Jeopardy report!

Updated 11/8/2020: RIP Alex! YouTube videos are gone – apparently one of the COVID-19 work-from-home catchup tasks for Sony must have been takedown notices – but thanks to my cousin Mark, I have the originals. Contact me if you want a share!

I’d aged out of the contestant pool in November, 18 months after my audition. I figured I’d take the online test again at the end of January and hope for another chance at auditioning. But on 1/8/2010, Jonathan handed me the phone saying, “It’s Glen from Jeopardy.” He started by that checking all my information was the same, giving me a chance to think, “is he calling for the reason I hope he’s calling? Is this The Call“? Finally he said “Can you be here for taping on February 2nd and 3rd?” I told him I was thrilled and excited, of course, but it wasn’t until I hung up that Jonathan and I started screaming, laughing, and dancing around the living room!

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Wyoming Valley Striders Summer 10K

I’ve now completed the Wyoming Valley Striders Triple Crown and have a cool (if large) Frank Shorter shirt to show for it. The 10K was in Kirby Park again (like the Cherry Blossom run, which I didn’t blog but in which I placed for the first time EVER because there were only 3 women in the 40-44 age category!) This time we got to run over the bridge into downtown Wilkes Barre and along the new river walk, which is gorgeous.

The race was at 9am. I got there around 8:30, a little later than I had planned because I always underestimate the length of the drive, bearing copies of the two checks that had been cashed for the Cherry Blossom (there was a mix-up and I had to pay again at the last minute). An envelope was already made out for me, marked “FREE,” so no hassle at all. I got a nice denim blue WVS hat in addition to the shirt (technical fabric, not yet another cotton T-shirt I wouldn’t wear.) The race start was on top of the dike, and before the start I walked down to the swampy natural area between the dike and the river. There was a forest of yellow jewelweed, many plants a good 8 feet high, with a little path into the heart of it so I could walk in (stems crunching under my feet). Very cool to see them towering over me.

I was quickly at the back of the pack, near a guy I recognized from the Cherry Blossom. Not a lot of training going on this summer, but I have been doing Tabata intervals regularly so I was curious to see how I did. Two related problems: it was very humid (although overcast, thank goodness), which normally slows me down, and I ended up taking advantage of two water stops, which also increased my time. I should have been more careful about my fluids and especially electrolytes (they only had plain water at the stops, which didn’t help). My final time was just under 1:10–not great but not terrible.

The course was very complicated, with a total of 5 separate loops that kept crossing each other. At least it was varied. Instead of seeing the fastest people coming back, I got passed by just the leader (he was so fast and I was so slow that we intersected). It was amazing–he passed me like I was standing still. It felt like seeing the RoadRunner go by, except that he was so smooth and quiet that I didn’t hear him come up or even go past–a barely-noticeable breeze and then he was speeding ahead of me, short blond hair flying out behind his head and green dots on the base of his shoes bobbing up practically to his waist. It’s thrilling to watch the people who run like the wind, effortlessly.

The coolest part of the race was crossing the beautiful Market St. Bridge and running along the new RiverCommon. It’s gorgeously landscaped, with wildflower banks on the river side. I just attended a fascinating presentation on wildflower meadows yesterday (with expert Larry Weaner, who was brilliant and down-to-earth), so I was excited to see them and notice the black-eyed susans which will be gone next season, as I learned.

Post-race I spoke again to Dr. Armillei of Active Performance Chiropractic. He told me why he’s not covered by our insurance (applied twice and was rejected because they have “enough specialists”), but his rates are reasonable and I might just go there on my own ticket. It’s far away so needs planning, but I do think it might help me.

Plus yummy oranges, potato chips, and “the best whole-wheat pizza in NE PA” according to the race director. It was delicious.

Star Trek Generation X

  • I started running again this week! The days are getting longer and the roads are dry (no precipitation for the past 8 days–amazing!). I only went 3 miles today (1 – 1 1/2 3 times during the week) because I’m so out of shape, but boy it felt good.
  • I think I’ve discovered the key to making the FlyLady system work for me: it’s the after-work routine. Just 3 steps: sort the mail, declutter for 15 minutes, then tea/toast/Buffy (I just got the first 4 seasons on DVD) until Jonathan gets home. “You can do anything for 15 minutes!” (J, trying to encourage me, accidentally said “You can do anything IN 15 minutes.” Ha! I wish!) It’s really been helping so far. Oh, and I tidy the kitchen while making the tea and toast.
  • I was just about to buy a new Dell but I missed the free-flat-panel monitor offer so postponed again. My main hesitation was the royal pain of moving all my documents off this one (which is now 5 years old). And holding up my monitor is my old Macintosh Performa–full of documents I still hadn’t moved off! But with J’s help I made some inroads this weekend. After I’ve finally ditched it (hey, if anyone wants a Performa 6220CD just for the cost of shipping, let me know!), then I can think about a new Dell again.
  • On the Mac I found an old project: Jonathan’s single-panel cartoon Star Trek Generation X. He drew it in 1995 (or maybe earlier), so it’s maybe dated now, but I still think it’s hysterically funny. I had scanned it but was unable to get it into web-friendly form that would fit on a screen and be legible, so it’s been on my Mac’s hard drive since about 1998. J suggested trying a PDF, and bingo: only 33 K and it looks passable. Googling “Star Trek Generation X” reveals that others have had the same idea (presumably after he did), but IMO his is much funnier and pithier. So click here to see classic Trek and classic grunge together at last.