Friday, March 26, 2010

Rest and rejuvenation.

{I took this picture on a hike in 2008. Pinnacles National Monument, CA.}

Taking a night off from gym, exercise, doing anything really . . . I think I've eaten some bread . . . some hummus . . . Nothing special, nothing productive, nothing I've labored on. I'm just breathing in and letting the week drain from me.

I might draw a bath, I might read a book . . . maybe. This evening, I soaked up the later sunshine on my balcony. Cozy in my big chair, I semi-sort-of dozed and idly flipped through a book and sipped some Earl Grey (my favorite). I drank in every ounce of still, quiet and serene.

Tomorrow is a mental health day . . . Maybe I'll sleep in late . . . go to yoga . . . climb some walls . . . drink tea and read.

Found a fun book called "Entre Nous" at Anthropologie. Gosh, I love that store. I would furnish my house in fun things from there . . . except my budget doesn't exactly allow for that. LOL. Maybe one day when I'm rich and famous . . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I have gone 'round the bend.

Looking back through my blog, I searched for a post that would have talked about the marathon I ran last April. I didn't write anything. Nothin'. Zilch.

There were several posts leading up to the big day, but none detailing what happened, how it went, what the course was like . . . at all. (Note: There IS a note written on my Facebook, but I'm still shocked that I neglected to post here.)

Well, I'll give myself another shot. Two of them, actually. At some point, yes, I'll post about the marathon last year, but in the not-so-distant-future, I will also have another post about the marathon I'm running in October.

Yesterday, I signed up for Marathon #2 -- which will be prepared for more safely, thoroughly and with much greater peace of mind. On October 30, I will be running the Napa Wine Country Marathon -- 26.2 miles of Callistoga trails.

I am SO excited.

Below is a picture from after the race. Please note that the squinched up, puffy face is from when I crossed the finish line and promptly began bawling at the wave of emotions that hit me. Ha ha ha.

Annie hugging me at the finish line. She put my medal around my neck. All I could sob was, "I did it!"

Okay, NOT a hot photo, but I'm just glad you can't quite see all the tears and snot. Also glad photos don't have odors associated with them because I was smelling a little ripe, to say the least.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I don't know how I managed, but I put in two HOURS of climbing today . . .

Considering only about half of that was actual climbing (the other half I was on belay), I torched about 800 calories. (No joke.) But oooooohhhhhhhhhh am I going to be sore tomorrow . . .

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend recap

- Visit from Annie
- New hair (don't know what you can tell from the picture, but it's about the same color -- kind of a medium-dark brown)
- Vegan Chinese food in Mountain View
- Drinks at O'Flaherty's Irish Pub (new favorite!)
- Gallavanting around downtown San Jose with a friend from college
- Late-night veggie burgers at Peggy Sue's
- Santana Row farmer's market (1 lb each of baby bok choy, mustard greens, and Swiss chard, plus a bundle of cilantro -- $3.50. Rock on!)
- Nice long drive

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The point of no return (sort of).

I have once again reached the point where one box of hair dye will simply not be sufficient. My hair is barely past my shoulders (by about 2 inches) and it's T-H-I-C-K. So thick, the bottle of hair dye I used just now was sputtering and running out just as I was finishing up the crown of my head.

Whew!!! But by the time I dye again, I'll probably need a second box . . . just so I can be totally thorough.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Make me over . . .

There's such a buzzing, positive vibe going around today . . . and I think I caught it.

This week has been a teensy bit trying as I was trying to recharge without actually giving myself time or opportunity to do so. As much as I try to fight it, I AM an introverted person - I communicate better in writing, I can be more withdrawn in some social situations because having lots of people around physically/mentally/emotionally drains me, etc. I'm not shy, not antisocial, I just need my alone time to energize myself.

So this morning at the office, we're busybusybusy . . . but it feels GOOD, surprisingly enough. I feel like I've caught a bug - a positivity/optimism bug and I like it.

I feel more productive and engaged in my workplace. I feel like I'm growing . . . It sounds a little hokey, I'm sure, but when I'm slammed in a positive way, I enjoy feeling like they're keeping me stimulated and on-my-toes.

If I had a million dollars . . .

Just for today, I'm inclined to think on what I would do with a million dollars. There's so much I'd like to do, but what would make it special? I mean, I'd love to pay off my car, buy a house, and all those other lovely things that would set me up so I'm not shelling out several hundred dollars a month in rent and car payments, but what else . . . ?

