Monday, January 31, 2011

What's good for the goose ain't always good for the gander.

I posted on Facebook about how everyone should go to a marathon at some point in their lives and cheer someone on.  You don't have to know the participants, but it helps.  I've been to five marathons now, because Alan ran his 5th yesterday in Waco, Texas.  Alan discovered that Waco is quite hilly.  Like REALLY friggin hilly he said, but he might not have said "friggin."

Here are a couple things I like about marathons.  Every runner crossing that line has gone through strenuous, ridiculous, difficult training to get where they are.  (I think they're all crazy, but it's a kind of crazy I can respect.)  So as each person finishes, most spectators are cheering and clapping for perfect strangers.  See the guy sitting down to the left?

But I also like to watch the spectators that are there cheering for someone in particular - they're so excited and probably relieved that their loved one made it, and sometimes they're emotional.  They make signs, they take pictures, they video the event, and many times they run the last 100 yards or so with their runner.  And fellow runners are great cheerleaders for each other.  Look at these guys:

Look at those faces!  Awesome.

I'm usually by myself at these events, so I have sat and watched a lot of this.  It's cool.  But nothing as cool as when you see YOUR runner coming.  So go find you a marathon friend to experience this with!  Yell loud and take pictures and brag about them relentlessly.

See that little speck about to come under the bridge?  That's my runner.  Seems like a lonely sport, doesn't it?

And here's the finish:

 Medals are big in Texas:

Okay, so there are a couple things I don't like about running events.  Some runners are uber showy about how great they are.  I guess you have that in any sport though.  I also don't like waiting and waiting and waiting.  I know when Alan should be showing up, and when that time gets closer I tend to get antsy.  And lastly, I don't like sitting there feeling envious.  I want to be that healthy and fit and achieve an amazing goal like that, but I just can't.  My body has let me know repeatedly that I'm not cut out for being an athlete.  I ran my little 5K on Saturday with what appears to be a strained calf muscle.  If it's not that, it's tendonitis or shin splints, or whatever.

So I think this is an area where I need to remain the spectator, although I might attempt a 10K when I'm all healed up.  I'll never make it as far as Alan and some of our friends, but I can be a great cheerleader on the sidelines. :-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

About my cat...

I knew Junior was one tough hombre, but I didn't realize how tough until our recent vet visit.  He'd been having some bathroom issues, and it was time to do the unthinkable and take him to the vet.  It has to be pretty serious before we take him, both because it's hard on him and the vet staff.  Turns out this cat has been in extreme pain, peeing "crystals" of urine.  The vet says in his 20 years of practice, it's the worst case of urine crystallization he's ever seen.  He said he doesn't know how Junior's withstood the pain and has probably been wishing his penis would fall off.

So the treatment is bottled water for the rest of his life and canned cat food - prescription cat food for now.  Junior hates canned food, so I guess we'll see how hungry he gets.  And I get to give him a dropper of antibiotics for the next several days.  That's always fun.  He's been confined to the garage to keep any accidents from happening in the house as well as keeping him from going outside and getting his boy part dirty.

He's pretty tired of the garage, although Alan has taken every measure to make it comfortable.  So Alan went out there earlier to "visit" Junior and coax him into eating the cat food.  Here's what Junior thought of his visit:

He's such a brat, but he's my little brat.  :-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

No need to visit The Alamo

I've been to San Antonio so many times, I couldn't count.  My grandmother lived here before she died, so a lot of memories are of sitting around being bored in a tiny retirement village apartment.  Eating banana bread, probably.  And for a real treat we'd go down to the "dining room" where other old people gathered and kind of creeped me out.  I'm better around old people now, by the way.

As an adult I've had some good trips here and some so-so trips.  I have a fond memory of when Matt and I brought the girls to the zoo and Sea World when they were pretty little.  I still laugh about some moments from that trip.  Alan and I have been to San Antonio together a few times now - with friends, seeing family, and this time by ourselves.  No offense friends and family, but this has by far been my favorite trip.

It has been cold and rainy since we arrived.  We smiled at the rain driving in and have loved it and appreciated it the entire time.  Funny thing when you haven't seen rain in a while - YOU MISS IT.  We came prepared with coats, gloves, and toboggans (yes, that's what I call them).  The humidity has not been kind to my naturally curly hair, but stuffing it under a knit cap solves that problem.  We'd be back out in it right now at a running park if I could wake Alan up.  The guy gets a hangover after two drinks.  By the way, I have a new favorite drink - the Mexican Martini.  But I digress...

We still have a full day and night left, so I'm going to head back up to the room and get Alan moving.  When we get back home I'll post a picture of why I now love the city of San Antonio based on one simple act of kindness to animals.  :-)

Update:  Here's the photo.
This was along the River Walk.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Somewhere out there...

Back in the early 90s I read a book by Betty Eadie called Embraced by the Light.  Books are often trendy, and therefore there were a number of books on out-of-body experiences, after-life, or psychic topics during this time.  I read a few.  I like that sort of stuff.  And I'll watch most any show about the paranormal as well.  Growing up I was taught by the Church I guess, that believing in anything like that was NAUGHTY.  Whatever.  I never thought it made sense for a religious group to denounce things of a spiritual nature.

Anyway, there's a new show on the Bio channel (I think) called "I Survived...From Beyond and Back" or something like that.  It tells of people who died and were then revived and what they experienced during the being dead part.  Like the previous books I read, they all talk about the love and warmth they felt during their experiences, and how the message received was "love is all that matters and all we should be focusing on."

So I had to teach after-school tutorials yesterday, and I'll just tell you I really don't look forward to tutorials.  But all day I kept thinking about what those people said about how we're not here for just ourselves, but rather here to help our fellow man.  I had a different attitude during my tutorials, and we had a pretty good session.  Will that feeling stick with me?  Very probably, most undoubtedly not!  But you can bet I have my DVR set to record the next episode.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I have to wonder how different things might be one year from today.  I'm not sure which is more exciting or unsettling: how much could change or how much could not change over the next 12 months.  We could have moved from Midland.  I might not be teaching.  The girls could be doing who knows what, and both my "kids" will no longer be kids.

Whatever happens, I think 2011 has a nice ring to it.

Some favorites from 2010:

Finishing this:

 When little Betsey came along:

Crossing something off the bucket list:

Beautiful San Diego:

Camping with Duke and my favorite person:

Florida in October with the guys:

And any moment spent with them...I've learned far too late to treasure these times: