April 29, 2015


i have great news.

i ran the equivalent of a 5k.

3.16 miles actually.  i did it in 32 minutes.

i'm a cheater though, kind of, because i don't cross against lights and i always have to stop and say hi real quick to kevin the jiffy lube guy and i let bixby use the bathroom once. 

so not 3.16 miles in one go.  not 32 minutes all at once.

but still - this is huge for me.  this is the most i've been able to run... ever?  and with a 10:07 pace, i'm pretty proud of myself.

here's the running plan i've been using, cobbled together by yours truly from various running websites and knowledge about what my body can and cannot do.  i find i can handle minutes better than mileage, with little bitty 2-3 minute increases each time.  and i like to go fast, and i like to take breaks, which is what the interval runs are for.
hasta la vista from these two runners:

April 28, 2015


like many of my new favorite quotes, this is from tracks, the story of robyn davidson's trek across the australian desert.  if i've done the math right, she met gladdy in 1975, and although she is specifically referencing the aboriginals in australia, in light of the recent riots in baltimore, this quote seems applicable thirty years later and halfway around the globe.  i was hesitant to share this on facebook because the language is outdated and i didn't want it to be interpreted as patronizing, but here: "there's nothing damn well wrong with the blacks except what the whites do to them."

and the rioters are being told to protest peacefully.  "you can protest, as long as it's not inconvenient to us.  as long as you don't cause too big a stir.  as long as you're quiet about it."  it's silly, that's not the point.  the point is that if you try to shoot an elephant, you might get bulldozed, and that's your own damn fault.  the elephant isn't going to protest peacefully, he's going to knock shit over until something changes.  and while i don't condone violence, the rioters, the protesters, they all have a right to be angry.  and to fix that, something's got to change.

April 27, 2015


come july, these will be all my worldly possessions, save a few toiletry-type items and the pack they're all going in.  that brown bag up at the top is my house, the little crunched up gray bag and the brown thing on the far right are my bed.  my kitchen is right there in the middle - the cookset, the stove, and the fuel canister.  my entire closet is on the left.  it's amazing to pare down the things you own to the things you need and spread it out on your bed and see what you've got.  this is it.  this and a butt ton of macaroni and bixby.  and so many of these things are extraneous - i've thought a lot about the deodorant and the razor and i've decided that i really want them and if i change my mind i can toss them at any time, but i don't need them.  i don't need the pillow or the compass or the journal.  i don't need the flannel shirt (confession: it's cotton, and i've decided that if it's a terrible idea that's a lesson i'm just going to have to learn on my own).  i could lose the chacos (or maybe the boots - we'll see!), and the tick remover since there are tweezers in the medical kit, and probably half of what's in the medical kit to be honest.  i need clothes on my back and something to sleep on and some way to eat and drink.  under those rules probably half this stuff could go.  but right now i'm already terrified enough by this so, so small display of items.  what about my dresses?  won't i miss my pillows?  does bix need a toy (no, duh)?  this is it!  hello summer, hello trail, hello this is my new life!

April 24, 2015


My dad has backpacked for forever. His external frame (damned thing that it is) was the pack I used on my first backpacking expedition. He loves being outdoors, loves gardening, loves sailing, loves camping. So growing up, we went camping as much as my mother allowed. My earliest memory of camping was at Hanging Rock State Park, when we set up our tent in the dark, slept through a terrific thunderstorm, and woke to bushes and bushes of blueberries that we picked and cooked in our pancakes.

When I was older, maybe ten, my family visited Warren Wilson College in Asheville. Their campus is beautiful, and we walked to an old oak tree sitting at the edge of a sunlit field. There we found raspberry bushes and ate to our hearts' content. I remember my mother repeating something she had said before - that sun-ripened raspberries were proof of God's existence.

Eliza's house was where I discovered mulberry trees. We scaled the prickly branches during one sleepover and filled our pockets to add the juicy berries to our store of other wild things we knew were edible: onion grass, violets, clover. I have always refused to eat onions but would carefully pull onion grass from the earth and wipe off the dirt with my grubby fingers before nibbling on them as part of some elaborate pretending game.

Summer camp was for silverberries. I don't know the technical name for these, but one year we all knew what they were called and that they were delicious. We'd pluck branches full of them and eat them as we walked barefoot down the dirt driveway to the pond. They were tiny and red with shiny silver splotches, and mostly pit anyway, and if you ate too many your tongue would feel raw and waxy, but we devoured them anyway.

All that being said, the realization that I will be hiking the MST while berries are in season has been one of the most exciting to date. I can just see myself grinning down the trail, juice-stained hands and mouth full of berries.

