Pop Culture Awareness: The Goonies


The advice I got going into this movie was to imagine watching it at 10 years old. So, I channeled my 10-year-old self: the skinny, happy girl who carried her pink Barbie suitcase to sleepovers, played Skip It on the driveway, and rode a white Doodles bike with flowers painted on it.

You know what I think of it? It’s terrifying! The freezer scene and the creepy Fratellis would’ve scared me silly as a 10-year-old. Jeez, at 26 I was squirming and squealing at times.

Past the terror, the movie was delightful. It’s magical, whimsical, and downright funny. I also can’t be the only one who thinks this would be an awesome theme park ride. Wait, they don’t have one, do they?!

Lastly, if I were to have a “fantasy,” it might include being in a watery cave, a strand of pearls around my neck, and embraced in a passionate kiss. C’mon, you know you were thinking that, too.

The Goonies: check. Next up: Pulp Fiction.


Pop Culture Awareness: 101

Most of the people who know me really well know I grew up in a pretty sheltered house. I went to private Christian school until high school, and my parents were strict on movies and TV I could watch, etc. My parents weren’t as strict as some kids’ I know, but still. Nowadays, I grow more and more aware of the gap between me and my peers when it comes to common knowledge. Simple things like who sings “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and famous lines from the Karate Kid fly over my head, sometimes without my notice. In fact, since people have started pointing out how little I know of the 80s and 90s and even millenium pop culture, I feel anxiety when band names are mentioned or movie lines are quoted, and I stay silent on the subject, hoping not to end up on the wrong end of the joke. I think the last straw was when someone said, “You were homeschooled, right?” That was a low blow to my awkwardness. I knew at that moment something needed to change.

So, I’ve decided to remedy this situation by immersing myself in the culture I missed out on. I would love your input. I was born in 1986. What movies are must sees? What music would it be a shame for me to never have heard? What TV shows should I watch? Help, people.

Here are a few starters I have come up with:

  • Karate Kid
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Jimmy Buffet and
  • The Goonies (to the guy I pinky-promised in the hotel lobby at 4 a.m. that one night, this one’s for you!).

Go ahead, give me your list. As I go through them, I will share my thoughts and reactions.

Long Distances: Why Do You Do It?


That’s Craig Alexander, one of the world’s top triathletes.

I know several people who are triathletes, and believe me when I tell you the longer you are around someone who races, the more you want to participate.  Just go to a few races as a spectator and you won’t be able to deny the thoughts of “I think I could do that” or “That could be fun.”

I’ll admit, I resisted for quite some time, but just recently have found a sincere urge to spice things up a little.  I’ve been running regularly for some time now, and since switching to Paleo a little over four months ago, I feel better than I have…ever.

If I can conquer swimming, I think I would be set to sign up for a sprint triathlon.  I’m thinking a sprint distance is all I’d ever be interested in, however.  I like it because it would bring a lot of variety to my life as far as training goes, but each sport’s distance is so reasonable and easy to work with my busy schedule.

My big question for any triathlon- or marathon- or workout-junkies is this: why the long-distance races?  What’s the point for doing an Olympic, half, full, etc.?  If a person is fit, strong, and healthy, does distance prove anything beyond that?  In fact, at many races, I’ve seen people crossing the finish line who are overweight and seem generally miserable.  Why do they do it, then?

My thoughts are, short distances seem like a better fit for me and my lifestyle, but I’d like to get some opinions from people who appreciate long distances.  Why do you choose them over short?  How do they improve your life?  If you were “selling” the idea to someone who was on the fence, what are the selling points?

A Year of Costumes and 5Ks

By the time December rolled around, I realized I had a year full of costumes, and 5Ks. I happen to really like running, and I really enjoy dressing up in costumes, so I guess 2012 wasn’t all that bad. Here’s a quick recap of the costumes and 5Ks.

Costume #1: Rocky Party

My friends and I decided to have a party where we dressed up like Rocky, watched all the Rocky movies, and ate lots of Rocky-like food. It was awesome.


Trying to look tough

5K #1: Mayfaire

This was a great race here in town. Even better, it started at 7 p.m.! How often do you get to race so late in the day? You can read more about the details of this 5K here.


Smiling at the start of the race

Costume #2: Luau

My girlfriends and I like theme parties, so next on our list was a luau. My friend Rosa has an awesome pool and hot tub, so we took advantage of the beautiful Florida weather on a hot summer day.


