Category Archives: Word Nerd

Enter the End

December 1. The beginning of the last month of 2015.

Overall, it’s been a decent year. There are some job things that aren’t quite as good as one might hope and I’m 23 books short of my 2015 reading goal. I should start counting re-reads, then I’d be kicking that goal in the ass.

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Speaking of asses – I do not have a yoga butt. The one thing I didn’t accomplish that makes me a little bummed (hee) is the exercising.

I got a lot of shit done this year.

I finished a book. I edited another book AND THEN SENT IT INTO THE WILD. I started yet another book and am, so far, 56K words into that one.

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I mommed and my child seems to be moving out of his sociopathic stage – at least for the time being.

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I spent time with friends (old and new) and the architect.

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I did two triathlons and two 5Ks.

I only race for medals.

I only race for medals.

5K post baby PR

5K post baby PR – and mimosas

I fought off a recurrence of my fairly significant anxiety disorder and am living happily drugged up and mentally balanced (most days).

I traveled to New Orleans.

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I’ve been working like a fiend on my Swedish and although I’ve a long ways to go, I’m getting there. I’m not ready for my new boyfriend Alex to come over and test me yet – at least not in Swedish. Heh.

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I got the beginnings of a new tattoo (which should mostly be done by the end of the month.

Teaser! No full pics until it's all done.

Teaser! No full pics until it’s all done.

So when I look at what I’ve done, why do I only see what I didn’t do? I’m not going to write that list, because I don’t think that’d help anything, but that’s where I get stuck.

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A looooong time ago, I used to do monthly goals. They were generally things like “run 100 miles” or “workout 35 hours” or “I obviously haven’t yet had a kid and am not currently in a management position [insert goal here].”

But I want to do that for this month, maybe just scaled down a bit for realism. I am yelling at myself in these goals, so forgive the third person.

  1. Go for a fucking run. Seriously. Get out on the trails and run three miles and remember why you like running. Do it Sunday morning. Now it’s a plan immortalized on the internet so there is no choice in the matter.
  2. Stick to about 80% of the December eating plan. If you have bacon and eggs for breakfast on Christmas, you get a pass. Also no one expects you to go 100% cold turkey on the cream in your coffee. This does not mean that you SKIP breakfast when you’re home just because you’re out of oatmeal.
  3. Write every day. It’s the best habit you have.
  4. Move most days. It’s the best habit you don’t have.
  5. Read 23 books, because you are not failing at a reading goal.

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Bonus goal: Just breathe. Shit happens. You lead a privileged life full of wonderful things and people and this, too, shall pass.


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The More You Know – Braindump

Pssstt!  Hey you…yeah you. Did you know that it was Tuesday? Tuesday afternoon to be even more precise. In fact, for some of you, it’s probably Tuesday evening (or possibly Wednesday morning).

I’d meant to have a book review for you today. I have two brewing (oooh! Suspense!).

Coming up later this week (probably Wednesday AND Friday – if you’re good) are reviews of Margaret Atwood’s “Negotiations With the Dead” and my book club’s Feb Book o’ the Month “Girl on a Train.” Trust me when I tell you that you want to join this book club. DOOO EEEEET!  We are mainly active on our Facebook page but have a Goodreads presence as well. My PSM Cat is pretty much the head goddess of the bookclub. (I am first runner up goddess. These are titles I may or may not have just invented.) She makes up drinks for us to drink. It’s awesome.

Ummm….so you have that to look forward to!

awesome dean

I have things! I want to share with you, but I cannot, due to the universally acknowledged power of jinxing. Soon, my loyal readership (most of whom are here for (a) some kind of foot fetish shot, (b) hoping for accidental cleavage, or (c) hoping that I’ll use brobdingnagian in a sentence) I will tell you things that will excite approximately one of you! I KNOW! The excitement is pretty much non-stop around here.

My news makes me squee ALMOST as much as this picture does.

My news makes me squee ALMOST as much as this picture does.

Other pressing questions!

