Wintery Weekend

Last year, I was able to find some good things about winter. Then again, it was pretty mild. This year, there are no redeeming qualities to this season. I’m hating it more than I’ve hated it since moving out of Michigan, and this weekend only solidified that. Don’t get me wrong, I know other parts of the country are having it ten times worse. But here in my little corner of the world, winter can leave and never come back.

Friday night, we made it to the gym then went to Imperial Garden for dinner since I’d been craving some sweet and sour chicken. We went to Terry and Erica’s for our scheduled game night, but we didn’t game because we were all brain fried. So we visited and introduced them to some pretty awesomely bad fan fiction on the web.

The snow hit on Saturday, and we waited too long to get out and take a walk. Even though the morning was clear, we putzed around, and by the time we finally did go outside, the sleet sent us right back in. I finished some knitting projects and watched several hours of “Cheers.” Still, by the end of the day I was super restless. Besides the fact that we didn’t get out to do anything, the fact that I felt trapped by the weather just made me want to go out and do something that much more. I did do a little cleaning, some reading, and some putzing on the web, but nothing really active.

The sun came out this afternoon, and the plow trucks did a fair job of clearing the roads, so we headed into town for gym and gaming. Though I was pretty happy to get back into the gym, I didn’t hydrate well beforehand, so my feet hurt and I felt lethargic. Still, I exercised for about a half hour and finished Season 1 of Zombies, Run. I found out tonight that the initial purchase doesn’t give you all the new seasons, so tonight I bought the Season 2 pass so I can continue. At some point, I’ll have to buy season 3, but I think that’s a little further down the timeline (it’s not even released yet).

We made it to our Pathfinder game, doing a holiday one shot, and then Jon and I did a little bit of shopping to get dinner for tonight and lunches for the week. Things are going to take a little planning since we’re staying at Forsh’s the next two nights and we’ll want to plan what we’re making on Christmas Day. I think the day after Christmas will be chili since we both have that day off. I hope the weather is nice. I’d like to use the time off to get out and do some walking and geocaching.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been watching a lot of “Cheers” since it’s on Netflix. I put it on on a whim last week and realized how much I enjoyed it, both for the amusement and the nostalgia. It’s also really interesting to see how the show handled certain issues back then and how different it is from today. Some of the jokes throughout the show wouldn’t be acceptable today, especially those involving racism or gays. There have also been at least two scenes (I’m only in season 2) in which someone attempts sexual assault on Diane and the laugh track continues. She then proceeds to say how it was her fault. Yes, times have definitely changed. It’s also kind of strange that as an adult watching the show, I realize what a jerk Sam is and how dysfunctional his relationship with Diane is. It doesn’t help that I can’t stand Diane. I think she’s one of the worst TV characters ever. Luckily, the rest of the cast makes up for her.

Tomorrow’s Monday, and our work deadlines have been pushed up due to the holiday, so I need to get some rest so I can kick butt tomorrow. Off to shower and bed.

Stay safe out there.


Winning National Novel Writing Month

I have officially won National Novel Writing Month.

Technically, I won it a few days ago when I broke the total word count of 50,000. However, that was split between two novels I was writing simultaneously. Today, I focused on my first one and managed to finish it completely at just over 53,000 words. I still have a few days before the official end of Nanowrimo, but since we’ll be traveling, I’m not sure how much time I’m going to be able to give to the second novel. The goal now is to try to get a high word count to at least be in the running for Marissa Meyer’s contest. However, even if I don’t make that one, I’m still pretty excited with this accomplishment.

Also, I don’t completely hate the story I wrote, and other than the fact that I’m a bit squeamish about letting my family read it, I might actually work on revising it in the coming year.

We slept in a little bit today because it was freezing and I couldn’t seem to get out from under the covers. Jon discovered that we didn’t have a great deal of hot water, so I decided I’d suck it up and take a shower at the gym after a workout. I took him to work, then decided to run errands. This turned out to be a good thing. One of my errands was to return some laundry balls to Forsh, who told me I could use her place for chilling and showering. I took her up on that offer, which meant I got a ton of writing done in a comfortable chair and got to shower without trying to maneuver around a fairly public locker room. Thanks, Forsh!

Instead of going to the gym, I ended up taking another walk around the neighborhood. It was still cold, but not as cold as it was over the weekend. I did a zombie mission and ended up making it around the big block, then making a lap around a smaller one. I had four zombie chases, and on the fourth one, I actually had to push through some leg fatigue. It was still fun.

