Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year of Failure (but I'm OK with that)

2010 is coming to a close already.  How the hell did that happen?  Was I asleep?  Did I forget?  Wasn't I paying attention?

I am still reeling that June is over, and here it is, almost January.   No wonder I can't keep up with blogging.  I am losing time.  I would like to blame it on alien abductions, but the fact is I am spending too much time thinking about doing things instead of doing them.

I had no resolutions for 2010.  It wasn't that I didn't want to improve my life, myself, or the world around me.  I just got lazy and never wrote anything down.  I blame this for my lack of accomplishment.  Therefore, I am not only writing down my resolutions for 2011, but I am posting them publicly.  Maybe I can shame myself into following through.


  • Resolution 1: I will get in shape.  This means I have to work out, and eat better.  There will be no "diet", because we all know what happens when I try to do THAT.  And while you might think that my goal is based on the fact that if my hips get any bigger, they may need their own area code, the real reason is that I don't want to die climbing mountains in Nepal.  I gotta be ready for 2012.
  • Resolution 2: There will be no cigarettes in 2011.   Yes.  I cheated.  And then I cheated again.  And then it stopped feeling like cheating.  I never got back to the pack-a-day smoking that I was at before I "quit", but that doesn't change the fact that I have been lying by omission.  I have been smoking again, and every pack is my "last one".  I will stop being stupid.
  • Resolution 3: I will run a marathon.  Why the hell would I want to do this?  Well, because I wish I could.  Simple as that.  I am not trying to Boston Qualify, or finally, after thirty-four and a half years of life one-up my brother at ANYTHING, or you know, some other ridiculously petty reason, but seriously.  I am tired of seeing people running and being jealous.  I dream about running on a regular basis (a bit like flying dreams), and I want to be able to do it.  BQ-ing or running faster than my older brother would just be gravy.  Also, I said I would, and I don't want a repeat of 2010's races.
  • Resolution 4: I will learn more about photography.  I enjoy taking pictures to no end, but I don't know what the hell I am doing.  I need to delve more into the mysteries of film development, so I can add alchemy to my list of accomplishments.  Because film is magic.
  • Resolution 5:  I will draw more.  And paint.  Because I don't know why I stopped.
  • Resolution 6: I will write a novel.  Seriously.  I have everything I need to do this, except the drive to actually do it.  And a story. And a way to start.  And characters.  I would also like to illustrate it.  And get published.  And be famous.
  • Resolution 7:  I will hike the AppalachianTrail.  And maybe the Pacific Crest.  And the Continental Divide Trail.  Basically, I think it would be nice to spend the year backpacking, which would play nicely into resolution 1.
  • Resolution 8: I will become independently wealthy. Seriously, why can't this be a goal?  Is a winning Powerball ticket too much to ask?  Well, no more excuses.  You can't win if you don't play.
  • Resolution 9: I will prepare for the zombie apocalypse.  Why don't I have a plan in place already?
  • Resolution 10:  I will learn to move things with my mind.  I have always wanted to do this.  I need to start now.  Also, learn to start fires with my brain because pyrokinesis would be dead useful backpacking.  And maybe learn to fly.  Not sure on that one.  That might be cheating.
The trick with resolutions, I think, is to do things that you want to do anyway, things that are within your limits.

I am pretty excited about 2011, mostly because I am pretty excited to be alive.  This is going to be awesome.

So how about you?  Do you have any New Year's resolutions?

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Argument Against a Real Christmas Tree

    Last night I went to the annual Solstice Tree Burning party.

    Last year's tree was successfully consumed by flames in less than three minutes.  For reals.  I have pictures to prove it.  

    The anticipation was unbearable.

    Fireworks were added to the bottom...

    And then it's off!

    And the fire shoots into the sky.

    Hopefully none of those helicopters that have been flying overhead all evening will notice.

    Hopefully the power lines overhead don't melt.

    Hopefully the figure in the fire doesn't decide to come out and burn us all.

    Hopefully I am not crazy for thinking this is amazingly beautiful.

    Hopefully the sparks don't catch the house, neighbors' house, etc, on fire.

    In an astonishing short time, it dies out.