I should learn to hula dance

Costume #3: Rockabilly Party

My coworker Cynthia’s husband David turned 50, and he threw a blowout Rockabilly-themed birthday party. Awesome food, dancing, and music combined with adorable costumes made for a great night.


My favorite picture from the “photo booth”


Dancing candid

Costume #4: Halloween

After gentle prodding, I succumbed to the idea of spending the evening partying in Tampa for Halloween. Little did we know, it was “Guavaween,” which is basically a huge block party with Tampa socialites. We had great weather and it was really fun seeing all the creative costumes.


Dorothy, Rafael, and Cute Sailor

5K#2 and Costume #5: Reindeer Run

Despite getting up at 4:30 a.m. to drive to SeaWorld, this race was awesome. If you participated without wearing a costume, you would’ve felt out of place. The sound of Christmas music and jingle bells surrounded us as we trekked through the streets of SeaWorld. We are already thinking of costume ideas for next year’s race.


How often can you wear a tutu in public without getting stared at?

I was lazy about making goals at the beginning of last year, but I still managed to make quite a few changes.

  • Probably the biggest change in my life this year came in September when I revolutionized my diet by turning back to Paleo. I wrote an entire post about it and it’s here. Besides meeting a special someone, eating Paleo-style has been the best decision I’ve made in a long time.
  • I had an unspoken goal of reading one book each month and got to 10, so I feel like that’s pretty good. You can see the full list here.
  • I ran my first and second 5K, and logged over 100 miles just in running alone this year. There have been ups and downs in my training and I’ve learned better ways to run, better ways to stretch, and everything in between.
  • I traveled more than I thought I would at the beginning of this year. I visited Boston, Virginia, Connecticut, and Ohio.

Those were the highlights, but I know I’m forgetting things. Anyway. On to next year’s list.

  • I want to see more improvement in my athletic ability this year. I want to get faster and stronger. I’m interested in swimming, and could see a triathlon in my future if I could master a few laps in the pool.
  •  I want flying colors on all my medical checkups, including my cholesterol check I get every three years.
  •  I want to go the entire year without a single sunburn.
  •  I want to read at least 12 books.
  •  Every single day, I want to make someone else smile.

Oh yeah! The Bucket List. My current list is below.

  • white water rafting
  • zip lining
  • run a 5K
  • be a model for a day
  • take a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub
  • eat caviar
  • eat foie gras
  • write a book
  • write my initials in wet cement
  • ride a gondola in Italy
  • ride in a hot air balloon
  • stand underneath a waterfall
  • slow dance with someone I love

Things I’ve Learned in 2012

Before the whirlwind we call “Christmas” begins, I decided to reflect on this year. It’s always been something I like to do. I enjoy thinking on the things I did right, the things I did wrong, the good, the bad,…you get the idea.

  1. You can run from crazy, even break up with it, but you can’t hide from it…unless you change your number.
  2. There is no happiness guarantee with making more money. In fact, making more money might make you less happy.
  3. Gluten is not my friend.
  4. “It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all. The opposite of love’s indifference.” –The Lumineers
  5. Make every effort to keep your family ties strong. When you’re old and need help, they might be the only ones by your side.
  6. Sometimes “To be continued…” sucks, and it hurts, and it doesn’t seem worth it. BUT, you never know what the next season will bring. “To be continued…” is sometimes better than “The End.”
  7. Forgiving and forgetting don’t always go hand in hand. Sometimes you can forgive but you just can’t forget. It won’t be the same as it was, and that’s ok.
  8. The best thing that could ever happen to you might be right around the corner.
  9. It is incredibly hard to find wet cement.
  10. There is great joy in not caring so much about what others think. Taking time to be a little silly, appreciating small things, and sometimes acting like a kid softens the edges of this incredibly hard life.

In addition to a few things I’ve learned this year, here’s a quick recap of what I read. I just recently watched The Jane Austen Book Club and decided to read each of her’s in chronological order starting in January. Sense and Sensibility is next on the list!

