Sunday, April 27, 2014

Week 17 of 52: Statistics! OMG!! So much fun!!

First off, I have to say I'm impressed you are reading this right now. Why? Because with a title like "Statistics! OMG!! So much fun!!" means you must be a total geek. Love it! Geeks are awesome! So now that we have established your awesomeness, here are some additional questions for you to answer:

(1 ) are you male?
(2) are you single?
(3) do you enjoy going for long runs (2+ hrs) and/or engaging in long discussions about running (2+ hrs)?
(4) are you super anal about what you eat (i.e. you do not think fast food should be considered actual food)?
(5) do you consider the raw vegan cheesecake at Be Love the perfect celebratory food?
(6) do you think me, celebrating the purchase of a pair of Adidas Boost with cheesecake (mentioned in #5), a reasonable thing to do?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you know how to get a hold of me. Important Tangent Alert: I'm betting those 6 questions will yield way better date options then what I would get after a week of me answering questions on OkCupid. #JustSaying #FutureBlogPost
Tasty blueberry acai cheesecake from Be Love

Moving on to the actual point of this post...statistics and how much fun they are!

Not just any statistics but statistics on my blog! Thank you google analytics :)

Since I've been writing regularly in my blog (December 2013 onwards) I have to say I have seen a dramatic increase in my pageviews! Since I started posting regularly I have seen my pageviews jump to a monthly average of approximately 1,000. Up from the not so impressive 10 pageviews a month.  Obviously if I write more it gives people more incentive to visit my blog. It also helps that I engage in shameless self-promotion (one of my specialties) and I'm a damn good writer (modest too!).

So what social media platform am I most popular with? 

For the entire history of my blog (June 2009 to present), Facebook is the most popular with 44% of my readers accessing my blog from there; 17% are from twitter and 2% from Google Plus. When you look at the last month, Twitter is the most popular, with 28% of my readers coming from there, 20% coming from Facebook and 3% from Google Plus.

So what do we make from all of this?

Well I have been on Facebook for the entire duration of the life of this blog, and most of my close friends are on Facebook. Let's face it, most people who read me are going to be my family and friends. Twitter is interesting because I joined Twitter in 2012 and have more than double the following on Twitter than I do Facebook. But that doesn't necessarily mean I should have double the readers coming from Twitter. Because my tweeps are not my close friends (not usually anyways), in fact the people I tweet at the most on Twitter I have never met in person. But in the last month I have not been promoting my blog on Facebook but consistently continue to promote on Twitter. This suggests that if you keep up with a promotion strategy you will increase your readers.

What about Google Plus?

Well I did only join that in the last few months and it looks like not many others are on there with me. Obviously if more people join Google Plus (as in actually use Google Plus) more people will read my blog. Get on it Google!

Don't forget the keywords!

Readers can come across your blog by typing keywords into a search engine (like Google for instance). Something I'm not very good at doing with my posts is giving them appropriate keywords or being consistent with giving them keywords.  This is exemplified by the fact that the most popular keyword search for my blog is "Jesus discovery". Obviously I am not proof that Jesus existed; however, some people have told me they consider me Jesus...but those people were drunk at the time, so they are not the most reliable sources. I will note that my blog documents some of my trip to Israel and one of those posts had the keyword "Jesus" so I guess that explains part of the mystery as to why one would get my blog when typing the words "Jesus discovery" into Google.

So what are my top blog posts?

In a predictable fashion, my top blog post of all time is How my run group, once again proves, that a democracy is a waste of time. Yes, out of my top 10 blog posts of all time, this one captures 19% of the readership. Coming in second is Top 5 annoying runner habits at 12% of the readership.

