Sunday, November 30, 2008

Consumer Cleanse - Month Won!

November 30, 2008

(Notice the double entendre of the title... I'm fearful no-won will notice, hence the mention. But you just wait. By the time you finish reading (if you make it), not only will you notice, it'll hit you with the force of a firefighter hose.)

Well folks - won month down, 11 to go. This is a piece of cake!

What am I talking about exactly? I'm talking about the Consumer Cleanse. If you're just too darned lazy to click the link, I'll give a quick sin-opsis. Won month ago, I promised the blog and every-won that I will renounce the purchase of anything for myself for the duration of won year. This means no books, clothes, shoes, gear, magazines, electronics or home furnishings. Music is not among the verboten - A whole year without buying music is a recipe for disaster - won would come over to find me locked in my basement, downloading music illegally. You'd also find me wearing a puffy white blouse and a patch over won eye.

The object of this exercise? To change the way I view stuff. To increase gratitude. To use the junk I have in lieu of buying more.

It's been very therapeutic actually. The motto for this month:

Fix it up, Wear it out.
Make it do, Or do without.


Want some examples? Yesterday, the salad spinner went kaput. The old rabidrunner would have gone out instantly to buy a new won. The new rabidrunner? She fixed it! Another? Last week my watch quit working. The old rabidrunner would panic and purchase a new watch to use until she could find time to get a new battery. The new rabidrunner went to get the battery first.
There have been some temptations - which have helped develop strategies for keeping me on the proverbial straight-n-narrow. I keep a camera in the purse now. When I see something that spawns that passion to purchase, I take a picture. Viola!

Another example? I wanted to have two sets of nail clippers. I only had won. So instead of running out to buy an extra pair, I wrote about it. That alone seemed to eradicate the need to spend that extra 3 bucks. However - I have this cute neighbor who sent over a wrapped package. How sweet! I thought and opened it. Can you guess the contents? I'll bet you can. But here's a picture just in case:
I have decided that it is in my best interest to list other temptations. You know... just in case some-won wanted to save me from sin. Better yet, I'll wrap all of my strategies into won little bunch by providing photos and writing about it.

New Temptation #1 - The Porsche Cayman:


New Temptation #2 - This T-shirt:




New Temptation #3 - The Rossignol Xena X10 (or equivalent):



New Temptation #4 - This T-shirt:


New Temptation #5 - All three seasons of this:



New Temptation #6 - The Canon 15mm f/2.8 "fisheye":





This is getting tedious so I'm going to quit now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Despondent!

November 26, 2008

I've been called Despondent* before... But true despondency has hit today. Actually, it hit two days ago.

Need the story? Okay. Spouse, Yahoos and myself have a tradition called the TURKEY DAY BOYCOTT. I knew you'd want the recipe, so here it is:

Ingredients:
1 Thanksgiving Day
4 sets of ski gear
1 car
1 Park City Mountain Resort
1 Hotel room in Park City, complete with restaurant and indoor pool
4 swimsuits

Directions:
On Thanksgiving Day, load the gear into the car and drive to Park City. Dress yourself in gear and ski until Yahoos have had enough. Load yourselves back in the car, drive to the hotel, walk into the restaurant, eat prepared (emphasis on prepared) Turkey dinner. Check into room. Put on the swimsuits. Swim until very tired. Go to hotel room and pass out.

It's a delightful tradition. But this year IT'S NOT HAPPENING!!!! Why? The most crucial of ingredients - Park City Mountain Resort - is not open! What are we gonna do now?

Think snow people. It's very necessary and will cure the despondency.

* Need another word(s) for despondent? Try all torn up, blue, bummed-out, cast-down, despairing, disconsolate, doleful, forlorn, glum, in a blue funk, griefstricken, morose, woebegone, wretched.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Tune Vol 8

November 25, 2008

Due to the over-inflated commercial success of that Twilight Movie, I spent most of this weekend wondering what it's like to be Stephenie Meyer. Hello!? Can you say gazillionaire? Can you say all night showings at the local gigaplex? Wow.

Today's Tuesday Tunes are about the Soundtrack. And maybe quite possibly what should have been on the Soundtrack.

Soundtrack Highlights:

Full Moon - The Black Ghosts (Run, Forest, Run!)

Spotlight - Mutemath (Run, Forest, Run!)

Go All The Way - Perry Farrell (Run, Forest, Run!)

Eyes On Fire - Blue Foundation

Flightless Bird American Mouth - Iron and Wine

And the uber uberest of 'em all:

Supermassive Black Hole - Muse (Run, Forest, Run!)


