Yeah, it’s all bad here.


TLDR (I finally looked this up…yes this is too long but you should read it anyway, I dare you)


Fuzzy Fandango 25K – November 2015

I run a lot. Like, with my feet, on purpose, through the woods and on the roads. And I enjoy it. I never thought of myself as a “runner” which I hear as a common issue from other people – mostly women. We have a hard time defining ourselves as things like athlete and runner I think because we are not “elite” in those categories and definitions. I ran 100 miles in November. I ran a couple weeks in a row at or just below 40 miles total. I am running a 50K (yes… 5-0-K…have Google do the conversion for you) this weekend and I still falter at times when saying I am a runner, but I’m more and more often putting it before other monikers when asked “what do you do” or “what are you?” (Does anyone really ask what ARE you? I don’t know, I probably made that up).

I read a lot about running. I love race reports and books about running, even if they are just vanity press jobs. I’m not going to call this my feminist, girl power awakening of any kind – I’ve always been of the mind that my gender doesn’t matter in the endeavors I take on in life (I realize that’s not true, I’ve just always been kind of oblivious, either through desire to remain so or just “had the blinders on” because I wanted to believe it didn’t matter). Amazing what having a daughter will do for you in that regard – but that’s probably for another post.

A book I read recently called Daughters of Distance by Vanessa Runs, has really brought some interesting things to light for me during a time when I realized it’s really quite acceptable to quit apologizing for being good at something, or for juggling a lot of things – you know…for being a badass.

From Daughters of Distance: “David Brooks, an op-ed columnist at The New York Times, wrote about a study in the journal Emotion by Jessica Tracy and Alex Beall. The study showed that men were rated as more attractive when they showed pride, whereas women were rated as less attractive when they displayed the same emotion. However, when women expressed shame, they were rated as attractive. There is a reason men tend to be much more overconfident than women,” reported Brooks. “Overconfidence (pride) wins mates. For women, it doesn’t.”

I would note that I think overconfidence and pride are two very different things…..but…… another from the book:

“Not all acts of confidence need to be loud and aggressive. The best ones are quiet actions, barely noticeable choices in our daily lives.”

That’s a lot to soak in, the whole book is a lot to contemplate and I highly recommend it (general topic being women in endurance sports including running, triathlons, cycling and swimming…).

We are constantly told that we should teach our children to have confidence. That instilling confidence in our girl children is really, really important. The quote above kind of packs this nasty punch though, huh? Yes, darling, be confident but be lonely because your confidence is not a turn on, really and well, as a woman you should be attractive in all things and be confident but don’t be a bitch about it. I don’t necessarily agree with the study findings, but of course I am biased as a confident over-achiever who happens to be female and has successfully partnered off in life and feels loved (ugh…talk about being a bitch, right?).

If I am honest with myself I know that confident women are not perceived the same as confident men. It’s the way it is – and I don’t mean that in a way that sounds accepting and defeated. I’d like to think then that would mean more women would say: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” and continue to be confident in their lives until someone appreciates that confidence, loves that confidence, supports it and finds it desirable….IF partnering up with someone is ultimately a priority. If not, than just rock on with your bad self!

So all this to say, I posted something in a Mom’s running group on Facebook recently regarding “badassery.” I’m still thinking about it and the response was overwhelmingly pretty positive. Or those who didn’t like it, kindly just talked about me behind my back.

I think it’s OK and sometimes necessary for us to tell ourselves and others of our tribes that it’s totally OK to be proud, to be boastful even! Who is going to toot my horn about the totally mundane shit I pull off amidst all of life that is happening around me…but ME! (YOU KNOW

Fuzzy Fandango 25K - November 2015

Fuzzy Fandango 25K – November 2015

you feel totally bad ass when you successfully make, bake, clean, accomplish ANYTHING while a 2-year old is securely wrapped around your leg the entire time repeating “LICORICE NOW PLEASE” for 30 solid minutes). Hopefully this doesn’t come across as pompous (because God knows I don’t want you all to find me less attractive) but I just realized how much apologizing I felt the need to do for being competent and for kicking ass, occasionally. If you do this too –  stop it. Own your awesome  (All subsequent bumper stickers, t-shirts or novelty items heralding this “own your awesome” sentiment shall be owned by me, henceforth and always. The end.)

