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Showing posts from 2015

The Running Music Mix

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After six months of running, I have amassed quite a playlist of songs to listen to. I had a lot to start with, but as the year progressed I just kept adding songs to it. I did have to delete a few when I realized they didn't do anything to keep up my energy.

There are some songs, however, that do an amazing job. When I hear them start to play, I always tend to start running faster. Some distract me from the pain because it takes me elsewhere in my mind.

I have three different groups of music, which I'll break down here. But if you're looking for some great upbeat music for your workouts, this is the place you want to be!

"Regular" Music

I say this because once you look at my other sections, you'll understand why I call this the regular stuff.

This is the music that, for the most part, you'll hear on the radio or elsewhere. Most people would be familiar with it in some way, shape, or form.

"I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers


"Ways to Go" by …

Star Wars Saturday: The Marathon

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A few months ago, I decided that, if they were to offer a marathon movie viewing of Star Wars movies, I would be game to take the day off and watch. I kind of hoped they would only do the original trilogy, because that would allow me to do a bit of work and then head out for the movies in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, the only way to participate in the theater marathon was to do all seven movies and start at the ungodly hour of 2:30am. But I had vowed to do it, and I had gotten my boss' permission to take the day off, so there really wasn't anything holding me back.
My Wednesday ended up being really busy, and with dinner, church, and choir practice, I didn't get home until 8:30. It took me a bit longer than usual to get to sleep, but I didn't just lay in bed for the whole night like I was worried I would do. It still was not fun to have my alarm go off at 12:30. 
I ate "breakfast" and headed out at 1:00. With me was my survival bag, which included a banana,…

Star Wars Saturday: The Force Awakens Review

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I have determined that, in order to adequately review a movie, you need to see it twice.

The first time is to surprise you. If you've managed to keep away from spoilers (like I did) it allows you to push out all your presuppositions and see the actual story.

This is a hard step. We've had three years to wonder what happens in this movie, which means a lot of theories are floating around our heads. We might have to deal with some shock, disappointment, and maybe even anger.

I spent 20 hours in a movie theater on Thursday watching every single Star Wars movie that exists at this moment. If I had done a review of the movie after that Star Wars Marathon, it would have been so agitated and all over the place. My emotions had been completely drained, and I was going on fumes. I felt like crying as I left the theater - not because the experience was bad (it was awesome - I'll tell you about it next week) or because the movie was bad (see below) but because I was so tired and all…

Star Wars Saturday: Thought-Provoking Articles

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For my final Star Wars Saturday post before the release of The Force Awakens (!!!), I'm going to give you a little assignment.

Honestly, this article topic was one of the ones that I brainstormed way back in August and thought, "If there's ever a week where I don't have time to make a complete article, I'll just slap this one together really quickly."

And then it never happened!

But it turned out fine, because if this gets your head ready for Star Wars, then I've done my job.

So, my friends, here are some articles you should read that will make you think a little deeper about my favorite movie franchise of all time:

Don't forget to take a look back at my previous Star Wars Saturday articles as well, which are listed at the end of the article!

"Sorry": The Wedge Antilles Problem

This is perhaps one of my favorite articles of all time. It takes a character that I love - Wedge - and fleshes him out into someone more than just that-guy-in-the-coc…

Leave the Hate at the Door

Sometimes it's tough to be a fan of...well...anything.

Why? Because there's always someone around to ruin your joy.

Declare your love of a television show? Someone is there to declare how there are so many plotholes and it's so unrealistic and why would you love that show?

Enjoying a trip to one of your favorite destinations? Someone is there having a cruddy time and rubbing in how horrible this trip has been and raining on your vacation parade.

Celebrating a holiday? Someone is there ready to be politically correct or incorrect and say how wrong the other side is on this whole non-story that they are making a story.

It can get frustrating.

In a world of social media and eight thousand different ways to communicate with people, we have taken those gems of dislike that used to be reserved for a few close friends and blown it up to affect pretty much the entire earth.

Sometimes that kind of communication is incredibly effective. And other times? It just results in negativity…

Star Wars Saturday: The Classroom

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I teach in a multi-grade classroom. I've been teaching in that classroom for four years now, and I've had a few of those students all four years. Teaching requires variety, and my situation is no different. In fact, I need more variety because I have students multiple years.

