18 April 2019

we are runners.

you size up the competition
as you shake hands
with all the usual suspects.
that one guy is here -
you'll show him.

you toe the line.
the road stretches out before you
empty and beckoning,
clear as an invitation.
in the near distance,
the lead bicyclist waits.

you hum along with the national anthem singer.
i don't hear that it's happening at all
until y'all are halfway in,
and conversations quiet
as hats come off in a wave through the crowd.

my place is mid-pack.
i swing my arms to maintain
a modest bubble of personal space
amid strollers
and pets
and costumed hobbyjoggers
and children.
i am anonymous.

the gun fires and we are off,
you and i.

you are out of the gate like a cannon shot,
a thoroughbred - formed for this.
you strain but it doesn't show:
you know better than to waste energy on a grimace.

i bob and weave.
the crowd is thick
and without rhythm.
children sprint then deadstop in my path.
a gaggle of giggling bridesmaids glide past in a miasma of mimosa.
a stroller wheel catches my heel.
a dog's leash is a tripwire.

i see you coming back
while i am still going out.
you are beautiful.
you are inspiring.
you will not be defeated.

the crowd thins and i can breathe,
and i set my sights on one and one and one,
and one by one they are behind me.
i will not be defeated.

as i make my way back to the car,
you are there -
receiving adulation like a savior.
you showed that guy.
you showed us all,
on this day.

you race to be
the winner,
and i race to be
not the loser,
and we are both fierce competitors.
we are both fierce.

we are not the same in many ways,
but on this day, we are the same
in the most important way:
we are runners.

04 April 2019

i'm back! did ya miss me?

i'm back! remember how i said i was goign to get my masters? remember that? like, 6 or 7 months ago? well, i did. that's right, got my masters in like 6 months. sounds exceptional, i know. thing is, knocking out schoolwork is kind of my superpower, so...

anyhoo, news is that i have a vocal fold polyp. yeah, now calm down. first, a vocal fold is basically what we call a vocal chord. second, a polyp on the vocal chord is not at all like a polyp on, say, the colon. polyp is just sort of a generic word for "popping out kind of thingie". on the vocal fold, a polyp is extremely much like a blister. extremely much like a blister in every way except that it won't pop or go away on its own. so, it won't go away, but at the same time, it's not really doing any harm. well, except i am a little hoarse. "neigh" haha.

srsly tho. hoarse and a couple times since december 100% laryngitic. not a big deal except when the laryngitis falls on a day i have a conference call. hah hah ugh. overall, not a thing, except when it is.

treatment... the doc recommends vocal therapy. like, i am talking wrong and need to correct it. this doesn't resonate with me because i have rarely been hoarse and LITERALLY never lost my voice completely, in my whole life, until recently. if i were doing the talking incorrectly, i would have had a problem before now, right? right. except he said it can be like a knee injury and over time it just gets worse and worse until you fall over. hm. maybe i have been doing the talking incorrectly until i finally fell over.

so i am checking with insurance to see what's covered because vocal therapy is extraspensive. if insurance doesn't cover it, the doc can recommend some "community based" speech pathologists. i actually know a speech pathologist, so if it comes to that, i will hit her up. but still, vocal therapy. i am skeptical. also - i am not clear on whether the vocal therapy can make the polyp go away, or just help me not make it worse, or what.

then. then! the doc told a story about a cross fit instructor who yelled her polyp into non-existence. "now don't go try to scream it away, haha," he said, hahaingly. well, why the hell not? seems a reasonable approach to me.

i have opted for now to: stop taking so much zyrtec-d, although it's my wubby, and stop talking so much, which is hard because i don't talk much as it is, and start drinking more water, which is also difficile because i am quite the drinker. #ofwater

if you enjoyed this thrilling polyp chat, well look for more excitement in the days to come!

02 November 2018

55ยบ, mist, and an excuse

my favourite weather is what scots call a soft day - cool and grey with humidity level so high that water droplets sort of hang in the air. one of the reasons i love this weather is that there is no pressure on these days. on sunny days it's all GO OUTSIDE and DO YARDWORK and EXERCISE and so on. ENJOY THE WEATHER. gah. get off my back, sunshine. on grey days it's like playing hooky on life. everyone just gives up and watches netflix. ahhh.

also, grey is one of my favourite colours, along with periwinkle and pine-green.

in other news, i am in grad school now. in the past month, i've produced 59 pages of content, 4 cover pages, 4 reference lists, and 4 tables of content. because this is a writing-intensive endeavor, i am going to use it as an excuse for my not writing more here. of course, i am already not writing much here, but now i have An Excuse!

