Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 New Year Wallpaper

3...2...1.....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Here is a wallpaper so that your computer (or your phone) can celebrate New Years too! This is a picture of someone (could be anyone) and their super sweet dance moves dancing the year away. Although I'm not a fan of new years resolutions in general because I don't think you should wait until the new year to better your life, I have actually come up with a couple that I'm pretty excited about.

1. A year without the Crazy.  I'm talking no contact, none.  An entire year without Crazy? Doesn't that sound awwwwwesome and freeing!  And really, everyone should strive for a year without crazy and drama. Some people get power over bringing other people down and creating drama, but then a lot of those people graduate from high school.... I mean people have to grow up sometime, don't they?  No....?  Oh well.  If only there was a way to block text messages...*sigh*...I will just keep ignoring.  I'm going to stay strong and not let the Crazy bring me down in 2011!

2. Lose the "polar bear" in me.  Yes, this is a weight issue, and yes I know how annoying that is to everyone so I won't go into it that much, but I would like to start eating more healthy.  And let's just say I'd like to stop hearing people yell "earthquake!!!" when I run down the street.

3. Stay healthy. While I am mostly talking about preventing a Crohn's flare-up, this also relates to running, soccer, and other physical injuries that could happen. I got pretty beat up in my soccer game last night and I have to realize that at this point in my soccer "career" it's just not worth challenging some 18 year old kid because even if I win the ball, he is probably going to break my hip.  I also can't get sick because I am off COBRA and starting a new health insurance plan that doesn't cover Crohn's for the first year since it's a pre-existing condition. Stupid p.e.c...... oh well, here's to staying healthy!

4. Sub-4 Marathon. I almost didn't put this one on here, because it's more of a goal than a resolution....but I figure if I put it in writing, now I have to do it. I am going to do it.

5. Do something every month that scares me. Since almost everything scares me, this will give me a lot of options. Writing this blog really scared me-opening up my thoughts, ramblings, and health issues for the world (okay-5 people of the world) to see.  Hopefully I can keep up the trend in 2011.  But if we stop challenging ourselves to see what we are capable of, then what's the point? Here's to personal growth!

So I hope each year only continue to get better for you-new year, new you, new opportunities. And get a kick-start on that exercise resolution by dancing the night away! If you want any lessons on my dance moves, just let me know and we can make that happen and then you too, can look like this picture. I call these my "super sweet dance lessons"...so you know they're good.

Here's to the New Year!  Cheers!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Polar Bear Plunge

Yes, I’m doing it. I’m taking the plunge. Into Lake Michigan that is!! Get out your fuzzy hat and warm robe, because we are diving in deep. Okay, not really deep as Lake Michigan is actually pretty shallow for awhile close to shore, which makes it very difficult to get all the way under water, but I'm getting ahead of myself (shocking).
For only the third time in my life, and after a two year hiatus, this year (well technically next year), on January 1, 2011, as the first act of brilliance for the new year, I will be taking the venture into what we like to call a Wisconsin badge of honor/admittance that we’re all insane.

For all of my followers (since there are so many of you) who aren’t familiar with this concept, let me explain. We wait until the coldest time of year, then we pretend that it’s summer time and we all get in bathing suits, cut a hole in the ice, and jump into the water.  Voluntarily!  (Okay, for some people this involves alcohol so slightly voluntarily)

Once we're in the water (and you have to get your hair wet or it doesn't count) we all run around screaming like madmen until we have lost all feeling in our extremities.  Next we slowly make our way back towards shore.  Slowly because we are slowly losing control over our bodies.   Once we get out and the hypothermia begins to take hold and we can’t stop our bodies from shaking…then our mind sort of kicks back in and says “hmmm, I don’t think that was a good idea.”


I was against the polar bear plunge for a long time, for obvious reasons. My good friend from high school would invite me every year to do it.  I questioned his sanity and our friendship as a result of his choice to participate in this event.  I finally caved in 2007.  I’m not sure what made me change my mind-I’m sure peer pressure played a part. That and rock music are basically the only things that influence my decision-making. I will tell you this you doubters…….it is amazing!!! The adrenaline rush that you get is enough to last you for a year until you’re going to want to do it again!

I will say, however, that running into Lake Michigan was much more “enjoyable” than my second experience.  It was up in the north woods in 2008 and I jumped into a big hole in the ice up in a man-made lake, and three seconds later you are pulled out. I think I like Milwaukee's version because you get to actually run and move while being in the water, you can spend as much time as you want out there (not that we play water basketball or anything), and your body can sort of slowly adjust to the near-death level of cold.


In 2007 when I showed up at Lake Michigan promptly at 11:45 for a noon "jump", I was surprised by the amount of people there.  There were tents set up, fires going, people grilling out, I was impressed!  Then right at 11:59 they tell everyone to step up to the water. That was when I realized that the vast majority of the crowd were there for the show to watch us idiots make fools of ourselves.  All I thought was, please don’t let an image of me in a swimming suit end up on YouTube. Although it might be a good video for kids to show them what a real polar bear looks like.

Actual Polar Bear.




My imitation of a Polar Bear.


