A Blog about Everything

Monday, May 19, 2008

Art in the Park

Yesterday, we visited a park in central Illinois that has many sculptures on display. The 6,000+ acre park is owned by the University of Illinois, and is named Allerton Park after the donor Robert Allerton. This park is not well-known but has beautiful formal gardens in addition to the sculptures. Of course, I especially enjoyed the male body being represented as an art form.

These were called "Fu Dogs" and there were two long rows of them, all slightly different.

We were only able to tour a small portion of the park when the prospect of a 2.5 hr drive back to Indiana after already been on a 30-mile bike ride earlier made us call it a day. Perhaps next time we will be able to stay longer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Somwhat plagarized meme

First, I have to reference my friend Laurie's blog http://ichthyologistbright.blogspot.com
for this post. I wouldn't have ever thought this up on my own. Plus, I'm not sure what a "meme" is....it just seemed like a cool idea!

1.What I was doing 10 years ago: I was in the final stages of finishing up my Ph.D. at Moo U. I had less money, but more optimism than I do now.

2.Five things on my to-do list today:
Pay car insurance bill (d0ne)
Show up for work (done)
Update blog (being done right now)
Meet friend after work for coffee and/or a walk
Learn Spanish (probably will take the rest of my life)

3. Things I would do if I was a billionaire: I dunno. Probably travel the world.

4. Three bad habits I have: I'm actually perfect, but some might disagree. I hate housework, I hate cooking, and I hate getting up early.

5. Five places I've lived: Not much geographical range here...Chicago, IL, northern Indiana (IN), north-east IN, central IN, Traverse City, Michigan.

6. Five jobs I've had:
Dairy Queen (got fired after 2 months)
Medical Technologist in clinical chemistry lab (good job but high stress)
Graduate Teaching Assistant for Anatomy & Physiology lab class (almost hurled during cadaver demonstration)
Aquatic Biologist at Indian Reservation (beautiful area to work in!)
Aquatic Biologist at tiny consulting firm (current job)

7. Five books I've recently read: Probably can't answer this...I just read bits and pieces of books. Many of them are Spanish language instructional books.

You're supposed to tag seven people at the end of the meme. I don't have that many readers (that I know of).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

a month of racing in Indianapolis

I'm normally not a big fan of auto racing, but along with other freebies included in each mini-marathon race packet were free tickets to go to opening day (Sunday) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I had never been to the track when there were race cars using it. So being too sore and tired the day after the mini-marathon to do anything physically demanding. my husband and I decided to use the free tickets.

The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the noise. I thought perhaps there were jets taking off nearby, but no, those were the race cars. Watching on TV does not give you the full effect of the decibel level. The next thing I noticed was that many spectators were wearing earplugs. That's a good idea, I thought to myself.

Then I noticed the variety of people who showed up for opening day. A few were wearing mini-marathon shirts and hats, having also used the free tickets. There were several fashion statements made by those dressed up from head to toe (complete with Mad Hatter hats) in black and white checkered flag material. Others were following the Cone Head advice to "consume mass quantities" and probably didn't care where they were.

The most disturbing person I saw was a guy wearing a "White Pride Ride" shirt. He was quite large, had many tattoos, and a shaved head. Plus, he brought along a friend that was just as big as he was. We didn't stick around to find out if anyone with alcohol-enhanced courage was going to challenge them.

The picture is of one of the several race cars you could look at but not touch. There were security people stationed everywhere to make sure of that.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Indianapolis mini-marathon

Two days ago (Saturday May 3) I participated in the Indianapolis min-marathon. This is the largest half-marathon (13.1 miles) event in the country, with 35,000 registered participants. When one registers, they ask what your estimated finish time will be and group the participants accordingly. Runners and walkers were grouped into alphabetical corrals, with corral "A" being the fastest. Being honest when I registered, I was iplaced n corral "W". Even that far back, I could barely see the large orange sign indicating the location of corral "Z". This picture shows what the view was from my vantage point. The start line is somewhere far ahead. By the time I arrived at the start line, the elite athletes were near the half-way point at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When I saw the Kenyan winners later on TV, I could see that they were focused on only their perfomance. Our back-of-the pack group was busy taking pictures, calling friends on cell phones, and waving to the many spectators along the course.
I finished in 3 hrs 24 minutes, even improving last year's time by 5 minutes. And I had time to read the many signs spectators were holding along the course. The best sign: "You're all Kenyans to me".
Thanks for the encouragement!
The worst sign: "All viruses are male".
What is that supposed to mean?
Registration is already open for next year's event. The race organizers expect it to sell out months in advance, just like every other year. And yes, I'll sign up again.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Not quite ready for Roller Derby

It's been awhle since I updated this blog. First, I was depressed because I didn't have enough to do at work. Later, I was exhausted because I had too much to do at work. But now it's back to my random entries.
This picture was taken this past Saturday. I am on the new Rollerblades (yes, that is the brand I bought), carefully navigating a rail-trail. From my about-to-crash posture, you would never guess that I bought my first pair of in-line skates back in 1991. Back then, all skate boots were hard-shell plastic with no ventilation. The new skates have a softer feel, more like an athletic shoe, with a breathable boot. This should help with my "hot feet" issues during the summer. Unfortunately, my balance/coordination/confidence issues are still the same as with the old skates.
Just for the record, Laurie, I did NOT fall down. Almost fell down several times but managed to stay upright. And for the record, a former railroad bridge that now has a surface of wooden planks does not make for a smooth skating experience. Fortunately for me, I could grasp onto the handy iron rails of the trestle.

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