Friday, February 27, 2015

Partial Retraction

I have long-maintained that it wasn't that Dallas drivers are bad in bad conditions, but that in fact everyone would have major issues with the typical bad Dallas weather. 

Usually, when Dallas has winter weather in the form of precipitation, it's freezing rain, ice, and sleet. 

I truly believe that no one can drive on ice.  All cities would have to shut down and cars that were out in it would have a good chance of wrecking.

I still believe that.

But today, it's snowing in Dallas.  Legitimate snow.  They're saying we might get an inch in Dallas, maybe even 1.5.  Normal people can drive in that without any big incident.  I've concluded Texans can't. 

My office closed early today.  I usually work from home on Fridays, but we had an important meeting set for this afternoon, with several people coming in from out of the country.  They had been in Chicago the last few days.  They flew to Dallas, landed around 11, looked around and decided to get right back on a flight to Chicago.  They didn't even try to make it to our office.  So meeting canceled, I headed home. 

I was particularly nervous about driving home.  It's only about 4 miles by highway, but this morning, I got a flat tire on the way to work.  Someone was waving at me on the highway, rolled down his window, and then shouted at me that I had a flat.  It was weird because I hadn't felt it yet.  My exit was less than 2 miles away, and it never started flapping, so I drove all the way to the office.  Not smart, I know, but this meeting was super important, I was wearing shoes that hurt my feet, and it was super-cold out. 

Roadside assistance came to work and put on my spare (driving on the flat meant it ended up with a huge rip in it).  So I knew I couldn't drive over 50.  I was trying to decide whether to take the highway or take side streets (for the most part, my running commute).  I can see the highway from my office, and it was moving slowly, so that was my decision.

Texans can't drive in the snow.  The rest of the country (or at least a large part of it) can.  We are highly deficient here. 

About an inch of lovely powdery snow.  The news right now is reporting a 40 CAR pileup on the highway near our house (further north of us, but same road).  They've said it's maybe only 17 cars, but one of their reporters is saying 40.  But that's not normal.  That's Texas-sized ridiculousness.

I get it, we just don't get any practice driving in it, but it just shouldn't be this hard. 

It took me more than 30 minutes to drive the almost 4 miles home, but now I'm safe and sound and tucked in, and by the time my husband gets off work, hopefully the bulk of people will have gotten home, so it won't be as bad. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Relative Cold

It is so hard for me to get out of bed in the morning and go run when it's cold out and I've given up caffeine for 40 days.  I KNOW that most of the country is much colder than we are.

I sometimes check my parents' weather to remind me I'm lucky.  This was yesterday morning:

But it's still not fun.  I love mild weather running.  Anything between 40 and 60 makes me so excited to get out there. 
And once I get going, even if it's in the 30s, I'm always fine.  It's the getting out of bed, getting dressed, and getting out of my car that is the issue.
I'm ready for spring.  We've been in the 60s and 70s for highs lately, but they say it's going to drop next week, which is moot for me since I get a guaranteed cold front -- a work trip to Philly.
Anyway, just b!tching, sharing what's on my mind...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


This morning, due to a combination of factors (primarily being a post-boot-camp nap), I was late in leaving the house to go to work.  I don't have to be at my desk at any specific time, so it wasn't a big deal, but it was just later than I like to get there.

I decided to drop off a pair of shoes on the way that need the heels repaired.  I figured it would be in-and-out since it's less than a block off the highway on my way to work.

I got there, one person working inside, dealing with one customer.  With 1,000 pairs of shoes or so, each of which she wanted to disucss in detail.  What would be the exact repair process, how much would it cost, what would her total be if she repaired pair x and y, but not pair z, what about y and z, what about all of them. 

I was standing there waiting, and waiting, and waiting.  He was being so nice to he, explaining all this stuff about heel wear, and leather patches and everything.

After I was about to have my blood pressure truly rupture something inside because I had been waiting so long already, I decided to count very slowly to 500. 

And then I just left. 

Sucks.  A total wasted trip.  But seriously, I just felt like I didn't have time for that $hit.  He acknowledge I was waiting, or call for someone else to come help me, or make any effort to hurry her along. 

I know I'm far too impatient.  But man, it was just too much today! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mardi Gras

What an awesome weekend we had!

