Friday, December 21, 2007

Clash of the Choirs--Recap

Thank goodness I did not spend all my nights this week watching "Clash of the Choirs." I got all I needed in one night in between watching "100 Best Songs of the 90s" on VH1. Such a better show!

Here's the premise of the show. Five choirs competed for a quarter of a million dollars to give to a charity in their hometown. The five choirs were led by famous people. Team Rowland (Houston) was led by Kelly Rowland formally of Destiny's Child and now from the college football commercials (he he!). Team Bolton (LA?) was led by Michael Bolton. I love that he gave a shout out to Nicollete Sheridan last night. LOL! Team Shelton (OK City) was led by Blake Shelton. He's a country music star for those of you who don't know. Team LaBelle (Philly) was led by Patti LaBelle. And finally was Team Lachey (Cincinnati) led by Nick Lachey who should be famous from 98 Degrees but probably more famous by being the ex-husband of Jessica Simpson. The choirs were selected by audition in their hometowns and were brought to NYC to compete and be judged by audience call-ins, ala American Idol-esqe. Team Rowland was the first team eliminated and then team Bolton. Last night was two hours of recapping, finding out about the teams, hearing all the sappy stories, and actual choir performances. That's why I didn't need to watch the other three nights!

Anyway, "Clash of the Choirs", I believe, was sponsored by "First Sunday", the new movie with Tracey Morgan. Throughout the night snippets of the movie were shown along with Morgan talking about the movie on stage. After an mid-episode elimination of Team Shelton, the remaining teams were finally brought on the stage with about two minutes left in the show. Tracey Morgan was brought up on stage to rip open the envelope and deliver the winners. He was all butterfingers as it took him forever to open the envelope. Then he points toward his left and says "This team over here." Then you had to listen really closely. And thank goodness the TiVo allowed us to rewind it and laugh and laugh and laugh. Morgan says, "Team Lay-He". Tracey Morgan had been in attendance the whole night and still could not pronounce Nick Lachey's last night. Couldn't the producers have told him who would be winning and how to pronounce his name? Was he drunk or simply not paying attention?

Besides the very first act of the night forgetting the words to the solo (of a popular Christmas song, mind you), Tracey Morgan screwing up Nick Lachey's name made the show absolutely awful and spectacular. God bless reality TV.

Monday, December 17, 2007

2007: Year in Review

2007 has been an amazing year. Dave and I did and experienced things we only dreamed we would get to do.

Let’s start with running. In March I received a surprise and found out I had been selected to be a part of the Goody StayPut endurance team. I received massive hair care products in return for representing the team at local and national races. My first race as a team member would be the Boston Marathon. After training for 12 hard weeks, we showed up in Boston this year greeted by a Nor’easter. Weather bulletins looked grim and after shuffling down to Boston Commons to catch the bus, I decided not to do the race. In hindsight it was a poor decision as the weather improved, but I had no desire to sit in the pouring rain and wind for hours waiting to start the race. Three weeks later, though, I ran the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati and ran a great time of 3:38. I had the privilege during the summer to run with five of my track girls in a half marathon. It was an honor to be a part of their tremendous goal. Dave and I, along with several of our friends, decided to run the Columbus Marathon this year. I chose to do it to help my friend Mary qualify for Boston. Leading up to the race, Dave and I ran several smaller races, including one half marathon in which we both did great. Dave achieved one of his Life List goals by running under two hours. He smashed his personal best by 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the weather tripped us up again this fall and we were not able to run the Columbus Marathon the way we had anticipated. I ran a 3:44 and failed to help Mary qualify for Boston, and Dave ran a 4:38. He says he is never running Columbus again! :) I am looking forward to running Boston again this spring (Nor’easter or not). This will be my 10th marathon and I plan to do it up in style.

Dave and I took our dream trip this summer. Years ago we wrote our Life Lists and in 2007 decided not to wait to accomplish our dreams. Early in 2007 we decided to just go for it and booked our airline tickets to Italy. After months of planning and much studying by Dave, on June 3rd we boarded our flight. We flew, we traveled by train, we utilized the subways, and made friends with the water taxi all in an effort to experience Italy. For 2-1/2 weeks we toured Milan, Florence, Montalcino, Lucca, Rome, Venice, and Zermatt, Switzerland. There are so many stories that it’s hard to condense into few words. Dave loved Florence; I loved Venice; and we both want to return to Zermatt. We ate great food, drank lots of wine, and soaked in the Italian goodness. I am so glad we decided to take that trip.

