i've been known to break out into song...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Trot 2008...

The upside to a dear friend having your passwords is that if you are ever dead or incarcerated, she can hack in and get rid of anything that needs to 'disappear'. The downside is that, if you send her pictures that she thinks are adorable, she will hack in and post them here. This is Penny and Jenny (catchy, eh?) doing the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. This was just before Penny came and had Thanksgiving dinner with my family where she inhaled my moms candied yams - who knew I had a friend who liked yams? Anyhow, we have decided that this little run is the perfect way to avoid family that you don't want to see on Thanksgiving. You either tell them you are 'busy' or you tell them to join you and then leave them in your dust after a mile. So, you will see us all there in 2009 - this year, though, it was just Penny and Jenny while I was at home playing hostess to the in-laws. Love you guys - you look adorable and I am sorry I wasn't there to hold hands with you across the finish line.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Here is how bad it has gotten....I had no idea

Tristan to Penny: Observation: 21 days since last activity on your blog. 1 month since you actually posted on your blog.

I've been blaming this apathy for blogging on FF, but have now decided it might be due to your liquor-headedness. Do I need to send you to rehab?

Penny to Tristan: lets face it. if you sent me to rehab not only would I have the perfect blogging material in unlimited supply but I would also have plenty of free time. I think we should look into it. do you think my insurance would cover it?

So, what do you guys think? Should I try rehab as a sure fire way to carve out the time to update my blog?
Om and liquor-headedness,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Assemble in 3 Easy Steps

So, I have had this blog brewing in my mind for years now......
A few years back, my Mom came to SLC from North Carolina for a visit. While out and about I decided I should get a barbecue and we would bbq that night. Of course, the biggest factor in selecting a barbecue was a model that looked like it could be assembled easily. Imagine our joy when we came across one that proudly boasted "Easy, 3 Step Assembly". We knew we had found the grill that was meant for me. We carry it (yes, carry. If any of you have ever been to any kind of store with me you know how I delight in seeing how many items I can balance in my arms, mouth, head or otherwise) to the register, pay and practically dance a jig to the car in our anticipation of the grilled food that permeates our future.
Once we get home, we tear into the box expecting this thing to be practically assembled and curious to see what 3 easy steps are awaiting us - like placing the stickers on, or maybe, just maybe, attaching a few knobs. Much to our dismay, what seemed like thousands of pieces, rolled out of the box and into a heap on the floor. Never one to be deterred, I unleashed my inner mechanic and got busy. An hour or so later my mom questioned the "3 easy steps" that had lured us in. My response? Yes mom, 3 easy ones and 14 hard ones. So, I guess the manufacturer didn't really lie, it was more like an omission. Even better, here are the instructions that came along with said bbq:

Yep, a parts list and a picture that looks like a paint by number project. Obviously they spent their time and money developing the large "NO TOOLS REQUIRED" text box. You probably can't see the detail (click on the image to enlarge if you don't want to take my word for it) but all along the right side of the page are warnings about following the manufacturer's shitty directions or ELSE!

So, imagine my surprise when I pick up a bag of Wheat Thins the other day and find this label:

So, let me get this straight -the item that can cause serious injury, death and/or property damage comes with an after school art project for directions and the wheat thins come with directions on how to close the damn bag? I'm sorry, if you don't know how to seal up the snack bag - you don't deserve to eat them and enjoy all the salty goodness they have to offer. I must confess, that was the kind of "3 Easy Steps" I was expecting in the bbq assembly.
Just wanted to point out another consumer injustice.
Om, natural gas and bodily harm,

