June 2008


most frequent wake-up time: 6:00 am

most frequent thought: What was I thinking?!

most frequent prayer: God, help me!

favorite cross-training activity: yoga pilates biking swimming walking in fitflops sleeping

most frequently craved food: egg-in-a-hole

pounds lost: at least 3.  But I don’t have a scale at home so it could be more.

have I been chafed: yes

how I sweat: like I’m an Olympic champ

longest distance to date: 10 miles

total distance logged: about 100 miles

training buddy: Lisa

amount raised for World Vision: a paltry $70.  Honestly that is pretty disappointing to me…go support me now!

funniest moment: being passed by a female biker…whose spandex shorts needed to be retired.  We could see her floral-print bloomers underneath!  Lisa & I cracked up.

least runner-friendly city: Irving.  Scanty parks, short or nonexistent trails, locks on track entrances even though the tracks are technically public property.

most runner-friendly city: Grapevine.  Big parks!  Long trails!  A running/walking club that puts out coolers of water and sports drink!

favorite Bible verse: that one that says something like, “I beat my body and make it my slave”

why I run:

will I do the Rocky move at the finish line: absolutely.

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There are some fairly creepy people at my work.  The normal employees are OK but we use a lot of contractor/freelance types and for the most part they make me very uncomfortable.  To set the stage, let me say that I have seen or spoken to this particular guy 5 times or less since I have been here.

(This is the kind of thing I had in mind with “people who act buddy-buddy when they don’t even know you.”)

Weird Guy (standing in doorway of office, looming): Hey.  (stares)

me: Hey.

(awkward pause before he begins talking to another weird guy in my office)

Later…

WG: Hey.  (another weird stare)

me: Hey.

(awkward pause)

me: Can I help you?

WG: Are we cool?

me, thinking to self: We are not cool.  We are not even friends.  You are not cool, period.

me, out loud: um…I guess.

WG: Oh, okay.  You just seemed a little…plain…earlier.  I just wanted to make sure we were ok.

me, to self: How do you respond to that?  From a total stranger?

WG:  THERE’S that smile.  That’s what I was missing earlier.

me, to self: I think that was a grimace…but ICK!  Get OUT!

  1. litterbugs. How hard is it to find a trashcan? I kid you not, at one of the parks I run in there are trashcans approximately every 15 feet. I don’t even know how kids play there, there are so many trashcans. Yet there is still trash everywhere. What are you doing at a park if you can’t walk a few feet to a trashcan? And if you’re driving – well, that’s YOUR trash. No one else wants it either. Just let it sit there in your car until you get where you’re going. There’s most likely a trashcan there.
  2. people who think their vehicle is a status symbol, letting everyone know how awesome they are. Frankly, I think your truck/Hummer/SUV/little sports car is butt-ugly.
  3. people who cut in to a funeral procession, refuse to stop for a funeral procession, speed by a funeral procession, get irritated by a funeral procession, or otherwise behave disrespectfully to a funeral procession. Somebody just died here. You will die too someday, regardless of how important you are. It’s just 5 minutes out of your life, which you are lucky/blessed enough to still have. Show a little respect.
  4. people who act all buddy-buddy when they don’t know you. They usually do this because they think they will get special treatment.
  5. people who think they deserve special treatment.
  6. people who can’t spell basic words. Things like “wander” instead of “wonder,” “heart worming” instead of “heartwarming,” “perception” instead of “perspective,” “loose” instead of “lose.” Or, use the verb form in place of the noun – like “emphasize” when they mean “emphasis.” I am not referring to typos, I mean people who do this and think they’re smart.
  7. people who say my posts are too long.
  8. people who think the world revolves around them, the sun shines out of their butt, or some other astrological phenomenon.
  1. people who smoke at red lights with their window down.  Especially if my window is down.  If your habit is so gross that you have to roll your window down to get away from the aftermath, please understand I want no part of it.
  2. people who smoke in public places in general.  If you want lung cancer, fine.  I don’t care what you do on your own property, on your own time.  Don’t drag your nasty habit into my airspace.
  3. people who drive like maniacs.  If you want to die, fine.  The rest of us will probably be better off.  But you are driving around thousands of pounds of various materials, you can do a lot of damage.  If you want to damage yourself that’s fine but quit endangering everyone around you.
  4. people who drive like maniacs in a parking lot.  Hello, there are pedestrians here.  And others who are driving cautiously because of the pedestrians, and also to look for a parking space.  It is not acceptable to zoom around at 55 mph.  Also it’s a good idea to look where you’re going.
  5. people who “work” the exit-only lane because they’re too important to wait in the lane they really want to be in.  YOU are the reason that lane is moving so slow.  If everyone would just get in line like they’re supposed to traffic would move so much more smoothly than having to constantly slam on their brakes because some idiot is forcing his way in just before the barrier.  Also you are slowing down the exit-only lane.  I WILL honk at you and give you The Look That Causes Terror And Death.
  6. people who expect others to clean up their mess.  This applies to actual physical messes as well as to stupid lifestyle choices.
  7. people who are arrogant jerks.
  8. people who are idiots.
  9. people who get all riled up about politics with no facts whatsoever.  This includes those who select their candidate based on “cool” factor as well as those who talk about democracy all the time.  America uses democratic process but we are not a democracy.  This is a constitutional republic.  They’re different.  People like you are the reason we are not a democracy.
  10. people who are in a rush to share their ignorance on any topic

