Monday, August 31, 2009


I feel obliged to post about todays happenings. I wanted to get my namaste on so I went to yoga this morning. Typically I am on the later side and so I have to just throw my mat down wherever I can fit. Today I got there a bit earlier and got a great spot by the mirror so I could check out my terrible form and perhaps correct it before the instructor came up to me everytime and readjusted me. Anyways I am lying there with my breath and all and I pick up a smell, no a stench. I open my eyes and see the smelly culprit and he is heading right for me! OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! I do not do well with smells of any kind. I will never again complain about the smell of perfumes, or that I smell like a $2 whore after a funeral with the combination of the old lady perfumes all on me at one time. This smelly bastard parked his mat about 12 inches from mine. I didn't know what to do. I thought about moving, but all the good spots were taken and I thought it would be really obvious if I did that. But dude! How did he not know?! And if he knew why would he put 20 people through that. This is not a normal cool yoga studio, its hot as hell in there and is pretty small so we all suffered. I just suffered a little more than everyone else. So instead of saying something I just kept glaring at him in the mirror every once in a while with that "you make me sick" look on my face. I'm sorry but really. At the end I think the instructor realized what I endured and rubbed my face down with some minty lovely smelling substance. It was the most amazing thing ever. I normally hate smelly stuff, but I was just relieved to not be smelling this mans filth. I can still kind of taste it. Ew.

more vino please

Yup its official, I really like wine. Bri and I decided to get away for a few nights and drove up to Santa Barbara. It was definately eerie driving through LA on Friday and seeing the huge smoke clouds from all the fires, but once we cleared LA it was clear as anything. California never ceases to amaze me with its beauty and crazy terrain. Fortunately I was in a car, but often wishing I had my bike on the back to hop on for a ride through some of the mountains and on the coast. It has been super hot here so it was a bit of a relief when we got to Santa Barbara and it was a bit cooler. The downtown is super cute and we had many recommendations for restaurants so off we went. We did not make it far before I saw a wine bar and we started to tie one on pretty early. We ate, we drank, we ate some more and we drank more than that. It was great. I was able to meet up with a girl I went to high school with and have not seen in 12 plus years. You facebook haters can hate all you want but if weren't for the fook then I never would have been able to reconnect with her. I discovered a perfect summer drink that night, so refreshing. It was vodka (was supposed to be gin but i am a vodka girl), sprite, lime juice, and cucumbers. yummmmmmmmmm.

On Saturday we felt like we really missed the heat so we headed North East to Santa Ynez, where all the vineyards are. We stopped at the Gainey vineyard where the temps were up around 105. At one point I asked Brian "was it this hot at the triathlon?" and he replied "it was hotter" It left me baffled at how I was able to move in that kind of heat. Fortunately all I had to do this weekend was relax and pose for pictures in my cute new sundresses.
We had some great tastings and came home with some great bottles of wine.

We had maybe one of the best Italian meals of all time at Ca Dario in SB. I found myself almost crying at the end of the meal not wanting that last bite of my ravioli's to end. I topped dinner off with a "Josephine" in honor of Nana whose 93rd birthday would have been last week. It was a macaroon, with whipped topping and covered in chocolate....yeah and earlier that day I had about 2 pounds of yogurtland for "lunch." Lets just say that I felt extra jiggly on our drive home, granted the freeways through LA are rather bumpy but geesh its amazing what a sloth you can feel like after one weekend of eating/drinking and not working out.
Back to reality! Well not fully, because I still have one full week of work off!!! I dusted my bike off last night (yes its true I have not been on the bike since Vineman) and got on my trainer for a spin session. I forgot how tough those are. Not sure if its all the hot yoga i've been doing but I am more of a sweater than before. I actually had a few sweat beads drip to the ground during the spin session. That never happens to me, but whenever I would look around during class people would have puddles under them. See, I am normal afterall!
My dad retired on Friday so he is coming out here Tuesday night to hang out with me for a bit of my last vacation! I am hoping that this hurricane that is hammering Mexico is not going to come up here (although we really need the rain) and give us our first rain in months and months, although LA could really use it.....
Back to training mode for me. I decided to train for the Silver Strand half marathon on November 15th in Coronado. It is perfectly timed and I am hoping some friends join me with training.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Recently this week while craving frozen yogurt (shocker I know), I simply stated that I wanted to give Golden Spoon another shot. Brian went on a whole rant about how I was obsessed with it and then just dropped it after a few bad experiences and then bad mouthed it, then told me I was fickle. Just like that I decided that golden spoon it was. We just stopped off for double stamp tuesday and it was a solid performance from g-spoon. HOWEVER there are just those times where you order a certain flavor and it is soupy right from the spout, and that is not okay. I still think there are others that are better (yog-art, and yogurtland) but I will stop bad mouthing g-spoon from here on out.

