Concrete Winners

After much adventuring last weekend, I went for a super low-key weekend for this past one. On Saturday, I went to Orange Theory for the first time in a couple of weeks (maybe three weeks?).It’s been way too long and I suffered for my laziness. We did all kinds of sneaky ab work and I am still STRUGGLING today.

I think 34 points is all-time high for me which is quite the achievement. I took tons of breaks to catch my breath, but clearly my heart did not slow down. I went again this morning and had a more normal workout (just 22 points), but it was still killer. And now I get a nice four day break from life to eat all the pie. I have got to get my shit together when I come back from Thanksgiving or we are on the fast train to bigger pants city.

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Saturday turned out to be a very exciting day because we beat our rivals (they don’t consider us rivals, but WHATEVER) across the causeway, UC Davis, in the 64th Causeway Classic. They are up 39-14 in wins, so this was a major victory for us. We are now the proud keepers of an actual concrete trophy (made of the concrete from the causeway). Weeeeee!

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I rarely stay for the entire game because football is one of my very lowest priorities in life, but this game was actually very exciting because Davis managed to make a huge comeback at the end and almost won the whole damn thing. SNEAKY. Anyway, I feel happy for our football team because they have had a lot of rough seasons in a row.

Sacramento State players celebrate their victory over UC Davis in the Causeway Classic on Saturday at Hornet Stadium.

(Photo by Hector Amezcua)

After the game, I went with Lisa and her boyfriend to happy hour since her kid is back in Texas for Thanksgiving. It was a very social day for me.

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On Sunday, I overslept by about four hours. I don’t even know what happened. I planned to get in an early morning run, but I slept like the dead until 11. I normally wake up around 5:30 every morning without fail, so I don’t usually set an alarm on weekends unless I have to be somewhere specific. That system failed me on Sunday. I have no memory of the 12 hours between 11 pm on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday. Oops.

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I put on my finest sweatpants and a fleece, then went up to the office to get some work done. I love weekend office wear. I spent the entire afternoon reading and editing scripts and programs for upcoming graduation ceremonies (I should NOT have let this be moved under me). I haven’t had time at work to do most of my projects because we recently announced that this will be our last winter ceremony (because $$$$ doesn’t grow on trees apparently) and it has been the end of times. So, I spend all of my non-meeting time during the week calling EXTREMELY UPSET parents and students to explain the decision. It hasn’t been the most fun for me because I will do anything to avoid talking on the phone in general, so angry yelling people makes an already dreaded experience a wee bit worse.

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I did make it home in time to get packed for the Thanksgiving and to watch Outlander because I have priorities.

I wish we hadn’t spent another entire episode on the ship, and I  know that there was some important character stuff developing which was good, but HOW WILL THE REST FIT IN ONLY THREE EPISODES??? There is a enough drama left for an entire season on its own. I really enjoy this show, but there are way too many last-minute savior characters. Too many people who magically show up to resolve plot problems (like the lady with the goats). They never have to find actual solutions to anything.

A Sugar-Covered Apple A Day

Happy Halloween!

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Visiting Apple Hill has quickly become on my favorite things to do in this area. I love apples, and I REALLY love apples in baked goods. I had an event to attend for work on Saturday afternoon, so we got up early that morning to beat the crowds on the Hill. We arrived just after 8 and were delighted by the complete and total lack of people. We started with donuts at Rainbow Orchards. You really can’t beat fresh apple cider donuts on a crisp morning. And they’re even better when you don’t have to wait in line for them.

And they had a great tree:

After snacking on donuts, we drove about four minutes to Abel’s Acres to get a caramel apple. We had not been there before, but I read about their caramel apples in a local magazine and we decided to make them a priority on this trip. I got an apple covered in caramel, then dipped in vanilla fudge, then rolled in cinnamon in sugar. It was AWESOME. I ate all of the outside and at least 1/3 of the actual apple because I needed to save more room for more sugar later. It’s all about priorities.

They also had Butterfinger caramel apples:

I suggested they makes Reese’s apples in the future, so I will be expecting that when I visit next year. We also bought one of their apple donuts for the sake of a robust sample size. It was also wonderful.
After Abel’s we drove to Delfino Family Farms for a nature hike and some pie. That half mile really helped us work up an appetite.

And then we had a “walking pie” which is created specifically for ease of transportation. I think this is my favorite pastry item on Apple Hill because the apples are chopped instead of in big slices. Also, it has a caramel cider sauce on top that I want to embalm myself with.

We finished up our morning at Jack Russel Brewing Company. Last time we were there it was crazy crowded and we had to wait in a long line for parking. This time we arrived shortly after they opened and there were maybe three other people. It was PERFECT. I got a sampling of hard ciders and while I don’t always enjoy cider, I loved their peach one.

