so far so good

as far as resolutions go, i’m on a somewhat good track. my running is going well. i have posted at least 15 blog posts this month! that’s awesome! i have taken very few pictures, but part of that is due to me being a hermit since we moved. i need to be a non-hermit and get out there.

in other news, i have started a mass wallace exodus. liz and doug are moving the lacrosse, a mere hour from rochester. my sister jane will be coming back to MN in july and now my mom has an interview in rochester at a place that’s a mile and a half from my house. who knew i would start a trend? charlie?

and in thirdly news, i am hoping to go see michael perry, author of my fave definition of the west, in northfield in a couple weeks. how handy that he lives in wisconsin and frequents MN. if his live performances are even half of what his writing is, it will be wonderful.

trivial

my personal issues are pretty trivial, i realize, and who cares when there’s so much crappy other stuff going on. time to stop wallowing in my own self pity.

i made this tonight. not too shabby. not too out of this world, either. but it was good. i didn’t put in garlic pepper, but i did put in some lime juice and salt. it wasn’t bad!

Photo 2013-01-29 10.13.13 PMi actually made quesadillas and put this stuff on top of it to make it healthier (there was still a lot of cheese, haha). in the future, i would use more tomatoes and throw in some cilantro. yum!  3/5 because it wasn’t stellar, but still healthy.

 

wah wah wah

i’m feeling sorry for myself, so i’m sitting here listening to linkin park. throw some black clothes on me and smudged eyeliner and you could call me emo. blah blah blah.

GIS for "emo"

GIS for “emo”

i need a project or something. i blame the weather and time of year. SPRING where are you??? i  need me some may-june action. if it weren’t so cold and crappy out, and actually looked nice out (maybe some snow WOULD be nice…) i would go out and take some pics.

(in SAD news, working a normal shift has done wonders.)

and i'm just sitting here

last night i was perusing fb while waiting for a drink at the casino buffet when i saw the announcement that branden’s wife was pregnant. it was like i was hit with a ton of bricks.

i don’t know why this is affecting me so weirdly. megan’s had a kid, angie’s had a kid, liz is about to pop, even seeing that ben had a kid did not affect me so hard as finding out that branden is going to be in charge of a little person.

is it because he’s always going to be that one person frozen in my head as a mainstay of my college years? and why i am SO attached to that time of my life? is there nothing recently or currently that can compare to the awesomeness that was my late teens and early 20s? i don’t get it.

and part of me at this point is like, ok, BRANDEN is having a kid. what am i doing with my life? time to stop dicking around and time to start doing something worthwhile? but what’s worthwhile? just thinking about having a kid wears me out. besides, we all know popping out offspring isn’t the end all be all of our worth.

it’s just a really odd sensation. i’m kind of freaked out.

moving it

at the school i work at, the health services dept. is sponsoring a program called ‘move it’. students pay $10, make themselves fitness goals, and track them over a 6-week period. after they’re finished, they get a tshirt.

they opened it up to staff/faculty yesterday for $20, and i signed up pronto! i figured, i’m running anyway, why not get a shirt out of the deal? plus it was give me a good kick in the rear about getting in shape for a 10k at the end of april.

so i had to set my goals, and since i’m back to speed this week (ran 40 mins twice this week and maybe tonight too if i feel so inclined), i decided to bump up my speed by 10 mins each week for 6 weeks, but only one day a week, with the rest being at least 20 mins.

by the end of the 6 weeks, i should be up to 80 mins of running once a week, which is about 10k for me. after i get the distance down, i’ll concentrate the rest of march and april to bumping up my speed. and hopefully by that time, i’ll be running outside regularly!

now, the good news. they took blood pressure, height, weight, and  cholesterol and blood sugar readings to compare. my BP was awesome like always, height was shrinking and weight – somehow i gained 5 lbs in the past week >:( but, my triglycerides were so low they couldn’t even take a bad cholesterol reading! woo! last time i had bloodwork, my triglycerides were nasty high. thanks, c2-5k! you made me healthy!!

the lost post!

about a year ago i was compiling a backup to my journal posts and i KNEW that i had this post i’d written on our attorney general, eric holder. i had an idea of when i posted it, but i could not, for the life of me, find it. i did a search function on all my LJ backup excel files, ran a massive search through my now-defunct old wordpress files lost in the great host migration of 2012, and did a search through my old ibook files. NOTHING. i was annoyed because i knew i’d written it, and to think i’d done all that work to have lost it? ugh.

then about a month or so ago i brought up my google drive, and lo and behold! what should i find but my holder doc i’d been searching for. glorious day! anyway, here it is. heavy, political, and long, but it’s interesting.

For two months this lj entry has been stewing in my brain. Just so you know – it’s gonna be long (and capitalized, as I write these long ones in auto-cap Word).

