Monday, October 28, 2013

Gee...I can't *imagine* why you're alone...

It's amusing to me.

I have at least half a dozen  female friends and/or acquaintances who qualify as model level beautiful with perfect or near perfect bodies.  All but one of them are with guys who are, let us say, average looking.  And they are deliriously happy.  Probably because their criteria for choosing a mate had little if anything to do with physical appearance.  And, they've all chosen men who realize that they are far more than how they look.

And yet?  I know at least a couple of guys who rank in the "average looking" category (in one case this is actually being gracious) who have had their hearts ripped out by beautiful little hard-bodies and yet?  Their major criterion for a mate is that she is hot.

Huh.  And you can't find love?  Imagine that.

I suppose it could have something to do with the truth that lies in the humorous picture attached here.  Many women who are gorgeous by any objective standard don't see it in themselves.  They see their perceived flaws instead.  Whereas there are a surprising number of men who see themselves as a real catch when, in fact, they may bear a striking resemblance to a Jimmy Carter caricature.

I'm not so hypocritical as to try to pretend that physical attractiveness is completely unimportant.  But, it seems to me that if someone can't get past physical appearance, they are likely to miss out.

My husband, I think, is a pretty good lookin' dude.  After nearly 20 years together, I still get hot for him.  I still get occasional butterflies.

But, it didn't start out that way.  I was not physically attracted to him at the beginning (we began as platonic friends).  And, I wasn't looking for a relationship with him.  I've always assumed that because I'm overweight that he had a similar experience of developing sexual attraction as we got to know one another.  Oddly, I learned only recently that -- as he so romantically put it -- he "wanted to nail" me pretty much from the beginning.   But, he had also made an active decision, after years of chasing an image, to seek out substance.  Lucky for me.  I'm pretty substantial...heh...

I just wonder how it is that some guys -- and these are nice guys, not jerks, generally -- can be so short-sighted as to make physical appearance their number one priority in a mate.

And it makes me kinda sad for them.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Duke City Half Marathon, or? How I nearly ran a 10k and still managed to only get a little pin

I lived in the Duke City for nearly a decade, year round.  I now bounce around between here and FL and also to various travel assignments as a travel nurse.  I didn't start running until after I started travel nursing, so I've not done a ton of races here.

Yesterday, though, I ran my 10th half marathon.  I've done 9 others.  In, lemme think, 4 other states.  I've done many, many, many shorter races, some 10ks but mostly 5ks.  As well as a couple of local 5 mile races that I routinely do in FL.

The Duke City, for a fairly large race in a fairly large town was...different.  Which is, I suppose, as it should be.

Now, the route was great.  We got to run up Central Ave. (which is also part of historic Route 66)

It was gorgeous.  Gorgeous.
The now famous Dog House from Breaking Bad
and onto the Bosque Trail, a paved multi-use trail that follows the scenic Rio Grande.  Now, the advisability of using a 5' wide trail with 5000 participants?

Another problem was, they had one giant chute into which they channeled all the runners of all the various races (5k, 10k, 20k walk, half and full marathon).  They just had different start times for each distance.  The announcer was not very vociferous or very cheerful and certainly not very informative.  I stood in the chute, and noticed that a lot of people were all sort of bunching up and we all were asking each other, "Is this the 10k?  Did the marathoners already go?"  Eventually, there was a cheer from the crowd and the group in the chute dutifully headed toward the start line.  Thank God I realized before I got too close that it was the 10k start.

I then worked my way toward the back of the crowd (I'm slow, and knew that between not enough training and not enough time at altitude, I was going to be even slower in this race).  Once my race actually started, I felt great.  Started out strong.  It was crisp and quite cool, my favorite running weather, so it was tough to hold back my pace.

When I got to the turnaround, I was a bit surprised to see that 2 volunteers with clipboards, you heard me, clipboards, were writing down the bib numbers of the people who came through the turnaround.  No timing strip.  What if a volunteer was inattentive?  Would my race be voided?  This was disconcerting.

At least as disconcerting as the very low tech turnaround check was the deep, painful gluteal cramp that would. not. let. up.  I stretched and rubbed and stretched and finally had to walk it out.  Once the cramp seemed to be gone, I was at mile 7 and had a very hard time convincing myself to start running again.

I had (for me) gotten a respectable time for the first half and knew that I could speedwalk to the finish and have a time that was not horrible.

Eventually, I did run some more, but I was feeling the lack of training and the altitude.

While I most definitely did enjoy the beautiful scenery and the occasional chats with other participants along the way, the thing that pushed me was the 10th medal I would soon receive.

One of the best things about the route was turning that corner from Central down 3rd street and being able to see the finish line.  Talk about a burst of energy.  Suddenly I felt FABULOUS and put on a sprint.  I knew that the Rickster was there (this is only the 3rd of my half marathons he's actually attended) and he was happily holding the camera and ready to catch the big shot of my victorious dash across the finish line.
He tried.
Just as the Rickster lined up the perfect shot, a 7' tall, over-achieving marathoner dashed in front of me.  You can sort of see the bright orange "Team EMS" shirt, black tights and one white hobbit foot.  I would have posted a better, professional picture of me crossing, but those monopolistic bastards want $40 for one digital picture.  Really?

