Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Update Part 3, In Which I Actually Talk About Running

More wonderful people for the Honor Roll:


Making the total as of today

I am amazed.
Would you like to join the Honor Roll of people who have generously supported Fred's Team and the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research, not to mention my second marathon effort? If so, click here.

So anyways, I've been trying to relive the past couple of weeks in my mind because I've been such a craptastic blogger, and so much is backlogged that I think it only best to skim through things as briefly as possible and pick up at the present.

Let's see:

Did some crazy step workouts at the Riverside Park steps 2 Thursdays ago (that would be the 16th.) Much hill and step work, and the long-awaited (and more fun than it sounds) running backwards up the hill. For some reason, last year when we did this it was terrifying. Now it's just lots of fun. It was also somewhat cooler than usual. De-LIGHTful! And Lynn Bradley brought Scottish sweets with her, which she got from Scotland (it follows.) Scots do love their sugar. Wow. It's a wonder Lynn still has her teeth if those are the sweets she grew up with. I'm glad these sweets aren't readily available, because I'm hooked.

Saturday the 18th -- long run with the Team. A PERFECT PERFECT day for a long run -- cool, almost cold, breezy and sunny. We did a full loop and then 2 upper loops. I felt great, and I think my time was pretty good, let me check --yes, 16 miles in 2:32:00 for a 9:30 mile average. I definitely do better in the cooler temps. It's a good time for me, and it was good to see that I was consistent with my time for my Cape Cod long run. How I wish I could've done Falmouth, too, but I was there to work, not to run.

Monday the 20th, another cool and perfect day for a run. I did my favorite NYC run -- around the Reservoir at dusk. Equal to being around the Rez when the sun is just coming up. Few sights in NYC compare.

Tuesday, okay, I was a wuss. It was raining all day, rainy and humid, and we were supposed to have a track workout. Fred's Team trains in the rain -- after all, it rained every day we trained last summer -- and normally I have no problems with running in the rain. However, here was my thinking: It will be slippery on the track. Jeff will take it easy on us because of the track conditions, and I feel I need to push myself today. Therefore, I will do my speed workout on the treadmill. Now let me point out the fallacy of this line of reasoning, which begins with my hallucination that Jeff will take it easy on us. Everything that follows from this hallucination is therefore a false assumption. I also made the following mistake: I told everyone why I wasn't coming. And on cue, when I stepped out of the gym, the rain stopped. Grrr!

So on Thursday I brought shame donuts. Ever heard of shame donuts? They're also known as sex donuts. When you haven't gotten any in a while, and you do, the next day, you bring donuts. Though I didn't get none, still, donuts. It was another hill-step combo in Riverside Park. I don't know why I like these workouts so much, they're killer. Maybe it's the variety.

I had someplace to be Saturday AM at 11, so I decided to do my 15 miler on Friday night. That way I wouldn't feel pressured to complete the run by a certain time. Besides, the run was going to be along Riverside Park, and if I did the 15 there, I'd still need to get home, shower and suchlike before heading out to my appointment (when they're in the Park, I can adjust and run a couple of miles prior and split off at Columbus Circle to get home.) In many ways, it was a good decision because Saturday was one of the most humid days of the year. Friday was still a little cooler. However, not much cooler, and no support. It would have been nice to have Teammates out there, and also someone with Gatorade. I stayed in the Park because I knew there'd be fountains and places to buy Gatorade and pretzels. Which was a good thing because while I know what to eat and when prior to an early-morning run, I didn't figure it right for a 6pm long run. My plan was --start at 59th St, do a full loop, an upper loop, cut off at 72nd, up to the 103 St transverse, then home. 15. By mile 11, I was pooped, and decided that instead of getting to 72nd St, I'd cut off at the Res and do 2 laps of the Bridle Path and then head home. Basically, if I had to run up Cat Hill one more time, I'd quit and never run again. This way the last four miles would be flat or downhill, the only way I'd finish them.

I had to stop and get more Gatorade when I hit the Rez, I had already gone through my bottle. I had taken some Accel-Gel beforehand, and let me say there is nothing nastier than orange cream Accel-Gel. I prefer the Hammer Gel. And the Accel products have whey protein, which -- there's just no gentle way to say it -- gives me gas. I had heard of the magical powers of Accelerade and Accel-Gel. It definitely had power, but as for magical, well, it depends on your definition of "magical." Insert your "rocket power" jokes here. Perhaps it helps other people with endurance, but not me, alas. And in spite of being full of gas, I was out of gas. Those last few miles were a real slog.

