Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Morning Zombie Syndrome

I am a zombie this morning.  I slept about 3 hours last night after watching THE HUNGER GAMES midnight showing!  I suppose I'll give a quick review:


My favorite parts (Possible Spoilers):
  • The Hob - it was just like how I pictured it but perhaps more cluttered on screen. 
  • The reaping - and Effie's attitude during the event were chilling.  The colors were dull and depressing, all the kids dressing up for the big day.  Little Prim scared to leave her sister and that long moment where you see Prim's expression change and everyone look at her with pity but also relief of their own.  Then Katniss stepping in to save her sister.  My heart was pounding, it was as if I were her in that moment asking myself "what have I done... what have I done?!"
  • Prim being carried away by Gale screaming for Katniss.  Heartbreaking.
  • At the capital when she's trying to get the Gamekeeper's attention and does so by showing off her archery skills.
  • The time Katniss had with Cinna before the Hunger Games began.  The countdown was slower than in real time (ie when there were 10 seconds left and I was counting in my head it was much longer than 10 seconds).  I think this was to help convey how long time seems to go when you're dreading something, but then it happened so quickly.  She gets in the platform and it closes - gives Cinna a look of desperation and starts to rise.
  • The actual Hunger Games - this of course is basically the entire 2nd half of the movie.  Katniss fights to survive and at times I found myself thinking if I were her I would have given up.  It must have taken great strength to keep going - keeping Prim in mind must have been very motivating. 
  • The alliance of the District 1 and 2 tributes and Peeta.  For some reason hearing the girl laughing and relishing in the murder of a fellow tribute also says a lot about who Katniss is up against.  Cold blooded killers trained from an early age to win the Games. 
  • Watching Katniss take care of little Rue.  She's a hard girl, didn't cry during the reaping - or at all until later in the games.  But she truly is emotionally connected and vengeful after her death.  The whistle that they came up with to say that everything was ok was also a bit chilling but positive at the same time. 
Of course there were a few things different.  I think the reason I enjoyed the movie so much was because I hadn't JUST read the book and then went off to see the movie.  The essense of the book sticks with you and that is what the movie captured.  It's a scary world they live in.  Katniss says she doesn't want to have kids because she doesn't want them to go through this, Gale mentions that he would want kids if he didn't live there... realistic and thoughtful decisions are made and that really captures how Katniss is.  They're essentially prisoners of the capital even before they're brought together as tributes.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Had a moment, Had to share

So yes, I've just emailed my family this and since family is like 75% of my readers I realize this is redundant. 

I just had a great moment at work today.  The new interim dean of the College of Business called me into his office out of nowhere... kind of scary, no?  Well I sit down and I'm all ready to write down notes for whatever task he needs me to help with but he just starts going on about what a great job I'm doing for this conference that I'm planning next month. 

He continues to say that I've been ahead of the curve and that every time he thinks of something we need to address for this conference he checks his email and realizes that I've already addressed the issue and gave answers!  He asks, "are you a mind reader?"

This was extremely unexpected because he was just put in the position suddenly after the old dean stepped down on Monday.  I was certain that I wasn't going to see or hear from him for a while because he would be so busy organizing for his new position!

Well - needless to say this really brings me back to my old job in Chicago.  But in the opposite way.  Pretty much take every thing I just wrote and turn it into a negative and that's all I ever heard.  Never anything positive, never anything encouraging... just constantly putting down my work and constantly leaving me in a state of unrest. 

It's unreal - back in the days when I knew I was quitting my job but before I gave notice, I would walk around the office and literally think "I wonder what my future co-workers are doing right now."  Little did I know that my future co-workers are all awesome, my superiors are extremely easy to work for, and my responsibilities are very well suited for the type of work that I am doing.  I say this kind of bittersweet because there are people I still care about at my old job in Chicago, including my old boss, the now CEO.  Although I know he's busy I still like to email him occasionally - and of course I bother my old coworkers with my latest goings on.

Building relationships at work are so crucial.  I'm glad that my new coworkers are also my friends and that my superiors are fantastic
*cue cheesy Full House music now*

Monday, March 19, 2012

Things that didn't happen this weekend.

I'm too tired to write and explain how awesome this last weekend was, so I'ma let these pictures speak for themselve.

