BIGS – speech & debate

If you want to know more about speech and debate: NFL (National Forensic League)

Unfortunately, not much has happened in the world of ROJ as far as working out. The good news is my eating is more regular and I am not randomly feeling the need to fall asleep so I should be able to make it to the gym this week. I can’t believe the half is so close!! Ugg. This weekend I was supposed to do a great group run with SARC

However, I ended up staying at debate and helping with BIGS. Gale asked me when I started caring about speech and debate…it made me laugh. I told one of the other judges I think they put judging roofies in my drink because I had no idea why I was there. Actually, I know why. 1) Because being around the debate people makes me feel good and happy and alive. 2) I didn’t want to be selfish. I have countless weekends I can run, BIGS is just this weekend for the kids – and I was in their shoes once. 3) I was tired and didn’t want to drive an hour to the tri clinic anyway 4) Ok I’ll admit it; there was a boy I wanted to be around. HAHA isn’t there always a boy?

So I found myself sitting in round after round listening to teenagers debate if we should use economic sanctions…and to tell the truth I am still not sure what I think. Although, I must say it was interesting when one debater compared it to chemotherapy. “It’s simply one tool in the cure”. The other side replied “Yes but it’s a cure for something specific, it does not treat a cold or the flu. Economic sanctions affect many areas, including colds and flus, not just mere cancer”. Yep, that was stated. What do you do on YOUR Saturdays?

Really BIGS is like one big experiment in mental illness. People experience every emotion in high gear and in no way do they hold it in. You want cry you want to laugh you want to hug people you want to punch people…you can’t stand to be alone and you want everyone to just go away. Why am I going into this field for good? Of course my fine sense of humor was not appreciated by all…aka not everything has to be a sexual innuendo. I would argue yes it does. My most fun game is called “How uncomfortable can I try and make Charlie?” My two great examples of this game. Charlie would not talk to me so I told him “You make me sad on the inside (drawing a heart with my fingers) as he walked away without saying anything I yell to him “But any time you wanna make me feel good on the outside just let me know”. Later when Abby and I returned from Wendy’s he asked “Which one is mine?” of course referring to the bags and I say “The bigger one” and he takes it and I say “Isn’t that the answer every man wants to hear?” Again not appreciated. One of these days I’m going to get me a boyfriend who laughs at my lame jokes and loves me all the more for it! Better yet, I need one who will make the same jokes! We would be amazing!

I stayed longer than I planned in order to support Abby who had some awesome kids in rounds up to some very crucial moments and I didn’t want her to think I did not understand everything she does. ( ; I heart her! Anyway so I finished my book which I will talk about later in the week after book club meets….note to self, don’t read books that make you cry in public. I think at the end of the night despite all the cranky moments and nastiness and love and support and lack of communication in between from everyone and everything, we all left loving each other and loving what we do.

In 9th grade my friend Nicole and I decided we were so in awe of what we saw at the middle school when Holly Humes came to display drama skills, we would join the team. I spent a year in Dramatic Interp. I performed The Insanity of Mary Girard. It was such an experience. Then I did the 4way Rotary Contest and we decided I was meant to be a writer/presenter…and so to OO I went for the next 3 years. Also doing about a dozen other after school items along with working. I regret doing so much now. I wish I could go back and better dedicate myself to speech. The next few years I judged until one day I walked into the room and I was told “I don’t have a coach for LD” and was like “Well, sounds like an issue”. Yep I became the coach, and I was not sure I wanted it or was ready. Truth be told and he’ll laugh when he reads this, I was kinda afraid of Justin and knew he was the REAL and SERIOUS debate side coach. I wanted to play nicely with all the IE people. Debate people have good hearts though, for what is lacking in social skills (haha love you guys) and I quickly loved them all and wished I could have been a better coach. I wish I didn’t take time off, I wish I had forced myself to stick around. Eh what’s done is done, and when I was there today it fills my heart with joy to see it mean so much to so many for so long. Abby and I freezing on a bus at ass o clock in the morning, listening to Reel Big Fish on an old school CD player…11 years later, I’d argue we’re still just as boy crazy, still just as lost as to what to be when we grow up, but at least we don’t have to wait until the bus ride home for ballots!!

Chili 5K, Indoor Tri and Vday ROJ style

Chili 5K


Look for myself and Gale around 1:54 she is in bright yellow/green and I’m in the blue next to her. Some random guy runs right in front of us!

