Friday, April 29, 2011

of pickles and small talk

One of the most-asked questions that I should know the answer to:

"So, what are your hobbies?"

You know, I'm really bad at answering that question.

I have plenty of activities I enjoy; I dabble in a lot of different areas. Really, I have a life
(the need to say that I have a life kinda makes it sound like I don't. But I do. Really. Tomorrow, I'm going to a pickle festival. I mean, how much more happening can I be?)


  • I don't really like to tell people that I'm into photography, because then they might think I'm actually good at it.



  • I don't want to tell them my thing is running, because, frankly, I'm not phenomenal at that either.



  • I don't want to say that it's playing music, because I'm not the next Bach or Mozart. (and def not Jimi Hendrix, since it's the guitar that I have a thing for.) 



  • I don't want to say reading. For obvious reasons.



  • Coffee does not count as a hobby, sadly. 



  • I don't mind saying cooking, because I can cook. But usually, I'm not thinking about cooking when the question is asked. 



  • If I say I'm all into blogging, well, that statement is unreliable. I've said "well, I really like blogging" before, and the responses have been varied; from blank-expression-meaning-oh-you-must-be-a-real-nerd-I'm-walking-away-now  to "ooh, what's your url?
It's hit or miss with the bringing up of blogging.


  • Thrift store shopping? Yes, that's a hobby. It's a fun hobby, but it sounds like a strange thing to say. It makes me sound like one of those ...weird people. 


Most of the things I like to do are not things I care to brag on myself about.
Like most normal people, I don't really like bragging on myself. I like to be bragged about, sure. Self-promotion isn't really my thing.
...Yet I still do it, without meaning to.
I don't understand. Silly ego.

The above-listed activities are all things that I really enjoy, and maybe someday I'll be good at them.

Why do I worry so much, thinking that saying I like to do something will make people have unreal expectations/perceptions about me?

Honestly, I can only attribute it to the fact that I'm an overachiever (...believe it or not)
I have high standards for myself.
I'm working on becoming more accepting of the fact that I'm not the best at everything. It's tough, you know? (said with tongue in cheek)


But when that dreaded question is asked, I never can remember that it isn't, "what are you good at? I'm going to judge you based on your answers.

It's just, "what are your hobbies? I think we could be friends/have a real conversation that isn't boring if you bring something up that sparks my interest, too."

IF I keep that in mind, then I can blab.

Plus, usually when people ask that, it's just small talk. In one ear and out the other. Easily forgotten. 
Hey, I could say I enjoyed being a matador in my free time. 
...I wonder how that would go over... 
ok, I have to sleep so I can be well-rested for the pickle festival. 
No, I wasn't kidding about that. 
It's a real thing:
 
...I'll let you know how it goes. I think I might be eating some pickles. 

A wedding. A posh wedding

Everyone is talking about the royal wedding.
EVERYONE.
I know, I know, it's just a wedding. Or so I've been told.

But I'm a girl.

This wedding happened at 5am my time, so, needless to say, I didn't watch it live.
am watching the rebroadcast...it's on youtube.
What a wonderful age we live in, to see things at our leisure. You can watch it here: the royal channel

I just so happen to love weddings. Of practically every sort.

Okay, maybe not the ones officiated by an elvis wanna-be:
There's a wedding for every kind of person, I suppose.

As one of those children raised on fairy tales, I especially like weddings with royalty.
Back in the day, royalty seemed like another breed of humanity. The kind of people who had it embedded in their genetic code to live happily ever after.
I can remember when I realized that royals were mere humans -- well, mere humans who wielded power.  It was a let down. It was comforting, too, since I wasn't born of royalty.

Anyways, as I watch this wedding, I'm amazed.
I don't think I could handle all of that pomp.
And after the ceremony? To have to smile and wave and wave and smile?
Watching them makes me feel so tired. The hoards of people, all cheering, whom you need to wave at?
I think it could be fun, for all of five minutes.
These people are having to smile for what seems like ages.
Their poor cheeks. They must have practiced. It was a good 20 minutes of smiling and waving.
It must be hard to know that every thing you do is being scrutinized.
To know that millions of eyes are watching you. One goof, and you're all over the tabloids.
What a great deal of pressure.
I suppose it's a blessing and a curse.

I swear, I saw one person in the procession picking their nose! ...maybe that's acceptable in the UK.