So now as a seasoned veteran, I have a couple words of advice.  First, there are rocks on the bottom of Lake Michigan, yes below the chunks of ice.  I was told to wear shoes to prevent being cut, and I would agree with this advice.  Small detail at the time was that I was not given this advice until I got there, which was not quite as helpful. So while I took the advice and wore my running shoes into the water… the problem was that when I got out I did not have another pair of shoes to wear. As I walked the long painful trek (I think it was approximately 8 miles) across the snow (uphill both ways) in my socks to my friend’s car, my feet were screaming at me letting me know what an idiot I was.  Thanks feet, I've realized that.  After a week though I gained pretty much all the feeling back in my toes, so it wasn’t really that big a deal.

Second, once you get out of the water and your mind and body are in shock….don’t just stand there like an idiot. You should get dressed immediately. I had this really sweet purple robe that I was wearing over my 5 million layers when I got there.  It works much better while actually being worn than laying in the snow.  These two mistakes may have been detrimental to my short-term health…but in the long-term, I’m sure it’s nothing…….right?  Do you want to go yet?

I’ve also realized that with all those cameras and tiny sneaky video recording devices, that the chances of other people seeing me in a swimsuit are way too high to take the risk. This year I have decided to wear a onesie.  Yes, an adult size onesie, also known as “footed pajamas”. The same thing babies wear…but a lot bigger, and mine will be covered in Grinches (how fitting).  Not only will it have the added benefit of covering almost all of my body, but it’s also super stylish!  Here is exactly how this will look.
January 1-the 2011 version
  So please join me as we ring in a new year the way we were supposed to-by jumping into ice cold water!! Milwaukee’s weather forecast currently shows Windy with a high of 28 and low of 15. What reason is there not to??

UPDATE:  I did it!!!  It wasn't pretty, but I did it-in my full onesie outfit (which no one got, which made it even better).  I got there a little late due to crazy traffic and ended up making some new friends to run in with.  I only wish I had met the guy in the banana costume, because I think that would have been a cool site to see.  Ah well, enjoy!  My favorite part, besides the women screaming, is at 19 seconds where the guy goes "they all went under!"  Damn right we did!!!  I will just say, for the record, that running in the water isn't too bad, but right when you get out---that is insane-your entire body shuts down.  awesome!!!

UPDATE #2: Here is another video that I forgot to put up.  This is my pre-jump dance.  I like how you can hear me say "I'm starting to regret this"...but I didn't.

video


video

And here is how good I looked after.  Not many people can pull off the half-frozen look, but I think I rocked it.
Frozen hair, red face....can  you say glamour shot?!!




Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Wallpaper

Merry Christmas!!

As I am sure you have all been waiting to celebrate your family holidays until your computer had the proper background, here it is.

This has the official stamp of approval from my Mom.  So you know it couldn't possibly be any better.  Although I hate to admit any weaknesses, I have realized that I might have a slight difficulty with 3-dimensions.  My brother added in the slight detail of having a separation between the wall and the floor.  But really, how many people want pictures in 3-D anyway?  I feel like this 3-D trend won't last long....and then I will be back on top.

But for now, I hope you enjoy the background and that you have a wonderful holiday.


If this picture is ever hanging in a famous museum, they will probably title it, "Perfect Christmas."


Monday, December 13, 2010

Running with Crohn's-Vegas Style

I don’t even know where to begin. I feel like last weekend was a turning point for me. On that weekend I took a major step, made a major effort, to make a difference in something that means so much to me…and it feels unbelievably great.

On December 5, 2010, I participated in the Rock ‘n Roll Vegas Half Marathon (that's 13.1 miles) through Team Challenge, Wisconsin. If you don’t know that by now, then you never will because I have been literally talking/blogging/tweeting/facebook updating/interpretive dancing as if my life depended upon it (and maybe someday it will-it’s scary because it’s trrrrue!)
Spoiler alert.... I finished!!!  And look at that bling!
This race exceeded my expectations and the best part was the amazing people I had around me to share the experience with.

I think I’ve been living my life in denial about a lot of things; a defense mechanism that can’t really hold. Or if it does, then you’re living your life as a lie. Bad things happen to people every day; people get sick, people die… we all know someone who has been diagnosed with a disease or has passed away. And while this is a part of life, there are efforts we can do to make a difference.

I was in denial about my Crohn’s disease. I was ashamed of it. As much as I have tried to change that by writing about it on here, telling people I am raising money for it, etc., it all came to a culmination this past weekend.

This long post (sorry for the length but this was as much restraint as I could handle when talking about this) is just about the race experience itself, which only took up about 7 hours of my time when I think about it-getting up, running, and then staying for a extra few hours cheering myself hoarse.  But in that 7 hours, a lot went through my mind.

Okay---here goes.

When I went down to the lobby of Mandalay Bay at 5:45 am (yes, you read that right. I can’t believe I was awake and functioning at that time, okay maybe not really “functioning”), I walked into a party, a celebration. The energy that was bouncing off the hundreds of people in their blaze orange singlets was impossible to deflect. These people are my teammates. They had spent the same countless hours as I had fundraising and training...all for this moment and for the CCFA. The emails, the discussions (“so what exactly is Crohn’s disease?”), creating fundraising parties (and having them fall in your face), and all those miles on the road...they had all done that too. All of the time and energy had all led to this moment. This was it. Race day.

It was still dark out when we walked from Mandalay Bay out to the starting line on the Las Vegas strip. Although much warmer than the temperature in Wisconsin , the 55 degrees still chilled me as I waited in line to check my gear.

