Monday, February 28, 2011

Here's your one chance, Fancy.

It is to my eternal dismay that I don't like the Glee version of 'Take Me Or Leave Me' nearly as much as the original. Lea Michele can BELT. It's her only redeeming quality as a human being. What the hell is she doing there? She didn't even manage to pack half the attitude of Idina into it, and I hear she's diva enough for three of them.

I'm musing about Bucket Lists today. Superficially, I like the idea - a list of things to do before you kick the bucket. Sounds good, right? I like lists. I make them all the time.

But every time I sit down with the intention of writing a Bucket List for myself, I get about three or four items in, and then I get stuck. This puzzles me. I'm not boring, nor do I lack ambition. I clearly have goals in life and should be able to articulate them.

Today I realized that it has nothing to do with a lack of things I want to do before I die. It has to do with the fact that, by putting them down on paper, I feel I am essentially saying, "I have to do this, or I have Failed At Life."

'25 Before 25' or '50 Before 50' are also lists you see a lot. It's easier to illustrate the point with them - let's say I write down 25 things to do before I turn 25.

If I reach my 25th birthday and still haven't done something on the list, then it's like a big shadow on my quarter-century birthday. Maybe, in between writing the list and turning 25, amazing, wonderful, miraculous things happened to me that I never could have anticipated, and those things derailed me. Maybe I put 'go to Europe' on my list, and had every intention of doing so, but I wound up getting a really great job that kept me from going. Rather than celebrate the fact that I got a job like a mother-f**cking adult and can dive face-first into this cookie cake that I could afford to buy for myself, I'll be sulking about the fact that I didn't make it to Europe. Nothing ruins cookie cake like the salt of your own tears.

I'd like to run Boston once in my life. But if it never happens, it won't be from lack of effort. I won't be able to say I've failed at life because, for whatever reason, I couldn't get into one race.

So writing 'Run Boston' on my Bucket List isn't going to work. Neither is 'Publish a Book' because if I never get published, it's not my fault. I can't make people in the publishing world like me if they're not going to like me, and I can't make myself run any faster than my body has potential for running, and I can't set goals for my life that my life doesn't have room for achieving.

This is ALWAYS the song of the day, you just don't realize it.

This song hangs out in my head so often it might as well just pay rent. I have no problem with this, except for the fact that it also has a dance. And having watched YouTube videos of the dance, when the song is in my head, the urge to dance is there, as well.

I can't dance. Like, at all.

I have this theory that it's because in my formative movement years - about age 10 onwards, when puberty is kicking your body out in all kinds of directions and you have to figure out how to walk again - I was in Taekwondo.

In Taekwondo, I was taught pattern work, which when done at full speed, looks like a kind of dance. But it's not, because you don't really flow from move to move. You do the move, you hold - "Just long enough for someone to take your picture," my teacher would say - and then you do the next move. I don't have flow because I never really had to learn to string everything together. Dancing is about flow, and your whole body working in concert, and I never learned how to do that.

When I dance, I look like either a marionette with half the strings cut, or a sleepy koala that was just given a shot of espresso. It depends on the music.

I'd still like to learn the Canadian Stomp some day.

It occurs to me, belatedly, that this is not just my perpetual ear worm - it's also the Wife of Bath's theme song. You know, if the Wife of Bath was Canadian and in possession of a pair of stompin' cowboy boots.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"I knew he was a virgin because I could smell the fear on him."

Sometimes the song of the day is easy, because I wake up with it in my head, and there it stays all day. So here's Sara Bareilles performing 'King of Anything' live for I have a weakness for live performance and a cappella work. I think autotune is the enemy.

Lady Gaga's video for 'Born This Way' premieres tomorrow. You might not be able to reach me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Saturday

The Trivia Master didn't do Happy Friday this week, so I didn't get my classic rock fix. Here's a little bit for you. Take it. It's good for you.

"18 and Life" by Skid Row. If you don't know who Skid Row is, I feel sorry for you. The 80s never should have ended. I was born just a little bit too late to enjoy them.

"I don't do burlesque on a school night."

While The Librarian plays with Noise Putty and Sonny Seiler delivers his closing statement in Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil, I thought I'd sit down and ramble all about some of my Favorite Things.

