Cin City

A group of us traveled to Cincinnati to celebrate Timmah’s birthday.  It was a surprise trip that minorly got ruined when he saw his buddy wearing Cubs gear walking into the Rock Bottom we were all meeting at.  Oh well, at least he still didn’t know who all was coming.  Here’s most of us enjoying the time in the sun. 

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K found a boyfriend on the way out and Drew approved!

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After the game, we hailed a cab and headed to Hofbrauhaus in Newport. Holy shit this place was crazy. I really felt like I was in a different world. Just a big open room of picnic tables and overflowing beer steins. It was madness. Drew and I decided it looked like good place for some Trust Fall action.  He got quite a few people really good.  Some even caught him and knew exactly what we were up to.  At one point, a bouncer came over and I was sure we were getting kicked out.  Nope, he just asked him not to do it in the main walkway.  The bday boy with his beer beeches at the Hof.

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After Hof, we headed to Cadillac Ranch for some grub since all the Hof had was kraut balls and pretzals. We wrangled a big table with the help of the hostess only to get kicked out an hour later for a bachelorette party that already had a large table and was moving to the other side of the restaurant to our big table. Really, pinkies? I had enough and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the most awesome Peguin Parade the next day.

Sunday brought a visit to the Newport Aquarium. We had a bit of diffculty finding this place because everytime we asked where the Aquarium was, people answered “Newport”. Well no shit Sherlock, how do we get there?! Guess we didn’t phrase our question correctly. We got there in time to catch the Penguin Parade just as they opened. Maybe K and I had built this massive display in our heads, but this was just absolutely disappointing. Not only did the penguins not walk out on their own, they were in little clear tubes riding on a cart! It almost looked inhumane. I video’d it, but not sure it’s worth posting other then the disappointment on our faces. I got over it real fast with some pictures of the aquarium mascots!

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I saw George’s long lost cousin.

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They didn’t have a lot of photo ops, so we made our own!

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The shark tank was probably the coolest thing they had. You could see if from all different sides, even above. You could walk through a tunnel and this dude swam over.

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Also, it was Sweet Pea the shark’s birthday so they had decorations everywhere, a cake in tanks and a banner in the lobby.  To which K said, “Certainly someone did not name their child Sweet Pea.”  She figured it out.  Overall, a great trip with friends!

Final Four Fun

The Big Dance took place on my home turf this past weekend.  Our city was packed with out-of-towners but also many locals since the weather was nice and since Butler was in the Final Four!

Thursday night, thanks to the Staley twins, I attended a party at Hyde and got to catch up with my grandpa the greatest Purdue coach ever.  I happened to be off work on Friday for Good Friday, so K and I headed downtown to get into the action.  We attempted to say the Apostle’s Creed on our way down to acknowledge why we were able to get out and enjoy the weather.  We started our adventure with a few MSU fans and their spawn for lunch.  After the spawn’s last potty break, I tried to teach her the word “Shadoobie” to which K responded in teaching her “Kaslopis”.  

Afterward, we strolled around, running into several friends at different hot spots downtown.  We ended our evening with the Stone Temple Pilots concert at White River.  It was my first concert there and I enjoyed the grounds, so I’ll definitely go back for more.  It was nicely laid out and not too crowded where we ended up.   We didn’t get too far into the mob near the stage, but as we were making our way into the mass of people, I hear, “Is that Natalee?”  How in the hell does anyone spot me in this mess?  Leave it to Lori A and Jack!  We shared some hellos and moved on.

Since the weather was a bit crappy Saturday, K and I hit up the Bracketown event at our convention center.  They had a lot of photo ops and activities to participate in, mostly for kids, but there were some adults that got in on the action including us.  K acted like she cut down a net after a tournament victory.  We watched some men try to dunk on rims of different heights.  A few of us waited in line behind 5 year olds at the pop-a-shot to try our skills with some mini-mini balls.

