Thursday, May 26, 2016


So I was cleaning out my e-mail and found a VERY old response to a long ago post.  It made me think about the fact that I haven't written a word here in a very long time.  I think perhaps it is time to change that!

There are many new changes in my life and, let's face it, many new changes in technology that makes this blog a bit obsolete.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.!  I really can't keep up with all of it and long for the simpler days of e-mail and blogging.  That was pretty much it in the early 2000's, wasn't it?  I honestly can't recall.

So a brief update.  I'm still at 5 dogs, but I lost Zoe in April of 2012 and it broke my heart.  I continued to find dogs and rehome and ultimately have those already mentioned: Stella, Buster, Bingley, and Jake as well as my "newest" furry child, Baby.  She's a Shepherd/Husky mix, I think.  I'm also at three cats.  Was I at three cats before?  I'm not sure.  So here is Peaches.  She adopted me - like all the rest.
I managed to earn tenure and get promoted to Associate Professor so there's that.  I tell you, what an insane process that is.  It's basically reapplying for your job every year, and each year it's harder to get it.  Lots of jumping through hoops of fire.  NOT FUN.  It's damn hard.

My department has had its share of ups and downs over the years (that can wait for another post, maybe), but things are looking up.  And I am currently serving as Interim Artistic Director for Tent Theatre, our summer AEA theatre.  I love the job and hope to get the permanent position, but time will tell.  It is my first summer and the season just got under way, so I'll keep you posted.  For now, it appears all is going well.  I have to give my first presentation as a favor to a major donor next week.  I'm very nervous!  Tomorrow will be spent prepping for that experience.

I am still single, which remains the biggest challenge for me here - my lack of social life.  More on THAT saga later.

I started running again after a year away just this week.  Last year I tripped while running and foolishly caught myself with my hands (I know better than that), and subsequently fractured the radial head in my right elbow.  As it's an injury that cannot be cast, I was in a sling for much of the summer and it threw my schedule off completely.  I never got back to running or hot yoga (which I had been doing somewhat faithfully up until then).  So two of my students have volunteered to run with me and Baby in the mornings in hopes of running a race in the fall and getting into a really good routine.  Once I find the race, I'll publish it so I can be accountable to you and me.  That's assuming I get anybody to ever read this blog again.  I'm not even sure if my limited previous followers will even get a message I've posted again!  That's okay.  This is really for me, right?

Okay.  It's a little after 5:00 so I'm heading home.  I'm excited to get back to blogging.  I will once again be regaling you (or boring you) with stories of life in the theatre, life in animal rescue, and life as a single professional woman somewhat stuck in the Midwest.  No apologies.  Just my ramblings and optimistic spirit!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Will Wonders Never Cease?

I actually went running this morning.

It was 22 degrees (felt like 12 according to the Weather Channel) and I took Stella and Jake with me. It was a mere 2 miles, but I am pleased just the same as if it were more.

I haven't done any serious running in a long time, so I am grateful to be able to manage even a short run. Jake loves to run, so I'm grateful for his company, even if he insists on marking every tree, lampost, or clump of grass along the way. Stella runs like I often feel: unethusiastically. She does well for about a mile - maybe 1.5 miles - then decides she'd rather be walking. I still get her to move, but it isn't pretty. In spite of his size, I'd probably do better with Buster as a running partner over Stella. Perhaps I'll give it a try next time.

Tomorrow is an early morning for work (blech) so I won't be running. I hope to get back to a 3 day/week running schedule, so I'm shooting for running on Thursday. However, with this stupid conference we have coming into town on Thursday, I might just have to get it done on Wednesday. Heaven help us, we are hosting the big state high school theatre conference this weekend. Kill me.

Looking at my schedule for the long haul, Tuesday, Thursday, and a weekend date are going to be best for me.

Tomorrow I take my first Yoga class at the gym. I'm looking forward to it!

And, I actually fixed a really great meal with a bunch of leftovers tonight. Basically, I stir-fried some red and green peppers, broccoli, and pierogies in Trader Joe's General Tsao sauce. Yummy! I resisted the temptation to make a creamy pesto sauce . . . highly unusual behavior for me!

So here's to a good start anyway. Will wonders never cease?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy 2011!

Or at least, let's hope so.

Yes, it has been 4.5 months since my last post. Let's just wipe the slate clean and start over. Isn't that the beauty of a new year?

Last MARCH I won a free 3-month membership at a local fitness center. I finally cashed it in TODAY. I am determined to get back into shape this year.

