Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pet peeve no. 12: Italian vs. I-talian

Here’s the deal.

No one knows how to pronounce every word that’s out there. I sure don’t. And even though I have a pretty good grasp on how to pronounce the average word — a big part of my job includes having an understanding of a decent-sized lexicon — I also know that there’s a whole lot (and I mean a serious ton) that I don’t know.

That’s where research comes in — say, a dictionary, especially the new-fangled ones on the Internet that will actually tell you in some bookish man’s voice just what a particular word is supposed to sound like.

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Soda vs. pop vs. coke

One of the most popular demographic maps on the Net these days is one that shows how people across the United States refer to the carbonated drinks that help round out the ubiquitous value meals.

Soda pop.
Soft drink.
Fizzy drink.
Sugar water.

Good grief. Those add up to a lot of descriptors. So what’s the lowdown?

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Healthy Living 101: How to avoid getting H1N1 in Wichita

H1N1: It's one of the official top words of 2009. The swine flu is all over the news and has touched the collective nerve of communities across America, including Wichita. Many rumors and falsehoods are associated with the illness. A few facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should help to calm fears and direct the appropriate attention to preventing H1N1 or easing symptoms.
Read the entire article.

Healthy living: Meredith Baxter comes out and teaches a few lessons

Perhaps known best as the 1980s quintessential mom from "Family Ties," Meredith Baxter went on national television Dec. 2, 2009, to announce that she is a lesbian. Although not an expected topic for healthy living, Baxter’s outing is, indeed, an exercise in living life as it should be: uninhibited by social norms and stereotypes.
Read the entire article.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Still running

My last post was about how I was getting back to running. That was back in October. Surprise of surprises, I'm still running, although I took a break around the holidays, as many folks did. So this will be a short entry but still one about running, since that's what's on my mind.

I finally did get new shoes, although in my last post I had mentioned that I would be going back to New Balance. Nothing against NB, but I bought, instead, a pair of ASICS Gel Cumulus 10 and they are orange and they are FAB. These shoes are lightweight, offer plenty of cushion and are good for my relatively nonpronating feet. And did I mention that they are orange? ORANGE! I flippin' love 'em.

I'm still at the point where, on the off chance that I do some yard work, I make sure to take my running shoes off and change into my old grubbies. Funny thing is, my old grubbies are my very first pair of running shoes (as an adult runner). They are Addidas and they are circa 1998. They slip on like the proverbial pair of old gloves, they are that comfy. But comfy only for goofy stuff like yard work. They'd be crap for running. They were crap for running when they were brand new, as well — at least for my feet. They would rub and give me blisters. I figured I would just have to break them in and then the blisters would stop coming. Nope. They were simply too wide for my feet. I think I mentioned this in a previous post so I won't digress any further. But they do make great icky-grass shoes.

So I went running today, in the Kansas morning heat. But it hadn't gotten blistering hot yet, so the run was decent. I ran through our neighborhood. I am tracking my mileage (mainly for my shoes) at Map My Run, a Web site that allows the user to map a route (thus the moniker, duh). Since variety is the spice of my life, I like to take a mapped route and alter it slightly to improve my mileage and/or time. So I ran yesterday's route, but I added another loop to lengthen my run. It only added a minute, which surprised me, but I guess that means I was running just a little faster today, as well, and that's a good thing.

That's about it for today's post. I'll try to write more often and I'll also try to NOT write about running all the time, as I know that's not everyone's passion. Till then, happy trails to you!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Runner's high

Hey! It hasn't even been a full month yet since my last entry. I'm improving!

So from the title of this entry, you can guess that I'm getting back to running. It's always fun (ahem) getting back into the rhythm of running. Or jogging. Or whatever it is that I manage to do. To me, it's running. My heart pounds for the first few minutes, until I settle into the groove. Then it seems to calm down and I'm good to go until either my blood sugar plummets or I near my daily goal (which, in turn, always raises my heart rate b/c I get so focused on The End that I can't help myself — thump thump thumpity thump).

So my new running issue is what I am self-diagnosing as hip bursitis. Pre-babies, I had IT band pain on the right knee. I've either changed physically since the birth of my two girls or learned how to properly stretch. So far, the IT band is sufficiently pliable. My hips are another story. A co-worker suggested that my hips hurt because the pregnancies drained my bones of precious calcium to make the beautiful babies. I haven't researched it enough to know if that is true or possible. But I do know that these hips never hurt like they do now. An ache, really, not a shooting pain. "They" say that shooting pain is something to address immediately. Aches are usually not as dramatic or as attention-grabbing. So, I have aches, directly on and to the rear of the hip bone — the one that juts out, or did about 15 pounds ago. I did a tiny bit of Internet research today, and there's apparently not much I can do besides avoiding running (not my favorite option) or swigging some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. My hope is that I will research more tomorrow and figure out that it's not hip bursitis, but something else that has an easy, pain-free remedy.