I listen to MPR on my way home from work, when “Fresh Air” is on. Host Terri Gross had Jane Mayer on sometime in February, who wrote an article about how Eric Holder, the Attorney General, is fighting to hold terrorists’ trials in federal criminal courts instead of trying them as war criminals. The things she was saying about some of his opponents absolutely made my blood boil.

First, let you know: I am not a terrorist sympathizer. Give them a trial and throw them in prison for the rest of their lives. I am, however, really frightened at how easily people in this country throw away simple rights.

Every terror suspect that has been apprehended in this country has had a criminal trial, and Holder wants the mastermind behind 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to have a criminal trial as well. However, a lot of people want him to be tried as a war criminal. The republican who was elected in Massachusetts to replace Ted Kennedy? This was one of his major selling points.

Mohammed was apprehended in the US. The constitution applies to him just as it applies to everyone else in the country. There is no alternative legal system this country – it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL to not try him in criminal court.

Let me explain, for those clamoring to tell me about citizens and non-citizens and to whom the constitution applies. A large part of the US Constitution does not apply to citizens, or to non-citizens. It applies to the GOVERNMENT – what the government can and cannot do to people in the United States.

Amendment 5: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment 6: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Even though it would seems that while Bush was in office, he would’ve had many tried as war criminals, the Bush administration tried to try two terror suspects apprehended in the US in a military commission (as enemy combatants). Appeals courts ruled this to be overstepping boundaries, and the administration did not want this to go to the Supreme Court. The suspects were returned to the civilian court system.

Meanwhile, within the criminal court system, two terrorists (who had been arrested in the US) were given life sentences: the shoe-bomber and Zacarias Moussaoui. The shoe bomber was read his Miranda rights four times! When these sentences were released, the criminal court process was exalted by the same people who are now criticizing Holder.

In fact, military commissions held at Guantanamo were not that tough on terrorists. Even though it had more tougher rules when it came to evidence and laughed in the face of the fourth amendment, military commissions still proved to be easy on crime. One got life after boycotting his trial, one served 6 months (in addition to Guantanamo time) and one served 9 months after a plea bargain had been struck. Two other suspects were released to their home countries while Bush was still in office!

But how do they compare on an equal playing field – the criminal court system and a military commission? Two similar terrorists, one an American and one a Saudi-American, both captured in Afghanistan at the same time, were tried in the two different court systems. The American plead guilty in criminal court and is serving 20 years. The Saudi-American, who was tried as an enemy combatant, was freed after a court challenge.

So why does trying terrorist suspects in criminal courts make people so upset, especially people who would hold the US Constitution in such high esteem? (Glenn Beck.) Because under the Bush administration, Bush seemed to have more say than the court system when it came to terrorists, and now that Obama is bringing terrorists back under the legal and constitutional rules the country, it’s kind of like saying Bush was wrong all along (….which, wouldn’t be bad, IMO).

And that’s what it comes down to. If this country can’t try terrorist suspects in its criminal courts while upholding constitutional rights and law, what are we saying about our criminal courts? That the system is broken? How on earth can we try Timothy McVeigh and others in this system if we can’t try 9/11 terrorists, people who would be facing the toughest jury on earth?

But what really gets my goat, what had me banging my steering wheel and yelling at my radio on my way home, was how on earth we can throw people’s rights away if they’re terrorists, or foreigners, or not like us. For a group of people who is so hell-bent on screaming about their rights, opponents of this sure don’t care much about keeping them around.

When one person’s rights are being trampled upon, you’d better watch your back, because it’s the government the constitution is regulating, not you. And when the government is able to bend the constitution for one group, it’s possible that a group you belong to is not that far behind.

Attributing a lot of this post to: “The Trial: Eric Holder and the battle over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed” by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker, Feb. 15, 2010

food

since it was a long weekend, i made a couple foodstuffs off pinterest, as well as my crapts.

first was a brussels sprouts/sweet potato/bacon concoction that was delicious. nomg! the original recipe called to add the bacon after baking the veggies, but i was like, screw that! bake the bacon WITH the veggies! and add 3 more slices! woohoo! it also said to add thyme, but since my rosemary plants are waning, i needed to use some rosemary. so i chopped that up and threw it in.

IMG_8649i made pulled pork to go with it. yummy!

then i made these breakfast muffins that are a cross between banana bread, oatmeal, and an omelette. my mouth couldn’t decide what it was! original recipe was lactose-friendly or something, so instead of almond milk i used cow milk and added 2 tblsp. brown sugar. pretty much oatmeal, eggs, bananas and chocolate chips. next time i would add a tsp. of salt.

IMG_8658overall, a productive food/pinterTEST (THAT, my friends, is the new tag and name of this) weekend. veggies get 5/5 stars and muffins 4/5 (mostly for need of salt).