A few things finally spurred me into action: 1. I need new jeans. And I refuse to go until I can be sure I feel good about shopping for them. My clothes are . . . not tight exactly . . . just a little snug and I don't like how I feel. I feel soft and tired. Enough of that combination. 2. A friend of mine, who is a year or two older than I am, just began running this summer. He used to make fun of me and my running. We ran together this fall in NYC (running in Central Park is the BEST) and he had no trouble keeping up with me. And just a couple of weeks ago, he e-mailed me and told me he had run 9 miles! I am seeing him in March for work and I refuse to be run into the ground by him. And finally, 3. I have two crazy dogs that really need a running routine. I do notice they are generally calmer when we run so it's time to get back into it.

I realize, however, that I need more than running in my life. Right now it is cold and dark when I get up and I just cannot get excited about running when it's 13 degrees (*feels like 4) and still night-time!

So, I finally cashed in my free membership and am hoping to be able to schedule a few good workouts a week (or more) into my nutty life.

This requires me to think differently about working out. I will probably have to leave work at 4pm to get my workouts in between teaching and rehearsals (which don't start until 2/21, but I'm looking ahead). And I may even have to choose to go in the morning on non-running days. Once I start feeling stronger, the running will get easier.

So this is what I'm looking at right now: Yoga T/R afternoons at 4:30 and Interval Step W afternoons same time. I might even try a Zumba class! And perhaps I'll add a Tai Chi class on Saturday mornings (11 AM so not too early).

And I will do my utmost to make up the classes I miss. They have an indoor track, an outdoor track, a pool, and plenty of machines. And I can treat myself to the sauna as a reward! And, at the end of three months, we'll see if it's worth the $38/month to keep going.

I will be challenged, I know, by my schedule. One Tuesday/month I will have a committee meeting I will have to attend so that will push my workout back. And leaving work at 4 will require due diligence on my end. This is a busy travel semester for me, too. As it now stands, I'll be out of town about 21 days between now and the end of March. Still, I think I can do this.

Along the way, I'm going to do my best to keep up with this blog . . . just for accountability sake. I can't find a human running partner (which is the BEST accountability) for me, so perhaps taking stock here will help.

So here's to the new year and a fresh start. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Shoes

Well it's about damn time is all I can really say!

I finally bit the bullet and invested in some new running shoes. I have been running regularly - despite my lack of posting - and am scheduled for a 14-miler on Saturday. After my 12-miler two weeks ago, I decided I wasn't setting myself up to succeed and determined new shoes were in order. My 12-miler was certainly more successful than my 10-miler (seriously, almost ANYTHING would have been better than THAT fiasco). Still, I hurt after and my feet were sore and swollen.

Okay, okay - all you runners out there will say that's normal for long distances in the heat. I should have said my feet hurt more and were more swollen than usual.

So, yesterday I made a trip to my local running store and tried a few pairs on. Now, I am generally brand faithful to Asics, but for whatever reason the past two times I've visited my local running store they haven't had any in stock (probably because they are popular). So, I tested out a pair of Saucony and two pairs of Mizunos. After much deliberation and running on the treadmill (in my work clothes - silly), I went with a pair of Mizunos. The good news is, my running store will take them back, no questions asked, within 30 days. So I can basically test drive them for 30 days! It's an awesome policy and I applaud them for really wanting their customer to be happy. I could have waited 2 weeks for some new Asics to arrive, but I admit I'm worried about the 14-miler and wanted to have some new shoes for that.

I ran in them this morning, and other than sticking a little to the new street pavement, I was happy with them. So I look ahead to Saturday and wonder if I'll get the run in or if it will wait until Sunday morning. I hate to change days, but the forecast calls for morning thunderstorms on Saturday and though that means slightly cooler temps, I'm not a fan of hard rain long runs. At least I have options.

Since my last post, not much has happened outside of my running life. I've started prepping for fall classes and a week ago had a class cancelled due to low enrollment. I'm pretty pissed off because I teach in BFA program and it was an upper-level scene study class that graduating seniors MUST have in order to graduate. Not only that, but I submitted on MONDAY a way to satisfy the student needs with my teaching load and I still haven't gotten word on if it has been approved! Seriously? Classes start on MONDAY. It's now THURSDAY. When am I supposed to prep for my change is course load and notify the students??? My department head actually got snippy with me for asking him yesterday. Really? Administration created this mess and I'm trying to fix it! Don't get snippy with me!!!

WHEW. Sorry, I'm getting mad all over again.

