Em oi! #363: Picking a Lane at the Pool: An Illustrated Guide

I have been logging a lot of time at the pool lately (14,300 yards total last week alone). I think I mentioned last week that there is something wrong with my leg*, and so I am temporarily off running for a bit. This is driving me crazy. I was already pretty depressed by the time I got to the PT, and then he said something like, “Take two weeks off, and then you can go back to running two days a week.”

WELL. I mean, I went to the PT for an aggressive plan of treatment that could get me back into shape fast so I could start training for my damn marathon. So I guess I was disappointed with his advice. I didn’t tell him this though, because I was upset, and I know from experience that if you show you are upset in front of a medical professional, they will write in your file things like, “Shows inappropriate emotional reactions.” I don’t even know what that really means, but I have a feeling it isn’t a good thing to have in your record. So instead of telling Mr. PT that I wasn’t satisfied, I did the following:

  1. Hid my feelings.
  2. Went to the pool.
  3. Cried while swimming laps.

No one can tell you’re crying when you’re swimming. It is a perfect solution. Well, ideally not crying would be a better solution, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Anyway, yesterday B sent me a link to this TED talk. He was really sending it to a friend of ours who suffers from various chronic pains and PTSD from a term of service in IRAQ (that’s some serious shit, yo), but I immediately seized on this as a method for making myself happier despite the injury and attendant stress. And so everyday I think about what might help me get a little bit better, a little stronger. Everyday I try to notice how far I’ve come from the day three weeks ago when I had to cut my run short because my SI joint was stuck and running was just too painful. Also everyday I do things that make me happy and reduce my pain, like eating half a loaf of focaccia (oops), a mango, or doing my PT exercises (somewhat more usefully).

It doesn’t hurt that the exercises are working and every day I am feeling less pain and my gait is getting stronger. I hope I will be back to running very soon.

Clearly, this gets filed under GV838.53.S85 L86 2012 for Recreation. Leisure—Sports—Water sports—Swimming, diving, lifesaving—Special topics, A-Z—Swimming pools.

*The PT thought it was a “strain,” which is actually not, as it sounds, a mild case of overdoing it. Strain, in medical terminology, refers to a torn muscle–in other words, you really fucked up. I do not think I have strained my leg, based on how much it hurt during the course of the injury and a lack of precipitating circumstances but WHATEVER I AM NOT A PHYSICAL THERAPIST I GUESS.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, I think we can all agree that last night’s gubernatorial recall here in Wisconsin was a total travesty and a terrible insult to all women, LGBT persons, union workers, and all thinking persons more generally.

Have I missed anyone?

B and I have long joked, with minimal seriousness, that if candidate x (initially John McCain, but Walker in the most recent election and Romney in the upcoming presidential one) were to win, we would head for country n (Canada, Sweden, or France, take your pick).  When hearing of this plan, a relative quipped, “You’d leave us all to suffer, and not try to help defeat candidate x?”  To which we’d replay, “Well, no,” because typically in the US these candidates have a lot of money and power, while we have (comparatively) little, so what the hell can we do, anyway?

But that got me thinking–what is the obligation of a citizen when her government has ceased to represent her interests?  (And I do feel, for a variety of reasons, that the government of Wisconsin and the Republican party more generally are not governing with my best interests–which are to say the interests of a woman academic–in mind, and that given the opportunity they would prefer for me to drop out of the workforce entirely and stay home and have babies.)

I tried talking philosophy to the dog and this is what I got.
Unrelated photo of my dog and cat, because really, with what could I illustrate this post?

John Locke says that if you don’t like it, you can lump it: “But since the government has a direct jurisdiction only over the land, and reaches the possessor of it, (before he has actually incorporated himself in the society) only as he dwells upon, and enjoys that; the obligation any one is under, by virtue of such enjoyment, to submit to the government, begins and ends with the enjoyment; so that whenever the owner, who has given nothing but such a tacit consent to the government, will, by donation, sale, or otherwise, quit the said possession, he is at liberty to go and incorporate himself into any other commonwealth; or to agree with others to begin a new one, in vacuis locis, in any part of the world, they can find free and unpossessed: whereas he, that has once, by actual agreement, and any express declaration, given his consent to be of any commonwealth, is perpetually and indispensably obliged to be, and remain unalterably a subject to it, and can never be again in the liberty of the state of nature; unless, by any calamity, the government he was under comes to be dissolved; or else by some public act cuts him off from being any longer a member of it” (Locke, section 121, italics in original, bolding mine).

