Friday, November 19, 2010

The Great Outdoors

During yesterday's run, I noticed an animal rustling in the bushes. I got worried at first, as i was running near a very ominous canal behind my office and I've had alligators on the brain (thank you, Starwood Owner-exclusive offers ... Gatorland is a pretty scary concept, surpassed only by The Holy Land Experience).

Turns out, there was an armadillo in the bushes. This is just the second time I've spotted an armadillo in the wild, and the other one was dead, so that doesn't really count. Of course, I run over to check it out, then realize that I know nothing about armadillos. Are they aggressive? I assume not, considering they're a walking suit of armor, but some things are better not to assume. And it's always important to err on the safe side when running alone. Here are a few easy tips for running safety:

1) Always be aware of your surroundings.
2) Map your run before you go.
3) Ditch the music. Or at least run with one earbud out.
4) Ladies, skip the booty shorts. Female runners will attract unwanted attention while running in full sweats. It's a workout, not a beauty pageant.
5) Run with a friend. A big, scary friend. Or join a running group. It's hard to throw more than one person into the trunk of a car.
6) Avoid running at night. You won't see armadillos and alligators lurking in the bushes, poised for attack.
7) Consider running with mace. Or a gun, if you're the governor of Texas.

Pretty crazy story, this spring, Texas Governor Rick Perry was jogging with his dog. He saw a coyote, felt threatened and shot it! And they say the weirdest news occurs in Florida?

Pretty impressive. Running with a gun seems like a responsibility I'm not ready for yet. The armadillo population would be in danger.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Musical Motivation

Just posting the playlist for tonight's spin class. Ojos Asi by Shakira is a particularly fun song.

Please feel free to recommend some motivating music. I'm always looking for new suggestions.

Thankful Thursday

Thanksgiving is two weeks away! To get in the spirit of the holiday, here are the top ten things I'm thankful for this morning:

Things That Rock
1) Living in sunny Florida. It's November 11, and I'm wearing my favorite rainbow flip flops to work. They're standard attire year round.

2) Casual dress codes at work. Again, I :heart: my rainbows. And wearing jeans and leggings every day.

3) Facebook. It is the primary way that my mom and I communicate. It's really helped us stay close despite her living more than 600 miles away in North Carolina. And she always "likes" my updates. :)

4) Great friends. Life would suck without them.

5) Kai Ryssdal and MarketPlace on NPR. He makes the stock market exciting.

6) & 7) This Is Why You're Fat and People Of Walmart for providing excellent entertainment. Like the Baboon Heart on This Is Why You're Fat. It entails cream cheese, a burger stuffed with salami, provolone cheese, fried egg, buttered toast, fried turkey, bacon, grilled onions and peppers, spicy ranch dressing, muenster cheese, all on a bagel. Breakfast of champions. If your name is Adam Richman.

8) & 9) Married to the Sea and Natalie Dee. Their web comics rock.

10) Urban Dictionary, for its exceptional ability to answer all of life's mysteries.

Finally, and most importantly, thank god it's Thursday. Woo hoo for the weekend!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

America's Favorite Cities

Travel + Leisure magazine just released their survey results for America's Favorite Cities:

It's an interesting read, particularly for those who work in the hospitality industry, like me. And you can actually pit one city against another in a face-off of city awesomeness.

Sorry Orlando, but you lose.

On a pretty fascinating note, you won't want to miss the rankings for where to find America's most beautiful people. Not surprisingly, a majority of the cities listed are in warmer regions where people tend to wear less clothing in general. After all, it's hard to show off your figure when you're buried under a parka and a snowsuit. Here's your top ten:

#10: Nashville, TN
#9: Denver, CO
#8: Austin, TX
#7: San Juan, PR
#6: Honolulu, HI
#5: SLC, UT
#4: Miami, FL
#3: Savannah, GA
#2: San Diego, CA
#1: Charleston, SC

The #1 city threw me for a loop! I tried to think of a famous Southerner to reinforce Charleston's position on this list, but the only person I could think of was Paula Deen.

By the way, did anyone check out her stick of butter costume? Love it!

Anyway, I quickly remembered that Paula Deen is from Savannah, not Charleston. Regardless, it's a smidge surprising to see a southern city land the top spot on this list.

But, the coolest thing about the list is that it takes personality into account. Cities with the friendliest people also had some of the most attractive people. Just goes to show that a smile can be an instant, FREE makeover.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pump up the jam!

Nothing like a high-energy playlist and spin class to reverse the damage of desk jockey butt. Here's my playlist from tonight's class ... may it provide a little inspiration and motivation for your next workout! :)

1) Womanizer by Britney
2) World, Hold On by Bob Sinclair
3) United States of Pop 2009: Blame it on the Pop by DJ Earworm
4) Take Over Control by Afrojack
5) Elevator by Timbaland and Flo Rida
6) Escape Me by Tiesto
7) Loca by Shakira (hmmm, turns out that song features Dizzee Rascal)
8) Memories by David Guetta
9) Dare by Gorillaz
10) Gotta Get Through This by Daniel Bedingfield
11) Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk
12) Bang Bang by K'Naan
13) Welcome to the Black Parade by Natasha Bedingfield
14) Strip Me by Natasha Bedingfield

I'm constantly looking for high-energy songs for spin class, so please send me any recommendations you may have. Is there any particular artist or song that gets you totally pumped?

Most of my favorite "Get Pumped Up" songs aren't particularly appropriate for a classroom setting (Lil John's Get Low, anyone?), so I could definitely use a few recommendations.

Happy Tuesday!