Get Active in Your Community (and don't pass out)

So tonight I ran my first 5k! I never thought it would be my bag and I still don’t think it is but I’m glad I did it and I may do it again. So I guess it’s my minibag, a satchel per say.

Some Background:

So you guys know I’m getting married in 6 months.  Haven’t been so successful in losing the “new job 20”.  Kitzzy & Jason my awesome coworkers at Online@UCF/CDL/UCF (where I work) decided to put together a group for the Orlando Corporate 5k, the biggest sporting event in Orlando with 12k people!  Really its a stroke of genius because coworkers feel the pressure to bond/participate, its short enough to walk, office workers always need exercise and this is a gateway activity.  So CDL set up a team and a blog and though my knee and extra bone in my foot makes it hard to run I felt this was a perfect opportunity to jump start my routine.
Online@UCF Learning to Live Well

Didn’t work that well.  But I tried.  Allergies/sickness and lethargy kept me to only training 2-3 weeks for it.  But the beauty is, with a 5k you can always walk!

Why I’d Do It Again

Not sure I’d TRAIN heavily for a 5k again (due to knee/footness I’m sticking to biking) but I’d do one again.  Especially if I move to a new city.  Because:

  • You get to see the city. Roads blocked off, bands playing (mariachi!), running in mass, its a pretty awesome sight.
  • You get to meet people. Like 12k of them… all in mass.  Running.  Humanity running, often in funny outfits.
  • Entertaining t-shirts: Everything on them from godzilla killing a city to threats of being superior to commands to “eat your dust” to ascertains of their physical prowess over you.  Okay, really there are just a lot of threatening t-shirts.  In fact, I think our team was one of the few positive ones, with affirmations blaring on the back.
  • Feel accomplished: Run as much as possible, walk, then jog, do whatever.  No matter what by the end you feel pretty good!
  • Community outreach: Not only can you reach over and touch your brother but many of these events are charities.  And charity is good, as well as, brotherly love.
  • Pack Mentality… I mean Spirit! It’s just a good bonding experience where people are taken out of their element and must rely on each other for support. Not that I talked much, what with concentrating on breathing, but it was nice to have them there (nicer than I expected as I liked training in quiet). I’m not sure I’d want to do it without seeing the happy affirmations on the backs of my team member’s shirts… as I pass them… like Godzilla. ;p  At least, you’ll know who you can outrun in the office, for when the zombies attack.

So I guess what I’m saying is, not sure I’d do more then a 5k but its a fun occasional community activity that should not be intimidating!

How’d I do?

Why thanks for asking.  Did it in 36-37 minutes (not good at this number thing).  I jogged/ran the whole way except for one minute.  Pretty proud I must say. Austin pushed over some grandmas to make his time of 25.5 minutes.  You see it is a race to him.

Possible pictures to possibly come.

run sheila run – S

Quilting Dumbledore Would Be Mildly Embarrassed Of

So a friend of mine Jessica offered to hold a quilting learning bee.  I happen to have a sewing machine that I got for high school graduation but have never used (other than Austin’s foray into tailoring).  I think I shall call her baby Olga after my Baba.  I have lots of t-shirts I can’t bear to part with.  Quilting + Learning – Whole T-Shirts = T-shirt Quilt or EXCELLENT!

First project is just piecing together some scraps. This is how Jessica taught me.

  1. Iron your fabric.
  2. Cut out pieces of fabric, squaring off and leaving a 1/4″ margin on all sides for seams.
  3. Sew these together being wary of straightness of stitch and tension.  You can sew large strips together and then cut these to make your squares!  Very handy tip.

    Practice Stitching

  4. Lay out/plan your pattern (though you probably already had this in mind).
  5. Plotting

  6. Sew these pieces together keeping in mind that the seams are going the same way (ironing helps ascertain a set seam flappy direction).
  7. Sew together these blocks in bits.  Combining these bits to make bigger bits.
  8. OILA!  You have the front of an oddly Hogwartish Wall Hanging front.  Still have to edge this off and put backing and all that fun stuff.

Complete Front!

Next project I’m thinking a jersey/nerdy themed scarf, like this but scarfy.  Need to get used to jersey for my big t-shirt quilt! Or I shall make a throw for my mask room.  Mondrian style!

sew… – S

Superior Donuts: It Ain't Horse Fat!

So tonight I went to Mad Cow Theatre‘s production of Superior Donuts., in its first ever debut on an nonbroadway stage. Mad Cow Theatre is a small theatre that makes awesome use of its space and whose season is varied, affordable and worth the subscription. Acting is not always up to par but valiant and ambitious in its scope.

