omg omg station eleven omg


my thoughts, in haiku form:

omg you guys

yikes!  piranha flu

’tis no picnic


seriously, i have not loved a book like this since… well.  it’s been a long @$$ time.  i mean, i know, what was i expecting?  everyone tole me to read this and i resisted and resisted because KING BABY you know.  but then i sat down on my recent solo trip to north  carolina (take your shirt off, spin it round your head like a helicopter) and could not stop!  perspective shifts, time jumping, and scary eerie religious cults!  dogs named luli (my OWN childhood nickname, IMAGINE!) and SO.MUCH.MORE!  if you haven’t read it yet– GO TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY AND PICK UP YOUR FREAKING COPY.  i just returned mine in newark, for example.  SO COME TO NEWARK AND TAKE MY COPY!

laurie halse anderson. YOWSA!


so, i’ll admit.  i haven’t been reading much since the king baby’s reign began last july.  i have done a lot of other things, including birthing her, weaning myself off the chocolate pudding that had become my pregnancy diet mainstay, learning how to dress her in outfits with snaps all the way up the back (what i learned: don’t dress her in these outfits), watching every single episode of damages on netflix, moving from my beloved arlington to my home willage of rochester, and finding a new job.  with a commute!  which FORCED ME TO FINALLY, FINALLY DRIVE A CAR.  ew, yish!

the one benefit that i can see for driving a car is audiobooks.  i know i know… welcome to the party about 20 years late, lintzy!  but OMG.  maybe i will be able to consume fiction again!  i’m hopeful.  my first real foray into the world of audiobooks happened this week with laurie halse anderson’s the impossible knife of memory.  what a title!  definitely on par with ness’s amazing the knife of never letting go.  NO!  i am actually not at all obsessed with knives!  i am much more obsessed with ice cream.  more ice cream, fewer knives, if you ask me.

the impossible knife of memory tells the story of 17-year-old hayley kincain and her father andy, a veteran of the iraq war.  winner of the purple heart and sufferer of PTSD, andy spends his days and nights running from demons and bouncing between moments of violent outbursts and selfless caring for his daughter and country.  hayley and andy have spent the past several years on the road, and the book begins when they decide to settle down in andy’s hometown in upstate new york.  as usual, laurie halse anderson tells a brutally realistic story from an unconventional perspective.  in this case, we see the story through hayley’s eyes.  thank you, laurie halse anderson, for telling us a war story through female eyes.

hayley cares for her father with heartbreaking fierceness.  but she’s scared of him, too.  and for good reason– he is not beyond violently lashing out at the people who love him most, including hayley.  once again, anderson has shown how adept she is at creating characters who aren’t defined by one characteristic, but are instead unraveled over the course of a story in scary, sad, true, and human ways.

and i haven’t even MENTIONED the teen drama that occurs… and you KNOW that’s what i can’t get enough of!  i swear, i think it’s because i was incredibly socially awkward, but i will never EVER get too old to read a teen like story!  and hayley’s beau finn is totes adorbs, handsome nerd with a love for newspapering, gaming, and our prickly hayley girl.  and just when you think you’ve got him figured out, anderson reminds us that he’s a person who has stuff going on, too.

the audiobook version is well done.  read by julia whelan and luke daniels, the portrayals are compelling and believable.  whelan’s gravelly imitation of male voices isn’t distracting, and she does a nice job capturing hayley’s disillusioned sarcasm.

so, boom.  ladies and gentleman, i have read  a book! i’d like to thank all of the things that made this possible: king baby not screaming on the way to daycare!  laurie halse anderson being a great writer!  and the fact that i recently hit a deer and my car is in the shop for many days and the BP’s prius will not stream my phone and therefore i cannot listen to podcasts!  hip hip hurray!

king baby makin me smile

some things:

  • king baby is totally into all the concepts of print!  looking at her turning those pages!  and reading out loud!
  • she also chose this book out of a MOUNTAIN OF TOYS!  um, kb, have you EVER ignored your letter Z block before?  not ever, not even once.  UNTIL TODAY!
  • baby socks.
  • baby THIGHS.

the next episode: lintzy is back

hold up hey yay

lintzy’s back in new york stay-ate

with her panda and her baby yay-ay

gettin back to her blog cause she has some stuff to say-ay

it’s been a long time, she’s been missin writing this stuff like whoa

so buckle up, take your seats and get ready for the next episode

hey hey yay yay

eatin avocados every day*

*did i really just somehow take the lyrics of the next episode and apply them to my librarian blog in the most non-offensive way possible?  i am sure that this is what dr. dre intended upon penning this masterwork.

