A decision that may have been ill-advised

I registered for a 10k race. Have I ever run 10k? Maybe once or twice. Not clear how I'll manage it on September 20th, but you should all come out to Lake Nokomis to cheer me on. I will not be training much this weekend but I plan to make a training schedule for the next 19 days, so that I can at least run 6.4 miles by the time of the race.

It seemed like the theme of all the posts on the web this week was about food and exercise ironic, given the content of my last post, but here were some of the ones I found interesting:
Tools for healthy eating an exhaustive list of all you never wanted to know.
Great news about weight loss. Not.
Want to know how many calories your favorite forms of exercise burns? Great list. It doesn't say if it's for a man or a woman. Does it matter?

And in unrelated news, 100 undiscovered web sites. Maybe something you are interested in.

The state fair 2008

On Thursday I had to go over to school to orient the new social work students. They are so cute when they are new and freaking out. And since I was already at school, it seemed like the perfect day to go to the fair. (Really, Amanda and I had this planned out before hand.) One thing I learned, when I park on the St Paul campus, somehow I'm magically inside the fair gates and I didn't have to use my ticket. Does that seem right? I feel ethically ok about it because I already paid for the ticket as part of the Milk Run and I didn't get to use it then.

What did we do? We went to check out the livestock. Only the horse barn was open. There was a sad moment when I thought we weren't going to get to see the chickens. You may remember how much fun we had with them last year. Luckily, the chickens were in the only other barn that wasn't being cleaned when we were there (no, seriously). Amanda challenged me to get a picture of a chicken screaming crowing at the camera. I didn't have any luck, but I got some good ones. I think some of these chickens look like real life people.


The Mad Guinea Hen

Santa Claus

Big Hair Chicken

Big Hair Chicken's Equally Big Haired Girlfriend

Chicken Little

The Dick Cheney Chicken

And the big fat mad chicken

After that, it seemed like it was time to walk around and sample the food. We did, in fact, eat a deep friend candy bar. Actually it was reese's peanut butter cups, one for Amanda and one for me. I can see the attraction. But I wouldn't want to eat it every day.

After that, Amanda said she was dared to eat chocolate covered bacon which I also wanted to try. In retrospect, the big bacon on a stick (which is coated in maple syrup and hot) would probably have been better. This dish would have been better if the bacon was hot, although I understand that would present a melting issue.

Amanda did get her corn dog. We also had french fries (not pictured) because we forgot about the Australian battered potatoes.

We rode the Space Needle which did not bother me but apparently made Amanda quite uncomfortable. It's so nice to be the stable one in high spaces from time to time.

We also checked out some favorites at the fair. The agriculture building, the green building and the international bazaar. We had to walk by machinery hill to get the green building (which is a dumb location) but on the way, we saw the Toyota Experience which was something about hybrid cars. We went through this traveling exhibit and got points by doing all the different kiosks. I got enough points to plant a tree in Tennessee. And I got to "test drive" a Prius with Amanda cheering me on watching in the background.

All in all, I had a really nice day. We spent a long time walking around. When I got home I realized I still had to go to the Y one more time this month to get the discount. So at 9:30pm I went over to the Y and ran off all that crap some of that crap I ate at the fair. It was quite a challenge to remember to wake up and go to work the next day. It felt like the start to the weekend.


I am so relieved.... A (somewhat) Rare Political Post

Why am I relieved? I felt like the worst thing that could have happened this election season is for a Minnesota politician to get the vice presidential nomination. Why? I felt like if the candidate were from my state it would drag the election season out to no end. I just didn't want to deal with it.

So you see, I am not criticizing our governor or hopping onto my soap box to discuss any of the issues in the campaign. I'm just relieved none of the national candidates are from Minnesota. Really, I think having the convention here will be plenty.


Today's Mind Hump

The Wednesday Mind Hump today seemed perfect. This video features animals getting drunk on one of the best fruits ever, marula fruit. Amanda, this one if for you...


Somebody tell me why I'm soooo tired

Monday I was super tired. It resulted in me leaving messages with my fax number instead of my phone number, faxing things to the wrong number... It was that day. I ultimately asked my mentee if we could meet Wednesday because I was so bonkers.

Today I was doing much better until I got home. Now I am unbelievably sleepy. I think I'll go to bed soon. Is that wrong?

In the mean time, Fox News' booth was flooded at the Democratic National Convention. I mean seriously... there's just so many jokes there and I can't make a single one.


Our day in Chicago

Yesterday Mom and I went downtown. We took the train in, which is where my learning began. Apparently there is the "L" which is the line everyone knows, probably from watching ER or While you Were Sleeping, but there are also several passenger trains that go from the suburbs into Chicago every day. Ours was a double decker and possibly the longest train I've ever been on.

We walked around downtown and stopped at what can charitably be described as a hole-in-the-wall. It was the Tokyo Lunch Box and Catering. We had a few different things in tempura. It was yummy. And healthy which is something that's always a challenge when traveling.

Next we walked around Michigan Avenue and Grant Park. Did I mention the weather was not so hot? We saw some of the nice gardens in the park. And then it started to rain. Which is when my mom learned that she has a cheap umbrella. One of the metal spokes actually sheared in half. Woops.

