Posts Tagged ‘dee’

This weekend held an exciting event for the wife and myself: a nearby city 5k race.  It was actually a pretty momentous occasion for a couple of reasons:

For Dee:

  • This was Dee's first race, EVER (excluding field-day activities in elementary school, that is).  Since she's training for a triathlon in the fall, she wanted to gauge her progress with a 5k and see how far along she's come since she started her training program.
  • Dee ended up finishing faster than she expected and she and I were very proud of her performance!

For me:

  • This was my first race in almost 6 years.  The last one involved me collapsing on/near the finish line and spending 6 days in the hospital diagnosed with rhabdomyolisis.  Needless to say, I was a little nervous about how this race would fare, given my last race experience.
  • I ended up winning an award for my placement in the race!

The weather was beautiful – sunny and about 60 degrees – about as perfect for a 5k as you could wish.  I was a little chilly at the start but knew I'd warm up as soon as things got going.  The race itself went really well – both Dee and I were very happy with our results:

Place Name                Guntime Pace  
===== =================== ======= =====
 28   Ross G              23:28   7:34 
147 Dee G 35:15 11:21

Dee said she was really happy with her time, as it was a lot faster than her normal training pace, and set a good goal for her next race.  I'm very proud of her for finishing so quickly and making so much progress on her training program.

As for myself, I finished more than 1.5 minutes ahead of my goal.  As I ran the race, I kept forcing myself to ease back and keep a little bit slower pace than I normally ran, but by 2 miles I was still well ahead of my goal pace, so I decided to just go with it as long as I could.  As I was winding up for the last third of a mile of the course, I went ahead and boosted to my full-out kick, passing an unsuspecting runner before he knew I was there and sprinted full-out for the finish line.  And because of my sprint, it turns out I ended up passing the one person who stood between me and 1st place in the Male 25-29 division!

Yes, I won a medal to go with my "free" race t-shirt.  Totally unexpected, but very satisfying to come back from 6 years away from any racing and feel like I was right back in the swing of things.

I'm not expecting to win any awards on any future races, but I'm definitely going to keep up my regular training and try to fit in a road race here or there when I can.  As I've said before, to me, the fun is in the running, not the winning.  But bringing home a medal will always bring just a little bit extra of a smile to my face.

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In lieu of your regularly scheduled day-before-Thanksgiving post, I bring you the following guest-entry from my wonderful wife, who will be regaling you with the tale of her torturous trip home from Las Vegas to Harrisburg.  It was too entertaining NOT to share.

The following is the body of an email Dee sent today to her friends that were on the trip with her:

Let's have a contest to see who had the worst experience on their trip home.
Let's see, after taking off on the Delta flight from Vegas, we circled for about a half hour.  The pilot then came on and said that the reason why we were circling was that they noticed after taking off that some of the wing flaps used to slow the plane on landing were not working and we were going to have to make an emergency landing.  We circled for about 30 more minutes to burn off fuel so we wouldn't go up in a fiery ball on impact.  Meanwhile people were getting hysterical.  (Except for the drunk English guys who were laughing and singing).  I ain't gonna lie, I was a little teary.
The pilot then came on to say that he was going to attempt a landing at a higher than usual speed and to not be alarmed by the fire trucks and ambulances we would see racing toward the airplane while we were landing.  After scaring the everloving shit out of all of us, the landing was fine, just a lot faster and bumpier than we were used to.   We sat on the tarmac for another 30 minutes or so while the brakes cooled.  They were worried the brakes might catch on fire, apparently they didn't give a shit about the passengers that might go up in the inferno.
We were on one of those huge planes (9 seats on each row), so ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE had to deal with some VERY bitchy gate agents to try to get the hell out of Vegas.  (Except for the English guys, they didn't care, they just kept drinking).  Needless to say I missed my connection and had to stay in Atlanta last night.  Sooo, I just got back to Harrisburg at around noon today, instead of at 10 PM last night like planned.
Sooo, unless anyone still hasn't made it home, I WIN! 
(And I'm not even bringing up the creepy guy who hit on me on the hotel shuttle in Atlanta.)
In the words of the drunk English guys on my doomed flight:

I'll be sure to share with Dee any comments you have commiserating her oh-so-fun flight home.  We would LOVE to hear any other airline horror stories you might have, too!

[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #26/30]

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Back in high school, one of my favorite classes was the photography course I took my senior year.  The school had its own photo lab, complete with darkroom & developing equipment.  For a modest fee, you could buy lots of hand-rolled film and use the darkroom any time you wanted outside of your regularly scheduled class hours.  I spent a lot of time there.

