Saturday, January 31, 2009

So, Marathons

I just registered for the San Diego Marathon. It's on May 31, so training officially starts tomorrow, which means that I will no longer be able to talk myself into missing Friday morning tempo runs. (Though in the winter, it's always cold, so it doesn't matter if you run at night or in the morning, unlike in the summer when I had to run in the a.m. So maybe I can keep skipping...)

Anyway, yay, marathons. I'd like to PR for this one, but I have to let the Boston obsession rest. Of course that's just a ploy to trick myself into actually running a BQ. I'm definitely excited for the trip and for losing my holiday weight, so that's some motivation. And I think I finally figured out why my hips hurt so badly--they never move laterally anymore. So I'm going to work on that and get more massages this time around and everything will be great.

The only bummer about this race is that it's a Rock 'n' Roll race, and they've given me cotton t-shirts at the last two I've done despite their $$$ entry fees. I'm pretty sure this one has a technical tee, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

Here is my tentative 2009-10 marathon schedule.
May 2009 - San Diego
November 2009 - New York or Philadelphia
May 2010 - Ottawa

I love Ottawa. Kate and I were supposed to run a marathon there after I did my first one, but that didn't pan out. I think because she decided to move to France or something like that. I really debated between Ottawa and San Diego this year, but my friend is moving to SD, so I went with the free place to stay.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Kickin' It Homeless Style

I'm just spending my Friday night at the homeless shelter where I volunteer (and you should, too). I just met the newish staff person and, sorry Kate, she's now my favorite staff member*. I saw that she was looking at Ravelry, the online knitting mecca I'm just learning about, so I told her that I could crochet and was teaching myself to knit. Well it turns out she's an extremely avid sock knitter, so she showed me a bunch of stuff that she's done and all kinds of knitting resources that I had no idea existed. It's really amazing to me what an art form knitting really is and that there's SO MUCH out there. I haven't even hit the tip of the ice berg.

She also gave me the rest of her Arizona Tea Arnold Palmer Lite, which is a little sweet for me. Although I was raised on iced tea instead of milk, I guess it's possible to lose your taste for it after two years of only drinking unsweetened tea. A very sad day.

Anyway, in the spirit of link love and giving props where props are due for cool socks, here is Chele's blog (that's how she identifies herself on her blog). Check out the entrelac socks. I might have to try a pair of those after I do my first pair, of course.

*Though Katie did feed me crepes and mulled wine tonight, so she retains her status as my favorite sister. But she definitely did not text me back with the password to the shelter's computer. Good thing I remembered it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Give Me My Money Back, You Bitch

So, I'm finally getting around to watching the Ben Folds Five MySpace Reunion Show. (And by watching, I mean listening to as I type this--it's a concert, what's there to watch? Prove me wrong, Ben, prove me wrong!)

Anyway, when I found out about this the day before it happened I cried because I had to miss it. And I am enjoying this show immensely through the magic of MySpace. And I just bought tickets to see Ben Folds at GW in a few weeks.

But I don't really like Ben Folds anymore. There, I said it. I don't have his new CD, and I don't want it. And if you know me, you know how crazy this is.

There was a time in my life when I loved Ben Folds. I mean, weirdly loved him and his band. I could blog for days on how much I loved Ben Folds Five, but I'll sum it up here by saying that I once dated a guy solely because he appreciated Ben as much as I did. And at one point I knew every word to every song in Ben's catalog--both released and unreleased. And I once stalked Ben down four blocks in NYC to meet him. And I name my blog posts after their songs.

I have actually met all three members of Ben Folds Five, albeit at distinct times. Darren held the door for me at Iota and I still talk about it.

But seriously, check it out. It's hard to get excited for this shit.

Darren Jessee, on the other hand, is not only a gentleman, but also still a genius. He continues to make incredible music, and if you're not already listening to Hotel Lights, you should be. He's actually playing in Philly on Feb. 13, which is the night I'm going to see Ben (and Rufus Wainwright is playing in Philly on Feb. 14--I've made a terrible mistake!) .

BUT, Hotel Lights is also playing next Tuesday in Baltimore. Kate? Good thing I saw this before I set my car on fire.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weight Ain't Nothin' But a Number

I ate a lot of chocolate today. I can't really quantify the amount. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that I will never, ever, buy a 17.8 oz bar of chocolate (with almonds!) again.

I Hate Having a Car

I hate having a car for a number of reasons.

1. The DMV. I know it's a cliche, but in my experience the agency isn't really going out of its way to refute its reputation. When I moved to VA I spent 2 hours standing at a window while the most meticulous employee in the history of employment entered my information letter by letter, repeating each one back to herself (I have a really long name and a really long address) and still managed to mess it up twice. The kid who had two $500 fines for driving without a license and without insurance left before me. I'm not kidding.

And in DC they once froze my account because my tag reminder (not even the tags themselves!) had been returned due to an incorrect address. Except my tags weren't returned. Miko Benton, who fraudulently used my address the entire time we lived there, had her tags returned. "Why would you mail me a renewal reminder in February if my tags expire in January?" I asked the woman at the DMV. "I don't know," she said, "but you have to prove your address before we can give you a duplicate title." And by duplicate title she meant the title that I had to pay $28 for despite the fact that the city never mailed me an original title.!

