Category Archives: Team in Training

Haley’s Favorite Celebrities, Part II

Dear Readers,

It’s November. Actually, it’s November SIXTEENTH. How in the world did that happen? We’re halfway through the second to last month in 2009. I was just getting used to the idea that we were living in 2009 (yesterday I caught myself writing 11/15/06 on my notes. 2006! wtf.).

Anyways, back to what I was trying to say… It’s November. November means very little in Dallas aside from the end of the Ranger’s post-season, the beginning of the Cowboy’s season and the week-long break that the public schools get for Thanksgiving. Our weather is mild (this weekend, our high temperatures were in the 80s) and no one really cares about having to walk through a few extra leaves to get to their car. But aside from the holiday and sports schedules, one thing that Dallas does share with the rest of the world in terms of November experiences is daylight saving’s time. And here is where I begin to get to my point… Daylight saving’s time means that when I get off from work, the sun is already well into its trek across the other half of the world and my neighborhood is pitch black. A pitch black neighborhood means no neighborhood running for me (I’ve already had one too many encounters with pickup trucks idling creepily on the side of neighborhood pitch black streets) – which reminds me, I owe y’all an update on my Team in Training adventure. But anyways, and so, in response to the pitch black-ness of my neighborhood streets, I’ve started going to the gym! And the gym has treadmills with TV screens! And I get to watch whichever of the 10 channels they offer that suits my fancy. And one of those 10 channels is the Food Network!

Which brings me to the real reason for this post: Alton Brown. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this name, first – make yourself familiar. This man will bring joy to every nerdy fiber in your being, be they concealed or evident, even if you aren’t of the culinarily-inclined. Second – let me introduce you to him. Alton Brown is the bespectacled, oft-frazzle haired host of Good Eats and is the main commentator for Iron Chef America. Loved by many other Food Network chefs, he bring his particular brand of nerdiness and quirky charm to the dishes he prepares (which, more often than not, are just as quirky as he is). I’m a huge fan of Good Eats. Wikipedia calls describes it as “a mixture of Julia Child and Monty Python,” and I quite agree, except I would add the essence of Bill Nye the Science Guy to the mix. The show is Alton in his element. It’s science-oriented food and it’s brilliant. But more importantly, ALTON. He finds things like the thread-count of twine and partaking in the bulldozer-driving in a salt mine interesting and relevant to cooking. This guy is hilarious. I don’t think any description of him that I can produce will ever do him justice – y’all will just have to experience him for yourselves.

So, here’s to you, Alton Brown. I would name my first-born child after you.



P.S. The Team in Training update that I promised you: The bursitis is definitely on the mend. The drugs my doc gave me helped a little initially, but I think the best thing I did for it, surprisingly, was start running on it again. I’ve run 20 miles each of the last two weeks without any excruciating pain, so I think that’s a good thing. The bad news is: because I was out of commission and not training for nearly a month, I fell really behind on my training schedule. And because my joints are still not 100%, I’ve decided to scale back my goal and only run the half marathon. So, 13.1 miles on December 12th. Wish me luck. Oh! and I’m $730 away from reaching half of my fundraising goal – meaning, I’ve raised $1,270 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Not too shabby.


I’m not dead

Dearest Readers,

I promise I have not forgotten you. The last two weeks (and I can’t believe that two WHOLE weeks have passed since I last posted) haven’t been extremely taxing on my time, so I don’t really have an excuse for leaving y’all in the dark and neglecting your needs for excuses to procrastinate. My apologies. Because I know you all are on the edge of your seats wondering what’s happening in my oh-so exciting life, here’s the digest version of life since the last post:

Tom visited me! Much, much fun was had, rollercoasters were ridden, drinks were drank (drunk?), Texas spirit was seen, and great stories were born. It was very hard to see him leave.

I finished the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology! I am now well-versed in the ways of skin, muscle, bone and the nervous system. Now on to semester number two…

I’ve been having a lot of pain in my left hip when I run. Actually, it’s been so bad that I stopped running for nearly two weeks because I was having a hard time walking after I ran. So…I went to a doctor and we talked and took x-rays and all that stuff. And… I have bursitis. Again (well, this time it’s in my hip). Damn my old woman body. My doctor gave me some cortizone pills and this gel stuff that people with arthritis use and told me to do three weeks of physical therapy and to keep running on it. All that was nice and good, but it hasn’t helped. I haven’t gone to physical therapy yet, but running on it has just made it hurt more. So, I don’t know. I’ll let you know what happens.

Stupid parents of the kids I coach keep bringing their infected children to the gym. For some reason, they all seem to think that though their children were too ill to go to school, it is perfectly fine for them come to gym and share their germs with us and all of the other kids. And now I’ve caught something nasty. I don’t think it’s the flu (thank goodness) because I haven’t really had much of a fever, but I feel pretty awful. My chest is all tight and my voice is like ten octaves lower and I’m achy and my head hurts. Ugh.

And, finally, Bobby is home this weekend! She’s off for her fall break. It’s so good to have her back in the house. I miss her so much when she’s away.

But that’s about it. More to come, I promise.



Community College

Dear Readers,

I know it’s been way too long since my last post. I promise I have not forgotten you. I have simply been preoccupied with the two newest undertakings in my life. Ladies and gentlemen, I have started community college. And I have a new job! Allow me to introduce you to them:

1) Anatomy and Physiology
Here we have Professor Kelly Sexton. First observation made about Sexton: Kelly is a man. Second: Kelly very much resents the fact that he has to spend 9 hours every day with adolescents who fall asleep in his lectures and nursing students who ask too many questions. Kelly also has a thick North Texas accent. He likes to add very dark background colors to the powerpoints he uploads online to discourage students from printing them. And above all else, Kelly prefers to be called DOCTOR Sexton.

