad for or what, but I’ll take it! I was pretty much sure that all my waitressing money from this week was going right back to the Department of Motor Vehicles, but somehow by the grace of God I was cut a break for once. What a SUPER TROOPER!
In this day and age cell phones have become almost part of a person’s body. I can say I’m guilty of this in many ways. I almost always have my phone on my body, whether its connected to my hand or ear or in my back pocket. On a rare occasion I will leave it in my purse, but even then its on. Unless it is out of battery it’s on. How horribly sad is that? Why is it that I, like most other people I know, feel that I’m so important that I need to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week regardless as to if I’m at work, out for a run, sleeping, or the worst of them all – at a social engagement with other people. Though I will admit that sometimes I think it’s necessary, for instance if you are waiting for people to meet up with you and you’re expecting a call or text for directions, but 9 times out of 1o this is not the case. It’s sooo important to know when to put the phone down, but I can guarantee that you all know “that guy” that just can’t catch the clue.
Personally, one of my biggest pet peeves in the world (seriously – I think it is so incredibly rude that it actually makes me want to rip my hair out) is when you’re hanging out with someone, especially when you’re one-on-one, and they can’t seem to take their phone out of their hand. Why do you keep checking your phone? Are you waiting to hear if you got approved for the heart transplant or if your doctoral dissertation got approved? Probably not. For example, you meet a friend out for dinner and they put their phone on the table at the restaurant. Are you waiting for a call? Are you trying to talk to someone? Last time I checked you made plans with me, so if you really find it necessary to check Facebook, Instagram, Four Square, Twitter, your text messages, or whatever the hell else you are doing on your phone, please just let me know. I’d rather actually eat alone, than basically eat alone anyways waiting for you to look up from your phone and, you know, engage in actual conversation with the actual person who is sitting across the table from you.
Psychologists who conducted the experiments at Essex University believe mobile phones automatically trigger thoughts about wider social networks, reducing the level of empathy and understanding in face-to-face conversations. I can 100% agree with this. Based upon my own personal experiences, even just seeing that phone out of the table triggers an immediate feeling of annoyance and makes me feel like the person across the table from you thinks you’re “ok”, but not great enough to give you their full attention. It honestly has affected some of my relationships and as a result I choose not to hang out with those people unless I can mentally prepare myself for their blatant rudeness. Just some food for thought. I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way, so next time you’re out with a friend or two keep in mind who you’d really like to hang out with – your friend or your phone – the choice is yours.
Hello all and Happy Holidays! I’ve been a HORRIBLE blogger lately, and by “horrible”, what I really mean, is non-existent. So, what I’m going to do is dive right back in with a bang. I’m going to back it up to 2008 and tell the story of the year I was on the Naughty List. At the time I was fresh out of college, but still working at the restaurant I had worked at throughout college a couple nights a week. A couple of my co-workers who were roommates decided to have a “Naughty or Nice” Christmas Party. Now, given the fact that we all were between 18 – 25 and a good looking bunch, if I do say so myself, and course I do, I figured people would go the “naughty” route. I guess I was still in the college mind set because whenever my fraternity had themed parties the “cowboy/Indian” party turned into “sexy cowboys/slutty Indians” party, and the “Laua” became “wear-a-cocoanut-bra-in-the-middle-of-February-party”…you get the idea.
Anyways, while out browsing for an awesome outfit for the party, I found a baseball tee with red arms and white body that said “team naughty” on it and it came with a pair of red and white striped boy shorts underwear and baseball socks. Obviously this was intended for pajamas, but I also decided that with my black Uggs and Santa hat it would be the PERFECT ensemble for the night to come. So at this point I’m pretty pumped for the party and I’m feeling pretty confident about my outfit. I guess you can say I figured I’d fit right in.
