Note to Self: Drinking Chianti Does Not Help You Learn Italian

make-wine-disappear

I probably minimize Christmas more than anyone you know.  I like to decorate the house a little bit, but I do that anyway.  I love the seasons and generally seize on any opportunity to add twinkle lights to the inevitable holiday darkness.  I have one glass Christmas tree pin that sits on the lapel of my grey pea coat for a few weeks.  I buy a handful of gifts.  That’s it.  Continue reading

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Everything I Needed to Learn About Running I Learned From My Dog

I signed up for a local, July half-marathon a few months ago, to force myself to increase my mileage so I would have a decent base for training for my first marathon on October 30. This is when you should assume that I probably was dropped on my head as a child.

Early on the morning of the race, as I gathered up running gear, our dogs, Henry and Claire, assumed I was going to go for a run with them.  Claire followed me around and sat on my running shoes.  Henry stayed on the bed, looking bright-eyed but concerned. Continue reading

Week 1 of 37: Show Up, Sign Up, and Buy New Peas

Running quote about overcoming obstacles

I vividly remember the exact moment, in fourth grade, when I looked at my classmate, Lori Garrison, and realized: I am deeply flawed and inadequate.  She was a beautiful girl and an amazing volleyball player.  Medium height, blonde, pretty, and coordinated, she was the Gwyneth Paltrow of nine-year-olds.   However, watching me try to play volleyball would make your eyes bleed.

I come from a long line of athletic underachievers. Nothing athletic could come from my Continue reading

Back to My Future

BTTF clock

A few weeks ago was “Back to The Future Day” — that day in BTTF II that Marty and Doc had to get to, 30 years in the future (from 1985 to 2015).  They had to travel to this date, in order to find how terribly wrong things had gone in the past.  It occurred to me that I should do the same.  Time to get back to my future, after things had gone terribly wrong. Continue reading

My Bonfire of the Vanities

Bonfire flames vertical

The first magical bonfire I experienced was at Girl Scout camp in Arizona, back in the late 60s.  I was probably eleven or twelve years old at the time.  We sat in a huge circle in the dark, wearing our official camp t-shirts and little pseudo-Native American headbands.  While directed to keep our faces facing the fire, the camp counselors crept around behind us and tapped us on the shoulder to let us know Continue reading

Man versus Garage

I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, in the 1960s, when most houses were designed with carports, not garages.  This made it very handy for my father to pursue his lifelong goal of shirking home-improvement responsibilities because of the size of the small “utility room” off of the carport.   After all, there wasn’t much room left in there after he “filled” it with twelve family photos (of dogs, mostly), the worst camping gear ever invented Continue reading