Running Fast

Ivan ran the Human Race 10K (which is about 6.3 miles) on August 31, 2008 in London. It was called Run London. It’s a race that competes with other people doing the 10K run around the world. It looks like London did a great job.
Ivan’s time was 58 minutes and 0 seconds. That’s a great time!

The results of the run of Ivan

I think it would have taken me 3 hours to finish 6.3 miles. I don’t run because I have bad ankles. Jogging on the treadmill is good enough for me. I’m so proud of him! He did an awesome job. Ivan thought he did better since he kept passing up everybody. He wanted to beat the average London time. The time was 57 minutes and 44 seconds. He was only 16 seconds off! He ran for under an hour in the rain. That’s quite an accomplishment!

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Spinning, Good Food and Games

The girls from work wanted to do the Stripper 101 class at the V Theatre on August 2nd. The people who were planning on going were me, Rainee, Marie, Michelle and her mom Debbie. Rainee had to cancel at the last minute since she was going out of town. I invited my friend Alisa. She had to cancel as well. I tried to get Charisse to go, but she couldn’t make it. Michelle invited her friend Tabby. Tabby and Marie cancelled because they both didn’t feel well. Stripper 101 is a class where an instructor teaches you lap dance moves and moves on the stripper pole. I met Michelle and Debbie at the V Theatre at the Miracle Mile Shops located in the Planet Hollywood Casino & Hotel. I picked up the tickets and then went to the store to get a Monster energy drink. I was tired, so I needed something to wake me up. The tickets came with a free drink. Michelle and her mom each ordered a slushy margarita drink. We had to a sign a liability waiver. We went inside at 6 pm. It’s located in the back room. We walked in the back of the V Theatre. At the time there was the Fab Four Live show going on. The room was dimly lit and all the chairs were facing backwards to the stage. I thought it was weird that there wasn’t much light in there.. but it’s supposed to be dark like a strip club. All the girls straddled the chairs. The room looked full. There was a few bachelorette parties and Debbie was celebrating her birthday. The instructor’s name was Kindra. She worked in strip clubs for 10 years, so she had a lot of experience. The first part was learning different moves on how to give a proper lap dance. Michelle and I kept laughing because we were supposed to be sexy and touch our bodies. It was hard to hear the instructor since the show was loud. Also, a few Mexican women kept talking loudly. The instructor was funny. She was great at showing us the moves. There was a good move that had a roll, a snap and a hip dip. I forgot the name, but I remember how to do it. We got pictures taken if we wanted to do it. Debbie and I declined to do the individual picture. We wanted to do the group picture though. Michelle took a nice individual picture. The room was pretty loud. All the girls were having a great time. The next part, we learned two moves on the Stripper pole. The first was the squat spin. It was actually easy to learn. The second move was called the Fireman’s Spin. Basically, you have your hand high on the pole and you go around the pole. Then, you throw your outder leg onto the pole and it makes your legs spin down the pole like a fireman. It’s sooo much fun! I kept doing it because I enjoyed spinning around so much. It made you dizzy though! Kindra told us we would get a certificate with our Stripper name on it. She gave us a list with suggested Stripper name. We checked out the list. Debbie picked Elektra. I liked Jasmine. Michelle came up with Vixen. Kindra asked how many x’s she wanted and she picked three. We also got to pick up a page with general notes of the class and a fortune cookie. It was a great class. You get to learn, laugh and be sexy. It’s a really fun class. It’s perfect for bachelorette parties.

How did the fortune predict I would have fun at the class?

How did the fortune predict I would have fun at the class?

We checked out our pictures. Michelle’s individual picture was really cute. The group picture wasn’t good. We didn’t end up buying any pictures.

On August 3rd, Maria was having a birthday party at my parent’s house. Maria is the daughter of my brother and sister-in-law. She was turning 2 years old.

Maria is such a girl!

Maria must put on her make-up

My mom cooked a lot of food. There was chicken and pork BBQ and of course, her famous shrimp tempura. Kara brought salad (she makes awesome salad!), 10 layer dip (my brother made it) with chips, strawberries with cream and chocolate chip cookies. Charisse made brownies. Kara’s mom, Karen brought her delicious signature dish baked ziti. There was so much food! I ate so much baked ziti. Karen knew I loved her pasta and told me to save some for later. I’m glad I did! I ate way too much food! Everything was so good, I kept eating more. There was a lot of people there that I haven’t seen in a long time. My brother’s friends Scott & Stephanie, Dennis & Kelly, Rocco and his wife and Joseph came. It was greating seeing Kara’s family – her mom Karen, dad Richie, sister Dena and grandma Mimi and Uncle Kim.

Me, Kara & Karen

Me, Kara & Karen

Maria & Maya chilling on the pink chair

Maria & Maya chilling on the pink chair

There was a bunch of kids in the house at one point. The kids always seem to entertain themselves by playing games and running around.