April 22, 2015

this is completely new information.

just found out that captain crewe is now davos so forgive me if i go into a screaming monologue every time he comes on screen from here on out




April 20, 2015

oh, shakori.

i went to shakori this past weekend, like i've done so many times over the past few years, knowing it would be my last one for a while.  it was wonderful.  the sun and the mud and the music made their appearances, and i basked in all of it.  it was maybe my laziest shakori to date - i spent about half my time there in a hammock (guys, i'm sold.  i need an eno stat.) and fell asleep by 11:00 each night, cinderella style, except instead of turning into a pumpkin i turned comatose and had to be walked to my tent because my eyes would not stay open.  but i saw holy ghost, and dr. bacon, and big fat gap and bombadil and ancient cities and big mean sound machine.  i ate curry with rice and samosas from the indian place like i do every year and mexican corn on the cob from the new food booth for the first time.  i met so many wonderful new people (hello cat hat!  hello chicken!  hello jonah!) and saw so many people i love who i rarely see outside of shakori.  it was a beautiful way to spend the weekend, and i am so grateful that a magical little place like shakori exists.

my phone stayed in my tent for the most part, so pictures are sadly few and far between, but here are a few of the moments i experienced.
big fat gap!
excalibur, my unexpected tent guest
my view for 50% of the weekend
the wood brothers
highlight of shakori: wearing this bear costume.  there was a bubble gun in the pocket that i made ample use of.
 happy shakori!

April 16, 2015

wardrobe capsule, travel edition

I realized yesterday that in order to have my life wrapped up and ready to move on to my next adventure, I'd need to start planning what I'm bringing approximately now. First and foremost, of course, is clothes. I'm no fashion blogger. My poor attempt at a capsule was all preparation and no follow through. I recognize that most of the time I'm going to be hot and sweaty with no need whatsoever for pretty clothes. And yet... there are things I have that I can't bear to leave behind. My skirt with the blue flowers. All four of my very similar but just different enough flannely button downs. "You're allowed one pair of pajamas and that's it," I tell myself, giving my cat onesie some seriously tragic side eye.

But - I looked at my closet and went through my drawers and made a list of tops, bottoms, shoes, dresses, and accessories, and I am not so very sad about it.  I don't know that I could bring myself to get rid of my horcrux shirt or my sunset dress or my rather excessive pajama bottom collection, but knowing that they're not gone and just in storage makes it okay, and after I've lived in just one outfit for three months and picked olives in Greece and strawberries in Argentina, maybe the material items I put on my body won't matter so much.  I went through and tallied the number of outfits I could make with the clothes I was planning to bring, and the marks went all the way across the page and then some, and that seems both excessive and comforting.

And what do I need besides clothes?  Assorted toiletries, not much.  I won't need kitchen supplies - no pots or pans, no ladles.  I'll probably bring my little camping cookset and one of the bowls I made and my Swiss Army knife and maybe a spork or something, but those things are so little and such a small percentage of what I own.  I am such a hoarder, keeping every tiny memento: movie tickets in a plastic zip-loc, birthday cards in a file folder, every little thing that reminds me of someone or something squirreled away to look through later (and to be fair, I do).  All of which I will not be hauling with me halfway across the globe.  My furniture stays.  My snowboard and my bicycle.  Bix's crate will return to the person who lent it to us.  A few favorite books might make it with me, but books are heavy and take up space.  I will not be bringing my toaster oven or my blender.  All of my possessions should fit in a couple of bags, and that prospect excites me to no end.

April 15, 2015

links lanks lunks

oh hi, pretties
obsessed with this chick
clover bush, because why not
this girl and i would be friends.

little bit silly, little bit raunchy, i bring you panels out of context.

everybody's probably already banged through kimmy schmidt, but if you haven't, or if you need to rewatch it (who, me?), or if you want to binge watch some other show, here's your guide.

this mashup of famous dance scenes IS my new favorite video, thanks!

nifty!  and it goes along swimmingly with my no poo experiment, which, by the way, is still inconclusive.

my latest favorite instagram account.

i found this this morning and laughed so hard i cried.  at work.  dang! dang! dang it right up!

