I love Mondays! They seem like a new beginning - a chance to start anew. In this vain, I've decided to make some choices.

Today, I will...
  • Devote several hours to searching for a job - finding opening, submitting resumes/cover letters
  • Create a menu plan.
  • Begin a new exercise regimen.
  • Clean my apartment.
I think that's a pretty good place to start. Hopefully I'll be successful. I need to get back on the ball. Too many things have slipped away, and I feel myself getting too comfortable.


It's 12 days until my 35th birthday. Here's hoping I have some good news on the job front by then. I'm hoping for a smashing birthday in Vegas, but we need to be responsible, so it needs to be contingent of me finding work first!


Book Review: Anasazi Runner

Anasazi Runner: a novel of identity and speedAnasazi Runner: a novel of identity and speed by Jeff Posey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book, but there were a few things about it that really didn't jive with me.

Being a runner, it was difficult for me to imagine the paces being described in this book. Granted the author even admits it being a stretch, so I really shouldn't hold that against the book. While lofty running goals are an underlying, recurrent theme of the book, there is a lot more to the story. It's about a runner trying to find himself and his place in the world and his interactions with those closest to him - his girlfriend and running coach.

The story is told through the voice of Sean's running coach. After finishing the story, it makes sense that it is told through the voice of an outsider (that's all I'm going to say about that, so as not to spoil the ending), but it was very difficult for me to get through most of the time. The main characters, Sean and Kira, are of Native American descent, and Coach J is not. Throughout the book, there are many comments made about him being an "old, white guy." I understand that, being white, he probably doesn't understand many native traditions and ways of thinking, but references such as this really did not sit well with me. It seemed distasteful. I suppose it might not be too far from accurate, but I just didn't like it.

I also didn't like the relationship that developed between Coach J and Kira. He eventually comes to think of her as a granddaughter, but there were too many descriptions of their interactions together that made him seem more like just a creepy old man lusting after a young Navajo woman. I felt that their speech and mannerisms just got a bit too intimate for my liking.

If you can get past those few shortcomings (in my opinion), it was kind of a fascinating story. Sean sets forth a goal to win the NY Marathon, seeks the help from a former, now retired, high school track coach. Prior to setting out to accomplish this, he had always come in 11th in all his races. He didn't seem destined to be a winner, but as the story unfolds, we learn more about his journey to not only win but also to find himself.

I think this book had a lot of potential. The overall story was good with just enough complexities to keep you interested, but it could have been developed better. The stories of the characters were interesting, but I wasn't able to fully connect with them. I mostly felt frustration toward them through most of the book instead of the range of emotions you generally want to feel.

View all my reviews


Viva Las Vegas!

Note: I began writing this post at the end of June, when it was still fresh in my mind. I'm disappointed with how long it's been since my last post, so I wanted to publish something today when I discovered this in my drafts. Hopefully I can do the rest of the trip some justice - and get back to regular posting.

Fifteen years ago, I graduated from a small two-year college in SW Missouri. Instead of going back for the official reunion, a few of us decided to meet up for a little reunion of our own in Las Vegas.

So, in the midst of Traveling with Liberty, we made a stop in Vegas.

The fun and festivities were supposed to begin on Tuesday June 19th, and they did for my friends, but Jeff and I took a little longer than expected driving from the Portland area. I finally joined my friends by mid-morning on Wednesday.

But before I could settle into enjoying Vegas, we needed to find a place for Jeff and Sallie to stay, which meant we needed to park the van while we searched hotels.com.

Parking the van turned out to be quite an ordeal.

The parking ramp at the Cosmopolitan we didn't actually stay at the Cosmo, but the condo Katie's parents hooked us up with had shared parking in the ramp is actually quite nice. Each spot has a sensor, so when you drive in, you can see just how many spots are available on each level.

One problem: The sensors hang down so low, that the clearance of the garage is greatly decreased. When we drove into the ramp, it clearly said CLEARANCE 8'2". Liberty measures around 7'5", so we figured we were good.


We *may* have hit a few signs/sensors, but I'm totally blaming the Cosmopolitan. I mean, seriously, update your signs!

Once parked, we still had to find a hotel room. A BIG THANK YOU to my friends for hanging out with Sallie while we searched, booked, and noted directions.

