Gobble ‘till you wobble!


November 25, 2021 :: 5:30 PM

“Not Disney Cold; Miami Cold.”

Continuing to question my life choices…

Racery was a bust, but I actually had a good reason. Things are going on over here. Secret Squirrel type things. But, good things.

I learned too much about myself during Wine and Dine. Nothing like being trapped in your head for 22 miles because your fucking headphones shit the bed.

I had a lot of time to think about stuff.

A lot of time.

About seven hours or so.

Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot…

Yeah.

So I took an extra night off from Racery to deal with stuff.

We’ll see what happens.

BUT!

One other good thing came out of the debacle that was Wine and Dine.

I got good and pissed off.

I hit rock bottom.

I reached out to some running friends.

And… this morning?

This morning I walked the Miami Turkey Trot. 10K, of course. 5Ks are for pussies. (I can’t even WRITE that with a straight face.) 5Ks are nice. Quick(ish). But, somewhere along the line, 10Ks became “my” race. I just like them better. I don’t know why… and even if I did, it probably wouldn’t even make sense to me.

Anyway.

I PR’d that fucker.

Best 10K time since I started tracking my running stats in 2019.

AND LOOK AT THOSE SPLITS!

NEGATIVE SPLITS!

I GOT FASTER AS THE RACE GOT LONGER!

That’s the me I knew I was.

I’ve been training for endurance, not speed, and it has bitten me in the ass more than once.

I mean, today, I came in 4th from last. Was last in my age group, even. (Where’s my medal for that?)

BUT.

The one thing I had that the people behind me didn’t was the ability to sustain that pace.

How do I know? Because they passed me about two miles in. I caught up around four and a half miles and the distance grew greater between us with every step. By the time I saw them cross the finish line, I already had my medal and they were much slower. MUCH slower. They looked like I felt at the end of the Wine and Dine Half… and I could have kept going.

And I actually did put in almost an extra mile… got lost going to my car. Yup.

It’s a skill.

Unicorns, racery, clicky knees, and balloon ladies


November 13, 2021 :: 9:33 AM

I. FUCKING. DID. THE. THING.

Let’s talk about last weekend, shall we?

The 5K was rainy and cold.

The 10K was rainy and cold.

The half marathon was dry, but freezing. Hey, you line up in a corral in a running skirt and two t-shirts and you tell me you aren’t thankful that people are idiots and crowd too close to each other… even in the days of COVID.

Also, I’m now runDisney official! I have not one mylar blanket, but two! Seriously, that was the only thing that kept me from getting hypothermia on Sunday. Those things are magical.

I followed the advice of tons of rD runners and walked the 5K and 10K, with the idea that I was going to save my legs for the half. Not that I’m much of a runner - more of a speed walker who does intervals - but still. A half marathon is no joke.

My pace for both the 5K and 10K was shit, and it’s only by sheer luck that I didn’t get swept during the 10K. But, I think a lot of that had to do with my ability to get in front of the 10K corral. Every bit of distance between me and the balloon ladies helps!

But. Holy shitballs. That half marathon almost killed me. No joke.

I started in the last corral, got pushed to the middle of the pack, and immediately had issues.

My compression socks, my protection from the shin splints caused by road running, decided to keep slipping. My shins were burning and I had to stop several times to pull the socks back up. Precious seconds lost every fucking time.

Then, my aftershockz failed. Which I found completely hysterical because they were the fucking sponsor of the weekend. It was also a Very Bad Thing. I’ve trained myself to keep pace using music. No music, no pace. I almost thought about turning on a metronome app and holding my phone to my ear the entire time, but decided against it.

Then, I had to pee. I’m normally so good at avoiding bathroom issues during runs - I actually train for bathroom avoidance! But, when your bladder is screaming, you stop. At least I made it into Animal Kingdom and got to use a real loo instead of a port-a-loo. Because… ew!

Then, the heart rate monitor on my Garmin kept going off. I wasn’t in any sort of cardiac danger, but fuck, that thing was annoying.

Then, my knee started clicking.

