That’s not my name!

By , April 16, 2014 6:47 am

Growing up, did your parents ever call you someone else’s name (probably a sibling’s) by accident? What was that name? Do you do it now to your kids, or pets (as that is the discussion that actually inspired this post), or anyone else?

This probably doesn’t happen to only children? You guys tell me! But growing up (and now), my mom and other family members sure did call us by the wrong names quite often from time to time. Our names are Nicholas, Kimberly, Anthony and Christina. But sometimes you were called by another sibling’s name. Sometimes names were combined – Ant Kim, Ant Nick, Ant Chris (not sure why Anthony always came to mind first). Ha ha, even this weekend, my mom was looking right at me, and called me Christina! I ignored her of course, just to be a brat. 

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This came up at work, after I asked my coworkers if people ever call their pets by the wrong sex (Data is not a “she” or “her,” dammit!). They said no, but one person said they do get their own pets’ names mixed up, the same way their parents used to mix up their sibling’s name with theirs. Ha ha. Maybe that trait is hereditary!

I sometimes get people’s names mixed up and call them by a different student’s name when I am teaching class. Hey, lack of oxygen to the brain, give me a break! And, very oddly, when Steven and Nick (my brother) are together, I sometimes swap their names by accident. Weiiiiiiiiiird. 

Christina’s bridal weekend

By , April 15, 2014 4:33 pm

Saturday was my snister’s big day!

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Christina and her bridesmaids (L to R: Kelsey, Amber, Kim, Christina, Jacquie, Ashleigh)

Okay, not the big BIG day, but a big LITTLE day – her bridal shower and (first*) bachelorette party!

I didn’t think about it until Monday, but this was actually the first bachelorette party I’ve ever been to! Is that crazy… or not?! Either way, it was so much fun! But let’s start at the beginning!

We held the bridal shower and the bachelorette party on the same day to make it easier for people who had to travel (ha ha… that would be me!). The party was in a city hall close to our hometown. I planned the party with my mom, and came to learn how much I love to delegate tasks. Ha ha! I asked my mom to do the decorations (because I am so NOT crafty) and she did a spectacular job!

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Mom also brought game prizes and put together some goodie bags. 

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Well, geesh, did I do anything?! Ha ha. Yes. I brought cookies from Maria’s Oven to help fill the goodie bags:

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And organized all the food and games with help from the bridesmaids and my grandmas, and hosted the party!

Confession: I don’t enjoy cheesy shower games, so I tried to come up with some that were the least painful… for the attendees anyway (not for Christina, muah ha ha)! I was really pleased with how they turned out! We did a game each between eating (appetizers and main course) and presents/cake and I thought that went well. The games were:

1. Sharing a favorite memory with the bride – I had everyone write a favorite memory with Christina, without their name on it. Then when I had them all, I passed them out and people had to figure out whose memory they got, then read it and introduce that person and memory to the group. I know, it sounds painful, but it was a fun way to get everyone to know one another. I thought it was fun. 
2. Draw the bride a dream wedding dress (Mom’s idea) – Wow. This turned out to be so much fun. I didn’t realize I was sitting with a bunch of artists! Everyone came up with amazing designs for Christina!

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3. The (almost) Newlywed Game – I sent Christina’s fiancé, Will, a list of fifteen questions and he answered them via video! So we’d ask Christina the question, then watch the video to see what Will’s response was. Some of the questions were: “What is Wills favorite movie?” “What is Will’s most annoying habit?” “What is Will’s favorite thing about Christina?” For every question Christina got wrong, we made her chew another piece of gum. Muah ha ha! She did really well and it was so fun to watch!

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4. How Well Do You Know the Bride Quiz (from Christina) – Christina had these tear-out sheets with a fun questionnaire about her and Will. I learned that she thinks her first kiss was to a guy named Robert. Ha ha. And that she doesn’t have a favorite perfume or band!

After the party we cleaned up, packed up, and headed to Des Moines for a painting at Pinot’s Palette and hotel slumber party! I have to give a shout out to Erin at Pinot’s Palette. She was helpful and responded quickly to emails. She made setting up the painting party easy and stress-free! And I thought it was super cool that Christina got to choose which painting we would all do from a huge list. She chose (via bridesmaid vote) “Tree of Life.”

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None of painting party attendees had ever done one of these BYOB(&food) painting classes before! So it was fun for me to see everyone be excited about it, and especially to see how their paintings all turned out!