After I picked Jon up from work, we went to the grocery store to buy some travel snacks before coming home. I broke out the snuggie right away, because even though the heat is on, the apartment is not as warm as I would like it to be. I finished my story, but I didn’t get much else accomplished. Luckily, we’re almost completely packed for tomorrow, so there’s nothing besides some last minute things to throw into the suitcase, and those can be done tomorrow morning before we leave.

I think I’m going to finish off the night with some reading. We’re off early tomorrow for St. Louis! Whoo hoo!


Zombie Evasion and Debating NaNoWriMo

Today wasn’t bad for a Monday, it was just uneventful. I stayed late at work so Jon could take a test. We did laundry and dropped off a library book. I finished up some con notes and correspondence. The most excitement I had was doing a zombie mission this evening. We’d originally planned to find a geocache, vacuum the car, and then take a walk, but I’m not used to the fact that it’s getting darker earlier now. We nixed the other plans and headed to the rec track so we wouldn’t be out much past dark.

I’ve been feeling good about my walking abilities lately, so I was excited to see if tonight’s walk would be better than past ones have been. It started out great. I was walking at a good pace and got chased by zombies early on. I evaded them around the hilly part of the track,  and was out of breath by the time I crested the small hill (hills and I are not yet friends), but recovered quickly. I kept my pace up for a little while after that, but then my ankle started cramping. Everything else felt fine, but that ankle…so frustrating.  It’s like a tightness or stiffness on the outside, and it makes walking uncomfortable.  I thought I’d finally found the right fit of shoe because that cramp hadn’t happened in a long time.

Good shoe fit or not, my ankle gave me some grief, possibly due to the change in speed. I decided to take a rest at one of the benches to let the cramp ease itself. It finally felt okay, so I started up again.  I got a little further and finished my second zombie chase before it cramped up again. There are no other benches along that track, so I took a few standing breaks that didn’t really help. I was limping by the time I got to the last stretch. I figured it was okay, though. The app says it won’t trigger the zombie chases unless you’re walking at least 2.2 mph, and by that time I was shuffling along pretty slowly, so I didn’t think anything would happen.

Apparently, that’s not the case. Maybe it’s an average or the starting speed, but even with my slow shamble, the app triggered a third chase. I realize I could have paused the app or just said screw it and gotten eaten by the zombies. Instead, I pushed through the pain and hauled butt down the sidewalk for that interval. This is a good thing, right? The whole idea of “training” is to push past those painful moments and get in a good endurance-building walk. Be that as it may, once that group was evaded, I slowed right back down.

I ended up taking another break on the benches by the concession stands. The breaks always feel so long, and I get frustrated at the time I’m wasting, but I really needed that ankle cramp to go away. While I sat there, I watched Jon just stroll past. He was going into his third lap and didn’t see me sitting in the dark.

By that time, I was just a few minutes from having finished a thirty minute walk (breaks not included) and completing my mission. Though the break felt long, it was only a few minutes.  I walked around the parking lot for the cool down and to wait for Jon to get back around to the car since he had my keys. During what I thought was my cool down, I was chased again! It took me by surprise, but I got away . Apparently, there is no cool down. It’s just jump in, deal with the undead, and have a nice day.

Besides the sore ankle, I had some pain in one side of my lower back and hip, but I would guess that’s from walking funny to try to avoid the ankle cramp. Otherwise, I felt good! In the future, I’ll have to push through the pain, maybe, or just let the ankle acclimate. Next time I walk, I might do it with no zombie chases so I can keep at a steady pace and see if that makes a difference.

Afterwards, we went and got Subway for dinner then came home. I didn’t put laundry away, opting to get online and start this post instead. I did take a break to shower, so I’m all clean and ready for bed.

The only other thing of note is that National Novel Writing Month is coming up in just a few weeks, and I have yet to decide if I’m going to do it. Last week I was all excited for it, but now I’m not so sure. If anything, I should edit and re-work some of my past Nanos for possible publication. But I’m also sitting on two ideas for new stories right now: a horror/mystery that is currently in my head as a short story but could be fleshed out into a novel, I think; and a romance/erotica novel that I want to write to prove that I can turn out something better than 50SoG.  At the same time, I’ve already got things to do that I’m not getting done, like knitting projects, courses, books to read, and packing and purging. I’m just not sure if NaNoWriMo is in the cards this year.

But i have a few weeks to decide. I suppose I could set October as goal month to get all the other things done to free up the time to write in November. It could happen.

On that note, it’s time to catch up on some blogs before heading off to sleep times.



…and hello, October!

October came in warm and sunny and full of stress, at least for the first part of the day. This week is bringing in the 4th quarter at work, a three month period that’s known for being hectic. I suppose I’m being warned to prepare; much like winter, fourth quarter is coming.

