What are we talking about today?

I used to have theme days. I gave them up for Lent.

Not really. My husband died in February and I'm trying to find a new normal. You'll probably read some sad stuff here for a while, mixed in with my usual ranting about bicycles and buses and books. I like 'B' words.

22 March 2015

Final Portfolio #GradSchoolProblems

I'm working on my final portfolio for my grad program, which is technically now late, just like everything else I'm supposed to have turned in over the last four weeks. Well, longer than that, I guess, because I got behind when I went to Indiana for my grandmother's funeral in early February.


I'm literally only carrying on with this right now because my options are to be done in two months or be done in nine months. Send positive vibes, cookies, chocolate, caffeine, prayers, etc.

20 March 2015

Casual Conversations

So, here's the thing I want to say to everyone right now but don't always have a chance to say in conversation: It's okay to be awkward around me right now. I've been in a swirling vortex of awkward conversations for a month with no end in sight, and I'd rather my friends talk to me while awkward than stay away for fear of saying something dumb.

Source.
Trust me, if you're my friend, it's probably because you say things that are dumb. That's why I like you so much. This is no time to get self-conscious about that.

So those of you who are lurking and afraid to say anything (yes, I'm looking at you. You know who you are): Knock it off. Say something. We'll still be friends afterwards, no matter how awkward it is.

(And if you're wondering why I'm not starting the conversation myself-- I'm trying. Really, I am. But I can barely hang on to my own personality right now, and there's a good chance I'll forget who it was I was looking at before I even hit 'publish' on this post. We're still friends, but I'm hanging on by my fingertips and need you to help me out on this one.)

17 March 2015

I'm Just Not That Good at Alphabetizing

I grabbed one of the A to Z badges
while I was poking around
. 'S' for Su,
in case that wasn't abundantly obvious.
Just saw someone post about the A to Z Challenge, which is about to begin on April 1, and which I strongly encourage all bloggers to participate in, because it's fun and a great way to find lots of awesome blogs you may have never seen before.

As for me... Well, I still haven't finished last year's Challenge. I left off at Q and then was sucked into the swirling vortex that is the end of the semester, and... well. I have since knocked out an R post. Eventually I'll finish the rest, but it won't be during the A to Z Challenge. I won't be doing Camp NaNoWriMo this time around, either, to my own great regret. I have a hard enough time right now finishing the things I'm already obligated to do without giving myself more things to keep track of.

So, A-to-Z-ers, have a great time. Not an A-to-Z-er yet? Sign up now! It's fun! Maybe I'll be back with you next year.

13 March 2015

Look What I Found on the Internet

This went rolling across my Twitter feed yesterday. It's now hanging on the wall of my office:

Source: @myerman on Twitter. I don't know where he found it.
Sounds about right. Cup of tea and all.

12 March 2015

How It Has to Be

I can't believe my husband and Terry Pratchett would leave me within three weeks of each other like this.

But there's this quote from Soul Music, the first Terry Pratchett book I ever read, that has gotten me through other crappy times (although none as crappy as this, I have to say):
You could say to the universe, this is not fair. And the universe would say: Oh, isn't it? Sorry.
You could save people. You could get there in the nick of time. And something could snap its fingers and say, no, it has to be this way. Let me tell you how it has to be.
― Terry Pratchett, Soul Music
So, on I go.
This is my favourite Terry Pratchett book so far, but I'm nowhere near
having read them all. So I may change my mind.
Image from Goodreads, and while you're there, you should check
out all the rest of Terry Pratchett's books.

07 March 2015

In My Mailbox: Something I'm In Edition

So, this arrived today:

Want a copy of this book? It's really quite good as a reference,
even without my essay in it. Get it on Amazon here. And if you
want to shop Amazon Smile supporting the Texas Bicycle Coalition,
that'd be okay, too. 
It's a college textbook. To be more specific, it's the latest edition of a textbook that was required for a class I took at my final semester at UT, and the major difference between this edition and the edition I was supposed to buy in the spring of 2012 (totally didn't buy it. I borrowed a classmate's all semester long) is this: I HAVE AN ESSAY IN THIS BOOK.

Yep, after the assignment that's in here, my instructor (John J. Ruszkiewicz, the first name on the cover there) said he thought my essay was better than the one that was in that edition of the textbook and asked if he could use mine in the next edition. I managed not to shriek, "YES! ARE YOU KIDDING? OF COURSE!" when I agreed. I just didn't expect the next edition to come out this fast.

I admit I did wait until used copies appeared on Amazon before I bought a copy, because textbooks are freakishly expensive (sorry, Dr. Ruszkiewicz). And after my initial shrieking and jumping up and down and posting on Facebook that I did earlier, I took a closer look at the index & saw that some of my classmates are also in this edition, which of course makes me all kinds of happy. I already read one of their essays and will eventually make my way through the others.

If you want to read the essay without buying the book, you can read it on Google books here (click on the top result). It's about women running marathons. I know, I know, big surprise.

05 March 2015

Oh, yeah, the Austin Half

I meant to post an Austin Half Marathon recap, but that got pushed way off my list, I'm afraid.

Before the race. This was taken seconds
after Chadwick asked if I had lost my
mind. The photographer stopped us as
we were headed to gear check and asked
if we wanted our picture taken.
(Also, this is not a copyright violation.
Our dear friend Ruth bought our race
photos for me in lieu of flowers. I'm free
to use this image here.)
Here's the gist: they went back to an older version of the course, similar to the one I ran in 2009 and 2010, and I loved it. Every inch of it, except for the pretty boring stretch on Lake Austin Boulevard where there's not a lot of crowd support and also not a lot of interesting things to look at. I mean, I love trees as much as the next gal, but even I can only be enraptured by so many before wanting to see something else. (Here's the course map, for the extra-curious.)

It's weird, thinking about that day now. I didn't run with Chadwick-- he wasn't trained for it, so he started the race planning to DNF at about mile 2, which is exactly what he did--but we spent the rest of the day together. I don't remember what we talked about. I don't think we did anything else but run a race and then sit on a couch. And get some In-n-Out.

Before the race, though, when I was in pre-race crazy mode, he asked me if I had lost my mind, and I asked him if he'd forgotten what I'm like on race day. It had been a while since we'd stood at a start line together.

My next race is the Cap10K in April, and I'll be running it alone.

Anyway, the half marathon medal this year was really ugly, by usual Austin Marathon standards. The day that Chad died, a bunch of the younger folks from church came over and spent the evening in my living room, and we passed around the medal. Some of them didn't believe that it was ugly until I got out one of my old ones by comparison, and then they obliged my feelings by making fun of the ugly one.

I haven't decided yet what I'll do with the race medals and numbers Chad managed to collect over the years. I have some ideas. But I'm not in a hurry to make that decision. They are made of durable metal, and I have faith that having lasted in our possession this long, they will remain for a while longer while I think of something to do with them.

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