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I had made a previous deal with my mom that we would trade paintings at the end of the night since I am a horrible artist and she is not. So we made jokes with each other (as we had back-to-back easels) during class about “Oh man, you should see how your painting looks now!” Hee hee. But! I ended up liking mine and keeping it!

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Someone said my yellow spots looked like hashtags which got my mom to ask what a hashtag was. Apparently, Mom was at a work meeting where hashtags were referenced and everyone laughed and she missed the joke! Now she is in the know. 

After the painting party we went to our hotel. I found a hotel suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a full kitchen and living room! It was perfecto!

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And I was super excited we ended up getting the hotel hot tub all to ourselves. I had been looking forward to soaking in it for weeks!

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The hot tub closed at midnight but we stayed up much later than that, just chatting and goofing around (we now have a Śmigus-Dyngus inside joke… who would’ve thunk it?!). It was so fun to get to know Christina’s bridesmaids and friends! It really made me even more excited for her wedding on June 14th! But man, I just hope that day does not go by as fast as the parties did (what am I talking about? of course it will!).

We actually hung out a bit the day after the party too – bummed around the hotel in the morning, then hit up a few shops before having lunch together and splitting our separate ways. The next time I see Christina will probably be at her wedding. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Exciting!

*She is having another with her local friends in May. 

Training Week 233 & 234

By , April 15, 2014 6:46 am

Highlight of the Week(s): Getting a few longer distance runs in with friends!

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Monday | March 31, 2014: teaching strength class
Strength: one dumbbell and resistance bands, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Tuesday | April 1, 2014: 3.2 m run (w/Kelly) + 3 m run (w/Emily)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 44°/39°, Time: 31:03, Pace: 9:44 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good! Surprisingly not too annoyed with the 20+mph winds
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 46°/44°, Time: 32:13, Pace: 10:44 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: winded
Wednesday | April 2, 2014: rest
Thursday | April 3, 2014: 4.6 m run (w/Kelly, incl 6 hill repeats)
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 39°, Time: 48:13, Pace: 10:29 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: like I need to do more hill work!
Friday | April 4, 2014: teaching strength class
Strength: one dumbbell and resistance bands, Difficulty: medium, Felt: challenged
Saturday | April 5, 2014: 15.1 m run (2 m run + South Shore Half Marathon w/Rachel)
Loc: Milwaukee, Temp: 33°, Time: 19:55, Pace: 9:57 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay
Loc: Milwaukee, Temp: 33°/43°, Time: 2:13:56, Pace: 10:13 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good at first / out of it at the end
Sunday | April 6, 2014: 3.6 m run (w/Efiters)
Loc: Rollins Savanna, Temp: 41°/45°, Time: 38:40, Pace: 10:46 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay

Monday | April 7, 2014: 11 m run (w/Kelly) + teaching strength class
Loc: Around Grayslake, Temp: 35°/34°, Time: 1:51:07, Pace: 10:06 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good! So nice out!
Strength: one dumbbell and resistance bands, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good/hyper
Tuesday | April 8, 2014: rest
Wednesday | April 9, 2014: rest
Thursday | April 10, 2014: 6.5 m run (w/Adam)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 49°/49°, Time: 1:01:17, Pace: 9:26 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: fast! (when the wind was at my back for 2 miles)
Friday | April 11, 2014: teaching strength class + 10.1 m run (w/Valerie)
Strength: kettlebells/body bars mixed mode, Difficulty: medium, Felt: the workout needs tweaking
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 48°/58°, Time: 1:40:44, Pace: 9:59, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: too sunny
Saturday | April 12, 2014: rest
Sunday | April 13, 2014: rest

Notes:

  • Yikes! I am behind on my training recaps! Life’s a little busy for me right now (with good stuff), so I haven’t been spending that much time on my computer. Anyway…
  • The only big note worth mentioning is how much I am struggling with the warmth and full sun. I am sweating out a ton of salt, which is highly unusual for me. This last Sunday morning I was really sick, I think due to dehydration (and stress, odd eating, high temps (85°F wtf), a hot tub and a few glasses of wine)… and woke up today feeling a bit blah as well, so a visit to the doctor might be in my future. Although! It looks like the cold and snow is back, so that should help. Ha ha ha. 

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Link to Training Week 232

Preferred work pace

By , April 10, 2014 6:18 am

Does anyone else have a mostly project based work setting, with (somewhat) definite beginnings and ends to each project?

