Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Slime Run 2014

This past Saturday, I tried something new.  Sadly, it was a big waste of time.

Last spring, I started hearing about The Slime Run.  It was advertised as along the lines of a mud run, but instead of mud pits, they shot slime at you.  I figured I’d give it a try.  I hesitated, however, when I discovered that two mud runs were happening the same day.  These are runs I do every year and love.  But I decided to go with the new one even though the others were closer.  Big mistake.

My first clue that I wasn’t going to enjoy this run was when I showed up and realized there was nowhere to clean up or change after the run.  Kind of big deals for a run where you are supposed to get messy.  And I was thinking about going to the outlet mall nearby and then an author signing afterward.  Even if I weren’t doing that, I’d still have to drive home, and it was a two hour drive.  Still, I went ahead and ran it like I usually do these runs – shirtless.  I got to thinking that might be a mistake.  I could peel off my shirt and at least that much would be clean.  But it was too late to worry about it by that point.

This was a 5K, like most races are.  Most races usually have at least a dozen or so obstacles over the course of the run, including mud pits.  This one had exactly 3 obstacles and four stations where you got slime shot at you.  I even went around the last one of those stations because I didn’t want to get messier than I already was.  Kind of defeats the point of the run, right?

Now keep in mind I drove two hours one way and paid to park to essentially run a 5K.  I could have done that at home.  Especially since they were keeping track of the time.

Of course, part of the result was how quickly I was in and out of them.  I was leaving much sooner than I thought I would.

I used a bottle of water to get the worst of the slime off my arm and then put on my shirt.  And I’m glad I didn’t wear it for the run.  I went to the outlet mall and used their sink to clean the slime off of me.  It actually came off fairly easily, and I was able to wear a clean shirt in.  I then shopped for shoes (which turns out to be a bust – I bought some, but they are bothering me, too) and headed to the signing.

That was the best part of the day.  While I’d heard Hank Phillippi Ryan last year, therefore I’d heard most of what she shared already, I still enjoyed getting to see her.  Plus I talked to another fan there.  And this was a bookstore I’ve heard about for years but never visited because it’s so far from home.  It was nice to finally change that.

So that made the day worthwhile, although I really do wish I had stuck with one of the runs closer to home.  Heck, if I’d done an early enough wave, it might have been possible to do both of the runs closer to home and be back sooner than I would have been just doing this one without all the extras.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Now here’s a topic you don’t expect to see on my blog very often.  Well, maybe a bit more often since I run, but in this case I’m talking about work shoes.

I have very sensitive feet, and finding good shoes I could wear has always been an issue for me.  This is even truer when it comes to dress shoes, and I’m having to dress up for the first time ever four days a week.  I thought I’d found some good shoes that were comfy, but soon the same problems started.  (After I’d bought two pairs of the shoes, too.  At least they were on sale.)

My issue is the heel.  And here is where all the ladies laugh.  I know, I know, men’s dress shoes don’t really have heels.  But just that little half inch is enough to throw my feet and legs all out of whack.  After two months of wearing these shoes, my legs and feet are killing me by the end of the day, if not lunch time.  My arch isn’t getting the support I need.  And that little bit of lift is killing my thighs, calves, and shins.  Essentially, I’m a mess.

Fortunately, I’ve got a lead on something that might work.  Actually, a couple of somethings.  One would be a walking shoe all in black, and I think I could get away with wearing it.  The other is a dress shoe make with Nike insides.  Nikes aren’t always the most comfortable shoe for me, but these might work.

In the meantime, I have three pairs I’ve bought to try in the last two weeks to return.

I just hope I find something soon before I can’t do mud runs and play ultimate Frisbee.  That would truly be a shame.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Word Association for October 22nd

Time for this week's word association.

  1. Freak :: Out
  2. Thrown out :: Short Stories
  3. Wedding :: Day
  4. 99 percent :: Almost perfect
  5. Terminal :: Airport
  6. Culprit :: Villain
  7. Bows :: Curtain call
  8. Stock :: Store
  9. Hospital :: Sick
  10. Dodge :: Ball

Monday, October 20, 2014

Family Visit – Part 2

I hope you didn’t lose any sleep over the cliff hanger from Friday.  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  (Especially since it was only the title that hinted at more to come.)

