Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A little hockey love.

Let me just give a couple of shout-outs here to Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Miller.
These former Spartans have really torn up the NHL, and I couldn't be more proud to have seen them on the ice many times in person.
Take Shawn: one year ahead of me. I had three years to watch him with season tickets at Munn Arena, though I actually watched him a few games the year before as well. And now? Best center in the west, according to Sports Illustrated, playing for the Oilers, where before him Anson Carter (now a Canuck) and Mike York (now an Islander) tread. He's called one of the best penalty killers, which certainly squares with a season when the Spartans had just as many shorthanded goals as they had power play goals...which was a lot. Yay for Shawn for being in the Stanley Cup finals, even if they did have to play the Wings to do it. Sing the fight song with Rem Murray for me, will you?
Now let's size up Ryan Miller, the shutout king for the Spartans. Many were confused when the Sabres started to play awesomely, but not me. They had Miller, and I'd seen him play. Certainly he struggled initially with pro play, but that's natural. I expected that, but knew greatness was in store. He was skinny, not untried. He bulked up, studied in the minors for a year, then came back to help the Sabres rip up the season and these playoffs. They've got a tough game 7 against Carolina coming up, but I feel pretty satisfied that one of my home-grown boys has been working for his team Spartan-style. He was part of the Spartan goaltending legacy, and has pushed that legacy to further glory.
And what happens if my guys go head to head for the Cup? Do I start cheering for the Oibres or the Salers? Everybody wins. It doesn't get any better than that.
Fight! Fight! Rah Team Fight! Victory for MSU!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Another post about running.

So, lately I've been jogging...regularly.
I'm trying to make this make sense. Consider:
When I was young, I was an awesome runner. I was faster than any girl in my class, and faster than most of the boys. In fact, I was the only girl who ran the fifty-yard playground dash during recess in elementary school that wasn't trying to get boys to like her and therefore intentionally losing. I could beat almost anyone in my class, except Mikey Bargey and Gordon Kiewiet, and on occasion Brian Boldizar or Jason McHenry. I wasn't good at such President's Physical Fitness Test events as "Steal the Bacon," but when it came to a straight track shot or a couple of laps, I was usually first.
Gradually things changed, and my friends Tracy Schmelzer and Ann Siegrist caught up with me, and later Sunshine Nelson, maybe one or two others. I was dancing a lot more, which changes your musculature, while they were playing basketball and softball. Still, I was pretty darn quick, and I remember in middle school when we'd go over to run on the high school track (which involved walking through the woods), and sometimes my sister's class would be out there. That's how I achieved the name "Flo Jo," after winning a particularly big race (I can't even remember what the heck it was, just that I won and then collapsed), and having her cheer for me, which ruled.
In seventh grade I ran track officially, hurdles, which was pretty great. I was trying to get out of distance running at that point, because it made me queasy, and while I wasn't a particularly great hurdle runner, I was more flexible than most of the girls who hadn't done that sort of thing before. Basically, I was the best beginner we had. I ran 60s and 100s, but did better at 100s because I could get up more speed between the hurdles. I have a picture of me flying over a hurdle, was during my awkward stage, so I won't be showing you unless I'm tipsy. My best friend Ann ran 60s with me, and we often went 1-2 in a race, me at #2, but I won quite a few 100 races, too, or at least came in first out of our runners. I hated running hurdle relays, though...I didn't like being dependent on others' performances.
One big track meet we needed another 4X400 runner, and I got tapped. I was coordinated with a baton, and I remember very clearly that I had a lot of ground to make up on my lap. We actually came in 8th, which was good enough for a medal. After that race, my coach tried to make me a permanent 400 runner, but I actually refused. The season was almost over, I was beginning to hate the queasiness from running a distance, and I wanted to dance more. So, by eighth grade, track was out. It wasn't good for my dance muscles, and I knew my Mom didn't like watching me on hurdles. She'd seen me wipe out a few times in practice.
I still had to run in gym, though, and I plunged on through the required 1-mile and 2-mile races, along with others. I can honestly say I only missed track once or twice, while watching others run hurdles in practices. I was too busy with dance, piano, and other projects, and I sure didn't miss feeling sick...I mean, if you're going to be so overheated and tired you're nauseous, you might as well be wearing a tutu, right?
But I was a bit harassed by Mr. Greider, who was coaching cross country at the time. He wanted me to go out for cross, and I probably would have been good at it, but I resisted. It felt nice to be pursued for cross, but there was no way I was going to run that much. I remember once I had a past dance injury bothering me; I didn't realize I was limping at all until he pointed it out. I think at that point I made some explanation about dance and I remember he didn't bother me much after that. I'd made my choice and was obviously dedicated to it.
After 9th grade gym I didn't run much, and I was dancing intensely for hours every week, so I sure as heck didn't miss it. When I pulled my hamstring (dancing) after college I was in physical therapy, which involved a treadmill once in a while, and here at grad school when I was really angry I ran around town, sometimes throwing a sprint in for good measure, but that's about it. I love walking, and hiking, and have done a lot, but running...well, that was pretty much out of the picture.
Until this last couple of weeks. For some reason, I started jogging once a week, then every few days, then every other day. Last week I ran four times. What the heck is going on? I'm not dancing much now, but I do make sure to stretch properly before and after so as not to damage those muscles; I have plans for dancing later this summer. But why running now? What's changed?
I know I've had an aggravating year; in fact, I just got back some poor semester evaluations, in my opinion, and I know part of this is running out the frustration. I also know my sister can now run over two miles comfortably, which I haven't been able to do in years, and I'm jealous. The weird part is that, while I'm quick, the only reason I was really good at running was competition. I wanted to beat other people, and in independent racing, it was easy to measure myself against others. But I'm not competing against anyone now. I know my cardio system has been in a slump and needs to improve. I know I've been feeling sluggish and wanted to make sure I got exercise. I also know I have exercise and allergy asthma, and running isn't really the best for that (especially outside; I hate running indoors). But I also know that I'm terribly bored.
I can't explain why I am suddenly obsessed with running. Well, not obsessed, but returning to the fold. It's confusing, but at the same time weirdly satisfying. So if you see me, browned and lean, in short shorts, just think of a little girl running like a cheetah across the blacktop, beating all the boys. She's probably wearing a dress, or barefoot, and if you blow the whistle, she will just keep running.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Fifth Position

