Saturday, November 9, 2013

Catching Up!

Despite what it may seem, I have not forgotten about this blog! I am still a bit angry with myself for not posting more often, as I'd love to be able to look back and see what's been going on in my life! Yet again, I will try to post more regularly...starting NOW!!!

But, first...I must catch up with the past few months. I'll miss a lot, but hit the highlights relating to pictures I took.

In September, I ran a 50K race with one of my best friends.  She's someone I knew before I found out about Thomas's cheating, barely.  We both volunteered for our local marathon, but I never became friends with her due to Thomas's weirdness and the fact that since he didn't have any friends, he begrudged me mine.

She really stepped up, and we've become so close over the past two years.  In fact, tomorrow we are going trail running, touring a winery, and watching our NFL team at her house as her boyfriend makes us vegetarian chili. Score!

Usually, I run my own race, but we agreed that we would run this 50K (31 miles) together.  It was so much fun!  Here is what we saw near the beginning:
It turned out to be a gorgeous day, and we became even better friends due to this experience.  We crossed the finish line holding hands and collapsed in a giant hug.

Two more pictures of what we got to see during our run:
In early September, Steve Earle came to town!  I've been a big fan ever since I saw him on The Wire (best show ever to appear on TV, in case you're wondering.  I am watching Season 1, episode 4 as I write this post.)  As an aside, on a terrible first date, I met George Pelecanos, one of the writers on The Wire.  He was absolutely amazing, and made me love the show even more!

Steve's live show was every bit as wonderful as expected.  I went with my parents; I've become much closer to them throughout this ordeal, which is one of the many silver linings of finding out I was married to a sociopath and getting divorced:
This is the dessert at one of my new favorite restaurants.  I first shared it with one of my best friends (and fellow parrot-enthusiast) a few months back -- brownie with salted caramel gelato, nuts, cherry, etc.  I went back with another friend, and once I showed them the picture I had taken of my dessert earlier in the summer, they agreed to make it for me, even though it was no longer officially on the menu.  Yay!
Here's my good friend near finishing her first triathlon!  Surrounded by geese, which I loved.  Another one of our friends and I chased her around on our bikes with signs, cheering her on.  It was such a great day!
I had been on yet another bummer first date, followed by a lake cruise with friends.  I feel so lucky to live in such a fabulous city!  The views more than made up for the bad first date!
I cat-sat for my good friend and her husband.  Sprecher was watching me!
And the two of them, eating their food:
This blog was originally started to chronicle the antics of my parrots, so we will now enter that portion of this entry!

Here's Max, eating something (shocker!)  Andreas's tank is in the background.  Speaking of Andreas, he has become so much more personable recently.  He asks for me to pet his head!  I'm starting to think certain animals really can recognize evil people, which is why the parrots and Andreas are so much happier now!
And, Beeps: eating some food as well.
Calypso had climbed into Max's cage and was eating her food!  Since I always supervise, this situation was resolved without bloodshed.
Max, perched on some blankets on the couch.  She likes to be near me as I read after work.
Beeps, again.  He's actually not done as well in our new life.  I had begged Thomas to take him, since he never got along with the other birds and would prefer to be solo, but Thomas refused to take any of the parrots, or (not so shockingly), any responsibility for anything.  I had to figure everything out alone, and made what I thought were the best decisions for the parrots were at the time.  I think he feels abandoned, and hasn't rebounded as much as Calypso and Max have.
I'm still trying to eat healthy; here's a pan full of zucchini!
At my new job, I frequently have to go to fancy fundraising events.  This is a shot from a recent one.  The local professional hockey team were our servers; it was pretty exciting to be out there, sitting on the ice!
The meal (vegetarian option) was pretty, but not as tasting or filling as I'd hoped...
Also during the fall, I dog-sat one night for my closest friend and her husband.  They live only a few blocks from me, which is so convenient!  They currently have two boxers (sadly, one is nearing the end of his life.)  They have adopted me as one of their favorite humans, which is so fun!