Superior Donuts Cover

Superior Donuts is an endearing dramedy about an intellectual poor black kid who forces himself into the life of an embittered draft dodging donut maker son of a Polish immigrant, saving him (and himself in the process) from certain loneliness and failure.

Sounds a bit sappy, huh? I’ll spare the sugary donut metaphors.

But really the play is pretty interesting and has quite a bit of the depth. The play explores the dynamics of the American Dream and personal faults of a wide splash of ethnic backgrounds in a small Chicago burrough, from Croatian porn selling immigrants to star trekies. Good and attention keeping writing overall.

As for the production: The set was awesome (as per usual) but it didn’t make up for the lack luster main actor. I’ve seen him in other productions and he ALMOST fit but the wavering accent really kinda lost it for me. Franco, the young ragamuffin, was much better but still in the first serious scene wasn’t quite convincing. The secondary eccentric characters were much more awesome (and sinister) and hilarious. Overall the comedy could have been a little bit more discrete and fitting if the director toned down the acting. Still as the play hit its climax the acting hit its stride (accents or not) and the emotional payoff was good.

All in All: It was my second favorite play I’ve seen at Mad Cow (of 4 this season) and worth checking out.

I give it a three out of five penguins. – S

P.S. It also will most certainly get you hungry for donuts. I bet they did better in concession sales in this production than any other (except maybe Superior Concessions). So bring a few dollars and support local theatre.

The Importance of Being Mrs.Ernest.com

There are very few careers nowadays where public image does not matter. I find myself constantly aware of it, despite wanting not to. It all amounts to “Am I seen as a professional?” And a large part of starting to build awareness of your professional knowledge is creating a “personal branding”. I know that word is bandied about to the point of being a scare tactic. But it’s true: If people don’t know who you are how will they give you lots of $$ and props?

This is what I propose: The modern woman might be giving up even more then just her history by changing her last name. Street cred? Pride? But is she giving up more by refusing to?

I’m not sure my stance other than I’ve been afraid to admit that I can’t wait to change my name in domestic bliss. This is a bit more deep rooted than the personal branding angle.

Some history: I’m getting married to a one Austin Flores. After much debate I have decided to change my name to Sheila Suarez de Flores come October when we wed. I am modern enough to keep my last name but honored enough to append. I have a website called sheilasuarez.com, as two years ago, I tried to abandon my wishy washy handles that I always grew tired of (deltaspark, eatther0ses, esscore, bluespringtied, birthdayzoot, smapdi3000… and so on) for something I have always been: Sheila Suarez. Plus then when an employer saw my awesome CSS skillz they’d know who to call.

But now as I’m relying on this handle more and more, filing my taxes (or failing to) online, banking, handing out business cards and otherwise, I realize that with the ring comes the destined name change. I know who I will be in six months. Why not change now?

Pride. I always thought myself the feminist, a sensible one, likes to pay dutch but doesn’t mind a car door being opened for her. But with this has come a stubborn streak that won’t admit that she WANTS to change her name. Aghast when other girls did so before their wedding. Changing their handle to include a “Mrs”? Good lord not your internet handle! If guys don’t do it at all or get all giddy about it, why should I (working in a male dominated field probably doesn’t help this…)? If it was more acceptable, would guys do it? I do not want to be defined by my relationship but supported (like Hedwig!). Why do I really think this name will define me?

But I’m here to admit it. I like that I’m changing my name because I’m proud of being Austin’s. Can’t wait to change my name! But pride has also kept me from doing it sooner than later. Until tonight, setting up hopefully a blog (god I hate that word) that will last me through several adventures (including marriage), I had to pick a name and I picked: sdeflores.

Is this me being realistic or girly? Austin is pretty dreamy… and there really is no good reason to change my name other than that fact. But if I’m going to do it, why not do it now?

My point has quickly deflated as I’m out of coherent blogging practice. But a little part of INDEPENDENT WOMAN OF STEEL AND CAREER-NESS, named so man or not, has died in me tonight. I know its not a bad thing. In fact, I have missed out on all the giggles. I don’t need my old name to define me! Take that maiden name! In the end, its not that big of a deal. A redirect added from sheilasuarez.com and new business cards in 6 months, but, at what point should we define ourselves? How do we define ourselves? And what is there in a name?

What’s the big deal?

A rose by any other name would taste just as sweet… – “Mrs.” Sheila Suarez “de Flores”

P.S. I need to go to Feminist-Anonymous and admit I like fluffy things and that’s okay.

Back to Blogging VII: BLOG WITH AVENGENCE!