Did I mention that these English people are so cute and quaint? They really are.

And just in case I need my idea of what a princess should be utterly shattered, check out these real-live princesses: Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Beatrice of York
The definition of what a princess wears on her head has certainly changed... 

Anyways, it was a lovely wedding, and a lovely use of an hour of my life. 
You know I have nothing better to do. Absolutely nothing. 
Heh, I wish... 
off to productivity! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

sometimes, it's ok to be crazy

Ok, I had a momentary lapse of sanity yesterday.
What happened: I was sitting here blogging, quickly typing up a post about some silly incident, when I glanced outside.

Outside.

It was so beautiful. 
Some plants that I had been waiting on to bloom finally had blossomed.

These flowers are fabulous, I'm telling you.

I HAD TO TAKE PICTURES. 
I knew I'd regret it if I didn't. 

So, do excuse that last post. 
Wipe it from your memory.

I gave in and got my camera and macro lens.
I spent at least a good forty minutes taking pictures of things outside, silly as that sounds.
I loved it. 

This kind of picture-taking is still a challenge for me, because my macro lens has no auto-focus or zooming function...and therefore, I have to stay really still while I get my image focused just so. I also have to get up close and personal with the plants. 

As it is, I got some happy pictures of spring.


Check it out:














oh, internet.

blogger is being a goon. It won't let me upload my pictures. I'll try again later...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

not-really-A.D.D. ...it's just --flowers!

Well, let me tell you, sometimes there's a...

I'm interrupting this blog. 


Ohhh, silly italics that are my inner monologue.
Go away.

So as I was about to type, there are some things that I will never understand. Like my hatred for chipotle.


No really, I'm interrupting this blog. There are some gorgeous flowers outside that need to be photographed. 
You're sitting by a window for crying out loud! 
Look at the outdoors! 
I will not let you tell your story until the flowers are nicely captured on your camera. 
Besides, people don't want to hear about chipotle-flavored things. 
They want to be entertained. 

But I have a funny story to share! If only you would stop interrupting me, or rather if I would stop distracting myself...I could share my tale. I have plenty of flower pictures already.


Go. 
Outside. 
Now. 
These flowers are different. 


Ugh, to have divided attention/inability to pay attention.

Reader, I'll be right back.
[I promise, I'm not crazy]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cookery: an easy recipe (which is also yummy)

When I cook, I rarely use recipes. I like to just do the whole pinch, dab, dollop method. 
Well, I have made this dish quite a few times. It's super simple, and pretty much one of those "duhh" things to make, since it's sooo easy. You'd probably come up with this on your own. I was craving a queso-type dip one night, and this is what I came up with. I get requests to make it, so I know that other people find it yummy too. 

I am proof that cooking is not some scary science that takes forever: try this (I took pictures!)

Since some of you lovely readers might be interested in making yummy, easy, relatively-healthy food, here's what I do for my three-pepper black bean and chicken dip (it's a working title): 

Here's what you'll need: 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

widgets...and a poll of sorts.

I'm trying to decide if I like this"what you might also like" widget.

What do you think?
Is it annoying?
...Be honest.

Commenting for you is now easy-breezy.

There's not even a crazy capacha code to try to decipher!
Can you imagine? Who knows what they're getting at there? 


Anywho, what do you think of this new crazy widget? Is it too presumptuous?
Comment [if you please] and let me know. 
If you don't comment, who knows what will happen? 
It won't be a good thing...

Something I have noted

I can be an introvert.

In fact, I've been classified as an outgoing, sociable introvert -- virtually indistinguishable from an extrovert in a social setting.

While I am a social human being, I don't mind being alone.

I like to think, ponder, and muse. 

I actually require time alone, in order to be able to fully recharge. 

 I gravitate towards activities that are often done in
 solidarity. 

When I blog, I don't think about the fact that this is me, actually typing words out to a niche of the web, for all the world to see. Those words must go somewhere, right?!?
Right. And they have. They've been read.

To me, blogging is often just a white box I type into, with the option to click, "Publish Post"
I don't really know who will view what I write, it's a gamble.

But with the advent of a big number of page hits, I'm whelmed.
Not overly so, but still, I'm whelmed.
Whelmed that (as of right now) 5,127 people have moseyed over here to read my random ramblings. That's a big number; that's a lot of people taking the time to look at this site. Wow, I am overwhelmed.
Thank you, all you lovely readers!

