I am sitting in my cubicle at work.

I have carefully measured my coffee consumption, starch ingestion and limited the number of veggies I am allowed to eat in a day before going home.

I am hoping that no one needs to see me today. I jokingly have been referring to it as my “protective shield” for the last few days but…

I cannot stop farting.

I just came back from Mexico and along with the hangovers, few extra pounds and questionable hours of missing time came the worst case of stomach grossness since I came back from Costa Rica last year. Will I ever learn?

I knew what I was doing as I would suck back one caipirinha after another while lazying around the pool reading a book, or after taking a walk along the absolutely beautiful ocean. I know. Your heart is breaking for me.

It was the ice, and I knew it. But I really wanted that Cachaça. It’s not so popular stateside, and I LOVE it. And to drink it lukewarm would be like eating Jello before it can mold, I’d be missing the point. So I just drank them super-fast so that not much of the ice would melt. Of course, this would make me want another one pretty quickly so….This plan was flawless. And certainly not a recipe for disaster. Or drunkenness.

Scene of the crime : )

We stayed at this beautiful all-inclusive resort in Mexico and managed to successfully do almost NOTHING for 6 days and 5 nights except for eat excessively, drink excessively and shift the ratio of hours spent sleeping to exceed the hours spent awake. In short: It was heavenly. And now, back in reality, it’s a little bit smelly. And humorous. And embarrassing.

No human should ever create these smells. If anyone has a remedy, I am all ears.  Just tell me over the phone, vs. coming over to see me.

Until further notice.

A lobster who will never be named Oscar.

Most people view lobster as a luxurious food.  Sexy images of butter sauce dripping off the meat  and finger licking after eating each indulgent buttery bite. It’s thought of as a treat for an occasion, or a vacation “must have” in a place such as Maine or Newport.

I grew up Kosher, so as a kid I never had lobster or shellfish. As an adult, someone has just thrown an oversized cooked BUG on my plate and I am supposed to cut open its shell, take out its insides, scrape off  its slimy eggs from what I assume to be a crotchal region of some sort (do Lobsters have a crotch?), and suck out the tiny bits of meat that are in its appendages.

Can I have a salad instead, please?

Really, I shouldn’t be invited to the lobster prepping portion of the evening. It starts with me thinking that I want to see them squirming in the box.  I cringe at the clicking and moving around that are just not noises or actions that I want my food to make.  In fact, I’d rather my food not make any noise. Then, when one tries to climb out of the box, I scream, which makes the person currently trying to dump a bug into a boiling pot cringe, which makes the lobster apparently cringe. See? We are eating something that has the capacity to cringe.  And I get yelled at for it!

The problem is, I can’t be reminded that my food wasn’t always food.  I have issues with this. I was once a vegetarian for three years when a friend innocently pointed to a ham, turkey and roast beef sub I was eating and said, “So, you know, three animals died to make that sandwich.”

Since the man-friend quite likes lobster, I would not be shocked for us to end up with a pet lobster one day.  Y’know, when he tries to bring home some live ones for dinner.  He can cook his.  I’ll name mine Oscar.

So, the lobster never to be known as Oscar is now plopped on my plate at a dinner party in honor of my man-friend’s 37th birthday. There’s a lot of wine already consumed, and even a bottle of Patron which has gotten a bit of a workout.  The four others smile with delight, and expertly crack open their bugs.

I freeze.

I also eye some potatoes and asparagus across the table, wondering if I can hide the bug under those, and not have to eat it. I then start to plot putting it back onto the pile of lobsters in the queue for round two when, “Here honey, let me help you.”  The man-friend reaches over, cracks open the shell and pulls out the meat in expert fashion before I can say anything.  He then puts it back on my plate.

I see a slimy film on the meat and say, “What’s that?”

“Eggs?” He shrugs. This confirms my initial thought.

 I cannot eat this.

Luckily, the bottle of Patron did its job and suddenly my best-friend appeared.  Drunkenness. On everyone’s part.  The laughter, conversation and the fact that the meal was shared with loved ones overpowered any of the negativity that may have been oozing from my face.  I did eat some of the lobster and fully agree that lobster tastes good. It’s just not an easy food for me to eat.

The dinner was quite wonderful, and I got to celebrate the birth of my favorite person ever with the woman who made it all happen. Besides, not eating the lobster left plenty of room for delicious birthday cake.

