middle age

today is my last day of being 33 years old. why do i feel like my life is frittering away and i’m still stuck in the mindset of an eight year old?

i don’t feel particularly old; when thinking of years past, it feels like it wasn’t that long ago, that it was something that just happened. even lingering over my gradeschool years feels like i just left it.

there’s something to be said for taylor’s swift’s song “22” – it is kind of the culminating point of your young years. she says: “We’re happy free confused and lonely at the same time.
It’s miserable and magical.” can’t really argue with that. my dad waxes eloquent about 1955 all the time. the food, the movies, the trips he took, the people he befriended, even his ex-girlfriend who he started dating that year. how old was he? 22. will 2001 be my “best year”? so far, i feel like it is.

but, as my age switches from the big 33 to the even bigger 34 tomorrow, there’s something to be said for getting a little older. and as i sit here trying to think of what actually could be said about getting older, i can’t come up with anything. i don’t FEEL any different even though i have to be. i still FEEL like i’m 8, though the seconds, minutes, months, and years keep piling up next to my grey hair, wrinkles that are getting more prominent, and hands that show a little more age than i would like.

c’est la vie, i guess. as gretchen rubin said:

“the days are long but the years are short.”

100% true.

on writing

the book i’m writing could be pretty controversial among some family members, not to mention people i rub shoulders with – i do live in the midwest, after all. which means i have to get over my fear of confrontation (well, not fear – just hating feeling like i’m wrong and that people will hate me because i have a different opinion).

i was waffling on whether to show my aunt kathleen some pages i’d written. i talked to jane. she said, “it’s your book! you get to write what you want!” yes, yes.

then i talked to my dad and mentioned the same thing, and he said the same thing. (he might have political issues with what i write, but i am letting him read it through.)

i have no problem having my opinions and writing the book, but i need to get over it. hence the relevant xkcd.

GUEST POST!

i asked my sister liz to write a guest post! here it is!

omg, this got long. i hope you actually read it. i try not to be boring.

kate wanted me to guest blog on her blog. i tend to blog about boring stuff that happens in my daily life that only those who know me could possibly be interested (and sometimes not even then). i needed a prompt. it’s only fair; she’s been using prompts for awhile now (note the awesome semicolon action – meee oowww). so she suggested i write about how her quest for a corn syrup free life has influenced mine.

thus, a blog post was born…

prior to kate’s anti-corn agenda, i was on my own anti-partially hydrogenated soybean oil (henceforth known as phso) agenda. why, you ask? well, it all started back in middle school when i was visiting extended family…

the daughter of kate’s and my crazy aunt (of whom kate has referenced many a time) is a nutritionist. she bent the ear of my dad and me over b-fast one day about trans fats and cis fats. this was back in the day before trans fat became a buzz word and everyone knew about it. cousin was telling us that phso has trans fats and it basically mutates human cells to become more susceptible to cancer and other crap. that didn’t sound good to me.

so i started reading ingredient lists and worked to avoid phso. it’s hard to do that when you’re not buying the groceries. when i was old enough to do so, i avoided phso at all costs. i would put things back on the shelves. i’d look at different brands. i was crushed to find out crisco is basically all phso… that was the one exception to my vendetta since a lot of baking calls for crisco.

but saltines! for ages i thought i couldn’t eat saltines because of phso. until i started looking at other brands. lo and behold, other brands didn’t use it! thank you zesta! i could still eat saltines and cream cheese!

oh, you haven’t tried that? you should. it’s delicious. nom.

so when kate started her anti corn syrup agenda, i paid attention. i like having a nerd for a sister who will do all the research work and tell me just the pertinent parts. saves me a lot of work.

i already knew hfcs was bad. regular pop makes me sick. literally. i have a can of pepsi, and i need the bathroom pronto. gross.

so i was onboard with paying more attention to what had cs and hfcs and cs solids (can i just say that the idea of corn syrup solids sounds really really gross?) in it.

since i had experience reading ingredients, it wasn’t a hardship to pay attention to whether or not there was cs in it too. but my oh my, cs is waaaaayyy more prevalent than phso.

phso mainly shows up in packaged food items that need a longer shelf life – cookies, crackers, etc. it’s in food in all those aisles you’re not supposed to shop in anyway.

cs is in eeevvveerrrryyyyythiiiiinnnngggg. omg, it’s so annoying to avoid.

we had to buy andouille sausage the other night. the only stuff available at target has cs in it. we bought it anyway.

i will read labels, i will avoid it where i can, but if it’s the only option and i really want it, i will get it. but i try really hard to avoid it in my groceries.

eating out, however, is whole different ball game. i still eat sandwiches from mcdonald’s. i really should not be eating there. i know this. but sometimes, it’s an easy, quick option. especially since i’m not the cook in my house. and when my cook is working at school or asleep because his schedule is crazy, i will sometimes splurge and get mcd’s. it’s cheap, they have coke zero (NOM), and they have drive through which is extremely handy when you have a 3 1/2 month old as long as she’d not crying.

i don’t read ingredients lists of the restaurants i frequent. i probably should, but i don’t.

