Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Future's So Bright... It Might Be SNL

 

Last week, Yahoo #2 rushed home from school.

 

"Mom!  Look in my backpack!  There's a paper for you to sign!  I need you to sign it so I can take it back to my teacher on Monday."

This is not typical behavior.  Normally, the kid forces his hurricane-self through the door, then throws this, that, and the backpack all around.  He has never, ever, in his sweet seven years, been the party to initiate the ritual of sign-the-paper.  It's usually me who tackles the paper-signing, and it's always a process.  Like, I'll need to grab a ladder to retrieve the backpack from the ceiling fan, because his latest tropical storm inception has spewed bits all about.  And the backpack bits ended up tangled about the ceiling fan.

So that's how it is normally.  The hurricane enters the house.  I go a-looking for where the backpack landed, pull the papers out of the backpack, and iron the papers out so that they can be read.

You can image my concern when the child entered the house, handed me the backpack, and with urgent alacrity, demanded that I sign "the blue paper."

I open the backpack.  I pull out the blue paper.  I iron it out.  I gasp in horror.

This blue paper is a permission slip for Yahoo #2 to perform in the school talent show.  Fun! I hear you say.  How cute! you sigh.  How very ambitious! you comment.  Mostly I agree with you.  But take a look at which talent (for he has many) the boy has chosen to tout:

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I put the paper down, and thought It's just a phase.  Ignore it and it'll go away.  It's something all boys go through at that age.

Monday morning rolls around, and we are packed up and ready for school.  The boys have their shoes on, backpacks are attached, and the dog is collared.  Just when we are walking out the door, Yahoo #2 panics.  "MOM!  My blue paper.  You gotta sign my blue paper so that I can give it to my teacher today!"

He didn't forget.

I signed the paper and handed it to his little joke-telling meat-hooks.

Today, I received confirmation that he did not forget to hand in this blue, permission-to-joke paper.  Yahoo #2 is officially on the talent show program, and he has officially declared his talent to be "jokes."

Do you have any idea what kind of jokes are told around here?!

This is a crisis.

Who knows, perhaps this is Yahoo #2's comedy debut.  And who knows, maybe one day he'll land himself a job at SNL with that Andy Samberg character.  And speaking of Andy Samberg, you mark my word.  One day, I don't know when, I will meet this Andy Samberg.  Some of you might get why it's important that I meet Andy Samberg.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Tune, vol 80 - Rapture

U2 is in town tonight.  I'm not going.  Nor do I wish I was going.  It's not that I don't like U2 – I'm rather fond of U2.  It's that I don't like stadiums.  I don't like sporting events in stadiums, and I expecially* don't like concerts in stadiums.  Hullo?  Can you say total and complete music distortion?
(* Expecially is a local portmanteau of extra + especially.  It will be used around here often.  Prolly as much as prolly.  Although it prolly isn't local.  Can anyone not local to the 'Tah verify that expecially is used outside of Utah?)

Originally I had planned to do some U2 songs.  But then the Rapture happened.  Or didn't happen.  Whatever.  Who on this planet can pass up a playlist-inspired happening like the Rapture?  Not I, said Rabid.  Not I.

So today, the songs are all about the Rapture.

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First, we must have some background.  Specifically, we must expose the source of all this Rapture stink.  It came from a Christian radio-show host by the name of Harold Camping.  Camping said he used math to predict that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011, (at 6:00pm your time!)  Here's Camping's logic (copy'd and paste'd from Wiki):
* The number five equals "atonement", the number ten equals "completeness", and the number seventeen equals "heaven".
* The number of days (as calculated below) between April 1, 33 AD and May 21, 2011 AD is 722,500: Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD. The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years. 
* If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar, as distinct from lunar, year), the result is 722,449. 
* The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days. 
* 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500. 
* (5 × 10 × 17) to the 2nd or (atonement × completeness × heaven) to the 2nd also equals 722,500. 
*Camping said that 5 × 10 × 17 is telling us a "story from the time Christ made payment for our sins until we're completely saved."[25]

Huh?

I majored in Math and I don't get that.  (Not really, I didn't major in Math, but I've always wanted to say that I majored in Math.  I suppose it's not too late to major in Math.  Maybe I should go back to school and major in Math.  After which I'll predict a Rapture of my own and be world-wide famous 'n stuff.)

Here's my own spin on this Rapture tom-foolery.  Camping is Christian, is he not?  Well, if you're Christian, then most likely you believe in the New Testament – specifically the book of Matthew.  In Matthew, Jesus talks to us about the time and place that he'll party with us again.  He said... "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." Matthew 24:36.

Hear that Camping?  Even Jesus has no clue when it's going to happen.  Only THE Father will know, so put yer math away.  Or don't.  I find it entertaining, actually.  He's since revised his date again.  Kind of like his initial date was in 1994, and when the Rapture didn't come then, he claimed a "mathematical error" and said it would be May 21, 2011.  The new-new (newest!) date is in October.  Which is all good, 'cause that'll give me some time to come up with more Rapture tunes.

On this last Rapture day of May 21, 2011, (we have so many Rapture days to choose from!) I was running a marathon.  At the start of most marathons, the marathon people will choose a kickin'-it send-off tune – you know, one to get the blood pumping and the runners ready for action.  The Ogden Marathon people chose R.E.M.'s End of the World as We Know It.  It was perfect.  Thought I'd start this little playlist there.


