Monday Mindspacing Vol. 142

1) The most frustrating blog posts are the ones with pictures of unidentifiable things. Please caption your picture posts! Especially when it's food! It makes me so CRAZY to look at beautiful, unidentifiable food. Is that salmon? How was it prepared? Could I replicate it? WE'LL NEVER KNOW!!
2) Sometimes I'm slightly dramatic.
3) My half-marathon training got all the way off in the last few weeks with unplanned runs and having to skip an 8-mile run when I scraped off part of the bottom of my foot on a spare STAPLE in our hardware floors. !?! That was so not awesome. I've still run more than most plans have you run but I do not like this untethered feeling. Plus I've (mostly) avoided thinking about race registration until I know where I'll be in the fall.
4) Along that vein, half plans often have your longest run pre-race as 10 miles and say the excitement of the day will carry you the other 3.1. To this I say, ARE YOU CRAZY??? I already thought that the first time I heard it and planned to put longer mileage in my race prep. I'm already SO GLAD I did and the half I want to run is still 6 weeks away. It was more than a notion to make it on my 12 and 13-mile runs. It was the longest distance I'd ever run both times & I felt 90xs more prepared by just doing it once. (That doesn't mean I enjoyed the distance.)
5) Guys! I changed my name! I felt so official when I got my new social security card!
6) Do you know the last time I posted about food? MARCH! I was thinking about putting everything I blog about on one page. What say you?
7) Savannah, here we come!! I'm sooo excited!
8) I have CRAZY tan lines from running in the sun. I need a bandeau top bikini so my beach days can even them out!
9) I'm doing a water aerobics class for the first time on Wednesday! I can't wait to hang with the old ladies! :)
10) I'm making a mousse using tofu for the first time this week. Tips?
11) Based on my MIL's requests for my SIL's wedding dinner, I think I'm required to make french onion soup and three-way ginger snaps every time I see them. This is my punishment for making complicated or labor-intensive things that people don't want to replicate but love to eat. LOL I'll take it though. I love when people love my food!


Hey Fatty

My running group is growing like crazy now. It's cool but of course there are growing pains. The biggest annoyance HANDS DOWN is my exposure to people who are unnecessarily hard on their bodies.

I understand everyone has their own journey not only toward fitness but to acceptance of their bodies but hearing "I'm so fat... I hate my fat legs..." and things of that nature is HORRIBLE!! It's really terrible when you're skinner than most people will ever be and you're pinching a millimeter of "fat" aka skin around your middle. If you feel bad about that smidgen of skin, how do you think the bigger people all around you feel? I'm fine. But you're making some of them feel pretty terrible.

Maybe I'll start instituting a mandatory body self-compliment every time I hear someone say something negative about their bodies. If you're going to say something horrible and tear yourself down, you're also going to say something positive. Everyone doesn't have the privilege or ability or opportunity to go out and do what you're doing. YOU'RE HERE. That's the first step in the right direction.



You know that phrase 'like a chicken with its head cut off'? That's me right now. I'm so RESTLESS!! I feel like Rashan and I are on the verge of a huge change (new job(s)/move) in our lives and the suspense is making me nutty!


Give me some free things to do! Even something crazy!

(But don't suggest like my sister did that I cut off all of my hair. WHAT KIND OF SUGGESTION IS THAT!? You clearly haven't been listening to anything I say. I've told everyone: when I cut off my hair 9 years ago, I wanted it to be the last time I ever did that. If I ever cut off all of my hair again, it will be immediately permed. My theory on why she told me that? 1) She's never cut off all of her hair. 2) She has never EVER had anything but the thickest hair. It grows long quite easily and is thick and lustrous. Me? Thin hair. Breaks easily. And really, a general nuisance. Growing my locs has given me both the longest hair I've ever had and for the first time, the appearance of thick hair! How exciting! Big chop? Ma'am. Good-bye.)