i’m the queen of quiet

you guys.  guess WHAT.  i am approaching my one year liberrian anniversary!  it is customary to mark such an occasion with book-shaped balloons, a new tweed suit, cookies, (quiet) cheering, and gratuitous photos of tim riggins:

god bless texas.

but, this is also a time for reflection.  in many ways, i think that i have met my new job duties with happiness and some level of competence.  for example:

  • the toy dinosaur collection at my little liberry has tripled in my brief tenure.
  • i know a LOT about bulldozers, trains, buses, cranes, and diggers.
  • my house is overflowing with the toilet paper rolls and egg cartons that i horde for craft projects.
  • my origami is improving.
however, there are areas of this job where i am afraid that i am destined for lackluster results.  here is a brief excerpt of an email that i received recently:

—–Original Message—–
From: “lovable librarian”
To: “lintzy on the loose”
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 09:23:41 -0400
Subject: two things

I hope to have the Clifford costume for Friday, June 29- but I need someone to either wear it OR do a little singalong- BINGO (CLIFFORD) head shoulders- dancing with Clifford- any ideas?

hold on.  was this an email request asking me to dress up as a GIANT.RED.DOG?

i froze.  beads of cold sweat emerged on my brow.  i don’t think that this wonderful librarian understood to whom she was speaking.  when i am put in a position to sing or dance in front of a crowd or even in a crowd, my entire being shuts down.  like i legitimately cannot function.  i think it’s a personality gliche, akin to my inability to sit down and watch such television shows as “seinfeld” and “the office.”  as much as i love the idea of clifford visiting the library, i simply could not be the one dancing in the dog suit.  i couldn’t!

another, equally concerning, turn of events occurred earlier this week as i was doing my one of my storytimes for tiny tots.  now, despite my problem with putting on a costume and dancing for the youth of my community, i actually love doing storytimes.  i take a ton of delight in asking a horde of two-year-olds questions like, “what noise does a piggy make?!” and, “OH MY GOODNESS, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BIRTHDAY CAKE THIS BIG?”  in incredibly dramatic tones.  i have even become comfortable with leading at least one singalong during the proceedings, which is a big step for me.  however, this week, i learned the lesson that i have learned time and again in my role of storyteller– ALWAYS PRE-READ YOUR STORYTIME BOOKS.

picture it: the theme was bugs.  we read classics like eric carle’s the very busy spider and the ever-popular big rig bugs (it compares BUGS to TRUCKS.  TODDLER HEAVEN!).  i was confident that this was going to be a pretty darned good storytime, or at least not one of my disastrous ones that ends in tears from multiple babies.  so i took out the book that i thought would be the icing on the cake.  entitled can you make a scary face?, it was basically like the hokey pokey in book form.  it asked the kids to stand up, sit down, blah blah blah.  as i have mentioned, i hadn’t really read the whole book before introducing it to the tots.  so i started the story.  it was going well!  we were standing up!  (well, those of us who knew how to stand.)  we were sitting down!  we were wiggling our noses!  we were doing the chicken dance!

WAIT.  WHAT.  doing the chicken dance?

and that, readers, is how i ended up doing the chicken dance in front of a group of about 1,000 babies and their caregivers.  it was a challenging moment both professionally and personally, mainly because my face turned a shade of scarlet for a really really long time.

so i guess you can conclude that i am a pretty reserved person.  it’s true: about 75-80% of the time, i probably rank at about an 8.2 on the shyness scale.  but what about that other 20% of the time, you’re wondering, most likely with rapt attention.

well, my friends, i’ll clue you in on a secret: i am actually the incredible hulk.  OMG JUST KIDDING!  but for serious,  i, like so many other people, have an alter-ego.  mine only emerges when i am engaged in some kind of exercise, such as running, jumping rope, doing push ups, or struggling through an (aided) pull-up.  suddenly, mild-mannered lintzy librarian morphs into the biggest bad@$$ in town.  or maybe actually a little bad@$$, because well, let’s face it, i design storyboards out of felt in my spare time.

