On Running

December 14, 2014 § 2 Comments

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Running isn’t about what distances you’ve raced, or even if you’ve done a race. … Not enough of us are talking about what a holistic sport it is, or should be.  It’s about staying fit and pushing yourself to achieve and surpass goals, sure; but it’s also about personal and spiritual growth, creativity, mental clarity, and emotional stability.  I find these things in running.  Even if I can only do a couple miles at 10-minute pace.

~Jamie Quatro, author & runner, from an interview in this month’s Runner’s World

Holidaaaaaays

December 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

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I grew up thinking mistletoe was moose poop. I think that’s because our father told us that it was. And for some reason it is very hard for me to shake that as fact.  Every year I look it up to make sure that it’s a plant (just did it).  I have no idea why he did that, other than he didn’t want us to eat it?

I know a lot of people hate the holidays.  I love them.  I love the festivities.  I like the music.  I like that the streets and bars are littered with people all dressed up, going to and coming from parties.  I like the lights.  The feeling in the air makes everything, even the shooting of a toilet paper commercial when Molly and I were at the Culver Hotel bar, where the British girl cast as the main role (seller?) repeated “For a fresher clean, try Cottonelle’s Fresh and Clean pack”and detailed the benefits of flushable cleansing cloths about 346 times, feel exciting and kind of glamorous.

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Plus the crew bought our drinks, since we weren’t allowed to talk while they were shooting.

Since Paul is working Christmas eve & day, we will be sticking around this year.  On our evening put-the-baby-to-sleep walk two nights ago we walked by the tree “farm” in the parking lot at the end of our street and decided to drop a hot $20 and get one.  Which meant Paul got to carry it the quarter mile home.

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Fortunately it’s only about 2 feet tall and Paul is buff.  It may not be the Kentucky office, but my work station just got a little more festive.

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Happy holidays.

Update: Turns out one year we had some Mooseltoe in our house from Maine.  That actually was moose poop.

I feel powerful

November 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

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via Humans of New York.  The only thing more awesome than this dude is how much love he gets in the FB comments.

Thanksgiving Lessons

November 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

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over dessert:

J1: did you know that one time a guy ate a whole automobile?
M: an automobile?  no way.  that’s not possible
J1: yes!  it’s true!  he broke it down and ate it piece-by-piece
M: but…why?  why would you eat a car?
D: well because then when someone would introduce you to their friends they’d be like, ‘hey, this is my friend, the one i told you about who ate a car.’
M: why would you want that to be the way someone introduces you?
J2: why eat just a car?  why not go for something bigger?
E (joining the table): are you guys talking about the guy who ate the school bus?
M: well, there you go. he totally one-upped the guy who ate the car
J1: it wasn’t a school bus, it was a car
E:  no! it was a school bus. his name was hamish mctavish.  when i was teaching there was a book called ‘hamish mctavish eats a school bus’
M: they teach that to kids at school? that it’s ok to eat school buses?
J1: i don’t believe it
E (getting up, heading towards the computer): look, i’ll show you. i think he ate everything except the tires
J2: of all things to stop you from finishing a school bus…
E: OH MY GOD!

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E: someone ate a 747!
D: how long did it take him to eat it?
E: it doesn’t say
J1: i wonder if his doctor asked him if he gets enough iron
M: who gave him a 747 to eat?
J2: that would be a bummer, you eat a bus and then find out someone else ate a 747
D: especially because then when you’re friend introduces you as, ‘hey, this is my friend that ate a car’, someone else can say, ‘oh yeah?  well my friend ate a 747′

Update: there’s a book about the 747.  it is fiction.  but apparently some french dude did eat a cessna.

#murderoustrain

November 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

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A few Saturdays ago, Paul and I went to our first black tie gala for my job.  I straightened my hair, he wore his wedding suit…it was so fancy.

image (1)If someone ever wants to teach me how to look normal in pictures, let me know.

We left Tiniest with my parents.

The event was downtown.  I suggested taking Uber.  “No!” says Paul, “Why waste money on Uber when we can just take the train?!”

So the train we take.  And we’re a little out of place, but whatever.

Halfway there the train comes to a SCREECHING halt.  “Hope we didn’t just hit somebody,” I say to Paul under my breath.

After about 3 minutes of sitting there, the conductor comes over the loudspeaker: “There has been an incident, please do not try to exit the train.”

