Monday, October 30, 2006


That of which we do not speak.. or haven't ever spoken of before anyway..

There are a lot of things that people have said to me over the years. Far more things that have been said, really, than haven't been said. Which makes the things that haven't been said that much more apparent, when said. And one of those things was said to me today.

Scene: The Gym.
Fade in.
Me -- wailing on my glutes, minding my own business. Occasionally throwing friendly smiles to the woman working out next to me when we catch eyes.
Her -- total stranger who appears to be, dare I say it, staring at me.

Me -- obviously thinking I have something hanging out of my nose/mouth/pants or I'm making a funny face. {Sidebar: I've been told when I'm really cutting a rug on the dance floor that I am apt to make odd faces. What can I say? The music moves me, man. However, it is most likely that I may also be prone to unknowingly making faces equally as odd at the gym.}
Her -- She, staring at my legs, says, "Wow, you've got such nice leg muscles."

Me -- looking around to see who she is talking to. Because clearly such a remark is not meant for me. "Hmm?"
Her -- "Yeah, I was just looking at how defined your leg muscles are. They're really nice."

Me -- "Oh, wow. Thanks." I digress to a mental dialogue not at all dissimilar from "I am Hanz. I am Franz. And we are here to paaahm-p *clap* you up."

I dare say that no one has ever commented on my legs at all. Ever. Good or bad. Which was really not ever a major issue to me. I'm not one of those women who falls into the "legs" category. Nor am I marrying a "Leg-man". Legs are legs. No one ever commented on my nostrils before either, but apparently anything's possible, esspecially at my gym.

I have spent the last hour captivated by this potential I did not know my legs, er, leg muscles, possessed. Some things are only meant to be said once. And sometimes once is enough. I envision myself in a rocking chair years from now regaling my grandchildren about the one time a stranger at the gym said I had nice leg muscles. I figured I had to blog about it just to memorialize the moment of leg-recognition -- as it is likely to never occur again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I went to nursing school and all you get are these useless facts...

I don't care much for Wednesdays this semester as it means that I'll be spending 6 solid hours (save the 10 minutes to run from the first 3 hour class to the second 3 hour class) on my ass in lecture. No needles, no catheters, no gore and no opportunity for me to lace clever sarcasm into some strange healthcare situation. To give them credit, these professors do their best to keep the lecture moving, but let's be honest. After 3 hours of powerpoint(my own personal hell)/overhead projectors and the constant chatter of inane undergraduates, it is, in a word: painful.

Except today, really. I seemed to be learning things left and right -- and strangely, not a tidbit of it relevant to either of my classes or my general career choice.

I give you -- What I Learned Today:

1. The word "nylon" actually refers to the two locations that simultaneously created the fiber -- New York and London. Much like the word "denim" indicates where it was created -- Nimes, France. Hence, de Nimes (of or from Nimes).

2. The creature with the largest brain-to-body-size ratio is the ant.

3. "Meth" and "Crystal Meth" are two different things. Similar, but different. Additionally, apparently the red-blooded midwesterners who hold down the center-part of our great nation were not the first group to get it on with (Crystal)Meth. According to Lisa Ling (and she knows her shit), the Japanese kamikaze pilots used it during WWII to A) keep them awake and B) get and keep them super stoked about their inevitable crash and burn later. Awesome!

4. The insect known as the "earwig" actually has two penises (peni?) that point in different directions. A single penis of theirs is actually longer than the earwig itself, but is incredibly fragile -- perhaps the reasoning behind having two.... just in case.

5. Elephants can't jump. An affliction I hear also affects white men.

6. Massachusetts elementary schools are banning tag, flag football and "other chase games" in the fear that someone may get hurt and the school be held liable. It is a serious problem that we're bringing up the next generation as a bunch of sissies. Seriously. Very seriously.

Who knows what trivia game you'll totally kick ass and take names with now!

Monday, October 16, 2006


From a carwash to the Spice Girls -- my slow music-delivery descent.

Picture it. Easter, 2006. The Betrothed and I are setting sail down the proverbial river of Interstate 95 South to spend this, the most important holiday on the liturgical calender, with Mom & Co. Before we left -- a drive I was told *I* was making as the Betrothed had big laptop plans for the ride down -- I decided to take my big red tank (aka: The Volv') to the carwash so that the Betrothed and I wouldn't be the only ones spruced up in our Easter bests.

Shiney and drippy, we started out -- Betrothed working on wedding guest lists on excel (a spreadsheet *I* created, thankyouverymuch) and I logged some serious playtime on the iPod, running through the car radio. Some two hours later, we stopped at a rest-stop (a requisite stop for me and my shot-glass sized bladder)not more than an hour from Mom's. As we walked back to the car, the Betrothed says, "Hey, your antenna looks jacked."

