Zombie Birds

This has been an incredibly wet week.  I have more than gotten my money’s worth out of umbrellas and ponchos.  I’m pretty sure it rained for 5 days straight, had one day of sun, and then started raining again.
A couple of days ago, D rescued a baby turtle from near his office.  Granted…he works near several “lakes” (growing up in WI, we’d call them lagoons), and rather than walking the poor baby BACK to the water, he brought him home.  Everyone fell for him, and after A and I went aquarium shopping, we have a new family member.  His name is Kiko, which I guess means tortoise shell in Japanese (according to the kids).  Anyway, he’s a wee baby – only about an inch and a half long.  He’s cute, but small, and I worry that he’ll do okay.  His picture is below, and so far, Sammie (the lab) and Bumble (the cat) have paid him no heed at all.  I imagine for Kiko’s nerves, that’s a good thing.  His picture is below. 
For the past few weeks, D and I have spent a lot of time talking to the kids about martial arts.  They started Tae Kwon Do about 6-7 months ago, and it has met with mixed reviews.  They attended an American Tae Kwon Do studio, and while we really liked the athletic aspect, we weren’t thrilled otherwise.  After 6 months, the kids couldn’t explain what they’ve learned about the discipline or the history of the sport.  And from a parent’s perspective – they seemed more interested in our wallets than our kids.  They were never forthright with the true cost of the sport ($188 per month for the VERY basic of courses – no advanced sparring gear – that would be another $400 per kid – and if they wanted the “true” development experience, then it would be at least $250 per month, plus $120 per each belt advancement).  Every few weeks after we signed up, the head of the studio would pitch yet another “level” that the kids could attain if we would just pay the additional $100+, etc, etc.  This was not what we signed up for.  We signed up for discipline, athleticism, and focus.  Not some guy who was obviously stuffed into his locker so many times in high school that he decided to become a martial arts black belt and bully every one he ever came into contact with.  And that was the experience we came away with.
Anyway, we started researching different martial arts (since we were brand new to it this year), and D found a local Brazilian Ju Jitsu studio.  He called, talked to the owner, and we went to observe a class on Friday night.  Right away, the kids were pretty excited.  It seemed to be much more fun, and more hands on (not to mention practical in a true self defense situation).  I think A was excited about the chance to throw people around, so after an hour of watching, we decided to let them try out a class on Monday.  Wish them luck – I want them to find something they find exciting, challenging, and useful. 
I got my bday present a little early – it’s the new iPod Nano (in Red!!).  It’s totally awesome, and the reason I got it early is because of the marathon NEXT WEEK.  I don’t have to worry about an armband holder chaffing my arm, etc.  I spent most of Friday night loading it up with music and audio books, and gave A my older purple nano.  It also has an FM tuner, which is awesome.  I love it.
Saturday was a fun day.  It was cool and sunny and pretty much the first time since April that we turned off the air conditioner and opened up the house.  I woke up, had some java and oatmeal with blueberries, and hit the gym for a Fitlinxx workout.  M and R came with me – M to workout and R to play in the kids Interactive Zone.  We stayed for just over an hour.  We stopped at Harris Teeter (grocery) on the way home, picked up some salads from the salad bar, and some driving snacks.  Got home, took a shower, and then the 5 of us took off for Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream fun.  It finally was a gorgeous day; only about 70 degrees, so it was perfect.  We got to Williamsburg around 3, and had a great time.  Before 6, the park is “kidsiderate”, which means all the scary haunted stuff is a little kid friendly.  We went through one haunted house, and while A, M and I screamed, R (the 7 year old) declared that nothing scared her at all!  We wandered around the park and went on several rides.  We did some roller coasters and bumper cars.  At one point, I was crawling around some rope bridges and ladders and thought it was a Survivor Challenge!  After it got dark around 7, we went on a few other scary things.  What’s funny is that they made me go first (and I’m a wuss), M gripped on to  me (he’s 13), A held tight to him (she’s 15), and the three of us screamed like crazy.  R (who’s 7) walked through like it was nothing and declared it totally un-scary.  Too funny.  We left around 9, and all crashed asleep when we got home.  Oh, and I used my groovy new iPod as a pedometer.  I walked 14,000 steps.  Cool.
Imagine my surprise this morning when the stupid birds started chirping at 630 am in my newly opened windows…right after I had dreams all night about zombies and other scary things.  In my semi-conscious state, I was dreaming about killer zombie birds, so when I finally rolled out of bed near 7 am this morning, I was NOT going to fall back asleep.
Today I was really excited about going for a run.  Between my trip to WI, getting sick, and working crazy hours, I hadn’t been running and I’m nervous about my marathon next weekend.  When I checked the weather all week, I was so excited to learn that the entire weekend was supposed to be sunny.  All weathermen should be fired.  Basing the weather off of people with bad knees is more accurate than any meteorologist can come up with.  It was raining when I woke up.  Hard.  And it did so all day.  I have no raining running gear, so I had some coffee and pouted for awhile.  I decided to go workout at the the gym, but had a different dilemma.  S and I had plans for today, and I wanted to get my workout done early.  Unfortunately, all of my YMCA’s don’t open until 11, so I decided to go to Bally’s, where I’ve had a membership since I was about 16 ish.  I haven’t been in one in quite a long time (not a kid friendly place), so it was a little bit of an adventure for me.  It was gross.  It’s nothing like the Bally’s I grew up around, and it was no surprise that Yelp rated them so poorly.  I was really just going to a cardio workout, so I figured it would be fine.  The plan was 45 minutes of running, 20 minutes of biking, and maybe 20 minutes on an elliptical.  No big deal, right?  All the equipment was old and breaking down.  There were NO sanitary towels to wipe the nasty sweat off the equipment when you’re done working out (which made me wish I brought my mini-Lysol with me), and there were no fans…so no airflow…so the entire place smelled like stale sweaty body odor.  I did my treadmill and bike workout and decided to hit the showers.  UGH.  The showers were SO nasty!  A picture is below.  So..imagine this.  The tile is some nasty peach color with cracks everywhere.  The “on” button on the bottom only provides 30 seconds of water when pushed…and then it turns off.  Reminds me of what the ships were like in the Navy!  But WORSE!!!  Anyway….I only got about 10 seconds of real warm water and decent water pressure when it starts to turn itself off.  That’s not enough to soap up, much less rinse off my hair!  So after pushing the stupid button for 10 minutes, I got out of there as quickly as I could.  Thinking I’ll cancel my membership.  Ewwww.
After the workout, I picked S up and we headed to the Chrysler Scope Arena for India Fest.  It was nice enough, and the food was wonderful!  I had some samosas, chat papri (a cold chickpea salad) and some spicy vegan thing I took a picture of an posted below that was awesome.  The shopping was so-so, and we both felt that they didn’t need to rent out an entire arena for the occasion.  I ran into one of my hospital administrators, said hi, and then we left.  We went back to S’s house for some of her homemade mojito concoctions, watched some Jersey Shore (strange show), and the rest of a movie called I Love You Beth Cooper.  I swung by Moe’s on my way home for a personal trainer veggie salad, and to update my blog!
Tomorrow is a full meeting day, some Fitlinxx, and then ju jitsu for the kids.  Hope it’s a fun day!
 Kiko, the Wonder Turtle
  Bally’s Nasty Shower
  Indian Vegan Awesomeness

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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