Friday, March 25, 2011

Accomplishment Alert!

At the end of 2009 I acknowledged that I have a spending problem, and after acknowledgment came some of the first steps to achieve a debt-free life.  First things first, I cut up my credit cards, and today I finally paid the last two cards off!  I had $2600 in credit card debt this morning, and after applying my tax returns I have $0 in credit card debt.  Because I no longer have to make monthly payments, I have an extra $143 per month!  The extra money is going towards other debt (I have about one year left for payments on my car, and student loans). Even though I haven't accomplished my initial goal of eradicating all of my debt, I am so proud of myself.  I am one step closer to living without shackles to distant numbers.
At the end of 2009 I also decided that I wasn't going to take out any more student loans for my undergraduate degree, and I haven't. I have not borrowed a single penny for school.  I have paid for each credit hour on my own (spare a sweet gift from the amazing Bentley, who paid 3/4 of my fall tuition), and it has made me appreciate school so much more!
I can finally see a light at the end of the debt tunnel, hoorah!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Today the best man in the world turns twenty-seven!  I am so thankful for the amazing series of coincidences that led to Ben's adoption by the Garner family, and led us both to Absolute MMA.  When I feel stressed from the day I always know that our little apartment will be a calm sanctuary full of hugs, kisses, and a warm hand to caress my face when I'm sad.  Everyday I love him more and more. Ben is smart, funny, handsome, caring, and infinitely patient.

Today is his day.

We started off with stuffed strawberry french toast, bacon, and Kona coffee.  Tonight we're going to the Himalayan Kitchen with friends for some delicious naan and curry, and after that we'll have dessert at the place of his choice.  Unfortunately, the gift I bought him didn't show up yet, but he is getting a single-weave black Fuji Gi.

San Francisco '09

Happy Birthday, Bentley!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top Gear

 Top Gear is my new obsession, and believe it or not, it's a car show.  Well, calling it simply a car show would be vulgar in my opinion, because the show is so much more.  The three hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and (my favorite) Richard Hammond are absolutely brilliant and hilarious.  The show is smart enough to exclude a particular demographic, but accessible enough that someone like myself isn't lost in the car jargon.
Top Gear is a show about supercars, Porsches, Gumperts (that's a real car), Bugattis, and the like, but it also includes segments about regular cars (like Nissans and Fiats).  Each show, the tame racing driver, known as "The Stig" drives a given supercar around the Top Gear track, and the time is recorded, with each new episode presenting a possibility for a faster car.  The lap times are kept on a board that is brought out for each episode, and it is truly intense with each new car, because the top of the board is a sought after achievement.  The Stig is a mysterious figure whose face is always covered by a helmet, and each segment you learn new facts about The Stig, for instance, it is rumored that one of his eyes is a teste...pure comedy, and man can The Stig drive!

 Each episode also has some sort of challenge, one of the last challenges was for the three men to use a pittance of a budget to purchase motor vehicles to take them on a thousand mile journey from North to South Vietnam, the catch, because there's always a catch, is that they only had enough money to purchase terrible road bikes. The hilarity ensues as the trio heads across Vietnam through rain, painting one motorbike pink behind their companions back, and exchanging hilarious gifts that had to be carried on the back of Vespas and small bikes.  Keep in mind, I'm behind on the series because I'm only able to access the show online through Netflix.  
The knowledge of the hosts is staggering, and their passion is unparalleled.  The three men have so much chemistry that you actually believe that they are best friends who sit at the pub after work.  If I wasn't madly in love with Ben, I'd fly to England and try to date Richard Hammond, even though he's super short!
  Top Gear has a celebrity in each episode (seriously, this show has a segment for everyone), and that celebrity gets a driving lesson from the "tame racing driver" and takes the reasonably priced car (currently a Chevy Aveo) for a ride around the track; like the supercars, their time is recorded, and the top of the board is the main goal for the celebs.  I could blather on and on, but really, just check it out.  If you have cable find it on the BBC, and if you have Netflix, stream them instantly.  I'm currently streaming from season 9, but hope to be caught up eventually.  This show has replaced every other show in my arsenal, and is permanently seated as my favorite.

My life goals have changed because of Top Gear, and they are:
1. Learn to drive a manual.
2. Become famous in England.
3. Get on Top Gear and drive the reasonably priced car.

Seems reasonable enough, aye?

Monday, March 14, 2011


I have been training for The SLC Half, and training has been going well.  However,  I may have encountered a slight speed bump on Thursday night; the speed bump has a name, and its name is Dustin.  Dustin and I were rolling (that's jiu-jitsu speak for sparring and/or fighting) and when I went to sweep him (gain a dominant position), he caught his balance and came down on my leg with all of his weight.  I thought my leg broke, and I immediately rolled belly-down and writhed in pain.  My face was flushed and the tears were hot.  My coaches and Ben ran over and helped to pull my gi open, and each one held a hand and coached me to contain my breathing.  I laid on the ground for half an hour, not moving my leg and trying to stay calm.
 Eventually we put some ice on the site of impact, and I was able to walk out of the gym, but my leg still feels mushy in one spot.  It hurts to touch my leg, and walking across campus is too much impact.

 Is there a running God, and is he testing me?  Last year I had to drop from the Ragnar due to pain in my knees, and I have to be honest when I say that I wasn't too disappointed (sorry, Nat).  Remember, I was still horrified from my first race:  But this year, I'm excited to run.  I have invested in toe socks and better running shoes.  I have a training schedule, and I've been diligent!  Now, I have a mushy leg, and it hurts.  My leg hurts and I'm disappointed that I may have met my match for training.  I'm also disappointed that I cried at the gym, it was mortifying.  Here's a picture of a healthy set of bones, I'm pretty sure the lower part of my tibia looks like moldy bread:

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I'm running in the SLC Half Marathon, again! I swore that I would never run in another half, because I was in so much pain last year! In all fairness, I was in pain last year because I ran twice in preparation...stupid much? You can't just run 13.1 miles without conditioning your body, well, you can, but you'll hurt for weeks and curse the entire running world. For weeks I would curse runners and call them stupid when I saw them outside (every runner except Natalie of course). I crossed the finish line last year and immediately said, "That was the worst fucking experience of my life." I literally almost lost control of my bowels (sick, I know), because I had to go to the bathroom at mile two and didn't dare to brave the porta-potties. I thought running was stupid, but I was stupid. This year I am training. This year I am going to be prepared.

So far, I still hate running.

I am getting blisters between my toes, so I'm going to invest in toe socks. I have found the Injinji brand to be the most well-reviewed, any other suggestions, friends? If not, here come the gay pride toe socks:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today I was so ornery that I almost skipped class. I received a bill in the mail for a dental procedure that I paid for two years ago, but apparently some charges were being disputed unbeknown to me, and VOILA, a random bill. An extra hundred dollar kick in the pants is not cool. I was pretty upset, but went to class and... received a B on a paper. Chelsea was not happy.
I put a lot of time into my paper, and received a bad grade for reasons that are not clearly stated in the comments. I'm the type of person that negotiates grades. I will be scheduling a meeting with my professor to discuss my grade and how he came to his conclusions. I climbed into my car (sufficiently upset), and as I backed out, someone decided that looking in their rear-view mirror would be too inconvenient, and crashed into Warren (aka: my Yaris). I now have a square hole the size of half of a dollar bill on my back bumper. Thankfully the guy had insurance and I filed a claim. My car was gentle and didn't harm his heap of a Cavalier. Hopefully all goes smoothly and I'm not out any money; hopefully, because I don't have any (see above).

March 8th, 2011 can piss off...except for jiu-jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu was great tonight.