Continuing along the theme of accomplishing our Life Lists, there were many other things we got to check off. For our fifth wedding anniversary this September, Dave surprised me with a hot air balloon ride. Although I was a little bit scared, it was amazing. We got to watch the sunrise and surprisingly the ride was very smooth (although not the landing). During the summer I was contacted by a publishing house in Cleveland that wanted to use one of my pictures, a self-portrait nonetheless, in a book about Ohio State fans. My picture was credited and I received two complimentary copies of the book. “For Buckeye Fans Only” will be available on December 28th, 2007.

And finally I took a leap of faith this fall and started my own business. For years I have wanted to go into business for myself and on October 31st that dream became a reality. Meredith Gordon Photography was launched on Halloween and we have been busy ever since. People have been saying such kind things about my art and I look forward to further growth in the years to come.

I never imaged at the start of 2007 my year would go the way it did. What will 2008 hold? I hope to continue pursuing my photography business and hopefully it will develop into something full time. I plan on running the Boston Marathon again this spring and will be pursuing new personal running goals. And mostly, I want to search for new life goals and dreams and begin checking more off my list.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

This is the Christmas edition of Thursday Thoughts. My aunt sent this to me the other day. Instead of answering it in an e-mail, I'm going to answer it in this post. Feel free to respond to the same questions in the comments or post them in your own blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper, but I'm terrible at wrapping (but totally awesome at rapping). I love to watch people open their presents.

2. Real tree or Artificial?

Artificial; I'm allergic to the real kind. We have GIANT tree. It's about 9 feet tall and about 4 feet wide at the base.

3. When do you put up the tree?

Usually around my mom's birthday on the 13th.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Soon after Christmas.

5. Do you like egg nog?

Nope. I'm not much of a milk fan, so why would I like the egg nog?!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

My parents are very thoughtful gift givers (they never asked for a list--and still don't). Most gifts I got were fantastic.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes. Dave's aunt buys us a piece to our nativity scene every year.

8. Hardest person to buy for?

My brother-in-law, Rob.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

Myself, duh! And I do a lot of that at Christmas and even wrap them and put them under the tree or in the stocking.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Mail. I've designed my own this year from a photograph I took. Hopefully they'll be printed in time to mail them.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

I hope my mom's not offended. Just a few years ago my mother bought me a towel wrap, kinda like a robe. It was hot pink and it had straps on it. I'm severely short waisted--the straps hung so low that the robe didn't cover my boobs, but instead hung below them. Mom obviously doesn't know I don't leave the bathroom after showering without getting dressed. Needless to say I returned it and bought a new bra instead.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?

White Christmas

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Usually December and then buy all the way until Christmas. This year I'm on the ball, though, and about half way done.

14 . Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Maybe, but I can't remember exactly.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Anything. A runner loves her food.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?


17. Favorite Christmas song?

White Christmas--Bring Crosby
Snow--Rosemary Clooney

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Being that we're the ones without kids we travel both to my parents' house and Dave's parents' house. I have only been away from home once for Christmas, though.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?

Yes. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Doner, Blitzon, Rudolph (misspellings don't matter, right?)

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Nothing. He he! Our Christmas tree touches the ceiling so we don't put anything on the top.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Christmas morning, preferably. But I have trouble controlling my excitement and sometimes we open them early.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

Shopping and parking at the mall. Plan a little better, people!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?

My family has a tradition of buying an ornament every year and my mom usually themes it to interact with whatever is going on with my life at the time. Nothing matches, but it means more to me than matchy-matchy.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?

Ham and deviled eggs.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

EVERYTHING! Really, I'm buying a lot of photography equipment so I've asked for small things like gift certificates.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It was an honor just being nominated

Well, I didn't make the final ten endurance blogs of the year, but it was an honor just being nominated. Maybe next year I'll campaign a little harder.

I guess that means the blog will continue for another year and I'll have to find interesting things to write about pertaining to running. Sometimes I'm so bored by me!