Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This is my impression of the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

"Hey, this music is great, but you know, I think we need lasers. More lasers. No, more than that. You know what else? Fire. I think there should be lots of fire. You're not listening to me. I said LOTS OF FIRE. And I need some goddamn girls in some goddamn catsuits to shake their goddamn hair. And you - you should shake your hair, too. We need a tower. We need, like, a tower that rises up from the ground and we're gonna be ON IT and there's gonna be SMOKE and FIRE and I AM NOT SEEING ENOUGH LASERS I AM BEGINNING TO DOUBT YOUR COMMITMENT TO SPARKLELASERFIRECATSUITHAIR MOTION!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Woke up and the WoW server was down, considered renapping.

So, I've had a crazy couple of days. Not crazy in the sense of anything bad happened, just that I had to be all these places and do all these things that all mattered enough that I couldn't just say, "Neh, busy, must ass-sit for that time instead."

The thing about me is that I require a certain amount of pressure-free time during a day, or else that day doesn't seem so nice to me and I consider things like slamming doors and kicking low brick walls. Running is one thing that sometimes fulfills this need for Me Time, but then sometimes I have to get a run done in a certain amount of time to get somewhere, and then running just becomes this other thing that I have to get done.

But I just took a three hour nap, which is a long nap for me, and I'm good. I decided to nap rather than watch a movie because I looked at it mathematically, and the amount of sleep I've had in the past few days = not enough.

I completely intended to share a revelation with you that I had on Friday, but I kept forgetting until right now, so here it is:

Indiana Jones' fear of snakes is totally legitimate and not a sign of comic weakness as we are lead to believe. Think about it. Here's a guy who knows that he can basically kill anyone or any thing that is going to try and ruin his day. BUT, if he is bitten by a snake, he's in basically the definition of the middle of nowhere. There's absolutely no way he'll be able to get to the anti-venom in time. He can't exactly shoot his way out of dying.

You can't do this to venom rushing through your bloodstream. Just saying.

While out for my run today, I had what I think could be a really cool idea, if I could somehow combine with someone with more drive and energy than me. I'm calling it the White Rabbit Race series.

The idea is, sometimes it's fun to go out and not know exactly where your running route is going to take you. And it's also fun to have some kind of... accountability for what you're running. You want someone to know that today you planned to run and then ran six miles, etc. And races are fun, but you don't always have that specific time open or money to sign up.

Enter the White Rabbit. My idea is, map several courses of varying distance around Greensboro, and mark them with white spray-paint stencils. Not just any stencils, but stencils of rabbits pointing the direction you're supposed to go - small markers at turns, like little bike sharrows. So then you "follow the white rabbit."

And you could build a community website around them, where people sign up and then log the details of their runs, times, pace, etc. And it would be like a race series, except you do each race on your own time and you never know who else is following the white rabbit.

What do you think? Cool idea?

Today happens to be the UberTransFan's birthday, which was another reason to take a nap. Plans involve staying up as long as it takes to be able to run a dungeon as a household (by which I mean as long as it takes to get the Little Monster to go to bed).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(title to be determined) (title still not determined)

This is going to be a whole post. Just not right now, because I have to go put my running stuff on and then go running in my running stuff. Check back tomorrowish.

But you can watch this now. You know you want to.

Edited Later As Promised:

So, I love this song. I've always loved this song. But I couldn't figure out who sang it. I googled the lyrics - what lyrics I could remember - every few months, but the internet seemed to think it didn't exist.

Then today I remembered I had a friend who was basically Wikipedia's entire discography database in the shape of a human brain. So I sent him a text. It said:
"'...Gloria / I think they've got your number / I think they've got the alias / you've been living under...' who is that"

And he texts me back in about 5 seconds, "That is Gloria by Laura Branigan, from the summer of 1982."

It pays to choose your friends well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If I was this good at math, I would be a millionaire.

I finally did it.

I finally came up with the reason Emma Frost betrays us all and hooks up with the universally hated Scott Summers, despite it being totally against her character and disgusting.

Emma Frost and Jean Grey have a central thing in common. They both have hosted the Phoenix Force. This would necessarily have profound effects on their physical brains.

That Asshat Scott merged with the entity of Apocalypse. I didn't pay much attention to this as I spend most of my time pretending that they killed him off ages ago. BUT it serves my theory well because it is this: the Phoenix Force broke Emma's brain.

Well, I'm thinking there's a magnetic polarity thing occurring wherein Emma's brain points towards Scott's brain, so it's not actually HER deciding to hook up with Scott, but rather an instinctive alignment towards the only other body that has experienced the same kind of physical possession.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shake it out.

This whole thing can be replaced with an elaborate analogy with the song "Shake It Out" by Florence + the Machine, because that's how I'm rolling today. I want to reassure everyone that this is the only time I'm going to mention this, and then I'm done, and I'm going to begin the process of turning into me again.

I haven't been. Maybe it wasn't noticeable - I was certainly trying to mask it - but it's the truth. I didn't deal with myself because I didn't want to, so I laserlocked onto the marathon and told myself it was just because I was a Dedicated Athlete Who Wanted To Accomplish Things.

That's true, but I let it become nearly all I was. I haven't been fun for a while. These past couple of weeks have been hard because the marathon was gone, and I should have been really, really happy and pleased with myself, and instead I felt like a deflated balloon.

I reread some of the older entries on here, and I found myself thinking that it would be really cool to be this person's friend. I think I'm still that person in here, and I'm going to start poking around to see where she's - where I'M - hiding. And then I'll be my friend again, and take myself out for Vietnamese food, and come back from runs with my head full of things I can't wait to tell myself.

And now for something completely different.

Happy Birthday to DiNovia, whose box of presents (yes, plural) has been sitting on my desk for at least two months, while I was busy not sending it. I'm really quite a bad long distance friend. I love her extremely very much and generally think I don't deserve her.

If you ever wish to read some excellent femslash - or if you already read femslash but live under a very sad, unsexy rock - you should settle down with a DiNovia or two or all of them. And then send her letters begging for more stories. Moremoremoremore. Mentioning that I sent you won't get you anything, but it will make me feel like more of a contributor to the femslash universe than my three low-volume oneshots. Two if you don't count the Pippi Longstocking.

Oh, shut up.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Very Zombie Race Recap: Richmond

So, I'm having the most awkward conversation on an internet dating site (which will remain nameless so the internet doesn't find me... on the internet...) and watching Bridesmaids, which is already on my favorite movies list even though I haven't finished it, and I figured I would finally recap the race day.

So, my parents drove me to the start, and mercifully we didn't get lost for once.

It was really cold and we were early enough to watch the start of the half marathon, which meant that I had half an hour of standing around regretting my decision to wear shorts and a t-shirt with only a hat and gloves as a nod to the cold. I had a zip-up hoodie on but it was cotton and I was planning on ditching it. I was torn between moving around to warm up, or conserving energy for the marathon.

Luckily, I was so busy thinking about how cold I was that I wasn't thinking about the race.

When they started getting people in the corrals, I shucked out of my hoodie and shoved it at my parents. I'm sure they wished me luck or something. There was a guy holding up a big sign that said 4:00 and I made a beeline for it.

I talked to the people around me with about half of my brain. All of them had run marathons before so there was that. The guy running the pace group had run 53 of them and he was all, "Yeah, I basically just do this now. I ran a 3:03 last year and now I just take it easy."

I was like, "Yeah, ok. Easy."

So then they started the race and we all shuffled across the start line and finally were running.

The pace group was running straight 9:09min/miles the whole time. It felt really slow because I was cold and antsy, but I was determined to stay with them for at least the first five miles. I made it about three before I really couldn't do it anymore and stopped holding myself back. I just... ran. I tried to just stay comfortable and it worked.

I was feeling really good for the first fifteen, like there was absolutely nothing wrong and I could run forever. I did a Gu at mile 6 when I stopped to use a portajohn. The UltraMarathoner kept ninja-ing all over the course and cheering for me, and it was a nice distraction.

I had permission to kick it up a notch in the second half 'if I felt like it,' and I felt like it, so I did. Mile 15, right before The Bridge, was when I was told to start looking for McDad and The One With No Feelings. So I came around this switch-back corner and didn't see them, and then I saw them walking along the bridge looking for me.

The Bridge was not as awful as advertised at all. My parents were waiting on the other side of it and my mom did her little dance of happiness that I love so much, the one when she's so excited she can't stand it.

And then My Boys and I were off to the races. We passed what seemed like everyone running the course. At mile - I don't know, maybe 17? - The Librarian, The Triathlete and The Mathy Guy screamed at me. I didn't know they were going to be there so that was cool, except I didn't move over to get my high fives because my brain was still going, "Hey, I think maybe I know those people, and that might be my name they're screaming." So the Triathlete and The Mathy Guy actually sprinted to catch up with me, which was really cool considering that they had just run the half marathon really, really fast and were probably hurting really bad.

I did another Gu at mile 18. I was beginning to get concerned about the fact that I since I couldn't get much water at each of the stops - the water was getting more on the outside the inside - I was drinking at more of the stops, and my stomach hadn't had a chance to settle.

Up to mile 23, 24, everything was cool. And then, well... at around mile 24, I turned to The One With No Feelings and informed him, quite casually, that I had just thrown up in my mouth.

I don't think he knew what to do with that information.

Both of them just kept telling me how hard I was rocking this marathon, and to just keep going, and I'm really, really glad they were there, because mile 25 was when I started thinking, "What does it matter? What does it really matter?"