The day as a whole wasn’t bad though. I was feeling down this morning, but Forsh brought me surprise Noodles and Co. for lunch, which was pretty legit! I decided to use half my lunch to do a zombie mission. I didn’t get the half hour because I stopped to talk to people, but I did get my first zombie chase, so that was pretty exciting. I tried a new accelerometer setting and was apparently walking fast enough to trigger it. I was only doing a supply mission, so I was kind of surprised when the voice told me zombies were 100 feet away. You’ll be happy to know I was able to escape, though I think anyone watching me probably thought I was nuts. I got about sixteen minutes of good walking, and I think I’m going to try to fit a lunch walk in most days until the snow and ice hit.

Jon and I decided to skip the gym tonight. This means we’ll miss our gym goal for the week, but we’ll be doing a lot of walking this coming weekend in OKC. We’ll do the gym tomorrow and then Thursday night after we get to Rose Hill, we’re going to walk around and do some geocaching.  It just felt like a good night for a rest.

We picked up Wendy’s for dinner. That apple pecan salad…it’s going to happen again.

Being home early meant I had some time and an excuse to clean for some extra activity, so we put away laundry and cleaned some of the living room and bathroom. Not a whole lot, but enough to make a difference. We also packed our weekend suitcase so we won’t be running around tomorrow night trying to get that done. I finished a movie called Dread, which managed to disturb me, and started watching The Doors. I also did some knitting and finished a boot cuff. I was going to try to do more, but my wrist started hurting. I thought it was carpal tunnel acting up, but I’m able to type just fine, so maybe it was just fatigue.

We put on the Scentsy burners tonight and our apartment smells like Christmas. I’m going to shower and get some sleep in hopes of being perky tomorrow.



Tea and Walks and Things in Quotation Marks

Deadlines make me productive, and this week at work has been no exception. I’ve been kicking tail on getting things done. Today, when things deviated from the norm with a meeting and luncheon, my brain still recovered fairly well, and I “swallowed some frogs” at the end of the day.

I picked Jon up and we debated whether to go to the gym or go grab something to eat first. We decided on food, because even though we’d had a big lunch, I was feeling hungry.  Chinese was our first choice, but I realized we hadn’t had McAllister’s in awhile, and I had a craving for their chopped savannah salad. It didn’t disappoint.  Also, I love their iced tea. Even with the weather getting cooler, I’m still craving it.

Since we were in the area anyway, we walked to Dick’s Sporting Goods and looked around. Our goal was to price out some handheld GPS units, but they didn’t have any. We’d originally meant to look for walking sticks as well, but completely forgot about that. We don’t necessarily need a stick for the act of walking; we mainly want one to poke at things when geocaching. It seems like a better idea than sticking our hand into unknown places and risking getting bit by critters. We’ll have to go back tomorrow and check again, or maybe hit Target or Wal-Mart.

When we had no luck with GPS units, we walked to Best Buy. They had one unit, but it cost more than we want to spend. Not that we need to buy one right now anyway, but it looks like when we are ready, we’ll probably buy online. I don’t want anything fancy at this point, just something that won’t run out of battery power within a few hours.

Our next stop was the gym, but there were a lot of people there. Sometimes that’s not an issue, but sometimes we just don’t feel like dealing with a crowd. On the fly, we changed our plans and decided to walk the rec center track. I don’t know why, but the track kicks my butt, yet I kind of want to “own” it. I also wanted to do some more experimenting with the Zombies Run app, and the time of day was perfect.

The walk was good. I had no ankle pain, no back pain, and I didn’t tire out. I did walk slow to pace myself, but that was because I thought at some point I’d have to pick up the pace to “run” from zombies. That didn’t happen. I can’t figure out what the deal is, but I don’t think the accelerometer on my phone is working right. Either, that, or I was just legitimately walking too slow. I’m going to do some more playing around with it. Eventually I’ll get some encounters. However, just listening to the playlists and story line is fun and makes the walk bearable. I do need some more music, though.

We got home late, so I did some things on the computer, watched a documentary, and finished The Emperor’s New Groove. I prepped my backpack for this weekend’s geocaching adventure, too, so that’s one less thing I’ll have to do tomorrow night.  Can’t wait for the weekend to find some caches and explore some more of Kansas.

But for now…it’s shower time.




Gaming, Noodles, and Weekend Plans

I crashed out hard when we got home last night, so I didn’t blog. The highlight of yesterday was last night’s gaming session, a new 4th edition DnD game that Jon is running. Before it started, we hung out with Erica, watching some weird horror movies on Chiller and knitting.  The game got a late start, but we had time for the intro and first combat.