maybe all the grad school intensity will pay off later in more blog posts. (don't bet on it.)

i'll try to stop by and leave a note now & then, which probably won't be much different than it has been the past few months.

maybe you wouldn't even have noticed.

but if you do...


i have An Excuse.

books 2018

audio list
print list

the witch elm - tana french 
fantastic beasts: the crimes of grindlewald (the making of)
hex hall 2 demonglass
warlight - michael ondaatje
good intentions - neil gaiman and terry pratchett
a study in emerald - neil gaiman
harry potter: history of magic - ben davies
the very first damn thing - jodi taylor
a foreign country - charles cummings
when zachary beaver came to town - kimberly willis holt
the raven king - maggie stiefvater
blue lily, lily blue - maggie stiefvater
the dream thieves - maggie stiefvater
the raven boys - maggie stiefvater
pimsleur brazilian portuguese - lessons 6-10
pimsleur brazilian portuguese - lessons 1-5
the inquisitor's tale
the likeness - tana french
a letter of mary - laurie r king
the moor - laurie r king
harry potter and the deathly hallows
the grave's a fine and private place - alan bradley
plus one - christopher noxon
faithful place - tana french
harry potter and the half-blood prince
harry potter and the order of the phoenix
harry potter and the goblet of fire
harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
the book of lost things - john conolly
harry potter and the chamber of secrets
harry potter and the sorcerer's stone
train dreams - denis johnson
glass houses - louise penny
wise man's fear - patrick rothfuss

red cross lifeguard training manual
18 minutes - peter bregman
bills of material for a lean enterprise - dave garwood
drums of autumn - diana gabaldon

03 September 2018

inoculate the populace

the author of this article creates a spectacular analogy: harry potter and the confederacy. i hate to spoil his twist, but at the same time, i sort of have my doubts that you'll go read it. if you're going to read it, stop here and come back after you've read it. i'll wait.

did you read it?

reeeeeally? #doubt

okay, i'll take it that you've either read it or you're not going to. if you read it, wasn't that amazing and wise? if you didn't, i'll give you one more chance. i'm waiting.... okay, okay. fine! the cool thing he does is to draw an analogy between confederate monuments and horcruxes. yeah, now you're sorry you didn't read it, aren't you? #loser

after you've read it, the connection is so obvious. i mean, think of hufflepuff's cup. it's beautiful to look at and there's nothing inherently wrong with a cup, problem is, that particular cup has a bit of voldemort's soul implanted in it. well, yuck. that's just gross. who would want to drink out of such a corrupted cup?

the confederate monuments are corrupted by the same sort of dark power that voldemort wields. so it's kind of a no-brainer to go out and tear them all down.


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana

as we destroy the markers of evil and work to drive evil from our laws, communities, society... how do we safely retain accurate knowledge, so as not to travel that road again? where do we store the vaccine? how do we inoculate the populace?

with knowledge as the germ here, we store the vaccine in history books and in the stories we pass from generation to generation. a vaccine is made to be administered by a professional, and in this case, that's an expert instructor with no bias. so it's simple, really. alls we have to do is store the accurate knowledge safely and find an unbiased professional to deliver it.


30 August 2018

i saw a crying baby in the clouds

i saw a crying baby in the clouds
feet and fists raised flinging
and tears were streaming out
a face so fierce and angry
so lonely and betrayed
that i tried sent out comfort
as it blew away

12 August 2018

cement and the tiny screwdriver

we did a project today and in the box were nuts and bolts and washers and even a tiny screwdriver. i dumped all the bits into this small garmin box. can you find the screwdriver?

the project didn't go well. we ended up capping off the wires and leaving it for another day. the two main issues were cement and the tiny screwdriver. well, that's not fair. not the screwdriver per se, but rather the portion of the project in which it was involved. anyhoo, lack of success was had by all. we moved on to another project which was also unsuccessful. just one of those days.

i did realise something, tho, so it wasn't a total waste. i realised screwdrivers are color-coded. did you know this? phillips are blue-handled and flatheads are red. i literally never knew this but it makes so much sense. it sort of just clicked in my brain today as i was fetching tools. once i caught on, retrieving the correct tool became so much easier. standards are so the lubricant in the gears of life, are they not? (i assume it's a standard. it's true of all the variously branded screwdrivers in our possession.)

the tiny screwdriver is a flathead if that helps you find it.