From Sake Bombs to Matzoh Balls, and Everything in Between…

So much to blog and so little time.  Okay, top 5 memories from the last three weeks:

1) Sake bomb introduction.  “Hello there pitcher of beer and sake wine decanter.”  The best invention (and the host of the evening ) might be the all you can eat Sushi restaurant in Tribeca called Ashiya Sushi. I won’t lie, the sushi is good, but not wonderful, but don’t go there for the Sushi.  The secret is, this is one of the few all-you-can-eat sushi joints that BEER AND SAKE is INCLUDED. Take my lead and go with 20 of your closest friends and chase each piece of Sushi with a Sake Bomb!  For those who don’t know the recipe for a sake bomb, it is FANTASTIC.  You take a sake glass and fill’er up. Then, you fill a pint glass to 3/4 full.  Then, you carefully arrange the sake glass on a “bridge” of your chopsticks, which you lay on top of the glass.  Then, you smack the table, the sake cup falls into the Pint Glass, and you drink the whole thing.  Obviously, you need to be with the right group of people for this place AND you need to plan to be drunk, ’cause if you aren’t drunk, you’ll be the only one.  THAT is never fun. And, for another reco, follow up this experience by booking a private karaoke room at Duet 35  for you and your friends.  Both of these plans made for a very fun Asian-themed drunk-fest!

2) Went for 3 really good, longer training runs.  They were the first 5+ mile runs I had done since my knee started acting up, and they went quite well.  There’s nothing like a spring day long run with beautiful scenery to back it up. This makes me smile.

3) My bike came!  And she’s super pretty.  I cannot wait to hit the roads with Molly!  The man-friend put her together (with a little help from Kingston Cyclery) and now I am ready to hit the road!  While awaiting her arrival, I have been doing brick workouts at my gym using the treadmill and the exercise bike.  I gotta say, if you have never done that, it’s a fabulous experience in balance and determination the first few times you give that a go.  (A brick workout is a bike-ride following a run.) You have to balance your desire to step off the bike and go shower with your desire to NEVER MOVE YOUR LEGS AGAIN! They will feel like bricks, and you’ll contemplate spending the rest of your life standing still.  The first time I experienced this, I FORGOT that what I had just done was a brick workout. I was just biking following a run on the treadmill to help my knee issues.  I hoped off the bike following a three mile run and an 8 mile ride and…fell.  And laughed.  There’s always laughter.  I then remembered what this was (from hearing stories from others) and stretched.  Eventually I was able to walk again. It’s a good kind of pain though, and I am happy that I am now ready to take the act of biking out of the gym.  Open road, here I come!!  And I mean that quite likely literally too, so I bought a first aid kit and tools.

4) High-Fay-ave!  Have you seen the movie Borat?  I can’t lie, I am more than a little bit of a prankster.  On a whim one night, while laying in bed, I decided to tell the man-friend that Linus (my overly anxious chihuahua)  gives high fives. “But only if you request it of him using the accent from Borat.”  I demonstrated a few times, and then forgot.  It’s a little ridiculous to think that my dog responds to any word at all, let alone throwing in a language barrier. The truth is, Linus does give high fives, but only when he lies on his back, paws in the air, and you put your hand up for him, already kinda near his paw, and he has to only stretch a few inches.  I think it’s more of a protection mechanism.  It’s certainly nothing I have taught him, but I think it’s cute, so I’ve encouraged.  But you don’t have to say a word, and you certainly don’t need to use a Kazakstan-ian accent.  What language do they speak there anyway?!?  Regardless, I had forgotten about it until a few days later I hear the man-friend in the other room say to the doglet, “HIGH-Fayve” with an outstretched hand.  Tears fell.  Belly laughter.  Days worth of smiles for me.  It was great.

5) The Passover Sedar.  I went to two of them this year (which beats the previous years zero) and found that sometimes religion can be enjoyable.  I have nothing funny to say about this.  Just truth.

My apologies for the lack of recent blogging.  I’ve been traveling for work, and just downright exhausted.  But don’t worry, the bike is bound to cause ridiculousness (have I mentioned I’ve never ridden a bike with varying speeds??) , and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Good times, Good fun!

Post Races "Recovery" Drinks!

I can’t say that I really earned the tower of empty beer cans, or the mass quantities of good ole’ BBQ/Soul food from The Smoke Joint that were consumed following the NYC 13.1 run in Flushing Meadows park, this past weekend, but I sure had a good time at the day’s festivities.

