What are we talking about today?

I'm on hiatus (in case you hadn't guessed). Sorry! I miss you guys.

30 November 2008

Trotting Turkeys

I'm sporting a bright yellow running turkey on an equally bright red shirt. Yes, I wore a race T-shirt to church today. I didn't wear running shorts, though, because it was too cold. Nor did I wear my trainers, but I probably should have done, because I did a lot of running around the building. (Christmas tea is a week away (thank goodness), so I'm doing a lot of strenous exercise at church this week.)

Waddaya know, I managed to get more posts for November than there were days. I would be happy at how much I had to say, but I know that a lot of it was drivel. Thank you, my ever-faithful readers, for sticking with me.

So, I have another race report for you. (Good news-- after this one, there's only one more this year. Then we start over again in January. Ha! Ha!) Thursday morning, we ran the Turkey Trot. Now, I've been taking the longer mileage option at every race this year, partly because it's a better value (same price for either race), and partly since I wanted to get 66 miles worth of racing in. Since I already hit the 66 miles, I wanted to hit a 10:00 per mile pace in a race by the end of the year, and Chad had rotations every day except Thursday this weekend, we opted for the 2 mile race.

I have nothing of note for myself, except to say that I was already hurting at the 1/2 mile point. I really pushed as hard as I could. It was worth it, though.

No, I was impressed by the award ceremony at this race. The womens overall winner is named Brittney. She is a cross-country athlete at Lubbock Christian. I don't actually know her, but I do know of her (and I've seen her in the paper). Traditionally, turkeys are given as prizes at the turkey trot, but when they tried to give her one, she refused it. Why? It is against NAIA rules for her to take prizes for a race. I personally doubt that the NAIA is that worried about a frozen turkey, but what do I know? Anyway, rather than compromise her integrity and potentially lose her scholarship, she left the turkey sitting on the table.

The really great moment came when they handed out the children's awards. All age groups get three medals handed out, but they ordered some extras for this race so that all the kids got one. I was really happy to see that, if only because I like encouraging the kids in this sport. When all the experts and whoever are rightly concerned about inactive children, I say let's do whatever we can to convince them to be active. Anyway, in addition to everyone getting a medal and a round of applause, the first-place boy & girl each got a small savings bond. Wow, how many good habits can we encourage at once? Great job, West Texas Running Club!

So, that was November. Enjoy the last three hours of it.

Straight Classic TV

Classic for me, anyway, being the '80s child that I am. Was. Whatever.


29 November 2008

Craftiness

I'm on a quest to see how many attributes I can acquire that begin with "C." And then I'll take my act on the road and audition for a part on Sesame Street. Thus far I have cheekyness, craftiness, clumsiness, and occasional light showers of cleverness. If you see any "C" qualities wandering around without a human to call their own, I'll be here all weekend.

Anyway! So here I have photographic evidence that I have been doing something besides taking in vast quantities of sugar.


Firstly, then, the assembled fruits of my labour. (The basket on the right isn't actually my labour; it's just a backdrop.)








And here we have someone else's idea that I was 100% willing to steal. A patient brought enough of these little angel ornaments into the office last Christmas for everyone to have one, and there were some left over for me to pilfer and bring home. I've hung onto them for a year, planning to make some as take-home favours for the Christmas tea. So, this is my first attempt. I don't think the ribbon is quite long enough to be suitable for your average Christmas tree; at least, not long enough for the angel to hang freely, instead of being squashed up against the branch. So, I've made the ribbon longer for the rest of them.




This is also someone else's idea. I've been the office supplier of hot cocoa during the holidays for the past three years; starting on Monday, I'll keep a jar of cocoa in the kitchen until Christmas for my coworkers to enjoy. A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers asked why I don't sell the cocoa. My thing is, why would anyone buy something they can just make in their kitchen? However, I have been assured that people will, in fact, pay me money to assemble a gift for them so that they don't have to. So, I am now taking orders. (And if you'd like to order one-- or a dozen-- let's talk.) The hot cocoa gift pack comes complete with jar, lid, fabric circle, ribbon, and serving size and nutrition information (not pictured, because I haven't finished it yet). I also have three varieties of fabric; red with stars (on the jar), cream with holly leaves & berries, and a teeny red, blue & green checkerboard pattern with gold lines. (Sorry, the picture doesn't really do it justice, but it was the best I could do.) All this can be yours for only $5 plus shipping. (Price is negotioable if I actually know you, or if you really do want a dozen.)






