bustin' my ovaries

when my hours changed from a lovely noon-8pm to a gawdawful 3-11 pm shift, i had to adjust my c25k schedule. actually, at that point, i was already to the 5k, but still i had to make a shift so i could get a run in since st. ben’s (where i run on the track) closes at midnight. i shifted to running in my mornings (early afternoon to y’all).

the first day i ran in the morning, i didn’t eat breakfast, and i barely made it a mile. the first time i ran outside in the morning, i once again barely made it a mile. ugh. i chalked it up to the elements and make sure i eat breakfast.

but every morning i tie on my runnin’ shoes, i dread it. i’m huffing and puffing after one block and sweat drips down my forehead in torrents after a mile and a half. by the time i roll around to my driveway, i’m tripping over my shoes and ready to fall flat on the lawn.

meanwhile, every sunday night i go to st ben’s to run on the track and lift weights, and it is the most enjoyable thing ever to run. tonight i ran about 4 miles and could have gone more if i hadn’t gotten a stitch in my side. i can truly say when i run in the evening/night, i kind of enjoy running.

so i did a little research.

turns out, eveningtime is the time when your body is at its physical best (of course). your lung capacity is at its peak, you’ve got a day’s worth of fuel in you, your muscles have been warmed up, etc. etc. evenings are the best time for optimal performance when running.

which brings up two things, one general and one personal:

general: why are marathons held at the buttcrack of dawn? shouldn’t they be held at the buttcrack of evening if they want the best performance from people?

personal: do i quit running in my mornings and start running when i get home? that means running at midnight. can of mace in one hand, knife in the other? personal safety versus an enjoyable run? hmmm.

i forgot

when i was young, going to the austin public library was like a  magical field trip. the way i remember it, the children’s section was in the middle of this large room where bookcases went up to the ceilings, and skylights in the ceilings let the sun in to shine down on my 5-year-old head as i sat in the small children’s section on small chairs at small tables, pulling books off short shelves that made a semi-circle that cordoned off that section. all around me were books, and a winding staircase led the way to the upper loft-like level where more adult books were waiting for me when i grew a little older. plants, tall windows, sunlight and books.

i think i abandoned the public library when i went to school. the gradeschool library wasn’t as as magical as the public library, but it still contained the magicalness that is books. the biggest obstacle at the gradeschool library was not being able to check out books i wanted to when i was in 2nd grade. apparently reading beyond my grade level didn’t matter the the stick-in-the-mud librarians. but once able to move to the big-kid books, oh i could get lost in the stacks.

when we moved to new london, we started to frequent the public library more – my guess is because it was 5 blocks down the road as opposed to 5 miles in town. saturday became library day – everyone minus my dad would go to the library, where we each had our own card, and choose our books for the week. yes, the high school had a (bigger) library as well, and i would check out books there, too.

and that was it for my public library days. at st. ben’s, i had access to two university libraries, and i did very little reading for fun those days (school always getting in the way of learning, sheesh). it wasn’t until after i graduated from st. cloud state that i started reading for fun again in an intense way. and read i did. i bought books from amazon, half, goodwill, savers, half-price bins, full-price bins – anywhere i could get my hands on them. and not just good books – i bought bad books, too. sure, there are always a few gems in the mad rush to find 99¢ books at goodwill (“a walk in the woods”, anyone?), but most are stinkers.

and then about a month ago, i thought, “how much money have i spent on books?”  i couldn’t tell you. but when i realized that last year i read 60 books, and the average cost of my books is about $4 a book, that’s a chunk of change. and me with an expansive library system in the area.

two weeks ago, i went to the waite park library and got a library card – my first one since i was 18. i was on my way to work, so i didn’t check out any books that day, but i quickly went online and put a couple books on reserve. i picked one up last wednesday and read it, then yesterday i went to the st. cloud public library to drop it off and browse.

I FORGOT.