I pretty much sweat my ass off all day here in the house doing some serious cleaning and organizing and even washed the cushions from the couches...who does that? I had to grapple with the frigin things to get them back on. So after that I was ready to cool down so Bri and I made it down to our local pool for a swim. This is the first swim I have been on since Vineman and its like I was never in swimming shape ever. It was like nothing was smooth and I had to think about my every more in the water. It sucked. In my defense, I was super sore from my attempt at surfing yesterday and could barely move my arms but still. I look to the lane next to me and Bri is frigin lapping me. I did attempt the flip turns today. I used to do those all the time as a kid, but since the vertigo I spared myself from doing flips in the water. It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful so I may see if my body can handle it on a more regular basis,,,,although thinking about it is kind of making me dizzy. Oh and next time I go to the pool I will make sure to buy a new swim suit as opposed to my bikini that everytime I pushed off the wall they ended up around my ankles. Highly frowned upon when there are pee-wees learning to swim in the lane next to you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I heart Cali

This is a long board. Long boards are designed to make it easier to handle waves while surfing. This long board is made out of foam so that it is lighter and easier on your knees. None of this was true for me today. Now I learned to surf in Mexico and actually had an easy-ish time with it. That was not the case today. I got out to the La Jolla Shores by 8am and Coach Wolfe had a few extra boards with him. My coach said "tie that to your leg and good luck" and off I went. I quite liked paddling out past the waves and sitting on the board much like Dylan McKay, but the actual surfing part did not come so naturally. I was getting pushed off the front, the back and each side of the board. But it was fun. I noticed an older woman was surfing the smaller whites of the waves and I asked her what I should do. She suggested first getting up onto my knees (that was simple), then putting one leg up (got that) and eventually standing (rrrrrrrrrrright). It was just kind of too shallow where I was trying to learn because the waves that were further out were getting too large for me (sometimes bigger is not better). I should also not try to catch every single waves like I do when I boogy board because it takes alot more energy to surf. My knees are allllllllllllll scratched up cause i kept falling to my knees in the shallow water, I am bruised all over hte place (feet, ankles, wrists, hips you name it), and I came out of the water with the largest filled blisters evah! I pretty much have layer upon layer upon layer of blisters and they are getting pretty uncomfortable. I do however love taking a needle to them each day and letting the nastiness ooze out of there. I think I will try surfing a few more times this week because I just cannot let the ocean defeat me like that. Lots of sharks around today but fortunately the water is clear enough to see where they are, and they are little sand ones that dont eat people. Dave did however have a sting ray around his feet but I waited to telll him about it until after. Nice.
Last nights Italian fest at Daves friends house was great and we met tons of cool bostonians that live out here. A fun bunch for sure and yes I was trying to bruise his nipples in the picture. A few of his friends and coach Wolfe are coming over tonight for a bbq. Bri is going to see how his ribs measure up since a few of these folks are from Texas. And we all know how texans love their BBQ!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Soccer team is definately 0-2 but despite the ass beating we got today, we actually did alot better than last week. Somehow I ended up in an offensive position which just does not work for me since I have never played offense in my life. I just don't have the ball handling skills, and I just think defensively. Once I got on defense I felt like things were starting to fall into place. HOWEVER I actually formed blisters under my blisters, over my blisters and everything else. I now have blood blisters all over my feet. I took a needle to those suckers as soon as I got home, and it was really lovely. We actually started with 3 girls today which I was psyched about since that meant we could sub out. However just as I thought I was going to die and ran over to get my sub, I realized she was injured...oh well no subs for us! We got alot more shots on goal and I didn't score against us, so things are looking up. I could really do with the intense heat though on the turf, perhaps an earlier game one of these weeks will give us some cloud coverage. I felt like I was baking out there today.