I was tired today, but not as tired as I expected to be. I went with one of my visiting co-worker friends to lunch (she works in the field but is in the office this week) at Noodles and Company. Work was okay. Had some trouble focusing but still managed to accomplish quite a bit. After work, I went to pick Jon up. He had a phone interview, but it didn’t last too long.

At the gym, I attempted to use the Zombies Run app on my normal machine, but it didn’t work out so well. I got eaten by zombies. My steps and speed didn’t register correctly, so it looks like I’ll only be able to do that when walking. It felt like a short workout, but we needed to get home to put away laundry and just relax.  Originally, we were going to have a late evening meeting with another friend about a website, but she postponed, so we were home bound.

I did some knitting, finished a couple of movies, and put away laundry. I have a whole to-do list of things I need to get done, but like always, I’m procrastinating.  It’ll get done. Eventually.

I’m looking forward to the weekend. Originally I was going to try to have a wrap-up meeting for the convention, but I realized that I don’t have my notes together to pass on to my successor and I’ve had several busy weekends in a row. I need a “down” weekend with Jon, so we’re going on a weekend geocaching excursion to try to break 100 finds. We’re about 30 away, and we have a route of caches mapped out  for the first day. I’m excited! I’m sacrificing my plans to attend Oztoberfest, but geocaching sounds more my speed at the moment.

Pretty mellow day, and I’m kind of hoping the rest of the week follows suit.


Tough Finds, Catching Up, and More Zombies

I feel like I have a ton of stuff to do and catch up on, but I can’t seem to get there. It probably didn’t help that I made a massive to-do list today, and just looking it at makes me tired.  I did finish the blog post about the first day of BOW, and it’s scheduled to post tomorrow morning some time. I’ll post the other ones throughout the week, probably. I just need to find some time to finish them and add pictures.

Yesterday after I got home from BOW, I met Jon and Andrew at Hastings. I had some water and coffee to try to get myself through the rest of the day.  I made the guys listen to my stories and look at all the swag I brought home from BOW, swag which is still in the bag, because that’s one of the things I have not yet crossed off the list.  After Andrew left, Jon and I had some time to kill before our gaming session, so we decided to go look for a geocache that we hadn’t been able to find before. I wanted to try again because my geocache and gps instructors at BOW had given me an idea, and I wanted to see if it was something like that.

It wasn’t. But as we were looking, the cache owner and another cacher came out and helped us find it. This one has never been found by anyone without help, though they said even with hints, we found it relatively quickly.  I spotted it and yes, it was extremely difficult. I suppose I might have found it eventually, but I can’t guarantee that. No spoilers (just in case)! Let’s just say it was a very cool cache.

The two were out walking their dog, a geopup with her own trackable. That was pretty awesome. It was fun to finally meet some other local cachers, and they took us down to another one in the area. This meant some more walking, which I did, even though I’d thought I was walked out. It was fun though, and I loved being able to snag a few caches in our down time.

Our Pathfinder game got started late, but it was all good. I did some knitting and got half eaten by the couch. It was around that time I had to finally take some Aleve because I was starting to feel some pain.  We grabbed a bite to eat after the game and came home, where I attempted to get some things done, but nothing really stuck. Things are still a mess.

Today was busy at work with catch up and what not. There were a lot of little annoyances that probably seemed major because I was tired. We did laundry. Jon had a test that went later than normal, so I grabbed the laundry and dropped some books off to be picked up by the silent auction winner of them from Tengaicon.  Once Jon was done, we grabbed some groceries and headed back to Wamego.

For exercise tonight, we decided to do another zombie mission. However, we did it wrong, and now we want to go back and do the last two the right way. Which we probably will. I guess I shouldn’t say we did it wrong. We just forgot to turn on tracking and zombie missions, so it was pretty much a walk listening to a story and some music. However, with that in mind, I’m kind of glad we went that route tonight. That track kicks my butt every time, and it started raining. My ankle was sore. It was a very slow walk for me. Hoping the next time I go out is better, because I really want to do these missions.

Gonna have to call it a night. I’m falling asleep at the computer. Here’s to getting more done tomorrow. Hopefully.



Wasted Days and Running from Zombies

This whole day felt wasted. That probably isn’t fair to say, since things did get accomplished, but I’ve been spoiled with having weekends where Jon and I can go do stuff together and have a good time, and today wasn’t really like that.

We slept in a bit and had breakfast at home for once. We bought some sausage and gravy Banquet pot pies and each had one. They were really good and really filling.  On the way into town, however, Paradise Donuts caught our eye, and we decided to treat ourselves. I’m not usually a donut person, but I was feeling off this morning and kind of grumpy, so I decided to soothe the angst with a cocoa krispies donut and a frappuccino.