The adults were playing board games. They played Apples to Apples for awhile, which is always fun.

Playing Apples to Apples

Playing Apples to Apples

Maria opened her gifts and wanted to play with the toys.

I played one round of Apples to Apples. My brother, Arsenio asked if we wanted to play another game. He brought Balderdash and Sequence as well. I suggested that we make two teams and play Cranium Wow. Cranium is so much fun because there’s a variety things you do. It’s a long game though. I like when you draw with your eyes closed, sculpt different things and act like characters from popular culture. It was cake time. Maria didn’t blow out the candles though.. Kara did it for her. She had a cute Dora cake. The kids were all playing the Wii at this point. I had a great time at the party.  There’s more pictures from the party on Flickr.

I was at work on Monday, August 4th.  I came back from break to get my iPod.  I usually take a nap on my break so I listen to Ocean Surf to help me relax.  Brandon says there’s a surprise for you.  He covered my eyes and took me to the surprise.  It was a fruit basket.  I’m like who is this from?  It was a lovely gift from Ivan.

How sweet!!  I took it home and shared it with my parents.  The fruit was soo delicious.

Day 3 in Southend & A Walk along the River Thames

On the morning of June 29th Neal made a great big breakfast for Ivan and me. The meal consisted of scrambled eggs, vegetarian sausages, mushrooms, bread, cheddar cheese, tea and strawberry smoothies. It was the best home made breakfast I’ve had in years. Wow, it was really delicious!! It was such a sweet thing for him to wake up early and make everything for us.
We drove towards the pier and walked around Southend. There’s actually some places with Las Vegas names like the Circus Circus.

The places have games and arcade games right near the pier.
We went inside one place and played a game. It’s like bingo.. but you have to cover the numbers with a little black plastic thing that’s attached to all the numbers.

Numbers Game

Numbers Game

I actually won once. It must have been beginner’s luck. There’s a free theme park right by the pier. It has cool rides and roller coasters. We didn’t ride anything.

I think Ivan really wanted to ride the big yellow roller coaster. Then we walked to the Southend Pier with Ivan’s parents. This pier is the longest in the world.

It’s 1.34 miles according to Wikipedia. Yes, we did walk down most of the pier and then took the train back to the beginning.

Me & Ivan on the Southend pier

I am taller than Ivan for once!

It was a little cold and windy on the pier.

Denise & Ken

Denise & Ken

It was definitely good exercise! It was quite a walk.

My feet were hurting afterwards.
We went to the Cliffs Pavilion to have tea and a scone. It’s nice to have a cup of tea to just relax and talk.
I really enjoyed my time in Southend. It’s a nice place. There’s things to do that are different from London. Ivan’s family were all so welcoming and friendly. I see where Ivan gets his kindness from. Ivan’s mum Denise is so sweet. She’s just like any cool mom. She’s always willing to help you out. She told me if I needed anything I shouldn’t be shy and just ask. Ivan’s dad Ken is full of knowledge. He’s a little quiet but a nice guy. Neal, Ivan’s brother, is a funny and cool guy. He’s also a good cook. I wish we spent more time with Ivan’s family in Southend.
Ivan’s parents drove us to the train station. We took the train back to London. The ride is about an hour long. We dropped off our luggage at Ivan’s flat. We went down to the River Thames to walk around. It’s a great walk since there’s so much great things to see.

Tower of London

Tower of London

We walked past Tower of London and I took some pictures. We walked down Tower Bridge.

It’s a beautiful bridge.

We also walked past the HMS Belfast. It’s a big floating Naval museum. We walked a lot and got to see the Tower Bridge at night time.

What a great view! It’s really weird since it doesn’t get dark until like 10 pm in London. But, Ivan said in the winter it can get dark really early like 3 pm.  It was a good day with a lot of beautiful sights.

That’s it for now! I’ll have another post up as soon as I can. It’s been a lot of editing of pictures. Also, I must head to the library to get internet access. I’ll have some Scotland pictures next time!

Sweet tour

Ivan and I headed to get fish and chips at The Rock & Sole Plaice on June 25th. It’s London’s oldest fish & chips shop. Ivan got cod while I got the haddock. My dish was really good. The fish was delicious and not greasy. The fries were crunchy. Ivan liked my haddock better. He said it tasted sweeter than the cod.
We headed to Forbidden Planet. It’s a huge store with memorabilia, and tons of manga, comics, movies and anime. I could have bought so much here. The price of the mangas were about the same as in the U.S.
We headed to St. James Park and Green Park.

The parks are great areas to relax in. Ivan bought some bread at the store.