Yum! Cheesecake one of my keywords!
Well, what can I say, my most popular blog post is considered controversial and has been labeled in some circles as "offensive" (adding that to the keywords!). Yes apparently some poor soul came across my blog and took it literally, maybe they were using the keyword search "Jesus discovery"? And were upset to find out that Jesus thinks he's better than a democracy. But seriously people, how can anyone be offended by anything on a blog that before you can read it makes you agree to accept the terms of an "Adult Content" warning that suggests that you may stumble across pornography while viewing said blog? Makes one wonder if we should make readers complete an IQ test before reading my blog? Nah, no one would bother taking it and readership would surely drop. The important thing is controversy increases readership!

The second most popular post was tweeted about by Dick Beardsley. I believe the tweet I received from him said "Love this!" Yeah he's talking about my blog. Celebrity endorsement. Apparently it does work. 

So who are all these readers anyways?
Besides my strong readership in Canada (63%) and the USA (29%), apparently some of my posts are quite popular in Germany, Russia and China. I think they like the posts where I make a strong case for a dictatorship over a democracy. Could be there is a translation problem where my humour doesn't translate perfectly from English to German, Russian or Chinese. Or maybe my humour is just multinational. Yeah, I'm going with the latter there.

All this talk about statistics is making me hungry. Think I'm going to sign off and start working on my vegan chocolate chip spelt cookie recipe. I will have you know that my blog posts about cooking and baking are not very popular; however, the posts on running are...good thing these cookies are going to make excellent run fuel. Maybe I will blog about it next week, using a title like "Vegan Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies: A recipe to fuel runs and the dictatorship of AndreaLand" or something equally as offensive as that.

xx

PS - For those of you that want me to spell out the main point of this blog post again, it is that statistics are fun! Why? Well anything is fun when it centers around me and my blog! Obvs :D



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week 16 of 52: Well this is unfortunate...

Egad! I've got approximately 1 hour to get this post out or that damn Chris wins this blogging competition! It's unfortunate for several reasons, the main one being that I'm stuck typing this post on a desktop computer with a keyboard that is not mine. This is painful, the keys feel weird, I keep making typos and the apostrophe key is too close the backslash key that I keep pressing the backslash key when I mean to hit the apostrophe!

This is a catastrophe! This is like when I don't have my favourite pen to write with and I'm stuck with some bullshit bic 99 cent pen instead. It's just wrong . I'm sure to get carpal tunnel from this keyboard placement, my wrists are just not aligned properly.

Besides it being too close to deadline, typing on the wrong keyboard I can't say I have anything awesome to write about. My week has been disappointing yet inspiring all at the same time. A lot to absorb in a mere few days. So much to process that I have headed up island to hang out with the parents on their compound in Cobble Hill for the weekend, just to get some time to myself and give my brain some space.
Beautiful view from my trail run :)

And wow! What a difference travelling over the Malahat makes! There is nothing going on out here it is wonderful. Not only is there absolutely nothing going on but there are some damn fine hills for me to run on out here. It is glorious! Rolling empty hills devoid of people and traffic, just me and the pavement. And the air is so fresh. I need to figure out a way to train out here more often that doesn't involve me squatting at my parents place. Although it is nice to visit, I'm kind of like fish to them, after 3 days I begin to stink and it is time for me to go.

And speaking of my shelf life, I think I have set a record on that. I have to say it doesn't take long for me to offend people especially when you get me talking about the Canadian health care system in comparison to the American one. Yes, telling me that Canada is socialist based on a comparison to the USA is like saying to a kid who is average that he is brilliant when you compare him to the retard in the class.

Fuck. Kind of offensive I guess when the people you are talking with are American.

Yup, I had the soapbox out tonight, I was ranting about all sorts of things from Aboriginal rights, to genocide to proper nutrition. I was kind of all over the place in my rants and I wasn't even drinking...

 But guess what at the end of the night, which was Easter dinner with my parents and another couple I just met (the Americans I will call them), we were all hugging and I was exchanging contact information with the Americans who were so happy to have met me.

