Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Month: January 2009 (page 1 of 2)

The Ice Storm

Ice 992

Originally uploaded by Arkansas farmboy

Arkansas doesn’t really get that cold. Most of the time the weather is above freezing and every once in a while it will dip below freezing at night time. We rarely get snow and when we do it rarely last longer than 24 hours before it melts away. If there is a form of cold precipitation to be had, it’s going to be an ice storm.

The state is currently under state of emergency due to an ice storm. The northern part of the state is all icy with a thousands of people out of power. So far three people have died and there is a six vehicle pile up on the interstate (four tractor trailer rigs and two cars).

Fortunately where I live has merely been cold but without much rain and nothing much to freeze up. IN fact, it was so wet that my cat fell into the drainage ditch and is now all sopping wet. He is now very cranky but sitting in front of the heater to get warm and dry out. He’s a smart kitty that way.

When he’s very cold, he’ll sit so close to the heater that I’m afraid he’s going to singe some of his hair.

I have a business engagement scheduled in one of the towns that has ice. I keep calling every morning to confirm whether or not I am to drive six hours to make this meeting or no. Yes it’s a pain in the ass. Not nearly as much as a pain in the ass as having no power in below freezing temperatures but a small pain in the ass nonetheless.

One of my friends has a tree that is slowly losing its limbs one by one and he’s panicing that sooner or later, one of those limbs is going to hit his house and cause damage.

So now I sit inside, write letters that I’ve been needing to write and wait to see what I am going to do for the rest of the week.

Stay safe and keep warm everybody.

Eleanor is going to die!

bacon shoes

Originally uploaded by Smorgasbite

I found this via Smorgasbite, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite food blogs.

These are KEDS with BACON!

The list of happy

  1. I had some productive days at work
  2. Veronica Mars MOVIE If you admit to not liking Veronica Mars, you lose cool points with me. If you absolutely hate it, I just might think you have neurological problems.
  3. I’m going to be visiting friends next week
  4. I got to see some pictures from a really really long time ago.
  5. I had one of the fastest yet easiest runs of my life earlier this week. It was one of the first times I felt fit.
  6. OBAMA! OBAMA! We got a new President and he is getting down to business. He’s already done several campaign promises in the first 3 days. You can’t beat that.
  7. I had lunch with my friend Angela whom I haven’t seen in weeks.
  8. So yeah. Overall, good. It’s the little things.

Inauguration Day

“Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.” — Barack Obama

There are very few moments in your life in which you are aware that this particular moment in time is going to change everything forever. Some of these moments include your wedding date, high school graduation, and the day a parent dies.

But every once in a while, you experience a moment that you know, as it is happening, is bigger than you. You know as each second goes from the present to the past that it is these moments that will be written down in history books and it is these moments that you’ll tell to your grandchildren later. One of these moments, I experienced in an Italian restaurant in Sikeston Missouri with, in addition to a whole crowd of people, a woman named Genesis: when the United States of America elected Barack Obama President of the United States. Another moment was today when I watched on my television in the relative comfort of my living room the swearing in of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

This was a big deal. This was a big deal for African Americans. This was a big deal for America. We have a President who likes to think, who encourages our input, and who isn’t afraid to answer our questions. He is not afraid of dissent and welcomes change. He’s a man who focuses on the positivity of hope for a better life rather than clinging to the fear of an unknown future and unknown violence on our borders.

We also have a man who came from the humblest of beginnings with the humblest of statures and raised himself up to become our President. He is the Horatio Alger success story. He is a man who could have done anything and chose to use his gifts to make the world a better place.

I can only imagine the number of kids sitting in schools across this country whose dreams will be just a little bigger, who will reach just a little bit further, and who will try just a little bit harder because of Obama. I wonder how many people will get out of the house and help their neighbors under Obama’s call to service.

Obama also changed America. Before Obama, the American ideal was the melting pot. People were supposed to come here and assimilate into the culture. When other cultures began to hold on to their identities, America seemed to get more fragmented, everyone was an African American, a Cuban-American, or some other and American. This change caused a level of divisiveness that was echoed in the McCain campaign with talk of the “real Americans” with “real American values.” The election of Obama bought in the notion that you can have a funny name or be from somewhere else and be a real American. The real America isn’t about assimilating to some standard, it’s about working hard and wanting to make life better for yourself and your kids. The real American value is going hand in hand with your neighbor to make the neighborhood a better place, no matter who he or she is.

