Monday, October 29, 2012

Running and liking it!

So remember how I decided to train for a 5k and I thought I was going to die, and I was miserable and I had the mother of all running mood swings? Well, I finally ran my first 5k race this weekend and I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised (read: Holy Crap am I shocked!) at my transformation and my results.

**Warning: Boring running training information ahead. I went from running a mile in 14 minutes to running a mile in at around 10:30 . I went from thinking I was going to die after only a mile and a half to running just over three miles pretty gamely and easily. Before I started training, I was pretty convinced I'd be walking that last half-mile. Instead, I ran the whole thing, and I put in my personal best time to date!

I think a lot of that had to do with the experience and the cause for which I was running. I had never run a race before and I really had no idea what to expect. I just knew I needed to pick a race that was benefiting a charity I could get behind. So we found the Run Because You Can race. This race benefits the Runnin' For Rhett organization, which was founded by a family who lost their little boy in circumstances very similar to the way we lost Ukiah. How could I not get behind that? All of the decorations and race t-shirts were baby blue, like Ukiah's eyes. That's really all I needed to sign on.

The race itself was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. At first I was a little intimidated. When the hubbie and I run, it's by ourselves on a very deserted stretch of neighborhood. I'd never been in a mass of people like that, and I really didn't know how I'd manage running in a group. But everybody was cool. People who wanted to pass us did, people who were slower let us pass. I didn't find it intimidating at all. In fact, I felt a kind of confidence in numbers. All those people running around me buoyed me and made me feel confident in my abilities, motivating me. Also motivating? The bag-piper in a kilt. You guys know how I feel about kilts. I may or may not have made my feelings known about bag-pipers, but I'll briefly explain anyway. I think they are completely awesome! He was stationed at a turn in the first mile and he made me completely happy. That is he made me happy until I realized one of my shoes was fully untied and I was slipping out of my shoe and telling my husband that I had to stop and tie it was going to piss him off. And it did. I don't know why he was so bent out of shape though, because I spotted three other racers that had the same footwear problem, but oh well. After I got it tied, he put the hammer down pace wise, consciously or sub-consciously punishing me for not checking my shoes before the race.

Fighting Nun doesn't want to admit this about himself, but thanks to years of playing soccer, he feels this innate need to keep up with or pace the guy in front of him, which means he started going a lot faster than I'd ever gone with him. Until I successfully got him to pull back a little, it was a punishing pace. There was a kid, not more than thirteen that would put the pedal to metal, pass us, then walk and we'd pass him and then he'd starting running flat out again. I think my husband was trying to match that little pain in the ass's pace! At that point, I had no idea how far we had gone because I had forgotten the GPS watch at home and I knew I had to pace myself for the finish. At about the halfway mark, I heard a fellow racer say it was the halfway mark and I breathed a sigh of relief.

At the 2 mile mark, there was a watering station. Fighting Nun had been carrying a water bottle for me and I felt getting water at the water station was an advanced maneuver so I demurred. Fighting Nun got a gatorade from the station, tried drinking it while running, failed and threw the drink away at the earliest possible trash can. At about the 2.5 mark, there was an overpass that winded me and took my pace down a little, but then I saw a crush of people at nearby walking bridge that signified that we were near the end. My daughter and my father-in-law were the only two people there for us at the end of the race, and I doubted very much to hear any cheering. But that's thing, everybody cheered for everybody. Before I stepped on the mat that timed us, they actually announced our names over the loud speaker and a huge cheer erupted from the crowd. I smiled and waved and was completely in awe. Thankful to be done, we kissed our daughter at the end, grabbed some water, fruit and cookies and made our way to the car. I was so thrilled to be done, to have completed the thing, to have been part of something bigger than myself. Hopefully I'll do it again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Worried for My Daughter's Future

So this morning, I watched this movie called Beware the Gonzo. I had started it a few weeks ago, but finally got around to watching the rest so I could clear it off my DVR. The movie is mostly forgettable, but you know me and my high school movies. I am compelled to watch them at least once. I wish it were better. I mean, Campbell Scott and Amy Sedaris are both in it and yet are given hardly anything to do. Ezra Miller is Ezra Miller playing Ezra Miller but admirably. Jesse McCartney, Ugh.

But I don't want to review the movie, not really. There's a scene with Zoe Kravitz that struck a nerve with me. It's basically a cell-phone video of her character right after she had been essentially gang raped. She's humiliated and the humiliation is caught on video. I shuddered, not because of it being graphic, but because I was holding my daughter at that moment and I thought about her and how utterly I am worried that something like that could happen to her. It's terrifying.