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 141

1) Those goals I posted for the month? I'm so ready to smash them! I'm on fire right now and I'm not sure why. BUT I LIKE IT!! Leggo!
2) I got the details on sister-in-law's wedding dinner! She's doing a pasta bar with a couple of desserts. I'm making a vegan dessert. She loves chocolate so I'm thinking a vegan chocolate cake with homemade orange curd. I also need to make and freeze ginger snaps for my MIL but I'm kind of afraid we'll eat them all before they make it down there! LOL
3) If you ask me something on facebook and I answer, then we don't have to talk about it in person. In other fb news, my dad is now on there. SMH
4) I'm working on a list of things I've learned in the first year of marriage & awww! It's making me mushy just thinking about it!
5) Rashan and I watch Jimmy Fallon religiously. The games and songs on that show are HILARIOUS! Maya Rudolph's "Let Us Play with Your Look" is a family fave! I'm less pleased that a recent performance on the show has Rashan singing "Call Me Maybe" over and over and over!! WHYYYYY?
6) I have too many magazines in my house taking up valuable shelf space. Although part of me doesn't want to part (heh) with the food magazines especially, the other part wants them gone. Even my heavily bookmarked magazines are too difficult to sort through compared to the ease of googling recipes. I almost never read the magazines again. Someone tell me to get rid of them. Anyone local having a vision board party? Maybe I can donate them to a local school. Whatever. I'm just going to recycle them. That was easy. Thanks guys!
7) I always remember I want to volunteer to read at an elementary school at the end of the school year. Why??? Someone help me remember in a more timely manner next year, please!
8) My fitness clothing issue is becoming a real problem. I need so much of it! Yoga pants used to be my old staple so I have more than enough of those but now I need compression pants and capri tights.
9) I did a true chest & arms workout on Friday for the first time in months and I'm still sore. Clearly this is one of my areas of improvement. I struggle with balance when lacking a gym membership. I get cardio gung ho or strength training out of control but I haven't done the two simultaneously since Pittsburgh. And even then I didn't really know what I was doing.
10) I removed word verification from the comments because it was doing almost nothing to stop spam. I still could get 5-10(!!!) spam comments PER DAY. Seriously? And the word verification is harder and harder to read? Nope. Removing anonymous commenting also led to a huge drop in spam.
11) If you pray, pray for Mrs. TDJ. I'm so flabbergasted by her loss and pondering more than ever the futility of words. What can you possibly say? Almost everything sounds hollow.


Running Update!

Guess what? I STILL LOVE RUNNING! Yay!

My running group is finally hitting its stride! I felt AMAZING Sunday helping the people in the group doing Couch to 5K! It's so fun seeing them hit new milestones that they never could have imagined! It doesn't hurt that I remember doing the very same thing less than a year ago. Memories!

The weather on Tuesday??? AMAZING! When I saw the forecast, I said uh.... I know I was going to run 11 miles but I just want to enjoy the weather so 12 it is! The weather was every bit of amazing! I still need to work on pacing myself in early miles so I'll have more left to give in later miles. Those last few miles were a STRUGGLE!! Oddly, mile 9 was one of my fastest! Part of that is because there's a huge downhill section but no matter! LOL Every few mile markers and therefore every few weeks (I step up my long runs a mile per week for three weeks, then step back for a week), I have had a difficult run where at the end I ask myself, "Why do I do this???" Since I thought that after the first time I ran 8 miles a few weeks ago, I was okay with feeling that after 12. Can you believe 8 miles isn't that terrible to me anymore?????

It amuses me when people say an easy (insert your mileage here) and it's something outrageous. The more unfamiliar you are with running or running at that distance, the funnier it is. It used to be funny to me when people say they're going to run an easy 3 [miles]. A month ago it amused me to hear experienced marathoners say an easy 5-7 miles. Now I can somewhat comprehend an easy 5-7. Sometimes people mean an easy pace which is cool but having run 7 or more miles 8 or 10 times, it still doesn't quite fall into the easy category but it's certainly in the realm of possibility! And 6 definitely no longer stresses me out. So awesome!

