Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Commoner and Coupons

I have to say there was a time when I used coupons.  I clipped them, printed them, organized them, sorted them, shopped for them and at the end of the day I save about 6 dollars and bought a lot of items that I didn't need.  
I finally got tired of clipping them.  I got tired of the hassle and the scissors and the VO5 shampoo.  I switched my weekly shopping to Costco where you don't even need to actually carry the coupons for their stuff.  They just scan one coupon from the register and gave you the deal.  Plus if you shop a list and a list only you really do save money.
You can even join competitve sample tasting.  Where you have to beat out families of 7 for free tastes of sausages.

Safeway recently started this system where you can load coupons onto your account from home and then swipe your card.  Too much work. I'm too busy blogging to have time for this.  Plus I can never get it to work right.
Last weekend we didn't have the time or energy to go to Costco. So I suggested let's go to Safeway.  I have some Safeway coupons. So I went to the circular and cut out coupons for things like a single serve ice cream, cheese, hash browns.  You know the necessities.

They were small and we were so careful to only get the right sizes and amounts.  I had purchased about 5 coupon products.  I'm pretty sure the price difference was 5 cents, but hey I had a coupon.

I get to the cashier and proudly put the coupons on the counter and things go smoothly.   Rob is super happy because he can run again joking and having fun.

The cashier scans the coupons and they go well until you hear the beep.  That beep that says "HOLD ON A MINUTE THIEF YOU HAVE AN ILLEGAL COUPON.  YOU ARE SCAMMING 5 CENTS ON CHEESE.  CALL THE POLICE-LOOK EVERYONE".  

I say Rob find the potatoes, you know it's in one of the 6 bags you've packed.  And we do it and she goes.  These are good.  Then there is another beep.  "FIND THE CHEESE THIEF!"  Apparently I bought the wrong size.  At this time I have had enough.

Yes find the cheese and take it off my bill.  Hey look commoners I saved 4 dollars by not buying the cheese.

Beep-Find the pizza.  You know it's in one of the 6 bags, I think you have the wrong size'THIEF"   You know what?  Keep your friggin pizza.

BOOM I saved another 4 dollars by not buying the pizza.

We left-aggravated and embarrassed and  swearing two things.  NO MORE COUPONS EVER and next time we can't go to Costco we go to Nob Hill!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Commoners Run for Office

Commoners are not usually Presidents of anything.  That's because it's not common to be presidents.  There aren't a lot of them.  Sometimes at PTA's you may get the position without really trying because no one seems to want to do that job.

I tried running for president once.  Turned out I didn't know as many people as I thought and I lost by 11 votes.

But sometimes the need for change is so great that a commoner has to step up and do something brave.  The commoner sees the need for change and the commoner says YES! I will do this.  I will run for president of The Hollister's Teacher's Union-HESTA.
 Sometimes a Commoner is brave enough to step up and try.
(Kristen is on the right)
You remember Kristen?  She's an original Commoner. So is Rosa actually-she's in the middle.

Kristen is uncommon in the fact that she's uncommon in many ways.  Education lies deep in her roots and so does the town of Hollister-(they call it a city but I can't)  I come from the mother of all cities.  This isn't a city.

I digress -again-Kristen's lived here all her life.

She will be a great president because she's outspoken and not afraid to stand up for what she knows is right.

Kristen isn't alone however-we all stand by her side.  Myself, my friend Janet, my friend Betsey, my friend Michelle, and my friend Cheryl.  

Vote for all of us-we are going to do a good job in our positions.  We fight for truth, justice, and the American Way.
So for Hesta President Hollister School Teachers vote for Kristen Damm

Therese Phillips for Veep
Betsey Hurtado- Grievance Chair
Janet Raper-Secretary
Michelle McCoun-Treasurer
Cheryl Rios-Membership Chair.

Commoners Unite!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Commoner Thinks of Boston.

Originally, this week I was going to blog about being a curvy girl and my love of Pencil Skirts.  They bring out my inner 'Beyonce' or outer Beyonce-whichever-you get it.

I put this insight on hold for now-I promise you will love it.

Lately most of my posts have been about running.  Probably because I spend soooo much time doing it and so many interesting things happen with running.  So many commoner worthy things.

I haven't told you that I'm running the Chicago Marathon in October.  Not only in October but on my birthday.  Not only on my birthday but my 50th birthday.  I'm saving that blog for another time.
I often have nightmares about the marathon.  So far they haven't had to do with more than the recovery and the travel.  Mainly the recovery while traveling.  I haven't started training yet-but I've seen the schedule and it's scary.  I often joke that this may be the last run I ever won't be.  My nightmares never once included terrorism. They still won't.  I'm not afraid of that.   Even if it's struck New Yorkers, schools and now runners?  I'm still not afraid.

Although I've run since high school.  I hadn't truly become a runner until a few years ago.  The difference, in my mind,  lies only in the amount of dedication to the run.  

I've run a lot of races now and 2 half marathons to date.  But what I've loved most about running is the brotherhood, or sisterhood of runners.   When someone finds out your are a runner you have an instant bond which can lead to hours of conversation and usually support of some sort.

At a workshop today the subject came up and I met someone running the same race as me in Santa Cruz and someone who had raced Chicago-and couldn't finish because they called the race on the account of heat.  (Something to add to my nightmares)

I've made friends with a lot of bloggers.  Yes they are friends. Most of my readers now are runners.   

I don't consider myself a marathon runner and often said I was interested in running New York and not any other.  Simply because it's New York.  I could never even consider Boston because of how hard it is to get in.  You have to qualify.  My time would work if I were 80.  

Yet the tragedy finds myself a member of yet another community hit by tragedy and banded together in recovery.  If you are a runner we are instantly connected-if you've run a marathon, I'm instantly in awe-if you've run Boston you are a god to me.  

