Saturday, September 27, 2008


I don't win things. Rarely to never. Door prizes are offered to the person sitting next to me at meetings. I get Bingo a second after all of the prizes are claimed. My scratch off tickets have always been duds. I'm not saying I'm unlucky, just that I don't win things.

Until now.

A few weeks ago, I, along with several of my friends, entered my name in a drawing to buy tickets to the National League Division Series, should the Cubs clinch the division. Then I put it out of my mind, assuming that millions of people had also entered their names.

Well, this Tuesday, I got an email stating that I was lucky enough to win the opportunity to purchase up to two (2) tickets to a playoff game at Wrigley Field! So this Thursday, October 2, I will be heading to Wrigley to watch the Chicago Cubs play in a play off game, an experience that more devoted baseball fans than I have yet to have.

I won.

Friday, September 19, 2008

TV I Can Get Into

In the past week, nothing has helped me decompress after the ridiculous stress of a new job more than some good new tv.

Seinfeld, Scrubs, and Office reruns have all been getting old and 24 has sucked in recent seasons.

Which has caused a revival of Netflix Instant viewing.

For Couple Quality Time: Weeds. Hilarious, yet serious, bringing up some serious family and political issues. Plus, the half hour segments are perfect for that time when dinner is in the oven.

For "I have a migraine" Friday nights with the roomie: Heroes. I can see why people are so into this show. We watched 6 episodes tonight, and I plan on watching at least that many more before the weekend is over. I just can't believe it's a network show, with all the sex and violence.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Underemployment No More!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I became inspired by all of your letters of resignation, and decided to write on of my own. After three years at menial jobs in the Wauwatosa School District, underpaid and under-appreciated, I am finally being rewarded for my "patience."

Last Tuesday, I was offered, and accepted, a position teaching seventh grade math at Longfellow Middle school in Wauwatosa. My last day of preschool is tomorrow. I start new teacher orientation on Tuesday.

I'm pumped.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Goal: Failed

Yeah, that's right. I'm not to proud to admit it.

The totals for June: Run - 20 miles; Bike - 52 miles. So if you combine the two, I did go over my goal. Unless you account for the fact that biking is easy. So still, failure due to...

  1. Unrealistic goals. I think 50 was a wee bit too high. After my month of recovery, I needed to build back up to doing miles again, on a weird walk/ run system that took a lot more time than I was used to. 30 or 40 might have been more manageable, and I may not have suffered from...
  2. Lack of motivation. I just haven't wanted to run. This is an odd feeling, because before training for a marathon, all I ever wanted to do was run. I scheduled my life around when I could go out. I ran when it was 90 degrees out and when it was -10. Now, when given the option of putting on my running shoes or popping in a movie, I'll choose Netflix any day. My only guess is that I got burned out, because...
  3. I'm just not made for marathons. I love the idea of running 26 miles all at once. I really do. The feeling of power, the wind in my hair, the sweat on my brow, and the glory at the finish line. Mmm. But those hours. And those miles. And fitting it into my schedule. And the pain. And the food! I'll reevaluate next year, but for now, my goal is...
Run more than Mike this summer. You hear me, Fuchs. It's on.

el Orfanato (The Orphanage)

Creepy a** movie.

The makings of a great classic ghost story: a couple moves into an old orphanage with their small child, who, soon enough, starts playing with imaginary friends. Creepiness ensues, with a mysterious old lady at the door, playground equipment that moves of its own volition, doors slamming, and a score that, rather than making you jump and spill your popcorn, gives you a sense of uneasiness that sticks for the entire movie.

The Spanish subtitles were hardly noticeable, I was so engrossed. Only qualm was that the film reminded me a bit of Orson Scott Card's Lost Boys. But it worked, so I was ok with it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Note On Failed Goals

About a week ago I decided that my newest running goal, post-injury (nagging shin splints), would be a mere 50 miles in June. This is down from some pretty hefty training mileage back in March and April, so I thought it would be a cake walk to ramp up the mileage pretty quick, and augment the low mileage with some bike riding on the weekends.

