Monday, December 19, 2011

Witchcraft

Day: 505


Photo taken on Monday, December 19, 2011 in the living room with Peggy's Christmas present for me at 724pm.











"Bye bye baby. Time to hit the road to Dreamland."-Shirley Jones


***********************************************************************
It had been hidden away, out of eyesight to the everyday onlooker but I can feel its pull; I know it resides somewhere in here, I just can’t pinpoint the exact location. I tear through my grandmother’s house (that I’ve been squatting in for the past decade) in search of the object, a magical extension of myself I hadn’t thought of in years.

Oh, who am I kidding, I think of it all every day. My wasted time and talent, all those years I studied and sought employment in the wizarding world only to end up in a common muggle job. I had it all: awards, recognition, the smarts to rival that know-it-all Granger but the only thing I lacked was motivation. I am nothing more than a pathetic nobody now, couldn’t hack it as a witch and certainly can’t hack it as a lowly researcher in my current timeline. Embarrassed as to my ultimate failure in making something of myself, I cut off ties to all classmates and teachers then parted ways with my family once war broke out in England. Though their Dark Lord fell, one had arisen in the states as Death Eaters fled their country to seek refuge here. I cowardly hid from them all, not having the gall to Obliviate my own family for their protection but instead spent the last several years failing at life. I thought I had done an adequate job of hiding myself amongst the muggle community but apparently finding a fellow classmate on my doorstep a moment ago proved otherwise.

“It is time. We’ve all been called.”

And with that, she vanished, leaving me to figure out just exactly where I’ve been called to when on the horizon I heard it, the telltale signs of a wizard battle. No time to let my stomach bottom out I sprang into action. Leaving my grandmother’s house wide open to attack, I made my way around the first floor debating whether I shrunk my wand to fit inside a pen or disguised it as a sword.

Now with my uncle’s old room thoroughly ransacked I find the pen and immediately start to disassemble it to retrieve my wand though I can’t seem to remember the spell to bring it back to its original size. I spy an odd looking sword as well and grab it out of the leather sheath. Inside I find a wand-not mine but my brother’s-and pocket it as I bound out of the house. I rattle off mumbled spells in hopes to find the one that helps my poor shrunken wand as I head toward the park where other magical folk seem to be gathering before they charge into battle. I hear a loud POP and I turn to find my estranged brother standing on the crest of the hill nearest me. He looks a bit dazed having partaken in side-along apparition with some Irish bloke that scurries off the moment he touches down.

Christopher and I lock eyes and I lob his wand at him. He catches it effortlessly but then blanches at it as if he doesn’t remember what exactly this piece of Birchwood and unicorn hair symbolizes. I haven’t seen him since he left home for Platform 9 ¾ in 1994. He barely returned for holidays while away in Europe and when he did, I made sure to stay at my American wizarding academy. Sure, Salem Witches Institute may not be as widely known as Hogwarts, but I think I deserved a place in the most famous school rather than where I landed. Being resentful didn’t suit my personality; therefore I made it a point to lose contact with the lucky chit. Later on I learned through the grapevine that he met a nice girl in University and decided to stay on in England. It made avoiding him much easier.

Until now.

He looks at me like he’s seen a ghost and technically, I am. A ghost of a childhood’s past.

“Well go on, give it a whirl. We haven’t got all day,” I say impatiently. I’m not sure how I came to have his wand in my possession anyway but at some point I must have hidden it for a specific reason. Maybe being a coward is genetic since I know for a fact he did not aide Hogwarts in the final battle against Voldemort. We must be in terrible trouble if they’re scraping the bottom of the cauldron in order to find us two dunderheads to fight in this war.

“When do I get a gun?” Christopher asks. I can’t help it but my jaw drops at this.

“We don’t use guns! We use wands!” He stares at me and I continue, “don’t you remember any of your spells from your days at Hogwarts?” I notice the tang of bitterness upon saying his alma mater’s name. “Alohomora? Confundo? Obscuro? Any of these ring a bell?”