Two new friends and I ran the 5K race part of the festival, which was very fun. I myself did it at a leisurely pace and enjoyed the sunny but cool run through the park.  There were tennis courts and soccer fields and the Queens Museum of Art. Marching bands played to cheer folks on, and passers-by smiled and clapped.  It was just an enjoyable time.

The man-friend and a few other running buddies did the half marathon, so they DID earn the beer and the BBQ.  And while, as you know, I am not a time competitive runner, ALL of my buddies BEAT the times they wanted to!!! My good friend Dan also came down to join in the camaraderie and assist with the good times.  It was the perfect race to kick off the running season and get me excited about running again.  Now I am STOKED about training for my half in September.

In other interesting news, I did “crack” and buy a road bike.  I did not, however, break the bank. I bought it from bikesdirect.com, and the man-friend wants to give-it-a-go at putting it together for me. So, it may ride backwards.  Or accelerate when I squeeze the brakes.  But sometimes love is about riding a bike backwards or without being able to stop to make your partner happy.

See?  Who says I am not a good girlfriend? Pfft.

A Runner with Runner’s Knee.

Next Saturday I am running a 5K race in NYC.

With a knee injury.

I hope.

Icing kneeI don’t hope that I have a knee injury, unfortunately, I took care of that quotient this week. I am hoping that I will be able to run it.  I’ll know later today, when I hit the pavement for the first time since my painful experience with Runner’s Knee.

As a person who lives in fear of knee or foot injuries, I was very freaked out when I finished my run last Tuesday and had a small knee ache which didn’t subside by the time I hopped out of my shower and into my car. A few hours later, after sharing dinner with friends, I stood up from the table and realized my knee ache had turned into a full-on painful experience.  Driving home was a bit of agony, and walking up my stairs was almost impossible. I went to bed hoping to wake up free of pain, and didn’t.  So I started an Advil and icing regimen, and began to do research online.  It didn’t take much effort at all to realize it was Runner’s Knee.

Runner’s World had a great article on Runner’s Knee, as did many other sources, and I feel adequately prepared to “run through” the issue, as long as today’s run goes as planned (I’m keeping it really small, just 3 miles, which is about 40% of my typical weekend runs these days).

D'oh!

Things I did wrong which lead me to this point:

Increased my mileage too far and too fast:  10% a week is apparently a good increase, for someone with Runner’s Knee issues. I went from 5 mile runs to 7 mile runs very abruptly a few weeks ago. Great for my self-esteem, apparently not-so-great for my new(ish) runner’s knees.

Speed work. I’ve always hated speed-work.  In this case, I was running as fast as I could for a short period of time, before returning to a slower speed for a bit until I recovered.  I am terrible at recovery, and therefore hate doing speed-work.  Because 5K is such a short distance, I wanted to do some speed-work before my race.  It wouldn’t have been so bad, ‘cept I also did,

Hills. The bane of my running existence.  I need to start running them more regularly. Unfortunately, my neighborhood is fairly hilly, so because I didn’t want to drive anywhere that day for a run, I did my speed-work on Hills. I get the Brainiac of the year award.

To be honest, none of the above were that bad. It was just too much, to fast of all three that compounded into, well, THIS.

The biggest mistake that I have done overall is that I have only been running, and have not widened my exercise repertoire to include any other activity.  One of the most likely causes of my issues is an extreme imbalance of my Quadriceps muscles to my Hamstring Muscles.

Trek Madone Women's Bicycle

NOT in my price range : (

Armed withthis information (from numerous sources on the internet) I loaded up on anti-inflammatory pills, iced the knee for a few days and took it a little bit easy until the pain was mostly gone.  Since then, I began a Quadracepts muscle routine, and have spent time at the gym using (brace yourself) a standing exercise bike. I am now on the market for a fairly inexpensive road bike, but will continue using the one at the gym until I manage to find a decent one in my price range.This was a seriously important lesson for me.

I was really devastated for a few moments when I felt as though there was a possibility that I would no longer be able to run to the extent that I have been.  Thoughts of weight gain, and anxiety flooded into my head and I was panicked that I wasn’t going to be able to use running to control either of these any longer.  I clearly need to expand my exercise horizons as it is no secret that running is one of the harder ones on your body—made worse by the fact that I am both a new runner and a woman.  There are more muscles in my body than running works, and I need to ensure that I am exercising all of them.

Now, I just have to figure out something to do with my arms. Would knitting count?

A challenge to all my readers.

I need to teach my blog to write itself.

