I am inconsistent about blogging, but I am consistently inconsistent so that should count for something.
I’ve been reading. A lot. I think I’ve read about 7-8 books in the last month (not counting Goodnight Moon and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie which I think I’ve read 78 times in the last month). No, heavy duty stuff — I’ve given myself a crash course in world religions and I’m not even close to being done yet. I think my proudest accomplishment was the 600+ page Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews. It made my brain hurt with a far too liberal usage of words like ‘teleological’ — but at least I got to use my Philosophy degree for something (first time in 15 years!). I am now prepared to hold forth on why the comparison of the Carmelite convent at Auschwitz is an inadequate and self-serving analogy to the Cordoba House in New York near Ground Zero. The convent was egregious and insensitive while the Cordoba House is not. No, I’m not going to justify my opinion — I’ve been doing that far too much lately and now the subject bores me.
Specifically, I tired myself of the subject of the Ground Zero mosque in the bathroom where I seem to be spending an awful lot of time lately — not doing traditional bathroom things, but reading and having imaginary debates in my head. I’ve also been on Oprah and The Daily Show several times. Of course now I am concerned that if I ever do get interviewed on the teevee I may suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to relieve myself on camera.
I’ve also been continuing the dialogue with several people with whom I argued several years ago – specifically my Mormon neighbor who tried to give me chocolate chip cookies and YesOn8 bumper stickers two years ago. I am soooo ready for him now. Actually, I was ready for him then too — but this time I’m going to make him cry, and probably get arrested. I really need to let that stuff go, it’s amazing and must be terribly unhealthy how raw all that mess still is for me. Of course I am happy about Judge Walker’s decision and am cautiously optimistic about our prospects on appeal — at least that’s what I told Jon Stewart on the toilet.
I think I may be mildly bipolar. Is that even possible? Seems like an oxymoron. If I am I have a fairly slow pendulum from manic to depressive. It moves slow enough that I can now tell when I am swinging toward depression, call my doctor, make an appointment, get back on medication, wait a month, follow-up and then increase my medication to a higher level. But now I feel weirdly awesome and can’t shut my brain off – hence the ridiculous amount of reading and toilet interviews.
Plus I am going to bed really early, like 9-ish, because I have to get up early for marathon training. Even on off-days I am walking the dog three miles. So somehow I am managing to cram all this stuff in and still paying enough attention to the kids that no one has called CPS.
Tomorrow is the last day of recovery week #2 of the marathon training program (week 8 of 18 overall). Last Sunday I ran 10 miles with an 11:15 mile. Last night I ran an easy 4 with a 10:45. I’m sure that doesn’t seem fast, but you have to remember I am part Hobbit. Anyway, I haven’t missed a training run yet — I’m very proud of that, because I am a quitter and am notoriously bad about rationalizing my way out of doing things I’ve committed myself to. There are still 10 weeks to go, that’s 40 more chances to be a flake.
I have discovered over the last two weeks though what I really like….no, love….about running. When I run, my brain turns off. Just off. I don’t give interviews when I run. My brain tries to have imaginary arguments, but it can’t stick with them and eventually it just gives up and enjoys the scenery and practices regulating breathing and posture and stuff like that. I think my runs may even be more restful than my sleep in that sense, since many nights I have those long, rambling, weird dreams that seem to require a lot of brain work. I love this stage I’m in, where I am somehow able to keep my legs moving at a decent clip for a long time and my brain is just a silent passenger along for the ride.
I haven’t had any grand revelations about life while running, I don’t think I am a mystical or spiritual runner in that sense – but I definitely get the appeal, how people use running to relieve stress. I have also, finally, achieved the fabled “runner’s high” — though it usually doesn’t happen for anything under 5 miles. I feel giddy after a run, and sometimes giddy during the second half of a long run. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling so happy I complimented a lady’s dog around mile 6 of an 8-mile run. “NICE DOG!!!” I said. She jumped. My headphones were up really loud and even I heard myself loud and clear. I gave her the “thumbs up” too. I am such a dork. Of course that was also the first day I tried GU, and I happened to pick a GU with caffeine, of which I am notoriously sensitive. So maybe the runner’s high is just caffeine-induced mania. I take it before every run now, and every 45 minutes during runs longer than 1 hour. I love GU. Someday, I hope that is all we eat — just little shots of perfectly designed nutrition with all the proper ratios of carbs to fats to proteins etc…all packaged in little foil thingys we can tuck in our waistbands. I’ve give up that we’re ever going to eat like the Jetsons, just pressing a button and having a four-course meal pop out — and now that I’m a mom I wouldn’t want to deal with the dishes and leftovers anyway. Maybe I should just start feeding my kids GU exclusively. It would be an easy way to keep track of Hope’s calories.
So anyway, the brain shuts off when running which is a good thing because the rest of the time it is going kinda bonkers. The worst part about the reading is that I lose my eyebrows. I have this weird OCD thing where I fidget with my eyebrows when I read, so you can always tell when I’ve been reading by the resemblance I bear to a white Whoopi Goldberg. I’ve decided that I want to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica by the time I turn 40, so I’ll probably never have eyebrows again. I’ve tried so many times to stop, it’s really embarassing. Maybe I should try wearing a headband over my eyebrows.
The encyclopedia idea is not mine, by the way, I am not nearly that creative. It’s from a book I’m reading called The Know-It-All by AJ Jacobs. I read his book The Year of Living Biblically last week and I highly recommend it. He read the entire EB, I think in one year, I’m only halfway through the book but I did check the last page as I always do and it ends with ‘z’ word. I can’t read for 5 hours a day though (kids ruin everything!), so I’ll have to settle for taking 3 years to do this and I’ll have to check volumes out of the library since I can’t justify spending $1500 for what is likely to be another nutty idea I stick with for 8 weeks and then quit. I’m going to the library today. I’m hoping it will at least be nice to learn about aardvarks.