He scrunches his brow at this. “I went there for a year and that was it,” he says disgusted. I had no idea my brother ignored his calling as a wizard but before I can even get angry at this notion, I realize we’re short on time as a red spell gone astray whizzes by my head.

“Just use Sectumsempra,” I say in a rush, waving my left arm in the wand motion for it and then turning my attention back towards the approaching doom heading our way.

“What does it do?” he asks curiously, turning over his wand in his hands, completely unsure as to how he got himself into this mess.

“It cuts people like crazy, now go!” I say as I head down the hill to the street yet he still stands there, not making any move to join the fight. “Just keep casting it!” I yell back at him as I crash into the oncoming chaos. I am so preoccupied with the swarm of angry witches and wizards that in my haste I forget to reteach him Protego, a simple shield charm. I just hope he stays on the offense.

With a simple swish and flick, I send a silent Wingardium Leviosa in the direction of a massive magical tank. It lifts off the ground and I fully intend to fling it into oblivion but it wobbles a few feet in the air then crashes back into the street as my spell releases. It’s exhausting to hold fast to that amount of magic and I watch in fear as the tank continues down the avenue, wreaking havoc as muggles scatter for shelter like cockroaches.

This can’t be happening. We can’t possibly win like this. As I try to cast the spell again, a dark figure across the way catches my eye. He knows.

We all know.

If I’m here, if I’m the last resort…chances are things have already gone horribly wrong.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mama Mia!

Day: 483

Photo taken on Sunday, November 27, 2011 at Mama's in Copiague, NY at 848pm. (Pictured from my scary head: Steve, Charlie, Moma, and Daddio)

Italians have an interesting take on portion control...there is none. And that's why whenever I go to Mama's I leave there with dinner for the next day and the following day after that. This is the first time Charlie, Moma, and Dad have come here to dine and we neglect to tell them about the amount of food they are going to get come eating time. Their eyes turn to saucers when our waiter sets down Moma's entree, Chicken Cristoforo. It's a monster! And then Dad feasts his eyes on his jumbo shrimp and wonders how much more room his stomach can make for it (not much). Even Steve taps out after one piece of chicken leaving behind three more pieces for tomorrow. Charlie barely makes a dent in his seafood lasagna and me? I make it through one out of four chicken cordon blues before I push my plate away.

But then I order dessert.

And my dessert can feed an army...and then some.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holy Matrimony

Day: 482

Photo taken on Saturday, November 26, 2011 on Asuma while playing Dynasty Warriors 6 at 1257pm. (Qoy? and Katie Jaye continue their quest for greatness.)


Like it wasn't bad enough he has to be married to me in real life, now his imaginary character is doomed to the same fate?!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spider-Man

Day: 395

Photo taken on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 on our back porch at 636pm.

I am literally climbing the walls.

If we don't get cable and internet back soon, I'm gonna scale something higher.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leftovers

Day: 394

Photo taken on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 in Bossdad's office at 137pm.

I can't believe Bossdad makes me wait for my lunch until now! Knowing that he has brought me his infamous pot roast for lunchies today, I can't seem to concentrate. He even packs grated cheese for us to top the delicious noodles and meat! It has been sheer torture to wait for this moment all day until now and even Bossdad looks annoyed he has to wait until the camera flashes before he can dig in.

Oh but the wait is so worth it...this is a meal they serve everyday in heaven.



Also, fun fact about my shirt of choice today: I happen to wear it on this exact day last year. Except that time I wasn't eating yummy pot roast and was instead trying to choke down year old wedding cake.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Seeker

Day: 393

Photo taken on Monday, August 29, 2011 sitting in the Commander's Chair at 131pm.

The aftermath of Irene has kept me home from the Surge today and with no cable or internet, it's been pretty boring. There is only so many SPARCS I can do before tearing my hair out sounds like a better time. I've already cleaned my desk--twice--and luckily I find this little fella hiding behind my printer.