It's Saturday afternoon, see, and that's one of my Favorite Things. After my long run, after breakfast with the group, after a hot shower, flop down on the couch with Netflix and my sketchpad, or maybe a book, and The Librarian and I watch the cats do stuff. It's hard to focus on a Saturday afternoon. That's one of the things I like about them. Today I drew a picture of a circus train spiraling up to the sun. It's not very good, but that's ok.

The Trivia Master and I did twelve miles in an hour and thirty-seven minutes - and we were the slow group. I was hurting from hockey - but I played pretty well last night! I really feel like I know what I'm doing most of the time, even if I can't always do what I'm supposed to be doing. It's hard on my legs but I have to believe I'll get used to it. The one shadow on training for my marathon in the fall is that I'll have to drop hockey unless I really do get used to it. No way could I have run up with the rest of the group. They had to be running under an eight minute mile pace for a good bit of it and they ran at least four miles more than I did.

No hockey next week, though, so I might be able to run thirteen or fourteen and feel pretty good the whole time.

We went out for breakfast after, as we do. It was more like lunch, since it was 11, but we went to a place that serves their whole menu all day. I have an instinctive liking for a place where you can get pancakes and fried okra at the same time. Not that I'd want to do that - waffles and okra, maybe - but I could. I had scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and corn pancakes. I ordinarily don't care for pancakes. I think that they're just waffles lost in translation. But these were corn pancakes, which means like a combo of a sweet cornbread with corn bits in it and a pancake. Yum, for reals. That, and coffee, and you've got a happy English Major.

The Librarian and I stopped at Target after - another of my Favorite Things - and I got a dress, possibly for The Girl Who Says Fuck A Lot's wedding. I grabbed a pair of little boy's skinny corduroys but apparently little boys don't have thighs, and I can't bend my knees in them, so I've got to go get a bigger size. Bah humbug. But once they fit, I can wear them tucked inside my boots, which are yet another Favorite Thing, one that all three pairs of my wide legged jeans can't show off. I can't wear womens' skinny jeans because my calves are too big and I can't get them on - how funny is that?

Then for a while I was being used as a nap spot and watching the Narnian Cat go insane because someone wrote on his paw with scented marker, which means that now he thinks he's made of food.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I refuse to be that predictable.

"Crazy" by German house collaboration Milk & Sugar, featuring Lady Chann and Ayak.

Otherwise known as, "Damn, that lady is rockin' that fedora."

The Second Heart Sound

Today I got a new hat, and a flu shot. My grandma knitted me the hat. It looks like this:

The woman who gave me the flu shot panicked at how much bleeding I did, so I decided that called for a Cadbury Creme egg. Every year I forget how delicious those things are, and then I remember and spend the rest of the season swooning and pretending that they have a lot more calories than the 150 they do, so I feel like I can't possibly fit them into my diet. But God, they're yummy.

Cadbury chocolate is my favorite crap chocolate. I understand that it's mostly wax and not good for you like dark chocolate is, but it's a kind of deliciousness that sometimes you just want to cram in your face. It didn't fix my arm - it still hurts like it got punched by a freight train. A freight train with arms. And hands. But for a few short, blissful seconds, I was in Cadbury Creme heaven.

Every time I watch Antiques Roadshow, I think about how unfortunate it is that the boring host's name is Mark Wahlberg - he's like Marky Mark if Marky Mark interrupted my Antiques Roadshow to talk about boring things in museums. (I hate when they do that. Why can't they just do an hour of straight appraisals?) I wonder how much flak he gets for his name, and how much he hates the fact that a kid who jumped around stage in tighty-whiteys made his perfectly normal name a really bad one to have in show business.

Speaking of Marky Mark, does anyone else wish that he and the Funky Bunch would put together a reunion tour? I like it when punky white boys try to rap. Me and Vanilla Ice? I'm just waiting for that to come up some karaoke night. Once upon a time, I worked really hard to learn all those words. Stop, collaborate and listen, baby.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'd rather be working for a paycheck.

The song of the day is brought to you by The Librarian - I wanted to post Vienna Teng's Antebellum, but she never made a music video for it and all the live version are lame. Take my advice and go find that song, but watch this video first.

Bright Eyes' 'First Day of My Life'. Super cute. Shut up super cute.

Tell the sun not to shine, not to get up this time.

I have a collection of coffee mugs. There's a Canterbury mug, and a Wicked: The Musical mug, and Rent, and one with a handle like brass knuckles, and a Car Talk mug, and one that just says, 'The Love Mug.'

