Sunday, November 27, 2016

running confession

I'm trying to be brave non-stubborn and accepting, and actually heed my own sayings. It's hard. I've been training for the half marathon coming up soon. I haven't trained as much as I would have wanted, some medical things came in the way and I had a spell of not exercising for about a month due to it. With that also came a very sad excuse of gaining a few pounds which made sad thoughts in me (I thought I was over a couple of those sad "I'm so fat that it's a disgrace" thoughts*). Anyhow, I ran 8 miles today and I got some aches in my legs, but not breathing problems, but it made me more aware that I should really focus on getting through the race uninjured. Time shouldn't matter. the important thing apart from non injury would be to "enjoy the race" as I say to people. Easier said than done for this competitive person..... there is always another race, another possibility to do better. I however only have one body and the piriformis injury really sucked and took too much time to even half-heal (still feel it if I don't do rehab exercises every week).

I guess I can aim to beat my first half-marathon time? Or "just finish the race with a nice whole body". That's a challenge for sure. Let's hope I'm up for it!

*I know that my body issues are bigger than "just lose the weight and all will feel better". I've done a lot of different things in my life, and I know that my personality is - shall we say - a tad bit on the perfectionist side. There was a time when bulimia was present, and then there was that other time with some other "great body" but it didn't solve the berating thoughts. It is, as some people would recognize, a slightly larger issue than becoming thinner and cute on the outside. Although, at times, I wish I would think that would solve all my issues. alas, it is what it is - I'm doing so much better nowadays and should stay with the present day and happy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

scatter brained - november edition

I have had so many thoughts for blog posts the last couple of weeks. I was going to write a second part of the "unmentionables" and maybe even a third one. Then I had an experience at work which led me to think about data processing in the age of next gen sequencing and bioinformatics in a multidisciplinary team with PhDs, PharmDs, VMDs, and MDs... then I experienced a (water) weight increase going on a temporary medication and thought it was very scary (who knew going into surgery would lead to a 7 pounds gain in a day? clear not this PhD.) Went running and for my training - hello half marathon very soon - that my feet and plantar fasciitis are not super cheery about.Then the election happened and I found myself being some sort of cheer-leading person at work.

  • "It will take time" - in regards to repealing ACA/Obamacare
  • "He [Trump] has been a plutocrat without any extreme Christian-right views before, maybe he will keep women's health choices free"
  • "There is a constitution that is written to keep power overhauls you are being scared of right now"
  • "He [Trump] has to work with both the tea party and the other GOPs in the congress, maybe the division between them will lead to some working with the democrats"
Alas, latest days have showed me that I was never good cheerleader material, rather a "digging down into the trenches and fight" kinda girl.

Also, one of my huuuuuuge triggers? Hypocrisy in my face. Call a spade a spade. Or in this case, call a neo-nazi movement for a neo-nazist (or fascists....) movement and not "alt-right" or some other useless euphemism for shiny white men with short hair who screams loud, waves right arms in the air and want anyone who isn't white male to "accept the ruling of the power race". 

Not even touching on the fact that everyone and their mother seemingly aren't interested in anything but power, money and potential places in cabinet - and therefore toss ALL their precious values and morals out the window. Somehow it feels even more horrible when it's the highty, mighty, christian right-wing people who preaches about "morals and family values" but in the end have no qualms jumping into bed with anyone as long as they gain something on it. How about those spines? How about actually reading that constitution and look at other democracies and see what is not considered alright in terms of mixing personal gain and national securities & politics.

Maybe a Thanksgiving miracle? Or a Holiday present?

I'm taking a few days off, going into the woods to enjoy the real world and see the trees - the red colours contrast to the European yellow autumn as per Finnish and Israeli researchers . It'll be good to escape the reality and look for calm before going back to the slight fight mode and the idea that it's not alright to just accept anti-democratic ideals and especially not to fake it and call it normal.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

the women vote - the USA election

It's finally here - Election day in the USA. Time to end the crazy. Or, like I said the other day, time to move along and see what kind of congress, senate and president will get elected. The crazy won't end, but I sure hope that the language and hate that has increased steadily over the months will stop. I know that it probably won't, I'm too much of a realist to really think otherwise - but I'll hope for a while.