I walked to corral #6, my starting line. I had already peed twice from nervousness. And yes, this is that kind of play-by-play. And no, there will not be a picture for this one. Well actually….


Although my standard m.o. is to show up at the race start with one minute to spare, shoes untied while trying to pin on my bib, I was (slightly) more prepared this time. I only had to run frantically back to my hotel room twice to get items I forgot. I then immediately lost my gloves in the hotel lobby. So even though I had plenty of time, I still somehow managed to not be adequately prepared for the run. I brought my ipod to run to even though this was a “rock ‘n roll” marathon because… well because I like it. I was so proud of my preparation in that I had made two playlists-one “race” list exactly at 2 hours so that I would be forced to finish under 2 hours and then one with all of my music, including the slow stuff that I didn't want to have to skip over in a race.

Since I had all this free time to wait around, I decided to switch on my fantastically amazing hard-core playlist. While randomly holding down buttons, I managed to get my ipod stuck on the extremely slow (albeit beautiful) song “Hide and Seek” by Imogean Heep. As I would hit the Next button, I would hear “Oooh what you say, ooh what you say…. “ This was not going to work for two hours. I eventually got it to play another song with an approach I like to call “swear and hit buttons with force”, although I never did figure out how to get to my playlist. Oh well, stupid technology....

Back to the race! I was wearing a blaze orange Crohn’s and Colitis singlet, and I have never been more proud to wear something.  I finally realized the meaning of the words “Team Challenge”. While I was running the strip (and really even when I'm not) every single person wearing that singlet was my teammate and I was so proud of them. We had all made a dedication, a statement, that we will work towards finding a cure to these Inflamatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) and we had followed through on that promise. We stood there together as a team at the starting line….and at the finish line.

I thought I was going to have a fun weekend in Vegas and I ended up getting so much more out of the experience. More than I ever anticipated. It seemed that as much as I wanted to pretend this wasn’t a big deal, my body decided it was.

The horn went off for my coral and we all started running. I couldn’t help what happened next. All of these emotions that I had no idea were there came out and poured over me (see, denial). Running underneath the blues brother cover band with all of the dancing Santas could make even a grinch smile…but what kept that permanent grin on my face for the next 13.1 miles was much more than dancing Santas (okay not the entire 13.1 as it did start to hurt around mile 8, but you get the idea). I teared up (okay borderline cried) during basically all of mile one. I know what you’re thinking; “I didn’t know someone as bad-ass as you had emotions?” And while you usually would be correct, this moment was a rare exception.


I wanted to enjoy every second of the run, all 13.1 miles. I have always run for myself and because I like running and never really thought much more of it. I can tell you now, that running for something so much bigger than yourself (and no, for once that is not a fat joke), is unbelievable.

That sign isn't really there; after finishing my drawing, I realized that these need some labeling.

I wasn’t even trying for a certain finish time. For the first 7 miles, I don’t even think my feet were touching the ground. It felt like I was flying. Anyone wearing blue or bright orange got a high-five and a cheer from me. I was probably more obnoxious than the supporters.  But if I am running 13 miles and have more energy than you fan/supporter/cheerer-oner (I made that word up), then what is wrong with you?! But honestly, I was sort of freaking out.  And by sort of, I mean barely keeping it together or I was going to burst with joy.  The “I’m going to high-five strangers and hug babies so hard their mom’s get scared” kind of freak out. I must have looked like a crazed maniac. Messy hair, snot running down my face, a blur of blaze orange. Oh man it was awesome.

I am an expert snot-rocketeer.  I might or might not have hit someone during this race.
We first passed Luxor and Excalibur on the left, followed quickly by Tropicana and MGM on the right (roooar!). The Statue of Liberty waved us on at New York, New York. Next came the City Center, the new casino Aria (which smells like vanilla by the way), and the Cosmopolitan, which I think opened this past weekend (reunion anyone?).

Here at the heart of the strip, we passed Planet Hollywood, Paris, and Bally’s (been there, done that). Next came the Flamingo and O’Sheas, which looks so much more frightening in the light of day.  We passed the columns of Caesar’s Palace and the sketchy Harrah’s (which reminded me of Crazy’s indiscretions-now there is a motivator to run faster!), and so many countless other casinos, bars, and shops.

I stole this picture-guess where from?

When I passed Treasure Island, which was on my left, the water and fire show was going on and I could actually feel the flames and the spray of water from all the way on the other side of the street. Ahhhhh-mazing!!!! I thought to myself, now this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Couples ran through the “Run-Thru Wedding” (with some of the cutest outfits-loved the tuxedo shirts and short white dresses) on the bridge at the Venetian, which had a pretty decent sized crowd. I contemplated taking the plunge, but I couldn’t stop my legs!! And the people that do this run?  Elvis, Fairies, Fred Flinstone, naked Amazon guy?, Karla with a K’s cape….the people are amazing!

After we ran past all of the major casinos, the last being the Stratosphere, I would say the quality of the buidlings went downhill fast.  The north side of Vegas seems to be the old shop/wedding chapel section.  We took a sharp right and were all of a sudden in the middle of nowhere.  Where were we?  I thought I had somehow missed a turn and was running the full marathon.  As excited as I was, I was not up for a spontaneous marathon.  I pulled down my headphones and asked someone around me. This instantly created mass hysteria because then a lot of people started getting freaked out thinking we were all running the marathon. I bet they were glad they were running by me.