  1. Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly-Great fiction-like non-fiction. Does that make sense? I learned so much, but felt like I was reading a novel. killing-lincoln
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson-The book is better than the movie. Very dark and suspenseful
  3. untitledThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-It’s been years since I stayed up until midnight for nights in a row because I was so hooked on a story. This was my favorite of the series.The Hunger Games
  4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins-Very interesting and I can’t wait to see the movie they make for this book. CatchingFire_cvr
  5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins-One word: weird. It seemed like it dragged the story on a bit too long. This was my least favorite of the series.Mockingjay
  6. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein-If you’re looking for a sweet, pick-me-up kind of book, this is the one for you. Also, I will never look at a dog the same way again.arr_pb_hires
  7. A Painted House by John Grisham-I raided my dad’s bookshelf one day and this seemed interesting. It’s very different from most of Grisham’s novels. It was well written, but didn’t have enough of a “story” to make me feel complete at the end.258
  8. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham-Great short read, especially at this time of year.skipping-christmas
  9. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks-Lovely and romantic with lots of great quotes about life. Don’t bother with the movie, or at least read the book first. 9780446698344_1681x2544
  10. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James-I admit it, I read it. All the hype drew me in. I’ll just say this: S&M isn’t for me, and it took me much longer to finish than Anastasia.Fifty-Shades-of-Grey

Well, I guess life got busy after that and I haven’t read anything since. Killing Kennedy is on my list for next year, along with the Austen novels. Coming soon are my goals for 2013…

Diet Rewind: Go with Your Gut

I’ve been hovering over the idea of eating Paleo-style for about a year now, and I finally landed a few weeks ago.  I can’t explain why I haven’t up to this point, except for the unspoken feeling that I would be giving up so many of the foods I love.

For those who are unsure what Paleo-style eating is, you can check out the basics here.  There are a few different varieties of the diet, but the basic concepts are the same, so I’ve been using balance and good sense to figure out what works best for me.

So far, I think it’s wonderful.  My goal is not to lose weight, so after I lost a few pounds the first week, I had to adjust a little to get back on the maintaining train.  That means I simply had to incorporate more calories and fat.

The biggest reason I wanted to post about this is because I didn’t realize how generally-upset my stomach was until these past few weeks.  When eating lots of fruits and veggies, along with good fat and good meat, I never feel bloated, gassy, or nauseated.  It makes every morning more regular, too, if you know what I mean.  Also, cutting out refined and added sugar makes everything taste a little better, ironically.

If I had to rhyme how I feel, I would say I feel lighter and tighter.  In my old ways, I frequently would feel like I was carrying around a heavy lump in my stomach after a regular meal.  I would get heartburn and it seemed like it took me days to digest some of that stuff.  Now, I feel clean and light inside, like everything is working the way it should and moving around at the right pace.

I feel tighter in that I don’t feel bloated and pudgy.  I get excited for exercise because I know the results will shine through.

My oily skin hasn’t broken out in three weeks and my teeth look whiter.  I feel stronger and have more energy.  I’ve come to realize how much I was actually missing out on.

I’ll be honest and say it has taken a LOT of discipline and self control.  I’ve caved a few times.  The sugar cravings were the first hurdle, but that really wasn’t terrible; eating up in-season fruit really helped.  The biggest hurdle for me was resisting fried things.  The other day I wanted a doughnut so badly.  I was just craving some fried dough!

I have one “cheat night” a week.  I have dinner with a couple neighbors on Thursdays and rarely do our menus not include some pasta, tortillas, bread, and cheese of some kind.  Oh! I almost forgot to mention dessert.  We have some killer desserts.  Last night, for instance, we had ice cream sandwich cake: ice cream sandwiches covered with Cool Whip and sprinkled Butterfinger crumbs on top.  The single bite I had was divine.

However, since my neighbors now know about my new style of eating, I’m hoping we can incorporate more of the core Paleo values as the weeks go on.  I know it might not happen right away, and I’m ok with that.  Having great friends to laugh with is definitely worth it.

I thought this would fit well on my bucket list blog, not only because I mentioned it in this post, but because my whole idea behind eating Paleo-style is to be the healthiest, happiest version of myself, and that version of myself is destined to check everything off the list.  So often I hear the phrase, “Go with your gut,” and I’m telling you, my Paleo-style gut is happy!  Who can argue that?!

It might not work for everyone, and there are areas where I’ve found I need a little give-and-take, like having a piece of dark chocolate every now and then.  J  In our modern world, it’s hard to eat “perfectly,” but setting high goals at least gets you somewhere.  If you’ve considered taking the next step in your diet, maybe this post is for you.  Maybe it’s something you could try and end up enjoying as much as I do.

29/73/1500: Mayfaire 5K

What are all those numbers about, you say?