Of course, Locke also says later that if legislators act “against the trust reposed in them,” then the people living in that society are within their rights to change the government: “[R]evolutions happen not upon every little mismanagement in public affairs. Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty, will be born by the people without mutiny or murmur. But if a long train of abuses, prevarications and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going; it is not to be wondered, that they should then rouze [i.e., rouse] themselves, and endeavour to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the ends for which government was at first errected…” (Locke, sections 222-225, italics in original, bolding mine).

To what issue will this come? It seems inconclusive. The addition in the first quote of the parenthetical notation “before he has actually incorporated himself in the society” and the phrase “tacit consent to the government” make me worry that Locke was in fact referring to a situation such as: You are living in the middle of an ungoverned place (i.e. in the state of nature). Suddenly some people come along and start up a government. You didn’t ask for the government, therefore you’re allowed to leave. Which seems okay in theory, but go tell that to the American Indians and see how hard they laugh.

The first quote, even taken at face value, raises a larger problem of privilege. We could probably afford to sell our house and move to Canada. I think we have a sufficient amount in savings to get green cards and B has a job that he can do in Canada, which would also be a big plus for immigration officials. Also, I speak French, the result of a long and expensive education that allowed me time to focus on relatively useless things (like learning multiple foreign languages) instead of getting a job.  There are a lot of Americans who don’t meet any of these qualifications; in fact, a lot of people have underwater mortgages and can’t afford to sell their houses at all, let alone have the necessary savings to immigrate to a different country.  If all liberal, upper middle class Americans start migrating to other countries, America is left with the poor (both Dems and Repubs) and the Wealthy Republicans who, let’s face it, don’t really have economic incentive to make the country a great place for the working class.  So in the same way that we have a responsibility to fight for rights because we might need them “someday” (e.g., healthcare, abortions) or because people we know might need them (e.g., gay marriage and associated rights), we could say that there is a responsibility among those who otherwise might leave to stay and provide a balance to those who would choose to exploit those who cannot leave.

I’m uneasy with this responsibility idea. It smacks of “white man’s burden”-type bullshit–surely the people who remain in the US after this purported exodus can look after themselves! And yet citizens have a responsibility to vote, don’t they?  To voice their opinions at least when society requires the selection of a new government.  So perhaps I’d restate this a different way: to abandon the US would require not just becoming an expat but a naturalized citizen of another country, since to retain the advantages of US citizenship while living abroad would enable one to shirk the responsibility one has of being an active participant in society, essentially the responsibility (at minimum) to vote and protect both one’s own rights and the rights one believes others deserve.

The second quote is suggestive of the conclusion that one should not quit the country; since rebellion (or call it simply changing the status quo) is permissible when one feels the government is no longer working, and there is some inherent responsibility citizens have to take part in society, it is better to stay and fight than to flee.

[I wish to add belatedly, footnotedly, that Locke’s use of terms like “the people” suggests that he sees all individuals in a society as agreeing on what the correct course of action is, in opposition to their government.  In the absence of unison, which is certainly the case in WI presently, I suspect he would accede to the majority’s opinion and tell me, as a member of the minority, that I cannot go about instituting rebellions just because I feel slighted.  However there is always something to be said for being the loyal opposition, because when the majority is making choices that are (morally, ethically) incorrect or unsound (as arguably they are), someone needs to speak up for the oppressed–see, for example, the abolition movement before the Civil War.]

My other favorite political theorist, the late, great Robert Nozick, does say, when speaking about a replacement for society that would be, essentially, small communities of individuals under minimal government, that, “After a person has spent much of his life in a community, sent down roots, made friends, and contributed to the community, the choice to pick up and leave is a difficult one. Such a community’s…seriously changing its character, will affect its individual members in something like the way in which a nation’s changing its laws will affect its citizens” (Nozick, 324, italics his) and that “Anyone may start any sort of new community…they wish.  For no one need enter it.  Modifying an already existing community is held to be a different matter” (ibid.). His suggestions–that people who disagree with a proposed change should be compensated in some way, e.g. (this is very particular to the libertarian project he is working on)–are impracticable in US society as it stands, but he does seem to argue strongly for the “if you don’t like it, you can lump it” point of view.