I only ever drink out of one mug at a time, true. But I collect them with the vague notion of one day having a home and drinking a lot of hot beverages in that home. I'll have a writing studio, maybe, with its own coffeemaker and mugs lined up on a shelf along with several varieties of coffee bean while I sit around in my pajamas all day, busily making a living. People will come to interview me and mention in the article all my interesting, unique coffee mugs and how they are windows to the interesting, eclectic nature of my soul.

I like to dream.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good ideas I have had: 'Put the Thin Mints in the freezer.'

I got one of my exams back, and I was reading over my essay, and I came to this section:
"To please the character of Lord Henry, I'll insert an aphorism here:"
And that was when I realized that my essay was a pretentious bastard. Luckily it was on Oscar Wilde, so it probably just came across as thematic.

I'm developing a theory that Girl Scout Cookies are actually part of some secret plot by the Girl Scouts to take over the world and make us all their macramé-braiding slaves. I think I could probably eat a whole box of Thin Mints in one day if I didn't restrict myself to one serving size at a time, and since you can only get them once a year, for the other 364 days I'm a slobbering idiot jonesing for my crispy, minty, chocolaty fix. It's evil, I tell you. Deliciously, deliciously evil.

And I'm not even talking to the box of 'Lemonades' I was bullied into buying. I wanted my lemon creme sandwich cookies, but was informed that those no longer existed, and I had to have these instead. I'm suspicious of them and they thus far remain unopened. I mean, they have lemon slices stamped on them. It doesn't seem right.

They stopped making these square cookies with animals on them that were dipped in fudge on one side, and this is truly tragic. I wanted them. I wanted to nibble all around the edges and then try to cut out the giraffes with my teeth and lord them over regular animal crackers. (Which everyone knows are really cookies so why perpetuate the lies? I'm suddenly nostalgic for those little animals covered in white frosting and sprinkles. Do they call those 'crackers' too?)

According to my NYTimes feed, it's possible that pretty soon I'll be one step further away from being a second class citizen. That's exciting, and would merit a lot more discussion from me, but I have Thin Mints, which thanks to my brilliant notion of sticking them in the freezer, are no longer melting in the bipolar climate control of my dormitory.

See, it's not like I want to get married. It's that I don't like being told that I can't get married, like I can't serve openly in the military. It's someone else telling me that I'm not good enough.

You know what would be great? Thin Mint ice cream sandwiches.

Is anything better?

I love the Cranberries. I have since I can remember, probably since before I was old enough to really understand them.

And yet, until last year, no one had ever told me that Dolores O'Riordan had done solo work after they went on hiatus in 2003. I find this unbelievably tragic. I mean, I could have been musically stalking her all this time.

Here's 'When We Were Young,' off of Are You Listening?, her debut solo album, released in 2007. I may not have been listening then, but I'm certainly making up for it now.

The Cranberries are now reformed, and were on tour in Europe, but they cancelled a bunch of dates due to Dolores having laryngitis. Which is a pretty damn good reason, given the kind of gymnastics she can put her throat through.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm drawing clowns and writing dialogue.

Strange things happen with my stories sometimes.

A satirical dark comedy about straightforward ghost hunters turns into a serious dark story with comedic undertones that grapples with complex issues of nonlinear time and multiple universe theories. A bit character who sells rootwork supplies to one of the central characters becomes a romantic entanglement and a major plot mover. A character who was supposed to be a straightforward, normal college kid with a normal life becomes a former foster kid whose adoptive parents died and whose father is in jail for kidnapping her when she was eight.

I mean, it's not remotely the same story it started out being. These are not the same people.

To illustrate this, here's a conversation between Eliot Haskell and Mahomet Veilleux:
"Who's Ellie?"
"Angel-maker what was, cher."
"Angel... maker?"
"Jah. The old one. Come before yours."
"You mean Walker?"
"Jah. Angel-maker, you gots to call her, you want them to understand who you talking about."
"Them? What are you talking about? I'm just a driver, dude."
"Neh. You en't listening. Angel-maker pick you. You with her."
"So what does that make me?"
"Make you my angel, mon cher."
"See, I knew you were just trying to get into my pants."

Two months ago, Eliot and Mahomet - whose name used to be Jimmy - would never have even thought about having this conversation. There was no such woman as Ellie, and none of this angel-maker shit. I mean, Jimmy used to be from Flagstaff.

