Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Day in the Life of an MIA

The day began with an early rise to meet the original MIA's at the Marimed/YWCA parking lot. It was a sign of the luck we were to face all day that Mike and Blaine headed to the wrong parking lot at first. However, they made a call, picked me up and we were on our way to the airport. Security was its same old lovely ride,
slow and awesome all the way to the other side of the metal detectors. It would have been shorter and awesome with a quick jump to Sector 1 if Mike hadn't let his special golden ticket expire.
We found our way to the plane and knocked the passengers left and right to get our three sweet, separate aisle seats. They even served us coffee on our flight. Although they ran out of their cute little coffee cups and served mine in a plastic water cup. Oh well.
On the Big Island of Hawaii we were able to locate and commandeer a vehicle. The Impala, with it's tight turning radius and state of the art music system was more than we ever dreamed of. There was room for at least three dead bodies in the trunk. Four would fit with the right positioning. We practiced our inspection skills by checking the car for scratches and dents. We then sped off down the road and immediately took a wrong turn and got lost. A quick check in with base camp had us back in the correct direction. We checked out a waterfall as we sped on by and arrived at the main office of the Wahiola program.
While I performed a quick CAFAS training the MIAs checked out the boys' house. Because the information is confidential, I will not be discussing any of their findings.
When the hard work was complete, we hit the 50s Diner for lunch. The exquisite burgers made of real cow meat were served to us after a short wait, by our moaning waiter. In the meantime we studied the "eclectic" decorum, the toy cars, the life-size manequins in 50's dress and the records pasted to the walls. After eating we all enjoyed the Betty Boop bathroom, with its crazy waiting area outside the door. Blaine has been ordered to take a shower in the Betty Boop shower next time they're on the Big Island.
I grabbed myself some coffee and then we headed up to the girls' house to inspect. Again, I will not be revealing our findings, I will not however, that I was an excellent inspector, and discovered many things. I was offered the opportunity to become an official Marimed Inspection Agent and I didn't even have to shank anyone to get the position. I was told I would receive a secret nickname. I think they forgot.
From there we toured as much of the island as we could, driving through Puna and flying by the zoo. I got to look at the Big Island Borders on our way.
Before we went to the airport to drop off our sporty Impala, we did NOT, I repeat did NOT stop by the Big Island Candy store to buy Nate a few cookies and get a few free samples.
We had a hard time returning our vehicle, because they had to check the trunk for dead bodies first, then Blaine had to reverse into a parking stall. It was all a little hectic, but we all arrived safe and sound in the end.
We passed by the airport bar, and Mike, shown here, sadly refused an alcoholic beverage. Then we were on our way back to Oahu, where the world makes more sense and there are less people living in yellow school buses.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Stress Diet, Swamp Romp, and Home-made Salsa

Haven't posted since the Aloha Run, so there are many things to talk about. First of all, the weekend after the Aloha Run, we ran the Swamp Romp in the marine corps base. I'm going to post the pictures. If you want a copy of one, please go to the following website: and go to the swamp romp section. Or you can click on this link. I will hopefully get my pictures developed soon and I'll post them when I do.
I just want to say that I love the swamp romp. It is the most disguisting thing ever and it hurts really, really bad and you run through really sticky mud and you run on sand and go over obstacles. It was a little over 5 miles this year. There was one point that we were running through a particularly sticky patch of mud, my feet got totally stuck and I thought to myself, this is the kind of mud that people get stuck and die in if there's no one around to get you out. Some people did a kind of fast spider crawl over the top and didn't get stuck somehow. I put my foot in and immediately was stuck and had to be pulled out. Thank god Mariya was there, I might have been stuck there forever. There were several walls that you had to pull yourself up and over, and there was a lot of swimming through disgusting mud. The pictures I believe were taken during what I though was the nastiest part of the whole thing. You could swim through the mud, but it was like a sludge. It was thick and you could feel it gathering in your shirt and pants. I think this is how Atreyu must have felt when he was leading Artax through the Swamp of Sadness. Of course Artax died, and we did not.
After the Swamp Romp I was pretty focused on my two interviews that happened to be set up for the same week, on two consecutive days. The first was for a Program Supervisor position, the second was for a DOE SBBH position. I think the first interview actually went well, and I was scheduled for a second interview. However, the second interview also went well and I was offered a position at the end of the week. I had to accept. I have wanted to work in the Department of Education for quite some time. So, I accepted the position, cancelled my second interview for the other position and began the resignation process at my present job. That was hard. I cried when I told my supervisor, when I told his supervisor, when I told the cadets, and when I told pretty much everyone else. I love this job, but it's really stressful and Nate and I can't take vacations at the same time. So, it's time to move on. While I was interviewing and stressing out about the possibility of new jobs, we were also changing banks. Central Pacific Bank has a great no minimum bank account and we wanted to change. In the meantime I bounced four transactions. Nate was not happy and I was really stressed out. It almost cost us an extra hundred dollars, but Nate went and complained to the bank and got two of our fees dropped.
So, in the meantime, I was completely stressed out, worried about getting a new job, bouncing checks and I lost two pounds. For real two pounds. I can always lose a few, but I generally gain them back pretty quickly. These have stayed off. I took advantage and have tried to eat well and have been working out 3 times a week, even if Ananda and I have gotten a little lazy and have been walking the loop.
Nate and I have actually been hiking with our lovely dog, Titus, and Nate has lost a few pounds. His shorts are all too loose. I think it's a combination of the hiking, walking Titus and the fabulous home-made food Nate and I have been creating. Nate likes to get different ingredients that we've never used before and look up a recipe. Recently we made home-made pesto with ingredients from the farmer's market, we made a spicy salsa (delicious!) and put together a guacamole that is really, really tasty. (The first time we made it, it was so salty that we had to throw it out, but the second time was incredible.) We also made meatballs and then put together a meatball sub with spaghetti sauce. I think we are both losing some weight and gaining the health benefits from our home-made food. And let me tell you, it's so tasty. And actually pretty easy, when you look up a well-written recipe online.
So, this is what is going on with me in the past few weeks. I am looking forward to paddling and have been trying out tennis. My goals are:
Monday- paddling (maybe)
Tuesday- run the loop
Wednesday- paddling (maybe)
Thursday- run the loop
Saturday- tennis at 10:30am and swim laps at 11:00am.

I would like to get back into doing pushups as well.
Oh, and I need to finish my walking stick, that I grabbed from our hike earlier today. I will take pictures. We cut down a young tree on the hike, and I'm going to sand, carve and stain the walking stick.