Turns out it's harder than I thought. I'll be lucky if I hit 40 by June 30 on my new Obeying Doctor's Orders plan.

Dang. I miss the road.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Everywhere Person

Has anyone ever heard of this phenomenon? Back in college, there was this guy that I saw on the street all the time, in a ton of my classes (all unrelated ones), and just generally random places. he was a very distinctive looking guy, with a black pea coat and hooded sweatshirt underneath (very popular at the time of Dogma), and dark greasy hair. I never talked to my everywhere person, and it always sort of unnerved me when I found him in yet another place or situation that I was in.

Now 3 years out of college, I have a new everywhere person. I've often seen this man at Pick n Save when I do my late night shopping, and tonight he was wandering up 124th street. He's an interesting man. I'm going to name him Richard. I think he has a friend, and occasionally they make mad dashes through the store picking out produce and things to grill.

I would like to learn more about Richard.

I would also like to find more information on the Everywhere Person Phenomenon.

Monday, June 02, 2008

What To Read to the Children


In The Mail Today

There's been little happening in the last four months that I felt warranted a blog post by me. Most items of interest have either a) involved running, which I fear bores my readers to tears, b)been blogged about by someone else before I get a chance, or c)been expressed through Google Reader, my new love.

But that changed today. Two items arrived that made me chuckle a little.
1. $600 from the US government. A month late, and I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be direct deposit, but it's in my hands now, so I won't complain too much. A very pretty check, indeed.
2. A flashy red envelope, addressed to Mike and myself (no, we're not co-habitating), containing a flashy 3 line party invitation.

It's the little things.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Make a Decision, Already!

The awkward, repetitive, tedium makes this video fantastic. Don't worry, around minute 4:25, you're rewarded with a girl in a bikini.

Sort of reminds me of the process my bathroom is going through the past 6 months.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Customer Service Doesn't Have to Be Awful

This makes me happy, especially knowing that I have to deal with Sprint one of these days and tell them they messed up my phone bill. Again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

20 Miles Short of Success

As I look back on Martin Luther King Jr day, I look back on my goal set back in an optimistic October. 300 miles between October and Jan 21. I knew it would be hard once the snow fell, but I somehow thought I could accomplish it. In retrospect, I'm surprised I made it as far as I did. It's really hard running in the cold and snow!

Here's some improvements I plan to make, in order to meet my spring goal of training for and running the Madison marathon on May 25th.
  • Underarmor. Some people advocate it in the heat; I won't go out without my turtleneck if it's below 35 degrees.
  • Smartwool socks.
  • Running tights.
  • A fleece hood that covers my face.
  • 2 pairs of gloves.
  • Some sort of energy bar. I'm still looking for the right one, if anyone has any recommendations.
I've tried running at the Y and at the Pettit, and I'll still keep those as an option, but I just get bored to tears when I'm not outside. If the pros can run in blizzards, so can I!

Netflix On Demand: Chalk

I've discovered that the ability to watch any movie I want, right this second, is both a blessing and a curse. This is especially true when I'm not feeling well, which is when I'm most likely to utilize the instant feature and watch movies by myself.

After a few false starts with indecisiveness, I discovered Chalk, by director Mike Akel, a fictional documentary about a group of 1st-3rd year high school teachers. The style reminded me a bit of Spellbound or Best in Show, but had me in tears laughing. The combination of character development and proximity to home in regards to the trials of teaching made this a fantastic movie. A great mix of hilarity and seriousness combined with Office-like writing that just makes you uncomfortable for the characters, made me forget that this wasn't actually a true film.

Favorite bit: the Spelling Hornet, where teachers spell slang words that the students quiz them on.

An effective case study of the early years in a teacher's career.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Catching Up

I listened to a great sermon this weekend on pacing one's life. Part of what I learned is that Americans suffer from overload syndrome. Debt overload, commitment overload, stress, decision, choice, hurry, expectation, possession, activity, fatigue, information, noise, people, technology...