For some odd reason, I was thinking about work this morning as I drove to meet a friend for a run, and how one project, which was supposed to be a 5K effort project, had turned in to a marathon. Or maybe an ultramarathon. A poorly executed one.

In the running world, I prefer the comfortable steady pace of longer distances, over the sprint of a 5K, or even a 10K.

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In the work world, I do well under pressure, and enjoy a “sprint” 5K effort from time to time. But I prefer* to stay around half marathon effort most of the time – going along at a decent pace, still having time (or enough glucose in my system) to think things through.

What I apparently don’t like at work, is the longer distances. Getting lost on the course. Losing my timing chip and starting over. Deciding to run the course twice. Dragging things out. That would be fun doing it with a friend… but I didn’t sign up for an adventure race. It just feels inefficient. 

And maybe that is where I am getting off track. Comparing charted courses to something un-charted. Bad metaphor, bad! Oops! I have no excuses for the connections my brain makes in the early morning. Or why I decide to share them here. It looks like I just wanted to get a little frustration off my chest. 

What’s your preferred work pace? Or life pace?

As I was thinking about this more, I started to think about the things that hit us in life at such a fast pace there is nothing we can do about it. Ugh. But I won’t get all morbid.

*My preferences don’t mean anything, I realize, just dreaming, here.

This does not bother me

By , April 8, 2014 3:30 pm

Dang, someone with iOS 7.0, help a sister out!

Ha ha. So I stumbled across this Shape Magazine opinion article in my newsfeed – Worst App Ever Makes You Look Skinnier in Selfies (pdf here), and had to laugh, for several reasons:

  1. It’s a bit hypocritical. Um… I realize this is an opinion piece, and I see why the author said “an app that serves to make you look thinner just reinforces the ages-old idea that you should be striving to live up to an idealized version of women that doesn’t exist.” But really – the next article in my feed from Shape was called “7 Foolproof Fitness Tips to Reshape your Figure” with a picture of a fitness model that I doubt many of us will ever look like and… was probably touched up. Come on. Be yourself! Wait, change your body! Ha ha. I know, it’s not the same, but, like I said, it made me laugh. 
  2. That seriously can’t be the worst app ever. How about this one?
  3. The article shames women who post selfies. “A recent British study shows that people who post a lot of photos on social media networks like Facebook have less supportive bonds with friends and family than those who don’t.” How much is a lot? Should I be worried?! Is there a BuzzFeed test I can take to see if I have more or less supportive bonds with family and friends than other people in my Facebook circle. Seriously. I am worried. Okay, not really. 
  4. If anything, doesn’t this give us more of an even playing field with those “idealized” pictures?! 

The sad thing about this app, is that I cannot even download it to try it out. I have to have iOS 7.0, and my phone just isn’t letting that happen. Sigh. In the meantime, I looked at these pictures from the app that show what this nice looking woman could look like, 10 pounds lighter. I made this gif to show you where they are making the changes. 

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What the heck. If I am paying 99 cents for an app to make me look skinnier, you better make my body smaller, too! Grrr. Guess I will just stick with my old tricks:

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Ha ha. I don’t alter my body. The #1 thing I change on pictures before sharing them?! Removing zits! Someone tell me their favorite app for that! It would be great if I didn’t have to edit photos like this before sending them to friends:

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Oh, or I could just put makeup on over it? Hmm, that’s a novel idea. 

As you can tell, I am not one to do much with my make-up, hair, or clothes, and am pretty happy with myself the way I am. But all joking aside (yes, this entire post is a joke, except me saying I am happy with how I am – that is true) I do see how someone who has self-image issues might further them in using this app, but to me… it’s just another silly app to play with (if you have iOS 7.0). Another time waster!

Do you have any image altering apps on your phone? I just have a bunch of photo editing ones, none specific for people, but I have altered lighting to help photos look better!

Simple Pleasures

By , April 8, 2014 6:28 am

Combing Data, then cleaning his fur off the comb

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Cutting this white thread off of the band of my exercise tights/capris/shorts with teeny scissors

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Screwing in a new wallflower* the correct way on the first try

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Cleaning muck off the back of my boots

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Cleaning out the lint trap

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Seeing geese on top of the homes in my neighborhood

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A bracelet that sits flat on my wrist

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Putting something on the correct side, when it has an “L” and “R” designation on it

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Adding numbers to my miles tracked spreadsheet, and seeing the overall number increase

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Seeing this message in my inbox

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What’s on your “simple pleasures” list?