my personality metamorphosis occurs on a few different levels when i am workin’ on my fitness.  for example:

lintzy alter-ego trait number one: i do not care how i look to others



yes, it’s true.  sometimes i wear knee socks when i run.  not merely for aesthetics… although aesthetics are part of it, i guess.  i have always had a theory that you can tell who the best (recreational) athletes are because they’re the ones with the confidence to wear knee socks.  i mean, think about your average adult softball league.  there’s always that one guy, probably playing center field, who runs faster than a mountain cat, can track down any fly ball, and always always always hits a triple to the opposite field.  and what’s he always wearing?  freaking knee socks!  ALWAYS!  but this is taking me a bit off topic EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT.

so anyways.  i wear knee socks when i run.  they are actually compression socks.  and the reason i wear them is because about a year ago, i developed a debilitating case of shin splints.  i do not use the term “debilitating” lightly.  i legitimately could not walk for about a month.  it was very dramatic.  often, i would convince BP or my dear friend nandi to take me out in my wicker wheelchair to breathe the fresh sea air.  OKAY OKAY I’M KIDDING.  I DIDN’T HAVE A WICKER WHEELCHAIR.  my legs just hurt real bad!  and i had to take about two months off from running, which was really hard for me, not only because it was a mainstay in my exercise plan, but also because this layoff had the potential to throw my blood sugars completely out of whack.  (but that is a story for another day.  today, we are talking about knee socks.)

so after a lot of physical therapy and calf stretching and ice, i was given clearance to run again.  but if you’ve ever come back from a sports injury, you know that it’s a road full of tentative steps.  and even now, i always run with a little bit of shin pain.  it’s just part of it.  but wearing compression socks can help! (don’t ask me why.  i think it has to do with reasons like SCIENCE.  i wish i could elaborate more, but whenever anyone tries to explain it to me i zone out.)

the only problem with compression socks is that most of the people who wear them look pretty ridiculous.  some companies have tried to fashion them in neon colors, but the bottom line is that they just look weird.  but guess what!  I DON’T CARE!  i wear my white and orange and blue knee socks with pride!  and sometimes, i might get even crazier and JUST WEAR ONE.  (if just one shin hurts.  and also to make a statement.)  and i DARE YOU to say ANYTHING about it.

lintzy alter-ego trait two: bizarre musical choices

recently, my dear friend nandi’s sister kelly offered to make a running mix for a group of ladies and gentlemen with whom we run.  “send me your recommendations,” she urged, “each person will provide input for the mix!”  and so we did, and the final copy of the mix was 110% amazing.  and the best part was, nandi and i agreed, was that you could totally tell who recommended what, because the songs uncannily matched each runner’s personality.  you had the creative and offbeat nandi herself, with lesser-known and uncannily perfect suggestions like marathon, by the ettes.  the charming and ebullient elise chose robbie williams’ rock DJ.  resolute and focused gary chose the classic kenny loggins hit from top gun, danger zone.  and nandi’s two hip and amazing younger sisters chose well, basically the best workout songs ever, like martin solveig’s hello and flo rida’s club can’t handle me.

and what did i choose?  well, contrary to popular belief, it was not the wheels on the bus or the itsy-bitsy spider.  obvi, i chose none other than metallica’s enter sandman, complete with growling vocals and DRUMS OF WAR.  it is one seriously intense song that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE WHEN I AM TRYING TO PERFORM A FEAT OF STRENGTH.  it makes me feel so… angry?  focused?  determined to pick up a tractor tire and heave it across the gymnasium?

“you remain a mystery,” concluded nandi at the end of our conversation on the personality/song link, “but oh how i love those drums of war when i’m out on a run!”

lintzy alter-ego trait three: the ironing paradox

one of the greatest gifts that my mother ever gave me was the ability to iron.  starting when i was in seventh grade, she would send me to the basement, armed with a can of spray starch and some cloth napkins.  i would practice and practice and before long, i was moving up to tee shirts!  then pants!  and then, the holy grail for all ironers: DAD’S DRESS SHIRTS.  whoa.  it was a lot of responsibility to bestow upon a 13-year-old, but i took to it with aplomb.  to this day, i carry a deep and abiding love for a nice rowenta iron and ironing board with a plush cover.

so, i iron everything.  jeans, scarves, tee shirts, whatevs.  i am a bit compulsive about neatness.  that is, unless i am working out.  then all ironing and neatness flies out the window.  instead,  i follow my father’s mantra: if you’re not getting dirty, you’re not playing hard enough.  so not only am i a sight in my ridiculous knee socks, but nine out of ten times, i will also be the sweatiest (i still dare anyone to outsweat me), dirtiest (how my calves and face both manage to get COVERED in MUD on a three-mile run, i have no idea) lady with the craziest hair (i’ve noticed that at the end of a workout, my hair looks like i stuck my finger in an electric socket) who looks like she just got into a fight with a bear cub.

