HE SAID: Running

September 28, 2009

We have argued the positives and negatives of Forrest Gump in a previous blog, and like most human beings with any sort of emotion, I was a strong supporter of the film.  However, one part always annoyed me was this.  What the fuck is all the running about? Who made the executive decision that running was something you could construe as exercise? (By the way, in looking for a good youtube clip I came across this, it’s kind of funny…especially if you have a penis.

I just never could grasp the concept of running.  I think this is mostly do a few important factors: 1. I am incredibly lazy and 2. I am incredibly slow.  But still, competing in a sport like cross country always blew my mind.  For high school tennis we used to have to run 2 miles once a week to better our stamina, in the hopes that it would improve our overall tennis game; or maybe we’d do some strength training.  But in cross country, all they did was run.

I know I am coming off like a complete, ignorant jackass (I never have claimed not to be one), I simply don’t get any enjoyment out of it.  I have run before (albeit never more than two miles).  In the previously mentioned high school runs myself and a few others used to cut through the middle of campus to shorten it; and then in college we had to run two miles at the beginning of the fall season and then beat whatever time we got at the end of it.  So in typical Me fashion, I pretty much power walked my first time making it easy on myself the second time around.  In retrospect, probably a stupid tactic employed by our coach.  In fact, our coach wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed…he is no longer head coach, but for something else very different from stupidity.

This has pretty much been a diarrhea of the mouth type post, and an excessively stinky one at that.  I only thought of it because my co-writer ran a half marathon today out in Lake Tahoe.  She said it was “so much fun and the scenery was breathtaking.” Again, I question the funness of it because pounding your body on pavement for two hours or so just isn’t natural.  And as for the scenery, guess what? I bet lots of people who sat at a vista point to watch the runners got a pretty good fucking view as well (people who consistently watch marathons (not people who watch their family members/significant others yada yada yada) might be an entirely different topic for another day).  I guess you can make the whole self-fulfillment argument, and I get it…guess it just boils down to the whole notion of whatever floats your boat.  I get self-fulfillment out of the fact my fantasy football teams will be a collective 7-2 this weekend, Nifer gets it from abusing her body.

My whole point of view can best be summed up by a comment on Nifer’s facebook status, “…Hope you had a great run*…*contradiction of terms.”

SHE SAID: Running

September 28, 2009

In high school, I hated running and I didn’t get it either, so I completely understand where Jeremy is coming from.  I didn’t see why you would do something like run without a destination in mind.  And, as a team competitor for the most part, I didn’t see how something could be fun, and I mean really fun, without a score, some dramatic plays in which the other team got ridiculed, and spectators, the more the better.

And, I also can’t remember how I got into running, but it was after college, and I was hooked pretty easily.

I think what drew me to running was what initially repelled me. After years of competing on teams and competing in general, the idea of just running, for a long period of time, by myself, on a long road was incredibly appealing.  All you needed was some decent running shoes and the rest was optional as far as techie stuff.  Anyone can do it.  You don’t need a membership to some club, a ton of gear, the best gear, a certain climate or a trainer.  All you need is some running shoes and some time.

However, there are also people who have the long mindset.  You either like the long distance endurance sports, or you don’t.  It might be something that’s changeable, as it was for me.  You get to a point in your life where you just want to do that and it sounds fun to you.  Some people are there at twelve and run track in middle and high school, some take a little longer.

This past weekend, for the first time, I entered a running race.  I was worried that it would take a lot of the fun out of running for me, having approached it as a non-competitive endeavor for so long.  But I also wanted to compete, to see if I could finish a race, to say I’ve done it, cross it off the bucket list.

Of course, I didn’t need to enter my first running race at altitude out in Tahoe, that was because of my dear friend Liz who happened to mention that she was thinking about running one and that tickets out to Reno round trip were under $400.  Ten minutes later, I’m entered in a half marathon and have an e-ticket waiting for me in my in-box.  It didn’t occur to me that I would be training at 600 feet and racing at 6800 until about two days before the race.