And where the heck were these two? Huh?
I want some answers. Pronto.

15 Steps - Radiohead (Run, Forest, Run!)

Unintended - Muse

Monday, November 24, 2008

Remember The Little Things

November 24, 2008

This is the time to be grateful. A time to slow down and spend quality time with family. A time to give to others. Sometimes I find myself looking for gratitude among the giants, for planning events of unnecessary extravagance, and financial fretting over gift giving.

At this time, it's important to remind myself that this life is made and celebrated by the little and simple: to appreciate an unexpected smile or a phone call, to stop for an hour and play with the Yahoos, to send a note in lieu of pricey philanthropy.

I have two large yet simple things to be grateful for today.

Number 1: My dad phoned earlier to tell me he had sold a pair of my skis (can you say extra Christma$h Ca$h?). In the process of the phone call, he asked what I was doing. I told him I was working on tax forms and that it was maddeningly frustrating. To this he said, "You can do it. You'll figure it out. I believe in you."

I hung up the phone and had a good grateful blubbery. You know, tears, chills, the whole nine yards. It feels so good when someone believes in you.

There was another time that someone believed in me. It was January 26, 2000 and Spouse and I were scheduled to be married the next day. While at work, I received a dozen red roses. I opened the card to see only four fantastic words:

"I believe in you."

Number 2: At church yesterday, the topic was (surprise!) gratitude. One of the speakers, we'll call him Brother Sandlewood, made a magnificent statement. So magnificent was it, that it forced me to postpone the moment's current word search so as to write it down. He said:

"We define ourselves by our actions in dark times."

I turned to look at Spouse... Oh how I believe in him.

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*This ramp, complete with lettering, was built by Stu and Running Brother Bruce.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rivalry

November 21, 2008

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I sure do like this weekend. Not because I like football. It's because I love to watch people fight over something I don't give a rat's bahoonkey about.


Go Butes!

Gabriel Fauré

November 21, 2008

Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by the hippie-loving, rip-roaring 1960s. Why you ask? Because they were into French Composers? Because they liked rolling in the mud for days at outdoor concerts? Nope.

It's because they coined the term "Faur-Out".

You see, those bell-bottomed, high-as-a-kite hessians would have trouble pronouncing the French correctly. So instead of pronouncing Fauré with is proper phonetics of For-eh, they'd say Far-eh.

The rabidrunner, having been raised by hippies, pronounces it Far-eh. The Sister however, is musically trained in Opera Performance at an Ivy League Something-or-Other. She pronounces it correctly. She also speaks German so naturally she'd pronounce French words with precision... although she has been known to throw in some ancillary "nits", "alphs" and " zolanders".

What exactly am I trying to say? I'm saying that the language expert in me (har har) declares that the term "Faur-Out" was inspired by the Fauré in Gabriel Fauré. Only to save typewriter ink they dropped the "u".

Would you look at that? I've filled up a whole page and I haven't even begun to speak of anything noteworthy! (Too bad I didn't have that talent in high school...)


Gabriel Fauré was born May 12, 1845 and died November 4, 1924. He was an organist mainly who studied diligently throughout his early childhood. His influences and teachers include various French Composers of Greatness: Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, Franz Liszt and Robert Shumann (to name drop a few).

In his early career, Fauré was employed as an assistant organist for various churches and congregations. The duties required kept him busy enough that Fauré would only have his summers to compose music. He sold each work, including the copyright, for only 50 francs. He was not making money.

In 1892, Fauré's financial luck would change. He made a trip through Venice, found some hook-ups (musical that is... not the other kind) and composed more music. When Fauré returned to Paris, he was made the chief organist at Église de la Madeleine and the composition instructor at the Conservatoire de Paris. This is where he taught Maurice Ravel everything he knew.

In the early 1900's, Fauré developed hearing trouble. The composing and whatnot would suffer. He did marry and produce two sons. (which might produce some Faur-Out Faurés - maybe you're related?!) He died at the age of 79 from complications brought on by pneumonia.

Gabriel Fauré's approach to harmony and melody would shape the music of the 20th century. Fauré's Requiem is among the favoritest of the rabidrunner Requiem Collection. What?! You say you don't have a Requiem Collection? Everyone should have a Requiem Collection.

