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Do Every Blessed Town in Connecticut


Holy guacamole! It’s been a while (2 years, to be exact) and a lot has changed…the abridged version is as follows:  I became a “real” aunt, then got married and became a real aunt x5 (that’s 6 in total), traveled to the other side of the world to hold a koala, got a brandy new kitten, Betty Boop (pictured below in her “going to camp” outfit) and then finally settled back into normal life where my *husband* and I made our marriage goal, which is what this post is about.  That should pretty much catch you up.

Betty.jpg

After thinking long and hard, we decided that together we will run a race in every single town in our home state of CT – that’s 169 races!  I also want to disclose that I thought this was a COMPLETELY ORIGINAL idea – it was not, but I still think I should get creativity points, because I really did think I came up with this idea.  I even told Ben that at races we should make sure we tell every person we meet our plan so a few months from now people will see us and say “Hey look, that’s that power couple who is running races everywhere in the whole state”.  Obviously by this point we would have been on the news a few times, probably have a book deal, and definitely would have at least 2 body guards (we needed those ever since our appearance on the Ellen Show).  I mean lets be honest, we only have so much time to shake hands and sign autographs.

Anyways, since we have been dating we have run about 10 races together, but the trouble is they were ALL in either Hartford or Manchester…so we are pretty much starting from the bottom.  I have personally run races in about 20 towns, before I started dating Ben, but I figured it was a good idea to get really out of shape, fat and slow before starting this challenge with Ben – you know, to boost his confidence.  The good news is that the only place to go from here is up.  In the past week we have also added two more races to our repertoire: Milford and Enfield.

races.jpg

Race 1Hartford Scramble Series.  We ran this series together when we first started dating.  The Scramble series was a cool race where you ran through the woods and also in urban settings and finished off with a free taco and beer. (you’ll come to see that races that end in beer are our favorite).

Race 2Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race.  We ran this race when we were engaged in 17 degrees.  Frankly, it was one of the more horrific events of my life, but decided to do it that year instead of drinking at my brothers – stupid decision.

Race 3Milford Road Runners 5K.  We ran this race last week on the 4th of July on the face of the sun, a town also known as Milford, CT.  I ran into an old friend, who told me at the starting line that it was a hilly course, and I’ve never heard a more true statement.  The first half mile was directly uphill…somehow I made it, but it wasn’t pretty.  While Ben pranced through the course waving an American flag like a true Patriot, I barely slogged over the finish line.  I think its clear that the sunglasses were weighing me down.

milfor.jpg

Race 4:  Enfield Celebration 5K.  We ran the Enfield Celebration 5K on Saturday, and it was literally even hotter than the 4th of July. Perfect.  My only goal was to keep up with the 83 year old man who (obviously) was drafting off me.  At mile two we turned onto a hill similar to Mt. Everest – that’s where I lost Tom.  I hope in 50 years I’m still as ambitious as he is.

Anyways, per usual, since all the registration information and reminder emails harped on the importance of bringing your ID, I forgot mine at home.  This has happened to me on several important occasions, including a brewery visit for my dad’s 60th birthday and also at my own sister’s Bachelorette party.  So I had to do the usual – rely on my charm to get me to the other side (except for the brewery time when my mom got me in by “pulling a JoAnne”).  Luckily, I was able to get into the beer tent.  Unluckily, we parked “inside” the parade route, so also had to sit through 40 minutes of boy scouts, wheely-popping shriners, karate kids, home improvement companies, and no less than 4 million sirens.  cool.

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If you have gotten this far down the page, god bless!  Going forward, I’ll update more regularly with Do Every Blessed Town In Connecticut (debtiConn) updates!  I may even pop in with other fun and interesting things that I come across, because after all, Erin (still) Has Thoughts.

xo

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Kitty Cat Confessionals Vol I: I hate cats.


OK, so let me get you up to speed:  I had a cat once, Sammy. Two years and 16 stitches later, Sammy is the reason I have three eye brows. (NOTE:  Sammy did sleep in my bed after I got home from the hospital that night because, you know…“it wasn’t his fault”, but goddamn was that cat an asshole).  It took another 4 years of me crying to my parents to NOT give Sammy away (I never said I wasn’t crazy) and then ultimately Sammy LITERALLY peeing on my mom in her own bed for my mom to “bring Sam to a farm” (tho to this day she will never admit she wished him ill will).  I was devastated, obviously.  Now I’ve got scars and no cat to prove my story.  But anyways, after this harrowing experience I’ve abstained from cats.  Cats are selfish, manipulative, tricky, sly assholes (nothing like my sweetheart puppy girl TessieMay). So lets get up to present day – I have this boyfriend who is obsessed with cats (I know, I know…but he has other great qualities, ok?), anyways, turns out I love him more than I hate cats….enter Lucielle Ball.

