Tag Archives: random

Thumbelina, Thumbelina, don’t dream about a cow*

I ran for 30 minutes straight for the first time yesterday in yucky pre-rain humidity.

I’ve discovered that once animals realize that you’re not running after them, they find runners fascinating. A pair of deer scared the bejeezus out of me the other day on the trail, but once they had scampered about 25 feet outside the path, they stood there and stared at me. I said “hey dudes” and waved and still they stared. When last I saw them, they were still staring at me. When I run in my urban neighborhood, the squirrels do the exact same thing – they jump into a nearby tree and gawk. They fill their mouths with giant nuts and jump onto a tree and gawk. If Columbus’ squirrels are among those who tweet, at least one of those “stares” was for me today.

I’m kind of amazed that I’ve been able to stick to this Couch to 5k program. I’m not reclaiming any former glory here, or even any former glorious body. I’ve never been remotely a jock – more of a sometimes walker, late-night dancer who attended a lot of summer day camps, one Outward Bound (repelling is fun!) and used to be able to put a basketball through a hoop without hitting the rim. When I was nine, I saw a coach about running on a regional team and he put me through my paces for a day, but the post-run rubdown positively creeped me out and I quit.

For Couch to 5K, I’ve followed the schedule to the letter. This is my approach to most things I try (as long as they seem reasonable to begin with) – I suspend disbelief and put my faith into the idea that all will work out as I’ve been told. Once I’ve done it for a while, or the intended duration, I make my own modifications. In this case, I have been amazed by how well I’ve been able to feel my progress every third run or so. This is my ninth and final week – three days of running for 30 minutes (or 5K). Who knew this was possible? Seriously!

I don’t have a ton of weight loss to show for my efforts, but there has been some and most importantly, I feel entirely different. Like my determination to eat less meat and more local food, it feels like I’m making changes that I have a better shot at sustaining. I just read that sticking with running this long officially makes me a runner, but that I ought to hang here for 2-3 months so my bones and connective tissues have a chance to catch up with my new, stronger muscles. That works for me. I’m not dying to win marathons. I just want to be healthy.

Yesterday I watched Obama’s speech to kids with my son. He was kind of excited that the president would talk to kids until he heard the president mention that he was there to talk to kids in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Having a year of preschool left, and several older friends and cousins makes you painfully aware that you aren’t in Kindergarten yet. As I listened, Declan sat on the floor and flew a plastic policeman through the solar system. Sadly, this policeman died and had to be buried under the letter P. He was later resurrected, so perhaps there is a cult forming around him in an alternate dimension.

By the end of the speech Dec was meowing like a kitty (if we’re connected on Facebook you may know this already). In fact, every time I have asked him what he thought of the speech since, he has meowed like a kitty. So, while I have found the accusation that Obama is trying to brainwash children into becoming liberal automatons utterly baseless, I now must face the possibility that he might be trying to turn them into cats.

Here are some of my favorite posts on the speech subject, by the way:

The Bad Astronomer hilariously points out how crazy is being mainstreamed.

Corporate Babysitter reminds us how many marketers have unfettered access to our children.

Charlotte-Anne Lucas posted a Wordle of the top 50 words used in the speech.

Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids quells our paranoia once again, with humor.

And Emily wrote the president a note.

Peace out, kitties!

* Declan modified the lyrics Danny Kaye sang in the movie Hans Christian Anderson (which his dad was watching) because he had one of his recurring dreams in which he tries to get out of bed, but some bloviating bovine blows him back. It was a better post title than anything I could come up with, so there it is.

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Things I did not know a month ago

1. When a distant star shakes and shimmies ever so slightly (visible only through a high-powered telescope), that’s a good indication that it has planets orbiting around it. The gravitational pull of big dudes like Jupiter and Saturn are most likely make their suns go a-quiver, which is why most of the exoplanets that astronomers have discovered are gas giants, not the bitty Earth-like places.

2. Even as the lone male dancer in a ballet class that wasn’t about space, my son loved to dance. He wants to stay in ballet lessons. People have told me that there are good scholarships out there for boys. I need to find out if that’s true.

3. It is possible to be winded by a sixty-second run one day, and find yourself running 20 minutes in a row without falling down dead five weeks later.

4. When your child begins to develop a real connection to visual art, it’s a beautiful thing. Especially when that connection involves imitating a piece by saying “I QUIT!” loudly and doing a faceplant on the floor in the middle of a Downtown gallery.