I was so nauseous the last mile that that was basically all I was thinking about. Not throwing up. If I threw up in the last mile, that would take time, and at that point I needed to just be done.

At the end of mile 26, there's a big, long downhill that goes into the chute, and the Boys basically kicked me down it before ducking off the course (they couldn't finish with me or they would be arrested or something). I stretched my legs out and just let go, and it felt... actually good. It was steep enough that I could just fly down it.

I was briefly surprised that no one else seemed to have the same response to the hill. I shot past at least a dozen people. I came around a slight curve and looked straight into my dad's eyes. He grinned really big and gave me two thumbs up, shouting, "All right!" Just super proud of himself for finding a good spot to see me.

I crossed the finish line with that smile on my face, and I thought the clock said 3:56 (it turns out my time was 3:50:57, but I didn't find that out for at least half an hour). I spent about two seconds totally celebrating while my medal was dropped over my head and I wrapped a space blanket around my shoulders, and then I remembered I felt like I might die. I kept walking until I got out of the finishers' area and then just stood there thinking, "Uh..."

That's what this expression is.

My mom ran up and hugged me and while I appreciated that, I also needed her to stop touching me. I actually needed my body just to not be there. I really felt lousy and half-dead.

It turns out The One With Manners and The Superhuman were there, and everyone else was there, and everyone was all, "How do you feel?" and I was all, "OMG please no one look at me when I throw up."

The Librarian was like, "Dude, just throw up," but there was nowhere to do it.

So we walked down the street a little bit and my dad ducked into a cafe and got me a Reed's Ginger Beer. And I sat down on the cold flagstones outside the cafe and drank my ginger ale and thought to myself about how it was a good thing I had finished a marathon, because I was going to die and it was nice to have that crossed off the list first.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Race Recap Part 1: Friday

So, I did it.

I ran my first marathon.

I've been trying to put my thoughts in order about this since about an hour afterwards (when I started to feel human again) and I still don't know what to think about it.

How about a recap while I keep thinking about it?

We'll start with Friday.

I had already gotten permission from my archaeology professor to skip class - actually what she said was, "Have you ever been absent? Cause you can be, three times." - so my parents and I left Greensboro about the time I would have been leaving for class.

We left this early so we could go to Mama Dip's in Chapel Hill for lunch. I ate sweet potato biscuits, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, cabbage, turnip greens, and pecan pie. And it was all delicious. Well, the pecan pie could have been darker and made of more pie crust but then that's my criticism of most pies that other people find quite nice, so probably that's more of a 'me' thing and less of a 'pie' thing.

So then we drove to Richmond and checked into the hotel, but didn't actually go into our hotel rooms because we needed to make it to the expo for packet pick-up and then to dinner.

Packet pick-up at the expo... well, I didn't know my number, so I went over to number look-up and the lady was all, "Yeah, you're number 706."

And I was like, "Wait, surely you mean 12706 or 14706?"

And she said, "No, 706. Go get your number over there and let the next person in line go."

So I went over to where she said and said, "Hi, they said 706 and here's my ID but -"

And they said, "Oh! You're in corral 1. Here."

And I said, "No no no. I'm not in corral 1. I said my goal time was 3:50. That's not -"

And THEN they said, "Oh, well. That sounds about right." (The actual corral 1 cut-off time was 3:45, so I dunno what they were talking about.)

So I freaked out for a little while, and was oddly embarrassed about the number and the big letters that said 'Corral 1' under it. But then it was time to put pasta and rice krispies treats in my face and sit around watching the basketball game that they were playing on the ocean.

During half time, we all looked at the maps so my parents could figure out where to stand to see me, and somehow right in the middle of it, it hit me: Miles. There were 26 of them. More than 26 of them.

And though everyone was quick to reassure me that I'd be fine, that I'd trained hard for this, that I was prepared... I was deep enough into my internal panic attack that I figured they were just lying to me so I wouldn't be so nervous.

After we got back to the hotel, I stacked all of my clothes and supplies on a chair and went to bed, convinced I would not be able to sleep at all. I did eventually fall asleep, but I had a dream where I was running a marathon, and even though I thought I was running good, I was the slowest one and was still running when it was getting dark. I got lost on the course because a guy had had time to build a house in the middle of it before I got there, and I had to figure out how to run through it.

I woke up at 6 and by that point just wanted to get running so all of this nervous shit would go away.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Kato's Mad Tarantella

5 days until Richmond.

Just so you're fully aware of what's happening in my brain. It's just that, over and over, a little party of panic being thrown by my neurons. With screams and hyper-active pillow fights and about half of them demanding Cheetos at the top of their lungs. My brain is made of nine year old girls at a slumber party right now.

I think probably I'm ready. But I'm not being overconfident and saying I'm ready, because then it'll turn out I'm not ready and I said I was ready and... Nine year old girls. Up till two AM and high on nail polish fumes. Seriously.

So this week is taper, which is a whole new layer of hell added to the mix, like maybe somehow the nine year olds got ahold of a metric ton of pixie sticks. Because what I do when I'm stressed is run. And I can't run very much, so I'm just gonna stay at this heightened level of stress until whoosh it's all gone.

I have a somewhat plan for dealing with this. I know I'll be judged for it, and I'm judging myself, but my plan is to eat cereal and play World of Warcraft. Yes, eat cereal. I know. I'll quit again after the marathon, but for now... The nine year olds want Cheetos.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Queen's Mad Tarantella

^ is the name of something in my future. Possibly a band, or a book, or I don't even know what. But it's awesome, and it's mine. I call dibs.

Tonight I'm going to run the course for the Greensboro XC League's first race on Saturday, which I will not be able to run because it's a patently stupid idea to race a 5k the week before a marathon. Running 5k distance, no problem - shattering my legs (or trying to) in order to get a good time, problem. And I don't need to hear your "Well, maybe go run the race just to get a finish in." That won't work. It's been demonstrated to me that I have no sense. I'm going to enjoy a nice, long leg-stretch run from Tex n Shirley's Pancake House, followed by some corn pancakes.

But I'm gonna go run the course today with The Librarian and The Mechaniker and whoever else in the league decides to show up, and then we're gonna figure out why my car is unhappy, besides the fact that she's a bitter old woman with a history of manic depression. Tomorrow I'm going to write some term papers and such.

And now I have to go, because I've just remembered that I promised to loan my hockey helmet to a girl on the Orange Crush, and I'm actually at home now and can go and get it. If I don't jump on this, then I actually will forget it, despite reminding myself (and being reminded) like eighty thousand times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Countdown to marathon... countdown to pecan pie.

So, in logging into the blog I accidentally looked at Space Ghost's countdown, and then I had a little mini panic attack that Catface Meowmers helpfully and immediately talked me down from.

I'm looking forward to this weekend's 22 miler. I mean, obviously I'm nervous about it but not really all that nervous. I'm doing well enough on my long runs and this is really the final test. I did an accidental 16 on Saturday (meant to do 15, long story) without any gels, just half a little bottle of Gatorade at both stops, and that went well, and I'm going to Gu Up on Saturday. So it'll all be good. And I'll throw myself a couch party afterward. Everyone is invited so long as I don't have to get up to let you in the door.

This week is all about organizing and cleaning my room without letting the project absorb me and cause me to neglect schoolwork. I think by Friday I'll have gotten it all to the point of being able to set up the trainer in the corner.

Yes, I know that my room is very tiny, and putting a bike on a trainer in it will make it even smaller, but winter means not being able to ride a road bike all the time, and my legs really do feel much better if I can spin them round and round. I went to the gym on Sunday and was unspeakably annoyed by all the other people there and I had to stop working out before I was done because of the time limit. I wanted to bike for the duration of the movie Suckerpunch, and to do so I had to pause, jump off one bike, walk upstairs to a different room and pretend like I hadn't been working out already.

Oh, and then a girl came and sat next to me with speakers on her mp3 player. Not headphones. Speakers. Because clearly I needed to partake in her music, too.

Suckerpunch, by the way, was rather disappointing to me. I was excited about seeing it for so long, never got around to seeing it and felt like a failure for that, and turns out it wasn't that good. It was visually stunning with a fantastic soundtrack but the plot was too layered - too many levels of narrative so that you couldn't ever just watch because you had to keep thinking, "Okay, the metaphor here is ___ so in that other world ___ is happening which means ___." So finally I just had to give up and be like, "Oh, look, a dragon. Pretty."

Whatever. I got my workout in, did not kill the Music Sharer, and then went and watched my Pirates win the first hockey game I've seen them win in a while.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Friends Are Azoles

I was going to post a thing today. It was going to be about running, and food, and a little bit about music but not much, and also about Scrabble.

But then I got distracted by Palahniuk's new book (Damned) and by making coffee and generally bumming around my morning routine so that now instead of telling you all about my 20-miler on Saturday, and the foods I've been eating while trying to quit cereal, and about how I've managed to become so frustrated with a casual, fun word game I'm playing with friends that I've decided that all my friends are cheating liars and that this is how Captain Hook decided he wanted to sink his hook into Pan because it isn't fair that Pan can fly and never ages and meanwhile it's getting harder to climb the rigging with every birthday.

I will, however, still post a song for you. I saw Haley Dreis when she opened for Jay Clifford at Ziggy's - Jay produced her new album, which I of course bought because it was $5 and she was a pretty girl in cowboy who just wanted people to help her afford to eat. And I'm shocked, honestly, because this album is good, and has quickly entered into heavy rotation on my iPod.