But it was a false alarm, I just hadn’t looked at the course map in advance (how could I, I only had about 6 months to?) so I didn’t realize we were running off the strip at all.  So once someone had finally convinced us all that we were going the right way, I settled back into my steady pace of happiness.

I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but you could wear another bib specifically for the CCFA that said “In Honor Of” or “Living With” with a blank below it.  I was hesitant to wear this, but when I saw others wearing it, I ran back up and got it.  I somewhat unsuccessfully tried to cross out Living and wrote Running, so that it read “Running with Crohn’s Disease”-here’s a pic. No, I didn’t draw this-you can tell because although slightly more realistic, it's still not quite as awesome.

Look at that penmanship--yep, that's where these art skillz come from.

I had a woman come up to me around mile 6, which started with “so, you have Crohn’s?”  Well lady, read the shirt. Okay I didn’t really say that. She told me about her mother’s friend who was living with Crohn’s and the problems she had.  I told her about Team Challenge and we chatted for another couple minutes.  That alone would have made the race worthwhile.  To me, this is exactly why I participated in Team Challenge and why I wore that bib.  Awareness is vital.  And to me, getting people to talk about these diseases is the first step.

So needless to say, I had a blast.  After I started to get tired/dizzy/my knee was giving out on me, I figured it was too late to slow down and I may as well stick with the pace.  For those last 4 miles, all I could think about was why I was doing this, and all of the people I was running for.  I thought about every person that donated money to me, who read my ramblings, who cared enough to ask about what I was doing… I have never had such purpose behind every step that I took and it gave me the strength to keep going regardless of how my knee was killing me or how it felt like my heart was in my throat (and on fire).

As really icing on the cake, I got a new personal best for a half-marathon at around 1:51:30.  That means one hour and fifty-one minutes and 30 seconds for you non-runner lingo peeps. Although I am not sure of my exact time since my chip time didn’t work (probably because technology knows how much crap I talk about it on here), I am estimating my time based on when I passed the 1:52 pace group (although Zappos says they're looking into my results, so who knows).   Either way, a new PR by a couple of minutes! The last two half marathons I have run, I have beat my time by 2 minutes…I am hoping to keep up this trend.

At the end I thought yes, I am dehydrated and I had thrown up already 3 times since in Vegas (Apparently Vegas, Crohn’s, traveling, and food buffets aren’t a great combination), but then I thought…every person that I passed and saw the “Running with Crohn’s” on my back… thought, oh man! She has Crohn’s and she is kicking my ass!  And that kept me going.

After finishing, I knew I was going to hurt. Maybe that is the "Challenge" part of Team Challenge.  I had gotten goosebumps in the final few miles even in the sun, which I knew was a sign I was dehydrated.  And sure enough, as soon as I was done and did an extremely horrible/scary interview for the Team Challenge camera (which I hope to God they don't use), I could feel my "happiness" coming up. I was just hanging out, playing it cool by one of the garbage bins waiting for it come.  A medic approached me to ask if I was okay.  I guess I was eyeing up the garbage can a little too much.  “I’m like, yeah, it’s cool-I’m probably going to puke.” I think I freaked him out by how calm I was.  But what he didn’t know is that it was all from happiness.

This is what it would have looked like had I puked.  That is a chain-link fence; that is all I remember staring at/leaning on for awhile.
I somehow managed to keep everything down and got my finish line pic with a Showgirl! What an experience-only in Vegas!
This is what I look like when I'm near puking.  And I purposefully went to the showgirl in neon pink. Looove it.

We had over 1700 people there for Team Challenge and raised $3.75 million dollars for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation from the race alone. 

I ran with pride and I ran for a purpose and for my friends and family. I went from being ashamed to have an inflammatory bowel disease to literally wearing it on my back. And it was the best damn race of my life.

Thank you for being a part of my team.
Here is another stolen picture; priceless.  Well actually it isn't priceless, which is why it's stolen.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Good news-I didn't die!

And I ran on snow today. So all around a pretty good day. My post about the race is soon to follow, but I thought I had to cover the basics first, i.e. I am not dead.


While you might think that this would obvious since you’re reading this, I did contemplate having some posts pre-written in case of my untimely death to be published posthumous. However, luckily (for you) I was too lazy/drugged up to do so, and now you get the fresh (slightly less drugged) material!

To put it concisely (which I won’t), I had travel problems. I was traveling on standby and basically everything that could have gone wrong did. On the way to Vegas and on the way back to non-Vegas.

  • Bad weather-check.
  • Miss layover flight due to delay-check.
  • Not get on stand-by flight because plane is overbooked-CHHHHHHHHHHHHHECK.
Here is a representation of the flight pattern that the airline suggested I take home from Vegas to Milwaukee. And this was after the 1:30 and 3:30 flight were booked, so this was a maybe from a 7:30pm flight starting from Las Vegas to L.A. This would have gotten me back to Milwaukee in approximately a week in a half. Yet they were somewhat surprised to hear my polite tactful disagreement with this plan.


Warning: drawn exactly to scale.  And yes, that is a layover in Hawaii.
 Update: Apparently I was not clear enough with exactly how my "polite tactful disagreement" was expressed.  No, I don't have tourettes syndrome (well maybe self-diagnosed); I just had a minor relapse into my college swearing days.  Even my poor mother, the most easily to freak-out person I know, had to tell me to calm down.