This particular Golden Snitch is a 20 Questions model and so far I have only beaten it once with the Confundus Charm in 2008. Today I have given it another go and so far it has gotten me three times. I have no idea how it figures out the portrait of Mrs. Black. Siriously?! That's really specific. I even use the Half-Blood Prince's potions textbook and when it starts asking me asinine questions around the 16th mark I think I have it beat...until it guesses the answer after asking, "is it an animal?" after I had already established the object I am thinking of is a BOOK. But alas, I figure out a way to beat it. If a spell worked like a charm last time (I couldn't help myself there), then surely it will work this time. I choose Sectumsempra and it cockily guesses, "you're the Killing Curse." Ha! No! Then it goes for the other obvious answer, "you're an Unforgivable Curse." Gotcha again!

It finally concedes to defeat.

IN YOUR FACE 20 QUESTIONS SNITCH!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Barometer is Getting Low

Day: 392

Photo taken on Sunday, August 28, 2011 while cracking open another beer on our back deck at 916am.

Luck is definitely on our side today.

We finally pack it in at 3am but set cell alarms to go off every hour so we can check the water level out back and then the kitchen and Time Out Room towels that have been catching water seeping in through cracked caulking. It's like Irene is our baby and each time I feel like it's Steve's turn to check the newborn, I nudge him and grunt, sending him off to check on our child. At 830am the electric turns off for good so it's back to drinking the beer and being thankful that the water rose on the other side of the canal and not ours:

video

Looks like our brilliant hurricane plan worked out!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Humidity is Rising

Day: 391

Photo taken on Saturday, August 27, 2011 in the living room at 1135pm.

Most people actually prepare for a hurricane: hit the grocery store for supplies, tape up windows, tie things in the yard down, leave flood zones. But not Steve and I, no. We do things a bit differently like play Mike across town in Borderlands and drink the beer in our fridge so it doesn't skunk when we lose power later. We have our priorities straight and right now it's drink this special beer Julia brought back for me when she returned from her trip to Canada last week. I'm already three beers in at this point, having cracked open two of our more expensive bottles while I watched iParty with Victorious upstairs.

Okay, I take it back, we did prepare--sorta. Today after we get two calls from the town advising us to leave the premises, I call Robyn to cancel my long run with the boys. I'm nervous about all these warnings and have already received several offers to stay with friends and family but I can't accept. I can't leave behind all my possessions and spend the whole night worrying if it's being carried away on the water in my backyard. Instead we decide to prepare the fort for battle with Irene. While Steve is at Stony Brook Orientation, I set to work cleaning the upstairs, putting everything away in its proper place to make room for everything from downstairs if need be. Our brilliant plan is to constantly check the water level outside and if it comes over the dock and hits the grass, then and only then, will we start moving everything from downstairs up. Then we'll leave the premises.

Smart right?

I wonder how it'll go with me half in the bag now and Steve preoccupied with online gaming.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Day: 390

Photo taken on Friday, August 26, 2011 at my desk at 822am.

I'm going to give Professor Trelawney a run for her money here...

I think I see The Grim at the bottom of my green tea.

Hmmm...wonder why? What could possibly be happening this weekend?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Charlie Brown

Day: 389

Photo taken on Thursday, August 25, 2011 in the HR office at 337pm.


IT'S RAINING SIDEWAYS!



No lunch run for me today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Private Title

Day 388

(Private Picture)


It's time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It's time to move on, it's time to get going

Broken skyline, movin' through the airport
She's an honest defector
Conscientious objector
Now her own protector

Broken skyline, which way to love land
Which way to something better?
Which way to forgiveness?
Which way do I go?

Time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It's time to move on, it's time to get going

Sometime later, getting the words wrong
Wasting the meaning and losing the rhyme
Nauseous adrenaline
Like breakin' up a dogfight
Like a deer in the headlights
Frozen in real time
I'm losing my mind

It's time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It's time to move on, it's time to get going

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet

Day: 387

Photo taken on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 in our Manga Dining room at 1059pm.

Steve really knows how to shake things up on his birthday.

We're out shopping for Steve's birthday presents in Sunrise Mall, in Suncoast to be exact, when the strange event happens. I'm looking at the anime section as Steve moves onto the next section when the wall starts violently shaking. It's one of those fake walls stores put up to separate the back from the front so I figure the construction from the next store down is making it do that. I point to it as the videos clatter around, "Steve this wall is shaking." He barely spares it a glance as he turns his focus back to what he was looking at before I interrupted him. I shrug and move on to a non-shaking wall.