'Jacked' put it kindly.

The Volv' hasn't evolved from "big, long and 15 seconds to retract into the trunk" antenna to "short, cute, well placed and in no need of a motor" antenna. And I had been ok with that. Until I found myself so wrapped up in the simple joys of a beautiful Easter morning that I commited first degree antenna-slaughter by not turning off the radio-radio and thereby retracting it PRIOR to going into said carwash. Rather than a long, straight look, it took on a far more pronounced 90 degree turn around the level of the car roof. And since I had been jamming to something totally sweet on the iPod the whole way down thus far, I hadn't noticed that I had no radio coming in at all.

Flashforward: Then + a little bit of time. So it's been months since we lost the antenna. And they've been busy months because neither of us have bothered much to actually get it fixed any more than to just take it off so it stops looking so pitiful. All was well, I had XM Radio -- with which I was able to spend some more consistent quality time with now that car-radio bit the dust.

Being as ahead-of-the-tech curve as you all surely recognize that I am, it should come as quite a surprise to you that I had an XM radio over two years ago. WAAYYYY before it was "the thing". In fact, I was one of their first 10,000 customers. Yeah, I had my subscription back when it really was still commercial-free. I took my no-car-radio time and devoted it to slowly falling in love with certain programs and stations. Until XM radio bit the dust. Apparently all of my prophylactic "unplugging so it doesn't get stolen when someone sees it in plain view" has killed the antenna connection to my receiver. Which is fine. Best Buy assures me that the part will be in shortly.

Flashforward: Then + some more time. In the mean time, it's a good thing I have my little tapey-player (yes, my car still has a cassette player, AND WHAT??) converter thing for my iPod. I'm able to relearn why I love Erasure so much and better yet, catch up on my "Naked Scientist" podcasts (do yourself a favor and get one from iTunes -- they're free. And amazing. And British. They do 1-hour talk shows on all manner of scientific topics, and it's fascinating!). I've become so connected with my iPod + tapey thing that when the Betrothed and I took a trip to his hometown this weekend to attend his 10 year HS reunion I thought I might take it along so we could ALL enjoy Erasure, et al. (Let's all stop for a moment to be impressed that not only does MY car (which has a few candles on it's cake) have a cassette player, but the Betrothed's fancy new Lexus has one, too. He bought it like that on purpose. We're quite the power couple. ) We drove, we sang, we made merry.

Flashforward: Yesterday. We drove home early Sunday morning so that the Betrothed could turn around and head out on a week-long business trip at some locale far, far away. He repacked, I hid cute 'I love you' notes in his suitcase and he was off within the hour. A few hours later I decided that rather be alone with my thoughts -- cause, hell, I'd have all week for THAT -- I'd head to the mall with BFF and Fam.

As soon as my key was in the ignition I realized it. The Betrothed had my tapey-converter cassette thing in his car. And he was MANY miles away at this point. I drove in silence for a few blocks until it was deafening. So at the next light I scoured my car for something, anything.

And that's when I came upon a mix-tape. Lord knows when I made this mysterious, musical mish-mash. But it just so happens, that once the BFF got in the car, the mix-tape had gone from sweet Bowie tunes to, yes, The Spice Girls.

Which we listened to.
And sang along to.

And then my BFF lent me her tapey-converter thing because she said she could not, in good conscience, let me listen to any more of my dated mix-tape -- even if it meant Spice(ing) Up My Life -- when her car-radio was in working order and she could spare her converter.

Thank God. I'm not terribly sure what more I could regress to after a mix-tape. Maybe a vinyl 35 of Fisher Price's "Discover Your World of Sounds".

Which might be sweet.
I don't really know. I'm not really in a position to tell you what the kids are listening to these days.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


HOOAH! The Army 10-Miler

Sunday was a great day for me. Really, a super-awesome-better-than-I-thought day. Sunday I woke up at 5AM to be at the Vienna metro at 6AM to be at the Pentagon at 7AM for an 8AM race. And it.was.awesome.

The highlights:

Mile 0 - 1

Mile 1-2

Mile 2-3

Mile 3-4

Mile 4-5

Mile 5-6

Mile 6-7

Mile 7-8

Mile 8-9

Mile 9-10

This was an awesome race. In fact, I'm so glad I didn't have an iPod with me or I would have missed all the heartfelt cheering and silly bands. There was so much friendliness and good will among the runners that it ceased to be an intimidating event from the moment I got on the metro with every other runner that morning.