Yesterday, May 12, 2012 I ran in my first 5K race, the 33rd annual Midflorida Mayfaire. I have not been running regularly for very long; I practiced the 5K distance for a few weeks preceding this race. My goal was to come in under 30 minutes, and I did! My official race time was 29:24, which put me at 29th place out of 73 other girls in my age group. I ended up being in 502nd place out of a total of about 1,500 participants. Don’t worry, I already patted my back.

Overall, the race was good! It started at 7 p.m., which turns out to be a nice time for me. I was able to sleep in, do some yoga, eat a decent lunch, and have a generally lazy, relaxing day up to that point. That’s just the way I like it.

I felt the course was good for a beginner, but the hill at the end was pretty tough. It’s amazing how steep the streets feel when you’re running them as opposed to pressing the gas pedal in your car. The last hill was at the very end of the course, right when my energy was waning and my lungs were struggling to find enough oxygen amid the humidity. But, alas!  I ran like the Little Engine that Could and crossed the finish line.

My friend Mary was committed to run alongside me for my first race, and she kept me so motivated!

Pre-race: That’s me, Adam, and Mary. This was Adam’s and my first race.

Moments before I crossed the finish line

After the race, there were all sort of festivities, the best being fireworks. We all found a peaceful spot to sit along the edge of Lake Mirror, with an awesome view of the fireworks. We “oohed” and “ahhed” abundantly then shared some delicious pizza. It was the perfect end to a rewarding day.

Maybe I’ll stick with this running thing for a while.


The Last Girl to Run a 5K

Lately I’ve felt like everyone and their dog has run a 5K race. I like to think I’m “delightfully stubborn,” meaning, I do things when I’m good and ready. Maybe I could call myself the anti-hipster or the reverse-hipster. Generally, I defy the bandwagon until my curiosity becomes too overwhelming to resist and I cave in to the last wave of excitement. Watch, after I complete my first 5K, everyone will be bored with that and into CrossFit and the Paleo diet instead. Hopefully, letterboxing doesn’t go mainstream right away, because that actually does sound like a lot of fun.

Overall, my curiosity with 5Ks starts with one main question: how is this different from running 3.1 miles on my own, for fun? (Yes, I actually do enjoy running for fun.) Is there a “rush” or a certain feeling I will get just crossing the finish line? Will I become addicted to this rush, if it exists? Why am I paying money to run? Will I be able to get some good photos where I look strong and athletic so I can post them on Facebook?

My coworker convincingly told me about the Mayfaire 5K and it seems like the perfect race for me to decide how I feel about 5Ks. It starts at 7 p.m., and it’s about 10 minutes down the road from me. That means I can sleep in on a Saturday and still run a race! Awesome.

To prove I’m actually following through in my commitment, here is the screenshot of the registration confirmation. See? I will most definitely update you on my results, struggles, and triumphs of the day. I think this will probably make @TrimommyKelly very proud.


If you are in the area and wish to join me, please let me know. Also, if you’ve run a 5K (or more), what was your experience like? Have you become addicted?

11 Random Things Chain Blog/Tag/Post Thingy

While I’m working on my bucket list, I want to post whenever I can.  My awesome sister, Kelly (http://www.trimommylife.com/), tagged me so I thought I’d share the love.  Maybe you would like to know a little more about me, the girl who loves heights and hates bees.

1. Post these rules.
2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. Tag 11 more people!

11 random things about me.

1. I love to write and think I have a pretty great vocabulary, but I am terrible at Words With Friends. I can come up with delightfully long words, but still lose to someone who has the knack for placing simple words on the board’s hot spots. But Angry Birds? I’m great at killing little green piggies.

2. Since I’ve discovered my undying love for dark chocolate, milk chocolate just doesn’t taste “right.” For some reason, it tastes like sour milk to me now.

3. I have elaborate, detailed dreams nearly every night. I also have recurring dreams. At least once a week, I dream I’m using the bathroom in front of someone or a group of people.

4. I despise baked raisins. Dry raisins? Great. Raisins covered in chocolate? Awesome. Raisins in cookies or bread? Awful.

5. Sometimes, knowing I am understood means more than love (or like) to me. I can deal with someone not liking me for a reason that is true, such as my hating Star Wars; however, if I feel they have misjudged me, it tears me up inside.

6. I do not understand the fascination with American Idol.

7. I love traveling, kind of. I love seeing new places, people, and landscapes, but I really don’t like flying on planes, driving in cars, etc. I’m actually quite a grouch until I get where I’m going. If I have a window seat and some Dramamine, I’m pretty good.

