Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The run got done, BUT...

PP (pre-puppy) I discovered the wonder that is the mid-day run. No getting up early, nice. No coming home and putting off the swim session for the dog while I get my run in, nicer.

Today I had planned to run at the end of the day, but the stupid project to which I am currently assigned was making me want to stab paper clips through my eyes so I decided today would mark my return to mid-day running.

Here’s how that particular great idea played out.

I realized walking into the gym, I had no hairbrush. Determined to not let that stop me, I decided I could do a ‘good enough’ job with my fingers and a hair dryer.

Note creepy guy in creepy serial killer-style VW van parked out front of the gym, but feel okay about since the door is pass-keyed.

The guy running next to me glances at me and says“I’m sorry”, confused, I responded with with no more than a puzzled look and a shoulder shrug. Seconds later I made the dreadful mistake of breathing. In. Through.My.Nose.
I spent the rest of my 3 miles hating him and trying not to gag.

I am happy to report, (Staci), that I remembered my towel, and soap.

However, that whole lack of hairbrush thing became distinctly more complicated when the hair dryer died about 9 seconds after turning it on and while I don’t think I’m particularly vain, it woulda been nice to go back to work looking a little less like I spent my lunch hour do something racy, and I don’t mean in the running sense.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Nine

Kingfisher has proclaimed me one of his favorite fishing holes (and yes, that completely freaks me out) and tagged me for this, just in the nick of time, ‘cause these days, I’m struggling. So.. here is The Nine, as Kingfisher says, it’s either sacred or profane, so don’t mess with it.

9 Bad Things About Me

9. When I am having a really bad day, I can rationalize virtually any behavior I would otherwise consider inexcusable, from eating ice cream for dinner, to road rage-like behavior to blowing money I shouldn’t spend.

8. I can be very nice to people I dislike immensely. So nice, it freaks me out a little.

7. I have a bad habit of telling people I’ll attend something relatively trivial (like a happy hour) knowing full well I have no intention of going.

6. I am unspeakably disgusted by people that spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to conceive “their own child” while dozens of children sit in foster care, desperate for a family.

5. I love all those 80’s movies (Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club,Fast Times etc) and could watch them over and over.

4. I’m prone to making big decisions in an instant. So far, it’s worked out well, but the chance that the next one will be a huge mistake is always in the back of my mind.

3. I bite my fingernails

2. My capacity for forgiveness is about half the size of the average thimble. If you recklessly wound me or someone I love, find religion, you’ll find no forgiveness here.

1. I don’t get David Letterman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wordsmiths Challenge - The second time out..

Courtesy of the return of Wordsmiths, my second time out... Be nice..especially you, KF.

The running stopped years ago. She was finally able to walk down the street without looking over her shoulder, no longer jumping at every loud noise, and years since she stopped feeling haunted by the past, by the memory of his hands, his fists.

She ran to one of the nondescript square states in the middle of the country, to a nondescript town filled with nondescript houses on nondescript streets. She changed her hair, lost weight, changed her speech pattern. She was a librarian now. No busy Wall Street firm. No business suits or cappuccinos or happy hours in trendy Manhattan clubs. No more high priced personal trainers and nutritionists. Instead, she had stacks of musty books, gum-smacking teenagers, mind-numbing hours using the crumbling “overdue” rubber stamp; she had diner coffee, an occasional glass of grocery store wine and a ratty pair of running shoes waiting by the back door.

She grew vegetables. She made apple pies for the church bakes sales. She went to church and pretended to pray for the sick elderly parishioners, the newborns, and the recently widowed lady that lived across town near the school. She pretended to pray for them, and not for just that he wouldn’t find her again.

Then it came back. The sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. The cold shiver running up her spine, someone walking across your grave, the kids would say. Then one day, she knew. As surely as if he had reached across the room and touched her hand. He was there, in her little town. Watching.

She packed a small bag. She left in the hour just before dawn. She held onto the hope that she was wrong. It was just a trip to the coast. . She’d walk in the sand, taste the salt air, eat taffy.

She hoped. She drove.
She reached the coast two days later.

She checked into a little inn with a pretty view. She took a shower and ate a light breakfast with the innkeeper. She checked her lipstick in the mirror over the little table by the door. The silver handled letter opener banged noisily on the hardwood floor as she pulled on her overcoat. She bent to pick it up and without looking at it, slipped it into her coat pocket.

It was beautiful here, clear sky, clear water, everything she’d imagined. She walked into the twilight, watched the families pack up their belongings and head for their cars. She turned back as the dark settled in.

She felt him fall into step behind her.