And my final work of... whatever. This is one of two gift baskets that will be a thank-you gift for one of our Christmas tea speakers. The other is just like it. I got these blue baskets in Hobby Lobby's excellent after-Thanksgiving sale today, and decided they were perfect.







There you have it, then; this is how I spend my spare time when I'm not blogging. Or cooking. Or eating.

I knew it!!

Somebody died during Black Friday at Walmart? Somebody actually died?

I knew Walmart was dangerous, but this is just ridiculous. There is nothing in any store worth trampling someone for. That's the problem with these sales; people lose all touch with reality in their quest for the latest thing-you-can't-live-without.

There has to be a better way to do this.

28 November 2008

This post may be hazardous to your health.

I was all set to post pictures of the various crafts I am currently working on, but the camera has dead batteries. So, that post will wait until tomorrow.

Instead, I decided to regale you with tale of the other creative thing I've been doing with my evening. A couple of years ago, I ran across a fudge recipe on the internet and thought, Why not?

Oh. My. Word. My grandma makes the world's second-best fudge. This is better. I'm not joking. And I don't say that lightly; I hold the utmost reverence for my grandmother's cooking and frequently consult her on culinary matters. This stuff is amazing. If the FDA knew about it, they would classify it as a drug.

So, before I share the recipe, I want to warn you: If you are watching calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, or sugars, this recipe is not for you. If you have small children in your house, you may want to wait a few years. If you are diabetic, stop reading now.

If you are a chocolate lover with a sizeable sweet tooth, you are going to think this recipe came from heaven. (I'm actually pretty sure that it did.) If that is not the case, or if you weigh yourself regularly, then you will think this recipe came from Satan.

Okay, disclaimer over! If you are still with me, then read on for some of the best fudge the world has ever seen.

POTATO FUDGE

3 T shortening
3 T butter
½ c plus 1 T cocoa
⅓ c mashed potatoes
⅛ t salt
1 t vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar
½ c chopped nuts (optional)

In a microwave safe bowl, melt shortening and butter in the microwave. Stir in cocoa until smooth. Add potatoes, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Blend in powdered sugar, mix and add nuts. Dough will be very lumpy. Knead until smooth. Press into a buttered 8x8 inch pan. Cool in the refrigerator before cutting. Makes 64 pieces.

My suggestions: the first time you try this, make a half batch at most, just to see how you like it. I have cut waaaay back on the sugar because it is just too much; I use just over half a pound per batch. Use an electric mixer unless you are having a "let's have fun getting messy in the kitchen" kind of day. And, I line the pan with waxed paper instead of buttering, because the last thing this recipe needs is more butter.

And, if you want to try before you buy, I currently have a double batch cooling in my refrigerator. Drive down our street and listen for the hysterical laughter.

Christmas No Chaser

So I've been trying to stay awake long enough to watch Kristen Chenoweth on The Late Late Show. Plus, Craig Ferguson is a treat every day. Anyway, Kristen has come and gone, but she is going to sing soon. In the meantime, I've been watching some college students sing (first one is a funny 12 Days of Christmas medley; second one is one of my favourite carols, Carol of the Bells):









Generally, I am opposed to all things IU, but I'll make an exception for these guys. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Red Friday

At least, it is for me. But my Christmas shopping is almost done. I still have to buy for one of my grandmothers, and Chad's family, which is a total of five more people. But, for four of those five, I already know what I am getting. Then, it is just a matter of packing the boxes and mailing them.