_________________
...today was a crazy day. Tomorrow I'll post something about the insanity/awesomeness that went on.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Regression

My body is regressing.
Ever since the half-marathon, I've been dragging with the running.
It's like my body is fighting me every step.
Inner conflict? Not cool.
Why must my body be so loathe to obey my brain?

...maybe it's because I didn't really sleep at all the past few days. I slept in that I had my eyes closed, but it was weird unsatisfying sleep, if you know what I mean. Staying at other people's houses will do that to you. It had nothing to do with the comfort of the homes, just that it was a different place, and my body knew it.
I'll use that as my excuse.

Today I halfheartedly ran. I went 5 miles, but I walked half of it.
I went home and grabbed a snack.
Then I decided that if I couldn't run, I would bike. It was such a gorgeous day, I felt the need to capture it on my camera.
So I got out the mountain bike, put my camera in a backpack, and rode out.
I rode up to the greenway, down part of the greenway and back home. I'd stop every so often to get some pictures. The greenway goes down along the swampy parts of the Neuse River. It also goes along the back of a subdivision...which kinda messes up the nature -- just a smidgen. There was also some trash and litter. stupid humans...

So in total, I went 7 miles on the bike, which is apparently no big sweat. It felt like a big sweat, but I was biking at noon (I'm smart to do that, I know) I am so glad I got to enjoy this beautiful day!

I got about 150 shots...now to sort through them.

Down by the banks, there were these cute tree frogs -- he was the size of my thumb nail, pretty much:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

facts/update/lazy writing

So, here is what happened, in semi-fact form (I still don't really feel like writing...maybe it was the 72 hour break from my computer that has done it...):

Undedicated

What. A. Weekend!
I'll post something interesting sooner than later, I promise.
It was so crazy that I'm still processing it.
My brain feels like scrambled eggs (which I ate for breakfast, yum--not that I ate my brains...oh, you know what I mean, right?)
I'm slacking off, just a smidgen...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thoughts from the roadrunner part three (the ramblingest yet!)

I'm going to wrap the mini-series on half-marathons up now. It's about time!
We are ready to goooo! 


So, we went to the starting line. There was NO ORDER. Masses of people just swarmed together; there was a bit of pushing and shoving and "excuse me"'s.
The countdown timer to the start of the race hit zero.
Nothing happened.
A minute passed.
I tied my shoes.
Still nothing, just people standing expectantly.
Finally a guy with a bullhorn said, "Get Ready Racers! Go!" He also mumbled some other things, but no one could understand him. Hopefully it wasn't anything important, like the winning lotto numbers for the next day...

And we went. When you first start, you want to start strong. But you can't run. You have to just walk with the mass of humanity for about a 1/4 mile, and THEN you can actually run.

The main challenge is to pace. Pacing is a terribly difficult thing. At the start, people are sprinting and flying down the road. I wanted to sprint just like everyone else was, but I knew that I'd need energy for the next 13 miles.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do-gooders and encouragement

I was debating doing something.


It was a something where I had seen a need and I had the option to fill it.  So, it was a nice something.
Then I started to feel convicted to do this something.  But I knew it wouldn't have been "a bad thing" for me not to do it.
I had an inner conflict, because I was oh-so-comfortable in my "do nothing about it" bubble, aka apathy.

Guess what happened?
Conflict resolved. A Bible verse popped into my mind.

It was cool, but convicting.

When it came to mind, I knew it was the Holy Spirit. The verse came out of left field and was counter to my laziness.


"Anyone, then, who knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." ~James 4:17

Pretty point-blank, eh?

[I knew it was from the book of James, but I'm not so great as to remember the exact reference. Thank goodness for biblegateway.com]


So I did the right thing, and guess what?
I felt joyful and like I was following God's will.
It wasn't some huge thing I did, but it was something I knew was right to do.
Every little bit helps me to be a better follower of Jesus.

And as a result, reinforcing verses and blessing has followed.

In Ephesians 2, it says I was created to do good works. I am equipped to do them, too.

Then in Galatians, it says, "let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." [Galatians 6:9]

To top it off, 1 John 5 says:
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.


Anyways, the moral for me today is: God is real and relevant, and He is working on me. He also speaks to me through the Bible, and it blows my mind.