On the way home from a long weekend, Erk needed to wear a snuggie to keep comfortable on the road.

Grandma came out!

Models.  Only group picture but at least we made the attempt!

Jenny just biffed it on the train.

Guess the arm.  Guess the artist.

Standing at my old waiting place for the train in palatine.

Erk and me!

Wearing the hater blockers.

They wouldn't let me hold the sign unless I told them I really was a santorum fan.  I didn't explain WHICH santorum I'm a fan of.  mmmm Frothy!
  • Woke up with a trampstamp
  • 3 phones were casualties of this year's train crawl
  • Inappropriate drawings with sharpie
  • Keeping track of drinks with writing number on your arm
  • Learning to play quarters
  • Erick almost getting on the sex offender list on the way back home
  • Green beer
  • Errrybody SHOTS!
  • Here's a creative t-shirt... party SHAMrocking!
  • Green moustaches
  • Forgot to eat dinner
  • Lost Erick in Crystal Lake
  • Tri-Quad breakfast
  • Jamba Juice doesn't have anything
  • Rumplemintz shot confused as water... I spit all over the counter

Friday, March 16, 2012

This Upcoming Weekend!

First of all, congrats to ISU for beating UConn last night!  I was getting nervous watching the game so I diverted my attention to youtube videos while my husband was having a heart attack.  Cutely, at the last 7 minutes of the game he asked that I watch it with him because he was scared.  Or maybe he said his heart was racing... but in my mind he said he was scared and wanted to cuddle. 

Still a hard game to watch, up by 20-some points initially and ended the game with a 6 point lead?  I honestly don't know, if you want to hear more about sports or sushi, I defer you to Brian's blog:

This weekend I'm going to paint the town GREEN at the Hooligans Bar Crawl.  This will be my 7th year participating and I plan on hitting it up big time - it's going to be a bunch of the old college friends (yes, I say old and mean it age wise this time) haha.

GOAL: To get to announce the next stop on the loudspeaker. 

Pictures to follow!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gay Ice Cream

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream has come out with a new flavor!

What an adorable name!
Apple-y Ever After! 

An avid ice cream enthusiast such as myself is beeming with pride to see a product you'll find in the grocery store (for now, only in the UK) that is not only supporting gay marriage, but cheering it on... well that makes me a new Ben and Jerry's customer. Currently, I have some Edy's Caramel Delight ice cream in the freezer, and while I'm not certain I'll enjoy an apple flavored ice cream, I'll certainly give it a shot when they bring it to the US.  Perhaps covered with caramel... mmmmmmmm!

Here's what Ben and Jerry's website has to say about the issue

And I found this gem of a quote on an article about the subject:

"All people want is to call their long-term relationship by the same name as everyone else. Our strong advice to those who disapprove of same-sex marriage is just not to get married to someone of the same sex." - Ben and Jerry's

The times, they are a'changing. 

One of the things that scares me about the future is uncertainty.  For instance, I'm uncertain that we'll come up with an alternative fuel source before we run out... that scares me for my future kids!  I don't want to have kids if we can't solve this energy crisis (that's another topic all together, so before I get started let me wrap this up).  One thing I know for certain is that the future is bright in some ways.  EQUALITY is happening.  For women, minorities, and gay people.  There are political candidates out there who are taking huge stands against women and gay rights now and I am praying that God sides with us lefties.  It's the smart thing to do for our children, our daughters, and gay children.

*Since we're one the subject, I kind of hope that I do have a gay child because I know that my love isn't conditional and I would never EVER disown my kids for who they love. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Memory Lane

I miss my camp friends!

Today for kicks, I was looking on the YMCA Camp Greenville website and realized that so much has changed since 2003. First of all, it looks like the whole program has been redesigned... Division 1, 2, AND 3?  It makes sense because it breaks the kids down into more age appropriate groups...  But they younger kids are only at camp for 1 week instead of 2 like when I was a camp counselor. 

There is a high price tag associated with going to camp, which I already knew.  But I think it's totally worth it.  I still get a high when I think about my camp friends and the songs we sang and the inside jokes we share.  "Whateva, whateva, I do what I want" "KAZOO!" "T-O" "What happens at bel chere STAYS at bel chere!" "Toni, you're a lifeguard, save me!" "It's the end of the world!" 

