Relaxing with the parents


That is definitely a magnet I never expected to see on my parents' fridge.


Training, week two: The Runner's Bag in Winter

Well, the crazy 60-degree days are pretty much over now, and the weather is approaching normal February temps - highs in the 30s, lows in the 20s.

This also means that I'm back to my usual grab bag of running clothes.

If the temperature is in the 40s, I might need just a turtleneck and a light jacket, plus maybe a hat. If it's in the 20s or 30s, I'll probably have to use my heavier jacket and add gloves. If it's raining, I'll want to double up on shirts and use my water-resistant jacket. And if it's cold enough or the sidewalks are likely to be perilous, I might call off my outdoor run altogether and just do a few miles on the treadmill, which means a T-shirt and shorter pants.

So here's what's in my backpack, besides my heart monitor, shoes and sports bra (which are constants in any run):
- Three pairs running tights (one below-the-knee for indoor runs; one ankle-length with fleecy lining for super-cold days; one ankle-length unlined)
- One turtleneck
- One T-shirt
- Two pairs socks (one lower-cut pair to wear with shorter pants; one pair that comes a bit higher so there's no exposed skin between pant and sock)
- Hat and gloves

And in my car, I keep all three of my running jackets (light, heavy, water-resistant).

Carting all that around is a workout in itself. Come on, spring!


"And you may tell yourself, 'This is not my beautiful house!' "

I really liked this scene from Chuck. The setup: Chuck and Sarah are going undercover as a married couple in the suburbs, and Chuck is arriving at his new "home" for the first time.

I love how weirded out Chuck is by the suburbs, I love that his cover requires him to drive a Saab, and I love the music choice. Good job, show!


Training, Week One: Roncker's Runners

The sudden heat wave meant a lovely outdoor run in Mount Lookout on Tuesday, with pants that don't even come all the way down to my ankles! By the time we finished 3.5 miles, the sun was going down.

I was feeling good as I drove home, and I felt even better when I turned onto my street and saw a sea of tiny bobbing lights moving slowly toward me. I was witnessing that harbinger of running season in Cincinnati: the Bob Roncker's Running Spot training group.

The Running Spot group is a common enough sight in Hyde Park/Oakley, and I'll bet there are a bunch of drivers who get annoyed when it takes 15 minutes to turn onto a side street because of all the runners pounding down Madison, but I always like seeing them. They get me motivated; plus, we share a goal. (Heck, I'd consider joining them if it weren't a bit too expensive for my tastes.)

So I parked my car on the street (which took some time because several of the runners were running where I wished to park), got out, and shouted, "Good job, runners! Keep it up!"

Some of them thanked me. One yelled back, "Hey, want to give us a ride to the finish?"

We all laughed, and I made my way up the street with the runners streaming past me, safety lights blinking in the night.


Kroger gas

Whenever I see this message, I always want to press "no."

Happy birthday, Abe!


My unread books: a reckoning in photos

Shelf one. All the comics have been read; all the books have not.

Shelf two. Jane Eyre (tiny red book to the right of Mucus Tick) has been read. Everything else is unfinished or un-begun.

Shelf three overflow. All the horizontal books are unread.

If a book makes it to the little green table, it means I'm really seriously planning on reading it soon, I mean it you guys, quit laughing. Included in this stack are four books that, in reality, currently live on the dresser next to my bed, and which I am actually in the middle of reading.

Books I've borrowed from Mr. W. I try to keep this stack small.

And finally - books I hauled away from Eileen's party last night.