As you might have expected from that last post, I had family in town again this last weekend.  My brother and his family didn’t visit this time, but my parents were back in town.  They had spent the week in Palm Springs, but they were back in town and pretty much all set up when I got off work on Friday.

Saturday, we went down to Glendale Centre Theatre, where we saw Man of La Mancha.  We were able to get together with friends for it, so that was a lot of fun.  We actually had a good group of six all together.  The play was fabulous, as I expected.  Really, they always do such a fantastic job there.  We met some of them for lunch beforehand, and it was nice to visit with them more.

Sunday was church again, where they were able to meet a few more of my friends.

But other than that, we pretty much stayed around the trailer playing games.  I’d like to say that I won many of them, but I had very poor luck between the two weekends and lost most of the games.  We did go play some miniature golf in town on Sunday.  The weather was perfect and that was lots of fun as always.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Family Visits – Part 1

This past weekend, it turn out my entire immediate family was in town, some longer than others.

My parents showed up on Friday night, late and stayed for the weekend.  Saturday was pretty much the only day we had together.  I spent Friday night with them in their trailer, which is always fun.  Saturday, we didn’t do a whole lot.  We went to my condo to watch The Amazing Race.  Then, we played some games at their trailer, ate dinner, and I left.  Plus while we were out and about, I took them to my new office.

Sunday, they met me bright and early for church.  Then I helped them pack up the trailer since they moved on to Palm Springs for the week.

However, my visits with family weren’t over for the week.  My brother and his family were driving through town on their way to San Diego for the week, and we met up for dinner at Souplantation.  I really enjoyed some time to catch up with all of them.  My nephew is definitely talking more than he was when I last saw them in June.  He kept pointing at me and saying, “Mark!”  So I’d point back at him and say “Zachary.”  He’d smile so big.  I loved it.  And my niece wanted to sit right next to me to eat.  I loved that, too.  Plus I had a very great visit with my brother and sister-in-law.

So it was another busy weekend but another very fun weekend.  I was driving all over town on Sunday since I did get some ultimate Frisbee in between visits.  But I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a second of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Word Association for October 15th

Time to get some word association in.

  1. Crime :: Punishment
  2. Whoops :: Accident
  3. Lipstick :: Red
  4. Linda :: Story
  5. Triple :: Decker
  6. Badge :: Honor
  7. Contempt :: Hatred
  8. Stunt :: Double
  9. Van :: Shoes
  10. Judge :: Jury

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Busy Weekend

That first weekend of the month was so busy I’m just now recovered from it enough to write about it.  Or some such thing.

Seriously, it was a busy but fun weekend.  It started with Ornament Debut at Hallmark, when the second half of their ornaments for the year come out.  I went and bought the ones I wanted to buy that day on Saturday morning.

Then Saturday afternoon, I went down to see Thoroughly Modern Millie at Glendale Centre Theatre with Angelique and Ann.  I’d never seen the musical before in any form, and I had a blast.  Afterwards, we grabbed dinner.

Sunday, I was at it again, starting with a book signing in Santa Monica.  Stuart Gibbs always does his book signings there on Sundays, and I rarely go, but this time I decided to squeeze it in.  It was lots of fun.

But squeeze it in I did because I rushed back so I could go to lunch with Joe and Erica and their kids.  It was great to see them and catch up, plus they treated to lunch to celebrate my new job!  Can’t go wrong with that.

From there, it was home to change to play ultimate Frisbee.  Then it was over to the Coopers to watch Once Upon a Time.

Obviously, it was very busy, but it was also very good.  I wouldn’t have traded any of that if I could.  Still, after weekends like that, I joke about going back to work to rest, and that’s pretty much what it felt like.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Word Association for October 8th

Quick, let's do the word association for the week before I forget again.