She doesn't have my favorite song posted on her YouTube page, but you know how I feel about covers, and also how I feel about Beyonce's Single Ladies. So here's this:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Greetings from Lab Machine 100

I'm in the SuperLab here on campus, with a few minutes until I have to migrate over to the MHRA to go to class, so naturally I decided that I was going to use the time to tell the internet about my life.

My legs are sore.

That's my life.

Okay, so there's more to it than that. My legs are sore from running. Maybe running a bit too much. I had planned to run 10 miles with The Videostore Employee Who Doesn't Watch Movies on Tuesday, and totally forgot when I suggested the route that part of the Greenway is closed for repaving. So we had to detour on the fly, and of course wound up overrunning. By almost two miles.

The funny thing is, before marathon training started, I would have considered 12 miles a "long run" for the week. But my idea of distance is so skewed that it felt like a normal weekly run, except that it was in the pouring rain and my hips hurt a bit from ice skating the day before.

I won't really know until I hit the pavement this afternoon, but I'm thinking I might shave a mile or so off of today's run, and then stay in my pajamas until at least 3pm tomorrow - my archaeology professor is going out of town, and she's letting us watch the video on Egypt from our houses instead of making us come to campus and watch it together. Because she loves us and wants us to be happy.

So I'm going to keep in the true spirit of Sacred Ass-Sitting Day, and sit. On my ass.

This Saturday is my first 20 mile run ever. I'm excited. And in my excitement, I need to remember to go to the running store and buy a couple of gels of whatever brand tickles my fancy. I'm considering getting one with caffeine for the end of the run, just so I know how my body responds to caffeinated gels.

McDad and The One With No Feelings have volunteered to go with me to Richmond - even though they're not in marathon form - and pace me to finishing. I know I can definitely finish under 4 hours. That's really my only goal. It's two goals but also one. Anyways. It makes me feel a lot better, knowing that I won't be running alone (and therefore be super nervous and run way too fast from the start and then DNF).

The only mantra now is: DNFing is not an option.

Today I'm turning in Like Water For An Octopus, which is a short story I wrote that I'm actually titling The Drinking And The Dry, because Like Water For An Octopus is a joke that's not even really all that funny, but it stuck and now I can't stop calling it that.

I'm a little nervous about turning it in because it's an experiment on several fronts and I don't know how I really want the feedback to turn out. I tried to write a more 'readable' story. People in class are getting burned out and if they don't want to put in the time, I didn't want to give them a story that would make them. There's deeper readings and themes there, but they can just skim if they want to. I'm not responsible for the expansion of their reading comprehension skills. They're in college.

It was surprisingly easy to get The Little Monster to do The Rolex Sweep. Michael Jackson may not be able to dance like you, Skepta, but a 22 month old can.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Confession (And Also An Unrelated Product Endorsement)

I'm addicted to breakfast cereal.

I once would have said that I just really loved breakfast cereal, but I think I'm past that now. I crave it. I justify my wanting of it. I can eat three or four bowls of the stuff a day. And while it's not really BAD for me in itself, the kind of consumption I do... well, I don't think it's healthy that so many of my carbs/calories come from basically the most processed food you can buy.

So I've given it up.

And come to the dramatic realization that I have to cold-turkey, like a drug addict. Because I can't just eat one bowl of cereal. The box is there, in the kitchen, and it's like 120 calories a bowl and it's really easy to talk myself into just one more bowl.

So as of yesterday, I'm cereal free. And if I fall of the wagon on this, I'm going to go ahead and declare myself Entirely Devoid Of Willpower and A Failure. (I have to draw such dire lines because otherwise I'll let myself fail.)

I Googled the 12 Steps and while I've clearly surpassed the first one (I Admit That I Have A Half-A-Family-Size-Box-A-Day Problem), the second step is a stumbling block. I do not thus far admit that Only God Can Save Me From The Honey Buzzers.

I think probably fresh fruit and veggies can save me from the honey buzzers. And water. And lots and lots of hot tea whenever I want it.

But the reason I'm blogging about this is simple: I'm going to be cutting a lot out of my diet very quickly. This is the kind of stuff that research suggests we can actually become physically addicted to, so I'll probably be really grumpy, and have a headache, and maybe say things about your mother being an elderberry sniffing hamster. I'm sorry. I have a problem.


Nobody knows this, but I've been on the quest for the perfect protein bar for years. It's been a constant internal struggle between 'the lowest calorie/highest protein content ratio' and the 'I'm pretty sure all these chemicals are going to kill me.'

Basically, for a while I was swapping back and forth between Clif Builder (270kcal, 20g protein, and mostly organic stuff) and Pure Protein (180kcal, 20g protein, and mostly chemical stuff) and I wasn't really happy with either option but there you go.

And then I found Quest Protein Bars. And I'm really stoked. The apple pie flavor (my favorite) is 170kcal, 20g protein, and... well, allow me to illustrate the point:

The above picture is of two bar ingredient labels. The top one is a Quest bar (the mixed berry, which I don't like as much but is acceptable). The bottom one is a Lean Muscle Bar. It has more calories, less protein, and do you see those chemicals?

The Quest Bar labels are like, "Ingredients: Actual Fruit To Make Fruit Flavors."

I love them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In honor of National Coming Out Day, I reminded my best friend I was gay.

And in honor of National Coming Out Day, she pretended to be shocked and unsure about whether or not we could remain friends.

In all seriousness, though, I find the idea a little bit silly. Coming Out is this big personal decision, right? And if you do it just because it's an arbitrarily assigned National Day, then that cheapens it. I mean, there's National Donut Day.

I guess all the publicity is good. But then it's bad, too. Because I've come to the somewhat controversial notion that if everyone would stop making such a big angry deal about it, it would be a lot easier to bring about real change. When you're angry and confrontational, the people you're confronting aren't going to like you and aren't going to want to help you out.

What I'm saying is, we need more of this:

Did you see the gay couples?
Did you see how they were all mixed in with the straight couples all willy-nilly?
Like they were all just people?

That's what I'm trying to say.

One of the reasons I didn't come out for a long time what that I saw what coming out did to those few gay people I knew in high school: it made them The Gay One. "You know Matt?" "Who?" "You know, the gay guy." "Oh, yeah, the gay guy."

And there's a lot more to being a person than just being gay or straight. I mean, you don't define someone by their heterosexuality, ever. It's one of the reasons I'm not really involved in PRIDE or whatever they call it on campus these days - I'm turned off by the people - yes, the gay people - who cheerfully make being gay everything their life is about. They only have gay friends, they only go to gay events, they only shop in LGBTQ-friendly stores... if a straight person only has straight friends, you wonder if they're homophobic, but a lot of the gay people I've met (granted, I'm mostly talking about college-age kids here, and there's a lot of maturing that happens) would resent the accusation that they're heterophobic.

So, yay for telling people it's okay to be gay.

Because it is.

But it should be just as ok as being straight. Not more, not less, just the same.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thought of the Day (For Me At Least)

"For decades, Americans have too often seen cycling as a kind of macho extreme sport, which has actually done a lot to damage the cause of winning acceptance for biking as a legitimate form of transportation. If your association with bikes is guys in spandex narrowly missing you on the weekends or YouTube videos of kids flying over ramps on their clown-size bikes, you’re likely to think that bikes are for only the athletic and the risk-prone. Manufacturers in the United States have tended to make bikes that look like the two-wheeled equivalent of Hummers, with fat tires and stocky frames necessitating a hunched-over riding position that is downright unsafe for urban biking and commuting. But that’s been changing..."
(-David Byrne, NYTimes)

This is truer than my knee-jerk reaction against rich activists wanted me to believe. When I hurt my ankle and started cycling to keep in shape, one of the things people (non-cyclists) said to me was, "Just please god no spandex."

And while, yes, I did eventually don some spandex (see exhibit A, below), that's only for road cycling, which is a totally thing than what I spend most of my saddle time doing, which is riding my bike instead of driving.

This is me looking regrettably dumb in my spandex at the Tour to Tanglewood.

I think something happened to biking in the 90s. Because if you look at used bikes - which I do, a lot - there are practically zero road bikes from the 90s out there. It's all mountain bikes like The Bruiser, who is from the 90s, or stupid little BMX bikes that are so utterly unsuitable for commuting that let's just say it doesn't surprise me that the people I see riding them around town aren't wearing helmets.

I didn't have any access to bikes during that decade beyond the hot pink mountain bike Santa gave me even though I specifically begged for any color other than pink. So I wasn't all that keen on it and I never really rode as a hobby. Plus we lived in a cul-de-sac at the bottom of a really, really steep hill and... you know, I don't have to justify my latecoming cycling. I was inactive as a kid in general so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the amount I knew about bikes was that Santa didn't want me to be happy.

But I think the hipsters and the economy are actually working together to turn things around. I know that sometimes it's hard to find a place to lock up my bike on campus and I'm considering going around with a camera and making a bike-of-the-week feature on this blog because there are some really beautiful road bikes being used.

And while I wish that increased use of bikes as transportation went hand-in-hand with increased use of helmets as brain protection, my mom always told me to fight one battle at a time. And focus on the positives. And if you don't appreciate what Santa brings you, you might get coal next time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I learned how to peel a clove of garlic in 10 seconds. 10 second to peel the clove. Not 10 seconds to learn.