Five minutes later we leave the store and my phone starts blowing up with a few texts. They're from Heather and Jenn and they're concerned about me and my family. Puzzled I read the texts over.

Virginia just had an earthquake.

...

Virginia just had an earthquake?!

I immediately get on the horn but cannot reach Moma or Kim and would have tried Preston if he had a cell phone to try. Eventually I get my dad at the Surge and I ask him what's on the news, was it major, has Richmond been swallowed by shifting tectonic plates? He has no answers for me but he believes everything is fine. For hours I worry about Moma in that big house by herself. I worry that furniture might have pinned her to the floor. I worry that The Eagle has fallen off its perch and smashed into a thousand little unsalvageable pieces.

Finally I get in touch with Moma who happened to be in the car when it happened and returned to a house with nothing out of place. Kim seemed to experience the worst of it and besides being shaken up, I am happy to report she is fine. And Preston? It was nap time. Slept right through it. That's the way to be, Little Man!


Oh and I know what you're thinking...why aren't you at work, young lady? Well according to my mom's Birthday Philosophy, everyone gets to have off on their birthday. And being that I get way jealous when Steve is home from work and I am not, I take the day too.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mutant

Day: 386

Photo taken on Monday, August 22, 2011 in my office at 350pm.

There is something seriously wrong with me.

I accidently cut myself with long scissors and the first thought I have upon doing it is, "why isn't this healing faster?"

Why isn't this healing faster?!

Most people would say "ow", or "shit", or immediately spring into action and get a Band-Aid but no, not Kate. Kate thinks to herself, "why does this hurt so much?"

I think the problem lies in the weekly Marvel games Justin has been holding. I'm reading so much manga and comics and playing the role of Megatron so well that I am starting to believe I have super powers. As I'm watching the blood ooze out, I am actually annoyed that the cut is not sealing itself Naruto/Wolverine style. What the hell? Do I really need a bandage?


I'm a little worried about Kate. I think she's gone mental.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bring it on!

Day: 385

Photo taken on Sunday, August 21, 2011 inside CKO Kickboxing in Copiague, NY at 1055am.

Jenn introduces me to a new high intensity workout that I instantly fall in love with this morning. Not only does it challenge me to the point of grunting during the ab work but it is a great stress reliever to punch and kick the crap out of your own personal large bag. Plus we do intervals of sprinting around the gym at random times; what more could a girl want?

Thanks for this, Jenn! I needed it!

^_\

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gam-Gam

Day: 384

Photo taken on Saturday, August 20, 2011 while having dessert in Grandma's kitchen in Whitestone, NY. (Pictured from my big ass head: Charlie, Steve, Daddio, and Grandma)

Tonight we are celebrating Grandma's 85th birthday! Wu-hoo! You go, Grandma Z.!

We make a reservation at Ponticello's in Astoria but when we arrive our table is nowhere to be found. After waiting around for 15 minutes, we decide that their clientele are not leaving anytime soon so dad demands we be seated in the empty room to the left. It is here that we can be as loud as we want since the entire time we're here not one other patron dines in the vicinity of us. (I guess Grandma was being too rowdy.) So eventually we have to move the party here and after Grandma settles down, we're able to serve the rainbow cookie birthday cake.

Happy Birthday, Grandma! I hope you had a fun time with us!

^_\

Friday, August 19, 2011

Route 66

Day: 383

Photo taken on Friday, August 19, 2011 in my office at 430pm.

Just returned from taking my new kicks out for a 3 mile spin. I'm loving these Asics Gel Nimbus 13s! Great new trainers for the upcoming marathon! Thanks Moma!

^_\

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Avatar

Day: 382

Photo taken on Thursday, August 18, 2011 at The Surge at 349pm.

This is what I would look like if I were to magically become an anime character: My eyebrow piercing would come back, I'd somehow obtain the same scar as Kakashi, tribal paint would become my thing, I would pretend I was in Gryffindor, be related to the Silver Surfer, and have a potty mouth.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Passed!