Why? Because they got my sense of humour. After I inadvertently called them retarded (in example cited above) I was allowed to explain myself. I was using it for effect as if to say anyone is socialist when they are compared to the USA basically not that the USA was retarded. Because they are not. They are just different. I mean I love Obama right now for his recent stance on equal pay for women and men. Totally the exact opposite of Harper and his head up his ass stance on gender equality. What? Women and men are equal now cut all the funding for women's shelters and let's keep talking about abortion shall we?! Fuck you Harper. Sigh...I digress.

My point is this. I have a sense of humour similar to comedians like Stephen Colbert and Rick Mercer and the lovely Dennis Leary. I love my rants. I love making my over the top statements as a way of drawing attention to a social issue or even better to make fun of myself and my depression and my tendency to be anal and controlling (ok not tendency more like personality). My point is I'm funny. You may not get the joke right away but if you talk to me about it you will get it and know I'm not making fun of you or intending to offend you. You may get the joke but may not share my sense of humour. Which is fair too. Because that is the beauty of living in a democracy, the right to freely express my opinion. The right to have my own opinion and the right for you to disagree with me. 

What is unfortunate is that we may live in a democracy but sometimes we don't act very democratic towards each other. Over a hundred years ago, women were not consider people under the law, not allowed to vote, not allowed to own property, not allowed to control their own finances and lastly not allowed to voice their opinion. Not a day goes by that I don't think about that. I'm thankful I'm a woman and I'm extremely grateful for my rights and freedoms. I'm glad I live in a society that allows me to be the weird and wonderful person that I am. And I'm glad I get to share myself and my sense of humour with you, my readers, through my blog.

And for those of you who read this blog and you don't like what you read, can you please just stop reading it. It is a type of humour, my writing does not incite hatred it inspires laughter. If you don't get my sense of humour or you don't find me funny, that's fine, you are entitled, I will not take that away from you. You are allowed the right to your opinion so please have the fucking decency to give me mine.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 15 of 52: Topics one should probably not bring up at a birthday dinner if they want to be invited to next year’s birthday dinner



Friday night I was invited to attend a birthday dinner. Turned out to be quite an intimate affair where a few of us squeezed into Prima Strada to gorge ourselves on some tasty Neapolitan pizza and Italian inspired desserts.

The food was ‘lish as always but the conversation, not so much. Topics were brought up and had the potential to become blossoming intellectual discussions except that I would take the reigns of the conversation for a bit, the end result of which would be like the equivalent of a horse careening off a narrow rocky mountain trail into a vast canyon below. Yup, basically every time I started talking it was like looking at a bloody horse carcass- bits of bone and flesh floating on top of a puddle of goo.

Maybe I was just having an off day? Or maybe I am just wrong in thinking my humour transcends all types of social gatherings. Or maybe much like the forced social work outings, some topics are best left in my head. As always readers, you can be the final judge.

Top 5 birthday conversations that turned to shit because I started talking:

1.     Friend’s upcoming trip to South Africa turns into conversation about apartheid.

This seemed like a logical choice of conversation topic at the time, given the history of South Africa. I mean one must be interested in this because why else would they be going to South Africa?  After all, the World Cup is over. I suppose it is possible, that even though this was a logical flow in conversation it was just not suitable for amicable birthday banter. It is also possible there are other reasons for visiting a place than to learn more about the colorful historical treatment of its population. This might also explain why no one is exactly begging me to start planning the cross-country European tour of concentration camps I had proposed as a vacation idea…

2.      Upcoming World Cup turns to conversation on the migrant labour (read: slave labour) situation in Qatar.

Astute observations where you draw parallels to current day Qatar to Canada’s historic treatment of migrant labourers (just exactly how many Chinese people died in the construction of the Canadian National Railway?) is best left for the sociology class room not the birthday dinner table.  Don’t think I need elaborate on that.

3.     A talk about birthday presents (pt 1) turns into my analysis of the odds that the couple sitting beside us is into S&M.