Previously posted elsewhere by me with some edits: Something I contemplate often as I dwell on the feats of amazingness I accomplish in a day (I mean, really…we all know that moms can and do bend space and time to get shit done! Supportive families and husbands are greatly appreciated and so very needed, but really I doubt they can keep up with me, I literally run in circles, sometimes around them) is that uncomfortable moment when someone says “how DO you do it all!!” or “I don’t know how you do it all!” That uncomfortable moment when you laugh and say “oh I don’t know…” Or sarcastically quip the comment away with “There’s REALLY 6 of me!” and cry inside about the fact that all six of you are FREAKING EXHAUSTED. So I was contemplating this again last night as I made dinner while simultaneously getting my daughter ready for opening night of a play, while simultaneously showering and keeping the toddler from destroying stuff or turning his spaghetti (with no sauce, I’m not an idiot) into hair while also making sure his blankie was clean and dried for bedtime, while simultaneously mentally packing my gear for the weekend’s out of town race — ALL after a full day of work — I decided from now on, I’m going to be ready with a response about how badass I am. Maybe you can relate, maybe you can’t. Maybe you already embrace how badass you are (because we all are in our own right) but I think I’m still getting there. I want a response that encapsulates this feeling without being a jerk (although, sometimes…I don’t care) because dammit, most days we just do. it. ALL. And I think it’s OK to take the “how DO you do it all” comment and embrace it and recognize it and say “Because I’m a freakin’ badass, that’s how…” I realize no one specifically asked me to have a plate that’s this full – what can I say, the buffet of life is too tempting not to pile it on –  but since it is quite full, I’m going to ROCK IT. I guess, I am encouraging all momma’s to embrace their badassery and not feel bad or be made to feel bad for being able to do it all, to cover the miles, to care for your family, to work, to keep a home, to cook meals and wipe butts and rock babies … you have a super power, your super power is badassery. Go embrace it and don’t feel bad about it. Run, laugh and save the world.” 

(Note about exhaustion: Don’t kill yourself – know your limits. That’s all).

As I look back on this – a few things to note. I’m not shaming people for not being super human. I’m saying you should totally just own who you are. I am not perfect, I don’t look like any certain ideal because subscribing to an ideal is a total bummer, man. If you totally did not clean the house today – so what – maybe you did something else instead or maybe, just maybe – you took care of yourself. I worried that this might cross into self-righteous preaching – that it might be too “I’m entitled to be important” kind of thing but really, it’s just me owning my awesomeness and saying that whatever your awesome is, you should own it too. (Basically, here I am, apologizing for being confident…damn it!) Rock a messy ponytail, LOOK like you have kids, run, walk, skip, whatever it is and don’t apologize for being pretty great (just don’t be lazy or dismissive of life and miss out on all this fun, ain’t no body got time for that….).

So, two more quotes I want to highlight from Daughters of Distance…First – regarding being a girl:

“I think the whole world has essentially been brought up not to be a girl. How do we bring up boys? What does it mean to be a boy? To be a boy really means not to be a girl. To be a man means not to be a girl. To be a woman means not to be a girl. To be strong means not to be a girl. To be a leader means not to be a girl. I actually think that being a girl is so powerful that we’ve had to train everyone not to be that.”

There is nothing I fear more than my 8-year old GIRL. She is powerful and I can’t wait until she realizes it. I hope she does everything “like a girl.”

And finally:

“Can you imagine the liberation if we could just appreciate ourselves right now? Who we are, where we are, what we look like? If we could just look in the mirror long enough for a basic once-over and a smile-wink and be done with it? If we were too content and confident to critique?”

Go on about your business and thanks for listening.

A life worth putting on chicken salad…..

As I may have mentioned before, I tend to overload my plate at the buffet of life. I mean, everything just looks SO GOOD! How can I not volunteer for this thing, or cook something for that person, or take just a SMIDGE of that evening with friends with just a dollop of work, school and kids? I mean…YUM. Right? Ugh…but then I get the side effects of a life too piled high and that’s never good. I have not been blogging for quite awhile but felt the tug to come back. I like this place, it’s nice here and I didn’t want to waste the awesome graphics a lovely, talented friend made for me. So here I am.

The KidsThe children are bigger. That tends to happen over time, whether we want it to or not. They’re still cute and I’m still keeping them alive. Mostly.

Girl Child is 8, and terrifying. The Boy Child is 2 and terrifying in a completely different way. They are funny and smart and hate having their picture taken. I prefer to film them being “bad.” Don’t want to give the impression that things are always smooth and easy, ya know?

So, speaking of smooth and easy, let’s get to the point of why I’m here today. What brought me back to ye olde blogge. (What?)