Have you had any crazy-awesome encouraging moments? I'd love to hear them! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thoughts from the roadrunner part two

So, there's too much on my mind.  I want to document how my race went, before it becomes a fuzzy memory.
Bear with me. Since I'll be taking frequent blogging breaks to solve homework problems, the continuity might not be at its finest. If I start writing about magnetics and induction...this won't be pretty. 


So we went and got our race packets. They were in BRIGHT RED BAGS. I think this was to let people know that you must be an intense runner person, just because of the bag.

As I think back on it, I was mostly giddy for most of the day. If you had been around me, you might have told me to take a chill pill and a nap.

I tried to rest as much as possible on Friday, I didn't say this before, but I took long naps in the car (when I wasn't picking out music or making commentary on the scenery).

The rest of the evening was relatively uneventful. We ate dinner, went back to the motel, and while our supporters were in the next room watching telly, we got ready for the next morning.
So, I nervously laid out my clothes, pinned my race number on my shirt, drank water, stretched, and focused on relaxing.

Also, I ate a bowl of peanut butter cap'n crunch!
YUM.
(I had a salad for dinner, ok?)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thoughts from the roadrunner, Interrupted

Okay, so I stopped at the picking up of the packets... (in the post below, or you can just click the link...)

I would have continued, but, well, I had some "things come up"
I have to be in a certain mood to blog, ya'know?
I was going to post last night, but I made a mistake or two:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thoughts from the roadrunner part one

I'm not really sure how to start this post.
How should I write it for easy readability/maximum entertainment?
I could give you a play-by-play, or I could talk about the highlights, hmm.
I've also been trying to recover from not only the milage, but the shock to my body, the hype, the overall event.
I didn't know it would take me so long to feel "normal".

I'll post the precursor. Here goes:

Friday, April 08, 2011

less than 24 hours...

I'm not a super-runner, okay?
I never meant to be one of those running nerds.
...Way back in 8th grade, for volleyball conditioning, I was supposed to run 30 whole minutes.
I. thought. I. would. die.
(I didn't, but it was tough)
Thirty minutes feel like an eternity when you're first running.
After volleyball season ended, I kinda gave up on the whole running thing. I liked other activities, so I was fine.
Three years ago, something happened. My mom signed up for a half marathon. She got into training, and this urged me to try running out seriously.
I wasn't horribly out-of-shape, I just wasn't conditioned to endurance run.
It took forever a very long time (I exaggerate, sorry) for me to build up to being able to go many miles without stopping.
But I was still a "newbie".

I now have something in my possession that no longer makes me a n00b.
Some of my past posts may make you think that I'm some running nut, maybe that I'm obsessed.
Maybe I go a bit too far with running. This is a lie. I have a love/hate relationship with running.
Now, well, running and I have made it official.

How? Expensive running shoes?

Yup, these are $$$ shoes. They're really wonderful and orange....very orange.


While that IS a sign of commitment, that doesn't make me one of those runners.

Fine, I'll just say it!

...I now have a water bottle belt.
Oh. Yes.
Your estimation of my coolness must have dropped by about 20 points.

This bit of equipment says, "hey, I am committed to this sport. I really don't mind looking like a dweeb for the sake of staying hydrated."


And guess what? It's totally true.
I love this belt.
While others may snicker at first, I'll be the one laughing as I pull out a fun-size snicker's bar and devour it for energy, thanks to the handy-dandy pocket on the belt.

(I tell myself that it's a stepping stone to the batman utility belt...)
...
I do think I've learned things from running that have spilled over  to other parts of my life...but I don't feel like turning into a motivational speaker right now. Maybe later I'll do an inspiring running post.
...
The half-marathon is tomorrow (!!!) and hopefully, I'll have a lovely experience.
I have a tiny voice whispering to me that I might die.
Or that I might pass out, and then die from embarrassment.
I doubt that will happen...it's not probable...
Either way, I'll let you know how it goes.

Here's one of my favorite passages right now; it gives me an excited thrill to think that God is so amazing, gracious, and loving. He's also the ultimate energy source.
Especially as I'm in that "figure out where I'm going" part of my life (Isaiah 40:27-31):

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?    Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD;    my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28  Do you not know?    Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,    the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,    and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary    and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary,    and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD    will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;    they will run and not grow weary,    they will walk and not be faint.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Johnny Depp is dating who?