I have decided a long time ago that whenever I have kids, they are going to camp!  And I'm super jealous of them for that!  Even though when I was a kid I was too shy to really enjoy camp, I feel like going to camp is so beneficial for kids... they get to explore what they like and find new adventures in every day life.  Horseback riding, rope climbing, arts & crafts etc.  Ahhh I loved being a camp counselor... memories :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting Serious - Retirement

I'm 28... retirement is a far of dream of mine.  I am looking forward to the days where I can go on vacation with my husband to Florida and drink pina coladas til the cows come home.  I am excited about being able to live off of the income that I've collected and saved throughout my years as a working individual. 

I do work hard to ensure the the finances of myself and my husband are going to be in order for the future.  For the past 3 years my husband and I have saved the max that we can put away in a ROTH IRA.  I have also been lucky because my last job gave us a bonus at the end of the year which amounted to 15% of our total salary that we could put in a SEP IRA.  I've also saved a great deal of money at my very first job in a 401K, that money is now in a Rollover IRA.

I know a lot about savings, and I know a lot about finances and what scares me is knowing that I have many people close to me who haven't been able to afford saving for retirement just yet, or don't realize the impact of saving early on.  Believe me, future YOU will thank present YOU for it :)

Recently, I was able to sit in on an honors finance class. I had heard all of the information before but this time I soaked it up like a sponge. My favorite example is the value of compound interest and how time is a huge factor in actually getting to your retirement goals.  The short explanation is that when you're saving earlier, time is on your side.  Time=interest, interest compounds on itself... so the earlier your start saving and investing your money, the more likely you are to be better off in retirement. 

I know this is kind of a heavy subject for a blog that was recently inundated with zombie posts and even a snooki one... but it's serious.  I'm guessing that most of the people that read this blog are my friends or family who are young and can get a lot of impact from this.

I just think that even if you're in debt or living paycheck to paycheck there are ways to start saving for retirement.  Pay yourself first.  If you need help, I'd love to show you how to get started by opening up a retirement account, participating in a company 401k, or finding the right investments for you!

Disclaimer, I'm not a financial planner, but I do know people that are.  I can even just point you in the right direction in finding someone to talk to.  Make appointments with local brokers to talk to them about your finances.  Check out,, or talk to parents/co-workers/friends about how they save and do it too.  Even if you start just putting away $20/month.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Snooki, smoopsy, baby pie

Ugh, so I guess it's confirmed that Snooki is going to have a baby. 

I shouldn't be surprised given her drunk all the time lifestyle that maybe she forgot that days have passed since she took her birth control.  And I'm not angry about it or anything but it's just another point that birth control needs to be provided.  Just DAYS ago, I posted this to my facebook wall:

Let's just hope that for her baby's sake that she really is going to be the best mother, just like housemate Deena says she will be. 

"Even though we all party and stuff, she's very genuine, she's very good-hearted, and I can actually see her as, like, you know, a mother figure."

Convinced?  Me too.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Most Fun 5k's!

Running isn't for everybody... but fun certainly is!  Recently I've came across some insanely fun looking 5ks that are available nationwide.  Here are my favorites in no particular order... except the last one.

The Color Run

This 5k race requires all runners to wear white and ask they pass each kilometer a different color is shot all around them.  Each kilometer has a different color and you can elect to be closer or further away from the color source to choose the colors you end up with at the end of the race.  The color is a powder and painless to be hit with.  Apparently you can eat it too but that's not recommended.

The color doesn't permanently stay in your clothes, but if you want it to, you should spray vinegar on your shirt before you clean it and then iron it before you wash it.  I'm thinking about doing this run in Kansas City this year with my cousin, Alissa, and her husband.

The Warrior Dash

I especially love this picture because she looks so badass!

The Warrior Dash is another 5k, but this one has obstacles throughout the race.  Jumping over fire, running through mud pits, climbing up walls!  Yeesh, I'm actually signed up for this one in June and I'm not entirely certain that I'll have the upper body strength for all of this climbing :)  I'm doing this run in a town outside of Des Moines this year with my sister, Rachael and hopefully my Sister-In-Law Amy!

