Can you guess the highlight of my weekend? Think maybe it has to do with basketball? With the Mountaineers making it to the Final Four? IT DOES! The West Virginia University Mountaineers are going to the Final Four!! I’m still giddy about it. As I was saying to my friend who’s a Duke fan, this does not happen for us. The state is perpetually made fun of. The students have a reputation for being focused on nothing but partying. Coaches leave our teams for ‘greener pastures’ all the time. We’re under-rated, disrespected and laughed at all the time. And although it’s just a basketball game, to see my school on such a big stage, is absolutely, positively fantastic. I had the time of my life at WVU, found myself there. Figured out who I was without my family and the comfort of my hometown (Pittsburgh). Because of that, that school and that state are very important to me.

This is from ESPN, talking about an advantage WVU might have going into the game against Duke:

Advantage: Huggs and the passion of a people. Huggins has professed his love for the state of West Virginia throughout the run to the Final Four. He has waxed poetically about the game being piped into the mines in West Virginia. He seems genuine about how much this run means to the people, a state in which he is beloved and returns the affection. This is Huggins’ cause in Indy. A year ago, Michigan State was able to ride the depressed auto industry into rallying the people to back the Spartans. Huggins has an entire populous in West Virginia behind him in his attempt to deliver good news — in the form of a title — to a state that doesn’t always receive much positive press nationally.

Anyway. Moving on to eventful incident #2 of the weekend. Murphy destroyed some blinds. On Saturday morning he was looking out the window and got his little head stuck in the cords of the blinds. Because he’s a dog and doesn’t understand logic, rather than stand still, he took off like a bat out of hell and took the blinds with him. They shattered, plaster and dry-wall was destroyed, and he was afraid to even look at the windows for several hours. So now we’re in the process of hanging up new, improved blinds in our front windows. Those suckers are expensive! The previous owners left us with $3 per window blinds, but when we went to hang the $30 per window blinds in the same spot, we found that the holes for the new brackets were already there… meaning the previous owners had good blinds in the windows and took them with them when they moved! Bastards! But I totally want to do the same thing! I didn’t realize what a big difference nice blinds made, but they look great. Unfortunately we’re still in the process of switching things over, so the house looks a bit ghetto. One window sans blinds, one window with cheap blinds, one window with non-cheap blinds.

I think I need new running shoes, but I’m afraid to buy them. I have a history of quitting the gym mid-stride, and I don’t want to plop down a bunch of dollars on shoes if I’m not going to wear them. But my feet are cramping like crazy when I run, so I’ve gotta do something. Oh, I’m doing Couch to 5k again. I went to the gym for three straight weeks, then started the program. I’m now on week #2 and am determined to finish. I’m going to be able to run three miles, dammit!

Speaking of running, walking, whatever, I’m participating in a wonderful fundraiser for the Wake County SPCA. So if you have any extra money laying around, feel free to sponsor me and every penny will go to help abandoned animals find homes.

Good morning, party people. I’m sleepy.

How about this for dedication: yesterday I had some errands to run pre and post gym, so I packed my work-out gear and off I went. When I got there and got changed, I noticed I forgot my socks. Which is disgusting. Who wants to work-out in bare feet? Can you imagine the stench that would rise from my running shoes once I removed my bare feet? So I went to my car to see if perhaps my socks fell out of the bag. Nope. I looked all around, and finally in my trunk I found a pair of green fuzzy sleep socks with dark green spots. They’re about as thick as three pairs of regular socks combined, and they go half-way up my calf.

I had every opportunity to leave, to go home, to forget about exercising. But I stayed. I rocked the green sleep socks with my black shorts and red shirt, and I worked my butt off.

And now I’m contemplating Chick-Fil-A. Today is allowed to be my day off and one morning of fast food isn’t going to kill me, right? Especially not Chick-Fil-A. I choose to believe they’re a healthy fast food chain.

Last night I went to Allan’s soccer game, and it was his first co-ed game I’ve been to. I’ve been to many, many men’s league games, but this was the first time I saw him run around on a field with girls. He told me there isn’t as much contact in co-ed. No slide tackles and things like that. But it was pretty violent! See the guy in the picture? The one who’s reeling backwards after being hit in the face? Yeah, that’s my fiance. Not as much contact, my ass!