Then, those asshole socks caused major blisters on the balls of my feet.

I was in pain and already wondering how the fuck I was going to survive those last few miles…

And then, the balloon ladies and the Galloway pacers caught up to me. (The balloon ladies are unofficial pacers, they keep to the 16mm required pace. The Galloway ones are volunteers also, but official pacers.)

I was so done at that point. There was limping, and crying, and that hopeless feeling that becomes all consuming. Why was I doing this to myself? How was I ever going to survive the Dopey? I couldn’t even make it 13 miles at pace, how was I going to do TWENTY SIX? IN A ROW?

One of the rD bike riders (sweepers) came over to me and kept pace with me for a while. Asked me if I was OK. Yeah. In hysterical, ugly, tears, I told him that all I wanted to do was cross the finish line. Please, don’t put me on the bus, blah, blah, blah. He told me I was fine. I just needed to pick up the speed a little bit. So I played a game. Every time the balloon ladies got too far ahead, I’d sprint for a bit. (AND OH MY GOD. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE.) I still couldn’t catch up to them.

Finally, just as we were rounding the corner into Epcot, one of the medical workers asked me if I was OK. Yeah. In hysterical, ugly, tears, I told her that all I wanted to do was cross the finish line. Please, don’t put me on the bus, blah, blah, blah. She told me I was fine. She told me she wasn’t giving me a free ride to the finish line because I was so close.

I made it. Under my own power. I even sprinted for a little bit right at the finish line. Got a great air shot.

I couldn’t wait to get my Challenge medal and have my official rD finisher picture taken.

I couldn’t wait to burst into happy tears because I was so tired of crying sad tears.

I fucking did it and I’m still so proud of myself… I’m not sure that feeling’s going to go away any time soon.

Because.

I did the OTHER Very Big Thing a few weeks before Wine and Dine.

 

Will you just look at that?

No. Seriously. LOOK AT THAT.

I have a motherfucking BOSTON MARATHON finisher’s medal.

I’m never going to run a BQ. I know this. But because COVID had originally forced the BAA races to be virtual, I got in.

I ran the 5K, the 10K, the half, AND the full. (Weeks separated each one, thankfully! I’m almost at that point in my Dopey training where I can run the four of them back-to-back-to-back-to-back.)

It took me 9 hours on the treadmill. I was hoping to run outside, but Florida weather can fucking bite me. It was 98% humidity. I have a bad heart. I certainly didn’t need to put that kind of stress on my body, so the treadmill it was.

The medal itself has ‘virtual marathon’ inscribed on the back and the ribbon says ‘virtual marathon’ as well, but 26.2 miles is still 26.2 miles.

But I don’t care. Plenty of ‘real’ runners ran the virtual because they couldn’t / wouldn’t travel to Boston, so I’m in good company.

I finished the Boston Marathon and I have the medal to prove it. So there.

Which now leads me to the next nine days.

It is the Fandom Running Club’s Battle of the Fandoms Season 3, Episode 2. I’m on yet another Star Wars team (Stay on Target. I’ve also been on ‘No One Runs Solo’ and ‘Pew Pew’.) Because we’re in the last few weeks of Dopey training, I decided to kick it up a little bit.

I wanted to earn all my RandomTuesday Fanthropy medals this year since I failed so badly last year. I’m about halfway there. (Cue the Bon Jovi…) I have another 286 miles to go before I can be done. That works out to about 6 miles a day.

Thankfully, I hit my goal for their Fans Run the World event - I have done over 365 miles. I’m at 399.8 (THREE NINETY NINE POINT EIGHT. WHAT THE FUCK, WENDELL?) Had I been paying attention last night, I would have run the .2 miles I needed. Oh well, I’ll make it up tonight.

The plan is to get on the treadmill in about an hour and stay on until I cap. (15 miles is a cap, but I’m supposed to have a 20 mile Dopey training run I moved to this weekend since I did Wine and Dine last week instead.) My feet are still heeling (HA!) from the blisters, so last night was only a 5K. (ONLY A FIVE K. When did I become THAT runner?)

