Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Commoners Favorite Things 2014

I didn't use an apostrophe.  I know!  I'm crazy like that.   Plus I'm on vacation so no grammar for me!
So it's that time of the year.  My favorite things-to inspire your holiday shopping.  
Let's start with my favorite movies.  

Steel Magnolias

I can recite this movie by heart.  I don't know what it is I love about it but I do.  I love the way it cycles through all the seasons and holidays.  I love the way it is set in the south.  I love the women and this is my favorite line

"If you don't have anything nice to say-sit right next to me!"

Meet Me in Saint Louis
There is so much I love about this movie.  Another movie that moves through the seasons.  I love the music and I love the costumes most.  This family dodges a relocation similar to the one we made and I am forever envious of their beautiful house, their big family, their hired help and most of all their ability to stay put.

Next on my list is ET
I love this movie for so many reasons.  It's California suburbia which kind of looks like where I live.  The 80s nostalgia.  Cute little Drew Barrymore-a sad mom and an alien who just wants to go home.  What's not to love.

Sound of Music
My favorite thing about the Sound of Music is the love story which kind of was a surprise to me.  But I also really respect the way it isn't your usual sweet sweet musical but deals with a very serious subject matter. And those kids!  And the scenery!  And that house.

Legends of the Fall
No Words Required

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful for Friends, Family, Food, and Pizza

This was New York a few years ago.

That's my cousin Lori and my friend Kristen

You also see pizza.

Today I'm thankful for all of those people, places, and things.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I'm Thankful for traveling and Pubs

I'm thankful that my family lives in great places.  Okay I'm sorry for so many reasons that I don't live near any of our family.  I am grateful that i get to go see them.

I'm also grateful for super fun Irish pubs.  The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Dublin.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Commoner is grateful for The Silver Fox

Do they still call him this?  I don't know.  I'm just thankful that we have at least one fair and honest broadcaster.  Plus he's not afraid to put himself in harms way for the story.  

Plus I will always think of him when I think of Katrina.  Remember how much he cared?  After going to New Orleans (let alone having roots there like Anderson) I can appreciate that.

What are you Thankful for?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Week

What I'm thankful for today.  
I'm thankful that my grandparents and their family were really cool.  I'm thankful they were Italian
I'm thankful they were from New York...

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Orleans is the Best Place Ever

I've had a great week.  Sometimes that happens.  Topped off by a great day at my school and NOT in Santa Cruz.  I love you Santa Cruz but you are taking too much of my time.
Technically that's not Santa Cruz

I came home and like most Fridays I hang out and watch tv usually consisting of Bill Maher followed by Shark Tank.    Except tonight there was a trailer for Foo Fighters Sonic Highways.  

Seems Dave Grohl has adopted my city tour idea but done musical history.  I love the Foo Fighters by the way.  Tonight it's New Orleans and instantly I'm smiling because the most fun I ever had was in New Orleans.  

To top off maybe one of the best weeks of the year here are 5 things i love about New Orleans and some pictures 

1. The music
2. The history
3. The food
4 The people
5. The French Quarter at 1AM

Go there some's good for your soul

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Have Betrayed IPod and I'm Begging Forgiveness

I am totally enjoying my running for fun right now.  I miss not having a race on my schedule until January but I have to be careful with myself so I can run into my 60s!

That's me in there!

Anyway.  One of my experiments was to change what I listen to when I run.

I tried Pandora and set it to running.  It worked good the first three times I did it.  I kind of liked the surprise factor.  The songs had a great beat to run to and I liked it.  Then all of a sudden it started playing a lot of commercials and songs which were terrible.  
So I switched to books on tape.  Or book on iPhone.   The story is great but-I am sure I slowed down to listen to the story so that didn't work.
So today I was back to IPOD and apologizing for betraying it.
So my happy run was great and let's play IPOD shuffle and see 5 songs I listened to
Fiesta by the Pogues
Don't fast forward because of the first 8 notes.  This is a fun song which totally makes you move your feet.  Irish -Mexican music
Ride by Florida-Georgia Line and Nelly
I really try to like country music because everyone I know loves it. I can only do it if Nelly is part of it because I love that guy.
Heart of the City by Jay Z
Yes STILL-sensative thugs you all need hugs...
Love Lockdown Kanye
Yes still
Diddy-I'm coming out.

OMG I need some new tunes.....

Monday, November 17, 2014

November is the Best Month

As a teacher some months are harder than others.  February easy-May hard.  October-longest month of all-November -Best.  Short, quick and the beginning of vacation season.  It's awesome.  Here are some reasons why

Thanksgiving!  My favorite holiday because it's just food, no stress, and we are all together.  Thanksgiving is the Friday of holidays.  So much promise....
This isn't turkey-but I serve it with my onion dip and then eat all the dip and pretty much nothing else the rest of the night.

Veteran's Day!  Yes I'm thankful to the Veteran's of course I am.  But I'm also thankful for the first 4 day weekend and day off since Labor Day.  It's exhausting..
Conference week.  Even when I had conferences I liked them.  I liked talking to the parents whom I always thought of as clients.  I also liked the long stretch of minimum days.  They are the best 
Running is just for fun.  There aren't that many races in November and it's really a recovery month.  Even if you aren't marathoning you probably ran a lot of races in October.  Time to kick back and enjoy running for just running sake
That picture shows you the weather in November too.  The weather is beautiful.  The right amount of cold, rain, warm, and sunshine.  The official end of a Northern California summer.  Cold enough for jackets but not too bleak.