I also had a friend visit me from DC. It was a short, but sweet, visit. We didn't do much as she really just wanted to spend time at my house with my dogs.

Aside from that, it's business as usual. My critters are keeping me busy . . . though Jake appears to be settling down a LITTLE. He's only jumped the fence once since my return (knock on wood). Now if I could just get him to stop barking at Henry. SIGH.

That's about it. I'll let you know if I keep my new shoes. I'll also let you know how 14 miles go.

Some days I wonder why I'm a runner.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

An Unlucky Occurrence

Okay, so last week I set out, as promised, for my 10 mile run. It was Saturday morning, a little after 6 AM, and it was already pretty warm with high humidity. I decided to follow the route that had me pass the house regularly so I could drink Gatorade during the run.

In spite of the Gatorade planning, I made four critical mistakes:

1. I ran my nine miles the Tuesday before my Saturday 10-miler.
2. I ate poorly the night before (this I discovered in hindsight and have now added a few foods to my "not the night before a long run meal" list).
3. I chose to sleep longer instead of get up and eat.
4. The route I chose, which is like a figure eight with my house in the middle, did not have bathroom at one end of the eight.

Perhaps you can guess what happened, but in the running world it is referred to as the "trots."

I ran the first two miles and was feeling pretty good in spite of the heat. I stopped for a quick sip of Gatorade (which, also in hindsight, was probably more than a sip and therefor too much), and ran three more. I could definitely feel the heat now, but I stopped again, drank too much Gatorade AGAIN, and headed out for another two mile loop. I was into my 7th mile, when I felt some kicking in my bowels and no bathroom in sight. In fact, the closest bathroom was my house and it was just under a mile away.

I thought, for about 30 seconds, I could get to the house. Clearly I was delirious from the heat. When my head started to really hear what the nether regions had been yelling at it, I remembered seeing some portable bathrooms adjacent to a soccer field in a nearby park. The fact that I hadn't noticed them when I ran by twice before that morning didn't register. I just prayed hard and walked funny as quickly as possible in the correct direction.

When I got to the clearing and soccer field, I could not see them. I was desperate at this point and tried to find a way to get into the copse of trees lining the field. Of course, it was all terribly overgrown and I new I was in trouble. My eyes landed on an island of tall grass nearby the trees and I just made my way to it. It gave me some "privacy" but at that point, all modesty was gone. I pulled down my shorts and pretended to be bear. While squatting, I saw those portable bathrooms: pushed over and laying on their backs. A hell of a lot of good they do in THAT position!

I was naturally relieved, but horrified too. I have NEVER had this happen to me as a runner. I have heard horror stories from friends and family, but figured I was one of the lucky ones. Not anymore. I guess I just chock it up to experience and hold on to the lessons learned.

Ultimately, I finished the run. It wasn't even remotely pretty.

This Saturday, I am scheduled to run 12. I have been keeping up with my maintenance runs and will have rested on Friday. I will get up an hour early, eat a small breakfast, drink one cup of coffee, make sure my bowels are EMPTY, and sip my Gatorade. Oh, and on Friday night, I plan to eat brown rice, veggies, and either fish or tofu.

And pray I'm lucky once again.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Battling Heat, Humidity, Hills, Flies, and Treadmills

Believe it or not, the past several weeks, even though on vacation, I have been running regularly.

I am DETERMINED to run at least a half marathon before year's end, if not a full marathon. Admittedly, it hasn't been easy.

I got one run in on a treadmill in Columbus, OH on my way to Massachusetts. Once in Massachusetts, things were good for running because the weather was AMAZING . . . for about a week. I ran my two maintenance runs and had a pretty good 6-miler before heading to the beach - and the HEAT.

OH MY GOD WAS IT HOT. My brother is really good about keeping me on track at the beach, but on the Tuesday after the 4th, he wasn't feeling well and there was a heat advisory. For the beach. In New Hampshire. WTF? Regardless, I ran my 4 maintenance miles alone and nearly vomited around mile 3. This is very unlike me. I spent years training in the awful DC heat and humidity running 10, 15, 18 miles. I was surprised by my body's reaction to the weather, but I felt like I was suffocating. I walked about 1/4 mile and then finished the run. I spent the rest of the day recovering.

I decided for the rest of that ugly weather week that I would run earlier and my brother did join me. It was still gross, but we got it done. The day before we left, we ran 7 miles and my dad was nice enough to meet us half-way with some Gatorade. What a help!

