Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion

Say whatever you want about Rachel Platten's "Fight Song," but I like it. You might think it's a cheesy pop song, but it inspires me and gets me fired up. And for those of you (like my husband) who don't know what I'm talking about, here it is:

For those who don't know, this Saturday I'll be riding my bicycle 45 miles in Pelotonia, which is a fundraiser for cancer research. 100% of donations go directly to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (more commonly known as The James).

I first rode in Pelotonia in 2011 after my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had every intention of riding again, but my own health issues got in the way. This year I decided to get back on the bike. I really enjoy it and I wanted to actively be a part of Pelotonia.

To prepare for this ride, I started cycling to and from work. It's between 5 1/2 and 7 miles one way, depending on which route I take. I don't always do it every day - if I have an outside meeting or something for which I need to be "presentable," I'll drive. Then on the weekends I've gone on longer rides. One Saturday I rode 20 miles and I heard "Fight Song" at about mile 15 and I'm telling you it really pushed me.

Last weekend I rode in a cerebral palsy fundraiser called Pedal with Pete and I went 50 miles! I got a flat tire just a few miles from the finish, but luckily the SAG wagon helped me out and I was able to get that 50. So now I know I'm capable of the 45 miles I've committed to this weekend.

In the last month something in me has changed. I find that if I go more than a couple days without getting on the bike, I miss it. If I'm having a bad day, a bike ride will (most of the time) make me feel better. Who knew?! OK, a lot of people knew, but it's still kind of crazy to realize it for yourself.

Part of what "Fight Song" is about is how one person can have a huge impact. And that's true in so many ways. If you're so inclined, please consider designating some of your charitable dollars toward Pelotonia. My fundraising page is No donation is too small. Thank you to those who have already donated - you'll get a more personal thank you after the ride. And thank you in advance for all of your support, monetary or otherwise.

51.22 miles and still smiling!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Showin' My Books - January '18

I'm certain I read more than two books recently but I don't think I've been updating Goodreads. That's OK, because the two I have read were well worth talking about.

Life According to Steph

Final Girls by Riley Sager - I very much enjoyed this book. "Final Girls" refers to the sole survivors of slasher-movie-style massacres, and now someone appears to be targeting the Final Girls. There was something that kept me from giving a 5 star rating, but I can't put my finger on what that was. However, I read it in two sittings, so that says something.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - I read this for my IRL book club, even though I knew I couldn't make the meeting. This novel is based on the true story of children who were kidnapped and sold from the 1920s through the 1940s. It is heartbreaking, devastating, and beautifully written. There's a minor romantic subplot that I thought was unnecessary, but it didn't detract from my love of the book overall.

Currently reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

What's on your bookshelf these days?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Showin' My Books - October '17

I mentioned the other day that I'm in the midst of several books at once. I'm having trouble finishing books, not necessarily because I don't like them, but ... I don't know why. But I do have a few books to talk about on the 3rd anniversary of Steph and Jana's Show Us Your Books linkup.

Life According to Steph

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - SO many people raved about this book and I'm thrilled that it lived up to my expectations. My IRL book club read this and it's one that most all of us really enjoyed. I need more Kristin Hannah in my life, but spread out, because there's some heartbreaking stuff in there.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus - I very much enjoyed this book about five high school seniors who wind up in detention but only four make it out alive. There's a lot of Breakfast Club-ness going on here (except for the murder, of course). It's told from the perspectives of the four survivors and I loved the character development, and the need to keep reading at the end of every chapter.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman - Before I read this for book club, it seemed like everyone adored it. So I felt like a loser because I just wasn't feeling it. After I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads, I felt validated because other people told me they didn't like it either. If you're in the "loved it" camp, that's cool; it just wasn't for me.


What are you reading?

Stay tuned,

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Big Give

I know it seems that everyone has a hand out asking for donations these days. This post isn't seeking specific donations, rather it's alerting Central Ohioans to an opportunity for your charitable dollars to go even further.

For the first time in 2 1/2 years, The Columbus Foundation is hosting The Big Give, which begins Tuesday 10/10 at 10:00 am EDT and ends Wednesday 10/11 at noon EDT. During that time, you can donate to one (or more) of over 900 nonprofit organizations spanning 10 counties around Columbus. You can even donate to a fund for hurricane relief. There is a $1.3 million bonus pool which will be added to donations on a pro-rata basis. So while I can't say your donation will be doubled, every donation will be amplified to some extent. Also, credit card fees during The Big Give will be covered by The Columbus Foundation.