If you're friends with me on facebook, well, ...you know it was a tumultuous affair.
Johnny Depp and I couldn't last 12 hours together.
He's gorgeous, but much too old. Too famous for my liking.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Thoughts of a loon

My forefoot strikes the pavement in an efficient movement.
I breathe steadily.
My hair swooshes through the air, streaming behind me. I love the silky sound it makes as I run. I am loathe to put it in a ponytail, though I'm not sure why.
Birds are singing.
I exhale.
Again, I propel forward a few feet, but I feel as if I'm going nowhere. The end of this trek is so far away,

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

recharged

I'm going to be real. It's not that I'm usually fake...but this isn't the easiest thing to admit.

Ok, this is just what happened to me, and I'm excited.

Honesty, here we go:

Sometimes, I don't really feel like having a quiet time with God. Sometimes, I feel like my life is just rolling along smoothly enough, and I'll forget that I need some time with God, since He's the one who has blessed me with so much. I buy into the lie that I'm smart enough to figure things out and that everything is "ok".

This is wrong thinking.

Today, I half-heartedly got out my journal and Bible, unsure of where to start my reading.
I flipped to Psalms, skimming through, until I hit Proverbs 2 and 3.
Then I was hit by the relevancy of the words. They were jumping (not literally) off of the page and screaming, "Hey!! OVER HERE!!". It was like reading a letter written to me.
It fit exactly what I've been thinking and worrying about lately.  It answered all my questions and worries.

Monday, April 04, 2011

dance...and "events"

This weekend I went contra-dancing.
It was majorly fun.

Here's what happened on the ride home (we'll call my friend L)

Me: I noticed there were at least five guys wearing skirts tonight. That was just a bit awkward, huh? 
L: Oh yeah, haha, I guess they like twirling too!  Did you see the transvestite? 
Me: *feeling naive* Ohh, really? I thought that was just a really looks-challenged individual... I danced with it! ...I think I'm going to be sick. 
L: haha, well, we can change the subject. 
Me: No really, I'm going to be sick.
...and the contents of my stomach were in my lap. Luckily it was just water and banana, but still. Gross! I got myself cleaned up, and the conversation continued... 
L: I'm so sorry! I didn't know it would actually make you sick to talk about transvestites! I won't ever bring that up again.

...


Contra attracts a VARIETY of people, a real variety. It's not a bad thing -- they're all nice folks, but, um, they just have a different way of doing things.

Ok, ok, ok. I'll just say it. There was a person there who looked like neither a man nor a woman.
And I danced with him/her (let's just say it). Not as a partner, but when you're going through the line, you get a turn dancing with everyone. 


I danced for three hours Saturday night. Every dance (except for the 10-minute-intermission when they played polka music. I know it's shocking, but I don't know how to polka) was danced. Because your brain is thinking about the dance moves and what you're supposed to be doing next, it ignores your body telling you to take a rest.

Friday, April 01, 2011

I woke up this morning and totally forgot that it was april fool's day.
How. On. Earth.

Ugh! Well, the post I previously posted was for real, but it isn't very funny since people are EXPECTING humor in everything today.

A conversation overheard

(At the DMV, waiting for a picture to be taken.)

DMV lady: "Sir, you're going to need to take those glasses off, please. We need a picture of your face."

(sitting in front of the camera is an obvious hipster.  He's a guy with an afro. He's wearing gray skinny jeans, ankle boots, and a black jacket -- embellished with sequins. The look is pulled together by his hipster glasses. You know, the glasses that look like Buddy Holly's: 
The glasses supposedly say, "I'm cool, without even meaning to be. I'm comfortable wearing these semi-ugly glasses. I have confidence." But since it's a trend, there are many people doing this...so it ruins the cool factor. Back to my story:)

Guy: "What? But these are prescription!"


Lady: "Sir, you didn't need them to pass the vision test, and you also didn't use them for the driving portion of your examination. They're not necessary to driving for you. So, please remove them."

"But they're my prescription glasses! I need to wear them."


"Sir, like I said, they're unnecessary for driving and they're obscuring your face."


"Why you gotta have an attitude with me? These are my glasses, and I have a prescription for them!"


"Take off the glasses so I can take your picture.
*he complies*
Very good, now will you review the information listed here and make sure that it is all correct?"

"Yeah, yeah it's fine. But these glasses are prescription, I'm telling you..."
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