Since we were there early, it was uncrowded and we managed to hit all of our spots quickly and still go home shortly after noon. I was on the couch just in time to get in a nap before my afternoon work event.

After my work thing, I started the new season of Stranger Things. I am not finished with the season, but I don’t really know where we are going yet. I have a hard time watching scenes with Joyce because she gives me so much anxiety. She’s like a permanently freaked out deer. It’s from zero to a billion with her every time. SIMMER DOWN. Also, GREATLY WORRIED FOR HOPPER.

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And, that poor cat. Dustin, what the hell, man?

On Sunday, I went to OTF, cleaned the house, and meal prepped for most of the day. I also wrapped some gifts to send people and Alan was SUPER HELPFUL with that task. I didn’t know he had a passion for tissue paper, but he is apparently obsessed. He sneakily ate so much of it that he later vomited up a colorful paper wad on my bed. He’s such a treat.

I also watched some more Stranger Things and the newest episode of Outlander.

SPOILERS

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Did we even make it a full 24 hours before Claire had already gotten them into a kerfuffle? She really has a knack for causing problems. I’m all for a strong and independent lady, but it’s not 1969 anymore, Claire. TREAD LIGHTLY. Poor Jamie. Everything he tries to do ends in a mess. RIP, print shop!

I am EXTREMELY excited for the next episode and the revelation of the “other wife.” Drama ahead! I’m also pleased to see from the previews that Jenny is PISSED at Claire. AS SHE SHOULD BE. Girl, you don’t just go MIA and show back up decades later expecting everything to be A-OK. I wish we could get a Jenny spin-off  show of her sassing around Lallybroch. Jenny is not here for your nonsense. I also can’t remember what happens with the seer sister, but I do know that it will be completely dramatic.

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Harvey

I spent my weekend feeling ill while watching Harvey dump trillions of water on southeast Texas. My friends and family are still okay thankfully, but what a nightmare. I am so grateful for all of the courageous people out there in their boats who are voluntarily putting themselves in dangerous situations to help others. The Daily Mail actually has pictures that show the true devastation as you slide between before and after the flood.

Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Catherine Pham and her son Aiden after rescuing them from their home surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Catherine Pham and her son Aiden after rescuing them from their home surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

I wish it didn’t take these kinds of disasters for us to come together and help each other regardless of race, religion, or immigration status. This disaster is going to take years to recover from and I hope that as a nation we can continue support the people of this devastated region.

Volunteer Dean Mize holds on to two frightened and soaking children as he and his friend Jason Lengon rescue more stranded residents on their boat 

Here are some ways that you can help. I am donating to Austin Pets Alive because they are a great organization who is already at constant capacity with rescued animals. Imaging having to leave your home under these kinds of circumstances is nightmare enough, but I cannot fathom having to part with a pet to do so. The SPCA of Texas and Austin Pets Alive are assisting with pet evacuations and housing for animals that can’t go into the shelters with their owners. If you live in the area, you can also take in pets to foster until they are able to be reunited with their owners.
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(source)

That picture is devastating and it gives me tears every time I see it.

I would also like to take a second to chat about evacuations. “Why didn’t they evacuate?” is the number one thing that people here have asked me as Harvey pours trillions of water onto Houston and the surrounding communities. Have you personally tried to evaluate a metropolitan area where over six million people live? Two and a half million is Houston proper, but there are millions more who live in the surrounding suburbs who also have to go. If you were in Texas during Hurricane Rita in 2005, then you will remember the absolute nightmare shitshow that evacuation was. I had friends who sat in their cars on freeways for over 25 hours. Some of those friends sat on highways that are now completely submerged. How is that a better situation? Two days is not enough time to get that many people safely away. And the Rita evacuation was less than three million people trying to leave.

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There’s no good solution for this kind of situation because people are in danger no matter what. Harvey’s trajectory was hard to predict. It escalated from Tropical Storm to Hurricane in less than 24 hours. Then became a Cat 4 in what felt like 4 minutes. Houston is flat. It floods all the time. With Gulf temperatures rising and the danger of massive storms increasing, at some point we have to confront the problem with the ongoing growth and development of these giant cities in high-risk flood and storm areas. We are not building any kind of infrastructure to confront flooding issues, so how many billions do we invest in rebuilding cities that are in terrible and dangerous locations? I say this as someone who recognizes why people live in Houston (and other coastal cities) and why they love it. I totally get it, but we’ve got a problem here that isn’t going away.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who is helping. I have friends and family there and so many people have showed up to get them to safety.

I didn’t do much other than watching the flood coverage while working in the office this weekend. I went to Orange Theory on Saturday and Sunday morning, so I felt pretty proud about that. I also watched Game of Thrones on Sunday night with friends and GOOD GRIEF that was a lot to digest.

