Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Rachel Wrap Up

2008 in a NutShell

Started my Masters program at Augsburg
Watched as the 35W bridge opened back up
Fell into the long arms of a tall man
Had a scare from mom's behind
Witnessed the first Black man get elected President
Blasted through below zero December days
Ran 26.2 miles through Kansas City
Ran 13.1 miles from Stillwater to Hudson
Ran a couple 5K's here and there
Said goodbye to the legend of politcal news-Tim Russert
Let the gas eat my money up
and then rejoiced when prices went down.
Walked with sand in my toes
and lost a few toe nails.
Took pictures beachside
started to plan the next vacations.

Holiday Shoe Sales

I never thought I'd be happier to hear the end of Jingle Bells as I was this past Friday. I started the seasonal job in shoes with a perky outlook. "I will get to listen to Christmas music as I work!" I seriously thought that it would be like an adventure. I wanted to see the other side of "The Day After Thanksgiving."

That was until I stood for 8 hours straight handing credit cards back to people and saying "Receipt with you or in the bag?" My feet and legs never hurt so bad. I couldn't understand the pain. I ran a marathon just months ago! Feet...where are you? Maybe it was the marathon running that really caused the addition to some of the pain. My right knee twitched at the end of my 12 hour shift on Black Friday. The same right knee that I was dragging across the finish line in Kansas City.

The worst part about my job in shoe sales- I was not allowed to sell shoes. I was a designated "ringer". Bewildered customers looked at me for shoes and all I could say was "Sorry, I can't get shoes for you. I will have to locate a sales person for you."

I can't complain too much, though. The store that I worked at gave me a nice Employee Discount. I'm sure the people I bought gifts for enjoyed it much more though. I was able to get them twice the amount of stuff for the same chunk of change.

I'm finally done. Finally done with hunting down the shoe horn for the old fellers. I'm done answering the phone only to find out that I can't complete the task of finding shoes for the caller. Finally done picking up shoe stuffing from the floor. Finally done.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



To my mother-
her caring hands
and calm voice
that soothed me
when I was sick,
or crying for comfort.

Her smile
cheering me on
through plays
awards, and graduations.

Thank you

To my father-
for rocking me between the speakers
playing jazz music in my ears.

For listening to me rant
about my life decisions
never knowing which path to take-
your advice is worth a million.

Thank you

To my Andy-
for caring for me
and rubbing my legs
when they are cramping
after a long run.

For the dimples you shine
my way on a rainy day
and your firm embrace
asking me to stay.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tall Guy Afraid of Heights

"Just look for the freaky looking guy."

That was the first thing that Andy said to me when I went to meet him. I stepped out of my car into the frigid night, nervous to see him coming down from the second level of the parking ramp. I stood nervously near the car of my door, waiting for this "freaky looking guy" to approach me. Coming near my car, a tall handsome-looking guy approached me, far from his self description.

He was much taller than any guy I had ever dated before and I was enchanted by his height. He smiled at me as he approached and his cheeks formed two well defined dimples. He held out his hand and said, "Hi I'm Andy." I knew at that instant that he was a good guy. He wasn't the type to look fondly over the chase. He was simple and sweet.

On the way into the resteraunt, Andy bonked his head on the tree branch. I was too nervous to really notice what had happened while he laughed at himself. It was later that he told me about getting caught in the tree.

At 6'4, Andy frequently has to watch for things overhead. I constantly worry that he is going to take his head out on the ceiling fan or worse, his fingers from when he stretches so high.

While in Florida this summer, Andy and I went to go jet skiing. In the office of the jet ski rental place, Andy's head made an unfortunate encounter with a bug trap. I was standing at the counter, signing our lives away to ride on the jet skis. Andy, on the otherhand, was playing with the fly trap. I heard him scream "Ahhhh!" I looked back and saw a strange looking hanging metal piece stuck to his head. At first glance, it appeared like Andy might have had some sort of a magnetical force coming from his forehead. He kept trying to pull it off and it kept reattaching itself. At this point, I still did not realize it was a bug trap. I was so confused as to how his head could be emanating a magnetic force! Finally, Andy said, "It's a bug trap! It's stuck to my head!" I cracked up laughing. Andy kept pulling and pulling and it would not come off his head. Finally, it came loose and the office staff cracked up.

You would think that a man who is so tall would be accustomed to heights. But he is not. He hates heights. In Florida, we had a condo on the 6th floor of a very tall building. Andy did not want to be anywhere near the railing of our deck. He would pull me back from the railing if he saw me too close to it, in fear that I would fall. So it was a miracle that we got Andy to visit the the 175-foot tall Ponce de Leon Lighthouse while we were down there.. Suprisingly, Andy did climb all the way to the top. At the top, he looked like a cat stuck in a tree. He smooshed his body close to the lighthouse and would not go near the railing. He held close to me and shook when he had to put his hand on the railing in order to take a picture. I have never seen Andy more happy to be on the ground as he was that day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Broken Toes

Both stories are equally bizarre and unique. The two times that I broke my right pinky toe.