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Patience of a Lion

Hello friends! Like the title of the much anticipated, LATE AS HELL blog? Someone just referred to me in that manner and I thought it was a fitting way to describe all of you who have been patiently waiting for me to come out of my dehydrated, sleep deprived, post-ragnar state of being. Okay, so race update......I posed a few pressing questions that I know you all are dying to get answered:
Most importantly, I really feel like my aerodynamic pigtails were a hit. Not only with my team but with everyone. During this event people are really pushed outside of their comfort zone, not once did someone snap at me, although I saw this going on all around me. I think this is direct proof of how disarming pigtails are on a thirty -something year old. I'm also quite certain that I was mistaken for a young child several times, that became obvious when a police officer literally jumped out of his car to stop traffic for me and practically held my hand across the street - all the other runners were forced to risk life and limb while they crossed. Or maybe he just had a thing for girls in pigtails and running skirts......As far as the gel packs go - oh, let's see, my mistake. I thought I would be consuming gel packs in addition to regular food, but no. Not only were there VERY few places to get some real food along the way, places like Subway ran out of bread. Yes, it's true. Ran out of bread. How does that happen when you have an industrial size oven and 6,200 lbs of dough in the back? Adrienne (a fellow van 2 team member) made a great point, conveniently they still had "wraps", which apparently were so bad, she speculated they "ran out of bread" intentionally, just to get rid of the wraps before they went bad. While we are on the subject of food, fortunately I brought my own donuts. Nobody else seemed to view donuts as pre or post race food!? Bizarre, I know. I did however, eventually entice a couple of teammates to join me in the partaking of melted chocolate donette gems. I think they are now convinced of the importance of such things before and after events like this. As far as my hope to hit Noodles & Company, or any kind of pasta for that matter - those hopes were dashed in the blink of an eye when I went to order lasagna at Snowbasin (a big, central exchange point) only to be told they were out of pasta. WTF? I just don't get how all these people were running out of food. Obviously, the food gods were not smiling upon me this particular weekend. I had to settle for a salad and a solemn promise from Tim (see good food and friends post for more on Tim) that he would find me some real food, and quick. Of course, shortly thereafter the Subway debacle occurred. Real food translated to some string cheese he brought along and a questionably warm yogurt. Oh and the poison bananas that prompted me to make crude jokes (everyone calls bananas home wreckers, right?) and made three of us in the van sick. Back to the gel packs, I did attempt to eat one in broad daylight - it was strawberry - banana. I managed to get less than half the pack down before I started gagging. At that point I switched to raisinettes. Yes, the same raisinettes that Tim dangled out of the window while I was running (I use the word "running" loosely here) the big hill to ensure that I would keep moving. It was quite hot by the time I hit the hill, so immediately after being poured into my hand they started melting. That particular run is mountain - esque and the melted raisinettes in the palm of my hand reminded me of deer poop. I actually made the van hand me baby wipes to wash my hands as I ran. I figured it would be a pretty lonely run if people thought I had been playing in deer poop, pigtails or not. Speaking of, the deer - poop - like raisinettes turned out to be the closest thing to wildlife I encountered.
As far as overall running, my Echo Reservoir run was my favorite leg. There are a few reasons for this, one being that it was at 3 A.M. which gave me the opportunity to inform my teammates (who were already shocked by my sailor - like dialogue) that I was a woman of the night, in more ways than one. I shouted that little tidbit as I took off into the night, wearing the worlds cutest headlamp and an orange safety vest that was large enough to fit me and John Candy in it at the same time.
Another thing that made me heart this leg was the company, as the most incredible person I have met in a long time came to run with me. After driving the ENTIRE day and half the night coming home from New Mexico, he even then had to run all the way back to his car. I had a couple of little hills at the end there that, absent his company, I would NOT have run - something closer to walking or crawling would have been more like it. And I don't mean because I felt I had to prove something to him (trust me, I've known those men also) - he really couldn't have cared less if I walked, ran or sat down and ate a donut. Mostly, I guess I just liked the pressure free company and thought it was exceedingly nice of him. Then, as luck would have it - said sweet person hit a deer right after he left. But did that deter him? Nope. He still managed to meet me for my last leg and ride along side me for the last part of it. As if that weren't enough, he then went to get me some ice, rescued me from our cramped team van, took me to Starbucks for an iced beverage, and hung out at the finish line with me while I waited to join the team in running across it together! No, readers - he is not a figment of my imagination. Just a really cool guy who is sweet enough for anyone's sister and manly enough for anyone's dad. They do exist...they're just rare.

Another note to self and to any of you who are considering joining the Ragnar Relay next year, there is very little support, aside from your team van, along the way. Don't expect "honey bees" (a nice name for enclosed shit holes aka outhouses) to be around every corner. Here's another hot tip for ya - make a conscious effort to only use the honey bees after dark. In the light of day they are just too much to stomach. Really. Especially by day two. Another tip would be to bring your own digital camera. See, I decided to rock it old school and shoot this event in black and white film. Yes, film - you know where you actually take it to Rite Aid and get butterflies in your stomach with the anticipation of who had their eyes closed and mouth open in what picture.......ahh the nostalgia of it all. Anyway, those of us on van 2 are losers when it comes to sharing photos. Not one of us has emailed pictures to our fellow van mates, though every single person from van 1 has managed to share their photos......That has been the biggest delay in posting this blog, I have a love for blogging with photos and it pains me to post this blog without any photos. Maybe some of my van 2 peeps are reading this and it will motivate them to share one of their many team photos with me........Well, time to wrap this up. If I do get lucky enough to receive some team photos, I will post another blog, introducing all the characters in our van and letting you in on some of the van dialogue! It just isn't as funny if you don't have the accompanying photos. Really, you guys owe my friend Tristan for this (un) timely blog. Without her comments and emails, I would still be patiently waiting (like a lion) for some team photos.
Om and Raisinettes,

P.S. Here is one photo (from aforementioned Echo companion) just to reassure you all that I really was at the race. Once again, I have selected the photo I look the worst in, mostly because I like the old guy in the background checking out my ass. And nevermind the fact that my shirt is stuffed into my bra. After I had my teammates soak me down with water it weighed nearly 70 lbs. I decided to see what it was like to have to lug that kind of weight around in your bra. You know, if you really had boobs.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wildlife, gel packs & recovery drinks? Count me in.

