Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Year of Absences: January

Okay, I looked back at my blog from last year and apparently I did do some stuff in January, and from the sounds of the blog it was mostly watching TV, resuming teaching after the break, and some swimming.
But, also, there was a picture of a day I went skiing at Soldier Hollow when it was 10 degrees. You can revisit that post here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Year: A Post of Absences

I know that at this time of year we (and by "we" I mean people I know or am related to, but not actually me) make year-end lists of things we love or loathe and we look back at the year with fondness or skepticism. This year, I want to start MY year-end retrospective by noting that, recently, I had to fill out a form at a doctor's office. The last question required that I mark any "conditions which trouble me." One of them was "forgetfulness." What? Am I troubled by forgetfulness? Or, more aptly, am I human and over the age of twenty? Time was, I made fun of my mother (how could I be so cruel?) for not recalling where she parked the car. This, my friends, happens to me every time I go to Costco. I've been there so many times how could I possibly distinguish where I parked this time from where I parked last time. But seriously, does this "condition" cause me "trouble"?
So, this year, I will celebrate December 31 by providing you with a trail to things I have forgotten.
Apparently nothing happened in January, and I have no pictures to prove it.
In February, Son had a birthday. What did we do? Can't recall.
Oh yes, see, now I remember. Son wanted breakfast for dinner, so we had bacon, eggs and what look to me like frozen waffles. One memory recovered!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas by the Numbers

Christmas movies watched: Two (Elf, Charlie Brown Christmas)
Meals cooked: Zero! (Christmas Eve at a friend's, Christmas brunch at a friend's, tamales from Victor's)
Movies watched on Christmas: Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince, G-Force
Good gifts bought for Middlebrow: 3 (whiskey glasses, Django Rheinhard CD, guitar book)
Gift for MB that was really for both of us: 1 (Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express)
Great gifts received: Many! (Running shirt from my sister, sweater from MB, gloves from Ross)
Cookies eaten: infinite! Too many! Make it stop!
Books read since school ended: Two? Age of Innocence & Year of the Flood.
Things to do between now & Jan 11: So many! I choose not to think about this now.

Monday, December 21, 2009


My book is available for pre-order on Amazon. I received The University of Alabama Press catalog today, which my book, and the other FC2 books appear in. Still says March.
I'm excited though!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lessons: The Last List!

I'm pretty sure I've run out of wise things to say, but that won't prevent me from offering this fourth and final list.

  1. Drink lots of water.
  2. Hug people every day (preferably your family and friends, but strangers work too, if they are willing)
  3. Go see live music. It is always fun.
  4. Have coffee with friends, weekly. You DO have time, and it reminds you why your life is great.
  5. Play games, whatever kind you like. I like cribbage, Settlers of Catan, Mastermind and any card game. Also: tennis.
  6. Read things. Preferably (for me) novels, but also blogs and newspapers. And mysteries.
  7. Breathe deeply.
  8. Remember who you were and thank her for getting you to this point. Forgive her for the stupid things she did, for without the stupid things, you wouldn't be who you are.
  9. Life is too short for envy.
  10. Be generous to a fault.
  11. Don't forget the past, but keep moving forward.
Here's hoping I learn some other new things in this next year.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

10 More Lessons (whoosh! Almost done!)

  1. You know, life is really, really, really short. It only seems long during the last week of classes.
  2. Don't sweat the small stuff.
  3. The small things are really important. This may seem to contradict #2, but what I mean is, just loving the feeling of your son's head gently resting on your arm: important. Getting mad at same son because his room is dirty or because he spilled water all over the floor: not important.
  4. Some things CAN wait until tomorrow: grading papers, cleaning the bathroom, oh, other things.
  5. Take time to run in the snow. Or hang out and drink coffee. Or sing really loud in your car. I mean, if you like it, do it. If you don't like it, you may still have to do it, because chances are it's your job.
  6. Remember that no ONE thing is your life. Your life isn't your job or your relationships or where you live or what you do, but an amazing combination of all these things. So if one thing changes, you can handle it.
  7. You should do situps. You really should.
  8. Give and receive compliments. When someone compliments you, smile and say thank you. Surprisingly, this is often harder than giving compliments.
  9. Stress relief is not optional. Find the thing that relieves the pressure and then make that thing a priority: running, Crossfit, writing, alone time. This is a necessity. It's right behind breathing and drinking water.
  10. It's all about the people. At the end of the day, you can replace anything you bought, you can buy a new one, you can find a different meal/book/entertainment option. But without your peeps, friends, family, community, who cares? It's all about the people. I'm blessed to have such good ones. Thanks!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

More Lessons from my 41st Year

Today, since it is exactly one week until my birthday, I will offer another ten lessons. These, I decided, will be about food, since that is one of my obsessions.
  1. The things you love might not be good for you, but you can learn to love the things that ARE good for you (like spinach, kale, chard, peppers, etc.)
  2. Always, always, always eat breakfast. Always.
  3. Protein, protein, protein!
  4. Lack of protein makes one a total bitch! And yes, by "one" I mean me.
  5. Always, always, always carry snacks. Such as: precooked sausage, apple, almonds. Or: cheese stick, orange, cashews. Or: protein bar.
  6. If you have healthy snacks in the house, you are more likely to eat healthy snacks. This also works with children. If you just give them the healthy snack, they will usually eat it.
  7. Coffee is not optional.
  8. Do not eat to live or live to eat. Somewhere in between is best.
  9. Savor each bite. If it's not worth savoring, you probably shouldn't eat it.
  10. A healthy attitude about food is a gift you give yourself and your children.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Birthday Lesson

A fellow blogger, whose birthday is today, made a list of things he's learned, one for each year. Well, I am older than him, so it's going to take me awhile to think of (gasp!) 41 things. So I thought, in the spirit of breaking things down into rounds, I'd start with ten and do a few lists in the week leading up to my birthday.
Ahem. To begin:

  1. There are really very few people who are going to love you in spite of who you are, so when you find him, for god's sake, marry him (done!)
  2. Savor each second, minute, hour, day with your child, because pretty soon he will grow up and it will be sooner than you think
  3. Age is all in your mind (because as far as I'm concerned, I'm still 28)
  4. The things that you think you shouldn't do or eat are not as good as you imagine them to be when you are denying yourself; Forget about them and move on
  5. If you are not improving as you get older, something is wrong (and the benchmark for "improve" is all up to you)
  6. Weightlifting is hard; writing a novel is harder
  7. Keep trying new things
  8. Fail. Fail better. Fail again.
  9. What looks like failure is really just an opportunity to try a different way
  10. You must do the one thing you think you cannot do (thanks Eleanor Roosevelt). Like: Crossfit or writing a novel.