I sometimes think being a fiction writer is like having a very focused form of schizophrenia.

Like Kirk in Wrath of Khan.

Fucking Perfect by P!nk.

Video featuring Tina Majorino, who I've loved since she played Mac on Veronica Mars. It pretty much made me want to cry, just like the scene in Veronica Mars when Veronica finds Mac in the corner of the hotel room, wrapped in a sheet, and all she can say is, "Why did he do that?"

Oh, Mac.

One day I'll get The Librarian to finish watching Veronica Mars, and then I won't have to worry about spoilers anymore.

"If I tell you there's cheese on the mountain, you get yourself some crackers, mmk?"

So, I'm walking back from the Caf, eating a granny smith apple and it occurs to me that I really wish you could buy Cheetos powder.

Just the powder. In a little tin. And then you could just stick your fingers in it and lick them, and have the aspect of the Cheetos experience you really enjoy. Also you could use it as a condiment on all sorts of things. I mean, I'd make Cheetos Mac and Cheese. Chester-fy my pizza. It would make mashed potatoes all kinds of more interesting. They could even sell the powder for the Flamin' Hot kind. I love those.

It also occurred to me today that I need to learn to say, out loud and to other people, when I'm in a bad mood, rather than just try and force myself to act normally, and end up exploding into this brutally mean Tasmanian Devil style temper tantrum that culminates in me sitting in a heap on the floor and wailing, "Why am I such an aaawwwwffffuuuuullll person? Whhhhhy?" And then I spend the rest of the night sitting in the dark in my Snuggie, reading PWP fan fiction and thinking about how for sure no one likes me now.

I have an assertiveness problem - when I first started running and I hadn't figured out how to eat and I would have to put something in my face every two or three hours, I would literally almost faint before I would say something. I need to learn how to say to my mom, for instance, that I don't feel like talking to her about the Dharma Drama of the Week, because my tattoo hurts and I'm tired for no reason and I just wanna stream old episodes of Antiques Roadshow and read Christopher Moore.

Life would be easier if we all had indicator lights like cars. Oil low. Engine overheating. Check engine. And then we could just look at each others' panels and know, oh, okay. She didn't snap at me because my RPMs are too high - she needs to check her tire pressure. She didn't have her routine maintenance done even though her sticker clearly indicates that she should have about 2,000 miles ago.

I went to the gym to try and sweat it out, but they booted me off the treadmill after 34 minutes so that a girl wearing hot pink booty shorts over baggy black sweatpants could walk on it. I'm sorry, and I preface this by reminding you that I've already admitted I was in a bad mood, but how is a leisurely amble in place at all comparable to an 8:30 paced runner who had been planning on going for another 26 minutes? If I'd known they were gonna kick me off after 30 instead of the usual 60 - some baloney about peak hours - I would have gone faster and made it a tempo. She could have gone for that walk outside. I'm working here.

See? Needle just spiked into the red. Gotta roll down the windows and turn on the heat, because I can't do anything about the traffic, and I don't want to bust my radiator.

What I mean to say is, time to watch Antiques Roadshow. Peace, y'all.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Orphan Snippets

Found an old notebook with snips from a story I don't remember enough to pick up again. I think they're kinda funny and I want to use the notebook for something else, so here they are.

"A lot of the people on Earth didn't take care of their bodies, even though they knew how. This made little sense because, so far as they knew, they only had the one body. Ninety-two at least had the satisfaction of knowing that she would be removed from the soft tissue pretending to be a human brain and resume her normal existence. She still took care of the body. She doubted she would be able to requisition another one."

"Ninety-two's species communicated by twitching their phylla and emitting bursts of ultraviolet light. Humans did not have phylla or emit ultraviolet light.

There was no word for Ninety-two's species. The name of her species was one twitch and two long bursts. It would therefore have been hard to explain their current failure to communicate to Pedro."

"'Do you ever think about having kids?' Pedro asked, his face sticking to the hollow between Ninety-two's breasts.

Ninety-two, human brain running with all kinds of interesting chemicals, almost told him about the forty-seven offspring registered under her collective's name, but at the last second remembered he was talking about tiny, pink humans she would be required to incubate in her abdomen.

'No,' she said."

Fortune Cookies are not food.