Football season matters.  By now we have contenders and flat liners and every game matters.  Not sure what Eli's problem is, or Russel's, or Kapernicks.  But you can hunker down with all the games every Sunday and Thursday and Monday and Thanksgiving.  So FUN
And yes finally-Shopping season.  All the sales, the crowds, Tis the season and yes I still buy treats for myself.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pictures No Words

Today I watched a movie about the Tsunami  (The Impossible)  August:Osage County -and a documentary on Swedish House Mafia who I never really heard of before. So I'm climbing into the vault for some veterans day inspiration

Thanks to all who have served, are serving, work to serve, and sacrificed.  I keep saying our country is Bad-Ass and you guys make it so.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Commoners Monday Muckalucks

My crappy marathon finish put me in one of the biggest group of finishers.  I knew this was a hard race!!
I'm obsessed with finding a pair of jeans that fits all of me properly. You know I've written about this a million times but it drives me crazy.  Maybe that's why when I was little grown ups never wore jeans.  THEY DON"T FIT HUMANS.  The jeans I wore today fit my legs but they were 6 sizes too big falling off my waste. HELP
This guy is my second favorite football player.  Every morning when I'm getting ready for work this commercial comes on and I'm pumped for the day.  "Everything you want to be you already are"  Deep wisdom from a twenty something
I'm on vacation so I got to watch a little longer than the usual Russell Wilson commercial.  I learned how to survive a bear attack.  Which I couldn't watch because it scared me and the whole time I kept wondering  WHY IS THE OTHER PERSON VIDEOING THIS INSTEAD OF HELPING.
Random old photo.  Uncle Phil and the Italian priest cousin Father Joe

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Commoner Hits the Road Again

When a marathon is over-lots of things happen.  Here are some of them.

My body will break down.  My immune system is weak and I will catch something.  This time it was the throat.  Last year was something deadlier.

I also will revamp my wardrobe in someway.  For instance, I had been running in lycra shorts and a tank top and a head wrap.  When the training was over I switched to traditional running shorts, short sleeves and a cap or bare head.

This was my capri, short sleeve, arm sleeve and head wrap phase a few years ago.

My body had a strange reaction to the marathon.  I became flabbier and heavier.  I don't even know how that could happen.  Now with the marathon over I've cut wayyyyyyyy back on carbs and feel fitter and definitely have lost weight.  Almost five pounds.

It's time to revamp my playlist.  I love my playlist but I'm kind of tired of it.  Today on my first real run back (8 miles on the trail) I typed running into Pandora and walla up beat songs that were fast paced and relevant.  It was a nice change.  I switched back to iPod for the second half but it was a great experiment.  Of course I skipped that Taylor Swift chick.

Greenday is never on my playlist

I was able to really enjoy my run.  Go fast(er) when I wanted to -walk a little slower on the walk breaks.  Stop and take off my long sleeve shirt.  There was no pressure.

I didn't really feel well.  I have no voice (probably back to 60%)  my IT Band is acting up.  But sometimes that feverish sweat a run provides is the best medicine.  I did feel better after the run than before.

I sort of did this move when I had to avoid one of the giant beetles.

The no pressure runs are going to be great.  I am going to keep the weekly mileage up to 10 a week.  I'm going to run a lot of 10Ks and halves.    I may not run a marathon next year.  It takes so much out of me.  

Then again.......

Saturday, November 8, 2014

There's No Place Like the Mall

Meghan and I usually go to San Francisco for combined birthday shopping.  But Meghan commutes every day to San Francisco so how could that be fun.  Valley Faire here we come.
We are birthday princesses for a day!

Valley Fair is pretty much the best mall in the country.  I always scout malls when on vacation so I know this.  Connect Santana Row and it's pretty much heavenly 

Here are some mall observations.

The GAP does not like you to have curves.  I'm not even kidding.  Everything there is made for girls who look like toothpicks.  I bet Beyonce can't shop at the Gap.  Neither can Jennifer Lopez.

The Loft will not help you if you forgot your coupon.  Well I didn't really forget the coupon I huffed out of the Outlet last week when they wouldn't accept it.  Whatever-the point is that they won't give you a pass on that.  They will give you the teacher discount though.
Henna hair dye.  Do you remember that anyone?  I stopped into LUSH.  Don't go there unless you want beautiful wonderfulness.
They have Henna!  I remember that from high school.   I bought some.  You will see me with rich tones to my hair.  Natural not chemical.  I have never dyed my hair.  I won't until I go grey.  But a little bit of richness will be nice.
I can't say no to Lush.

Finally Sephora.  Which was crazy crazy busy because us VIBs   (very important beauties) got 20% off.  That's me I'm a VIB.  Since I'm studying how to become a leader I am very in tune to how people lead others.  I noticed the manager was giving his workers very clear direction.

I liked that.  I noticed him do it over and over again.  "I want you to open a pay station over there.  Follow me I will show you exactly what you will do."

I kind of bumped into him and complimented him on this.  He asked for particulars.  Then he gave me a hardy handshake and his business card if I ever need anything.  What could I need?  I must need something.  See I'm nice!
I miss my trail.  I still can't speak and I did something to my knee.  But I'm going to my trail tomorrow