Scenes From a Turkey Trot

Yesterday, in what has become a Thanksgiving tradition for me, I got up and went to Arvest Ballpark to run the Springdale Police Department’s Turkey Trot 5K.  This is a little funny given that I no longer run unless I am absolutely forced to do so, but having participated for several years, it seemed like the thing to do — especially given that it was, after all, Thanksgiving, and the desire to eat foods that are less than caveman-esque would inevitably prevail over my half-hearted pledge to remain faithfully Paleo despite the culinary temptations available to me at mealtime.  

Surprisingly, I did not arrive at the ballpark with visions of blog fodder dancing in my head, yet it was only a matter of minutes before I was using my iPhone for more than just a beat-supplying device — If I’m going to run, I must have a beat.  That’s the rule. — and its Nike Sensor powers.  Yes, I saw rather quickly that my iPhone’s camera app was going to be essential to a successful morning.  What was my first clue, you ask?  Well, while standing in the exceedingly long line to obtain my timing chip, I saw this:
There were four of these “Indians.”  They all wore skinny braided headbands in what I think of as Fall/Thanksgiving colors, with a feather sticking up in the back.  The boxer puppy was part of their entourage.  Frankly, I was a little surprised that Fido wasn’t wearing a headband, too.  It was the moment when I spied their little “tribe” that I knew it was going to be a good race for blog fodder — and that I wouldn’t even have to resort to a commentary on the ills of too-tight running tights on bodies that were never, ever intended to wear tights (and believe me, I saw some), men wearing saggy-seated running tights — seriously, I followed one up a hill (on the allegedly “flat” course) for a brief period, till I decided to use the quads and hamstrings CrossFit has generously bestowed upon me for the greater (or at least my) good and pass him; how do tights end up bagging in the seat??? — or my eternal disdain for visors.  

A few minutes later, I’d made my way to the front of the (timing) chip line, moved my vehicle to a location closer to the start/finish line, selected my race music (P!nk’s The Truth About Love CD) and joined the crowd assembled for the start of the race.  Unfortunately, the Turkey Trot doesn’t start till 8:10 a.m., a fact I had forgotten when I lined up at 7:55.  Although it was a 58 degree morning, there was a pretty hefty breeze blowing, and I was getting chilly just standing there waiting.  Luckily, I saw a couple of things that distracted me.
There are a couple of distracting things in this photo.  You might think I am referring to the daddy-daughter duo in the fall-colored tutus.  You would, however, be incorrect.  Admittedly, the dynamic duo was the intended subject of the picture, but when I uploaded it to my macbook, I became bothered by the obvious display of a fanny pack by the woman in the foreground of the photo.  I’d like to saw she was the only one I saw sporting one.  Unfortunately, I would be lying if I said that.  

Look, I am not going to lie; I have a black pouch (purchased from a specialty running store) that I use for longer races.  You know, marathons and half-marathons; the kind of things I haven’t run in a long time.  I don’t generally wear one for a 5K, though.  What’s the difference?  Um, for a longer race, I need to bring carb snacks, perhaps some lip balm, maybe a small body glide, my ID, and I am likely to put my phone or iPod in the pouch as well, so I don’t have to carry it by hand the whole way, oh, and cash, in case the idea of hailing a cab becomes preferable to finishing the race.  (Okay, I’m kidding about the motivation for the last one.  Kind of.)  For a race that is going to take approximately 30 minutes (for me; not for the fast people) from start to finish, however, that stuff is not necessary.  Did I carry lip balm yesterday?  Yes; in the back pocket of my tights.  Did I carry some Quench gum?  Yes; in the side pocket on my tights.  Did I carry a car key?  Yes; in the pouch on my running shoe.  Did I carry my iPhone?  Have you been paying attention to this post?  Of course I did.  But I had already planned to carry it by hand, and once the fodder-quotient became apparent, it became essential to carry it by hand anyway.  (Seriously?  How was I going to take picture with my phone stuck in a pouch or pocket somewhere?)  My point is, I don’t get the, well, point of the fanny pack for a 3.1 mile race.  Especially since it clearly wasn’t one designed for any activity outside of looking like a total tourist.  And believe it or not, all the ones I saw yesterday were the same way.  I can just imagine the beating the wearers took from their flapping fanny packs as they ran/jogged/speed-walked along the course.  I just don’t think I follow the necessity.