i could go on an on, mentioning my fierce competitive drive, my sneers at anyone who stands in my way, my attempts to perfect the spitting-whilst-running technique, but i won’t drag this blog post on much longer, since it’s already like 1,000,000 words long.  suffice to say, i am still not planning on dressing up like clifford in a few weeks.  but if clifford was to be wearing knee socks, that might be a different story altogether.

o, memories! o, selective memories.

srsly.  what is it about thomas the train that makes all children go crazy?  i.don’  he is actually kind of creepy, if you stop for one second to consider that he is a TRAIN with a FACE and TRIANGLES FOR EYEBROWS.  i mean, eeeeek:

freaky deeky!

and yet, he is the king of books and toys in the children’s section of the local liberry where i spend my days toiling.  here’s how it usually happens:

laura sits at miniature desk in the children’s room of the arlington public library.  she is dressed in tweed suit, bun, glasses, other stereotypical liberrian regalia.  she is doing very important liberrian things.  meanwhile, a small child careens off the elevator.  it is possible that he learned to run only five minutes ago because his legs are wobbly and he bounces off every wall and surface that comes close to being in his path.  he runs (head-first) into the librarian’s desk.  adult follows in hot pursuit.

laura: oh, hello!  how are you today?

small child: unintelligible babbling noises

laura: oh, yes, i understand.  mondays can be hard!

small child: more urgent babbling noises

laura: oh, i see.  do you want to play with a toy?

small child: babble babble babble

laura: hmmmm, do you want to play with the dinosaurs?  the village people?  the trains?

small child [eyes lighting up]: THOMAS!  TRAINS!  THOMAS!

this is seriously how it happens.  just about EVERY SINGLE TIME.  and there is this one little boy, who, for the purposes of this blog, i will call hermès.  he is my favorite!  not only is hermès the most chubby cheeked two-year-old, but he has the most adorable mom, dad, and baby brother in the WORLD.  so hermès and i have the thomas song and dance at least two times per week.  and it goes basically how i just described.  but the best part of the story occurs when i hand him the coveted bag of thomas the train figurines.

laura [brandishing trains]: here you go, hermès!

hermès’ dad: hermès, what do you say?

hermès: trains trains TRAINS!

hermès’ dad: no, hermès, what do you say to the librarian?

hermès [eyes shiny with thomas-induced joy]: HAPPY.

if you ask me, hearing my tiny friend express his true feelings was WAY BETTER than hearing a cursory thank you.  i appreciate when people can just say what they mean.  good for you, hermès!  continue on this direct and wonderful path, young man!  i could take a lesson from you.  because, using this story as my crutch, what i am trying to say in the most long-winded way possible is that i need to just be honest here and tell you how i feel.

i know that i’ve been a bit lax with my bloggin in the past.  for example, i may have neglected to finish the story of my 2010 boston marathon experience.  and this was after i spent about five months writing many posts on this blog leading up to that large event.  i know that this was lazy, shoddy behavior.  and i wish i could go back and recreate that blog post that i should have written in 2010.  it was going to be epic!  but sadly, now i can’t remember just about anything that happened that day.

which brings me to my most current thought about the marathon experience: it’s one of those things (akin to childbirth and middle school) that is painful to the point that you actually disassociate from the entire thing in order to get through it.  that sounds so melodramatic!  but it’s true.  all that i have left from my two marathon experiences at this point are little hazy snapshots of mostly joy and little bits of sorrow.

this theory was thrown into sharp relief recently when i was searching for a marathon to run this fall.  i was weighing the pros and cons of the likely contenders, of which there were many.  did i want a big race?  a small race?  a flat race?  (actually, there was no question on this one at all.  i absolutely DUTELY want and need a flat race.  no hill escapades for this lady!)  a race in canada?  a race in an exotic locale?  a race in rochester?  there were so many choices!  so i turned to a trusted running tool:  this website touts itself as “everything marathoning: information, results, & more!”  part of the “& more” is runners’ reviews of basically every marathon ever.  like the yelp of marathons, one might say.

