The Night Before Thanksgiving Rant

Postcard of a "Turkey Trot" in Cuero...
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On Thursday, I will be all puppies, kittens and rainbows.  And, I will be thankful for all of you, for the people in my life, for love, for running, for food.

But today.  Today is Wednesday.  And I will rant.

Most people know how I feel about Banditing a race.  My coach agreed to not only get a bib for MCM, but also to raise money for my team.  I talk about this principle on a regular basis.  If you’re going to race a course, pay for the event.  The organizers plan according to how many people are there.  There is no reason to be a cheapskate and bandit.  Don’t take the water.  Don’t take the Gu.  If you must bandit, get NOTHING from the course except the road.

Today, however, I nearly pulled the trigger and decided to bandit the Lake Balboa Turkey Trot.  I did the race in 2008 and 2009.   It was just a regular Turkey Trot.  Designed to get me out of the house, burn a few calories so that I can put them x 5 back in during Thanksgiving Dinner.  Last year, the event organizer TryUsEvents put this on.  They were so VERY disorganized, and got horrible reviews on their race and disorganization.  Oddly, the comments from last year have been taken away.  Hmm.

I decided not to pay the Active $3 fee, and register in person at Road Runner Sports in Woodland Hills.  The registration was from 12-5 today.  Of course I was there at noon.  As were a few others.  By 12:30, there were no Turkey Trot folk in sight.  I decided to call the number on the flyer.  The man I got, in essence said, maybe your attitude is the wrong attitude for this race, and maybe you should go somewhere else.  Un. Real.  We were sitting there shocked.  No “Sorry about that.  We’ll be right there.” 

1pm rolls around, and the lady with the boxes and bibs shows up.  Late.  Unprepared.  Won’t take my check, as I scratched out $25 and made it $30 because of the date and registration change.  I was registering my pal Bob as this would be our second Turkey Trot.  I was so steamed I called him and said “Let’s Bandit this Mother F***er”, and he says YEAH.  To hell with them….!!!   I was livid. 

I am usually pleasant.  There is no need to bust a cork on this type of behavior.  It wasn’t the money.  It was the attitude.  I’m happy to pay for and run your race…but how about a little respect and kindness back… I turned.  I took my money.   I called Bob.  Everyone in line was shocked.  They couldn’t believe the race organizer’s attitude toward all of us. 

Before we decided to bandit, Bob sent me a link to the Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot, which is where we are going tomorrow.  He saved me from the bandit.  So, I head to the town of my birth tomorrow, plunk down $35, and race my little 5K heart out.

End of rant.  Tomorrow…gratitude.

Irritants: Thursday Edition

My list:

  • People who speed up as I’m trying to run across the street.  You had a stop sign mofo…and I gave you the double flip off.  Even if you’re from the most religious family in town…you almost hit me.
  • People who are smoking when I’m running by them.  I know you’re outside, but so am I.
  • Drivers who drive 70mph in fog when you can’t see two cars ahead of you.  You’re pissed that I’m in the fast lane on cruise control going very slowly?   What, you can’t wait to get somewhere?  Well, guess what…you’ll be dead, and you’ll get there first, I’m sure.
  • Educators who don’t make kids own up to what they did.  Who just move kids.  I can’t say anything more than that.
  • iPhones for 4th graders.  This is insane, and going on at my kids’ school.  Really?  You need an iPhone?  Those things are like 300 bucks. 
  • People who judge me for getting my kids phones when they were 7 & 9.  Hey! I’m the one who taught them to text, so I could talk with them all the time.  When they are at Dad’s, they text me “I love you” before they go to sleep.  That’s good.
  • People who will not understand the difference between the last two bullets.
  • My ever changing blog theme.  I really like this theme, but the letters are too light.  Hey, maybe I’ll bold it.
  • Why I can’t eat what I want.
  • My home lender, who won’t make a deal.  They will now.  It’s changing again.

Add yours.  Maybe I’ll feel better.

If I knew the tunes I might join in…

AA meeting:  I go to my usual Monday night meeting.  The guy behind me is drunk.  Very drunk.  Or on pills.  After the meeting, he is sitting in his car, his head on the steering wheel.  A few of us go to see if he’s okay.  He says, “I’m fine, just ashamed.”  He lived a mile or so away, but I really felt in my gut that he needed some assistance.  We didn’t call the police to get him help.  He drove across the median.  No one was hurt.  This time.  Thoughts?

Summer School:  Warning, long run-on sentence ahead:  How do students get to be Juniors and Seniors in California without knowing about abolitionists, women voting and John F Kennedy… the moon, the cold war, how significant the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team win was in terms of our history with the Russians…?  How is it that we have raised socially absent teens? 

I love YouTube:  Today in class, I was reminding them of MLK Jr.’s speech where he keeps saying, “How long?” and the answer is “Not long”.  I googled into my iPhone, MLK Jr, not long speech, and there it was.  Beautiful, and right at our fingertips.  Too bad YouTube is blocked from most school sites as being “dangerous”.  I’ll tell you what’s dangerous:  ignorance. ignorance. ignorance.

