Back to Mont-Blanc?

In other news I have been informed that I won the lottery and can go do the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. (Patent pending.) This leaves me with a difficult decision. I don’t really want to go due to time and money restrictions. But it is a uncommon opportunity. And an excuse to go to Europe. I’m still going to try and get the registration moved to next year. There are other places I would like to go this year. In March I’ll be in Houston. Then in fall I’ll be in Costa Rica. And I have friends who have invited me to visit them in San Francisco. So many interesting places to go.
Technically, I was supposed to make my decision by Tuesday. However, I think I got an extension, because an email from the organization gave a date in February for the deadline. I think this is because I was asking about getting my acceptance transferred to next year (denied.) Then on Tuesday I got the news that my father was in the hospital and there was no way I was going to make a long term plan. And my cousin in Geneva is expecting twins so I would not be able to stay cheaply with her.
I shall decide officially on Thursday.

Family illness

For the past while, my family in Calgary has been sick. Both my sister and father were feeling under the weather with a flu. My mother was fine, but getting burnt out taking care of everyone. My sister got better, but my father would be feeling good one day and bad the next.
Yesterday took him to a doctor. That doctor sent him to emergency.
After a cat-scan and other tests, they determined he had an exploding gallbladder. He stayed overnight in the hospital while they figured out when they could do surgery.
Apparently that happened today. Very quickly. As near as I can tell, there was very little warning. My mother only got back to the hospital after the operation, which took ten minutes. Modern medicine is very good. I’m sure in the past it would have been a major event. Now I suspect they may not even cut the skin.
In any case things are going well. He is in pain, and we have to watch for infection, but I think the worst is over. Hopefully he will be back home before the weekend.

Learning how to party smarter, not harder

I have been going to River Valley Health and ploughing a lot of money into being a better person. Mostly this has been working on running related issues (therapeutic massage, physical assessment, chiropractor), but I am getting some life coaching as well. It has been helpful, with a friend commenting that I am less Eeyore-like. (Besides the fact that that is my favourite Pooh character.)
I used some new advice when I went out to an event at a bar yesterday. It was one of the best times I’ve had in a place where I was surrounded by alcohol and people I didn’t know. The advice could mostly be summed up as “be in the moment”. I have a tendency to zone out at bars and start thinking about things in the future or regrets of the past. This time, whenever it happened, I would go do something. Which ended up mostly being talk to someone, either someone I did know or someone I didn’t.
The unfortunate side-effect of this is that, as an introvert, I was mentally exhausted by the end of the night. I may have started to zone out again. I certainly couldn’t have gone to the after party.

More Reading

Pursuant to my last entry, I inhaled a book today (“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer). From start to finish I think it was five hours to read, with only a break to eat breakfast at around one o’clock. Now that I have more data, I think I can amend my earlier hypothesis.
There is a general class of book that is easy to read, but also does not have huge amounts of depth. They can cross all genres, but you know what they are. If you say it out loud, it is “Young Adult.” Do young adults not have the emotional capacity for books with depth? More likely, high school English has burned all love for literature out of them.
Cinder was good. The big reveal I figured out by page 44, but the characters continued to be entertaining. It made itself clear that it was a retelling of Cinderella. I would not be averse to reading any of the sequels.
But, as previously pointed out, there wasn’t a lot of depth. So I should go cleanse my palate with some Terry Pratchett. “Long Mars” here I come.

Textual Revolution

My relationship with books has been evolving.
I can be a voracious reader. If I get really into a book, I can inhale it within a day. The problem with that is the content doesn’t stick in my head and within a season I’ve forgotten the entire plot.
For several years I haven’t been reading books as much. I’ve taken the easy way out and been reading serialized graphic novels (comic books) for quick entertainment and plot. Although I don’t tend to look at the pictures as much, which is odd considering that is the main point.
With my library card I’ve been starting to read more. I used to buy every book I read, now I am not supporting hardworking authors anymore. I wandered into a bookstore today and looked around. I even gave myself permission to buy a book, but I couldn’t do it. The only books I could think of getting were ones that I realized I didn’t need to own; I would only read them once. So why don’t I borrow from the library?
I found it interesting how I treated the last two books I read.
The first was A Song for Arbonne which required me to renew it from the library before I could finish it all. The second was Masks by E. C. Blake which I finished in a weekend. By those statistics, you could surmise that I enjoyed Masks more. No.
Masks at one point felt like work to finish. It was easy reading, but that’s because it didn’t have any depths. I also didn’t like the main character who was an idiot most of the time. There were no real surprises anywhere. The only reason I kept reading was that I could maintain a good velocity. I do not know if I want to read the sequels for the closure.
A Song for Arbonne was much more nuanced. It would have greatly helped if a character list had been provided so I could better keep track of the political intrigues. The writing wasn’t easy to read; it didn’t flow. But Mr. Kay was a good enough story teller that I felt it was worth it to keep going. The story had a good ending and I felt complete when it was finished.
The best books I’ve read are easy reads with good storytelling. Or so I thought. Maybe the cheap calories of easy reading prevent me from having the good nutrition of a better story?

Starting the new year

A new year, so I should start it off with a blog post. Although saying that makes this feel like the equivalent of a family christmas letter; give an update as to how things are going for the past year. I should also look up last year’s entry for comparison purposes.
Hmmm. I talk about blogging and running and my past self being an idiot. I think most of my previous posts could be put in one of those categories. I clearly need to diversify my interests. Although, this post seems to be covering those topics as well. Just to make sure I get the hat-trick, let’s talk about running.
About two weeks ago I went to a trampoline party. Lots of fun, I would recommend it to a friend. Or would I… Everyone who attended got injured. That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement.
I got back pain the next day, but I didn’t let it stop me from doing anything. Which, of course, aggravated it. On Monday evening I went to a doctor who said I had pulled some back muscles. So, nothing permanent, but I need to take Ibuprofen and not do any running for awhile. And no heavy lifting.
I had intended to do the Obese Donkey run this Saturday. A pleasant 50km run. I have to drop that plan. So instead I will volunteer for it so I can get some volunteer hours that let me do the Blackfoot ultra in May. I’m a little disappointed because I need to get back to running longer distances. I’ve been in rest/recovery mode for too long.
The “no heavy lifting” was also a concern. You see, on Monday a water main break happened at my place of employment. Fortunately we had a place we were planning on moving to in the near future. It wasn’t ready yet, but this seemed to be a sign to get out of there. So Tuesday was spent moving. Because it seemed awfully convenient to be told no heavy lifting, I made sure to get a prescription. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t have believed me.
I don’t know if I should have been dancing as much as I did yesterday evening. It probably wasn’t healthy for my back.