There are SO many options. Whether your passion is supporting the arts, or rescuing animals, or helping the homeless, or cancer research, there's something here for you. And I'll admit that the website can be overwhelming, so if you are interested but having trouble finding just the right nonprofit, let me know and I'll help navigate the system.

Again, here are the bullet point details:

Stay tuned,

Friday, October 6, 2017

It's Friday and I need a brain dump

Here comes some random shit that's in my head.

  • I haven't yet watched any brand new shows this season. It's all I can do to keep up with This is Us and the TGIT lineup on ABC. This is highly unlike me.

  • I'm currently suffering from Multiple Book Disorder. I have at LEAST five books started right now, none of which is the one for my real life book club which meets Tuesday. And my TBR pile (as in, actual books that I own that I haven't even started is hovering around twelve.

  • Not sure what someone just heated up for lunch but it smells like grilled cheese to me. I could go for a basic grilled cheese and fries right about now.

  • I have a vacation coming up very soon and I can. not. wait.

  • Someone hacked into my Ulta account and used my rewards points. Seriously? WTF?

  • I also had someone use my credit card (well, not the actual card, because I have that) at a Sam's Club. Easy to tell it wasn't me since I don't have a Sam's membership. Thank you MasterCard for alerting me to that one.

  • This is Day 4 of my 50 blog posts in 50 days. I almost missed day 3, but I got it there in the nick of time.

  • I have lots more to say about these things but...

    •  I'm still in utter disbelief that one person can murder 59 people and injure hundreds more in a matter of minutes. This is so fucked up.

    • PSA for anyone who still doesn't realize it: Puerto Ricans ARE Americans. And paper towels aren't going to help them. I still feel like I'm living in some bizarro dream and wonder when it's going to stop. (Side note: the "US" in US Virgin Islands? Yeah, that means those residents are Americans, too. Maybe if they were allowed to vote for the president they'd matter more?)

    • Yet with all the crises around us, it's somehow very important to make sure that employers can cry "moral objections!" and opt to not cover birth control. The reasons this makes no sense are numerous but for now I'll just say that when the consequences of having sex are as intrusive to men as they are to women, then we can talk. Until that day, spare me the morality speech. I'm not buying it.

I think that's enough for today. Have a great weekend!

Stay tuned,

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Day 3 and I've already (almost) failed

The last 24 hours have been jam packed - somewhat with scheduled activities, but also with some very unplanned obligations. But dammit, I'm not going to fail on the third day. It's 11:08 pm as I type this so I have 51 minutes to get in under the wire.

This week has felt long so of course I'm looking forward to the weekend, but I'm especially looking forward to this weekend because it's the Italian Festival, which is just a few blocks from my house. And let's be honest, the main part of the festival I can't wait for is the food. Pizza and gnocchi and cannoli, oh my!

I did manage to make a fun little button for my blog adventure. What do you think?

Stay tuned,

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Last minute ZZ Top

A couple months ago, Aaron mentioned that ZZ Top was coming to town on October 3rd and started talking about maybe going to the show. Me: eh, maybe.

Cut to October 3rd, 9:03 am. I get a text from Aaron that just says "ZZTop?" My initial thought is, no, I don't feel like it. But, seeing as Tom Petty just died and I never saw him in concert, I changed my mind and texted back "Sure."

3:12 pm - email from Aaron with a link to a concert review saying "Looks like lots of seats available. I think we should go."

Me: I already said yes. Buy the tickets.

I mean, take yes for an answer already!

So after work, we took the bus downtown and ate at an Irish pub (question: when you order fish & chips, are you expecting sweet potato fries? I was not.) and then went to the Palace Theater (Columbus friends, yes, the Palace!) and bought seats in Row L on the floor.

Fun story: although I had never seen ZZ Top, Aaron had seen them twice before, albeit nearly 30 years ago. One night many moons ago, Aaron and his friend Mike were at a blues bar in Cincinnati where they watched a group called Big Alice and Unfinished Business. After the show, they played some pool and a couple guys came in and put quarters down on the table. Those guys were Dusty Hill of ZZ Top (left in the above picture) and a road manager. So yeah, Aaron played pool with 1/3 of ZZ Top.

Stay Tuned,