  1. Candle light :: Dinner
  2. Kevin :: Kelvin
  3. Fireplace :: Romance
  4. Pots :: Pans
  5. Scarf :: Cold
  6. Colossal :: Mistake
  7. Golf :: Ball
  8. Construction :: Site
  9. Reason :: Answer
  10. Washington :: DC

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Second Day at a Permanent Job!

Yes, you read that title right.  After two and a half years or temping and not really landing anything, I have a permanent job.  The job I started six weeks ago went from temp to hire in that time, and my first day as an official employee of the company was yesterday.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised.  Not that they hired me because they’ve been talking like they’d be making the decision soon.  But I figured they’d want me to go through two month end close cycles before they made the decision.  But after only one, they brought me on.

The drive only takes me 15 minutes to get into work in the morning.  It’s more like 25 going home at night, but it’s still much faster than commuting out of town would be.  The pay is better than I expected.  And I am getting benefits again.

There is a part of me that keeps pinching myself since I feel like I am dreaming.  But it’s real.

What is amazing is how I can look back and see how God orchestrated things the last two years, the good and the bad and the temp jobs I did land, to bring me to this place.  Of course, it is easy to see it looking back, and at times in the middle I doubted.  Yet once again He has proven Himself faithful.  And yes, I am giving Him full credit for landing me the job here.

The job definitely keeps me busy, especially during month close.  There’s a high volume, but it seems manageable if you fully apply yourself to it.  I think I’m only working at over time one night a month, and then only a couple of hours.  Definitely manageable.  And I like my co-workers, too, which also helps.

I’m very happy, just in case you couldn’t tell.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Premier Party

Sunday was another party day.  Can you tell I had a busy weekend?

I started out hanging out with my friends Luke and Sarah.  I’d been seeing them this year at some of the plays I went to at Glendale Centre Theatre, but this was fun to just hang out and relax.  Lunch, visiting, and a few rounds of Big Boggle.

The next stop was Christy and Scott’s for the premier party for the new season of Once Upon a Time.  This year, we were supposed to dress up in costume, which threw me a bit.  Christy helped me come up with a costume, and I made a good Dr. Hopper if I do say so myself.  There were more people than normal, which was fun, and some of the costumes were great.  I kept doing double takes at Belle because she looked just like her, for example.

The episode itself?  I wasn’t as impressed as I hoped I would be, but I’m still looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.  But the night was a blast, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s party.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ornament Signing

For the third year in a row, I’ve made it to an ornament signing.  It certainly helps that Hallmark has scheduled them for Southern California every year.  (And had one last year when they normally wouldn’t have one.)

This time, the artist was Sharon Visker who creates one of the series I collect.  I only got a couple of those signed and then had her sign event pieces and some of the standalone ornaments she’s done.

A friend of mine is involved in the club that won the signing, and she let me sneak in to the early signing time, which is probably the only way I got as many ornaments signed as I did.  The idea was that I’d help out as needed the rest of the day, but they had things running fairly smoothly and didn’t really need me.  I did stick around and help break stuff down when the signing was over, so at least I earned a little bit of my perks.

Overall, it was a fun day.  Sharon is very nice, and I had fun talking to other collectors.  The weather wasn’t too hot either, which was a huge blessing since we were outside all day.

On the way home, I stopped and hung out with my friends Chris and Stacey for a little while, even grabbing a pizza with Chris.  Since I hadn’t seen them for a while, it was good to catch up.  But it got me home after 8, and I crashed no too long after.  The day had started early.  While it was fun, boy was it tiring.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Word Association for October 1st

How did it get to be Wednesday already?  Better do this week's word association before I blink and the week is gone.

  1. 20 :: 30
  2. Spark :: Fire
  3. Hangnail :: Clip
  4. Distant :: Thunder
  5. Muffin :: Tin
  6. Compute :: Calculate
  7. Bangs :: Hair
  8. Mattress :: Sleep
  9. Tense :: Relax
  10. Sarah :: Abraham