* Traveling

Kind of a given, but I'd love to tour Morocco, Egypt, India, Australia, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Italy, Ireland and Spain. I'd die to go to Greece, but I'm saving that as my ideal honeymoon. If the future hubs and I don't go to Greece . . . You know what, scratch that . . . I really hope to marry a man who knows how happy that would make me. (Obviously, I could change my mind, but for now, I'm just dreaming.)

* A library

What I would give to have a whole ROOM of nothing but BOOKS! To put all of my books in one area and keep adding and adding to the collection. Ah, to be supremely wealthy and have something like that! I consider myself very fortunate to have had two parents who both enjoy reading and liked reading to me when I was little. I had a babysitter who was in school to be a teacher at the time who taught me so much -- like how to count to 20 in Japanese when I was two. My first grade teacher probably impacted my love of reading the most -- she sent me home with chapter books while other kids took home little paper books their parents would sign saying Little Johnny had read this aloud to them. I've been a big reader ever since -- heck, I got my degree in reading! (English literature, folks.) To have a room all my own filled with some of the best stories ever penned? My heart races at the thought . . . :oD Maybe someday . . . For now, I'm content to have my outdoor reading space on my balcony.

So that's a short list of what I'd do with a million dollars. There's plenty more I'd like to do (like have a small amount set aside for my wedding someday, save for my kids' college funds, etc.) but those are more pragmatic, future-minded decisions. These are just for fun . . .

What would you do with a million bucks? :o)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Conversation between me and my buddy, Adam:

Me - Oooh! Oooh! *raises hand* Campaign suggestion!!! We should have Jim answer everything with "That's what she said."

Adam - Vetoed.

Rats. Guess this is why I'll never really have a career in politics . . . This and my irrepressible sarcasm and inability to take anything too seriously.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The best laid plans . . .

Last night sooooo did not turn out the way that I'd expected -- in fact, it turned out better.

I left work a little worried that I'd be late to the fundraiser because I was wanting to go home and change my pants. As luck would have it, pomegranate lipgloss had dripped on my pants earlier in the day, meaning I had a lovely berry-colored stain on one leg. Fabulous.

In a last minute change of plans, I opted not to go home because the stain was located near the inseam of one leg and I rationalized a.) most people wouldn't be looking at that spot on my pants, and b.) that I could always just keep my legs crossed and no one will notice at all.

The fundraiser started off a little . . . erm, boring. (Sorry, Adam -- I doubt you're reading this, but just in case . . .) Political fundraisers are reputed to be a little dry and this one lived up to that. It got progressively more interesting (one gentleman stopped by claiming to be the most accurate, prolific prophet alive today -- we didn't really know how to take that) and ended with me and Adam -- the campaign manager and possibly my long lost cousin (we have the same last name) -- hanging out afterwards with another friend and some leftover wine.

My mom had sent me a text earlier asking if we could postpone our run, so at that point, I decided to relax and not stress about the agenda for the rest of the evening. I was at the restaurant until almost 11. They had kicked us out of the restaurant to close and we all still sat in the parking lot and chatted for a while longer.

I didn't get to bed quite as early as I'd hoped, but it was a much better night than anticipated. Today, I'm wearing green and sipping birch beer with lunch. (All of my readers and blog buddies on the east coast probably know exactly what I'm talking about, but let me tell you, finding birch beer in California is like trying to find a four-leaf clover (not impossible, but pretty frickin' hard!) I haven't had this stuff since I lived in Pennsylvania! (It's been at least fifteen years!)

Kudos to Mollie Stone's for carrying birch beer and a happy St. Patrick's Day to all! I am celebrating my diluted Irish heritage by eating potato chips. (Hey, potatoes are an Irish staple, no? Okay . . . maybe I'll pick up some soda bread too. Ha ha ha.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Losing steam

It's only Tuesday and I'm fading quickly.

A whirlwind trip, back in the office, visit from my boyfriend and much busyness tonight helping a city council campaign, running, and trying to do ten other things . . . I'm losing steam . . . fast. I'm also going to run/walk with my mom.

Couple this with a less-than-optimum level of sleep and I just feel very run down . . . on Tuesday.

I have company coming this weekend and I have a race I need to be training for, gym time that I need to squeeze in, other stuff that I'd LIKE to do, but I just don't have the energy for.

