It's a fact, dogs will hold a grudge

Friday, January 18, 2013

At the vet last night
Being in the same habits every single day, it’s hard to learn something new on a regular basis. Last night, however, I got my dose of knowledge.

I learned last night that like humans, dogs will hold a grudge/ignore you when they are pissed. I had to take Gatsby to the vet last night for his annual check-up, something I knew he wouldn’t be looking forward to just as much as his mommy wasn’t looking forward to paying the bill.

So we saddled up with his harness on, went outside and he was BEYOND excited to go in the car because that usually means a walk or park time. Sorry bud, not tonight.

So off to the vet we went. Harleysville Vet was PACKED with pups last night. Gatsby got to smell several butts and waved his little tail harder than ever. Before we knew it our name was called. Ohhhh no, I know what this place is was the look on Gatsby’s face as last time we were there a thermometer was shoved up his ass.

The Vet checked him out and says he looks great (that’s my boy!!) and had to give him a shot of fluid up his nose, a shot in his back leg, then she had to draw blood from his front arm (not going to lie, it’s pretty hilarious to see a little tourniquet wrapped around Gatsby’s mini  leg and to see a little vein pop out.) 

Gatsby’s a smart dog and understands that when he sees a needle, he knows he’s going to get pricked. However, he is a lush for food (just like his mother) and I told the vet about the easy cheese trick the vet used last time where he sprayed it all over the exam table and Gats licked away as the doc stuck him with a few needles and he had no idea. Sucker for food, he’s DEFINITELY my boy.

Over $100 later, we headed back home where the fun really started.  He spent the remainder of the night staying as far away as possible from me. He did not look me in the eyes AT ALL and when I said his name he would look at me and cold shoulder me. What I was most sad about was that he refused to sleep in my bed with me (yes, we share the bed) like his usual snuggle bunny self and I know he was feeling a little off because every time he gets shots he gets the shakes and doesn’t feel to well. I just wanted to hug and love him because he was off.

So this morning I wake up – he slept downstairs on the couch the whole night. He wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t let me pet him. It was getting old at this point and I was really starting to feel bad. Luckily he gave in this morning after me chasing him for 20 minutes to put on his leash and go out. (I'm sure as he watched me running around he's saying payback bitch!!) I knew he had to pee or he was going to burst. 

So that is my story about learning how animals can hold grudges just as bad as some of my friends/people I know. #momprobs

Another view -- a marathon volunteer

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I really don't want to have two blog posts in a row about running, but I can't help it. While January 8 marked my one year anniversary since my first Walt Disney World Marathon, today was actually this year's race day (and a special one at that marking the 20th anniversary of the race itself). As I can see by all the posts and pictures, it WAS A HOT DAY with heat advisories in the area!! Ouch! Temps were about average for us last year, really heating up towards the tail end because it was nearly noon when I finished.

As I was looking at Run Disney's Facebook page, I sit here crying my eyes out -- mainly out of joy for all of the runners who finished the half and full marathon this weekend, but also feeling great pain for all of those who did NOT finish (either because of injury or not making the time cut.) While runners and family members posted on the wall about their great achievements, I have also read a lot of posts from volunteers and how the runners have inspired them. I have yet to volunteer at a race and I really hope to do so some day (maybe Broad Street or the Philly Half/Full Marathon.) From personal experience I know how much these individuals keep your spirits up and encourage you by yelling your name when all you can think about is quitting. It is absolutely a goal I hope to complete sometime during my life.

Here are some Facebook posts from Disney volunteers this weekend:

Congratulations to all of you athletes, regardless of whether or not you got swept! It was such a privilege to see you all run past me as I volunteered at mile 19. You guys were all amazing and I can't wait to some day be able to say that I did the same! Even if you got swept, just remember, you ran more than any of the volunteers did! Lol.

I volunteered at the half marathon yesterday handing out water after the finish line and must say it was a great experience! The gratitude of all the participants was overwhelming! Truly a magical day!

Volunteered to work the marathon today for my first time. So much fun with a great group of people. Actually might put myself into training and do one of these marathons. — withJodie Piotrowski-Smith and Jen Mills.

I'm a cast member at wide world of sports and this weekend has been so inspiring to me. Men and women of all shapes and sizes going out there giving it their all and accomplishing their dreams and goals. It has inspired me to start training and my goal is to do the wine and dine even though I am overweight. Thank YOU for all that you did and it made me proud to cheer you all on! You should all be extremely proud.