I FORGOT.

i FORGOT how AWESOME the library is. i FORGOT how wonderful library books are. i FORGOT the smell of books, even in the new library, and how they fill your nose with paper and slight must. i FORGOT the plastic wrappers around the hardcovers, and how it just screams that you, yes YOU are a library user and proud of it. i FORGOT.

i went home with 4 books. no paying, no questions, no wondering what you’re going to find in a stack of books. i went for specific things, and i found them. after i finish them, i’ll take them back and get more.

why did i wait so long?

ruhlman nails it

another blog post from michael ruhlman for you to peruse at your leisure. he discusses the numerous diet restrictions people are following these days and quotes a woman who is holding a fancy dinner at a fancy restaurant where pasta and bread reign. she’s worried about her in-laws’ fad restrictions putting a damper on the party. (note: she’s not talking about someone with celiac’s – she’s talking about those on the ketosis or paleo diets.)

as someone who tries (TRIES!!) to restrict my corn syrup consumption, i can sort of undertsand where these people are coming from, but there comes a point where you have to make the decision between your personal-choice food diet or the people you’re with. birthday parties, holidays, weddings, showers, etc: i don’t care about HFCS at that point. sure, i’ll take a glass of water over a can of coke, but i have that option. if someone shoves a barbecue-sauce-laden meatball in my face, i will eat it.

there is a time and place for everything, and making your non-health-related dietary stand at your sister’s baby shower is neither the time nor place.

occasionally…

pinterest fascinates me. too much! i could get lost for hours. mostly for the food – i think it’s where i found the cake pops, and i lust after some of the macaron combinations i’ve found on there. my cousin claire posted a photo of a grilled cheese-bacon-guacamole. NOMG! had to try.

prep – threw bacon in the oven, made the guacamole*, put the cast iron on the stove to warm (along with the butter), and sliced the cheese.

time to prep the bread! the bacon was putzy, so i started in. must butter both  sides of the pieces of bread! notice the liberal amounts of both cheese and guac. MMM.

the bacon finally got done and i slapped that stuff together. into the pan!

yeah, that’s right. cast iron. no messing around here. i have issues with my cast iron because i always have the heat too high. the bread was nice and toasty, but the cheese was not quite all the way melty. 🙁 could have also had to do with not using shredded, which melts easier. by the time i’d realized i had shredded, i’d already sliced and placed them in my butter-full bread.

NOMG. still good. i ate it with a fork.

*what, you want my guac recipe? ok. 3 avocados – get out the goop and mash up. throw in  a couple teaspoons of salt and a couple dashes of lemon/lime juice. a chunk of cilantro – chop it and throw it in. i use a lot. you don’t have to use a lot if you don’t want to. a little onion- as much as you want. chop it good. you don’t want a huge chunk of onion on your chip. jalapeño – if you like it hot, use a lot. if you’re like me, you’ll use a half a smallish pepper. MIX. EAT. 

totally

went to saver’s yesterday to check out the clothes selection. i was wearing a shirt on thursday or friday at work and thought, man, i need to retire this shirt. i bent over the slightest and the whole world could see my cleavage. (aka, it was getting a little baggy.)

so, saver’s it was for some cheapo shirts. it’s so hit and miss buying used shirts, but it’s nice when i get 4 shirts, a pair of shorts, and a jacket for $26. i think i tried on about 12 shirts, 3 pair shorts and a pair of jeans. the jacket was free if you spend $25 in clothing, so yay!

here’s my rad jacket i picked out:

 

ps-happy earth day! ¡reduce • reuse • recycle!

green mile

for those of you thinking of dabbling in stephen king but don’t want to delve into the dark tower series or read anything that will make you see rabid clowns in your dreams, try reading “the green mile”. i’m guessing shawshank will be in the same vein. he’s a great storyteller, and the non-scary story is awesome.

timing

writing prompt: “Is there a moment during the day or night that is somehow mystifying, frightening or enchanting for you? When? Why?”