Nozick’s work on communities does suggest one other solution: flight need not be international. If one’s state has changed politically, one is welcome to move to a state more in line with one’s views. There are fifty of them, plus several protectorates/colonies; surely one will match one’s views. This is a slightly less privileged action (though it still requires some liquidity of funds that not everyone has at hand) and allows residents of a divided country to assort themselves in ways that please them.

But after all of this reasoning, I still feel conflicted.  There are reasons beyond the political to stay in Wisconsin, and reasons beyond the political to go. Ultimately, I think Nozick is right when he writes that the goal of a society is to allow its members to “individually or with whom we choose, to choose our life and to realize our ends and our conception of ourselves, insofar as we can, aided by the voluntary cooperation of other individuals possessing the same dignity” (334). Wherever I go, or if I remain, if I can do that, I’ll be satisfied.


Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. Edited by C. B. Macpherson. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 1980. (The unedited text is online here.)

Nozick, Robert. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. [United States]: Basic Books, 1974. (A previewable version is available at Google Books here.)


I’ve been a vegetarian for fifteen years now and this kind of thing still pisses me off.

Boy, I bet it feels nice to be in a super majority of people in the US.  Glad that doesn’t stop you from picking on the rest of us, because, you know, we might get “uppity.”

I ran 53 miles this week and biked 85, plus there was both weight lifting and yoga in there. My diet’s working just fine.

New Year’s Resolutions

Or, “In Which I Start to Get My Race Schedule Together.”  These aren’t exactly resolutions, since I don’t really make those (does “stop getting injured” count?).  But I guess they’re things I’ve been thinking about since the beginning of January.  I’ve also been thinking about my diet, which isn’t going well.  Bah.

In order for me to explain why signing up for a bunch of races is a bit more troublesome this year than other years, let’s look at some results from races in my 2011 season:

  • Lupton Metrish Invitational (3 miles): 28:54
  • Mad City 50k: 4:57:57, 4th place women overall, 3rd place in my age group
  • Ice Age 50k: 5:58:14, 3rd place in my age group
  • Run to the Rhythm 5k: 22:36, 2nd place in my age group
  • Waunafest 10-mile: 1:23:42
  • Madison Mini Marathon (13.1 mi): 1:50:50
  • Safe Harbor 10k: 45:20, 2nd woman overall, 1st in my age group
  • Literacy Network 5k: DNS
  • Baltimore Marathon: DNS
  • Haunted Hustle Marathon: DNS

I’m pretty good at shorter distances, not awesome at middle distances, and good at ultra distances.  You might also spot a pattern toward the end of the season if you look closely.

Yes, I went down with an ankle injury at the end of September, 2011 and my mileage is only now getting back to where it was (in the 35-40 miles per week range).  So I have been understandably hesitant to fill up my schedule with races, worrying about every twinge, every bump, every step that suddenly could trigger more weeks of PT and swimming instead of running.  But then I got an email from the Badgerland Striders (the group that runs the Ice Age 50 mile/50k/half marathon race in mid-May) telling me that registration for those races has opened.  I am in no condition to do the 50k again (nor do I want to–I’m doing no races this season longer than a half marathon), but they do have a half marathon which a) is through beautiful countryside and b) is on challenging trails and c) fills up really quickly.

There isn’t really a good term for “leap of faith” for atheists, since atheists don’t particularly take things on faith.  And I suppose I do have some empirical evidence that I’m getting better (I run largely pain-free and have been logging about 40 mpw lately).  But regardless of whether it was a good idea, I signed up for the half marathon at the Ice Age 50.  This joins a few other events on my calendar:

  • Lupton Metrish Invitational.  Of course.
  • The 10-miler at the Syttende Mai the following weekend.  B has agreed to run with me!  I’m very excited.  We didn’t race together at all last year except the Lupton Metrish Invitational.
  • The 50-miler at the Centurion Wisconsin in August (yes, a bike race!  I’m excited.)  A friend who is a Serious Cyclist has been giving me advice, so while I don’t expect I’ll place or anything, I think I can put together a training plan and make a good showing of it.
  • Figure-8 the Lakes, also August, probably 50 mile distance (a group ride instead of a race; a relative of B’s suggested she would do it with me.)
  • A fall duathlon, probably the Dousman Duathlon.
  • Half marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival.  Okay, I was injured in Fall of 2010 and 2011, so this is really beginning to sound like a Dutch Book is being constructed against me (i.e., it’s a losing bet).  But I need to try this again.
  • Half marathon at the Haunted Hustle.  Ditto.

