On Facebook Birthdays.


I might be the only one. But I love birthdays on Facebook. Today I turned 55 years old, and I’m way past the point of lots of presents and parties and specialness of the day. And I know that 55 is not all that special unless you’re a runner of course and you’re going into a new age group. But, this is not about that because well, I’m sidelined for the last three weeks. With my marathon only a month away, the finish line is getting dimmer and dimmer as I continue to wait for the MRI on Tuesday.

So, Facebook. I never really wanted to be on Facebook because I loved Twitter so much. There was relative anonymity, and I could talk about and tweet whatever I wanted. On Facebook, there’s all kinds of little landmines. Will I irritate someone if I put this political post up? (Yes…) Will someone be so sick of Chet and my boys and basketball that they simply roll their eyes when I post another picture of my food next to the spa? Can you take another selfie of me in my running gear and my sunset?

I joined Facebook because I was in a relationship with somebody who was on Facebook. A lot. And this week Facebook came out with all these cute little videos of us on our timelines. And mine, well, it was really filled with my girlfriends. There was not one relationship post or anything to indicate that the angst of those last two years even existed. This thrilled me.

Because, it’s been a year. And, I can’t tell you the peace that I have on this day. Because that horrible day, I was offered a new job, and a new life.

So, back to Facebook birthdays. This year, when a notification came up that it was somebody’s birthday, I really made an effort to try to wish them happy birthday. It took less than 15 seconds out of my day. Sometimes if I really know you well, you might get a picture, or a little quote, or even maybe a gift. I got home tonight, and there were 150 messages waiting for me. (I’ve been really making an effort to stay off of Facebook during the day, because I really have little discipline. Plus, I like my job.)

I sat down tonight, and replied to every single person on my timeline, because I really want you to know that it means something to me that you even clicked on the little box next to my name and wrote happy birthday. That even though I’m 55, I still like a party and I still love the fact that I was born.

Life is messy.

This week there’s been some ups and downs some with my house. A Girlriend of mine is going to give birth hopefully before midnight, and I can say her daughter was born on my birthday. A friend’s husband beat lung cancer this year. Another friend is MIA as she attempts to face down breast cancer. Another is suffering from losing her boy. My dear friend Mona lost her sweet Albus this week. An old friend messaged me tonight that he is getting a divorce. And yet, I sat down and watched my friends videos, and I was filled with joy. Because this really is pretty damn good, this life.

And, say what you will, but I only know all of this in your life, because of Facebook. You like my kid pictures, and I like yours. (That’s the bargain). And so people say it’s just sort of an unbelievable make-believe world, but I beg to disagree. I think it’s the most real world we have. Of course, last weekend, the person that I used to love looked at something on one of my timelines, and was hurt something I said, maybe months ago. He took his friendship completely away from me. And because he didn’t bother to check out the truth, he is simply. Gone. So yeah, there’s that. If you only have social media and not real life, you can read into all kinds of things that aren’t really true.

But birthdays on Facebook. Isn’t there anything so exciting as to see a little notification that says I’m thinking about you, even if it’s only on my break as I sip coffee? I’m thinking about you.

The box of chocolates at the top of this page was given to me today by a sweet friend. I kept it sealed all day until I got home. Just as I was getting ready to turn everything off, I cracked it open, and ate my most favorite piece first. A Bordeaux. It was delicious, and the perfect ending to a great day. And I am ever so blessed.

*Update. The baby made it. She was born on my birthday. So I can hardly wait to she’s one-year-old and I can put a big picture on her Facebook page too.

** There is never too much. Never too much posting and sharing and being involved and I know I just wrote on this topic in my last post, but it’s still relevant to me.

***Happy Birthday to me. And thank you for being in my life.

Happy Birthday To Gymnotes

Gymnotes is 5 years old.

5 year olds are cheerful, energetic, enthusiastic.

They like best friends, but haven’t completely mastered social skills.

Since the inception of this blog.

1 divorce

falling in love with 1 harley guy

4 marathons

10 half marathons

5 10Ks

13 5Ks

A Science teacher, then PE, then

High School English Teacher

My boys were in 4th and 2nd grade,

learning how to navigate a divorce,

when only 8% of the town is divorced.

I stumbled about blogs that I still read today:

Quadrathon & Viper & Tavia & Glenn.

I joined and unjoined Twitter.

I contacted the Governor on these pages

and became a champion of older runners.