After the rain, we decided we should do an indoor activity so we went to the Art Institute. It should be noted this is about the only Art Institute I really go to and enjoy, and even that is pushing it. There was an exhibit of art from Benin (which is a country in Africa) that was really interesting. 10 points to anyone who can tell me the location of Benin without using Google. Some of the exhibits were closed. Apparently summer construction season extends beyond our highways. Here are some of my favorites that I did get to see.

After the Art Institute we had a snack and then went to Millennium Park to see "the Bean". And it's a winner. The Bean is possibly my favorite thing we did all day.

After that we went back out to the burbs to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. And they had seaweed salad. There are no words for my joy. Seriously, seaweed salad is not made out of nori like is used in sushi. I don't know what kind of seaweed it is but it's really good. Yum.


almost blogging while drunk, near miss

There was almost an edition of “blogging while drunk” last night but I desisted in favor of the US Women’s Beach Volleyball team who won successfully defended their gold medal. Congratulations!

Yesterday, I went to work and then drove to Milwaukee. Many of you know that I have a history of driving from Minneapolis to Cincinnati and back which is 12 hours. The thing about a five hour drive it should feel short but it really doesn’t. Apparently, there’s no amount of endurance that can make me not feel tired from driving that long.

Yesterday, I ate roughly like a slug. It was kind of embarrassing. I ran in the morning. And then I got to the hotel. And it is nice. They had an exercise room so I jumped on the elliptical for 45 minutes and wore myself out. Then I went to the restaurant and had a Caesar salad and two beers for dinner (hence the possibility of blogging while drunk).

This morning I went back to the gym and jumped back on the elliptical. By the way, there are treadmills and elliptical with little television screens right on the control pad so everyone in the gym can watch their own television show. I have seen the future and it is good. I also lifted weights because my arms were feeling seriously neglected in all the working out.

Right now it’s lunchtime at this training I’m at. I just want you all to know that I am not an extravert. Just being in the same room as all these people and listening to their conversations is enough interactions for me.

I did have a nice lunch with a lady from Madison whose daughter is a student at the U. I will have no idea what to do when I am the same age as my colleagues. It will be odd for me to work with people who don’t have kids my age. (Right now everyone thinks I’m young because I’m typing this on my laptop. At least they can identify a laptop.)

It was a marriage proposal or a proposition

I was sitting in the hotel eating breakfast and there was this other guy there (I assumed he was Indian based on appearance). Later I see this same guy in the hallway on the way to my conference room. And he started talking to me. And he asked where I was from and we talked about what I did and what he does. And then he said "are you single" and I said yes. He said "so am I" and then he said "are you interested?"
(In what?)

I said no and went to my conference.

Based on some information I have about the culture of relationships in India I felt like this was closer to a marriage proposal buy my mom and her cousin thought it was an offer for a one-night stand (at 8am when we both had another place to be).


What have I been looking at while I haven't been updating my blog?

Yeah, it's been a while. Sorry. I'm still thinking about vacuuming tonight... Yeah, not likely.
1. For Kelly, all the things you wanted to know about student teaching. Enjoy.
2. All the things that suck energy in your home. I've never been so happy I don't have a plasma tv.
3. For any of my friends who have cable, Watching Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert makes you smarter than people who watch "normal" news, or at least more informed.
4. For Amanda, a new running workout, not that I think you need to burn fat, it just looked interesting.
5. Do you have a special creative personality. There was a comment on Digg that now everyone will think they're creative. It did seem to fit me though.
6. Have problems with spending? Mental health can have an impact.
7. Did the "pray at the pump" campaign lead to lower gas prices?. I'm pretty much convinced that prayer can have an impact. I'm just alarmed that people would pray for lower gas prices so we can use more of that non-renewable resource instead of praying for hybrids or solar power technology or something else that will have a long term benefit.


All of a sudden, blogger looks different

I played Volleyball tonight. I think watching the Olympic volleyball players made me better. I'm loosing sleep because I keep staying up to watch the olympics.

What else have I been looking at:
What makes you rich? Apparently, your health. I could see that.
What makes you bad at finding a guy? Ironically, that would be birth control so at least if you're with the wrong guy you won't have his kid.
What's your Ikea Furniture Name?
This service looks useful but why couldn't I just leave the email in my inbox for 24 hours instead?


Still running, doing it later

I'm still running. Sometimes I have days where I can't wake up to exercise in the morning. Today I actually got up but was too tired to do anything. So I spend the whole day feeling bad because I didn't exercise. Only I ran at the end of the day. I did hills again. I was trying to figure out how fast I went because I ran 7 blocks and walked 1 three times in a row and then (and this is where I get confused) I ran 4 blocks for a total of 3.5 miles. Running and walking together is 12:10, but I cant figure out how fast I ran without the walking. I got distrcted because Michael Phelps just won another gold medal and then the women started doing their gymnastics routine.

Here's some things to look at while you're enjoying the Americans rock in the Olympics.

Only a day late

Only a day late for the Monday Music Mambo.

