Category Archives: Running

10K & TKD

All in all, a pretty good weekend. Mrs. Unfocused, the Princess, and I had our first Family Tae Kwon Do class at the YMCA. Junior was signed up for it but got nervous and freaked out; he watched for a while, then the Mrs. took him to the child care center. He says that next week he won’t be shy about it, and did shake the instructor’s hand very nicely when we ran into him later on. Because TKD is 9:15-10:15, and the Princess has a swimming class at 11:30, we will be spending every Saturday morning at the Y; the Mrs. and I can each grab a workout while the kids are in childcare after TKD, and I can take Junior to Starbucks while the Mrs. takes Princess to swim class.

If a plan ends with me getting coffee, I’m all for it.

On top of that, I got a 10-mile run in this morning. I ordered some new cold weather running gear a few weeks ago, and tried some of it out today, and it all met expectations. I’m still slow, but at least I’m not a corpsicle.

I have to come up with a new nickname for the Princess on this blog, because if there’s one word that does not describe my daughter, it’s Princess. I used it in my first post for lack of the imagination to think of anything better, but she does not now, nor has she ever, given a good goddamn about princesses, or Barbie, anything similar. She is a nice, bright kid who’s interested in science, ancient Egypt, and animals. And Harry Potter. And Batman (although not as much as Junior). And Star Wars. And various other things.

Right. Unfocused Girl it is. That was easy.

To top it all off, I finished my 5,000 words for the week in the novel. That means I’ve got 10,000 words written (10,024, to be exact), which is the same length as my senior thesis in college. The Mrs. picked out a new laptop for me to work on at home (the old Pismo was on life support, unfortunately), and it came this week: a new MacBook running Leopard. I spent another forty bucks to buy Scrivener, a nice app for writers that provides a real assist in organization.

Yes, I know. I get five thousand words into a novel that, in all likelihood, no one will ever read, and all of the sudden I need a new computer and special software, when writing the first 5,000 words in OpenOffice (free) on my old work laptop ($1 when they switched me to a new one) worked perfectly well. If you’re thinking that’s a little ridiculous, you’re right. But I needed the new laptop anyway — they can make me use a Windows machine at the office, but I’ll be damned if I’ll use one for personal work at home (literally damned, because that’s my definition of hell).

As for Scrivener, hey, it was $40 — not exactly a fortune. It is very useful, too, including half a dozen easy to use features that I will probably actually remember to use. I note that productivity maven Merlin Mann uses Scrivener. He’s very productive, you know, so the software has to be useful.

So now I’m blogging away on my new MacBook, and it has been a pretty good weekend. The only problem is that it is now 12:43am on Monday morning, and I’m still messing around on the computer when I should really go to bed. That’s the problem with new toys.

Rockin’ Saturday Night!

My mother-in-law offered to babysit last night, which was very generous, but we didn’t have any really good ideas for what to do. Ultimately, we decided to spend several hours at the Starbucks around the corner with our laptops. I wrote another 1500 words for my novel, and the Mrs. worked on her website. It was very pleasant. I know it’s pretentious as hell, but it worked. We didn’t have to put the kids to bed, I didn’t even buy web access, so my distractions were limited to coffee and the pumpkin loaf. Mrs. Unfocused gets distracted easily at home, too, because there’s always something that needs doing even if the kids are in bed.

So yes, we brought our laptops to the coffee house ( apologies to Scalzi), but we weren’t trying to be hip — just trying to get some things done, which we did. I’d like to have 5000 words written in the novel before I go back to work on Monday, which shouldn’t be impossible, although I have a response to a motion that I really need to finish, and I’ve completely stopped working on my article (which I really need to go back to soon). Now we’re talking about trying to do a Starbucks night once a week, at least when we don’t have other weekend plans.

The weather today is crazy warm — I just checked, and it’s 59 degrees. I went for an 8-mile run late this morning, wearing SHORTS. I’m going to try to get another couple of outdoor runs in before the weather turns bad again later this week. Shorts in Chicago in January — if that’s the future of our out-of-kilter climate, then there is clearly going to be an upside to global warming.