Unpublished Opinion

Friday, April 29, 2005

Does email lessen your IQ?

Check out this article from The Guardian Online.
It reports on a survey that revealed that a worker’s IQ drops about 10 points when they try to juggle reading and sending email with the other daily tasks of their job. The article reports that workers became lethargic and had trouble focusing. The study showed that email has an “addictive, drug-like grip.”

While I will, of course, admit that e-mailing can be addictive, I actually find that answering and receiving email helps my overall performance. When I reach a stressful point in my work and need a quick break, I resort to email. I think that if I tried to work steadily all day with no connection to my outside world, I would become overly stressed out and overwhelmed by my work, which often delves into the grim and heartbreaking parts of our culture. Would I be more productive without email? Probably. But at what cost to my sanity?

More About Katie...

This quote from Katie Holmes, courtesy of the Internet Movie Database, pretty much sums up why I am worried for her:

"I think every little girl dreams about her wedding. I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise."

I hope that he is not just using her for publicity.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I think the 5% Dixie is because I like to say "y'all"...

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

25% Upper Midwestern

5% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Yankee

wacky day and not even 8am...

Crazy things are happening in the world. Constantine got voted off Idol. Katie Holmes is dating Tom Cruise. Toads are exploding for no reason.
The real signs of the apocalypse?

Monday, April 25, 2005

At least I tried...

After my second bowl of Cap'n Crunch, and watching a bizarre plot on the People's Court about an ostrich/dog fight, I decided I should go run because I would regret it if I didn't, especially because of the nice weather. So I got all dolled up in my running gear, went outside, and was welcomed by the warm sunshine. Following a short warm-up walk, with "Eye of the Tiger" playing on my I-pod, I triumpantly began my run....it ended halfway through the song. I can blame the wind or the sun in my eyes or any number of other things, but I know what really went wrong. I didn't want to run today. I made myself go, my body new it, and told my brain. My brain then started to make my body walk. After about 12 minutes of alternating run/walking I went back home. Defeated.
I used my extra time to add a pretty countdown ticker to the top of my blog to keep me updated as to when my 10k race is. Maybe it will serve as motivation. If not, at least the daisies are pretty.

My Running Rut

I am sitting here in my apartment, even though it is a warm, sunny, 65 degrees outside. I am a little tired, but that shouldn't prevent me from running. I am just in a rut. Since my less than stellar experience in the Springfield 5k, I haven't even run a mile. Unless you count repeatedly running up the stairs to retrieve more boxes from the 3rd floor apartment yesterday.
I don't know if I lack motivation or what, although the looming 10k should motivate me I would think...
Maybe I need a new outfit or something.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Working at home

I had planned to get up early this morning to finish a reply brief I have been working on before heading out to the suburbs for the continuation of what seems to the never-ending big move. But instead of working, I am surfing the web, making hotel reservations for events seven months away, and, of course, writing this.
I have found it more and more difficult to work at home lately. When I first started my job, I was so eager, I would bring work home almost every night. And certainly on the weekends I would be at my computer typing away. But yet, now I sit here with no desire to even bring the file out of my bag. Perhaps I have a better handle on things now and don't need to spend time at home typing away, trying to be perfect, to create that perfect brief. Maybe because now I realize there is no such thing. Or that no matter how well I write, there is a 90% chance I will lose anyway because my clients have all the cards stacked against them: poor, minority, convicted.
I have become increasingly frustrated and I have peaks and valleys of feelings of confidence and incompetence. Maybe the reason that the SA's have such egos is that they win so much and convince themselves that their victories are some how the result of their hard work or intelligence, when the reality is that they could write their briefs at a third grade level and they would still win.
A problem with no solution that will, no doubt, continue to plague me the rest of my career. I guess I should get to work...or I could see what's on TV...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Some much for free speech...

Apparently loving your vagina is not an appropriate high school behavior. In a statement, the high school said that they support free speech, but that buttons spouting vaginal self-love may "infringe on other people's rights." What right is that? The right to be free of feminism?

Why I love the CTA....

If the CTA goes through with present plans to cut my bus route to work, I realize things will be 100 times worse than they are now. Which is already pretty awful. My latest experience, from this morning, for your reading pleasure...

When I went out to the bus stop it was cold. And raining. Sideways again. Damn that lake effect wind. Two buses came immediately. Not mine, of course. Then a few minutes later two more. Not me again. Then ten minutes passed and another bus came. Nope. My fingers were starting to freeze. Didn't think I would need gloves in the end of April. Then another bus came that wasn't mine (and completely empty by the way, given that it was the same route as the previous two).
Finally after 24 minutes, my bus arrived. YAY!!! I nearly elbowed the guy that tried to get on ahead of me...it pissed me off because he had just gotten to the bus stop and had not endured what I had. He didn't deserve to get on before me.

So there I was, happy and content on the nice warm bus. About halfway through the ride, though, I noticed there was a leak in the window next to my seat. The heater on the side of the bus seemed to aggravate the situation, making the rain blow more onto me as the heat was emitted. There was no way I was giving up my seat, though, because all the other seats were taken. I was not going to stand. Remembering of course that I had been standing for nearly a half hour waiting for the bus. And I hadn't even had any caffeine yet.

I put my umbrella next to the window, to block the rain that was trickling down. That worked for most of the ride, but then there was a big gust of wind or
something, because all of this water came down the inside of the window
and onto my seat underneath me.