I’m kicking around a bunch of other races, but nothing is for sure:

  • Grandma’s.  Dan and Claire said they’d do the half if I did it, but it’s in Duluth.  Also I’d probably have had to have registered in November 2011 or something.  Actually, I looked it up–it’s a lottery and it hasn’t opened yet.
  • Dances with Dirt–nice location (Devil’s Lake, and there’s a half), but it’s in July.  Not good running weather.
  • Waunafest 10-miler–a fun race, but half of it is through an industrial park.
  • A triathlon.  I’m afraid at this point.  You’ll notice I didn’t list my tris above because they were kind of terrible failures (my duathlon was pretty good but not spectacular).
  • Other actual bike races or duathlons.  There are not a ton of duathlons that I can reasonably get to.  I don’t know.
  • Madison Mini Marathon.  Possibly the most over-hyped local race there is.
  • There are a lot of local 5k/10k races.  I’ll probably at least do the Berbee Derby and the Literacy Network runs, since they have good t-shirts and I do them every year (except when I’m injured).  But what else?

I’m open to suggestions, Internet.  I don’t like to travel more than an hour from Madison for a half (Baltimore is an exception, since I’d be going there anyway) and no more than 30 minutes for anything shorter than 10 miles.

To finish, here’s a great picture B took of me (with his iPhone, no less!) before the start of the Ice Age 50k last year.  You’d guess I’m always happy right before a race.  (After a race–different story entirely.)

Oh, about my repeated placing in ultra distance (i.e., longer than 26.2 mi) distances: it’s kind of a cheat.  There aren’t many women my age running those races, so I have a better than average chance of placing.  It seems lots of younger women are busy having kids and careers and things that prevent them from training for 60-70 miles per week.  Most ultrarunners seem to be middle aged, which makes sense–the kids are old enough to amuse themselves for a while on a Saturday morning.  So it’s not me, it’s everyone else.

Em ơi! #351: Hardly Ever

What, never?

I swear I will have a post which is not about my ankle soon. I actually have a comic drawn but not inked which is about philosophy. So maybe by the weekend that will be ready to go.  I’m actually back to running on a limited (i.e., 3-5 miles at a time) basis; no speed work yet, I’m just happy to be back on my feet after seven fucking weeks.  Don’t tell my PT.

Today I biked home at 17:15. Not too late, but now that daylight has been saved again the sun sets at 16:30 around these parts. I have a light on my bike, but before today I’d only tested it in somewhat “low light” conditions, like biking on a cloudy, foggy day, so I wasn’t really sure how well it was going to do in the total darkness.

A lot of the bike path between campus and my house has no street lamps. It turns out that my lamp, which is a little bluish-white LED, casts just enough light that I can see the edge of the path and the centerline and that’s about it. I have no reference for how fast I’m going beyond my own feelings of exertion. I have no idea what that crash in the undergrowth was–someone’s dog? A bear?

There are bears around here.

Eventually I turned off the bike path and onto the street for about the last three miles to my house. It’s hard to explain if you’re not a biker how weird and scary it feels to be biking down these streets at night, knowing that the blinking red LEDs on the back of my helmet are all that are protecting me from a broken neck. Drivers just don’t understand the power that their cars have, or they over-estimate their reaction speeds or their ability to multi-task. That’s why, despite all the studies of how stupid it is to text or talk on a cell phone and drive at the same time, people still do it. I see it all the time when I run in the morning, people on their cell phones swerving into the bike lane and out of it.

