What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

28 September 2008

Fire & Apples

So I made an apple pie for community group (we have a theme for supper each week; this week is "southern food." Which, when translated, apparently means "fried." I'm not eating much supper this week.), but I had too many apples, so I spread the rest of them on a cookie sheet for baked apples, which Chad & I like. Then, the juice oozed all over the place, including the bottom of the oven, so that when I went to check on everything, smoke came out of the oven. So I had to run round opening windows & doors so that our smoke alarm wouldn't go off. But the apple pie itself is unharmed, so we have that much to be thankful for. :)

Speaking of Apples, my iPod died at our last race, and I have been unable to revive it. And, the word from apple.com is that it would cost more to repair than to replace. :'( So, I am without an iPod for a few weeks. I think I may get a new one in time for our half marathon, but that is still six weeks away. On the upside, it will probably be good to remember what it is like to run without music. On the downside, we have two races (Komen 5K & running club 10K) before then, and I really count on music to push me along. Or, I suppose it would be more correct to say the music helps me push myself. Whichever it is, I hope my powers of self-motivation are at work.

And... we are off to a baptism in about 20 minutes. Our friends' daughter has decided to give her life to Jesus, so we are going to watch. It's a bit hard to get my head round actually, we've known this girl since she was in Kindergarten-- Kindergarten!-- but we are delighted for her and her parents at this decision. Well, there is nothing about fire or apples in that little story, but we will have the apple pie in the car the whole time, so that's probably close enough.

27 September 2008

Happy Birthday, Google!

That has nothing to do with my post.

So, I have spent my week watching TV, and consoling myself in my obsession by making sure to get all of my training runs in (6 weeks until my 1/2 marathon!) and by doing my transcription course during the commercials. Does that count as not-quite-obsessed?

And I watched a couple of shows this week that I don't plan to watch regularly (CSI: Miami and ER), but I did want to see the premier. Really, I have three shows that I plan to watch weekly: NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Life. And Criminal Minds is still on the fence. So I may not be as deeply in as I thought. :)

Anyway! TV talk over. We ran a long run this morning (9 miles, except that I took a wrong turn at the beginning, so it was more like 9.5), then went to the Step Out: Walk for Diabetes event (conveniently held in the same park where we run).

The Diabetes walk was spectacularly successful, at least from my standpoint as a participant. They got off at the scheduled time, which to me is only just short of miraculous. Most of the people I saw walking were smiling, laughing, and otherwise having a good time. And the free food afterwards wasn't bad, either.

Speaking of free things, the Coke tent was handing out bottles of Fuze. One bottle of that stuff and I am totally hooked. Too bad it's so expensive.

23 September 2008


After promising myself-- repeatedly-- that I was not going to get interested in any new shows, but gradually stop watching television as my current repertoire go off the air, we are sitting here watching the premier of The Mentalist, because that's what is on after NCIS. (Disappointing season opener of NCIS, by the way. Too rushed. Not as rushed as CSI: Miami, but still rushed.) And, 1/3 of the way into the first episode, I am somewhat hooked.

Not the least of which because, before the commercial break, Patrick (the mentalist) said:

"He irks me. He is irksome."

I'm going to remember that one.

Also, they are pushing too hard (already!) the sexual tension between the team leader and Patrick.

Dream On, Hollywood

Or, "Get a grip, Martin Sheen."

So I was watching the Emmys on Sunday night, and Martin Sheen had a little blurb about how The West Wing was not a partisan show. Really? I'm one of the biggest TWW fans there is, a certifiable Wingnut, and I know better.

Good writing? You betcha. Great acting? Oh, yeah. Compelling drama? Check. Awesome television? None awesomer. Non-partisan? No way.

So, sorry, Mr. TV President, you couldn't have it wronger. But I agree that decisions are made by those who show up.

Which is why I have to run along and register to vote.

22 September 2008

1st Community Group

So, three weeks into everyone else having community group, I finally got to go to my first one! About time!