I tattoo really well.

It's not really something I can control, I know, and therefore not something I should really brag about. But I really, actually enjoy 90% of the experience of getting a tattoo. Sometimes it hurts a bit too much. But in general it's just a little pain, and a pretty good nap, and a satisfying end result.

I finally got my tattoo finished today, is what I'm rambling about. So ends the era of The Unfinished Tattoo Project. Higher quality images than I'm currently able to provide will be posted later, so just wait till then.

I stopped at Walgreens on the way there, to get my trusty A+D, and a container of Aquaphor because it's what the Librarian used to fantastic results on HER tattoo, and also a snack of some sort, which ended up being Pretzel M+Ms.

This was at the register:
So now I'm just going to walk around saying, "Walgreens... there's a way." And cracking myself up. Everyone is going to think I'm insane - except those who read this. So it's like a test. Haha.

I really didn't have that much left on the tattoo, so I'm hoping that it won't be so bad while healing that I have to modify my running schedule. When I first got it done, 5 hours of black outline and shading, I had to switch to biking for like 4 days because the impact of run shifted the entire painful healing wound up... and then down. It was impossible.

Last time, colors and a bit of shading, wasn't so bad. Two days off just to be safe. This time was just colors. I'm hoping I'll be able to jog real easy tomorrow. If not, hey. I've got a student ID and it gives me free access to the Rec Center any time I want.

No one was there with me this time, so Chris and I talked. About death. Seriously. We meandered from times we almost died (he had a few more than me, because saying I live dangerously is like saying Slim Jenkins is the feline equivalent of Stephen Hawking), to hunting and the various ethical/moral positions on it, to sick pets... basically we just chatted about death while he scrubbed shader needles into my skin. It was the kind of thing that, even while it's happening, you know you need to write into a book later.

Remember this?

I remember this.

I still freaking love this song. I dare you not to smile.

See? You couldn't do it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

She's just too legit to quit.

At the start of last spring's semester, I rediscovered MC Hammer's Too Legit To Quit. I played it all the time. I sang the chorus when walking to class. I was pretty much annoying, even to myself, much less to The Magpie, who was my roommate at the time.

And then, one day, I was telling her about an article I had read online about how M.I.A. was releasing a new album, despite the fact that she had said that she was retiring. (2010's Maya, well worth adding to your collection even though the video for 'Born Free' has been banned from YouTube, so you can't see it from me)

The Magpie was in the process of eating oatmeal. Spoon halfway to her mouth, she said, "I guess she's just too legit to quit."

The spoon clattered down into the bowl.

The Magpie covered her face with both hands.

"Oh, god," she moaned.

That was the first time I ever did my victory dance in public.

Yo body is there but mama, where yo brains at?

This fine Saturday brought to you by women's hockey tournaments and pinon coffee! The Librarian is playing at the Winter Warm-Up in Raleigh, and we stopped at Trader Joe's on the way back, and there it was, the New Mexican flag beaming at me.

I haven't had pinon coffee since that month I spent with my aunt in ABQ, and man, have I missed it. I could have eaten it with a spoon when I peeled off the foil and the smell hit me. Heaven.

I was thinking on the drive back that one of the things I really like about hockey is that the women who play it, you'd never know from looking at them. Mama P, for example - if I saw her walking down the street, I would never in a million years guess that she was hardcore about hockey. She looks like your typical suburban soccer mom. And then she puts on her gear and she's a hockey player.

It's different with running. I mean, you can look at a person and kind of know that they run. It's a difference in body composition and stride. But hockey players come in all shapes and strides.

I gotta go figure out something to eat. In about 3 hours, I'll be embarking on my first solo 13 miles. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Everything I love dies."

"Everything I love dies" is the name of a philosophy I've developed regarding my tastes in television shows. The way the world works, apparently, is that if a show comes out and I start watching it from the beginning, and love it, it will be canceled quickly, usually within one season.

'You're exaggerating,' you say. 'You're bitter about Firefly, like the rest of us, and being melodramatic to prove your point. We get it. Firefly should never have been canceled.'

It's true, I am bitter about Firefly. But I'm also bitter about Birds of Prey, and John Doe, and Commander In Chief, and Century City, and The Tick, and Fastlane, and Studio 60, and Middleman.

See? Everything I love dies.