From the Requiem:
Sanctus
Pie Jesu
Agnus Dei
In Paradisum

Others:
Pavane
Elegy
Après un rêve

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Tune - Vol 7

November 18, 2008

Fauré's Sicilienne - Tango anyone?
Fauré is pronounced Far-eh by the rabidrunner (being somewhat hickish). My musical genius family pronounces it For-eh. Catch a Fauré Flashback this Friday. Should be Faur Out!

Dark Captain Light Captain - Jealous Enemies
Lucky you - this one is the *FREE* single of the week on Itunes. Download it now. Fer Free! (Run, Forest, Run!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My First Temptation

November 16, 2008

Since embarking on the Consumer Cleanse, I've reached my first temptation. Ironically, this temptation happened at church.

We have church at the dreadful hour of 2:00pm. You'd think that a late meeting would reduce the stress and/or anxiety of getting there on time (so as to get a soft cushy seat), but it doesn't. We usually run out of the door frazzled, waving our arms and yelling at each other.

Today was no different except we arrived at church with 5 minutes to spare. The reason, you ask? Because the clocks at home were set backwards 55 minutes instead of the congressionaly prescribed one hour. It wasn't on purpose, but it's beginning to look like a good idea.

So as we sat there in the church breathing heavily from the rush, I got nervous. Those of you who know me can testify (notice the various sorts of church lingo today) that I have trouble sitting still. (You should know, however that it runs in the family. For the record these familial fidgets will keep me from booking another airline flight next to any of my blood relatives.)

Anyway, I'm nervous and fidgety and my hands begin to explore the wrinkles and rings of each other. What do these hands discover, you ask? I forgot to clip the nails! This can be a catastrophe! I play the pie-anno in the prie-mary and those lengthy rascals prohibit me from hitting the black keys without slipping. This results in many wrong notes and is not good.

While anticipating the demise of the impending performance, I thought to myself, "I should keep a spare set of clippers in my church bag. That would be great! Then if I forget to do it at home, I can leave ten tiny shards of my DNA on the floor of the chapel. That's it! I'll get another pair of clippers."

I even began to justify. "They're only 3 bucks. I can certainly justify 3 bucks for my church duties." But then the Organ began to play and I remembered that I was in the middle - well at the very very VERY front end - of the Consumer Cleanse.

No matter the size or the cost, no purchase is acceptable. Am I hardcore or what?!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Art of Noise (or humor)

November 14, 2008

Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by the Art of Humor. Which, by and LARGE is the best medicine for everything. Today's Friday Flashback is also brought to you by Vera's husband Stu, who by and LARGE is the first person I call when I need to hear something funny.

Case in Point:

Yesterday I dialed the home of Stu and Vera (who LUCKY ME! live just three houses away).

Stu: Hello.

Me: Tell me something funny.

Stu: I don't really have anything funny, 'cept maybe a scar.

Me: Oh? Is this a recent scar? (I'm thinking something tragic happened like the time he shot himself in the hand with a nail gun or when he broke his hip).

Stu: No.

Me: Oh. When did you get it then?

Stu: When I was six days old.

Me: Gufaw, gufaw, gufaw.... STU!


I hung up the phone and decided it was time to escape the house. I visit the lovely home of Vera and Stu. Stu had gone to sleep already. Vera was packing the liquor and canned chili for a camping trip.

As revealed in Snoopy, I like to look around when I visit others. I also read notes and whatnot that may or may not be private. Vera had a post-it on the counter with "The Art Of Noise" written on it.

"Huh." I said. I forgot all about the Art Of Noise.

Here you have it folks. Your Friday Flashback. Which, by and LARGE, is as minimally informative as possible!

Peter Gunn - Legs - Moments in Love - Yebo - Something Always Happens

If you want info, holler.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday Tune Vol 6

November 12, 2008

Today's Tuesday Tune is so special it gets to happen on Wednesday.

You know what I love about the bloggerdom? You can be late and no one yells at you. You can be late and no one really cares. You can be late and you're not pregnant!

The next 6 weeks will be frightening (tax deadline up ahead). I will, WILL keep my sense of humor. Promise!

Here's what I should be listening to:
Edvard Grieg - Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16 - 2 Adagio

Here's what I am listening to:
Metallica - Enter Sandman (Run, Forest, Run!)

Sleep with one eye open.... gripping your pillow tight!
Exit light. Enter night.
Take my hand... off to never-never-land!
Hush little baby, don't say a word... and never mind that noise you heard.
It's just the beast under your bead... in your closet, in your head!

