What are we talking about today?

Here's what I'm probably talking about on any given day, although knowing me there's always a chance I've gone right off the rails:

Sunday-- Christianity, Spirituality, or similar Sunday-ish things
Monday-- Running
Tuesday-- Books
Wednesday-- Grad School
Thursday-- Random Stuff I'm Thinking
Friday-- Green or Healthy Living
Saturday-- Transportation (buses, bikes, walking)

This doesn't mean I'm here every day, but these are the days I'll generally try to stick my topics into.

29 January 2015

3M Half: I got some free tape

Yep, I got one of these. It's shiny.
Source: 3M Half Marathon Facebook page
If you're not familiar with the 3M Half Marathon, brought to us by the people who make Post-It notes and therefore pretty much rule my life, here's the short version: It's a fast, fun downhill course and they hand out the best swag bags the world has ever seen. ("Swag" = "Stuff we all get" in this usage.)

Chadwick and I were up dark and early on Sunday morning because he had to be in his course marshal position by 6:35, and that spot was a few miles from the start line where I needed to be, so after watching Andy Murray lose a set over my pre-race oatmeal & tea (he went on to win the match, for those not keeping track), I gathered up all my race paraphernalia and out we went.

The race was great, punctuated with a few memorable moments-- some people from church had organized themselves to come out and cheer, so I stopped for hugs at miles 6 and 11 (and mile 7, where my ├╝ber-race-volunteer husband was stationed). I know the crowd support was excellent, although truthfully the only sign I remember was a guy who was dressed like a pirate with a sign that read, "Run Your Booty Off!" And he was shouting encouragement in Pirate. This guy also went above & beyond-- he was at mile 5, presumably until everyone went by, then he drove down to the finish line and stood there until everyone finished. I hope they gave him a medal.

Oh, and there was a bagpiper at mile 1 who was murdering "Scotland the Brave." I think he was running out of breath by the time I passed, but it made me all kinds of sad. If you must murder something on the bagpipes, stay away from "Scotland the Brave" and "Amazing Grace."

As far as my own race went-- I ran faster than I thought I would, so I finished all kinds of happy. As a bonus, my body has figured out how to deal with this stuff now, so my legs are all well and recovered enough for me to do a long run later today. (I usually do those on Saturday, but we're promised a downpour this weekend, so... no, I think I can squeeze it in today.)

And that's the game! My next half is just over two weeks away, at the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon presented by I can't even remember who. I just know it's not Livestrong any longer. (If you click that link, watch the entire slideshow on the front page. Totally worth it.)

Presuming the rest of you aren't running 10 miles this afternoon-- what fun things do you have planned for today? (Or tomorrow, or whenever?)

28 January 2015

It's Like I Can't Even Tell Time Any More

I'm getting ready for my grad class tonight, and noticed we're already on week 3. I don't even know how that happened, yet here we are. (Just saw this xkcd comic this morning: "It's weird how I'm constantly surprised by the passage of time when it's literally the most predictable thing in the universe." Yep, me too.)

What makes this even weirder is that due to the day Texas Tech started classes (a Wednesday) plus a holiday the following Monday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), my other class was only on week 1 this week. This is a recipe for me being confused for four months, my friends. You can count on it.

Also watching a bit of this right now.
I just dug this photo out of my blog archives,
so I've no idea where it came from to begin with.
Half marathon recap coming soon, possibly tomorrow, for those waiting with bated breath. I meant to post it Monday, but you know-- time passes and the next thing you know it's Wednesday. (I think.)

What day of the week are you on?

20 January 2015

Teaser Tuesday #40

Source: Goodreads
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science, Natalie Angier

If you get into a cadence of swishing, however, you can instigate a smooth, sinuous, motivated wave, which would surely buoy a rubber duckie outward through all space, time, and divinity if not for the walls of the tub.

Astronomers are pure of heart and appealing puerile. They look into the midnight sky and ask big questions, just as we did when we were in college: Who are we? Where do we come from? And why are we standing around outside on the night before finals?

(Normally, I'd never do a Teaser Tuesday on a textbook, but this one is too good not to share. I love Ms. Angier's writing style & sense of humour, plus I get to learn things at the same time.)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

19 January 2015

One Week to Go

I'm running a half marathon next Sunday (the 3M Half Marathon in Austin-- one of the best-organized races I've ever run. Runners, it needs to be on your list!), and this is probably the best prepared I've been for a race in years, which is not saying much, unfortunately, but there you are. Anyway, no one is allowed to even think about germs in my presence this week. In fact, it's probably best that you not sneeze while reading this, just in case.