“certainly this useful resource will tell me all i need to know!” i happily thought to myself, “oh how i love information!”

as i perused different marathons, i thought that it might be fun to look up the marathons that i have run, just to see what the peeps were saying.  so i typed “wineglass marathon” into the easy peasy marathon finder.  and came up with THIS REVIEW from dj from ny:

[The 2011 Wineglass Marathon] was an utter and complete disaster that left me wondering if there was any leadership behind this race at all. 

“wha-whaaaaaaaat?” i said aloud.  “i loved that race!”  here’s one of the main images that i remember from the day:

me and my two favorite ladies in the world, also known as my mom and little sister helen. this was taken two minutes after i dragged my body across the finish line.

and then this, i remember this, too!

it’s my sister-in-law, thea, and i, after completing 26.2! although we have similar headband taste, she is much more reasonable in her post-event beverage choices.  also, can we please discuss how she looks like she just stepped out of a salon.  meanwhile, i resemble a bedraggled cat.

and finally, this!

yes! it’s true! i ran the 2011 wineglass marathon with amazing folks, including my husband the baby panda (who looks like he is in pain or on the verge of singing the opening lines of “don’t stop believin”), his two sisters thea and sarah, my brother-in-law nick, AND one of my dearest friends in the world, the illustrious erin!

so as you can see, my 2011 wineglass marathon recollection is basically akin to this:

wineglass marathon = totes rainbows and happiness!

so there was basically no way in the world that this marathon possibly could have been the cluster-eff that the reviewer dj from ny spoke about.  but then, as i kept reading his review, i realized that his thoughts might have some merit:

Granted, the weather that day was about as bad as you can get. Nothing like standing in 40 degree pouring rain an hour before a marathon. 


the kind reviewer went on to state that:

Somehow, they managed to change the starting line from the traditional parking lot at Phillips Lighting to a new site about a half-mile up the road, without telling anybody! So here are all these buses dropping off hordes of runners at the wrong place, with no one to tell them where to go. And here come these runners, minutes before the start, realizing that ‘oh my god’ they’re in the wrong place. For them, it was a frantic ‘warm up’ (to be generous), racing over to make the start. Unforgivable! 

oh right!  i forgot about that, too!  me and my merry band of family and friends were some of the runners who were dropped off at the wrong place and had to run a half mile in order to make it to the start in time!  and that was after our busdriver got lost for almost a half hour!  and that was also around the time that we realized that there were only about four porta potties for about 1,000 runners, which caused me to run into the woods to try and go to the bathroom, only to be plagued with the most crippling case of stage fright ever.  wow, i had buried all of those memories!

and, now that i think about it, all of these situations were direct causes of my most legitimately insane moments ever (about which i had also conveniently forgotten).  my friend erin calls it the psychotic break.  as the BP and erin and lovely thea and i were hoofing it over to the starting line, i decided to turn on my GPS watch.  i was intent on running a 3 hour and 55 minute marathon and i was counting on my GPS watch to help me reach this goal.  but when i turned it on, it gave a sickly beep and the following error message:


um.  WHAT.  THE.  EFF.  i had just charged my watch’s battery.  there was no WAY in the WORLD that it could possibly be LOW!  no way! except, of course, that it was.

and then i lost my mind.  i think i started yelling.  i definitely started crying.  i lashed out at everyone who tried to help me, including my wonderful husband and sister-in-law and erin, all of whom offered me their own GPS watches off their own wrists!

“NO!” i screamed, “NO NO NO!  that won’t WORK!  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”

i even freaked out thea’s friend andy who had come to wish us well at the start.  it was, well, a psychotic break.  i was still sobbing when i parted ways with my peeps to join my pace group at the start.

okay, so maybe this curmudgeonly marathon reviewer knew what he was talking about.  he finished up his review by saying:

But at the end… they left everyone’s checked bags out in the rain, even though there was lots of room inside! And not only the rain, they basically dumped everyone’s bags into the mud. It was foul, and like a delivery guy tossing something fragile over your fence, thoroughly disrespectful. The race directors should make a public apology. 

oh yes.  i did dig my bag out of a mud pit!  yet another repressed wineglass memory!  it was, as our reviewer points out, totally disgusting.  and all of my things were, in fact, covered in mud as a result.