Well, we had some... issues getting into a group. Issues now solved.

So, the teacher/speaker/whatever he is called asked what new law God gave Israel after Nadab and Abihu were, um, roasted in the temple. No prizes for guessing who answered. (He said "Anybody?"!)

There will be a prize next week for correctly reporting where in the Bible a man is stoned for gathering wood on the Sabbath. But that's just for the people at community group, not for my blog readers. Sorry.

21 September 2008

Blogging for the Cure

Okay, I didn't actually expect anyone to be interested in how many calories I eat per day.

So, I just signed Chad and I up for the Race for the Cure. This will be our third year in a row running the race (although our team captain said "walk" a lot when we were talking about it; I think she may be planning to take things a lot slower than I am); but this year, it falls on Chad's birthday.

What better way for a man to celebrate his 33rd birthday, then participating in a "save the boobies" event?

20 September 2008

This is # 301

Yep, my last post was my 300th and I just now noticed.

So, we've been playing around with calories/nutrients/workouts/etc. For a while now. These last couple of weeks, I've been trying to get serious with balancing my caloric intake with... output, I guess? Whatever.

All those neat calculators you find all over the internet (and in your doctor's office, if you ask) are absolutely useless for me. According to all reliable sources, I should be taking in 1600-1800 calories per day, and about 2000 on my high-intensity running days. I'm afraid to even try the low end of that range, because with that many calories, I would gain weight so quickly it would be scary. I get all the women I know 5-10 years older than me telling me how their metabolism slowed down after 30. That doesn't help me, because I never had a fast metabolism. If it slows down much more, I won't be eating at all. :)

The best weight-loss results I have gotten have been on weeks when I've kept my caloric intake around 1200 per day, but since we're training for a half marathon, I'm a bit worried about taking it that low, too.

So, all that to say, last week I kept it around 1500 per day, except for the day I did a tempo run. I'll be stepping on the scale on Monday, so see how well it worked. I'm thinking right now that I'm going to plan my meals this week to be 1400-1450 per day (subject to adjustment if it turns out I lost more than two pounds last week-- ha ha!).

We'll see what happens next. It doesn't help that Chad needs almost twice as many calories as I do per day-- so I have to watch him eat. Grrr.

18 September 2008

Still no closer to a solution.

I had nearly-- nearly-- decided that TV is bad for my brain and lifestyle. I was on the brink of chucking it altogether.

Then I watched Criminal Minds this evening. The season finale from last season (I missed it the first time around). So, add that to my list* of "don't-miss-this-season-opener" shows.

Darn you, CBS & NBC execs!

We can't afford a DVR, and I am not going further into debt just to own one. But, I don't want to give up my weeknights to watch TV, either.

Why am I spending this much angst on the box that wants to suck my soul away?

*(In case you are wondering, my list thus far includes: CSI: Miami, NCIS, Criminal Minds, CSI: NY, CSI, ER, Life, and Numbers. And I am fighting with the urge to watch How I Met Your Mother.)

17 September 2008

Update on the fruit

So, I accomplished my goal last week of cutting out and magnitising 96 pieces of paper fruit. Unfortunately, there were not 96 people at the event. So, I went around the church building and distributed the remaining magnets among the adult Bible classes, in the hopes that women across South Plains will 1) see them, 2) take them home, and 3) get excited about prayer group.

Time will tell... we'll see in a couple of weeks if this experiment was a good idea or if it is doomed to failure. :)

16 September 2008

Race Day Recap

Another race day. Another less-than-spectacular finish.

To start with, Saturday morning was very foggy. (See previous post about rain.) And humid. And muddy. Well, that was just on the ground. I jogged around a parking lot by way of warmup, and my hair and glasses were covered in mist from that 2-3 minutes of running.