I am, of course, a follower of other people’s blogs too, so I get it. My apologies to my loyal readers for my silence.  I’ll try to get 2 in this week. I’ll try.

So, running season is in full swing.  Due to my social nature and my vocalization of my running obsession, my FB inbox is full with weekend running events from now ‘til…my half marathon in September.  Yup, you heard me right.  My half marathon in September. I signed up for one. 13.1 miles of running. I’ll cry about it another time. Maybe during. Definitely during. But most importantly, I am saying this because I don’t want you to be sad if I don’t go to your running event.  Just know you are in good company, and I just can’t attend every one, and still have a life outside of running.

But, back to now.  It’s been warm enough to run outside, so I have accomplished two longer runs. Both 7 miles, both on the past two weekends. The first one was very encouraging.  I felt amazing.  Everything clicked, miles 3 to 6 felt unreal, and it was awesome.  I almost felt like a real runner.

A very slow real runner.

The second one was harder, but still encouraging.  I did experience an emotional crash an hour after the run that I can only imagine was a result of the adrenaline I required to do the run.  I was also battling a fever earlier that week so…the jury is out until my 7 ( or 8 ) miles this week as to what the cause of that was, or if I can expect that to happen again. I’ll keep you posted, and will talk about it more if it reoccurs, to hear if it happens to others.

It’s springtime so everyone should feel motivated to get out and pick up a healthy outdoor habit. A new one.  I’ve decided I want to challenge my readers. I don’t care if you are the most active person in the world already. I challenge you to pick up a new hobby this spring, even if it’s just for this spring. Hiking is a good one. Or biking.  For my new hobby,  I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a road bike, but they are very pricey. I am worried about spending a ton of dough on a bike, and then not having the skill level to bike with folks. So, if you are a newbie biker and would maybe want to ride with me, tell me, so it motivates me to buy one ; )  If not biking, I am going to pick up swimming.  Yes, you saw that right, I am 31 years old and don’t know how to swim.  I still wear those ridiculous arm band swimmies.  You know, in the bathtub. While I bathe. I drink lots of whiskey.  I might drown one night.

What new outdoor, active healthy hobbies are you going to pick up this spring?

 

 

I feel very appropriate for Fat Tuesday.

Months of celebrations, holidays and cold weather have piled on enough pounds to make me notice that it’s time to buckle down for the spring running season.  The problem with having such a rich social life (which I wouldn’t trade for the world) is that there is always something to celebrate and it’s always someone’s birthday.  And with fabulous cakes and friendships being so rich, it’s now time to…

Diet.

Yup. I said it. And I hate it.  But, 8lbs.  Go.

After I eat the last piece of my friend Thea’s fabulous Guinness cake with Bailey’s frosting. Maybe if we are lucky, she’ll post the recipe.  And maybe you know someone whose birthday is coming up.

Which started me thinking about addicting foods. I realized I can blame these 5 lbs I have gained over the winter on 5 key items:

1)      Stacy’s Pita Chips.  I do not understand.  Do these things have crack in them?  Do they have magical flour that makes you never feel full?  I have never stopped eating these chips because I felt satiated.  I only stop when either the bag is empty (and I don’t have the car keys to go get more), or I start to feel guilt pangs about the level of indulgence that I am currently partaking in. Or, most likely, someone else comes along and finishes it for me, leaving me crying on my couch.  Seriously.  Picture a three year old who has just dropped her lollipop on the carpet filled with cat-hair, and her mom says the candy store no longer carries sugary treats. The lip quivers.  The tears swell her eyes. She’s trying to be strong but…there’s no more candy?!?!?  Yup, that’s what you do to me when you eat my chips.  And yes, much like the little girl who would pick up the hair covered lollipop and contemplate how bad cat-hair could taste, I might punch you in the stomach to see if full chips would come out.  Okay, I won’t, but I will cry.

2)      Lindt chocolate. Most recently I have discovered the caramel filled bars. Bad news.  Just bad. Stupidly delicious and available most anywhere.  Dear Congress, fuck marijuana laws.  Do something about the fact that I can get these ANYWHERE!!!

3)      Cake.  More specifically any cake the man-friend’s sister makes. Don’t judge, if you’d eaten even a single piece, you wouldn’t be able to stop either.

4)      Chicken wings. BBQ, Hot, Mild, Honey BBQ, it’s all the same and it’s all DELICIOUS. I love any food where it is perfectly acceptable to clean your hands after with your own saliva.