BUT.  GUESS WHAT.  i still effing LOVED that race!  LOVED IT!  beat my goal by three minutes, ran most of the way with a wonderful pace group and equally wonderful lady named susan from my runnin club here in boston, and had an okay blood sugar experience.  i saw family and friends who braved the rainy and windy elements at countless spots along the course.  and at mile 20, my mom, dad, sister, and aunt P drove up beside me as i was running along a lonely stretch of highway, honking the horn and screaming accolades out the window.  and since then, i have only run one race with my GPS watch.  turns out that i do much better without one.  who knew!

yup, wineglass marathon, despite it all, you’ll always be an elephant trunk rainbow to me!

so, there you have it.  a half-@$$ed, incredibly lengthy recap of the marathon that most of you never knew i ran.  lintzy on the loose continues to deliver!

everything that rises must converge. or, hello again.

so it looks like i am back to blogging!  and there are many reasons why, of course.  like, i like to write!  that’s a big one.  also, i now that i am all graduated from liberry skool and stuff, i have way more time on my hands.  but over the past few weeks, a few things have inspired me to dust off my old and gross (SERIOUSLY, WHO THOUGHT THAT WHITE WAS A GOOD COLOR FOR A COMPUTER?) laptop and resurrect lintzy on the loose, complete with a slammin’ new design.  (thanks, wordpress!)

so, let me begin at the beginning.

inspiration number one: kate b. and the ‘betes

if you are reading this, you probably know that i’m a type one diabetic.  if you don’t know much about diabetes, you can find out more about it by accessing this great nytimes guide.  but if you’re like me and don’t really like clicking on embedded links (no matter how helpful they are), here’s a short synopsis of type one diabetes:

  • if you have type one diabetes, you need insulin to live.  so, basically, you either need to give yourself a shot every time you eat a mouthful o’ food OR invest in an insulin pump, which is a tiny machine that pumps insulin into your body via a tube.
  • type one diabetes usually stems from a combination of an autoimmune disorder and genetics.  and it’s way different than the much more common type two diabetes, which is often seen in adults and can be treated through diet, medication, and exercise.
  • type one diabetes is a mentally exhausting disease.  really, really, REALLY.  if you are striving for “good” control, you must count the carbohydrates in every bite of food that you eat, calculate how much insulin that means you should take (there is no one-size-fits-all formula, btw… it’s different for everyone), and balance that with all of the other shizz happening in your life (if you’ve exercised, if you’re stressed, if you have a cold, if there’s a full moon, and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah to infinity)… and still be okay with getting it wrong about 75% of the time.

so, in a nutshell, that’s what my kind o’ diabetes is.  and i think one of the hardest things about it (besides what i just mentioned) is how invisible it is.  just like how you’d prolly never know that i am struggling with this pesky problem, i am hardly ever able to recognize my fellow diabetic peeps.  which is why i think that the internet is magic!  there is a host of diabetic resources out there, including blogs, social networks, and oh so much medical information.  so much of this disease can be so isolating (’cause you have to think about you you you like all the effing time!), and it’s reassuring to know that there ARE other people out there who are dealing with the same proglems.

which brings me to kate b., my fellow librarian and diabetic!  she is the amazingly amazing author of tenaciously sweet, a fabulous diabetes blog.  she writes compelling and realistic posts and that strike oodles of chords with me because we are at very similar points in our lives.  plus, she is very funny.  anyhow, we went to liberry skool together and it turns out that she read lintzy on the loose way back in the day when i was chronicling my experiences training for the boston marathon.  so last week, she completely called me out in a post about diabetes bloggers, saying that i should write some more.


inspiration number two: the marathon dream/conundrum

so far in my life, i have run two marathons.   i ran boston for charity in 2010 and finished in 4 hours and 17 minutes.  i ran the wineglass marathon in 2011 and finished in 3 hours and 52 minutes.  now, it’s 2012 and time for another big race!  for the past several months, i have been fixating a not-so-secret goal for myself: i would really really really REALLY like to qualify for the boston marathon.  in order to do this, i have to run my next marathon in 3 hours and 35 minutes.   according to my math, that’s like an 8:12 pace per mile.


in other yikes-y news, i have been visiting my diabetes doctor a lot lately in an attempt to get my blood sugar levels down.  they were pretty high for a while there.  and at first, i was really doing well!  i managed to get my hemoglobin a1c (a three-month average of all my blood sugars) down from 8.0 (eeek, i know, i know, it was up there) to 7.4 (still not stellar, but better) in a matter of a month.  but in the two months since then, i have completely stalled.  my a1c is still hovering right at 7.4, much to my (and dear doctor’s) dismay.

so in my most recent appointment last week, my doctor quietly pointed out that my workout regime may be part of the problem.  it’s really hard for me to handle my diabetes when i work out– i think that this is common for endurance athletes.  before a workout, i often need to get my blood sugar really really high (like 300), because it’s been known to drop several hundred points during some of my feats of strength.  but, being the wiley beast that it is, sometimes my blood sugar goes rogue.  for example, my blood sugar levels after two very similar running workouts this week were 301 (WTF) and 37 (i almost passed out in front of the gym).  i have been to exercise physiologists, diabetes specialists, and nutritionists.  I DO NOT KNOW HOW ELSE TO APPROACH THIS PROBLEM.