It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
Rapture – Blondie (My friend Miko suggested this one go on my playlist for Ogden.  That's where this playlist started, by the way.  Thank ya Miko!)
Rise Up – Diane Birch
I'll Fly Away – Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch
The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
The Final Countdown – Europe
Til the End of Time – Devotchka
Do You Believe In Rapture – Sonic Youth
My Mathematical Mind – Spoon
The Lucky Ones – Brendan James
If I Rise – Dido
Here Comes Your Man – Pixies
The End – The Doors




Monday, May 23, 2011

A 3:18 for Number 19


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Hillene, Randi, Rabid

I'm stewing over how to begin this post.  Not sure how to start it.  I don't want to brag, I don't want to boast, but seriously, I kill't the Ogden Marathon.  Kill't it!  I bent that race over and slapped it 'til it cried "UNCLE!"  And then after it cried "UNCLE!" I bent it over again.

Did I win?  Pfft... no.  Did I gain any sponsorships or notoriety?  Nope.  Did I take my age group?  Heaven's no... although if I was just 13 months older, I would have nailed Masters.

I'm just a plain Jane in comparison to the field.  But if you compare it to me, to my past experience and/or performances, I did pretty good.  A 3:18:53 for a spring marathon in the mountains isn't so shabby.  Last year I ran a 3:26.  Proper subtraction-math will let us all know that this year's performance was eight whole minutes faster than last year.  Eight minutes!

Remember that tweaking I talked about?  Yeah, I believe I now have proof that the tweaking worked!  Let's hear it for tweakers!

Before you get the run down of this-here run, let me tell you the story of the weekend.

I have this friend.  We'll call her Randi.  Randi is quite a catch-of-a-friend.  Hillene, Randi, and I decided to spend the weekend together.   Randi was all trained up and rearing to run.  We jumped in the car on Saturday morning, at 4:33am to be exact, and drove to catch the buses.  After about five minutes in the car, Randi, all heart-broken-like, says, "NO.... ! NO....! NO....!  Please.... You are kidding me."  She was on the verge of tears.  Hillene and I pulled out our consolation tones, "What?!  What?!  What?!"

"I brought two right shoes."

"NOOOOOO!"  It was collective angst at this point.  Then we all put on our problem-solving caps and went to work.

"I have an extra pair of shoes!"  said Hillene.  Then I said, "So do I!"

Hillene turned the car around and Randi ran in to fetch the extra shoes.  From the two extra pairs, she was able to find a pair that might work.  And work they did.  She ran an awesome race and qualified for Boston.  Again.  The shoes were a bit small, and she had a few blisters, but she was able to run.

Moral of the story?  I'm bringing an extra pair of shoes every time.

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Now let's have some race talk.  I really like the Ogden Marathon.  It's either number one or number two on my list of favorites.  First, I love Ogden.  I could seriously live in Ogden.  Ogden has personality, great eating, and Ogden Canyon.  That canyon has it all... mountains, rivers, lakes, ski resorts... everything.  It's one of the most beautiful places in the world, and a marathon runs right down it.  I could seriously live in Ogden.  I think I'd live in Farr West with the Farr-mers though.  That's close enough to O-Town, right?  Or Eden!  I could really live in Eden, but it's a mountain town at the base of ski resorts and therefore costly.

Anyway,  the last two Ogdens (2009 and 2010) have been a disaster.  I started too fast.  This is a serious problem in marathon running.  If one starts out too fast, they will bonk early.  'Tis the reason that people use that "marathon" metaphor time and time again. One must pace oneself in order to finish strongly.

So this year, I took my own advice.  I kept my sites on mile 17.5.  I reigned in the efforts until this mile 17.5.  I ran to comfort, then purposely backed off.  When mile 17.5 came into view  – and specifically, the downhill part of the course – I put a smile on my face and let go.  Zoom!  From there, I picked off people one at a time.  No one passed me after mile 17.  Cool, right?  Cool!

At mile 19 I walked for about 10 seconds – long enough to pop two Excedrin, which honestly, has become one of the greatest race strategies, like, ever.  Try it some time.  At mile 19, pop yourself two Excedrin and feel what happens.  It's miraculous.  One word of caution, however: Do not... I mean, DO NOT try this the first time on a race.  Make sure you use a couple of Excedrin on a training run before trying it in a race.

So I zoomed down the Ogden Canyon, all smiley and stuff, and then I hopped on the river trail, all smiley and stuff, and then turned on to Grant Avenue for the last mile, still all smiley and stuff.  The last mile hurt a bit, (the last mile of any 26.2 always hurts for some reason.) I finished with vigor, then bent over and began to bawl.

I love to run.  Know that?  I truly love to run.  And I'm grateful that I can run.

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Bus ride up... Randi, Rabid

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Same bus ride, Docteur Scott (the resident Frenchman) and Hillene

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Waiting by the fire.  With a tube of Dave's Zabriskie's signature lube.

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That's a yawn, not a yell.  Just to clarify.

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Look Ma, no rain clouds!

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Found Tina at the finish!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Random Thoughtomizing

I am packed and ready.  Ready for my girlie friends to fetch me so as to drive to our Marathon party.  We're heading to "O" town, which is what Ogdenites call Ogden.  I think.  Anyway, I figured I'd use this extra time to do some random thoughtomizing.

