Thursday, July 24, 2008

The "s"-word

There are lots of things that are not so great about 2nd story apartment/condo living. Trust me- throughout college and early married life, I hauled enough bags of groceries (and, for that matter, couches) up rickety metal stairs to last me a life time. I have no-so-fond memories of the rusty steps at the ol' GC Numero Cinco in Logan that would surely have gifted me a lovely edition of hepatitis C should I have tripped. Wrenching our overstuffed chair in to el condo was an interesting adventure, and getting it out was even better. Like the rest of us, the furniture seemed to gain weight while we lived there.

Point is, there aren't a lot of benefits to living up. 'Cept for one.

No spiders.

I could prolly count on one hand the number of spiders I saw taking up residence in my lifted residences. For a wimpy gal like me, this is a big deal.

I'm sure you can guess where all of this is headed. Though I know it's silly, I like to pretend that Paddy, Lupe, and I are the only living things in our house. (I barely count Enrique, our sucky beta fish. I should give him more credit; the guy lives for weeks on end without food. Oops.) This lovely dream was shattered several days ago.

It all started out as a seemingly innocent problem-- a lightbulb in the basement burned out. When Paddy tried to take off the cover, however, he (loudly) discovered a giant, awful, horrifyingly large arachnid had taken up residence in the light. Not only that, but it was not at all happy about being disturbed.

I thought about sparing you the gorey details, but it's just too awful to keep from sharing. Basically, we called Tommy (ye ol' little bro) in a panic to locate some spider spray as we were fresh out. (I was without spider spray? Honestly, it shocked even me.)

When Tommy arrived, the boys planted me on the stairs to man the flashlight while they launched a full-fledged round of chemical warfare on that thing. In true spidery fashion, it didn't go down without a fight. I'm not making this up: the thing actually reared up onto his back 4 legs and pawed at the air. It was awful. I'll tell you something, though-- my husband sprang right into the sky and whacked that thing into oblivion without hesitation. It was so sexy.

We sprayed the perimeter of the basement, and I'm about one spider carcass away from calling some professional to cover my house in Diazinon. Curse those eight-legged freaks.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I hurt.

Riddle: What do you get when you take one very out-of-shape social worker, add two not-as-out-of-shape friends, put them in jogging shoes, and bake for 13.1 miles?

Answer: Very, very sore muscles. Especially when you mix in sleeping in the back of the Jeep for three days to avoid scabies. (It was worth it.)

This past weekend was the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon. We finished in fine fashion, and we weren't last. Here's how it went down.

By the numbers:

Number of miles from our home to Bryce Canyon: 262
Number of nights we spent in Bryce Canyon: 3
Number of minutes it took for us to choose this:

and this:
over this:
and this:Approximately 0.5. Something about the stained curtains and carpets and greasy looking bedsheets sped the decision. Pretty much around the time Paddy began praying for forgiveness using the Bible out of the "nightstand" (read: plywood box wedged tightly between the two beds) to kill the giant bug (who appreciated the accomodations more than we did), we began brainstorming for other sleeping arrangements. I'm not generally picky, but I do have rather strong feelings about lice, bedbugs, and stinky towels. Thus, we spent the weekend in the Jeep at the campground.

Number of times Paddy tried to hit a chipmunk with a rock: 54

Number of times Bri succeeded in hitting a wood pecker with a chunk of cement: 1
Number of times Paddy and Bri tried to catch an antelope: 3

Number of times they wanted me to take their picture coming back sans antelope: 0
So they hid. Unfortunately for them, they forgot the friggin' rad zoom feature on my camera. Bwa ah ah.

Number of times the wind blew my hair into my face while taking a picture of the cool t-shirts we scored with our entrance fee, making me look like a nerd: 1

Time the race began: 0600
Distance: 13.1 miles
Number of free packets of Udder Butter they included in our race kits: 1

Number of times I wanted to sit down in the middle of the highway: 1. It lasted 4 miles.

Number of times any of us pooped our pants: 0. We did see a few people headed determinedly for the bushes, though. Amazing how fast a tired person can run when it means crapping behind a sagebrush vs. crapping in the middle of Highway 12.

Number of pictures Paddy and the boys took of other sweaty people while waiting for us: Approximately 26.

I'll spare you those. For my own sense of accomplishment, you do have to see the three of us.
Our medals say "Finisher" on them. Nothing like that generic term to make a girl feel special. Maybe I can take mine down to Al's Trophy and get them to engrave "sweet spirit" onto the back.

Number of hours the boys had to wait for us to trudge across the finish line: 3

They were as proud of their accomplishment as we were of ours. As they told us (repeatedly): Spectating is hard work.

Number of times we almost barfed from the horrid Euro B.O. on the Bryce Canyon shuttle: 8

Who knew Bryce Canyon was such an international destination? Not I. I'm ok with that. Bring me your huddled masses yearning to see red rock, as far as I'm concerned. But please. PLEASE. Learn the fine American art of deodorant. Sheesh.
So, even though it was 150 degrees out, and even though I was so sore I was waddling like a duck, the stench did encourage me to get out of the bus and see the sights.

Number of Mini Coopers Paddy promised me for finishing: 1. Scout's honor.

And we're safely home. One of the doctors I work with asked me today if I was limping. I am. I have an entirely new perspective on double hip replacements.
Paddy asked me if I was going to do another one. Maybe. But I have to forget how bad this one hurt first.