Now, back to the dynamic duo…
Folks, that is a seriously secure man standing there.  And look how cute he and his daughter are in their matching tutus.  I am not going to lie; his fluffy tulle skirt caught my attention, but I really can’t come up with anything snarky to say about this one.  In fact, points to him for doing this.  (I am a little concerned with how comfortable he seemed in the skirt — I saw him on the course after the race started, and it didn’t seem to be bothering him in the least — but even that is said somewhat in jest.)  I am impressed.  I don’t know anything about his relationship with his daughter or about his parenting skills, but if his willingness to attend what has become a pretty large race dressed in a tutu to match his kiddo’s is any indication, I’m going to say that is a good daddy right there.  

Also while waiting on the race to start, I noticed this crafty little t-shirt.
No, really; it’s there.  You just have to look past the reappearance of “Fanny Pack” to see it.  I am not much on themed holiday wear.  By that, I mean that I think such things should be banned, and a heavy fine should be imposed by the fashion police for those who insist upon violating the rules by wearing them.  This turkey made of colored ribbon is no exception to my suggested ban.  (Side note: The ban would also include Halloween and Christmas sweaters, to name a couple.) And what I didn’t realize until I saw these ladies on the course was that the pink t-shirt had also been defiled with a colored-ribbon turkey.  It was like a craft project gone wrong.  Shudder.  

I mentioned it was almost 60 degrees out, right?  I could not believe the people who were dressed as if they were running in the cold, rain, and sleet.  (Folks, that was two years ago; not this year.)  People were bundled up wearing lots of layers, headwear and earmuffs.  Wow.  I’d hate to see what they wear when it really is cold outside.  I debated what to wear myself; it was a little windy, and I struggled with whether to start out in long sleeves.  I know me, though, and I knew I’d end up wanting to peel off layers if I started in them, and that I’d end up having to take extra time to remove them, and then I’d have to tie them on so they didn’t get in my way.  Consequently, I went with capri-length tights and a tank.  This girl?  Went with layers.
Please excuse my earbud cord.  I failed to get it out of the way.  There is precious little wrong with what this girl is wearing.  The horizontal striped tights (with a pattern in the stripes) and the color combination were a little distracting/eye-catching, but other than that, I don’t know that I can say a lot else.  Her clothes seemed to fit her properly, and were not unsightly or ill-combined.  I just wonder how much she regretted her layering choices when she started getting warm.  (This photo was somewhere near the one-mile mark.)

Also near the one-mile mark, I caught up to TurkeyHead.  I first glimpsed TurkeyHead while waiting in the chip line, but she somehow escaped before I was able to get a photo.  I looked for her while waiting on the race to start, but was unable to locate her. I just assumed that she removed her, um, hat, for the run.  That assumption was erroneous.  
I don’t know where one goes to find such a thing, or why one looks for one in the first place, and I really don’t want to know.  I also can’t imagine wearing that on my head while running.  Cymber and I used to wear tiaras for Little Rock’s Race for the Cure, but they had combs on the sides to help keep them in place.  (Don’t judge; that’s my job. And really? There are so few opportunities in life for one to wear a tiara that one must seize opportunities when they present themselves.) Somehow, I have doubts that the average turkey hat has combs to secure it in place.  (Side note: These ladies obviously started off in long sleeves and warmed up quickly, hence their jackets worn as waist-capes.  I congratulated myself at this point for leaving my long sleeves in the car.)

