Archive for March, 2010

I told you yesterday that I was stressed. And that the photos of the Peeps Show winners and finalists (even last year’s) were a welcome distraction. But even more than that, I was looking forward to my running/Lost date with the boyfriend all day. So when I finally boarded the bus home, I just wanted to get going.

And I couldn’t understand why our driver was getting off the bus, after letting passengers on.

But then I saw. He actually got off the bus to help a blind man who was standing at the stop. And not just onto our bus. He walked the man to the bus he needed, helped him board, and then resumed his driving responsibilities. You could hear the murmur of approval as everyone on the bus realized why we’d waited through a couple traffic light cycles.

That might have been my first time ever on public transportation where not a single passenger was angry about the delay.

And I wonder how many of us paid it forward.

Have you seen any random acts of kindness recently? And, if so, have they brightened your day at all?

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It’s just been one of those stressful mornings. There were projects to do as soon as I walked into the office, and I’ve been stressing about a looming decision I have to make concerning grad school (a good problem, but stressful, nonetheless). So, when my boyfriend asked me this morning if I’d seen the Peeps Show winners yet, my first thought was, I didn’t even know they were up! Followed quickly by, but I don’t have the time!

But I took the time. Because sometimes you just need to remember to breathe and to appreciate creativity and imagination. It might not help me get my project done any faster, or make my decision any easier, but it will put me in a better mood as I work and contemplate. And that’s a start.

Ed. note: As pointed out, my stress level is showing. Apparently I can’t distinguish between 2009 and 2010 anymore. So, the following photos are actually from last year. A day late and a dollar short – story of my life. (But the old ones are now followed by this year’s winner and finalists. I’m pretty sure. Just scroll all the way down.)

So, in case you haven’t seen them yet either, here’s the winner last year’s winner:

NightPeeps by Melissa Harvey, Arlington

Followed by a few of my favorite Peeps Shows this last year:

M.C. Escher's "RelativiPeep" by Mark Rivetti, Silver Spring

Charm City Roller Peeps vs. D.C. Roller Peeps by Hilary Christian, Baltimore

Sweet Revenge by Tim Reagan and Tessa Reagan of Silver Spring

Of course, now I’m craving marshmallow, but I’ll survive.

And now, the real winners and favorites from this year. I think. Maybe. I hope.


EEP by Michael Chirlin and Veronica Ettle of Arlington

And a couple other favorites:

Peepocalypse 2010: Dupont Circle Snowball Fight, by Dennis Chong of the District and Carolyn Prince Racich of McLean

Super Peepio Brothers, by Mark Rivetti of Silver Spring

So there you go. Did I get the year right this time?

I need a nap.

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It seems as though everyone who’s been following March Madness this year has been shocked by all the upsets. At least, I don’t know anyone who predicted that Duke would be the only first-ranked team in the Final Four. Do you?

I’ve never been great at creating a bracket and predicting who will go how far. I don’t follow college basketball enough to really make an informed decision, and, as I’ve learned, I’m just not a good guesser overall.

Take this year, for example. I filled out three brackets. In two of them I had Kentucky (gone) winning everything; in the other I had Syracuse (also gone). Two of them also had Georgetown (out in the first round) making it to the Final Four.

Way to go, me.

So, as you can imagine, I stopped following the games quite as intently, and began to embrace my last (or next to last) place in each pool. I checked the standings this morning, out of morbid curiosity, to see how many brackets had been busted with the most recent games (Baylor in the Final Four? really?), and I saw something that surprised me.

I’m not in last place anymore!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near the top, but in one pool I moved up four places, and in another I moved up six! That feels like a lot when you’ve been hanging out at the bottom for so long.

So, even though I have no hope of winning this year, I’ll still follow these last few games. Who knows? I could bump up another few spots.

And, in the meantime, I still have two other March Madness knockoff brackets – cake vs. pie and attractiveness battles – to keep me occupied, thanks to Jezebel and Esquire.

Gotta love the little things.