It probably started with the “food experiment.” It was not a diet it was an attempt to get back to feeling human. Many of you have probably heard of the “Whole30” food plan? Maybe not. It’s pretty awesome, now that I’ve made it through unscathed, I can say that. I did the extreme (EXTREME!) autoimmune elimination variety of the plan in an attempt to cut the inflammation in my body, banish my arthritis pain, shed some pounds and some fatigue and get back to some kind of starting point from 10, maybe 15 years ago when I maybe can remember feeling even moderately human. Story of your life, right? Long story short, I did it and it worked (for me). I feel oodles better and it also yanked me out of a cooking rut where a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup poured over anything and cooked was good enough to call “dinner.” Bonus points if I could put it in a tortilla (to fill diversity requirements). So, of course, being me…my newfound energy and better health had me piling things back on my plate. I’m running more (we loves the running) but I’ve moved into the woods and stick to more trails than pavement. It’s quiet and soft there. But that also means I’ve put my toe in the world of ultra running – anything longer than a marathon distance. What’s that you say? I need meds? Maybe. I’ve never even run a marathon? Maybe not. I’m not worried. I’ll let you know how that all turns out in February (yes, February who wants to run in the HEAT, bleh).

So, again, what’s the point? Why am I blogging today? Emotions. That’s why. Another thing I learned through doing my food experiment (not a diet, that food was delicious and plentiful!) Was the emotional hold I let food have, that we all pretty much let food have on us. It’s so strong! Anytime I had to write a paper or stress-grade a pile of papers or finish a big project on deadline, I made sure I had a GIANT ASS bag of Halloween candy beside me and I made sure I ATE THE WHOLE DAMN THING. Yes – all of it. IT’S MIIIIIIIINE!!!! I’d hide it from the kids, I’d raid their old Halloween

I don't care how bad they are, they're goooood.

I don’t care how bad they are, they’re goooood.

stashes because they never eat it (because they are smart, good little children and Momma puts the buckets on top of the fridge to be forgotten by tiny people). So, today upon receiving the news that my dissertation data collection had failed for the SECOND TIME and my light at the end of the tunnel was promptly stomped out and blown to bits, I wistfully looked out my office window toward the nearby Starbucks and imagined myself in the alley behind the cute little tudor-style building, guzzling pumpkin spice lattes (they’re out TODAY – all you PSL haters just SHUSH UP) and devouring their Frappuccino sugar cookies like a coked out Cookie-Monster-Golem-beast. MY PREEEEECIOUS!

But think about it. When something goes wrong I typically react with “I need a beer/wine/cookie/SUGAR.” Whoa, did I just create a new thing? Beerwinesugarcookies? Ok, that’s for another post. Let’s get back to the matter at hand. I don’t think it’s wrong to want to comfort with food, but I am definitely seeing the downsides to

Pretty Food

Pretty Food

it. For me (not for everyone) it means I can’t control the inflammation in my body and I have to rely more on things like steroids and other medicines to control my autoimmune disorders. Again, this is not the case for all. I found that picturing myself as the Cookie-Monster-Golem-Beast helped to dissuade myself from giving in. And really, isn’t this food so much prettier?!

Made some mayo.

Made some mayo.

The moral of the story. Make your own mayonnaise. Because even if it’s gross, it was fun and you can take selfies. And now for the “whoa” moment. Why mayo? Because mayo is all about balance as should life. You have to have the right amount of everything, you have pour slowly and everything has to blend. Emulsify your life! Go slow and blend well – if balanced you will have a life worth putting on chicken salad. 🙂

Women for the win in collective intelligence

I’m reading about collective intelligence and I come across this passage as a researcher discusses their recent findings:

“Finally, and most surprisingly to us, we found that the collective intelligence of the group was significantly correlated with the percentage of women in the group. More women were correlated with a more intelligent group. Interestingly, this last result is not just a diversity result. It’s not just saying that you need groups with some men and some women. It looks like that it’s a more or less linear trend. That is, more women are better all the way up to all women.”

The researcher goes on to explain that this is largely due to the level of social perceptiveness in the study group and that by and large women have a higher social perceptiveness and so the more women in the group, the higher the social perceptiveness which leads to higher collective intelligence – as determined by their study parameters.

So let’s talk about this.

1. Awesome…but we knew that, right ladies?

2. “most surprisingly to us…” why is it so surprising? I’m a feminist in the sense that I am female, a la Caitlin Moran and “How to be a Woman” so I’m not going to go all “men are dumb and women are smart” or anything, but I did find this interesting. We all have our strengths, we all have our not-so-strengths (that female brilliance shining here….).

3. Social perceptiveness is important. We’re social creatures. We live in a society, not in isolation (well most of us anyway). More and more the social aspects of “things” are being emphasized such as in education and learning. While technology can be scolded for isolating us from each other as we sit glued to our phones during social outings with friends, texting rather than talking….it shouldn’t be forgotten that those text messages are communication and communication is social.

4. I wasn’t going to get political here, but as I wrote this, news came that a pay equity bill was blocked in the Senate that would have created some rules and laws that would bring transparency to payday and require that women receive equal pay, among other things. Beyond the fact that it’s just sad that a bill like that has to be proposed in the first place, let’s just think about the findings of this collective intelligence study….let’s just look at the number of women in government (growing but still low, obviously) and draw your own conclusions. This is not an invitation to gender bash, it’s just a point of discussion, one among many.