“Oooooh no, that is not good,” I tell Paul.  “If the train really hit someone, we are going to be here a long time.”

People start to get irritated.

Suddenly a dude sitting across the aisle from us with a cane starts going, “What the…what…”, gets up, and limps to the front of the car.  And starts yelling.

Our train had hit someone.  And our car stopped right in front of the dude it hit.  You could see him out the front windows.

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I didn’t look.  My new friend in pink and I stayed in our seats.

“Is he dead?”
“He’s breathing, but there’s blood.”
“His pants!  Did they get knocked off?”
“Oooooh shiit that m****f**** was hiiiiigh!”
“He’s definitely breathing though.”
“It doesn’t really look like he got hit by a train…except that blood on his head.”
“We’re never getting out of here.”
“So what do we do?  This is a crime scene!  Do we need to stay here until they finish the crime scene?”
“We can’t do anything, we can’t get out of the car.”

The first of the firetrucks arrive.

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A police officer comes into our car, yells at everyone to PUT THEIR PHONES AWAY AND GET BACK IN THEIR SEATS, pulls down the front window shade (which blocks exactly nothing), and tells everyone to be patient, there is a rescue train on the way.  AND NO MORE FILMING!

A rescue train!  I feel a surge of hope.

As soon as he leaves everyone is back at the window again.  Cane Man keeps on filming, narrating the whole thing: “SO the police just came by and told us NOT to film…but that’s some bullshit, I have my rights, I’m still filming.”

Someone starts tweeting #murderoustrain.

Someone else in another car forces the doors open and sets off an alarm.  I watch him jump the fence around the rails and take off running down the street. Conductor comes over the loudspeaker again reminding everyone to NOT exit the train, that there is a rescue train coming.

That’s right carmates, let’s not forget the rescue train!  But how, I start wondering, would that work?  Where would it come from?  I’m picturing the rescue bus in Speed, where they put a plank in between the two buses, and we all have to walk across it to board the rescue train.

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The girl sitting in front of us is on her way to work the night shift at Vons in Pasadena, calls her boss to tell her she has no idea when she’ll get there.  I email my (new) boss that we are meeting at the dinner to let him know that we are stuck on a train, not sure if we’ll be there any time soon.

Cane Man keeps on filming.

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About 45 min in they finally load the guy onto the ambulance.  About 20 min after that, the train starts moving.

MOVING!

The rescue train was a lie.  This whole time.

The train moves us to the next stop, opens the doors, and instructs everyone to get out, this train is done for the night.  Doors close, train drives away.  No trains running.

I try to find the number for a cab but instead find that….my phone is dead.  Of course it is.

A lot of people just start walking.  Given that we’re in South Central and dressed like we’re going to prom, I veto that option.

Paul tries to get an Uber, but every time he finds one the driver cancels.  We can’t figure out why, until Paul takes a look and realizes for some reason his phone thinks we’re in Afghanistan.  And it won’t let itself be corrected.

The cab companies aren’t answering.

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And that is how Paul and I got stranded, in Crenshaw, in formal wear, at sunset.

(About half an hour later the train started running again along the second half of the route, and got us to the event about 2 hours late.)

We Ubered home.

Solar Biking

November 15, 2014 § 2 Comments

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This week two different companies introduced two different uses of solar power on bike paths in the Netherlands: one for harvesting energy, one using tiny, twinkling, solar-powered stones to light up the path at night (inspired by Starry Night, as the bike path runs through the city where Van Gogh used to live).  As somebody who used to bike out to the bars on a bike path with NO LIGHTS at all, I can’t even tell you how many wrecks this would have prevented.

Get on it, USA.

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LA Hiking

November 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Someone got a new backpack this weekend.

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Though you can’t tell from the picture, she’s a huge fan.

To test it out, we headed out to Griffith Park Sunday morning.

Last week I was listening to an interview with Josh Spector who came in 18th at Badwater this year.  He lives in north Hollywood and was talking about all of the great hill/trail running in LA.  Now I see what he’s talking about.  Miles and miles of trails and roads with only foot traffic.

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It is gorgeous.  Crowded on a beautiful Sunday morning, but gorgeous.  And once you get off the main trail onto one of the many smaller trails it’s a lot less crowded.  When (if) I ever train for a marathon again, that is where I am heading (though with a partner…just saw this…)

Time to get exploring.

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