Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Best Event Ever

So as we travel the countryside, trying to inspire people to get off their butts and get involved in their health and their world and all that junk, we are also on the lookout for anyway to connect with people. We are looking for different running-type events at which we can go and spread our words of Nonrunner’s Marathon-ing and saving the world I spoke of earlier. We’ve found a lot of events that we’ve added to our calendar of cross-country fun.

But nothing looks as fun as this event:

The Portland Iditarod

I do not think I can adequately explain the excitement of this event, so I will blatantly steal from their site:

“In the Alaskan Iditarod, more than sixty dog sled teams race across the frozen tundra from Anchorage to Nome. In our urban version, teams of 'dogs' lead by a musher will pull their sleds (shopping carts) through some of Portland's most scenic areas. These teams of barking humans must negotiate through the unrelenting and unforgiving dangers of Portland's urban frontier. As an incentive to run, dogs and mushers alike will have several 'rest stops' to replenish lost fluids and discuss tales of mayhem. The course is over four miles, so dogs and mushers alike need to be ready and able to run their tails off.”

Ha! Seriously. How much fun does this look? So much fun. I contacted the main Iditarod-er and asked him if we could come play. He said that of course we could, and that if I needed a team I could run with his team. But I’d have to wear a prom dress. Awesome.

These are my kinds of people, these Iditarod-ers. They like the move, they like to act foolish and they seem to enjoy a party. What more do I need in an event?

Portland here I come.

Saturday, March 3rd - Come on out if you’re in the area. And if you have a prom dress.

Safety First

I was going to write something insightful and moving and witty and funny today. But I just came across this product:

It is called the Pelican Baby Sled Deluxe.

Uh. Am I understanding this? It’s a sled for a BABY? Uh. Does this seem like a good idea to anyone who has ever sledded in their entire life?

Please let me show you again what can happen when people sled:

Now, do you think that involving a newborn is the best way to liven up the sport? Who in their right mind thinks that throwing their baby down a hill is a good idea? Well, I mean there is the handy windshield-type thing that they have on this product. We wouldn’t want wind to get in little Johnny’s eyes as he is pummeling down a mountain with no brakes.

Seriously. How did this pass any sort of safety test?

Monday, January 29, 2007

My Weekend

I went and played in the snow this weekend.

Here is picture proof of good times. Don’t we look like an ad for gum or possibily a beer commercial?

I gathered in the snow with some of my travel buddies. Man, do we laugh. I think there is a bond that happens between people after they spend 24 hours a day with each other over the course of a two week travel expedition to a foreign land. A bond that somehow always results in making fun of people for stupid things they said or did over the course of that travel time. Ahhh. Memories. Of stupidity.

I realized this weekend that I see my travel buddies (who don’t live near me) more often than I see some of my local friends. Hmmm. Probably because going to foreign countries and weekend getaways is more fun than going to the restaurant down the street. Of course, the restaurant down the street isn’t FROZEN like snow is. So it does have that going for it.

I’m very happy to be back to my 75 degree house, let’s just say that. I would literally pass away if I lived any place other than California, where there were actual winters. It would be so sad. You would just find me frozen in a ball somewhere. Trying desperately to book a flight to Hawaii.

Also, here is a video on how to sled:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fantastic Job Opportunity: Must like sand

As you know, when I’m not planning my burst onto the literary scene, I busy myself (and fund cross-country dream-chasing adventures) with my freelance graphic design. Because dream-chasing ain’t exactly cheap, I’ve been on the lookout for any and all freelance work.

Today I found an ad on Craigslist with the heading “Multimedia Illustrator”. When I opened the ad it says: “California Needs You! The Army National Guard needs Graphic Designers and Video Editors!”

This is HILL-larious.

Really? The army needs me to DESIGN things? Really?

I dropped an e-mail to the guy that posted the ad, just for fun. I was so looking forward to how he was going to convince me that I would TOTALLY be doing graphic design if I enlisted in the army, and I TOTALLY wouldn’t be sent over to Iraq because we are running out of soldiers to send and the president kinda wants to send a bunch more.

This is the e-mail I got back:
“The position may be available when you actually join the Army National Guard.

You go to Basic Training, then to the school for a couple of months or more - you are then an Army soldier but, you only serve after that one weekend a month and two weeks a year.

There are a lot of great jobs, including the Multimedia Illustrator”

Me thinks that joining anything with the word ARMY in the title during WARTIME on the HOPE of getting a GRAPHIC DESIGN job might not be the most sound career plan.