If you made one, how’s your bracket doing? And, if you didn’t (and/or don’t care about March Madness), what’s your take on the cake vs. pie debate?

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I know that this video has made the rounds by now, but I think it’s perfect for this dull, dreary Friday.

Both funny and nice to look at.

Win win!

Happy weekend!

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A couple weeks ago I got a note in the mail that informed me that I’d be receiving my census form soon. Just a little fyi. And aside from a momentary, I can’t believe how much paper they wasted!, I didn’t give it much thought. After all, we’ve been inundated with the message that 2010 is the Year of the Census. And that it’s Absolutely 100% Super Important that we all fill it out. I’ve seen it on bus ads, billboards, and TV, so that little scrap of paper in my mailbox was kind of redundant.

But, because of all of these reminders, I had this idea that the census would be a huge pain to fill out. In my mind, it was pages and pages of personal information, and the reminders were intended to say, we know this is annoying, but please do it anyway. It really is important.

So, when I finally got the actual form, I was prepared for it to take a while. I sat down, pen in hand, and proceeded to read the instructions and fill out the first page.

Then I realized that the first page was the only page. (At least, for me, since I live on my own.)

Where were all the super personal, time-consuming questions? The ones that made me think, government, why do you need to know this? All I really answered was my age, the fact that I live on my own, and my race. And maybe some contact information.

I guess I expected some sort of education or income question. Or maybe even an optional religion one. Or, hell, maybe my astrological sign. Though, I suppose they can figure that one out from my birthday. (Gemini, in case you were wondering.)

But for now I’m only in the system as a 24-year-old white female who rents an apartment and lives by herself.

You sent out all the reminders for that, Census Bureau? Way to make good use of your budget.

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My body doesn’t seem to agree with me that it’s better to stay home sick on rainy days as opposed to gorgeous ones like this. The sunshine through my window just feels like it’s mocking me.

But then again, I’m not completely surprised. My body and I disagree on a lot.

You may win for now, body, but if I have anything to say about it, this will come true (or, at least, be possible) by the end of the day:

I can't even take credit for finding this one on my own. My mom sent it to me the last time I was sick.

I mean, I do have dinner plans, so it’d be nice.

Let’s go, ginger ale, work your magic!

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Last night my mom sent me an email regarding one of my ex-boyfriends (Doug), his wife, and their new baby girl. Apparently all three were at a baby shower when someone asked his wife how they came up with their little girl’s name.

We eliminated the names of all the girls that Doug dated and went from there.

So, my mom wrote, we know what her name isn’t, but I don’t know what it is. Because the thing is Doug dated a lot. And that’s not a bad thing by any means, but to eliminate the names of all of those girls seems like it would severely narrow down the selection pool. And presumably some of those names still have positive connotations and would be viable options. (I’m not saying mine, necessarily, but probably some of the others.)

For me, there are only a couple names that I’d specifically avoid, but definitely not all of them.

But I’m curious: assuming you plan on having kids, do you think you’d let your relationship past dictate their names?

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This is not a running blog, nor was it ever intended to be. But running is such a big part of my life that I couldn’t leave it out if I tried. And now it’s an even bigger part, because this past Saturday was Marathon Day.

The day I’ve been blabbering about for the past week or so.

The day that I’d been trying to train for since November, and actually training for since February.

The day that made me realize just how much my body is capable of.

The distance is a little off because we ran through tunnels, and my official time was 4:58:57, but this is what I saw when I crossed the finish line.

I could tell you about every mile – how it felt, what obstacles were there, whether or not I felt prepared – but I won’t (unless you ask). That’s what running friends are for. We like to be “bored” with those little details. We like to analyze the rolling hills and where the terrain was best and worst. We like to note how our form changed with our energy level.

Around mile 12

Instead I’ll tell you that the crowd support, particularly throughout Dupont and Adams Morgan made all the difference. I thought that I knew it would, but it mattered so much more than I expected. I nearly cried when I saw Cla, and I was so excited to see BNB and HeeHa right before the big hill. From there on out, I saw a familiar face –  RB, Vandy, JVo, Greater, DVo – every mile or two, right up to mile 20.