LB

Until next time…meow

Not For Nothin…


IMG_2842This weekend I was B.U.S.Y.  It all started Friday when Paul escaped from his cage – again.  We captured him, THANK GOD – and now he is in solitary confinement with his cage taped shut until he can learn how to better behave.  Sorry buddy, but that’s what happens when you can’t follow the rules.

Fast forward to Saturday and Sunday, which really did feel like was in double time.  My boyfriend, mom and dad all worked their butts off to scrape down the paint on the front of my house (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!).  The paint was, in my mom’s words, “alligatoring” (not sure that’s really a word, but the woman gets things done so she can make up as many words as she wants) like crazy, and had about a billion layers of paint either stuck on really really good, or completely flaking off. Needless to say, was absolutely brutal to take off in the 85-90 degree heat and sun!  We got the majority of the scraping off on Saturday and Sunday we were able to prime by Sunday afteroon.  With only that done, and still needing to actually put the real paint on, it already looks a million times better!

Still lots to do, but coming right along!

Still lots to do, but coming right along!

After we finished that project for the day on Sunday, for some ingenious reason I decided it would be a good idea to continue with a million yard chores.  I transplanted some monster Hostas, weeded my gardens, put down the rest of the mulch, sprayed my patio with weed killer, and just for the fun of it, cleaned out my garage.  While I’m thrilled that I crossed so many things off my never-ending list of busywork, you can only imagine that I was exhausted by the end. (So exhausted, in fact, that I cracked a beer and never even took one sip of it – and if you know me, that’s out of the norm.)

I'm not planting anything this year here, but I'm hoping that the mulch will help keep the weeds down until I get the time time, money and patience to get some flowers in there.

I’m not planting anything this year here, but I’m hoping that the mulch will help keep the weeds down until I get the time time, money and patience to get some flowers in there.

6 months + several parties + a couple roommate changes + lots of yard and housework = this mess of a garage.  Luckily that is all history!

6 months + several parties + a couple roommate changes + lots of yard and housework = this mess of a garage. Luckily that is all history!

Now for the reason of this post:  So after I finished I have a bunch of things at the road for Trash Day, which is Monday.  I had a couple tube TVs out there, the old vanity mirrors from my bathrooms, some leave bags and my regular garbage.  About 30 feet away, I have my car parked, and next to my car on the curb, leaning up against my car – not visible from the street unless you’re really looking, and clearly not with my pile of trash I have 3-4 bags of empty bottles and cans, a couple boxes of bottles and cans and a big plastic garbage can full of, you guessed it, bottles and cans.  I’m guessing this could easily be around 500 bottles and can as it was the past 6-8 months of bottles and cans from me and my roommates and the parties we’ve thrown.

Anyways, I’m in my house and something catches my eye. Its an old beat up pick up truck with a bunch of sh*t in the back.  I glance out the window and see if this person is taking one of my TVs or vanities – hey, you know “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.  To my disbelief, this stranger was actually parked in front of my trash, but walking over to my car and stealing all my recyclables.  In fact, by the time I got to my door she already had all the bags in her truck and had her grubby hands on the (non-disposable) garbage can as though she was going to throw that in the back of her truck too!  I don’t know if it was the heat, my exhaustion or my pure disbelief of what was going on, but the whole situation instantly infuriated me. Enough, in fact, that I stooped down to her WT level and opened my front door and yelled at her.  I’m sorry, petty as it may be, I worked my ass off all weekend – I’m at least going to get $25 for it.

I may be being presumptuous, but personally I think its pretty obvious which one is trash...

I may be being presumptuous, but personally I think its pretty obvious which one is trash…

Listen, I’m the queen of up-cycling.  I have absolutely no shame when it comes to taking things off people’s front yards.  Truth be told I have gotten tons of things from outdoor furniture, to kitchen table chairs, to mirrors, to a dresser and even a nice desk that I’ve gotten completely for free.  The difference, however, is that these items either had a sign that said “FREE” or if I was unsure, I knocked on the owner’s door and asked (hey, I said I have no shame), unlike this scoundrel.  Let this be a lesson to you all…unless you are absolutely certain that they are being given away, or don’t care if some crazy lady comes out and yells at you – don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Peace, Love & Yardwork xo!