I'm trying to take care of myself in the mean time - it would be really bad to get sick now. Trying to eat well, wash hands more frequently and take in lots of fluids since I know I'm a walking target for a cold/flu.

I feel like if I sleep well tonight, I should be okay. I'm crossing my fingers.

Work until 4:45
Leave, get to fundraiser at 5:30 (have to swing by apartment for workout clothes)
Leave, get to house at 8:00
Leave, go home at 9:15-9:30
Shower and bed (hopefully) by 10:00

Somewhere in there should be a shower and phone call to Alex, though I'm sure he'd forgive me if I crapped out tired by the end of it all. Here's hoping I sleep better tonight than I have the last few nights.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Flight to Vegas (Or: How Robyn Scored a Free Beer)

I love Southwest Airlines - they are friendly, accommodating, timely and best of all, cheap.

I left San Jose on one of the most beautiful days we've had in a while -- warm, sunny, perfect. I packed, I cleaned my apartment (seriously - spotless perfection! was so nice to come home to that!), I met my mom downstairs and she drove me to the airport.

Given the warm weather in San Jose, I chose not to pack my heavy wool coat. I figured my Fresno State Alumni sweatshirt would be A-okay in case of cooler temperatures in Vegas. Walking through the airport security, of course it meant I got a quick pat down from the security officer, but whatever -- I was comfy, warm and good to go.

Southwest has open boarding, meaning I got to sit wherever I wanted. Naturally, I chose the front row, aisle -- all the leg room in the world. (Well, as far as planes go that is.) As I'm settling in, I buckled my seat belt and opened my book.

"Hey! Fresno State!"

I look up and the captain of the plane is staring and pointing at me.

"Yeah?" I said.

"I went to Fresno State! Do you live in Fresno?"

"No," I said, "Not anymore. Just when I was in college. But that's so awesome that you are a Bulldog too!"

"Wow. Small world. Yeah, I went to Fresno State a long time ago. I liked it there."

I smiled and chatted with the captain politely, but he soon ducked into the cockpit to fly the plane -- as all good plane captains should. I saluted him with a friendly, "Go Bulldogs!" a wave and a smile.

About twenty minutes into the air, the flight attendants begin taking soda orders. One approaches me, leans down and says, "The captain would like to buy you a drink. What would you like?"

Oh yes.

"Um, I'll have a beer, thanks," I said.

The beer tasted awesome at 30,000 feet and I was grinning the whole ride. How cool was that??? As I got up to grab my notebook and pen from my purse in the overhead bin, I heard, "Hey! Fresno State!"

I looked back a few rows and a young guy in slacks and a shirt with a neatly trimmed goatee is pointing at me and smiling at my sweatshirt.


"I went to Fresno State!!" he said enthusiastically.

Wow. Small . . . freaking . . . world. I guess it's not too shocking -- Fresno and San Jose are three hours apart, but still . . . two Bulldog alumni in one night??? That was a "Whoa!" moment.

I told my fellow Bulldog about our good captain and sat back down to write him a thank you note. I didn't see Captain Jeff (the flight attendant wasn't sure of his last name) after we landed, but that was okay. Leaving the note with the flight attendant, I stepped off the plane and into the Vegas airport.

A good start to the trip . . .

My note:

Captain Jeff, Thank you so much for my drink and more importantly, for flying me safely from San Jose to Las Vegas. :o) As it turns out, a gentleman a few seats behind me is also a Fresno State alum! I guess the Bulldogs were in good company this evening. Thanks again! Take care, safe travels and best of luck to you. Go Dogs!!! :o) Sincerely, Robyn Horn, Class of 2008.


While entering this post, my title bar remembered the word 'surfacing,' which tells me I need a bit more creativity on these posts . . .

Any way . . .

There is much to update on -- the past week has been a bit of a blur with a trip to Vegas, the flight back, a brief check-in at the office and then hosting Alex for the weekend . . . Dang. A lot.

But all in all, things were great and there are many points of joy to update on . . . later. Right now, it's very late, I'm sleepy and need to wash down my NyQuil with an Airborne chaser. (Plane cooties are gross -- I need to be more proactive about traveling germs because coming down with a cold after vacation is lame.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Recap: the first 24 hours

Just so you know...