And I did it.  More than that, it was really fun.  The view was unparalleled.  There were moments that made me laugh like when the man running next to me yelled at his mother, who was taking pictures of him every 500 feet, “Mom, I’m running a race!”  There were moments that tried me, and moments were I impressed myself, times when my friends cheering kept me going and times when I was all by myself without any runners around that were zen like.  I thought about serious things and beyond ridiculous things.

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And yes, Jerermy.  It was fun.  I never thought, even when someone made a sign at 24.5 miles that said 25 mile mark and I didn’t realize the error until the real 25 mile mark, that I would rather be doing anything else or wished I weren’t out there running.

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Here is the whole group, complete with the support crew.  Some competed in the 2 mile swim, a 72 mile bike ride and then the half marathon on Sunday.  Butch and Maria even completed the bike ride on a tandem bike.  An amazing group of people and an epic weekend, thanks to Liz and Lindsay’s hosting, that I will remember fondly forever.

SHE SAID: E-mail Forwards

September 22, 2009

Most email forwards I get at this point in my life make me laugh or are an interesting read.  I like to think this speaks highly of my friends that they send on interesting stuff for the most part.

However, lately I received this little gem:

Do not keep this message.

This message must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES.  Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant  surprise. This is true, even if you are not  superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith  impaired.

ONE.  Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO.  Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE.  Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR.  When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.

FIVE.  When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.

SIX.  Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN.  Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT.  Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

NINE.  Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but  it’s the only way to live life completely.

TEN..  In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN.  Don’t judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE.  Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to  answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to  know?’

FOURTEEN.  Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN.  Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN.  When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN.  Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN.  Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN.  When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct  it

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone.  The caller will hear it in your voice

TWENTY-ONE. Spend  some time alone.

Now,  here’s the FUN part!

Send this to at  least 5 people and your life will improve.

1-4  people: Your life will improve slightly.

5-9  people: Your life will improve to your liking.

9-14  people: You will have at least 5 surprises in  the next 3 weeks

15  and above: Your life will improve drastically  and everything you ever dreamed of will begin to  take shape.

A  true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. Do not keep this message.

While the mission impossible innuendo is kind of cool and makes me feel dangerous and important, threatening emails are unpleasant to receive.  Threatening chain emails are not only unpleasant, but frustrating and anger inducing.  I was annoyed when I got them in grade school in the mail, and at least those required some effort on the sender’s part.  Within seconds of opening this email, I’m being promised impending doom if I don’t frustrate and anger a handful of friends.  Who doesn’t want to avoid something terrible horrible and no good happening to them?

“When you say ‘I love you,’ mean it.”  Thank you, Captain Obvious.

For a short period of time I would pick people I didn’t like or people who I knew were into this crap and send it on, just to save my Karma fearing self.  Then I decided that even that was lame and it was much more fun signing up people I didn’t like to get tons of spam emails from companies like the American Corn Hole Association then sending them hellfire and brimstone emails detailing How To Make Yourself A Better Person or reviewing life lessons you ignored when your mother yelled them at you from the kitchen.

And, for the record, the last part is not the “FUN” part.

Let’s start a boycott of this crap.  No more pyramid scheme emails.  No more send this on or descend into hell.  If it’s a picture of Jeremy from summer camp with the longish bowl cut looking slightly feminine, or his latest mug shot replica passport photo, send it on to as many people as you can think of, and yes you’re life will improve because people will laugh and you will laugh and laughing is healthy and makes you breathe deeply and exhale the bad air from your lungs.

Otherwise, let’s agree to just say no.

HE SAID: E-mail Forwards

September 22, 2009

I’ll start by throwing out a disclaimer, any forthcoming shitting on email forwards will only pertain to the types of forwards Nifer provided an example of.  As in, if my father forwards me a funny youtube link (at least, funny in his mind), it might annoy me but it is not even in the same ballpark of those fucking emails that tell me if I don’t forward it the love of my life will call me this week.  Guess what? She probably isn’t going to call this year, I already know that, I don’t need to hear that after reading 5 paragraphs of pointless drivel.

Wow, I must be angry this morning.

