To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Running Music for Real Men!"

Yesterday I took my ipod to work and plugged it into my speakers on my desk. I spent the better part of the day listening to A Fine Frenzy. I listened to all the songs of theirs that were on my Ipod on repeat ALL DAY. It was great.

But, last night I had a total scare! I was slated to run 16 miles today (although I only did 10 because I am a slacker - and still sick) and I CAN'T run without my Ipod. And, as I was mentally preparing for my run last night, I remembered that my Ipod was still at work! (And no doubt playing all the songs available by A Fine Frenzy on repeat STILL).

I had 3 Ipods for this very reason, I CAN'T run without one (and I misplaced one for a time and then found it again). I considered myself very lucky to have 3. Perhaps too lucky. So, a few months back I gave one away to someone poor and less fortunate than I. My friend Eric, who you all know as muffin. He is a student and by definition, less fortunate (meaning without an Ipod).

I resisted my urge to drive to work and it was too late to buy a new Ipod, so I asked Eric if I could borrow mine back. Lucky for me, he doesn't know how to erase my music and add his. So, my songs are still on there.

It was late when I went to Eric's house to pick up the Ipod. When I walked in he was asleep on the couch. I said his name a few times and he didn't wake up. But, I saw my old Ipod on the kitchen table, so I grabbed it and left.

Only this morning when I went to go running I quickly found out that I had taken someone else's Ipod. Oops. (Sorry Heman, I think maybe it was yours!) So, there are only a few options to choose from on his Ipod one playlist is called "Running Music For Real Men!" (Note, the ! was in the title, I did not add this emotion).

Oh man, it was total metal music. It was pretty different than the goofy Top 40 stuff I usually run to. But, it worked... kind of. Ok, if I am being honest, it sucked (for me). It was total guy music. But, I did come across one song I quite liked, so of course I put it on repeat. It was "Breaking Habits" by Lincoln Park. And, I have to say. Well done Lincoln Park good man-lyrics. There is nothing I like better than a man who is willing to figure himself out, take accountability and do something about it.

The only downfall to the man music is that now that I am home I have a total urge to punch something! What is that about?!? I am going to shake it off by going to the mall with my mom.

Friday, August 29, 2008

That's what friends are for...

This morning I got this text message from one of my best friends in the world, Ms. Robin Bendheim. It is DEFINITELY quotable.

"It always gets worse before it gets better. Acne medicine taught me that."

OH MAN did that make me laugh!

Thanks Robbie, I love you more than words could express. And, who knew you ARE funny!

Coyote Ugly...

I woke up this morning and stumbled from my couch to my bedroom to get ready for work. When I walked in my room I saw my dad and mom lying in my bed. They are in town for the weekend. Aren't I so lucky?!?

They woke up and looked at me in my baggy pajamas and my crazy hair, no make-up and morning breath and they smiled. My dad said "look how pretty our daughter is!" And, my mom said "I know, isn't she beautiful?"

I have always thought the expression that refers to people as having a face only a mother could love was such a foreign insult. I mean I get it conceptually, but nothing in the world makes me feel more beautiful than hearing my parents tell me that I am.

My parents have been married for 40 years in June. They are best friends. They are my biggest cheerleaders. They are fun and funny. They are two people I live to admire, and neither has ever let me down. There are no two people I respect and cherish more on this earth. They are two of my best friends. My mom always tells me what I NEED to hear and my dad never needs to say anything, he's ALWAYS been able to change my world with a hug!

They had the funniest conversation while I was getting ready this morning. I gave them my car which meant my dad had to take me to work. He asked my mom if she wanted to come. She said she'd rather sleep. He said that as beautiful as my mom was, she would be even more beautiful after her morning transformation (a.k.a. shower and make-up). She said she didn't think she was going to do that. He just smiled. Then she stated that instead of getting ready she would like to have someone rub her feet. My dad said he would love to do it when he came back. Then he turned to me and said "being your mom's personal slave is one of my favorite duties."