A few (or several, depending on your definition of each of those words) minutes later, I crossed the finish line.  Leaving the race, I had to stop by Walmart to pick up the some things for my contribution to the evening meal.  In my defense, I had already picked up the ham; I didn’t go last-minute on everything, just the ingredients for the (Paleo) pumpkin brownies.  Okay, and the brown sugar that I was told to put on the ham.  (I feel for the folks who had to work on Thanksgiving, I really do, but I was really glad they were open so I didn’t have to fight hoards of people to secure my ingredients Wednesday evening after work.)  As luck would have it, something caught my eye on the way into the store.
Yes, I know; you can’t see it very well, can you?  Well, maybe I can help…
Yes, those are black and white plaid flannel pajama bottoms (that seem a little too large).  You can’t tell, but trust me when I say she had on black Toms or Toms-like shoes. Although I think I have made my position on the wearing of pajamas in public clear– and if I haven’t, let me just say: it shouldn’t happen!!! — I will tell you, the pajamas were among the least disturbing elements of this outfit.  I mean, we can all tell she had on a black bra, because her transparent, questionably-fitting white t-shirt left little to the imagination in that regard.  I know I’ve asked this before, but does anyone else remember the old days when foundation garments were worn to serve a purpose — “lift and separate, anyone??? — and that purpose did not involve being displayed for all to see?  Would there be something wrong with returning to those happier times?  And it would be wrong for me to skip this fashion tip: most of us do not have a body that is suitable for display in the manner in which BlackBra is displaying hers.  If you don’t have such a body, don’t do it.  And if you do have such a body, think twice; Walmart is not the place for such displays.

Once I paid the ransom at the checkout line — how does that happen?  I know I bought new food-storage containers so I could bring back plenty of leftovers for Sweetie, but I am still struggling to figure out how I spent that much during a quick trip to Walmart that didn’t involve the purchase of anything fun — I headed to the truck.  And I saw this… 
Although there are a number of places I could go with this, I am going to refrain other than to say (1) that color is calling all kinds of attention to that body, and not in a positive way; (2) the shape/size of those pants is pretty much wrong for that body. (Straight leg, maybe??); and (3) for the love of all that is good and holy, it is Thanksgiving day; can you put the freaking capri pants away already???

And because it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without someone busting out the cheesy Christmas top…
Snowmen.  With cargo pants and an intricately-braided bun, no less.  Again, if we could just get a ban on cheesy holiday-themed items, this lady would have received a citation and a fine.  I’d launch into a round of “Which one of these things is not like the other? Which one of these does not belong?”, but nothing about this look is consistent with anything else about it.  Honestly, I was just baffled.  

And with that, I headed to the house to bake a ham.  (Hey, if they were brave enough to eat it, I was brave enough to bake it.)  I hope everyone had a Happy Day.  