- I'm listening to Elton John.  Mr. John has some good pre-marathon tunes.  I had some Korn going earlier, but have found that Korn is a little hard on the pre-race jitters.  Pre-race tunes should be calm and energizing, not anxious and angry.

- Tomorrow is the pre-ordained and determined apocalypse.  (Who started that anyways?  I'm too lazy to research this now.)  I'm running a marathon.  Either I'll die running or I'll be wishing I would die.  Either way, IT'S GONNA BE AWESOME!

- Yahoo #1 is ten now.  We painted his room and bought him a new bed to celebrate.  Turns out that fresh paint and a new bed are just what a ten year old wants.  He loved it.  He's in that strange in-between stage right now.  Too old for young stuff, too young for old stuff.  Heck, I know just how he feels!  Seems I've been too old and too young my whole life!  I'd post photos for ya'll but then I'd have to be placed in the "Mommy Blog" category – which comes with bragging about your decorating prowess.

- On several occasions, I've thanked the Above and Beyond that the facebook wasn't around when I was dating.  Don't you think it's awkward?  You post photos of you and whoever smooching and stuff, only to break up and have to remove all those photos.  And then, what do you do about all those "tagged" photos that belong to other people?  I guess you can go around untagging yourself, but that's quite a process.  Gone are the days where you say "Sianara sweetheart.  I'm over you" and that's just it.  No, you have to run about doing cleanup.  And then a friend of a friend sees you smooching with a new whoever, then it gets back to your old whoever, and then the old whoever gets jealous, and starts publicly bad-mouthing you on their facebok.  MESS-Y.

- Of course, I guess that "in a relationship" business is a good way to get that commitment ball rolling.  Remember when you weren't sure how "serious" that other whoever was?  Are we exclusive?  Or aren't we exclusive?  That was awkward.  I guess facebook has unawkwardized the are-we-exclusive process by that cute little relationship status situation.  It's like a billboard though... someone changes their status to "...in a relationship with..." and suddenly all of your friends know.

- If I had it to do over again, Spouse and me would get married, then not tell anyone.  We could then just change our relationship status on the facebook to "... Married to..." and then everyone would know!  That would be funny.  'Course Spouse would have to use his real name in order to pull this off correctly.

- Did you see Social Network?  I loved... lurved... LOVED that movie.  I couldn't decide if it's because I've spent all of my working years in software, or because I love geeks (even married one,) or is it because of Jesse Eisenberg.  Either of all those ways, it was a great show.  Watched it three times in a row.

- The stalking possibilities for the facebook are endless.  For someone as inherently snoopy as I am, facebook is a frickin' dream come true.  Oh the stuff you can find!  Oh the stuff you can discover!  Just last month, in fact, I found out that Jimmy got married again.  Married!  To a nice young girl half his age.  I sure hope it works out.  I'm happy for the newlyweds. The more wives I can get between him and me, the better.  Bring on the wives!

- Elton John was too mellow.  Switched the tunes to shuffle.  Currently on some Peter Gabriel.

- Did I ever tell you about my Green Smoothie Experiment?  Well, Hillene is doing this Green Smoothie thing... where you drink a litter of this green smoothie concoction (1/3 water, 1/3 greens, 1/3 fruit.)  I told her I'd try it for a month – figured it can't hurt, right?  Well it did hurt.  For the first two weeks, my digestive tract threw a full-scale temper-tantrum, after which I put on six pounds.  Six pounds!  Can you believe that?  I felt sluggish and wanted to sleep all the time.  My intestines felt like they were full of goo all the time (prolly were full of goo all the time.)  Ask Spouse.  It was weird.  Most people have opposite effects on this green smoothie diet.  I figure I eat plenty of greens as it is, so switching to a green drink is not necessarily going to give me more energy.  If I was in the habit of crap-loading (instead of carb-loading he-he), then perhaps a green smoothie a day would cure all my ailments, like warts, and dry skin, and anxiety, and the growth I have on my left tentacle.  I dropped, like, four pounds the first week I quit drinking 'em.

- I got a package in the mail the other day from Jessica.  She had sent me this:

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You know what's on each of every one of them CDs?  MOTH PODCASTS!  Oh be still my heart, I'm so excited.  Gonna listen to them all.  The MOTH is a series where real people get on stage, without notes, and tell true stories.  It's fascinating!  Most of these people are somewhat-famous.  Some of the stories are funny, some are sad, some have suspense, while others scare the dickins right out of you!

- These MOTH podcasts remind me of going skiing with my dad when I was a kid.  We used to listen to a radio program called, "Mystery Science Theatre" during the drive home.  I'd sit next to him, all wide-eyed and such, while I had the crap scared out of me.  A snow-covered road and fog never helped.

- Check out the forecast for Ogden tomorrow.  Holy smokes, the angels are going to part the clouds and allow the sun to peek in for a bit.  I'm tickled pink over this!

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- In a prayer last night, Spouse said, "We grateful that things are going so well for us."  He's right.  Things are going well for us.  I'm grateful too.

I hope things are going well for you.  For reals and sincerely.






Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ordeal by Hunger

Me:  "What's the deal with my Donner party obsession?"