Following yesterday's realization of HOLY CRAP ONLY 45 DAYS UNTIL RACE DAY! I am now thinking, "Wait... 45 days is a lot of time. A lot of runs. A lot of stuff that's going to happen between now and then and panicking? Not helpful."

The closer I get to this thing, the calmer and more in control of it I feel. The marathon is happening. I'm training, I feel pretty good, and I'm gonna be fine.

Funny stories for today....

I went out for a run with The One Who Makes Me Seem Inadequate By Comparison (But Who Is Really Nice So Just Deal With It) after class, and since it's all about-to-be-winter, it was dark way before we were done. I actually really like night running as long as I don't feel like I might be chased by bears.

But the point here is, that when I got back from my run, I walked into the Collective House and was hit by the most goddawful smell of my entire life. I rounded the corner to the kitchen, opened my mouth, and before I could say anything, Catface Meowmers said, "The microwave caught fire. Save you asking."

The Collective House was built in the fifties, and had a microwave-over-stove thing happening which we didn't question, and apparently it caught fire, with smoke and actual flames. So like rational adults, members of the Collective tried to cut the power to it. Only to find - this is my favorite part - there was no breaker for it. The Bearcat-Catbear turned off every breaker on the panel, and they stood in complete darkness... save for the comforting glow of the microwave.

So then the next option was "Take the microwave down and just unplug it." So with some grunting, and some cursing, and some powertools, the UberTransFan got it down to the stove, we clapped and cheered, happy in the knowledge that we would not die in our sleep, except...

It was wired directly into the wall. No plug. Just some as-previously-established LIVE wires, coming out of the wall and into the back of the microwave.

Luckily we know a JOAT with electrical skills, and he happens to be a nice enough guy to come and help us. We gave him money and dinner and the general Collective consensus is that he's our hero.

And then this morning I got my haircut, and I have to live with everyone's faces for a couple of days until they realize that the words "You have to give it a few days to figure itself out" aren't just things I'm saying, it's true. I think it has something to do with the combination of blowdrying and those rolly-brushes that Chris always uses. I mean, I'm not one to question her expertise - I mean, I call them rolly-brushes and I'm sure they have a name - but my hair doesn't look good when you do that.

I can't wait till it gets a bit cooler. I'm so ready for my fall/winter wardrobe. Leather jackets. Scarves. Knit hats. My apple hat has been calling to me for months. Soon I will be able to answer its call.

But for now, time to go talk about Marxist criticism some more. No, not criticize things Marxistly. Actually talk about Marxist criticism. This semester is drastically changing the way I read, between Critical Analysis in the Study of Literature and Writing Fiction Workshops.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Excellent Cover

I've got a lot of reading to do, so I'm not gonna write a real post today, but I think this is awesome:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tour to Tanglewood 2011: A Recap (Of Sorts)

So, a while back, I was sitting in the locker room after a Pirates game and talking to one of the guys about how, like a bum, I'd bully-borrowed a bike from The Librarian and was using it to excess because it was so fun.

So then the guy - I'll call him The Llama Pirate cause he has llamas and is a Pirate - says, "Oh, you should ride with us in the Tour to Tanglewood MS benefit in September."

This was very far away from September.

I of course said, "Ok," because I didn't know about September yet, and one vague plan seemed just as good as another, nevermind that The Librarian's bike wasn't at all suited for a 30+ mile road ride (I did them anyways on it because I was desperate for exercise when I couldn't run and I didn't know any better).

So then I kinda forgot about it. Except The Llama Pirate didn't let me. And then there was a Groupon for half off the entry fee, so I couldn't even say I was too poor to do it, and I was on the team and I had a jersey and then suddenly BAM - the ride was Next Weekend, and the only reason I knew that was because my normal Sunday ride was cancelled since everyone else was riding in it.

It's a two-day ride, which I did not realize, and I couldn't do Saturday because of marathon training (16 miles! Longest run yet and didn't feel awful at all!). Llama Pirate said that was OK, some other people on the team were only doing one day or the other, and Be There On Sunday Before 8 Because We Roll Out At 8 KThxBye.

I stayed at my parents' on Saturday night so I wouldn't have to drive so far so early in the morning, and I had multiple tear-through-the-car freakouts: "Did I bring my helmet? (Yes.) Did I bring my shoes? (Yes.) Did I bring my bike? (Yes.) Did I bring Gu? (No.)" I was worried, even as I fell into an exhausted sleep at 9:30, about whether or not the knots in my legs from my run would loosen up.

I was a tad nervous. I understood intellectually that it wasn't really a race-race, but then, the marathon isn't a race-race, and I'm nervous about it anyways. I think it had more to do with being there alone, without any of my normal bike buddies there. I didn't have the Bike Dad telling me that all my shit was together and I was fine; I didn't have to tell the Bike Project to calm the fuck down and stop trying to help. It was all a bit out of balance in my head. I kept thinking I was going to screw up and be this total bike-noob-dweeb.

I mean, I spent a good twenty minutes stressing about my clips and the fact that I was, with 100% certainty, going to fall flat on my face the minute I tried to clip in at the start, nevermind that I haven't fallen in clips since the first time I put them on and I skinned my knee then and not my face.

I managed to get there with all of my stuff, sans Gu even though I tried to buy some, and my nerves continued to manifest themselves by stuffing little mini cinnamon rolls into my mouth, even though I had already eaten my breakfast and wasn't hungry. (Mini cinnamon rolls, dude.)

I was nervous right up until the minute my team lined up at the start and pushed off. And then, suddenly, just like that, it was all OK.

And it stayed OK for fifty miles. Five members of our team stuck together and rode it as a team, and even though I was too nervous about my group riding skills to pull until the last leg, I felt... I don't know, kind of cosmic about it all. I was connected to the bike and my legs were working and I felt good and I never fucked up one single thing. We had to pull into the first rest stop to get one of our rider's rear derailer fixed, but after that we just kept going, no stoppage. Every rest stop, we called it down the line: "Do you need to stop?" "No, I'm good. Do you need to stop?" "Nope, let's keep rolling." I'm glad I didn't remember the Gu because I didn't need it, but if I'd had it I probably would have thought I did.

At the end of the fifty miles (Actually, it was 54ish because the course was long. I'm given to understand that yesterday's 50 Mile Course was two miles short, so there may be some reasoning there.) I unclipped like a boss and snared a finishing medal and it was all good. I raised money for a good charity, had a great Sunday bike ride with thousands of other cyclists, and got to take home some swag.

All in all, a good experience that I should never have grumbled about. Next year, I'll definitely remember about it at least 2 weeks in advance.

Edit: This is the link to my donation page. You can continue donating to the National MS Society in my name until October 14th. I don't know why that makes sense to them but it's a good cause so what the hail.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Is it called forgetting if you remembered earlier and decided to forget again?

I was up at 6:22AM to write a paper discussing why Tennyson's Maud was a monodrama and not a dramatic monologue. I did this by referring back to Ulysses, for contrast and also because I really love me some Ulysses. I really love Tennyson in general but, yeah, Ulysses is fun for me.

Not that it makes that much of a fun difference to your morning, but this is my favorite part of the essay:
"The distinction between monodrama and dramatic monologue is important here because Tennyson is also famously the author of what could arguably be the first true dramatic monologue: Ulysses. The difference lies in the narrators and the span of time they are addressing the audience. Ulysses is notably shorter and covers a limited span of time, a single moment of the narrator addressing his audience, even though he speaks of both the past and the future. In contrast, Maud is so expansive that it spans multiple days and, indeed, multiple styles. The tone swoops high into the operatic free verse of Ulysses and then fits itself neurotically into tight, rigid rhyme schemes and still seems barely able to adapt to the twisting mental landscape of the speaker."

Not that it's spectacular writing - or even particularly good writing - it's just that it's early in the morning and I totally-not-on-purpose-forgot that it was due so I could go to Target with the Collective and by the Little Monster some fake food for her new fake kitchen.

I found the best Halloween costume ever while I was there. The early morning wake-up is entirely justified by this picture:
I would have purchased it except that it was $30 and also meant for a toddler. Okay, so the only deciding factor was that it was $30. I'm still convinced that I'll find it online for cheaper than that. That's the problem with being an internet maven. You're always going to be convinced that, whatever it is, you can find it cheaper online.

I did buy a new hat, though. It's been a while since I had a fedora.

This morning's essay partially brought to you by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' album Dig, Lazarus, Dig!, which I totally stole from the Beebe house last time I was petsitting for them. Video prominently featuring a powerful case of Nick Cave's porn star mustache.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

So basically, you know, I'm having dinner.

It's my birthday tomorrow - you might have heard. And all weekend, I'm having dinner.

See, I tend to plan my days around one, maybe two events. That way everything else I need to do can fit into the cracks around those events. So when you make a plan with me, like having dinner, if you make it far enough in advance, chances are you're the only thing on my docket for that day. That isn't to say that I don't have a million other things to do. It just means that everything else is flexible.

Tomorrow I have two things planned, and they're close enough together that even though they don't overlap, it still stresses me out. Bike Dad is taking me mountain biking for the first time (provided the bike gets over its issue, more on that later after I've fixed it because I prefer to post in the aftermath of catastrophe and not during, as you may have noticed) and then the Collective is feeding me the dinner of my choice, which as previously mentioned is tempeh sweet potato curry and saffron rice.