2. My trunk doesn't work. And why did I need a title? Because some asshole ran into my car while it was parked outside my house and totaled it. I still drive the car though, but the trunk does not work and it looks like shit.

3. $$$ My car has 166,000 miles on it, which is pretty impressive for a Chevy. I pay about $30 a month in car insurance, but I only put about 5,000 miles on it a year. So I really hate to put any money into it, because it's going to die sooner rather than later, and it's already been totaled so I've been paid for it. But now it needs to be inspected and one of the turn signals is out, but Chevy made it damn near impossible for a mortal to change the bulb in their daytime running lights. Now, I appreciate the fact that my light lasted for 12 years, but seriously, I wouldn't mind changing it myself. It's not too much to ask.

4. I'm pretty sure I have an oil leak.

5. And getting your oil changed anywhere but at Jiffy Lube is a huge pain in the ass. I hate Jiffy Lube. I know they're marking their services way up. And guess what, no, I don't want you to fix my turn signal or my oil leak. I'm going to let the guys at Old Town Liberty do that. Then they'll have to let me pass inspection.

6. I live in a place where I don't really need to own a car. Does it take longer to take the metro everywhere? Yes. But can I look smugly down at those people who insist on polluting the environment because it's more convenient if I take the metro everywhere? Yes.
I lived in a warmer climate I would get around exclusively on bicycle and public transportation. As it is I am seriously considering taking my oil leak money and buying a fucking bike-riding parka and then setting my car on fire.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Alive!

My cell phone survived! I can't believe it, but it's true. Is it wrong that I didn't want to tell anyone that it was ok because I liked being unreachable?

Looks like I'll never have an enV2. On the plus side, I totally wiped out on my bike the other day and broke my pedal, so I at least have to (definitely) buy one of those, if not a pair of cycling shoes.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

RIP My Cell Phone

This* morning, as I was packing my work clothes up, I noticed that my chosen shirt was a little wrinkly. "Well," I said to myself, "Self, now would be the perfect time to bust out that new steamer that Wes's parents gave me for Christmas."**

So I pulled out the steamer, filled it with water, entertained thoughts of plugging it in in the kitchen, but instead went over to my usual ironing spot on the kitchen table and plugged it in there. While I waited for it to heat up, I went and started drying my hair. I came back a few minutes later to see my little kettle-like steamer spitting out a long, vigorous trail of steam. So I picked it up and steamed my shirt to good effect and put the thing down back on the table and turned it off. Then I went back to drying my hair.

When I came back to the kitchen to get ready to leave, I heard this weird, crackling sound, which sounded like static or like my cell phone slowly drowning itself and all its circuits. I had put the steamer down next to my phone, and while I realized the thing was putting out steam, I had no idea just how wet that steam was. Pretty much everything that was on my table was soaked, including my bike-riding winter hat, the fiction issue of the New Yorker, and the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Now I'll never know what furniture is in season for privileged 4-year-olds!

Anyway, I cursed and grabbed the phone and ran into the bedroom where I tried to dry the still-crackling phone on the still-sleeping Wes. "I steamed my phone!" I yelled. "What?" he said. "I steamed my phone! Shit! I can't get the battery out!"

I rubbed the thing against the blanket a few more times before I could get the battery door off, but I'm pretty sure the damage is done. I actually dropped that phone in the toilet once and managed to save it, but it definitely wasn't making that frying noise that time.

So, Verizon got me. I'll re-up for another two years. At least the LG enV2 is on sale. But the real tragedy is that I just learned how to use predictive text, which I think is the most fun ever. Will anyone judge me if I still use that, despite the fact that my new phone will have a full Qwerty keyboard? Let's just say no.

Also, as I was trying to put away the steamer, I managed to spill some more water, but this time it landed on my umbrella. Liz 1, Steamer 1. But then it pinched my finger. Liz 1, Steamer 2. Those things are no joke.

*I worked really hard not to make this word "so".
**Remind me to write another blog about how at Christmas everyone seems to think I'm a housewife/someone who would use a steamer/quesadilla maker/stand mixer.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009: In Which I Make No Excuses but Tell Plenty of Lies

Happy New Year! Lizard Writes returns from an extended holiday vacation with some updates.

Ok, A number 1, Wes and I made a sweet, sweet Christmas video blog (vlog, if you will). And I can't figure out how to post it. I know, you have no reason to believe me, and I didn't think to like, hold up the newspaper in it or anything to prove that I made it last week, but it definitely exists. If you come to my house, you can watch it. It does have our Christmas tree in the background, for what that's worth.

At some point I will figure out how to convert it into an uploadable format. So look for it in June or something (no excuses!).

Second, this article. Duh. It's no secret that I <3 style="font-style: italic;">Washington Post Magazine, and want Tom Shroder's job, but I don't usually read the "Editor's Note." Today I did, and all I have to say is that I would like the last 3 minutes of my life back. Or is that not how to be funny? I'm not saying anything that anyone who read that essay would find too surprising.

(I like Dave Barry, but he doesn't often make me laugh out loud. Writing humor is hit or miss (see, e.g., this blog). I wouldn't explain my reaction to it the way Shroder does, though.)

Third, I like this song. It's playing on Shuffle Songs now. Thanks, NPR!