I did my first speed work on the track last week. I did 400 meters 5 times. I really need to work on my consistency. I felt kind of weird about it then I saw that my rest interval between runs wasn't long enough so I wasn't properly recovered. Makes sense. This week, I felt so great about it that I wanted to keep going! My former running partner was with me and complaining the entire time before she quit after 2/6 intervals. Yeah... that's definitely not going to work. I've gotten very used to pushing myself in my solo runs and I don't want to have to push anyone else. I like pushing people in the C25K runs but I have my own runs so I don't have to push anyone else. I'm so excited about the prospect of getting faster! I also like that someone else has started up a Saturday morning long run (medium long for me now at 6 miles! eeee!) and I can just go and get pushed instead of having to do the pushing!

My least favorite running question: Did you run the whole thing? If I say no, does that mean my run doesn't count?? I have to return my 9-mile run to the run police if I walked for a total of 2 minutes? And it's mostly non-runners who ask this. Everyone has to develop their own philosophy on racing and running, but try to race or run and actually DEVELOP a theory first. Joyless elitist runners also ask this question to show you their superiority. Both of you have a seat. One of the things I preach (Oh yes! I've become a running preacher!) is you have to run your own race. There will always be someone faster than you somewhere out there. That doesn't matter. DO YOU! Beat yourself! Have I told you lately that I love running? :)

Have you started running? Continued running? Do you want to start? Let's go!


Movies 2012: Weeks 18-22

Week 18: April 29- May 5, 2012
67) Gentleman's Agreement. Gregory Peck plays a newspaperman who poses as a Jew for an exposé on anti-semitism in this 1947 film. Like the Jewish film version of the book Black Like Me. It serves as a steady eye-opener in all of his relationships. Toward the end, it got long-winded and heavy-handed. Still a decent watch. 3.4 stars
68) We Bought A Zoo. Matt Damon stars as a widower who spirits his city-bred kids away to the country after he buys a decrepit zoo. Rather implausible in some unexpected ways even though it's based on a true story. Wouldn't you meet the staff before you bought the place??? Scarlett Johanssen was unbelievable as a zookeeper. As in I didn't believe she was 28 or a zookeeper. For a kids movie it also had too much profanity. One of the most heated scenes felt the most forced. Kind of pitiful, actually. The female child actors were charming. 3 stars
69) Friends with Benefits. Stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star in this obvious film. Dumb. Rashan liked it. 2 stars

Week 19: May 6-12, 2012
70) The Italian Job. Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron are the principals behind a gold theft gone wrong. Though the intricacies weren't necessarily predictable, they were all a little too sure of themselves and the end? Definitely predictable. 3.2 stars
71) Copycat. Holly Hunter, Sigourney Weaver and Dermott Mulrooney star in this film about a copycat serial killer and the people who want to stop him. Hmmm. I liked it... bu it didn't completely move me. Some scenes just rang false. 3.4 stars
*I also tried to watch the documentary Chasing Madoff but it was so overproduced and full of reenactments that I didn't make it past the first half hour. The story didn't catch me either.

Week 20: May 13-19, 2012
72) The Interrupters. A documentary about a group of former gang members who go into Chicago communities trying to stop deadly violence at the source. They go so far as to enter conflicts as they're happening. Some pretty gripping events. It was a little too long but a solid film. 4.1 stars
73) One for the Money. Katherine Heigl stars as a bounty hunter whose first attempted find is her hated ex-boyfriend. Awful, awful movie. Heigl was COMPLETELY unbelievable as a Jersey girl. She would trot out an accent for two lines every 4th scene. The music was also heavy-handed. Skip this. I should have. 1 star
74) Albert Nobbs. Glenn Close stars as a butler in a 19th century Dublin hotel. After spending years disguised as a man, a young painter makes her reconsider her life. Really really intriguing. I could watch this as a miniseries. As a film I want to watch it again. 4.2 stars
75) Prefontaine. The story of Steve Prefontaine, the cocky Olympic racer who captured the nation's attention and made the 5,000 meter (5K) race interesting in the late 1960s and early 1970s before dying young. Shot in a documentary style by a documentary filmmaker, this fictionalized account was interesting, though long-winded. If you don't like "inspirational" sports movies (Rashan), you will not like it. I did. But it could have been stronger if it was even a little shorter. 3.5 stars
76) Tiny Furniture. Lena Dunham (creator of the HBO series 'Girls') directs and stars in a film about a college graduate who comes home and has a series of interactions with strange friends and stranger men. Very stream of consciousness also known as random But interesting. I might not have liked it if I wasn't used to her style (and some of the characters) from watching 'Girls.' And really, her character was essentially the same character as her character in 'Girls' but with a roommate instead of living at home with her mother and younger sister. 3.7 stars