Look at that above map.  You tell me that if someone suggested something close to that to you in a seemingly completely serious tone, that you wouldn't go "ballistic apeshit".  That's what I thought.  See you on the seas Sailor!


My desire for a red sky has been limited by the tools I have to use; I hope to update this picture in the future to capture the real essence of my swearing problem.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

VEGAS in TWO DAYS!!!!

Team Challenge Wisconsin leaves for Vegas in TWO DAYS!!!!  We have over 40 people on our team (one of the biggest in the nation!)  I am so excited to be a part of this.  For those of you who haven't heard me talk about this every second for the last 6 months, I am leaving on Friday to participate in the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in Las Vegas on Sunday!!  And yes, you heard correctly, Bret Michaels is headlining the after-party at the Mandalay Bay!  Apparently there are also tigers at the start, show girls at the finish line, and you can get married at mile 5. Hmmmmm......

Since I am unbelievably sleep deprived at this point, I have decided to overcompensate with a lot of exclamation points.  Okay, no, I won't do that.  That's obnoxious and annoying as are too many emoticons.    :-)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  see?

Since I am, good or bad, one of the most honest people I know (and no, I don't have a lot of friends b/c of this honesty problem), I will admit that when I first started this post it started it out with "Team Challenge Wisconsin leaves for Vegas in Two weeks!!"  I guess I am also coming clean about another problem I have; I will call it "post" procrastination.  It is very similar to my other problem called "procrastination" but involves publishing a post.  Some day I am going to write a post about my "process"....but since I keep procrastinating on that post, well, you get the idea....

Anyway, back to VEGAS!!!  I cannot believe it is here already!  Last night we had a send-off party and it helped me realize that this is really happening.  I was also really motivated by some new people I met and heard the stories of their struggle with this disease and I am just unbelievably inspired by their strength and perseverance.  While it frightens me what this disease may have in store for me in the future, I know that I am doing what I can now to help advancements and hopefully one day find a cure.

I recently read that there have been serious advancements in the treatment for Lupus, which gives me hope as Lupus is another autoimmune disease so perhaps some of the research/treatment can be carried over to treatments for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Okay, who turned this happy post into sad/sickly stuff?  Oh yeah, me.  Okay, back to happy!!

Here is a picture of me on my way to Vegas!!
I guess all the other passengers are sleeping...and that I needed a bigger window to fit all my hair in. Yes, it's back to curly brown; I don't know why...it just seemed more fitting here.

So that is exactly what I will look like at approximately 3pm THIS Friday.

In fact, if you want to know exactly what I will look like.....


Yes, those are bouncing lines from me jumping up and down on the seat.  If you have ever met me, you will know that I will most undoubtedly be bouncing up and down uncontrollably barely containing my excitement.  These are a few of the things I get excited by, in no particular order: 1) throwing a stress relief cone at people, 2) thinking about throwing a stress relief cone at people, 3) watching spongebob laugh, 4) seeing people run into things, 5) seeing someone I haven't seen in 5 minutes, 6) puppies...okay I forgot what I'm doing. 

The point is, I am easily extremely excited.  So the idea of taking a big trip to Vegas AND for an amazing cause....is pretty much too much excitement for my poor body to handle.  I am also not good with caffeine and sugar as I have a tendency to basically run in circles.

I will probably cause so much bouncing that it will cause too much turbulence for everyone on the plane and they will make me parachute out as I am causing too much of a disturbance for the other passengers.

This is me not being phased by that at all...



I should make one tiny technicality clear.  While the above represents an accurate representation of what is, and will be, going through my mind-the enthusiasm, the excitement, the....I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S HERE!!!  Unfortunately there is this very small irrational part of my brain that no longer enjoys flying.  And by no longer enjoy, I mean I grip the airplane seat handles with white knuckles anxiously awaiting every second for the plane to plummet to my certain death.

As this has been going on and worsening for some years, I have decided to take matters into my own hands, or brain rather.  Yes, I am aware that flying is the safest form of transportation and that the odds of me dying in a car crash are much more likely...but, like I said, irrational.  I think a bit part of it stems from the fact that I have absolutely no control over what happens thousands of miles up in the air.  I have always liked pressure, a challenge...the ability to "step up to the plate"...but sitting back and watching someone else at the plate with your life in their hands?  Not as much fun for me.

I did consider other modes of transportation, which involved-driving, train, hitch-hiking, riding a tricycle, etc....

However, what better cause could there be to get over this silly irrational minor detail of not wanting to fly!  So...with a little help from my doctor lady friend, I hope to make it there and back not only in one piece physically, but also without a psychological meltdown.

I did request from the physician something akin to a horse tranquilizer, but apparently it's "illegal" on humans or some other lame excuse she came up with.

But here is an accurate representation of what I actually will look like on Friday at 3pm.


I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hot Things #2

This wasn't originally meant to be a series, but it is becoming more and more evident that I cannot be around hot items.  Yesterday morning I burned myself while ironing again.  And not on a normal part you would expect to burn if you were ironing, say my left hand while I iron with my right hand.  No, I burned the lower part of my forearm on my ironing hand.  I honestly don't even know how....