Stuff Christians Like has a thought-provoking post up.

I read this on a blog the other day: “The world is not an easy place to live in right now and I can’t see any way out of the hole our country is in economically. We’re heading for the bottom and I can barely see any light anymore. I wonder if this is how people were feeling during the great depression.”

Oh, pleeeeeeeeease.  First off, we are nothing nothing nothing like the Great Depression.  People who lived through the Great Depression STILL, more than 70 years later, add water to the ketchup bottle to make sure they get every smidgen possible.  Absolutely nothing got wasted or thrown away.  You didn’t buy new clothes, you had to repair what you had.  When it couldn’t be repaired anymore you made something new out of it for a smaller family member.  No one had a job – there were no jobs to be had.  The lady who said that was complaining about how hard it is to make ends meet on the two incomes she and her husband bring in – she did mention that one of them makes 90k a year.  The fact that either of them is working indicates it is not the Great Depression.  Also my husband and I make two incomes which combined don’t even equal 90k.  We live very comfortably off less than one of those incomes, which is by itself slightly less than the average American household income, and I am so happy that I saw a shooting star a few weeks ago and couldn’t even think of anything to wish for.  Possibly this lady needs to re-examine her budget because I feel ridiculously wealthy on less than half of what is apparently suffocating her.

Secondly, WE ARE NOT IN A RECESSION.  Yet.  Our last quarter’s economic growth was 0.9 percent, and the quarter before that growth was 0.6 percent.  I will readily admit that those are not great numbers, but the economy cannot be growing and receeding at the same time any more than the tide can simultaneously come in and go out.  A true recession requires two successive quarters (six months) of negative growth.  We are not growing at the rate we have been over the past few years, but we are not in a recession.  It is more like a stagnation.  I am no economist but I did pay a bit of attention in high school and I know this, so I am surprised that the media in general can’t figure this out.  Reporter does not equal economic expert.  Yet, people in general listen to the media in general and get all flustered over “our horrible economy.”  Well, I hate to break this to you but stagnating at a relatively good place does not count as being horrible.  Yes, gas prices could be lower…but they are still much, much lower than in most places in the world.  Food prices could be lower…but you have access to food, which is worlds away from what a lot of people experience on a daily basis.  Jobs could pay more…but you have a job, so quit whining.  I know things are getting hard for some people right now, but – and I am speaking anecdotally here – most of what I can see is people suffering from poor choices they made in better times.  “Oh, let’s go ahead and get the bigger house with that balloon mortgage thingy – surely we’ll get a raise before the balloon payment is due.”  “Well, we really need a new big-screen flat panel HD TV.  We’ll just finance it, they have a great plan here.”  “We consolidated all our loans!  Let’s celebrate by financing this great new set of couches.”  But the raise didn’t come, or the balloon payment wasn’t saved for, or the planned-on bonus didn’t come through, or whatever.  Here’s a thought: don’t plan on money you don’t have.  You’re not entitled to something because you breathe air, to borrow a phrase from Dave Ramsey.  If you have money to pay for something, great.  If you don’t, wait until you have money.  I cannot tell you the number of foolish financial decisions I have witnessed over the past year through various friends and acquaintences, and I have very little sympathy for those who are lying in a bed of their own making.