He reached for her shoulder. She spun and stepped into him, sinking the pretty letter opener to the hilt. She watched him fall, his mouth silently opening and closing like a goldfish suddenly missing his bowl.

She reached down, removed the blade, wiped the pretty silver clean, and sidestepped a baby turtle as she walked to the water’s edge and threw the opener out into the ocean.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Boobs, Great TV, and please pass the Ice Pick

Alrighty then.

Just about every plan I had this weekend kind of fell apart so I ended up with a whole lotta nothing going on. A more ambitious homeowner would have spent the weekend cleaning or doing yard work.

I, ran, went shopping, played with my dogs, watched TV, and eavesdropped on my neighbors.
It’s worth noting, I think, that the last one was unintentional.

I (on purpose) went to a mall. Aside from the kiosk Nazis that wanted to sell me new gutters, or straighten my hair, or spray me with ‘genuine impostor perfume’ I was still far less irritated than is my usual custom. So I found myself in various dressing rooms. While I’ll freely admit my figure is not that of a 12 year old boy, I’m not the owner of TL’s bodacious rack either. So someone, anyone, pretty please ‘splain to me what exactly is up with the chestal area of women’s clothing these days. Everything I put on either compressed the girls so much I felt like a deep breath would result in a button popping experience that could potentially be hazardous to the eyes of anyone in the room with me, or just the opposite, to the point of me wondering where ‘they’ went. Is there something up in the fashion world I’ve missed? I’m 37. This isn’t the first time I’ve been shopping. It’s not even the first time I’ve been shopping in these stores. I’ve had these very same boobs my whole life, with very little variation. So uh, what gives? Is it just now in vogue to walk around with your chest looking like two puppies fighting under a rug? Really? Can I pass on this particular trend? Yeah? Cuz I’m gonna.

I stumbled on some great TV this weekend, Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. I can’t be the only one watching this show, right? Aside from Mike Rowe just being cute as hell, his irreverence and ability to make an awful situation so much worse is uncanny, and hysterically funny. He also seems to be one of three people on the planet who probably have found their true calling in life. (The other 2 being, Richard Simmons and Alice Cooper [okay then, you tell me what other jobs those two would have had]). I killed more hours than I’m willing to admit watching this show over the weekend. And I have to agree with Mike, ‘time flies when you’re having fun, and it moves much slower when you’re cleaning up poop.”

Lastly, while sitting on my deck late Saturday evening drinking wine I had the unpleasant experience of hearing my neighbors. Yeah. Hearing. Them. I’m still trying to block the memory (it’s why I asked for the ice pick). Here’s a question. Am I the only woman in the world that finds that “Daddy” stuff downright creepy? I had to share this because frankly, I can’t carry this one on my own.

Thankyouverymuch mother nature for returning the temps to such that windows in my neighborhood are closed again.

We can all hope my weekend plans don’t get cancelled next weekend, now can’t we?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Amor Fati

I stumbled on Amor Fati when I was looking up ‘destiny’ ‘fate’ and reading about Calvinism and predestination.

This term loosely translates to “love of one’s fate” and is used to describe the attitude that one sees everything that happens (including suffering and loss) as a good thing. Overall, it is an acceptance of the events that occur in one’s life.

(Incidentally, Nietzsche often wrote about Amor Fati. I knew I never liked him).

Classic mythology says there are three goddesses dispensing fate, Moirae (Greek), Parcae (Roman) and Norns (Norse) – these three ladies were believed to determine the events of the world. Fate, simply defined, implies we mere humans have no choice, and generally ends in death (what a cheery lot our classics are). In this train of thought, fate is determined solely by the goddesses.

Destiny, on the other hand refers to a predetermined course of events, often perceived as a predetermined future, generally or individually. This concept is based on the belief that there IS a fixed order to our universe. However, in destiny, you get to actively participate in the outcome. You are not as much of a pawn as our classical mythology would have preferred you to be.

Of all of these, I have to say I like the destiny description the best. Nietzsche be damned. Trying to accept everything as a positive is just too damn hard. Fate, as defined here, is nowhere in my personal belief system. And yes, I’m staying out of the Calvinism, predestination, theological discussion on purpose.

Although, destiny leaves much more up to the individual, I’m still not in love with this idea.

I can admit that a couple of times in my life seemingly impossible things have suddenly clicked together like Legos. Major things. Do I then believe that because these major things worked out that they were meant to happen? That because I willfully participated and it was my destiny that the universe greased the wheels to make it happen for me? Does that then mean that when things are difficult and you have to fight for every inch of progress that it ISN’T your destiny and therefore, it’s hard because the universe is working against you, or at least not helping you?

