Archive for the ‘Review’ Category
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Saturday morning I was woken up nice and early with this text message from Katie:
You guys know I don’t run outside in anything but perfect weather so the idea of running in freezing rain in 3 inches of snow was not appealing to me. Naturally, this was my response that I sent out to all my friends running it with me:
Translation for those of you who are not trained in reading my awful texting or typing (I am seriously the worst at both in case you can’t tell from that picture): there was no way I was going to run in the cold and snow in awful weather. After whining about it for an hour, I got my butt ready, put on my rain boots (practical to wear to a race right?) and went to Lind’s to catch my ride.
And that’s when the fun began.
Meet Ian, Lind’s boyfriend, my running partner and new BFF:
Ian and I are a match made in running partners heaven-we both could care less about our time and are more concerned about making it to the finish line for the post-run beer. Also, neither of us were too keen on running 3.25 miles in straight up snow:
That’s right people, no path. We were on our own, in the woods, running through snow. And it was amazing.
The first half of the race FLEW by. I was so surprised we were half-way done and even MORE surprised to see my beautiful friend Alyssa working the aid station! AKA: time for a picture break.
And one with my running partner who hadn’t yet yelled at me for being too excited or for constantly taking pictures.
Picture break over, back to the race. At this point Ian and reevaluated our goals. We started out with the sole goal of not dying and we were doing much better than expected so we upped that goal. Muddy Monk races are very dog friendly which means 40% of people bring their dogs to run. I’m telling you this because our new goal was to beat as many dogs as possible. Anytime a dog passed us, I would yell at Ian that we weren’t doing so well. I mean, I’m not bitter or anything but these dogs totally saved up till the very end and smoked us at the finish line.
Whatever, I’ll get them at the next race…
At this point, we also passed Art (the Monk) who yelled out to everyone “Hey at least I beat Kelsey!” which was much appreciated considering we were already devastated enough about those 2 cheating dogs beating us.
Whatever Art, I let you beat me since it was almost your birthday and all…ugh.
We managed to finish the race without falling once (and beat 5 dogs)! If you know me and how often I fall, that is a miracle. I found the Monk himself not far from the finish line and forced him to take a picture with me which I can assure, he was less than happy about.
We grabbed some beers, danced to some Third Eye Blind and took an obnoxious amount of pictures.
And threatened our new blogger friend Meghan into taking some pics with us too!
This race was seriously A BLAST and I can’t wait till the next one. Sadly my doppelganger was not to be seen (I spent a lot of time searching in the race photos for him…), BUT I did manage to take another amazing race picture:
That could honestly be my favorite race picture of all time. I think I love it so much because I just look so happy to be out there running. Which is why I love Muddy Monk races so much-cheap registration fees, fun trails, good beer and friends all wrapped into one event. Have you ever seen two happier people at the end of a freezing cold run in the snow?
Though that smile on Ian’s face was most likely due to the fact that he no longer was forced to be in my company, we were smiling the entire race because it was that fun.
So in conclusion, I’m glad I didn’t bail and I love Muddy Monk.
Thank you Muddy Monk for another awesome race! And thank you to my fabulous readers who came over to say hey! You guys are the best and totes made my day!
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Have you ever read a book that starts weird, gets really good for a few pages and then somehow ends and you’re not sure what even happened? Meet that book:
I was really excited to read this book. When I picked it up at a used book store and read the back cover I was immediately drawn in. The fact that it was a national bestseller and award finalist upped my excitement level that much more. Once you read the description you’ll see why this book sparked my interest:
“Set in a Maltese immigrant community in Cardiff, Wales, and peopled with sharp-edged, luminously drawn characters, The Hiding Place is the story of Frankie Gauci, his wife, Mary, and their six daughters. With her “unusual gift for letting her characters’ interior lives come forth” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Azzopardi chronicles Frankie’s unforgivable betrayal: gambling away his family’s livelihood and eventually the family itself. The Gaucis’ story is seen through the eyes of Dolores, the youngest daughter and the embodiment of bad luck in her father’s estimation, condemned to bear the mark of a family that is rapidly singeing at the edges. Dolores presents an unsparing portrayal of the fear and hopelessness of childhood amid grim poverty and neglect, of children growing up without safety nets and on sunken foundations. Sustained by a tightrope tension and a stark, youthful wisdom, The Hiding Place conjures the coarse sensuality of life among the docks, the smoky cafes and bars, the crumbling homes and gambling rooms of Tiger Bay. “Astonishing and iridescent” (The Times, London).