I echo the sentiment expressed by others. This was a tough day with the sun, temp and humidity. I want to thank the calm people at the medical tent who explained the reason my fingers were swollen. I also want to thank the volunteer that offered her chap stick when I asked if any was available. Another awesome Disney experience...hats off to the Race Director...Well Done!

Thank again for a wonderful experience Disney!! The marathon course was one of the best I have ever run! Crowd support was great and most of all the course support was perfect on a warmer humid have some of the best volunteers out there!

The night I got a 90 year old drunk

Friday, January 11, 2013

Let me first start off this post by saying this song is still a classic to me, but it also holds a special part in my heart because I use to pump it in college my senior year (if I wasn’t my roommates were to mock me) because I was dating a bartender at that time. This little shoutout goes to you, Scott - my Shmuffin. Haha

But anywho, last night I got to check an item off the bucket list – be a bartender.

Just the other night my mom asked me if I wanted to make some extra cash and I clearly couldn’t deny that offer. Her work was hosting an open house at her accounting office to meet new clients after recently buying another firm. It was a group of men and women who sure did like the free open bar and free food. Wine bottles and beer bottles were flowing throughout the night, but what also happened throughout the night was me being able to overhear people’s conversations. Here are two quick stories from this adorable, little nearly 90-year-old man name Howard who got hammered off of one Blue Moon and one Yuengling Lager (both of which he downed in two gulps. He told me he was cutting himself off because he was ‘already feeling drunk.’)

STORY NUMBER 1: So this little old guy was talking about reading the new “Kennedy book” that is out… I’m assuming he was referencing JFK. He is talking to two men saying that JFK was the best president because “he was Catholic.” He continued to say that “he was the best one in office since I’ve been alive… better than all them Jews and whoever else has been in there.” May I include here that majority of the group on Thursday evening WAS Jewish… including Howard. I don’t know why he doesn’t like his religion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he converts after reading this book.

STORY NUMBER 2: I would say Howards conversations surprised me, but people speak the truth when they are drunk (Drunk mind speaks a sober mans thoughts – however a certain guy I hung out with recently has me not believing that much anymore.) Anyway – all of the staff dressed nicely in suits and ties for their guests. Howard was speaking to one of the younger employees saying how nice he looks in his suit and noting his tie. Then he proceeds to say as a LARGE group of men were around him, “Yeah you look real good. That guy right there, he looks like a damn slob!!! That guy right there, looks worse than that slob.” Dan and I were nearly crying as Howard was saying this allowed. Who would have guessed that Howard was a fashionista!!

Cheers to you Howard, the cutest/drunkest/hilarious old guy I was able to take advantage of.

P.S.  Not sure who was driving home – him or his wife – but both were pretty beat up. Oppsies!

Happy One Year Anniversary Disney Marathon

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's hard to believe but one year ago (yesterday) I ran my first marathon. The journey was completely amazing -- the hardest 26.2 miles of my life, but without a doubt it is going to be a memory and experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have yet to get my marathon tattoo (I'm not sure what is holding me back), but both Hans and my cousin Jackie got theirs. During 2012 I did not run nearly as much as I wanted to, only competing in Broad Street, but I think I needed the break. I'm hoping I can get back into the running groove with goals of doing Broad Street and the Philly Half this year.

In this post I did want to acknowledge two great friends and their accomplishments in 2012.

My first shoutout goes to my girl Jess Lawlor. A friend that I met through work, Jess set a goal of running 12 races in 2012. She competed in Broad Street for the first time (where we KNOW we had to have run by each other) and she completed her first half marathon in Philly, which I am so proud of her for doing. It is her longest race to date!! Do you think Jess completed her 12 races in 2012? You can check it out on here blog post here. I am so proud of you Jess and I PROMISE we WILL do a race together soon. XoX

My second shoutout goes to Mr. Kyle Thomas. Kyle CRUSHED the Marine Corps Marathon this past October, his first marathon!!! He completely dedicated himself to his training and it was great to witness it first hand. Welcome to the marathon club!!! :) For many of us, we were able to follow along with Kyle's training through his wife and my best friend, Donavan, who created her very first blog, "A Marathon Runner's Wife." Congrats to you both, I miss you both dearly!! XoX