“well,” said my dear doctor, “why don’t you just scale things back?”

“um,” said i, “what exactly would that mean?”

well, apparently, it could mean a variety of things.  i could not run another marathon.  i could run another marathon but give up on my goal of running a boston qualifying time.  i could quit trying to vary my workouts (in addition to running, i try to swim and spin and get stronger).  i could give up working out altogether for a few months, just to see if it helps.

but.  i don’t want to do ANY OF THOSE THINGS.  I DON’T WANT TO.

inspiration number three: swimmy… and michael j. fox

as part of the toddler storytime schtick that i do at the liberry, i often tell leo lionni’s beloved story of swimmy, a tiny fish who is made into an orphan after a big fish eats all of his brothers and sisters.  (also, i have fashioned the world’s greatest flannel board to go along with the story.  i heart felt!)  after he is left all alone, swimmy explores the underwater world and meets lots of fun creatures.  and one day, in the shade of rocks and weeds, swimmy finds a school of fish much like his old family.

“come on!” says swimmy to the other fish, “let’s go and play and SEE THINGS!”

“we can’t,” say the other little fish, “the big fish will eat us all.”

“well you can’t just LIE HERE,” says swimmy, “we must think of something!”

in an attempt not to ruin the story for those of you who have not read this wonderful tale, i will not reveal swimmy’s AMAZING IDEA.  because i think that this makes my point.  i do not want to just lie in the shade of rocks and weeds just because my blood sugar is a wonky devil beastie.  i want to go and swim and play and SEE THINGS!

last night at the panda manse (a name that i just made up for where i live with the baby panda), we were watching some bad tv, as is our custom.  as i was flipping through our six channels, i noticed that jane pauley was interviewing michael j. fox about his struggles with parkinson’s disease.  i’ll paraphrase the portion of the conversation that really hit home for me.

jane (who looks amazing, these days, btw): so, stress exacerbates your condition, right?

mjf: yes.

jane: so, why don’t you rest?  if i were you, i’d stay in bed all the time, conserving my energy.

mjf: you say conserving energy, but for what?  what am i conserving my energy for?  if you conserve it to use it, when are you going to use it?  if you want to do something, do it, don’t make excuses for why you can’t do it.

i sat there, stunned.  listen, i know that i can handle my diabetes better.  i know that i can plan my workouts more thoughtfully, and not treat my lows and highs with emotional responses.  i get that.  but just because i want my blood sugars to improve does not mean that i need to hide, staying away from one of the things that i enjoy most and makes me who i am.

so.  guess who has signed up for the 2012 marine corps marathon on october 28?

me, obvi.

i’m planning to use this blog to chronicle my struggles, successes, book choices, long runs, bouts with stomach issues (ahem, what runner DOESN’T have these?), mustaches, bears, and well, anything else that i want to talk about.

thanks for listening.

my main fish, swimmy.

you know you love me.

last night, my young adult literature class engaged in a very interesting debate on popular literature for young’ns.  basically, there’s an argument that liberries shouldn’t include pop culture books in their collections, like the illustrious (and racy!) gossip girl series.  some liberrians (most likely those who own tweed suits and horn-rimmed specs and loud SHHHHHing voices) dub books like these as  “literary twinkies”… soft, gooey, and in possession of no substance whatsoever.

obvi, plenty o’ liberrians do NOT agree with this argument, myself included.  and yes, i’ll rely on the patented “as long as they’re reading” theory.  honestly, i grew up reading some seriously #$%^ty things… AND I LOVED THEM.  and the love of those books helped me cultivate my love of readin’… there is no way i would be the lady i am today without the help of the baby sitters club super specials (the cruise ship one, esp!  although the cali one was also fab).  who are we (as liberrians or parents or just plain peeps) to judge what others should and shouldn’t read (within reason), just because they are kids?

on a less liberry-centered note,  i was a loyal follower of gossip girl on the CW for years (til the show became soooo ridic that i had to quit it), but i’d never read a gossip girl book until last week.  and, twinkie or not, this book was GREAT FUN (and not nearly as skanky as everyone says)!  and speaking of great fun, let me introduce you to something else equally light and airy and equally amazing:

Godbersen, A. The luxe. New York: HarperCollins.