I know what you are thinking, Andrea I know you have ADHD but how the fuck do you jump from presents to S&M??!! Well, let me tell you…the man (a graying lumberjack) was giving the woman (20 years younger, hipster glasses wearing, pizza enthusiast-she really loved her pizza!) a leash as a gift. The leash was made out of rope. This was not just any rope, this rope was thick and it looked like its tensile strength was quite high, like it could withstand the force of a large graying lumberjack, for example.

4.     A talk about birthday presents (pt 2) turns into a discussion on various examples in literature that depict political destruction as a main story arc.

Although, this was totally acceptable as a conversation topic, given that the man celebrating said birthday started the conversation, it went to shit quite quickly when I took up the conversation with a level of enthusiasm not quite proportional to what is expected for one to discuss literature. I didn’t think it was possible to get too excited about books that use political destruction as a plot device… My exuberant nature may also explain why it seems impossible for me to get a book club started with actual real humans that I interact with.

5.     Comments on the food turned into discussions about running.

Yeah this would have been ok if I was at a birthday dinner with other runners but I was not. As a non-runner, there is nothing more annoying than hearing me talk about carb loading for my half marathon easy run I’m going on the next morning. Actually saying the words “easy” and “half-marathon” in the same sentence is annoying to most anyone, runner or not. And even more annoying is for me to bemoan about how I’m still hungry after I finish my meal of salad, pizza and dessert (and someone else’s dessert they couldn’t finish) because I burn way too many calories running as much as I do.

In sum, the topics of racism, slave labour, S&M and literary examples of political destruction are not appropriate birthday dinner conversations. Unless, the host brings them up and you in turn discuss in a calm intellectual manner and not in the gross-over-the-top-hyperactive manner you are best known for. Guess I missed this part in Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people.  Oh! And topics on running are only appropriate if there is another runner present at the table. And then, it is only appropriate to talk running with the other runner, leaving everyone else to happily discuss, without interruption, the socially acceptable topics of weather and home renovations.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How my run group, once again, proves that a democracy is a waste of time

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So last night, while I was volunteering as a run leader, at my local running store’s half marathon clinic, I was reminded, once again, why a democracy is a waste of time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for living in a democracy…in theory. I will admit it, I harbour the romantic ideal of living in a land inhabited by an informed and educated populous who in turn make rational voting decisions based on sound economic policy.

No! I’m not high! I’m being serious!

Anyways, the point is, a democracy is an ideal. And an ideal, by definition, does not exist in reality. Sure ideals are something to strive for but let’s not get confused. It doesn’t mean a democracy is going to happen the way it theoretically should just because we want it to. Yup, no matter how bad we want it, we aren’t going to get it. Why is that? Well that is because people are selfish and act in their own best interests. Voting should be done from the perspective of the common good. So in sum, a democracy is an ideal that in reality does not exist. Here’s why, using an example from my run group…

…the example occurred after the run group was finished with their grueling speed workout (10 hill repeats).  I would like to point out, that this was a workout where I did not run to my fullest capacity, but I instead spent my time divided amongst the various participants, trying to motivate and inspire them throughout the 10 hill workout.  Not surprising behaviour, I know, after all I am volunteering as a run leader to help others (i.e., people who have paid for the clinic) achieve their running goals. This is one, of the few, times a week where I put other’s needs before my own.

True story.

So this clinic, that I’m leading others in, is to train them for a half marathon that is happening in May in a place called Oak Bay. Let’s call it the Oak Bay Half Marathon (actually we can call it that, because that is what it is called!).

So when people join this clinic back in January the clinic coordinators give them a 20-week training schedule, which is to help them train for…wait for it…the Oak Bay Half Marathon. Yes, it is a clinic to help people train for the Oak Bay Half Marathon. What an interesting concept, to have a clinic base their training around a particular race…

Oak Bay training schedule (notice how it doesn't say TC)
Anyways, so I’m approached last night by some of my enthusiastic run participants asking if we can run the Times Colonist Half Marathon route this upcoming weekend instead of the previously planned Oak Bay half route we were going to run.