I get to the party a bit late, as it was snowing and the roads were pretty slick, and I walk in with my black pea coat buttoned up to the top. I walk through the door and look around. Holy. Shit. That’s seriously what I said, both out loud and in my head. I’m pretty sure I said it in my head about 400 more times than I said out loud, but that’s not the point. As I looked around I noticed the other 20 or so guests that were already at the party were dressed “nice”. No, not just “nice”, I mean nice. Every person in the room had on a nice dress, pearls, or a sweater vest. I’m pretty sure there was even some bow ties mixed in, and here I am in my freaking underpants…W.T.F.?? Erica and Jon, the hosts, came over to me and offered to take my coat, as any good host would. I immediately said “I can’t take my jacket off”. They asked why, and I discreetly opened my jacket to show them what I was wearing. No, let me rephrase that, I showed them what I wasn’t wearing. I proceeded to go into Erica’s room with her while she tried to convince me stay as I, almost in tears mind you, was trying to tell her I had to go home because there’s no way I could face this crowd dressed as a naughty elf. At this point, Jon (my savior) came into the room with a tray of shots…after a shot (or 5) I decided that my outfit was actually completely appropriate for this party and made my way out to the crowd.
Though at the time it was probably the most mortifying moment of my life, today this story goes a long way. I’m not sure I know of anyone else who who is stupid enough to get themselves into this mess…but even if I did meet someone on my level, I don’t know that they would shamelessly strut around that way all night. In the end, this is obvious proof that though people say “alcohol isn’t the solution”, there are actually some cases where it is…this, my friends, is one of them! 😉
Have you ever had a “party foul”? how did it end up?
It’s 2012 and these days the most common and easiest way to figure out what you’re going to eat for dinner is by “googling” it or checking out the ever-popular Pinterest to see what delicious eats your friends are pinning. This is what I have been doing for the past few years, but something happened recently that made me change my mind on this. I was home one night watching TV when the movie Julie and Julia, where Julie cooks her way through Julia Child’s famous Mastering The Art of French Cooking cook book came on E!. It made me remember that when I got my first apartment my mom got me my first cook book: Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. I love cooking, so I decided to dust the cobwebs off my good ole fashion cookbook start looking up some recipes and make them…hey maybe I’d even make all of the recipes in there…some day.
Where to start though? I didn’t have anything specific in mind that I reallllly wanted to cook, which brings me to “Project Cookbook Cabinet Clear”. As part of my decision to try out lots of new recipes in conjunction with trying to save more money, I decided that I’d use all of the food I already had as starting points to all the meals only buy food at the grocery store as needed. To start, I took one item that I had in my home already and looked it up and see where that took me. So I looked up Swordfish, which I had in my freezer. I came across a recipe for blackened swordfish and hominy rice. For those of you like me who don’t know what hominy is (I actually googled it before I went to the market so I wouldn’t look like a complete idiot) it’s a type of canned corn. To my delight, this recipe came out delicious! Both Ben and I really enjoyed it. I have never actually had swordfish before, so I’m glad I didn’t taint my view of this fish with my novice cooking skills. The swordfish had a spicy rub on it, and was delicious, and the hominy rice, though maybe a little bit too spicy, was also great with sausage, lots of veggies, and brown rice. Meal one was a success.
From there on out I’ve been trying to be creative in using the food I have already in my apartment…garlic bread hot dog rolls anyone? Can I interest you in a chicken and veggie stir fry made from scratch? My newest endeavor came this weekend when mom asked me to go apple picking with her. I LOVE apple picking, and I LOVE fresh apples, so of course I went. But to my dismay, when I got home I realized I already had a crisper full of apples…what’s a gal to do with 40 apples? So again, I took out my handy dandy cook book and looked up apples. I know what you’re thinking “Apple pie for everyone!”. The thought crossed my mind, but with the amount of sugar and butter put into each pie, I thought I’d at least try to find something a little bit healthier. So I landed on Apple Bread.
I didn’t just land on apple bread and make one loaf though…I made 4. Go big or go home, right? That’s my philosophy…and four loaves of apple bread later, I still have a crisper that is mostly full of fresh apples. So, as much as I was trying to avoid it, I do foresee a hot apple pie in my near future. Hey, you only live once!
Yesterday me and 6 of my friends participated in Connecticut’s Warrior Dash. What is the Warrior Dash? It’s a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme 5k run from hell. Ben and I did it for the first time last year in Massachusetts, but this year since it was going to be held in Connecticut we decided to recruit some of our friends to get muddy with us! We got matching shirts made so we could all look united as a team and met up down in Thompson, aka the-middle-of-nowhere-Connecticut at the International Speedway. We all started together, but ended up splitting into two groups. Some of the obstacles included running through swinging tires, high knees through about 100 yards of tires, run over cars, climb walls (some which were about 20 feet tall), tight rope across a stream, and shimmy across another body of water holding on to little hand holds on the walls. (I fell into the water on that one). Then afterwards we celebrated like true warriors with beers, turkey legs and hot dogs! Anyways, I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here on out, but we looked great, felt great, and had a GREAT time! Now I can’t wait to do another one, or maybe graduate to a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race if I can round up a fun group to do it with!