Nowadays, everyone's transitioning to digital cameras.  While these might provide your instant gratification junkies with their pictures right this second, there is a lot to be said for the whole photo development process.  You learn patience while hand-developing your film.  You learn how to take your negatives and evaluate which ones would look good as small pictures, and which ones would need to be 8×10 or larger to really "pop".  You play with enlargers and photo paper and learn how to develop the resulting photos in trays of developer and water, and wait anxiously for them to dry so you can mount and mat them.  You spend time with your classmates, not staring at a monitor or transforming in Photoshop, but chatting over the cleanup of buckets of chemicals and snips of paper on the floor.  I miss being a part of all of that.

I had a few rolls of film left over when I graduated that I never got a chance to use or develop.  I took pictures on them over the next few years here and there, and then left them sitting in my sock drawer, thinking I'd get a home darkroom setup one day to continue my photo efforts.  But it never happened, and last month I finally decided to pay the piper to get the film developed before it went bad.  These are the cream of the crop from the three rolls, for your viewing pleasure:

[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #10/30]

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About this time last year, Budd posted that had selected his essay for the Vitamin Epiffunny of the Week.  I subscribed to their newsletter so I could read his essay in its published form, and decided that I'd try to submit my own at some point in the future.  Of course, I promptly forgot about trying to put anything together until a couple of weeks ago, when the purse incident with my wife occurred and struck me as the perfect submission for a Vitamin Epiffunny.

A little over a week ago I finally put the finishing touches on a revised copy of the purse incident and submitted it to the Epiffunny site.  I just got word back yesterday that it was purchased as this week's Vitamin Epiffunny!

The Vitamin Epiffunny of the week is only published in an email newsletter, so if you would like to read it when it comes out, you can subscribe to their newsletter here (it's easy to unsubscribe later if you'd like).  After the newsletter is sent out, I'll also be archiving a copy here on Vox for my own reference, so if you can wait until next week, you can also read what I submitted. 

As Budd said, although there wasn't much money in the sale of this piece, the fact that I sold it is symbolic and exciting to me, as this is the first time I've tried to market anything I've written.  I've no plans at the moment to try to put anything else out there, but my efforts to re-evaluate how I've been spending my time have resulted in an increased level of creativity and production in the times I've spent writing, and I do have some shorter stories I'm in the process of finishing 1st drafts on that might end up in a slush pile sometime down the line.

For now though, I'll just forward on this Epiffunny newsletter to everyone in my family and thank Budd and my wife for giving me the right set of circumstances and the right "publication" for the piece.

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Conversations you may have heard at my house in the past week:+

1) The Purse

Dee: Mmm…my pretty new purse – it's so niiiice…
Me: Huh?
Dee: Honey, right now I feel just like you do, when you get a nice new electronic gadget.
Me: *lightbulb comes on* Ahhh, I see!  I'll stop giving you the strange looks then – you put up with me spending 2 hours configuring my phone a few months back.

2) The 3rd Grade Sense of Humor

Me: Violet, guess what?
Violet: What?
Violet: *hysterical laughter*

Me: Violet, guess why?
Violet: Why?
Violet: *hysterical giggles*

Dee: Violet, guess where?
Violet: …??
Violet: *even more hysterical giggles*

Violet: Mommy, Daddy – Guess why?
Me: Why?
*hysterical laughter from all of us*

3) The Infant With a Newly-Discovered Sense of Mobility

Me: No Rosie, don't put that dust bunny in your mouth.
Me: No Rosie, don't try to climb up on the fireplace.
Me: No Rosie, don't grab the lamp cord, that's not for babies.
Me: No Rosie, don't crawl under the coffee table, you'll bump your head.
Me: No Rosie, don't eat that paper, that's yucky.
Me: No Rosie, don't pull Violet's hair.
Me: No Violet, don't push Rosie for pulling your hair.
Me: No Rosie, don't try to pull that basket of toys over onto yourself.
Me: No Rosie, don't eat that crayon, that's yucky.
(Repeat ad nauseam)

4) Television Priorities

Me: Violet, this is football.  See the team in blue?
Violet: Yeah! That is football!
Me: That team in blue is called the Panthers.  Can you say "Go Panthers!"
Violet: Go Pan…Panfe…. I can't say it.
Me: Pan-thers.
Violet: Pan-thers.
Me: Go Panthers!
Violet:Go Panthers!  Yay!  Go Panthers!
Me: Yeah, good job!  Go Panthers!
Violet: No, I want to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

5) The Ideal Marriage is Based on Equality

Me: Honey, since you're going to Vegas with your friends right before Thanksgiving, if I hypothetically had to go to a seminar in Vegas for a couple days later this week, you wouldn't have any grounds to complain, right?
Dee: Honey, I love you dearly, but I will ALWAYS have grounds to complain if you pull something like that.

+If you were a fly on the wall.*
*You don't want to be one of the flies that was on my wall.  They met with a horrible demise over the weekend, courtesy of my flyswatter.