Fortunately, since I plan to have the whole shebang wrapped and ready to send by Monday, this will mean we can send our packages by covered wagon and still have a good chance of them all getting where they are going by Christmas. (Except for the one going to Scotland; I'm pretty sure covered wagons are only good on land.) A nice change from the last few years, when our families got their Christmas gifts sometime around spring break. :)

So, the after-Thanksgiving sales are fun. The crowds are-- interesting. The traffic is horrendous. Can't have everything. :) But I was in more stores in one day today than I have been since I lived in Glasgow and used to amuse myself by "shopping" in every store on Argyle Street on the odd Saturday. Man, I miss those days.

27 November 2008

Three up, three down.

Or, perhaps I should borrow from the new gymnastics rules, and say, "Three up, three count." Whichever.

So, after the running club end-of-year dinner in January, I evolved three running goals for myself for 2008. (I've been saying all day that I had four goals, but now that I'm writing it down, I don't remember a fourth one.)

1. Finish in the WTRC's "66 Mile Club."
2. Finish a half marathon.
3. Finish a race in a 10 minute per mile pace or faster.

1: Did it. Made it to 66 racing miles on November 8th. So come the year-end dinner in January, I get the really nice "66 Mile" t-shirt. I'll be wearing that thing to church, to work, and everywhere in between. There will be no parting me from that shirt. Except, you know, to wash it every now and then.

2: I think I may have mentioned that I ran a half marathon. I could have made it to 66 miles without the half marathon, but it certainly helped.

3: This one has me tickled pink. And I don't even like pink. But we ran the two mile race at the Turkey Trot this morning, and I finished in 19:12. For those of you keeping track at home, that's 9:36 per mile. I nearly collapsed when I came across the line, but it was mostly from happiness. And then my mp3 player broke. Can't have everything.

Three up, three down. Now to work on my 2009 running goals.

Not just today.

This is, presumably, the most thankful day of the year.

And I have a lot to be thankful for. A LOT. I don't have to look high or low, or even off to the side, to find reasons to rejoice.

I do, however, hate the whole "Let's go around the table and say what we are thankful for" tradition. (If you do this at your house, please do not invite me to Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you.) We never did it in our family, and I am so glad, because I was so painfully shy as a child that I think I would have foregone dinner sooner than speak aloud before my entire assembled family. Apart from putting everyone-- especially children-- on the spot, my thought is that such a tradition encourages superficiality, in a "Quick, think something up so that we can eat!" kind of way.

(I know, I know... I'm too young to be this cynical. Too late.)

So, it is not something we pursue in our home. And I don't intend to do so when we have children. But you know what we do? When we spot a reason to be thankful, we talk about it. Right then. Mostly these conversations are about people, because that is just how it works for us. And I think that is a good thing.

And when we do have conversations about thankfulness with our children, I expect them to happen on a daily (or almost-daily) basis. If not, then I think I will have missed out on a big part of parenting.

26 November 2008

Sorry, Dead Turkey

So, Thanksgiving is all about the food.

Christmas is more about the music for me. I mean, there is food there, too (mince pie, here I come!), but the music and the general feeling of goodwill define the Christmas season. But Thanksgiving... bring on the turkey and stuffing. And sweet potatoes. And cranberry sauce. And rolls. (We'll have dessert later.)

So, my turkey is currently roasting in the oven. Why? Well, we want to have "the meal" for lunch, but we're running a Turkey Trot at 9 AM, and there is nothing on this earth that will convince me that it is a good idea to turn on the oven and then leave the house for an hour. So, I'm cooking the turkey the night before. I've read that you can reheat precooked turkey in the oven, but my answer to that is: Hello! I have a microwave!

Once the turkey is done, I have to cook the cornbread, because it has to sit out overnight and get stale so I can use it for the stuffing. Except I don't stuff the turkey, so I think it is technically called dressing. Or something. Anyway, that stuff with breadcrumbs in it? I have to make the cornbread first. And I gotta tell ya, I got my current dressing recipe off the internet a couple of years ago, and it is fan-tab-u-lous. It's a lot of work, but totally worth it a couple of times a year.