Spouse:  "I don't think you're obsessed with the Donner party.  I think you're obsessed with cannibalism."

It's true.  I have a thing for cannibalism.  I feel that cannibalism is a natural extension of the carnivore. Vegetarians can broaden their culinary horizons by eating meat, while we meat eaters must turn to people.  It's just the way it is.

Before I continue, let me just state for the record that as of May 18th, 2011, and to my knowledge, I have never eaten a person  – at least not in the institution of chew, swallow, and digest (grin.)  I find the premise of eating people fascinating, in much the same way that I find people who raise their own beef fascinating. It's always seemed strange that you'd give the family pet a name, slaughter it, then say graces and whatnot just before feasting.  "Dear Lord, we thank thee for Bessie."  See?  Weird.

Would I? Could I? Raise my own meat?  I think I could.  And you can bet a rear flank that I'd be perversely irreverent about the whole ordeal.  (I'm also perversely irreverent about most things, so please, my dear vedgies, don't take this personally.)

Care for an example of my perverse irreverence?  Yes?  Oh goodie!  I have a catalog of cannibal jokes that I'd like to share before embarking on this, my latest book report.  (This is a book report you know, and a good one, so don't go away just yet.)

  • If a cannibal eats a Chinese guy... is he hungry a half hour later?
  • Why don't cannibals eat divorced women?  Because they're very bitter.
  • What's a cannibal's favorite type of TV show?  A celebrity roast.
  • Why do cannibals prefer eating readers to writers?  Because writers cramp, but readers digest.
  • Where do cannibals shop for fine furniture?  Eatin' Allens.
  • What do cannibals eat for dessert?  Chocolate covered aunts.
  • What do cannibals make out of politicians?  Bologna sandwiches.
  • Did you hear about the cannibal that was expelled for buttering up his teacher?
Had enough?  Yes?  No?

I suppose my preoccupation with cannibalism is mostly a preoccupation with survival.  How far will we go to save our own lives?  At what lengths will we extend taboo, pain, and humiliation to keep the ticker ticking...?  Aron Ralston (loved 127 Hours!) amputated his own arm... a plane-crashed rugby team resorted to eating team members in order to live (read that story!)... and the Donner Party consumed each other when trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of 1846-1847.

(Oh and Sweeney Todd (love that show!) did some of that meat pies o' people business, but that's fiction.  I think.  Even still, Mr. Todd did this meat pie thing as a method of survival.  Incidentally, that A Little Priest song is one of my favorites in all of Broadway.)


Ordeal by Hunger
by George R. Stewart

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A couple of weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Sparks with Megan and Jessica.  We three have a great time when we're together, and it was a great trip.

As many of you know, Sparks is a suburb of Reno, Nevada.  And many of you might also know that Reno is just east of a place called Donner Pass.  When I arrived in Sparks, I said "Girls.  I think it's time we visit Donner Pass."  Megan replied with something along the lines of "There's nothing to see... it's just I-80 now."  And I said, "Isn't there a museum?"

Sure enough, there's a museum.  We visited the museum.  We gawked at the artifacts and wax replicas.  We took photos.  We even watched their movie.


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While killing time in the airport, I found this book called Ordeal by Hunger by George R. Stewart.  I started that book on the airplane and wouldn't you know... the girl sitting next to me on this plane ride was reading Hunger Games.... goh!

Ordeal by Hunger is a fantastic book – well written, and doesn't seem to take creative license with facts.  For example, Mr Stewart, when making assumptions, would say something like, "they probably..." or "chances are, they..."  There's also a great deal of controversy surrounding this little piece of history.  The author did an exceptional job of displaying two sides to a few of the controversies.

The Donner Party was a collection of families from the Illinois/Missouri area, who had decided to settle in the Sacramento Valley.   Most of the travelers were well-off financially, but had never seen a mountain.  They were great farmers, but not necessarily frontiersmen.  Ironically, the move to California was primarily based on avoiding winter.

Trouble for the group began at Fort Bridger, where a gent by the name of Lansford Hastings suggested they take the Hastings Cutoff – a route that traveled straight through the Salt Lake Valley.  The original Oregon Trail followed rivers through southern Idaho.  Hastings informed the clan that by going through the Salt Lake Valley they could shorten their trip by close to 300 miles.  This is great news, yes?  Well, to the emigrants it was a great idea; they were already short on time.

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Traveling through Weber Canyon and across the Salt Lake Valley nearly killed them all, and delayed their already delayed expedition.  When the group entered the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, they were starving, short on supplies, and tired.  Their only choice was to push through.  And push through they did, until they were trapped by an early winter.

And so the Donner Party set up camp at a place formerly known as Truckee Lake (now named Donner Lake) for the winter, hoping to wait it out.  They had eaten their livestock, their dogs, any raw hides available, and boiled the leftover bones.  After some had run out of bones and raw hide, they began to eat the people who died.  This ordeal began October 20, 1846, and ended with the rescue of the last survivor on March 14, 1847.

There were a total of 87 in the party.  Only 48 survived.  Of those 87, there are many characters and personalities.  Many were driven mad by the extreme conditions, while others were driven to heroic rescue.  The villain from the story is a guy by the name of Keseburg.  Rumor has it that he ended up killing people for food while there were others already dead.  While this is not proven, he did do a fair amount of cannabilistic bragging after he was rescued.  And in the worst taste possible, he opened a restaurant.