So, has anyone else ever wanted a fifth position for sleeping? I mean, there's left side, right side, back, and stomach, and pretty much everything else is some variation. Even sleeping with your butt in the air is a variation of being on your stomach.
So, these last few late nights when I've been tossing through the four positions (no butt in the knee bursitis is a little much for that), I've been really wanting some other option. I almost actually slept with my head at the foot of the bed instead just for some alternative. Weird.

Meanwhile, church is an hour earlier now, and I remembered but lots of other people didn't. It was a nice service for the first summer one; special music by a lady who sang and played an old Quaker hymn, and we seemed to sing extra, too, with an extra hymn, which I am all about. I do loves me my singin'!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mystery Solved

So the mystery of the creepy phone messages about an important customer issue is marginally solved.
Today, it was a different message, though I'm pretty sure the number to call was the same; but the message was preceded by "Michael Dunham," did not involve a teenaged voice saying, "Again, I repe-eat," and actually included a case reference number along with the phone number. Thus, the calls are for someone who evidently used to have my phone number. I've gotten calls for this Michael Dunham before from businesses, and once for a particularly human sounding message I called them back to tell them they're barking up the wrong tree. It's only a matter of time before I call back this time and beg them to quit hounding my phone.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Read this, from CNN:
"Barnes' mother, Mary, told The Associated Press her son has battled mental illness.

'He's been suffering with depression for years,' she said, her voice shaking after being told by a reporter what happened. 'Lord have mercy.'"

Told by a reporter? What? In what crazy world should media reporters be allowed to tell parents their son ran over people at McDonald's? And then have their immediate reaction and words be spread out in the headlines?

Monday, May 22, 2006

I Dream of...the Candyman?