So this is my sixth Thanksgiving turkey. The first year I did it, I didn't know about taking out the neck and giblets ahead of time, so after it was done cooking, I was all, "What's this paper bag in the turkey?" Now that I think about it, this may be the first year that I remembered to take out the neck before cooking. And I probably wouldn't have thought about it, except I had the remains of a whole chicken sitting in my kitchen, so I tossed the neck into the pot to make "chicken" broth. I guess it's poultry broth now.

I don't really like cooking meat at the best of times-- it tends to leave a greasy film on my glasses (and, presumably, the rest of me as well)-- but it is extra sad when I can hold it up by the wings and lead it in a little dance in my sink before putting it into its pan. I have no actual conscience qualms about eating animals, but I do have to block from my mind the fact that it used to have a face. And cartoons are not my friend here, since it may well have also had a voice and personality. I'll try not to think about Chicken Run while enjoying dead bird tomorrow.

25 November 2008

Ya think, Charlie Brown?

No NCIS for us tonight. Bummer.

The trade-off is, I'm watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Had NCIS been on, I never would have changed the channel to see what else network TV had to offer this evening.

There's nothing about Peanuts that I don't like. In particular, I am a Snoopy fan, but I'll watch any of them in a pinch (like when Snoopy is not onscreen).

Snoopy vs. the lawnchair is probably my favourite part of this Thanksgiving special (although the dealing of the food is also priceless).

23 November 2008

Still under fifty.

Another new face on my blogroll... or rather, six new faces.

The Skelton family are in Romania, telling people about Jesus. And they have a blog to let the rest of us have a peek into their lives. Check it out!

22 November 2008

Insert Planetary Joke Here

So we were driving home last night, and I thought, "What are those things in the sky? Are they planets? We can't see stars in the middle of town."

Tonight while running, I saw them again, and thought, "Are those things closer together tonight than they were last night?"

I decided that at least one of them must be Venus, because honestly, we see our solar neighbours a lot. I got home and consulted the wellspring of all knowledge-- Google-- and discovered that one of them is Venus! The other is Jupiter, and lo and behold, they are closer together today than they were yesterday. The two of them will be doing their celestial dance for the next week around twilight, so go outside and look west after supper. They will be at their closest next Sunday & Monday evenings (Nov. 30th & Dec. 1st). And, the brighter of the two is Venus, only because it is closer both to us and to the sun.

And if you have a telescope or some binoculars, the stargazing will be all the more enjoyable.

My favourite time of year: Shopping Season!

Yeah, that's what I mean when I say "Season's Greetings!"

So, in defiance of Albertson's, Chad and I are about to set out on my favourite shopping trip of the year; we are going to buy our Thanksgiving dinner. (If you thought that by "shopping" I meant anything but "grocery shopping", well, you were wrong. Sorry.)

I love shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. At no other time of year do I buy a turkey (which is brilliant for us; we can freeze the leftovers and still be enjoying it come New Year). It brings me a level of satisfaction that is, quite frankly, worrying.

Then there are the other gems: flour, pie pans, yeast, yams, sage (I LOVE sage!), dehydrdrated mince, canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce (the three things that I'm unwilling to make from scratch), waxed paper, fudge ingredients, hot cocoa ingredients, chocolate chips... Not only is this the shopping season, it's also the baking season. I love it.

I think the reason that I don't bake for the other 11 months of the year is that I go so overboard from Thanksgiving Day to Boxing Day. But if you come visit us in the next 5 weeks, you will be fed well.

17 November 2008

So, just how many of them ARE there?

My supervisor informed me today that the new Bond movie is good, but it is all in jiggly cam. So, I guess I'll be waiting for the DVD-- I'm not sitting through another one of those.

I've also heard that Fireproof is worth a trip to the theatre. Our Bible class chairman actually went so far as to say, "If you only go to one movie a year, make it this one."

Dude. I didn't even go to the theatre for Prince Caspian. Actually, I couldn't even tell you the last movie I saw in the theatre.