We are heading to an Italian Night at Dillo's friends house, so Bri is cooking up some pizzas to smoke (chicken apple sausage, heirloom tomatoes, homemade pesto, and mozzarella & an Italian calzone). I contributed by making gelato that is currently chilling and we'll see what happens when I throw it into the ice cream maker. I made a chocolate hazelnut gelato. I am going to eat my face off tonight. Bueno!

Oh and tomorrow AM I am going full out Cali style on your asses and going surfing. I'm sure something ridiculous will happen, especially with the crew going. There is usually only one thing I can guarantee while attempting phsyical activities on the beach, and that is that at some point I will lose my top and flash an 8 year old. Maybe I will invest in one of those cute surf tops.
Will try to take video for proof of me getting up!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Its amazing how quickly I can transition into "vacation mode." This typically means I automatically have no idea what day it is, or what time it is for that matter. I have not done anything special which is fine by me. Just getting back on track with my body and have been focusing on yoga and strengthening, and I even managed to squeeze a run in the other day, and it wasn't half bad!

The only injury I got this week was from boogy boarding when I was out slaying waves with Dillo and showing him how tough I am. I caught a good wave and realized I had no control and was about to pile drive into two young boys, I ditched the board and ended up getting slammed and dragged along the sand. I have a sweet sand rash on my hips and some bruising but it makes me look super tough in a bikini, that or like a battered wife.

We were interviewed on Tuesday for the spaniel rescue, and are going to look at some dogs tomorrow at an event in Carmel Valley. Many pros and cons to getting another dog, so hopefully we can meet one that sweeps us and Belle off our feet! We are kind of like the Brangelina of dogs, we are just such great dog owners that we should just keep getting them, and first we had our own, now we are adopting! We are "Brody" to the spaniels.

Speaking of spoiled dogs, Belle is not a huge fan of the groomers, and now anytime we go into a place even remotely like one she shakes and tries to bust outta there. I recently saw a mobile dog grooming van so I figured I would give that a try. They came this morning and it was great. They just hooked up to our hose and ran a chord for the electricity and it took an hour compared the the 5-6 hours she is usually gone at other places. I highly recommend the service.

Going to the Padres game tomorrow night for a TNT fundraiser so that should be fun! Then Sunday cookout! And maybe we will do all of this with a new doggy in our life, but maybe not....TBD

Sunday, August 16, 2009

stupid gringo

I have been really good this weekend and even went to yoga and sweat it out there. I kicked the ball around the other day in preparation for todays game. I should have known better. We live a few blocks away from a huge park, and everyday all day you can find locals playing soccer. Its what they do, all ages all sizes, they were born with soccer balls at their feet. I don't know why I did not think of this before I signed up with some people from work for a soccer league. The field is an "indoor field" which is really outdoors and was really about 100 degrees on the turf. I was one of the only white people in the whole place, which is fine but these people were born soccer players. Since there were only two females to show up I had to play the whole game, which I just felt badly about for my team. Like every first game of soccer of the season I ripped my quad in my right leg. Also I seemed to have forgotten that just yesterday all my blisters (which took up most of my feet) from Vineman came to fruition and peeled off. This meant all brand new skin which just got burnt up in my cleats that I have not work in years. First half I wanted to pass out, second half I felt like I was actually feeling better however I could not put any pressure on the insides of my feet. It was painful. I did however manage to score a goal! It was for the other team but really whose counting?!
So its on a smaller field with basically hockey boards up all around it. So even though there are only 6 people playing against the wall is like having frigin hundreds of opponents to cover cause you can kick it off it even right in front of the net. It is definately going to get some getting used to. Hopefully more girls show up so I do not have to embarass all the Merrill's by shaming them with my terrible athletic skills. Serious though I started to think about what a true champion is. It is easy to compete when you are good at everything. But once in a while you should try to get out of your comfort zone and do something that you know you suck at, and still do it and complete it anyways. Its pretty much how I live everyday. I challenge you to do the same