I was going to take a picture of the burn, but I thought this would be more helpful and actually much more accurate.  You will also notice that I have updated my self-portrait from my brown curly fro to my now-sleek dark bob.  Yes, I like to keep you up to date on my changing looks.
It hurt immediately and I thought it was nothing and as I was hurrying to get to work, I did what most people are supposed to do when burned or otherwise hurt...I ignored it.

On my drive to work I noticed it was hurting more and kind of itching and I pulled down my shirt and saw a little blister.  Luckily it wasn't nearly as bad as when I tried to burn off my hand while performing the complicated task of making tea.

I have a theory that my left hand burn was a little lonely and wanted a burn scar to talk to.  I'm so glad I could be a part of this beautiful (and I have a feeling lifelong) friendship.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Okay here is a post!

I am not a machine people!!!  Although if I was, it would probably look something like this.

I have realized that apparently my vision of a robot is something like a regular gray person who sort of resembles the Tin Man.
So anyway, although I do sometimes dress like that (but with more black), the truth is I have just been so busy lately I haven't had time to put together some posts!  I don't think I have slept for the last two weeks, which is good!!  But bad....

Because here is what I would rather be doing.


I tried to draw in my dog Pugsy, but that was too much for me right now as my mind is weak from the lack of sleep.

Hopefully this will hold you over until tomorrow when I have nothing planned so I will be blasting out so much rambling and amazing drawings it will make your heart sing.


This is an accurate representation of what your heart will look like tomorrow.
Bis morgen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Road Rage #1

Oh those crazy Wisco drivers.
As the #1 in the title should tip you off, this is going to be a series as I have a lot of issues to discuss related to driving.

Whenever someone says: “I’m a good driver.” it means they aren’t. This is pretty much a statistically proven fact. My authority and sample size for this fact is the countless times someone has told me they are a great driver…and then they are horrible.

So I never say I’m a good driver; I say I am a defensive driver, I am an assertive driver, but never a “good” driver. Because guess what? 98% of the people out there are bad drivers. Since so many people seem to lack basic driving skills and knowledge, or perhaps the common sense to carry that knowledge out, I have compiled a list of common mistakes people make and little tips to help them out. Feel free to pass this on to any “bad” drivers you may know as they might legitimately not know these, or have simply forgotten or gotten lazy. There is nothing like a friendly “here’s a list of stuff you suck at” email to brighten someone’s day. Is it brightening your day right now??

As a caveat, these are general rules and guidelines and by no means a replacement for the driver . This is more my personal “driving etiquette” and some of the things I say in here are completely illegal. So even though I say you can do them, I am not (as much as I probably should be) the enforcer of anything driving related. So if your goal was to print this out and keep it in your glove box and then hand it to a police officer when you get pulled over…well, good luck with that and don’t give them my name.

1.) Merging onto a Highway. When you merge onto a highway, you should be speeding up during this process so that you enter the highway at the same speed that traffic is going. If you need some help knowing about what speed that should be, they have these little signs on the side of the road that say SPEED LIMIT in bold/all caps letters. This is actually good advice no matter when you are driving. For those folks living in Wisconsin, the speed limit on the highway is generally 65mph, but you should probably read those signs anyway as this isn’t always a given.
This is what they look like; now you know. I guess knowledge is power.
If you are unaware why it is a good idea to be going the same speed of traffic, think of it this way. If a bunch of balls are going in a circular track really fast and then you put one really dumb slow moving ball made of lead in front of a fast ball….it’s going to get hit, OR that ball is going to have to swing around you because you are a moron and disrupting traffic and possibly hit another ball, or cause another ball to swerve, etc.

Bottom line, just speed up before you get onto the highway. Should you be uncomfortable merging onto a  highway or going that fast, DO NOT DRIVE ON THE HIGHWAY.


Here is an example of someone who shouldn't be driving on the highway.  As you can see, if you have a pink lei hanging form your mirror, beads, or any sort of item that is pink and fluffy...don't drive on the highway or someone will hit you (and that someone might be me).


 2.) BlinkersGod created blinkers for you to use them. As much as you might think that flashing light is merely a pretty accessory to your car, or maybe something to amuse your drunk friend or child, it was actually engineered and put on your vehicle for a very specific and useful purpose. While you might know what you are planning to do, such as turning left in a block…as hard as this may be to believe, the blinker is designed to let other people know what you’re doing so they can be aware of this and plan accordingly. For example, if you’re going to be turning left, I might switch into the right lane so that I don’t have to sit there for 2 minutes waiting for you to get an opportunity to go left through oncoming traffic and then you get through at the last minute on the yellow and I get stuck at the red light and have an aneurysm.

If you are unsure where the blinker is located, please reference the above diagram.  And yes, this is official.
his actually leads me to my third point...

3.) Signs. Those signs in the city that say “No left turn from 8am-9am and 3pm-6pm”, well those are shockingly also put there for a reason. Traffic is really busy during that time and so if you try and turn left there….you’re probably going to end up in the middle of the intersection for the entire light and then go through when it’s yellow. That’s great for you but it creates a really long line behind you of traffic that is now getting in the way of other intersections. I understand that I am basing this on the premise that whoever holds up traffic at this hour actually can read, but if they can’t, I’m insulting them anyway and they will never know….because they sure can’t read this.

I'm in a bright color so that you can see me!

There is an exception to this rule. If there is no one around (including police officers), by all means............gun it. But I didn’t tell you that.