Just to clarify. The TC Half is not the Oak Bay Half. The first clue is they have different names and the second clue is the TC Half is held at the end of April and the Oak Bay Half is held in May (as I stated previously). Oh and the third clue as to how you can determine that they are different half marathons, well the clinic that I’m volunteering for, you know the clinic where I train others to run a half marathon…yes, that one…well that clinic trains people to run the…SAY IT WITH ME!!...the Oak Bay half!  Yes, I’m not actually a run leader in the TC Half clinic.

I felt I needed to point that out because some people get confused and think you can just interchange two totally different races with one another. It’s strange that people would be so easily confused, I know, especially because we live in this democracy where everyone is logical.

In the defence of the gaggle of runners, I would like to point out that it was a valiant effort, trying to appeal to my gross level of self-involvement, as the TC Half route does fit all my basic criteria for picking a run route:
1)   It is a route I want to run
2)   It is a route of an upcoming race that I will be running
3)   The route ends in a place with great brunch options.

But alas, this is not about me. Remember that part where I said I was volunteering, to lead people, you know that part about me being selfless and serving others so they can run…what was the name of that race I’m training people for again?! Oh right, OAK BAY! Not the TC!! I think I got it now!!

I know, it is sad. I hate when I can’t plan everything around what I want too! Wow so upsetting! I understand if you need to take a break now, being overcome with sadness and all. Go grab a Kleenex, blow your nose…the blog will be here when you get back…

Better now? Yes I know, I snot a lot too when I cry.

So I say to the enthusiastic gaggle of runners that we will not be running the TC route because of reasons listed above. I know so obvious, do I really need to spell it out for them? Ok maybe one more time, this time with feeling!

1.     Clinic is to train for OAK BAY
2.     People paid money to train for OAK BAY
3.     The training schedule is for OAK BAY
4.     OAK FUCKING BAY PEOPLE!!!

 This is what I got in return.

Enthusiastic Runner #1: But I’m running the TC Half.

Saintly run leader (aka me): So am I. But the clinic is not for the TC HALF it is for the OAK BAY HALF.

Enthusiastic Runner #1: But one of the other groups is doing it!

Godly run leader (aka me): You can run with them if you like. I don’t mind.

Then the runner (who is not a 12 year old child) proceeds to tell me how we can do the TC Half route and still train for the OAK BAY half. Then he goes into detail on what this training schedule would look like.

Ok seriously?! Starting to understand how some people could actually murder someone else…starting to understand in great detail how one might go about murdering someone else…

Annoyed run leader (aka me): Look I get it! I’m doing three halves in three months obviously there are ways to train but that is not what people IN THIS CLINIC signed on for. Believe me buddy I would love if we could centre everything around me too! But we can’t!! Because it is not about me! And guess what? It is not about you either! It is about TRAINING OTHERS TO FUCKING RUN OAK BAY!!!!

Much to my relief, the gaggle of runners moved on at this point. Not because they accepted my stone cold hard logic it turns out but because they thought they could go above me by trying to persuade my co-run leader to make the group run the TC Half this weekend. Which is hilarious really because even my co-run leader knows that I do all the scheduling in this relationship!

If you met me, you would know, I am anal when it comes to route planning. Fuck I’m anal about most things (and no I don’t mean anal in the fun sexy way!). I don’t even like it when we decide to change a route by running it counter-clockwise as opposed to the usual (and normal way) clockwise fashion of running a route. Seriously who thinks to run counter-clockwise? Australians?!

I have to say when I came across this gaggle of runners trying to convince my co-run leader I was kind of surprised. Mostly because they actually thought they could go above me! WTF! It is like they think this is a fucking democracy or something!!

I will have you know that I have told them several times that this is not a democracy this is a dictatorship. Welcome to Andrealand. Where you do what I say and you love it (or at least pretend to!). There will be no dissent in my run group!

And guess what, most people love it. Why? Because I know what I’m doing and they don’t, otherwise they wouldn’t pay to be trained by me!! But every now and then you get someone who would like to challenge my authority…

Fuckers.

