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Archive for "Hobbies"

Pickle Ball

Posted on December 10, 2018 by under Hobbies.    

Brian and I made some new friends at pickle ball. This is the Thursday night crew.

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One of them, Shelby, turned out to be the mom of one of my Zumba friends, Katie. What a small world!

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In case you didn’t know, pickle ball is our newest hobby. We started a couple of months ago. It’s our new Sunday night thing since we skipped the fall league season and aren’t bowling this year.

I really like pickle ball because it’s so much more active than bowling and it helps me burn more calories. I’m hoping that we continue to keep it up throughout the new year. Until next time! GNG.

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I Don’t Know Why I Do This To Myself

Posted on July 7, 2018 by under Dreams, Hobbies.    

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A few months ago I signed up for a couple of 5Ks on whim. I don’t know why. I’m not a runner. I mean, I dream of someday being someone who enjoys running but I truly and honestly suck at it. I don’t have the attention span, nor do I have the determination to run for longer than a couple of minutes.

I had a 10K running app on my phone that I was doing for a while last year but then I just kind of fell off and haven’t gotten back on it. I was doing pretty well too but, since I haven’t been doing it, I have to work back up to where I was. With running, it seems like I’m constantly starting over.

Anyway, I joke that I have no idea why I signed up for these 5Ks. I actually signed up for the KMUW one because I love NPR and KMUW is my favorite radio station (and Brian’s too). We both listen to the station all the time. It’s about the only station we listen to on FM radio these days.

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Here’s a picture of my finisher medal. I was so slow that, even though the race started at eight o’clock in the morning, I was actually concerned that I might not make my 10:30 AM Zumba class. I felt so bad for Brian who had to wait for me at the end. He had to wait for almost an hour. Yikes!

Oh, it didn’t help that I started having knee issues leading up to this event. Although, I think it was my body’s way of revolting for my stupid decisions like signing up for 5Ks even though I’m not a runner.

The KMUW run was on May 19. The same day as Logan’s graduation party. That was kind of a hectic day. We got up early and were downtown by seven-ish for the race then I had to teach my Zumba class then Logan’s graduation party then we were back downtown again for Zumba in the Square.

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It was the first one of 2018 and it was a great turn out. I didn’t end up leading any songs at the event because we knew we would be coming from Logan’s graduation party and we weren’t sure what time we would be able to get away.

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Fast forward to the Diva Dask 5K, which my friend Sarah posted about shortly after I’d signed up for the KMUW. It’s a fun run that benefits Girls On the Run. Since I easily get talked into things, I signed up for that one as well. Never mind that I haven’t been running at all and I suck at it. I’m such a joiner!

I could blame peer pressure but it wasn’t even that. I’m just an easy target.

I knew some people at the KMUW race but I was pretty much doing it alone. Diva Dash was the first race that I’d ever done with a group of people. I didn’t get our official group shirt. I should have so I can remember this day forever. I hate running but Diva Dash was actually a lot of fun.

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I did only a smidge better than the KMUW 5K so I was still super slow. But I didn’t die and I had a blast hanging out with my Zumba besties. Incidentally, we called our team “Zumba Divas” — super fitting, right?

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This is embarrassing but I’m posting it anyway just so you get the idea of how badly I suck at running. I would say I’m as slow as molasses but I think I’m probably even slower. LOL. But, hey, it was for a good cause and it was fun.

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Brynden got third place in her age group without even trying. Maybe she tried but she made it look so easy. Her mom Laurie did really awesome also. She got sixth in her age group, which is my same age group. She was one of the fastest and I was one of the slowest. Ugh. Thinking about it makes me sad so we’re moving on.

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Here’s a group photo of us with some princesses.

The craziest part about the races is that, besides not being a runner and completely sucking at running, I had so many excuses not to sign up. When I signed up for both of these events, the summer schedule hadn’t started so I completely forgot about my Aqua Zumba class. It wouldn’t have been a problem if I could run faster but there was no way I could complete the run and make it to Andover YMCA to teach my 8:45 AM class. Thankfully, my friend Eleanor was available to sub.

After the fact, I joked that I should have found a sub for the running and just stuck to teaching my class after I realized I had a schedule conflict because I’m actually better at Zumba. LOL. Speaking of, this is one of my life’s biggest mysteries. I don’t understand how I can do Zumba for hours on end and be unfazed and I cannot stomach two minutes of running.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve cured myself of my running delusion for the time being. There should be no 5Ks or any type of running events in my future for a good long while. If I get any crazy ideas, I hope someone smacks me and talks sense into me so I don’t get myself in the same situation again.

I had fun and I didn’t die so I guess there’s that. GNG.

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Discovered Salsa Lessons in KC

Posted on May 19, 2018 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

One of my coworkers in Kansas City took me to a dance studio in Shawnee, Kansas last month for salsa lessons. We had been working together sometime before I realized that she loved salsa dancing as much as I do. We’d been talking about going salsa dancing for some time but never could work it into our busy work schedules. There’s not really anywhere to go salsa dancing during the week except for lessons. She told me about Viva Social Dance Studio where she used to attend salsa lessons regularly. They have an hour of social dancing immediately after the salsa lesson. I guess that’s the best we could do during the week.

The salsa lessons are on Wednesdays. We finally found a week that we could go so we put it in the calendar and I brought my special dancing shoes. My shoes are nothing compared to her shoes, though.

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Here’s a picture of Denise’s fancy dance shoes. I found out that night just how “into” salsa dancing she is. Denise is semi-pro!

