Friday, December 21, 2012

I've been awarded!

Such a nice way to end the year. In no particular order.

I won a "coveted" coffee mug from the CBC afternoon show I like to listen to. Every now and then they ask listeners to respond to a question through phone, email, or twitter. Here's the exchange:


I won't include a photo of the mug, especially not full of coffee because it would drive you all mad with envy. I'm sure of that. You'll just have to imagine how awesome it is. For non Albertans, the Legislature is where the Provincial Legislature sits and spends our money. The building has a nice dome, and a great view of the Edmonton River Valley. I hadn't known there was a nice reflecting pool there.

What was really awesome was the traffic to get there after work. There'd been an accident on Memorial westbound, near CBC. The back up was along Memorial way east, south on 14th St, and eastward along 11th Ave, which is the route I needed to take. It was pretty slow going. The host, Doug Dirks was in the lobby doing the show from there. Somehow I had thought it would be higher tech, reading the script from a laptop or a teleprompter. Maybe they really do make it up minute by minute. It's funny how you get an impression of people just from their voice. I had no idea that Jenny was so tall. Like my height or nearly so.

Another thing was a Sportchek $100 gift certificate. Another one. The first one was from work for doing at least 600,000 steps over 2 months. In fact I did about 1.3 million, but they wouldn't give a second card. I tried a couple times to spend it, but it didn't work out. Then one of my blog buddies, Ali Mc over at Running with Spatulas, had a contest for, you guessed it, a $100 gift cert from Sportchek. And I won! So I've either doubled the size of my problem (such a problem to have, I know!) or got myself to where I can get something really nice. What was their URL again?

Over the last little while I've been trying to branch out my blog reading. It started as just triathlon, and then expanded to fitness in general, and then expanded to, well, in general is about the best way I can put it. Blogs go on my blogroll for one reason, I like to read them. Maybe they amuse me, or educate me, or share my pains and triumphs. You all know who you are, even if you don't comment much lately.

One that I discovered recently is Janice at Figuring it out. I'm no longer certain how I found her, but I think it was a contest like this one, the Liebster Blog award. She won, and then passed it along to me, in the company of the Blonde Runs and SUAR. I'm flattered, and will be checking out the other people mentioned.

I think I've done this one before, but that's ok. I don't mind. Always nice to have your blog noticed. What keeps me going back to Janice's is in one of the first times I opened it, there was a beach photo. Some of you will know I'm a sucker for beach photos, with cuties nice but optional. Think of all the blogs, and all the photos of beaches on blogs, and I recognized it. I'd been on it. How cool is that? She lives in a beautiful but under rated part of the world.

So. Five Random Facts hereto though unmentioned on my blog:

  1. I completely believe there is an alien conspiracy. Some of them walk among us as TV and movie producers. Their evil plot is to turn human brains into tapioca pudding via insidious broadcasts and commercials. They happen to like human brain tapioca pudding, and are patient. The harvesting will happen any time now. Even human brain tapioca can go rancid, and there are lots of signs of it happening. Which is why I don't watch much network TV or see many movies anymore.
  2. I am a curious contradiction. I've only been blogging since late 2007, though I had a website and another blog on another platform back in the mid 90's. It took me a while to get onto Facebook, and much longer to get the point of Twitter, and I've come to love them both. There's lots of people I've never met that I've enjoyed chatting with, and exchanging (semi-)witty banter. I've even met a number of people through blogging and that's been really good. I can keep track of people who have moved to the other side of the world (hi Kelsey!) and family I had lost touch with. And yet, in a group of people I don't know well, I don't have much to say. I'm rubbish at small talk, but I've learned that many people are horrified at my not-small talk. When I tell you the very, very first thing I heard coming into my very first spin class was a woman saying "what's a little vomit between friends?" and it felt like I was coming home, that will tell you much about my small talk. (She knows who she is.)
  3. The person I would most like to have dinner with is Leonardo da Vinci. There is little doubt he would make the top 10 list for most remarkable human beings ever to live, and has a strong case for being first on the list. I would ask him how he learned to see what no other person had ever seen before.
  4. Dogs often bark at me, (though Austin doesn't). I'm not sure why. One of my dog buddies speculates there's something predatory about how I look at dogs, and it makes them uncomfortable. Maybe they sense my inner shark. I worry about dogs running loose on the bike path.
  5. One of my father's brothers had intensely piercing blue or grey eyes. It was like he could see through to your soul, yet he was a kind and gentle man who walked the talk of his religion. My mom's dad had intense dark eyes that scared the crap out of me as a child. My cousin's (mom's brother's daughter) young daughter has inherited his intense look. It's unsettling in a very little girl. I'm told I have intent blue eyes as well. The blue part is easy to see, but I've never felt like I have the intent quality. 