Week 21: May 20-26, 2012
77) Lucky. A lottery winner also happens to know a thing or two about a serial killer in the area... he has a close relationship with the killer... extremely close. When he gets married, things go a little awry. Why was this movie so LONG??? It was technically only an hour and 45 minutes but it drags and drags and DRAGS. It is wryly funny but needed to be cut by at least 25 minutes. 2 stars
78) Pariah. Kim Wayans stars as the mother of a closeted lesbian. This coming of age tale is rife with tension but with moments of peace. The acting was good if at times the story was lacking. A solid 3.5 stars
79) Lovely and Amazing. A mother and her three daughters deal with their insecurities about their bodies and careers. Tedious and kind of racist, too. How stereotypical is it that the adopted black daughter had a crack addicted mother? Give me a break. And I have little patience for people who don't like themselves so intensely that they self-destruct. I really don't want to see it in a movie. 2 stars

Week 22: May 27- June 2, 2012
80) Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Pedro Almodovar directs this Spanish language film about a womanizer and the women in his wake. Very telanovella-like. Messy, dramatic and great fun! 4 stars
81) Night Catches Us. Anthony Mackie stars in this film about a former Black Panther who comes home years after he was at the center of a deadly controversy to a neighborhood still at war with the police. Great score by the Roots. The plot left something to be desired. There was a great base but it just didn't carry through. 3.4 stars
82) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. A little boy finds a key after his father (Tom Hanks) dies in 9/11. He uses this key to go on a mission to find what the key unlocks. Weird little kid. Extremely slow start. I almost quit on the film it was so slow. It got better but still meh. 3 stars
83) We Need to Talk about Kevin. Tilda Swinson stars as the mother in this film adaptation of a popular book about a horrid boy, a bad seed if there ever was one, who becomes a school killer. The back and forth through the timeline was utterly useless in establishing the story. If I hadn't read the book I'm certain I'd be completely lost. They picked the perfect kids to play the killer. Extra creepy. But John C. Reilly as the dad? The INSTANT I saw him I groaned. Incredibly horribly miscast. I've never ever reacted so strongly to a casting decision so immediately. And he never got better. 3 stars


June Goals

Man it's been a long time since I posted goals! "Baby I'm back!" (-Scooter, "Living Single") I looove that episode! It's neck and neck with the Grant Hill episode for my favorite in the series! For the record, I had an ENORMOUS crush on Grant Hill growing up!
  1. Make a budget & keep it.
  2. (Start &) Finish wedding video. (Today makes 11 months of marriage!)
  3. Write two syllabi.
  4. Attend a church service.
  5. Cook three more Tyler's Ultimate recipes
  6. Apply for 15 jobs. I seem to be on a roll right now finding and preparing materials for jobs in various states (Georgia, NC, Maine, Alabama) so I might as well keep the momentum going!
  7. Finish the books I've been "reading" (aka storing next to my bed) for months Blur and Light in August. It's shameful how long they've been there.
  8. Read at least 2 other books.
  9. Get my professional website up.
  10. Change my name. (LORD!)
  11. Run at least 70 miles. I ran 62 in May and 64 in April.