We started the day trying to geocache, but it was not a good day for us. We either couldn’t find the places we were supposed to be, couldn’t find a way to get to the place we needed, or just didn’t want to take the chance of being seen by muggles. We weren’t really up to much hiking today and had been hoping for some quicker grabs, but it just wasn’t happening. We did find one, but the other one we could get to we couldn’t find. The description said that no one had gotten it without help.  We’re going back before we claim defeat, but not until it cools down a bit, because I’m going to say the heat today had a little bit to do with my grumpiness.

We had a meeting for the gaming convention that went fairly well, other than the fact that I found out my updates to the site have not been posting.  I’ll have to re-update the schedule and then check with others to see if it’s working now. I suppose maybe this is my ball drop, at least the one I currently know of. However, if this is the worst that happens, we’ll be good. A couple people have had to cancel, but I’m keeping positive. We’re doing what we can do, and I think we’re doing it with relatively low stress.

After that we went to Game Hounds so Jon could meet with one of our friends to do some trading of sorts. We chatted with some people, walked to Dara’s to get some water, then headed across town to Manhattan Running Company where we finally got armbands to carry our phones in for our walks. The main goal was to not have to hand carry when we started doing the Zombies Run game, but the bands will come in handy for our regular walks too. They were a little pricey, but we’re trying to look at the long term investment. Now we just have to make sure to use them.

Though we were supposed to do our C25K today, we decided to just go ahead and try the Zombies Run. The program we started with is kind of boring, and our curiosity was getting the better of us. So instead of hitting the mall, we headed home early, figuring we’d go out later when it cooled off to walk the rec path. On the way home, we stopped at Ramblers for a later lunch. My craving for vegetables persists, so I ordered a side of steamed veggies, conveniently forgetting that I don’t really like veggies. The BBQ brisket sandwich was good, but I made the mistake of trying one of Jon’s fries. Man, there were regrets. On a good note, even though I don’t like green beans and broccoli, I did manage to eat about a quarter of the cup, so that’s progress on my part.

At home, I made playlists and laid down for a little while, procrastinating checking my website and doing updates. It’ll happen, but the day had already kind of worn on me. Finally the day got dim enough that we went out to the rec trail to take a crack at Zombies Run. Unfortunately, when we got there we realized we actually had to download the missions, which we hadn’t done at home. That was annoying, and a good way to make me feel like a moron. So we drove home to jump on our wifi, downloaded the first mission and went back.

Get ready for this drama.

It started out okay. The story was good, and I was really digging the immersive nature of it.  Every time it said I picked up something, I felt pretty cool. I got almost all the way around the track before feeling the need to rest, which is definitely an improvement. When I got to the end of the track, I was originally going to go across the parking lot to the beginning, but instead I turned around, figuring I’d just walk the loop the opposite way.  It was about that time when the first RUN happened.  My original plan of walking fast didn’t seem to cut it, as I could hear the zombie voices in the app. So I ran. Not fast. It was more of a jog, but it kicked my butt. I figured I’d be okay, and I told myself to just walk fast next time. But guess what? I ran again. The thing is, I know it’s a game, and it doesn’t feel real real, but it fuels the imagination enough that I really wanted to run and get away from the zombies.

When I got to the bench, I finally realized I needed to stop, not just because I was so tired, but because I’d pushed my lung capacity and couldn’t breathe right. I pulled the earbuds off, sat down, and then listened to what sounded like people rustling around in the woods behind me. That break didn’t last long at all. The noise could have been animals or birds, but I was already uneasy, so I booked it. I was so glad when the Mission Complete message came on. Instead of trying to make it around the track, I walked across the field, which wasn’t much easier.

Jon met me part way, and I just fell down in the grass. I didn’t faint or anything, but I was worried I was going to, so I just laid down in the grass. That was pretty major, because my knees don’t allow me to get up from ground position very easily. But it was a necessary action at that time.  I finally got up with Jon’s help and had one of those intense post exercise breakdowns where I cried. In reality, this was my best walk and considering I did run, I was kind of awesome. But in that moment, all I could focus on was that I’d failed because I couldn’t make it to the car without feeling like throwing up or passing out.

We stopped to get gas and something to drink and we talked about our future Zombie Run plans. I think we’re going to put in a little more time with the regular C25K we were doing as well as more gym time This was fun for the most part, and I know it’ll get easier in time, but I’m just not sure if we’re ready for it.

I will say, though, that for a wasted day, the walk did the trick of making me feel like I accomplished something. Now to shower and to bed. Tomorrow is an early day because….that’s right…we’re going on an adventure!