Sat was the Chili Bowl 5K race, and I was NOT ready for it in so many ways. Regardless the whole point in Chili Bowl is the eat the yummy trats afterward provided by Tower 230. If you’re in the Cleveland area, stop by for a meal. I don’t want to complain because that really is not an attractive quality, but to state a few facts. I have not run since NYE, I had a chest infection for 2 weeks (thank GOD for my inhaler) I am living on liquid foods essentially because of the braces and I’m sure there’s other things too. However, the race went better than I expected, since I remembered my love for running. Running and I have this on again off again affair, and sometimes I wonder why we’re even together. Then I remembered. When I run I feel like ME, I feel more ME than any other time in my life. I love seeing my face red and sweaty, hair stuck to me neck, I look so beautiful! I’m being serious. Runners are strange people, I’m lucky to be one. Oh and Gale is super awesome because at Whole Foods they have my fav greek yogurt on sale for $1.00 and they have a $1.oo off coupon so it’s FREE! She brought me two. I heart her!

Here are some thoughts to go through my head. I need to date a fellow runner or something to that effect. No one understands what we do unless they are there too. Plus, I would love a workout buddy who isn’t a girl and I don’t have to worry if I’m cuter. You know I’ve used this one dating site on and off for oh 3+ years and I’ve gone on over a dozen dates. Only TWO people have ever gone on a second date with me. One we met (it probably wasn’t a date) at a local race and ran together. I’ve never been more comfortable meeting a person for the first time. We went to the movies a few days later. It didn’t work out, but this was one of the rare times I didn’t feel rejected. It didn’t work out because we just were not a good match, but at least he knew who I really am. The other one that worked out to some degree, I am still friends with and we met a few years back. Actually I just found out there is a chance he is moving away. I am REALLY excited and happy for him since “in this economy” any job that could be GOOD and in your field is worth a few life changes. Still, I am selfish and sad because I would miss him terribly ) ; and we just recently started hanging out again, and I don’t want to lose him again. Interesting side note … I would argue he’s crazy for a few more reasons than a history of running… and he likes to try and argue he is a psychopath. Moving On.

I also thought about my friends when we run and how we are such a wide range of ages, but each time I see them there is a smile and a hug and a sincere “How are you” and there is no better feeling in the world than that pure love, love that doesn’t request anything in return! I wondered if I would always have these people. Pati and Matt are like 20 years apart and travel together…I wondered if that would be me and Gale. And then I became deeply sad…because I realized my whole “goal” in life is the GTFO of Ohio. Ha. And if I do that I’m leaving behind so much and so many. Family isn’t what you’re born into…it’s also who you pick to be in your life. I don’t know if I want to be away from my family? It makes me feel like that song, which is totally cliche but still “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone. Pave paradise and put up a parking lot.” Not to worry for a few more years. Besides maybe that’s why we have email and facebook and hearts big enough to hold so much love. So we don’t forget people and we keep each other in our lives?

After the race I went to my Pappa’s 80th bday party. Pretty cool to still have my grandparents. My mouth was in pain and I was tired, so I kept to myself most of the party.

Indoor Triathlon

Waking up Sunday was interesting, I was out Sat night, so I wanted to sleep in. My thighs were SO SORE from Sat but I logged onto FB and found out a lot of people were in the same boat so I didn’t feel so much like a freak.

I left the house a little late,but was really excited. I arrived and met up with Gale and Pati, we changed and prepped for the pool. I was nervous because my lungs still hurt from being sick. My goggles even snapped before the swim! Yikes. I was able to tuck them into the cap and all was good. I was sad I could not swim better after a semester of swim club. In a way I guess I DID because I managed the same laps as last year with my stronger stroke, using a weaker stroke this year. I could not breathe so I did the backstroke the whole time. I was very happy when the clock stopped!

Next we towled off and ran to the bikes. I had to replace some of my brace wax, since apparently chlorine eats it! Grrr. Gale and I were jamming out and singing the whole time, everyone else looked so serious! Whatever, it’s about loving life. At the 10 min mark they played “Living on a Prayer” and the leader was singing “We’re half way there!!” It was funny. The guy taking my time was massively cute. Tall thin and well nice eyes and a great smile…I was in love. Ha.

The run was not as fun because I was really struggling to breathe at this point. However I still had a lot of energy. So I plugged in the IPOD and went for it. Not too many laps and more walking than I would have liked,but I did it. I finished and I stayed positive which is more than I can say from previous years. I tended to finish in an angry mood. Results were posted today and I was sad to see 6/6 in my a/g but hey it was still a great way to spend time with friends…and we all agreed we need to bike together this summer! ( ;

A few photos: Gale in the pool, trying to swim. If you look on the right, in the green cap is me! Pati having a good time on the bike. And of course all three of us after a happy finish.

