Freestyle Friday: 07.04.2014

Happy Fourth of July to my American readers! I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday planned. My mother-in-law is visiting us this weekend, and so we have planned a visit to the Atlanta Aquarium and the High Museum for a classic car show. The weather is beautiful right now, so if it stays less humid all weekend it should be quite lovely.

This morning thousands of runners gathered in Atlanta to run the Peachtree Road Race. I was not one of them. The female elite winner, Amy Hastings, won the 10K race in 32:18. (The men’s winner, Christo Landry, ran it in 28:22.) In other news, I did go for a run and managed to run two miles with an average 10:00 pace (first mile 9:47!). That’s the fastest I’ve run in two years. Winners all around!

Yesterday I posted a review of Lisa Robinson’s There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll. I forgot to add a link from Vanity Fair of these terrific behind-the-scenes pictures of Robinson with all these talented people.  I also forgot to mention that Megan Abbott is the young Lisa Robinson’s doppelganger (photos from Vanity Fair and I think Megan Abbott’s official website):

And just to round out this recent rock and roll reading obsession, yesterday I came across this article in The Believer about the women behind all those rock and roll legends. So many of them wanted to be a part of something larger than themselves, but lost so much of their own identities to do so.

Next week I hope to have a review of Rene Denfeld’s The Enchanted for you. It will be tricky because we are going to Amsterdam (my favorite city) on Tuesday. We will only be there through Saturday but I hope to return with plenty of pictures.

And finally, Cathy at 746 Books very kindly passed the Very Inspiring Blogger Award along to me. I greatly enjoy her blog and we seem to have similar taste in books so I was happily surprised to see that she had included me in her list of very deserving winners.


I am supposed to list seven “interesting facts” about myself and then pass the award to other bloggers who have inspired me, so here goes:

  1. I have never smoked a cigarette. Never even taken a puff off one.
  2. I cycled through four majors in college: Theater, Journalism, Theater (Part 2), Fashion Merchandising, and English. I really wanted to double major in English and French or English and Math, but for the sake of time majored in English with a minor in French.
  3. Speaking of French (but not actually speaking it), I have retained a lot of my vocabulary and can understand it when I hear it spoken, but I am still like a deer in headlights when someone speaks directly to me and expects me to respond.
  4. I didn’t start running until right before my 40th birthday. I hated running because I was one of those kids traumatized by the President’s Physical Fitness Test in elementary school. I was always the last person to complete the mile, and it still makes me angry when I remember how mean the adults were, never mind the kids.
  5. I try to eat a mostly plant-based, vegan diet for health reasons. I do eat eggs or fish once or twice a week.
  6. I once had dinner with Karl Malden, whose wife is my stepmother’s cousin. I told him I wanted to be a writer, and he told me that writing is a very lonely life.
  7. In graduate school I got to take a writing class with the writer Lee Martin, who wrote one of my favorite novels, The Bright Forever. It was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, but lost to Geraldine Brooks’s novel March.

Okay, there are seven facts, interesting or not. And now I am passing the award to:

Reading the End

Shelf Love

Things Mean a Lot

Reading Matters

Farm Lane Books Blog

Fourth Street Review

Sophisticated Dorkiness

Running Off the Reeses

Peanut Butter Runner

Shut Up and Run

fANNEtastic Food

One Can’t Get Over the Habit

Nubby Twiglet

Many of these blogs are “big” and have a wide readership, but each one of these blogs keeps me inspired in many ways, whether by recommending books, offering running and health tips, making me laugh, inspiring me to be more creative or push boundaries, or all of the above. So my thanks to them. They are welcome to pass it on, but should not feel obligated.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

7 thoughts on “Freestyle Friday: 07.04.2014

  1. Ugh. The presidential fitness tests. I was lucky that they didn’t include the mile when I was in school (although I can’t possibly be much older than you if you’ve had your 40th birthday, so I wonder when they did start). We just had a 600-yard run/walk, which I usually came in near last on.

    But what seems worse to me now was that my elementary school made the flexed-arm hang well-nigh impossible because the bar was hard to get onto, being next to a monkey bar ladder that wasn’t very high, so you had to lean over to the bar, and those of us who were short had to do a bit of a pull-up as we were leaning, which meant many of us couldn’t get our chins above the bar at all. When I changed schools, we got boosted up, and I discovered I was pretty good (well, pretty average) at that one.

    And thanks for the award!

  2. WHAT! With KARL MALDEN? I wish you could see my face right now. I am SO ENVIOUS. My family LOVES Karl Malden. We are ALL THE TIME quoting him from Pollyanna doing that doomsday sermon he did in Pollyanna. WOW.

    I will see if I can think of seven interesting facts about myself. I am not confident I am interesting enough for this. :p

  3. Alena, at least during the SATs the whole room isn’t waiting for you to finish and taunting you from the sidelines. 🙂

  4. Teresa, I lived in Texas, so perhaps the test differed slightly by state? Although I remember the arm hang as well. That’s a whole other trauma!

    And you are welcome! Thanks for all the great book recommendations and thoughtful reviews!

  5. Jenny, yes, with KARL MALDEN. THE Karl Malden. He was incredibly nice. I was 14.

    As for the award, don’t feel obligated to do anything! It was just my way of saying thanks. 🙂

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