Also terrifying is the idea that my daughter could end up like Amanda Todd:

If you haven't seen it, watch it. The ever amazing warrior/writer Lorna Suzuki tweeted it last week and it hasn't stopped shattering my world. For those faint of heart, I'll recap. The video features Amanda Todd, some time before she committed suicide, explaining in detail, one scrap of paper at a time the type of torture she's had to endure at the hands of bullies. It ranged from cyber-bullying to flat out physical abuse and beatings by her bullies. It was something she felt she couldn't face any longer and that's utterly heartbreaking.

What's more heartbreaking is how persistent bullying can be at this day and age. Yes, I was bullied and absolutely hated junior high and high school, but then I got to go home and at least I was in a safe environment and could compartmentalize. Now, thanks to social media, that bullying can follow the kids home and can continue to follow them through their years. Now some drunken mistake could be posted on the internet and never be taken down, or somebody starts a hate blog about another kid, or some text involving something sexually explicit supposed to stay between two people doesn't and it ends up haunting and torturing these kids for a long long time. Kids today have a lot more to deal with, especially on this level than I ever did. And who knows what my daughter is going to face when she reaches puberty. She could come out relatively unscathed, or she could have a slight lapse in judgement and there could be a video like the one in the movie, or worse, she could end up like Amanda.

In the same movie I mentioned at the end Zoe's character says that the she's tired of being a victim and she's not going to let that video the fact that it's out in the world control her. That was a very powerful statement and one I'm glad she made. But the very next scene undercuts the entire sentiment. The scene featured a character named disgustingly enough Horny Rob Becker. He's showing a friend (Ezra's character) a video he uploaded to the internet of him having a three way that he said "was [him] communicating with god." It's totally barf inducing and it's totally the thing I thought the movie was partially standing against. In putting that video out to the world, he exploited the other girls in the video. This message that maybe, just maybe we shouldn't be video taping this sort of thing and exploiting and humiliating these girls was completely thrown out the door in that one scene.

We need to be talking about this more, as a society. We need to be telling girls that people will do this sort of thing and have no guilt about it whatsoever. We need to be talking about how prevalent bullying and humiliation have become with teenagers and come up with constructive methods for dealing with it.

As for me, all I can do is try to arm my daughter appropriately when the time comes and tell her that not everyone has her best interests at heart. I guess I can always buy her The Gift of Fear and force her to read it. But unfortunately this is something I have to prepare myself and her for. I hope for a brighter future, especially in regarding to this, but I'm preparing for a lot messier one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Helping Hands

If you've lurked around here for any period of time or if you just look at my my blog archive timeline you'll notice I go MIA for big chunks of time. There's a lot of reasons for that. For one I have a lazy streak a mile long, for another I have a full time job, a daughter and husband that keep me plenty busy. But sometimes it boils down to something else, something a little more sinister. I can sometimes succumb to long periods of being down in the dumps. From the time my son coded in the car, up to and definitely for a long time after he passed away I spiraled down into my own depression. It could've been a lot uglier, but it wasn't pretty. I started going to therapy and working myself out of it. I was never officially diagnosed and I'm not seeking medication or therapy for it any longer.

For the most part, I manage it. I'm able to see the silver lining around those low hanging clouds. That silver lining is there in my daughter's giggle or my husband's crack comic timing and I can and do enjoy life on a daily basis. But sometimes it rears its ugly head in ways I'm keeping hidden from people around me and especially from myself. Sometimes I hit a low spot without even noticing it.

It happened the other day and it took just a little word of kindness for me to identify it for what it was and start digging my way out again. It was a simple acknowledgement of something being out of place by someone who cared enough to straighten me out and it doesn't seem like much but in fact it was huge. (Thanks again Jason. I might be thanking you a  lot.)

The topic of mental illness has come up a lot lately in my mind. I've been reading a lot about mental illness on Laura Zera's blog, and having discussions about it with family, and obviously having my own mental health battles. What I'm coming to realize is that a little concern goes a long ways in helping. Just voicing some concern in someone's life who may be struggling with a mental illness or who has someone in their life dealing with mental illness goes a long way. Voicing concern to any one going through a difficult time mental illness or not goes a long way. I know we all get busy and forget to reach out to the important people around us and just see how their doing. But imagine how better off we'd all be if we just reached out every once in awhile to people and find out how they are. I know it did me a world of good. (Thanks again Jason. Told you I'd be thanking you a lot.)

Friday, October 05, 2012

An especially unimportant rant regarding the latest Supernatural episode

So, apparently the most recent episode of Supernatural bugged me enough that I went on a tirade last night to my husband, while running, which is a feat in and of itself. Said tirade bares repeating.

