Why I Will Never Meet a Famous Person

Last night was much-anticipated at our house because it was the night Mountain Man was in Lynchburg for a minor league baseball game.  And we had free tickets.  Talk about a good Thursday night plan!

In case you don’t know who Mountain Man is, he’s sometimes on Duck Dynasty, which we greatly enjoy watching on TV.  So here we are, twenty (thirty? forty?) feet away from someone on one of our favorite TV shows, and we didn’t meet him.

There he is!

There he is!

I seem to have a bad personal record for this type of thing.  One of my more embarrassing life moments happened at the tender age of three when I ran up to Minnie Mouse at Disney World.  Happy little me didn’t notice the HUGE line of kids waiting to meet Minnie, so I just went in for a hug.  Big mistake.  Turns out the moms with the kids didn’t think cutting in line was cute at all. 

And then there was the time I was standing 10 feet from Pete Sampras, my only real athlete crush back in the day.  I didn’t want to inconvenience him on his way out from a match, so I just stood there like an idiot wishing he would come up to me and introduce himself.  Right.  We didn’t meet.

Last night’s logic?  Well, the line was long, and I didn’t have anything to say to the man.  Sure, he seems great on TV, but I didn’t have any burning questions to ask or any souvenirs to be signed.  So we took a long-distance picture, enjoyed the game (complete with beard contest), and ate a giant sale pizza when it started to rain.  Success.

See, still happy.  Maybe someday if Giada and The Pioneer Woman are chatting 2 feet away from me, I’ll actually say hello.  Until then, I’ll continue enjoying our very non-famous life.

Happy Tears

I was too tired to watch the end of the Olympic coverage last night, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care.  When I watched the last women’s gymnastics performance this morning, I was choking back tears with Aly Raisman.

Go, Aly! (photo from Trendwire.com)

It was so fantastic to watch those girls succeed at something they’ve worked at for most of their lives.  I know that’s true for all of the athletes–the commitment and the struggle to get to the Olympics–but they’re our athletes, and I’m so glad they were rewarded for their mental toughness and talent.

I’ve also been trying to get a few things done in my own little world, between Olympic ping-pong and water polo and tennis and gymnastics and swimming and diving.  You get the idea.

I’ve painted a few chairs and a table that were hanging out on our patio (forgot to get a “before” picture, but I’ll share after the patio is a little bit cleaned up).  I’m hoping to transform a few more pieces of furniture in the near future.  And I’ve cooked a few good dinners.

One of the dinners was a bit like this:  Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato Sandwich.  Only instead of a 1/2 cup of mayo, we used Greek yogurt.  It worked out really well, and I didn’t feel bad about the bacon with the omission of the mayonnaise.  Happy stomach, happy tears, much happier week than last week.

Bonnie Blair, Michelle Kwan, and Me (Of course!)

photo by Sherlock77

Ice skating appears to be something that I do every thirteen years.  The first big event was for my thirteenth birthday, and the second looks like it’s going to be tonight.  Even though I’ll probably need the double-blade skates in the picture above, I’m excited about it.  I’ve even set a goal (because what worthwhile venture can be made without a goal?!).

The goal is to skate backwards with some semblance of confidence.  It’s probably a stupid goal, since there’s a good chance that I retained exactly none of the skill that I picked up the last time around.  But I think being twenty-six instead of thirteen will work in my favor.

Middle school isn’t known as a time of great confidence for anyone, so if I could merrily skate my way around an ice rink then, surely thirteen additional years of life experience and the mere fact that I’m not in middle school anymore will get me halfway to skating confidently backwards.

Then there are all of those hours that I spent as a child pretending that I was Bonnie Blair (on rollerblades, because I was in Texas).  And the hours that I spent perfecting a non-ice version of a single lutz.  Some of that time has to translate into awesomeness all of these years later.  If not, at least I’ll have a good time pretending that I’m graceful with all of the other Southerners who only see ice when the downtown rink miraculously appears for a few months each year.

And last but not least, I want to add a note about The South.  My mom was ashamed that I would even consider making a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top.  What decent Southern girl would let that thought cross her mind?!  I blame blogs with beautiful pictures, mostly, but I also blame my grandmother.  If asked, she probably wouldn’t have admitted to living anywhere other than Clinton, North Carolina for her entire life.  (There were in fact a few years spent in exotic locations like Greensboro, North Carolina.)  She was Southern in just about every way imaginable and proud of it.  And her sweet potato casserole had mini marshmallows on top of it.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Well, almost.  I’ll admit that the topping with brown sugar and pecans is better.  The marshmallows were just so enticing with their awesome symmetry and their slightly browned meltyness.  That’s really all I have to say about that.