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Ho Le Shitballs people. I just had my first rolfing session. It is the first of 10 sessions that are supposed to manipulate the soft tissue in my body to help move better through space and time, or some shit like that. It was by far the gnarliest thing I have ever done. I found myself begging for an epidural as I was straight up lamaz breathing. I was told by my kickass messeus and rolfer, Roz, that many women say this is worse than childbirth. Today focused on the muscles in my chest, and those are just not areas that you are used to being stretched around. You typically do a fluid constant movement while being manhandled. She moved from my chest to my IT bands. WOW. That was really not fun and I was literally biting down on anything I could find and focusing on my breathing begging that the endorphins would help with the pain. From there she moved to my hamstrings where I laughed uncontrollably. From what I am told there is alot of shit being released so I may laugh, cry, and scream (almost peed myself at one point) and I did all of the above tonight in session one. After the hamstrings which eased up pretty quickly, she did a lumbar thing and a neck thing which will be done at the end of each session.
Next week is the feet. 90 minutes on the feet. I have a feeling due to my ticklish feet I will be laughing quite a bit but due to all the crap I put my feet through I should be crying a bit as well. Looking forward to all that is to come with the rolfing. I can handle pain as long as I know it has an end.

In other news, there is a pilot being shot a few blocks over. It is the same people who produced The Shield which Bri was a big fan of. We tried to get on set but kept being turned away from cops. We will snoop more tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, its my last day of school! YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! I love my job, and I love my kiddoes, and my friends at work, but lets get serious, vacations are AWESOME!! Especially when you live in a place where you know that everyday will be beach weather, everyday there will be some new place to explore, and that everyday you have a beautiful doggy to play with!

Another segway goes into doggies. We have been thinking of expanding our family and getting another dog. I have attempted to fill out the application for a spaniel rescue fund in SD, but it keeps funking out on me so I will have to do it another day. As long as Belle is happy and its the right dog, we'll do it. I think Belle would like a playmate and there are an awful lot of doggies that need a good home and family that will dote on them, and take them to cool places.

Bri and I went up to the park today to kick the soccer ball around. I am starting in a league on Sunday with a bunch of people from work. Its been a few years since playing with my Joe's soccer team so I wanted to be sure to kick around a bit before pulling all my muscles on Sunday. Bri was never a soccer player, and boy did it show. I kept asking him to move away from the canyons.....and much to my suprise (not!) the ball ended up down the canyon after he could not trap the bullet of a pass I made. Luckily it got stuck on a bush and Bri went teetering on the edge to get it. I thought we were going to have a situation there for a few seconds but he pulled through and came out with the ball unscathed. I forgot what a good workout soccer is. Good lord, I am going to be one tired puppy on Sunday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

its the most wonderful time of the year

This is my last week of school thank the lord. A much needed 3 week vacation coming up. Since we are coming to an end I thought it was only fitting to take my prom date/work husband out for frozen yogurt instead of sitting in the speech office pretending to do work. Besides the fact that his teacher doused him with cologne before he left, and he is allergic, and sneezed all over the sundae condiments multiple times, it was a very enjoyable day!

Today is also enjoyable because Bri is coming home after being gone for over a week for business trips and such. The hardest part is that I have to cook for myself. This usually means ramen/cereal/frozen yogurt for dinner. But I actually tried to be a big girl this time and cook some real meals. Since I still had some of my homemade basil gnocchi left I whipped up this sauce the other night and it was phenomenal (evoo, white wine, shallots, garlic, heirloom tomatoes and my special addition at the end.....Goat cheese!). I really outdid myself, but i'm sure if Bri were home it would have been way better. A girls gotta eat!

I am finally back on track with working out, but I have been focusing on strengthening and flexibility before training for whatever endeavor is next (most likely a half marathon...Carlsbad perhaps?). I have been kettlebelling again (please see picture above so I don't have to explain). It is perhaps the best way to strengthen cause you get both cardio and stength all in one. I am a big fan of it and have a good 40 minute workout that pretty much kills every muscle in your body one by one, and then leaves you feeling unable to move comfortably. I managed to squeeze two of those workouts in, one mini run, and hopefully a bike tonight to spin my legs out a bit.
Looking forward to my team victory party this weekend to see all my teammates and be able to hang with them carefree!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Breaking News

Its only been 3 weeks since Vineman and already I am thinking about my next adventure. My body does not allow me to stop training, and almost everytime right after an event my back starts aching and I get the "i need to be training" blues. I decided that before my next event I want to get more flexible and try yoga. Many people have raved about how it helps them in triathlons, but I didn't want to start something halfway through training so I decided i'd wait. A friend of mine out here is a yoga queen and convinced me to try her place Core Power Yoga which is right up the street from us. I was going to join her in a level two class but decided this morning that I would give the level 1 a try. It was a great class and the teacher gave such clear descriptions of what to do with your body to get the most out of each movement. I have tried yoga in the past and end up laughing too much, whining, and thinking the whole time about how much I hate it and would rather be doing "real" physical activity. (one time the lady came in with a gong and then had us sacrifice bananas,,,,,true story). This kind of yoga was perfect for me. It was in a hot room, which was not as bad as I thought, but again confirms that I do not sweat like normal people, cause I barely broke a sweat while others were literally dripping. There were quick movements and it was a perfect balance of cardio and some deep stretching.