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Growing up, I was never known to have the greatest fashion sense.  As a kid, this didn't really matter – I was always sort of off in my own little world and the rules of proper couture were about as interesting (and useful) as learning the proper way to clean out an oven.  Of course, my habit of committing the occasional fashion faux pas was in part derived from loving but somewhat misguided attempts by my parents and grandparents to give me "stylish" clothes; while some clothes may actually have been stylish at the time, I can definitively state that the almost-neon-yellow shorts I wore in 9th grade did not fall in that category.  My classmates who asked me how many batteries my shorts required did not dissuade me from wearing them, but made me all too aware of their….uniqueness.

And then there was my love of red pants as a kid:

I don't know that there's any excuse for these.  I do remember thinking they were uber-cool at the time.  In fact, I thought they were so cool, I wore a pair to my 8th-grade graduation.  Where I was valedictorian.  And had to give a speech in front of the entire graduating class and their parents:

While the red pants may be the benchmark of my fashion statement atrocities, there were many other times that I'm sure I came close:

I think the color scheme goes great with the carpet, don't you?Batting .000 in this outfitWhat? They said wear a sheet for the toga party, right?At least I'm in good company on this one

OK, OK, I may be going a little over the top.  I mean, when I did make the effort, I cleaned up pretty well:

Brothers in tiesYou're not styling unless you've got a cane...Shaken, not stirred, pleaseBrothers at graduation

I pride myself on having come out of the fashion slump somewhere around the end of high school, and now dress relatively sanely.  I can always count on my wife to point out my more egregious offenses, but since they're now few and far between, hopefully it's not too onerous a task for her to take on.

Of course, every once in a while I still have a craving for red pants.  But I try to ignore it, and bury the urge in something productive, like dressing up my daughter in a tiger costume.

Ross at Halloween (1980)Violet plays with her flashlight

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This weekend was a blast….I wish I had a month of weekends.

Friday I left work in the afternoon and got home to find Dee and Violet outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  I kicked a soccer ball around with Violet and took in some sun and cool air (finally!)  Since it was a race weekend (NASCAR), there were crowds of people already converging on the town, as evidenced by the skywriter who decided to write everyone a message:

That last one was flipped so you could see a little easier what the skywriter was writing.  The final message ended up saying "Welcome Race Fans", although the wind was so strong that by the time the next word was written, the previous word had all but blown away into insubstantial wisps of cloud.  Still, it was pretty neat to see it in action, and Violet really enjoyed it.

Mr. Blue Sky
Electric Light Orchestra

Friday night I went to Shabbat services at the synagogue that I just joined – it was a little bit of a weird experience because I have NEVER been to a Shabbat service somewhere where I didn't know at least someone.  I was sitting alone in a strange sanctuary with strangers, singing songs with strange melodies.  However, there was enough continuity in the prayers and some of the songs that I was comforted and felt welcome, if not yet at-home.  The people I met seem nice, and I am looking forward to going back to more services and really feeling like I'm part of the congregation.

The next morning, I got up early (!) to get ready to take my daughter to "Tot Shabbat" – this is a Shabbat service the synagogue holds once a month for kids under 5 – it's a 15 minute Shabbat morning service filled with songs and stories, followed by a craft activity and snacks.  Violet loved it and really got into the singing and coloring her tzedakah (charity) container craft.  Unfortunately, I wimped out when it came to talking to other adults and only ended up introducing myself to 1 other parent.  I hope to do better next time – even if I don't meet up with these parents, it'll be nice to introduce myself and not act like a loner.

Dee took Violet to my mother-in-law's for lunch, leaving me home alone.  I took advantage of the time to go for a run and get rid of some excess energy.  It felt good to get my running shoes on again and just go out there, unencumbered and free to let my mind wander where it wanted to go.  I REALLY need to get back into running regularly, I feel so much healthier (both physically AND mentally) when I do.

Saturday night was a girls'-night-out event for Dee as they celebrated my niece's birthday at an italian restaurant.  I spent the evening doing the two-step with Violet (at least, she thinks it's real dancing) and playing house with her and her little people toys.  Oh, and after the tater tot went to bed, I had a manhattan or two and watched Hostel.  Creepy and gory and engaging.  Definitely recommended to anyone who is a fan of the genre.  Definitely not recommended to anyone who is not.

Sunday, I was a complete lazy bum – I watched some football and helped out around the house and played with my daughter, but I'm not sure if I even went outside at all (oh wait, I brought in the groceries from the car, that counts, doesn't it?)  Idyllic, if not very healthy.

Anyway, I really enjoyed my weekend, and am totally ready for another.  In fact, I'm ready for a whole month of weekends.  Anyone know where I can find some?

Light & Day
The Polyphonic Spree

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