Vday ROJ style

I must give you details about Vday. At work it was nice, Karen and I made little paper plate boxes for treats. And most people played along so it was fun to open our baskets…if you are not me that is…and can have sugar and sticky and other pleasures. Stupid braces. LOL. If someone loves me, please send me braces friendly treats! Thanks! Here are some pics of the baskets.

Now I will copy and paste some info about a MUCH cooler holiday than Saint Valentine’s Day…Lupercalia. According to

Lupercalia is a Roman ritual of purification and fertility dating from such an ancient time that even the Romans of the first century BCE had forgotten its origin and to which Gods it was dedicated and even the meaning of some of its symbolism. (Contrary to Z Budapest’s statements, it was not known whether it was to Faunus and in fact I think it may have been sacred to the more ancient founding Goddess, Rumina, the She-Wolf of Rome.) Central to the ritual is the lustration (light flogging) with a goat skin scourge (see, Gardner didn’t invent it). This was often accompanied by much rowdiness and horse-play. The purpose was the purification of the people from curses, bad luck and infertility. The ritual is performed on February 15. The name of the month comes from the februa, anything used in purifying including wool (used for cleaning), brooms, pine boughs (which make the air sweet and pure), etc.

The rite began in the cave of the She-Wolf in the city of Rome where legend had it that the founders of the city, Romulus and Remus, had been suckled by the wolf before they were found by a shepherd. The sacred fig tree grew in front of the cave. Vestals brought to the site of the sacrifice the sacred cakes made from the first ears of the last years grain harvest. Two naked young men presided over the sacrifice of a dog and a goat. With the bloody knife, their foreheads were smeared with blood, then wiped clean with wool dipped in milk. The young men laughed and girded themselves in the skin of the sacrificed goat. Much feasting followed. Finally, using strips of the goat skin, the young men ran, each leading a group of priests, around the base of the hills of Rome, around the ancient sacred boundary of the old city called the pomarium. During this run, the women of the city would vie for the opportunity to be scourged by the young men as they ran by, some baring their flesh to get the best results of the fertility blessing (you can see why the Christian church tried so hard to get this ritual banned, but it was so popular that it continued for quite some time under the new regime.)

Except for the intrusion of foreign cults, this was the only Roman ritual where a goat was sacrificed. Dogs were only offered to Robigus (a guardian associated with crops), the Lares Praestites (the guardians of community), and Mana Genata (ancestral guardians).
Because of the cave, the fig tree, the milk, and such, I suspect the very oldest forms of this rite honored a Goddess. Unlike some of the other Roman rites like the October Horse sacrifice, there is no other Indo-European equivalent in Vedic, Scandinavian, Irish, or Indo-Iranian traditions.

With modifications, the Temple of Pomona performed Lupercalias and has a great time.

Braces and Greek Yogurt


So for everyone wondering about the braces…they are on my teeth and I guess we’re in this together for the long run. No pun intended. If I am to be perfectly honest, I find them sorta cute. No really. I am a very lucky girl and I do NOT have rubber bands, which my understanding is these are the items causing undue torture to most people. And the one lady (JoAnne) is my new best friend because she capped the ends of the little pokey things on the inside of my mouth since I do not need them for the bands. SO no more pain on my tongue! No more less icky wax, no more giving birth to candles out the front of my mouth…and when I get to have kissytime, I don’t need to worry about hurting the other person’s tongue! * happy dance * See below for how awesome they are…

Now the outsides are still different to get used to, too much dryness and I feel a slight pull, and my bottom teeth have a stronger wire (which makes sense since these are the teeth I mainly need to fix). The best way to describe what I was feeling (on the first day) is you know the sensation when you drink something cold and your teeth get a chill/tingle? My whole front bottom constantly felt that way. I hope it goes away, but other than that, no real pain. I did try to eat a sandwich and the push on the upper wire was BAD, but I can go without eating sandwiches a few days.

**day two** Today was MUCH better with braces. I am still not feeling a great deal of pain. I took my Aleve and I ate only y soft food, but the tingle sensation is gone (score) and there is only a slight soreness around the front teeth. My only complaint would have to be getting food caught in the wires. There are worse things in life I suppose.

Greek Yogurt:

I’m not sure how many of you have heard about greek yogurt, but apparently it isn’t too new, but it is starting to get more popular. A few friends who have tried the eat-clean diet, have started eating it so I decided to give it a shot. First, allow me to explain my feelings on normal yogurt. Part of me loves the stuff, it is like a dessert, but it’s supposed to be healthy for you. No, I don’t buy the kind with m&m’s to drop in…I KNOW that ruins whatever good qualities it can have. I am also not a fan of plain yogurt, eww tart or sour. Of the yogurts I have had I liked Activia, but it works a little too well to eat on a regular basis. It’s also no cheap. My biggest complaints about it has always been it either has a bite and you almost feel the need to wash your mouth out after or you need to mix in fruit/granola/etc.