I will look back on this day as a day as I was proud to be an American. I am proud to be a part of the Democratic process. This is the day that an African American with a funny man who wasn’t expected to win worked real hard and got to be President. This is the day we got tired of the scare tactics and decided to believe that things could get better.

I will look back on this day as a day where people gave apathy the heave ho and became empowered. They believed that Kennedy motto that they could do something for their country and that maybe their country could do something for them. It wasn’t just a place for a certain elite.

But now, I’m just going to sleep with a peace of mind, knowing that someone who is smart is thinking of ways to help the country.

Oh and could someone get Aretha Franklin’s hat for the Obama Presidential library? That hat was awesome.

Before & After:

The Obama administration wasted no time in putting up its new website at The top is the screen shot of the old site under the Bush administration.

MLK and tomorrow

I don’t really have anything of importance to say. I wish I had something of profound but I am just a woman with an ear infection trying to hear right and work a little.

For all the African American people and families who endured taunts, rocks, and lynchings just to do the simple things in life like go to school, vote, ride the front of the bus, and use the nearest toilet, I say “congratulations. This is a day that many of you didn’t think you would see in your life time. I hope you call in sick and savor tomorrow.”

If you have to go to work, you can watch it here. (if your office has high speed internet.) shhh I didn’t tell you. ( did)

Running log for this week

During the week thanks to the fatigue that comes when your body is fighting an infection, I had only logged in 4 miles total. So today I thought “hey my weekly mileage is past 17 miles. I’ll just run a half marathon. I’ve run 12 miles before”

Famous last words, people. Famous last words.

I picked a route near the hospital that would give me quite a few miles so I wouldn’t repeat myself too many times. There were some hills, including a big monster. I used the Galloway method with 3 minute jogs with one minute of walking. I managed to go the big hill twice. The last three miles was nothing more than will. In fact, it was so bad that when my little nike ipod thing said you finished and I started walking, I was wondering if I was going to make it to my car.

I managed to do 13.11 miles. 2 hours 46 minutes. This averages out to a 12:41 mile per hour pace.

My legs are sore. My butt is sore. I’ve been stretching trying to avoid walking gimpy tomorrow but I’m not sure I will succeed.

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Ruminations during an ear infection

I got an ear infection. While having an ear infection sounds painful, it really isn’t. The most annoying thing about my ear infection is that I have fluid behind the ear. This means my eustachian tube is clogged with flemmy goodness and I can hear myself breathe and chew but my hearing the outside world is compromised. It’s like being a female version of Darth Vader– freaky, heavy breathing all the time.

Being inside your head like this lends itself to being inside your head. I’ve been wondering about life and where I’m going. Right now, I don’t feel I’m going anywhere. I’m circling. It’s not the life I wanted as a kid. Hell, it’s not the life I wanted as a young adult and as the youth of my adulthood is slowly creeping towards middle age, I am finding that it is not the life I want now. I am on a mission now. Obama is changing America. I can change my circumstances. I can change my attitude and whatnot.

The Washington Post sent a reporter to Arkansas to talk to rural voters who were wary about Obama. Well, of course, I had to get my “oh no here we go again, talking crap about the Arkansans” because this rural/urban divide is everywhere.

I did read a quote in the discussion of the article later that rang all too true about the life here. (and oh I’m going to hurt some feelings for reprinting it)

This summer I moved from D.C. to East Texas. Attitudes around here are very similar to the ones described in your article. It’s been frustrating to live here. On the one hand, the people I’ve met are very open and nice. I’ve never seen such well mannered kids as there are here, or people who are so friendly. On the other hand, the people I’ve met here also use the N word, distrust anyone from north of the Mason Dixon line and condemn so many different types of people to hell I wonder how there will be space for them all.

I like diversity and one thing about this area is that it inherently distrusts anything different. It picks tradition over change even when change could be better. A prominent campaign point on any political campaign is “I was born here.” or “I grew up here and raised my kids here” You have to have lineage. One of the attorneys I know has practiced here for 25 years and she is still “that lady from Michigan” I think by the time you live somewhere twenty five years, you’re a hometown hero.