Some would say that I just have bad taste. I will own that Birds of Prey had moments of truly terrible acting, but come on, Dina Meyer is hot, and you can only watch Super Troopers so many times. But those who dismiss my philosophy out of hand have clearly never seen Middleman. I loved it more than I have loved any other television show in my life. More than Firefly. More than Xena: Warrior Princess. And everything I love dies, and sometimes I feel like weeping, alone, on the floor of my closet, that the 12 episodes of Middleman (which I purchased both on DVD and in iTunes) are all I will ever have of this unappreciated masterpiece of comedy.

Sometimes not even Lacey Thornfield, Confrontational Spoken Word Artist, dancing in her Yellow Teddy Suit can make it better.

But she can try.

Sure, she's a ruthless killer, but...

This struck me as a surprisingly sweet song for a woman who apparently killed a Muppet and is wearing its hide as some sort of... dress-overcoat-monster.

And I thought jeggings were a sorry fashion statement. At least they aren't made out of Big Bird's aunt Dorothy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 80s seem like a myth these days...

Oh, what? You knew it was coming.

Yeah, take that, Miley Cyrus.

Oh, what? You want some more? Think you can Party In The USA your way out of this lesson?


I have "Can't Live (If Living Is Without You)" stuck in my head.

But no worries - that's not going to be the song of the day. It's just to give you an idea of the kind of pressure I'm under while I write this. It's hard to think thoughts while Mariah Carey is belting in your ears.

My legs are sore from yesterday - The Librarian warned me the course we were running had lots of hills, but of course I was sitting at my desk at the time, and sitting at your desk makes all things seem just as easy. "Ten miles of hills - psh. I'm sitting still right now. How much harder can it be to run ten miles of hills below an 8:30 pace?" Because I'm a running asshole, even to myself. Tonight's run from the store is six miles, then tomorrow I'm not running at all (I'll probably go bike at the gym for a while), so I'm not terribly concerned about my quads. I'm more concerned as to whether or not my tights will be dry by the time I have to put them on again.

Today I wrote an essay contrasting the Man of Law's Prologue and Tale with the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, and their various messages about what makes a good marriage, and What Is A Good Wife, and What Do Women Want. My thesis was that Chaucer wrote these two entirely opposite viewpoints - give the women all the power versus give the women none of the power - to basically say, you know, "I don't know; do whatever the fuck works for you. Books can't tell you how to live, not even mine."

None of that means anything to any of you, but I was pretty proud of it, considering that I had to write it in 30 minutes in pen. Obviously I cleaned up my language for the professor. She has a doctorate, after all. Though she likes the Twilight movies, so it's hard to make that mean something. Today in American Lit, the girl next to me had a Twilight bookmark in her copy of Norton's Anthology, and Tedward's stupid eyes were watching me, I swear.

Anyone who uses a Twilight bookmark in Norton's Anthology is probably not going to be reading that anthology with much comprehension, in my opinion. It's like saying that Miley Cyrus is better than Cyndi Lauper. You can't have heard much Cyndi Lauper to make a statement like that.

Brom Bones wouldn't even need a pumpkin to drive Tedward's glittering buttocks out of Sleepy Hollow, 's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today's moment of truthiness

No matter what any bodybuilder, spokesperson, or nutritional supplement sales representative tells you, there is not a protein powder on the planet that will not eventually taste worse than ass to you.

Oh, some of them are sneaky. They will taste passably decent at first - perhaps even somewhat delicious. But those powders come in large tubs, my friends, and by the end of the tub, you will reach a point where you would rather lick your running shoes after a thirteen mile trail run in the Dog Days of Summer than chug one more scoop of that shit.

But sometimes you have to supplement. Especially when you're a vegetarian, and recovering from an injury, or trying to make your body keep up with an increase in activity by building more muscle, or haven't been able to get enough protein in your regular diet due to Circumstances Beyond Your Control. I know all the arguments about getting your nutrients from whole, real foods, and I try to do so whenever possible, but I repeat: sometimes you have to supplement.

I'm sitting here eating cinnamon dusted popcorn to get the taste of "Designer Whey French Vanilla" out of my mouth, trying really hard not to think about what happened to Lara Logan. I'm reading about this 85 year old man who survived in a ditch in the desert for 5 days instead. He drank windshield wiper fluid, filtered through a paper napkin, to survive. I hope I'm that MacGuyver when I'm 85. Though I also hope I do not get stuck in a ditch for 5 days when I'm 85.