Of course this is coming from a girl who is taking off two months to travel the countryside trying to save the world and sell books. So I don’t know that I’m really the one to bounce solid plans off of.

I mean, maybe I’m not thinking of all the benefits. There are many, my recruiter guy told me all about them:

*Sign on Bonuses Up To $20,000* (Wow! This would be AWESOME! These people must really want some graphic designers.)

*Monthly Paycheck* (I already have one of these, and it doesn’t involve me getting shot at hardly at all.)

*Over 150 Great Jobs to choose from* (Really? How many different ways can you name the job title “Person Who Shoots At Insurgents”?)

*Security Clearance if U.S. Citizen* (I don’t know why I would need clearance to make things pretty.)

*$400,000 Life Insurance* (Hmmm. Graphic Design very rarely carries the possibility of death, so not many other jobs have offered me Life Insurance.)

*Tax free grocery shopping at local Military Bases* (Tax free grocery shopping? Wow! Those taxes in Iraq are a real pain in the ass. All I have to do is shoot a few people to avoid them? Sign me up!)

If the book tour doesn’t work out I’ll give these guys a call, “Wait, why am I doing push-ups and getting weapons training for a graphic design job?”

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Freaky Fish

I don't really have anything to blog about today, nor do I have the time. But I found this picture that I took last week when I took the kid to sushi. Please lord tell me we didn't eat this fish.

Is anyone else totally freaked out by this fish? There is something wrong with it. The kid thought it was "cute". I told her that's because it looks like a dog and she loves dogs. Fish are not supposed to look like dogs. Or people for that matter. I can't quite pinpoint what is wrong with this fish, but I can pinpoint that is scares the bejeezes out of me.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Big Mail Day

Today I got a couple things in the mail. They were both exciting in their own way.

First, I got a birthday card. This does not seem that special, as it was my birthday today. But what makes it special is the fact that it was from a woman from the blogworld. Patricia to be exact. How awesome is she? So awesome. I have been so surprised by the gifts and cards and flowers that have arrived at my house for my birthday (although, ahem, Patricia was the only one that got it here on the ACTUAL birthday, whereas the boys just kinda aimed for an approximate date. (But then again, any time anyone wants to send me chocolate and flowers, you can aim for pretty much anything you want and I’ll gladly accept (Do make a note of that)))

Here is Patricia’s card:

How much do I love that someone I’ve never met got me a card hailing the wonders of cake?! Anyone who has met me in real life knows that I enjoy cake. Probably a little too much.

So thank you sweet Patricia, dontcha love how a little card can just make someone smile? It’s so friggin’ Hallmark Commercial I may vomit. But I’ll be smiling the whole time.

And then.

I got a check.

Now, see, again, any time anyone wants to send me money in the mail, just go for it. Don’t even ask my permission, I promise I’ll be supportive of your efforts. But here’s the thing. And I hate to be negative, cause I’m usually so peppy. But the thing is I got a check from the Card Company who uses a couple of my quotes on a couple of their cards. I know that it’s not exactly kosher to talk about money and stuff, but besides the ChrisKwanziKah Cap, I very rarely do anything kosher.

The problem with the Card Company is that they include a little spreadsheet explaining the amount of money they are sending you. This is where they are misguided. I know that they should send an explanation of the check along with the check, but really, I’d be fine with just a check. So, I open my envelope and I see a check. And I’m like, “Woot woot, I got money, that’s fun.” And then I look at the spreadsheet:

This is a small part of the spreadsheet. This is the part that indicates how much money this Card Company made off of my words.

And then here is my check:

See, now, getting this check in the mail, when you only get it once a year and so therefore pretty much forget about it, and therefore it’s a surprise when you get it - FREE MONEY! - it’s pretty fun. But this fun is killed in knowing that your little words made 43 grand last year, and you only get $860.

I bet my words are living it up though. I hope they are having fun out there in New York, those crazy words.

But on the whole, who can complain about a nice birthday card and free money for your birthday? Add in the cake my mom made me and the fried potatoes my dad cooked for me (It’s my birthday, I’ll fry if I want to) and overall, it was a pretty good day.

Oh and by the way, today marks the beginning of my last year in my 20's. Once I’m out of my 20's I can’t act like an irresponsible fool, because it ain’t cute anymore. Therefore, this year is going to be quite interesting, as I get all my foolery out of my system. It might make for some interesting blogs, if nothing else....

Monday, January 22, 2007

Gonna Party Like It's My Birthday

It's my birthday.

My friends know that it does not take much to make me happy.