    And like that, it's gone.

    Also, for the record, my hair smells like a forest fire today.

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Am I Really Hearing This?

    I forgot my headphones at work.  I also forgot to charge my mp3 player.

    It isn't necessarily that I want to listen to music or what have you...  It's the "drowning out of my coworkers" that I'm looking for.

    It was bad enough when a few months back I got to listen to monologue about Twilight... through the eyes of a 50-odd year old male engineer.  Seriously, dude.  You are thinking about this WAY too much.

    Or when I overheard another coworker talk to her boss in a not quiet voice about how she had to leave for the day to get her kids because her husband just got a DUI at 2:30 in the afternoon.  Seriously.  Do you understand the concept of "inside voice"?  Really.  I don't want to know that this is his third DUI, or that he was supposed to be at work. 

    So yesterday, I was calmly placing orders, calmly fixing problems, calmly writing "You're a freaking idiot" emails in corporate-ese, and calmly cussing out my computer when it locked up every 15 minutes, and all of a sudden I heard out of nowhere, "Well, you know, his parents were murdered."

    Am I supposed to ignore this?

    At that moment, my boss called.  Crap!  It was time for our weekly one on one meeting.  Having a boss in another state is kind of awesome in the sense that it's almost impossible for them to micromanage you, but they don't completely forget you exist.  Once a week we touch base and I tell him nothing is on fire and he tells me I haven't been fired yet, and then we go on our separate merry ways.

    I may have been a little distracted when he called this week.  If someone was recording just my side of the conversation, it would have gone something like this:

    "Uh, huh?" I said, "Yeah. Sorry, what? Oh. OK.  Um. Yes.  No, nothing to report. Sure, I can do that. OK, have a good one."  This was one of the shorter conversations we have had.

    I have no idea what the other side of the conversation sounded like.  I was desperately trying to overhear more about this whole MURDER thing.

    After my boss hung up, I had a moment of panic.  What did I just agree to?  When I tried to recall anything, my brain went back to the little snippets I did remember.

    Me, sitting on my desk trying not to knock any pictures off the wall, or clunk my head on the overhanging cabinet,  trying to hear the murdery conversation over the cubicle wall.

    "...he was raised by...." mumble mumble mumble, " is really a pretty tragic story, and he was obviously messed up by..."...mumble..."...yeah, he saw them die..."...another person speaking inaudibly... "...well, he didn't have to worry about money, his father was a billionaire..."

    I'll admit, sometimes I am a little dense.  But in my defense I was trying so hard to hear the conversation, I wasn't really processing what I was hearing.

    And then it clicked.

    Because then I head the word, "Gotham".

    Dude was talking about Batman.  All serious like.

    I may have even blushed.

    At that moment, someone walked by the entrance to my cubicle, and I tried to shift my awkward sitting position into a yoga pose.  I was totally stretching, not eavesdropping.  He did a double-take, but didn't stop.  He was walking over to talk to my cube neighbor about Iron Man 2.

    What is it about large corporations that make grown men talk about cartoons?

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Nothing Says "Christmas" like a Cactus Wearing a Santa Hat

    So, we flew to Phoenix for a short holiday visit.  Seems like I end up in sunny Arizona around the holidays every year.  It's always nice to enjoy 75 degree weather for a day or two.

    Christmas in Phoenix reminds me of being a kid.  And insects.  And scorpions.  And thorns on everything. And Bad Santa.  And aliens (my brother's new house is out a ways, and as we drove through the dark desert to get there, I knew that there were are totally aliens out there watching us and deciding what to probe).  And rattlesnakes.  And dirt that wants to kill you.

    Yes.  I said dirt.

    Obviously, when the settlers came here, they were cracked out, or hiding from the law or something, because I can't imagine what they were thinking.  "I know, let's go hang out in a place where the frickin' DIRT will kill you."

    And they're PROUD of this.  We actually passed by a subdivision that was called "Terra Vista", which I am pretty sure translates to "Dirt View".

