Saturday, May 30, 2015

Manwich's Big Adventure!

In case you missed it, I'm moving. Again. This time, to Arizona! It's basically my first real move (that is, one involving the interstate, multiple time zones, and paying other people lots of money to haul my stuff). Mannie was upset about the disruption and decided he was too good to sleep on the floor (or he was nervous that he'd get packed up in a box if he wasn't sleeping in an obvious place)...

In order to get a Mannie cat from Point A to Point B, I needed to successfully navigate the WL to Indy drive, IND security, two flights, the Minneapolis airport, and a drive from Phoenix to Tucson.

Our trip got off to an uneventful start when Mannie assumed his normal car spot on the middle front armrest and proceeded to drool on M's leg for 75 minutes. I wiped down his special airplane carrier with pheromone wipes and in he went! Success so far! Then came security. When The Canadian traveled with Miss Sammy, he didn't have to strip AND take her out, so I wasn't too worried about Mannie (since I didn't know how I could handle putting on my shoes while cat wrangling...).

I. Was. Wrong.

Leg room galore!
Hi Mannie!
Apparently (I learned this after the fact), you can request a private screening when traveling with a pet. Then you don't have to remove them from their carrier in front of a ton of people, try to hang on to 14 pounds of squirmy cat in front of unhelpful TSA people, and you (probably) won't get clawed up as you try to stuff 14 pounds of cat back into his carrier post-security screening. Positives of this: everyone felt bad for me! The TSA people didn't have anything but alcohol wipes, so I used those. By the time I got to my gate, my arm was still bleeding. I initially asked if there was any way I could get a set with more space (ie, please move me from the cattleyard that is normal coach) oh, and could I also get a bandaid for this carnage? The Delta gate ladies were super nice, and Mannie and I ended up with an entire Economy Comfort row to ourselves! 

Post-security carnage...
Once we got on the plane, we sat there for a while. Apparently there was some sort of issue with the engines. So I sat there texting The Canadian and watching my 51 minute layover in Minneapolis disappear. Eventually we got on in the air and were on our way! Mannie was a champ and was just a little cranky during takeoff. I was super glad to have been moved up to row 11 since I had 20 minutes before my flight to Phoenix was scheduled to leave.

I learned that Terminal G isn't as close to Terminal F as you'd imagine. I was that crazy person running through the MSP airport with a pissed off cat in his carrier on my shoulder. I thought about taking off my flipflops so I could run faster, but I was scared of bouncing Mannie around too much. I made it to my gate at the last boarding call and we got on the plane without any problems...and had an entire row to ourselves again!

Mannie was so good during this flight too, and we landed in Phoenix without any more problems. The Canadian was on the other side of security with food for me and a litter box for Manwich waiting in the car :) He's really the best, guys...

Since I felt so bad about traumatizing Mannie, we made a Petsmart run yesterday so I could buy him a kitty skyscraper. He is enjoying it, I think:

While he's enjoying his view from up there, I'm enjoying the view from Pool #2 (I'll try out Pool #1 on Monday, I think)...

 And now we're settled in to Tucson! I'll be here for a few more days, then head back to WL to finish up my dissertation stuff. Mannie gets to hang out with Sammy, The Canadian, and his skyscraper, so I think he's forgiven me.

More adventures to come from the American Southwest!

Saturday, May 23, 2015


...isn't waiting in line at the Post Office or the BMV.

It's waiting on your advisor to respond to your emails and read your dissertation because your life is literally on hold until he does so.

I am so PhDone with this nonsense...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

2015 Big Sur Marathon - Boston 2 Big Sur, Part II

Sometimes, the fact that something is a complete and total unknown is a good thing. Case: I didn't know what I was getting into when I ran my first marathon, and it ended up being my fastest time for a year and a half.

Sometimes, being blissfully ignorant is the only good thing about a situation. Case: Running two marathons on opposite coasts SIX days apart.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2015 Boston Marathon - Boston 2 Big Sur, Part I

This spring's training and racing has been a little different from previous years for lots of reasons. In terms of training, I just never really felt like I hit my stride/found my groove, and it resulted in some 'meh' races and a huge lack of motivation.

J is such an inspiration and all-around
wonderful human being :)
Luckily, as the 2015 Boston Marathon grew closer, I was able to reclaim some of that excitement and I was looking forward to the trip to Boston (and running, too, I guess). I was able to stay with my wonderful HS pal in Somerville again (and chill with Miss Biscuit and eat like a queen), plus meeting up with a runner from WL and another TNC member were also on my agenda.

Sunday in Boston was GORGEOUS. I hit up the expo, bought a hat (got my jacket and a tank ahead of time this year...lesson learned from 2014!), and went out for a delicious lunch. I watched so many movies and had a couple of good shake out runs.