Aaaahhhhhhhh! They're SO CHEESY. And, I love it.

My new list of qualifications in a husband (in addition to, of course 6 feet and 6 figures) is as follows:

1. Normal.
2. Has a career or career path.
3. Doesn't pee on the toilet seat.
4. Willing and eager to be my own "personal slave!"

Believe me, I KNOW, he doesn't exist. I can't even tell you how hard it is to find a guy who doesn't pee on the toilet seat!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Bendy!!!

My roommate Marci had a birthday... yipee. It was actually last week, but first she was out-of-town, then Robin was, then I was, so we celebrated last night.

We are all learning to surf in our house. So, we commissioned our favorite surf instructor to take us to our favorite spot for learning, San Onofre.

It was a really fun time. I even ate a hot dog for the first time in years... I must have been WAY hungry!

Happy Birthday Marci (Bendy) Tuttle. We love you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Oompa Loompa Weekend...

When I was in 6th grade my mom put me in this theatrical summer camp... which was such a joke, because I am about as tone-deaf as they come and I couldn't dance my way out of a bag, plus I have never really had any thespian aspirations. But, I went to camp anyway, with my baby brother, Mark. At the end of the summer we were in the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was an Oompa Loompa, which was extremely awkward for me because even in the 6th grade I was tall, I've been (almost) 5'9 since I was like 13. And, from what I recall Oompa Loompas were midgets, right? Anywhoosers (that was for you Amanda), that's all beside the point... this is the point - I had to wear orange paint all over my body. Yet, I still maintain that even though I was the tallest Oompa Loompa EVER, I was still way less orange for that play then I was for my entire weekend in Vegas. (Let the pictures serve as photographic evidence).

Luckily, I have showered 7 times in the past 60 hours and I would like to report that I am a far less tangerine-shade of orange. Whew.

Here's what happened. Joe (THE BEST BOSS EVER - although he DID make me fix his Ipod for the better part of the morning, as if I didn't have anything else to do!) sent me and the 5 other girls that work for RCI to Vegas for an all-expense paid weekend. It was AMAZING! It turns out that even in 100 degree weather, Vegas is a whole lot of fun on someone else's dime!

We stayed at the Wynn... Oh my... the Wynn is so DIVINE. They even put my name on the key. But, it did cost $5 for every diet coke I drank, I think Joe spent $20 on those for me (thanks Joe). The beds were so comfortable. And, the restaurants there were so good!

I flew in from Orange County on Friday morning and checked into the spa. Joe gave us the day off (kind of... the man called me about 6x, I had to check in after ever treatment I got), though it was still worth it. This is where the Oompa-Loompafication took place. It was so awkward. I was standing there, buck naked, while some young girl, in essence, spray painted me while trying to carry on a conversation. And, in the end voile... I turned orange (for the bargain price of $120 - thanks Joe!)

Later that night we went to Cirque de Soleil's O... it was good... and then creepy... and then good again. Those circus performers sure are bendy!

Then we went to dinner at yellowtail, a sushi restaurant in the Bellagio. It was good, but I got a kink in my neck from craning it to watch the fountain go off every 15 minutes for about 2 1/2 hours straight.

After which we went to a club. Blush. And, we saw Shar Jackson celebrating her birthday (she is apparently famous, for apparently being married to or linked to K-Fed, but I haven't checked on the validity of that and I had no idea who she was!) The girls got pretty drunk and we all danced on a ledge behind the bar. Everyone stayed until 4 AM, except me, I was done at 2:30. And, the beds at the Wynn were to die for divine, they were calling my name.

The next day was filled with eating (at the Wynn Buffet) and shopping at the Forum Shops. I bought the cutest new Kate Spade sunglasses and a few tops, but I still have about half my $ left, basically because there wasn't an Anthropologie in Vegas AND because I need more clothes like I need a hole in the head.