At this point I decide to illustrate a point. I agree to let this nonsense go to a vote. If the majority of the group wants the TC route we will do it if not we do OAK BAY! You know OAK BAY, that route that the clinic is training for??!! Yeah, that Oak Bay, not the OAK BAY that is also known as the TC! Yeah because there is no OAK BAY known as the TC there is just OAK BAY.

Just in case you were confused. This is a long blog post you could have lost the plot. You know the plot about how we are training for the OAK BAY HALF MARATHON!

Moving on…

So what I would like to illustrate is the pointlessness of a democracy and why a benign dictatorship is the preferred way of ruling. Dictatorships are just more cost effective and more efficient because you got one person pretty much making all the decisions. And yes, that benign dictator would be me. It’s ok, I’m good with that level of power, no worries.

So that night, after I was given respite from the gaggle of nonsense, I met with some other run leaders to brainstorm the logistics of how this TC HALF transportation situation would work. Then I went home and drafted this email to the group:

 Hey all,
There was some interest in doing the TC Half route this weekend instead of the Oak Bay. For the TC to work we will need to meet at 7:30. Everyone will need to bring a bag with a change of clothes and we will need to sort out rides because the route is a point A to point B. Starts at Uvic and ends at the legislature. 

So let me know what route you would like to do this Saturday. Let me know if you have a car, can drive and how many you can drive. Please let me know your vote by tomorrow, Thursday April 10th at 9pm. I will decide what we will be doing tomorrow at that time based on who has responded. 

Thanks,

Andrea

I would like to point out the unbiased tone of my email. The great effort I took in preserving one of the great democratic principles. The right to vote freely and not feel like you are being influenced or pressured to vote one way or another. I so have not put the proverbial gun to these people’s heads to vote for what I want them to vote for.  Ah freedom, like a true democracy, right?! So fucking overrated!

So like a Canadian federal election, after Ontario and Quebec vote (after I heard from 2/3 of the voting population) I could finally declare a winner. And yes it was before 9pm and yes it sends the message that not everyone’s vote matters and that is because not everyone’s vote does matter. True story. The majority had spoken. I had 10 people for Oak Bay and only 3 for the TC. Plus I heard from one of the posse that him and the other hoodlum (not enthusiastic runner #1) were going to run with the other group, remember that other group that was running the TC Half route? Yes, the group that I told these runners to run with originally. Yes, that group.

So I wasted at least 3 hours on this. The opportunity cost of which is the equivalent of $450 Euros, I estimate. Not sure how much additional time was wasted when you calculate the cost of other people’s time that was spent on having to read these emails on voting and then having to vote and then having to wait to find out about the outcome of the vote.  Let’s just say a lot of time was wasted when it didn’t need to be. Kind of the similar feeling one gets when voting in a Canadian federal election.

Which brings me to my main point -> I am better than a democracy.

Why you ask?

I’m always right. If we just do what I say in the first place we would save a lot of time and money, which is just going to be wasted trying to validate the very thing we should have accepted in the first place.

What is that again, you ask?

It is, that I am always right.

Obviously.

xx









Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 14 of 52: the week in review

Well in typical Andrea perfectionist fashion, I have decided that none of the stuff I wrote this week is blog worthy, so that leaves me one blog post short of beating Chris! Unacceptable! He posted earlier this week otherwise I would have hired an assassin to take him out tonight so at the very least this would be a draw. Actually, if he is dead, I guess that means I won! Yipee!