I’m not sure where the distrust of change comes from. Are some Arkansans here racists? yep. I listened to several people I know discuss whether Obama was going to have a watermelon patch at the White House. This is a place that decries spreading the wealth but lives on farm subsidies.

The businesses are dying and new businesses aren’t coming in but if a community is going to have a distrust of outsiders, why would outsiders want to live here? So the town slowly dies as the town elders get older. Maybe things will change but not soon.

I watched Towncraft which was interesting but I’m hungry now. So I’m going to eat some dinner. High quality writing here when I’m all sick and such. No fancy schmancy ending. It’s just “i’m hungry. later”

There is good in the world

I love taking pictures. You can see to the right that I have a flickr account and quite a few photos uploaded over there. I also have shoeboxes full of photos from the predigital photo era of my life: cute toddler pics with my brother, high school, college party pics, and other assorted adventures.

So you can imagine my surprise when while standing in line to pay for gas at EZ Mart, a lady from the revenue office comes up to me and asks, “Did you lose a camera? My brother found a camera in front of your office yesterday.”

“um really. Well my camera is a Kodak” I look in my purse. I don’t see it.
“The first picture that should pop up on the screen is a picture of some food.”
“I don’t know. Let me ask him.”
She gets her cell phone out and asks him. And yes, it’s a picture of “some stew” (well I guess if you’re not acquainted with Indian food, tikka masala would look like some stew.)

I had no idea the camera was missing?! DAMN Y’all!

He asks if I’m going to be in my office the next day around 5:30. He shows up. I pull out some cash for a reward and he says “no need” and walks off.

That was a Kodak 8 mpg cam with zoom lens. He could have gotten a hundred dollars for it easy.

Now to be fair, the world isn’t a perfect place because when I got the camera back, the two gb card that was in the camera was out and the 256 card was in. He had looked through all my pictures. Good thing I didn’t have any “extra special late night guest” photos on that thing. Whew.

100 things worth doing (1-25)

This quote from superhero journal inspired me and others. It also set forth a meme of cool things to do.

And there were a few stories that stuck. One was a story that Elizabeth Gilbert paraphrased from a book she had read recently. The question posed was about living in the now and this writer responded that living in the now is overrated and unless you’re a yogi or a monk, pretty much impossible for us regular folk. He said that possibly, the key to a happy life is about having great memories to look back on and great things to look forward to. So take lots of pictures and make lots of plans!

My life is a mess right now. It’s such a mess that I don’t feel like sharing it right now. I will, however, write down some of the good memories of things past.

  1. Repainting my bedroom walls purple. (this is my favorite color). There’s something about being surrounded by your favorite color that just makes you a little bit happier
  2. Seeing Jerry Seinfeld perform
  3. Going on safari in Kenya
  4. Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  5. Going to a DC (or any town really) where I didn’t know anybody (and had vague rumors of only one person I knew being there) and making a life there.
  6. Rubbing a puppy’s belly. They love it.
  7. Hearing Barack Obama speak
  8. Catching lightning bugs with my brother
  9. Reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov
  10. Having a hot dog at Gray’s Papaya
  11. Attending a Presidential Inauguration (I saw the Swearing in Ceremony for Clinton’s second)
  12. Volunteering for a political campaign (I’ve done several. Obama was fun. Kerry was fun too)
  13. Running a 5K
  14. Playing blackjack at a casino in Las Vegas
  15. Beignets at Cafe du Monde
  16. A pastrami on rye from Katz’s Delicatessen
  17. Seeing the Korean Memorial in Washington DC at night
  18. Getting a compliment from the Compliment Man
  19. Legal Observing for the 2000 IMF/World Bank Protest.
  20. Getting in touch with that old boyfriend you have dreams about and realize that he isn’t all that anyway (I’m leaving the name out of it here)
  21. Going inside a cave (it’s a completely different world in there)
  22. Doing something that scares you. It might not be that bad
  23. Browsing at a sex toy store. (dude that is an experience)
  24. Swimming in the ocean
  25. Cooking food with my grandma
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