I got home and decided to try to sit down with my calendar and try to map out my plan for the next coming school year. I get 10 days off to use whenever I want but I have 5 weddings so far that I have to travel to the east coast for. And to top it off I really want to fit in a race for next year. I was teetering with the idea of doing the Boston Marathon again, but since all my weddings are in Boston I figured I would switch it up a bit and instead do the Lavaman triathlon in Kona Hawaii in March. It works out kind of perfectly because it is on March 28th (the week of my bday), and my school vacation is the week after that so I can take some days and visit Hawaii, which I have been DYING to do since we moved here. And if we want to make a real long vaca out of it we can stay into the next week because I won't have any school. Now here comes the breaking news....wait for it......Brian Merrill, my husband who always laughs at those who ask "brian do you do triathlons?" just called after his latest business trip to DC and said "how long is that triathlon you want to do?" I told him the distances and he said "I am in." Ho Le Shit people. Given that his knees are atrocious it may be a tough run for him, but it is only a 10K and can easily be walked. He already did the swims with me a bunch this year so that wont be a problem and he will love biking around here (as soon as I get him one)!
I am hoping to do this with the Team in Training, but not sure if both of us will be able to do the fundraising so we'll have to see. There was a bunch of people on my team this year that wanted to train together for it as to avoid fundraising, so we'll see.

I figure by posting this I leave Bri no choice but to do this. See you in Kona!
here are some pics from the Jody/Belle weekend of bliss: activities included:
doggy surf camp

swimming in the ocean
a doggy fair
a concert in the park
many naps & trips to the park
It certainly feels like summer, not only one more week of school to get through til VACATION for 3 weeks!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

my apologies

Another whirlwind trip back to Boston. Arrived on Friday night after numerous delays and cancellations but we made it home in one piece. Saturday was pretty much pool time with some fam and then off to get ready for my friends wedding in town. I for sure made an ass of myself, numerous times. I should have stopped drinking about two vodka/soda's in, but it did not stop there and I just may have finished a bottle of Ketel One on my own. Brutal. Just can't hang like I used to. But it was sure fun to see all my high school and college friends all at one place. I guess I should just not think that I can drink like I did when I was in college. BAAAAAAAAAAAAD idea. I was supposed to get up and go see my twin neice and nephew, but I did not actually make it out of bed until 11, and was barely able to stay vertical until around 3 when all my friends and their kids came over. Now I do realize that most of my friends now have kids, but I have never had them all in the same room at the same time and it was something else. So fun to see them all and hard to believe that when I go home next they will be walking and talking and even more will be around. I joked that I was going to give Bri a vasectomy after that outing, but it was all in good fun!
Next year is going to be a wedding fest, and I am really not sure how I will survive all those open bars. I will do my best but I feel as though I should apologize in advance for my inappropriate behavior which I know will occur.

I'm sorry:

to the wedding bands that I will mock and try to play their instruments when they are not looking.

to all the fathers of the groom that I will most likely refer to as DILF's.

to the brides, its not that I am trying to steal your thunder, but I just cannot help myself on the dance floor.

To the photographers, I am sorry for ruining pictures on purpose because I think I am funny.

to the banquet halls, please get plastic glasses so I do not have to feel bad about breaking my glass on your dance floor, because apparently putting my drink down for at least one song would be a travesty.

to my future partners in wedding parties, you have to get over it, but we have to be the funniest people to be announced, even if it means we switch outfits.

and most of all to my husband Brian, I am sorry that you have to stand by and watch all of this unfold.

I luckily survived my flight back from Boston despite the pilots not allowing the flight attendants to stand up and throughout the worst turbulence I have been in get on the speaker and say "well people this is as good as its going to get for a while so if you have to go to the bathroom you should do it now." AWESOME! Probably explains why I could not wind down til 3 am last night to sleep!

At some point I will start working out again.....maybe tomorrow???? DOUBT IT!