5. Letting your only child hang out with a couple of families that have three kids is an awesome reminder that left to their own devices, kids can and will work a lot of stuff out without your help.

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Things I’ve considered blogging about and haven’t

What happened when I tried Zen meditation.

Things that are hard about being close to people who are in recovery.

Why I don’t like arts festivals very much.

Overprotective parenting.

Why are love interests circa age 20 looking me up this year?

I like my Lama, she helps me understand anger.

It is important to have a good bra.

Music by muy macho dudes who are gooey in the middle is awesome.

Thanks to Mark Bittman, I’m trying “less meatatarianism.”

Lewy Body Syndrome.

Two weeks of no preschool and I can’t wait for camp to start.

Disadvantages of intelligence.

I want to give up writing and take up decoupage or photography or landscaping or solar panel
installation or almost anything that isn’t so unpredictable.

Competition gives me kind of an ulcer and how oh how on earth am I going to reconcile that with having a son when no one sells t-shirts for boys over 40 pounds that don’t have sporty crap on them?

How does this president keep managing to do and say things that I thought were too much to ask of a politician for most of my life?

I like to watch extremely stupid things on television.

People who want to help you can mess you up sometimes.

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I’ve been spending a lot of time with my hands in projects that yield results that I can see and touch lately, like wallpaper stripping and framing my kid’s art and painting giant suns and taking pictures and throwing things away. I’ve spent years writing about other people and sometimes long to do something that doesn’t involve thinking about other people, something that makes me the electricity instead of the circuit. I’m not sure which one this blog is.

Post ideas cross my mind several times a day. I have mental stockpiles of unwritten ones about deadbeat clients and exuberant editors who don’t realize you never went to “J-school.” And college peers who turned me off by trying so hard to convince someone that they are interesting that they wore eccentricity like stocks in the campus commons. I keep discovering that many have managed to convince more than a few someones they are interesting.

I’ve been contemplating starting a league of difficult people because so many seem to be drawn to me that I can only draw the conclusion that I am one of them. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate gossip? I really hate gossip. Or that I’m not easily offended? I’m not easily offended. I think if I felt offended I’d be more inclined to gossip.

There could be a million more posts about my son, because pushing four is so brilliant and tumultuous and precious and electric and strange, but complicated. I am good at illuminating other people, especially him, to the point where I disappear, and I’m feeling less like being invisible these days.

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Guerrilla commentary

I did some work at a coffee shop the other day, and this marked-up newspaper ad was laid on a counter directly across from the station where you pick up your order, clearly meant to catch the attention of passers-by:
Click either image to make it larger if you can’t read the handwriting.I sense a little Guerrilla Girl action in the capital city.

What images in your local landscape would you like to rearrange?

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The fideicommissum of my achoo

I’ve been prone since Friday afternoon, when a nasty summer cold walloped me into bed. I missed a birthday party, a couple of nice days and a dog festival, but I saw a lot of television. I watched Olympic synchronized swimming and the movie Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. I think the synchronized swimming was the more surreal of the two.

Obama picking Joe Biden was slightly surreal, but only because I had a fever when I got the text message. In reality, I find this decision so logical it borders on Vulcan, and I say that with confidence now that I’m so well hydrated. And I’m not the only person who has thought about the virtuous connections between Obama and Spock.

Really, yay for Joe Biden. For at least two years, he’s been one of the only politicians I could listen to talk about Iraq without pulling my hair out. And I’m an Ohio voter who went for Hillary (head vote) over Obama (heart vote) in the primary. Put that one on your cafeteria lunch tray, punditface.

Today I’m dry coughing so horribly, I think tumbleweeds might come shooting out of my mouth. And my son just told me that he wants to be the solar system for Halloween, which means I probably need to take a sewing class or three.

This week I have a couple of little deadlines, but right now, most of my job involves looking for more work, which always feels like a lot more work than working does. I should be more unnerved about this than I am. I have a couple of prospects out there that feel like long shots, and yet, I feel like Tony from West Side Story singing “Something’s Coming.” I think I know better than to let Riff and Bernardo fight at the rumble, but I guess there’s no guarantee I won’t be shot down on the tennis court.

Phew. I’ll leave you with this parting thought:

“Your love is like 1000 caucasian carnivores playing mumblety peg with an eggplant. ”

Courtesy of the Surrealist Compliment Generator , which I have been drawn back to every seven months since I first found it in 1997 or so. It restores my sense of balance.