I absolutely need to do another post, but COC's parade theme this year was "Run, Run, Run!"  Best Mardi Gras parade theme ever for someone who likes to run!  I took pics of a bunch of it that I will have to post. 

The funniest part of the weekend was that my bestie was crazy, crazy intoxicated at the ball.  It was so funny.  It turns out she hadn't eaten all day (lots of running around).  At one point, I told her I was going to get some cheese and crackers and asked her if she wanted any.  She responded with something about New Jersey? 

I know she was disappointed to miss the ball, but she and her husband left very early. 

Thankfully we had time to hang out Friday and then during the day Saturday, and briefly Sunday before we had to head home. 

We had such a great time.  Great weather, lots of good food, and for the first time in years, I managed to maintain a mild buzz for much of the weekend, never actually becoming intoxicated.  This year there were basically three other law school couples (besides my bestie and hubby), plus her ex-boyfriend and his fiancee, and her sister and her boyfriend, so we had a group of 14 which made for a lot of fun.  There were also 4 kids, plus my bestie's parents and all their friends.  Lots of people to chat with and laugh with. 

We stayed at the ball until about 2.  My husband's shoes were really bothering him and he wanted to leave about midnight, but I convinced him to check out the two side band rooms, and the first one we went to he loved.  The group was Gretsch Lyles and the Modern Eldorados.  They played a lot of oldies, stuff like Buddy Holly, Elvis, some stuff from the 70s and 80s maybe?  I can't remember all of it, but my husband loved it and as long as he was happy and not asking to leave, and there was music and dancing, no complaints from me! 

The drive home was rough.  We had gotten less than 5 hours of sleep and I was supposed to drive the whole way (hubby did the whole drive on Friday, while I worked in the car).  I managed to drive for about 4 and a half hours and I was getting nervous because I was so tired.  Hubby had napped for some of the morning, so he took over for a couple hours while I slept.  Oh, that was so lucky for me.  By the time we crossed the state line into Texas, I felt great and was able to take over again. 

The best part about driving was that I got to pack as much stuff as I wanted.  That meant bringing some food for the party room (mac and cheese bites, a dip, our alcohol choices), but I also brought my blender and my smoothie stuff for Saturday breakfast.

The one thing I forgot was a water bottle.  Since I was not overserved on Fri night, I got up and went for a run Saturday morning.  I told my husband I wanted to do 5 or more miles, ideally about 10, but without water, I wasn't sure.  As soon as I got outside, I realized it was a lot warmer than my phone had said, but I set out.  I considered stopping at two fast food places to see about getting a cup of water, but then I passed a gym.  Best World Gym maybe?  Don't remember the name, but I thought any fitness lover might be sympathetic.  I went in and there were 3 people working out.  The woman came up to me and asked if she could help.  She said there was a water fountain or I could have a bottle.  An icy cold bottle of water was a dream and it carried me about 3 more miles before the neighborhood was just too creepy and I decided to turn back.  I ended up with over 10 miles, which is probably my longest Mardi Gras run aside from the year I was training for Boston.  It was slow, but lovely.  And then I got back to the room and got to have my smoothie! 

A long run and my fave breakfast made Mardi Gras even better.  All the comforts of home, plus my best friend, parades, beads, and all kinds of fun food and drinks...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

All Quiet

Not much to say lately for no particular reason.

Life is just ticking along. 

Work is busy, busy, busy.  We hired someone new in my group in early January, and hopefully in another month or two, she'll be able to take about 10% of my cases.  That should help.  I really wish I could just pick out the 18 cases or however many she'll take -- I could pick some of the ugly ones.  But instead, it will likely be by state or parts of a state.  I'm looking forward to giving up Indiana and Illinois, but choosing the others won't be easy. 