There's another theme in this story that grabs me... it's the theory of time, and how crucial it is to our existence.  It cannot be replaced, and in most cases, we cannot play catch-up with the time we miss.  The Donner Party had loads of cash, but no time.  Cash without time is useless.

Time is our greatest treasure.

To quote Virginia Reed's moral of the story (12 years old when rescued): "Never take no cutoffs and hurry along as best you can."

Megan created a little placard with this genius quotation with a little of her own creations.  You can check it out here.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tune, vol 79 - I've Got The Runs!

I wanna talk about running.  Wanna talk about running?  I could talk about running for endless amounts of time, on many occasions.  In most social circles, however, I try to refrain myself.  Like, who wants to hear me yak-it-up over the practice of one-foot-in-front-of-the-other?

Today... I cannot refrain from the talk of running.  You might even say that I've Got The Runs!  And I can't control myself!

First up, what about the 115th Boston Marathon?  Did you catch that action?  If you didn't here's a summation:  Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon ever with a 2:03:02.  This is not just the fastest Boston marathon, it's the fastest marathon, like ever recorded.  So, you'd think this is the new world record, right?  Wrong!  There was a tail wind of 15 mph, and the course has been determined "un-world-record-able," so, sorry Geoffrey, no world record for you.

This year's Boston brought forth all sorts of noteworthy happenings.  For example, the number two guy, a feller by the name of Moses Mosup (also Kenyan) ran a 2:03:06.  Our USA darling Ryan Hall placed fourth with a 2:04:58.  This 2:04:58 is a PR for Mr. Hall, and interestingly enough, that time shattered the previous Boston Marathon course record.  Good on you Hall!  But can you imagine?  Taking fourth with a freaking 2:04:58?  Good grief.

Also, another USA darling by the name of Desiree Davilla missed winning by just two seconds!  Caroline Kilel (Kenya, again) ran a 2:22:36 while Desiree ran a 2:22:38 (check out my wicked math skills!)  Here's one of those picture's-worth-a-thousand-words moments:

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As usual, I had some friends running the BM.  Tebbie and my little brother (who's not really my little brother, but I sure wish he was!)  Here's a photo that I stole from Tebbie's facebook:

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Isn't she cute! Fast too!



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Here's one of the little brother at this finish.  I stole these two photos from his facebook too.


Now that the big BM has been covered, let's move on to The Spring Runoff, which is also called The Ogden Marathon.  This grand race is Saturday, next, and the Rabid is registered and running.  Registered and running!  (I'm super excited, can you tell?)

My Ogden training has gone well.  I've tweaked a few things and I'm ridiculously excited about the results.  For example, I switched my hill run (usually Suncrest) to Wednesdays.  You'd think moving a hill run to another day is a silly little adjustment, but it's not.  No-sir-ee.  Before, I was running hills on Thursday.  This gave only Friday to rest up for the long run on Saturday.  Now, with the hill run being on Wednesday, I had TWO WHOLE DAYS to rest for the Saturday long run.  I found this little course-correction made my Saturday long runs stronger.  Marathoning is all about the long run, folks.  Don't let anyone tell you different... or at least you can let whoever ramble on about whatever being more important than the long run, but inside your sweet little heart, know that it's all about the long run.

In addition to the change in my hill routine, I changed my speed routine too.  In years past, I've tried to follow (the best I can) the speed workouts from Advanced Marathoning.  Trouble is, the workouts can be a bit complicated.  And overwelming.  And weren't necessarily making me faster.  They were helping with endurance, but not speed.  I decided to simplify my speed workouts and do one three to four mile tempo each week, on a treadmill.  Honestly, the dreadmill isn't so bad.  You set the speed, and you stay there.  You cannot cheat, you cannot slow down – else you'll just fall off.  For six consecutive weeks, I set the speed for my three-mile tempo and kept it there.  Each week I upped the speed a notch and was able to stretch my aerobic threshold a bit, just liked you'd stretch a rubber band.

I've found that dreadmill training has many bonuses.  First, it's warm.  As in, not freezing and you don't have to worry about yanking those cold 'n tight hamstrings in the process.  Another bonus?  You don't have to think.  This is a critical element during the tax season.  I do a log of thinking and problem solving with my job.  When I run, I want to just turn it off.  Speedwork on a treadmill facilitates this nicely.


While we're on the topic of nice facilitations, did you know that you can judge a running shoe by its color?  

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It's true.  I bought the orange Saucony Kinvara based solely on the color, and wouldn't you know that it's so awesome I had to buy another.  'Cept in turquoise.

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This summer, I decided to shake up the half marathon ritual.  Normally, I do the Hobble Creek Half.  This Hobble Creek half is a great race.  However, it never starts on time.  Never.  In the 10 or so times I've run it, it has never started on time.  It's not fun to wake up at 4:00, drive to get on a bus, then sit at the top of a frigid canyon.  Freezing for hours.  Not to mention, when you run a race, you add fuel to the gut based on the time the race starts.  If the start time is unknown, the fueling situation is chaos.