When you’re on foot, running against traffic, it’s easy to feel like you have some measure of control. If someone swerves into your path, you can see them coming. You have the option of throwing yourself into the ditch. When you’re biking, you go with traffic, so they come from behind you. You are also clipped to the bike.  Picture this: You are making your way down a hill between street lights and suddenly headlights from behind overwhelm your little light. You think that this could be it, they could be texting and just not see you, despite the blinking red LEDs. You brace. And then they pull past you and the darkness closes in again. You and the bike fly onward, silently, in a little blue patch of light, hurtling toward infinity.

I’m filing this comic under RC935.T4 L86 2011 for
Internal medicine–Specialties of internal medicine–Diseases of the musculoskeletal system–Other diseases of the musculoskeletal system, A-Z–Tendinitis.

em ơi! #350: we must imagine Sisyphus…

The struggle itself...is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.  Or with a slipped disk in his back and rotator cuff issues.

As it says, about three and a half weeks ago I developed peroneal tendonitis in my left ankle. This is fun because it is the opposite foot from the one I hurt during my last marathon training cycle. As usual, I am surprised by how stupid my coping skills get without being able to run. This has really been a voyage of discovery vis-à-vis my terrible neurotic dark side.  I’d like to claim I’ve learned a lot about myself and will no longer be bothered by the same problems.  That might sort of be true…but I have a feeling that I’m not completely over some of these things.

But, my story: I was pretty depressed and feeling bad about how I was going to miss my marathon, and sort of in denial about the whole thing.  I’d made a PT appointment but hadn’t gone in yet, and as I was biking down I came up with this script.  Drawing this comic was really the first step in feeling better, because it was when I came up with it that I started to be able to laugh at myself again. So long as I do not take my problems too seriously, I think I can overcome anything. (And also I should point out that I overcame quite a bit of writer’s block, or comic artist’s block I guess? in order to post this. And I don’t actually even believe in writer’s block!)

For what it’s worth, the PT was actually very nice and told me about his own running-related injuries.

Learning from experience
The thing is, I should have known this was coming. Last year, when I subluxed my cuboid bone, the PT did a gait analysis and decided that I pronate too much. Everyone pronates a little (it means when you step, your foot rolls to the outside). But I do it a lot, and since I also have stretchy ligaments in my ankles, this puts a lot of pressure on them. If I want to wear the minimalist shoes I’ve been wearing (and I do), I have to do exercises to keep the muscles in my ankles strong. I wasn’t doing those consistently, so I got hurt.

In Baltimore, missing my marathon, a doctor friend gave me a brace to control the lateral movement of my ankle while I strengthen the little muscles in the area. In addition to preventing lateral movement, the brace prevents…well, it makes non-lateral movement difficult as well, I have to take a step with the good leg, then kind of post off the bad one–I’m sure it’s hilarious for all of those watching me. But I can run with a minimum amount of pain.

Yesterday I was hobbling around the track at the SERF and a guy blows past me in the outside lane. Not too surprising, I was running maybe a 10:15 mile (yikes, how the mighty have fallen). Anyway, he was going flat out, wearing Vibram FiveFingers, and he was really over-striding, so that he hit the ground heel-first pretty far in front of his body. I watched him do this pretty consistently for several laps (I had a lot of time to observe), and when I watched him stretch he was rolling out his ankles like they were bothering him. I wondered if I should have stopped and said, “Hey, you need to fix your gait before you wind up like me.” In my mind, one big problem with minimalist shoes is that it can be hard to tell if you’re doing it wrong, and to prove this both Bryan (who runs in VFFs) and I have been through periods of injury all summer (Bryan is sorted out now, thankfully, and I will be soon). Given that I know perhaps more than the average undergrad, and given that I was observant enough to notice all this, should I have said something?

I don’t know. I didn’t. If I see him again, I probably will.

Filing this comic under: RC1220.M35 L86 2011, for Internal medicine — Special situations and conditions — Sports medicine — Medical and physiological aspects of special activities. By activity, A-Z — Marathon running. Good times.

Em oi! #349: This is historically accurate

Tomorrow, the world...

I’ve spent most of the summer reading about colonialism, specifically the French in Indochina.

I can hear you already saying, “Wow, that’s incredibly…depressing, that’s the word.”