It's so much easier to blame the victim than accept that sometimes really, really awful things happen because humanity sucks and it's all we can do to try and be good humans, singularly.

Not lost in translation.

French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux is absolutely mesmerizing, even if you don't speak Spanish like some English Majors. Thank the Librarian and her super-search skills for finding the translation below.

My sense of humor really is this nerdy.

My friend Mausers(1) made this for me. This was part of my 'summary and modernization of Beowulf, in an attempt to interest the morons in my class in the material' which I did last semester.

Nerds of a certain type will understand.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This is the future, maaaan.

I have musical crush on Bollywood. Not many people know that. Now you do.

Here is a fantastic example of the things happening to the genre these days, from superstar composer A.R. Rahman, who did the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack.

Something I should analyze more closely... the fact that I like myself better running than I do when I'm sitting still.

I mean, it's not that I *dislike* myself at any given moment. I just like the way I feel, as a whole community of atoms and DNA and body parts and grey matter, when all of us are concentrated on running. Running is a total body experience and there aren't many things that are like for me. It may come as a shock to you, but I tend to be a little ADD. Multi-tasking, they call it these days.

Like, I'm writing this, and listening to songs to figure out what to post to here today, and watching the clock because I have to leave here at about 4:30 to run 4 miles and be at The Librarian's house in time to catch a ride to track.

I'm not gonna be doing a track workout today, but I want to hang out with my running friends, who are doing track, so I'm running 4 miles before and I'll just tool around the track for at least 3 miles and then go to dinner with everybody. I'm holding myself back from speed work until I'm more used to skating. I don't think my legs can get used to both at once, as my knee injury can attest.

I don't understand what Glee's producers think Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" is about, but I'm pretty sure this is like in my Chaucer class, when I'm sitting there holding my breath trying not to blurt out, "SEX! Chaucer is talking about SEX!" and the Professor is like, "God, someone please say 'sex' so I don't have to," and everyone else in the class is like, "Um... the birds are chirping?"

Oh, good. Time to run!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Now every February...

That is all.

Cereal is awesome.

  • Most credit the idea of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal to Doctor John Harvey Kellogg, who fed baked wheat flakes to the inmates of his sanitarium in 1877 after accidentally letting a batch of wheat cereal soak too long and grow stale, but it was his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, who replicated the process with corn flour and marketed the process. The first Kellogg's Corn Flakes were sold in 1907.
  • The first boxed cereal was called Wheatena, sold in 1879. You can still buy it today.
  • Another first still available is Kix - Kid tested, Mother approved - which was the first puffed cereal.
  • The low point of cereal was in 1953, with the sale of Sugar Smacks, which were 56% sugar by volume.
  • I never put milk of any kind on cereal because I like the crunch. The Librarian has threatened to break up with me over dry Corn Flakes while we're trying to watch a movie.
  • I like eating breakfast in the cafeteria, because then I can mix my Apple Jacks with my Corn Flakes. I'm a heathen like that.
  • What I'm really trying to say here is:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Assholes

A couple of weeks ago, The Scapegoat was out on an evening solo run and fell, hurting his upper back and shoulder pretty badly. Today's long run was the first time he's run with us since. A bunch of us were pushing it near the end, and someone asked him how he's been healing. "Ok, I think," he replied. "I don't know - I'm testing it today."

I turned to The Mouth next to me and said, "Nothing like a 13 mile test."

"Yeah," he huffed. "We're assholes."

Today's course was full of hills. I wasn't sure how my knees would do - it's been a few days since they hurt, but then it had been two weeks since I'd attempted over 10 miles. But it was alright. Not easy, since my legs were tired from hockey the night before, but no specific pain (except for my ass when I fell on it... twice). My goal was to just finish the whole run, no matter the time, but 1:54 isn't bad for 13.1 miles.

I love my running group for being the kind of assholes that are always looking for more runs, harder runs, faster runs, better race times - even if they say they're looking for something else.

We went out for breakfast at Smith Street Diner after the run. God, I love toast.

Friday, February 11, 2011

White-knuckled for Lady Gaga

Newest single from Lady Gaga. It's been a long time since I remembered how much I adore her. I forget, you know - I get distracted, as I do, by other artists, new talent, shiny costumes. And then she releases something new, and I remember all over again.