Sounds good right? I really love novels about family drama so I figured I would love this. The book started pretty slow and with six different sisters, a mom, dad and all the dad’s gangster friends I pretty much had no idea who was who the entire book. Pair that with the fact that it was told from the point of view of super young (think 4 or 5) daughter it was hard to understand what was going on. When I finally did get a grip on the story it started to get really good-for a few chapters.
I can honestly say I don’t know what this book was about and I don’t really know what happened. When I finished it, I couldn’t summarize in my head the story or point of it all. What I do remember is constantly having to flip back pages and reread to see if I could remotely figure out what was going on. This book took be 2 weeks to finish-which for me, is a long time. It was a super slow read and when I finally finished it I just felt so…unsatisfied.
I went onto Amazon to read the reviews and it seemed that readers either LOVED the book or didn’t understand a word of it. I can see how people would love the story though-it’s well written and you can tell someone extremely talented and intelligent wrote it, but I honestly think I can’t even review the book because I feel like I didn’t even read it…
Another bummer of a book!
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
What are you currently reading??
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
With your help, I decided to go ahead and read The Art of Racing in the Rain.
I’ve been meaning to read this for a while and I actually bought it for my mother for Christmas this year. After stealing Lindsay’s copy for my reading pleasure and all of you telling me to READ IT, I did just that.
Synopsis via Amazon:
“If you’ve ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein’s third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny’s old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny’s bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.”
This is a really easy read-I mean it’s written from the point of view of a dog. Short, simple sentences and not much detail. I read the book in two days and really enjoyed it. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I loved the idea behind this book- a dog writing from his perspective about his family, and there were some really thought-provoking sentences throughout the book that made me stop and think about my own life. For some reason, and I can’t really figure out what that is, I just didn’t connect too much with the story.
I think it may have been the simple writing and the speed of the book. I honestly also have no interest in race car driving which is what some chapters were solely about. To be frank, I skimmed those and even skipped paragraphs here and there. Most people told me I would sob throughout the entire book (my mother included!) but I only shed a few tears. Again, I think it’s because I didn’t connect with the book on that level.
I would recommend the book, I did enjoy it after all. And if you love dogs, you will most likely love this book. It’s an easy and quick read and it’s definitely something different, which is refreshing.
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
What are you reading??
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
OK I’m really excited to tell you guys about the Thriller in Schiller 5K that happened on Sunday. People, this race was honestly the funnest race I have ever run. I keep day-dreaming about it…
I should probably get this out of the way first and let you know that for some reason unknown to us, we did NOT win the costume contest.
I mean I don’t get it… our CONEHEADS costumes were spot on…the clear winners no?
Anyway- back to to the review- this race was SO fun. I have never run a trail race before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Honestly, I thought there would be a path through the forest we would be running on but as always I was wrong. This was straight up running through the woods- Blair Witch style with no path, branches in your face and mud everywhere. It was awesome.
I felt like I was running a big obstacle course- with a conehead on. (We even got to ford a river like in Oregon Trail!) The five of us ran the entirety of the 5K together and had a blast tripping and laughing at our costumes. They never got old- 1 mile in = laughing, 2 miles in = still cracking up, 3 miles in= impressed by how durable our costumes were. Believe it or not, we ran the entire 3.1 miles in these costumes, conehead and all.
Other than the course and running in costume with my friends, my favorite part of the race was how laid back it was. The race director did an awesome job of making it feel like a big ole party. I wish it had been warmer so we could have stayed for the post-race beers but we were all freezing at that point so all we could think about was taking off our duct tapped costume and getting in a heated car.
For a $25.00 race (free for Linds and I thanks to Muddy Monk!) the shirt and beer glass were pretty sweet:
Overall, Muddy Monk did an awesome job and I had so much fun I’m actually EXCITED to run their 5K on December 1. And you know that tells you how much I liked this race if I’m looking forward to running outside in DECEMBER. I hate cold weather running but it was too much fun not to…
Sorta related-does the picture below not look like we are at Katie’s wedding as her bridesmaids?
I really wish she got married and those were are bridesmaids ‘dresses”…..hint hint. Don’t you also love how I’m 534590 feet taller then all my friends? Speaking of being freakishly tall, checkout this gem:
Tell me that’s not the best race photo you’ve ever seen. Really though, how is it possible for me to look so gangly in every single picture ever? This one is super gangly though, even for me.
So if you’re toying with signing up for the Schiller Chiller 5K or 10K, just do it already, trust me on this one. I mean I’m doing it too…and I know you want run with this face right?
Don’t answer that.
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
Tell me about your favorite race!