Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from The Commoner

It is almost December which means it is time for My Favorite Things-just like Oprah only better!

So until then I'm eating turkey, shopping, and writing papers.  Yes and running.  

I'm so thankful all of the Phillips will be together tomorrow.  So eat up and have a great Thanksgiving Commoners.

Also if you had a favorite thing this year?  Let me know!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Commoner and Her People

When the commoner took on her midlife crisis -it was no ordinary mid life crisis.  It was not common.  It involved running a marathon.  It involved going through a masters program.  It turned out to involve a job change.  Not many people do MLC (mid life crisis) like I do.  But then most people don't do anything like I do.
But I've over extended myself and if it weren't for the kindness of others I could never have achieved this Academy Award.

First of all there are all of you who put up with listening to me (by listening I mean reading) talk about running.  Recently the Wall Street Journal basically told all of us runners to shut up already.  But if you guys had not been there when running was bad and boring I never would have gotten to the place where running was good.  

I am fiercely independent.  I like to figure things out for myself and I don't like to ask for help or rely on other people.  I've stepped (okay fallen) into a new position at work.  The learning curve was steep -or whatever you say when it means you had to learn fast.  Thanks to all the people who have put up with my stupid questions or the fact that I've had to do things more than once to get them right.  Thanks also to the people who stepped up to fill positions I couldn't do any longer and thanks MOSTLY to the families that I work with for their understanding.  

If it weren't for all of them-I would be in big trouble.  The support and good will they've extended goes so far in making me feel something-not sure what-but it's a good feeling.
So I've gone back to school.  Who does that?  I spend most evenings doing two hours of homework.  Reading articles which usually all sound the same-and in fact sometimes are.  Writing papers, citing evidence.  There have been a lot of people who have helped.  Most of these people are my teachers so they will never read this.

There are people who I know in real life too who have helped.  There are friends who are experts in the fields I am studying who actually dive in there and give of their time and expertise -HEY LILIA!!  There are people who help when I need to run right out the door with the bell and drive to San Jose.  You are all awesome.

There's no rubber stamping of a degree here, it's all blood, sweat, and tears.  Like a marathon.

But mostly my family and my dogs have been great.  Most nights I don't get to make dinner and there's hardly any hanging out time or cleaning time-as my son the Master of Arms for the US Navy pointed out.  Everyone's patience doesn't go un noticed.

So thanks everyone who helps me every single day.  Thanks everyone for joining me on the journey of my mid life crisis.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Marathon After the Marathon

Remember this day?

I thought that glorious day was the end of the marathon training.   But really?  The training had just begun.

Yes I ran Nike Women and that was great.  But my body was tired and my shoes were old.  Just because you spend a lot of money on running shoes doesn't mean they will last twice as long.

(The skinny guy on the right was my guy FYI)
Anyway-Little did I know that my body would have a complete breakdown after that race.

It started with a slight ache in my foot that lasted for two weeks.  I took the time off to adjust to -yes my new temporary or not temporary position at work -and to get my foot better.  When I couldn't quite get to 100% I finally called a podiatrist.   I hedged the bet and chose one not in San Jose but just out of Hollister in Gilroy.

He told me I had the P word.

I know I don't have a full blown case.  It will not mark the end of my running career.  It marks the beginning of treating my foot like it's a VIP and making sure that I take care of it.  

Compression, taping, wrapping, inserts.  and sensible shoes.
The next day I felt better, only then I came down with a mysterious fever that wouldn't go away.  For 3 days I couldn't eat, I just fell in and out of consciousness.  I always beat fevers-no problem.  But I couldn't.  I seriously had to take large doses of Advil.  Every time I took them I said a prayer in case I died but I didn't.  

I had an infection.  Which went away.

So finally one month later-I'm back on my feet in shiny new Asics trying to get my groove back.

Lessons learned?  

  • It's a lot to ask your body to do all that I asked it to do in the month of October.  
  • If you don't rest your body your body will make you rest it.
  • Speed work is not worth it.  Every time I run fast I suffer an injury.
  • Even though Asics cost 3 times the price of your discontinued Nikes-they only last the same amount of time.
  • When you take running away from a runner-they are gong to run any way.
  • Sensible shoes are still ugly
The after the marathon marathon in a lot of ways has been harder than the marathon training itself.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Commoner Says Goodbye to her Old Hair. Literally

I've had my beautiful extensions for almost two years.  I love them dearly with all my heart because they allow me to have long, long hair.

My stylist is fantastic.  She owns her own studio.  I even get my massages there.  She's expanded recently so there are alcoves and rooms every where.  That may be the problem.

She is usually known for running late.  I've waited a long time while she worked on someone else or whatever.  I did all that.  One time I waited a long time in the waiting room.  A long time -like an hour.  I realized that at this point she forgot about me.  I realized this because other people were going first.  I was like this.

When she finally came in for someone else.  I was like, "Marvelous Stylist?  How much longer will it be?"  She had forgotten me.  I was like forget about it.  I'll reschedule.  I was mad but polite because she CUTS MY HAIR!  

But I was mad.  She rescheduled and made up for it with some free conditioner.  Conditioner becomes an important theme for this story.

I seriously thought about replacing her then but she knew my hair! She made it look great!  I have the world's most baby fine hair-that isn't easy.  She held the cards.

Flash to 2 months later and she greets me! Says What are we here for today?  I'm like -you should know (to myself).  She conditions my hair puts a warm towel on my head , explains that everyone there is working there.  Everyone is having a workshop on makeup with Ivan because Sunday will be an open house.  I thought I might stop by for a makeover.  