Adventures with Paul


A few weeks ago, I enthusiastically expanded my family. #blessed.  On this specific day, I spent the first half of the morning playing on a playscape with a 4 year old and 2 year old, and the second half of the morning watching the most adorable 2 year old laugh and holding a newborn. paul first dayNeedless to say, by the time we were eating lunch, the only thing I could think about is the fact that there is no way I could live my life another day without something cute to play with at my own house.  So, I took the necessary measures and $14 and 2 hours later, meet Paul McNibbler.

Immediately after Paul got home, I knew he was the perfect fit.  First off, we have a lot of the same hobbies.

seriously - look at those teeny tiny little fingers - i literally can't.

seriously – look at those teeny tiny little fingers – i literally can’t.

Paul, like me, loves chips. It’s literally his most favorite snack.  He tries to save some for later (don’t we all) by putting them in his food bowl when he’s done, but that never lasts long.  You know what they say – once you pop, the fun don’t stop.  And once he’s done snacking he licks his teeny tiny little fingers.  I. die. everytime.  We’re (me and Paul, that is) trying to lay off the chips, though, because he’s really started to pack on the grams and I’m starting to get concerned about him fitting through his tunnels.

Watch out. Marathoner in training.

Watch out. Marathoner in training.

He also loves running.  In fact, his pure athleticism has inspired me to lace up my old kicks and get back out there.  My fear, however, is that the combination of his constant carbo-loading and cardio-training has not only increased his curiosity about my homes’ nooks and crannies – specifically the nook of the couch and the cranny of everything inside the couch – but is also giving him olympic-level training.

Sweet Paul has already escaped TWICE. I will admit that the first time he got loose there is a possibility that it may have been because I left his cage open (jury is still out on that one), but this last time…it was really a doozy. Paul escaped sometime after 10PM on Friday from a cage that looked completely closed.  By the time I realized his absence it was Saturday morning and I knew I wouldn’t be able to find him until Sunday because he doesnt normally get up until 8PM and I would be out at a concert by then (priorities).  When i got home from the concert I put his cage on the floor and opened the door and put a chip (what else!?) in there.  I guess I just figured that after a while he’d want to go home, and once he was home and saw his favorite treat he’d want to snack on it in bed with his eyes closed like I do and then go right to sleep…i mean….he’d have the decency to just stay there.  I was wrong.  Sunday morning comes and the chip is gone; unfortunately, still is the hamster. What a little rascal.  So now I know this rodent is just playing me…but at least I now know he’s still kickin around somewhere.

Later in the day I’m watching TV when I hear something – yep, it was Paul…inside my couch. So I do what anyone would do, I flip the couch over and rip the lining of the bottom of the couch – perfectly logical. perfectly efficient.  After all, I have been without Paul now for approximately 36 hours, which in hamster time is about 3 months – let’s be realistic people, he’s not going to live forever and I need to make sure I am able to spend the best years of his life w him.  I got my wits about me and did the only thing i knew how – bribe him with food.  1 cheese-it and 2 lightly salted lays later (He was so cute for the first cheese-it and chip that I couldn’t get it together quick enough to capture him) I was able to lure him out of the depths of my sofa.  I gave him a long talking to about how misbehaved he was and let him know that next time his punishment wouldn’t be so lenient.

Me with my Sweet Boy Paul

Me with my Sweet Boy Paul

There’s so many more adventures to share with you, but not today.  Today I’m exhausted.  No one ever told me how hard this parenting gig really got.

Stay tuned for more adventures with Paul and other random thoughts.

Peace, Love and Hamsters! xo

I don’t know what you’re selling, but I’m buying it!


Dear teenage boy who literally stopped driving today to tell me I’m beautiful while I was out for my run,

Thank you. You made my whole day.

☮xo – Erin

PS- driving by a second time and giving me a thumbs up was a nice touch. 😉

The Two Kinds of People In This World


So if you ask me, or one of my really good friends at work, there are two kinds of people in this world.  People who love Starbucks, and People shouldn’t be allowed to talk to us people who love Starbucks.  I know this statement may sound a little bit aggressive, but this is struggle of the world we live in.  And, a true Starbucks lover not only loves Starbucks, but also hates Dunkin Donuts.  Now I don’t want to hear any mumbo-jumbo about how DD is so much cheaper or how Starbucks is so much more pretentious because it’s just not true-so stop it.

I feel like I can say things like this because my first job, which was one of my favorite jobs ever, was working at DD.  I was seriously so good at that shit.  Light and sweet, no problem.  Black one sweet and low, you got.  So I know. I see what goes on, and I know how their burnt coffee tastes.  Really, it’s insulting to your taste buds.  I’d drink sitting-out-all-day-at-a-random-rest-stop-gas-station-coffee before I pulled into Dunkin.  Erin does not run on Dunkin.