8. I need hugs. Great big bear hugs. I start feeling depressed if I go too long without a good hug.

9. I love color. One of the reasons I love spring is because I enjoy seeing all the grass, trees, and flowers light up with color. It gives me hope that everything will be ok.

10. I think my greatest talent is keeping secrets. It’s not just about not saying something; I know how to artfully skirt around subjects to derail the conversation if asked directly.

11. I think 11 things is six too many, so I am changing the rules to Five Random Things. I made it this far. Consider me the Head Gamemaker now.


These questions are from my sister, who tagged me.

1. What is the thing in your life you are most proud of?  I guess I would say my kindness to other people. I genuinely try to treat others with respect. I am not especially outgoing, but I try to be friendly when people approach me.

2. What is your biggest regret?  It’s hard to really call it a regret, but often I wish I had followed my heart when it came to college and gone to a different school than the one I ended up at.

3. If you had to eat just one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Hands down, sweet potato. No question.

4. Do you give up things for Lent? If so, what are you giving up this year and why? I don’t usually. I always celebrate Fat Tuesday, though. Duh.

5. What is your perfect evening? My perfect evening would be walking along the beach at sunset, after a long day in the sun; jamming my toes in the cool sand and splashing in the warm water; sitting on a chair feeling the soft breeze while hearing the waves crashing.

6. Do you have siblings? If so, do you buy into the whole birth order thing? Yes, one sister and one brother, and absolutely. I’m the baby and I love it!

7. What is your favorite thing to cook? I love cooking and trying new things, but if you look at #3, I bet you can guess it has to do with sweet potatoes. I love making sweet potato casserole. It’s one of the few recipes I know by heart.

8. In what kind of social situation do you feel most comfortable? I feel very comfortable eating lunch with my coworkers every day. They make always make me laugh.

9. In what kind of social situation do you feel most awkward? I’m a terrible “mingler.” Bring me to a party with a bunch of people I don’t know, and I’ll want to get out of there as fast as I can.

10. If you could go back to college, would you? Yes. I’m still working on that one. I would be a student forever if I could afford it.

11. What quality do you possess that makes you a good friend? I am trustworthy and reliable.


Below are my five questions for the people I’ve tagged, or YOU if you desire. 🙂

1. If you live to be 100+, what will you say it’s because of?

2. Has there ever been a moment where you thought you might die? If so, what was it?

3. What is something that makes you happy every day?

4. Tell me about the last book you read.

5. Out of all of your birthdays, which one stands out as the most memorable, and why?


These are the people I’ve decided to tag:

1. Nathan

2. Drew – drewplaysdrums

3. Wendy

4. Pedro – The [Ghost] Psalms and

5. Mike – it’s Mike Burns.

[Non] Sequitur

As far as reality TV goes, there are a few shows that still manage to get my attention.  I absolutely adore So You Think You Can Dance.  Each season, I am enthralled with the talent of the dancers and the choreographers.  The judges have a way of driving me crazy, but if I DVR it, I can just skip to the dancing.

Another one of my reality TV obsessions is The Bachelor.  I can’t help it.

You already know by the title that this is non sequitur, but by now you’re probably really thinking, Why is she going on and on about reality TV on her bucket list blog?

I’ve never actually applied to The Bachelor, but I imagine as part of the application process the producers want to know, “What is your greatest fear?”  Year after year, some girl inevitably goes on a date where she has to conquer what she’s deathly afraid of.  I’m certain 99% of them must answer “heights.”

Emily and Ben on the Bay Bridge

Alas, I have outsmarted them.  If I were to ever apply, don’t expect me to write my greatest fear—which is bees, by the way.  I am sure if I answered “bees” they would send me on a date to a bee farm to get honey for the girls to eat breakfast the next day.  The description on my date card would be something like “Let’s see what all the buzz is about” or “Will you be my honey?” or some other crap like that.  Yep, it would definitely be a date with millions of bees, smoke, and those weird hats with veils.

Just looking at this photo makes me cringe.

Instead, I would choose an item from my bucket list.

Aha, now I understand how this post fits.

Since heights is actually something I love, I would say something like ziplining through a rainforest, or parasailing. On one of the seasons, they rappelled down a waterfall in Costa Rica. That would seriously be awesome.

Yes, please!

So, if by any chance I actually apply to The Bachelor, and I make it to an exotic location, and I get a one-on-one date, you can be assured that the date will be something risky and daring, and have absolutely nothing to do with bees.

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