    When I was a kid, my grandma told me I shouldn't dig around it the dirt or I would catch something called "Valley Fever".  I just assumed it was some kind of illness from breathing in more dust than air.  It wasn't until about a year ago, the last time I was down in Phoenix, that I learned that it is actually a mold that grows in your lungs and can somehow get into your nervous system.  It's in the dirt.

    I'm not sure what happens next, but I am pretty sure that you become a zombie. Obviously.

    I base this on the creepy ant mold mushroom thing I saw on Planet Earth.  No, seriously, it's scientific.  And it TURNS THEM INTO ZOMBIES FIRST. (In case you missed it the first two times, here's the LINK).  This is for real, people.  Zombie ants.  And it's caused by mold.

    Picture of zombie ant from the above link.

    And then we have Phoenix.

    With mold in the dirt that GETS INTO YOUR LUNGS AND CAN MOVE TO YOUR BRAIN. Am I the only one that thinks this is a big conspiracy?

    "That ain't your grandpa, Sonny, that there's a zombie."

    It looks to me like the zombie apocalypse has already begun.  And, much like my theories about alien invasions and conspiracies about the Illuminati and Freemasons, even if they ARE true, no one noticed or cared, so it probably doesn't matter.

    Anyway, happy early Christmas.  Here is a picture of a saguaro cactus wrapped in lights.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    No Nekked Pictures

    Dear TSA,

    I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that going through airport security was so easy.  I mean, after all the fuss, I expected there to be some drama.

    Where were the long lines I was promised?  We walked right up to the security checkpoint.  The entire process took maybe 10 minutes.

    And did I get screened? Well, I guess.  But I didn't get the backscatter thingy, and I didn't get groped.  I pay taxes!  And then I get cheated out of using the expensive equipment that my tax dollars paid for!

    I had so many great one-liners planned, too,  and I never had the chance to use them.  I even "accidentally" forgot to take off my watch.  How could you not catch that?  What if I was a terrorist?  What if I was a big jerkoff anti-American douchebag or something?  How could you miss that?

    Well, let me tell you.  I don't feel safe.

    I was promised safety.  I was promised delays and the sacrifice of my dignity.

    Not to mention, I am pretty flipping disappointed that there are no naked pictures of me.  I thought it was finally going to happen.  Naked pictures. Of me.  It would be like I was one of the cool kids.  Like I was part of the 21st century.  Now, that dream is over.

    Shape up, TSA.  You can't advertise the complete destruction of my rights as a human being, and then not deliver.

    Next time I travel, I expect results.


    Friday, December 10, 2010

    'Tis the Season to Set Something on Fire and Collect the Insurance

    ... because nothing says Christmas like a burning tree in the living room.  Maybe that's just me.

    But I am feeling all filled with the holiday spirit.  Probably because I haven't forgotten to send out Christmas cards yet (I still have at least a week to buy some and mail them), I still have a week or two to start my Christmas shopping (I will try not to think about last year when due to a series of miscommunications, I ended up at my brother's house on Christmas Eve WITHOUT ANY PRESENTS to give anyone), and I haven't thought about murdering anyone for like... hours, at least.

    Yep.  I am practically dripping with holiday cheer.

    So last night I finally got my early Christmas present to myself.

    I didn't get a fancy camera.  I didn't get an iPod (still).  I didn't get the AC fixed on my car.  I didn't get the $400 sweater that I want for some reason.  I didn't even get a pet octopus (someday).

    Nope.  What I got for Christmas was my two back teeth.

    Horray for dental work during the holidays!

    And here's to having two pretty new crowns, the ability to chew food on the right side of my mouth, and being able to drink cold liquids!

    So, yeah.  Still not feeling it, I will admit.  But two awesome things are transpiring that I hope will make things all better:

    1. It turns out that this year, for the first time ever, I don't have to work during the company furlough.  I will have 11 days IN A ROW where I don't have to do anything.  Not only that, but I won't have to go to the creepy office all by myself.  No cold dark lonely holiday cubicle for me!  How freaking awesome is that!?
    2. I am headed to Phoenix for the weekend!  Nothing says "Christmas" like palm trees and saguaro cacti (also, go me for being able to spell saguaro on the first try!)

    Now all I have to do is work all day, and survive the new TSA screening at DIA.