To really drill in my point, there as this one day, I did stop at DD on my way to work.  I was at a low point.  Really low.  In fact, I also got a bacon, egg and cheese on a croissant, and hash browns, and the fat person inside of me gobbled that shit down and got crumbs and ketchup everywhere. Like I said, it was a low; I’m not proud.  By the time I got to work I was so regretful, and quite frankly, embarrassed by this lapse in judgement I picked up multiple Starbucks coffee cups off the floor of my car and strongly considered dumping my Dunkin brew in so no one would see me this way.  I couldn’t find one that I trusted enough to drink out of again, so I did what I had to do and slinked into work with my Dunkin Donuts coffee and pretended everything was normal.  No joke, my coworker noted this cup on my desk and came up to me later in the day an inquired on my mental and physical health.  <–this seriously happened.

photoAnyways, this past weekend, I went to Newport, and after a fantastic Crawfish Boil (aka a day that consisted of eating and drinking heavily) and I knew the only way I would get home would be to stop at Starbucks.  So I went to Starbucks in downtown – no parking spots, fantastic.  So I did what any sane person would do.  I parked illegally and ran inside.  OF COURSE the line was out the door (why wouldn’t it be, we are talking about Starbucks), but I waited.  Sometimes a good coffee is worth risking that your car is going to be towed.  After being in line 20 minutes, I made another extremely rational decision:  I got not one, but two coffees.  A cold one to suck down immediately, and a hot one to enjoy on my ride home.  My only mistake was not buying larger coffees, or buying more coffees and asking some hipster sitting at table if they’d help me lug them all to my car.  When I got back outside, my car was still there, with no ticket on it.  The world was on my side that day.

The 10 People At Races that Literally Make Me Want To Scream


Me and Kathryn post-race.

Me and Kathryn post-race.

So if you didn’t know this already, I am a runner.  Not a good runner, but a runner nonetheless.  Now that it’s (finally) starting to get warm, I’m FINALLY getting outside, and this past weekend I ran my first race of the season.  I won. Just kidding, but at least I didn’t come in last!  I ran with my new running buddy, Kathryn, and it was perfect weather and we had fun and supported a cause close to my heart – ALS.  Anyways – while running the race, I mentally came up with a list of the top 10 people at races that literally make me consider tearing my own arm off so that I have something to throw at them.  In no particular order, here we go:

  1. Shuffley Shuffleson – that guy who literally drags his feet along the whole 3.1, 6.2, 6.55, 13.1, or god help me, 26.2 miles.  LIFT UP YOUR FUCKING FEET!
  2. Trojan Man! – that guy, who inevitable is probably about 25 lbs overweight and a neophyte runner, that is dressed up under armor from his condom beanie hat, matching compression top, and running tights.  He really has no business wearing this, but obviously while he has it on everyone knows he means business.
  3. “The Encourager” – that guy that encourages you to “keep it up” as he blows by you on that 80% grade hill.  Literally, if I catch up to you, I’m going to kick you, so I hope for your sake you keep that stamina.
  4. Mr. Sniffles – that guy that just keeps sniffing.  Blow a snot rocket, wipe your nose on your shirt, blow your nose into your hand, let it drip.  I. dont. care. Just stop sniffing every 2 steps.  Seriously – you’re giving me vertigo.
  5. Sir Disgruntled – that guy that keeps grunting throughout the entire race.  Are you giving birth or running a 5k?  You might want to take it down a few notches because if you’re at the same place in the race as as me, you’re no where near winning, and if you pass out you’re shit outta luck because my CPR certificate expired circa 1998.
  6. The Walk, Run, Winner – that guy that you’re neck and neck with throughout the whole entire race.  You pass them while they’re walking, then they cruise by you, then you pass them when they take their next “break” and again they cruise by you.  It’s best to just try to ignore this person, because as much as they don’t deserve to, there is a really good chance that their going to beat you in the end, so coming to terms with this earlier in the race is for the best.
  7. Mr. DJ – that guy that decides he is going to listen to music while he’s running.  Except instead of using earphone like a normal human being, he takes it upon himself to supply everyone within a 15 foot radius of him with his “sick playlist”.  Thanks for the consideration pal, can’t thank you enough, how did you know I wanted to listen to that awesome techno for the next half hour?!
  8. The Camel – that guy that has a full on water belt for the 50 degree 5K.  If you seriously need 32 ounces of water to run the next three miles, perhaps running isn’t the right sport for you.  In fact, if you can drink 32 ounces of water over the course of the next three miles without throwing up or peeing your pants I take back what I just said because I’m flat out impressed.
  9. The Coach – this guy is very similar to The Encourager, but worse.  This guy not only encourages you to keep on keeping on, but also give you a few quick tidbits of advice to help you come in 498th in the small-town road race that you’re regretting registering for 6 months ago.  “You’re doing a great job!  Only .4 miles until the top of this hill, then just open your legs and let your body coast on the downhill.  You’ve got this man”.  I. hate. you.  Literally I hate this guy.  He isn’t your coach, you’re not asking him how on earth you can get to the top of this hill.  This guy needs to learn how to mind his own biz before someone teaches him how to.
  10. This guy – Sir did you forget your shoes?  It’s cold, wet, oh and outdoors here-you should have shoes on.  What are you doing with your life? #icant.Untitled