Funny Fact: I have no fewer than 10 'Bad Romance' covers. The only song with more versions in my music collection is 'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen.

I have a love/hate relationship with Apple.

I love them. They hate me.

They make their beautiful and perfectly functional music playing devices, and I adore them to the point of wishing, on several occasions, to have their babies. (I imagine said children would look something like AstroBoy, except instead of flying off to solve save the world they would just download suitably dramatic music.)

And then I switch to Linux, and discover the joyous rapture of an OS that simply works - cleanly, simply, stably. And Apple, perhaps jealous of how sexy Linux looks with the lights on, says, "No can has."

I want my iTunes. I want my iPod support. Apple has already made a lot of money off of me, and will probably get more in the future (goddamn the sexiness of the iPad, taunting me, waving that lightweight, sexy, portable lingerie from the bedroom door of the Apple Store).

Why can't they just give me this one thing?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My mom sent me three texts telling me it was going to snow.

I think I should know how.

Yesterday, The Librarian and I had planned to run after she got off work.

"How far do you want to go?" she asked me. "I was thinking nine or ten at an easy pace."

"Yeah," I replied. "Nine or ten easy was what I was hoping for."

Well, ten miles at an average 8.18 pace later, I was left thinking about the effect that running with a partner or a group has on the pace - not just the effect on me, the effect on everyone. The idea of running with someone else used to scare me - what if they ran too fast, and I got embarrassingly left behind? What if they were too slow, and I didn't get in the workout I wanted?

When I met The Librarian, she was running in one direction with The Girl Who Says Fuck A Lot, and I was running in the opposite direction, by myself. They called out asking me if I wanted to join them, and I almost didn't because I was worried that they would be too fast for me. (That was my only reason. I wasn't worried about my safety because it was summer, they were in shorts and sports bras, and I was thinking that maybe I needed to try and get The Librarian's number anyways.)

They were faster than me - by almost thirty seconds. But it didn't matter. I kept up and didn't embarrass myself at all, and The Librarian and I traded e-mail addresses, go us.

Every time we go out running together, though, we end up flying along under an 8.30 pace. Not that we push it or are intentionally competitive, it just happens. These are usually great runs, when I'm hardly aware of how fast I'm going at all.

Running with someone is one of those experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything. Running is decidedly Not A Team Sport, but when you're with a partner or a group, there's something about it that is a team endeavor. You all get connected in some kind of bullshit metaphysical way.

Running blows my mind a lot anyways. I keep expecting the gloss of it to wear off, but this month makes it one year since I started running, and yesterday I almost turned to The Librarian while we were flying down Elm Street and blurted, "Isn't running awesome?"

I didn't because even in my own head it sounded annoying. My hands were cold and I was annoyed because the sidewalk wasn't flat and I was also thinking about how my feet felt and if I needed to put my insoles in my new shoes or if the factory arch support would be enough and my knee wasn't hurting but what if it started and, basically, there were a lot of reasons why running wasn't awesome. But none of them mattered. I was running, The Librarian was running beside me, and that was all.

For making it through this, here is Marina and the Diamonds covering a 3OH!3 song, "Starstruck," live at the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. I've had it stuck in my head all day, so now you can have it. And before you ask, no, I don't know what she's wearing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Morning Song

This is Christina Perri singing Bang Bang Bang, live off her Ocean Way Sessions EP.

I discovered Perri yesterday through an unlikely source - a guy from running group posted her video on his profile, prompting me to wonder if he had been hacked by someone who was insidiously posting soulful, slow break-up songs on his wall. I checked my wall but no one had posted any Christian pop songs, so I assumed my password was strong enough.

I really like her voice, and I also really like how sometimes she gets this look like, "Holy shit, there's MUSIC coming out of my FACE!" And pop culture needs more pretty girls with tattoos.

Obligatory Introduction

I'm 22 years old, and I'm the kind of English Major you don't like, the kind of runner you don't like, and the kind of foodie you don't like. I love Milton and Chaucer, I get sulky if I get less than 35 miles a week, and I almost never order straight off the menu. I'm also an out lesbian, a computer geek, and a Trekkie. I play ice hockey on Friday nights, and I have enough music to keep it playing for 40 days straight without repeats. All of this on the philosophy that, if I do what makes me happy, good things will follow.

It's worked pretty well so far. I'll let you know.