Saturday AM I was the water girl for the Team's 15-miler. May I say that I really enjoyed volunteering? It was a lot of fun. I was at 34th Street and the river, there's a little section where there's room for putting down water and Gatorade. Matt and David were, of course, the fastest -- they were on their way back before some people reached me the first time. Lordy, but it was humid. Everyone was suffering. A lot of people had cramps. I had to really push the Gatorade on them. I know it's nasty, but it's got salt. I went through the entire cooler of water and Gatorade. One of this year's slower runners (last year it was me, so I'm allowed to point this out!) is a woman named Natalie, she's 65. Amazing! She keeps apologizing for making people wait for her to finish. STOP APOLOGIZING if you're reading this. We wait because we want to, not because we have to. What's important is to support each other and have fun. She is clearly enjoying herself, it just takes her a while. I hope I've got enough left in me to run a marathon at 65. It was fun cheering my Team on, even though I still ended up being late for my appointment. Ah, well.

Took the rest of the weekend off. As I said in an earlier post, I was -- still am -- a little burned out. Not physically, mentally. Not motivated. Trying to pass my 140 speed test at school (did I mention that I passed all my 130s? I did!) and putting a lot of pressure on myself for that, and there's also some other stuff going on in what's left of my personal life that I need to process. You know, life is getting in the way of life. So I'm a little distractamated and getting sick of running in circles, metaphorically and also literally. I did a good loop yesterday to try to burn off some negative energy, which did help. But I need to get my mojo back. I'm sure I will, I just need to ease off and roll with the punches.

And that leaves us with today. I have a hill workout in an hour or so, so I should get ready. We are now officially caught up!! I hate these hill workouts, but I have to say, they help. Oh, the paradox.

more anon,

Monday, August 27, 2007

Update Part II, Cleanliness v. Sloppiness, and at long last, the AMAZON RAFFLE

Hello, everyone!

Still catching up here, much to say, no time to say it. I don't know how daily bloggers do it. Trying to find time more than once a week is hard enough!

No names for the honor roll today, but I know that at least two people have pledged to send me some money for Fred's Team. Are you one of those? Wouldn't you like to be? Click here to be taken to my Fred's Team webpage, where you may securely donate to my Fred's Team effort. Go Fred's Team!!

First -- the LONG AWAITED RAFFLE!! Here's the deal -- everyone who donated was put into a hat, and the winner gets a $15 Amazon gift certificate.

And the winner is ...


Bob, as soon as I get home from school, the $15 Amazon certificate will be sent to your email address.

Now that I'm back in school daytimes, that means MORE CONTESTS! By the end of the week, a new contest will emerge. Stay tuned...

A few words on how I'm feeling before I launch into update part II. I did my Team 15 miler on Friday night because I had someplace to be Saturday mid-morning, and I hate doing long runs under the gun of time pressure, especially knowing that Saturday was going to be muggy, making my times slower. Well, I did 15.75 by accident (I changed my third loop, knowing that if I attempted Cat Hill for a third time I'd never run again) but it was grueling. Humid and sticky (although it was nice to have it get cooler as the evening wore on) and I didn't eat right beforehand, leaving me so out of energy that I went through all my Gatorade and had to buy a new bottle. On the other hand, the view of the city from the rez as the sun is going down -- one of the best things about NYC. Anyway, I didn't run or work out all weekend, even though it was my plan to do something on Sunday. I had no desire, and no guilt. I think I'm a little burned out. I'm feeling a little guilty today (Monday) so I'll probably do something tonight. Even though my body feels good, my mind needed a little time off, I guess.

Not to say I wasn't active. I did clean the bathroom and my bedroom. So what, you say. Here's the thing: to me, there is either "clean" or "dirty." I can't just pick up a little bit every day and keep things relatively neat, like the home magazines suggest. When I clean, I CLEAN. Like, washing the walls clean. Which I did in the bathroom. And a hands-and-knees scrubbing of the floors in the bedroom and bathroom. I wonder what this "all or nothing" attitude about cleaning says about me?

