Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Elvis Live at the Las Vegas Marathon 2006!

Pictured is but one of the "Elvi" runners from this years LV marathon. Because I tripped while training on a downhill course, I chose to volunteer this year, working the info booth at the Expo and serving waters at mile 21. It gave me a different perspective.

At the info booth, I was surprised to discover a half marathoner who is actually blind and needed to know what to expect as far as directional markers. Turns out they were only visual and I suggested she ask another runner of her same pace to tell her when the point was reached. There are so many different stories and it is inspiring to realize how determination can conquer what seems to be a disability. From the participants in wheelchairs, those that that prevail over heart conditions and missing limbs or cancer to the "average" person, everyone has there own challenge and reason for wanting to go that formidable distance.

Reinforces the famous line "If you believe you can or you can't, either way, you're right". The overwhelming and powerful energy you can feel are thousands of people WHO BELIEVE THEY CAN. That is what keeps me running and is the reason that I intend keep going as long as I can still move. It is nothing short of a religious experience and seeps into other parts of ones life.

This is kind of serious stuff but ENTER THE "ELVI"! The beauty of them and the running showgirls and the other craziness is that it can also just be a ton of light hearted fun. We all need some light hearted fun and the LV marathon has no shortage!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My "layover" in Sin City

Las Vegas has always been a place I've avoided. I have associated it with smoking, heavy drinking and gambling. It pains me to imagine people putting their families at risk by gambling away their grocery money and since my mom died of smoking related causes, it's just not for me, I thought. When I was looking to take flight from California to be able to better live within my means, settling in Las Vegas didn't cross my mind. However, a dear friend changed all that with a phone call. She told me she had a neighbor selling and I should check it out. Someone asked the question "Does Disneyland impact your daily living in Orange County?" The answer was the same...for residents, it's most often a place you frequent when you have visitors. I made the move a year ago and have changed my attitude.

About 6 months before my Vegas condo purchase, I read in the OC Register about a training program for the OC marathon. I had always wanted to do a marathon and had tried years ago to train on my own but got injured and never did one. I signed up for Coach Bill Sumner's program, which taught me injury avoidance and offered group support, which made all the difference. My Vegas friend sent me an email about the Las Vegas marathon but since it was a full month before the OC event, I dismissed it. I was only up to 16 miles at the time and didn't see how it was possible. At the OC (actually Corona Del Mar High School) training site, a couple of runners were talking about their plans for the Vegas marathon. I asked them how they could manage it and they explained that our group's long run would be up to 20 miles by then and they just intended to walk the last 6, if they were too tired. These gals had had several marathons under their belt but I still had never done one.

I drove from OC to Vegas 2 weeks prior to the LV marathon and saw the giant digital billboard of the Mandalay Bay promoting the run. It was very inspiring but between flying trips, preparing the new place and keeping up with my daughter Jillz and our animal & plant menagerie, it didn't seem manageable. I went running while in Vegas and it was beautiful and the weather at that time was a lot like OC in late Nov, around 60 degrees F.

Fast forward to a few days before the event and I made plans for Jillz to come to Vegas to see our condo for the 1st time. I decided (while In OC) to enter the marathon with the attitude I could always drop out. I entered online @ I was up to 18 miles as my longest run. I drove to Vegas and was shocked that the temperture had dropped to 31 degrees with the winds. Dressed totally inappropriately, Jillz dropped me off at 5am. It was surreal. Coming down in the elevator of the Mandalay Bay were partyers just leaving the casino. Going up the elevator were scores of runners (some dressed as Elvis or showgirls). Who were the sanest? I'm still not sure. To my own disbelief, I finished with the help of the 2 OC runners (LS & CC) who passed me at about mile 22 and offered encouraging words which helped pulled me along. Anyone who has done that 1st marathon knows what an exhilarating, life changing experience it is for the mind although my body was somewhat numb from the cold!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

My Most Heartfelt Apology to Demi Moore

I have no delusions or desire to be anyone other than the real me but I would like to minimize the likelyhood of following the path of the author of "Diary of a Fired Flight Attendant". If I seem a little paranoid, there is a basis for it. That said, I have a compulsion to surge forward no matter what the outcome. My identity as Demi Kutcher came from an OC party celebrating last year's Oscar awards. The guests had to come as a celebrity and the invite was from . I wanted to respond with an email address that would fit the theme. Although my appearance is probably closer to that of Angelica Huston, her name was not available so i don't have to apologize to her. Pictured in this photo, the OC versions of "Demi, Angelina Jolie, Jon Stewart and Jill St John". Was a totally fun event even though I had arrived from Sydney a few hours before.

Jillz and riley red paper clip.jpg

Here is my daughter and her dog, Riley, sporting their their oneredpaperclip shirts. The dog has had his rabies shots but Jillz and I are rabid fans of oneredpaperclip and were delighted with the posting of her picture on the website.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My love story with Hobbs began with the first kiss which was called "Buy It Now" on Ebay. It was a cross between gambling, insanity and real estate investing for dummies.
That translated into home ownership and living the American dream for a price of $27,500. Yes, I actually bought a house on ebay from a bailbondman. That was maybe part of the allure and started me on one of my craziest adventures to date. There is a lot more to the story and I'll be sharing it as time goes on.

Having lived most of my life in the expensive bubble of Orange County, California; reality dropped a bomb and my bubble was burst when my airline declared bankruptcy, dumped my pension and lowered wages which don't go that far in the OC. That is the reality of a lot of corporations today and I state this not to whine about it but to explain my motivation.

Lots of friends have suggested I pursue another career path but anyone who has ever loved the flying life, knows the seductive power of the time off, camaraderie and the ease of talking to the variety of personalities that travel in metal tubes. Travel privileges provide learning experiences for family members that can't be learned in classrooms.

As a woman with some serious committment issues and a fierce independence, I have chosen to marry adventure, rather than an individual (except once for 15 years at age 20). I have come close since then but haven't felt there has been a "match made in heaven". Blessed with a beautiful daughter, my intention was to provide her a solid home base but the truth is probably closer to that of "Auntie Mame's. She is the light of my life and is now in college providing me with an opportunity to help find creative methods of financing her education. Of course, she has grown up in "the OC" with wealthy friends and the human condition being what it is, I have learned that appearances are only that and that everyone has a "biggest problem". We are so fortunate to have our biggest be miniscule and live lives that are the polar opposites of "quiet desperation".

"Daughter Jillz" fast forwarded her high school years and acquired her diploma at 16. Scotty MacDonald of asked me if she was a "Doogie Howser" and I explained she is determined but the sort that is strongest in creativity and the traits that go with it.

Both Jillz and I find the MacDonald brothers an inspiration that our world so needs! Inspiration can not be underestimated. "Boldness has genius" and there is no lack of boldness among these guys. I have been toying with the idea of keeping a blog and Scotty's friend Fiddy suggested I "go for it" and try this blogging thing, suggesting that he too, is a amateur. NOT!!! If Fiddy was new to the process, I am certain he got the most accelerated learning method possible with .

I hereby declare my intention to the blogosphere universe to join your fray! I will be divulging some wacky, true stories which you hopefully will find entertaining. Lots of people have told me to write a book but I have become such a huge fan of this medium, I had to give it a go! More will follow in the near future but Jillz is in town from school in Santa Barbara for only one more day. She wants to use a discount coupon for Flyaway Indoor Skydiving if it can be fit in before she leaves. Carpe Diem!