Anyway, as I figure it, there must be 10 agents with "double-O status", right? Double-Os 0 through 9? (I would hate to be Double-O Zero.) I mean, imagine being Double-O Thirty-Four. That seems a bit silly. And then after you've been a double-O for a while, you are assigned a letter, yes? (Can I be E? Or perhaps W; that might make for a smoother transition from double-O status. At least I'd still have the "double".)

Pierce Brosnan is my favourite Bond. In case you were making a list, or something.

15 November 2008

My brother is braver than I am...

... though perhaps he has less foresight.

Yes, this post is about the young man who has been a part of my life for 28 years (his birthday was Thursday, so... 28 years and 2 days). And I would like to preface all that mocking that I am about to do by saying that on my list of my favourite people on earth, he is currently tied for #2. (Tied with our sister, of course... I couldn't possibly choose between them, except for when I am annoyed with one or the other (usually our sister), in which case the other one temporarily gets the #2 spot all to himself.) Also, I can rest safely in the knowledge that he never reads my blog, so I can pretty much type whatever I like with impunity. Hee! That'll teach him.

So, I called him yesterday evening to chat for a few minutes. Now, "chatting" with my brother is not as easy as it was, oh, 20 years ago. Like every other teenage boy I've ever known, he started speaking in grunts at age 12. Unlike some men, though, he has never grown out of it. (Genetics are not on his side here... it's not entirely his own fault that he has forgotten what a sentence is.)

This is the great part. My brother's girlfriend has two children, so he has pretty much taken on the role of the father figure for them. In the course of our conversation, he said, "Go clean your room!" I kind of snickered and asked, "Who are you talking to?" It was his girlfriend's son, who was finding every excuse there is to avoid cleaning said room. A few moments later, my brother said, "Do you want to be grounded? Then don't come out of your room again until it is clean."

If I had been driving, I would have crashed the car at this point. As it was, I nearly laughed myself silly, to the point that Chad was all, "What? What's going on?" Billy naturally wanted to know what I was laughing at, so I asked him, "Did you really just tell a kid to clean his room?" So Billy was all, "Yeah," in the, "What's your point?" tone of voice. So I asked, "Who is going to make you clean your room?"

Now, let me just spell out my point for you here... from birth until he went to college, my brother never cleaned his room. Never. He kept a path clear from the door to his bed, and that's it. Occasionally I would be ordered to "help" him clean it, in a "He's too little to clean his room by himself" kind of way. (He remained "too little" until long after he was taller than me. Not kidding. Also, for those non-eldest children out there, "help" means "do it for him".) As far as I know, his room at home still has a path from the door to his bed. At least, that is what he indicated when he said he just intends to torch his own room and start over.

I am happy to say that my brother kept his room at college very clean, because they had inspections and he got all kinds of cool stuff for having the cleanest dorm. By "cool stuff", I mean cookies and pizza coupons. That's all my parents would have had to do to get him to clean up his act; offer him fast food in exchange for finding his floor. I bet they wished they had known that about 16 years earlier.

Anyway, what have I learned from this whole (highly amusing) incident? Never parent my children (or anyone else's) while on the phone with one of my siblings.

12 November 2008

Remembrance

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


— Lt. Col. John McCrae


I have a Canadian coworker, who has made huge contributions to my sanity over the course of the past three years.

So I wandered to her desk yesterday morning, and announced, "I am here in my capacity as someone who asks stupid questions." She laughed and said, "Thanks."

My question was, "Does Canada observe two minutes of silence at 11 AM today?"

Yes, they do. A lot of countries do.

Why don't we? I have a variety of theories, but here's what I have settled on: We do not know war like Europe knows war. We don't even call November 11th "Remembrance Day". We honour our veterans, and rightly so. We fly our flag, as so we should. But we don't remember.

We have been blessed; our cities do not have the scars of war still upon them. Our elderly do not tell stories of huddling in air raid shelters while the sounds of planes and bombs roared outside. We do not have a war memorial in every town. We do not have these collective memories handed from one generation to the next, as Europeans do.

