downtime.

I am foraying into the world of self-employ.  While I’ve been freelancing for almost a year, I am now at the point where the work I’m doing is enough to cut back my office-work schedule to 3 days/week, and I have more than enough work to do the remaining 4 days/week for my main client.  I’ve fantasized for years about working for myself; it’s quite a different story when confronted with the reality of the thing, am I right?  I don’t say this as a negative, it’s simply an adjustment in both daily habits and practices, and in mentality/perception. I’m loving it so far, and getting more disciplined about my work habits, primarily because I can see how easy it is to simply work all the time. Although, this isn’t really anything new for me, I’m fond of being a busy-busy-bee! I can also see the necessity of getting out and spending time with people, ie volunteering, and participating in a writing group (of which, incidentally, I found a really great one last week! through the Hennepin County Library system.  Have I ever mentioned how much I looooove the library? Home away from home for this word nerd!).

What I love about working from home, more than anything, is that I get to decide my schedule.  I do not enjoy the necessity of being at an office for a prescribed number of hours during a set time frame. This has always made me a little cray-cray, though I’ve spent years trying to convince myself that it’s what I need to adjust to to make a living in this world.  I’m soooo happy to be finding out that there are other options- and they’re even viable options!  What I love about freelance writing is, well, writing.  Because the more you do of something you love, the more you do of something you love! Or, something to the effect of, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” While some may debunk this as bad career advice, I say it’s completely true!

At the moment, I’m taking a break from writing about various types of cancer for clients (just a little light writing for a Monday, thank you very much!).  These are the ways I like to give my mind a rest:

  • More writing, ovbi.  Though it’s nice to be able to vent the randomness in my brain
  • Trail running.  Today @ Lebanon Hills Regional Park, which is a bit of a jaunt, but definitely worth it.  It was grey and dreary, which made the leaves still clinging to the branches scream their vibrant colors.  I f’ing love autumn in Minnesota!
  • Regular running, too.
  • Or walking along the mighty Mississipp’, which is nearby.
  • Doing headstands, a la B.K.S. Iyengar. Like this:   Ha!  No, more like this:Except sh!ttier, with a lot of confused adjusting happening throughout.
  • Playing Words with Friends with a guy I used to date.  I suppose he would be considered some sort of ex, though he wasn’t technically a boyfriend (of course, this is my attitude about our relationship now. Had you asked while we were dating, he probably was considered a boyfriend.  Still, there needs to be some sort of nomenclature pertaining to people you formerly dated.  Ex… datees? No. Come up with something and leave it in the comments, if you would!).  Anyhoo, it’s weird because we don’t talk, but I soooooo want to beat him, so we keep playing.
  • Eat food.  Make food.  Think about going to get food or ordering food.  Looking at food in the cupboards. Making more coffee to drink for when my break is over.
  • Facebooking, tweeting, et cetera.  Truly, an addiction.  (Feel free to friend ‘n’ follow, btw.)
  • Daydreaming about getting a French Bulldog.
  • Perusing adopt-a-dog sites, searching for vicarious puppy-love
  • Many, many other interesting things.

What do you do on your breaks, peeps who work from home and otherwise?  I’m always fascinated by how people spend their downtime… or procrastinate-time.

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liberty, luna, and the pursuit of pistorius.

Two things today.  Well, maybe 3.

1. Happy Fourth of July!

Interesting.

2. Full moon!  Yesterday at 12:51pm.  I couldn’t sleep, which got me to thinking about why we associate so much cray-cray with the full moon.  I couldn’t find anything substantive (which is sort of a given, considering it’s all very woo-woo anyway), though I did familiarize myself with the myth of Luna (Latin), aka Selene (Greek), à la Edith Hamilton‘s Mythology:

Endymion the shepherd,
As his flock he guarded,
She, the Moon, Selene,
Saw him, loved him, sought him,
Coming down from heaven
To the glade on Latmus,
Kissed him, lay beside him.
Blessed is his fortune.
Evermore he slumbers,
Tossing not nor turning,
Endymion the shepherd.

Basically, we have the crazy-town, love-obsessed moon-goddess Luna, smitten with the shepard Endymion, who she turns into Rip Van Winkle, so she can gaze upon him nightly, eternally.  And this, in a roundabout way, might give insight why the condition of lunacy is so named, if Luna was the goddess, and the moon’s phases are intrinsically connected to menses, and the goddess was cray…  If, then.  If you follow my line of reasoning.  Which may be faulty and disjointed after a sleepless, moonstruck night.