I will give people credit in this department though…because, quite honestly, until Nifer brought them up with her post, I hadn;t thought about them in awhile.  This leads me to two possible conclusions: 1. Faith in humanity that people have finally realized that forwarding an email claiming Bill Gates will pay you $50 for everyone you forward it to is a sham (not effing likely) and 2. Gmail’s Spam Filter is exception (highly effing likely).

Though I will also defend these morons to a small degree.  Let’s say you do have a crush on some girl, or you do need to make some fast cash…and some email comes along saying if you forward it to X amount of people you will get laid or rich…well I can see the appeal.  Honestly, most email applications are so user friendly these days it takes all of two minutes or less to throw in the appropriate amount of necessary emails to acheive your goals.  I guess what I’m saying is I can see someone rationalizing “Well, I know this girl won’t even make out with me let alone fall in love with me…but whatever, might as well forward it on, it only takes a minute.”

To all of you types though, let me stress, leave me the fuck off the list.

One final note (I’m keeping mine a bit shorter today, on account of Nifer’s Russianesque novel on her thoughts): People who fall for the scams along these lines, “Please help me.  I am from Nigeria and my father has recently passed but he has a fortune of 532352 billion dollars.  Please just give me your social security number and bank account details, so I have a place to store this money.  You will be paid 20% of the fortune.  Thank You. Dr. Okun.”  You are a bunch of “ritards” and deserve to lose your money.  Folks, please remember, “ritards” was made a politcally correct statement by “The Hangover.”

HE SAID: Unemployment

September 17, 2009

Remember back in 2nd or 3rd grade, when you were supposed to figure out what you want to be when you grow by answering the question, “Well what would you do if you had $1,000,000?”  Most people said something along the lines of “fireman,” “vet,” “hairdresser,” or in Snoop’s case, “I wanna be a muthafuckin hustler.”

In my case, I blatantly lied when I said, “Doctor.”  Actually, it wasn’t really a lie because when I said it I meant it, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my father and his father.  But then I got to high school, realized I hated biology and chemistry more than I hated Hebrew School and realized being a doctor might be kind of tough without taking Organic Chemistry later on down the road.  On top of that, I realized I was incredibly fucking lazy when it came to work.  I got pretty good grades because I was smart, I didn’t have to work hard for them.

Yada yada yada, I graduated college, worked relatively hard (and by ‘hard’ I mean simply not a lot of vacation time), got into grad school and figured I’d take the month of September to A. get back in the academic world and b. find a part time job.  We’ll I’ve come to the realization that I really don’t want any type of job at all.  I have 9 hours of class a week, and about 5 hours of homework a week.  You know what that leaves me with?  Lots of fucking free time.  Free time to play some tennis, go on hikes, sit by the pool, watch an entire season of Sons of Anarchy, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

Some of you may know this, or may have learned this through reading our blog, but I’ve lived a very compartmentalized life so far, in the sense that I typically like to have every part of my day/eve/week planned out.  Well, not anymore.  There is pure and utter joy waking up around 9 am, enjoying a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, lowering my cholesterol, having a hot cup of coffee and realizing that I have jack shit to do today.  I’m realizing that adult life is very similar to school life…only in school you make an effort to achieve high grades, and in adult life you make an effort to make money (I’m not being shallow, for single people like myself making decent money is the primary goal, and for families making money is a goal simply to provide for the family.  For those who still think I’m being shallow, fuck off you probably don’t know me).

Well, as previously discussed, I didn’t have to try very hard to attain decent grades…so my question is – is there any way I can not try very hard and make decent money? Because, instead of spending all day looking through the classifieds for a meaningless job I’d much rather watch a rerun of 90210, have some lunch, go for a hike, play some tennis, go out for dinner and a drink or two, watch the Red Sox game, and go to sleep.  Repeat.

SHE SAID: Unemployment

September 17, 2009

Aren’t you even going to reference the source you plagiarized for your opening?  “That question is bullshit to begin with. If everyone listened to her, there’d be no janitors, because no one would clean shit up if they had a million dollars.” – Office Space.