So, I kissed Jeff good-bye and settled into my room on the Strip with the girls.

Where I enjoyed this view from our room.

After showering and primping, we hit the Strip and headed north. We found ourselves at the Fashion Show Mall, where we shopped and ate at the food court. Nothing spectacular, but it was very fun.

Once back at the hotel, one of us crashed. Hard.

So, we left her to catch up on some sleep and headed to the Hash House A Go Go. Twisted Farm Food. The portions were ridiculously huge.

Seriously. Who can eat a pancake the size of one's head? Plus scrambled eggs? Plus bacon, sausage, or potatoes? I think the three of us could have *easily* shared one order.

The next day, we took a free shuttle to the Las Vegas Outlet Mall, where we shopped and shopped and shopped some more. I tried on a gorgeous, summertime dress at Banana Republic. It fit perfectly, and was only $40 (60% reduction), and yet I still talked myself out of buying it.

After shopping our little hearts out, Kate found so many amazing deals! we rested a few hours in our hotel room before getting all dolled up to catch a show, grab some dinner, and party at a Vegas night club or two.

We went to see V The Ultimate Variety Show. It was great. Better than I expected. The MC Wally Eastwood was hilarious. Plus, there was something for everyone. Sexy acrobatic men. Sensual female magicians. Lots of comedy. If you're in Vegas, I would definitely recommend this show.

From there we ate at one of the restaurants near to the theater. I can't remember the name now. Dinner was included in the price of the tickets. Sort of. There was a special menu that we could order from or we could order off the regular menu for a discount. The food was good, but the service wasn't the best.

After finishing dinner, we headed over to the Aria. Earlier in the day, we had gotten some tickets to a few different nightclubs and had decided on going to Haze. While in the lobby of the Aria, we were approached by a nicely dressed man. He suckered us into buying tickets to Gold to enjoy that club while we waited for Haze to open. It wasn't exactly the scene for all of us, but we all went. For $20, it was all we could drink, which didn't turn out to be much. Are we getting old?

From there, we finally made it to Haze. It. Was. LOUD! Maybe we really are getting old? Again, not the scene for everyone, but I was determined to drink, dance, and have some fun. My concept of time that night is gone, but at some point, one of the girls headed back to the hotel. The rest of us stumbled back (ok, only two of us were really stumbling) around 2:30, I think. I thought it was a fun enough club - if not for being super crowded and loud.

After sleeping and lounging, we got off to a later-than-usual start Friday morning. After breakfast, one of us really wanted to head to the Cosmopolitan pool and one of us wanted to shop some more, so we split into twos and went on our way. I went with the shopper. Hindsight being what it is, I probably shouldn't have. Or I should have changed into flip flips. I ended up getting huge blisters on my feet. I didn't think I'd ever walk normally again.

I had to relax for a couple hours in the room before I could hobble my way to dinner.

For dinner, we all headed to Beso Steakhouse in Crystals at City Center. Jeff even joined us.

Up to this point, we had collectively been pretty disappointed by the level of service we'd received in Vegas. It either slow or the server wasn't very personable or both. That all changed at Beso. The service was great, but even better, the food was fabulous. So good in fact that I shared the following on twitter the next day.

Just thinking about it again makes my mouth water.

Saturday morning, we started the day off at PBR Rock Bar and Grill at the suggestion of Katie's mom. I was not disappointed! I shared a plate of breakfast potato skins with Katie, and they were very tasty!

Katie's parents picked her up shortly after breakfast. After saying our good-byes, the rest of us checked out of our room and headed back out to the strip to walk through a few other hotels/casinos. It was a low-key, relaxed way to end our trip.

Molly and Dayna hailed a cab and headed to the airport, and Jeff picked me up to take me back to where he'd spent the week.

What a great stop on our travels of course, if you follow me on FB or Twitter, you know that we now call Vegas home! It was so fun to see these lovely ladies again. We walked, we shopped, we talked, we laughed. Great fun - even if I was exhausted and could barely walk by the end of it all.

Hopefully we'll be able to get together again sometime soon!

**I didn't take hardly any pictures, so most of the pictures in this post are from what my friends posted on FB. Thanks for covering me on the picture taking and sharing, ladies!


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