From there I was off to Cape Cod for a night, and the next morning I ran the bike trail there. I was lucky my motel was right next to it! I ran 4, but again, felt a little like I was suffocating. At least there was cloud cover so it wasn't quite as bad.

Then I was off to Acworth, NH. It was still hot and humid along the northeast, and to add to my misery, Acworth is a very HILLY town. These are not your momma's hills! These are mother effing hills! On the first day, I walked 7 miles with a friend. The next day I tried to run 4 and hit one hill that went up 700 feet in very short order at the end of my run. No can do. I hate hills anyway, but this was ridiculous! Plus, I was battling the black flies who were trying to drive me mad with biting. Bastards!

Instead of going to war against hills, heat, and flies, I chose to walk the rest of my stay and wear a hat. It helped . . . some.

That weekend I was back at my folks' house and ran my 8 miles. Once again, my dad was stellar and met me half way with some water and a towel. It was still pretty hot, but not quite as bad and I did get an early start.

Then I was off to DC. It was terribly hot and humid there. We had heat advisories and air quality warnings nearly every day. Still, I got out and ran. I was staying with a friend in Hyattsville, MD and she lives just up a hill from a bike path. So I decided to run that, knowing full well it would mean hitting the hill at the very end of my run. I ran, trying to track mileage, but not quite sure how far I was going. It took me nearly an hour each time I ran, so I figured I had slowed down due to the heat.

However, my final morning there I clocked the mileage to the bike path and it was over a mile to get there! So including my mileage on the trail, I'm pretty sure I was running 6 miles. It wasn't much fun, and I was soaked with sweat when I finished, but at least I got it done. On the day I was scheduled to run 9 miles, the forecast was for heat indices over 110 degrees. I opted out and went to brunch at Eastern Market instead. A WISE decision!

Of course, I had to make those miles up and finally did at my hotel in Frankfort, KY. Nine miles on the treadmill. BORING. But at least it was climate controlled and I could have my water right there without carrying it.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to run 10 miles. And I'm nervous. I haven't seen 10 miles in nearly 2 years - since my stress fracture. I will be on my own - no father at the half way point, no dogs for company. But I'll get it done somehow. I haven't decided if I'm going to carry some Gatorade or if I'm going to choose a route that will run by my house once or twice. That gets really boring, but I despise carrying my liquids. And I've never had a running belt I've liked. I can't abide things wrapped around my waist. Even my jeans are low rise!

And of course, now that I've hit double digits, I need to consume calories before and during the run. Yuck. Back to oatmeal at 5 AM and a very soft energy bar cut in tiny pieces to carry with me.

Maybe I WILL run by my house.

It may be hot and humid tomorrow, but at least it will be flat, fly-less, and outside.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Plan B

Before the title concerns you, I DID manage to get my running in this week. It wasn't pretty for a number of reasons, but it happened.

One of the reasons would be my canine companions, Jake and Stella. Running with them can be a real chore! Stella hates the heat and by mile three I'm having to PULL her. Jake just wants to mark EVERYTHING along the route, so we "stop" far too often. I'm getting pretty frustrated. I long for the days when Zoe couldn't wait to get out the door and would run and run and run, usually off leash. She was just the BEST running partner.

So, on to Plan B. I'm actually not even sure I know what Plan B is yet. I may try running with just Jake on my next long run (5 miles - yes, only 5 - it's still early in the training, folks). I now leash him with a Gentle Leader and that has helped his pulling and stopping some . . . and he's seems good for the distance, even in the heat.

Of course, I leave next Saturday for four weeks, so Plan B may be discovered while I'm away and dogless. I will get to run with my brother at the beach so that will be good. And my ensemble theatre company (The Misa Table)'s producer is now training for his first half marathon, so I'll have some running company when we're in workshop in NH (of course, he's like 6'2'' so I'm not sure how that's going to work exactly). But the rest of the time I'll be on my own.

After one doggie-difficult run, I posted on my FB page I was looking for a human running partner. I didn't get any volunteers, but my Pace Group Leader for Galloway Group all those years ago said he wished he was closer so he could join me (he lives in Boston). So there is the possibility of cyber-training with him and another friend. I'm going to check out my Pace Group Leader's online training site to see if it's something that interests me.

Now, as I mentioned, I did get my running in last week. I haven't been as diligent about cross-training (unless you can count walking 5 dogs at a time or mowing the lawn cross training). That really MUST change. And I haven't been able to track my time on my runs even remotely. I did look at some good training watches at WalMart the other day. I may just have to splurge and get one. Oh, and I need new shoes. Yup. Time for that expense. Still, running is pretty cheap by fitness standards.