Being the "newbie" at work

Friday, January 4, 2013

WARNING – this post is long, but each story is TOTALLY worth it. Hope you all enjoy!
At some point in time, each and every one of us has been the “newbie” in the work place. On a general level I would not call myself shy – I think I’m pretty outgoing, easy to get along with and have a sense of humor which I feel like is the first thing most co-workers recognize. But despite all that “courage” and “confidence” that I show, the first week is always the toughest.
So here I am, my first week complete at The Merion Cricket Club and being the newbie sure is rough. The job itself I am already comfortable with and I feel like my boss already trusts me being that she is piling me up with work and projects. My direct boss has been awesome so far! She’s always introducing me to everyone and taking me all over the complex. However, on Thursday afternoon at lunch, I had my sense of “holy crap, I’m the new kid!!” Every day at Merion, all of the staff members get free lunch. Like cattle at 11 a.m. we run down to the lunch room where we have a buffet style of food (different items each day: salad, chicken, beef – TASTY stuff!!) and we all sit at these old wooden tables in this tiny room. On Thursday, my boss packed lunch so I knew I was on my own for lunch. I walk down, grab my plate and fill it up. Entering into the room where we sit down and eat I did a quick peek at if any seats we open. ::Crap, there is one chair open with a whole table of guys. Maybe I’ll just go eat in my office.:: With my back faced to everyone eating and me filling up my fountain soda I told myself “Amanda, put on your big girl panties and turn around and find someone to sit with.” ::oohhh man, here goes nothing:: As I turn I see a table for two – Brent, one of the maintenance  guys whos name I have actually remembered (maybe because we had a funny joke the first day we met) was there with an empty seat. I asked ‘May I?’ Thursday’s lunch ended up being quite pleasant as Brent and I shared stories and I was able to learn about his family, his three kids and the three jobs he currently has to help his family get by (especially with two kids in college.) It’s going to take lots of days to make friends and learn everyone’s names, but that is not going to happen if I sit and eat at my desk every day. Just like dating, I guess you have to put yourself out there, right??
 I asked friends to share stories of their “first day of work” experiences and here are two great stories (they may even make you say, 'wow, and I thought MY first day was bad!!!') Thank you so much Julie and Jen for sharing!! 
Here is Julie’s story:
It was one of the biggest days of my college career, my first day of student teaching. I couldn't wait to meet my new first graders and mold their little minds. I laid out my favorite "Professional" outfit the night before and woke up extra early to beat traffic and impress my future coworkers with my punctuality. Little did I know it would turn out to be one of the most mortifying days of my life. I walked into the building and was greeted by the secretary The principal was at a meeting downtown but it wasn't long until I would get to meet him. The secretary showed me around the school like any typical employee's first day at a new job. It was a small single hallway school so everyone was very close with one another and I was excited to have a chance to join their "family". Our last stop was the first grade classroom I was assigned to. The class stopped what they were doing and my cooperating teacher introduced me as their new student teacher. The kids instantly came up and hugged me and welcomed me with their little open arms. I loved the school already. As the class continued with their work, I sat in the back of the room with my new cooperating teacher and we discussed the curriculum. That was when it all went downhill. I started to feel really warm, like sweat was dripping from my forehead but when I went to wipe my face their was nothing there. Then the tunnel vision came. I could no longer see who I was talking to let alone my surroundings. I started to panic inside but pretended like nothing was wrong in order to keep that "professionalism" that is expected. Then the nausea hit me. I couldn't believe it, I was about to get sick in front of the lady who held my future in her hands. It was too much to handle, I stood up and politely told her "I'm so sorry but I am not feeling well" and ran for the door. The next thing I knew I was waking up to the secretary, 22 first graders, my cooperating teacher and paramedics at my side. Little did I know the older grades were walking to lunch pushing each other to get a glimpse of the "newbie" who needed medical care. I cannot even describe how embarrassed I was. I started crying and apologizing over and over again. Of course they assured me there was nothing to be sorry about but I knew this would be the talk of the school. There was a knock at the door and two men in suits entered the room. They knelt down and held out their hands and introduced themselves as the principal and superintendent. That was the icing on the cake. The principal and superintendent had to leave their meeting downtown to make sure this stranger in their school was ok for insurance purposes and of course their own personal curiosity and concern. Again, they assured me I had nothing to worry about and they were just happy I was ok At this point I wanted to crawl into a ball and disappear. I laid on the carpet of my new first grade classroom for about an hour because I couldn't move. I thought it was because of how embarrassed I was but really it was the big gash in my head from when I hit the floor. My boyfriend at the time ended up coming to my rescue and taking me to the hospital. I still cringe thinking about that awful day but I know I made a lasting impression on that school. In the end I left that student teaching placement with straight A's and outstanding references from both my cooperating teacher and the principal. My "what's the worst that could happen" story became one that my college professors told other prospective student teachers to help ease their nerves on the first day. Even though it was the most embarrassing day I am proud of myself for going back for my second day. It just goes to show that no matter how horrible the situation, you just have to pick yourself up and hold your head high.