THEN on Saturday I'm going to run 14 miles in High Point in the morning, have corn pancakes at Tex n Shirley's, and at some point (probably following a crashnap) I'll go over M. Chef's house and we'll be making birthday veggie lasagna, my choice following my query/challenge of "How many veggies can you stuff into a lasagna and still have it be lasagna?"

THEN on Sunday I'll be up early for a 60 mile bike/6 mile run, followed by a ride to Winston-Salem to have Family Birthday Dinner, which always sounds like a great time but usually turns out to be kind of upsetting because the answer to "Can't we all just get along?" with my family is generally a wide-eyed, innocent, "What? It isn't my fault we're arguing!" and the Beanie Baby and I wind up sitting in the back room watching Dangermouse while they argue about who started the argument.

But I'll be getting my mom's scratch-made carrot cake and maybe if I stick my fingers in my ears and say, "Lalalala can't hear you it's my birthday," every time they start, it won't happen. I can't hear you, chief, I've got a banana on my head.

I was explaining the hectic-sounding weekend to the UberTransFan and I ended, quite lamely, with, "So basically, you know, I'm having dinner." There was a long, bemused pause, and then I whined, "And they all want to know what kind of cake I want!"

I love cake. But three cakes three nights in a row is a bit much to contemplate.

I got this song in a free Amazon sampler, and I freaking love it:
Apologies for the live video quality. It's all the internet had to offer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"I don't eat food. I eat science."

Two milestones, two mornings in a row:

I ran my first 15 yesterday morning. Officially the longest I've ever run, and I didn't crash or burn. I even successfully downed an Accel Gel mid-run and drank a little Gatorade. I had a stomach cramp for about 5 minutes, but I pretended I didn't and it went away; I also had a little GI issue towards the end (literally in the last mile) but I kept running and told myself that at the marathon, there would be Port-a-Johns for that sort of thing.

I'm really happy that I could do it, considering how slow and crappy I've felt lately. I'm starting to think that maybe I won't get quite the time that I was thinking I would before I got injured, but I'll definitely be able to finish. This Saturday I'm back down to 14, and then next week is my first 16!

I'm gonna keep trying the Accel Gel, because they're the sponsors at Richmond, which means that probably they'll be handing them out at the race. If it's an emergency, I need to know if I can take them or not.

This morning, I rode my first 50+ solo. The tandem ride I did with Bike Dad doesn't really count because I think he helped me out a lot and if I had died, he would have just dragged my ass back in. This was my first ride where it was all on me, to live or die. I did it and I'm happy about that. It was the first part of another rider's 120 mile group ride. She had scheduled a jump-off at mile 57 and I started the ride knowing I was going to take it, no matter how I felt at mile 56. I ate a granola bar before and sucked up an Accel Gel at the mile 30 pit stop.

I honestly think I could have done even better this morning if I didn't have to pee so badly between miles 20 and 30 that I could barely think. After the pit stop, I was riding much better. One of the other riders pulled up beside me and said, "You are an excellent climber. You go up the hills like they're not even there." Which made me happy, and made me even happier when I found out that she did IronMans.

I think the hills are a cross-over thing - I think the leg muscles you use to run are the same ones you need to attack hills, so my status as runner-who-bikes has me at an uphill advantage. I actually find downhills sorta difficult and I've noticed that that's when I tend to fall off the group.

After the marathon, Bike Dad and I are going to train longer distances. I want to bike to Ocracoke Island one day. (That's 272 miles. But part of that is a ferry ride.)

Friday is my birthday. I think I might be finally crawling out of the depressed, anti-social funk I wormed my way into. I hope so because Catface Meowmers is making me tempeh sweet potato curry for my birthday dinner, and I'm going to make funfetti cake the way I like it (shallow pan and almost crunchy), and it would be really awful to be depressed and snappish while eating funfetti cake in between monster servings of curry.

(Seriously, Catface Meowmers' curry is a reason to get up in the morning if you think you don't have one. Especially with saffron rice.)

I have to go feed some cats now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bonus Points For The Alex Mack Throwback

I'm sitting here in The Collective's Library Stronghold by myself, because Catface Meowmers decided to go home and take a nap and stuff, so I've finally got the time, space, and inclination to blog a little bit about the start of the semester, how the marathon training is going, and other stuff.

Chronologically speaking, I should mention the bike crash and it's after-effects. Or lack thereof. Anyways, I was biking to work last Friday (work being my gig as a paper delivery boy for the Carolinian) and as I was zooming across campus, I was not hit by a car.

"But surely you're not hit by cars far more often than you're hit by cars," you're saying. "In fact, if you mentioned every time you were not hit by a car, you'd never mention anything else, and be that really boring girl at the Canyon who used to corner you in the hallway on your way back from the bathroom and talk to you for fifteen minutes about stuff that didn't happen to her while you oooch along the wall like Alex Mack."

This would normally be true, except on Friday I was lot closer to being hit by a car than I am, say, right now. I actually had to actively avoid being hit by a car, and in doing so, wound up smacking into a wall head-on and then head-first.

I'm fine, but I totaled my bike, which makes me really sad as it was my favorite commuter. Good enough to use, not good enough to stress about ruining. Easy to step through, toe cages instead of clips... I mean, yes, so I have two other bikes, but they're not really for the same thing. No way am I using the good road bike to commute to school (besides, toe clips to school are just not practical, considering all the starting and stopping and needing real shoes once I get there) and the other commuter is just so pretty I have a hard time wanting to take it out of the house. Also it has screaming French wheels and I can't get the 70s-era generator for the headlight to stop rubbing the wheel wall, even when it's off.

Next! School. Classes started Monday, as you might be aware, and while I am slightly sad about having less time to devote to World of Warcraft, it's fairly well known that I really love school. My brain is much happier when it goes to class a couple of times a day, and packs its lunch in a little sandwich-shaped tupperware container, and stops using its car to run errands. I got lazy over the summer and drove too much. I had excuses but my inability to afford a parking pass trumps them. Biking to and from school really zens me somehow.

I'm in five classes and I pretty much have potential to adore them all. They moved ASL4 from Monday/Wednesday nights to Tuesday/Thursday nights, which is the only bad thing about my schedule, because it means that I can't make group runs or track for a whole semester. Plus it's during marathon training, and it's well documented that I run and train better with other people around who are better than me. I'm going to stick to the plan and get it done, and still kick Richmond in the face, but I might be a little more stressed about it at times. I'm not a good gauge of myself.

I think Victorian Literature's professor is going to annoy me before the end, but I love the material and I'm hoping that sustains me. I may be annoyed by her simply because of her qualities of Not Being My Favorite Professor (Who Is Not Teaching This Course This Semester.)

Also she lectured us for half an hour of our first class about how difficult it was going to be to find a job once we graduated, and that kind of chaps me because I'm an English Major. I know finding a job is going to be hard. It's not like I'm sitting around on cotton candy clouds not thinking about it. I've just had to reach a certain level of trust in the universe that something will happen. Precedent says that it will. I needed a job and the Canyon happened. I needed a bike and several of them happened. I needed a computer to play WoW and Microsoft put the software to make that possible on mega-hyper-sale for $30.

I don't need a career-type job yet, which is why one hasn't happened yet. When I get closer to graduation, something will happen. And if it doesn't, I'll go to grad school while I keep looking and waiting.

So now I need music, and it should probably be the Beastie Boys.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I always channel Finding Nemo on the first day of school...

First day of school! First day of school!

Hopefully I'll have time to blog about classes later today. For now, enjoy this song and understand that I've been dancing all morning.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Everyday I'm shufflin'


Okay, now that that's done, I can babble about other, more arguably important things. "Like what?" you ask. Well, really, there's nothing more important than the fact that every single day I am shufflin', shufflin' and it's getting really tiring.

I bit the bullet and decided to self-publish Three Adjectives today. My argument with myself went a bit like this:

Me: "'Self-publishing' is usually just code for 'awful book no respectable house wanted to publish,' and everyone knows it."

Also Me: "Yeah, but Three Adjectives isn't really the direction you want your career to go in, so you'd never show it to a publishing house, anyways. You might as well let it get out there."

Me: "You never know. I might come back to it."

Also Me: "Be honest. You lost your editorial steam on that novel practically before you finished the first draft."

Me: "I don't wanna say that..."

Also Me: "It was always supposed to be light and fun. Easy. There's no shame in admitting that you accomplished your goals. Let people read it if they want to read it."

Me: "Oh-kay. Fine."

So I'm self-publishing Three Adjectives Or Less. If by some miracle it turns out that people like it a lot, I own the rights and even the ISBN to it, so I can always pull it off my own imprint and sell it to someone else. I think that's what finally sold me on the idea - if you read the fine print, self-publishing is kind of temporary. John Dies At The End was originally self-published; I own one of the original copies of it.

No, I'm not saying 3Adj is at all comparable to the brilliance that is John Dies At The End. It's an awkward novel about an awkward person who may or may not have a lot of me in her. 3Adj was kind of a glut of a novel. I try really hard to keep obvious references to my own life and my own opinions out of my work, but I thought, for once, I would just write, and let everything slide. So Remy talks about The Elephant Show, and my grammatical pet peeves, and comfort foods, and she's afraid of cows.

Because cows are scary. Duh.

I'm not gonna make a big deal about this. I'm not gonna tell anyone, and I'm not gonna pimp out the book on various internet forums and all that annoying, self-published stuff that happens. But if someone is looking for lesbian fiction on, they might find it, and hopefully they'll buy it and read it.