I'm in a stretch of crazy dreams again. Last night was kind of scary.
Basically, I (along with a group of friends) was being chased by a cross between the Mothman from the Mothman Prophecies (or the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers; can't decide) and the Candyman. Basically it was the Candyman with wings. I don't remember very much of the dream except for a very clear picture of me looking up to some pedestal or tower and Tony Todd's face blazing in the night down at us. We thought we could make it if we ran. We were wrong.
I do remember that at that point after the face, I faded out and then faded back in, I think for the running scene. Sometimes my dreams are alarmingly cinematic.
Anyway: Guy friend at the back of the group, whoever you were, I'm sorry.
I haven't seen any of these movies in a while, and I'm not sure where this came from. I did watch the final three episodes of Charmed on tape before I went to bed, but nothing that dramatically scary went on, at least not involving creatures.
I will miss Charmed. I can't believe it is over, but I'm glad they gave me a solid happy ending, even if the last episode was unbelievably confusing. Whenever time travel gets involved...well, I'm going to have to watch it again. It was great, and I'm thinking I might accumulate the dvds of the series. There aren't too many series that successfully pair magic and girl power, and I need more of that in my life.
Also of note was this week's two-hour episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which made me cry not just for the last twenty minutes, but through nearly the whole darn two hours. I've decided to blame hormones.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Doo Doo Doo, Do-Doo Do-Doo

So, I was unlucky in locating a business to rent me a game system. So, I bought one.
I know what you're thinking, but hear me out: It was 15 dollars. I got a used Nintendo-64. Now, I know this is not the best Nintendo game system, and I know it may not even be the best old school system, which is what I wanted. But it was cheap and the guy at 2-Play sold me his own personal copy of Zelda because it didn't need the expansion pack like the two the store had, and I bought Mario, too. I think that's all pretty great, and is equally capable of turning me into a total zombie.
When I was a kid, we didn't have Nintendo. We had a couple of PCs, an Atari and a self-built machine, and on those we played our fair share of Blue Max (flight simulator), Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, all the Carmen Sandiegos we could get our hands on, and then when the internet hit, we played MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) and such. That's all great, but when I went to my friend Season's, I always wanted to play Zelda on her Nintendo (I mastered Duck Hunt, but wasn't so great at Mario). When I went to my friend Katie's, we played Wheel of Fortune ALL the time. So now that I am a Nintendo owner, I feel like my childhood is complete. I can now participate with the rest of society on the same level.
Okay, that's not true. I felt a little superior because our family had real computers and played games that no one else had, or games that made us smart. But a little part of me always wanted Nintendo like the other kids.
And now, let me just say this: Super Mario Bros in 3-D makes me just a little bit dizzy. I spent two hours losing at level one, but just trying to get oriented in that space with all the view angles and such under control. I don't even fully comprehend the buttons yet, and being able to move in more than four directions. I've tried to play it simple a lot, but that isn't always working since you need to see stuff to get stuff. It's the opposite of MUDs where you are wholly reliant on descriptions to "see." With this jazz, you have to actually look.
So, if my eyes look a little bloodshot next time you see me, you'll know what I've been up to.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

In Which She Is Freezing Her Fingers Off

My office is so cold! I don't know why I'm here when I'm so cold!
I'm trying to decide whether this is better or worse than the fever I was running Thursday-Friday. Is this like the age-old burn or freeze to death question?
It's been a fake-busy week, meaning I've done a lot, but very little was at all productive for the world.
Take TV for example. Tuesday's episode of House was good enough, but I wish the shows I watch would stop involving vomit on such a regular basis. I actually liked the re-run on last night on USA better, but it too involved throwing up. Only for you, Hugh Laurie, will I tolerate this.
Wednesday's TV was also engrossing. ANTM says goodbye to Sara, which is okay, I guess. I don't agree with questioning the girl's commitment to the process...remember, as a discovery from a mall, she has further to come in terms of her understanding. However, her copying of poses sort of turned me off her. Jade...well, I'm tired of Jade. I respect that she's older than the other girls, but her behavior is the poorest. I wonder if she's going to be the Stephen...see below. I do like the looks of the finale's runway. It looks absolutely beyond gorgeous...wickedly difficult, but like a dream.
Back to Stephen. As I watched the Top Chef reunion show, I was gratified and warmed to watch Stephen's demeanor, even when he wasn't speaking, and his apology to Candice. I think of all the TC characters, Stephen grew the most, or made the most profound personal discoveries in watching himself on TV. I was genuinely glad for him and loved watching him giggle while watching the tapes (Jade, pay attention). The TC reunion was not a little disturbing, but I stand by my feeling since a few weeks ago: Harold. Harold, despite some misses attitude and serve-nervewise, should win. Tiffani is a great chef. Dave is a charismatic person. Harold should win.
Ghosthunters was largely uneventful this week, and Supernatural was nonexistent since the finale was last week. Jared and Jensen, how I missed you. While watching a TV Guide channel supernatural shows special, I learned that Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles (who is eight months older than me) look at websites or message boards about themselves. So, guys, if you're watching, I heart you both, as the kids say, and can't wait until you're both conscious again...and if you're shirtless, so be it.
About the season finale of Gilmore Girls, I can't talk about it yet. Many's the time I would feel the same way after a season of X-Files. Suspense and I...well, we get along on a short-term basis, but long-term tests my patience.
I think that's enough. My fingers aren't typing so well...freezing and a week of knitting and guitar playing have sort of done them in. Enjoy the rain, everyone.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Party Central