I’d like to cap before Battlecast because I want to hear the shout out. I need to hear the shout out.

Goals.

I’ve even planned out this Racery’s miles.

 

I have 76.3 miles to go if I want to hit what’s scheduled. I’ve already done 3.1, which would put me at 79.4 - that’s the most miles I’ve ever done in a Racery event. I want to hit all those goals because it puts me in a position to finish two more RTI challenge medals. I have a bunch of the Whovian Running Club Challenge medals to earn, but since the PHRC has more mileage in their challenges, I’ve been trying to knock those out first.

Just realised that I screwed up the mileage in the screengrab… the 20th is supposed to be another cap. As I look at this in more detail, I think I want to shift my miles from the Trapdoor to the Phoenix Challenge. The back of my Phoenix medal is autographed by Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), and I’ve really wanted to display that one. I think I’m stalling because I need to have it framed… I have the frame. I just don’t know how to make it look the way I want it to.

You can see the corrected tracker here.

OK. Well.

It’s treadmill time!

(Thanks for sticking around if you made it this far. I know listening to me ramble on about running probably wasn’t much fun, but this is my blog, so…)

NO TOUCHY


October 30, 2021 :: 4:00 PM

reminds me of the 75 different versions of the SG budget…

 

І ми продовжуєм нести свій прапор, а не хрест. Ми продовжуєм іти на власний Еверест.

And we continue to carry our banner, but not our cross. We continue to walk on our own Everest.

- - - - - - - - - -


SOOOOOOO.

We are at 5 days until Wine and Dine. FIVE! DAYS!

Five days until I run a 5K, a 10K, and a half marathon around Epcot. (And some Disney parking lots… *sigh*)

Yeah.

I can’t say that I’ve trained particularly well, but it can’t be nearly as hard as a Racery event.

(Also, whoever curated the runDisney Training playlist on Spotify needs some serious help. I find none of the songs inspiring.)

 

- - - - - - - - - -

A zillion years ago, I wrote about this nifty little report I was trying to write.

A quick rundown of the process:

I beat the snot out of QuickBooks until I could run two reports.

I export those reports to Excel and clean them up. QuickBooks exports the Estimates vs Actuals report like… well, it looks like it barfed data all over the place. So, there’s a lot of cleaning up of that particular report. The custom Customer report isn’t nearly as bad, but it’s not necessarily great, either.

Once that’s done, I import them into Access.

Run a couple of queries.

Load the report.

And BOOM!

A very usable, very pretty, Jobs in Progress report.

It mooshes, it squooshes, it slices, it dices!

Until you try to update the data.

And then it’s a different type of BOOM!

Yeah… I broke the fuck out of that when I went to update the data.

Part of the problem is that I couldn’t append the new information because it would create duplicates. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but it was hard to parse out the old data that way. So, I got the bright idea to append and then delete the old data.

And it was beautiful.

All the queries worked, but the report didn’t.

I thought it had something to do with the dataset becoming screwed up when I deleted the old data.

So I went to the backup I made. And then, because I don’t trust myself, I created a back up of THAT backup.

I named it NO TOUCHY because, well, I kept over writing the first backup.

I swear, I am smart.

Anyhoo…

I beat my head against the wall for a few weeks, playing with it here and there, when I had a spare moment at work.

Yesterday, I had the hallelujah moment.

I HAD NAMED ONE OF THE FIELDS DIFFERENTLY.

Turns out there is a big fucking difference between CustNum and Cust Number. ESPECIALLY when the damn thing is looking for CustNum.

So now, my pretty report works again.

About fucking time.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

Great snippet of life at home:

Me: So, I’m watching Titans and it’s OK. You know, DC Comics, Robin.

Him: I thought you didn’t like superheros.

Me: No, I don’t, but I’m totally down for some Dick Grayson.

Him: Dick Racing?

Me: That too.

 

Oh no!!!!! BUBBLEGUM!!!


September 06, 2021 :: 7:54 PM

Chucks and a red dress? Yup. Sounds about right.

When I fell into The Deep Dark Place, in that lovely Before Time, you know, the one where I got fired for being sick?