I was silly and wore my glasses anyway, and before I got to mile 1 I had 1) already wiped them off three times, 2) run out of dry places on my shirt to wipe them ('cause to clean off glasses, the cloth has to be bone-dry). So I perched them on top of my head for the remainder of the race, which meant between the fog and my nearsightedness, I really couldn't see.

Only two things of note happened during the race-- one of the fields along the course was flooded, and as the sun peeked through the fog, it looked like I was running next to a lake, which was kind of nice. The other was that aid station workers were discussing whether or not Chad was going to make it through the race, thus throwing me into a state of momentary panic. (The woman asked, "He said his heart rate was 240-- does that sound normal to you?" I said, "NO!" thinking to myself, Does a 240 heart rate sound normal to you? When I checked with Chad later, we figured out that his math was off, and his heart was not beating that hard.)

So I got to the end of the race, and a woman from my office was standing by the side of the road, screaming my name. She had come to see her son run the 2-mile race, then stuck around for an additional 45 minutes to see me finish. I couldn't believe it. I owe her some cookies. A couple of friends from church had also come to see their children, so they cheered us in as well. It really makes a difference to have a fan in the crowd.

I was outside my goal time by two minutes, thirty seconds. No prizes for guessing how bummed I was about that. Our friends who are members of the running club assured me that everyone had lower times because of the fog and humidity-- apparently, not being able to see the goal causes a general slowdown. There's a life lesson in there somewhere.

15 September 2008

It's just RAIN!!

So, the city of Lubbock shut down on Friday.

Actually, the shutting-down process started on Thursday evening, because by about midnight on Thursday, Lubbock had received 7 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. In its 100-year history, the city has never seen such rainfall.

I would blame the hurricane, and I wouldn't be entirely wrong about that, but it was actually the frontal boundary coming down from the north meeting up with the front that's being chased along by the hurricane. I suppose we should be grateful we got no tornadoes.

Anyway! Schools closed, daycares closed, city and county office closed, activities were cancelled, I had to take a detour to get to work, half of our patients didn't show up... because of rain.

I'm from Indiana. When it rains, we get out the umbrellas and go on with life as normal.

It wasn't really because of the rain, it was because of Lubbock's drainage system. At some point in the past, the city fathers said to one another:
1: Hey, it doesn't rain much here. We don't need to spend money on a storm drainage system.
2: But what will we do, then, when it does rain?
3: Shut down the city!
1: No, let's dig out some playa lakes in all the city parks. Then we'll build the streets to kind of slope toward the parks, so all the water will run there. Eventually.
2: Good plan. Can I help lay the dynamite to blow out the playa lakes?
1: Sure.
4: What happens if it rains a lot, say over 5 inches in less than 24 hours, and the streets are rendered impassable?
1: Don't be silly. Such a thing only happens once in 100 years.
2: Seriously, though, what will we do when it does happen?
3: Shut down the city!
1: Oh, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Or not, since it will probably be washed out.
4: Good plan. Our descendents will praise our foresight.
2: Let's go down to Ye Olde Burrito Place for lunch.
3: After lunch, can we shut down the city for a couple of hours and play golf?
4: Sure.

14 September 2008

It's official.

I'm addicted.

I'm realise that I'm coming late to the party-- most of the Western world has been addicted for decades-- but I hear that admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

It's consuming my thoughts, I keep trying to think of ways to get more of it, and I talk about it when I can't get any. It's causing me to gain weight and lose muscle. It's interrupting my sleep.

I'm talking about our television, of course. The girl who would do anything to miss out on family TV time has grown into an adult who talks about TV characters as though they are real people. How did this happen to me?

Anyway, we are looking into options for recording the shows we like during the week (NCIS, Criminal Minds, ER, CSI, Numbers... anyone seeing a pattern here?) to free up our evenings, and then watching them on the weekend. Thus far, we have rejected "buy a VCR" and are looking into "buy a DVR".

Or, I perhaps should take the advice of a guy named Dave and just get rid of the awful thing before it steals any more hours of my life.