Then we went to Mama Mia which was SO much better than the movie. It was really funny. We took a cab to the Venetian to eat at Delmonicos, where we wasted about 1/2 a cow. My co-worker Michelle ordered a 32 Oz. steak and she only weighs about 64 Oz herself, so... We managed to get in a fight with our Jamaican taxi cab driver on the way there, he told us to get out!

The next day we had breakfast on the pool terrace. And, then we went to bet the money that Joe gave us. He told Michelle to bet $100 on black and me on red. I wanted to bet it at the same time, since basically he was just throwing away money anyway and that way he'd come out at least even. But, we didn't. I lost Joe's money. Michelle won $200. We took $100 and started playing Craps with it. Mind you, I wouldn't gamble with my own money, but with someone else's it was kind of fun! So, at the craps table, I was rolling and a guy was playing the field and won over $30,000 on my rolls. After which he came up and gave my 2 $500 chips. We cashed in, gave Joe back his $100 and split the other $900. Basically, the only time I ever win money in Vegas is when some old man gives it to me at the craps table (right Kathie and Sara???) Honestly, I was given $900 by another old man a few years back. Why is it that old men can't hold onto their money and I have no problem taking it?

All in all, it was such a fun weekend and I charmed my way into just enough money to buy me a new surfboard... I will always think of that blessed old pervy man when I ride it!

And, not to rub it all in anyone's face, but my boss paid for EVERYTHING. Isn't he so wonderful!?! It makes my job as his personal slave and dictionary SO worth it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The "Brinker" Curse

As most of you all know, the boys in my office call me "Brinker" and for the most part I have always quite enjoyed the fact that I have a nickname in my office, even with the ever present interminable fear that one day one of them is going to forget that I am not ACTUALLY one of the boys and give me a "good-game" slap across the backside. Yikes!

The risk has always been worth the knowledge that they all adore me enough to give me a pet name that they use regularly. It warms my heart really! Or, at least it used to... I must confess that lately "Brinker" has served as the impetus for an impending demand to pander to some ridiculous whim for my boss Joe! We all know how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE Joe... and we all know why (but, in case you don't just wait until I get back from my "Corporate Retreat" in 3 days!) But, I swear if I hear the word "Brinker" come out of his mouth one more time this week, I might have to take a pen to his jugular... I know it sounds vicious, but hopefully you'll all understand when I tell you (without exaggeration) what has followed that moniker ALL week.

Brinker #1:
Joe: Brinker
Ali: Yes
Joe: I need you, come in here.
Ali: What's up?
Joe: Look at this picture.
Joe shows me a photo of him in some fishing outfit while in the Tasu Sound up in Canada.
Ali: That's a cool picture Joe.
Joe: Brinker, be honest, do I look fat?
Ali: Uhhhh, no.
Joe: Why did you hesitate?
Ali: Sorry, I was just taking a closer look.
Joe: And?
Ali: And, you're wearing rubber pants and suspenders and wellies and you are waist high in water. How am I supposed to tell if you look fat Joe, you are wearing rubber pants?!?
Joe: So? Well, then look at me now. Do I look fat?
Ali: Ummm, no. You look like a normal 50-year-old man.
Joe: 50???
Ali: Yea.
Joe: Brinker I am only 48!
Ali: Sorry Joe, I have really bad eyes.
Joe: Get out.
Ali: Ok, thanks.

25 minutes later...

Brinker #2:
Joe: Brinker
Ali: Uh huh.
Joe: I need you.
Ali: OK, hold on.
Joe: No, I need you now. What are you busy???
Ali: Um, well did you realize that you have me bidding 16 jobs in the next month?!?
Joe: So, what are you trying to say?
Ali: I am trying to say that YES, I am busy.
Joe: I need you.
I walk the 20 feet to his office...
Ali: Yep.
Joe: Brinker, how do you spell goat?
Ali: What?
Joe: How do you spell goat?
Ali: Like the barnyard animal goat?
Joe: Yes.
Ali: Really?
Joe: Don't make fun of me, I went to a one-room school.
Ali: G-O-A-T.
Joe: Thanks.
Ali: What are you putting together that uses the word goat?
Joe: Don't worry about it.
Joe snickers as he sends some email to his friends.