OMG, everyone—it’s Gossip Girl, circa 1899!  The Luxe tells the story of Elizabeth and Diana Holland, two sisters who reign at the pinnacle of New York society just before the turn of the 20th century.  However, the fortunes of the Holland family have taken a turn for the worse, and in order to save the family name and score some cash, Elizabeth is pushed into a loveless engagement with notorious and scrumptious cad Henry Schoonmaker.  Of course, Elizabeth carries a torch for another (family carriage driver Will), and Henry entertains the affections of many other admirers, including Elizabeth’s conniving BFF Penelope Hayes, and the precocious and darkly beautiful Diana, so clearly much drama is on the docket.

The Luxe’s similarities to Gossip Girl are obvious—not only are they both produced by Alloy Entertainment, but they both take readers on delicious thrill rides through the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.  However, The Luxe is not merely the same old plot dressed in flouncy finery—it’s also an entertainingly soapy and fun novel, punctuated with interesting period detail.  Each chapter begins with an account from the Manhattan society pages, a tip from 19th century etiquette, or a message exchanged between two characters, which simultaneously propel the plot and to provide historical context.  I enjoyed Godbersen’s storytelling hook of opening the story with Elizabeth’s funeral, and then rewinding the plot by several weeks to explain the events that led up to her death.  Even though the big reveal is telegraphed from the very beginning, Godbersen’s plot was nevertheless complex and detailed enough to entertain me.  Most importantly, I found all of the main characters to be well-constructed and multi-dimensional, and even the calculating Penelope earned my sympathy at times—especially when, upon finding out about Elizabeth’s engagement to Henry Schoonmaker, she voms in a flower pot!  Talk about a faux pas.

this one goes out to all the ladies.

well, not really.  but sort of.  bear with me while i explain.  my good lady friends nandi and little K and i met early this morning for a crisp and sunny run that featured one terrible hill and some delicious coffee at the end, and now i am on cloud eleven (better than cloud nine).  these are the days when it feels great to exercise!  i have renewed hope in fitness, which is something that i’ve really needed after a semi-disheartening half marathon about a month ago.  (picture it: applefest 2010.  93-degree heat.  uphill from miles nine on.  suffice to say, a summer’s worth of hard training yielded less than i’d hoped.  waaah.)  SO!  all this to say that today is the first day i’ve felt good about running in a VERY long time.

and therefore, in the name of the happiness that healthiness can sometimes bring, here she is– my girl cat locke.

Brande, R. (2009). Fat cat. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Cat Locke is a quick-witted high school junior with a penchant for science—and candy bars.  But when Cat becomes her own guinea pig for a research project, she makes some serious lifestyle changes, giving up cars, phones, TV, computers, and processed foods in her determination to win the science fair and exact revenge on her greatest rival, Matt McKinney.  Cat’s experiment yields impressive results, as she sheds some unwanted pounds and comes to terms with the issues of boys and body image.

As someone who grapples with the daily challenges of leading a healthy lifestyle (and loves a good makeover story), Fat Cat was right up my alley.  But you don’t have to be interested in nutrition to enjoy this book.  Fat Cat is written in the conversational first-person voice of Cat, a person you’d want to know and be friends with, and her story unfolds with a natural ease.  Information about health, exercise, and vegetarianism emerges in the text, but I didn’t think it sounded pedagogical; Cat follows a path of self-improvement and, in the process, builds her self-esteem (and, as a bonus, attracts the attention of several different guys).  Fat Cat seems to be geared toward a younger YA audience, as Cat innocently (and almost naively) experiences many “firsts” during the course of the story, including her first date, kiss, and boyfriend.  Throughout the story, Brande alludes to an incident that had occurred between Cat and Matt several years prior, but when the mystery is finally revealed, it seems simplistic and anticlimactic.  Because this situation was one of the defining moments in Cat’s teenaged life, its relative innocuousness strikes me as both disappointing and puzzling.  On the whole, though, this book succeeds with a strong and likable main character and a light and fun, yet informative plot.