when the long days of summer roll around each year, and we’ve gained an hour of blessed light thanks to daylight saving time (don’t ever leave us, DST!), we start to see what i like to call indigo time.

indigo time is starting to show up at this time of year and hits its peak at the obvious summer solstice. it’s the time just after sunset but right before the dark dark of night sets in. the sun’s rays are still reaching up a bit, but not enough to make the sky any kind of yellow; it slowly fades from orange, to pink, to purple, to dark purple, to indigo…then to dark of night.

there is something about the indigo that is the perfect shade of summer blue. when you’re getting out of a car after a night out and see the indigo sky with white points of stars starting to bust out of their seams, you know that summer’s arrived and the magical nighttimes have begun.

YA brouhaha

when i was in NL for easter, i rummaged through the closet in the guest room, which has a bunch of crap in it. i found “fudgeamania” in there by judy blume and decided to read it again (last time i was 11, and this time it took me about an hour and a half to read). but judy blume! i forgot how funny a writer she is. so i was perusing the list of other books she’d written at the back, and i’m thinking to myself, she wrote a sex book, didn’t she? one for teens? hm….

i had to wikipedia her. “forever” was the book, and i remember reading it when i was 15 or 16. i read the synopsis and wow, no wonder i read it when i was 15 or 16! which got me thinking, you know, there’s a lot of young adult novels that have been in the news lately for having too much sexytimes in them, and they end up getting censored. (i follow a couple YA authors on twitter and keep up with the times that way.)

but really, YA novels have apparently ALWAYS been controversial, “forever” being one that has been banned, as well as a couple others by judy blume. (are there god? its me, margaret is always controversial – another one i read, at a younger age, too, i think.) judy blume wrote a lot of her books in the 70s, and thinking about other authors i read growing up, cynthia voigt, sweet valley high books, etc. etc., recent rumblings about john green’s 17-year-old characters not knowing how to give a BJ really is not that big, or new, of a deal.

which brings up two points: 1. either my parents didn’t know what i was reading and i was very good at hiding my books, or they realized the written word is important and reading is a key thing in life. and 2. teenagers are sexual beings, just like the rest of us past the age of 11-12. come on, it’s not like they don’t know how it feels to have these urges. a lot of them are reading these books and not doing anything. if teenagers are going to have sex. some book is not going to change his/her mind. i would guess the book-reading crowd is going to be less sexually active than the non-book-reading crowd. adults want to shelter their kids until they’re 30, but life just doesn’t work like that.

so i was wiki’ing my fave YA authors from when i was a YA, and i was thinking i might just pick up a few from the days of yore and read them again. see how steamy they really are.

success

cheesecake=success!! it probably could’ve spent another 5 minutes in the oven, but really, i wasn’t concerned. five stars – would make again.

i went to mindbump.com to get some blogging prompts. one of them that came up asked how my blogging style has changed since i first started blogging.

my first blog post was in march 2004, after i got wind that livejournal was open and invite-free. the good thing was i blogged a TON in the first couple years. the bad thing was that half of them were quizzes and “what shoe am i” and all that jazz (not to mention the mundane posts about my roommates, job, and more). but i had a lot of jems in those days. the christmas i almost caught santa, the best kinds of books, times at the fair, and my personal favorite, a bathroom review (or why i don’t mind a portapotty)*.

lately i’ve wound down on the reminisces, mainly because i am not getting inspired by my past as much; all the good times have been recorded already. so mostly my blog posts of late are far and few between (sad) and trend toward foodblog, gardenblog (needs a better name), and occasionally social commentary. not to mention mundane crap here and there.

ultimately, i’d like to say my blogging style has matured, but just as ultimately, i find myself waxing eloquent about the cats just as much. it’s like asking if your writing style has gotten better: it has, but it’s still me.

*i’m seriously thinking of reposting some of these. i know most of my readers have already read them (ok, maybe half), but perhaps i’d do some editing and they’d come out all the better?