Saturday, February 27, 2010

Word of the Week

Norovirus: 1. (genus Norovirus, family Caliciviridae) are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, nonenveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. Norovirus was recently approved as the official genus name for the group of viruses provisionally described as “Norwalk-like viruses” (NLV).
2. what everyone now calls that malady formerly known as "the stomach flu" (which makes sense, since it always kind of bugged me that the stomach flu didn't, in fact, have anything to do with influenza.)
3. the reason there hasn't been a peep out of me in the last few days
4. utter misery - if only for a few hours
5. a sure sign from the universe that I definitely picked the right man. Anyone who's willing to keep getting up in the middle of the night with someone who can't stop throwing up, and fetch ice chips, and pots to put by the bed, all with a sweet, sweet smile, is definitely a keeper.
6. reason number 489 why I will never get on a cruise ship. Apparently norovirus + cruise ship = true love. Whereas cruise ship + legionnaires disease = only a heavy flirtation.
7. the end result of going to help tutor second graders in math every day. Elementary schools + norovirus = fatal attraction.
8. the reason I've gotten to watch every minute of the Olympics for the last few days with no hint of guilt. But, as the Olympics are drawing to a close, so is my bout with norovirus.
More nonsickness news to follow. One hopes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Once a Runner

Just got back from running around North Asheville. And eureka - I'm kind of feeling like a runner again. Hooray! I'm tired of faking it like a quasi-swimmer, or almost-biker. I mean, I'll keep faking it at those things, but it's nice to feel like I'm kind of getting my legs back (from the never-ending, really-painful plantar fasciitis episode of the last year.) Of course I'm still only running about 9 miles a week, so take that for what it's worth.

Also - I totally stole the title of this post. From the quintessential runner book of the same name - check it out. It's being reissued with a new cover so it looks all shiny and new, but I read it in high school and I don't think it was exactly new then. But I did read it again fairly recently, and I still love it.

Had the best meeting at Greenlife this morning - seems like Spotted Dog Farm botanical beeswax candles (and a few lanterns!) will soon be appearing on a shelf near you. (as long as you are near Chestnut St. and Merrimon, that is.) Soooo excited! Will report more later, when they're actually on the shelf - which will take me a few days to accomplish.

Off to eat vegan take out. Cause that's how we roll around here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Does It Feel Sick In Here to You?

Because it kind of does to me. I'm that kind of sick where you keep telling yourself you aren't, until finally you're forced to admit - ok, dammit, this isn't really some mysterious sinus ailment, this is actually that malady known as the common cold. But I'm fighting it off in semi-determined fashion. Although I'm trying to be smarter this year. Last year I just kept exercising (repeating the mantra, "it's FINE to exercise as long as it's not in your lungs!"), until I had pretty much forced it into my lungs or until I felt like I'd been run over by a car, and then would still take a week off to get over it. So this year I'm doing something different (maybe I'm growing up?) and just taking a few days off when I start to feel bad. So far it's 3 days off, but I kind of almost felt like running today, so maybe I'll give it a go tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm making good use of my non-exercising days by actually accomplishing some work. Don't laugh, it's true. I've been very mad-scientist with the beeswax, and behold - the beeswax lantern:

Same shapes, sizes, ideas as the candles, except this is a hollow lantern that's lit with a tea light - so it'll last pretty much indefinitely. Unless you do something crazy, like put a big candle in it - in which case it will melt. But if you act with just a modicum of prudence - and stick with a tea light - this pup will be in it for the long haul. This particular one is also made from white beeswax, which I've been experimenting with and am enamored of. It makes me happy to look at it.

I've also just gotten my seed order in. Which in a normal year would be late, but given the year we're having now it doesn't seem to make any difference -- I don't imagine anything's going to be planted anytime in the foreseeable future anyway.