Day: 381

Photo taken on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 in the Time Out Room at 1158pm.

Studying for 20 minutes paid off! I am officially a Notary Public! Wu-hoo! Now I just have to send in my application with $40 plus how much it costs to get my stamp, seal, and registry book and I am in business! I'm cheap too, like cheap as in free. Forget the 2 bucks at the bank and come see me if you need anything notarized.

^_\

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Imma Bee

Day: 380

Photo taken on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 in the parking lot of Applebee's in Huntington Station, NY at 1126pm. (Pictured from left: In front- Me, Heather, and Jenn. In Back- Justin, Mike, and Steve force-feeding Mike his pointer)

Upon learning that I now enjoy karaoke, Heather and Justin invite us out tonight to partake in the festivities at Applebees come ten o'clock. I chicken out when I realize the place is swarming with high schoolers that are hogging the microphone in order to screech out Lady Gaga and Ke$ha. I'm afraid to dominate with my one trick pony Emimen skillz and instead choose to eat my half-priced wings in peace-well sorta, if you can ignore the cats crying in the bar.

Monday, August 15, 2011

EEEAAAARRRRRSSSSS!!!!

Day: 379

Photo taken on Monday, August 15, 2011 in the Medical Records Room of The Surge at 120pm.

In order to curb the pen chewing, I have given myself an alternative place to keep my pen lately. It seems to be working and my teeth are thankful.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Obliviate

Day: 378

Photo taken on Sunday, August 14, 2011 in the TDM living room at 451pm. (Pictured in a circle from right: Me, Flexible Pres, Moma, part of Dad, and Kimberly)

Let's call a spade, a spade...

I freakin' RULE at the Memory Game. Right now I have only four matches but in a few turns I'm going to beat Kim and amaze Preston as I clear the entire board.

There are only two things I excel at, skiing and memorization, and this game only requires one (not skiing just so you know). Though using both skills at the same time makes me look like an even better skier than I am. After going down a certain slope twice, I can visualize the perfect path through moguls to make me seem like an expert. It's totally cheating but I don't care. This is what I have to work with and dammit, I'm beating a five year old at this game today!

Good thing Preston is not like is Uncle Pher when it comes to sportsmanship. Luckily, Preston's like me in that aspect-that winning isn't everything-and even though he loses this game, he can kick my butt in Barnyard Uno.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Trainwrecks

Day: 377

Photo taken on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at the Short Pump Mall in Richmond, VA at 404pm. (Pictured from right: Me, Steve, and Silly Preston)

It's no secret: Preston loves trains.  From toy ones to real ones, Preston has the skinny on all things locomotive. It's quite impressive how much knowledge that head of his already contains at such a young age. So whenever he takes a trip to this outdoor shopping center, no one has the heart to deny him of a train ride on the Short Pump Express. Today he chooses the caboose and asks Steve and I to accompany him on this mall excursion. I'm not going to lie, I enjoy this just as much as Preston. I think I may even wave to more people than he does.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Celebrate good times, COME ON!

Day: 376

Photo taken on Friday, August 12, 2011 having homemade cake in the TDM kitchen at 925pm. (Pictured from left: Me, Kimberly, Steve, cake, Preston moving, Moma, and Daddio)

Moma has a philosophy about birthdays. She believes everyone should get one day a year to do whatever they want with whomever they want. The day should be special and all about the birthday boy or girl. I fully endorse this idea and have taken her advice through the years. It starts on one particular birthday as I am sitting in the medical records room in a dour mood when suddenly Moma calls. "Why are you working on your birthday?" I sit there in silence for a moment and ponder this. Yeah...why am I sitting here on my birthday? I promptly grab my things and leave so Moma can take me to lunch and then veg out on the couch to watch a cheesy romantic comedy together. Ahhhh, Birthday Bliss.

So even though Steve's birthday is a few weeks off, Moma decides to give him an early celebration since she won't be in NY until September. I think this is very nice of my parents, to give Hubs special attention when we come down tonight. Everyone needs something like this every now and then, cheers you up to feel loved. Plus little shindigs like these rile up Preston and he gets silly. I love silly Preston:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Another has fallen to my spear!"