Here is Jen's story:
After graduating from college, I worked at a community weekly paper for a few months before landing a job at a bigger daily paper. I was the youngest reporter on staff and the only woman, so I felt a lot of pressure to prove myself. On my first day, I was sent to cover a school board meeting, which was held in a school library. I had the agenda, but I didn't know what was going on, I couldn't tell if anything that was happening was newsworthy, and I didn't even know what a school board really was. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, Who are these people?  I was clueless about a lot of things. A few months later, I remember working on a Sunday and having to call the county district attorney at home, and I called him "your honor," thinking he was a judge. I had a lot to learn. After the school board meeting ended, I went into the bathroom at the school, locked myself in a stall and cried. I was so frustrated. But I had this really important moment of clarity in which I told myself that this going to be the hardest day that I will have as a reporter. Everything after this would be okay. I tried not to be too hard on myself, because I knew I would learn and grow and figure things out. That was more than 10 years ago. Since then, I've covered crime and I've worked at a magazine, and now I'm covering education at the sister paper of the one where I got my start. The field of education is so new to me -- there's so much jargon and so many concepts that are unfamiliar. After being on the beat for about a month, I met with a group of administrators for a story, and I was so perplexed because they were using acronyms and taking to me as if I were an educator. I needed to be able to understand what they were saying enough so that I could explain it to readers, and I was again feeling lost, just like I did back on my first day of my daily newspaper career. Instead of crying this time, I laughed. I asked them to back up, and explain it to me like I'm a fourth grader, and they laughed too. I can't say I grasped everything, but I understood enough. More importantly, I didn't worry, because my worst day was already behind me.

2013: lets try this thing called life again

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy holidays friends!!! It's a new year which means new beginnings. Yippee!! Please excuse my absence for the last two weeks -- they were a bit crazy. I ended my job at The Reporter, I started my new job at the Merion Cricket Club and I was able to get a 10 day vacation that was filled with family, friends, drinks and fun. I promise I won't go that long again. #scoutshonor

When it comes to the new year, one thing comes to mind: RESOLUTIONS. Mary is going to give up chocolate. Tommy is going to go to the gym at least five days a week. Bob is going to try to stop cursing.

Something about using the term "resolution" makes it more stressful in my mind; that if I don't complete them, I am a failure. So that is why this year I have created some goals -- goals to me are always obtainable because completing it even just ONE time is a success with a goal.  (you may disagree with my mind set but hence the saying 'I agree to disagree.')

While 2012 was a year filled with the birth of my beautiful niece, seeing one of my best friends tie the knot to the love of her life and me getting both a promotion/starting a new job, 2012 is without a doubt going to go down in history as most likely the worst/toughest year for my family and I. But as I told my sister, we say "smell ya later 2013" and make 2013 our bitch.

So here we go 2013 -- hang tight, you're filled with weddings, trips and a fresh slate.

 Goals for 2013
- Use my computer at my new "home office" in my bedroom where I will continue to blog/write. Limit my computer use when on the couch and instead pick up on my reading game. (Goal of reading at least 13 books this year -- def doable.)
- Make an effort to use my new Cannon Rebel camera more than my iPhone. It's a bad ass camera and should be used. Love all of my photos from it so far.
- Be a great MOH/WOH for one of my greatest friends in the world.
- Move out of my parents house and start a new chapter with Gatsby boy <3
- Appreciate life more -- stop being so negative and be grateful for what I DO have and those who truly love me/are there for me. Get away from poisonous people, they will only bring you down with them. It's time to 'Take Your Pic' on your outlook in life.

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