So I will be eating quite a few sushi meals this week and getting presents like this:

Ha! My friends rock.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Again, With the Porch

It has been an exciting week or so for the porch.

Today, more excitement.

First I met up with a friend and she gave me my Christmas present. And my birthday present. Don’t mind that the two dates are a month apart. I am a big Celebrate Whenever person. If you got a present for me, then I got a smile for you.

Today’s gift:

Ha! It’s a doormat.

How much do I love that I have this doormat out in front of my house that is totally in the middle of suburbia? So much. The friend who gave me this is quite white. I’m quite white too actually, my skin color just happened to catch the 1/4 of me that is brown. But this friend and I, we used to work together and we’d always play rap music and talk as if we were gangsta rappers. We were hard core, her and I. I ain’t trippin’ yo.

So anywho, that’s why this is funny to her and I. My aunt and my mother didn’t find it that funny. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Or a gangsta rap thing. One or the other.


I have been expecting a package that a friend had sent to me via two day delivery. That was last week. This friend is not so happy with UPS right now. This friend is the reason I’ve been checking my porch so religiously, because I’ve been so hoping to find the package he sent, so that I could call him and tell him that it is here and he can abort his plan to blow up UPS. Who has time for criminal trials and all that nonsense?

So the doorbell rings this evening and I run downstairs to greet what has to be the UPS guy. When I open the door he is staring down at my doormat. Then he looks up to me and says, “I have a package for Dr. Dawn Rock Me Amadeus.” With no smile.

“That would be me.”
“Okay, here ya go.”

See, my last name is hard to pronounce, or rather it is hard for people to figure out how they are supposed to pronounce it. So I always say it’s like "Amadeus". But it’s “I’m a Dais.” This helps people.

It didn’t seem to help the UPS guy who got out of here as fast as he could. He ain’t tryin’ to mess with this hizzle. Fo Shizzle.

Happy Friday y’all.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Spring

So here's what I'm gonna be doing this Spring:


Come play!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Doorstep is Fun

So I went out to my doorstep again today, because I am expecting a package. And once again the package wasn’t there. But these were:

People are cool. The card said, “Flores para cumpleanos y casa nueva y book tour y you.” A little Spanish and English together for a fun card. These were from Mark, a man I met on my first Habitat trip to Honduras. He joined us on our last trip as well. When I am a grandparent, like Mark, I hope I’m still climbing mountains in the middle of Latin America, like Mark. Hopefully by then I’ll be in better shape, like Mark is. I’ve got a few decades to work up to his physical fitness level. We shall see how I do.

There is not much going on here. I’m putting together some stuff that will make my March and April quite interesting this year. Until then I’m enjoying the calm. Before the storm of sorts. A good storm or a bad storm, I’m not quite sure, but a storm it will be.

I’ve been trying to see all the Highly Regarded Films of last year, so that I’m all caught up in time for the Oscars. It’s a bit difficult because some of the smaller ones aren’t at the big theaters and therefore I actually have to pay for every movie, instead of movie-hopping. And part of my soul dies every time I have to pay ten friggin’ dollars to see a movie. And then another ten to eat popcorn and drink coke.

I think I need to take a break from the Highly Regarded Films for a bit. They are quite emotionally draining. Maybe I’ll rent Jackass or go see The Holiday to cleanse my pallet.

Monday, January 15, 2007

People are Awesome

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a little bit random. Just a little tiny bit. Some of my more perceptive friends have picked up on this and tend to send random things my way. How I enjoy this. I received two cards last week:

This one is a combination of every holiday there is. You know how I enjoy combining a holiday.

This one seems to be a combination of Hanukkah and politics. I don’t really understand it, but damn if it doesn’t make me laugh. It came along with several other random things including these cookies that are way too random for me to even eat, which sucks, cause they look kinda tasty.

On a sidenote, can someone in the Jewish community explain to me why it is Hanukkah is spelled Chanukah sometimes? Beezare.

Also included in this package of random goodness: a flying monkey, a Mr. Goodbar, some sleigh bells, a draydel and some silly straws. Just cause. Awesome.

The most awesome of all?

I went downstairs to check my front porch, because I was expecting a package. When I opened the door I saw a package there. So I picked it up and went on my way to my car. As I was driving I inspected the package further and I found that the return address was Southern Candy Makers.

!!! I don’t think that it is really possible for me to adequately explain how happy I was at this moment in time. It’s like a miracle. When something you love so much just magically shows up on your doorstep.