Since K and I are fans of things in plexiglass boxes, our first photo op was with the NCAA trophy.

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They had an area where you can pretend to be sportscasters, so we took our seats and I put my mike over to K like I was interviewing her.  She made a comment that I was an idiot because I failed to see she had her own mike.  Whoops.

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On Thursday, I had seen a bright yellow NutMobile cruising downtown and I wanted a piece of the action.  At Bracketown, we found a Planters booth and K posed as Mr. Peanut.

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I posed with Mr. Peanut.

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The only shot I didn’t get that would have been cool, was where you could name your team and they would superimpose you behind the team photo at your college’s gym. They were taking a break right as we got to the line. Must have been an exhausting effort pushing a few buttons on a computer. Yes, I am bitter.  We ended up at Scotty’s to watch the Butler/MSU game and made friends with a few WVU fans in town.  I photo-bombed a pic, so hopefully the dude sends it to me.

Sunday, we rested.  Monday brought the Butler v Duke game.  I think most of our state was rooting for Butler, and I was too, but more importantly I was rooting for anyone but Duke.  It didn’t work and Butler came up short.  They put forth a great effort and proved they can hang with anyone on the court this year.  Props to them for an awesome road to the final game!  I’m already ready for next year and my new Boiler crew to hit the hard courts! 

Long Weekend

With my training schedule dedicated (ha) to Bop, I didn’t have anything planned for my Friday  night, so I tackled my new home improvement project of the upstairs bathroom.  I have an idea of a spa like environment for my tiny little “master” bathroom.  New texture, paint, lights, counter… you name it, I can imagine it.  I’ll leave the final pictures to later.

Meanwhile, Purdue had a home game where I got to converse with a fav man of mine.

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And maybe not one of my fav people, but still a person that I do respect, The General.

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I really didn’t get to talk to him, but he’s got good street cred in my book even though our students were yelling “Guard the chairs”.

I started on my demo and remodel, but was pleasantly interrupted by my parents wanting to celebrate my birthday with me this weekend.  We spent time going over photos and stories, but more importantly, Mom and I tried to spend some money at Midland Antiques and Crafts, but couldn’t.  It certainly had a lot to offer, but we didn’t see anything worth buying.  We all finished our visit together with cake and myself learning how to install a junction box in my ceiling.  Totally stuff 31…I mean 32 year old women do.

Thanks to my Dad teaching me new home improvement techniques.  Thanks to them both for spending the day with me!

Click here to watch the video of us making a video that probably only we will laugh at.

Obsession

I think I might have a problem.  Tonight, for the first time in my life, I tried to chase down a mascot for a photo.  Chick-fil-A was hosting our half time program at tonight’s basketball game so they provided a Curtis Painter cow.

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I was commenting to Jessi that I had to figure out how to get a picture with him.  As I was leaving the restroom at half time, Curtis was in the concourse.  I sprinted down to our seats, grabbed my camera, and headed back out there to find him.  He was gone!  I did a full lap around Mackey and still couldn’t find him.  I was very sad.  And my team lost to O-H-oh-no.  Not a good night for me.

I’m A Cheater

I must make a public apology. I feel like a cheater. Besides my family, I cheated on one of the things I love the most in my life. I hope he will forgive me. I hope I can do something to make it up to him. Pete? Will you ever forgive me? 

I traveled to that other Big 10 school in my state that has a basketball team without my alma mater even making an appearance there. Why?  I did it for one of the only people, besides my family and Pete, that I love in this world. I did it for K. We scored tickets to the IU v Bryant game and since there was nothing else to do on a Monday night, why not?!  If it’s any consultation to Pete, I did not wear red. I did not cheer for IU.  I did cheer for the Big 10 victory and any good plays I saw.  Before the game, we arrived in B-town to have dinner at Malibu Grill where the best after dinner treat was our pick as we exited.  Dum-Dums!