It’s the Thought that Counts

Yesterday morning, after going to CrossFit and soundly thrashing my shins and forearms with a jumprope — darn double-unders! — I headed back to Sweetie’s house with thoughts of breakfast dancing in my head.  I’ve eaten my cooking, and I’ll be honest and say that I don’t necessary recommend doing so to others.  Because I really wanted Sweetie to eat — Why is it men have this amazing ability to “forget” to eat?  Why don’t I have that ability? — and because he has mentioned banana pecan waffles several times recently, I decided I’d call the local Waffle House and see if they had such an creature on their menu, and if so, place a to-go order I could pick up on the way back from the box.  (Fun with Definitions: CrossFit “gyms” are called “boxes”.)  The overly chipper answerer of the phone at Waffle House indicated that they do, indeed, have banana pecan waffles, so I placed my order, made the fasted trip ever to the grocery store, and made a beeline to pick up breakfast.
Now, you must understand that I was feeling quite proud of myself at that point for coming up with this idea.  After all, in our 3.5 years together, I have never picked up breakfast, let alone banana pecan waffles, so I expected Sweetie would be really pleased with his morning meal, and that idea made me happy. 
My order was ready when I arrived at the Waffle House, so I was in and out of there in a flash, and headed to Sweetie’s house.  Upon my arrival, I announced that I’d brought breakfast and that breakfast was banana pecan waffles.  They smelled heavenly in the car between the restaurant and the house, by the way.  Sweetie seemed pleased as I placed his still-hot waffles (and sausage) on a plate and handed it to him.  I’ll admit that I noticed some kind of dark things in the waffles as I was putting them on his plate, but I didn’t investigate; I thought they were probably either the pecans, or bananas that had darkened after being on the griddle. 
I sat down across from Sweetie with my plate about the time he decided to investigate the “dark things” in his waffle.  He flipped one over, and announced, “Um, these are blueberries.”  Well, crap.
Sure enough, the waffles that were supposed to be banana pecan, were actually blueberry pecan.  This would not have been a deal-breaker for me, as I love blueberries, and will sit and eat them by the handful.  Sweetie, on the other hand, does not eat blueberries.  Ever.  Under any circumstance.  Ever.
Naturally, I offered to call Waffle House to see if they could correct our order.  Sweetie pointed out, however, that he is reluctant to eat anything after a complaint is made concerning an order.  Quite a valid point, but I was still extremely bummed that my breakfast surprise had turned into a total disappointment.  Sweetie, however, was beyond great about it, and even professed that it was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever done.  Wow!  I guess this was one time when it really was the thought that counted.  (Of course, another stab at banana pecan waffles will be taken soon…)

Chev-to-the-ron, baby! (An Experiment in Live-Blogging)

Special thanks to Tracey for the title idea.

6:04 PM — ON THE WAY. I am on the way to meet my friend Hannah at the NWA Boutique Show. I was supposed to meet her 4 minutes ago, but twenty minutes in the bank’s drive-thru will make even the most punctual among us — which I am not — tardy.

I did see this fine example of quality parenting while waiting in line. I am pretty sure that kiddo is of an age and poundage that he should be in some sort of restraint rather than hanging out the window…

6:34 PM — STRIPES ARE STRIPES: We have arrived and battled our way past a sea of chevron to get inside. One of the first things I saw on the way in, though, was this great example of chevron-gone-wrong. As Tracey pointed out, stripes are stripes, regardless of the zig and the zag. And on some shapes? Well, stripes just shouldn’t happen…  It’s a great try at a cute outfit.  I’ll give her that.  But I’m pretty sure if she realized how very posterior-emphasizing this skirt is, she would have opted to wear her chevron elsewhere on her body.

6:35 PM — NO PHOTOGRAPHS.  I’m going to have to be even more careful with my covert photography than usual since there is a sign that prohibits taking photos of the booths.  Of course, I am not really taking photos of the booths or their wares.  I am photographing the other attendees…  (Wonder if that explanation will fly if I get caught…?)
6:37 PM — OOF.  Speaking of things that are not flattering… As Tracey said when I sent this picture to her, that’s a lot of denim. Bless her heart.

6:40 PM — ALL CHEVRON IS NOT CREATED EQUAL.  I understand that chevron is very hip and happening right now. I understand that chevron was part of the evening’s theme. I also understand that there is a big difference in a nice, neat chevron and looking like a really unfortunate Easter egg. This? Yeah, this is the latter.

6:52 PM. RE-PURPOSED PHONE CORDS.  Reusable hair wraps. Um, that’s a phone cord.  With beads.  I guess now that next to no one has a corded phone these days, the phone cord manufacturers need to do something with all that slinky-shaped stuff.  I am not sure I have a good suggestion as to what they should do with it it, but why on earth would I want it tangled up in my hair? 

 (In the interest of not taking photos of the booths, I swiped this photo off of the Internet after the fact. And yes, for anyone who cares about the tabs at the top of the screen capture, I was attempting to learn how to field strip a particular firearm at the time.)

6:56 PM — TULLE. Okay, that’s it! I want a freaking tutu!  
(In the interest of not taking photos of the booths, I swiped this photo off of the Internet after the fact.)