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This next picture is kind of dark but it shows pretty much the whole studio. It’s not very big but they manage to hold five classes in it simultaneously during the hour. Each group has an assigned instructor. They pretty much just loop the music and we follow the instructor for our group. I followed Denise to the intermediate group. Since I know some basic salsa and teach Zumba classes, I was able to keep up pretty well. I guess this shouldn’t have been a surprise but I didn’t know what to expect.

At the end of the lesson there’s a showcase. Each group demonstrates the moves and combinations they learned that night to the other groups. It’s really pretty cool. I really like how they set up the classes.

Here’s a short video clip that Denise captured of me during the social dance at the end. My dance partner is one of the guys who took the lesson with us and we were practicing some of the moves we just learned.

I really enjoyed the salsa lesson that night. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to share the experience with Brian some time.

I guess that’s all for now because it’s time for bed. Until next time. GNG.

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My News Radio Addiction

Posted on January 14, 2017 by under Hobbies.    

About three months ago I decided that I needed a change to my morning routine. I didn’t have the time to look at the news on Google like I used to and I remembered my wife telling me that our local station 89.1 KMUW was an NPR station. I had listened to NPR before but it had been a long time and I had forgotten what a pleasure it was to listen to their programs.

One morning I decided that I was tired of listening to the rants of the Todd and Tyler show on T95. This was just after the election of Donald Trump and they were both big Hillary Clinton supporters (even though they say they aren’t). Now, I’m not really a political person. I mean, I haven’t even voted and I’m in my 40s. But at the time, I thought it was the only station that had talk radio and no music and I wanted to listen to a station that I could just turn on and let be background noise. So, on this morning I was listening to them rant on and on about the election and how America was screwed but then in the same sentence say we needed to give him a chance. I was fed up with all the double talk and stuff so I changed the station. After years of listening to them, I was finally done. I turned the radio over to KMUW and started listening to them instead.

Since then my radio has not changed from that station. I find it very relaxing to listen to the news on my way into work and on my way home. I feel that their commentary is very neutral (although, I have noticed a few people will write stories with a slight lean towards the conservative side) and they do a good job of sticking to the facts. I like the fact that they keep the articles short. This way they optimize the amount of articles they can fit into the time they have. About a month ago, I found their app and down loaded it. Now I have the ability to finish my news anywhere by streaming it from my phone. If I had a job that I didn’t have to take or make phone calls, I would probably just have NPR running all the time. I can say this, I do turn off the radio when they start playing music or that kind of stuff because I just like the news. It keeps me informed.

Once, when I was in college, I was told by my English Professor that I’m “a wealth of useless knowledge.” At first, I was kind of offended. And I think he could tell. He quickly came back and explained, “That’s not a bad thing. The world needs people like you. So many of us try to focus on the useful knowledge and push the useless knowledge out of our minds but what is useless to some is useful to others. If we all pushed out the useless knowledge then it would simply be gone. Then, in the event that we actually needed it, it wouldn’t be there. But because of people like you, people who like the useless knowledge, we will always have it in the world, available whenever it presents itself to be useful again.”

For a while I didn’t really understand it. However, as got older, I realized that he was right. My focus has always been on the stuff that most people don’t want to think about. My NPR addiction has helped me to keep up with that useless knowledge. I like the news that they cover. It’s not always the mainstream media news. Sometimes it’s obscure news that rarely gets coverage. I like that news. I find it more interesting than the regular news that I can absorb just about anywhere.

I really hope that KMUW will continue to be an NPR station and I hope that NPR will continue to report the news as they do now. As long as they continue down the same path, I will always be a loyal listener.

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Painting Night at Pinot’s Palette

Posted on June 6, 2016 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

We opted to stay put over Memorial weekend because I didn’t want to have to search for subs for my Saturday and Sunday Zumba classes. Plus, knowing that we were staying in town, I volunteered to teach a class on Memorial Day. Yes, this girl does not take any days off. Everyday that you’re alive is a day worth being productive.

Anyway, since we weren’t leaving town but wanted to do something fun, Brian and I decided to check out Pinot’s Palette. We’d done painting parties at Paint the Towne a few times before but we’d never been to Pinot’s Palette.

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We started the evening by having dinner at Sabor, one of our favorite restaurants. We picked it for a couple of reasons: great food and proximity to Pinot’s Palette.

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After our delicious dinner, we headed over to Beyond Napa (next to Pinot’s) to pick up a couple of bottles of wine to enjoy for the evening.

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Jarrica and her friend Sarah joined us. They’re a couple of Pinot’s Palette regulars.

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Obligatory awkward selfie. 😉

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I love how they write your name on your designated spot.

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Me and Jarrica and Sarah…

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Much better selfie…

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Here’s a photo of our awesome instructor.

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Here’s what we started with…

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These are the paint colors we got to play with.

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Jarrica watching the master at work. Brian was fixing my shadows.

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Here’s what we had about an hour in.

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Proof that I painted my own work of art.

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My finished piece…

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Brian’s finished piece…

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Sarah’s and Jarrica’s… they’re pros so they weren’t afraid to deviate from the model.

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All four of us with our respective works.

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Afterward, Brian and I dropped our paintings off in his car and walked over to Oeno where we met up with Jen and her husband Brian and several others.

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Hideki was there in a fancy suit.

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Missy, Paula, Andrea (Ketner), Holly, and Meader were there too. It was too dark and I don’t take very good photos. Anyway, Brian and I had to be up early the next day so we didn’t stay late. We only stayed long enough to dance a few songs.

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Suavemente usually gets played a few times. We were there for the first round. It was hilarious! If you’ve ever seen the hilarious Suavemente video making the rounds on Facebook a few weeks ago, you’ll understand why this is so funny.

What a fun evening! You all should come join us next time.

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