3. Lastly, a friend posted this amazing story about Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee who will compete on South Africa‘s Olympic track team.  This snippet is thought-provoking:

Pistorius, 25, was born without fibulas and had his lower legs amputated when he was 11 months old. He runs on carbon-fiber blades known as Cheetahs, which have stirred international debate over whether they give him an unfair advantage.

It’s a little mind candy to play with.  A double-amputee.  With carbon-fiber prosthetics.  Yes, the material is probably superior to the good ol’ human leg, but is it an advantage?  Discuss.

Oscar Pistorius

marathon photo (not foto).

Finally done! Unfortunately, iPhoto decided to be uncooperative this week, so it’s taken me a minute to get this all compiled, but here’s a recap of the race.  So fun to go back and look through them, even though it’s just a week past!

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…and returned, a marathon finisher.

After 18 weeks of training, it’s all over, and I crossed the finish line!  Not that I really doubted I would, I was more uncertain in what condition I’d cross it.  I want to do a whole recap, because I feel like this training, this process of the 18-week marathon training, has had a profound effect, but it’s more than I want to go into tonight.  I have yet to experience the 2nd day post-marathon, and as most would agree, that’s the day the toll of exertion is exacted, so sleep must be imminent.

wagon wheel, 1st ed.

Happy Friday, friends!  Here are some nuggets (or nougat, if your taste buds swing that way), that I’ve happened upon during this week’s frolicks amidst the interwebs. 

The 5 Creepiest Urban Legends (That Happen to be True)

Cracked is one of those horribly wonderful sites that ropes you in with some random Facebook post (in this case 6 Great Old-Timey Comics for [Traumatizing] Kids) and then keep you sucked in by peppering each and every page with lists of stupidly innocuous things that for some reason you MUST find out about right this very second.  I found 5 Creepiest when I navigated over to their Horror section, seems like it might actually be worth a read.

Radiolab : Crossroads short

I love me some radiolab.  Topics are usually pretty obscure but well researched, and the production is kind of campy and odd, so it makes for a fun and experiential listening experience.  Perusing podcasts this week to facilitate my morning toilette (which, in French, means getting ready, and not anything gross or poop-related), I came across this short which piqued my interest ginormously.  The subject is Robert Johnson, a 1920s Blues musician who, initially, was really, really bad.  Until, that is, he sold his soul to the devil.  He is still considered today to be one of the best Blues guitarists who’s ever lived.

Outside Mag + Gluten-free feature

And, heading back into the known world… I’m pretty sure pre- and post-race festivities (read pasta feed and beer gardens) are not nearly as fun for gluten-free runners they appear to be for the non-allergic counterparts.  It’s been an interesting challenge to find advice suitable to my needs, to the extent that I basically stopped trying, and just rely on my Clif and Luna bars to get me through.  This article (Are You Too Sensitive? The gluten-free movement isn’t just a fad. It could be the performance boost you’ve been missing.) popped up in an email and, while it’s a bummer that more and more peeps are becoming sensitive/allergic to gluten, it does make me happy that there’s more exposure and thereby more info available.

Pre-run eating, quelle PITA.

In case you’re wondering, I’m basing the quelle above on my belief that pain, in French, is douleur (and I’m totally not even bothering to look this up right hyeh), which would make PITA (aka pain-in-the-arse) feminine, necessitating an appropriate, um… ah, I don’t have any idea what form of speech or whatevs that would be.  Rejoinder?  Nope.  It’s quantifying something.  Again, not looking it up, yo.

Back to the original point: trying to figure out when and what to eat before runs makes me want to stab myself in the groin with an icepick.  It really doesn’t, but it’s fun to think about, isn’t it?  Yes, yes it is.  Anyhoo, this is a good post to check out if you want some suggestions about how long in advance to eat stuff if you’re doing a long run, or a shorter run, or what-have-you. Basically, I think it all comes back to this: eat a Clif bar.

1 space after a period. It’s a real thing (and yet it feels so wrong).

This is a real thing.  It’s not just laziness.  And yet… I simply DO NOT WANT to do it.  It’s in my make up to double-space after the full stop!  Yes!  I did learn to type on a typewriter!  It was in a dingy old classroom at Harding High — on green typewriters, I’m almost certain of it!  Alas, I must move with the times.

