Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From Bad to Worse: 1990 Strikes Again

When you start reconnecting with people from your hometown on Facebook there will eventually be a group created around your shared past.

Enter the group "I'm from Fairfield, Biatch!"

Okay, I clearly occupy a position where I think including "Biatch!" in any utterance is meant to be ironic and playful. But imagine my chagrin when I visited the group page and discovered, based on the wall posts, that they were saying it with a straight face.

This video was on the group's page. It is simultaneously laughable, horrifying, and a slice of nostalgia.

I should also say that although this thuggy element was present when I was growing up there, I was relatively insulated from it. Except the one day in Spanish when the kid behind me showed me his gun...and the other time when the Fairfield PD drew their guns on a car full of kids in the school parking lot. At lunch. With half the school flocking to see someone get shot.

But this isn't even why I refuse to join the group. (Okay, it's kind of a big part of it.) My "real" objection is to the part of the group's description that says "you have parents that say 'hella.'" PARENTS.

(btw: I *luv* that there are multiple academic studies on the origins and spread of the term)

Lemme say that at 32, I'm under no illusions that I'm old. I will add to that my complete understanding that there are those who have children at a young age, and that is also perfectly fine by me. But the part where there were enough Facebook-aged people from Fairfield who have parents who say "hella" to form an entire group around it?

That's hella weak.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Gutsy Post

It's not mine, but it's oh so good. Check it out: Size-Adventurer

Friday, October 24, 2008

What Happens in 1990...

...should not be brought up as a way to look hip and with-it to your students.
My friend Jessica recently posted a horrific tale of encountering a person born in 1990. Methinks the only thing more horrifying than Jessica's tale might be having to teach a lesson about popular music to a room full of people born between 1987-1990 -- which is what I did every night this week.

*crickets chirping*

To say I felt old is an understatement. At one point, I mentioned that a group came on the scene in 1997 and one of them said, "Wow, that's like ancient history." To my face!!!

The was one brief, shining moment when one especially baby-faced one responded to Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince's Summertime with "That's like what I do back home." If he was mocking me, I wasn't willing to see it.

Which brings me to the...

You Had to Be There (And Not Embryonic) Playlist

Bell Biv Devoe

Funky Enough
The D.O.C.

Freaks of the Industry
Digital Underground

Feels Good
Tony Toni Tone

Turn This Mutha Out
MC Hammer

Joy & Pain
Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock

Gyrlz They Love Me
Heavy D and the Boyz

Me, Myself, and I
De La Soul

Thieves in the Temple

Miss You Much
Janet Jackson

Hold On
En Vogue

Giving You the Benefit

For the record, I'm not saying all this stuff is any good, but sometimes you just need to take a quenching drink of "I like being my age."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sometimes You Get Kicked

Sometimes you have to kick your inner ass-kicker's ass.

(Reflections on today's sooper-dooper bike ride HERE.)

I set these grand-tastic goals two weeks ago and then let the rest of my life kick it all to the curb. Yes, I said LET. I'll own it. I dunno, it's like I got all fired up to do stuff and then immediately packed my bags for Slack-ass-ville.

All around me, really schweet stuff is going on. A student of mine ran his first marathon in Chicago today. Another friend did his first marathon in Baltimore yesterday. Still another is kicking ass-k left and right on her goals (yes, I'm talking about you, Jen) and it's really inspiring to have all these peeps around me making progress on all the schweet-ass stuff they set out to do.

So what about me? I think a symptom of whatever is going on here is the fact that I skipped most of what was in my iPod in yesterday's race. *shrugs* If the music's stale, then the drive can't be much better.

So I'm narrowing my focus onto the Girls on the Run 5K in six weeks and nixing an intermediary race I had originally scheduled two weeks from now. Oh yeah, and cleaning up the old iPod along the way. I mean, the Cool J and Marky Mark have been in heavy rotation for almost three years. I love them, but it's clearly time. (Stay tuned for a new playlist sometime this week.)