My First Toe Break

The first time that my right pinky toe felt a snap, I was a sophomore in high school. I wasn't your typical sophomore. I was quiet, shy, and a not-so-in-the-closet Nsync Fan. I loved Justin, Joey, Lance, and JC with all of my heart. I had a room plastered with their faces and knew all of their latest dance moves. I would belt out their songs whenever they were on the radio and taped every show that they appeared on.

I had a ritual of always watching Total Request Live on MTV, a show that allowed viewers to vote on what videos were in the top ten for the day. At this point in time, NSync was constantly in a battle with their rival band, the Backstreet Boys. I was always glued to the TV to see who would win the battle at the top. Well, on that ill-fated day, NSync took the #1 slot. I took off running and dancing around our living room.

Our living room, during a work week, was never a safe place to run around. There were always items on the floor, on the tables, and generally anywhere you could find a convenient spot to place things. The weekend is when my mother cleaned the living room or had someone help her. Well, this was a work day and the living room was not clean. As I was dancing for joy through the living room, I hit my toe on my father's steel-toed boot which was laying in the middle of the floor. Instantly I heard a snap and felt an extreme pain radiating throughout my foot. I fell to the floor and screamed at the top of my lungs. Not knowing exactly what I had done, I didn't want to get up and cause more pain. I continued to belt out ear-piercing screams until my brothers came up to see what was going on. I asked them to get the phone for me so I could call my parents.

My parents took me to the hospital later on that night. The doctor taped up my toe and made me feel like I was a silly kid for even going in to Urgent Care. I couldn't understand how so much pain could be treated with a piece of tape nor did I understand how it could elicit such a plain unalarmed response from medical staff.

My Second Toe Break

My family and I were vacationing on Memorial Day at the Lake of the Ozarks in Southern Missouri. My boyfriend at the time, Cory, had joined us along with my brother's friend, Charlie. I had convinced everyone that we should go shopping at the large outlet center there. The boys and men really didn't want to go shopping, so I had to plead with them to go. Finally, my parents gave in and decided that we would go to the outlets.

My dad always takes a long time to get ready to go anywhere. We were all standing outside the condo waiting for my father to come out. I realized that I'd forgotten my camera and decided to run in after it. Again, I was really happy to be going shopping, and so I did kind of a skipping run through the condo to get my camera. You would think I would learn to stop running through the living room by now, but I didn't. My toe caught the end of a coffee table as I was exiting the condo. My pinky toe snapped again and I fell to the floor in pain. My first instinct was to look at my toe. I glanced down and immediately started my blood curling screams, not caring who was there. My toe was sticking out perpendicular to my foot, kind of like a wing on a bird. Cory and my parents ran into the condo to see what was going on. Immediately when my father saw my toe, he ran to my side. My brothers and Charlie ran into the condo screaming to mock my screaming. My father glared up at them as they entered. Instantly the room became silent. My brothers stopped in their tracks, looked at my toe, and then abruptly left the condo.

After much discussion, it was decided that maybe we should try to get to the hospital. As if by miracle, two nurses were in the condo right next to us and happened to be leaving their door at the same time my dad carried me out ours. They took a quick look at my foot and said "They won't be able to do anything at the hospital but tape it up. And you will wait in line a long time as it is Memorial Day." We turned back around and my dad sat me on a chair. They put a big ice pack over my toe so I couldn't see my disfigurement anymore. Still screaming my lungs off at this point, my father distracted me by talking to me. Cory held my hand tight and was speechless.

Out of nowhere, I could hear my dad ripping medical tape off of a roll. Out of complete terror, I screamed at him "No, don't move it!!" He looked at me with a smile on his face, "Rachel, I already did that." He had moved my toe when he was talking to me. I had no idea. Pain was pain and I couldn't feel the move. Now that my toe was carefully positioned, my dad taped my toes together just like the doctor had done the first time- without the medical bills.

I wish I could say that my father's tape job magically allowed my toe to heal back to its normal state. But I can't. From now on, my right pinky toe will always remember the time that it became a bird's wing. It is forever pink and filled with bony notches. The bones have fused in odd places, creating the worst crooked toe on my foot.

It's all in the title

It took me a long time to come up with a blog title. I tried to come up with something unique. I thought about myself for a long time and kept stumbling across strange titles like "Blonde Monkey" which really didn't characterize me at all. I thought about "Notes from the Pink Pen" but that just seemed too generic. And then it hit me. I chose Rose-Colored Crooked Toes because it is uniquely me. It is something that I usually keep hidden because when anyone does see my toes I usually get many comments on how funny they are. They are a part of me, a part of my story.

So what is this blog for?

This blog is intended to be a place for me to write. Since the journalistic deadlines have ceased and the creative writing courses are done, I needed somewhere to put my thoughts down. I will be writing stories of my life (some in the past, some in the present). I will be writing reviews of things I have seen and done. I will be referencing you to the athletic side of me at I will be commenting on news and news people. I hope that you enjoy your visit here.

Stay tuned for my first story...the story on my toes!