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Blog, uninterrupted

Today is my birthday and I’ve just dropped my son off at play camp. That means I have two whole uninterrupted hours to do something or other. I could make a more responsible choice, but it’s my personal holiday, so I’m going to blog about a bunch of random crap. Hooptydoo!

Topic # 1: If I could just accept these things, I might be happier
1. I’m 38. It’s 2008. Really, it is.

2. My birthday will always fall between Comfest and the Fourth of July (hence Doo Dah Parade), therefore my husband will always look gobsmacked that the day has arrived, and run out at some inconvenient last-minute time to buy me a gift, or offer to buy me something practical that I was already going to get for myself and then not wrap it. However, I get flowers year-round for no reason.

3. If I need to get somewhere on time and Declan is with me, I should aim to get there 10 minutes before whatever it is starts.

4. My father’s birthday gift to me will arrive on Christmas. I already have cards from cousins-in-law on the piano. My mom got me a cake and something else that there is a 99 percent chance I will like. My dog will probably not poop in the dining room today because it’s sunny. Family is what it is and hooray for what it is.

5. This will be the year I learn to like fireworks. Declan will teach me.

Topic #2: Brief rants
1. Who thought it would be a good idea to call a food event A Taste of Boom? And is this only funny to me because I have a toddler? Does the fact that I think this is funny mean that I’m suddenly going to start laughing at the poopy jokes in the Shrek movies? Because I don’t, usually.

2. I was so very sad that I’m not going to BlogHer this year – Skybus folded and ruined my plans. But now I’m not sad anymore. I’ve been watching some stupidity unfold in the mom-o-blog-o-sphere and Twitter, and it’s giving me agita. It seems someone semi-famous said something critical of someone non-very famous (in blogging terms) and then a bunch of blind criticism of said semi-famous person ensued. I had to contort my brain into a Complete Intersection CalabiYau Manifold to try and figure out what the hell was going on and why, and in the end, it felt like the clarion calls for women to be decent to each other have become at least as punitive and damning as the original critcism, only launched by, like 50 people instead of one.

If, for some masochistic reason, you want to follow this, go here and here, and if you’re feeling particularly nosy, here. The original offending comments are here and here and here. I think I wouldn’t have bothered if I’d only known what all the hubbub was about to begin with, but it was introduced as though there was a crisis of decency among mommybloggers that needed to be addressed, with no actual details presented, which, being a mom blogger, tantalized me to dig into what was happening so I could have an informed opinion. (And it’s what journalists do.)

Seems like there was an interesting opportunity there to discuss blog community, blog culture, idea ownership or maybe even appropriate avenues for criticism that has instead drawn people into different camps of self-righteous back-slaps and high-fives. Yuck. I feel totally outside of the mommy blogging “community” now. Have a nice time y’all!

3. Dan and I clarified some of the details of the often asked-about ending of Little Brother’s here.

4. Okay, I’m still sad about not going to BlogHer, because there are a few people I would really have liked to meet who live and write and play well outside of all of that crap that I shouldn’t have bothered writing about.

5. Holy crap, they are playing “Xanadu” by Olivia Newton John in this coffee shop. This is not helping my “I’m 38. It’s 2008” mantra to sink in.

Have a great Wednesday. Eat cake.

P.S. Now they’re playing “Words” by Missing Persons. Perhaps I should come back to this coffee shop daily, because there’s apparently a time warp here that makes this my 12th birthday.

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Wonderful epitaph

“Here lies Arthur C Clarke. He never grew up and did not stop growing.”

— From BBC News
. Apparently, this epitaph was the author’s request.

You can also watch him talk about the three wishes he had for humankind on the occasion of his 90th birthday here.

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Random thoughts for a weekend

It wasn’t that intense of a week, though it felt like it was. I’ve been working on some of my regular work, on finding some work and on a new blog.

I’ve also been feeling reflective about Arthur C. Clarke’s return to stardust as well as the advances we’re making when it comes to finding signs of life outside of our solar system. It makes you think we really meet intelligent E.T. within 20 years, as some astronomers predict, the same way U.S. women got the right to vote 14 years after the cause’s longest living champion died. If that’s so, we need Star Trek now more than ever. And Declan needs language classes.

I’ve also read a lot of great stuff online this week.

Today, Ask Moxie had an extremely helpful guest post about toddler discipline. Their seminars seem too pricey, but I’ve subscribed to the Proactive Parenting newsletter.

Lastly, if you’re gearing up for Easter’s sugar, here you can watch a bunch of strange videos that feature Peeps.

Have a happy weekend.

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