My Very Own Death Trap. Perfect.


I bought my first “new” car a few years ago and I’m pretty much obsessed with it.  My sister openly makes fun of it and says it’s ugly and looks like a spaceship, but I don’t really care because this spaceship gets the job done.  I bought a Honda Fit, and it’s amazing. I can fold the seats down and toss my dogs in there without getting fur on the seats, I can fold the seats up and 4-5 Rubbermaid bins in the back seat, I can put my bike in the back without having to remove the front wheel, and best of all I get about 40 miles to the gallon.  For me, it’s great.  Then a few a weeks ago, all my walls came crashing down around me.  I was going about my business, I was doing fine (Jewel reference J), and a coworkers informs me that I’m driving what was rated the most unsafe car of the year.  Great.  Thanks for ruining my day, pal.

 

So I do what any girl would do in this situation – I called my dad.  I guess I thought maybe he would sympathize with his eldest child and, you know, want me to be safe and not die.  I thought he’d, I don’t know, give me his car or buy me a big (safe) Hummer or something.  I thought wrong.  “Are you seriously concerned with this?” he asks me…uh yea I’m concerned, a person with my luck (and by luck, I mean driving record) should not be driving around in a death box.  “What, are you thinking about buying a new car or something?” he follows up with.  Well, the thought crossed my mind!! “Just don’t get into an accident”.  Great.  Thanks for the advice pops.  Before you said that getting into an accident was on the to-do list, but I’ll cross it off now.  I proceed to tell him why my car was so unsafe and how if get into an accident apparently the steering panel is going to come into my car and smash my legs into a million little pieces.  “I’m a runner dad, I can’t live my life from a wheelchair.  I’ll DIE!”.  It was at that point that he responded “Erin, you are ridiculous”. And hung up on me.

 

Nice to know I have a strong support system. 

#GetAMap


Have you ever met someone so dumb that you are literally embarrassed to be be sharing a country with them?  I had an experience recently that really made me wonder about people.  

After a couple years of going without, I decided to get cable, and after about a month of having cable in my living room and becoming completely addicted, I decided to go for the gold and add cable to my bedroom as well.  Now this shouldn’t have been an issue as a cable line was already run in my bedroom and a tv in my basement, but unfortunately it wasn’t working.  So I called Cox Communications to see if I could get some over-the-phone help.  The first girl I talked to was not part of their tech team, but tried to assist me so I wouldn’t have to sit on hold.  Although she was unsuccessful, she was very nice and I found our conversation quite pleasant.  The next person I talked to really made me think twice about my fellow Americans.  For lack of a better way to get across how utterly retarded this woman was, I’m just going to give you a play by play of our conversation:

Me:  Hi, I’m having some problems getting my cable to work, can you help me?

Cox Woman (CW):  I’ll try.  Whats the phone number on your account?

Me:  ###-###-####

CW:  I’m sorry that number doesn’t come up.

Me: Can you look me up by my address?

CW:  What is your address?

Me:  (tell her my address), Street, City, Connecticut.

CW:  Do you mean Rhode Island?

Me:  No, Connecticut.

CW:  I don’t see Connecticut on my list.  Are you sure you don’t mean Rhode Island?

Me:  No, I definitely live in Connecticut.

CW:  Hmm…I’m not sure…pause…Connecticut?  Where is that?  Is it near Ohio?

Me:  Are you serious?

-awkward silence-

Me: Connecticut is on the East Coast….It’s part of New England…..It’s bordered by MA, RI, and NY….

CW: oh.

I was so completely dumbfounded by this conversation I literally told her I would call back another time.  I mean seriously, do you really think she would be able to help me with, well, anything?!  The woman doesn’t even know that CT is a state!  Welp, you can’t win ’em all, hopefully she’s beautiful because no one’s gonna marry this chick for her brains!!

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Afternoon Delight


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