Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't be a poser.

Friday afternoon before leaving for a fabulous weekend that included hanging with great friends, cheering on the Black Knights and exploring the most incredible Storm King Art Center, I took Dempsey for a short run. I squeezed this in between wrapping up work and packing up the van. When changing into running wear, I grabbed the first shirt I found.

It was a glorious fall day. There were lots of people out. I said hello to all of them because that's what I do. I said hello to a man, about my dad's age, pushing a stroller with a little girl, about my son's age. For all of this familiarity, I gave him an extra big smile. He gave an even bigger one back.

Man with baby: "How 'bout them Mets?"
Huh? Mets? Oh ... my shirt.

Me: "I know, right?"

But I did not know. Despite my shirt (which my sister, a die-hard Mets fan, bought me because most people in my family, and all of the people in the one I married into, love the Mets), I don't follow the Mets. At all. Last I knew, the Mets were not so good. But I'd heard that about four years ago. For all I knew, they could have won the World Series this year.

For the rest of my run, I wracked my brain for things I know about the Mets. Here was the list I came up with (on 9/16):

  1. In my lifetime, I have attended two Mets games. There, I drank beer and ate nachos.
  2. I used to live a short jog away from Shea Stadium.
  3. Shea Stadium no longer exists.
  4.  Mike Piazza--with the interesting facial hair--used to be the team's catcher.
  5. Some supposedly attractive man named David (it took me the rest of the run to remember that his last name is Wright) still does. I think. 

Things I NOW (as of 9/19) know about the Mets, David Wright and the World Series:

  1. David Wright indeed still plays for the Mets. Third base. (Source: Jon Olin) Want to know more about David Wright? He's from Virginia. He's a Sagittarius, like me. And... if he didn't become a professional athlete, he would have become an engineer. Jon Olin might argue the opposite is true for him.
  2. The Mets did not win the World Series this year. Nor do they do have a chance at winning the World Series this year when it actually happens (Source: Jon Olin)
  3.  This year, the World Series will commence on 10/19. So that no games will be played in November. (Source: Wikipedia)

Moral of this story: Don't be a poser. But if you're going to be a poser, use it to find out when the World Series is. Because, come on, shouldn't every American be required to know this?

Question for you: Ever get called out?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

People dig my rat face.

My mom hates it. Jon despises it. But I can't stop making my rat face. It's really ugly. And I will find you a picture - just not right now. I don't have one on this computer. I'm not sure when my rat face was born: I think maybe in junior high...

I don't get requests to make the face often. But yesterday, my 9-year-old niece Anna asked me to do my rat face while we were playing mini golf in Glens Falls. (I happily obliged.) Then, today, when I was asking friends (on Facebook) to help me find a photo for a magazine's contributors' page--one that did not involve me squished against one of my children, holding an alcoholic drink, wearing sunglasses, etc.--my friend Ronda jokingly said she'd dig up a photo of me making my rat face at Allegheny's on-campus coffeehouse where we worked together. Two rat-face requests in one day! (Yeah, okay, one's technically just a reference.) "People dig my rat face," I proudly told Jon. He rolled his eyes and walked into the other room. 

This (me on the R) is much, much prettier than the rat face.
Now that I think of it, I believe my rat face began as most of my faces do - when someone asked me to pose for a picture. I hate having my photo taken. I feel self-conscious. I start thinking too hard about my smile: is it too gummy, too fake, too crazy? My checks start twitching. So I act goofy. I have lots of photos of me sticking my tongue out, crossing my eyes, etc., etc. In fact, when Jon proposed, he set the timer on our camera so that he could capture this milestone moment. He ended up pulling it off and we have an awesome shot--of his sixth attempt at a photo. Apparently, even back then, he knew it'd take me a few rat runs before I'd get serious for a picture. He wisely waited through them before dropping down on one knee and going for it.

Do I make ridiculous faces so that I can say, oh, I don't look good in that picture because I was trying to look bad (maybe, this 2008 story from the Times of London suggests)--or is just because I'm silly? Hmm... I think it's mostly because goofing off is far more fun than feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious.

For you to answer: What do you do when someone points a camera at you?
For you to ponder: The value of rat-face celebrity photos to paparazzi. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fresh starts are invigorating.

Happy September 1! I love the fall. The air smells great. The light looks pretty (think: ambient lamps versus overhead CFLs). For me, the sensory experience of fall is so awesome that, during the months of September and October, I can run more than 3 miles sans music and not feel like I'm going crazy.
Then there's the fashion. I prefer tights and boots to shorts and tanks any day. (Need inspiration for fab fall fashions? Check out LOFT's The Now campaign--spearheaded by my bestie HT!) But the thing I like to shop for most in fall? No doubt: School supplies. (Yes, I'm 35. No, I do not go to school.) Check out this sweet new "Tomorrow" planner I just ordered from Poketo, on a recommendation from Daily Candy:

How to fill in the sentence "Tomorrow _______"? ... "is a new day."
Or "is another day." Hmm... I think #2 is more inspiring and Zen.

For me, new school (okay, office) supplies represent a new start: a clean slate, another chance to commit to things that "improve my performance" (wow, that sounds really ambitious in print, doesn't it?),  things that make me happier. And while I don't have data from a clinical trial to prove it, I suspect that this phenomenon has his some sort of genetic basis. Jules started preschool on Monday. It's at the same place as his "daycare" with many of the same friends and teachers. But the little guy is in so many ways mini version of me (but with blond hair, blue eyes and, um, boy parts) and this new start seems to have motivated milestones--potty success!--and increased independence all around. Today, he dressed himself, topped off his outfit with a baseball hat, grabbed Kai by the hand and ordered, "It's time to go, Kai." When Jon tried to help him with his backpack--daycare is a drive away, so Jules wears it just to walk to the car (love!)--he shooed him off, saying, "I got it, Dad." Dad.

Anyway, today I'm starting a list of fall resolutions. My top 3:
1. Wake up earlier.
2. Run 3 times a week and get back to the weekend long runs that empower me to sign up for a 1/2 marathon (okay, a 10K) at any time.
3. Prep as much of the next-day's dinner as possible the night before. (Or simplify and plan to serve healthy dinners that take, like, 5 minutes to make. Whole-wheat raviolis...)

Now. Do I start my new planner today--or wait until my old one runs out in December? And do you have any New (School) Year Resolutions?


PS: As I occupy this blog with trivial musings, so many people here in Vermont and elsewhere are struggling with new starts forced by Irene. Donating to the American Red Cross is a great way to help. Or Text FOODNOW to 52000. The Vermont Foodbank will help turn your $10 donation into $60 worth of groceries for local families in need. (This was the first time I've ever donated via text. It. Is. Awesome.)