I forgot to mention this before I left, but I left for Illinois on Thursday afternoon and didn’t get back until a couple of hours ago. I am behind on my calculus homework and am in the process of syncing my new iPad, which just arrived via FedEx this evening, so I probably won’t have a hand free to Photoshop anything for a while, but cute pictures will be forthcoming ASAP. Stay tuned….


Folk Thursday: Sharon Clark

Ron found this a couple of weeks ago and suggested I post it. More jazz than folk, but an amazing treatment of a song I’ve always loved. Karen Carpenter never had it so good.

On a completely unrelated note, I got an 87 on my calculus test today. Not as good as I would have liked, but much better than I was expecting based on the amount of trouble I had with the homework.

Calculus is so weird … I struggle and struggle and struggle through the homework, and then the day of the test, it all just sort of clicks. Weird.


Hippie nerd

So a reporter from Channel 6 called me last week to schedule an interview about the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcar.

As it turned out, the 45 minutes or so that I spent doing the interview was the only break I got from a calculus homework marathon that started at 8:30 this morning and ended about 15 minutes ago. “Ended” isn’t really the right word. I still have three problems left to work, and I have the feeling they’re going to be nasty. I spent five and a half hours in the math lab at TCC, and I’m guessing at least two hours of that was actual tutoring. (The rest was me frantically trying to get my homework done and desperately trying to figure out how to do things myself, which didn’t work all that well.)

I came home to find my inbox full of nice messages and Facebook friend requests from people who had seen the segment about my car on the 5 o’clock news this evening.

Fortunately, the segment is online, so I got to watch it a minute ago. I think it turned out pretty well. You can see it here. (I’m not sure whether that’s a permanent link or something that will disappear later, but the reporter, Rick Wells, told me the segments that appear on the Web site are all archived, so you should be able to find it later.)

I’m not sure what it says about me that I missed the segment on my hippiemobile because I am such a nerd that I spent the better end of 12 hours doing math today.

In case you are wondering, the calculus textbook will be coming with me when I go to Illinois this weekend. Maybe Daddy can help me with my homework.

I’m giving serious thought to cutting my losses and going to bed now. The left side of my brain is now ticked off at me for making it work overtime, and the right side of my brain isn’t speaking to me because I’ve been ignoring it all day.

Meanwhile, the entire rest of my body is grumbling about the fact that I’ve been forcing it to survive on a can of Slim-Fast, a small bowl of ice cream, and half a piece of garlic bread.

Maybe a dinner break will mollify everybody….


Back in town

Sorry about the unexplained silence. I think I forgot to mention that we went to the Tri-State Route 66 Festival this weekend. I’m playing catch-up today after being out of town, but I’ll have photos for you ASAP.

Jackie and I had a good run this morning — four miles at LaFortune Park. I didn’t have a stopwatch, but we built in some walk breaks and tried to keep our pace down to something manageable. The weather wasn’t bad — it’s 80 degrees at the moment, and I think it may have been a degree or two cooler when we started our run — and a lot of the trail was in the shade, which helped. It also helped that we encountered a very cheerful runner who would grin and raise her fists in the air and yell, “Good morning, ladies! You’re beautiful!” every time we met her on the trail. Runners like that can make all the difference.

Here is our quote for the day, courtesy of the passenger’s side of my car:

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”
— Richard Bach

I’m glad Jackie called and woke me up early, because I was tempted to sleep in, and I really have a lot to do today: three or four sections’ worth of calculus homework, errands (including picking up Walter and the dogs from the vet’s office where we boarded them this weekend), housecleaning, and a little gardening.

Not sure how much of that I’ll finish in the next few hours, but I’m guessing I’ll accomplish more if I get offline and take a shower so I can get to work. Film at 11….



Thanks to my little sister, I have a new hobby this week: geocaching. In the past three days, I have hunted for 13 geocaches and found nine, which I think is a fairly decent batting average.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, geocaching is a game in which you use a GPS device to hunt for hidden “treasure.” The treasure consists of a (hopefully) watertight container in which you will find, at a minimum, a piece of paper for logging your visit. More elaborate caches contain a logbook, a pen or pencil, and a collection of small objects for trading purposes.

Cache locations are posted online at Geocaching.com, where you can search by ZIP code to find caches in your area, along with GPS coordinates and clues to help you find them.