Day: 375

Photo taken on Thursday, August 11, 2011 on Asuma while playing Dynasty Warriors 6 at 1132pm.

"Another has fallen to my spear!"

This is all I am hearing from the other room one evening when I'm trying to concentrate on my fanfiction writing in our small one bedroom abode in Farmingdale. Exasperated, I finally get up and beg Steve to choose another character from his Dynasty Warriors 5 video game but his heart is set on being Zhao Yun so I must endure. After ten more battle cries of this phrase within a two second span, I reach for the remote and find a compromise: the mute button.

Steve somehow convinces me to join him in the battle today but this time in Dynasty Warriors 6 and without anyone falling to a spear. In this version, I can make my own warrior so I quickly set to work, giving her the hair color and mask of Kakashi and a female version of Keanu Reeves as a voice. She is a force to be reckoned with, I can tell you that much. I am the queen of button mashing (insert female masturbation joke here) so this game is right up my alley and besides, any game that makes killing as much fun as GTA 4 is A-OK by me!

This is only one of many victories Steve's character, Qoy? (I think this is some private joke between him and Paul as to why this is an acceptable character name) and Katie Jaye have forged together. We are slowly making our way across ancient China and really, no army stands a chance against us!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Something About Christmastime

Day: 374

Photo taken on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 in Liz's living room at 917pm.

There's something about this shirt because the last time I wore it to my Lovah's apartment, we took one of my favorite photos and now I have another great shot of us! This time I'm holding her Christmas present to me from last year--we like to stay on top of these things. Inside is a cute wooden pig with only three legs (it comes like this don't worry). I have named him Forney and he watches over me from my night table. I really love personal gifts like these and I am lucky to have people in my life that remember the small things about me like my favorite animal.

Nice gift idea, Elizabeth!

^_\

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Glow Worms

Day: 373

Photo taken on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 on the Lexington Line at 814pm. (Pictured from left: Me, Cassandra, and Sonji)

I don't know how they convinced me to do it but tonight I find myself suffering for 75 minutes inside of a 111 degree room. At least I'm not the only one torturing myself tonight. My fellow coworkers-Sonji, Cassandra, and James-have taken me to my very first hot yoga class.

Cassandra had been talking about trying this out for over a year and when she finally went and told me all about it, silly me says, "Next time yall go, maybe I'll tag along." She held me to that and tonight we leave The Surge in tiny shorts and shirts ready to take on the challenge of not being able to breathe while posing.

I take my water bottle and mat inside of a serene room above Chirping Chicken on the corner of Lexington & 85th and pick a spot by the mirror. James sets up to my left, Sonji to my left diagonol, and Cassandra in front. It's a wee bit hot in here already but it is also a nice peaceful atmosphere that is very calming. When the class begins, I really don't notice the heat because it seems to be helping my flexibility and bending and twisting has never been this easy. After about ten minutes I notice my legs are slick with sweat and the hand towel I grabbed is definitely helping my sweaty palm situation. At fifteen minutes I bend over my right leg and a drop of sweat runs down my forehead, over the tip of my nose, and splashes down on my pink paisley mat. It is the weirdest sensation to be sweating this much; it's actually falling off me and creating puddles. I still feel good but now I'm worried I'm going to slip in a puddle of my own body water. This really can't be sanitary.

Okay, it has now been 40 minutes and I think I am going to die. My heart is racing more than it does when I sprint and I have already drank the contents of my water bottle. I'm so thirsty that my sweat puddles are looking appetizing.

We're cooling down now at the hour but there is no cool air coming in and I'm miles away from the door. I want to escape but there are hazards in the way like people and rivers of sweat in between them. I wish there were ropes hanging from the ceiling so I can swing out of here but I would probably just slide off and into the swamp that has taken over the serene yoga room. I check out James and Sonji who look like total pros, like this class is cake. I then search out Cassandra but she has already waded through the muck and is patiently waiting for us outside. I really want to join her but I can't find the energy to move.