Yeah… Anyhoo. Plenty of warning signs.

Warning signs that have come back.

History. Repeating itself. Something something something.

I can’t remember right now, and I’m too damn lazy to go into the archives, but I think I’ve talked about my new re-addiction to the Sims, yes?

Yeah. I did. Mods and stuff.

OK.

So, I’ve become addicted to not only playing the Sims, but building in the Sims, downloading custom content and mods, and watching Simmers stream on YouTube and Twitch.

I can’t believe people make money playing video games… and that, by watching them play, I’m essentially contributing to their income. (But, seriously, if I ever get to a point where going on Disability becomes a reality? Hook me up.)

Christ. I went totally off the rails, didn’t I?

Before, when I fell into The Deep Dark Place, I’d become addicted to playing LEGO XBox games until I fell asleep on the daybed. Sometimes, I’d get up and go to the bedroom. Sometimes, I wouldn’t.

The same pattern is repeating itself. Except. Sims and a laptop and a desk with two monitors.

It hurts to slam your face into a monitor, btw. I have no idea how I managed that. No seriously. The monitor is waaaay over there! But, I did. And I had the bruise to show it.

What’s that on my face? Oh, I managed to nod off in my office and slam my face into a monitor that is at least four inches away from the nodding off zone.

ANYWAY…

(I would have thought I was too depressed to get manic. Huh. It’s been twenty years since my bipolar diagnosis and I’m still learning how fucked up my head is. Thanks for taking this ride with me. Might want to buckle up. I hear there’s some emotional whiplash coming!)

Um, where was I?

Twitchy YouTubers.

I’m addicted to one (lilsimsie) and for whatever reason I can’t get enough of her streams. She’s playing several legacy challenges - one on YouTube and one on Twitch - and I am so invested in the Nightmare Legacy Challenge she’s playing on YouTube that I should probably up my meds. In my defence, it’s Laugh Out Loud hysterical. The joy of playing a legacy challenge on a short lifespan is that it moves QUICKLY. Her’s is moving super quickly and every twenty minute clip can bring me to tears. Today, two of her Sims aged up and Bubblegum, the cat, died. To hear her shock at forgetting birthdays and the cat dying… Yeah. I was giggling.

And, of course, now I have a Sim who streams on Twitch while he’s getting a degree in Computer Science. Not nearly as much fun as the bipolar judge who grew weed and was a prostitute, though. (Yeah. I gave in and played with some of the naughty mods. Don’t judge. I’m older than 21 and they’re making life interesting.)

 

- - - - - - - - - -

We use QuickBooks at work - plain, old, boring, dysfunctional QuickBooks. Not even the less crappy, but still phenomenally bad, Enterprise version. Premier. Which is a joke and a half.

I hate that to create my WIP report, I need to run at least TWO different reports in QB, export them to Excel, bring in a different report from a different piece of software, and then beg the software to do the thing… and because the report is heavily reliant on VLOOKUPs and pivot tables and all kinds of crap, moving ONE CELL borks the entire thing and then it takes HOURS to fix. I wish I were exaggerating.

So. My answer to that? Because I’m absolutely brilliant?

Microsoft Access.

No. That’s a real program. Honest. It’s their shitty database program, which is of course, WINDOWS ONLY. (Damn, I miss FileMaker Pro!)

But any ways, I did a whole lot of forcing things into QuickBooks in places things were never meant to be forced into. I mean, there is so much customisation that it almost acts like a real piece of software.

So, now I’m down to two reports. One bit of data I’ll need to work around and probably enter by hand since the way to export that particular report will bork everything to such an epic degree that I have nightmares just thinking about it.

Import the Excel into Access. Hit a button. Run a report. BAM! Done.

We won’t talk about how much effort it will take to finish getting the data in QuickBooks to where I actually want it. (Especially after Ida just dumped 600+ new Emergency Service Claims on us.)

The fact is, that once it’s done, and kept up with, this won’t ever be so bad.