Now, where was I? Ah, yes, teching a show in 5 hours or less. I'll go fast through it, or at least I'll try. Anyway, last post I was talking about the Cape Playhouse and the circuit and how these shows only have a few hours to tech before opening. On the Sunday night the company travels to the Cape, there's a 4 hour rehearsal onstage in the evening. The tech period in theater is referred to as a "ten out of twelve" because during that period, rehearsals extend to, you guessed it, ten out of twelve hours in a day, usually noon to midnight. Five hours work, two hours break, five hours work. Same for the Sunday, only we substitute the travel for the first five hours. And we only work until 11:30pm. This show was going to be particularly hard to tech because the gimmick of the show is that there are twin brothers (played by the same person,) and there are lightning fast changes between one brother and the other. For example, we see one brother leave his house and walk up the stairs, and two seconds later he's the other brother, in a completely different costume, entering from an entirely different area of the stage. This is accomplished by some trickery, and also by having both sets (one for each brother) on a turntable, with a habitrail of secret entrances and exits in between. It wasn't just the actors who had to learn to navigate the habitrail, it was the crew as well. For each trick, we had to figure out how to properly "load" everyone onto the set so that we could do everything in the right order and get everyone where they needed to be. These passageways were so narrow, you had to be precise -- it was like putting people inside an ant farm. But the ant farm is actually ant farm size, not people size. And did I mention the five-minute sword fight? Yeah, that needed to be restaged. There were some other difficulties, too, which I won't get into, but it involved me doing a lot of extra work I didn't want to do in order to have things ready.

You know what? It seems that the more I write, the longer it takes to post. So here's part II, and part II is on its way, in which I will actually talk about RUNNING!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Catching Up, Running In Dennis, and My New Niece!

Catch-up day today, it'll probably be a Part I because I'm still playing life catch-up.

First, and most importantly, WE HAVE MORE HONOR ROLL MEMBERS!!!
Let's welcome
HELEN QUINN & JOHN PERNICK (not to mention their lovely children Natalie and George)


Total to date:


Now that CORPSE! is behind me, I'm coming back with a vengeance, trying to reach my $5000 goal for Fred's Team. If you would like to become a member of the world's finest honor roll, support the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in NYC, and sponsor my 2007 NYC Marathon effort all at the same time, please click here. Your donation is tax-deductible and securely registered on the site, not to mention appreciated, applauded and desperately needed. Thank you all so much, for reading my blog and for supporting such a worthy cause.

As I mentioned before, we've changed up our workouts to now include the step/hill combo in Riverside Park on far W. 72nd. St. If you thought the Belvedere steps were nutty, check these bad boys out:

The hill that's attached to it is to the left, at the top of the stairs. I tried to get pictures of us in action running down the hill, but was fairly unsuccessful, as you can see if you view the entire photo album of this particular workout (minus the unattractive butt shots) by clicking on my Koday Gallery link, which I believe is this. These are just a few of the better shots, taken both by me and by Coach Annie.

This is a view from the bottom of the steps towards the river. You can see the mini-track where we did our parachute workout.

Action shots!

I took this one on the run -- we do combos like "run up the steps, down the hill, across the path by the river, and back up to the foot of the steps." This is the view of the Hudson.
What I wish I had gotten pictures of was Coach Jeff hand-feeding a squirrel as we were waiting for everyone to arrive for the workout. It was both cute and squirm-inducing, because squirrels are basically rats in fuzzier wrapping. But awww, he was hanging onto Jeff's hand and taking the bread. It reminded me of one summer, when I was working for the Ogunquit Playhouse up in southern Maine. Someone thought it would be funny to feed one of the chipmunks that hung around the building, and for some reason named this chipmunk Phil. Next thing we know, Phil started wandering into the building looking for food. Was this the same chipmunk, who knows, but at the time we were doing a show that featured a lot of food props -- since they weren't eaten and only needed to stay good for two weeks, the propsmaster simply shellacked the real things -- and they were being eaten. The next step was a backstage visit from Phil and his buddies during a show, and as the grand finale, Phil made his onstage debut during a production of A MAJORITY OF ONE, a play about the relationship between the Japanese and the Jews after the war, starring Phyllis Newman and Randall Duk Kim. It's towards the end of the play, Phyllis is downstage giving an impassioned speech, and from behind the couch -- here comes Phil. He wandered around by the couch for a minute or two, then left the way he came. Fortunately for everyone, Phyllis never turned around, because they'd still be scraping her off the ceiling. This used to happen in Vermont, too, at the Dorset Theatre Festival, when the lovely Jill Charles was artistic director. She had outdoor cats that would occassionally wreak minor havoc on the performance. One (I forget which) would get lonely and start scratching at the door to the theater, yowling and crying to be let in. Speedy had a better idea -- don;t ask me how he did it, but if there was a fireplace on your set, at some point during the run of your show Speedy would pop out of it at an inopportune moment. Lends credence to the saying that just because there's a roof and four walls around you, doesn't mean you're indoors.
But I digress.
Even though the Riverside step workouts are more exhausting than the Belvedere steps I like them better. For one, the view is better. Having the hill component and the mini-track is also great, there's more variety in the exercises Jeff has us do. And even though there are some people who seem to be consciously oblivious (I just coined that phrase!) to the fact that 20 sweaty runners are charging at them and refuse to carry on their conversations, say, up six stairs and maybe a foot to the left, there are a lot less here than at the Belvedere steps.