St. Patty's Day 5k Bar Run

Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like.  Dress in green, run, and drink beer!  GREEN BEER I PRESUME!  This race is definitely a casual one, I'm pretty sure it's more about having fun with friends that your finish time.  Runners get drink specials at bars located along the race route.  I'm definitely going to enjoy doing this run with Kristina, Tara, Tiffany, Erick, Jory, Lauren U., Caleb and many more people who I can't remember if they're signed up for this race yet or not.

Run For Your Lives

HOLY CRAP!  So I don't know if I've mentioned this on my blog before but this run is going to be epic.  HA.  Of course it's the only think I can think about for the past week.  This race is expensive, and actually gets MORE expensive if you wait - but I think it's seriously worth it. 

I realized while on the phone with my brother that the race concept wasn't entirely clear.  I'm not dressing as a zombie for a 5k, although that sounds amazing.  I'm getting CHASED by zombies in this 5k!!! 

If you're interested in this race but don't want to pay the $57 price tag (that's the cheap one, m'friend), I suggest that you register yourself as a zomie.  Doing this costs only $25.  Your participation is crucial to the race though because you can be a zombie that's chasing one of us crazy runners!  Basically the job of the zombie is to steal the flags off of the runner's belt.  The flags represent "health", without health at the end of the finish line, you become a zombie. 

So be quick and nimble and get out alive.  RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Zombies, Run! - App Review

In keeping with the theme of the past 2 posts, I decided to do a review of my most expensive app purchase ever.  It's was 8 bucks... but don't let the price turn you off completely

Zombies, Run!

The premise of this app is perfect for a zombie enthusiast such as myself.  I should rephrase, I hate zombies and want them all dead.  But the whole aspect of it is quite interesting to me.

Ahem, so this app is really very fun and has an interesting premise.  You're listening to your iTunes music and interspersed in the music you gear sounds from a radio/walkie talkie.  You start off in a helicopter that crashes after someone shoots at it, you don't know who it is, but you crash land on an island in the town of Abel.  Immediately you're warned about the zombie hordes in a nearby swamp and you're instructed to run towards a tower to get to safety.  Later on you learn that you need to stop by the hospital and pick up something from the Center for Disease Control.  What's in this box is the only thing that will let you into the tower because everyone in the tower earns their keep.

Along the way of your run you randomly pick up objects, like band aids, water bottles, pain medications etc.  These items because useful after your run.  Here are some screen shots.

Below you'll notice the town has a population of 60 before the run, after the run I distributed those items to different sections of the town and then I grew in experience.  You can see that the picture of the town has changed somewhat based on where I distributed the items.

Before Running
After running and distributing supplies

The bottom of the screen shows the items you've picked up along the way.  You can distribute them accordingly to different sections of Abel.

The App comes with 30 missions which are unlocked as you've become more experienced.

I just thought this was interesting... you hear beeping in your headphones, as the beeps get closer you know to run faster!

Now my first day review is that the app is definitely fun and very motivating.  I do have some things that I don't like though... for instance - they could definitely use better voice acting.  While the majority of the app you hear normal voices (with british accents) when you pick up objects a very robotic voice says "picked up pain medications" or whatever.  It's very annoying and kind of hard to understand.  For an $8 app I would have expected better, although I did read this in the reviews so I guess I knew what I was getting myself into.  

Another thing I didn't like was after I ran, my run wasn't recorded... like I couldn't go back and see how long I ran for and look at speed and altitudes like I can with runkeeper.  However, what I read on the website is that they're looking at integrating functions with runkeeper in order to have this same database of previous runs.

If you're looking for a way to make running fun and to work on some interval training (with the zombie chases) this is definitely it!  Because no one wants to hear that the zombies may actually get you!  I think in the 30 minutes or so that I ran and was doing the first mission, I got chased by zombies twice... or maybe 3 times.  But either way it was kind of neat to hear the beeping and the groans of the zombies.  VERY MOTIVATING to want to run faster!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Rule of the Zombie Apocalypse: Cardio

509 Calories, 3.86 Miles, 45 Minutes
Yesterday I ran for 40 minutes + a 5 minute cooldown.  I want to get faster.  I started the first 20 minutes at a 5.8 pace, when that got too much for me and the remaining 20 minutes of my goal run for the day were taunting me, I reduced my speed to a 5.0.  Luckily - I finished and didn't even have to stop.  Guess I'm not that out of shape, eh? 