The last few days have been spent popping pills and coming to terms with my love affair with Flex-All cream. But it's a good hurt. So good, in fact, that there is talk of the Rock N Roll Half Marathon -- 13.1 miles -- in January in Phoenix (what?! Have running shoes, will travel?). And another next September in Virginia Beach.

So, anyone wanna train with me?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Alma Mater, HAIL

Sadly, my beloved Alma Mater has come under some pretty ridiculous attacks lately. Apparently our fairly understated logo is being interpreted as "hostile and abusive". Are you wondering what is hostile and abusive about a "W" "M" and two feathers? It's the feathers. You could probably poke someone's eye out or hold up a (green) 7-11 with the end part (hostile) or tickle someone mercilessly (abusive) with the other.

We've been graciously permitted to keep our school mascot, The Tribe, because "the College's use of the term "Tribe" reflects our community's senseof shared commitment and common purpose. "

A few excerpts from the president's letter:
"I am compelled to say, at the outset, how powerfully ironic it is for theCollege of William & Mary to face sanction for athletic transgression at the hands of the NCAA. The Association has applied its mascot standards in ways so patently inconsistent and arbitrary as to demean the entireundertaking. Beyond this, William & Mary is widely acknowledged to be aprincipal exemplar of the NCAA's purported, if unrealized, ideals." (ouch! Hark upon THAT gale, NCAA!)

"Not only are our athletic programs intensely competitive, but according tothe Association's own Academic Progress Reports, the College ranks fifthamong all institutions of higher learning in scholastic excellence. Eachyear, we graduate approximately 95% of our senior student athletes. ...Meanwhile, across thecountry, in the face of massive academic underperformance, embarrassing misbehaviors on and off the field, and grotesque commercialization of intercollegiate athletics, the NCAA has proven hapless, or worse." (Amen...)

However, I applaud President Nichol. He appreciates the alumni funds that would surely be given to fund a very bloody, legal throwdown with the NCAA -- but would rather see those funds invested in the school.

Ah, alas, we loose two feathers. But maybe, for those of us who hold W&M so close to our hearts, we're loosing much more?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Terrorists: You've cut me to the quick.

FIRST, you slip ruffie's into my nation's party-punch and steal its innocence while its down for the count. Others have tarnished the innocence, but you outright robbed it. And didn't even call my nation back afterwards like nothing happened to see if you could still be friends.

THEN you make me be barefoot in airports. I don't go to water parks for hygenic reasons (it was a bad day that ended with me in a wave pool with a band-aid that did NOT origniate on my body stuck to my forehead *shiver* Talk about never again.), but I'm made to stand barefoot in the same foot path as 100,000 of my closest fellow air travelers? I have performed countless impromptu stripteases for the TSA folks with belts, barrettes and zippers all aflurry.

THEN you take my water bottle (for with which to make Crystal Light Iced Tea) from me and forbid my use of in-cabin chap stick, for heaven's sake. Parched and chapped, you still take more. You know. Don't fake like you don't. You made me part ways with my ever-so-tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. I'm a freaking nursing student. I live in a constant state of germ-paranoia. And yet, I had to toss my 1 oz bottle of Purell that fit in every purse I have in the Ft. Lauderdale airport. Yeah, I challenged it. Don't think I didn't know that you could really have 1 oz or less of a gel/liquid substance. My TSA screener disagreed and rather than suffer the cavity search, I tossed my hand sanitizer -- contracting and harboring God knows what manner of infestations.

But now you've gone to far. You've reached beyond my air travel into my world, man. My big 10-miler race this weekend. Yeah, I recognize that it's in Washington, DC, the mecca of your hate. And I realize that 24,000+ people gathered for a military-sponsored event through the streets and past the sacred monuments of our nation's capitol is a hard temptation to pass up. However, because of the pervasive fear of your next plot, I have been required to leave my running-red-feather-of-hope at home.

My iPod.

You've taken the gift of song. You've stolen my Erasure and my Air Supply in one fell swoop, and for THIS, I cannot forgive you. Due to the new terms of race-security, you've taken my water-belt and my iPod -- the two items I trained with consistently and with that you think you've taken my will to succeeed.

Well, think again, Terrorist. Though it goes against every fiber of my being, I will run without music or clever lecture series. (Though it would be totally sweet if you'd avoid attacking the race. I hate running without music, but I'm pretty against mass-casualty attacks, too. )

This 10-miles honors those who are fighting. Maybe not fighting the terrorists, but fighting to establish a peace some peoples have never known before. For their sacrifice, I think I can force myself to hum a few bars to myself over 10 miles, or belt it out high-school-musical-style for my fellow runners. (11:30/mile-pace runners BEWARE!)

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