Monday, May 30, 2011

Scarby 2011

Fun at Scarborough Faire

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Smile and nod

I often encounter men who tell me to smile more, and it annoys the bejeezus out of me. I'm not an incessantly smiling idiot and cannot see what is appealing about it. I'm cross-posting this blog that captured my feelings perfectly, which I've never been able to really put into words.

"So here's the take-home lesson, ladeez. Smile and dress nice and act like a lady - and you will be considered to be a silly, thoughtless, insignificant girl. Don't smile and dress for comfort and you will be considered to be a ball-busting, man-hating lesbian bull-dyke - or, possibly, Ozzy Ozbourne. You will be called a trope, or a caricature feminist, or a reverse sexist, or a slut, or frigid. You will be said to have fucked too much, or in need of a good fucking, or your problem will lie in the fact that no one wants to fuck you, in which case you need a good fucking but are unlikely to get one. But no matter who you are, and what is wrong with you - because, mark my words, something is ALWAYS wrong with you - there will always be some damn asshat around the corner just waiting to cheerfully insist that you smile, smile, smile!"

The whole thing is here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My first half marathon!

Today I ran the Hills and Hills (and Hail) Half Marathon in Irving, Texas. I only had a month to train, which would have been alright, except that I hurt my foot in the second week and couldn't run after that since I was afraid to make it worse. And then I somehow always forget how awful running on pavement is—all my training is in toe shoes on grass and dirt trails.

So at about mile 5 my joints were screaming obscenities, but I pushed it until mile 6. I walked about a mile and a half when the 2:45 pacers passed me up, so I ran with them about 2 miles. At the 10-mile mark, the volunteers told us we could only continue if we could finish the last 3 miles in less than 20 minutes because a hail storm was heading our way. My best-ever 3-mile time is 27 minutes and change, and that was after NOT having already run 10 miles. So we headed toward the nearest building (a police station) to take shelter. But there was no one there, so most of the racers, including me, continued on.

Just before 11 miles, we were stopped again and herded into a pavilion, where I finally saw lightning in the distance. Then we heard the volunteers shout, "If you're gonna go, you gotta go now." Off to the finish line we dashed, feeling somewhat refreshed by the 5-minute stop. The sky lightened and the storm passed north of the race with just a bit of a sprinkle at the end.

I think I finished about 2:45, counting for the stops and detours. The race was cut short by a half mile, though, because of the approaching weather. So my total distance was 12.6 miles, a personal record by at least 4 miles, and I got my finisher's medal! Yay! And ouch. I really wish I hadn't had to drive myself home, as shaky as my legs were. Now I know for next time. Eep. Maybe this fall.

Mail call!

Before I left Korea, I shipped two boxes of my stuff at about 10 kg apiece (45 lbs total) for 60,000 won, or less than $60 U.S. All you need to do is buy a size 5 box from the Korean post office and ask for (literally) "slow boat" shipping. I sent my boxes mid-March, just a few days before the tsunami in Japan, so there was a little bit of panicking on my part. They gave me a tracking number, but I'm not smarter than a Korean Web site and never could find out anything about my packages. The estimate given when I sent them was up to two months.

The good news: They arrived in the last two weeks of April mostly intact! (Why one arrived a week later than the other when I posted them simultaneously, I can't imagine.) I recommend going crazy with the free packing tape your local post office provides because the boxes had taken a serious beating. Luckily, they mostly only held clothes and books.

Do take advantage of the unbelievably low shipping rates in Korea.