So this year, I've decided to do two half marathons that end just 400 meters from my house!  Isn't that cool?  Like, I'm going to wake up, and walk 400 meters to catch the bus.  Like, two different times!  I'm running the American Fork Canyon Half on June 25, and the Timpanogos Half on July 30.  It looks like the routes for both will be the same.  It'll be a gas!  Times two!

I'm also thinking about the Prestige Half.  Well.  I'm not thinking about it, I'm going to run it if my friend Tina runs it.  This "Prestige" race is a weird one because you must "qualify" to run it.  Which, if you ask me, is kind of strange – this year's race will be it's first one ever.  Shouldn't one (or a race) be required to earn their prestige?  Just sayin'.  (Can you say, pretentious prestige?)


Finally, I'm pleased to report that I made it into the St George Marathon.  I had to do the lottery this year, so it was truly a matter of chance.  Holy smokes that was drama.  I cannot believe how stupidly emotional I get over this race.  I live in a state called Utah.  When I pulled up the results for the lottery, I typed my name, city and state.  I typed Rabid from "Utah."  When the web site searched for Rabid from "Utah" it did not find me.  I was ever sa' despondent!  Even a bit angry.  Jumped in the shower with complaining thoughts of: Why doesn't St George have a qualifying standard?!  They should have a qualifying standard!  Every race who's any race has a qualifying standard!  Then I got ticked at people who put their names in the pot, knowing full-well that they might drop out, or even worse NOT TRAIN!

Something happened in the shower, however.  A light bulb or something went out, and I thought, What if I use "UT" instead of "Utah"?  Will it find me then?  I ran over to the web site and searched for Rabid from "UT."  Guess what?  IT FOUND ME!

Now I've got the runs for sure.

(Check back later... will add links to the tunes as time permits.)

Run - Collective Soul
Steady, As She Goes - The Raconteurs
Ready to Run - Dixie Chicks
Hit And Run Holiday - My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
Run Back to Your Side - Eric Clapton
Runnin' With The Devil - Van Halen
Fox On the Run - 1RKO FirstRoundKnockOut
On The Run - Pink Floyd
Green: Run / Smiles / Step Into The Breeze / Symphony Space - Spiritualized
Always On The Run - Lenny Kravitz
Run For Our Lives - The Morning After Girls
Runnin' Wild - Airbourne
Running On Faith - Eric Clapton
Time Is Running Out - Muse
Runaway Lover - Madonna
Run Honey Run - Morcheeba Feat. Bradley
Runaround - Van Halen
You Better Run - Junior Kimbrough
Sex And ReRUNs (Album) - Matt Duke
Runnin Down A Dream - Tom Petty
Running To Stand Still - U2
Runaway  - Linkin Park
Running On A Treadmill - Oingo Boingo
SupeRUNknown - Soundgarden
Where You Gonna Run - Peter Tosh
Run Eyed Blues - Ben Harper
Take It On The Run - REO Speedwagon
Easier To Run - Linkin Park
Run To You - Bryan Adams
Dogs On The Run - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Runnin' Shoes - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Free To Run - Gomez
Fox On The Run - Sweet
Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden
Running Out Of Turbo - The Sounds
Running Wild - Roxy Music
Run Like Hell - Pink Floyd
All The Roadrunning - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris
Hardin Wouldn't Run - Johnny Cash
Run On - Moby
No One To Run With - The Allman Brothers Band
Run Through The Jungle - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Running Free - Iron Maiden
When The Road Runs Out - Blonde Redhead + Devastations
I'm Not Running Anymore - John Mellencamp
Run, Run, Run (Stereo) - The Velvet Underground & Nico




In the which I Save the Kidses Future from their Past

For ten years now, or almost ten, for Yahoo #1 is just a week shy of ten, I have required that my kids wear "matching" clothes.  Not that the pair should wear the same outfits, but their individual wearables must coordinate colors and patterns.  This is in accordance to my opinion of what matches and what does not.  (Note that my "style" is totally up for argument as the current "match" standard, but that's a topic for another day.)

I figure that ten years from now, when the Yahoos are looking at photos of their bad selves, they won't gasp with embarrassment over the outfits they chose.  See how I'm saving my kidses future from their past?  I know!  Right?

Yahoo #1 has been (mostly) okay with this.  He'll come out wearing plaid brown and green shorts with a camouflage shirt.  I'll say, "Sorry dude.  Dudn't match, find something else."  He'll return to find something else or ask for assistance.

Well Yahoo #2 isn't so hip on this arrangement.  No siree.  He'll fight me all the way to the bank on this, and I fight back.  Lately, he wants to wear socks that do not match each other... socks that are not a complete pair.  Gasp!  Right?

The other day, as I was in the middle of the current save-the-kidses-future-from-their-past battle, Yahoo #2, all mopey and such, says, "Moooooooom?  Why does stuff hafta match anyways?"

Um.  I have no answer for that.  I guess it doesn't hafta match, does it?  This is where Rabid has officially thrown in the stuff-hasta-match towel.  You should see what the two wore to school today.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The GPS/Watch Combo

I do some running here 'n there and have grown accustomed to various accessories and/or accoutrements to provide assistance.  One such accessory is the GPS/watch combination.  I'm currently on my 4th GPS/watch.