Gooey Goodness: The Aftermath

It turns out that my memory completely blocked out a few pertinent facts about the mud run.  Important fact number one is that of the 5 miles in the race, about 4 of them are sand.  Important fact number two is that I felt out of shape when I ran the race last year, even though I ran 5 miles with relative ease the week before the race.  Important fact number three is that for the past few months, I’ve run a mile or two at a time, not five miles.

To put it kindly, this weekend’s race reminded me of the value of training (and humility). The only real perk is that while people were passing me right and left, I maintained a level of cheer that my fellow slow-pokes didn’t achieve.  If you’re going to be bad at something, you can’t be grumpy, too.  That’s just my opinion.

After about 4.75 miles of sand and frustration, I came to the crowning glory of the mud run–the mud pit.  It’s conveniently located very close to the finish line, which is helpful because you don’t have to drag around 12 pounds of mud for the entire race.  The pit placement is also beneficial because friends and family can watch participants crawl through mud.  That’s probably a lot more entertaining than watching tired racers trudge through a quarter-mile of sand to get to the finish line.  And my favorite reason for having the mud pit so close to the finish line is that the mud crawl is absurdly fun.  You immediately forget how painful the rest of the race was when you dive into that mud, and if you aren’t inspired to frolic to the finish line, I’m not sure what would inspire you.

This is a small sample of the mud on my body after that pit (which was so deep that I had to literally swim through it this year):

Those shorts are hot pink.  Can’t you tell?  And I rinsed my feet so I could walk inside without mopping my entire house.  Before that, my feet were almost as muddy as my legs, despite the fact that they were covered by shoes and socks for the entire race.  My arms, torso, and neck were encased in dried mud, too.  Mmm.

Stepping out of my car covered in dried mud probably upped my crazy points in the neighborhood.  The lady across the street was definitely sitting on her front steps for that Kodak moment.  I should have said something to her, but I think letting her wonder was more fun for both of us.

The verdict for next year is that I fully intend to race again.  It might be a good idea for me to actually train for the event, however.  Please remind me of that sometime in March 2011.

Gooey Goodness

Tomorrow is special.  I’ve been looking forward to it for an entire year.  It’s Mud Run day.

It’s true that at various points in my life, I’ve been in shape.  This isn’t one of those times, but I’m still going to get myself out of bed really early on a Saturday to stand in line so that I can run 5 miles through sand, mud, and marsh with lots of other people.  I’m going to leap over a (short) wall and crawl through a gooey pit, and I can’t wait!  Even though my race time will probably be humiliating, I grin every time I think about tomorrow.

New vs. Old

I never know how to feel about sports records.  As usual, it’s a Pete Sampras/Roger Federer issue that brings this to mind.  The New York Times just pointed out that Federer has spent 268 weeks ranked as the top player in men’s tennis (you can read about it here).  My man Pete still leads the way with 286 weeks at no. 1. The way things have been going, that means a mere 18 weeks before another Sampras record is shattered.  Sad.

I don’t exactly have anything against Federer.  Is it okay to wish that my childhood favorite’s records would stand for more than a few years?  Or is that like wishing that the internet wouldn’t get any faster?  Darn these newfangled players who are so consistently good!  And by newfangled players, I actually just mean Federer.  It seems like there should be some sort of mourning period when a great player retires.  I know, I know.  That’s not fair either.  Maybe Djokovic will take over the top spot for a while and at least make Federer sweat a little bit before he dethrones Pete.  I’ll keep you posted 18 weeks from now.

Grab and Go

I made a quick trip to the grocery store during my lunch break today and noticed that there’s a “Grab and Go” section near the cash registers.  It’s always fun to look at sections like that to see what people need to buy the most often.

It was a short list: milk, cereal in individual containers, eggs, and chocolate syrup.

Wait a minute.  Chocolate syrup is one of the top four items that people need in a hurry at the grocery store?  I’m skeptical.  Maybe you could be in dire need of some chocolate milk, and there you have the milk and the chocolate syrup right next to each other.  That’s semi-legit.  But isn’t there anything else you need more than chocolate syrup?  What about bread or beer?  Both are higher than chocolate syrup on a few lists I found for most purchased items at grocery stores (yes, I actually looked it up).

So maybe there’s a chocolate syrup admirer who works at this particular store, or they’re trying to push chocolate syrup because they have more on hand than necessary.  I guess I’ll never know.

And for a little bit more instant gratification, I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do.  Figure skating was one of my favorite parts of the winter Olympics as a kid, and I ran across these today in my search for an Olympic update.  Check out those facial expressions.  Granted, I’d probably be on the brink of death if I tried to do what they’re doing, but it’s still entertaining.