And finally, in honor of 2 beautiful babies born to friends this week, a bit of Monty Python irreverence:

goals: fear-seeking missiles!

Why is it that the goals you deem the scariest, are the ones that you most often have the opportunity to endeavor?  Last year I set the intention to run my first half-marathon; I ran 2.  This year, I have merely been considering the possibility of running my first marathon.  Just slightly thinking about it, a little!  I haven’t even set my goals for the year down on paper… yet BOOM!!!!!!!  Today, after a friend queried my interest, I signed up for Grandma’s Marathon on 16 June 2012.  That’s just over 19 weeks to train (I think).  Yikes.Disclaimer: I know I’ll do fine, and I’m not looking for validation (though encouragement is welcome, as are your success and/or horror stories!).  Just a bit gun-shy thinking about those Saturday-morning 20-milers come May…

winter mania!

I’m not sure if it’s because I sit at a desk all day long, or because I don’t get enough sunshine in the winter, or if it’s just because I go a little stir crazy, what with the routine of the work week, but I get a little crazy this time of year!  I mean, now that it’s finally winter, that is.  I would happily spend all of my free minutes outside doing stuff, if I could.

Here’s what my tonight looked like: I rushed home from work to investigate what the dog might have demolished during the day (she was merely cuddling with one of my running shoes, bless her).  My plan was to let her out, then to go for a run because I was miraculously home before daylight had disappeared.  Unfortunately she spied the gentle leader in my hand while she was still outside and refused to enter the house, not even for treats.  Eventually she came in (and if you have a dog, or kids, you know the feeling of wanting to accomplishing something time-specific, and battling with said dependent, all the while mentally hearing the time ticking away…), but I still couldn’t get her on the leash, and so ran the lake alone.  When I came home, she was ready to go, so we skijored for a bit.  She did much better tonight, slowly starting to understand what we’re doing out there.  I was also less ambitious distance-wise, and only ran around Isles, rather than aiming to do more.  When we were done with that, I took the dog home and skied the lake alone.  All in all, I probably covered 6-7 miles.  And I would happily head out on my skates, if I didn’t have to go to bed for the working in the morning.

11.

It’s race day!  And that’s all I have to say for the moment.  Let’s just see how it goes.
Sheryl Crow / Run, Baby, Run

13.1-10: one day out!

Tomorrow is the big race!  Hard to believe it’s already here.  I’ve been looking for more detailed info on the race, and trying to figure out the course on Google Maps, but to no avail.  I had forgotten about this fun application of video magic, often available on YouTube for popular races:

I’m not sure if it’s better to let the course be a surprise, or to watch this a couple times, just to visualize myself running it.I have one more running route to add, ran this one last weekend.  I had hoped to do a 12-mile run prior to the race, but it simply didn’t work out that way.  So I’m hoping that the earlier training will carry me through in a timely fashion (I’m sure it will), because I have been uber sedentary this week.  This route was actually a pretty fun one.  It always seems so funny to me that just a river separates Minneapolis from St. Paul, and that areas/neighborhoods just a short distance across can be so vastly different.
Training route #8, 9.1 mile river loop: Lake Nokomis Rec Center to Ford Pkwy bridge, Mississippi Blvd to Highway 5 bridge, Fort Snelling Trail to Minnehaha Cr

09.

Drove to Chi today.  I had meant to get an earlier start, but I had an oil change this morning, and some errands to run, and ran the lake, plus packing…  When I finally did get on the road, I got a little sleepy, and pulled over for twenty minutes to rest.  Then filled up the tank.  Then needed to find an ATM so I had money for the tolls.  And then a quick water stop.  All tolled, it took about seven hours to get here.  Not horrible, really.  I was listening to an audiobook, plus had a few chats on the phone, so a good little drive.  I do love a road trip.

Autumn is already making itself known.  The temps are dipping down into the 50s and 60s at night, the sun is lower in the sky, the sun comes up later and later.  I’m hearing a few people lament the passing of summer; I think I’m happy it’s gone.  Truth be told, I was way too busy this summer, and I didn’t like.  I had some fun times, but between working 45-50 hours a week, and fulfilling familial obligations (which sometimes entail driving 60-100 miles one way), time moved way too fast, and all the fun little things I had wanted to do, by and large, didn’t get done.  But, one must take responsibility for decisions made, and I realize I need to improve on saying no from time to time!

Belle & Sebastian / I Want The World To Stop