Why so many, you ask?  Is it because I'm so awesome that I run 20,000 miles a year and require all those watches?  Or is it because my speed is so speedy, that the GPSer in the watch just wears out?  Nope.  It's because the dang things break.  They just do.  One of my watches, (the Garmin 201, I believe) lost button functionality on two of the buttons.  Another one became water damaged in the St George Rainstorm Marathon of 2008.  I PR'd that year so I ain't complaining, and would gladly sacrifice twelve Garmin 305s for another PR.  The watch I used to replace that one wouldn't turn on one day.

Each and every death of each and every watch has conveniently occurred after the one-year warrantee is no longer. Yes, "conveniently."  I've exchanged many an e-mail with those at Garmin over these deaths.

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My current Forerunner 305 has been with me the longest.  We've been together two years.  Last week, however, I had a button quit. I can actuate the button with a pokey thing, like the end of a pen, but normal use is no longer.  I guess I can continue using this watch by carrying a pen.  But to be honest, a pen is not a running accoutrement worth carrying.  Sorry Bic, maybe next time.

It looks like I need to buy yet another watch.  I'll go to Amazon and put the watch in my basket, then Amazon will remind me that I have already bought this watch.  They'll say, "Hey Lady.  You already bought this, like, two years ago, and again, like, a year after that."  Amazon will also ask, "Are you sure you wanna buy three?"  This is a true story by the way.  Amazon will let you know when you have purchased something already.  Aren't they great?  I extra especially (expecially) heart Amazon.

Anyway, the watch became a subject of conversation on a recent run.  The buddies are trying to get me to buy the Garmin Forerunner 310XT instead of another Garmin Forerunner 305.  They say the 310XT has tons of battery life, is very comfortable, and is water proof.  Also has a nifty wireless download. The price tag for said 310XT is a hefty $399.

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Given the Garmin Forerunner track record, I can conclude that I will get one, maybe two years out of this watch.  Sound right to you?  Sounds about right to me.  Right now, Amazon has the Forerunner 305 for $128.54.

So what should I do?  I think I should by another 305.  At $128 (and .54 cents), they're down-right disposable in comparison.  And if if I need the extra battery?  Buy two – would still be cheaper.

I do like orange though... color's a good reason to upgrade, yes?



Monday, May 09, 2011

How Was Mother's Day?

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It's one of the best days of the year, isn't it? I spent my Mom's Day in a place called Sparks with some friends called Megan and Jessica. It was a great time. When we scheduled this trip, some eightish weeks ago, none of us thought about the preordained and arranged trip transpiring on the weekend in which we celebrate Mothers. Oops. Tee-hee.

It was a super fun trip. There was great food, great fun, great conversation, and lots of laughs.  We field-tripped to historical Donner Pass (but wished we'd had the foresight to bring a picinic, yuk-yuk,) we watched the Kentucky Derby at a pizza joint in Truckee, California, then returned to Megan's house so that that I could pass out at 10:30, and they could stay up all night doing who-knows-what.

Right now, at this very minute, I'm killing time in the Reno airport, which incidentally is a good airport for time-killing.

So, how was your Mother's Day? Do tell!  Even if you aren't a Mother.  Stefon has some ideas for Mother's Day. Did anyone take any of his recommendations?



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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Tuesday Tune, vol 78 – The Battle of Evermore


Today's Tuesday Tune is The Battle of Evermore – Led Zeppelin.

Seems altogether fitting for some reason.  Call me unAmerican if you must, but I don't believe a celebration is in order for the death of anyone.




The Battle of Evermore
The Queen of Light took her bow and then she turned to go
The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom and walked the night alone
Oh, dance in the dark night, sing to the morning light
The Dark Lord rides in force tonight, and time will tell us all
Oh, throw down your plow and hoe, race now to my bow
Side by side we wait the might, of the darkest of them all
I hear the horses thunder down in the valley below
I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow
The apples of the valley hold the seeds of happiness
The ground is rich from tender care, which they do not forget, no, no
Dance in the dark night, sing to the morning light
The apples turn to brown and black, the tyrant's face is red
Oh, war is the common cry, pick up your swords and fly
The sky is filled with good and bad, mortals never know
Oh well, the night is long, the beads of time pass slow
Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow
The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath
The drums will shake the castle wall, the Ringwraiths ride in black (ride on)
Sing as you raise your bow, (ride on) shoot straighter than before
No comfort has the fire at night that lights the face so cold
Oh, dance in the dark night, sing to the morning light
The magic runes are writ in gold to bring the balance back, bring it back
At last the sun is shining, the clouds of blue roll by
With flames from the dragon of darkness, the sunlight blinds his eyes
Oh, bring it back, bring it back...


p.s. I periodically read this blog to see what I was up to a year ago.   This post is how I want to remember "now."

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Monday, May 02, 2011

A Coupla Softees

Yesterday morning, Spouse was watching something on his mePhone.  He does this often, and I rarely take note, because most of the time he's watching a java tutorial, or something just as geeky.  On this particular occasion, however, he hollered a vehement "NO WAY!" after a coupla minutes of viewing (2:39 to be exact.)  A "NO WAY" always sparks some curiosity, so I ran over to see what was all the fuss.

This is what was all the fuss.  Please take a coupla minutes to watch this (2:39 to be exact.)


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All right.  Did you watch it?  I watched it.  At the end, I got all choked up, couldn't talk, and cried a tiny tear.   Not big or many tears, mind you, only a tiny tear.  I said, "Wow.  That got me get all choked up."