i did have to change my bread habits. there is cs in a lot of the bread on the market. i bought a fresh loaf of italian bread from target the other day without reading the ingredients. it’s fresh! it should be okay. today i looked at it and found out there are corn syrup solids in it!! wtf?? that’s annoying. i’m still eating it. it’s a perfectly good load of italian bread and makes great french toast.

okay, this blog post has become ridiculously long. kudos to you if you’re still reading this. 🙂

cheese

omg i haven’t written in a while! and i’m going to fargo for the weekend, so i won’t be posting again until monday at the earliest! ack!

minor freakout over, i made some cheese yesterday. well, i attempted to make some cheese yesterday. we’ll see how it tastes later on when i make my pizzas for tonight. i used a recipe from “animal vegetable miracle” but it called for liquid rennet and i used a tab. that may have screwed things up. either way, it looks really weird – kind of a translucent white – when it’s supposed to be just plain jane mozzarella cheese. on top of that, i bought the milk from the farmers’ market, and it tastes really cow-y. actually tastes more like powdered milk than anything. the recipe said you could use any milk that wasn’t ultra-pasteurized, so i might try to do this with regular milk from the store. we’ll see! i’ll report back with taste tests on a pizza.

EDIT: it did not taste bad. it was a little chewy, but i figured it was probably how a hard cheese would be consistency wise on a pizza. i also put feta on the pizza, so that probably helped :/

on bad runs

let’s talk about bad runs.

there are some days i do not want to run, but i do anyway. maybe i didn’t get enough sleep, maybe i ate not too long ago and feel blarg, maybe i haven’t eaten enough, maybe my bra is newly washed and i just put it on and it feels like it’s constricting my breathing, or maybe my muscles just don’t want to work today. i get out there, plug in my earbuds, turn on the music, and take off, but i’m just not feeling it. some days i get in a groove right away, others it takes me a mile to finally get going, and some days i just can’t get it at all. i cruise into my driveway after a run and want to fall over because it was that bad. on days like that, my time drops about a minute or more per mile.

when i signed up for a 10k, i wanted it to be awesome, so i did everything right beforehand. i had eaten some m&ms at noon,had a sandwich at 2:30, took a little nap, drank a loooot of caffeine, put on my bra 2 hours pre-race. i didn’t run the day before, but stretched a ton before the race, and my adrenaline was pumping. it was probably 60-65 degrees out and a little humid, so it wouldn’t be too warm, but not cool either. we took off.

the run was great for the first 4 miles – i was really kicking my time in the butt. then came the hills.

i don’t know who decided it would be an awesome thing to put 2 large hills and an incline at the end of a 10k. obviously they had never run a race. one hill i could deal with, but after the second i was so worn out, it probably would have made more sense for me to walk. i wanted to run the entire thing, so i kept plugging away.

what really amazed me was the final incline. usually at the end of a race, you want to give yourself one last burst of running energy to get over the finish line, but when it’s on an incline, that just doesn’t happen. my muscles were so worn out, i don’t know if i couldn’ve done it even if it were even.

i came in last at that 10k, and it really annoyed me, even though everyone was really nice about it. sure, i knew i could do it, but as i ran in to the end, everyone was cheering me on and giving high fives, so much so that it was almost patronizing because i was last. yeah yeah i know i’m coming in faster than those who aren’t running it at all, but still, it would’ve been nice to at least come in somewhat close to the others.

what was really amazing was my time: 12:57/mile. which meant i was really booking it up until the last 2 miles. it was the fastest 6 miles i’ve run yet.

this morning i woke up and my legs were screaming at me, my stomach and back muscles were sore (from uphill crouching maybe?) and i had rashes on my back from my bra, even though i’ve never had that happen before.

i won’t be running that one again unless they change the course. meanwhile, i’ll keep plugging away at my bad runs, even though they really do suck. but a bad run is better than no run.

here's to spring

tonight was commencement at rctc, and we got out of the sports center at about 9:30. it was gorgeous out! a perfect night for a bonfire. i drove home with the windows down, and since the college is on a pretty large acreage on the edge of town with lots of trees, i heard the frogs croaking in the ditches, the crickets chirping, the warm wind whooshing. it was the perfect night for a drive out of city limits, but i was so beat i needed to get home and crawl into the bathtub.

the other night i went for a bike ride. it’d been 95 degrees that day, but by 8 p.m. it had cooled off a little bit. i like riding my bike on my non-running days because it reminds me of how fast i actually CAN go past these places. that night was nice because the sun was low enough in the sky that it didn’t make me squint, but it was still light enough out to not worry. the trees are starting to leaf out a little bit, so they created a bit of shade as i cruised along. what was lovely was the pockets of cooler air as i went along, going from almost too warm to perfect, to too warm, to cool. i bike over to campus, and it’s like night and day. i live in a pretty trafficky part of town, then campus, which is less than a mile away, is almost in the country. i was biking along and i noticed two deer on the other side of the road, that then decided to bound right in front of me. the second deer was about 10 feet in front of me as it leapt across the bike path. i watched the white tails sticking straight up from their butts as they started toward the wooded area.

so here’s to spring, that lovely time of year that reminds you that yes, life can be pretty exciting.