Bloody Munchkin: So I have a bone to pick regarding Supernatural.
Fighting Nun: We've already talked about the flashbacks!
BM: No not the flashbacks.
FN: Ok then. What about it?
BM: Kermit TX!
FN: What's wrong with Kermit TX?
BM: That they mentioned Kermit TX! This is the second or third show in recent memory* that has used Kermit TX in any kind of capacity and it pisses me off every time they do! (This may take some explaining. I grew up in a town (THAT SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS!) that wasn't Kermit, but was very close to Kermit, thus making Kermit kind of my running grounds. Where I grew up, you had to drive an hour to get to the nearest Wal-mart, the nearest decent mall was an hour and a half away and so basically anything within a two hour driving distance of my hometown is basically home turf. I visited a friend in Kermit like every other weekend of my teenaged life. I had a very serious high school boyfriend from Kermit. I would drive to Kermit just to get my Sonic fix. I am very territorial about said town and its surrounding environment that I get uppity when said turf is featured in pop culture. If you feature my little neck of woods, freaking do it right).
FN: But they are featuring Kermit! What, are you like Romney and suddenly hate Sesame  Street and Big Bird and Kermit now too!
BM: Don't bring Romney into this! And don't invoke Sesame Street! You know I love Sesame Street!
FN: So what's your problem?
BM: That they mentioned Kermit TX but that it wasn't the real Kermit TX. And don't tell me they did. They picked some random house in Toronto or Vancouver or wherever the hell Canada and called it Kermit TX, but if they are going to find some backwoodsy house and call it Kermit, they might as well film in Kermit TX, that's as desolate and remote as they come!
FN: So your problem with a show about two people fighting demons, vampires, and other wackadoo creatures is that there isn't enough location realism?
BM: Yes!  God yes. And another thing? Kermit does not have a veterinary clinic. You need your cat fixed, go to Odessa.
FN: Didn't have a veterinary clinic. You haven't been there in what? A Decade plus? They could have one now.
BM: OK good point, but if it did I seriously doubt it would be occupied by the world's hottest veterinarian.
FN: So what, Sam was supposed to fall for an overweight fifty year old with a hump.
BM: Yes! At least then I'd know for sure Kermit was represented properly!

[* Ed. Note: The one other instance that sticks out in my mind was from Heroes. Hayden's character goes from Midland to Kermit. For the record, their representation of Kermit didn't feel right either. I think there is one more, but I can't quite remember from where.]


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Random thoughts regarding some TV obsessions

Regarding Elementary

Dear Jonny Lee Miller;

That crush I've had on you ever since Hackers that has made me endure some very crappy movies (Mindhunters anyone?) and some not so successful TV shows (Eli Stone anyone?)? In case you were wondering it is still very much on. Your hairline may wain but my crush on you never will.

Dear Lucy Liu;

That girl crush I've had on you that began for reasons I can no longer remember but was definitely fueled by your ability to wield a samurai sword? Still very much on. Just thought you'd like to know.

Dear Aidan Quinn;

This whole 'Aging professor silver fox' thing your rocking? It's a good look for you. Keep it up. That is all.

Regarding Revenge

Dear Revenge!

I love you! Never leave me again! I need Nolan's fanciful layering and Victoria's bitchface, and both Daniel's and Jack's alcoholism, and Emily's wardrobe and Jennifer Jason Leigh's face of seriousness (or serious collagen injections, I can't tell which)  and... well I don't really need Deckland, Charlotte, or Emily/Amanda (Lisa P) Clark's pregnancy of contrivance. But I'll take them if I can have the rest! And can I go ahead and put odds on Emily/Amanda being the body in The Amanda, the flash forward at the beginning of this season? Cause she's my horse in this dead pool. Just sayin'. Also, Nolan and Emily as housemates? Best. Idea. Ever. I love you show that I have to wait until my husband is out of the house to watch. Never change.

Regarding Supernatural

Uhm, WTF was that last night? I'm still trying to process it all and I'm not sure that I'm very happy about. The flashbacks were chintzy at best and unnecessary in a lot of instances. Sam's flashbacks? Not worth the price of admission. Period. And the best this show can do for Purgatory is some backwoods somewhere? Lame. But not even that can diminish my love of the brothers. They've got an interesting angle of this season, but I don't know if it'll hold. We'll see.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Random Thoughts on A Cabin in the Woods

I finally got to see Cabin in the Woods on On Demand this weekend after months, nay years of pining for it and I have to say I loved it but I think my love for it is such that I can't put it together in a comprehensible review, so I'm just going to make a bunch random comments about the movie.

I love, love, love Richard Jenkins for so many reasons and in so many ways and in the first seconds of the movie, as he's getting coffee and jumps into that go-kart, I knew my love would only grow. And it did. He was great in this.