    Here's to not stabbing anything!

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Healthy as a Horse... or Something

    Something I originally envisioned when I quit smoking was that when I craved a cigarette, I would take a walk or do some jumping jacks or something.  This would also help with the whole "not gaining weight" thing. 

    I am less active now than I was while smoking.

    Here is an example of my workouts since quitting:

    • Monday:  Went to work.  Walked from my car to my desk (about 200 yards).  Walked down to the cafeteria twice (about .25 miles each way) because I needed something.  Walked back to my car (about 200 yards).  Walked from the car to the couch (maybe a few hundred steps).  Walked to bed (30 feet).
    • Tuesday: (see Monday)
    • Wednesday: (see Monday)
    • Thursday: (see Monday)
    • Friday: (see Monday)
    • Saturday:  took a slow hour long walk so I could play with my pinhole camera.
    • Sunday:  Pretty much parked myself at a table all day.

    Basically I have gone from averaging 12,000 steps a day for most of the summer (I had a pedometer, so I know), to The Human Slug.

    I knew was getting out of shape.

    I haven't been hiking.  I haven't been running.  I have barely been walking.  I avoid the Wii Fit because I don't want to be scolded for not playing in so long, and because I might have put on a pound.  And yes, the Wii Fit will scold me, and possibly make fun of me.  The Wii Fit is an asshole, by the way.

    Anyway, work had this cool biometric screening thing.  It is completely voluntary, but they give you a $200 a year discount if you complete it on your health insurance. 

    They checked my BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose... basically a whole shit-ton of stuff I had never had tested before.  I also had to fill out a questionnaire, and get my life rated by my insurance company.

    Last year, I scored a 72 out of 100.  Probably because I smoked.

    This year, the computer told me how proud it was of me for quitting, and gave me a 98 out of 100 for being healthy, and a low risk.

    I sat at my desk being all proud of the (completely efortless on my part) healthy assessment.  Then I got to thinking...

    The other night, the boyfriend and I actually got tired of watching TV.  Instead of reading or, you know, talking or something,  we tried playing hacky sack.  In the basement.  With the drop ceiling.  It seemed like a good idea, anyway.

    A couple of things I learned:
    1. I am super-duper un-graceful.
    2. If I was playing D&D, my dexterity score would be like 2.
    3. I improved pretty dramatically within about 15 minutes, but was still embarrassingly bad, and probably funny to watch.
    4. It was fun
    5. I totally got winded in 15 minutes.
     So here is my question: 

    How can an insurance company think I am healthy and in shape and a low risk if I can't play with a hacky sack without getting worn out?  What's next? Darts is going to be rated as a cardio exercise?

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Does this Make My Photography Look Fat?

    I am not a real photographer.

    I mean, I take pictures, and sometimes they're purdy and all, but I don't actually know that much about the actual mechanics of photography.

    I hate not knowing shit, but in this case, I have been too lazy to do much about it.  Seriously, someone talks about F-stops or aperture, and I am all, "Yeah, uh, sure.  I take pictures, too."

    This is particularly pathetic because I worked for a photographer for like 2 years.  In my defense, I worked in his gallery, and didn't talk to him much about anything to do with photography, just sales (or lack of sales), his family, his favorite bar, and his favorite place to photograph.  He also used this crazy nice and expensive digital camera that cost more than he paid me in three months.  This left me thinking that in order to be good at photography, you have to be rich, and possibly own a Porsche.

    Anyway, I decided that I should rectify my ignorance in a typical "me" fashion:  A ton of half-cocked experiments and partially started projects spread over the better part of a year (so far).

    My first "project" was to start taking pictures using "film".  "Film" is a magical substance that you can buy at Walgreens or a photography shop for a few dollars.  Please note:  you can't use film in a digital camera.

    After no research and some osmosis by hanging out with actual photographers, I have learned all about the photography process, and I am now imparting these secrets to you.  Or you can Google it, which would probably be smart as I am a notorious untrustworthy source.

    The first thing you need to do, is obtain a "film camera".  You will not be able to find this incredible mechanical device outside specialty retailers and pawn shops.  Or online, I guess, if you want to take the fun out of looking.