I've been to a lot of parties lately. Good times were had by all. Here is documented photo evidence:

The ladies I know really understand how to put a shower together. Here is a picture of the spread.

Here, Lisa promises to love, honor, and obey Carrie. See that veil? I made it.

Lisa's friend, who shall remain nameless to protect her genius, impressed us all by tackling Mensa sudoku.

On a wholly different day, different for many reasons, Mike practices for his incoming little one. Not in photo: Karen's look of concern.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Creepy Phone Messages

I think I may be the target of a phone scam. I've gotten some three or four calls from this one place; the message does not identify any company but asks me to call a 1-800 number about "an important customer matter." The kicker is when it says to use the reference number to follow, but instead of giving a number it beeps back into the beginning of the message with a really crazy "Again, I repeat" or something like that, said in an exasperated teenaged voice that makes all words have three times as many syllables as they should. I can almost see the rolling eyes. Do they think that's businesslike in any way? Even if it was legitimate I wouldn't want to call back. Weird.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I am a zombie.

Wow, so it has been a whole week since I blogged here. Sorry about that.

So last night was a CRAZY TV night. It was all suspense all the time. I had to eat an ice cream sandwich to stay calm.
I started with a little warm-up action with the Simpsons, just to get my funnies in, and then watched a re-run of the Ghosthunters I've never seen before at 7. Then, at 8 o'clock, it was all on.
I confess that I taped America's Next Top Model. I'm not sure how much of it I'll watch, but it definitely lost out in the immediate need to watch House on a special night from the two-parter, in which Dr. Foreman has a mysterious disease and Dr. House breaks all kinds of rules to save him. I do love Hugh Laurie, as I've previously made clear here, and there was some pretty good RSL (Robert Sean Leonard, to those of you who didn't have a huge crush on him in high school) action thrown in there, too. Good times. Looking forward to next week's episode when we find out if Foreman's right/left disorientation is permanent.
Then, it was time for a new episode of Ghosthunters that seriously made me jump and made my heart race. I can never really tell about that show...they usually go in with the mindset of debunking, but then you always wonder, when something does happen, are you being played? But the footage they showed was pretty awesome, it gave me chills, and I'm just going to throw out to Paul that you should probably not watch this episode by yourself in the dark. (And thanks, Paul and Carrie, who helped me out bigtime by loaning me a tape with Supernatural on it from last week, since I inexplicably forgot to watch it. It was, as they said, a doozy.) So--the night is ruling at this point.
Then, we headed into Top Chef, the show that determines the final three. The results were not all that surprising, as it was a similar situation to Project Runway with several strong contenders. I know a few of the chefs (and one of the judges, and maybe me) were a little disappointed in the results, but I still think these finals in Vegas are going to rock. I did feel sorry in a big way for Harold, who was ill during proceedings but managed to kick out a superb dish. Lee Anne, you will be missed.
Mmm. Delicious TV goodness. Now I have an episode of ANTM to watch, and Sunday's Charmed, a show which is alas winding down, and tonight's season finale craziness of Supernatural. AAAA!
In other news, on the rental of a video game system front, no luck. I might check with a place downtown, but I'm starting to lose hope of a weeklong game fest in which to further my zombiehood. I don't want to buy a system, because I really don't have time for that degree of goofing off, but I just want to play Zelda on a near-continuous basis for a while.