5)      Glenlivet. Maybe I’ll even widen that up a tiny bit and just say alcohol. It’s been a long winter.

So, I think if I eliminate the above 5 things for the next two months, I can reach my 8lbs goal.

And yes, my lip quivered a little bit just then.

What are your addictions?

This is the worst time of year for a chocoholic.  If you are a true chocoholic, you know exactly what I am talking about. Yes, the sun stays out to play longer. The birds chirp both a little bit prettier and a lot more abundantly than they have all winter.  You start to see neighbors that have been hibernating all winter cleaning up their yard. The snow melts away leaving you to be able to gaze upon your lawn, even though it is now mud.  But most important to this time of year is the cheerful voice of….

Girl Scouts.

Crack, for those not actually addicted to crack.

They wear cute uniforms.  They put their hair in pigtails. They are in plaid skirts for Christ-sakes.  If we were men, and they were much, much, much older (Ryan) we’d want to take them to the bedroom.  Instead I just want to crawl into bed with a sleeve of what they want to offer me. Or sell to me. And I CAN’T stop eating them.

Sigh, This is only the first box. There is a whole season to get through. Someone needs to teach me moderation-quick.  Or tie my hands behind my back. No, that won’t work.  I’ll use my hands to open the sleeve, then drop the cookies on the floor and eat them like I am bobbing for apples.  I need them crushed, then drowned.  And then put down the garbage disposal.

Or I guess I could just not buy them.

But that would just be ridiculous.

Strange day….

I woke up Tuesday morning in a grumpy mood. There was no reason at all.  I had celebrated a lovely Valentine’s Day the night before. The man-friend showered me with flowers and wine and treated me to a delicious dinner at Mojo Grill (highly recommended to locals!)

And yet, I woke up with a grumpiness that I could not shake. You know the grumpiness that I speak of.  It’s the road rage inducing, nothing anyone says makes you happy, any email you get pisses you off, any job you have to do takes forever in your mind,  and invariably you break the copy machine while trying to prep for a meeting. 

That grumpiness.

I am typically a very positive person.  I try very hard to be enthusiastic about everything I do. I try to find positives in every experience.  This grumpiness was paralyzing me.  Everything I did I was unhappy with.  Every idea I had was awful. So, I did what any smart, funny, intelligent, pretty and witty 31 year old woman would do and very quickly did all of the work I NEEDED to do for the day for my client and went on a search for dog butts.

Yeah, I know.  You read that right.  Dog Butts.

Ikea's Dog Butt Hooks

Not just any dog butts though – Swedish dog butts.  Someone who I am not certain would want me to identify her, so I won’t, had recently mentioned needing a few things from Ikea, which is very close to my current client’s site. I volunteered that if she would like to send me an email with the items she needed, I’d be happy to pop by for her. And that is one of the items she had wanted.  Dog butt hooks.  For clarification, they are key hooks shaped like a dog butt.  The tail makes the hook.  This is not a torture device for small dogs.

But finding dog butts doesn’t come easy for this smart, funny, intelligent, pretty and witty 31 year old.  First I have to be rear-ended by an ambulance on the way.

Since I was perfectly fine, my car was perfectly fine and everyone involved in the accident was very nice and civil, I can make the joke that there is a certain level of irony to be rear-ended by an ambulance. When you pull into the next plaza on Route 17 to inspect the damage, when the ambulance driver gets out of the car, he immediately asks you questions about you, not even thinking about the car yet.  “Are you okay?  Anything hurting you? Any aches or pains?  Did anything come into contact with the inside of your car? Your knees, chest, anything?”

I almost laughed, but decided that would be mean. I smiled and thanked him, then told him that I was absolutely fine (Note, we were going somewhere between 5-10mph in heavy traffic-not a high speed collision) and went to inspect my car.  There was nothing wrong with it.  In fact, the only injury at all to anything of mine was my fingertip when I brilliantly decided to check if there was any damage to my exhaust system by putting my finger between it and my bumper. To his credit, when I yelped out in pain and then started laughing at my stupidity, the ambulance driver did the same, after looking to make sure it wasn’t a severe burn.

Long story short, it was slightly traumatic, but had no overall impact on my life.  No damage, no injuries.

What was traumatic was me having to stop a woman who worked at Ikea to say the words, “Excuse me.  Can you tell me where I might be able to find Dog Butt hooks?”

Her (with a look of utter confusion): What?!?