Still, I wanted a bottle of water and there was still that medal to be put around my neck.

Yeah.  About that.

There was someone there with little plastic wrapped somethings, I nearly bypassed her because I thought it was some sort of free sample.  Nope.  It was my "bling".  No medal.  Just a little 1" pin.  Oh and?  No bottled water at the end.  Cups.  The same as when you're running past.

Now, there are several big races I've run that I will run again.  The Cleveland Half, I've already signed up.  The Sarasota half, oh, absolutely (best route. ever).  The Rock & Roll in St. Pete, were they ever to do it again, happily.  But this?  Nah.  I feel much the same way I did about Graceland.  I truly am glad I did it.

I never need to do it again.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Clearly, I need psychotherapy

...or meds, or something.

Cuz, here was my day:

1. Sign up for a bunch of races

2. Go for a hike

3. Start arranging to go back to work

4. Finalized plans with My Girls for a Caribbean Cruise

...and which one am I kinda most excited about right now?


How IS that?!


Well, yeah, that's part of it, but, it's more than just making money.  I mean, they don't actually pay me enough to do what I do...

...or be exposed to the stuff I'm around every day...

or spend countless hours breaking the bad news to people that, really, despite what they read on WebMD, they are NOT going to die...

It's mostly because of this


and this

and this

It's the humor and the camaraderie in a setting that can be scary, and traumatic (pun intended) and sad as hell.

I love what I do.  But, mostly, because of the people with whom I do it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

My challenge for Hollywood writers

Walter White.  Man.  What an emotional roller coaster this character took us all on.  <spoiler alert!>  In the end, there was a sort of karmic symmetry, but beyond Walter & Jesse -- who admittedly have a special place in my heart because they have made my hometown of Albuquerque be nearby on my screen even when I couldn't be here -- there are other television shows that have captured my attention and even my heart, to some degree.

Tony Soprano.  When James Gandolfini suddenly passed away recently, I actually felt as if someone I knew had died.  I had a definite emotional reaction to this actor's death.  Because he breathed such life into the character of Tony Soprano.  Tony, who, by the show's own description was a sociopath.  Who killed numerous people and ordered the deaths of several others, including people he ostensibly loved.  Who cheated on his wife repeatedly and who didn't actually seem to know what love actually was unless the object was an animal.


Then there's Jax Teller.  The opening scenes of the first episode are him smiling, happy, riding free on his motorcycle through his town.  The show is all about his struggles to be a better man, make his club better.  Stop the violence,  but he resorts to violence rather easily and when it isn't even obviously necessary (beating then forcibly drugging his ex-wife to avoid a custody battle).

These characters are all, in the end  bad people.  These are not individuals you would actually want in your life.  You would be afraid of these people.  And rightly so.  So, how did this sort of character become our protagonists?  Well, because the characters are so conflicted and flawed, which makes them interesting.

It seems that if a character is honorable, or genuinely tries to be, makes good choices or at least faces up to the consequences of his/her bad ones and is generally a good, moral person, they are necessarily not interesting.

So, here is my challenge to Hollywood writers:

Write a TV series whose protagonist is  moral and does face their responsibilities with integrity and honor.  I am not saying that this character should be religious, in fact, some of the more genuinely moral, honorable and reliable people I know identify as either agnostic or atheist.  Does this person sound boring?  Then, how good a writer you must be to make them interesting!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Land of Enchantment

My return to la tierra de encanta is necessarily a brief one, but I have, once again, been enchanted.  From the first time I came here for a visit, I fell in love with New Mexico.

The drive back here was epic, filled with fun and visits with friends and was the most perfect driving of any long road trip I've ever attempted.  Nearly no construction, no major traffic hassles, no bad weather.

As I headed from Kansas City, MO to Denver, it was overcast and rainy, but the mountains were, nonetheless, a sight for sore eyes.  But, coming south into NM, then turning off from I-25 toward our home in the east mountains outside Albuquerque was so scenic and beautiful that it almost literally took my breath away.  The sky was cloudless and blue and the incredible amounts of rain received this summer during monsoon season had everything so green that it boggled the mind.

Since arriving, I've been running (so, so hard with the elevation and steep hills!) and hiking nearly every day.  The hiking has been amazing.  The mountains are LUSH.  In fact...maybe a bit TOO lush.  Today, while the Rickster and I were hiking, it was actually warm and windless.  So, the flies made their presence known.  By hovering about our faces, attempting to nestle in my eyeballs and up my nose.  As I hike with trekking poles (handmade from sotol by the Rickster) I couldn't easily bat them away.  It must be what horses feel like.  It was AWFUL.  But, still not enough to diminish the joy and the beauty of the hike.

Another cool thing about my return is the timing.  Turns out that Breaking Bad's finale was this past Sunday.  The days leading up have been some fun ones here in the environs surrounding the Burque.  Lots of donuts with blue crystal sugar on them, lots of parties where people dress as their favorite character.  And, I've noticed a LOT of older model RVs.  I've always assumed they were the white trash/east mountain version of a guest room, but now I wonder!
Too soon, it will be time to return to FL, but for now, I'm going to enjoy the mountains, the cool mornings and maybe, before we leave...snow?