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We arrived promptly to see the tip off and watch IU take an early lead. It wasn’t even a competition for them, but VJ3 found his shot again so that was worth watching.

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They announced a running score between IU and Purdue and how we are tied at 2.5 games a piece. I’ll have to do some research to see what all this consists of, but I’m fairly positive the mighty Black and Gold will run up the score for 2010. Our Big 10 season starts tonight against Iowa.  Pete, I’m back on track!  Please remember our first date almost 2 years ago and how much fun we had…

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Jingle My Bell

Today was my last race of the 2009 season, the Jingle Bell run. It was a brisk 23 degrees but no winds and the sun was peeking through.  I arrived promptly at 8:08 am for the 8:15 am start time.  Just in time to find the john and get in my spot.  But when I walked up the announcer says “The start of the race has been postponed until 8:30 am.”  Ok, it’s not that bad, but I time these things for minimal cold exposure.  I got in line to go into the State Museum to stretch but there was no room at all, so I just did a U-ey and got in my spot.  This time I got in front of the 8 min mile sign thinking that wasn’t cheating too bad.  I did plan to run 8:10s.  I was trying to get proof that I am still the runner that knows what pace they can handle and get in my appropriate “corral” but missed the top of the sign.  

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As usual, people were peeling off left and right starting to walk less than 1/2 mile in.  I had to do some bobbin’ and weavin’ but made it thru and  held a good pace.  Lots of young kids today representing different middle schools.  But most entertaining is that this race brings out all kinds of interesting costumes.  Trees, elves, Santas, Dick Guy in a box. 

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As I was crossing the finish line, I noticed this guy cheering me on!”

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I finished slightly faster than last year at 25:05 and since I was feeling pretty good after the race, I tagged on 2 extra miles around downtown before I headed home.

So this concludes my race season. I started running one community event a month back in 2007. I didn’t make 100% that year due to some medical issues, but 2008 and 2009 have both been 12 for 12. Not sure what I’ll do to up the ante next year. 2 a month? Different cities? Try to get someone to join me each run? Guess I have a few days to figure it out. Until then, 2010 starts off with Bop to the Top. Who’s with me?!

Drumstick Dash 2009

I’ve done this Broadripple race for the past 3 years and every year the participant count increases.  2 years ago it had about 5,000 people.  Last year 7,000.  I’ll be interested to see how many there are this year.  But most importantly, I was very happy to see Gerry Gobbler.  I swear I do not seek out mascots.  I just happen to be where they are at the right time for photo ops!

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There was also a cardinal mascot, but other than being a bird, I’m not sure what he has to do with this holiday or race.  Lots of paticipants seem to be families spending some exercise time together on Thanksgiving.  Lots of costumes and hats.  There was a little boy in a full pilgram outfit.  A few kids in halloween type turkey suits.  But I think this takes the award for best hat.

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We had great weather at 40 crisp degrees.  It spit a little mist on us for awhile, but with no wind, it was a welcome refreshing treat to cool your sweat.  I finished over a minute faster than last year at 37:15. Ok with me as I am fatter and older than 1 year ago.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

False Advertising

The Children’s Museum opened up a King Tut exhibit since K and I went 2 months ago.  It was free entry again, so we set off after work to check it out.  First thing I saw though… mascot.  Gotta get a pic.

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We got up to the 2nd floor only to find a ticket line.  I tracked down a worker to see what the story was.  $15 for adults?!  You’ve got to be kidding me!  Hang a damn sign on the giant 30 foot Egyptian cat out front!  Neither one of us were THAT into seeing the exhibit, so we opted for the gift shop and all the other exhibits that were closed when we were here before.  There was a small free Egypt section that we checked out.  We patiently waited our turn for some camera ops.  Here’s K and her Sphinx-ter.

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Here’s me trying to figure out where my ass is going.

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Then K let me touch her beaver.

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Check out our postcard memory of the event. Mama Carole is coming in town this weekend and mentioned seeing this exhibit. Yea, not so much.