My sister-friend Staci and I have joked many times that were “meant” to meet each other. When we both met Mandy, we again had that reaction. Separated by many miles and life experiences, there wasn’t much of an explanation for why we were all so suited to one another, we just were. I feel closer to these girls than people I have known for years, and spent far more time with. We are, in my mind, simply, connected.

Was it our destiny to meet?

What of people, relationships like these, which go horribly wrong?

I hear people using destiny and fate about positive things that happen in their life. But if I am killed driving to see one of these girls, and you’re a believer in either concept (fate or destiny) was that still my destiny? Or did it happen because I pursued a friendship that had simple geography been a limiting factor I would have been unable to attain, and therefore, worked against my destiny and I ‘got what I deserved’ by pursuing something outside what I ‘should’have.

Is destiny vindictive as well as benevolent?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

8 things you're just dying to know

Tiff tagged me for this, cuz that's just how she is.
I took her to yoga and this is how she repays me.
Ungrateful wench.

  • I suffered a serious back injury in my early 20’s – and although recovered beyond what any of my doctors anticipated or predicted, I have some funny residual nerve damage – there’s a spot on my right hip that when touched, I feel the sensation of touch along my right shoulder blade. I like the image of ‘crossed wires’ this gives me about the neurological system, and since this is the very best outcome possible from my injury, I’ll not complain.
  • I have read pretty much everything written about every/any serial killer, EVER., or at least that I can put my hands on. I had been looking for months for something written about Jack Unterweger and just last weekend found a special on him on A&E. A plane-hopping-bi-continent serial killer, the stuff dreams (ok, maybe nightmares) are made of. Who says laying around on Sunday afternoons was a bad idea?
  • I used to walk and talk in my sleep as a kid. My mom reports I was capable having conversations and performing normal behaviors, like brushing my teeth. Then, I’d do something bizarre like put the vacuum in my bed and curl up in the closet. Rumour has it I still talk in my sleep, but I’ve yet to wake up in the closet. So far as you know.
  • I sometimes take my dogs pain relievers when I have a really bad headache. They often work better than what I’ve been prescribed.
  • I want my next house to be isolated enough to not know if I even have neighbors. With a lake. Please.
  • In 1999 someone stole my identity and mucked up my credit nicely. I didn’t find out until 2004. It took a full year to get it straightened out but not all of it was entirely resolved. You guys should know, this sucks seven kinds of shit.
  • I still have nightmares about the accident in #1. Real shriek-fests. This may very well be why I don’t’ get invited to very many slumber parties.
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of my most favorite scary movies EVER. I love love love to be scared and Leatherface just does it for me.
So there it is.
Happy Friday people.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sore Loser

Summer nights when I was young my brother Nate used to chase me around to smash lightning bugs across my t-shirt. I loved lightning bugs, and all he’d leave me with was their guts slashed across my shirt.

I was watching the dogs tonight, one chasing his ball, the other, the lightning bugs. The lightning bugs of 2007 fared much better than those of my past. No guts.

Watching the dogs occasionally compete for the same toy, and (once in awhile) my attention made me think about competition in my own life.

I’ve always been involved in sports, so you would think the competitive edge would be easy to come by. It’s not though. I can’t remember ever really caring if any of my teams won or lost. I can remember laughing behind my college crew coach’s back when he’d scream and get red-faced over 2nd place. Hello? Crew is HARD. 2nd place was okay with me.

As an adult, I took up running. Runners, as a lot, are incredibly competitive people, they compete against everyone informally and formally they compete against other runners in their age group, and their previous times. Again, I haven’t found this competitiveness in me. I was always happy to just be running. I still keep track of my times, sure, I know my average time per mile, know my last 8k, 10k, and marathon time as well as I know my own birthday. I might be faster next time. I might not. I may never race again. I’m okay with any of those options, as long as I can keep lacing up my orange running shoes and putting one foot in front of the other.

This feels a little dishonest though. The first individual competition I can remember was in 9th grade band. We were given a piece, told we would be individually tested for ‘chair’ placement. I was relentless. Test day. First chair. 6 months later – I quit band.

Fast forward.

Tae kwon do classes. Sometime in college (the first few years).
I worked in a group setting and one on one with a black-belt instructor who assured me I was ready to test for my first advanced belt.
I never did take that test.

It seems, that maybe I am competitive to the point that I just don’t want to lose. So I remove myself from the competition before losing becomes a real possibility.

Comparisons are great when you come out the winner, but the thing of it is, if you make a habit out of it, sooner or later, you’re going to come up short, or in other words, just plain lose.

It’s worth mentioning, I think, that I really don’t like what this says about me.