*Is it just me, or does the electronic part of these things only seem to last a year or even a few months? Seems I am buying new ones each year. Annoying. 

Do you let things “grow on you”?

By , April 7, 2014 11:47 am

Ha ha. Um, figuratively. Not literally!

Have you ever noticed that you don’t like a song the first time you hear it, but the more you hear it, and the more familiar it becomes… you may start to like it? Then you can’t get it out of your head, and you have to download it and listen to it on repeat over and over and over… and do a little dance with your cat to the song and take a picture and send it to your friends?

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This happens to everyone, right? Well, at least the first part of that paragraph? Maybe not so much the acting like a fool and documenting it and sending it out…

I am actually not thinking about music I hear on the radio, but rather, the music I browse through online when searching for tunes for the strength class I teach. I get emails from runhundred, as well as look on fitness websites and browse iTunes top download lists.  I must have been clicking on songs to sample that I had previously heard and didn’t want to download, because something was so familiar about them… I was like, “Oh! Do I like this song? Should I download it?!” Then, “No! You played that before and didn’t like it! It’s just familiar!” Ha ha. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up downloading those songs down the road. Sometimes, it just takes awhile for things to grow on you.

Which made me think. It was only that I couldn’t remember the name of the song I disliked that I was clicking on it and inadvertently giving it a second chance. And then it tricked me by sounding familiar. Ha ha. 

But I wonder if I am the type of person to try something more than once, if I don’t like it. To give it the opportunity to grow on me. For example… I tried a Spartan Race and found out it wasn’t my thing. Same thing with Ragnar. I doubt I will do those again (you never know, though!). 

Yet, some things, I have tried to get used to doing. Like, going to the shooting range. Shooting a gun doesn’t come naturally to me. And I don’t naturally enjoy it. But I am trying to learn how to do it, and trying to find a way to have fun with it. 

So… maybe I am “one and done” for somethings and not others? Hey, at least I try new stuff!

Do you let things “grow on you” and purposefully give them a second chance? Or do you tend to make a decision after one experience?

South Shore Half Marathon Race Report (2014)

By , April 5, 2014 7:39 pm

What is this blazing thing in the sky? Could that be… the sun?!

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Ha ha. After a super windy week with a few dreary days, I was excited to see that the weather cooperated for the South Shore Half Marathon today in southern Milwaukee. Low winds and not a cloud in the blue skies! The race temperature started at 33°F and got up to 43°F. Heat wave! It felt so nice to run in the sun, though I apparently seem to be out of practice with it, as I ended the race feeling low on energy and with a huge salt patch on my forehead! Ha! 

But, not to get too far ahead of myself! You guys probably remember that the South Shore Half Marathon, put on by the Badgerland Striders, is one of my favorite, no-frills, cheapie races. The first time I ran it in 2011, it was under $14. Last year it was $13.99 ($12 + processing). This year, it was up to $17.14 ($15 + processing). I joked with Rachel that I was outraged by the price! Ha ha. Nope. It will probably still be the cheapest race I do this year. And, I think the reason it was a bit more is because they added chip timing this year! Getting fancy!

Cause, yeah. This race is not fancy. No shirt. No medal. Post race snacks from ALDI (if you finish fast enough to get some). Everyone gets a pair of gloves. Wonderful volunteers. Water/Gatorade/porta potties on course. An accurate course… perfect for a training run. Which is what Rachel and I made it today!

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We ran two miles before the race to warm up, then had a few minutes before joining the back of the pack and taking off!

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The race is an out and back on a trail that runs along Lake Michigan, then through some wooded areas. It’s a bit crowded in the beginning, but less so as you get a few miles in. 

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It’s a really pretty trail, but for some reason, someone decided to throw some hills in there!

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Ha. I know they are not that bad. Rachel and I decided that running those would make the “hills” at the Wisconsin Marathon seem like nothing! I also came up with a list of reasons the hills (and run, toward the end) felt so hard:

  1. I did hill repeats on Thursday
  2. It was too sunny
  3. Low electrolytes
  4. Too much weight gain (<— bingo)

We had a lot of fun, running, and chatting. And we didn’t have anyone drafting off of us, creeping on our conversation, like last year. Ha ha. Too bad! They could have heard me give away the menu for Christina’s bridal shower next Saturday, and the rest of my deepest, darkest, secrets (luckily, Rachel doesn’t charge for therapy hours while running). 