(Here's a tune to sing at the kiddies when you tell them about the tooth fairy. )

Does anyone care to nominate me for Mother-o-the-Year?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Chronicles of the Consumer Cleanse

November 9, 2008

It's been two weeks since I've purchased anything other than food. Well not quite. I purchased ski poles for twenty bucks at the Friends and Family sale. But the poles were declared clearly in the Consumer Cleanse Prenup. So other than the poles, I've purchased nothing but food.

It's all going well. I'm not feeling picked on, yet. I'm not feeling the need to spend, yet. I'm not bored of the stuff I have, yet.

On Friday, a true test was about to present itself. The girls I run with have been planning a weekend away. We'd spend the night somewhere, stay up late, sleep in, and run a few miles in a new place. Great fun.

So Friday we drive our two cars to the vacation spot. On our 21st century walkie-talkies (also called the cell phone), we decide to meet at - hold your breath - the outlets. No big deal, I say to myself. There are five chicks here, it only obviously that we'd eventually make it to - the outlets.

I can do that. And I can do that without spending money!

So we spend a couple or three hours shopping. For the first while I followed and browsed. I purchased one Christmas present and one birthday present. In the second while, I got bored and tired and ended up on the benches outside with the dudes. This is where I began to feel bad for the times I dragged Spouse shopping - where he too would end up finding a chair somewhere.

The girls finally decide they're hungry and we find a spot to eat. We dine on sourdough pizza and side salads ala soy-ginger-sesame-vinaigrette. We laugh a bit, reveal a few secrets and begin the what-do-we-do-next conversation. Four out of five us wanted to go back to - the outlets.

After yet another stab at shopping, we sleep, run, eat lunch, and have another what-do-we-do-next conversation. One suggests, "Let's go to - the outlets"

Gee. Can we?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Marathon Mayhem

November 6, 2008

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tuesday Tune - Vol 5

November 4, 2008

All is not quiet on Election Day.

Take A Bow - Muse (Run Forest Run!)

Red Election - Bottom Of The Hudson (Run Forest Run!)

Take A Bow - Rihanna

The End - My Chemical Romance


All hail the end of Election 2008. It will finally be over.

Halla-Frickin-Uvula!

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Consumer Cleanse

November 3, 2008

I am suffering from consumer overdose.

A while ago I purchased a shirt. I drove home excited about the purchase only to discover that I had already purchased that shirt - several weeks earlier. It was still in the bag. (This, by the way, is a to-the-point version. I didn't actually discover the bagged shirt, complete with tags and receipt, until a few days after the purchase.)

You get where I'm going with this, right?

While staring at the identical shirts, flush with embarrassment, I looked around. For the first time in a while, I actually looked around. And what did I see? Not popcorn popping, but worthless, useless, never-used crap. All over. I love the word crap (mostly because it the next best thing to it's cursing counterpart - which incidentally is my true favorite word.)

Anyway, after looking around, I was blessed with true discernment. It's time to stop buying crap.

Since my spending has become habitually toxic, I must purge the shopping toxins. I shall do this with the Official Consumer Cleanse (complete with lemon juice, a splash of maple syrup and a shake or two of cayenne.) This will not be easy. This will be more than painful. But it must be done.

I have some friends who have stopped sugar. Well not totally, they get a "cheat" day... but other than that they've stopped the sweets. They have, however, issued themselves a reward: For every week they resist the urge to splurge on cavity induced hokum, they get to wear a rubber band. Now if that isn't the huskiest of incentives, I don't know what is! They've asked me many a time to join their rubber band club. And every time I say, "No way. Sugar is Sanity."

Make fun as I may, I have now found a purpose for the rubber band club. Are you ready? Drum roll please....

I, rabidrunner, promise to and hereby swear to cease the purchase of clothing, books, magazines, jewelry, makeup, household decor, gadgets, electrical items, furniture, and Gear of any sport (that's the one that hurts) for an entire year beginning November 1, 2008. (See I'm already into it 3 days. Only 362 to go...) Above mentioned items may be purchased for Yahoos and Spouse as needed. Above items can be purchased for others as gifts. I will not get a "cheat" day.

For each week without consuming, I get a rubber band.

There are a few items that have been declared purchasable. They are: running shoes to replace others, underwear as needed, makeup when emptied, music - for music is holy and one pair of ski poles. (I need to buy ski poles since they were STOLEN from outside the ski patrol shack while the doc told us about Spouse's Crushed Calcaneuses. I said I'd stopped buying things but I'm still gonna have fun. There will be copius amounts of running, powder hounding, music and makeup this year.)

Do you think I can do it? I do. Stay tuned!