4.) The Fast Lane. There are a lot of rules and etiquette on what can happen in this elusive mysterious lane. Okay, it’s not really elusive or mysterious, but that sounded cool. I’m taking this down to basics because apparently people have difficulty with this. The left lane is the fast lane. Are you still following me? Great, let’s move on.

You know those signs that state “Slower Traffic Move to the Right”….well, read that, then read the above bolded and underlined sentence again. Now back to the traffic sign…now back to the above sentence. … are you getting this?

This is one of my all time top pet peeves (and yes, I have a lot of them), and this is probably because I like to go fast. Safe, but fast. Because no, I don’t want to waste my life sitting in my car in traffic. I want to go places, I want to do things. And watching your car drive really slow is not high on my list.

If you are going 2 miles per hour over the speed limit, that does not entitle you to be in the fast lane. This isn’t a subjective: “I’m going fast for me” standard. Look around you, does someone want to go faster than you? Move to the right. This also causes problems because people that want to drive faster than you have to switch to the right lane to pass you, which is more dangerous.

So do yourself a favor and stay in the right lane unless you’re passing someone (which you probably aren’t).

Look forward to more posts related to driving including such exciting topics as: Senior Citizens, Texting while driving, winter driving, parking, and many more.

Until then, safe driving.
Have you noticed I like drawing cars?

Friday, November 12, 2010

We've Gone International!!!

As many of you know, I am a fan of traveling and really respect and enjoy different cultures.  Well it turns out the world feels the same way about my blog of sarcastic ramblings.  My only interpretation of this is that they can't understand what I'm writing (as English is probably their second language and since many people for who English is their first language probably don't understand this...well, you get it).

Anyway, apparently my friend checked this blog in Egypt and made my Veterans Day Wallpaper (see below) the background on the computer where he checked it (which I believe was a dusty shanty close to Libya). That...really cracks me up.  My "art" is now internationalHowever, since then, the list of countries that have viewed this blog has exploded!  (Please note that before today the list consisted of....United States).'

As of right now:

United States 779

Belgium 10
South Africa 9
Canada 7
Sweden 6
Denmark 5
Egypt 5
Vietnam 5
Australia 4
Russia 4
France 2
Poland 2
Puerto Rico 2
Portugal 2

What the heck???  I have no idea! But way to go Belgium!  You're a very close second! I can only presume that, like me, they are drawn to bright and shiny objects like my drawings. Vielen dank, Merci, Shookrin, Thanks....and many more for your viewership!
 
 

Another update! For the first time ever, we broke triple digits in one day!!  I'm not sure what accidental search engine this is showing up on, but I apologize in advance to all of you unsuspecting viewers.  Having said that, you're welcome.

Reality Update

Update:

Since I have been in such a blah funk due to Crazy attempting to suck away my life force, I decided that we needed a good pick-me up! 

For all you Harry Potter fans, Crazy is equivalent to a Dementor, as seen above.  Dementors actually do suck the life force out of people.  And, interestingly,this picture is actually slightly more accurate than the last one of Crazy.
I am also still sick.  Thanks to my self-diagnosed hypochondria, I have narrowed the most realistic diagnosis to: whooping cough, chronic sinusitis, chronic upper respiratory infection, life-threatening pneumonia, all of the above, or....it's just taking a while for the antibiotics to work and get rid of this sinus infection/upper respiratory infection.

This is my immune system/sponge coughing. Do you love that I can do angles now?  Yeah...me too.

Regardless, I have decided I should start wearing those medical alert braces.  I blame my hypochondria on two things: 1) my mom, and 2) the internet.  I made the mistake of telling my parents that I wasn't feeling well this week (after being sick for a month), and I get hourly texts and emails because they naturally assume that if I haven't called them in 5 minutes that I am lying dead somewhere in a hospital.  This might be partly because as a kid I used to joke that I got into car accidents all the time to try to scare them into thinking the little things I did weren't that bad...this might have backfired.  Still, the good thing is I blame them, not me.

The internet is a horrible source of information.  Thanks so much Al Gore.  All I have to do is type in something like: "I have a cough, could I be dying?" or "serious deadly disease with sinus problems".... and the internet tells me that all my fears are justified!! The first article was called "Cough could be a sign of serious diseases".  Oh great, I have multiple serious diseases.  I knew it!!

I have now realized that this post is not really "fun" so instead of re-writing it...I'm just going to re-title it from the original title of "Friday Fun-Day" to Reality Update...as that is what this is.  It's real life.  And an update.  Was that as dramatic as it sounded when I pounded the keys?  Real life!!!!  Yeah, now it's real.

Okay, here's a little something to lighten it up at the end.
Bffs forever.
I have been saving this picture for when it was really needed.  In a dark dark time, this picture is the light at the end of the tunnel.  I mean it's a unicorn and a butterfly resting on it's freakin' nose.  This can only bring beauty, love, and innocence into this world.  If I am the unicorn, you are all my butterfly.  Wow...I can't believe I said that.  This is better than a hallmark card; I'm leaving it in.

Enjoy, my friends.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veterans Day Wallpaper

Barely got this in...sorry, it has been busy and draining times dealing with the Crazy.

For your viewing pleasure, below is a Veterans Day themed wallpaper that will make your computer screen sigh with bliss.

Although I'm sure you can obviously tell what it is, I will tell you anyway.  That is a Veteran.  He is saluting.  I was going to draw clothes on him...but that was far too complicated for my artistic abilities.