For example, my second year teaching in this classroom happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. I introduced the series to my kids by talking about who the Doctor was, the main villains, and the TARDIS. By the time November 23 rolled around, the desks were covered in Doctor Who posters and I'd created "Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Day" where I put every class (plus a few extra fun things) in a box and the kids pick the order of classes for the day. We still do that to this day! (We just did it yesterday!)
Adding these pieces of variety really help the classroom grow together under one united fangroup. Last year one of my parents purchased me a David Tennant t-shirt that I …

ROCK Running

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Back at the old high school alma mater, runners had fun all year long. They had cross country in the fall and track in the spring. And in the winter? They got together in a group called ROCK Runners. "ROCK" stood for "Running Out in the Crazy Kold," and in Michigan, it got cold.

I had some friends who did ROCK Runners to train for spring sports, but I just laughed at the thought. Who in their right mind would want to get out in sub-freezing temperatures to run?

Well, it turns out I do. *Ignore incredulous stare from my high school self.*

We've had a pretty cold few days here in Colorado, and the sun has decided to take a vacation. This means that the snow that fell earlier in the week is staying on the sidewalks and making for not-very-fun running.

Unfortunately, my apartment complex decided that this was the perfect time to remodel the Fitness Center, and it's closed until further notice.

What's a girl to do when she needs to run 3-4 times a week in or…

Star Wars Saturday: Fears and Star Wars, Episode II

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Many moons ago, when the cast listing was first posted for The Force Awakens, I posted a brief article about my worries about the future of Star Wars. No big issues - just some concerns about the returning cast players and how everything was going to fit in.

With three weeks left till the movie opens in theaters, I can't say I've shaken off all my worry about the film and the future of the franchise. Yes, I am excited to get new Star Wars, but I am also apprehensive. People are treating this movie like The Greatest Movie In The Galaxy. I even read in this week's Entertainment Weekly about the movie's Oscar implications!

Let's be honest. No one has seen this thing. Anyone outside of Lucasfilm that has seen it is going to say it's amazing. They could be lying! It could be a giant dose of fanservice, resulting in a hollow film that tries to give us everything we want in a Star Wars film and nothing that we need - i.e. solid character development, a great story, a…

I Should Write Something

It's quarter to seven in the evening. My pajamas are on, I'm wrapped up in a blanket, I've eaten dinner, and I've caught up on my television shows.

I should write something.

Now, what to write about? It's not Saturday, so writing about Star Wars is out. Besides, people are probably getting tired of my constant references to the Greatest Ever Movies Series (GEMS). Just ask my parents.

I've written about running recently, too, so I should hold off on that for a couple weeks. I only ran 9.5 miles yesterday, after all. If I'd broken double-digits in miles, then I would have something to talk about.

Music, and the fact that I've rediscovered one of my favorite radio hits, "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac? Nah.

I could get serious. I could bring up a topic that requires several revisions, multiple mental logjams, and the fear that someone else is going to tear everything I write down.

I could, but I'm in too good a mood to get serious.

I got it! Ho…

Star Wars Saturday: Shattered Empire Review

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At the start of this calendar year, Marvel comics began running several comic book series that fit canonically into the Star Wars universe. Unlike the series that preceded them, these books were official canon - that is, anything that happened in the comic books could carry over into the books, TV shows, and movies.
To keep us interested in Star Wars - but keep us away from anything spoilery when it came to The Force Awakens - Marvel's series revolved around the time surrounding A New Hope. The main comic, Star Wars, takes place after the Battle of Yavin (and the destruction of the first Death Star) and revolves around our three main protagonists: Luke, Leia, and Han. A second comic takes place during the same time period, and follows the antagonist, Darth Vader
A third series that is still going is called Kanan: The Last Padawan and follows a Jedi Padawan named Caleb who has escaped Order 66 (from Revenge of the Sith) and is laying low while the Empire forms and grows around …

Michigan Football Is Ruining Me

Dear Michigan Football,

I don't get it.

Really, I don't.

I have been a fan all my life, watched countless games on television, been to the Stadium a bunch of times, and even went to Madison to watch you play. But this season, when I want to watch you in your first season with Jim Harbaugh, you always suck.

And then when I don't watch, you guys rock.

Why?!

It all started with game one against Utah. It was on a Thursday night, but I was at church and the pastor has cable in his office. So before I had to be at the church service, I was watching the game.

And you sucked. This Jake Rudock kid was playing quarterback and I realized how few of the names I recognized and Utah just dominated down the field and you guys did nothing.

Then I turned it off.

I watched and enjoyed the Oregon State game, but the next four games either weren't available or I had other plans. And, of course, that's when you dominated. That's when you went on your 3-game shutout streak. And I co…