Our people, our families, have been touched by war. But our land, this past century, has not; not like France, or Poland, or Russia, or Britain. Or Iraq. And that, I think, is why we do not observe the collective moment of silence; we do not know, as they do, the relief of hearing two minutes of silence after years of hearing nothing but suffering.

Think of the poppies. Remember. And give thanks.

11 November 2008

Wipe that smile off your face!

So, if you've known me for any length of time at all (more than 10 minutes is probably sufficient), you know that I have enough tics, peeves, and quirks to start my own psych ward. (My own, personal, private psych ward. I hope the docs bring the good meds.)

So, when I stumbled across a blog dedicated to making fun of the general inability of the English-speaking world to use apostrophes correctly, I promptly added it to my blogroll. Go here to see what all the fuss is about.

And, if you thought I was done talking about my half marathon, you're completely loony. As with every other subject, I intend to harp upon it until I am distracted by something else. I didn't mention before that a pal from my Aim days (he was an assistant, I was a student; our paths rarely crossed until he married my teammate's sister. Then our paths still rarely crossed. Oh, well, I know his name, at least.) also ran the half marathon; he and someone else I kind of know were standing in front of me at the start. I was sort of with them until about mile 3, when they disappeared from sight for the remainder of the race (and finished 15 minutes ahead of me).

Well done them, I say. Then today, when I spent most of the day rejoicing that I could walk again (and mostly get up & down from chairs), I saw them in the park. Running. That's right, three days after running a half marathon. And they were smiling.

Okay, I start training again next week. And this time, I'm serious.

10 November 2008

At the finish line



My supervisor took one look at this photo and said, "Wow, that looks painful."
To be fair, Chad said I look cool in this picture.
So, here's what I was thinking (kind of like a revolving ticker on a news station):
"As soon as I cross that line I can stop running."
"As soon as I cross that line I can lie down."
"As soon as I cross that line I can throw up."
"Hey, someone is screaming my name."
"Can I run faster? Nope."
"Who measured this course? Were they sure?"
"Where is that dang line?"

09 November 2008

Walking like an old person

Yeah, I'm just a bit sore today.

To get off the couch, I sort of roll on to the floor, crawl to a sturdy chair, and lift myself up by my arms (kind of like Nastia Liukin at the Olympics, but without the whole lift-my-legs-straight-into-the-air thing) until I get to a standing position.

Getting down to the couch is much easier; I put one hand on the back, then just fall over. (My hand on the back is to be sure I don't hit the couch so hard as to damage anything. On it or me.)

I'll be sitting still, or lying down (had a lovely nap today), and forget that my legs are very very angry. I'll start to move, and then remember very quickly. With a great chorus of "ouch ouch ow oh holy crap ouch ow geez!"

I still say it was worth it. Has somebody seen my cane?

Heard at Wal-Mart

"Customer needs assistance in the High School Musical aisle."

I'm sure the customer wandered in by mistake and is now desperately trying to get out again. Right? Anyone???


Seriously, there's a High School Musical aisle? A whole aisle?

And to think people are worried about what President Obama might do to our country.

08 November 2008

13.1 - and done

I did it.

It took me a shade over two and one-half hours (which was my "medium" goal). I wasn't dead last (much to my surprise). I was still able to walk afterwards (although that happy state may not last).

And when I got home, Chad had my ice bath (yikes!) all ready for me, as well as lunch (Halelujah!) already cooking.

So, to give credit where credit is due: My faithful training partner, who had stayed with me through early mornings, long runs, and faster-than-agreed-on paces, stayed in bed this morning. Actually, I told him to; he has a rotation today and he didn't need to go all the way out to sit around for that long with just a couple of glimpses of me along the way. Anyway, I couldn't have done it without you, my dear husband.

I couldn't find my gloves or my headband when frantically searching the house at 8:10 AM (I had planned to leave at 8). I gave it up and hoped that it would warm up quickly, but I was saved from frozen fingers by my running pal Tammy, who loaned me her gloves. Fun gloves. They had Scooby-Doo on them.