I don’t think we were ever specifically asked what we wanted to be when we grew up while I was in school, but when we had to draw a picture depicting our adult selves, I drew a queen.  Notwithstanding the obvious technicalities on reaching this position, one could argue that I have been striving for the unemployed bliss Jeremy describes since a young age.

However, unemployment sucks. It’s boring.  While working a 40 hour work week or more also sucks, there is some medium ground:  find something you love or find rewarding and still appreciate the lazy Sunday mornings, or days when you’re not in a hurry to get going somewhere. Work for yourself and you can make a lot of your own hours and take advantage of a nice day or whatever other reason you can come up with for not staring at a computer screen.

While waking up, eating cereal in your underwear while watching sportscenter and seeing where the day takes you is fun for a while, I know that I would get bored, however crazy that sounds.  I would want to be doing something, to be thinking or creating or trying to make the world a little better by being an active participant – even if that definition requires a serious stretch to work with what I’m doing.

My parents had a sign in the bathroom when we were growing up (right next to the “my aim is to keep the bathroom clean.  your aim will help” poster) that said “no one ever looked back and wished they’d spent more time at work.”  Cheesy as hell, but also very true.

SHE SAID: Technology, you’re not helping

September 13, 2009

source: xkcd.com

Women obsess.  We obsess and over think and tweak out about small stuff sometimes and need to be reminded to calm down.  We make things more difficult than they often times need be, and yes, we expect you to read our minds sometimes even though we give no indication as to what we are thinking or want.  We also, on occasion, obsess about guys.  I like to think I do it less than most, but Jeremy might disagree with me wholeheartedly.

At this point in time, I have more single friends than I have had in a long time.  It’s fun.  We see a lot of each other and we talk a lot more than we would were we all seeing someone.  Inevitably though and more and more frequently, I feel, this talk turns to men and how my friends are looking for a normal guy who won’t cheat on them, doesn’t laze around smoking weed all day, has ambition, likes to laugh and also wants to have sex with them since the days are turning into weeks and months at this point.

Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask.  And yet, the search has made many a sane woman go completely off her rocker.

And what’s more, this access to a million different types of technology is not helping.  So, instead of thinking about a guy all day and wondering why he’s not calling or pursuing her, one friend can check his Facebook page seven times an hour.  Another can email a guy ten times before lunch.  Texting back and forth or sometimes just forth, forwarding on his email for dissection by friends …. the access to information brings the level of obsession through the roof.

But this has been covered.  I admittedly saw He’s Just Not That Into You while stuck on a very long plane ride back from Prague.  Disclaimer: the idea was it would be so bad that I would sleep, instead I was awake and forced to watch a terribly movie on a very tiny screen.  But, I’m used to small screens at this point.  My point being, Drew Barrymore’s character has a funny line about when you’re wondering if a guy is going to contact you, you have way too many places to check (email, myspace, facebook, voicemails on land or cell phones, text, IM ….)

What hasn’t been covered is what happens when the technology we so readily abuse ends up screwing us instead.

Exhibit A: I once dated a guy who didn’t want anyone to know we were dating.  For almost three years, we dated secretly (yes, I have numerous issues stemming from this, but we’ll talk about that another time).  Thinking I was emailing him, I sent on an email to a mutual friend.  The cat was so out of the bag.  What was funnier was my follow up email, pretending I had been kidding in the first.

Exhibit B: A friend, forgetting her crush’s email address, tried to select just his name from a list so she could continue their flirtation.  Instead, she sent on their string of flirtatious emails to all of their mutual friends … one of whom was her brother.

Exhibit C: Another friend, thinking she was emailing someone on Facebook, posted private and intimate details on her boyfriend’s wall.

Exhibit D: Thinking she was texting someone else about breaking up with her boyfriend, a friend ended up sending the text to him instead.  Interestingly enough, it made the whole break up a lot easier than she had anticipated.

Technology, you’re not helping.  You’re making everything easier, more immediate, more accessible, and inevitably harder.  Because you don’t take the giddy factor into the equation.  Our minds are racing, we’re obsessing and over thinking and hoping … and only then we realize we hit the wrong button.  The room for error is just wide enough to provide some disastrous results.

But of course, it all makes for a great story somewhere far enough down the line.