Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Impressed my GLASS off

I've been wanting to go to the Desert Botanical Gardens and see the Dale Chihuly installation since I first read about it. This weekend, my friend Matt and I finally went. Man, it is impressive! Not like the Arizona landscape isn't beautiful enough - and they do such an amazing job at the DBG at presenting all of nature's desert beauty with some educational features and in a cozy park setting - but then you juxtapose that landscape with the amazing colors and shapes of this glass installation - pretty darn cool. (Those aren't the right descriptive words - but that's all I got right now!)

Most people are familiar with Chihuly's work from the Belagio lobby in Las Vegas (at least us commoners), but he's been stirring things up in the art world since the 60s - taking something that was often played with in small art shapes (glass scultures and such) and making it grandiose and colorful and with botanical shapes. I've always wanted to dabble a little in glass art (so many "I want to"s in my short life!) and want to visit a glass studio in Jerome one of these days and watch it.

All I know is I want to see MORE. I want to learn more and am in search of a documentary so I can watch the creation in process. But really, my unmet desire was - I WANT TO TOUCH IT!

Especially the blue crystal-shaped orbs in the pond. I'm pretty sure they were floating - or were they fastened to something and the water around them made it seem like they are floating?? Big pieces made of glass - floating? If you read in the paper some week about some crazy chick caught breaking into the Desert Botanical Gardens in the middle of the night . . . that would be ME in wading boots touching those darn things! I want to KNOW!

Anyway - some more pictures for your enjoyment . . .

P.S. My backyard is BORING! I need some color!!

P.P.S. I posted this - then went to NetFlix and VOILA! TONS of documentaries!! Which to start with . . . ?

Monday, January 26, 2009

And I raaaaan . . .

I'm a little delayed in my posting, but YES. I ran the PF Changs half marathon last weekend and YES I finished. I think this is my 4th time running it? I can't remember, need to rummage through my medals...

I was pretty worried. I had a rough year with my body and all the injuries. When I finally was able to run again my training was going GREAT and then the holidays came . . . so I only got up to 8 miles in training (I did a 10 mile day once, but it didn't count because I was having an "off" day and forgot my water and walked for about 40% of it). A jump from 8 to 13.1 is pretty drastic.

I predicted my finish time to be 2:30. And I finished at 2:23 - so yea, me! And I felt pretty good after all was said and done. Going from the canal to 13+ miles on city streets definitely impacted my foot/ankle issues. But I had MORE in me - so that was good. I have a 2 hour half marathon in me I'm sure of it . . .

This is what 2 hours and 23 minutes does to my face!

The good stuff also - I was the co-captain organizing a team for my city. We were team FitScottsdale and we had really cool shirts - and we won the GOLD RECORD for having the largest municipal team. My biggest stress was organizing and renting the trolley. I finally got enough passengers to cover the cost - then I ran my pickup and parking plan by the race organizers. And still all week all I could picture was the team standing in a parking lot staring at me at 5:30 am with our trolley stuck in road closures and traffic. But it went BEAUTIFULLY and I picked ROCK STAR parking at the start line. We had a warm trolley to hang in while others shivered at the start line. We had snacks. We were right next to port-a-potties (the secret ones for the ELITE athletes). It was awesome. And I was so stressed over that darn trolley that I didn't even worry about the run once everything worked out. So it was a FABulous day. And then the Cardinals got into the SUPER BOWL - crazy Sunday!

Next, I've talked my friend Diane into her first organized race. We're doing the SkirtChaser 5K on Valentine's Day. 3.3 miles - easy. But I need to practice so I don't look as deflated and sweaty at the end. It's a 2:15 pm on a Saturday in February. It could be perfect - or it could be toasty . . . we shall see. And cute boys? One can hope!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Whoa, Neti!

I can finally say it - I used my Neti Pot. Not that I didn't believe all the things G & B told me about it . . . it just took a bit of desperation for me to shove salty water up my nose . . .

On Thursday I was officially sick. Yes, right before a race. It figures. It happens almost every time. I had the sore throat, I was run down and I could not stop sneezing. As I went into a meeting Thursday afternoon at our Water Department with my roll of toilet paper, I heard once again about the powers of washing out your schnoz.

My mom gave this to me a year ago and I've gotten it out multiple times. Then I read the part about "be sure to breathe out your mouth" and "tilt your head just so . . " and it seems way too coordinated for me and I put it away again.

But Thursday night I pulled it out, made the warm salty solution and DID IT. Not so bad. I actually feel silly for avoiding it for so long. Two more times Friday morning. And I have to say: I FEEL BETTER. Mind you, I still have a little wheeze but a few more cleanses and a lot more Airborne and I should be good to go!