And also - Michael Oppenheim, a local wedding photographer, just put up a blog with pictures from a wedding I did last year. Love his photography, and shows our flowers off to their best. Thanks Michael! (And thanks to the bride and groom - they were the best, easiest, nicest people to work with.) Just to give you a taste - here's a shot of the bridal bouquet:

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Will Not be Thwarted

This weather. Seriously - slushy icy crap falling from the sky. I suppose I'm glad it's not really snow, since that tends to shut everything down for days at a time (at least if you live in a place that doesn't get enough snow to warrant dedicating a whole lot of equipment to the removal of it.) So this slushy funky mess is at least drivable. But still not great.

So I woke up this morning knowing school was canceled (because that's how we do it here - I don't think we've had a full week of school since Christmas break.) And I needed to get a run in this morning because it didn't happen yesterday afternoon since I was waiting for the furnace repairman instead (that's a whole 'nother interesting story.) And I have a 2 hour trainer ride on the schedule for later today. So I lazed about in bed thinking it wasn't my fault that I couldn't get to the Y - it was sleeting and snowing! A full on Act of God!! But then I heard cars zooming by on Chestnut in what sounded like a whole lot of water. So I sucked it up and went to the Y and got my run in and felt like Wonder Woman. This weather can try its best, but I won't be thwarted!! So now I'm all excited to ride my bike this afternoon (I still have 2 hours of unwatched X Games on my tivo), and I've got wax melting to make candles, and a couple of festival applications ready to be sent. So. . . this weather can try its best, but I will not be thwarted!

(oh wait - now I feel a little unsure about voicing that quite so loudly. Hubris just invites bad things to happen. Perhaps I should say, This weather can continue on just as it is now, and I will make the best of it!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Feel Like a Moron

Now I'm a fairly educated person - if my B.A. and J.D. are any indication. And even though math has never been my strong suit (seriously - not my strong suit), I thought going in to help 2nd graders with their math was surely within my range of capability. And when they asked if I could help in computer lab I thought that was *definitely* in my skill set. Until I showed up for both of these activities.

Turns out - they don't teach math like they used to. So when the math-challenged 2nd grader I'm helping is trying to figure out 38-16, I have no idea how he's supposed to get to the answer. I mean, yes, I do actually know the answer, but that's way different than knowing how they're supposed to know the answer. Except it was made clear to me that they weren't supposed to just count out the difference on their fingers. So. . . huh. I finally asked the little girl sitting at our table who was about 30 pages further ahead in the math workbook what the strategy was. She had been watching me with a cool (and somewhat smug) look on her face for a while, clearly she was silently thinking "what a moron", so she was pretty gratified to be called in to help. Turns out the strategy involves finding "doubles" and doing a lot of borrowing of a number here and loaning of a number there, and then magically they come up with the answer. I did finally figure out the strategy enough to teach it to my unlucky protege, but god only knows what's going to happen when we get to the next chapter.

So then I was called in help in computer lab, and I thought great! this one I've got under control. Except what they're doing is making power point presentations, and it's the one Microsoft Office product that I have absolutely no experience with. It's just. . . in my defense. . . lawyers and farmers and candlemakers don't really use power point. (Well, I suppose lawyers might, but corporate lawyers not so much, and then let's face it, they'd just get their secretary to do it.) So I confessed my complete lack of aptitude with that project, and they assured me not to worry, the computer lab teacher will be explaining it all to the second graders, and I can just pick it up with them. Super. I'm going to be hanging on every word.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Romance + Free Stuff

Here's my comeback post - I've finally left my crazy stasis period and started accomplishing things (things other than reading trashy novels and riding my bike.) And this comeback post is highlighted by things romantic (in honor of my trashy novel binge) and free (because who doesn't like that???) My friend Stephanie Perkins is a writer of brilliant Young Adult novels - the first of which is coming out this year - and she's giving away cool stuff at her blog. All you have to do is ponder romance for a few moments, share your pondering, and you're entered to win. What could be easier? Who doesn't like to ponder romance?? Go to her blog and you'll see what I'm talking about.