    I went the "cheap" route, and borrowed my dad's old 35mm.  This camera is a Ricoh that was produced sometime in the late 1970's, and brings back memories of Dad being "artistic", while we all posed, trying not to let our smiles slip or looks forced while he adjusted the stupid thing which always seemed to take forever.  This camera probably weighs about nine hundred million bajillion pounds, or at least if feels like it if you are carrying it all day on the little strap over your shoulder.  It is made of metal and glass and doesn't have plastic parts.  You can tell something is amazing when it isn't made out of plastic.

    Anyway, he hadn't used the it in several years, so he let me borrow it.  This is an even better option than eBay or pawn shops because it's free, and I am cheap.

    The next thing you must obtain the miraculous film.  To do this, you must be prepared for an epic adventure and plan to fight against the future and technology.  Fortitude is a must.

    There are two ways of obtaining film.

    You can go online and buy some, which means you have to know what the hell you are looking for.  There are a lot of options.   It's also kind of boring to use this method, and you have to wait like 5 days to get it.  Since I am an impatient person, I chose to use the second option:

    Find a retailer that actually still stocks film.  Not only do they have to stock it, but you have to check that the film they have hasn't expired, and it isn't sitting in the front window where it'a exposed to the afternoon sun, or in the back of the store by the heater.  Film uses crazy alchemical processes that turn chemicals into photographs, so it is delicate and apparently old film will lead to madness.

    I went to Walgreens, which also leads to madness.

    With some trepidation, I entered a nearby store.

    Walgreens makes me think of expensive cosmetics, old food, As Seen on TV stuff, DIY broken joint repair kits, holiday junk, and medicine.  Medicine because you are sick.  Medicine because you're freaking contagious.  Walgreens = germs.  I am constantly worried that I will contract some horrible liquifying death when I enter.

    Overcoming fear is what makes us heros.  It is not for the faint of heart.  Or maybe it is, because they probably sell heart medicine, too, but that's not the kind of faint heartedness I am talking about.

    Once you enter the Walgreens, you must not be distracted or overwhelmed by the abundance of crap stuffing the aisles.  And the aisles are stuffed with so many things.

    Your best method of navigating this labyrinth is to stay on an outside wall.  The photo desk is usually on the outside, and keeping this single minded goal in mind will lead to success in your quest.

    Once you reach the photo desk, check to make sure they have a lab in the back.  It will be a huge monstrous machine that smells kinda funny.  Likely, there will also be bins with strange letters on the outside and secret packages inside.  Don't go back and look at them, or the Walgreensians will attack.

    Now, start looking left and right.  There may be islands of stuff in the way, but it will be there.

    The film.

    It will beckon with a soft golden glow indicating you have reached your destiny.  Your destiny's name is Kodak.

    Unless you are a wizard or alchemist, you need to make sure that the film you get says it is "C-41" somewhere on the box.  This indicates that Walgreens can process it.  If it doesn't have the combination of C, 4, and 1, in that order, you will have to develop this yourself.  Which is fine if you have a deep relationship with the Dark Arts.

    Last, you must "purchase" your film at the register.  If you skip this step, the local authorities will probably hunt you down and embarrass you, and probably cause you some inconvenience and loss of equity.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

    I would recommend not making eye contact, touching, or breathing in the general direction of anyone else in line.  Avoid physical contact.  After you leave, wash your entire body in bleach.

    Now that you have obtained the film, it is time to use it.

    If you don't know how to load your film, I can't help you.   Suffice to say, you need to put the film in the camera in such a way that you will be able to wind it, and then close it.  Do not open the back of the camera once the film has loaded or you will let the magic out.  Getting the film out can only be done after you have taken the pictures, and rewound the film back into the canister so that the evil cleansing sunlight doesn't get to it.

    Finally, go take you some pictures.

    The camera I borrowed has an internal light meter, so all I had to do was figure out how to get the little pointer thing to the middle of the meter by turning dials at random, focus, and click.

    And yes, I took it back to Walgreens to have them complete the rituals and incantations to make the film into photographs.

