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So this whole number thing started when my wife asked me why I wear the number 17 on my jerseys for basketball and softball.  That’s when my secret life of being crazy was found out.  I will give you some back ground on my eating habits.  I would have been a great professional eater when I was younger.  If I only had know competitive eating was out there I’m sure I would have done it and brought the Nathan’s hot dog eating belt back from Japan years ago. So I like sandwiches and my favorite during high school was a hot ham and cheese in the microwave.  To get the cheese melted just right you needed to put it in (open face so when it was done you had a cold piece of bread to handle it).   37 seconds was the right amount of time for it.  But here is the kicker the numbers 3 -7- start were in a line, because you didn’t want to waste time bouncing around hitting random numbers.  So that’s why my favorite number is 37.  A frozen hot dog is similar, 5-5 –start or two frozen hot dogs are 1-1-1- start.  It’s all about getting that food fast and not burning calories while doing it.   Now the reason I don’t wear my favorite number 37.   In high school basketball the jerseys only go up to 5’s (25, 35, 45, and 55).  So I could never wear it.  So when I started playing later in life I tried 37 and 47 (that was Corey Koskie’s number with the Twins) but I’m a tall skinny kid and those numbers are for larger people since they take up more space on your back, slimming you could say. 7 is for smaller point guard size people.  So I went with 17.  The numbers are tall and thin like me.

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Well, hi!  It’s been a while.  How’ve you been?

In all seriousness, thank you for all of your kind words last week.  If I didn’t respond to you personally via e-mail, I apologize.  Please know that I sincerely appreciate all of the support.

The last week has been surreal.  Through Josh’s passing I reconnected with people I hadn’t seen since college graduation almost six years ago.  I also had to face a few regrets and let go of old grudges.  While the circumstances couldn’t be more awful, I am so grateful for the opportunity to mend friendships that I thought were far too broken.  These relationships are going to require a lot of nurturing to get them back to where they need to be.

That said, I’ve decided to take a hiatus from TB30.  I’m not sure how long it will take for me to feel like I have a good handle on everything.   However, instead of leaving the site blank I’ve found a blogsitter.  TTO has graciously offered to maintain things while I’m off getting my ducks in a row.  The content may be a little bit different than what you are used to, but I’m sure it will be entertaining.  You won’t miss me at all.  

I’ll leave you with a little fact about TTO.  His favorite number is 37.  I know why, but I’m going to let him tell you.

I got a phone call this afternoon that completely shocked me.  It was my friend N telling me that our mutual friend Josh had died.  

I met Josh through friends during my first week of college.  He was the kind of guy that was pretty rough around the edges.  Fortunately I got to see Josh’s softer side during a trip he and I took with 10 other people towards our senior year.  We had a heart to heart (well, as close as Josh got to heart to heart) talk one night in an outdoor swimming pool under a full moon.  He was a great guy.  He was always looking out for his friends and giving honest advice.  He will be greatly missed.

Josh was one of the last people I saw as I was leaving campus on the day of graduation.  I remember hugging him and telling him congratulations and good luck.  That was the last time I saw him. 

A few weeks ago I got together with N and our friend B.  They were giving me the run down on all of the people I had lost touch with, Josh included.  Apparently he’d lost his job and had been battling depression.  Everyone was worried about him.  I thought about him quite a bit over the last two weeks and said several prayers.  Early on there was talk of it being a suicide, but it was determined that it was accidental.

It breaks my heart.

Some of you already know that today is my birthday.  My 28th birthday.  In some ways that number looks so large and foreign, like where did the last twenty years GO?  In other ways I feel like life is only beginning.  Which is why I wanted to smack the young punk at work today when he said, “Doesn’t it make you feel anxious to know that 30 is right around the corner?”  Honestly, no.  It doesn’t.  My mom always said that she loved her thirties and the closer I get, the more I see what she means.

When I was eight years old I spent a lot of time crying about not wanting to grow up.  My family still teases me about it.  Somehow I knew how charmed my life was and that being a grown up wasn’t all my friends thought it was cracked up to be.  There are still days when I’d love to go back and stretch out on my Strawberry Shortcake bedspread reading a Babysitter’s Club Book (okay, probably not the same time frame, but hopefully you get my point), but my grown up life has been pretty blessed too. 

On my 26th birthday I had what can probably described as a quarter-life crisis.  It was the first birthday I ever wanted to just ignore.  The problem was that I could clearly remember being 16 and saying in ten years I’ll have this, be this, do this.  Unfortunately those ten years had passed and I didn’t, I wasn’t and I hadn’t.  I eventually realized that what I did have was so much better than anything I could have imagined in high school. 

I have a great new job – when they realized it was my birthday they ran out to pick up a cake and they all signed a card for me.  It was unbelievably heartwarming considering I’ve only been there 7 days.

I have a family that loves and cares about me – my mom threw a little dinner party for me on Saturday and I had such a great time with my parents and in-laws.  Mamacita even made me a Funfetti cake (I guess that 8 year old is still in there!).

The dog.  The cuteness?  I don’t think I need to say more.

Finally, my husband is so amazing.  Not only did he snoop around and find the address for my new job (I don’t even know it yet!) so he could send me flowers but he also gave me a card this morning with the cutest little drawing of the new duvet cover that I really wanted for a gift.  The actual one will arrive sometime next week.  He has to work tonight so I’m home with the dog.  We’re planning to celebrate with our traditional birthday dinner of Chinese from our favorite place tomorrow night.

27 was sincerely one of the best years I can remember.  I can only hope that 28 will be too.  Thanks everyone for your kind wishes! 

(Yes, I am fully aware that this is three days late.  And just in time for the Bloggie Doggie Awards.  We’re just awesome around here.)

We’re very fortunate that Gus isn’t very damaging when it comes to chewing on our things.  I lost one pair of shoes early on, and TTO has a pair of slippers that are missing a bit of heel.  We also can’t leave pens where Gus might find them, but for the most part he sticks to his toys.

On his own stuff?  Gus is B-R-U-T-A-L.  Especially if the toy is plush or has a squeaker.  If a toy with a squeaker enters the house Gus embarks on his very own seek and destroy mission.  His personal record for removing a squeaker is about 3.2 seconds.  That poor stuffed squirrel didn’t stand a chance.  For a while we bought only bones and other tough toys.  He has a Kong that has seen far better days, a weird-looking football thing that Santa left in his stocking and a few small balls.  This makes me feel like a bad dog mom.  There just isn’t much in the way of cute tough toys out there.

I was feeling particularly generous last weekend while out on one of my many shopping excursions and I came across what looked like a great new toy for Gus. It was a softer toy, but the lable touted “Extra Tough Fabric for Extra Tough Dogs”. The fabric was so tough that I didn’t even realize it had a squeaker.

Gus certainly did:
gus-tough-toys.jpg

Obviously he’s a tough guy.

Don’t forget to say hi to the other “tough” guys and gals – Ben, Smalls (the cuteness?  Is killing me.), Rufus, Zapp and Ted.