From my first half marathon
in November 2008. My then-
supervisor at work took one
look at this photo and said,
"Oh, that looks painful."
Source: WTRC archives.
Running has been a pretty important part of my life off and on since I was in middle school, but this latest iteration has been since 2007, with some unfortunate long gaps in between runs in the years I've been in university. (Nothing says "serious runner" like owning running clothes you never use, amirite?) One of my goals for this semester is to put my classwork and my running ahead of the extracurriculars that tend to get in my way, like watching Downton Abbey (I've not seen the last two episodes. Could my addiction be over?) or reading fanfiction. Those things can wait until I graduate, or at least until spring break.

So! If you have any spare positive half marathon vibes to send me, I can find a safe place for them. Otherwise: What are you up to this week?

15 January 2015

All Things New

Just kidding, hardly anything is new.

Yeah, it's a new year, and yesterday I started a new semester of grad school. Two days ago, a new legislative session began. (While I'm not into politics--meaning that beyond voting for the candidate I think is likely to screw me over the least I don't care for the debates and polarization--my job requires me to at least have some awareness of the legislative cycles.) I have some new books (for school) and a couple of new ideas for the blog.

One of them being, you know, to actually blog from time to time. I hate going such a long stretch without blogging.

But in a more important sense, nothing is new. I've had this blog since 2004. I've had this grad school since 2012, and this job only slightly longer than this school. And as for the year, I'm starting to think they come in bunches these days. For example, I sincerely don't even remember 2011. I think some important things probably happened that year. I don't know what they were. Am I owed a refund?

(And this is coming from a teetotaler, y'all. Imagine if I were a drinker.)

I know y'all can relate. I'm sure it would be worse if I had small people in my house, magically becoming less small every day. But it's bad enough just looking at all the new grey hairs every morning. I feel like this:
Except I'm not even 30 even more. I'm hurtling toward 40 at a really uncomfortable pace. Not that I mind getting to 40 too much--that's when I become a master's runner, after all, and I've been looking forward to that--but it's still a looming milestone that I feel like I should be too young for. Especially when so many of my friends are around 25.

"So what, Su? Did you come here to complain? I can do that by myself," I hear you saying. And no, I did not. I came here to say: I'm choosing to celebrate the same old things like they're new things. The old things are all the more valuable for me having known them for so long, anyway.

What things are new for you? What are so old that you can pretend they're new again?

31 December 2014

Goodreads, Good Year

Hey, look!

See my 2014 books here.
I'm kind of amazed that I finished. I was so far behind when I staggered over the finish line of the semester, and immediately dove into my to-read list, but as the end of the year approached I started to panic and searched through all my free Kindle books for short ones so I could get to 52 books by the end of the year.

Fifty-two books. I know, that's kind of sad for someone who loves reading as much as I do, and the total does include a handful of textbooks, I'm afraid. But, this has been quite a year for me professionally, given the number of major events my employer put on this year, all of which I was responsible for tweeting, emailing, facebooking, and storyifying all over the place. (By the way, my employer now knows about Storify, and he wants to Storify every freaking thing. I have to explain to him at least once a week that not everything should be Storifyied.. I created a monster.)

Brighter reading days are coming. I have one more semester of grad school and then I'm free to read and write without feeling guilt or pushing my luck on letting my homework go until the last minute. I'm setting my reading goal higher this year-- probably 75 books-- and I hope to have to bump it up a bit well before the last two weeks of the year.

And while my to-read list is overflowing, and the queue free books stored neatly on Amazon waiting for me to download them is almost as long (the two groups are mostly mutually exclusive), I always welcome reading suggestions from my beloved blogging buddies. What should have high priority on my to-read list this year?

(And if you're looking for suggestions, here's my Goodreads read list, sorted by rating. Enjoy.)

01 December 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

For those of you who aren't following my every move on Facebook or Twitter, here's the latest:

Five years, five wins. NaNoWriMo is AWESOME.

I did a bit of a NaNo Rebel thing this year-- halfway through the month, the conflict that was driving my original story kind of fizzled out. I was enjoying that story a lot and would like to revisit it, but I knew if I wanted to finish NaNo it was time to bring out the big guns...

... so I went back to the same novel that I've been working on since 2011, the one that's seen me through one NaNo, two Camp NaNos, and all the writing time in between. I'm happy to say that not only did I win NaNoWriMo, but I finally finished the first draft of this infernal novel. It's going in a drawer for a few months until I get round to deciding what to cut and what to keep, which (let's face it) will probably not happen until after my spring semester ends.

Happy December 1, everybody!



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