Not too long ago I found a love for Rachel’s brand yogurt, (who apparently have a greek style I should look for and just noticed on the webpage) but they stopped carrying my favorite flavor and I just can’t bring myself to eat the others in the Am they are too sweet. If you like sweet and interesting combo’s though…try it (this is what they look like in American stores) Which is my OTHER complaint, when yogurt is like PIE sweet not FRUIT sweet. I don’t like feelings as if I need to brush my teeth after eating. And the flavor lingers….and lingers…and lingers. So. My recent love of yogurt can be given to Stonyfield Farms. Oh and yes I’ve done Dannon…didn’t like it…did Yoplait (only like the whips) but those are also too sugary for me. Anyway. Stonyfield. I like the organic and regular flavors and normally they price @ 5 for $5.00 so not too pricey. My favorite is the chocolate underground, it’s vanilla on top but chocolate below and I mix it all up.

I went into eating these things before doing too much research on them. I bought two flavors or two kinds. I bought Stoneyfield Oiko’s in Blueberry and Vanilla. According to the website they have different flavors in different sizes (5.3oz Strawberry.honey.blueberry.vanilla.plain…16oz plain.vanilla…4oz 4pk blueberry, strawberry, honey, plain, vanilla, caramel, chocolate) Sunday night I tried the Oikos in vanilla and I was VERY impressed. It was thicker than regular yogurt and did not have a bite or the sugary feel. I didn’t feel like it needed to be consumed far apart from all other normal food. The flavor did not linger. Now for almost $2.00 this yogurt wasn’t playing and I really loved it.

Monday I tried the Yoplait in Strawberry. Please note, they do not even have this product listed on the site…I find this questionable at best. Now, admittedly I’m not a strawberry fan, but this yogurt just was bland, and left a texture in my mouth. It wasn’t gross, and it did not have the weird tastes I’ve had with other yogurts, but it was very obvious this was not normal yogurt. In fact I told a coworker is reminded me of the stuff they use to make a mold of your mouth at the dentist’s. Seriously, this was like edible plaster. Not cool. Also, read your labels…did you know at least for this one…the strawberry yogurt gets its coloring from BEET JUICE…no wonder it tastes like @$$. This was 5 for $5.00, closer to my price range, but I was not impressed. I will try the other flavor Tuesday giving it a second chance since I already LOVE the Oikos. I also am very well aware almost no one I know likes the Stonyfield, it’s an acquired taste…so don’t go jumping down my throat, it’s all personal opinions!

Tuesday I tried the other flavor of Yoplait, the Honey Vanilla. One thing I failed to mention before that I give props to greek yogurt for is the lack of the milk juice nonsense. I hate seeing that stuff I hate feeling like no amount of stirring blends it. All three kinds I’ve tried has had minimal separation issues. I must say, this flavor was massively better. I really enjoyed it. I could not taste the honey too much, but it does taste different from typical vanilla. It was a very light taste, not to sound cliche but it had a very natural feel to it. Again, good for eating with a meal or possibly good as a snack on its own without the lingering aftermath. For me very close in enjoyment to the Oikos, for half the price I might be being this particular flavor in the future. Several sites claim the added protein keeps you fuller longer. I would agree to a certain extent. I do feel more nourished when I eat it versus normal yogurt I feel is a treat. However, I do not think I would replace large parts of my diet with it or depend on it solely during a diet.

Now, we talked about what it is as far as putting it in your mouth…but WHY does it exist? From what I gather greek yogurt goes through a third straining process. This extra process removes whey and leaves it with the thicker consistency. (Nice) it also gives it less sugar, fewer carbs, almost twice the protein and I believe less gluten and sodium according to some sources. The downside is this third process also takes away a lot of the calcium normally found in yogurt. Most website suggest keeping both types in your fridge for a “sweets” substitution. Greek yogurt is also favored by many for cooking, its texture lends itself to being better for sauces, dips and dressings. Greek yogurt still has all the yummy live and active cultures, and depending on the brand you’re going to find some with too much added sugar, or organic or even high fats (trans fats even!) so watch your labels always!!

For future reading? See these two site, but also you all know how to use Google, ask your own version of a question. And I refuse to link Wiki!
Wellness Newsletter: Three questions down
NOW on an exciting note….who wants to win some sweet running gear? Well check out these two amazing blogs for details.
Beth @ Shut Up and Run has Champion clothing!
Tricia @ Endurance Isn’t Only Physical has Running Skirts!