Yes yes it’s been ages and ages since I’ve posted here. The primary reason is laziness. The secondary reason is that Emma and I have started a new blog: It Never Snowed, which is documenting our family adventure to Bangalore for a two-year assignment. See you there, and hope you enjoy it
For almost a year now I’ve been running two or three mornings a week. It started when I was talking to my neighbor Greg who used to do loads of running when he was in the army but had fallen out of practice and wanted to get moving again. I had done a little bit before and had kind of enjoyed it, and also knew I needed to shift a few pounds as I was really porking out.
So we started pretty light, largely by necessity as going two miles would pretty much kill us. I think the important thing was getting in a routine, which we did pretty well. My weight wasn’t going down yet but that was because I went on rewarding myself with food: I had run a mile and a half so I totally deserved cake. And fries. And beer.
We took a break over winter but I joined the YMCA and got in the rhythm of working out two or three times a week which I found made a really positive difference when we started running again in March, and I’m still going, usually alternating mornings of running or going to the gym.
I’ve been pretty amazed at how my increasingly creaky old self has gotten used to this. I haven’t had any aches or pains to speak of, and despite getting up so early every day I actually find I have much more energy than when I sleep in. Also my running distances have gotten way further – at weekends I’ve been doing 9, 10 or even 12 mile runs and feeling great for it. Also I finally started watching my food and drink intake and have lost 16 pounds in the last four months to get to 170 pounds. I still want to hit 160 but that feels fairly achievable as long as I keep focussed on not snacking or overdoing portion sizes. Wii Fit suggests that I should be down to 145 pounds but that seems slightly insane!
It’s really fun now that Dara is old enough to have real conversations with Toby. Yesterday in the car they were, for some reason, talking about penguins. I can’t remember why and it seemed a bit inappropriate considering that it was 7:30am and already about 85F.
Anyway, at one point Toby said “FACT: penguins can run faster than humans”. Dara expressed skepticism, to which Toby said “I know it’s true, because I read it in a book of fiction. Um, why’s mom making that funny snorting noise?”
OK I haven’t posted in so very long. I could hardly remember my login. I watched Julie and Julia at the weekend, which was a rather syrupy movie but also fun, and watching one of the title characters (hint: not Julia Child) blog made me realize that I’ve missed blogging lately. Facebook updates have been happening, but it’s been ages since I’ve written anything lengthy. So I’m going to start by quoting someone else’s blog.
There’s been a lot of nonsense lately (non-sense) about a group planning to open an Islamic center near the former site of the World Trade Centers in New York City, and the center has ridiculously been dubbed the Ground Zero Mosque. Lots of people, from conservative politicians (who you’d think would want to uphold the Constitution, specifically about allowing freedom of religion, but we know perfectly well that all pols, and especially the right-wingers, only love the Constitution when it suits them. Like the Bible really) to even the Anti Defamation League renouncing the decision to have an Islamic center so close to the site of a terrorist act by some unhinged Muslims.
So to counter this, there has been a comedic movement to imagine what else offensive we could put next to the Islamic center. I saw a link to Chris Mohney’s blog, where he suggests the following:
Continuing the chain of imaginary offensiveness to stereotypes, I plan to open a Babies R Us next to the gay bar next to the mosque next to Ground Zero. Next to the Babies R Us I will open a pornographic bookstore, and next to that I will open a police station. Next to the police station I will open a hip-hop recording studio, and next to that I will open an Applebees. Next to the Applebees I will open a TGI Fridays (those guys HATE each other) and next to the TGI Fridays I will open a methadone clinic. Next to the methadone clinic I will open a crack house, and finally, next to that, I will open a Catholic church adjoining a daycare center for attractive boys, adjacent to which I will just blow up whatever’s there so I can erect a memorial, and next to that memorial I will open a community center dedicated to a locally inconvenient ethnicity that I hired to blow up the original structure on the memorial site. Next to that I’m just going to put up some condos.
Toby and Emma were at the grocery store tonight choosing bread to go with dinner.
T: let’s get that bread – the one we have when Opa and Val come to stay
E: um OK. So what goes with challah?
T: I dunno … Ham?
It’s so challenging. Here are some clips of As Seen On TV ads, showing just how tough it is to live in the modern world. Kind of amusing, but kind of depressing too, when you think of all the real challenges going on (have I lost my sense of humor?):
I’m at Toby’s tae kwon do class watching him do his thing. He’s getting fairly senior in his age group as he got his blue belt last weekend (the progression is white, yellow, gold, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, red/black stripe, black). You can really see how he is progressing in his strength and physical ability, and also in his discipline and focus. He loves it.
When I collected him from school he was out in the playground enjoying the beautiful weather. He and his friends were working very hard on building a small raft to help a worm get across a puddle. They were having a great time but also very serious and intense. How great to be seven!
Another post on amazing one-take videos – this one from the band OK Go. For full effect, watch it in HD (update the control at the bottom right of the YouTube window) and watch it right to the end. The cheering is completely uplifting:
There have been some excellent commercials for Old Spice lately – I love them (although I haven’t quite gotten into the product itself). Here they are, for your enjoyment.
My favorite is this one:
And if you have plenty time to spare, here’s an interview with the creators of that last one, where they explain how low-tech it was to make:
There are a few more at the Old Spice YouTube Channel. Hope you like them too.
My first degree was a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience. It was fascinating and on the whole I loved it. Some mornings, however, the lectures sounded a lot like this:
Actually a lot like that, but much, much slower.