The researcher explains how they define intelligence – basically when someone can do a lot of mental things well most of the time. That’s broad but I get it. Think about how most women you know operate. We do A LOT of things, most of them requiring mental capacity, all at once all of the time. When I work at home, I change a diaper while answering email. I conduct a conference call while answering emails and planning dinner. I write reports while creating surveys and put out fires (figuratively, not often literally) and fold laundry. Not all of these tasks require the same mental capacity, but I am willing to bet that the female mind, if we want to use a physical analogy, gets much more of a work out in a day than the average male mind. And if I were to make very broad generalizations about the genders, I’d say women are more social creatures and if social perceptiveness is important in collective intelligence – pair that with a healthy dose of multitasking (which has been shown to indicate good working memory capacity which in turn has been shown to be an indicator of overall intelligence) and I’d have to agree with the researcher – but I’d ask again….why is it so surprising? I’d be more surprised if it had turned out the other way around.

Lame “link to something on the web” post

So, it’s been awhile. I am not giving up or quitting, but things have been a little “busy” around here. So, I am going to make a lame post where I link you to something I would have written myself if I had the time. I think you’ll enjoy.


Keep it real, folks. Spring is coming, seriously, there are green things growing in front of my house and while they may be killed in a day or so when we get a last dose of white stuff, they are there now and that’s all that matters.

The Work Sweatshirt

I am not a power suit wearing kind of working mom. No, not even close. Definitely more function than form here. I like to be dressed for comfort and fast movements and you just can’t do that in heels, well, at least I can’t do that in heels. I would love to feel confident and Super Womanly in even the stubbiest of heels but it just ain’t happening. I need to be able to kick some ass should the occasion arise and you just can’t do that if you fall over before you get to your target.

And it’s winter. While it might be technically OK for the undergrads bopping around my office to wear black leggings and boots with the shortest of shirts, someone needs to explain the terms opaque, sheer and translucent to a few of them. No, I require pants of a sturdy fabric and preferably stain resistant  (this more often than not equals jeans) and boots. Because for three months out of the year, I give up and put my super trendy (only to me) hiking sandals away.

The point? The point is I still have not grown accustomed to my post-second-baby body. It’s not extra weight, I have disgustingly lost more than I gained and while I would love to gloat and flaunt this fact, I am just not comfortable. My chest is still large with lactation and any of you who have done this will know that nursing bras wouldn’t support a cotton ball if the world depended on it. So on the days I go to work, I employ the cover as much of me as I can style of attire. This morning in my sleep deprived state I ignored the single digit temps and left home with a t-shirt on (and

My heart belongs to you, O breathable footwear

My heart belongs to you, O breathable footwear

pants, I did manage clean pants) and only realized the consequences of my mistake when it was too late to go back home and put on something warmer. My car contains many things, I could definitely survive in it for a long time should the need arise but on this particular morning it only contained one warmer article of clothing and that happened to be a safety orange hooded sweatshirt. In the hopes of keeping my flexible employment situation, I felt that this might be pushing the envelope of professionalism a tad. BUT – huzzah! I work for a university so university apparel is always acceptable workplace attire, right? Right. SO a quick buzz through the bookstore and I was set, I now had a “work sweatshirt.” It had a collar and everything. I realized only late in the day I looked like I was dressed to coach a women’s basketball game. Meh.

And now for a bit of feminist musings: What’s wrong with a “work sweatshirt?” Nothing I say to you and all the men in my department who can don nice looking but very comfortable tops supporting the university while I still feel that women are expected to dress in uncomfortably nice clothes and that my (nice and clean) pants and sweat shirt are not seen as dressy on me as they would on my male counterparts. So – that’s all I am going to say about that.

Two things happened during the purchase of this sweat shirt that made me smile. One, the book store manager deemed me mature enough to confide a “kids these days!!!” comment in me AND tried to convince me that my size medium fancy sweatshirt would be too large for me. Thank you book store manager lady, thank you. I have no problem being taken out of the “kids these days” column and put in to the petite and mature adult column. Thank you. Little did she know I was hiding my ginormous and now leaking (reason number two for needing to purchase a shirt on the way to work) milk jugs under a skillfully arranged scarf. My husband later referred to this as “jug smuggling” while chatting online while at work and I nearly peed which would have required me to then go purchase fresh trousers to get through the rest of the work day. This would have just been too much.

So what have we learned here, today?

  1. Hiking sandals go with anything, yes even power suits. (do not question this, just be confident, no one will ask why).
  2. You too can have a “work sweat shirt”  – just be confident
  3. Jug smuggling – ‘nuff said
  4. Be confident.