So, I am off to my relay race tomorrow. I plan on sending out text message updates with important info like, what kind of free Powerade and gel packs they are serving, if my pig tails are a big hit, if I have runner's remorse - that kind of thing. If you check this before noon on Friday, leave a comment or text me if you are interested in being on the play by play text blast. It will be nothing short of exciting, I assure you. If you want to know more about this race go to http://www.ragnarrelay.com/wasatchback/index.php I'm runner #9 if you are so inclined to check out the course map.
Rumor has it that the wildlife in the more nature-esque part of our runs is very active at night. I have a run near Echo Reservoir around 2 a.m. let's hope I can avoid another encounter with those religious moose (see running into moose posting below).
I am a little nervous, mostly with details like:
- will I be able to see what flavor of gel pack I am consuming? I mean, if you have ever inadvertently sucked down a mocha flavored one, you know why these things weigh heavy on my mind. That's a mistake you don't want to repeat.
- will I make it to exchange point 6 in enough time to stop by Noodles & Company?
- Donuts, did anyone remember the donuts?
- Oh, and of course - making the team proud. I don't mind making an ass out of myself, but my innocent teammates are a different story.
Well, I need to be going now, the Hostess store is only open for like 5 more hours and let's face it, I have some big decisions to make. Do you think a moose is more likely to chase you down for Tiger Tails or Twinkies??
Om, Pigtails and Powerade,

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Golf, sans pants, the new black

So, in order to spare all of you the clone-like entries that occur when Corbie and I participate in yet another mind blowing, laugh til you pee your pants, unison adventure we decided to collaborate and do one post on her blog. And by collaborate, I mean I was behind her yelling profanities, making up excuses, mis-using prepositional phrases and over comma-ing. Go here to see why GOLF, SANS PANTS is the latest sport taking ESPN by storm. (Patent pending, so don't get any ideas)
Om and 5 irons,


Friday, June 13, 2008


So, I am a little late on this. Weeks ago Corbie selected me as one of the lucky individuals to answer these thought provoking questions. Here you go party people....hold on tight.

3 joys:
- I know this is cliche, but seriously, my friends are the single biggest joy in my life. When you are fresh out of local family (and even if you aren't) your friends are important, all you've got really (well, aside from reality TV - I consider Jackie Warner a sister). And honestly, I have the best friends. I know most people think that about their friends, but people constantly agree with me on that statement. Admitting their friends aren't up to par when compared with mine!
- Freedom. Not just like - give me liberty or give me death kind of freedom, soul freedom! Where you just say, think and believe: Fuck it, I am going for joy!
- Reading
- And try not to throw up in your mouth here: I love my job. I know, sick right?

3 fears:
- Hmmmm, I think mine always come down to not being enough. Which is odd, because I am capable of attaining "more than enough" most of the time, but every now again, you come across your 2nd grade class picture and think, I am just not enough exactly as I am......

- I have a fear of making the wrong decision and regretting it. However, at this point, I go for making the best possible decision for the time being, what more can you do, really.

3 goals:
-Say what I want, when I want. NO, not just telling people off! It works in the opposite direction as well, telling people I love them, I need them, they are important to me......even if it makes me feel vulnerable
- Live authentically, from my heart, with love, laughter, gratitude and courage
- Write a memoir, book or a collection of fabricated stories (you get my point here) with Corbie. You know, something along the David Sedaris line....
3 current obsessions:
Well, see above - I am pretty much obsessed with chasing laughter, grounding, peace, love, courage, authenticity and seriously, writing a best seller with Corbie. Even if it's only a best-seller in her mom's eyes.

3 random surprising facts about me:
-I read the wedding announcements in the NY Times. Seriously funny shit in there. I had no idea people had three first names, two middle names and four last names. And they take themselves SO seriously. Really, if/when I get married I am so taking out one of those. I can see it now, Penny Frates....ummm let's see, first problem - I need more names, second problem? My blue collar upbringing (is there a collar below blue? That was for you YPC, hahahaha). I mean seriously, what are we going to say? No Dr.'s, Dentists or Attorney's in the family. Please wish her and her beloved a lifetime of happiness and poor math skills? Only in the Times.....
-If I brush my teeth with Cristin, I gag. So does she. We have literally thrown up in bathrooms all around the Valley in trying to keep up our fantastic oral hygiene habits.
-I went to Catholic school. And no, I don't have any of the plaid skirts in my possession. Perverts.

So, there you have it. A little insight to all the joy that is Penny!
Om and The NY Times,
Penny Lane Frates, III
(right, like there are three of us out there somewhere...)