At 75 minutes my heart has exploded and we're finally allowed to leave. Once outside in the cool air of 80 degrees, I catch my breath. I then talk to the instructor to make sure that racing hearts and blurred vision is normal your first go around. She talks to me for awhile, giving me helpful hints and encourages me to keep practicing.

By the time we leave, I feel better, more relaxed. My running shorts are quickly drying but I'm sweating through my dry shirt already. I thank my Surge buddies for including me in this punishing exercise and tell them I had a great time suffocating.


I then ask when we can go again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Case Against Boobs

Day: 372
Photo taken on Monday, August 8, 2011 before early showertime at 651pm.

No matter what super-duper sports bra I buy into it has to chafe me somewhere. After the three miler today I feel a burning in the middle of my back. Sure enough-when I complain to Steve- he finds the culprit: the clasps that hold this contraption together.

Oh it's going to be so pleasant when the water hits it in two minutes!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Inappropriate!

Day: 371

Photo taken on Sunday, August 7, 2011 right before stripping down into my pjs at 1159pm.

This surf tee is one of my favorite purchases from Swell and I am surprised that it has not been worn out by now, especially with all the rubbing.

Let me explain.

I work at the Genesis school for children with autism for one year as a teacher's assistant and then for six years as an In-Home Behavior Specialist. While in my first year I am lucky to score a place in Steven's home program because he's such a funny kid and his family is wonderful to work with. Steven is great and he's also very sneaky and will stop at nothing in order to get out of doing any type of homework. One time during math he turns to me and says, "I'm going to draw you a Gumba." Being a huge fan of the Super Mario Brothers and not so much of math, I allow it. Steven grabs a sheet of white paper, sets to work, and in a few minutes I have a perfect sketch of a Gumba. Without even having to ask him, he goes back to the math problems. I'm not sure if this makes me a good teacher or not.

So one day, I show up at his house wearing this clever tee shirt. The Rusty logo is written in big block letters above a picture of a white surfboard about to surface from under the water. It's a play on the Jaws poster and the material of the shirt contrasts with the roughness of the ironed on graphic. Not knowing Steven's love of textures might include this, I don't think twice about wearing the item to his home program. I barely make it in the door when his hand rubs right across my upper chest and then he's gone in a flash. Normally this is the type of behavior that lands people behind bars but this is Steven, and he has no idea he just groped me. He does however like the feel of the graphic and I have to explain to him how he's not supposed to do that to people, etc etc etc. He seems to grasp what I'm saying and we move on to the rest of the session.

Weeks later, silly me throws this shirt on for a Wednesday, totally forgetting the previous incident. Once again, Steven makes a play at that Rusty design but I catch him just in time. Clearly, this shirt needs to go on the bottom of the drawer from now on.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pig Pen

Day: 370

Photo taken on Saturday, August 6, 2011 in the living room at 536pm.

I have been invited to run as Jamie's second coach again, this time for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. at the end of October. I join my boys today in the Bethpage trails for a nice 14 Miler and leave with a nice layer of filth attached to my body. Upon returning home a few hours later, Steve orders me to strip off my shoes and socks before coming into the living room to give him a kiss hello. Part of the fun of running in trails is that you don't mind getting dirty and that splashing through the mud is very satisfying, especially when you can actually see the line where your hard work begins and being squeaky clean ends.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ryuzaki

Day: 369

Photo taken on Friday, August 5, 2011 in the living room at 727pm.

Steve is all comfortable on the couch, relaxing in front of Asuma when I stroll in from work and decide to squish in beside him. Without even realizing it, I try to read the soosh menu while in this small space and my elbows turn up and my hands hold only the corners. Steve remarks how "L like" I am at the moment so I snap the picture and then order us some really good rolls from Roppongi. Life is good.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Twice Shy

Day: 368

Photo taken on Thursday, August 4, 2011 by the front door at 934pm.

Insect bites seem to be a constant reoccurrence in my life lately. Today I pass out on my commute home only to wake up with two new bug bites that are ridiculously itchy. Maybe I should start opting for unscented lotion because coconut might be attracting them to my skin. That or I'm just too damn sweet.

;-P