10 minutes later...

Brinker #3:
Joe: Brinker?
Ali: REALLY Joe?
Joe: Pardon?
Ali: I'll be right there.
Joe: Brinker, holds up a very large shirt, do you think this will fit me?
Ali: Sure, Joe. It might even be too big.
Joe: Because I am getting thinner???
Ali: Or you could try it on...
Joe: Good idea Brinker, you're so smart.

The following day as I walk up the stairs to my office at 9:30 AM (Yikes)...

Brinker #4:
Joe: Good afternoon Brinker!
Ali: Hey Joe.
Joe: I need you to tell me something, what is Mikimoto?
Ali: I don't know Joe. I don't even know what you're talking about.
Joe shows me this gift card
Joe: I got this gift card for $1,000 to Mikimoto and they have one in the mall by your house.
Ali: Oh, I think maybe it's a jewelry store, like a way nice one.
Joe: Well, find out for me will you?
LITERALLY 8 seconds later he buzzes my office, mind you, I haven't even gotten there yet.
Joe: Brinker? Did you find out yet? What is it?
Ali: Joe, I am not even really in my office yet. Hold on just one second.
Joe: Brinker, I guess you don't want this then.
Ali: Hold on, I'll look it up right now. I get on the internet . Yep, it's a jewelry store.
Joe: Ok, do you want this?
Ali: What?
Joe: I'll give it to you.
Ali: Um, that might be a bit inappropriate Joe. Maybe you should give it to your wife.
Joe makes a face as if he's eaten something VERY sour.
Ali: Or your daughters.
Joe: I gave them those bracelets that snap on the wrists the other day, they cost $10 and they loved them, but one of them already lost hers. Do you really think I would spend $1,000 on bracelets for them?
Under my breath "yes"
Ali: What about your mom?!? You like your mom right?
Joe: The other day I tried to buy my mom a house, she said "No."
Ali: Well, maybe you should start with something smaller, like a bracelet?!?

Brinker #5:
Joe: Brinker
Ali: Yep?!?
Joe: Brinker, if you win your marathon will you let me get you drunk?!?
Joe rented an RV and is taking his two daughters to St. George to go camping and hand me water throughout the race - could there be anything more supportive for a boss to do?!?
Ali: Sure Joe, IF I win the St. George Marathon I'll let you get me drunk!
Joe: REALLY?!?
Ali: Sure!
Joe: So, that ain't going to happen, right?
Ali: I am flattered you think I am THAT good. Thank you!
Joe: Well damn!

Sometimes I feel like Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"It'll be you, your roommate, your friend and a bunch of weirdos."

This was the statement my co-worker Jonathan said to me when he found out I was running the Extraterrestrial Half Marathon, a race that started a 12:30 AM under the full moon about 2 hours outside of Vegas. It was a bit odd in theory. But, it was also WAY fun! I'd do it again in a heart beat! And, of course, since we were in sin city, we made a weekend out of it. Aaron met us there on his way back into town. And, there was a surprise visit from Peter Ord. We had a blast.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


A few years ago my mom bought me this necklace that had a silver tag that read "balance". She has always told me that I need to find a good balance in my life. Apparently, I work hard and I play hard, which means I don't have time to sleep much... oops.

Dear Mom,

Yesterday I went to bed at 1 AM because I HAD to watch the men's 4 x 100 relay (and it was
AMAZING)! And, then there was gymnastics and ... And, then I had to wake up at 5:30 AM to take my cute roommate Marci to the airport, which meant that today while everyone else was at lunch, I went out to my car and took a nap. How's that for balance?!?