I should also remind myself that it is midterm time, and this feeling of being pulled in so many directions that I can't do anything very well will pass...especially if I get into a training groove. (Oh endorphins...is there anything you can't do?)

Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Indian Summer Classic: A Bitter-schweet Symphony

Did the race today...

Overall, it was a great day. My training buddy, Jen, had an awesome day -- exceeding her goal for the day. Mine was medium. I made some errors, not the least of which was going out WAY. TOO. FAST. None of this ruined my day, but it did make for a somewhat anti-climactic first race back after Ironman. Of course, the root error was not training consistently (big surprise). I think I'll finally be able to get into a groove re: school/training scheduling this week. You know, just in time for midterms.

Anyway, here's the rundown of the day:

Bitter: Staying up past midnight making a mix CD for the ride.
Schweet: Jen stayed up past midnight doing the same thing.

Bitter: Jen's CD player wouldn't read either of the independently-created CDs we both stayed up way too late making.
Schweet: THE WEATHER!!! A clear, Indian summer morning on Lake MacBride -- the widest possible spectrum of fall colors!

Bitter: 10:18/miles with more than a few walk breaks
Schweet: Motivation to work harder these next six weeks to the Girls on the Run 5K.

Bitter: Crashed HARD for 2 hours when I got home.
Schweet: Having the universe plop a super duper magna fantastic training partner into my lap -- in a way that is usually what ends such partnerships. *cryptic* Maybe I'll tell that story another time.

And the grand finale: previewing the bike ride we'll take tomorrow -- have I mentioned before how beautiful Iowa is? I friggin' LOVE living here!

Friday, October 10, 2008


I have to admit, this (like my pre-Iron posts) is just to get me fired up for my race tomorrow. I mentioned in my training log that I am reluctant to post goals before a race, but it's kind of a novelty for me to actually have goals that move beyond simply covering the distance. It's kind of exciting! I like it!

Even though I haven't gotten into a training groove, I still would like to push my pace. Nothing too crazy -- I'd be happy with a sub-9:30 pace. (Who'da thunk I'd say those two things in the same sentence?!)

Yee HAW! Nervous and excited for tomorrow! I'll run hard!

Dream Girl

I dreamed of Dinah two nights ago, and I was very happy for the visit. In the dream, she just sort of trotted around this corner and came running to me...but I woke up or something happened before I got to pet her. I remember saying in the dream, "Hey, there's Dinah!" and feeling like she wasn't really gone after all. But there she was, exactly as cute and happy as I remember.

Strangely, when I woke up I was only a little disappointed that it was only a dream. I mean, of course I'd love to have her back. When I was still raw and in the denial stage, I wished for there to be some kind of magical way for her to come back to me, but I'd have to keep it a secret from the rest of the world, like in some sort of dark comedy. You can imagine my breakdown tearful reaction to the pilot for Pushing Daisies, right? (Seriously, I would have made that deal.) But somehow waking up from that dream made me feel happy to have gotten to see her again, even briefly.

At the risk of sounding completely insane, I will say that I think our furry friends visit in dreams after they pass. I'm fairly certain that our one dog, Bubba, visited Boots almost every night in her dreams to play with her. She adored him, and went into a deep, deep depression after he died. (I can't think of anything more tragi-comic than a depressed Basset Hound.) Boots would frequently run and bark in her sleep -- I can only imagine that she was dreaming of playing with Bubba.

Anyway, I'm missing Dinah and Bootsie terribly again/still.

Time to put on some sunglasses and go for a run.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I picked the worst possible week to begin a new plan -- who the hell leaves 100 papers to grade until the last minute and then leaves town for a conference?! Okay, I shouldn't act so surprised. Anyway...I start anew tomorrow morning.

Oh yeah, and I'm going back to my (mostly) vegetarian lifestyle to boot.

Stay tuned.