April 13, 2015

things & stuff

last night i brought bix to a friend's house.  it was almost fine - he and bella got along swimmingly, complete with a spiderman kiss moment (PRESH) (i later figured out that bella's head smelled like treats) but he was not on his best behavior, so he went home, and i went back, and we finished watching this movie called tracks about a girl who walks across australia with some camels and her dog.  obviously, i thought she was The Coolest, and there was this line: "i believe, when you've been stuck too long in one spot, it's best to throw a grenade where you're standing and jump, and pray" which yes yes yes.  so that was good.
trail update: i found this rad little website where you can search for different trails and find entries from people who have hiked the trails.  i signed up obviously, and there's going to be a whole lot of overlap between this blog and that one, particularly once i get on the trail and my whole life is the MST, but if you wanna check out words exclusively about hiking by yours truly, feel free to hop on over to my trail journal.
also danielle was here this weekend!  this post is very disjointed, but she and sarah and i went to relish in raleigh friday, the mda walk saturday (all three of us got pretty sunburned, hellooooo summer sunshine!), southern village for an outdoor concert, redbud for picnic dinner, sarah's house for into the woods, and jubala sunday morning for pretzel-waffles (chocolate chip for danielle, apple cinnamon for sarah, and coconut for me, please and thank you!).  i rounded out the weekend with yoga and a nap and a half assed run, and then, back to the beginning, some rascal dog time and tracks.
el fin.

April 10, 2015

danielle is coming!  danielle is coming!  frowback friday to last winter at ricker's wedding when we all hung out in an electric green room alllll dayyyyy.

April 9, 2015

first storm

yesterday was one of the hottest days we've had so far, warming up to over 80 degrees.  i was at chris's until late, eating the world's largest, most delicious sandwich and watching game of thrones, and when i left, the air still held the day's heat.  my room has a door that leads to a tiny screened in porch, which might actually be my favorite thing about the place, and i left the door open when i fell asleep to let the night air in.  at four in the morning i woke up to thunder and lightning banging into my bedroom.  bix was sleeping in his crate, so i dragged him up on to the bed, and we laid there for a while, watching the lightning bursts through the window and listening to the thunder that followed.

April 7, 2015

running dreams

Whenever I dream about running - which is fairly often - I don't remember it like I do the rest of my dreams. It comes to me later, the feeling that I ran some time in the recent past, and not because I feel it in my muscles but because I think about running and it scares me. When I run in my dreams, my legs don't work, my shoes trip me, my arms pump out of rhythm, I can't go right. It's this sensation, this echo that I remember, and I forget it was a dream and associate that utter frustration with real life running. And that's wrong. No one has ever called me a graceful runner, but there's something I really enjoy about finding the right form, that sweet spot of loose and strong with my limbs and core helping to push me forward, that I forget about when I'm not in the act of running. And as it turns out, I do like to run. Today I ran two and a half miles, and it didn't feel good, but it felt right. 

happy easter!

sometimes your day starts out like this and everything's lovely and warm and fun and you are having the absolute time of your life and then you eat part of a plastic knife and a cream cheese wrapper and things go downhill real quick.  you get tricked into drinking hydrogen peroxide, and then you vomit peanut butter and dog food and grass and some mulch and the knife bit and the cream cheese wrapper and, mysteriously enough, something that said "net wt."
and then you feel like this.

April 1, 2015

these days

 yesterday was an errandy kind of day.  i threw it back to 2007 and drove through the car wash with "hey there delilah" blasting... were you obsessed with sarah dessen too?  did you read just listen?  "told you.  everything sounds better in the car wash."... it's true. 

just to intensify the seventeen-ness of it all, i cashed some babysitting checks and drove home with the windows down.  my mix cd titled "eat your vegetables," distinguishable by the delias-inspired design i had drawn in sharpie, was playing five for fighting and straylight run and bix was in the seat next to me and my sunglasses were on and all was right with the world...

i had bought bix a toy while we were out, that egg-shaped purple thing, and filled it with his dinner.  he's supposed to bat it around so that the kibble falls out one of the holes at either end, but he just didn't get it.  i'd kick it around, and three or four kibble pieces would land on the rug, and he'd eat them and lick the egg and lay down in utter frustration.  we'll see how he's fared today... most likely he's figured out how to get into something much more difficult, but the egg won't have moved.  oh, bixby.

i slept for thirteen hours monday night, it was an accident, a nap gone rogue.  i laid down at 6:30 and didn't wake up until 1am, fell promptly back asleep, the rest is history.  i was supposed to go to the beach this weekend but now we're not...  i went for a run yesterday and pounded out 1.72 miles...  tonight is game of thrones and pasta night - i read a few more chapters of book three last night, and WHOA dude.  the drama just doesn't stop.  i had a tinder but i deleted it.  i went to yoga on sunday.  these little things make up my life right now, and it's no wonder i'm ready for adventure.  hasta luego, vacuuming!  sayonara, utility bills!  ninety-one days, bitches!  and then - peace OUT.