Other characters worthy of note: Harley Davidson. She is a current nurse returning to school to receive her bachelor’s degree and sits across from me in lab. She’s to-the-point, all-business and no-nonsense. Harley Davidson does not like to smile (though I’m crossing my fingers for tomorrow…I’m feeling the funny coming on). She walks through the classroom door like she’s on the warpath. And, oh yes, she likes to wear Harley Davidson jumpsuits.

Mrs. Criswell/Griffin. A WONDERFUL, wonderful woman. She is the mother of one of Bobby’s good friends (back then she was Criswell, but has since remarried and is now Griffin… I keep accidentally calling her Ms. Criswell and because I still feel weird calling her Nancy, it has made for some awkward moments in conversation). Like my mom, she is going back to school to become a nurse. We carpool. And she sits beside me in lab and lecture and we make funny comments to each other.

The Returner. Took the class over the summer and made a “B” and is back because she wants an “A”. She’s very aware of how attractive she is. I’m pretty sure she’s bored out of her mind.

Scrubs. Sits in front of me in lecture. Laughs at everything Kelly says. She purses her lips after she speaks and nods her head as if she’s trying to stretch her neck when you’re talking to her. She wears scrubs to class and when I asked her if she¬† had a job in the medical field, she replied, “oh no, my daughters are medical assistants and when I go to buy their scrubs, I always pick some out for myself. I like wearing them because they’re just so darn comfortable.” I’ll let you make of that what you will. So far, she’s worn Felix the cat and Snoopy scrubs to class. I’m keeping notes; hopefully we’ll have the full collection by the end of the semester.

TMI. Asked Kelly some bizarre question about adipose tissue that, for some reason, required her to tell the entire class that she had had injections into her head to treat her dead hair follicles and that the injections had left small craters in her scalp. She sits far behind me, so I didn’t know what she looked like until Ms. Criswell/Griffin pointed her out at the end of class and whispered, “I’m never going to be able to stop looking at her head now.”

2) Microbiology
Taught by the incredible Dr. Henry Su. I love him. He smiles all the time and is passionate about what he teaches and laughs at himself. He makes hilarious analogies for the concepts we’re learning. I absolutely adore him. Favorite quote from last class: “Sometimes you need to zip up your pants and sometimes you need to unzip your pants.”

North Lake Guru. The go-to person for any question about the resources that North Lake (the community college I’m attending) has for Science classes. I think she used to be head of the Science study lab – or something impressive like that. She’s an excellent student. She sits beside me in lecture and is really on top of her stuff. I’m hoping we can be friends. And I’ve never seen so many freckles on one body.

The Pharmacists. Don’t know much about these guys, other than that I eavesdropped in on their conversation on the first day of lab. They sit in the two chairs across from me and both want to go to Pharmacy school. Pharmacist 1 is just starting his prerequisites. Pharmacist 2 is in the middle of his application process. He is hoping to get into UT Austin. I feel like such a creeper telling you this.

He Who Sleeps. He’s blonde. And no matter how hard he tries (and he tries really, really hard), can’t seem to keep his eyes open during the lab introduction.

3) Spanish 1
On Saturday mornings. I’ve only been to one class and next Saturday’s is cancelled because the school wants to pre-funk Labor day. I’ll fill you in on this once I get a better feel for it.

I am coaching gymnastics at Dallas School of Gymnastics, the gym where I used to train. I’m teaching preschool and beginner classes and am helping coach the team. It’s been downscaled a bit (they no longer have a team for levels 7+) since I was there, but I am having a great time. Basically, I am getting paid to play around (and by that I mean teach them important gymnastics skills in a calm and structured manner…) with kids on trampolines and gymnastics equipment. It’s a blast. I hope you’re jealous.

K, well I hope this extra-long post makes up for the week of nothing.
Keep it real,

oh! P.S. Some wonderfully generous anonymous person donated $50 to my LLS campaign. If you’re out there (and you know who you are), Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hello World!

I have entered the blog-o-sphere! From hence forth, I shall chronicle the goings-on of this, my semester away from Whitman, on the webpage you now see before you. Here, you may find exciting stories of anything variant from my mundane life, harrowing tales in which I triumph in the face of adversity, the occasional punny attempt at being clever and, when I take the time to upload them, pictures!

At the present, my family is not-so-frantically packing for our annual trip to St. George Island, FL. Scheduled departure time is 7:00 am. Estimated departure time is 4:00 pm. I’ll let you know how that goes. Regardless of when we actually take off from our house (and have passed the forgivable distance during which we can turn around and return to the house when we realize we’ve forgotten something), we have about a 16 hour drive to survive together. That’s 16 hours with my three younger siblings, and my separated mom and dad in a suburban that, despite its tank-like appearance, never seems to be large enough.

Wish me luck.

And while I have your attention, let me direct you to my fundraising page! Over the next 5 months, I will be training for a marathon that I am running to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And I need your help in raising that money. As many of you know, my youngest sister, Grace, is a survivor of Leukemia. This disease has impacted my family in profound ways, both good and bad. I am running in honor of Grace’s struggle and my family’s experience as we supported her through treatment.

Please tell your friends! Converse with your parents! Email your distant relatives! Blood cancers are responsible for over 53,000 deaths in the United States each year. We need all the help we can get to find a cure. And every penny counts. Please donate.