7:03 PM – SEQUINS.  Wow! That’s a lot of sequins. And are those rubber rain boots?  With mustard yellow leggings.  I mean, it isn’t raining, but they kind of have that look.  And they are a bit incongruent style-wise with the sequined skirt.  I just don’t “get” this outfit. 

7:14 PM — BLANKET DRESSES. You know that super-soft, ultra-cuddly fabric they use to make blankets and stuffed animals for babies? I won’t lie; I fondle that fabric when I encounter it (which isn’t often, as I don’t spend much time around children. Shudder!); it’s soothing to the touch. With that said, I would not wear that fabric as a dress. And the lady peddling them? I’m going to say she shouldn’t wear a dress made out of it, either.

7:18 PM — PROMOTING YOUR PRODUCT. The sign above the booth says, “It works! Body Wraps”. Um, what do they do? And does the lady hocking their wares use them herself? Because if so? I am very frightened about what this product would do to my body (and my hair, for that matter).  Let’s keep walking.  Quickly.

This individual is NOT looking at the body wrap booth, but her facial expression is appropriate.

7:23 PM — HATS. Not a good picture, but that is okay; it isn’t a good hat, either. Pretty sure she’s trying to pass it off as chevron. It isn’t.

7:37 PM — GOOD OBSERVATION.  Standing in front the Swanky Sooie booth, Hannah comments, “it just seems wrong to have BBQ and Razorbacks on the same shirt.”
 (In the interest of not taking photos of the booths, I swiped this photo off of the Internet after the fact.)

7:44 PM — DOUBLE TROUBLE.  Making one last lap around to pick up a couple of things.  I just keep seeing things that distract me.  Like this:

It is November.  She is wearing some seriously tight capri pants, flip-flops, and a shoulder-baring example of chevron-gone-wrong.  And as if this isn’t bad enough… Her Bobbsie-Twin is following along right behind her… I. Am. Not. Kidding. 
Once was not good.  Twice?  Well, it certainly is NOT nice.  Yikes!
7:49 PM — RELAX.  We have stopped to look at a pair of boot socks we saw earlier.  They were white, but appear to have been tea-stained, and they have ribbons and a button sewn on them.  I think they are adorable.  Hannah thinks they look used.  She says she played in the mud as a child and recognizes dirty socks when she sees them.  I, however, am taken with them and am making the purchase.  As I turn away from the merchant with my socks safely bagged, Hannah looks at me and says, “RELAX!!!! Don’t do it!!!!”  For a moment, I think she is talking about my sock purchase.  Then I realize the DJ has changed songs, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood is blasting from the speakers.  Ironic timing.
7:54 PM  — I MUST HAVE IT. I saw this painting early in the evening and managed to talk myself out of it.  I continued to lust after it, though, and after successfully talking myself out of it more than once, I finally gave in.  It now hangs in its new home on my living room wall. 
Here’s why:  Two years ago, I ran across a purple coffee table at a flea market.  I liked it, wanted it, and decided I couldn’t use it.  After telling my mother about it, we decided I could use it with my red couch and love seat, along with zebra print.  Sold on the idea, I returned to the flea market in the hope that my purple coffee table was there waiting for me.  It wasn’t.  And for the last two years, I have regretted not purchasing the darn thing when I saw it.  I bought the painting because I feared if I didn’t, it would be my “new” purple coffee table, and two years from now, I’d still be wishing I had gotten it. 
8:00 PM — CALLING IT A NIGHT.  We are leaving the convention center and going in search of food.
Overall impressions:  I am glad we went.  The people-watching was spectacular, and I found gifts for a couple of people, as well as a couple of “gifts” for myself.  With that said, it was really pretty disappointing.  I suspect those with small children might have enjoyed it a little more than I did, but really?  How many hair bows does one child’s head need?  (If you were a vendor at the boutique show, the answer was obviously “an infinite number”.)  I do think it was worth going.  Once.  I’m not sure that I will repeat the experience, though.