So I have a long history of “blogging” and then forgetting to blog.  Let’s take a memory tour:

  1. Pre2000 – Homestead .gif website and Kamishibais about penguins.
  2. November 2000 – Sheila departs upon creating a “Moment of Zen” on her personal website The Dandelion Patch. These blurbs are a mix between pop culture quotes, high school wisdom and esoteric rants.
  3. December 2003 – Too lazy to continue hand coding her stream of conscious, she moves to livejournal and just includes it in an i-frame on her website.
  4. July 2003 – She moves almost solely over to livejournal due to the social networking/emo sharing possibilities!
  5. June 2008 – Sheila attempts to have a grown up blog and weight loss blog on blogger. Interest wanes fairly quickly.
  6. 2,763 tweets ago – Void is filled by twitter.

Needless to say I like writing and I like sharing and I learn stuff all the time.  Here I HOPE to make an effort to chronicle the next few turbulent years that shall encompass: planning a wedding and subsequently getting married, making a quilt, surely painting more murals, traveling to Europe, traveling to Asia, traveling some more, picking up new skills, applying to gradschools and other icky/fun adult stuff.  Because I love to write!  Heck, I have a tattoo dedicated to it.  I’m sick of squirreling it away via twitter.

For now this blog will be pretty simple until I get my act together and host it on my website.

Now that is over!  Next entry shall be more informative.

Or at least therapeutic- S

Perfect Ripples

Lazy fingers dip into the water
Bored eyes scan the horizon
Weary heart and worn spirit
Guide me as I drift

Nothing to hold on to
So I keep going
Endlessly spinning
With nothing to grasp on to

What a lovely mirage I had once
Of comfort with a smile
True love I could relate to
Keeping me warm for just a while

But when I opened my eyes
And reached out to touch the faceless beauty
My fingers met perfect ripples
It was but my reflection in the water

Hopes crushed and feelings hurt
It was only me that let me down
I thought this one was different
But it was just the same

The realization hit me
As I tumbled from the false supports
How could I have been so foolish?
To have been carried away

But I continue
Hoping I have learned
And the deep loneliness still fills me
As I drift in this sea of people

Blind

Fog has settled upon my mind
Misty eyes guide me
And shadows support me

Fumbling through the dark I find you
But how can I know you
If I can’t see the true you

Dark shadows fall on your face
Tangible beauty you are to me
But how do I know

For I know no other
You are the one
The only one

Careful for I am fragile
I am weakened
From the endless pain

I hold onto you with trembling fingers
I no longer know what’s right
All familar lines have blurred

For so many voices calling
Tearing me
Ripping me apart

Beloved hands that once had lead me
Fight with each other
To grasp me

Oh the silky white hands
Sport dark talons
How lovely they had once seemed

But I can’t be certain anymore
In the darkness
This utter black

I watch my step
As I fall
Always back into your arms

Guide me for I am blind
Love is a sort of blindness
That ails us all


Beloved Phantom

My lips so eager
And yours so tender
Forever I had wanted them
But in a second it was over

The warmth of your embrace
Holds me
And the memory of this
Calls me

I can feel your finger tips
Imprinted in my skin
Your touch
Is still with me

Your eyes so warm
Your presence so right
Lips so soft
They all haunt me

You are with me
Though you have gone
And I can still taste you
On my lips


Baby Sun

Baby Sun rose with the day
And thought, “I must go out to play!”

Up the hills and over a stream
Baby Sun let his joy beam.

Just a little ball of energy
He ran, skipped, and chased a bee.

He tasted the wind as if a sweet
As he danced happily in the heat

Then Baby Sun climbed a pine
Got to the top and let his pride shine.

He enriched the flowers to make them grow.
In the river he dipped his toe.

Baby Sun noticed it was getting late
But he thought, “Oh sleep can wait!”

At the end of the day he was getting slow.
His shine was now only a glow.

Mother Earth took him in her arms, hugged him tight.
Now you could barely see his light.

After she dressed him all in white, Mother Earth put him in his crib and
said, “Goodnight!”

It got dark and in the night crept.
And tucked in his crib of stars, Baby Sun slept.

As the stars rocked him in a gentle way,
Baby Sun waited and dreamed of a new day.

Pandora’s Hidden Evil

Tiny bubbles inside your soul
Bringing new thoughts to the surface
Thoughts you hadn’t dared to think
‘Til those fatal words were whispered

Contrary to your thoughts
They brought new life
But the new flora is poisonous
You don’t realize this till it’s too late

‘Til you do something stupid
And the truth comes out.
These words were small lies
Dressed up as sheep

You had no reason not to doubt them,
Other than your own instincts.
We deny our link to the animals
So we forget that instincts can save you

Save your heart from dying
From unwittingly committing suicide
By taking the small pill
The pill called hope…