One of my best friends went away for the weekend, and she came home with a terrific surprise for me! She got me a journal called In My Humble Opinion to quote the cover of the journal, it’s “A journal to vent about why people are like that and why all the stupid things they do are so obvious to me, from not using their turn signals to believing they’re the center of the universe to sweating the small stuff to ignoring the fact that we’re all just trying to make our way in this insanely crowded world but some of us are doing it a whole lot better than others” O.M.G. I’m SO pumped about this journal and completely intend on keeping in my purse. After all, I do run into a lot of “interesting” situations on a daily basis and now I can jot them down before they escape my fleeting mind! Each page has a silly/funny quote on the left side, and then on the right there is a spot to put the date and a bunch of lines to write on. The best part: a “rating system” at the bottom. Each day, you can judge humanity as a thumbs up, a thumbs down, a peach sign, or crossed fingers! Ahh I’m so excited about this! I can only imagine what kinds of gems this journal will produce for eHT!
Thanks Liz!! 🙂
I coach track and though I vowed I wouldn’t write about the kids on my teams, no matter how funny or wild they get, I can’t resist sharing this story. You may need to refer to the diagram below in order to completely understand.
Ok, so last night we had a track meet. Both of the teams I coach were there as well as two other teams. During the 800 meter race (which is 2 times around the track) I was bouncing between the start/finish line and the 100/500 meter mark so that I could cheer on and encourage my kids as much as possible. Of course I was cheering on and encouraging kids from all the teams (seeing as how they are mostly all under 10 years old), but was mostly focusing on my two teams, since I knew all of their names. So after the last kid on my team crossed the 500 meter mark, I started walking straight across the infield to get to the finish link to see my kids finish up the race. I was mostly focused on getting over to the finish line in time, when I feel a tug on my jacket. I turned around and it was a little kid from another team.
“Hey, I’m next, you gotta go back” He tells me.
Confused, I said “what?”
“I’m next! You have to go back over there to cheer for me!” He clarifies as he points to the spot where I just came from (red circle), and starts to run back to the spot on the track where he came from (purple circle), of course not without turning around a few times to make sure that I was going back over there and pointing a few times to give me extra instruction. He started jogging very slowly to give me a minute to get back over there, and once I was there and started cheering he picked up his pace.
Yes, this kid literally came off the track ran about 20 yards out onto the infield and met up with me where you see the star to let me know he was “next” and that I needed to make it back over to the 500 meter mark to cheer for him! Honestly, it was one of the funniest and most random things I had ever seen in my entire life and I was more than happy to go back to cheer for him, especially since he appreciated it so much!
If you’ve been following along throughout the Spring, you probably have noticed I have a borderline obsession with the sheep on my street. I can’t help it! They are so darn cute and cuddly, and though I have tried to get out of my car on more than one occasion to get a closer look, they always run away. There is a new development on JT Farms, though. The sheep are now gone and there a lots of goats. Regular sized goats, baby goats, and one big fat one that seems to always escape the enclosure and gets to the other side where the grass is really greener. He doesn’t seem to want to run away…he only appears to want to have the choice pick of grass instead of eating off the hay pile like the rest of them.
Anyways, I noticed the other day one of the big goats giving one of the little goats a lesson. It looked like the animal version of “Billy Goats 101 for Dummies”. Basically what happened is that the little nugget goat went up on his back legs and the big goat would put her head down and the little goat would slam down to head butt her. The pair repeated this sequence about 3 times before they realized they were being watched-once they realized they had an audience they got stage fright. I sincerely think a lesson was being taught. Check out how cute these little babes are!
Now, as for where all the cutesy little lambs went…I’m not sure. I’m going to pretend that they were not included as inventory in the “Lamb, Beef, and Eggs for Sale”. Who knows, maybe they are just getting their wool sheered off…it is pretty hot out there to be wearing a wool sweater for crying out loud! I will await their return! I do miss the sheep, but I can also appreciate that the goats aren’t as skittish…in fact, by the way they posed so regally for my photo shoot, I think they downright liked me!