    Here is an example of the result:

    I was pretty happy taking pictures in this method for  a while.  I even dabbled in some self-development with the assistance of an alchemic novate that I know.  But, like so many things, I lost interest.

    I decided at some point, though, that while I can get a reasonable facsimile of a photograph, I still don't know what the crap I am doing.  I decided to simplify.

    I created a pinhole and put it in place of a lens on one of my cameras.  To do this, I glued some black cardboard together that I think may have come from an old picture frame, put a hole in the center, cut our a piece of an old beer can and made a really small hole in the middle of that, made a little ring around the ensemble with some black construction paper, then taped the whole thing to a camera sans lens with masking tape.

    I then loaded some 400 black and while film, attached it to a tripod, and went for a walk on the bike trail.

    It even kind of looks like I know what I am doing.

    The bridge is looking up from a canal towards the bike path looks all mysterious.  On some of the longer exposures, I got some light leaks, I think from the view finder.  Next time I will cover it.

    And that is how you make modern small-city America look like the early 1900's.

    See?  I told you film is magic.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    What's this New-Fangled MP3 Stuff?

    So, I recently purchased a brand spanking new computer.

    After spending the first month or so playing with my photos, I decided it was high time to start migrating my CD's to iTunes so I could actually listen to them. I took the plunge to "go digital".

    Yes, I know most people ripped their CD's sometime around 1998. But I just wasn't motivated.

    My decision was prompted by the 6 disc changer in the trunk of my car that stopped reading discs. I have been stuck commuting with a radio and a tape player. And while listening to my old tapes might be amusing (Faith No More, anyone?), I would have to find them first, and listening to NPR gets depressing after a while.

    Yes, I have a tape deck in the car, you want to fight about it?

    I went to Radio Shack and bought a little tape to audio-in converter. Dude, stop making fun of me and my 1990 technology. And yes, they still make them. And sell them. At Radio Shack. Which is still in business.


    I was ripping my CD's, and feeling the ghost of music past.

    It turns out I the majority of CD's that I thought I had, I don't, and 90% of the albums that I currently own were produced pre-1999, and quite a few of them are my "B-List" music... you know, the stuff you buy for one song, or because you liked something else the band did, or someone recommended it to you, and you listened to it maybe once all the way through before putting it away and forgetting it? Yeah, lots of those.

    Now, I did lose a shit-ton of music down in New Orleans in 2005 when Katrina decided to flood the house I was living in with 2 feet of water and I somehow left my CD books under the coffee table.

    Did you know that video cassettes can survive a house that is closed up in Louisiana in August for 6 weeks with a bunch of water, DVD's, and most books will survive, but burnt CD's will lose the shiny coating, and store purchased CD's will actually grow mold between the layers of plastic? Well. Now you do.

    It doesn't, however, explain why there is no "post 2005" music. Did I just stop listening to anything? What was I doing all this time? And how did I survive so long with no Oingo Boingo?

    It was around then that I realized I suck at music. And also, I have little or no taste. AND. I also needed to expand my musical horizons. I mean, I have been listening to essentially the same 5 CD's on rotation for the last 5 years.

    Tom Waits: Mule
    Squirrel Nut Zippers: Hot
    Doc and Merle Watson: Remembering Merle
    Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals
    Leadbelly: Midnight Special
    Alabama 3: Exile on Coldharbour Lane

    Seriously, no wonder my mom thinks I have a split personality.

    The remaining music fits into five categories:
    1. Music that was COMPLETELY AWESOME 10 years ago and have no interest in now (there is a lot of techno and soundtracks)
    2. Girly bands like the Cranberries, the Cardigans, Poe, Garbage, and No Doubt
    3. Heavy Metal and German Industrial bands (like, how the fuck did I end up with 6 Einsturzende Neubauten CDs? I mean, really?)
    4. Mix CD's that are unlabeled and were presumably gifts from friends. Maybe.
    5. And shit that I have no idea why I have it. Where did they come from? Am I a thief? If so, why wouldn't I steal bands that I like? I even came across a CD that I obviously found on the side of the road or something because it was BROKEN IN HALF and all SCRATCHED UP, and guess what? I never in my life bought the Beastie Boys, License to Ill, even if they are kinda cool in a high school way, and WHY THE HELL DID I SAVE A BROKEN CD?
    And what's missing?