So I haven't given up. Just moving on to a new plan . . .

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Plan

Well, it's six months to the day of the Tucson Marathon. I have spent the past few months running rather sporadically, so today I made a PLAN.

I pulled out my old MARATHON book by Jeff Galloway and put together a running plan in excel. Now, had this been a few years ago, I would have put a plan together with a time goal in mind. But as it has been 5 years, I've had a bad stress fracture, and gained some weight since my last full marathon, I decided to design a plan "to finish."

But at least it's a PLAN.

And a thoroughly thought out plan at that. I even looked up my teaching schedule to make sure that my running days were days that I had a later first class. I have my trusty 35 minute warm-up (thank you Fight Guy) for cross-training days and have even folded down the page of a 7 minute strength training guide from Runner's World which I will do every day before I run. I won a free 3 month membership to a local gym so, come August or September, I will go ahead and join in preparation of the COLD weather. I'll have no excuses not to run or cross-train. And, if I have any money come August, I might actually buy a copy of P90X for my own.

Today I'm going to read a good chunk of this old book. I got it when I trained for my first ever marathon (part of the AIDS Marathon Package), but I honestly don't think I ever cracked it open. Perhaps it will remind me why I want to do this crazy thing. And of course it will be full of good advice.

This morning I ran with Stella and Jake. I delivered Bennet to his new owners yesterday so it will be a little easier now with just the two (although as a puller, Bennet managed to keep us at a pretty brisk pace). I didn't get out until about 8 AM and it was already ridiculously hot and humid. Definitely the worst morning run we've had in a while. Still, we did it. It was a mere 3 miles, but that's okay. We're right on track in terms of training and I've run 5 in the not-too-distant past so I'm not worried.

My biggest hurdle is the long runs. In the past, I've always trained with a group and a coach. So I never had to worry about water/sports drinks along the way or even what route I needed to take to get in my mileage. And having others to run with made the miles pass quickly. Unless I can find a group that trains on Saturday mornings, I will need to be my own coach and motivator. This is my greatest concern.

Another concern, though less daunting, will be my diet. I know I need the proper fuel to train well and so I am going to have to be very careful about what I put into my body for the next six months. I have made a list for this week and plan on trying a few new recipes even. I leave in two weeks for a month on the East Coast. I know part of the time I'll be well-fed by mom (where I MUST learn portion control!) and then I'll be with my ensemble theatre company where a number of the company enjoy cooking so we always eat well there. Then I'll be in DC where I KNOW I'll indulge way more than I ought to . . . but oh well. I'll have my running shoes there so I intend to run it all off.

This past week, I've only had alcohol one night. I'm pretty amazed. I haven't had any in the house and cannot decide if I should hold off getting any when I go grocery shopping today. We'll see.

So I have a PLAN and I'm going to stick to it! I need to figure out how late I might be able to register for the race . . . although if I register NOW I might be more committed to the training. I'll mull that over for a few days and keep you posted.

In the meantime, if you have comments or suggestions, pass them along! Part of the PLAN is keeping up with this blog again!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Party of Five and Other Stories

Meet Jake. Jake is the latest stray to come into our life. He found us on February 28th, a block and a half from home . . . one day after my second weekend recruiting event in a row, and four days before my third weekend recruiting event and a trip to Colorado.
Jake is a sweet boy and fast friends with Stella. In fact, he gets along great with the whole pack. So we're back to a Party of Five. Yeah, it's a little silly to compare it to the 1990's TV drama, but it works for me. Here you have 3 male and 2 female "orphans" just trying to make it work together. Of course, Zoe is more like Charlie and Stella is more like Bailey, but together they're a family with all their ups and downs.
My Party of Five is one of many reasons I haven't posted lately. The 3 recruiting events haven't helped either. Nor have they helped my training! Sadly, I have fallen off the wagon so to speak. I haven't been running in a couple of weeks and I only just returned to my P90X workout on Wednesday. SIGH. I was going to run on the 28th after our walk, but that's when Jake arrived. And I was going to workout in KC, but our hotel charged to use the treadmill. Yes, really. So, no way. However, I am under the impression that Jake will be good running company and on Tuesday I hope to test him out with a short run. Stella will naturally be a part of the test. So I'll keep you posted.
Work has been really nutty and my pile of grading just keeps replacing itself. As soon as I hand something back, something else comes in. I have only myself to blame for it all. One of these days I'm going to figure out how to plan my syllabi without killing myself.
The latest fun is I have TWO grants to get in . . . one for a visit of an old friend who was a part of the original Laramie Project in conjunction with our production this fall and one so I can teach a Restoration Comedy class with all the accoutrement. I still can't believe we don't have ANY stock for this! GRRR.
Oh, and I'm headed to LA with our Senior Showcase in April. Busy busy busy!
So yeah . . . the running has taken a hit. I don't think the half marathon can happen in one month, but I will get back to regular training this week. The weather is FINALLY supposed to improve (we might get 9 inches of snow tonight through tomorrow - WFT?) so it won't be quite so hard to motivate.
So I'm back. Forgive my absence. I'm sure there will be more stories about this crazy Party of Five. Come to think of it, if you include me and the cats, I guess we're more like Eight is Enough!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Obedience Training