Bryan actually teased me the other day, saying I don’t read anything that’s not about libraries, Buddhism, or colonialism. Which is largely true…and I still find myself wishing they overlapped more–for example, the book I was reading made mention of some colonial libraries founded in Cambodia, but didn’t give much information about them.

Anyway, I came to wonder how the French had actually wound up running Indochina–the book didn’t cover that aspect of stuff, and I slept through the last history class I had in high school. (Does this make me a poor historian? Is it bad I’ve spent my summer writing two historical papers for publication? Hm.) So this is what I came up with. Of course, I eventually looked it up and found that the French won Vietnam and Cambodia in the Sino-French War in 1884-1885. Then they won Laos in the Franco-Siamese War of 1886.

I’m pretty sure I had other stuff to say about this comic, but it has flown my head. I’ve had a busy summer and I’m really pretty tired. I wrote, as I mentioned, the bulk of two papers intended for publication; I rewrote a novella; I took (and aced) two semesters of Thai; I held down two jobs (now three). I ran an average of 47 miles and biked an average of 92 miles per week. And I slept…well, let’s not talk about that. I’ve also done five races–two triathlons (one of which became an Olympic-length duathlon, one of which was a sprint), a 5k (got 2nd in my age group), a 10-miler (got 9th in my age group I think), and a half marathon (came in 46th out of 300-something).

I have been busy, is what I’m trying to say. And now I’m tired.

This comic is filed under HC279 .L86 2011 for Economic history and conditions–By region or country–Europe–France–Colonies, which carries the note, “Includes exploitation and economic conditions.”

Em oi! #340: The Shiba Inu, part 1

"Maya" is, among other meanings, an alternate name for the Goddess Durga.I’ll admit it, I’ve been a little tired lately, a little depressed.  For various reasons, comics are not getting done as quickly as I’d like them to.  But that’s all going to change (I hope). I’ll be able to officially announce why in a few weeks.

For now, here’s what I’ve got on the docket: a race. This race, in fact. It’s April 9th at 8:00 in the Arb. I’m doing the 50k. If you’ll be in the area, come say “hi.” If you come around 13:00, maybe we can do lunch.

I like lunch.

I’m sure you’re wondering how one trains for a 50k. Let me show you my last two weeks, because they are illustrative:

This was a “cycle down” week, so the longest run was 10 miles (well, 11).
Monday, 21 Feb: Swam 2500 yards.
22 Feb: Ran 8.1 miles (9.4 min/mi pace)
23 Feb: Ran 7.2 miles (10.2 min/mi pace), then 3.4 mi with Bryan in the evening
24 Feb: Ran 8.1 mi (10.3 min/mi pace)
25 Feb: Swam 2500 yards and lifted weights (legs)
26 Feb: Ran 11.3 mi (11.1 min/mi, plus about 1 mile with dog)
27 Feb: Ran 10.8 mi (11.4 min/mi)
Total: 48.9 mi ran, 5000 yards swum

This was a normal week. My weeks will look about like this until the race:
Monday, 28 Feb: Swam 2750 yards
1 March: Ran 8.1 mi (9.5 min/mi)
2 March: Ran 8.7 mi (9.4 min/mi pace) plus 3.4 mi with B in the evening
3 March: Ran 8.9 mi (9.9 min/mi pace)
4 March: Swam 2250 yards
5 March: Ran 22.6 mi (10.6 min/mi pace)
6 March: Ran 10.5 mi (10.6 min/mi pace)
Total: 62.2 miles ran, 5000 yards swum

My training plan has two elements which are quite different from my usual marathon plans:

1. Two days off per week (Monday and Friday).

2. Back-to-back long runs (in the 2nd week here, 22 and 10).

This takes a lot out of a body.  I’m running about 10.5 hours per week, give or take, and swimming about 2 hours.  If I added in another hour of swimming and maybe 5 hours of biking, I could be doing an Ironman.  Of course, B would never get to see me, which is a problem.  And already I’m starving all the time.  I hate to see what would happen to our food budget if I upped my mileage any more.

Anyway, the situation around our house is calming down somewhat. Kali has decided that Maya is not terrifying (more annoying) and is sleeping at my feet as I type this (having the heating pad on doesn’t hurt). Maya is…well, she’s a handful, but things are getting easier. And as for me, I can’t say I’m exactly used to getting up at 6:30 to take her out every morning, but I’m resigned to it, and I’m getting in the habit of getting to bed early enough that I’m not totally non-functional.

