Tag Archives: Beatles

20 Fun Facts About Me

We loved collecting S&H Green Stamps.

We loved collecting S&H Green Stamps.

Here’s a list of some things that you may not know about me (which you’re just dying to know, right?):

1) I learned to play the piano when I was seven or eight years old (my oldest sister and I took lessons). I taught myself to play guitar (my first one was “bought” with S&H Green Stamps; anyone remember those?) when I was about 12 or 13 years old. As an adult, I learned to play the banjo and the flute (because they seemed cool). Now I’m learning to play the ukulele.

2) My favorite day is every other Friday, the day after our cleaning crew comes.

3) My second-favorite day is the other Friday.

4) I’m obsessed with the Appalachian Trail. I’ve read numerous books about it. One day I’d like to see a part of it, but that’s all. Too much nature scares me.

5) I had LASIK in 1996. Before that I had worn glasses and/or contacts since the third grade. Now I wear (separate) ones for reading and night driving.

6) I love to chew bubble gum when I’m at my iMac . . . but never in public (I’m way too loud). My goal for 2014 was to quit chewing gum. That lasted, oh, about two days.

7) I still consider myself a midwesterner, even after 30 years of living in Texas. But I do love my adopted state.

8) I still love Barney, Thomas, the Power Rangers, Pokémon, and Yugioh. And I always will! I proudly sleep on a Power Rangers pillowcase and with a Pokémon blanket.

9) I don’t smoke, drink, or take illegal drugs. Those are definitely not my style.

Love you, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Love you, yeah, yeah, yeah!

10) My favorite musical group of all time is the Beatles. “Eight Days of Week” is my all-time favorite song of theirs.

11) I hate tea, both hot and iced. Yuck! I tried coffee once when I was 10 years old. I didn’t like it and have never had it again. I prefer cold water and an occasional Diet Coke (caffeine-free is best).

12) If I had been younger when I got married (I was 36), I would’ve liked to have had one or two more boys.

13) Yep, I’m definitely a boy mom. And I was meant to be a mom. Nothing I’ve done in life has made me happier or more fulfilled.

14) My favorite songs to sing to my boys when they were young were “I Will” and “Over the Rainbow.”

15) I can’t work (Photoshop, write, surf the net) while listening to music. Like most women, I can multitask well, though. Just not at the iMac.

16) I’m directionally challenged. Seven out of 10 times I’ll turn the wrong way. I would always just do the opposite except for those pesky three times.

I designed the logo.

I designed the logo, cover, and entire magazine.

17) I’ve been running since 1978, always slowly (I’m an eternal back-of-the-packer). I’ve completed about 400 races, most of them while I was publishing a monthly running magazine called “Human-Powered Sports” for four or five years. I did everything on it from writing to editing to photography to desktop publishing. What separated it from its competition were race reviews, which sometimes didn’t sit well with potential advertisers and race directors. Talk about biting the hand that feeds! It was, though, a great use of my University of Illinois journalism degree.

18) I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 16 years old. I have books filled with poems and short stories from my high school days. My biggest work back then? A parody of “The Canterbury Tales” featuring other classmates. Weird? Yep! And, yes, I still have it in my personal archives.

19) I actually was paid to write about beanie babies during the height of the craze. It helped pay for the ones we collected (that was so much fun!).

20) The reason I got interested in photography is because it was my dad’s hobby, and I wanted to be just like him. I usually think about him every time I pick up one of my Nikon dSLRs (he loved Nikons, too). Miss you, Dad!

Forgetful Running

Not in the correct place

Not in the correct place

In my 34 years of running (which now more resembles wobbling), I’ve completed well over 300 races. One constant links all those distances from a mile to a 50K (31.1 miles): My running watch. In the early years I sported a chronograph (Casio and Timex were favorites). In 2003, I stepped up to higher tech with a Garmin Forerunner, which uses GPS to more accurately figure one’s distance and mile splits.

Now I’ve had watches occasionally die or malfunction due to operator error (as in pushing the wrong button at the start and/or finish). But I’ve never neglected to actually wear a timepiece during a race.

Until yesterday. My Garmin Forerunner 110 was charged and ready to go as I attempted my third 13.1-miler this year (12th overall), the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Half Marathon. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on my left wrist. Instead, it still was on the charger. At home.


As I parked my Honda Pilot near the race start, I realized my watch was missing. Then I had another I-should’ve-had-a-V8 moment: When I got ready earlier that morning, I neglected to use my asthma inhaler, which is standard operating procedure before long runs. Just like putting on my 110.

Double bummer!!

The sun starts to rise ahead of the start (no banner).

The sun starts to rise ahead of the start (no banner).

Fortunately, this final race of my seven-week tour of a trio of Houston-area halfs had spectacular running weather: 33 degrees at the start with no wind. What a welcome change from the Aramco Houston’s cold, wet misery and the USA Fit’s sweatfest! Definitely a running chamber of commerce day; no wonder it was my fastest time of the three (with me “fast” definitely is relative . . . and I do blame my relatives for my lousy running DNA). My breathing was fine until the last couple miles, but I never felt in distress.

Timingwise, I decided to use my iPhone 5’s stopwatch, clicking it when I crossed the start and the finish. However, I could’ve used the Nike+ app to track the entire distance and mile splits, because I was wearing my trusty companion Fooba, aka my Nike FuelBand. Unfortunately, I totally forget about it until I passed a fellow competitor and heard her phone say her split. At mile six.

I could’ve had a V8!

My favorite part of every race: The finish line

My favorite part of every race: The finish line

Despite my forgetfulness, this was as enjoyable a race as 13.1 miles can be. There were two bagpipers, a fellow who was blasting Beatles tunes outside a van, and the finishers’ goody bag featured a Hershey bar and Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. What’s not to love?

Bling bling!

Bling bling!

Plus the finisher’s medal was shiny and huge! It’s a fine addition to my collection.

As for not wearing a watch, it felt kind of nice not being a slave to it. Still, I hope that next time I remember to look at my wrist before I leave the house for a race!