1. How many languages are represented in your music collection?
I have albums with Zulu, Xhosa, Spanish, an Asian language spoken in Nepal, and some African languages I can't identify.
2. What is your favorite non-English language album?
Star and the Wiseman: The Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. It has English songs on it. Also the Sonudtrack to Everest IMAX is really good.
3. What language sounds best to your ears when listening to music?
All the African languages sound the best. They sound like home.


Still running, going faster

Friday night I went for a walk with a friend and then we ate at the Birchwood, an awesome place, any time of the day. Then we watched some of the opening ceremonies. The Tai Chi was my favorite. The printing press and drummers were really cool too.

Saturday morning my mentee and I ran in the Irish for a Day 5k. It was not fun. I knew it wasn't going to be, I was having panic attacks all night the night before. After the race we had a nice discussion about setting goals and challenging ourselves. Basically we agreed that goals should be difficult and challenging but possible to accomplish.

Saturday afternoon, well I know I went grocery shopping. Mostly I watched the Olympics. I heart Michael Phelps and Dara Torres. The summer olympics are particularly fun for me to watch because I've played so many of the sports (gymnastics, swimming, running, tennis, soccer, basketball and baseball). Altough I only played basketball and baseball briefly.

Sunday morning I went for a 4 mile run and went faster than I thought I would. I ran under 11:00 miles the entire time. I didn't think I was going to do that. Woops. As I was walking around the lake on the way home, I ran into Sue so I walked back around the lake with her. I think, altogether I went about 8 miles. Amanda and I went out for brunch afterwards. Then I came home and slept.

For the second week in a row, I'm not talking to my parents on Sunday night because they have plans. They are sitting with the mom of a friend of the family. She's in hospice and is really sick.

While you're reading and enjoying the olympics, something
For Kelly: Shrinky dinks are a threat to national security. I've seen those Medco locks, they're freaky.

For Amanda: Make Vista faster. Hope it's helpful.


one for...

One for me: The cool factor, plus saves tons of money. Really I drive a stick because in Kentucky where I used to do a lot of driving, stick shifts are just more fun.

One for Kelly: All you wanted to know about Digg, I found it interesting.

Two for Amanda: First, when trying to catch Mickey, someone else tried this and it didn't work. Just call me again if you find him. And then seal him in the kitchen. Second, I know you don't work in a hospital, but really, nursing home food is just as bad. Although I've heard the place where you work has really good food.

And for all of us: some fun quizzes. I rock at that 50 largest countries, I can get 48 so far. The 100 most common words in our language are much harder.


I'm kind of... tennis

I played tennis tonight with a friend. It's one of those things like swimming that I didn't realize how much I missed until I did it again. I also saw a boatload of stuff on the internet while I wasn't writing...

First, the hilarious:

Second, health and science:

Third, money and finances:

And finally, I'm glad none of the weddings I've been to recently made me go through this to get on the guest list.


Fridays are good

Fridays are especially good when I'm only required to work 4 hours of them. In celebration of me not working too hard, lets do The Friday Five:
1. Name one movie you wish everybody could watch.
The Power of One is a real tear-jerker but it's also a thought provoking and insightful movie.

2. Name two books you wish everybody could read.
The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorites. It's definitely not for kids to read, but it's a great story. I couldn't put it down.
A Tale of Two Cities or really anything by Charles Dickens would also be on my list. I really have a hard time reading non-fiction so books by famous leaders just aren't on my list.

3. Name three goals you wish everybody could achieve.
  • Travel around the world. It changed my life. It helped me realize what I see through the lens of my culture, and recognize that there is such a thing. It's much harder to understand until I'm forced to see through another person's lens.

  • Make a contribution to the community (world, country, neighborhood, group, whatever). I work with a lot of people who have the potential to contribute and don't. It has a clear impact on self worth, and the worth of the community people share.

  • Find what makes you happy, it makes life more fun.

  • 4. Name four people you wish everybody could know.
  • One - Someone of a different race and religion

  • Two - Someone of a different intellectual ability

  • Three - Someone from a different country who speaks a different language

  • Four - Someone with a different talent or interest

  • 5. Name five places you wish everybody could visit. I'll do one from each of the continents I've been to:

  • North America - Minneapolis is my favorite place here. Come on by any time. You're always welcome. If you're from here, Cuba is an amazing place to visit. I recommend going with an entourage of about 500 Americans. I promise, the welcome mat will be rolled out. (No, seriously, it will.)

  • South America - I was sad to have missed the cloud forests in Venezuela, but Brazil was really something to see.

  • Europe - I liked Greece even a little better than Italy. It was really fun to see all these places I'd learned about in school for years. (I think no one reading this blog can really call me a nerd. It would be the pot calling the kettle the same thing.)

  • Asia - Vietnam. It's really the only Asian country that speaks American English (everywhere else is British English), and in the south Americans are welcome. I met a lot of men my dad's age who spoke English from fighting in the war. It's also an unbelievably poor country. Quite startling.

  • Africa - Malawi. My heart always misses Malawi. Even if you're not a Christian, go to church on Sunday, any church in any city or village, and enjoy the music. It will warm you up and give you chills at the same time. Simply amazing.