And, finally, I don't know if I've mentioned our friends Shannon & Wendy before, but they were among the first people we met when we first started attending South Plains. Turns out they are runners, too. They were both at the race today, and both of them cheered for me when I passed them. Wendy ran the 2-mile race, and while I didn't see her, I knew that she had passed me because she was screaming "Go Susan!!" Shannon didn't shout quite so loudly, but he was standing at the finish, and provided an extremely-needed boost as I ran up the hill and crossed the line. And then afterward, he was very complimentary about my running progress before encouraging me to stretch a lot. And I took his advice, because the last time I ignored something he said about running, I was very very sorry.

So! I can now truthfully say that I am a half-marathoner. Next up: Austin, February 15th.

07 November 2008

I am smarter than a 5th grader...

... most days.

Chad and I had an animated discussion earlier about previous U.S. capitols. (Meaning capitols under our current constitution; it turns out that there are eight different cities that Congress met in before finally settling in D.C. Personally, I'd be delighted to see the last of Congress in my town; in fact, if someone wants our city council, I'm willing to talk.) Anyway, I said New York was before D.C., Chad said Philadelphia was the only capitol before D.C., and we were both wrong. And I know that I should have learned that in 5th grade, because U.S. History is a 5th grade subject in Indiana. I don't know about California. Anyway, if you're keeping score, NYC was first, Philadelphia second, D.C. third. And there were some other cities before the Constitution was ratified, but you can check it out yourself if you really want to know.

Anyway... I admit that I have never once gotten all the 5th Grader questions correct. I always manage to miss a couple. But so far, I'm doing pretty well against Gene Simmons.

06 November 2008

Was ist das?

Yep. Still getting spam in German.

So, I'm something like 37 hours away from my first half marathon. I am nervous; I am excited; I am ready; I am looking forward to noon on Saturday because, unless something goes really wrong, I will be finished by then. I am also totally stoked (don't think I've ever used that word) about my new mp3 player. Yep, this is going to be a fun race.

Naturally, I have been plagued by every minor ailment that I can think of over the course of the past week, so I haven't done any running. I suppose that means I'll have very rested legs come Saturday. Good thing I use the first mile of the race as a warm-up, anyway.

So! I have taken the advice of every running magazine/website/article I have come across, and have practised for race day. I know exactly what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, etc. The only problem will arise if the running club runs out of bananas before I get to the aid station. That would be disastrous, actually; I've eaten a banana mid-run every week, and I don't know how well I would do eating something else. The nightmare situation would be for my stomach to freak out on me, because a freaked-out stomach is not much fun when in the privacy of one's own home. I imagine it would be much less so while in the middle of a 13-mile run.

Yeah. Now that I've loaded you up with that image, I'm going to watch CSI. Happy Thursday!

05 November 2008

Why the long faces?

Have I mentioned that I live in the second most conservative city in the U.S.? (I don't know if that's actually true, but that's what I've heard.)

So, I've seen some really depressed people today. And I admit, it amuses me more that it probably should. I can't say that I don't understand, though, because I also used to care that much. The woman who sits next to me at work says that there is a big difference between a teenager acting that way and adults doing it, but what do I know? I do know that I am neither depressed nor elated, but somewhat curious to see what happens next.

Indiana managed to go democrat for the first time since 1964. I didn't know they had it in them. My home county can be counted on, though: 65% McCain, 35% Obama. I want to meet that 35%.

And now for my final thought: Wait, that was my final thought. Oh, yeah: Don't give me crap about the Bible telling us that Obama is the antichrist/going to take over the U.S./from the East/whatever. There is nothing in the Bible that is specifically about the United States. Like it or not, it isn't in there. So stop sending me stupid spam. (I hope no one is on alliteration patrol today.)

04 November 2008

And that's the game.

At the risk of repeating what everyone else has already said... whatever you think of his politics, it is a great day for the U.S.

It's about dang time that we elected an African-American to the presidency.