Until then, and probably also after then, everyday I'm shufflin'...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Stick to the plan.

According to The Plan today, I am to run 7 miles. 7 "easy" miles. So that's what I'm going to do.

Ah, yes, The Plan. Which I did not write myself. I figured this was a smart move considering that I don't tend to make good decisions when it comes to training. 90+ degrees outside? Perfect running weather. Your first 13 miles since before you got injured? Do it in 100% humidity.

So, yeah. I got RunnerJen (that's how she is in my phone so that's how she's gonna be in my blog) to make me a plan. And it kind of highlights the fact that I'm a little bit dumb in my normal life. For instance, without the plan, today would have been 10 miles. Cross training is only on it one day a week (Sunday) when I usually bike for exercise (not for just getting around) three days a week. Also I expect I'm going to have to learn what a fartlek is. The only other major change is that my rest day has moved from Friday to Wednesday. Which means that I can eat cheese on Tuesday nights as opposed to Thursday nights.

My approach for this marathon is simple: Follow The Plan.

My idea is that I don't focus on any other fitness/body goals during this time. I do what it takes to run the distance in something like the time. I'm not gonna track food or worry about how many calories during this time (even though, side note, I'm pretty sure I'm getting fat and no one is telling me) because I have passed a royal edict entitled 'It Doesn't Matter What I Look Like Until After I Have Run A Bitchin' Marathon.'

Food right now is going to be one thing: Fuel. And it's about quality of fuel, and timing of fuel. Try not to junk myself up, but let it ride. There are automobile metaphors I'm just itching to break out, but I'm resisting. I don't know why I'm resisting, but I am. It probably has to do with the headache I have from re-editing 5 Rules this morning.

Apparently sometimes editors are bad at grammar, and don't care one bit about silly things like 'Voice of the Narrator in a First Person Narrative.' But that's ok. I'm fine. I don't need a nap or anything about it. I just need some more Iron Chef America, and maybe another cup of coffee.

I'm obsessed with this song. I think it's uncommonly beautiful. I can even listen to it full volume in the car when I have a migraine.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Stargate is bigger than your Stargate.

During the run this morning, The Bad Influence and I were trying to breath air so humid it was condensing on my glasses, so obviously I felt chatty. I needed a distraction. I couldn't tell if The Bad Influence was annoyed or also in need of a distraction, because I wasn't really capable of caring about his needs.

I reached deep into the well of 'Shit That Doesn't Really Matter' in my head, and came up with, "Why isn't Stargate considered as a viable science fiction universe?"

Which is a genuine question I, as a Stargate fanatic, have always wondered. People are always asking, "Star Wars or Star Trek?" The Stargate universe is probably just as expansive as either of those. There's the original series, and Atlantis, and Universe, along with the original movie and two others. Multiple alien races have been well-established - the Stargate 'mythology' is probably even more fleshed out than Star Trek. Clearly, some Trekkie would argue that but I'd win because I'm tenacious and when cornered by Q I would just shout, "Thor! Thor! THE MOTHERFUCKING ASGARD!"

I mean, Stargate HAS Q - the Ancients. And they never throw up their hands and say, "It's a Q thing!" They actually explain the supposed hows and whys. They have space ships, and transporters, and even Jedi-like beings in the Ascendants.

So I think I'm officially backing Stargate in the 'My Fandom Is Better Than Your Fandom' fisticuffs. If only there were awesome Stargate conventions... oh, wait, look at that.

Now I really want to Stargate cosplay.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Victory (And Musical Snobbery) Is Mine

I figured out what the .2 of a song will be on the Richmond playlist: M.I.A.'s 'Ba-na-na Skit,' off of Arular. Get yourself an education....

After much debate, I have decided NOT to include Eye of the Tiger. So far I have 11 songs. Well, 10.2 songs. Still taking suggestions.

Girl is rockin'

I wanted to start this morning with something we all need sometimes: a montage of Santana Lopez being sassy.

Luckily, the internet knows, and provides.

Yeah, I'm aware that the fact that I watched the whole thing twice means that Santana Lopez just ate 20 minutes of my life. I'm OK with that, and I think she'd expect nothing less. (Though I'm not sure I ever realized how often Santana got slammed into lockers...)

I wish I'd had even half of her attitude in high school. I was kind of... well, no. Not kind of. I was a wuss. I practically had a big ol' sign on my back that said, "Slushie me." (Except it must have been clear that I was too miserable to even bully. When I think about my high school self, I picture the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, only if the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man had really long blond hair, and instead of proton packs the Ghostbusters were carrying little signs that said, 'You're gay! You're gay! Everyone knows it!' Less Santana Lopez, more... what's the most pathetic thing you can think of? That. Stuffing Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream into its face.)

I went on my first group bike ride yesterday, and it was seriously a lot of fun. We had to cut it unfortunately short on account of monsoon, but I'm going again on Wednesday. It felt really good. Sometimes I really had to push to keep up, but even that was... my quads haven't felt that kind of serious exertion in a while. When you're running in the heat and humidity, your pace and effort is determined mostly by your cardiovascular system and how much usable air you can manage to suck down your windpipe, which lately is not much.

I got up this morning at 5:30 to run, and the humidity was at 100%. How is that even possible, you ask? North Carolina, I say. So, I re-evaluated, and came up with three facts.

The Three Facts
1. 100% Humidity
2. 5:30 AM
3. Darkness On Country Roads With No Sidewalks Or Shoulders

These three facts combined made me decide to go back to bed and later, at the entirely reasonable hour of 9AM, send out an SOS SMS to someone who I thought would likely run with me. So now I have a legit plan to run my 10 miles with him out at the PEC at 5, when the humidity is only supposed to be 47%. Yes, it'll be hotter then, but the air will be breathable, and I will not be hit by a semi.

This song is the latest one to go on my Marathon playlist. Well, actually, this song as remixed and mashed up by DJ Earworm into the song 'Girl Is Rockin (Erik E vs Wyclef).' It's addictive in that form, but quite nice in the original, if not exactly running toned. Note that the actual song doesn't start for 37 seconds, because Wyclef loves his theatrical music videos, and that's what I love about him.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Well, I'm sitting around trying not to go back into the kitchen for more Cinnamon Toast Crunch (that stuff is demonic), and I remembered that I had a blog. It's hard for me to remember much of anything lately, because I'm in about six different places. I mean, literally, six places.

For instance, today:
1. My House, Where All My Stuff Is.
2. Hockey Mom's House, Where There Are Four Dogs Who Need Me.
3. The Librarian's House, Where There Are Four Cats Who Need Me.
4. The Cycling Dad's House, Where My Bike Got Adjusted.
5. The Road, Where I Was Biking.
6. The Thai Restaurant, Where My Family Was Eating.

And those are just the places where I spent more than 10 minutes.

I don't feel very summer vacationy.

If Harry Potter was this movie, it would probably be my favorite movie:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interesting Fact About Me

I keep a list of restaurants around the country that I want to visit. There are a lot of places in New York City, which means I'm just waiting for a reason to go there so I can eat, but some of them are really far out there, and if I'm ever in the area, it'll be specifically because I came to eat at that restaurant.

And I have no problem doing that.

Currently, though, I'm thinking about Peanut Butter & Co, in NYC. Which is a whole restaurant devoted to peanut butter sandwiches.

I am fanatical about PB&J and Fluffernutter. I could eat them 3 meals a day, everyday, except there's other delicious things that get in the way of that scheme, like Broccoli with Garlic Sauce and Mellow Mushroom's Tempeh.

I can cook pretty much anything I could possibly want to eat. I can saute, bake, poach, whatever. I love doing all those things, and I have no objection and actually enjoy the time involved. I just really love peanut butter sandwiches, so I tend to eat like a bachelor who may or may not know how to do his own laundry.

I hate jelly, though - for me the 'J' in PB&J is 'Jam.' For me, if it's clear and void of fruit, I don't want it. I think preserves and whole fruit jams work better with the peanut butter and stick to the bread more pleasingly. Also, I prefer to make my sandwiches at least 20 minutes in advance and let them sit, J side down.

And sometimes I cut them into little triangles like my mom used to for my school lunches, before I read Harriet the Spy and decided that I wouldn't eat anything except tomato sandwiches at school.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shut up and drive.

At about 6:45 this morning, I didn't think it was going to be a good day.

A combination of no coffee, 6:45 in the morning, and a complete lack of understanding of the words 'north' and 'south' meant that I was pretty sure my running group was going to leave without me.

This is not an admission of any kind of criminal misdeed, but I got from Oak Ridge, NC to Randleman, NC in 15 minutes. Google says it takes 45 minutes to do that. I don't know how I made it - I'm fairly certain I somehow acquired the power of teleportation. It was probably the Sun Maid tart cherries I decided to gnarf when I was leaving the house. My internet research indicates that they have magical properties. (I just know they're freaking delicious and I didn't think I could make it until after the run since I had to be awake for so long. Empty-stomach-running really only works for me if it's a roll-out-of-bed-and-run type of thing.)

So I arrived in the parking lot of the ABC store of Randleman, NC in a tiny bit of a post-teleportation tizzy, and although I put on a cheerful face because the guys had clearly decided to wait for me, I was pretty sure that the run was gonna suck.

If you're not in North Carolina, or you haven't been paying attention, it's really, really hot out there. NOAA has a big red banner above the forecast that describes it as "excessive and dangerous heat and humidity." So the obvious thing to do is go for a run.