I'm also thinking that I need new shoes. Maybe I just don't have enough padding for these old bones. When I first started running (1998?), I bought some shoes that I thought were good. I kept getting blisters, but I told myself that I just needed to toughen up. But the blisters kept coming, for months. Finally, I went to a proper running store (First Gear in Wichita) and they told me that those shoes were too wide for me. They wanted to put me in New Balance. Back then, NB was a new brand, at least to me, and the particular pair they put in front of me looked like clown shoes. I laughed and surely ticked off the sales guy. But I finally tried them on and OMG — it felt as if I had just stepped into two perfectly fitting bowls filled with marshmallows. FANTASTIC. Clown shoes be damned, I bought those suckers and wore them to nubs. Then I bought a second pair. And then a third. Then I got bored and bought some Nikes, which is what I have now. They are OK, but they are no bowls of marshmallows.

I am going back to NB.

What else? Mileage. At my best, back in 2002, I was running six miles consistently, around nine-minute miles. That's not too bad for me, standing at 5'3". Yes, there are those shorter and older who could whiz by me while pushing a stroller. I didn't care. Well, I did, but not enough to bitch about it. Because I was doing well for me.

That was six years, one husband, two kids and three cities ago. So as soon as I got married, I basically quit running. We tried running together after our honeymoon, but after taking a few weeks off and then moving to the rolling hills of Olathe, we found other things to do.

So now, six years later, I'm getting back to it and happy to be able to call myself a runner again. Although I'm just tolerating a three-mile run at the moment. My goal is to hit four miles consistently. If I can do that, I will be a happy camper. I'd love to be able to claim six miles again, but four is enough. Really.

So wish me luck. And healthy hips.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nothing serious

OK, so it's been several months since my last post. I realize that haphazard postings are not a good MO for driving traffic to a blog. Gonna try to remedy that. So here are a few things I've been thinking/doing lately.

I may be jumping the gun a little, as it's only October 1 today and Halloween is still a full month away, but I have both girls' costumes in-house. Miss Molly, who adores her Rainbow Rob penguin book and will flip through the hard pages 17 times if you'll let her, is going to be a penguin. Freaking adorable. I'm just counting on the fact that she won't grow 4 inches in the next month and pop the stitching.

Miss Abby's costume arrived yesterday from She is going to be a monkey, with a banana in tow. Since she's obviously getting older, I figured that this is the last year I get to choose the costume; princesses and the like are coming, I'm pretty sure of it. But this year, I would like her to be a cute, fuzzy, cozy-toasty animal. So I found a few costumes online and narrowed them down to the Old Navy monkey and a darling frog costume. The great mom that I am, I asked her opinion. She said monkey. That was Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I asked again, just for verification. Frog. Uh-oh. On Thursday, I asked again, and the emphatic, repeated answer: monkey. Monkey, monkey, MONKEY. Fine. I ordered the monkey.

The weekend rolled around and I asked again, just for giggles. Frog. "Mommy, I want to be a FROG!" Well, hell. Too late, sister. Monkey's already on the truck. And "frog" was the answer for the next two days. Then Tuesday came around again and the answer switched to monkey. So I'm done asking. Lesson learned.

Next subject: I went to an AdFed (excuse me; it is now known as AAF of Wichita to comply with national preferences — sheesh) presentation yesterday to learn more about social media/interactive marketing. Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water at those meetings because the subject matter is often quite far from my normal field of writing/editing; I go to try to learn other aspects of the ad biz. And I'm definitely no social media expert. But it was one of the most interesting/informative/easy-to-follow presentations I've heard. I'm relatively new to Twitter and Facebook. (Though I've formed an opinion about Facebook vs. MySpace: MySpace is a pain the you-know. You have to scroll like crazy to get anywhere and it's just plain messy. Bleh.) However, I'm in the process of starting a grammar/writing/editing blog at work that should have new posts several times a week (that's the plan, anyway). I'm also going to start a podcast with the other copywriter at work about grammar/writing/editing/top-of-mind matters. And I'm going to be more diligent about posting to this blog. Phew.

Some of my friends think I'm very tech-savvy. Some think I don't know squat. Depending on the hour, I agree with one or the other. I suppose it's all relative. But it's all interesting and keeps me young. That, and running. Gotta get back to consistent running.

It was also groovy that I knew the speaker at AAF. Mark Logan went to my high school and had a younger brother in my class (who, btw, I just reconnected with on Facebook after two decades — that demonstrates the reach of social networking). Mark looked great, exactly as I remember him — no kidding. And he was well-spoken and knew his stuff. And now we're Twitter buds. You just never know who you'll reconnect with in life, so remember to not burn your bridges, no matter how fun and appropriate it might seem!

So enough preaching. I'll just add this: Try Twitter. It seemed completely inane to me at first, but I'm addicted. Same with Facebook. And yoga. And chocolate. And iced tea.

Until next time, happy trails!