Love ya.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

I am ALMOST there...

Erik took us surfing again. And, we decided to make a night out of it.

Don't we look like surfers???

Ok, I'll be honest, sitting on this board in the sand was the steadiest I was on the surfboard all day. I don't think I am getting any better.
But, Marci is a STUD! She surfed. She surfed 2 waves all the way to the shore. She even did a dance on her board. I am trying not to hate her!

I did my laundry on Thursday and I folded 8 pairs of PJs and about a dozen running outfits and only ONE shirt. A shirt. I decided that it was pathetic and I needed to get out more. (Mind you most of my work clothes have to be dry cleaned, so I do occasionally get dressed).

The surfing was so flat and not great for me. But, the company was fun. And, I get to wash 2 shirts in my next load of laundry (an attestation of my more booming social life for the week. Yea me!)
As I have indicated, I am not almost there with the surfing.

But, according to my mom I am ALMOST a runner. Here's how she gages that. Whenever we talk on the phone she asks how my training is going. And, then she always asks "have you lost any toe nails yet?" She thinks that so funny. Well, I ran 14 miles today and I am pretty sure I am going to lose a few toe nails real soon! I am ALMOST a runner. Aren't you proud of me mom?
I would just call and ask her, but the last time we talked she asked, "Have you found your husband yet? Call me when you do." I sure hope she didn't mean I had to wait until then...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The day after tomorrow is...

the first day of the Olympics!

I can't wait.

This seems strange and out of character for me, I know. I mean, I am not that into watching sports and by that I mean I am not AT ALL into watching sports... and we all know I can barely play any. And, also, I am not even slightly competitive. But still I HEART HEART HEART the Olympics!

In 1984, we lived on Montana and 25th in Santa Monica. My dad stood on the corner with all 5 of us as we watched the torch being run down the street. That's when my love of the Olympics began. I wish I could find the photo, I am this tiny thing with tube socks to my mid-thighs and the shortest mustard colored shorts ever!

I can watch just about all the sports (both summer and winter)... Is it possible to TiVo the Olympics for all 15 days staight? Since, I doubt that's possible I guess I'll have to forgo handball?!? Are you kidding... really is handball a sport? I guess I can do without softball too (sorry Diz) and also I can do without Judo (whatever that is), taekwondo, boxing, and wrestling! Just as long as I can still watch: archery, badminton(seriously, it's kind of funny), beach volleyball (Dax Holdren was my assistant volleyball coach at San Marcos high school when I played my Sophmore year - no joke!), basketball, kayaking (why not?), cycling, diving (a fav) , equestrian (it's stressful to watch though), fencing, gymnastics (another one of my favs), pentahlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, soccer (yes please! Soccer players have the best legs and we all know I have that crush on David Beckam in that oh-no-please-don't-speak kind of way), swimming (my VERY favorite), table tennis (that one is for you dad), regular tennis, track & field, triathlon, water polo, and even weightlifting (seriously! Deplorable confession #1198, I kind of LOVE the world's strongest man competitions too... shhhhh... I don't want to hear it... I SO know that's weird!)

So, if you don't see me in the next 15 days... I am at home watching the Olympics!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words right?

This weekend I went up to Monterey to visit the Volcanseks. It was such a fun trip! Monterey was SO beautiful. I am pretty sure it is one of my all time favorite places ever to run. It's breezy and beautiful! We went to the wharf and saw the famous pirate ship "Bounty". I got to hang out with cute little Emma and sweet little Matthew. And, of course, I wanted to take them with me, but I didn't, because only crazy people steal their friend's children, right.

The only thing missing from this weekend was a photo or two... if only I had a camera... (hint hint! Matthew and Kimberly!)

Are Canon Powershot cameras disposable? Because I have ruined or lost three (3) this year alone!
Thanks for the great weekend Amanda! I had such a great time. Give my love to Johnny, Emma, Matthew and (I guess) Porter.