I was trying to take a picture of Hans, but he jumped up on me and made a good picture impossible!
He always grabs a toy and tries to get me to play tug-of-war:
He wanted to go inside, but since I wanted to make sure they didn't have any accidents, I kept them outside a little longer!
So he decided to rest on their patio furniture, waiting until he could go inside again:
I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to get both of them in the photo.  The older one was coming in for some attention when the younger one pushed him out of the way:
A few weeks ago, some friends and I ran a 5K race that took place entirely inside a corn maze!  It was a lot of fun (though a bit hard on my knees, with the twists and turns), I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen for a year, and I won first place in my age group!  To celebrate, we went to a fabulous Mexican restaurant:
On yet another bad first date, I had some more macaroni and cheese:
I am not even kidding that I could write a blog about all of my bad first dates.  I've had some good ones sprinkled in, too, so no worries!

My dad and I have season tickets to a local NCAA team; the games started recently.  We went to almost all of the games together last year, and it was so much fun!  We're hoping to make all of the games this year:
Last week Saturday, I ran another 50K -- my third of the year.  I wound up third woman!  The race was established in honor of one of my friends who is dying of cancer.  I took what I hope is one of many annual pictures with my friend and his wife (another one of my friends.)  The wife (also my friend) and I will probably run Boston together in 2015.  I have run it before, but was with Thomas (aka "The Dark Cloud of Doom and Gloom") so it wasn't much fun.  Next time, it will be for sure!

Gorgeous picture of me and my race partner running up a hill, at about mile 30.7:
After this recent 50K, there was a campfire to warm us and make us smell delicious:
After the race, my plan was to hang out at home, drink beer, and sleep in.  But one of my friends had another idea in mind.  She's in the process of leaving her abusive partner.  Since I have recent experience with this, I have tried my best to be as supportive as possible.  We went to a haunted house (even though I am terrified of them) and then did a zip line, pictured below:
Today, my parents came up and helped me to winterize my house.  We cleaned the gutters, put some plastic on windows, took out my window air conditioning unit, and played some cards. It was a great evening! 

More to come, on a more regular basis!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back - glad to hear things are going well.
Maybe you should start another blog for the first dates!

Suzanne said...

Don't think of them as bad first dates. Your getting out there and meeting people, even if you don't hit it off it's still a good thing.

Is Beeps acting out? He doesn't look like he is plucking from your pictures. Have you tried maybe keeping him up for an extra 30 mins or so once the others have gone to bed for a little one on one time alone? It could help.

Mary said...

Anonymous -- I might start including some of the date stories on this blog. I also may run, screaming and terrified, out of the dating pool and redefine the stereotypical "crazy cat lady" to "crazy parrot lady"!

Suzanne -- I definitely need to reframe it. There are some odd people out there! My friends are happy for the stories I've been able to tell them. Lots of laughter ensues!

I try to spend one-on-one time with all three of the parrots daily. I think that Beeps is as happy as he can be. I know I'm anthropomorphizing and psychoanalyzing, but I think that he has some pretty severe mental issues stemming from his past abuse. I've had him 7 years now, and he's gotten better, but I'm not sure he'll ever be normal. I speculate he'd be happier in an only-bird home, but he and Calypso vocalize together, so maybe he's as happy as he can be. I'll try to focus on him a little more here. He's very engaging and funny.

Thanks for the comments :)

Suzanne said...

Some birds are just odd from the get go. Lou our macaw I would have sworn to you that he hates women, but my sister and her daughter can pick him up and love him with no issues. It seems it's just me whom he has decided must die anytime he is running loose.

My Cockatoo cant stand it if -any- other animal is between us. If one of the dogs, my husband, or god forbid another bird crosses the room between the two of us she looses her mind and actually throws a tantrum and herself off her perch.

I have a Quaker who is very much in love with a Peach front conure even though the conure in question wants nothing to do with the smitten quaker.

Okay, maybe all my birds are insane. :3 The point I was trying to make was that for some of the worst of them I worked with clicker training. It worked great with my amazon, he now doesn't scream every single time my husband speaks...only some times.