You will notice the bald eagles.  They do look similar to my bats, but they are clearly bald eagles due to the white head.

Also, I put that nest thing in the tree.  After I did that, I knew I should no longer mess with perfection.  A true artist knows when to stop.

Enjoy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm judging you right now

Have you ever preemptively disliked someone because you knew (or thought you knew) that they wouldn’t like you.  Or that they would judge you and think they’re better than you so you beat them to the punch? Ha! I didn’t like you first! So there!  I'm more judgmental than you.


No?

Yeah, me either.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hello Egypt

My good friend is leaving for Amsterdam and Egypt today, and in case he dies, which he better not, I wanted to do something to say farewell and to say thanks as he has really helped me raise money for my fundraiser (insert shameless plug here: http://www.donate4nadia.com/).  (Hint: If you donate, maybe you'll get an awesome pic like this too!)

This picture that I drew of him in Egypt I feel will not only move everyone who sees it and will probably have the Egypt tourism department contacting me ASAP to do some promotional information for them, but will probably also serve as some sort of life-shield should he come into any danger.

Please note that I tried several times to draw a camel and it did not work. I have decided to compromise and attach a separate (yet still unsuccessful) picture of a camel...you can put them together in your head.

Also, these are clearly whatever type of birds that are native to Egypt (and no, I didn't take the time to look that up).

Safe travels and have fun!!


Keeping it cool-Cairo style!

'Cause camels are cool too!



It's a New Day


I'm going to make you sick!! Arrrgh! (I guess he's a pirate grim reeper)
 I would like to give you a short update to apologize for the lack of posts lately. I have been dealing with some physical problems, which basically involves feeling like death (but others may just call the flu), and some situational/emotional problems, which involves dealing with a crazy person (let's just call him "Crazy"). Unfortunately these issues are draining my energy which could be used in a much more productive way, i.e. writing rambling posts on here. The good news is that I have taken steps in both regards to get rid of both problems so hopefully it will be done for good. While I can’t guarantee I won’t get sick again as you are aware of my lack of an immune system, I can (and am) putting up some protective barriers to keep the Crazy out.  The good news is it is decided, so now I actually feel better and can move on.

Not an accurate representation, so if you see this person, please don't yell at him for being so horrible to me as this may not be him.

I apologize to my faithful readers and reaffirm my dedication to the greater cause that is this blog.

I feel that I should be even more dramatic than this, but I think you get the point.

If you need something to look forward to, you should know that I have started my Veterans Day (11/11/10) wallpaper, which I hope to have up early next week so that you can really get in the mood.

And maybe because we need it now more than ever, I will be sending you some happiness and love shortly.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Wallpaper

Due to requests for me to post of my original drawings (and if you're wondering which ones are the original drawings just look through all my posts and find the most awesome pictures you have ever seen....and that is them), I have drawn for your viewing pleasure and use, a Halloween background.

Feel free to download this and use as your wallpaper to impress your co-workers and friends.

You will see that I very clearly and concisely signed this drawing in the bottom right-hand drawer so you can scratch that idea of selling this on the black market for millions.

Enjoy.



 Update: I have increased the size to make this easier for you to download.  also...if you take my picture and write your name over it...THAT IS STILL STEALING! And I will hunt you down and steal back my creative art work.

Update #2: While I debated labeling my artwork, I realized that it was even harder to write (see for example my name).  Those are not, if you wondering, seagulls.  Those are bats.  Also, yes the ghost is mildy depressed and the pumpkin is schizophrenic.  But I'm sure you could tell by the depth of character I put into them.

UPDATE 3#:  Oh my god you people are awesome!!  I was "tagged" in a photo on facebook and clicked on the link unsuspectingly.  Up comes this:


After all the people that told me my artwork would never be accepted by the public, by all the haters who said the picture is too small....well TAKE THAT WORLD!!!  I also got notices that my artwork was on computer backgrounds in other states around the world.  This day was the proudest so far...thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to read my unedited ramblings and to share it with the world.  I honestly didn't think a single person would actually use the picture, but it made my day and more.  So thanks!  And hope you got some joy out of it too!

Halloween 2010

This is me being super scary last year.

I used to be really into Halloween.  It was my favorite holiday.  I loved the idea of dressing up and being someone different for the day. And despite the excuse for women everywhere to take the opportunity to dress like whores, I still liked expressing myself via a more conservative t-shirt. But for some reason I’m just not into it this year. Although there are a lot of parties going on, I’m just not feeling very festive.


I do want to make sure I pay my rent by the end of the month…so I guess that is sort of a trick or treat. Treat = I will have someplace to live next month. Trick = oops, late fee or eviction!


When I had a puppy, I bought him like 3 Halloween costumes. There is nothing like seeing a tortured cute little thing dressed up as a carrot or something. For some reason (well actually I know the reason), I have really been obsessed with pirates lately so I think I would dress up my puppy as a pirate. I wonder if it would really mess up their depth perception or ability to walk if one eye was covered up.


Spongebob Loves Halloween! (Mostly becauses he loves everything) Arrrrgh!!

I am not sure if this is cruel or amusing, but I think it would be funny.

Look at the joy on their faces!

So I hope you enjoy your Halloween and have a grand time!! Or a frightful time! Or just a normal time…either way I hope you spend it with people you care about and you get more treats than tricks.