If you, a parent, were to receive a box containing the following items: (1) bloody animal heart, (2) picture of your child obviously taken by a crazy stalker, and (3) a knife through both of the aforementioned items, what would you do? If I told you that you were a character in a novel or movie, does that change your answer?

the gentlemen

And one last item! I mailed about 20 ridiculous business cards to people around the country today. If you, too, would like your very own mildly profane and highly ridiculous card, please let me know!  You can send your address to gazellesoncrack (at) gmail (dot) com and I will get back to you ASAPs. It’s pretty much the entirety of my 2015 marketing budget!  (I am willing to mail overseas as well, in case you were wondering, my two overseas readers. It would not take brobdingnagian effort.)

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Happy Tuesday!

I Like Big Brains!

One of the best things about 2014 was that the new friends that I made were all so very much smarter than me. Well, that’s kind of good. A little disheartening at times, but overall good.

More or less.

There are times, of course, that I have to Google things before replying to texts from my platonic soul mate (who has about five million degrees in such diverse things as [I am now commencing the “making shit up” part of this paragraph] in nursing, biology, literature, comparative religion, underwater basketweaving, nuclear physics, necromancy, Swahili, and general awesomeness).

And my fellow writing group members are pretty freaking smart, too. They are also highly degreed (I have a BA and an MS, and am the least educated in the [admittedly small] group).

I read book. A lot of books. I read 134 (I think, I’m not going back to look) new books in 2014. I probably read about that many in re-reads. Maybe more. I finish a book every 1-2 days on average.

However, most of them are not…intellectually challenging. Not that you can’t learn new things from paranormal romance or urban fantasy – you absolutely can. Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series is phenomenally researched, and Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy send me to the Google almost as often as Cat’s texts.

But, a lot of what I read is not quite as much of a brain workout. Which is AOK. It doesn’t need to be. My brains work a lot when I’m at my job. And whoa! It’s been a workout there lately, too. I have a couple new projects that have really been making me feel idiotic taxing my mental limits.

Now, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I hate (HATE!) feeling stupid. It’s my least favorite feeling (well, maybe tied with nausea). So, I either need to (a) dump my smarty-pants friends (not an option! I mean smart people AGREED to be friends with me, so if I were to get rid of them, I’d just be reinforcing my own stupidity) or (b) do things that make me feel smarter.

So, in 2015, in addition to (and adjacent to) my goals I listed last week, I have these three caveats and addenda:

  1. Fifty percent of the new books towards my 150 book goal must be vampire and werewolf free. (I will honor the spirit of the rule, and not just seek out witch books, either.)
  2. I will listen to podcasts that keep me abreast of current events on a regular basis PLUS one educational lecturey type thing a month (TED-Ed type things). And I will report on it.
  3. I have a burning desire to become conversational in another language. I have the Swedish Rosetta Stone (because there wasn’t Norwegian). I will Rosetta Stone and learn me some Swedish so that by the end of the year, I can have a conversation with an attractive  Swedish person that I will import for that very purpose.

Hopefully this will cause my brains to embiggen.

2015 is my year of pushing though my comfort zones. Putting myself out there. Putting my brains out there. (Not literally, though. Don’t worry!)

After spell-checking this post, I wonder if one of my addenda should be to stop making up words? Ha! Never going to happen. It’s not wrong if I’m doing it on purpose. (That would be an excellent motto, although not one that would generally go over well in court.)

 

The Carnival of the Grotesque

I am back from my follow-up appointment with the sports medicine doctor. The good news is that I do not have a stress fracture. The bad news is that my feet are severely deformed, grotesque even. Small children shrink in horror and although I wish that this was merely an allegorical reference to the state of today’s politics, sadly the deformity of my feet is neither a satirical literary trope nor is it a reference to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art. (Etymology kinda turns me on.)

Good news: I do not need to be booted and resting my feet is not necessary for healing.

Bad news: My feet make Wesley’s threats to Prince Humperdinck seem angelic in comparison.

What this means for me: immediate amputation, followed by isolation to protect innocents from the sight of my twisted, misshapen feet.

Dramatic rendering of my right foot.

Real Talk

My feet are weirdly shaped. I’ve known this for ages. My toes do not lay flat, and instead curl up. I have a small tailor’s bunion on my left foot. The one on my right foot was NOT small and was removed in October 2010. That same surgery involved breaking my fifth metatarsal and putting pins in to straighten out the hammer toe issue.  ALL my toes are messed up. The curled up toes are creating an excess amount of pressure on the joints which has been exacerbated by running on hard surfaces (this issue only popped up when I started running lots of miles on asphalt and sidewalks) and has caused fluid to pool in the joints.