AARP:  HELLO?  I received my AARP card in the mail.  I’m 49. 49 49 49 49 49 49 Do they know who they’re dealing with?  On the other hand, I can’t wait to be 50, so I can compete against 59 year olds in any runs!

Tempo Running:  Today, we did 2.5 miles of tempo, at 9:40 pace.  I’m pretty happy with that.  Our town has repaved the roads, so we are able to run right in the middle, and play Frogger with the cars.  New shoes, the Asics GT2130, PINK!  Oh, and these people  were questioning my need for new shoes, with only 197 miles on them.  At the running store, I’m told that *BIGGER GIRLS ARE HARDER ON THEIR SHOES*.  Uh, thanks for that.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch:  Great afternoon snack.


First Three Songs on the Run: 

Free Falling, Tom Petty

If you want to be happy, by Jimmy Soul

Flavor of the Week, by American Hi-Fi

(post title from Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Elton John)

B***h Session Part 1


Yeah, I used the asterisks in case a former student happens to stop by and sees me use foul language.  I’m like that.  Gotta keep it *sorta* clean.


I’m talking about my Cable Company.  Charter is the Devil.  My HBO on Demand doesn’t work then they send someone and say *Call back and get reimbursement when it is ready*  So, when I call back I get the run around. 


Here is the email I sent to them on their contact form:

I have just spent the last 20 minutes on the phone with your representatives, and I am steaming with the service they gave me.  I am a cable-internet-phone customer, and I am highly insulted at the customer service I received.
First of all, the names and ID numbers they gave me for their employment, are I’m sure, false.  One guy, the *supervisor* said his name was DAN.  (He was Indian).  He said the first guy’s ID was X7C. 
My OnDemand went out in February.  I called in to get it fixed, and also get the requisite credit.  I pay for the HBO pack and services, which includes OnDemand.  It was not working, and your rep then said to call back when it WAS working to get a credit.  It still was not working on February 29th, and I called in again.  Today it is finally working.  I called to get the rebate, and the X7C guy said no, because he couldn’t see a work order.  Your people were out 2 TIMES with new DVRS, and trying to fix the ONDEMAND.  He said he didn’t have a copy of it, and again said he couldn’t give me credit.  This is ridiculous.  I’m sure you MUST have a record or 2 visits to my home, as this DVR just didn’t appear out of the sky.
The second man, *dan* said I was too late, and when I asked to speak to HIS supervisor, he said she doesn’t take calls.  Then he said, I kid you not, that I could HANG UP AND CALL AGAIN.  By this time, I could not believe my ears, that you wouldn’t have someone with the ability to solve this problem.  He then HUNG UP ON ME.
I am furious, and am considering switching services, carriers, etc.  Is this really how you do business?  I think you may need to teach ALL your service people about service. 
Again, I did as you asked.  I waited until the ONDEMAND was fixed.  Now, you are saying that I cannot get reimbursed?

Linda Vermeulen


I am steamed.  They said, now I have to go online to their chat representative if I want help.  Are you F***ing kidding me?  So, that’s what I’m doing now.  It’s unbelievable.


Meanwhile, here are the Q&D stats of my morning run.  Not so great, but beautiful at 5am.

Date: 5/14/2008 5:15 PM
Type: Easy
Course: Vera-Dairy
Distance: 3.84 miles
Duration: 41:14
Pace: 10:45 / mile
Shoe: Asics
Weight: 176 lb
Statistics: Calories: 511
VO2 Max: 27.5

Great music today:  Born To Run, by Bruce Sprinsteen.  Nice.

I’m tired

It’s week 7 of school, and I’m tired.  I’ve let my exhaustion spill out onto my students, resulting in not such a pleasant conversation with my boss.  However, I am putting on my big girl hat and dealing with my discomfort at this new school.

It’s not the kids.  Or the job.  Teaching Language Arts is mostly a joy, but I have a bazillion papers to grade (okay, 65).  It’s a new school to me, with a P5 threat hanging over it’s NCLB head.  Therefore, we are required to have two more collaborative meeting hours added to our week.  My team has chosen to do them during the lunch hour.  This adds up to more meetings than actual prep.  We have one *perk* in our Jr. High that most schools in our area don’t have.  We have a prep period.  Thank God.

The other, more pressing issue, is that I’m not the queen bee.  Not anymore.  My highjinks and antics aren’t really flying here.  I can’t just snap my fingers and have kids get to work.  I have not earned that yet.

I am glad that my boss and I talked.  I’m not leaving, I’m not (edited!).

I do know that wherever I go, there I am.  I think I’ll just grow where I’m planted today.

Oh, and to top it off.  I’ve gained 12 pounds, and the first thing I did today after wishing my sweet boy a Happy 8th Birthday, was take my ex-gym teacher body to the gym.

It’s going to be okay.

Have a wonderful Saturday.