 

 

arts and crapfts

i made a bracelet off pinterest using string and nuts. no, not those nuts. not those either. yeah, those. see, i knew you’d get there.

i actually had two versions pinned, and i really wanted to make the one version, but there was no website it linked to, and therefore, no directions. not that the other version was any more helpful since it was in mandarin, but at least the photo was self-explanatory:

it felt like making a friendship bracelet. so i plugged away, and tada!

Photo 2013-01-19 11.11.23 PM

 

i wish i’d had brass or “dirtier” looking nuts, but oh well. i slapped a button on the end of the one side, and now i can just hook it like a buttonhole. not too shabby.

repost: books that are falling apart they've been read so much

Originally posted Oct. 15, 2006. Inspired by a suggestion from Jane.

These are the best kind of books.

New books are nice. You walk into the bookstore, all ready to buy a book that you’ve been thinking about the whole way there. Maybe you know what you’re going to get; maybe you don’t know. You walk into the bookstore and already you’re at ease. You become completely relaxed because the one thing you can totally rely on to be there in times of need, surrounds you.

Maybe you walk to the history section, the fiction, the cookbooks, the maps, the tech, the mental health, and the religious, whatever. You know what your mood is wanting. The rows of books await you. You slide your fingers along the spines, some shiny red, matte black, white letters jumping out, calling your name to read them. After minutes of poring over titles, authors, jacket flaps, you decide on a book. Perhaps you’re finished. Perhaps you go to another section and find something else.

You walk to the counter with your prize in hand; there is nothing like acquiring a book. New, used, falling apart, borrowed, the feeling is the same. It’s an anticipation of filling your head with something new.

The bag is crisp and you grab the handle, walking out of the bookstore with confidence that you’ve chosen correctly.
That night, you open the book. Its pages are full of words waiting to be read. It smells like paper – new, old, musty, crisp. However it smelled before, it now smells like book.

You read it and you love it. You read it again. And again. You decide that you don’t need a bookmark and start dog-earing the pages, or you turn the jacket flap in to mark your spot so many times that the edges become ragged. Something strikes your eye and you make a note with your pencil; it’s your book! You can do it! It’s so well read you know the story by heart, and still you read it often.

Soon it’s falling apart. Pages are accidentally ripped out from when you jumped off the bed when the cat shoved her claws in your thigh. Once while reading it at the table, you spilled hot chocolate on the pages. You’ve read it so many times, that there are dog-ears on every other page. You forgot it on the porch railing one evening and it rained that night, then the next day you left it in the sun to dry, and its pages got all crinkly.

But you can’t throw out a perfectly good book. It’s a travesty to throw out a book. It’s wasteful and shameful and honestly, abhorrent – you don’t throw out a friend. So instead, you place it on your bookshelf in a spot of honor. You know that it will be worth something to someone eventually. They will read your notes and become enlightened; they will see the coffee stains and realize this book was loved with a passion. But you don’t want it to die.

So you go to the bookstore again, and you walk carefully to the aisle you purchased your first copy in. you stare at the spine, knowing that you are replacing a friend. Maybe to help, you buy a paperback instead of a hardcover, a 10×7 instead of a 6×4. You grab the copy quickly to ease the pain and scurry out of the bookstore, hoping no one will see how anguished you are at buying a book.

Every time you read your new copy, you glance at the old one, resting, peacefully retired on the bookshelf. Its spine watches you softly as you start the process all over again.

living enclosed

i am almost always uncomfortable in my apartment. we live on a busy street with no tree or vegetation coverage, so my blinds and curtains are closed almost all the time. if i think about going somewhere, i weigh the pros and cons of trying to turn out onto the street. this is a far cry from my house where the living room curtains were open almost the time and traffic was limited to maybe a car every 20 minutes.

my kitchen is too small, as in not enough cupboard space. counter space could be a little more, too. i’m not entirely disappointed with the living room, but i wish i could easily hook up all my speakers. the bathroom is spacious enough and has a window in it, but the cats’ litter boxes take up a corner, and OMG cat litter EVERYWHERE. i don’t know if it was because they had to walk across a chunk of the basement in the house and so shook it from their feet or what, but there is so much litter all over (and it’s mostly ralf). but nate hates the tub 🙁 to compensate i bought an awesome showerhead.

the office is nice, but it’s cramped due to our multitudes of stuff. and of course, the blinds are always closed because of showing the world our computers.

the bedroom should be the one saving grace about the place because it’s ginormous* compared to our old bedroom, but a huge sliding door, an awkward window, and the fact that i haven’t put anything on the walls and there’s still boxes in there just makes it bleah.

yeah.

sorry for complaining, but squeezing everything into a space smaller than we need and adding upstairs neighbors and paying for laundry on top of it makes me feel kind of meh about this whole living situation. i feel coccooned.

i just keep telling myself, it’s only 1-2 years. only 1-2 years.

*nice! chrome recognizes this as a word!