And thirdly, an economy cannot sustain huge, uninterrupted growth.  I am reaching back to high school again but it is OK to have times of growth and times where the economy isn’t so great.  Just keep thinking of the tide – it comes in, it goes out.  Nobody gets too upset because they know that, sooner or later, it will come back in again.

Honestly I think the biggest problem is that Americans live in a culture of entitlement: “Waaah, I want that, waaaaaah, why can’t I have it, I deserrrrrrve it!”  And suddenly banks realized that it isn’t so smart to lend money to people who can’t pay it back.  And people who can’t pay the banks back get foreclosed on, which everyone has known in the back of their minds all along but suddenly it is National News.  And suddenly people have to spend money on food rather than pay-per-view, and that means we are in Desperate Times.  The media created this recession impression (I’m a poet, too!) about 6 months ago, if I remember correctly, at the same time we were posting record low unemployment rates.  And now they feed it with horror stories of the dark, dark times we are facing when most of what is going on is people not being able to spoil themselves as much as they want to.  I will add here that the media is possibly creating a recession – scaring people into not buying that tomato because they don’t think they have 79 cents to spare, and then the little tomato farmer goes out of business, and then the fertilizer company has less income and lays some people off, and so on.  It is wonderful to report news; it is not acceptable to invent it.  We may be headed for a recession; I don’t know that.  I’m not an expert.  But I’m not worried.  Jake and I, through hard work and stubbornness, are 100% debt free.  We can handle our rent, utilities, and food on his income no problem.  We have an emergency fund saved.  I know how to use coupons.  We drive only when necessary and then use a car that gets amazing gas mileage.  We learned how to live small while everyone else was living it up – living like we were in a recession when we weren’t.  Because of that our way of life hasn’t changed a bit.

This wasn’t supposed to turn into my soapbox about financial choices…I’m just really tired of being told at every turn that I’m just an innocent victim.  I’m not a victim.  I made choices and I like how the chips fell.  Of course I would like cheaper gas and vegetables, but I really don’t have a problem with The Dire Economic Situation.  It may be popular to sell the victim mentality but I’m not interested in buying.

So the house across the street from me was just broken into.  As I was rinsing out my lunch dishes I noticed a police car in front of the house, which is unusual…and then I noticed there were two police cars.  And two cops talking, one in a bulletproof vest.  Eventually there were 5 cars and a motorcycle lining the streets.  The lady who lives there came home, apparently called by a neighbor (the neighbor who may have been the one to call the police…not sure on that yet) and was escorted inside with a few officers.  Scary, I thought.  I checked the backyard to make sure no perpetrators were observing with glee from a distance, and while I was at it I checked my windows too.  No sign of unauthorized entry.  Whew.  I left to walk back to work (aren’t I environmental?!) and lo and behold, a perp is being escorted by a cop to the waiting car.  And another perp!  With another cop!  I stopped to talk to a neighbor down the street for a bit to get the inside scoop, and I am very glad that 1. the guys got caught and 2. I live in the sort of neighborhood where there are at least a few people home during the day to keep an eye on things.  Even though I live in the sort of neighborhood where break-ins are unfortunately not that uncommon.  Justice is served!

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