I have loathed Bradley Whitford for a number years for a lot of reasons, but they actually boiled down to one reason, which is that his character in My Adventures in Babysitting was a dick and I will always hold that against him. He could cure cancer, adopt a million puppies, and whatnot, and there would still be a part of my brain that would seethe upon his presence, but this role? Made me love him just a bit. I mean, come on. He's dancing with Jenkins! I can't not love that!

I love, love, love Amy Acker and so I beamed when I saw her. She gets all demanding and chirpy in the first couple of minutes and all I can do is smile. But I have to know one thing. Does Joss have some fascination with Acker in lab coats? Because I swear, every role she's played in the Whedon-verse has involved a lab coat at some point. Angel, Dollhouse, this. I'm not complaining. Acker rocks a lab coat. But I'm just wondering, is it some sort of nerd fetish Joss has to live out? Not that there's anything wrong with that, I'd just like to know.

And the other thing I love, love, love? Fran Kranz and his coffee cup bong of awesomeness. Speaking of nerd fetishes, I think I have one for Fran Kranz. Ever since Dollhouse and the "Glasses?" "On a chain!" "For the Win!" exchange between his version of Topher and Enver's version of Topher, I was absolutely smitten with both of them and now I'm in deeper smit because he ruled this movie and for the following line; "I'm drawing a line in the fucking sand here! Do not read the Latin!" Swoon. That's horror movie geekery at its finest and I love him for it.

That phone call bit with Mordecai had me cackling to like an insane degree. They totally hit the nail on the head with that one. 

 "What girl in her right fucking mind dances alone in her room in her underwear?"
"Uhm, all of them."
"Yes! Duh!"
This exchange has been brought to you by Kristen Connelly's dance of awesomeness. Dancing in your underwear is never the wrong answer.

Other random thoughts:

I don't know what it is with Joss Whedon and giant snakes, but maybe he just needs to direct an animated movie called Snakey: The Snake That Ate Some Cities and get it out of his system, because every time he brings a giant snake into one of his live-action projects, it just looks video-gamey as hell.
I read this via Joe Reid's awesome blog forever and a day ago and made note of it somehow in my brain and wanted to see if I agreed with that assessment or not and it turns out I agree. It's chintzy and cheap but in an awesome way that only Joss could manage I think. Yes I was all "Look, the Mayor is alive and well." but the sight gag was still worth it. Also, I would totally watch Snakey: The Snake That Ate Some Cities if Joss ever made it. Just saying.

Can we talk about Ron the Intern for a moment? Because I think I love Ron the Intern. Tom Lenk can be hit or miss in a lot of things he's been in. Andrew bugged the fuck out of me. He was the weakest link in the geek trio from Buffy and he just grated to no end. And it was because of this that he would show up in things, things I legitimately liked but I would still grumble "Andrew." And so he showed up in this and at first I thought he was Danny Strong, who I love, so I got all excited, but then I realized it was him instead and I got hesitant but then Ron the Intern and Maintenance guess correctly and he cheered and I melted. Ron the Intern 4 eva!

My last thought. What the hell is up with Sigourney Weaver ending up being the stern endgame in a lot of movies lately? She just shows up at the end, rattles some cages and then.... credits. What is that all about?

I loved this movie and it's everything people like Joe Reid and Jason at My New Plaid Pants had told me it would be. A+

I'm baaaacccck

I just looked and the last blog post I did was on 9/5. September officially kicked my ass ya'll. I mean, up one side and down the other kind of an ass kicking. On twitter, I just did a quick recall of events for the month, and it was freaking nuts! The hubbie had two business trips out of state, for starters, and the baby had a bladder infection during one of those trips, making a already frazzled mother even more frazzled. On top of that, the baby's birthday was smack dab in the middle of the month, and all the out of town family came in  for the occasion making about a week and a half of the month a complete zoo. There were family gatherings and barbeques and swim classes, and parties upon parties and five foot teddy bears that filled up a section of the living room, and it was just plain nuts! I always had something to do.

Finally, things started settling down. I started getting things off my to-do list (including long over-due notes to my writing critique partner. Hey Jason! Sorry), getting work done, and things felt momentarily normal. We started running again (I can almost run 3 miles now without dying! I know, I'm as surprised as you are! I might actually be able to do that 5k I signed up for without endangering a bunch of people! Should be fun!).

And then the baby got sick, which meant I got sick soon after, which meant my husband got sick soon after that, which means all three of us were miserable and cranky for the better part of this weekend. The bloody munchkin household has just not been able to catch a break.  I'm fully exhausted. I'd do a bunch of really desperate things right now just for a half-hour nap. I'm serious. I might actually consider committing crimes just for some R&R and the off-chance that my sinuses will stop throbbing like they are playing out a baseline to a Skrillex song.

But there's a bunch of things I want to say this week, so I'll try to get them off my chest, despite this stupid cold. Until then, somebody get me a nap! My whole kingdom for a nap!