Oooh - I have metal in my feet. I'm practically the bionic woman.

Oooh – I have metal in my feet. I’m practically the bionic woman.

My official diagnosis: bilateral hammertoes with right sided metatarsalgia.

Treatment for now: custom orthotics. Also? I’m a gonna have to get rid of most of my shoes. No more heels (I’m assuming special occasions will continue to be okay). If the orthotics do not produce good results in 4-6 weeks, I am to get some kind of witchcraft done to my feet (some kind of electrodes and cortisone concoction).

Also, ice every night, anti-inflammatories twice a day, and not pushing through the pain. There are no restrictions on what I do, as long as it doesn’t hurt. So, if I can get to a place where walking doesn’t hurt anymore, I can start running again. However, the good doctor thinks that there are a few things I can do to minimize the likelihood of a recurrence.

  1. Move away from the minimalistic running shoes.
  2. As mentioned, high heels for daily wear are out.
  3. Choose softer running surfaces (trails and tracks)
  4. Be sensible about mileage increases

In addition, something I think will help is losing the rest of the excess weight I’m carrying about. I’d like to get back to this:

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I know HOW to lose weight. I’ve done it before. I lost 70 lbs between early 2003 & mid 2008. (40 in 2003, and the remaining 30 slowly disappeared over the next 3 years.) I lost all fifty of the pounds I gained while pregnant over the course of about 18 months.  (Most of it pretty quickly, what with the actual having of the baby.)

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

So, what’s remaining is a niggling 25 lbs that slowly crept up between my marathon and getting pregnant. It happened when I stopped running because of my foot injury, and then I stopped caring as much (and although correlation ? causation, it was also during this time period that I discovered a deep and abiding love an appreciation for IPA).

It comes in pints!

It comes in pints!

I am not going to blog incessantly about weight loss, because I don’t want a number on a scale to be my end all and be all goal, and I don’t want to obsess over it. But, I do want to be healthy and I do want to run again.

Also, I am a planner, and so I am going to make a foot health plan.

  1. Make appointment for custom orthotics (done! It’s August 18).
  2. Get rid of all shoes that are size 6.
  3. Get rid of all athletic shoes that are size 6.5.
  4. Get rid of all but two pairs of heels that are size 6.5.
  5. Find two pairs of cute flattish shoes that will offer adequate support to my deformed limbs but will not shame me in public or cause my sartorially gifted friends to shun me.
  6. Go to nutritionist (appointment is August 5) and follow all advice.
  7. Walk as much as I’m able, swim 2x/week; recumbent bike 2-3x/week; weights 2-3x/week. And every bit of sweat counts. It doesn’t have to be an hour.

Goals:

  1. Painless trail running by Thanksgiving.
  2. Achieving a fit and happy body.
  3. Developing a positive and balanced attitude about food and exercise.
  4. Being a great role model for this guy:
Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!

Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!

 

PS – Any help in cute, supportive flat finding would be most welcome.

 

 

Word Nerd: The End Times Are Nigh!

I was tweeting about Daniel Tiger (as you do) with Cat, and said that the end times were nigh, due to the prevalence of Daniel Tiger in my life. Cat referred me to Jack Van Impe, declaring that maybe he knew what he was talking about after all.

That led me to today’s beautiful word.

Eschatology.

Isn’t that gorgeous?

EschatologyListeni/??sk??t?l?d?i/ is a part of theology concerned with what are believed to be the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as the “end of the world” or “end time“.

The word arises from the Greek???????/??????/???????.

First, it’s a fun word. Also, I love “end of times” shenanigans. When I was little, and being raised by a minister (and his wife), I read the Bible. A lot. My favorite book (not counting Song of Solomon, of course) was Revelations. So much bloody fun!

Secondly, the etymology is gorgeous. I love Greek. I tried to teach myself Greek once. It didn’t take. I’m not very good at languages, especially not at teaching myself languages. I am going to have to bite the bullet and sign up for real live Norwegian classes, because my apps are not cutting it. (Although I love Norwegian because it sounds to me like a German got drunk and tried to speak English at me.)

But I digress. Anyhoosits, eschatology. Super awesome word and one that definitely deserves to be in my lexicon. Use it. Love it. Wait for the world to end.

 

Wikipedia contributors. “Eschatology.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Jun. 2014.