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Showing posts from April, 2008

On Writing Well

Here I sit in my cubicle, eager to practice some of the principles I learned at yesterday’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA . As with last year, the panels by both established and emerging authors provided a much-needed shot in the arm for this weary writer, whose reading list just lengthened threefold. Since many people who read blogs also write one (or more), I thought I’d share some pearls and paraphrases from panelists. From Yannick Murphy , author of Signed, Mata Hari : Next time you want to describe the anger, excitement or misery that you or another character in your story experience, try to show it through imagery. Chances are the reader will experience that same emotion, rather than view it from a distance. Lydia Millet , author of How the Dead Dream , offered this ditty about Googling ourselves: “We all do it. It’s like masturbation.” Alex Espinoza , author of the novel Still Water Saints : The best lessons we learn as human beings come not from the times we su

Time to Throw Another Running Party

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I haven't hosted a run in awhile, so I was overdue to indulge my inner Martha Stewart (actually, more like Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade Cooking fame, minus the cocktails, tablescapes and decolletage). This morning was the first of two Welcome Committee events for the Rockin' 'n' Runnin' marathon training program. This is my fourth year as its chairwoman. Each year is a little different, and each time I think it gets a little better. The preparation can be intense but well worth it. I didn't do as much baking due to time, but everyone contributed to a potluck. Did I mention up to 300 people were expected? I did bake an angel food cake last night while gathering every possible supply needed -- from serated knives to cut fruit to individual ice packs to toilet paper in case the public bathrooms ran out -- and bought almost 300 popsicles, which required some tricky logistics to keep them frozen until they were placed in a giant cooler. I packed them tight in my own c

The Danger of Open Water Swims

UPDATE: The man that was killed by the shark was related to someone who works next to me. The guy's name sounds very familiar. I bet my friend and commenter Mark knows him. Very sad situation. Latest Story from CNN has more information. ORIGINAL MESSAGE: A local triathlete was killed by a shark this morning near Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach. An officemate recently was stung hard by a stingray in the same spot. Be careful out there. Shark Kills 1 at San Diego Beach Updated Version with More Details: Beaches Closed After Shark Attack Reuters: Shark Attack First in 50 Years

Wordless Wednesday

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A College Road Trip

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My husband and I drove up to northern California to visit our college kids during one of those rare trips that don’t involve hauling clothes bags and furniture or visiting the closest Target or Ikea. First up was Friday night in Rohnert Park, where we replenished our older daughter’s food stores at Safeway before taking her and her roommate to dinner. The next morning I woke early to try and retrace the first 45 minutes of a run I’d done two years prior , including circling a few spruce-lined parks near the edge of campus. It was cold but clear, just like the last time, and moving through the quiet residential neighborhoods, it was easy to pick the student-occupied houses by the condition of the yards and cars. I felt like just a regular resident out for a Saturday morning run, knowing where most of the streets intersected and, importantly, where all the unlocked bathrooms and water fountains were located. After three years of visits, this peaceful college town in the heart of wine cou

I'm So Sorry, Susan

And anyone else that clicked on a "comment" that was really a nastygram trying to install a program. Something similar happened twice during the past few weeks, and each time I've deleted the comments before anyone could click on them. But I was out of town for a few days when this one was posted. I just went ahead and tossed the entire post when I couldn't get rid of comments individually this round. I'm going to have to again start using the comment word verification to try and prevent this. Thank you, Rundoodle , for trying to warn others while I was away.

Surrounded by Such Talent

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A couple of weeks ago while working an aid station with Ron W., he casually mentioned he was running the Carlsbad 5000 the next morning. I didn't realize until last night that he not only ran Carlsbad, but he won his age group in the highly competitive, internationally fielded race. See for yourself. (And did an 85+-year-old woman really run it in just over 22 minutes?!) According to the track club Web site , Ron's heading to the national masters 10k championship in Houston next weekend. We wish him well. And, Ron, thanks for the bags of tangerines and oranges from your yard...they are much appreciated, as is your modesty. ( Photo by Alann L. of the SDTC)

Wordless Wednesday

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Who Turned On the Furnace?

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I went from barely damp tights and long sleeves to sweat-drenched singlets and shorts in the span of a day, with the temperature suddenly spiking into the 90s here. That can only mean one thing: my beloved trails will be brown and brittle soon. My favorite route is shared by horses and mountain bikers, which is why I love the one photo above that shows evidence of all three. These are some scenes from my most recent run there. Only fell once this time, but I also only went half as far as last time. Still, that's progress.

Time To Tie Up Some Loose Ends

The edges of evening are curling up earlier these days, a sure sign that soon I’ll be able to broaden the borders of my safe, early a.m. route and incorporate new neighborhoods and more mileage into my sunrise routine. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss the moonlight. I’m going to miss that minor feeling of accomplishment just getting out of a warm bed before everyone else in the house, waiting in a semi-comatose state for my first cup of tea to kick in, checking the temperature and applying layers accordingly. That I rarely “run into” anyone at that hour has led to some serious lapses in appearance. If you were to look closely, you’d see I run with mascara residue under my eyes, bad breath, wrinkled sweats (and maybe flannel pajama bottoms a time or two), a jingly Jogbra and hair only half-contained in an elastic band due to some shoddy “hand combing.” This unkempt look might work for a slender 22-year-old, but not on someone who appears twice her age and weight. Not ev

Wordless Wednesday

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The Skinny on 'Lean Beef' and 'Low-Fat Milk'

We started a corporate wellness program at my company and the buzz this morning is all about today's nutritional tidbit. In a nutshell, this is what we discovered: Ground beef with 10% fat is actually 10% fat by weight before cooking. ...The reality is that by calories, ground beef with 10% fat by weight is about 48% fat by calories. 110 calories out of 200 come from fat! The same trickery occurs with lots of products. You may think that 2% milk is a great choice. Certainly, it's better than whole milk, but 2% milk is 2% fat BY WEIGHT, NOT BY CALORIES. 2% milk actually contains 5 grams of fat per serving - 45 calories out of 120 come from fat. That's 38% fat, not 2%. This may surprise you, but whole milk contains only 3.25% fat by weight (not even twice as much as 2%)- but 48% by calories!

Here's to Cups, Cars and a Near Collision

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For the final day of my sister Kim’s visit, I told her I’d take her to the beach. And technically, I did. (That's her above, in my first photo posted via Windows Vista.) We both worked the third of five aid stations during the San Diego Track Club’s 16-mile train run. And we both had a blast despite deep cloud cover and chilly temps. Our stop was 9 miles into the course at the southern tip of Carlsbad State Beach. I’ve written before about running this ; it’s truly an event and this morning no less than three big running clubs were out there training along the same course. It made for some congestion and flare-ups between runners and cyclists and motorists. I ended up taking two injured runners back to home base in Solana Beach, cutting off two cyclists in Encinitas when I turned right at a green light and they apparently intended to head straight. They were forced to turn right with me. I’m still baffled who had the right of way. From their dirty looks, I thought it might be them;

Due to Technical Difficulties

There will be no photo today for Wordless Wednesday. My husband just built a new, supercool computer, but we're still migrating all of the files over from the old machine and at this moment I can't find even one of them. Next week, for sure.

That's Me in the Corner...

No, the other corner.... Attendance Saturday hit a world record of 115,300, which makes this one very big wave.