Me: (Blushing at this point, realizing she had no idea what I meant). Um…Dog butt hooks. I mean, I think they are for keys?  But they are shaped like butts. Dog butts, specifically.  The tail is curved?

Her: (To another Spanish speaking woman) Esta señora loca está buscando un gancho para colgar su dog’ ¿extremo de s encendido? ¿Vendemos ésos?

Other woman: ¡Oh! No, ella significa que los ganchos están formados como un extremo del perro. Por el registro.

Her: They are by the register.

Me: Thanks.

Have you ever been to Ikea? There is no such thing as “running in quick” to get something. Its very layout is designed to make you think you need a paper lamp in the shape of a dolphin with a tie-dyed base.  Who doesn’t want 900 tiny Christmas lights shaped like apples? And maybe I need to redesign my bathroom to fit a nautical theme.  I had to make it through alive and without hiring an interior designer, so I kept to my list of 4 items and put on the blinders that I keep in my back pocket.  (I’m easily distractible, and need them occasionally.) I did manage to leave with only the items requested. Which meant, I had 6 dog butts in my car, and was still less worried than when I have the one dog butt that is usually in my car.  These serve a much more pleasurable, helpful even, purpose than the one on my Chihuahua. All though, I am sure Linus finds his butt useful.  How else would other dogs know to like him?

I need to end the dog butt jokes now.  If I am capable. I have my doubts.

I can’t tell if this comes across in the blog or not, but I have to tell you, at a certain point between leaving work and heading home from Ikea, my mood had dramatically improved.  I mean, typically, in a day I accomplish mundane things.  I wake up, go to work, work, leave, run, eat and then sleep.  In a short period of time, I had managed to also squeeze in: meet an ambulance driver, make him laugh, burn my finger on an exhaust pipe, not have damage done to my car, and I got to make a Spanish woman think I torture dogs (if you speak Spanish, or translate the above, you’ll know what I am talking about).  Oh, and, I was happy to get to do a favor for the person I was buying the things for, ’cause I kinda owe her huge.

The rest of the day was actually quite lovely too.  I stopped at Trader Joe’s and bought various treats.  I came home and walked my dog and then went to the gym for a 5 mile run.  Which reminds me; I PROMISE that my next entry will be about running.  I know I have strayed from the original blog’s purpose, but I’ll go back now that I am training again.

I then went home to shower, and met some lovely ladies at Max’s Memphis BBQ in Red Hook for 10 cent wings and priceless beers over gossip.

Yup.  As I said, I have no reason to be grumpy at all.  Ever.

Perhaps a bit TOO prepared.

You would think with the amount of business travel I do for work that I would be an expert packer.  You would think 20 minutes from laundry to suitcase; zip it up and out the door.  If there was a game show about such a thing, you would think I could win big.

Nope.

I am the worst packer ever.

Admittedly, I was never a girl scout, but I still always like to be prepared.

The man-friend and I are leaving the country for the Caribbean for 4.5 days.  Days. Not weeks, months or years.  One could assume I could go 5 days without needing Band-aids, Imodium, tampons (no, I am not due, and yes, I am on the pill, so I know exactly when I am due, and it’s never off), razor blades, a curling iron, scarves or an umbrella. Why wouldn’t I wear three different pairs of sandals?  And let’s not even count the number of dresses, bathing suits, necklaces or pairs of panties that are coming along for the ride.

Most tricky is the running gear that I am bringing.  If you aren’t a runner, translate this to whatever sport you train for.  You can’t go 5 days without doing it, so in my suitcase goes two running outfits, my sneakers, a hat, the ipod arm-band, a water bottle and my fabulous GPS watch.  ‘Cause, you know, that doesn’t take up any room at all. Sigh.

I keep staring at my suitcase willing it to be less full but…oddly it’s not working. I may actually have to remove things from it. But what if I need something?

I guess I don’t think stores exist in St. Martaan.

My good friend Thea had the best advice of the day, “Buy a sarong when you get there and wear it the whole time. It’s a skirt, a wrap and a dress all in one.” She’s so smart. I want to invent more things that serve multiple functions.  Like sunglasses that can brush your hair.  Or a book that doubles as a mirror. Or a dog that doubles as an intelligent member of a household.  Oh wait, that exists.  Just not in mine.

Snowflake Melting Agent.

Anyway, wish me luck that my flight makes it out of the snow and ice without major issues. See?  There’s another good multi-use item idea. A snowflake that doubles as a melting agent.

Best idea ever.