Republicans: Now is your chance to take the high road. Now is your chance to step up. Now is your chance to not act like the Democrats have been acting for eight years. Do it! Please!

And, since Indiana hasn't still been called... go Blue! (Why not? You haven't tried it in years. Besides, it's my favourite colour.)

Katie!!!

I'm watching CBS because NBC annoys me, and because I have always liked Katie Couric.

I'm about to change my mind about that.

To be fair, I suppose anyone would be annoying after having nothing new to say for a few hours.

Okay, so it's not ME doing it...

... but it still counts as multitasking even if my computer is working, right?

So... I'm watching CBS on TV. I have NBC open on my computer. I'm importing CDs into the Windows Media Player so I can feed my new mp3 player (the iPod died a couple of months ago, and I wasn't about to shell out that kind of money again). I'm charging said new mp3 player. And... I'm blogging! (Of course!)

During the course of my highly entertaining, edge-of-your-seat voting series, I think I may have mentioned that as a teenager, it was my intention to return to Indiana as soon as I finished aim and get involved in Indiana politics. And had I done so, I would have no fingernails left tonight. Boy, am I glad that God led me in a different direction.

I can't believe my home state is a "battleground" state. As Katie Couric has said about 78 times in the last 30 minutes, Indiana has always been ruby-red. Why must I miss these things? :)

02 November 2008

I'm getting spam in German now.

And I'm really glad that I don't speak German, because it didn't look like a particularly encouraging message.

Anyway! This is further exhortation for you to go check out Crummy Church Signs. I haven't laughed so much in months as I have done while reading these in the past couple of days.

Also, please do remember to vote on Tuesday. You need not feel obligated to watch the entire evening of coverage on every network there is, unless you just really want to.

01 November 2008

Just leave the clocks alone, can't you!

I've blogged multiple times about my feelings about Daylight Saving Time. Well, here we are again. I don't care if I get an extra hour of sleep; changing the time totally messes with my head. Just like everything else.

So, in the spirit of not-quite-finished-with-the-obsession, here is my take on the current season of Criminal Minds:

Hotch: Isn't it about time for him to have a love interest, or a relationship with his son, or at least a "Hotch" episode?
Rossi: I'm still calling him "Rizzo," because that's fun for me. Isn't it time we learned more about him, too?
Garcia: What's going on with her and Kevin? We haven't seen him in a while.
Morgan: So, there's a new girl that he's already expressed an interest in. Fans are saying Garcia won't be happy. I say, why not? She has Kevin. Doesn't she?
J.J.: I like where they are going with her. I particularly like that we saw her doing more "work" than usual this last episode-- I suppose in a "look what the team will be missing" kind of way, in preparation for her to go on maternity leave. Still, it was good to know.
Prentiss: Is there a language she doesn't speak? I like her more every week, but I think she is also overdue for a Prentiss-focused episode.
Reid: Yes, I left the boy genius for last, because the writers seem to have forgotten that he is a genius. For the second half of last season, and so far in this one, all he has been allowed to do is colour in maps. I'm a bit worried that they've run out of things to do with him. Although, Wednesday seems to be another Reid episode... let's hope.

So, Wil Wheaton guest starred in episode four this season, and I read his blog yesterday describing the experience. And it was a fun read, which made me appreciate the episode even more.

Do it. Do it now.

As is my wont, I have added more blogs to my blogroll. Never mind those encouraging, uplifting ones that some people write; head on over to Crummy Church Signs. Click! Click now! I know you want to! And I dare you not to laugh until you cry. (Or cry until you laugh; some of the signs are that bad.)

I hate football, but I love ESPN

Yeah, ESPN's College Gameday is here in Lubbock this week, and I am toying with the idea of going over there this morning. I have to decide fast.

Tech is playing Texas, and I honestly couldn't care less about the outcome. I tried to care less, and was unsuccessful. I mean, there is part of me that has some fiendish delight when Tech loses, but ESPN is coming all this way... so yeah, I don't care. We'll see what happens.

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