SPOILERS

  1. IS TORMUND OKAY OR WHAT???
  2. Ugh. Aegon is a boring name and didn’t Rhaegar already have an Aegon? This is silliness.
  3. Rhaegar looked way too much like Viserys. ICK.
  4. I am having trouble like Lyanna because the actress who plays her was also that little idiot Katie in The Fall. She was THE WORST.Image result for the fall katie
  5. Bronn is the best.
  6. They should not have let Qyburn take that hand.
  7. Was that some flirting coming from the Hound when he was chatting up with Brienne? I am totally down with her being a hottest commodity in Westeros.
  8. HOLY SHIT.
  9. So, Tormund, is he okay or what?
  10. As Eric said last night, “Have the Whitewalkers just been waiting a thousand years for someone dumb enough to bring a dragon over the wall?”
  11. Also, this is a wight dragon, not an ice dragon. Ice dragons breathe icy cold destruction, not fire (an ice dragon wouldn’t have melted the wall).
  12. Was the entire point of that stupid raid just to get the Whitewalkers a dragon? Because, that makes me mad.
  13. I also think Beric has a super sexy voice (the main reason I kept watching Fortitude after I stopped enjoying it – Richard Dormer is great with words), so I need him to stay around also.
  14. I did not see the Littlefinger twist coming, BUT HELL YES STARK LADIES. I am so glad his end came at the hands of a Stark woman.
  15. I wonder how many times Gilly had to tell Sam about the wedding before he heard her?
  16. When are Bran and Sam going to make this Targaryen announcement?
  17. Dany is going to flip her dragon shit when she learns that she’s not the proper heir to the throne anymore.
  18. The best part of the episode was Jorah pathetically trying to convince Dany not to ride on Jon’s love boat.
  19. Ugh I hate that she and Jon hooked up.
  20. And OMG Tyrion loves Dany and I WANTED TO CRY when I saw his face outside her bedroom. I didn’t see that at all until that moment. No wonder he was willing to confront Cersei for her. This can’t end well.
  21. I am so glad Jamie finally stood up to Cersei. Now find Brienne, and get the hell out of dodge!
  22. Cersei – the worst.
  23. Jon, sometimes you have to lie for the greater good (as I tell myself daily).
  24. What does the Night King want? I need more info on him and what his deal is. TO WHAT END, GOOD SIR?
  25. What if all of this is just to have an ending shot of the Night King on the Iron Throne? All of these machinations would have been for NOTHING. A true testament to how all of our human drama really doesn’t matter in the end.Image result for night king gif

Leslie Jones continues to be a national treasure. I’m going to miss her GoT tweets so much! How are we to wait a year and a half???

 

The Sleepend

Last week at work wasn’t a particularly stressful or exhausting, but by the time I got home on Friday I was exhausted. I had not slept well for several nights because I was worried about our budget. Our new fiscal year started on July 1, but we didn’t learn of our budget for this year until late Friday. Some years, the state didn’t provide the budget allotments until SEPTEMBER. How do you operate for months without knowing your budget???? I SWEAR California is such a nonsense entity at times.

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Anyway, I laid in bed running the worst budget scenarios through my head which turned out to be a real nightmare because it required a great deal of math which is always struggle city. Anyway, when I got home Friday I passed out on the couch for a few hours and woke up in complete confusion around 9 pm. Super helpful. I started Friends from College on Netflix. I had very high hopes for it because I love Keegan-Michael Key and Colbie Smulders. I also couldn’t resist the instant nostalgia and warm fuzzy feelings associated with seeing Fred Savage on screen.

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I finished the show while cleaning on Saturday and I found it to be overall irritating.

Key’s character was so over the top and annoying that I wanted to throttle him constantly. Parts of it were funny, but there weren’t enough of those parts to make it enjoyable. These people are all near 40 and they all act like teenagers – it was annoying. Watching people who refuse to grow up and take responsibility for their choices is not something I need to watch over the course of eight episodes.

I happy news, Sari and I FINALLY got to see The Big Sick on Saturday afternoon. I loved it!! It was charming, funny, and Kumail Nanjiani is a total delight.

He’s a star!

We spent Sunday cleaning the house which wasn’t the most fun ever. We haven’t really done a good deep clean since we moved in and since our parents are coming this week, we figured Sunday was the time to get it done. We even shampooed our carpets. If you ever want to feel like a disgusting monster, then look at the water after cleaning your carpets.

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SO GROSS. Anyway, the house is super clean now and I finally finished organizing my closet, so that’s something.

On Sunday night we watched the GoT (OBVIOUSLY) and I am excited to see where all of this is going. Also, if you are several seasons or episodes behind, then that is YOUR PROBLEM. Someone messaged me yesterday griping about my “spoiler” in relation to  an Instagram picture and comment I posted about my Hodor shirt. It’s been almost a year. That’s on you. I didn’t post that five minutes after we found out Hodor’s fate, so GET OVER IT.