The other thing I like is that the exercises tend to be a little longer, because you're going up, then down, then around, then back up -- like that. I'm not much of a sprinter, I'm in it for the long haul. So the longer stuff appeals to me, even though we're talking the difference between a 16 second exercise and a 60 second exercise.
One highlight, if it can be called that, of last Thursday's workout -- Jeff gave an exercise, something like, "Up the steps two at a time, charge down the hill, at the trashcan down at the bottom of the hill slow it down, continue around..." etc. So we charge up the steps, charge down the hill, get to the trashcan, and -- the back half of a large RAT was sticking out of the trashcan (it was an openweave can.) EWW! So we're all "eewww" ing and pointing as we pass. Jeff thought it was dead, but I wasn't the only one who thought I saw some wiggling. SICK! Reminded me of the "good old days" of NYC. Did NOT get a picture of that. Even I have limits.
Couldn't run with the group on Saturday because I was taking my show, CORPSE! up to the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA, the mid-point of Cape Cod. Yes, I do get to work at a lot of nifty vacation spots during the summer, but let me tell you, were it not for running, the only part of Dennis I would be familiar with is the one-mile stretch of 6A between the motel and the theater, because that's all I do when I'm there, work and sleep.

The Playhouse is one of the last -- no, I take that back, THE last, theater on the old straw hat circuit. Back in the day, there used to be around 50 or so one-week stock theaters on this circuit. When you were employed as an actor on a show for this circuit, you had work for a year, you'd be in New England for the summer and start moving down south and west for the fall and winter. Each theater had its own stage manager, and each show had its own SM. All the shows (probably about 20 or so) would rehearse, then fan out to the first batch of theaters. They'd be teched in, then open. The day after the show opened, the show's SM (aka the advance) would take a copy of the calling script (which had all the technical cues in it) and all the information on how to run the show, and go to the next stop for the show. These shows only traveled with the actors, the costumes, and maybe a couple of specialty props that would be difficult to replicate. Everything else was provided from scratch by each theater, working off of the design blueprint from the originating theater. So the advance would be there to give the information about what the specific needs for the show were, from which way the doors needed to hinge to how many pieces of toast needed to be made for the prop. They'd also be teaching the resident SM what each cue did and how to call the show. All the shows closed on Saturday night. Actors packed up, and headed for their new theater on Sunday. Crews worked through the night on Saturday loading out the old show, spent Sunday loading in the new show, added the technical cues Sunday night, Monday afternoon the actors would tech through the show in its new space, and it opened Monday night. The advance leaves Tuesday for the next theater. Repeat every week for one year.
There is no more circuit, but there are still a few theaters that operate under this contract (now a two-week contract,) the Cape being one of them. The shows rehearse in NYC (or elsewhere,) with an advance SM, come to the Cape and tech the show in with the resident SM Sunday night and Monday, the show opens Monday night and the advance, instead of going to the next theater, simply goes home, unemployed. Sigh. Anyway, this past Saturday was our tech weekend, so instead of doing the long training run, we had our final run-through in the space, packed up the car with our costumes, some of the props we were using in rehearsal that would be used in the show, and left for the Cape. And let me tell you, it was a perfect day for a long run -- cool and overcast. I was sad to have missed it -- it was one of the NYRR sponsored long runs, which meant there'd be food, water and gels available, plus pace groups and support. But I was looking forward to my Sunday long run in Dennis.
