today’s goals

I definitely woke up  much less stiff and sore this morning.  But I also had to do a very modified work out yesterday (due to my sore knee).

Hubs and I are headed to his parents this weekend so John can help them do some projects (which involve climbing on the roof, so I’m guessing they are both serious and necessary).  I’ve struggled with travel since the whole MS thing, because I am a creature of habit, and those habits involve food (ahem, smoothies).  So yesterday, I set about finding a small, portable blender so I can have a smoothie in the morning while we are away from home.

Amazon really dropped the ball.  I originally ordered a blender that had a guaranteed delivery date of tomorrow, just to have the tracking information update this morning when I checked shipping.  Thanks Amazon, so glad I have a Prime Membership and infinitely more glad that it’s so efficient.  Smoke could be seen coming out of my ears and in a rage, I cancelled the order.  What good does a blender do me on Monday?  No good at all.  None.

So, today, my goals include hitting my Move goal (aka burning over 800 calories according to my watch), drinking at least four bottles of water in preparation for meds tomorrow (being hydrated means the nurses can find the veins and saves me additional angst because I really don’t love needles) and finding a portable blender at either Kohls (I’ve googled, it seems they have quite a selection) or BBB (I’d rather hit the jackpot at Kohls – it’s closer to home).  I’ve done my meal planning for the day – salad for lunch and veggie noodles with chicken sausage for dinner (I had sushi last night, because Hubs had to go meet a work associate at the last minute and take him to dinner).  We also have to pack up the truck for the weekend — tent for camping in the yard, air mattress, blankets etc etc.  I’m still trying to figure out what workouts I will do while in Mansfield.  But I’m sure I’ll come up with something.  Additionally, the paper has begun to accumulate on my desk, so I should probably sift through that before going away for a couple days.

Ah.  Life.  Always keeping you on your toes.  Wishing everyone a great day filled with lots of smart food choices, a healthy sweat and tons of hydration.  It’s a humid one in Southeastern PA, so I’m sure the MS will be buzzing!  (Literally.  It feels like buzzing in my fingers and hands).


This morning, Lucy and I got back in the saddle, and did a run as part of my training for the Broad Street Race.  Last week, because I was feeling mostly like a Mac Truck brutally sidelined me, we didn’t get in much running (I use this term loosely, because when it references what I do, it mostly means shuffling along and trying to remember to lift my knees and use proper form at a speed that slightly outpaces a fast walk).

We had a nice pace going (once Lucy has ceremoniously evacuated her bowels not once, but three times, resulting in equal hand weights for the first mile of lilac-smelling potty bags filled with  … potty) and nearly hit four miles in forty minutes (which would have been excellent).  When we crossed the 12 mile marker on the Wissahickon Ribbon trail, we slowed to a walk for cool-down purposes, as well as the fact that there was a quite a monstrous dog approaching, and the big guy didn’t look friendly.

And here I make my **Public Service Announcement** to the dog world.

Yes, I understand that you want to take your pup for a nice walk/job/amble through the woods on a beautiful morning such as today.

Yes, all dogs deserve to stretch their legs in the great outdoors.

Yes, I am sure that deep down, your growling, hair-raised, poised-for-attack dog is really a softy.

But when my over-eager puppy of nearly nine months begins to cower and her back-end starts to uncontrollably shake, it means she’s scared, and your brute of a dog is probably a little overwhelming.

Therefore, dog-owners.   Rather than move to the side of the path and allow your dog to jump viciously toward mine with the mere restriction of  what I can only imagine MUST be a leash with superpower (otherwise why would you have your attack dog on a public path with no other method of restraint?), perhaps you should err on the side of caution.

Either don’t bring your dog to a public path where he is bound to encounter other dogs, OR take precautionary measures to train, restrain and socialize your pup.

I know you love him.  I love my baby girl, too.  But you didn’t reprimand or attempt to control your dog as mine walked meekly by, ears flat and body quivering.  Considering she’s full of kisses, love and excited wiggles, and despite my extreme bias, I have a hard time believing that her reaction wasn’t at least partially due to your dog’s … erm, enthusiastic? … greeting?