- Bulky sweatshirts will get you a pat down when going through airport security
- Sometimes the same sweatshirt will get you a free drink
- Fremont Street is actually a pretty neat area of Las Vegas
- Champagne brunch buffet creates a strange, constricted feeling in one's waist (can't really figure that one out... Lol)
- Vegas has no open container laws, which is how I got to drink the rest of my champagne as I waddled back from Main Street Station to our hotel without getting arrested

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Point of joy yesterday -- bouldering with new friends. That was really great. :o) My hands are all roughed up, my arms are tuckered out and I think I still have chalk in my fingernails.

Bliss. :o) It was really good to be trying, stretching myself.

Today felt good to sleep in . . . I'd told a friend I'd help canvass neighborhoods, but last night I bowed out so I can get everything ready -- for Vegas!!!!

Tonight, I'm getting on a plane to Las Vegas. I'm meeting Joanna in Vegas and we're going to be there until Thursday. Blogging may be a bit more sporadic, but I'm really stoked for a long, long girls' weekend. We found an amazing deal through Priceline -- five nights in a hotel on Fremont Street (part of the more historic part of Las Vegas) and a plane ticket from Illinois (where Joanna is) for $230.

Sweet!!! And we're off!!! :o) I'm packin' my bags and my mom's picking me up in six hours. Awesome.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I passed my belay test - I'm certified to belay!!! :oD For anyone reading who might not be familiar with the terms, I'm certified to manage the ropes and basically keep other people from falling to their death while rock climbing.

I'm really excited. (Definitely my point of joy for the day.) You see that red card attached to my harness? Oh yeah . . . That's my belay certification card.

Feels goooooooooood. :o)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This title might be a bit misleading as I didn't actually climb tonight. But watching, seeing people go higher and higher up the 60-foot walls (yeah, that's right 6-0) made me feel a bit more at peace with everything, made me a bit more motivated for how I'll be changing, how my body will be different for the process.

Today I'm joyful about my gym - the comfort I'm beginning to feel in this new setting. I struck up a conversation with a new person there tonight and it felt good not to isolate myself or wait for an acquaintance to be my social crutch for a few minutes. (When did I get so shy??? I didn't used to be like this!!! What happened?!) It's about pushing myself more and more . . . and I'm growing happier and happier about that decision.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tears and Rain

No, I promise, I'm actually in a pretty good mood - in spite of some general badness from yesterday. Thankfully everything got resolved pretty easily, the big mess up wasn't my fault (thank goodness!) and life went on.

The title of this post is the title of a song I'm really digging lately - "Tears and Rain" by James Blunt.

The dreary weather brings me to listening to David Gray, Cat Stevens, the Beatles (but really, who NEEDS a reason to listen to the Beatles? - right, nobody), Missy Higgins, Amos Lee, and James Blunt.

Today, I am joyful for good tunes, good coffee, my favorite kind of weather and the vase of pussy willows on my counter. I don't know why, but I look forward to those every year. Maybe because you really only ever see them in the spring? Perhaps because I like to pet my plants? Who knows . . . All I can confirm is that they're so stinkin' cute and look adorable in my purple vase on the counter. :o) Photo to come . . .

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lesson learned: don't do yoga on an empty stomach

Went to a vinyasa yoga class tonight at Planet Granite. I think I would have loved it more if I weren't trying to keep my balance from the light-headedness I was experiencing. The class began at 7:30 and I had gone straight to the gym after work (got there around 6:15). I ran, but not to the level I wanted. I moved into the poses, but not with the coordination I was expecting. It took about 30 minutes of classwork to put two and two together: body was tired, energy pretty darn low.

Normally, I don't think I would have let this affect me, but I tried to remember when I had last eaten. My mind did this: "..............." Crickets. I figured if I couldn't remember the last time I'd fueled my body, it had probably been too long. No wonder I felt so funny! I was very hydrated, but starting to get dizzy and felt weak.

The last time I'd eaten anything substantial was 2:00, though I'd snacked on some celery (yeah, I eat it plain because I'm weird and LOVE the flavor of celery) around 4:00.

Lesson learned. Don't go to yoga with a full tummy, but don't expect a good experience without some sort of fuel in your body. Considering my diet today was almost purely produce, it's no surprise that it was burned up pretty quickly.

So now I'm eating dinner and it's after 10:00 at night. I am joyful for food in my tummy (spicy tofu with broccoli).

Other things that brought me joy today:
- yoga, even if I did get dizzy in that warm studio
- breaking a sweat
- rain (I really am a fan of seriously miserable weather)
- a short to-do list
- getting ready to go on vacation (woohoo!)