So now I am sitting here at work with a big wet spot on my pants.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


I had starting thinking that maybe I was becoming addicted to this blog.
Then, today, that theory proved true.
I tried to update my blog and was met with a note saying that there was scheduled maintenance for 30 minutes. Not too bad I thought. As the hour neared for the maintenance to be completed, I kept hitting refresh over and over again until, to my horror a new note appeared: the maintenance would last two hours! TWO HOURS?!! But the world needs to know about why I did not run today and I need to spread humor with my story about the muffin-making gone horribly wrong. Whatever was I going to do for TWO HOURS!?!?!
Well I survived, although I nearly started biting my nails and Simba Kitty has become quite confused wondering why I was paying so much attention to him.
As a result of this ordeal, I am exhausted. Thus, the world will have to wait a little longer for my stories of the day as I go rest on the couch. But just knowing that I COULD blog the stories if I wanted to puts me at peace.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What is wrong with Texas?


Like so many other things, Rosie says it better than I ever could.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Lost: My mind. Reward if Returned.

Not even certain that I can finish the 10k that I am scheduled to run in just 33 days, I have registered to complete a half-marathon here in Chicago this August. 13.1 miles. in August. in Chicago. As I said, I have lost my mind.
To give me added motivation, however, I have decided to join up with the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago's "Run for your lungs" charity team. In exchange for agreeing to raise $500 or more in pledges, they will give me free training and other support. I really like some of the things that the organization is working on, including trying to make Chicago restaurants and bars smoke-free.
The group will eventually set me up with a website to collect on-line pledges. I will, of course, link to that here as soon as it is up and running...

Monday, April 18, 2005


The high point of the weekend was visiting the newly opened Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield. The museum was wonderful!! It has some very interesting exhibits within, including two presentations (one with cannon fire and smoke), an examination of Lincoln through the eyes of political cartoonists of his time, as well as amazingly life-like replicas of Abe, the family, and other notable historical figures, such as Frederick Douglass. My favorite part was probably the CNN "coverage" of the 1860 presidential race, complete with television campaign ads. It even had a scroll along the bottom giving the relevant news of the time.
All in all it was a great experience and I am glad that we were able to be among the first to see it. I am sure that it will become very popular, especially after all the press it is bound to receive tomorrow on Dedication Day when Georgie himself will be there.

We also stopped by Lincoln's tomb on the way out of town. It was an enormous sight to behold. I wondered what he would have thought about the size of the memorial; would he have thought it to be too much?

The Race

Well, I reached my goal of under 30 minutes, but did so feeling rather miserable. I started off way too fast and my body never really recovered. The race course went by some interesting places, which I noted later on foot. I certainly was not in the mood to look at scenery as I lumbered along in the sun. I would have liked to see the race set up a little more professionally. There was no banner for the start or finish line and not all of the streets were blocked off. There I was running down Capitol Avenue in downtown Springfield and there was a line of traffic (luckily) stopped to my left. What if the driver thought I looked slow enough to beat across the intersection?
My final complaint (I realize there have been alot) is that my much anticipated "finisher's medal" was a lame little keychain.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cranky Day

Today I am cranky for some reason. Not sure why. I resorted to all of my tricks: shopping, french fries, etc., but still feel rather blah. Maybe I just need to sleep.
Did 2 miles today. Heading north it was COLD. It gave new meaning to the phrase "cooler by the lake." Southbound was a little better, because I think the wind was at my back.
I feel pretty good about the impending 5k. So long as it is not too windy, I think that I will do ok.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

So far so good...

The 10k training is in full swing. The weather has caused me to rearrange the schedule, but I managed to get everything done for the first week.
This week I have to do a 2.5 miles and 2 mile run. Then I have my 5k in Springfield on Saturday which will count as my weekend run. So excited about that race, because I will get a finisher's medal, provided, of course, that I finish. I hope to get it done in less than 30 minutes, but we shall see...

In other news, last night I was witness to the Pistons overtime victory over the Bulls. Sloppy play, somewhat brutal at times, but very enjoyable. The Pistons clinched the division and the 2nd seed in the playoffs. I hope that they meet the Bulls again in the conference finals. Would be a great match-up.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Next Challenge

Not satisfied with what I have accomplished thus far, I am currently beginning training to run a 10k on May 22.
It is called The Main Course® and it is run in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association convention in town that week. What that means for me is that the reward for pushing myself to run 6.2 miles, farther than I have ever run before, is what is described as "a wide array of food and beverages provided by Main Course® Sponsors."
I hope it is something yummy.
Who knows, if this goes well the half-marathon is not far behind....and then maybe one day in October....

Monday, April 04, 2005

Happy Day!

Well all my worrying seems unnecessary now and frankly I feel a little silly about it. Although, apparently, pre-race nerves are quite common.
I started the race with a reasonable goal of one hour and running as much as I could.
From the second I crossed the start line, I knew it would be a great run. My mind said "This is going to be fun" and my body, luckily, agreed.
The course was awesome, going all throughout the city in a big pack of 20,000+ runners. It was like nothing I have ever experienced
There were groups of people cheering us on the whole way. One of the el train conductors honked and waved as we passed under the track.
Not to say that is was all easy. The last mile was rough, in the bright sunlight, with a giant hill at the very end.
But I did it. Happily. And without walking. In 52 minutes, 28 seconds...
Happy Day.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sports Section

With the exception of various games that I have attended as a spectator, nothing that I have ever been involved with has ever made an apperance in the Sports section of the newspaper. That ended today with a blurb about the 8k in the local newspaper. Feeling more and more out of my league.

(you have to scroll down to reach the blurb)