Since then, I've made it my goal to become less overloaded. I think I've become fairly famous for my Jessie Nights, but honestly, I've forgotten what those are like. I can't remember the last time I've sat on my couch by myself, done enjoyable things alone, or gone to bed before 10pm, without some sort of commitment or expectation.

So here's how I plan to spend the next two evenings:
Listening to the new Magnetic Fields album on MySpace, at least two more times, before forming any opinions.
Laying in bed with a stack of books, and NOT Book Club ones.
Writing a letter to Swaziland.
Folding my laundry.
Making "Thank You" phone calls for Christmas gifts.
Putting photos in frames.

I will also be going to bed obscenely early.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Housekeeping Tips from Jessie

Hate ironing? Before you hang up wrinkled clothes out of sheer disgust for your inefficient and labor intensive iron, try this tip.

Do your ironing immediately after removing clothes from the dryer, slightly damp. This will guarantee a swifter and cleaner smooth job, smiles all around.

Happy Homemaking!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Stardust - On Second Watching

How many miles to Babylon?
Three score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
There, and back again.

Stardust is a charming story of fantasy, adventure, and finding one's Heart's Desire. Neil Gaiman has a tendency to produce some trippy films. Neverwhere was trippy and put me to sleep. Mirrormask was trippy, put me to sleep, and when I woke up made me ask "WTF?"

Stardust was no different in the fantastical weirdness, or in the fact that I was out cold in the first 10 minutes, only to awaken halfway through the movie. Gaiman is getting better, however, at making movies that are enjoyable to watch.

Not in any way a direct representation of the book, Stardust is fully watchable by anyone not having read the book (Mike seemed to enjoy it). Many events are left out that are integral to the book, but the film is seamlessly coordinated, resulting in a brand new adventure that immerses star-cross'd movie goers in a world of fantasy and love and a battle for a star.

A nice movie to digest on a Saturday afternoon on your own, or as a date movie that satisfies all tastes (as long as your date doesn't fall asleep).

Choose Your Candidates Based on Their Athleticism

So it turns out that Mike Huckabee used to be fat (280 lbs), and now he's a marathon runner at 175 lbs). Pretty cool. And he runs as fast as me, with a 28 minute 5K. Even cooler. Now I'd like to know Obama's P.R. before February 19th.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Tangerines =/ Clementines

Yet another Sam's Club produce aisle mishap. When will I learn? This time, I was standing between a crate of Cutie Clementines and Super Sweet Tangerines, the Tangerines being $2 cheaper, for a lot more. Being the economical shopper that I am, I went for the tangerines, seeing no difference. Oh, how wrong I was. It turns out that tangerines have seeds. Seeds, I tell you! And not just one little seed here and there. at least two per section. And the sections are small! To add insult to injury, the fruit is not even as easy to peel as my little Cuties, making even more work for me. So now I'm left with a fruit that takes longer to peel than it should, that I have to mangle with a knife before I can eat, or mangle in my mouth in a way that is not very conducive to social eating, in order to spit the seeds into a napkin.

At least I got the Kashi and the string cheese again.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

On My Way to a S.M.A.R.T. 2008

After having a difficult time judging the success or failure of y2007 goals, this year I thought I'd try something new, and make my new year's resolutions the same way many businesses make their employee goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Timely. All except the first one.

  • Whine Less - Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without complaining or arguing."
  • Stay aware of the world around me, by reading one campaign and one international politics article per day, and one education book or journal per month.
  • Run better, by finding new long runs, i.e. in Kettle Moraine South, and by achieving a 2:10:00 in the Lake Country Half marathon, and by training for and running the Madison marathon.
  • Be a better friend, by writing letters to missionaries 2 times per month, sending birthday cards or emails to a list of 20 people, responding to emails within 2 days, and reviving 2 specific friendships.
  • Super Secret Fifth Goal