Just the other day in Runner's World I was reading about the volunteers in Boston.  Today I hope they are okay.  I especially thought of the guy in charge of the finish line that I read about.  I can't imagine what he's going through.
Stay strong Boston!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Commoner's Favorite Running Partner

Running for me is therapy.  I'm usually surrounded by people all day long-so that time when I'm running and not really thinking about anything is great.  I also can't really talk and run because it's hard to breath. Plus I don't think I'm a fast runner but I'm very competitive.  So running with other people stresses me out in many ways.

But if you want to run with me I will...

Having said all that I LOVE to listen to music while I run.  For me it's kind of like dancing-without having to stay up late and having to go out!  I spend hours working on my 'workout' play list.

I definitely am fickle and I have been known to pull over by the side of the road to download a song I hear on the radio and add it to the list.

I went through a Pit Bull Phase.  I love Pit Bull.  What's not to love.  He's Mr. World Wide and the Zumba king.  Lately though every time his song comes on and I'm running I think ugh-him again?  Delete.

(If you see Mr. World WIde-Don't mention this to him-I'm a little afraid of him!)

I'm a classic rock fan too.  Let's be honest I remember when U2 was New Wave but I digress.  Lately I've been a little tired of Bruce, U2, and Yes even the Rolling Stones.  They will come on and I'll be like-yes you know it-ugh.
(Tom Petty you have not been cut yet -but you are wearing a little thin).

You may be disappointed to know that my musical running taste runs a little on the rap side.  Yes I said runs -I'm cracking my self up tonight.  Kanye and Fifty Cent are still on heavy rotation.  That's right B****es.  They are mean and they have attitude.  I need a little of that even though I'm disappointed in Kanye's choice of a baby mama.  Jesus still runs with me.  (Oh boy there I go again).

I listen to a lot of top 40.  During my race the other day I was running at my best to a song about Popping Tags.  I don't know what that is and I don't know what it means but I'm pretty sure it has to do with shopping.  If not-don't judge-that's what I'm going with.

You'll also find some Disney music, some country music, some slow sappy music, a lot of modern stuff like Mumford and Sons and I love FUN and even Jason Mraz.

The top song to run to based on beats per minutes is Boys of Summer.  That's what I'm told. I love that song so it works.

But there's one artist who reigns supreme.  I have lots of his songs on my play list which numbers 100 songs on shuffle.  One of his songs is a mandatory sing a long with the chorus out loud song.  It's a rule.  No matter how tired or where I am when it starts I HAVE to sing out loud with Heart of the City.  Yes fellow commoners my favorite singing partner is non other than 

Mr. Jay Z.  The new Sinatra.  Mr. New York. 

Who would have thought.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Commoner Runs A Half Marathon

I didn't really want to run another half marathon in April.  I mean I loved the Rock and Roll Half marathon in October because it was fun!  But Rob wanted to.  We couldn't get into San Francisco Half Marathon because it filled up.  We were going to run one in Santa Cruz but it said it had breathtaking vistas.  To me that meant big hills.  So we decided on San Luis Obispo.  It didn't seem hilly and it had a lot of people running.

Okay I'll do it and I've told you the training went pretty well for me.  Rob was injured but was nice enough to come with me this weekend, where he was not only in pain physically because he hurt his back but mentally because he couldn't race.

I hate the start of races.  I hate the port-a-potties which I ALWAYS have to use.  All the racers do-it's a law-you sign your name to do that on line of your entrance form.  There's the standing around in a corral you or no one with you probably belongs in.  It's cold.  And I always start my NIKE app too soon.

The race starts and although yesterday was cold and windy-and we were starting before dawn.  It was a comfortable temperature.  I had scoped out the people at a 2 hour pace to finish even though my goal was 2 hours 15 minutes.  

Rob told me to expect uphills to end at mile 3 and the rest to be flat and down hill.  I don't know what website Rob was looking at. But the first 3 miles were super fast. I kept thinking-I'm going to blow my goal out the window-or die I better slow down a little.  But if I know one thing from running my trail-when you can run fast do it, because ahead there are things that will break your pace-and boy were there.

By mile 4 we started climbing, and we pretty much climbed for over 2 miles maybe 3 until we got to the turn around.  For the first time ever in my running life my legs got tired.  But I shouldn't complain.  I actually don't really mind hills, I find they focus me.  But you know me I like to complain.

Things moved along-ha ha -and I'm doing great.  The miles are ticking away and I'm waiting for the down hills to the uphills I've been running but they never came because the course director had other plans.

We meandered through a bike path in a park.  Not nearly as nice as my trail and very crowded -with the poor marathon winner trying to get past all of us.  We are about 3 miles to go and my pace is great and I'm not only going to smash my personal record I'm making my goal no problem.  

I decide to look up and see what's around when I notice people on a walk path which was an over pass to the road.  That's funny I thought I hope we aren't going up there.  But we were.  If you've read my blog for awhile you know my fear of bridges.

But I zoom up the the up ramp when all of a sudden my legs buckle under me.

I half way apologize to those around me for my exhaustion when I realize the same thing is happening to everyone else.  This is one of those bouncy bridges that buckled under the runners.  You couldn't run because you couldn't balance and we all walked for a little bit down the ramp and to sea level.

That was a stupid thing to put in a race but I was okay and found that I lost some time not a lot but some  and I was still running strong.  1 mile to go-we're almost there.  When we turn and there it is-not the finish -not yet but this other ramp uphill that was so steep we all had no choice to but to walk.  We were all mad and defeated -like really?  They saved the steepest uphill for the end.

I made it however.  I was off my goal by 4 minutes-Darn you foot bridges.  I finished strong and I felt great.  Even commoners can take on lofty goals and attain them.  In spite of the foot bridge