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In the last four miles, I did run out of steam, and couldn’t even come up with things to talk about. This rarely happens to me – running out of things to say! I noticed my hands were swollen while running, and when I finished the race and felt the crusty salt on my face, I realized I was low on electrolytes. Looks like I need to try some salt tabs!

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We finished the race in 2:14. It’s funny, the whole time, I felt like we were running faster than that (was hardly looking at the watch). I made sure to point out to Rachel that we ran the race 10 minutes faster last year (and that I did it 10 minutes faster in 2011). We’re excited to come back next year and add on another 10 minutes! The more time on the course, the more time you have to chat! 

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After the race we walked to the Palomino Bar for brunch.  I really love talking to Rachel and hearing her life stories. I am sad I probably won’t see her until the Wisconsin Marathon, and not for much time then! Of course, I have The Longest Day relay on June 21st to look forward to!

Oh! And Dad ran his 5K this morning! He said the wind ending up being fine (phew), and, he PR’d – 28:38! Go Daddio!

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Ha, I love this Mom and Dad selfie. And especially that another couple is doing a selfie in the background, too!

Friday Question 249

By , April 4, 2014 6:20 am

Are you a note taker?

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I love taking notes. Definitely at work, but even in my personal life, at times! Taking notes keeps me focused on what is going on (and sometimes keeps me awake!), and gives me something to reference later, if I forget a detail.

I am meticulous about storing my work notes. I take them by hand, then scan them and organize them by topic and date. I LOVE FILING!!! Hmm, that makes me think of another question: do you have much paper storage at your work/home, or do you try to store most things on the computer?

My notes are about the only paper I use on a regular basis.  Sometimes I print out something to review, or, bring to a meeting, but even then, I see if I can bring my computer to the meeting instead. Bye bye, paper clutter!

Totally unrelated, but tomorrow is my dad’s first race of the year – the Fools 5K! Well, his first race if it doesn’t get canceled due to potential 50 mph winds. Go get it you fool, Dad!

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A lesson to learn from SELF magazine

By , April 3, 2014 5:04 am

The newest issue of SELF magazine was in our mailbox yesterday. When I saw it, I immediately had to open it and read the tutu mention for myself.

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Eh. Kind of silly. Were these two lines of text supposed to be funny? No one really thinks a tutu makes them run faster… why publish that? 

It doesn’t matter. SELF did something nasty when they asked the woman in the photo (Monika Allen) for permission to publish it, then wrote something mean – SELF broke the female code.

Heh. I am not taking about the female code of supporting one another in any endeavor (no matter what you wear*) – which we should do.

I’m talking about the female code of keeping gossip behind closed doors. You know, if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep quiet… and tell it to someone else, privately. Later.

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This whole situation feels like something out of Mean Girls. It’s like, ooo, the burn book is out and it turns out Regina George thought tutus were “so fug” all along! Sting!

SELF actually let a true, snarky, judgy side show, which is probably part of the reason people feel so upset (uncomfortable?) about it. We’re not supposed to be that way! We’re supposed to play nice! None of us have mean, judgy thoughts, ever! Hmm.

Sigh. We all do. We just keep them to ourselves or… don’t put them in public places. It’s painful to see someone ridiculed in public forum. It doesn’t feel good to be ganged up on, or bullied. And what good does it do?!** Typically, at the individual level, it makes the person saying the “nasty” things feel better about themselves, especially if they can get their friends to agree. But when a magazine does it, well… what? It was just done to be mean. Or maybe funny? Hey, but it got their name out there!

I think SELF actually did us a favor in publishing this – they showed us part of their true self. Or, at the least, part of someone’s true self, on the editorial staff. Actions like this (public ridiculing) really say a lot about who you are. And I don’t know about you, but I appreciate it when the people I know in real life, show their true side like this, rather than hide it. It helps me decide who to spend my time with. 

So, the lesson from SELF – show your true self! Let all those mean thoughts out! And um, see how many friends you are left with. 

*Or how you look, who you love, what you do, what kind of car you drive or don’t drive, whether you have kids or don’t, whether you prefer pancakes or waffles… you get the idea. 
**Apparently, give Allen’s tutu business a lot of press!

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39 ‘queries’.