The faster they are, the harder they fall.

I’m dying to tell someone about this, but nobody cares so I guess I”ll blog about it instead!

A couple of days ago I was out running (that’s the cool part. I was running. I haven’t been doing that for very long.), and I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk and went flying. I scraped up my hands, my knees, and one shoulder (!).

Why would I be excited to talk about that, you may wonder. Well, I will tell you. I was going fast! That’s the cool part, that I was going fast enough to actually hurt myself when I fell. A few weeks ago, I was barely shuffling along on my 10 second runs (literally. I was alternating running for 10 seconds and walking for one minute when I started) . A trip would most likely not even cause a fall, because my momentum was so small that recovering my balance before hitting the ground was highly likely. Plus, I was only running for 10 seconds at a time, so the odds of hitting that crack in the sidewalk while actually running were much smaller.

But this week, I was running for actual minutes at a time, and fast enough to actually go sailing when I tripped. That’s progress. My definition of “fast” is pretty conservative, of course. I’ll never be really “fast” when comparing myself to others. But, I choose to compare myself to my previous self, and this new self is fast in that context.

The other cool thing about falling is that I picked myself up, walked it off for a bit, and then RAN SOME MORE. Before I fell, I was not having the best run. I was feeling tired and discouraged. I was constantly having to fight off the barrage of negative thoughts that kept relentlessly marching through my head. But, falling taught me something about myself. It taught me that I really want to do this. I really want to run. I have always wanted to run, been envious of the people I saw who ran or jogged by. But, it is genuinely difficult to start running if you’ve never done it before. It takes time, dedication, and consistent practice to go from walking to running. I never felt that I had what it would take to do that. It’s not enough to just want to run. You have to want to do the work that it will take to work up to running. That desire is something I never had before now.

Of course, falling is not something I prefer to do regularly, so I will most likely avoid that stretch of sidewalk on future runs. I know my future runs are going to be even longer and possibly even faster and part of the reason I know it is because of that fall. I think I’ll paste pictures of my scrapes into my running journal, just as a reminder.

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Mini Me is soon to be ONE

Hi! Guess what? I have a nearly one-year-old daughter. I have not posted to this blog since before she was born. A lot has happened since then, but I am not going to tell you about it. Nyah.

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It has been almost a year* to the day since I've posted here. For much of that time, this website was totally down because I lost track of it and wasn't paying attention! Go me!

Oh, by the way I'm having a baby. Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm old. Blah blah. whatever. Due June 5! So excited!

That's about it. See you in another year or less!

*Wow, I can't add. Make that 2 years.

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MTV is stalking me

First, they Blew up a car on Alki and now they're filming out in front of my office building. They also have a camera in our building on the balcony outside the office of one of the Execs. They have signs up in the park outside to let people know they are filming and what they are filming. The really annoying thing? They put trash in the trees for no reason. What? Our city is too clean for you? MTV GO HOME! *shakes her tiny fist at the camera-people*

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Dear Downtown Canvasers:

Dear “Save the Children” canvaser,
I did a stint for Greenpeace when I was your age, so I understand how important this is to you and also how difficult it is to get people to stop and listen (and cough up cash). But, I'm still not going to stop because I'm old and jaded and cynical now and I just can't be bothered.


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New Year's Resolutions?

In keeping with my current distraction, I have no New Year's resolutions. It's not that I think I have nothing to fix or change; I'm still too caught up in figuring out my current state of being to be able to decide what changes to try to make. It's amazing how weird it is trying to just get an accurate picture of my own self right now. I can easily look back and see how I used to be and it's even relatively easy to look ahead and decide what I want to be, but just sorting out the details of who I really am RIGHT NOW is not as simple. Anyway, until I figure that out, whatever New Year's resolutions I might make will be hard to keep. How can you make plans to change something if you don't know its current state? Or, more accurately, how can you know you've succeeded? “I want to make this water 10 degrees hotter than it is right now.” OK. Good plan. What temperature is the water right now? So, how will you know when it's 10 degrees hotter? Gotcha!

I can't even adopt my favorite resolution of all time(To maintain or exceed my current level of awesomeness. — Kate Bui) because I first have to sort out just what my current level of awesomeness is! What a conundrum.

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Baby it's cold outside

We were virtually snowed in for a week here. The city has 16 snow plows and they were all busy keeping downtown spic and span, apparently. Of course we live on the side of a hill. At the first hint of snowflakes, the city sent a guy out to put up the “SNOW CLOSURE” signs. Working from home is fine except that I don't have a separate work space at home. So, now every time I sit down at my computer at home I feel like I'm supposed to be working. I find myself checking my work email and messing around with work stuff in another window while I'm playing video games. I have to stop that because it's very tiring after a while to be at work 24/7.