I proceeded to tear open the package with one hand while driving (not an easy task given the nuclear weapon caliber protection these people go through to package their chocolates (which makes sense, because they are very very valuable)). So I’m searching in the dark for a pen with which to stab at the eight layers of packing tape they have on the box. Then when I break through I am trying to rip off the tape with one hand while periodically having to shake the whole thing off my hand because my hand is now covered in the packing tape and is very quickly just becoming part of the package, instead of opening the package.

Once I freed myself and the box from the tape I had to get the box open and get the candy out while trying to keep the styrofoam popcorn balls from covering the entire car. Sweet Mary, it took some effort. But finally I managed to get to the beautiful Turtles that awaited me.


It seems they are a birthday present. See, this is what I love about adult birthdays. They last pretty much a whole month. My birthday is next week sometime, but who really cares about the exact date? Not me. I will get free meals and time with friends for the next 3 weeks just because I happened to be born in January. This makes me happy.

Not as happy as the turtles, but still. It’s gonna be hard for anyone else to compete with this birthday present, I pity all those who have to follow the miracle box of chocolate and caramel that arrived on my doorstep.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Need to Get Witty Real Quick and I Should Probably Lose 10 Pounds

So I wrote a book. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it. I can imagine you all are tired of me mentioning it. And it’s not even in stores yet. I apologize in advance for the amount it will probably be discussed over the next few months. In not a very long time from now it will become my job to talk about the book to anyone and everyone who happens to be tricked into listening to me.

Please note the word “talk” in that sentence. As in “speak”. “To people”. “Who probably expect you to be at least sorta funny because you wrote what is being billed as a “humorous” book”. (Can you put quotes inside of quotes? I don’t know. The only thing I’m half good at, writing, and I don’t even really know how to do that. Sweet) So, yeah. I have book events coming up. Wherein I am expected to stand in front of people and talk in a witty and engaging way that makes them want to fork over cash for the pile of paper I am trying to sell them.

Have you ever heard of that study that says that public speaking is the thing that is most frightening to people? There is a reason for that. Because it’s scary as hell to stand in front of people and speak. Let alone when you are supposed to be funny. Just ask Michael Richards, sometimes bad things happen. Now granted, I don’t foresee myself breaking into a racist, angry rant, but I also wonder if perhaps that might be better than just standing up there frozen, holding a bottle of Gatorade as a prop and not really knowing what the hell to say about the bottle or the fact that I am frozen.

Things could go badly, is what I’m saying.

I should have co-wrote the book with someone. Then I’d at least have someone up there with me to pick up the ball, should I drop it in a fit of panic and fear and sweat and overall non-funny. Do you think it’s too late to add a co-writer? Anyone interested?

Here are a list of events so far: http://www.nonrunnersmarathontraining.com/Press_Room.html
Please come if you can. And hold up cue cards in the back with witty remarks.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Good Thing I Know How to Swim

So the whole “New Orleans was under water after a levee that we knew wasn’t all that great broke” thing seems to have cities in a bit of a panic. Because a lot of levees aren’t in that great of shape. And a lot of people prefer to not be under water with their big screen tv’s.

The area where I live was once all open land (which is what most areas were before something was built on them, else they would have had trouble building on them). I remember when I was a wee child this very area was under quite a bit of water. And now it is where I reside. Apparently I don’t retain information too well. So anyways, stupid people actually believed that we weren’t in a flood area when they bought their houses here. These people are stupid.

When I bought my house I asked the House People if they provided flood insurance in my Home Owners dues. They said that the flood insurance wasn’t required. I had just come back from New Orleans, and I’d also seen this area under water when I was a wee little child. So I wasn’t really buying their whole “not required” thing. Especially since it “was required” like a mile away. That water's gonna know what areas it’s allowed to enter, is it? Riiiiiight.

Anywho I didn’t end up getting flood insurance. Because what exactly would I be insuring? I’m on the second floor of my place. And I’m in a condo. So if we flood it would have to get pretty high to damage my second floor. And (b) I would be the only one of the six condos in my building to be insured and able to rebuild. I don’t think that would work out so well.

But now. FEMA is a little scawed because they might have f’d up just a teensy tiny little bit in the whole, “recognizing the potential and planning for a disaster” thing in New Orleans. So they are trying to get a jump on our need for life jackets by requiring us to have flood insurance.

My home owners association was very helpful and sent me this notice:

I love the guy sitting on his house. He looks a little calm for someone who (1) is now the proud owner of a shipwrecked house and (2) is almost certainly entirely too big to fit through the door of that house. I love that somewhere there is a clipart of this, and that is what my homeowners people chose to put on their nice little warning about how I live in a place that will probably be under water at some point. But at least the bird made it out okay.