I met women near and far that have become so dear to me.

Shannon, Ali, Yasmine, Sheila, Row

Shiloh, Penny, Maddy, Lauren, Cyndi, Zu

Gymnotes is 5, and I’m running my 5th marathon.

I used to write about everything, then just running,

now everything again.

I am blessed.

Birthday Cake all around!

Welcome Spring.

Speedlinking: Ms. V’s Top Ten Blogs 2011

Blogs on JoopeA
Image via Wikipedia

Nail Polish, Dogs, Food, Teaching.  Where do you go for the best blogs on the web? 

Every day I log into Google Reader to read any updates on 60 of my favorite blogs.  Lucky for me, not everyone blogs every day, but I thought I’d share my ten current (non-running) favs.  Enjoy!

  1. If you want to be a hip mom, Geeky Gadgets is a must.  I am able to converse with my children on why Nintendo 3DS is both magic and tragic, and be one of the first to have Monopoly for Millionaires on Facebook.
  2. I’m a huge fan of Twitter, so the official Twitter blog is something I read regularly, with geeky stats that I crave, fed to me in little bits and pieces.  I love that Usher’s appearance in the Super Bowl sent Twitter into it’s second highest peak of the game!
  3. We know what Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness is.  He left the Dodgers.  Adore this blog and it’s daily watch to see if Ron Belisario has reported to Spring Training yet. (He hasn’t)
  4. I love Dogster: For the Love Of Dog Some days heartwarming, some days tragic, but if you have a dog, it’s a must have blog.  From dog obesity, to separation anxiety in dogs, to the crazy primping at Westminster, this blog continues to inform and entertain.
  5. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the Fresno Bee has it’s own photography website!  Bee There is a collection of all the cool shots captured by Bee photographers.  Finally, The Sun was one of my favorites, because I was sent that picture the exact same day by someone who snapped it on his phone (you know who you are!)
  6. I love to get my nails painted.   Though marathon training has temporarily sidelined my girly girl pursuits, I still crack up at the Stupid Nail Polish Names blog.  Yes, Bitches Brew, Deer Valley Spice, and Lemonade Stand by Your Man are all real nail polish names.  And yes, they are stupid.  Don’t judge.
  7. I’ve always loved the sea.  Not the beach, where you sunbathe, but the sea.  The stuff in the sea.  The Scuttlefish is my daily fix of The Bamboo Island, Sea Monster Monday, and dreams of exploration in the water.   Water Wench Wednesday, is beautiful, but be careful.  It’s NSFW (Not Safe For Work).
  8. I used to cook in my previous life.  I once stood stirring risotto non-stop for 45 minutes.  Now I just gaze at these three food blogs.  My number one fav is Lemon Tart Diary followed by The Onyx Plate and Holy Poached Eggs!
  9. “Put enough ketchup on it and a kid will eat almost anything.” Metro Dad is one of my favorite parenting blogs, which sometimes doesn’t talk about parenting at all.  But this, and other single parenting sites have pretty much made me howl with laughter or sigh with regret since I became one.  Singlemommyhood kept me informed and enlightened and up late commenting these last 4 years.
  10. Lastly, Mr. Teachbad’s Blog Of Teacher Disgruntlement has me nodding in agreement, shrieking with laughter, and wishing for the olden golden days of teaching.  The Essence of a Teacher, and How To Kill It, Dawn of The Dumbest Data and The Principal’s Training Summit Video posts are spot on.  It’s a wonderful thing.

Gymnotes is 3

I completely forgot this, but as I was running the LA Marathon, this little blog turned 3 years old.

From the National Network for Child Care:

The 3-year-old is full of wonder and spends a lot of time watching, observing, and imitating. Their days are filled with busy exploration of their world.

Three-year-olds are interested in perfecting motor skills, and it is common for them to spend the entire morning going down the slide or riding a favorite tricycle.

Three-year-olds have very little memory for past events and do not understand “yesterday” and “tomorrow” the way adults do. They often repeat activities or may do and undo actions such as putting a puzzle together. These sequences are important to later understandings of change and consistency.

When I started this blog, it was a way to connect kids to online journaling.  Weblogging was something I hadn’t really heard of.  Each of my PE and Health students had to do their final on the web, and it was the first time I could see the power of this place.

March 21, 2009:  I blogged about losing my house, my job.  I had not yet run a marathon, but it was the first day that I ran 9 miles, my longest.  My blog was 2 years old.