Resume Building At Its Finest:
Took absolutely shitty accounting software and developed an Access database query / report to summarise multiple QB exports into one quick, easy to tweak, dashboard.

I am Angry Accountant.

Hear me roar!

roar

I think about this world a lot and I cry


August 07, 2021 :: 11:26 AM

UConn’s last pure white husky has crossed the rainbow bridge…

I’m a fucking mess right now.

I can’t even deny it… tear tracks are running down my face and I haven’t been able to stop the tears for days. (Other than when I need to pull my shit together for work, of course. They can’t see how broken I am.)

It started with the announcement that Jonathan XII had died.

Yes.

A dog that wasn’t mine… that I wasn’t even close to… is dead and I can’t deal with it.

I suppose, all things considered, I should have seen this coming.

I’m past exhausted.

I’m not sleeping.

I’ve barely been eating.

And, I’ve been waiting for this day.

My complete and utter breakdown.

The day the depression brings me to my knees.

Catharsis.

Why was the death of a dog such a big deal? How could something like that move me to the tears I so needed to shed?

Easy.

Despite my… complicated… relationship with my mother, she was a UConn grad, too. There was always a little bit of me that wished - that still wishes, if we’re to be honest (and when have I ever lied here?) - that she could have been there for those years. She was already dead by the time I was applying for colleges. Didn’t know that UConn was the absolute last school I wanted to go to. Because of her. Didn’t know that it was the only school I applied to. Also because of her… and that’s a story for another time. I’m already fucked up enough without revisiting that time of my life.

Standing at the practice field, staring at the Towers dorms. Dating a guy who actually lived in her fucking building. Having to walk past what was her room. She had left enough of her behind in a scrapbook that I was able to find her fucking room. And I don’t think I ever told the boyfriend that… maybe in passing, but not in enough detail.

SO. UConn. It was a place where I was able to finally define myself as something other than Helen’s daughter (even if I carried that weight around for four years). I lived through so much craziness over four years and I don’t regret a moment of it. We always wind up where we’re supposed to be, even if we don’t know it at the time.

Going to UConn was the beginning of a wild ride… again, it was a decision I will never regret and I will always be proud to be a Husky… and a hussy, because we’re Bus 4, after all. And a white Jonathan will - even after all this time - be my husky.

And the last white one is gone. With a generic husky taking his place.

My UConn is gone.

My mother’s UConn is gone.

Replaced with an imposter.

And, while you may not understand why, it hurts. Badly.

To make matters even worse, I just finished a piece of Drarry fan fic that has brought me to tears over the past two days.

Fuck, I wish I could write like that.

Seriously.

It started with Draco in New York, recreating himself, working with at-risk kids and turning his back on all things magical and Malfoy. He ends up sharing dreams with Harry, and it is like the slowest burns of slow burns. Of course, I didn’t cry when Evan killed himself. I didn’t cry at the too real emotions that Draco was going through. Nope. I bawled like a fucking baby when Harry showed up in New York. And then I cried harder when he left. And then I cried even harder when he came back. It. Was. Beautiful. I love when fics break me like that. I really do.

Oddly enough, that level of heartache spurred me on to clean up the mess I made in the Otayuri fic I’ve been working on… until that vicious editor in my head decided to speak up. Yes, editor, I gave up on the slow burn. No, that wasn’t what I wanted to do. No, there won’t be any age-inappropriate scenarios. Yes, this is all Otabek Altin’s fucking fault. Three drafts, three fucking drafts, and he’s all ‘eyes of a soldier’ and Люди могут забыть, что вы сказали. Могут забыть, что вы сделали. Но никогда не забудут, что вы заставили их почувствовать. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  (God bless Google and Russian language blogs for giving me the ultimate apology quote…)

But the editor did what they set out to do and, well, imposter syndrome.

So, I just wasted a bunch of time rereading all seven of my published fan fics, all the comments, and just started at my statistics.

I’m never going to be a Sara’s Girl, or bixgirl1, but they all did better than I would have thought.

For me, not you, I submit the following for those days when I feel like I can no longer make the words do the thing good because englishing is hard:

 

 

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