Apparently shiba inus are not necessarily recommended for first time dog owners, and shiba puppies have a certain reputation for being hellacious bundles of fur. Now they tell us. Because she’s a rescue, we don’t really know what happened to Maya before she came to live with us, but she doesn’t really have any bad habits (unless you count being kind of reserved around new people as a bad habit). And the screaming is getting better. A little better, anyway. I have to hope it will eventually be totally better, or else I will run mad. Mad I say!

Ok, maybe it’s bed time.

All in all, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend getting a puppy, although there are some benefits (see the aforementioned no bad habits thing). But in general we’re pretty happy with Maya.

This comic is filed under
SF429.S63 L86 2011, which stands for:
Animal culture–Pets–Dogs–By breed, A-Z–Shiba dogs.

Em oi! #335: The M&M Jar

Ask not for whom the M&Ms toll...

Well, I’m knackered, but my computer is now up and running again (Windows 7) after a reformat, and hopefully it will keep going for a long time. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the password I needed to log into the site (Classification Web) where I could look things up in LCC, so the comics won’t be categorized for a while.  After winter break ends, I can use the hard copy of LCC or the computers in the library school lab.

A few quick notes about the comic:

  • Based on an actual conversation, and I laughed for a long time.  Bryan has a perfect sense of timing.
  • My birthday is actually May 3.  I figure since it’s mostly Bryan and my mom who read this, I shouldn’t bother mentioning it.  But then I thought maybe I should for those random strangers.
  • I have had this drawn for a couple of days and I’ve been waiting on the re-installation of all my various programs before I could process and upload it.  I would have had it up last night, but Bryan’s computer exploded and I went to go play games with him to console him.  The things we do for love.
  • I think that’s it.  I’m really tired now.
  • Oh, the name of the comic was chosen to be similar to The Bell Jar.  Not that I recommend the book, mind.  Unless you are a depressed teenager, then it will be awesome.  Actually, I take that back.  I think it was so depressing I had to stop reading it.  So that’s pretty depressing.

I’m not one for Xmas cheer, but I’ll close by wishing everyone a happy holiday season.  My gift is a trip to Paris and London.  I am so excited I cannot sit still.  I get to go to Paris!  I can run to the Eiffel Tower!  We’ll go to London!  I’ll see Baker Street!

I’m full of exclamation points.

If I owe you an email, I’m sorry.  Still getting caught up on everything from finals.

ETA: Classed as GT2920.C3 L86 2010 for Manners and customs (General)–Customs relative to private life–Eating and drinking customs–Foods and beverages–Beverages–Other, A-Z–Chocolate.

Em ơi! #333: Sucks to be Me


This was meant to be a follow-up to the comic from the week before last, #332, about giving up sugar.  But even though the comic was finished last week, the week itself was a total write-off in terms of getting things done, so it didn’t get scanned until today.

I just burned the fuck out of my hand failing at fudge making, so excuse me if I’m not as apologetic as I should be about completely missing an update.  Ugh.  I’ll have an amusing illustrated essay up Friday or Saturday to make it up to you.

Not eating sugar/candy was a weird experience.  I basically wanted to eat the biggest most chocolate-y and fat filled cake I could imagine.  Instead I think I had some low fat frozen yoghurt.  But whatever.  While I was not eating candy, Bryan and I were planning a big dinner party, so basically every time we were out running or driving around or whatever, it devolved into a case of, “So, what should we make for dessert?”  Bryan thought for some reason we should focus on the main course.  I don’t get it.

Anyway, I wish I could say I’m eating less sugar or something now that I’ve had my time off.  But I’m not.  I am eating more dried fruit, which I guess is a plus.

So my hand.  I usually don’t fuck up recipes this badly, but I just threw away like five cups of burned crystallized sugar and peanut butter.  All I can say is, “Go fuck yourself, Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.”

This comic is filed under TX553.S8 L86 2010a, for:

Home economics–Nutrition.  Foods and food supply–Examination and analysis.  Composition.  Adulteration–Dietary studies, food values, experiments, tests, etc.–Special constituents, A-Z–Sugar