13 September 2008

If they called them Sad Meals, adults wouldn't buy them.

So I bought a Happy Meal tonight. It was really good.

I haven't bought a Happy Meal in aaaages, although they used to be a staple of my fast food diet. (Which, as you may know, is not a very sizeable diet, since I don't really eat out.) But Chad and I worked hard today (ran a 10K, I went to an event at church, then we did some yard work for a couple from church), so we stopped for a quick bite on our way home. It helps that McDonalds is less than a mile from our house.

So here's how the ordering went:

I: I'd like a double cheeseburger, a large fry, and a Happy Meal with a chocolate milk.
Underpaid Cashier (UC): Is the Happy Meal for a boy or a girl?
I: (confused pause) Oh, it's for me... can I have the Wizard of Oz toy?
UC: Drive around, please.
{at the window}
UC: You are the first person I've ever heard admit that the Happy Meal is for them.
I: Really?
UC: Yeah.
I: Wow, why wouldn't I?
UC: I don't know, most people don't, even when it's obviously for them. (Closes window to get my change.)
I: (to Chad) I think I should get an award for being the first person to admit to eating a Happy Meal.
Chad: (stares at me-- he was pretty tired)
UC: (opens window) Here's your change-- enjoy your meal.
I: Thank you! (to Chad) That's so funny. I can't wait to tell Denise (sister) about this.

I'm pretty sure I'll be going back while they are still having the Wizard of Oz toys. So far, I have Glinda the Good Witch, and I'd like to get my hands on Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Wizard. And maybe the Cowardly Lion. Okay, I actually don't intend to eat at McDonalds that much in the next few weeks. Perhaps my fast food-loving family will collect them for me.

12 September 2008

Everybody's doing it.

I intentionally avoided posting a September 11 post. So now I'm a day late. :)

Where we were, what we were doing... it will be etched on our memories forever. I'll tell my children about it, in the same way my father has told us times without number where he was when President Kennedy was shot (walking down some stairs at school with the rest of his second-grade class).

So, here are some other moments-- some national, some not-- that are also chisled in stone upon my brain.

Glasgow airport: I was on the computer, and Chad called me into the living room to watch the news. Then I went to send an e-mail to the news station about how to pronounce "Glasgow".

July 7: I was asleep when it happened. One of my coworkers told me when she got to work that there were bombs in London. I was in such a state (to my own surprise as much as theirs) that they took me back to the office to check the news on the internet and let me calm down a bit.

Colombia: We were at a health fair at the Lubbock Civic Centre.

Iraq (the second time): Just finished Wednesday evening services at church.

Columbine: Evening news, one night in Scotland.

The Greenlawn bus accident: Keely's mum called her, then Keely told me. And I had to do my best to be a good friend, because she was obviously hurting. (I'm pretty sure I failed... sorry, Keely.)

Oklahoma City: Evening news, one night in Greenfield. I know it was April, I know I was a junior in high school, but I can't remember the date.

OJ verdict: They pulled out a TV in the hallway during lunch, and I think that's the quietest I ever heard my school be.

WTC 1993: I was at school, I think in biology class.

Iraq (the first time): We were sitting around after dinner-- I think I was reading-- and one of my dad's coworkers called. Then he came into the living room and turned on the news. I remember thinking at the time, I'll remember this moment my whole life.

Lockerbie: I don't actually remember this. Well, I do, but it sloshes around in my memory with the other airplane crashes during my lifetime (except for 9/11, obviously): Pan Am, TWA, ValuJet-- I have a hard time separating them. What I do remember is the 10-year memorial service that I sat and watched, just days before Christmas, my first year in Scotland. And the exhibit that was in the Transport Museum in Glasgow. The bomb that brought that plane down was one the airport officials had been warned to look out for-- too bad we don't learn those lessons until it is much too late.

The Berlin wall: Well, I had to include a happy one, didn't I?