March 21, 2008: I ran 3 miles.  It was long, and my blog was 1 year old.

March 21, 2007:  My first blog post.  I entered all of my students into The Governor’s Challenge.  I was teaching PE. 

Since then, I’ve divorced, I’ve lost and gained jobs, I’ve gained friends.  My life has changed because of the blogosphere.  Here, I’m connected to many people by the touch of a button.  I turned 50.  I’ve run 2 marathons, and 5 half marathons.  I found out bad news, I’ve had good news.  And all of you who read this blog have cheered me up immeasurably.  Thank you for the words that put salve on wounds, made me laugh, gave me impetus for new ideas.  Thank you to people like this guy who still comments on my blogs, but refuses to join me over on Twitter.  Thank you to my family, who periodically reads my blog.  To my mother, who keeps saying, “honey, what’s the name of your blog again?”. 

To Twitter, I have been fueled by your spirit.  Thank you.

Here’s to 3 years olds, and unraveling the mystery that is Ms. V!

…”I’m Feeling Lucky”


Today’s topic:  Blogging.

We have categories today.  I have wanted to showcase some new and old blogs for awhile.  My task has been to carve out blog time, and couple it with Twitter time, and then of course, *acutal human time*.  Thusly, I have come up with abbreviations for the following…. BT, TT, AHT (for above mentioned categories). 

BT:  This is a blog I love to read, and want to share with you.  Not all are runners (shock)

TT:  Bloggers who Twitter.  (Yes, there are still some people who don’t Twitter…but why not?)

AHT: Bloggers who I have actually met in person, or on the phone.  Breathing people.


Tried and true bloggers…from the time I first laced up, I have followed these 3: Only BT

  • Booze Hounds Inc. If you haven’t read Viper, he is a must, and one of my first.  FAST runner*swoon*
  • Diggin’ It.  Chick Runner in Europe.  Hilarity.  Archaeology PhD student.
  • Running Spike.  One of the kindest & fastest dudes I’ve read…for awhile now.

Favorite Non-Running Blog Category (mostly BT, except where noted)

Favorite twitterati, who blog only rarely…but great people. (TT)

  • Me and the Road aka @drpoling Good friend and educator.  (AHT)
  • Love 2 Run Canada aka @love2runcanada most inspirational for beating down cancer, and running Boston 9x
  • Run Bob Run aka @bfrein …Great guy who has just resurrected his blog (AHT)  Fast as hell.

They have it all.   These are bloggers who twitter, who run, and who I’ve met & adore.  (BT, TT, AHT) They are exactly like their blogs…They are authentic and true and come across in person, the same way they are in print.

  • Quadrathon aka @quadrathon Stuart was one of my first blogs.  Nice man, good prizes.  Killer ultra-man.
  • LA Runner aka @larunr Billy is currently on the grid to show us the whole LA Marathon course.  Funny dude.
  • The Running Fat Guy aka @gwjones00 I talk with Glenn daily.  Running, embracing aging, great friend.

New gals I find most excellent:  Runners, Tweeters…good stuff.

Fifteen.  Fifteen folks on my blogroll.  There are so many more…but won’t you give a look-see to these fun blogs? 

The Return of the Blog

Today, I finally sat down at my Bloglines reader.  It was blowing up, leaving blog entrails all over the place.  I had installed FeedReader at my work, but could not get any blogs imported.

I’ve been missing you peeps.  The bloggers who I have been reading for two (2) years.  You know who you are.  Spike, ChicRunner, Spike, Viper…I won’t have enough time to link their blogs, but they’re somewhere on the blog known as Gymnotes.

Here are the upshots. 

  • Everyone is training for something.
  • Hill Repeats are the rage.
  • I read FEW blogs with snark any more.
  • People are eating.
  • People are pooping.
  • People are talking about eating and pooping.

I’ve become very adept at discussing poo, snot and pee.  I am proud of this.  None of it grosses me out, because I have literally needed to know how to do these things on the run.

We are now 24 days away from Ms. V’s Nike Marathon.  This Saturday I attempt 20 miles.  Other than shoe issues, I’m psyched.  400+ miles training for this one, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Am I ready? I have no idea.  Am I willing? YES…

Thanks to everyone’s help in donating to the goal of $2400.  I am literally $10 away from my goal.  

This blog, and it’s owner, are back.  Back with a vengeance.  Bloglines is empty.  Fill ‘er up now!