Ivan feeding ducks at the park

We fed the birds and ducks at the park. We also saw squirrels. They didn’t like bread only nuts.
That night, we headed to Hackney to see Madness at the Hackney Empire. Ivan said they’re the quintessential London band. The theatre was quite old. Ivan bought a Fez outside the theatre.

Peope in Old Time London outfits

There were some guys and girls dressed up in old time London clothes. We were standing downstairs near the stage. The first half of the show was their new album. I didn’t find it as good as their older music. Everybody came to hear the classic stuff. I was waiting to hear Our House.

Madness playing at the Hackney Empire

The band was good. The audience got really excited when the older stuff was being played. The people started dancing and pushing. It was a good show. I only knew some of their music.

Ivan saw on TripAdvisor about the Fat Tire Bike Tour. We went to take the tour on Thursday, June 26th.

On the Bike Tour in London

We first biked down Kensington Road.

view of Kensington Palace

We stopped at many places like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James Park. Our tour guide David was an American. He looked similiar to David from Real World: Seattle. He was very friendly and seemed to love his job. He told us history about the different sights we saw.
We stopped at a pub for lunch. I wanted to get the Bangers & Mash (in Violet’s honor hehe)… but they didn’t have it on the menu.

Beef and Ale Pie at the pub

I had the Beef & Ale Pie. It came with mashed potatoes and vegetables. My pie was really tasty. The mashed potatoes didn’t have much flavor, but it tasted decent. Ivan had the Fish Pie. He ordered fries.

Me having a cider at the pub

Ivan and I each had a organic cherry beer. It was cold and tasted sweet. It was a great tour.

We\'re on a bridge at the park

I liked seeing the different locations and I got exercise too. It made me tired.
For dinner, we ate at Leon. I had the Moroccan Chicken Tangine. It came with chicken mixed with vegetables and rice. It also had some coleslaw. My dish was rather plain. We shared some hummus with bread. Ivan had the Magic Mackerel with Cous Cous. I was still hungry so I got a dessert. I ordered the Nectarine, Orange Blossom and Almond Pie. It was a nice and sweet pie. I’ve never had a dessert like that before.
We went to go watch Billy Elliott in the evening. It’s a story about a boy who is talented in ballet. It also shows the Miner’s strike that happens in County Durham. It’s a great musical. It’s funny and very entertaining.
We were going to catch a boat ride on the Thames Clipper but it was raining.

Sorry for the short update. It’s been hard to find time to actually edit pictures and put everything up online. I will be placing all pics on Flickr.. when I’m done editing them back in America. The next update will be about my trip to Southend with Ivan’s family.

Shape up!

I was thinking about how to shape up my thighs. I know that walking is one way but I wanted exercises targeted towards the thighs. My boyfriend suggested squats and lunges. I did 30 of both yesterday. Sometimes I have to crouch to get things or put away things at work. My legs and thights hurt like hell today. I was walking down the stairs and that hurt too. I worked it out good! Here’s more great exercises here for the thighs and butt.
It’s so hard to eat healthy. I try, I really do. It’s hard when at my job, the food is free and it’s just so many different foods I shouldn’t be eating. Sometimes it’s hard not to be tempted by all the good stuff. I’ve never been the best dieter. I love food too much. I think I may try the 1500 calorie diet. Hopefully, I’ll remember to count the calories every day. I’m known for forgetting things. I’m going to try it out though.

Motivational quote of the day:

Some succeed because they’re destined; others succeed because they’re DETERMINED.

– Anonymous

Yes, I’m still here…

I haven’t posted anything lately. Sorry about that! I switched to a morning shift with weekends off. It was a big change compared to my swing shift with Thursday and Friday off. It seems I do have alot more time to do things during the week now. It’s was a bit crazy at work with two big conventions. We had two very hectic weeks. I recently trained to cover for my manager when he’s gone. I hope I am doing a good job. I was involved with some office politics. But, there’s another guy who has been trained to cover as well. Thank goodness it all got resolved.

I just turned 31 and I’m not sure if I really do feel older. I didn’t even want to really do anything to celebrate though. My boyfriend and I just had a nice dinner together. I do still look young so that’s a plus. Thanks to my parents for my great genes. Hehe. I do feel some creaks in my bones though. I think I will have arthritis one day since my mom has it.

I started working out today. I was trying to like two months ago but then I stopped. The boyfriend and I are trying to do our best with working out. I got some Burn 60 at GNC and whey protein. He has some whey protein and some creatine drink. I’m going to try my hardest to stick to it. It’s great that I have somebody who will motivate me to keep up with it. I’ve always wanted to lose weight but of course laziness got the best of me. It’s not time to make excuses anymore. I’ve actually been eating better. Today, I walked a mile. I also did some sit-ups, push-ups and some arm exercises with 2 pound weights. I will have to buy heavier weights eventually.

Here’s a great weight loss motivational quote for the day:

Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.

– Unknown Author