Running is slow progress -- but I guess that's still progress.  I raced last weekend.  Not long, but I tried to run smart and somehow I actually managed a negative split.  My last mile of the race was about 10 seconds faster than goal marathon pace.  Which makes me realize, I need to readjust my goal marathon pace!  I'm not even close to where I was 18 months ago.  I was going to write "no complaints," but that's not true, I hate it, but clearly not enough to really do anything about it!  I am trying to get in better shape, but it's half-hearted.  I slept in one day last week (I justified it because I ran to and from work the day before, it was cold, hubby was also sleeping in, and I was racing on the weekend (my usual rest day)).  My diet is a total mess (hoping Lent will be time to lock that down).  And in general, I'm just far more willing to phone in a workout than I should be.  But progress.  Today, for example, it was only 7 miles.  2 easy, 3 pace miles, 2 easy.  I did my first pace mile miserably slow.  I got passed by a new friend at the end, and I decided to try to hang with him for a quarter mile to have the company.  By the time we were halfway done with the mile, we were with another friend and he asked me how I was doing.  I told him I was sucking wind, but now that I was done with half of it, I was going to try to finish the mile I was in.  And then somehow, the final pace mile started on one of my favorite streets in Dallas to run in the dark.  I didn't check my splits, until I was done, but I was tuckered out.  I had hung with my friend for two entire pace miles, and then we did the cool-down together.  When we got back to our cars, I looked at my splits and was shocked to realize that they were progressive (well, that's not entirely true; I knew the first one was the slowest, but I had guessed the other two were even, or if anything, I slowed down for the last one).  Basically, my second pace mile was 30 seconds faster than my first, and my third one was another 10-15 seconds faster! 

Travel is on the horizon, which makes me happy.  Mardi Gras this weekend!  Going to Mobile, as always, and meeting my bestie and her family there.  And we've come up with a tentative plan and dates for our big trip.  I think we're going to leave around Oct. 7, and we'll head to Italy, then to Morocco, then to southern Spain.  Ah, it sounds good!  I also think we're going to Cali in April, which will be aweome -- I should be an aunt again by then, and I'll get to meet my new nephew.  I've also got some work travel, Philly, coming up, which will be a beating, but will hopefully make my caseload more manageable. 

Life is busy.  It seems like we have plans so many evenings lately, but in reality, I don't think it's much different from normal.  It just feels busy.  Fortunately there should be some naps on the calendar this weekend!  My husband's new schedule is still an adjustment and the house is a mess, but it's getting better. 

That's the news from Lake Wobeg... Dallas. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Work or Fun?

Last week, I had a mediation in Kansas City.  As part of my ongoing goal of doing anything feasible and reasonable to make work trips not suck, I decided to spend the weekend there. 

A running buddy had just been a company rep for a mediation up there a few weeks ago and he warned me that it took all day, there was a lot of pressure to settle, and he ended up missing the last flight home.

That seed planted in my head -- it might be less stressful to at least stay two nights (the night before the mediation, and the night after). 

And then I checked with my best friend from law school who lives in KC to see if her schedule was clear that weekend and the plans were sealed.

It was awesome, though I know my husband felt lonely and I missed him.  At the same time, hours spent with her are just good for my soul! 

I ended up with a totally packed schedule.  Dinner at home with her and her kids (her husband was flying back from a work trip late), wine, cheese, legos with the kids, bedtime stories.  Saturday held a run, hanging out around the house with my friend and her family, lunch with 3 friends from high school, helping a high school friend who is in law school with a project he had, coffee with my high school doubles partner and dear friend, and a late and fabulous dinner with my friend that let us really catch up without her kids around seeking attention.  Sunday I woke up to snow, so it was a treadmill run, throwing snowballs at her kids, watching them build a snowman, brunch with a former co-worker and his family, more time hanging out with my friend, then a non-delayed (thankfully, the snow made me nervous) flight home!  I really wish I'd been able to see one more high school friend, our old neighbors, and one more former coworker, but I'm happy with the people I did get to see. 

For anyone in KC, the restaurants:  Westside Local, Taj Mahal, Starbucks (oops, no good non-chain options in Liberty), Room 39, and Eggtc.  Yum to all! 

I think the rest of February is more trips to Philly (hopefully one of which will be cancelled!), and then March is more Philly but also possibly California, which would be awesome, because I might be able to squeeze in a visit with my brother and his very, very, very pregnant wife (or his brand new baby!). 

I feel torn between wanting to be home with my husband and in my Dallas routine, and trying to make the work trips more fun and less hectic so I don't hate them or my job.  How much longer until the cloning thing happens?  Though honestly, while I wish I could have been home and in KC this past weekend, I really loved every minute of my visits.