 

SPOILERS FOR EPISODE ONE

 

 

I am GREATLY worried that Euron is off to get the Dragonbinder to deliver to Cersei. She always seems to come out on top and I am WORRIED. I did get much joy over his “two hands” dig. Well done.

Ugh. Ed Sheeran. Is Arya gonna murder the hell out of him or what? His appearance really irritated me.

I am so happy that Dany is finally SOMEWHERE. Dragonstone looks way cooler than it did under Stannis and that throne is badass.

While I think Jon needs to listen to Sansa, I do think he made the right choice about the Houses of Umber and Karstark. They seem to be reduced to children, and showing them kindness when everyone else wanted them dead will hopefully seal their alliance for generations to come. Jon needs to up his concern over the Lannisters by about a billion though. Sansa is spot on with that assessment.

Arya, get your fanny to Winterfell.

Prayers for Sam at the Citadel. GROSS.

WHERE IS GENDRY?

It still feels super silly that these folks are squabbling over thrones when an actual army of the dead is descending up on them, but whatever I like their outfits.

Hippie Dippy

During our ladies weekend I had a long conversation with Courtney and Chelsy about their healthy hippie ways. We talked about homemade lotions, kombucha, natural deodorant, and brushing your teeth with charcoal. I am not always the most open-minded about their natural lifestyles, but give me a few margaritas and I have questions and concerns.

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After talking to them, I realized that there are some pretty basic things I can do to use more natural products. I’m never going to use natural deodorant (because I am ALWAYS hot and I NEED my antiperspirant), but I thought I would give making lotion a try at least. I have super dry skin on my arms and legs and I apply lotion multiple times a day, and I still get itchy. After reviewing multiple recipes and methods last week, I decided to try this recipe. I’m not great in the kitchen because I tend to be impatient and clumsy, but I gave all of my effort to trying to get this right. I ordered all of the linked ingredients on Amazon because I was terrified of buying the wrong thing. I feel like that’s not very hippie of me, but whatever.

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I didn’t have proper little lotion molds, so I used my Star Wars silicone molds (they make super fun ice!!) for my lotion bars. I chose the Hypoallergenic Lotion Bars (instead of cream lotion or other recipes) because I have very sensitive skin and these seemed like they would be the least likely to irritate my delicate epidermis. I also like that they are bars because it makes them way easier to travel with. I typically have to travel with at least two containers of two different varieties of TSA-sized lotions because I use SO MUCH lotion. No I have more room in my liquids Ziploc for hair products. I was also initially weirded out by the beef tallow because the idea of rubbing rendered animal fat on my body sounded a bit too Silence of the Lambs.

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I don’t know why it bothered me because I have no problem cooking with rendered fat and I eat meat at every meal, but something about rubbing it on my skin felt particularly icky. I did a bunch of Googling and decided that I would give it a shot anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make and little time it took. I used a mix of lavender and vanilla essential oils and the scent is very faint which is great because I didn’t really want to smell like an underwear drawer (from those little lavender sachets people keep in there. You know? RIGHT?). So, they were very easy to make and now am the proud owner of a bunch of little Star Wars lotion bars. The Han Solo Carbonite mold is my favorite with R2-D2 (the easiest to grip) a close second.

I’m keeping them in the fridge so they don’t melt in the Sacramento heat (we are trying really hard to not use the A/C), but I have been using one since Saturday and I love it. I normally put lotion on when I get out of the shower, reapply before bed, use Eucerin Advanced Repair on my feet and hands at night, occasionally wake up and reapply lotion because my legs itch, apply it again in the morning, then at least twice more while at work. I used the lotion bar after the shower the other night and I didn’t need to do it again before bed or reapply in the middle of the night. It even kept my feet from getting dry overnight. I used it yesterday morning before work and didn’t apply lotion again all day. My skin felt so soft all day and I never got itchy. I can’t believe I didn’t try something like this sooner. I’m in love!

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I hope to make chapstick next because it uses most of the same ingredients that I now own.

I also made mayonnaise for the first time and it turned out great too! I would use half the lemon juice next time (I don’t care for the taste of lemon), but otherwise it was delicious. I made some deviled eggs to go with my dinner on Sunday night and I was in heaven. I felt like a proper pioneer after those two accomplishments. Lotion and deviled eggs are all I need to make it to Oregon apparently (as IF I could be a pioneer).

Other than those two extraordinary accomplishments, I went to Orange Theory, got some work done, and finished the new season of House of Cards (no spoilers). This season should have been called House of Cards: The Bodies Hit the Floor because GOOD GRIEF it was murdery and injury filled. It also too closely aligned with things that happened during the last election and those wounds are still too fresh. I was THRILLED with the very very end of it. HOORAH. Also, Claire has so many power button ensembles this season! Kate better watch out because there is a new Duchess of Buttons in town!!

Much A-button About Nothing.