Challenger: Sitting in music class, when I was in second grade, and the principal made the announcement via the tannoy. I don't know why we didn't watch that launch-- we watched every other one-- but since the images from the news that night still give me nightmares 22 years later, I'm glad we didn't see it live. I found it very bothersome when I went to college that many of my textbooks had those same pictures to illustrate various points (there was one in my algebra book, for goodness' sake). One day I asked the girl next to me, "Do you remember that?" as I pointed to the picture. She said, "No," as I had known she would. I had a hard time not saying "Lucky you!" back to her.

Mary Lou Retton: Okay, two happy ones. Maybe I should have put Kerri Strug's vault as well.

Where were you? What were you doing? What moments do you have forever in your mind?

08 September 2008

Way to go, Roger.

What a match. Good effort by Andy Murray, but not enough to bring down FedEx.

So, some balance has been restored to my universe-- balance, you may remember, that was temporarily lost after Wimbledon. Thirteen down, two to go for Federer to take his place as the greatest at his sport.

Bjorn Borg says he won't make it. Legions of fans say he will.

07 September 2008

I feel so teacher-y.

My mission this week: To get 96 diecut, information affixed, laminated fruit shapes (apples, oranges and grapes) cut out and attached to magnets by Friday night, so I can hand them out at the Fall Brunch at church on Saturday morning.

I have one of the magnet rolls unrolled and laying across the couch, in the hopes that it will "relax" enough to be cut into small pieces and stuck on the back of my fruit. I have the lamination tightly rolled up and off the floor in my bedroom, in the hopes that I won't get my hair all over it. (Yeah. I shed. A lot. And the vacuum doesn't like to pick it up.)

And... I've had to do the poster- and handout- making all on my own this time, because my cohort in crime had a family emergency. Sorry, Ruth... I'm thinking of you.

So, why do I feel like a teacher? Well, who else puts information onto a diecut piece of fruit?

This is amazing.

I'm just mad I didn't get to see it.

Andy Murray defeated Rafael Nadal in four sets, spread out over two days. Wow.

Okay, Rafa is certainly tired, after the year he's had-- not to mention that he played longer than anyone else at the Olympics, then went straight to NYC from Beijing. Still, gotta hand it to Andy; he played brilliantly. At least, for the part I saw (and presumably today as well).

Can I come to your house to watch Murray v. Federer tomorrow?

06 September 2008

Oh. My. Word.

I just watched Andy Murray go up two sets to love against Rafael Nadal. You know, the world #1.

I'll stay tuned to see what happens next, but this is amazing. Go, Andy, go-- I would love to see you vs. Federer.

(Sorry, Rafa-- I like you, too, but you're not a Scot.)

05 September 2008

Jeez, I'm sore.

Yeah. Tempo run yesterday. Fun.

Actually, it was kind of amusing how often the gym staff walked by... I finally decided that they were waiting for me to collapse. That's the problem with being so pale-- I go red so easily, and then I look like I'm on the verge of passing out.

I was fine, although sweaty.

02 September 2008

Post Labour Day Stress Syndrome

Every time we have a three-day weekend, I remember why weekends are usually only two days long.

Not that I'm at all ungrateful... roll on Thanksgiving. (Slowly.)

01 September 2008

Sorry, Apple.

Chad is anti-iPod.

Actually, it is just my iPod he doesn't like. And it is not so much the actual iPod, as the times I choose to use it (like, when he is 20 minutes into a 45-minute speech). I've tried telling him that he shouldn't have gotten it for me, then (birthday present), but I have been unsuccessful in convincing him that my inattention is his own fault.

But right this moment, he is glad that I have it, and even encouraged me to put it on. Why? Because he is watching a movie that I a) don't care to see, and b) don't even care to hear.

It seems to me to be an extraordinarily parental move (albeit, not a good parental move) to encourage another member of the household to listen to music instead of what's on TV. I'll remember this next time he moans about what I have on.