When someone posts a new cache on the site, it’s considered kind of a big deal if you are the first to find it. I figured it would take a long time for me to score an “FTF,” but someone posted a new cache in my area the other day, so after calculus this afternoon, I fought my way through trees and brambles and spiderwebs and barbed wire and copious amounts of poison ivy to find it.

Being new to geocaching, I’m not entirely sure what to expect from each terrain rating, but I figured something rated four out of five stars for difficulty would take a little effort. As it turns out, I could have approached the cache location from the opposite direction and had a much easier time getting to it (I think my route took me through some five-star terrain), but that’s OK. The woods were pretty, I was well-equipped with sturdy boots and a cap, and my efforts were rewarded with an FTF and a cute little green plastic dinosaur — not to mention a chance to burn off about 400 calories without really thinking about it — so I really can’t complain.

Hope you had fun today, wherever you were.


We can work it out

For reasons which sounded better inside an air-conditioned building than they did on the River Parks trail this afternoon, I promised my friend Jackie that I would help her train for the Route 66 Marathon.

She seems to think that I am a serious runner, which I probably was a few years ago. (Now? Um, yeah. Hey, while you’re up, would you mind handing me that box of Twinkies? Yeaaaah. That’d be greeeeeat. Thanks.)

Anyway, I don’t want to disappoint her, so after she sent me a text this morning to report that she had just finished the three miles I put on her training schedule for today, I promised her I’d go for a run after my kempo lesson this afternoon. I was only planning on three miles, but I wound up putting in five just because I hadn’t been to River Parks in a while and wanted to take the time to enjoy it.

I think Jackie is going to be really fun to train. She is a professional counselor and a strong Christian who enjoys looking at things from a spiritual perspective, so it wasn’t hard to convince her to throw away all the well-intentioned nonsense that people throw at runners about muscle soreness and injuries and The Wall and heart rate and diet and weekly mileage and all the other mental clutter that seems to distract so many people from the simple, pleasant task of placing one foot in front of the other.

To ensure that we keep our thought in the right place, I think I am going to start each of our runs with a Bible verse or an uplifting quotation that seems relevant to the task at hand. When I was training for my first marathon, I had an AOL blog where I would log each run, along with a useful quotation, and a lot of people said they read every new post just to see what uplifting thought I was sharing that day.

Maybe I should start doing that here. Let’s begin with an old favorite from Mrs. Eddy:

We are all capable of more than we do.

— Mary Baker Eddy

Stay tuned. I’ve got another run on the schedule for tomorrow.

— Emily

Daybook for June 15

For today…

Outside my window… midnight.
I am thinking… that it’s been a good day.
From the classroom… calculus homework.
I am thankful for… my new cell phone, which isn’t as fancy as my old one but works MUCH better.
From the kitchen… a piece of string cheese.
I am wearing… pajamas.
I am reading… e-mail.
I am hoping… that TCC fixes whatever glitch is keeping me from being able to see my grade online.
I am creating… a list of GPS coordinates for geocaches I might be able to find after my dentist’s appointment tomorrow morning.
I am praying… for a sense of calm that doesn’t depend on circumstances.
Around the house… sleep.
One of my favorite things… sunny afternoons.
A few plans for the rest of the week… kempo, calc, and maybe some jogging.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Love that duckweed. It shades the pond so nicely and provides cover for the frogs and toads and a landing pad for thirsty bees.


Daybook for June 14

For today…

Outside my window… a summer rainstorm.
I am thinking… about which project to tackle first: phone calls, lesson plans, or calculus.
From the classroom… studying for a calculus test.
I am thankful for… Walter.
From the kitchen… granola with vanilla yogurt and frozen raspberries.
I am wearing… denim shorts, Crocs, and a tech shirt.
I am reading… other people’s Facebook entries.
I am hoping… that I can memorize about two dozen rules governing the limit of f(x) as x approaches something-or-other.
I am creating… a lot of unnecessary stress for myself.
I am praying… to know that I have everything I need to juggle all of my responsibilities this summer.
Around the house… a zebra finch singing his heart out.
One of my favorite things… Java Beach in San Francisco.
A few plans for the rest of the week… calc test, two kempo lessons, and a lot of phone calls.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This is the water hyacinth that decided to bloom last Monday. Somehow those plants always seem to know when we need to see those purple flowers.