On the Thursday run, I died. Died hard. I walked back to the store. I never walk back to the store. It's my rule of Thursday night runs - or it was before I got hurt. I go as hard as possible, which means I feel like shit, which means that on any given Thursday, I'd love to quit. I had to make the rule of No We Want Some Mo', We Want Some Mo' (Remember The Titans FTW) or else I would never make it back. But on Thursday I was so hot I really, genuinely thought I was going to pass out, or vomit. It wasn't just me because The One With Manners had to stop walking three times because her vision was blacking. The only time I've ever been hotter is that time at Salem Lake last summer, when I was still learning how to run more than 3 miles, and I made it 5 miles around the loop (which is 7 miles) and was so overheated and dehydrated that I stopped sweating.

Today's forecast being all excessive and dangerous, I was pretty sure the run was going to suck. On top of that, it was my first time back running long. I hadn't run over six since the Wednesday 10-miler when I decided that something was really wrong with my ankle. The plan was 10 miles at around a 9 min/mile pace, but I didn't actually think that was going to happen.

Damn if it didn't, though. And at an 8:42 average pace.

I started to fade in the last mile, but... I don't know. I never felt really bad. I was aware it was hot, but I didn't seem to be feeling it the way the others were. I drank about two sips of Gatorade at both water stops, and shoved a chunk of ice in the back of my sports bra for the last leg, but Thursday hurt so much more. I guess my heat threshold got raised or something.

I came home, went to Target, took a nap in my papasan chair, and now I'm watching a British tv show on Hulu called How To Look Good Naked and thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can do this. Maybe I'll actually be just fine for Richmond.

I'm working on a Richmond Marathon playlist. 26 songs, one for each mile. I'm taking suggestions for it. This one is my current favorite song. Rihanna is so boss, and this video is so hot. I've had a thing for women in coveralls since Michele Lee donned a pair in The Love Bug.

You don't get to tell me what I find insanely attractive.

Like I said, the playlist will be 26 songs long (and I'm trying to figure out what qualifies as .2 of a song) but this might be the overall theme song for the thing. Today someone told me, "If you run your car hard, it breaks down. If you run your body hard, it builds up."

Ergo - Shut Up And Drive.

There's should be a word for when you're unspeakably sad, but not at all shocked.

Amy Winehouse was found dead this morning. Here's a link to a great write-up by NPR.

I know she was a big mess, but she had a great sound and I've always thought that if she could only get it together, she could have been great. She doesn't get a chance to try, now, but what she did manage to give us was awesome.

(Just for the record, she's not actually in that video, but it's the official video for the song, which is "Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse." I just really love it. And the video is pretty cute.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

'Ameliorate' is one of my favorite words.

This morning I woke up at 7 when my alarm went off. The plan was, "Get up, eat breakfast, go riding, come home, eat lunch, be a productive and fully functional adult."

Except I opened my eyes and my first thought was that someone had been beating my quads with sticks. Possibly several someones, and possibly with Alloy 1090 Carbon Steel sticks, which I've recently learned is the hardest metal known to man. When you talk about things harder than Alloy 1090, you have to use words like 'diamond' and 'ruby,' neither of which make good beating sticks.

I optimistically rolled out of bed, thinking that maybe getting a little blood flow into my legs would ameliorate the problem, but as I hobbled across the basement, I squinted up the stairs and thought, "No freaking way." And if I don't feel like climbing six stairs, I really don't feel like riding 30 miles.

So I went back to sleep. I'm okay with skipping a day of riding, because I've put my legs through hell lately, swapping between two kinds of bikes which put stress in different places, doing all the aggressive hip flexor strength training the Orthodoc prescribed, and trying to ease into running without easing too far out of biking. I'm running around the track tonight, and I'm hoping having the fresh(er) legs will pay off for me.

No, I'm still not gonna push it and try to actually do a track workout, but I might aim for under a nine minute mile while jogging around. I think that's achievable. My ankle really hasn't hurt lately, except in places when I'm 99% positive it's the brace keeping it from flexing the way it wants to. I can't wait to get out of this brace.

I just considered and nixed the idea of posting pictures of the scabbing, irritated sores on my ankle because of the brace. You're welcome. Moving on.

So I slept in.

Well, I slept until 10:30, and that feels really late to me. Then in the spirit of being a lazy unemployed bum like I'm told I am, I woke up, rolled over, put my glasses on, and resumed watching the episode of Food Network Star I had paused the night before.

It felt unspeakably lazy, but I think I really needed it. When I finally got up, I did my morning calisthenics and went to make coffee. When I brought my joe back downstairs, ready to watch the latest episode of Masterchef, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

And then I stopped and looked again.

Because for the first time in about two weeks, maybe more, I liked what I saw.

My self-esteem is a strange and fickle thing. It's cripplingly low and annoyingly high, occasionally at the same time. I generally think I'm attractive in my opinion, but that other people probably don't see me the same way I see myself.

Usually the mental battle for me is to convince myself that it doesn't matter what other people see so long as I like myself. I genuinely believe that anyone can be attractive if they have confidence and believe in the themselves. Lately I haven't been able to look at myself in the mirror and see anything worth being attracted to. Is it the lack of running? The social and personal failures? I figure it's the same reason I want to go on a solo road trip so badly I could cry. There's something ungrounded bouncing around inside of me and I don't like it. I don't feel like people should want to be around me right now. I'm a shell person - something hard and superficial, hiding something secret, soft, and waiting to be subjected to heat and seasoning.

But this morning, I liked myself in the mirror again. And that's a step in the right direction. You have to learn to scramble before you can poach, right?

I'm going to break the 4th wall of the egg metaphor to mention that I don't really know how to poach an egg. I know the basic technique but I've never liked soft yolks so I never bothered to try it out. I've poached pears but that's really not the same thing. I like pears, but they're only good for about five minutes of their life span - all the rest of the time they're either too hard (which is when I usually eat them) or rotten.

That right there is as close to a discussion of recent events and my feelings as you'll ever get out of me. I'm really looking forward to track tonight.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today's post brought to you by Fanta Orange Zero, because you know you wanna wanna Fanta.

Today I learned my first lesson in road biking:
When you feel like there's something wrong with your tire, it's probably not your imagination and it's probably not going to get better.

I also learned my second lesson:
When your tire blows up while you're going down a hill, it's scary as fuck.

But everything was OK, because I was really close to the part of my ride where I meet up with My Fake Boyfriend at the tennis courts, so I pulled my phone out of the back pocket of my hideous-but-blessedly-breathable bike shirt and called him. He always brings his truck, since his bike goes in it, so we threw my bike in the back, drove to my house, swapped it out for the old bike, and went back to finish the ride.

It wasn't OK at the time because I hadn't had any coffee, but now I see that no English Majors were harmed in the making of this production. My new tires come in on Thursday, and there's certainly no harm in continuing to use the other bike till then.

Still trying to decide on a name. I'm flirting with the name 'Kikuno,' off the fact that she's Japanese. Kikuno was my favorite character in the Kei Kumai film The Sea Is Watching. She was played by the effortless Misa Shimizu. I may have fallen a little bit in love with her by the end of the movie. And this may be way too much thought into the name of a bike. I can't tell. I may put way too much thought into my life.


The song of the day is Shut Up And Kiss Me by Orianthi. I find her addicting, sweet, poppy, and just a little bit hard to break into, like rock candy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On my ride, I found the mobile home testing facility. Who knew about this?

I've learned a new turn of phrase that I've decided to use more often. It's...

Oh, hold on. Lea Michele and Idina Menzel are dueting on Glee and I'm watching on a giant projector screen in surround sound and it's basically making my brain explode in musical geekery.

Alright, back to the topic at hand.

champagne problem
n. A choice between two positive or ideal things; a problem that actually demonstrates one's good fortune.
Used in a sentence - actually, used in an interview by Naya Rivera:
"I got proposed to by women twice today at a Meet & Greet. And at the last tour stop, I got two bouquets of roses. It’s so sweet. Getting hit on by both genders is such a champagne problem."

I got a new bike!

Well, technically, use of the word 'new' is the biggest lie in the world. It's one of the bikes I pulled out of my parents' shed. I don't really know what it is or where it comes from. It says 'Vista Silver Shadow Made In Japan' on the frame so there's that.

From what I can gather from The JOAT, she's a road bike that's at least 30 years old, probably older. It's actually kind of awesome. The frictionless gears are proving tricky for me - considering that I barely understand the mechanics of clicky gears (and I call them clicky gears) - but The JOAT assures me that I can't really fuck them up so just keep practicing.

I can't fuck them up, but I can certainly fuck myself up when I get so distracted trying to get the right gear that I forget to, you know, ride the bike.

I took her out for our first long ride today, and damn, it's so fast. I can put my head down and just fly. I don't know why it's easier to go harder on this bike than the one I was using. People mention things like bike weight and aerodynamics, but that explains why me-and-bike go faster, not why it's so easy for me to push it.

Now she needs a name. And for some reason my ability to name things is failing me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today is hereby declared Cake Day.

I bought this cake for myself with a Daily Deal coupon. It comes from Spring Garden Bakery, on Spring Garden Street in Greensboro, NC. Their phone number is 336-272-8199.

I'm telling you this because I'm not kidding or even really exaggerating when I say it is the most delicious cake I have ever eaten. The UberTransFan agrees so it's not just me.

Key Lime Chiffon Cake

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Well, I'M freaking out, anyways.