That's the 15 mile grin, right there

And knowing that I was going to keep seeing my parents and MJ’s mom and aunt as they rushed around to various points of the course gave me something to look forward to. Every photo they took has me smiling because I was so incredibly grateful to have people there to support me.

Are we actually elite runners? Well...define elite...

And despite the aches and pains that I do feel (it’s true what they say – it is easier to walk down stairs backwards after a marathon), I had an amazing time.

Call me crazy, but I definitely want to do another one.

Marine Corps – I’m looking at you.

Thank you guys again for all your support and I promise, I’ll lay off the running (posts) for a bit.

At least until next week.

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You know what tomorrow is. And let me repeat, you’re more than invited to participate – in any way you choose. Support is key.

I am currently spending my morning trying to calm the butterflies in my stomach and reminding myself that I can do this – that I’ve prepared for it as much as I can.

  • I’ve done the training runs.

I know for a fact that my body can go up to 20 miles and still function. At least minimally.

  • I’ve got the fuel.

I’ve been carbing up and hydrating all week, and I’m prepared for a delicious pasta dinner tonight.

  • I’ve got the tunes.

Thanks to your contributions the other day, I have more than enough music to power me through 26.2. And some that I’ll be playing on repeat.

  • I’ve got a support system.

When we signed up for this race, one of the required sections asks, “Will you be met by someone on-site post-race?” And if you answer “yes,” the response fills in with “YES – I will have a support group.” When I registered, I didn’t realize why this was a necessary field. Now, even after just training runs, I completely understand why it’s so important.

It’s so someone can catch you when your knees buckle.

Even though I know what a marathon does to your body, and it’s not good, I am so SO excited to do this. And to end this “psych up” on a truly motivational (cheesy?) note, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite Runner’s World quotes, that will probably be running through my head as I, well, run:

  • It should make us proud to know we are part of a running lineage that stretches back from the original Olympic Games in 776 BC to this very moment. ~Michael Sandrock
  • I don’t train to beat another runner. We are out there together, competing with the marathon, and I train to run the marathon as fast as I can. ~Juma Ikangaa

And, if all else fails:

  • Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run. ~Jumbo Elliot

Thank you guys for all your support, have a great weekend, and I’ll see you post-26.2!

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Keeping with this running theme I’ve got going on right now, I thought I’d share a little story from a race that took place nearly a year ago. Last April I was running the GW Parkway 10-Miler on what turned out to be one of the first really warm days of the season. As in, the temperature reached about 80 degrees by 11:00am.

I’d eaten a CLIF bar before starting out, deviating from my normal routine, but I figured I could use the energy. Around mile 3 I remembered just why I don’t usually eat before a race.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried running while clenching, but it’s not fun. And it’s not easy. There weren’t very many bathrooms along the way (I remember only one, there may have been another) so, had I stopped, there still would have been a line of people to contend with. And seeing as I was still in my competitive “maybe I can beat my last 10 mile time” mode, I didn’t want to stop.

But, good lord, 7 miles feels like forever when nature’s calling.

Can you tell? I'm concentrating so hard on just making it to the end.

Now, take into account that I was getting dehydrated and the heat was making me loopy, and you’ll understand why I was a mess when I finally crossed the finish line. I was standing in front of the porta-potties, just staring at them, white as a sheet, when one of the friends I’d run with (the now-boyfriend) found me and asked what I was doing.

I whispered, “I have to poop. I’ve had to poop since mile 3!” He looked at me like I was crazy (fair) and gestured to the mostly empty porta-potties, that I’d just been staring at, blankly. “So…go.”

Basically what I looked like when he found me...except I was even more out of it then.

Afterward, and after I restored my energy levels a bit, I admitted to him: “The whole time I was running I kept thinking, if I actually poop my pants, do I have the guts to blog about it?

Yeah. I don’t think so.

So here’s hoping that something similar doesn’t happen on Saturday (2 days!). Because mile 3 out of 26.2 is MUCH worse than 3 out of 10.

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