Anyways, what the fuck did I get up to this week you ask? Well let me tell you, it was a pretty eventful week. I'm not sure what to make of it all now at the end of the week but at the time I went through a range of emotions, and most of them were nasty depressed kind of emotions! That being said, here is the breakdown, we can tally it up together to determine the result:

Monday
- saw my psychiatrist and gave him an update on where things are at with the depression- basically it ain't going away, I need to focus on better skills to manage it and I need to ensure I don't get exhausted, because once I'm exhausted, shit gets really nasty!
- bought a new pair of runners! Mizunos :)
- saw my crush, asked him how he was doing and then promptly tuned him out, asked him to repeat himself and stopped listening again, then I had to leave because really my behaviour is not really helping project the fact that I actually do like this person and am interested in their wellbeing
- went for a run with my good friend Trish :D
Total: 3/4 on the happy scale, with the exception of the mishap with the crush it was a good day

Tuesday
- realized that the fact I cannot sustain a conversation with someone I am interested in is a sign of exhaustion
- mid-day I'm in tears at my desk
- leave work early to deal with the down thoughts
- i deal best I can which means not going to yoga and meeting new people and instead staying home and sleeping
Total: 2/4 - moderate, came to some good realizations but still too hard on myself for doing what is in my best interest, room for improvement

Wednesday
- skip my morning run because I cannot get out of bed in time
- work is good because it does not involve me crying at my desk, i don't feel good but I manage it by staying in the moment and trying not to be judgmental (which is hard work because it is my default setting!!)
- go to my volunteering at the run clinic, have an excellent run and so does my group
- have dinner with my good friend JW at my fav restaurant at the moment Be Love
Total: 3/4 - the cheesecake and company at Be Love almost makes this day perfect :)

Thrusday
- still exhausted need to be alone but make it through work and am productive enough to feel not not happy
- head for a run after work - one of the most social runs I've ever been on for a run that I ran by myself - I think I had at least 4 social interactions on this run - ridiculous
Total: 2/4 - moderate I'm tired but i am dealing the best I can and I don't feel things are getting worse

Friday
- have a great meeting with my supervisor at work, realize she may make a good mentor for me
- have a hard time leaving the office even though it is gorgeous out
- force myself outside to grab a coffee but I'm anxious the whole time I'm outside
- after work see my Coach so i can pay him and then proceed to tell him that he should be charging me more because I feel like I'm treating him like a counselor ("I mean how many counselors does one girl need?!"), he assures me that is not the case and then we watch me transform from the guilt-ridden insecure self into a confident self-assured being as I launch into a full-fledged critique of his business model and then I list off a variety of ways for how he can improve it, basically I inadvertently stumble upon a potential new career path for myself as a business consultant
- I am introduced to David Foster Wallace
Total: 3/4 it was a great day, it should be a 4 but it isn't because of the agoraphobia and the feelings of guilt

Saturday
- start day with an 18km hill run with my half marathon group, it is awesome and the tempos are fierce
- I have a nice long nap
- I finally finish Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men (5 stars) - thought provoking and beautifully written, I really didn't want it to end
- start reading some David Foster Wallace - non-fiction essay on David Lynch - the attention to detail is astounding, and I'm fascinated by the author for his brilliance and the fact that he suffered from depression and killed himself - the looking glass self - where in his writing does it explain me and my depression? I stumble across his commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College and that speaks to me. 10 years ago I would not have understood this but now it makes perfect sense. Happiness is being painfully present in your every day existence. And it is hard work.
Total: 3.5/4 - things are good, I feel like I'm managing well because I'm looking after myself

Sunday
- 8k run through the cotton candy colored cherry blossom lined streets of Fairfield.  The sun is shining, it is warm and simply gorgeous out.
- find a good quote to remind me of where I am at right now:


“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”


- Create my own quote to mark where I am now in my journey:


"The biggest lie the world has ever been told, is that any part of this life was going to be easy. This misunderstood notion of the ‘easy life,’ has produced a shitload of people who feel self-righteously entitled to something better than what is the default setting of their human existence."

-       AK Gregg, Misadventures, Musings & Rants

- I wrote a lot today, it was a good day for writing
Total: 4/4 it was a good day

Grand Total: I would have to say there were definitely some challenging moments but instead of me dwelling on the negative I was able to do what I needed to do, which was look after myself, thus avoiding a catastrophe. So I would have to say this turned out to be a pretty good week after all.