    How about everything that I was looking for? Or... I am not sure what I was looking for, but it isn't there.

    So I ripped all these CD's, even though I was pretty sure I hated all the music, and I STILL didn't have anything to listen to. I was starting to wonder if all that awesome music I use to listen to might actually be on tape. Or imaginary.

    So. I decided to download a couple of albums from iTunes. FINE, then.

    So now I listen to a rotation of Boingo, Insanity, Mozart's Requiem Mass, Muse, The Resistance, and a little Cat Stevens.

    I should be set for another 4 or 5 years, I guess.


    I suck at music.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Running in the Freaking Cold

    This year, we decided to do something a little different for Thanksgiving. We went for a run. Because, obviously, something is very wrong with us.

    So, do you remember that whole "I'm-going-to-die-on-my-200-mile-relay-race" thing last August, and that "10-K-that-about-did-me-in" thing back in May? That whole "What-am-I-a-freaking-idiot?" thing because I keep signing up for races that I HAVE NO INTENTION OF TRAINING FOR?

    Well, fuck it. I signed up for a 5K on Thanksgiving. And guess what? I didn't train. In fact, I don't think I've actually run more than a few steps since August. Because I am just that awesome. And, I figured that I could probably crawl a 5K, so there really wasn't a whole lot of pressure this time.

    There are a couple of things that I should probably mention:

    1. I really really really want to be able to run, but I constantly hurt myself, and don't run. But I really do want to. The why is partly because it's fun, and partly because I am pretty sure as a runner I will have a better chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse that will happen any minute now. I just have some kind of mental block about actually going out and, you know, running. But I think about it a lot.

    2. I am pretty badly out of shape at the moment.

    3. Until Thanksgiving, we were experiencing a nice long pleasant Indian summer.

    4. On Thanksgiving morning, it was 14 FREAKING DEGREES outside when I got up.

    5. Oh, and I didn't quit smoking until the day AFTER Thanksgiving.

    6. I might also mention that I considered titling this post "The Turkey Trots" but figured it would imply more pooh than necessary, as this post is not actually about pooh.

    Anyway, because I really wish I were a runner (but don't run that much), I read a lot of running blogs. One thing I have noticed is that all these runners post their running statistics off to one side, or at the end of a race, only without my helpful explanation. I just had to figure that shit out on my own.

    So here it is, my AMAZING 5K feat:

    This was a PR for me (that's personal record to you) (shut up, I know it's obvious, but it wasn't obvious to me when I started reading these blogs, because I am an idiot). It's a PR for me because I have never actually run a 5k before (that would be 5 kilometers or about 3.1 miles) (no, I am not making fun of you, you might not know what a 5k is) (fine, be mad, I don't care) (OK, I do).

    My time was (drumroll) 39 minutes and 30 seconds.

    Um, yeah. Approximately 4.5 minutes faster overall than a brisk walk.

    So, my pace comes out to about 12 minute 45 second miles, or about 4.7 miles per hour. And yes, children and old people were passing me. And a guy pushing a stoller. And a guy in a wheelchair.

    I knew I should have gone barefoot. At least then I would have had an excuse. And probably frostbite.

    BUT. I will say that it put me in a spectacular mood all day, AND I realized that when I do run, I have to start slow and short, because my knees were tired all day after only 3 miles. And I am probably doing it wrong. But hey. At I did it.

    So, it should also be noted that I didn't take a single photo that day. Which is weird, because I always take pictures. The first 4 below I bought for $1 on the race website, and the last one was taken my a kind stranger on Chris's camera at the finish line.

    Dad looking all professional in his HD (as SEEN ON TV!) sunglasses:

    Chris and me: Running is hard!

    OK, running is hard, but also fun. We are both smiling here. Maybe it's because we are almost done. Oh, and hey, check out my shiny red Eddie Bauer coat. Remember when I bought it? At least I use it. And yes. It really is all that.

    And Ma, less than a minute behind Chris and me.

    Basically, we weren't the fastest, but I think we won.