Multiple small steps for me....

Today was fairly eventful for me in tiny but important ways. I started off my morning with a quick bike ride up to a hotel where the Society of American Archivists were having their annual conference. This was my very first professional conference, so I was pretty stoked that my work was not only paying my entry to go to it, but I was also getting paid for going like I was actually on the job. While at the conference, I got to meet quite a few people that could be contacts later on, and had the immense pleasure of getting to see Studs Terkel (a Chicago legend) speak about oral histories. I was amazed how well Mr. Terkel has aged; at 95 years young, he is still as sharp as a tack and has an amazingly funny sense of humor.
After the conference I biked back to work, had class, and came home. That's when the real progress was made. I ran. For the first time since high school I ran (well, the first time that I ran for the sake of it, not just away from something looking to maul or arrest me). I'm quite proud to say that I went for about 1.7 miles, virtually non-stop, and didn't pass out. I feel good, though sore, and intend to try again tomorrow. Hopefully this next attempt won't turn fatal. In other news, Dan ran for the first time as well today. Fatty power; we're taking over!

Blogging about another blogger


I don't have anything particularly amazing to report about myself today, so I thought I'd post about someone who is attempting something amazing herself. Trish is a British girl who is trying to cycle and sail around the world while being self-sustaining. I found her blog tonight completely by accident and will continue to tune in as she moves along on her adventure; hopefully she gets wherever it is that she is going!

Safe Travels, Trish


Post-laundry day fallout

I'm not sure if it can be statistically proven, but I have a hunch that the day after laundry day may be one of the biggest low self-esteem days around. For me at least, the herculean task of washing the accumulated dirty duds of two fairly-messy pack rats always results in a dangerously over-filled laundry basket full of clothing that just won't fit right the next day. Now I know many will say that this all can be avoided by hanging one's clothing to dry rather than throwing them in the dryer, but there are many reasons why this is problematic for me.
First and foremost, it seems that everything I do choose to air dry (mainly my jeans and other bottoms) still shrinks anyway; the blessing that is stretch fabric tends to expand and contract through their life cycle of washing and wearing until perfume will no longer mask the funk. Yes, this may sound a bit gross, but when one has to retrain their stretch jeans every time one cleans them, the desire for medical-grade cleanliness dies quickly. 'Don't by stretch clothing,' you say? In a perfect world (and a perfect body) this would work out, but the truth of the matter is, until the 'baby factory' cut replaces 'low-rise' in terms of trendiness, my shopping patterns will be stuck hovering over the 'stretch/plush sized' area.
A second major issue that blocks my mission to control my clothing shrinkage is the fact that we live in a 900 square foot condo. When one lacks any space to even hang one's dry clothing, it becomes pretty difficult to find places where one can lay out one's wet garments. Needless to say, by the time we decide to move again, all of hinges on our cabinet doors will need to be replaced due to the wear and tear they've incurred while fulfilling their duty as ersatz drying racks.
So, until I magically shrink myself, or grow my condo, I am stuck having to execute copious amounts of squats throughout that first day after laundry day, until the stretch fabric chooses to comply with the demands that my various curves make of it. Eventually something will give; hopefully not the seams in my capris...


One small victory


"BP backs down on dumping in lake"

I've been watching this news story develop for some time, and have to admit that in the very beginning, I didn't think the ultimate outcome would be any good. I am completely surprised (and a bit impressed) that a corporation as large as BP actually listened to what their consumers were saying, when facing a move that could have gained them all kinds of new revenue. Sure, there are incentives for them for playing ball with Daley and the other political leaders in the region, but I still didn't expect to see them not only doing a 180 on their initial intent to increase dumping hazardous wastes into the lake, but also to give serious thought to proposals presented to them by them for improving their Indiana plant in more environmentally-friendly ways.
I really do hope they live up to the image that they have carefully constructed for themselves, of being an-earth friendly, progressive corporation, and will actually adopt some of the new, greener technologies that have been presented to them. It is likely that any new green tech that they choose to employ will be considerably more expensive than their former plans to just dump more waste, but hopefully they will take this opportunity to raise the bar for other similar corporations in the US. One unfortunate downside of this move is that it may cost BP the 80 additional jobs that they thought this expansion would have created (if it winds up falling through); this is where you need to weigh pros and cons. What good are 80 jobs, when those worker's families (and countless others in the area) will be exposed to more hazardous living conditions as a direct result of their own activities? Perhaps implementing new, cleaner technologies will actually open up jobs as well; either way, if they DO expand the plant, clean or not, those jobs will be there. If, however, BP had gone through with their original plan, despite public and political pressures to change direction, the situation may have resulted in loss of profit (Daley and others were already calling for a boycott), and probably loss of jobs.
Once again, you have to love Daley for being so bull-headed about the whole thing; if he didn't have that natural sense of entitlement to run things for not only the Chicagoland area, but also anyone else in spitting distance of it, I don't think progress would have been made so quickly. Cheers to our local dictator.