Stella and I started her Intermediate Obedience class last night.

There is a really good dog inside of her . . . in fact, there is a really good dog outside, too . . . when she's on her own.
I sometimes think Stella wants to be an only child. And as an only child, I think she has the potential to rival Zoe in the good dog category. It's just when she's with the pack that she becomes Cujo.

Anyway, last night she did really well. It has been over a year since she and I finished her basic training and she managed to remember more than I thought she would. And we started working on the "heel" position. The trainer, Val, who knows Stella, decided to demonstrate the command with Stella and she did so well I joked that Val switched dogs outside the training room.

Obediently, Stella also ran my maintenance run this morning. I'm starting to wonder if I need to change routes. She seems to "stall" at the same place every run now. It's very strange. Still, we got our 3 in and I'm off to my P90X in about an hour.

Obedience training is really about training the master, not the dog. Most of the time it has to do with being calm, assertive, and patient while you get the dog to do what you expect of it. Oh how I need to apply this to my life!

Take a recent problem with my oven.

I have a gorgeous, state-of-the-art kitchen. But several weeks ago, my oven wasn't closing and in one final attempt to get it to close, I dislodged the locking mechanism. So now the oven wasn't closing - or working at all!

Well, I have a home warrenty, so I called and scheduled a visit from a repairman. Now, has it always been this way, or is it a new phenomena that repair men give you a time RANGE in which they'll show up? Seriously, I was told the guy could be there between 1 - 5 pm. Ummm . . . I have a job . . . this is nearly impossible for me. Well, I agreed and was told I'd be called when he was 30 minutes from getting there.

So I brought my phone to class with me and sure enough he called in the middle of it. I hate this because I have strict cell phone rules in my classes, but I explained the necessity before class began and dealt with it in the moment. Of course, it was 11:30 and he said he'd be there at noon. Excuse me? NO. I politely reminded him that he was scheduled between 1 and 5 and I couldn't be there at noon. Well he got pissy but checked and said he'd be there at 1. So I politely asked if he could please come at 1:30 instead so I could finish teaching my class (you know - the one he had so rudely interrupted to begin with). He grumbled, but finally agreed. There is an instance of my being the alpha dog. I was calm and assertive. Good girl!

So the guy shows up, I point out the latch and all, and he mumbles a few things and says he's ORDERED the parts and needs to schedule an appointment to FIX the oven. WTF??? FINE. So I schedule something for this past Saturday, forgetting I'm going to be in Toad Suck. Fortunately for me, I have a pet-sitter extraordinaire and her fabulous boyfriend said he'd stick around to meet with guy.

So I got home from my trip and there was a receipt and a note saying all was well. I was relieved, but made a stir-fry shrimp and tofu dish and didn't test the oven.

Last night, however, I wanted to fix a pizza real quick before I took Stella to class. I go to pre-heat the oven and lo-and-behold I get a "close door" message from the oven!!!! Are you KIDDING ME???

Sure enough, the latch I had so meticulously pointed out to the repair man had not even been REPLACED.

Seething, I called the repair number and started raging about the job. Part way through my rage, I remembered "calm and assertive" and apologized to the girl on the other end and carefully made my complaint. She agreed with me, but after taking all my information down and whatnot, she said I needed to call the home warranty people FIRST!!

I am fit to be tied here. So I called and waited, and waited, and waited . . . on hold . . . for many long minutes. Finally I spoke to somebody and she said they needed to do an estimate and then get back to me . . . via phone . . . sometime today. So once again, I leave my phone on during my class, against my own rules.

Guess who hasn't called?

This means I'm back on the phone again tonight - and still with no oven.

Any chance I'll be calm, assertive, or patient? Hell no. Any chance they'll do what I expect of them. Hell no.

Guess I need more obedience training!