I have been thinking quite a bit lately about identity. We human beings have a tendency to prefer to be around other people that are “like me.” That's an interesting concept though, because how we see ourselves defines what attracts us to others. If our personal defining characteristic is, just for the sake of argument, the color of our skin, then the only people we will think of as “like me” are other people with similarly colored skin. So, theoretically another person could share our interests and hobbies, like the same kinds of foods, have the same favorite color and drive the same kind of car and still be considered “not like me” just because their skin had significantly different amounts of melanin in it.

But what really interests me is figuring out what my defining characteristic(s) is/are. Gaging by the people I find myself attracted to, I think I must see myself as skeptical, cynical with an ironic sense of humor. I guess I don't define myself primarily by the startling lack of pigmentation in my skin.

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ramblin' ramblin' ramblin'

I come from a long line of socio-economically challenged Caucasian people. That's the politically correct way to say, “white trash.” I am pretty sure my family never owned slaves. There seems to be some evidence that my ancestors might have been slaves. (Before it became economically feasible to get slaves from Africa, they used to get them from Ireland.) So, what does that mean? I don't really know. I just thought I'd throw that out there.

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rambling about culture and politics

I worry about our educational system here in the US. So many people grow up without really having a clue about how our government is set up. Sometimes, I'm not sure I know that much about it myself. I'm the product of public schools in Texas after all. Texas, for the one person reading this blog who might not be from Texas, is the home of one of the largest textbook scandals in the history of textbooks. Corruption in Texas is pretty rampant on most levels, but the education system is just plain broken. It's no wonder so many people decide to home school.

But then, when you do decide to home school, what then? How do you know what to teach, which textbooks to trust, who to rely on? To a certain extent, early education is really nothing more than indoctrination. It's important for all citizens to have a reasonable grasp of how our society works so that they can function and be productive. But, we have such a diverse society that deciding how it “works” can be next to impossible. One might reasonably argue that in many ways it does not work.

We also have weird ideas about culture. We think in terms of “black culture” or “white culture” or whatever. The whole concept of culture being tied to the color of one's skin is intrinsically racist. Culture is learned. No matter what color your skin is, you learn your values, your tastes, your place in the world from your environment. It's all about where you grow up, who you grow up around, what you are exposed to.

While some things we normally associate with “culture” may have a genetic basis, over all culture is not biological. Thus, I don't see why some people tend to super glue the concept of “culture” to the color of a person's skin.

I know a woman who is of African heritage who was adopted as a very small child by a family of Caucasian heritage. She grew up in Minnesota surrounded by white people with white bread values. At some point, however, she decided that she was missing out on something so she went to Oakland, CA to pursue her “black culture.” I haven't heard from her since then, but I can't help wonder how that went. Do you really have to eat certain types of food and listen to certain types of music depending on the color of your skin? Really? If a white person said that all Blacks do “blah” would that be considered a racist statement? Why is it OK from the other side? This issue confuses the heck out of me.

Also, the whole concept of whether people should be called “black” or “African American” or “people of color” or whatever also confuses me. The woman who did our sensitivity training was pretty hostile on the issue (she was, er African American I think). My question was, “Why is it bad to call out a person's skin color when describing them? You wouldn't think anything of saying, 'The blonde-haired woman by the water cooler.' But, somehow it's not ok to say, 'The black/African American/whatever the politically correct term is these days woman next to the blonde'”

Admittedly, that may have sounded like a confrontational question, but after all the woman was the sensitivity TRAINER. So, like, she should know how to be sensitive too? Maybe? And for goodness sake, who could you ask that question if you couldn't ask someone TRAINED to teach people how to get along? Anyway, she was pretty hostile about it. She said it was “because of slavery.” I was inexplicably reminded of Terry Pratchett novels in which things that are weird are frequently explained as being “on account of quantum.”

I have successfully written seven paragraphs of nothing. I'll stop now.

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The last few weeks, I've been in a fog. I know Sarah's birthday is coming up on Monday, but I wasn't expecting it to be having such an effect on me this time. Silly me. It's only the second birthday since she died. I may never get used to this.

I'm doing stupid things left and right. I swear to God I never used to be this much of a retard. I'm taking Monday off. I'll try to do something life-affirming or something. I don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe after I get past this hump I'll go back to being marginally competent again. I hope I don't break something important before then.

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