So now, it's all about me and my feet tomorrow. I can DO IT. I've done it before but I feel less prepared this time than ever it feels. I don't plan to set a personal record, but I'd like to also not do my worst time ever either!

My only fear left is that dang trolley. You see, I'm in charge of the team and we booked a city trolley to take us from the finish to the start line tomorrow. It will be nice to have a warm trolley to hang out on before starting the race. I only fear that all my planning - all the info I sent to the driver - that she'll get hung up in traffic and road closures and my team will be standing in the parking lot staring at me. Or that people are late and the person on the trolley who is running the full marathon starts an hour before us and I'll have to make a call whether to leave people behind. AAAAH. I could not have planned better so I will only THINK POSITIVE TODAY.

More tomorrow. Off to rinse the nostrils again!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yea, me!

Last week had a very cool moment for me (and my parents). It was the 38th Annual City Manager Awards. Since the Scottsdale Center for the Arts is under rennovation, we held it at the Scottsdale Stadium. Yes, outside - in the morning - in January. Brrr. Only in Arizona, right?

It was pretty fun - and all baseball themed (you know, being on a baseball field and all . . . ) My friend and co-worker Kevin had saved seats in the front - with a blanket - and I was happy to oblige and share the blanket. Little did I know it was a ploy to get me up front and out of the way so my boss could sneak my parents into the stands.

Lots of cool people got cool awards. I'm never not interested in hearing all of the things people accomplish while at their city jobs. I mean, we serve people. Needs are met - and it's our JOB. It's really cool and there are some pretty amazing people I'm priviledged to work with.

Then they got to the Drinkwater Award. From the press release: "The Drinkwater award, in its 11th year, goes annually to a Scottsdale city employee or employees who set an outstanding example through their volunteerism and dedication to serving others."

Mayor Manross began to describe the recipient - and IT WAS ME. When I got up to receive the award, I heard my parents going crazy. They had a GREAT time and were so proud. I'm so happy that despite my crazy mid-20s, I still managed to grow into someone they could be proud of. My dad cried. I love that. I love them so much.

I'm pretty humbled. I mean, Charity Chicks has been my heart and soul for a long time. I'm so pleased at how people get energized and that I can help make a difference in this world. And yet, I don't do THAT much. I've seen Oprah's Angels Network - I don't do nearly enough. But I am driven to make 2009 an amazing year!

I am happy to be honored and it was a special moment for my family.

Amy on stage

Super cool award

Look what my parents had left in my house when I got home

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Boys

Had to share these of my fabulous nephews. Seriously, they don't MAKE kids this good anymore. I am so proud of them and my wonderful sister (you too Ken!!)



It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

December sure whizzed by didn't it? To wrap up the year I'll do a quick summation post and then we're on to 2009!!

I started a weight loss competition at work in December. YUP. Right before the holidays, how crazy is that? I was able to give them 2.5 pounds the first 2 weeks, but am not so sure about THIS week's weigh in . . . eek. But we go until Feb 24th so hopefully I can give a LOT more.

My cookie diet? It's going S-L-O-W. The doctor is concerned at how slow my progress is given the regiment and we're going to investigate OTHER internal issues after my half marathon in two weeks. I might need to switch plans. Luckily I was down fat but up muscle at this last weigh in, which is good. But the pounds are STILL there.

Me in the weigh-in line wearing our cool team t-shirt. Photo courtesy of Blair's snazzy iPhone.

Natasha and I took in the Art Walk Third Thursday in Downtown Scottsdale in December as well. It was VERY cool. A band, lights on the canal, some interesting time-lapse light photos, an ice sculptor AND we got to paint quilt squares for domestic violence shelters. Kind of fun to be sitting in downtown Scottsdale on a Thursday night PAINTING.

Natasha at work on her cool piece.
Me and the ice reindeer (recognize my Christmas card?)

Lots of fun stuff over the holiday weeks - Bailey's making party - spending the night at my sister's and waking up with the family on Christmas - my nephews and all their video games - I made Christmas dinner for my folks and my puppies got some GOOD gifts, too!

The girls and I decided to ring in the New Year at the Scottsdale Block Party this year. It wasn't too cold, the crowd was fun and we had a pretty good time! (Except for the nagging pain in my belly all night long . . . )

LOOK - we're HOT!

We took the trolley to the party and then barely managed to snag a cab home in the wee hours of the night. And then my hell began. That nagging pain? I either poisoned myself in the making of our pre-night turkey meatball and spaghetti dinner or I had the worst flu ever. I was violently ill for two days. But no one else got sick so I am happy to report that my culinary skills didn't poison anyone else. I either didn't wash my hands well enough after making the balls (good lesson, kids!) OR my little sample before I decided to further nuke the turkey balls was enough to almost kill me.

I look at it as a cleansing and starting 2009 FRESH. Sounds good, right? I am SO ready for a great year!