I turned to look at Spouse, and you know what I saw?  He had cried a tiny tear too!

We're a coupla softees aren't we?

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Horse and his Boy



The Horse and his Boy
by C.S. Lewis

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The Horse and his Boy is book three in The Chronicles of Narnia.  The most interesting thing about this Horse 'n Boy tale, is that the four kids from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe have only a supporting role.  They aren't the main event.  This Narnia detail has me me all excited to see where Mr. Lewis will take us next!  The suspension just might kill me.  Another interesting thing is The Horse and his Boy was not published third... it was published fifth of all seven of the Narnia Chronicles.

This is the story of Shasta, a mistreated orphan/slave living in a place called Calormen, who is about to be sold to another man as a slave.  Out of nowhere, a talking horse approaches this Shasta to inform the poor boy that the man who's about to take ownership of him is a very bad man.  This horse, who calls himself "Bree," manages to talk Shasta into escaping to Narnia with him.  See Bree is a Narnian horse.  In Calormen, horses can't just run about without a rider, they'll be captured for sure.  Bree needs a rider to escape.

So Shasta and Bree begin the trek to Narnia.  In the process, they are "forced" to discover a girl named Aravis and a horse named Hwin.  These two are escaping to Narnia too.  Aravis is an extremely young daughter of an  aristocrat who's been promised in marriage to a dirty old man they call the Grand Vizier.  And Hwin? He is another one of those freaky talking horses from Narnia.

Before we go any further, you need to know that a "Tisroc" is king of sorts, (may he live forever.)

The four travel.  And they have many adventures.  On the way, they are all split apart.  Shasta is mistaken as a prince called "Corin" and is taken in for some fancy treatment from the four Wardrobe kids who were vacationing in Calormen's capital Tashbaan.  See, this Shasta kid looks exactly like this Prince Corin.  Weird!  The real Prince Corin appears and Shasta jets.  But not before learning that that the Tisroc (may he live forever) wants Susan to marry his son Rabadesh.  Susan is sooooo not into that.

 This is a complicated story, isn't it?  Sure is!  Just you wait!

On another adventure, Aravis is hiding, and who should stumble into the room in which she's hiding?  The Tisroc, Rabadesh, and the Grand Vizier. She discovers that the three plan to invade a place called Archenland.

The four travelers are united again, and they all spew the details of their individual adventures.

The travelers make it to Archenland where Shasta is able to warn King Lune, king of Archenland, that the Tisroc and company plan to attack.  The advance notice saves the day... but not really.  For a Lion had a hand in all of the happenings.  The Lion was always in the background providing some sort of push here and there.  A push to ensure things happened or didn't happen.  Sound like Someone you know?

Turns out this Lion is Aslan.  "I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis.  I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead.  I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept.  I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time.  And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that i cam to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight to receive you."

Also turns out that Sashta is the lost twin of Prince Corin.  His real name is "Cor."  At the birth of these twins, it was prophesied that Cor would one day save the kingdom.  The bad guys did not want this happening, so they kidnapped Cor, put him in a boat and sent him away.  Little did the bad guys know, that this was all part of Prince Cor's plan, his story.

We all have our plan, don't we?  Our story?

Speaking of stories... I'd like to end with this passage.  It's an aside narrative from Mr. Lewis himself:  "For in Calormen, story-telling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you are taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay writing.  The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read essays."

Grin.

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe



The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis

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I don't know what to say about this one... other than I read it and there's a movie.  I know the story so well that it was difficult to get through.  Is that strange?  It's a great book, but I found it hard to finish it.

Weird.

To recap, I'm going to pretend that I'm that famous movie announcer guy – you know, the one with the dramatic baritone voice who booms over all the movie trailers.  Here goes:

Four kids: Edmund... (dramatic pause) Susan... (dramatic pause) Peter... (said with a snarl and dramatic pause,) and Lucy... (a lightning bolt noise or something.)  A freaky wardrobe.  A wardrobe that served as gateway to another world.  A world where fawns, beavers, and evil white witches lure children with treats.  Where it's winter all the time and never Christmas.  Where a Lion serves as king.


Only Lucy knew about the wardrobe.  The others did not believe.  But THAT was all about to change...

Then you see the montage – set to dramatic music, of course – that reveals every last detail of the book and/or movie.  Lucy goes through the wardrobe, it's snowing, has tea with Mr. Tumnus, Peter goes through the wardrobe, finds the white witch and eats Turkish delight (which, thanks to that tune "Afternoon Delight" and an episode of Arrested Development, will always sound dirty to me.)  Then all the kids go through the wardrobe, it's still snowing,  have din-din with the beaver family.  Peter betrays, and goes searching for the Witch.  Witch's wolves come a-looking, beaver family and kids flee, but not after fighting Mrs. Beaver about leaving her sewing machine.  Flash to a picture of poor Mr. Tumnus being turned to stone.  Peter taken by witch.  Aslan the Lion pounces in, and it quits snowing.  There's some treaty negotiations.  Aslan sacrifices self in exchange for Peter.  There's a battle.  Witch is defeated.  Snow melts.  Kids find the light post.  They go home.

It just occurred to me that they went back home to World War II.  How tragic.  Go back to Narnia kids.

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