I’m not trying to make any sort of political statement, but I’m tired of the negative, blanket statements I keep hearing that paint those who need help with health insurance as lazy, irresponsible, uneducated people who can’t take care of themselves. I’m not a fan of this health care bill, not a fan of how it was passed. I think something this sweeping in nature needs support from both sides of the aisle, and that this should have been tackled slowly, methodically. But I’m a perfect example of why something needs to happen. I’m 30 and healthy and unemployed. When I went to get my own insurance after I got laid-off, the best I could do was pay $200 a month for coverage that didn’t kick in until after I paid $2500 out of pocket. It was basically catastrophe insurance. And it denied my right to coverage for asthma and depression. The reason I went for that plan was because of my history with asthma and depression, I was either denied by other companies, or my monthly payment was upwards of $500. It’s not right. It’s not fair. Something has to be done to make this better and I don’t know what the answer is. Scary thing, though, I don’t think government knows what the answer is, either.

Allan’s downstairs making me my 900th fruit smoothie of the weekend while I’m upstairs jamming out to Enrique Iglesias. Woot!

Seriousy: I really am listening to Enrique Iglesias and Allan really is making me a fruit smoothie. But it’s not really my 900th of the weekend, it’s only my sixth. But that’s a lot of smoothies. Later today we’re going to Red Lobster for lunch where I’ll attempt to chew soft seafood. This is the joy of newly-applied braces, people.

My feet are actually aching, my arms are sore and I’m very tired. Yesterday was a 12-hour-day at the RBC Center. Women’s Empowerment. And it kicked my fat ass. There’s basically nowhere to sit whle we’re there, so I essentially walked for about 11 hours. Which is why I don’t feel guilty for skipping the gym. Oh! And the best part! I have to be back at the arena at 3:00 for another hockey game. Once I make it through that, I’m going to give my body permission to be catatonic for a while.

Some random things.

First, this morning I passed two trucks carrying live chickens. They were smooched up against the side of the open-air, wire containers going about 65mph. They were probably uncomfortable and cold, and it made me feel awful for them. Doesn’t seem like a very nice way to treat an animal who’s about to give its life so we can eat.

Second, I’m very sad about the whole Sandra Bullock/Jesse James thing. She seemed so proud of him and in love with him, and if he cheated (and all signs indicate he did), how awful for her. Usually celebrity scandals have no impact on me, but I think this is really sad.

So, onto some non-random things.

This time I’ve got it right: I’m getting married in six months! Six months from today I’ll be be-bopping down the aisle, holding onto my dad’s arm as he leads me to the man I love. I can’t wait!! I’m so excited and I’m so ready to be married to Allan. Everyone’s telling me that these next six months are going to fly by, and I hope they’re right. I want it to be official. I want that man to be my husband.

You want some more pictures of my teeth? Okay! I really only do this so I can have a record of what my mouth looked like before, after and during braces. For the four of you who read this blog, I’m sorry you have to see so much of the inside of my mouth.

As you can see, my braces look really ugly, and they’re already starting to throb. Let the fun begin…

My hands are cold. Although we don’t have a complicated heating and air conditioning system here at Casa de Sandovich, I can’t seem to get the heat to go on. And since it’s a balmy 50 degrees in Raleigh today, heat is necessary!

I’m also pissed about my health insurance situation. Ah, the life of the unemployed, a never-ending string of excitement. To be considerate of time, I’m just going to say that my old employers are being unresponsive and evasive and as such, I’m getting screwed out of health insurance. Or affordable, quality health insurance, I should say. And it’s frustrating as all get out. Life is hard enough with the stresses of having NO JOB, but to have to deal with this stuff, too, is ridiculous and unfair. I’m tired of things being ridiculous and unfair.

I went to the dentist this morning for my six-month cleaning. Because of my mouth’s super awesome ability to build-up tartar at lightning speed, I’m going to need to get my teeth cleaned every three months while I have braces. No cavities to report, but I have to get two fillings replaced due to old age. Thus Novocaine… and nitrous oxide! Yuuummmm… nitrous oxide! Nothing like getting high legally and under supervision! It’s cheesy, but for someone who does no drugs and can’t handle alcohol, I’ll take my thrills where I can get them.

Since the remainder of my braces are being applied on Thursday, it’s time to unveil my bottom teeth. I think I mentioned in here that a friend said my top teeth were ‘almost British,’ well, my bottom teeth are totally British. But I’ve never really minded cause you can’t see them. They don’t show when I speak or smile. But in order to get an accurate picture of what my mouth looked like before and after braces, they must be photographed. With the D90. Will you be able to handle the clarity? I don’t know if I will, but here goes…

Okay, they don’t look as bad as I thought, but in person they’re much worse. They could be the mold for scary Halloween teeth, trust me.

Although I think Allan is lying, he always tells me he thought my smile was beautiful before braces. Says he never really paid attention to the crookedness of my teeth. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.