1. What is your mantra or motivational quote?  "Despair is a sin" or "I get to run when so many others don't."
I don't really have one. Sure, there are things I mutter under my breath at times as an alternative to a homicidal response to human stupidity. None of them are particularly fit for public consumption.

2. What is the next big goal on your list?  My next big  non-running goal is to finish my novel. My running goal is to finish the Bluenose International Marathon in a personal best time.
It just so happens I've been musing about this. Just very recently I've dug out the bits of a novel, and am thinking seriously about taking another run at it. Lots of good bits, I just have trouble figuring out what kind of story it is. There's a love story (sort of) in it. There are at least two murders, but I'm pretty sure the book is not about solving those murders, though one character could. There's a dream sequence I see in my head, because I dreamed it, that I have no idea how to write down, or how it could fit into the novel, because it does. The plant where the characters work is almost a character itself, and a significant part of the atmosphere. It's a little bit of a period piece. 

3. What is your favourite place in the world and why?  Risser's Beach because I feel more myself there than any other place on the planet.
Ah, Risser's Beach. I'm a big fan of Hirtle's myself. Venice was amazing. I want to go back. And yet I never, ever tire of looking at the mountains and foothills, and the cloudscapes from the strange winds we get. I'd never understood what painters meant when the talked about the quality of light in Italy, and now that I've been there I understand. I also now see the peculiar qualities of light here. In some ways Calgary is a frustrating place to live, but I've been here since 1980, and can't really see myself living anywhere else now. At least until someone carts me off to the old age home because of advanced geezerdom. With any luck by the time I need one, they will have figured out how to make them a civilized place to live.

4. What's the best way to spend a recovery day?  Good question that I find hard to answer because I nearly always spend recovery days working. If I didn't have to work, I like to think I'd spend them reading, writing and cooking.
Usually recovery days are spent catching up on laundry. Nobody ever told me about the laundry issues facing triathletes. Every now and then I like to spend part of the day in silence, doing nothing but meditating. No, not the formal incense sniffing, mantra chanting, cross-legged meditation of popular image. For one thing, I can't sit upright cross-legged. My hip flexors start killing me really fast, and then I have to hunch over to keep my balance, or I'll fall over backwards. I mean just seated comfortably, preferably with a cat purring nearby. But it has to be quiet. I like to let my mind wander, but I don't try to think about any particular thing, and I don't try not to. It's sort of like lucid dreaming. It's hard to describe.

5. If you could travel and run a race anywhere, where would it be?  Another tough question. There are lots of places I'd like to visit but, to run a marathon, I'd have to say New York. Or Dublin. Or maybe Edinburgh. Or Athens. sigh. Nope, I can't decide.
Hmmm. I don't know. I'm not a big fan of traveling to a race. So far I've driven to all my races. There is something within me that doesn't like the thought of disassembling Estela and putting her in a bike boxes. Maybe if I took a bike mechanic course I'd be happier about it. I used to like traveling a lot. My dad was an airline pilot, and some of my earliest memories are of airports and airplanes. But that was when flying had class. Men wore suits, and women wore dresses on a trip. Real food was served. Now, an airplane is a flying bus. I have seen people getting on a mid day flight wearing pajamas and slippers. Airports no longer feel safe to me, mainly because of the security theatre. 

I just finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Even reading it I knew I was going to be sad at the end because I'd never ever be reading it for the first time again. Many people read because they like to immerse themselves in the world. That doesn't happen to me that often, but it happened here, big time. The whole book works on so many levels for me that I was just delighted the entire time reading it. Next time I read it I'll have to pay a bit more attention to the dates. I think they matter more than I thought.

Using a trackpad is a bit of a change from a mouse, but I'm liking it so far. The main issue is when I intend to do a two finger gesture, and do a 3 because my ring finger droops, and then something unexpected happens. I'll get used to it pretty quick.

The novel fragments are all rescued, and I need to do some serious work on story timeline. That will tell me what bits of what I've done so far I can keep, and what I need to write.

I sometimes do a year end blog, and some thoughts are beginning to surface about that. You have been warned.


  1. Disqus is at it again, eating comments. Lourdes Jeanne left a comment liking my goals, but it only showed up as email to me. I'm pretty sure that Disqus does not like comments from mobile devices, so that might be it.

  2. Ha! Love your "alien conspiracy" theory. Sounds about right to me.

    And I know what you mean about the "quality of light". It's something I started paying more attention to once I started running and I'm always trying to capture it with BB camera. Looking forward to getting a proper camera in the next few weeks so I can maybe get better at that. Love to get back to Italy myself. Was looking at a friend's photos of Positano lately and it made my feet itchy.

    The premise of your novel sounds interesting and I enjoyed the snippet you posted so hope you get back to it and post a few more excerpts from time to time.

    Happy New Year, by the way.

    1. OK! Mission accomplished! One person liked what I posted of my novel! Yay! That does it. I'll be putting up other bits as it seems good to do.


Looking forward to reading your comment!