Here is a picture of what people on submerged houses actually look like:

This is the picture they should put in the letter. At least then when our house ends up under water we will all be reminded to put on a damn raincoat. Screw the bird.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Very Little to Blog

There are things abrewin’ here in DawnLand. But until they are anything worth blogging about I will just give you a picture of my book.

Yes, I know you’ve already seen it before. But this is the actual book. Before I showed you the galley and probably a big ol pile of papers. In fact here is a little progression for you:

The real finished book (and 33 of its friends) came in the mail the other day. Per my contract I get 34 books of my very own. To sell on Ebay when I become rich and famous? Perhaps. To put under a wobbly table? Probably a little more accurate. To take pictures of and post on a blog? Exactly.

But any way, I wrote a real book and now it is actually in real book form. All very exciting. Who the hell knows when anyone else can get it in real book form. I think early February is what I’ve been told. OR. You can buy one from me for only $300. I’m trying to pay a mortgage here people.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Weekend of Theater

This weekend I sat in a lot of theaters, both live and movie. I saw Jersey Boys, which is a Broadway musical and then I saw Children of Men, Pursuit of Happyness and Dreamgirls (which is a Broadway musical too, but is also a movie). I sure did spend a lot of money supporting the arts this weekend (Do movies count as “the arts”? I say yes. Anything that involves sticky floors and $4.00 Kit Kat bars is definitely art.)

Jersey Boys was good, it is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In case you didn’t know, they sang a lot of songs. And quite a few of them were in Jersey Boys. My season tixs for the theater are for matinee showings. About 80% of matinee-goers are over the age of 65. In case you didn’t know, these people LOVE them some Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. These peopled CHEERED after every song as if they were at a rock and roll concert. It was hilarious. On the way home Madonna’s “Vogue” came on the radio and I said, “Someday there will be a Broadway musical with this music and my generation will CHEER too. On that day I will know that I am old.” My dad did not appreciate me calling his cheering a sign of him being old.

I also saw the African American Double Feature when I movie-hopped between Dreamgirls and Pursuit of Happyness. Will Smith was about the only African American actor not in Dreamgirls, so I went and caught him in Pursuit of Happyness so he wouldn’t feel left out. It says a lot about the scant amount of black roles available that I recognized pretty much every actor who played any role in Dreamgirls. As far as the movie goes, I thought it was okay. I have trouble when they make theater into a movie, it’s just not the same. Plus, somehow people breaking into song seems to work a lot better on a stage than on a screen. I dunno, something felt off to me. And another thing that’s off? The fact that Jennifer Hudson is nominated for a Golden Globe in a supporting role. Huh? She is clearly the star of the movie. I didn’t realize that fame was a deciding factor in determining how big a role was. I thought maybe little things like number of lines and importance to the plot might play a bigger part. But no. Beyonce had like 6 lines and the rest of the time just stood around looking pretty, and she's billed as the star of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, she does pretty very well, so maybe she got extra points for that.

The last thing I saw was Children of Men, which is the pick-me-up movie of the year. Not so much. It’s set in the not too distant future where the whole world has gone to hell in a handbasket. Iraq everywhere, so to speak. It was a good movie, but maybe Beyonce could have come over for a couple of scenes and looked pretty, just to lighten the mood a little.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jesus E-mailed Me

Click for bigger pic.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Year. A New Dog.

Well, hello everyone, how is 2007 treating you so far? Have any of your broken your resolutions yet? Better luck next year.

So you all know the joy that is the My Mom’s Ceramic Dog. She has a dog. It is ceramic. It sits on the front porch. She dresses it every month. It entertains me with its randomness.


She’s had the dog for quite some time now. And the outfits are repeating. This is unacceptable.


For Christmas I went to the craft store.

And I bought pretty much everything in the place.

And this weekend my mom and I spent quite a bit of time planning out the Outfits for 2007. It was a lot like Project Runway. Except with tinier clothes. But just like on that show we had a bitchy model. Ha! I kill me.

What also kills me is that I have to wait for each month to show you the outfits we put together. The randomness of them all makes me absolutely giddy.

So without further ado I give you....Oh Thank Heaven, it’s 2007.

Get it?

See the thing is a lot of these costumes are going to require explaining, because they are art, you know. And art is never fully appreciated in its time.

He’s an angel! And sorta the pope too! With a New Year’s top hat! And a noise maker sorta thing!

Ahhhhh, it’s gonna be a good year.