The car ride took about 5 hours (it was me, the director and the costume designer -- the cast traveled separately the next day) and after I dropped them off at the theater, I went down to the Stop and Shop to buy the Sunday crew breakfast. The advance traditionally does this as a thank-you to the kids who've been working all night, and will be working fairly non-stop for the next two days, to get your show up and running. Plus, a NYer going to a mega-food store is really like porn, such a cheap thrill. I resisted going out with the Cape staff and outgoing cast after the show, since I had to be up and out early the next day.
Off and running at 6am. I really wanted to bring a camera with me, but didn't want to have to deal with it. So here's a site where you can see pictures of some of the beaches at the Cape. My route, for those of you familiar with the Cape, or Dennis, or whatever: start at the Briarcliffe Motel, go up Rte 6a to Setucket Road (the only road in Dennis with a sidewalk, because it's a bike path) go down Setucket just past Rte 134 to where the bike path ends, turn around and come back to 134, down 134 to 6A, stop at Scargo Beach and see how beautiful it is (no path around it, but you can run down to the parking lot and look at it) continue up 6A past the Playhouse to the center of town, down around Chapin Beach, back up and around to Resident Beach, then back up to 6A and up to the Briarcliffe. 16 beautiful miles. If there is a heaven, it looks like Chapin Beach at 7am.
Having found out the hard way last year that there's no water available en route, and Grumpy's breakfast place got its name for a reason (but boy are the omelettes good) I had an off-brand Camelbak with water. I mention that it was an off-brand because when I first saw it online (on ebay) I thought, what's the difference between Camelbak and some no-name brand? Well, the Hydr8 had no instructions. And believe it or not, you need instructions to figure out how to best position the hose and how to get water OUT, both by drinking it and by emptying it out at the end of the run. I practiced with it a few times beforehand, to get used to it, and let me tell you, I almost had an aneurysm trying to suck water out of the damn thing. I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head. It took a while to figure out how to adapt the hose and mouthpiece to actually get water from it. Also, because it's a single piece (the Camelbak has an insertable bladder inside a pack) you can hear it sloshing amusingly as you run. Not the best soundtrack for someone who can pee 6 times in an hour, on a course with no bathrooms. Nevertheless, between the faux-Camelbak, the Fuel Belt with Gatorade and my iPod tuned to Phedippidations -- a great running podcast, check it out here -- it was a comfortable, perfect run; cool, clear and sunny, low traffic, gorgeous scenery.
Good lordy, I'm barely past Sunday. More anon, then we'll be caught up for sure. Coming up: teching a crazy show in 5 hours, Thursday's step workout, and this past Saturday's 16-miler.
We'll end with the latest edition to my family. Meet Tzipporah Chaya Raizel, born August 14 to my brother and sister-in-law:

And here's Tante Marci with Tzippoleh and my oldest niece, 3-year-old Kayla Malka:

More very soon!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Quick One While She's Away

Or rather, now that she's returned -- from rehearsing CORPSE for the Cape Playhouse, then bringing it up to the Cape on Saturday, teching it in on Sunday and Monday, opening it Monday night, returning to NYC Tuesday afternoon and heading right to school, school again today, then to the gym, and now HERE I AM!! Back for more blathering. There is so much to tell y'all I don't know where to begin but the beginning, but I also have much schoolwork to catch up on. So I wanted to send y'all a quick note letting you know I'm back and will be jumping right back into the updates, complete with pictures from last week's training in Riverside Park and lordy only knows what else. Over the next few days I'll catch up on my comings, goings and in-betweens, and YES, THE AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE RAFFLE!!


PS: I'm an auntie again for the third time! My brother and sister-in-law had a baby girl yesterday morning. Three girls. My brother is completely outnumbered, and will be forced to build a treehouse in which he can sit, watch baseball, and think manly thoughts. I'm seeing them on Sunday, I am sure to take many pictures to bore you with!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


A short one, as it's been a busy week and I've got much to do. As I explained in an earlier post, I'm rehearsing a show for the Cape Playhouse, so between that, school and training, not enough time left for some good blogging.