We’re safely home, and the Luce is curled up next her dad and I on the couch.  She’s clearly not forever damaged.  But I haven’t forgotten our encounter, and I will be on guard the next time we approach the snarling dog of this morning’s walk.

Until then, I’ll focus on my #broadstreet training.  #runrunrun!


my beef with kelly clarkson

“I can’t stand when people get up and do karaoke for real. In fact, it’s highly embarrassing. Let the dream go, it’s not going to happen! This is supposed to be fun. I love doing things people would not expect me to get up in sing. I look hella bad doing it, by the way. I look like completely ridiculous. There’s a reason I’m single.”

~ Kelly Clarkson (Entertainment Weekly ‘Music Mix’ interview; Aug 31, 2011).

I read this a few weeks ago, and something about her response to the question (“My karaoke jam” to which she answered Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” followed by the above quote) kept looping in my brain.  I tried to justify it … yeah, she’s right, karaoke is embarrassing… people take it too seriously, blah blah blah.

Apparently, for my overactive brain, this wasn’t good enough, because I kept thinking about it.  And I would like to say up front, my final, honest reaction is probably a little strong, but it’s how I feel.

Had she perhaps said, “I don’t take karaoke too seriously ~ it’s silly fun, and I like to do something completely unexpected, because that’s what it’s all about,” I might not have been nearly so offended.  But last night, as I sat in the audience while a string of people – really good singers, actually – did karaoke at my local bar, that Kelly Clarkson quote that I just couldn’t shake came back to me with a vengeance.

Not to get too into the whole drama, but once upon a time I was a pretty good singer ~ good enough to be accepted into a college program based on my voice.  I wasn’t the best singer (I’m no Audra McDonald) but I was one of nine people out of hundreds who got a ‘yes’ from my program (and one of the top programs at the time in the discipline in the country).  I’m adding this because I feel as though my beef with Kelly would seem … less legit, maybe? … if you thought I was a tone deaf moron.  So, it’s established.  I kinda sorta know a little bit about what I’m talking about.

And here is what I have to say.

For a person who won a competition that is, in and of itself, a glorified version of karaoke, I think it’s highly irresponsible to say so nonchalantly that people should “let the dream go, it’s never gonna happen.” Not only irresponsible, but condescending and thoughtless. Each of the people who walked humbly and with some embarrassment up to the stage last night looked around sheepishly as the intro music played, but when they began to sing, you could see the joy it gave them.  Anyone who has ever stood on stage and been applauded can attest to the fact that it leaves you giddy.  It reinforces a person’s sense of acceptance ~ as Sally Field once famously said, “You like me! You really like me!”

Karaoke can be embarrassing, sure.  Like, burning in your seat and wishing, for the sake of the person on stage, they could melt into the floor like the Wicked Witch of the West (it happened last night while I sang the lyrics to the current karaoke song at the bar while the guys on the stage fumbled, and mumbled and in general didn’t ever really sing, instead looking awkwardly at each other as the words lit up across the screen … I mean, who doesn’t want to belt out “Callin’ Baton Rouge”? -my favorite Garth Brooks song of all time- Seriously!).  But for some people, it’s the ability to get up there and sing their hearts out ~ and from that derive joy.  I’m not saying I’m a karaoke groupie ~ I don’t know where it is and which nights, but I do enjoy, on occasion, the opportunity to once again stand up there in the spot light and sing my heart out.  It may not be Broadway, or even regional theatre (I can’t stay in good vocal health long enough to do that anyway), but it’s fun, and it reminds me that there are things I’m pretty darn good at, which is always helpful when life seems like an uphill battle.

So, in conclusion, Ms. Clarkson.  While I think I understand what you’re getting at, don’t belittle the rest of us who didn’t win American Idol (or America’s Got Talent, or The X Factor … or any reality show); who have never auditioned, or never pursued music, or never had the support or financial stability to take a huge risk like that.  Let the people sing karaoke.  Let them sing karaoke like they’re on stage at Carnegie Hall.  Understand that you are gifted, and privileged, and luckier than a lot of people.  And try to keep in mind that some of us karaoke-goers can hold a tune, some of us did pursue music … and then we got ‘real’ jobs to pay the bills, and every once in awhile we relive our glory days on stage during karaoke night.

You shouldn’t really begrudge us that.  Right?