When I wake up tomorrow morning, it's 119 days till Richmond.

That's 17 weeks until I run 26.2 miles.

This week, I'll finish out with about 20 miles. Total.

At minimum, I need 14 weeks to train for Richmond. I've got to get it. And yet I've also got to stop panicking about it. I really kinda hate myself right now, even though there was no warning about this ankle thing until it just... happened, and I stopped and went to the Orthodoc when it happened.

So there's no use panicking, or being angry, or any of this. I just... I need this to be fixed. I need to be able to start upping my mileage, and here I'm stalled at 20 miles a week.

My new course of action (for the next 24 hours, at least) is to ignore all of this, and listen to large amounts of Gossip at aggressively high volumes. Beth Ditto makes things better.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Soundtrack to the English Major

I'm having fun today. Someone (whose pseudonym on this blog has yet to be decided) was talking to me about what kind of music I liked. Well, what she said was, "Real quick, what's your favorite band?"

I adhered to the spirit of the question and answered, "Lissie."

And then I second guessed myself, because after all, Lissie is not so much a band as one person. So I had to follow it up with, "Actually, Jump! Little Children." Who almost no one knows about because they disbanded back when I was in high school and now when you want to buy their cds, they're used/out of print on Amazon, and it's all just extremely sad.

She hadn't heard of either of those, so I jumped at the chance to educate her. I sorted through my extensive discography of both and compiled a mixtape of each of them.

And then I started thinking. "There are so many other great artists and songs. These two are really not an accurate representation of my musical tastes."

So obviously I had to make a cd containing all of my favorite songs, because that's the way my brain works. I do this occasionally. I wish I'd kept all the various "Favorite Songs Ever" cds I've burned throughout my life, because they get more and more musically schizophrenic as time goes on. Hopefully they get better, but I doubt it.

My rules for a good mixtape are that you can only pick ONE song per artist, and there has to be one oddball song that doesn't quite fit but you can't bear to leave out. I don't know why there has to be an outlier. There just does.

Anyways. Here's the track listing for the (supposed) final cut.

1. Romans Revenge by Nicki Minaj (Remix ft. Lil Wayne)
This song was put first because I think it's a great introduction song. I love Nicki Minaj in general; I was originally gonna put 'These Girls Fall Like Dominos' on the mix but that song is really only better than this one if you're a lesbian. Which this mix is gonna be given to a straight woman. And honestly I only like 'These Girls...' for its novelty. This is probably my favorite Nicki Minaj song.

2. 1977 by Ana Tijoux
Ana Tijoux mesmerizes me. I don't speak enough Spanish to really understand her, but I can listen to her for hours - and have.

3. Pursuit of Happiness by Lissie (Kid Cudi cover)
This is hands down my favorite cover of all time. Maybe my favorite song of all time, but just as this cover. The original song is good but something about the way Lissie covers it really hammers it in for me. I was so beyond happy when she did this at the show I went to. I didn't think she'd do it because she usually only does one cover song per show, and she has a mighty arsenal of great covers. Except when she covers Lionel Richie's 'Hello,' because that song is just terrible no matter what you do to it.

4. Going Down by Florence + The Machine (Bruce Springsteen cover ft. Kid Harpoon)
What can I say? I like covers. It's hard to find good sound quality on Florence + the Machine collaborations with other artists, even though Florence has done shows and appearances with some greats. I love this song when Springsteen does it, but Florence and Kid Harpoon have something here.

5. The Cave by Mumford and Sons
This was the first Mumford and Sons song I heard. I don't know that I would have pursued them as voraciously as I did if I had heard any of their other songs first. This isn't anyone else's favorite Mumford song, and I don't understand why. I adore everything about it.

6. Dancing Virginia by Jump! Little Children
One of the biggest disappointments of my musical life is that Jump! Little Children disbanded. They were my mom's favorite band first; one of the first real bonding experiences of my teenage years with her - you know, when I first started thinking about my mom as another person instead of just my mom - was when she took me to a JLC show with her. This song is off the Licorice Tea Demos album, which has a more bluegrass feel to it than their later stuff. One of my favorite things about JLC was the fact that they weren't afraid to... not sound like themselves. They went where their musical ability would take them, which was just about everywhere.

7. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place by Katrina and the Waves
Here's my oddball. I totally adore this song. It's off the China Beach soundtrack, which is now out of print, and was never released as a single. I had to hunt it down, and finally found it in the collection of a China Beach lesbian fan fiction writer, who luckily was very friendly.

8. Won't Back Down by Eminem (ft. Pink)
I've always liked Eminem musically - at least, I've always liked the way he sounded. I really like the fact that he seems to have matured as a lyrical artist, and I don't have to ignore what he's saying in order to enjoy the music. 'Recovery' features collaborations with some fantastic artists, Pink being a prime example.

9. The Arrival by Zack Hemsey
If you haven't heard of Zack Hemsey, you should really do something about that. This is the first song off the album 'Empty Room,' which is one of my favorite things of all time: a concept album. That is, an album that tells a story as a whole. 'Desperado' by the Eagles is a concept album. I think this song packs a punch all by itself, though, which is the earmark of a well-done concept album - i.e. 'Tequila Sunrise' is a great song, even when it isn't following 'Out Of Control.'

10. Mykonos by Fleet Foxes (album version)
This is the most recent addition to the 'can't live without it' arsenal. I just discovered Fleet Foxes and I don't know much about them, but I'm looking forward to more from them because their songwriting skills are exceptional.

11. Swimming Pools by Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
I think 'Thao and the Get Down Stay Down' is one of the best names for a band ever. It's the kind of thing where I wish they had never thought of it, so I could think of it. But then I remember I'm probably never going to be in a band, and Thao makes good music, so I'm not bitter. 'Pear Blossom Motel' is totally taken, though. If I ever start a band, that's what it's going to be and you can't have it, super-talented and more-motivated person who happens to be reading my blog.

12. I Am The Boy For You by Astrid Williamson
It was a toss-up between this song and 'Hozanna,' but obviously this is a better song. I've just been avoiding it lately for other reasons, and I can't let those reasons dictate my musical preferences. Good music is good music. This is a great song. Astrid Williamson should make more like it (because - and don't tell her I said so - the rest of the album isn't nearly up to par with this one).

13. Rolling in the Deep by Vicci Martinez (Adele cover)
I realize this choice will garner controversy. Adele wrote this song, Adele is amazing, etc. But you know what? I love the song, and I love this version of it. Vicci's voice makes it rawer and more intimate, more plaintive and less self-assured. So that's why I put this one on the mix - even though I actually have 6 versions of this song. The only songs I have more covers of are 'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen and 'Bad Romance' by Lady Gaga.

14. Hurricane Drunk by Florence + The Machine
I broke the rules. I repeated an artist. I tried - really, really tried - to choose between this and the Springsteen cover, and I just couldn't. This song is me. I don't know how to explain it any better. A mixtape of my favorite songs wouldn't be honest without it.

15. World Town by M.I.A.
I think M.I.A. is a genius. She opened the door to Bollywood for me by seamlessly fusing hip-hop and Bollywood influences, and she's so fearlessly experimental musically. She's my angry music, she's my thinking music, she's my workout music... there are very few situations that I can't fit M.I.A. into. I always find myself returning to 'World Town' as my favorite song. I don't really know why. It just is.

16. 20 Years by The Civil Wars
When I saw this on the final track listing, I thought to myself, "There's no way that transition is going to work." But it inexplicably does. The Civil Wars are a recent obsession. I'm a sucker for good harmonies, and man, do they deliver.

17. Hair by Lady Gaga
I love Gaga. It's an important thing to know about me. She's everything I love about pop and dance music, and she's utterly fearless. Yes, she's extreme, and possibly legitimately insane, but I think the world needs a Gaga, so the rest of us seem normal.

18. Dance or Die by Janelle Monae (ft. Saul Williams)
Another concept album - the ArchAndroid. Janelle Monae is more than a little David Bowie and also more than a little talented. I hope she doesn't get refined out of existence.

19. Everybody Lay Down by Pat Benatar
In case you were worried about my classic rock roots. I've got 'em. My high school graduation present was tickets to see Pat Benatar live, and I'm still waiting for another artist to match her live. Lissie came awfully damn close, but Pat is the queen.

20. Shampain by Marina and the Diamonds
I think I've written about Marina on here before. I had a hard time choosing between this song and 'I Am Not A Robot' but finally I decided that this one fit better here. Also in this video she's really sparkly, and if you do like you should and go YouTube this song, you'll be treated to something sparkly. I like that notion.

21. I'mma Shine by YoungBloodZ
This song will get me moving when no other song will. I can't seem to find anything else by this artist - the song is off the Step Up 3 soundtrack. Awful, stunted movie, but amazing soundtrack. Much like The Legend of Billie Jean. Ever heard Pat Benatar's 'Invincible' off that album? Great song. Watching the movie is like when you have a splitting headache but have to balance your checkbook. It's hard to focus and you just want to close your eyes.

So there you go. The English Major's Favorite Songs, Annotated. I'm aware that it's an extremely odd mix of genres, but there you are.

A glaring omission in the lineup: There's no Bollywood here. I listen to a lot of Bollywood, but honestly the reason there's none on here was entirely practical. Bollywood songs are like three times longer than average. I was trying to fit this playlist onto one cd.

This song was cut at the last minute, because I needed to cut one song, and it didn't quite fit anywhere. So I'll let you have it here, because I really do love it.