No names for the honor roll this week, alas.

This has been a week of first-of-the-seasons. The first rehearsal of the season, the first track drill workout of the season, and yes, the first bladder infection of the season. More info than you needed, I suppose. This happened to me last year, too. It's pretty common for women runners. The combination of running with an empty bladder (which can irritate) and sitting around in sweaty running shorts (which I do) = bladder infection! I probably gave myself one this past Thursday, after our track drill workout. I did my long run Friday after work, and the second time I needed to use the bathroom in the first hour of the run I knew something was up. Sure enough, by Saturday afternoon I could feel my kidneys aching (never a good sign) and I spent more time in the bathroom than in rehearsal. Today, slightly better but still feverish and completely sick of cranberry juice, I gave in and called the doctor, and she called in a prescription for me. I need to pick it up as soon as I'm done writing this, so understandably, this isn't going to be a long one!! And also why I will be taking an extra couple of days off, as much as I hate to, to let everything heal.

So anyways, we did this crazy track drill workout on Thursday. There's this mini-track (1/10 mile) right next to the place on 72nd and the River that we do our alternate stair workouts on. I've been going there for a year and never noticed this spot. Guess it was dark out. Anyway, we did lots of knee-up running and that kind of stuff, then Jeff pulls out a stretchy rubber tube with handles. One of us would wrap the tube around our waist and start running while Jeff held the handles and kept us in place. It was exhausting. I tried deperately to pull Jeff along but he is way stronger than me! After we all did that, Jeff pulled out a mini-parachute. You wear it around your waist -- there's a harness and a quick-release attachment, and we did one lap with the parachute, then release the parachute and do a second lap. It was hilarious! First of all, it was windy, and the parachute was banging into trees and other people using the track (particularly this one couple, who seemed displeased that we were there and deliberately refused to get out of our way when we passed by.) I was getting pulled all over the place, plus the harness was loose and the parachute started shifting to my left side, yanking me sideways. You can really feel the pull -- I was exhausted at the halfway mark, and this is only 1/10 of a mile. But I was also laughing so hard, it was difficult to run. When I unclipped the chute, I felt 50 pounds lighter. I don't know if I ran any faster, but I felt lighter than air.

I did my long run Friday night, because I had to work all day Saturday, and Sunday (today) was the Nike half marathon, so the streets would be too clogged in the AM. Fortunately, too, because there would be no way for me to do a long run now. I made up my own path, going up Riverside Park, then up to the dog run, back through the dog run down to the end of the Park, back up and through the dog run for the second time, then back down Riverside to Chelsea Piers, around the piers, then back home. I discovered this neat little pier across the street from H & H bagels, I guess around 45th St. then? It has a water play area for the kids, including paddle wheels, water pumps, and a "surprise" fountain that's a big circle on the ground with multiple jets that spew in random patterns, so if you're in the circle you never know when you're going to get wet. There's also the boat-building workshop there, and canoeing. Really nice. A little further down, on the end of another pier, is a giant working water wheel that's an art installation called "Long Time." At night, it's lit up really beautifully. Our runs are usually more regimented, so there's no time to explore the piers like that, so it was cool. But I was starting to feel uncomfortable as it got darker -- it's not as lit up east of 57th St. as it is on the west -- so even though I could've gone another 15-20 minutes or so, I went home instead. I mapped the route and was a little chagrinned to see that it was shorter than I had thought -- or to put it another way, that I ran slower than I thought. But it's a long run, it's humid, and I forgive myself. A little. I need to not hold back so much during the second half of the long runs, and see if I really do have a little more speed.

Oh, remember how I was talking about taping the floor in the rehearsal room? Here's a picture of part of the floor:

It's hard to tell, because you can't really see the red, but there are two different stages taped out on the floor. This also extends another 4 feet to the left and right. The white and gray represent one set (with a big spiral staircase) and the yellow and red are another set. Looks simple, and in some ways it is, but it took me FOREVER to do. There's always one point you mis-measure, that affects everything, and you don't realize it until you've done a good bit of work.

And I think (fingers crossed) I might have passed one of my steno speed tests! I'll find out tomorrow.

Lastly, I have not forgotten about the Amazon gift certificate challenge, I swear!!!!

more anon, have a good week