Bits and Pieces

Things have been trucking along quite quickly and busily, such that I haven’t been spending as much time writing here as I would normally like to. Life has been great, in fact — everything that’s keeping me busy is something positive. How often can you say that?

[264/365] SprintsI mean, don’t get me wrong: I was just handed 75 literature essays today — essays I must grade — but that’s all part and parcel of my job and, as you know, my job this year is something for which I’m especially grateful. I’m viewing the long series of grading sprints in my future as a challenge on par with interval training runs. Bust out that timer, red pen, and coffee and bring it on.

At any rate, I thought I’d gather a list of updates and such:

I have officially hit a new personal distance record for the year after completing my eight-mile run this past weekend. I ran all eight miles at the high school track.

Saturday TrackYes, that’s 32 glorious laps. What possessed me? Well, my friend H., who herself is a badass running sensation, had organized a run/walk for charity, and she asked people to support either by joining her for laps or by donating. Can you believe she ran 74 laps? Badass. Anyway, a bunch of us were out there at the track with her, each of us with our own mileage goals and running at our own paces, but it felt like a nice, communal kind of workout nonetheless. Who knew track runs could be … fun? At any rate, onward and upward, friends: it’s nine miles this week.

In other health and fitness news, it’s now been well over two years since I started getting back in shape after graduate school, and over a year since meeting my weight loss goals. I keep thinking I should come up with some kind of brilliantly inspiring post about maintaining healthy habits and weight loss, but I’m not sure where to go with it. At this point my habits are just that: habits, and boring ones at that. Aren’t you glad I don’t document every single mile run or bowl of oatmeal eaten? Yeah, me too. Nonetheless, there are things to be said, in a more thoughtful manner, about what all this means to me. I will reflect on it a bit more and see.

Piper the DogBetween my dog and W.’s two, we have a giant pile of cuteness. They are some seriously adorable and sweet dogs, there is no denying. But then, we leave them all alone at one or the other of our houses when we go out and we come back to find scenes like this:

[268/365] IronyYes, my copy of Eating Animals was eaten by an animal. Oy. Other similar casualties have included a useless, crappy yoga DVD I never used, my Firefly boxed set, W.’s Simpsons Season 8 boxed set, and a few cardboard coasters. All of these were taken off their respective shelves (not left on the floor or anything) and demolished by this dog’s tiny jaws:

[267/365] Oliver the DogAny ideas on how to prevent this, short of installing all shelving at least 6 feet above the floor? This is the same dog who, while he only stands about a foot high, got a chocolate bar off the kitchen counter and ate most of it (he was fine — had some stomach trouble and was pretty hyper, but fine). The little dude is determined and ruthless. (But so, so cute and sweet. Sigh.) Helpful ideas are appreciated!

In entertainment news, we have watched the first five seasons of Doctor Who (and are waiting for season 6 to be available on disc/streaming, so please don’t spill any plot secrets!) and are now making our way through Mad Men, which I’ve seen all of but W. hasn’t. Both of these series are so, so good. I loved the feeling of discovering something new in Doctor Who, which I hadn’t seen before, and I also love getting to go back and appreciate the old episodes of Mad Men while sharing it with someone else for the first time. Good stuff. Now if only I can convince him that we need to do Friday Night Lights next.

And finally: can anyone help identify these freaky bugs?

Bugs Doin' ItThe bigger one was about 2.5-3 inches long, if that helps. The two of them stayed glued stock still in this position right at my front door almost all day Saturday, only disappearing some time after nightfall. No one who has seen the picture can tell me what they are, or what is likely to happen when they inevitably invade my home and possibly try to eat me. How gruesome and painful a death is in store for me? I need to know.


  1. Wow! Check out the arthropoda! Are they a kind of stick insect? Whatever they’re up to, it’s mighty strange. In my (limited) experience, insects make babies by reserving their sterns into each other, not with one clambering upon the other’s back.


    1. “Reserving their sterns into each other” vs “clambering” — I love your phrasing here. Stick insect seems about right. They do look like sticks.


  2. Nathan, resident insect expert, says that is walking stick. It is harmless but can spray a stinky liquid when it is afraid or in danger, so don’t scare it!

    We’re on the same running cycle. I also have nine miles scheduled for Friday morning. I’m running a half marathon in November – when is your next race?


    1. Awesome, tell Nathan thank you! He’s the only person who knew for sure what it was.

      I am doing my half on November 5th — it’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Savannah. Pretty psyched. I think my next few long runs are gonna go 9, 7, 10, 12, 8, race. (I like to throw a step-back in every now and then, hence the 7 miler.)


      1. Nathan loves to identify insects. He studied entomology pretty extensively in undergrad, so you can trust him.
        My half marathon is November 6th! No wonder we’re on the same running schedule. I don’t usually schedule a step back week, but I end up working one in at some point when I feel like my body needs it. My training plan has been pretty flexible this go around, except that I’m actually doing speed work once a week. Exciting times!
        Can’t wait to read about your race and ongoing training. 🙂

  3. Oh, that dog-eaten book is too ironic! Wow. Well done, dog. Well done.

    Whee, Friday Night Lights! My current favorite. What a great show. I’m on Season Five now, and I’m pretty bummed it’s the final season.


    1. Yes! It’s SOO great. I need everyone I know to watch it so they can experience its greatness. Slowly working on achieving this.


  4. I’d love to read a post about weight related things. I’m in grad school right now and have changed my habits (slightly) in the last year and have lost almost 30 pounds. It’s pretty outrageous when I think about it. I tend to eat much smaller meals and much less often now. I used to think of a pb&j as a snack and now it’s half my supper, the other half I eat two hours later, when I’m hungry and have time. It’s interesting to me how routines are so influential. So please, write about this!

    Also, I’m in grad school right now and I read your blog and think about how joyous it would be to be able to be to only work 8-5. Please tell me I’ll get there sometime! I think as I’m in school longer I have to work less (I’m much faster at reading articles than I was just two years ago) but it still seems like I’ve got a ways to go before it’s just another job.

    And! If you wrote about food before and after grad school and how work influenced that, it’d be super awesome! 🙂


    1. You will definitely get there! I get more and more efficient with what I have to do as I keep going.

      I havent done a food post in a while, maybe I’ll think about something along those lines. Thanks for the ideas!


  5. Hey, Lady! I just saw this post. How badly damaged are the Firefly DVDs? When I get home I will double check to see if we still have the DVD copies. Despite my best efforts at preventing it, C. is stealthily upgrading our DVDs to Blu-Ray.

    Send me a DM on Twitter if you need replacements, and I’ll try to locate them for you.


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