She shut the door and I was able to watch the lesson through the window looking into the styling room.  I was enjoying it.  Marvelous hair stylist was busy taking notes on foundation and my head started getting cold.  My attention was broken when Ivan said he wanted Barbie Doll Models on Sunday.  Young ones.  That's when I realized y head was cold.

I took the towel off and continued to watch.  My neck started to hurt.  I realized now that I had been sitting with that towel on my head for 30 minutes and she was acting like I wasn't even there.

At this point I got up and said.  Marvelous Stylist, I'm leaving.  She turns around and says OH MY GOSH I FORGOT YOU!  I could have looked past this if she said, "That fantastic conditioner needs to stay on for 30 minutes."  I would have believed this.  BUT SHE FORGOT ABOUT ME.

I said you know?  You always forget about me.  I'm leaving.  I'm a good customer I don't deserve this.  You can have the most beautiful salon in town but if you can't remember your customers you have nothing.  I would like my hair back now (I bought some loose extensions for her to replace in a baggie).  Despite the cries of what can I do?  I left.  With a HEAD FULL OF CONDITIONER>

I walked out the door, pulled my hair into a pony tail, got in my car with the intention of rinsing my hair, yanking out my extensions, and starting over somewhere else on another day.  Then I remembered a salon in town, which was new and EVERYONE I knew was going.

I walked in  where two stylists were working and explained my problem.  Surprisingly one of them said have a seat right there (2 feet a way) I'll be right with you.  10 minutes later she assessed the condition, recommended a remedy, and I was in her chair for a hair cut, removal of the extensions, and a plan.

I would have sent the insane person with conditioner home but not this brave stylist.  She set me down and took my business.  She promised that the extensions would be in next week at our appointment.  She PROMISED.

So goodbye Marvelous Stylist.  I know you will never forget another customer ever.  Everyone else will benefit from her genius with out being left with cold towels in their hair.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Commoner is Thankful for San Francisco

I'm a city girl at heart.  I always will be!  I was born  in Queens, lived in Westbury -a city in its own right-and the big city was my playground.

I don't live in New York any more.  I miss it very much and it will always be my favorite.  

But I don't live there anymore.  I hardly ever get to go and when I do limited time is spent in the city.  I say sometimes I'm going to sneak away and spend a weekend there-I've never actually done that.

I'm glad to have San Francisco filling in as my city home.  I love it there.  It's a beautiful, world class city and I love everything about it.  I love the bridge (to look at) I love Union Square with all the shopping.  I love AT&T Park.  I love the 49er and the Giants, the As and the Warriors.  Love them all.

I love the hills-they are gorgeous .  I love that I get to run Bay to Breakers every year and see it on my feet.  I love the Embarcadero. I love that walk from the Ferry Building to the ball park.  I like looking at the Bay Bridge at night.  The Golden Gate is pretty awesome too.

I like knowing that there are plays there, sometimes before they get to New York (I've only been to one but I like knowing I can go if I want to). There are great museums there too (I never go but they are there if I want them).   I like that it's both sophisticated and trashy at the same time.  I like that it's the most expensive city in the country-I take pride in that.  

I like that I'm a short drive or train ride from going there, whenever I want.  I like it so much I'm going this weekend.  No one really comes to visit here, it's because they don't really know how great it is.  

Listen to me!  San Francisco is great and I can go anytime I need a city fix.

Today I'm thankful that this is my city.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Commoner and Coffee

The commoner today is thankful for coffee.
That's right coffee!  (and yes James Gandolfini too-I'm reusing blog pics).

I'm not talking latte or mocha I'm talking about straight up coffee.  Wether it be from Starbucks!



Or my very own Keurig.

Straight up -old fashioned-with creamer -they dry kind-no sugar- coffee.

If it weren't for coffee I would feel like this all of the time!

I love coffee so much I've been known to put it in my fuel belt when running.  

This is the schedule
1-coffee first thing
2-coffee when I get to work
3-coffee at 3 OClock-or when I get home.

Day 3?  I'm thankful for COFFEE

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Commoner Is Thankful You Only Do This Every Three Years

When you are a teacher they don't like you to have tuberculosis.  They frown upon it big time for some reason.   So every three years you get a note that you have to get a TB test.

The district pays for it and that's all well and fine but you have to go to the Urgent Care.  Because of the hours they are open I always have to go on a Saturday.  You know what that means?  That means I had to wait one hour and 15 minutes to not even see a doctor.

I was a little upset.  I was third in the door and about the 6th person seen.  If you have something so bad that you need to jump ahead of the line?  You need the emergency room.  

I did give everyone a piece of my mind.  I'm not here to see a doctor.  If you contract with the school district you should have a better process.  Give me a receipt I have no proof I was even here.

I have to go back on Monday to check the results.  Why haven't they developed a better process for this it's 2013!  I don't know how I am going to pull this off-but I have to go back on Monday.

So today I am thankful that I don't have to do this for three more years.  Maybe I can take my flying car there and be first on line.  Which means I'll be the 10th person in to see the 'med tech'

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Commoner's Thirty Day

The commoner just realized that it is November.  I'm sorry but I had a candy hangover from Halloween.  Plus I went out to dinner with the commoners.  That was fun because Commoner Beth has stinky mallet finger, Kristen has some kind of sinus issue and I have a swollen  foot.  Where is Matt Harvey when you need him?  Wait he's injured too.
So on my first day of ThanksNovember I'm thankful to have friends to complain about my aches and pains with

Lesli wasn't there but I'm too lazy to edit!