Inspiration is knowing that Zombies will be chasing you in August and I need to be fast.  I want to get my average speed to at least a 6.0 on the treadmill which equals a 10 minute mile.  That's ah-hundid-poicent doable. 

Last night my husband and I were talking... about zombies.  Yes, I realize at this point it is becoming quite unhealthy to actually believe that zombies could potentially walk this earth - even though I know it's totally not true or possible, at least that's what my subconscious that wants me to be able to sleep at night wants me to believe.  But just before bed... wait, I should rephrase... JUST BEFORE I TURNED OFF ALL AWARENESS AND BECAME SUPER VULNERABLE my husband joked that it would be HILARIOUS to hire 20 people to play zombies and to have them just be in our house at night. 

Background about me: I get up at least once a night to go to the bathroom...

Can you imagine what sleepy me would do if I saw not 1, not 2, not even 10 but 20 people in my living room dressed as zombies!  Not to mention the fact that I obviously got up to pee.  3 things would spontaneously happen... 1st, of course, I would pee myself.  2nd, I would HURT THESE PEOPLE.  And I suppose the most likely of these things is that my husband would be sleeping in the other room, or another house for a while for terrifying me.  But then he'd be quickly invited back in our room to sleep on the floor because I'm afraid of zombies and he's scarred me for life. 

I think that I not only need to get faster, but I need to start learning to wield a weapon.  After discussing the zombie apocalypse for the last week or so with people online and at work - pause for a moment: my life is so awesome - We came to the conclusion that you need to have a weapon that isn't a gun because ammo runs out.  Therefore, I've decided my weapon of choice is a garden shovel, with the spade on the end and the handle at the end of the stick. 

I've clearly given this too much though and I'm now afraid that I'm losing my audience.  Here's something funny to leave you with:

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Life Has Been Taken Over By Zombies!

I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize that I'm deathly afraid of the Zombie Apocalypse. 

Ok - so I know it's an irrational fear... but zombies scare the absolute crap out of me.  Last week I had a dream that I was trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse and since then I haven't gotten the thought of zombies out of my head.

This weekend I watched the entire 1st season of The Walking Dead on Netflix.  Don't get too worried, the first season is only 6 episodes long.  But I watched them all this weekend.  The show and the concept TERRIFIES me.

Scared yet?  Well you should be.

That wasn't even the scariest picture I found when I googled "The Walking Dead"  and clicked on images.

I find it very therapeutic to research as much about a show or movie that scares me to prove that it's not a real thing.  Fun fact about Walking Dead - The zombies cast for the show had to go to "Zombie School" to learn to walk and move like zombies!!!  More fun facts you'd like?  SURE - The "human" cast of the Walking Dead eat lunch separately than the zombie cast of The Walking Dead.

I hate to say this - but I'd be so damn useless in a zombie apocalypse.  Running, screaming and attracting more zombies would be my greatest skill.  I was washing my face this morning, and I half expected to see an undead standing behind me.  I seriously closed my eyes and saw zombies.  But I guess I'm going to put this theory to the test because I just signed up to run a Zombie 5k!  This most-awesome-race-I-could-ever-dream-of-and-I'm-kicking-myself-for-not-coming-up-with-it-in-the-first-place is going to be one of the biggest motivators I've ever had to train for a race.  It's not training for time, although I will want to be fast - it's training to be fast to avoid zombies!

Two types of Zombies:
Chaser Zombies - probably the most terrifying, they are the ones that will be fast and chase us!!!
Stumbler Zombies - also freaky, but they're the ones that will walk slowly, and scare the crap out of me just by being there!

There will be 12 man-made and natural obstacles throughout the course of this race.  Pictures have shown crawling through tunnels, BLOOD LAKES, rope climbing, etc.  But the obstacles aren't revealed until you're actually there on race day!

Best decision I've made in a while.  Special thanks to Kristina for mentioning it to me, her timing couldn't have been more perfect! 

I'm sorry, I am so damn distracted about zombies I can't even concentrate on writing about zombies.  I AM SO EXCITED!