I also think that in order to move away from this pathetic excuse of lies and demagogue, to move into something more positive we need to understand what has happened. It's easy to think "they're just stupid idiots" (those who like and vote for the other side, well - in this election it's Trump). This article in cracked lays out 6 reasons why Trump has made headway in the (rural) USA. It's not going to help to call them dumb to vote, it won't really build anything for future. Then again, if people threaten you with guns, slurs and bullying - that's not conducive either so.... "when they go low, we go high" [for the next four years?]*

Because if Hillary wins tomorrow, Trump (and his friends) won't agree quietly. I'm quite sure it will be a dragged out lie fest, as the whole campaign has been. If Trump wins, I guess it can be over Wednesday morning and we'll wake up to a new country that will be quite different 100 days after 1 january. Reading the article gives me a little reminder on how complex the whole thing is, and that me being slightly elitist at times with all my history knowledge isn't helping the debate move forward (maybe a little though? At least I know most of the times someone is lying to my face and spewing hate, fantasies and hogwash....)

Second thing, this might cheer you up, is an article from The Atlantic in regards to the voting demographic and that HRC is carrying more women votes than ever before "Hillary Clinton appears poised to break that record: Almost all pre-election polls have shown her leading among college-educated whites. She seems virtually certain to at least double, if not triple, the widest Democratic advantage ever among college-educated white women, which was Gore’s 8 percentage points in 2000. As of Saturday, the ABC News/Washington Posttracking poll gave her a thumping 25-percentage-point lead with these women.

Of course, what made me pause was that married white women choose Trump. ("Even more worrisome for Trump would be erosion among married white women, who have preferred Republicans in every election since 1984 and gave Romney a 25-percentage-point margin last time.") Although, single white women choose Democrats. I live in the south and I have spent the last six months realizing exactly who around me vote and like the Trumpster. It's been.... .straining on some of my relationships, at least on my part.

You might think "oh she's only talking about white women".... well, it is my demographic - white, educated women (although I'm an immigrant so I guess I might end up in another bin IF I ever take the plunge to apply for citizenship [topic for unmentionables part X].

Well, the third link is this one here in The New York Times. (please note, you can read it for free for three days - 7,8,9th November. No article restrictions.) It's about the demographics of the polling and the election. I must admit that I had really missed exactly how 'weird' [again with the bins to generalize the people in] it is...

First, this is the voting-age population divided into these categories. (I was a little curious on why there wasn't a divide on college/non-college for non-whites but apparently the difference in these categories is neglectable?)

Then you move to the fall out between the groups and who they are polled to vote for. (I'm still hesitant about this, even though I heard a detailed description on how the polling is weighted etc.)

And then the icing on the cake. The reason why so many talk about "get out and vote" - the people who could've voted last election but who didn't. And in this election that will really make a huge difference. Remember, Florida got decided on 537 votes last time it was contentious.... crazy when you think about it considering how many people live there.

I'm going to bed now and hope for some sleep since tomorrow I will be staring at the voting counts and hope for one thing specifically: that we don't get a senate, house and president who are all the GOP (Trump with a GOP there any hope then?) I really fear for this country if so. If Hilary wins and the house and senate are GOP - i guess we can look forward to grid lock and people claiming that they are responsible by "blocking everything since they don't get their way". Come to think of it, that's probalby the most likely outcome in general since it seems like that's an acceptable way to "govern" nowadays.

What ever happened to the good old ways - you know the times when people who were elected and chosen to govern took pride in working together and making compromises to make progress. Maybe it was all a dream as well?

*sad story of my experience with dealing with bullies. The way the bullies stopped? Well, one time it was my big brother showing up at the school yard telling some of the boys that if they touched me again, he'd come with his older friends and beat them up. They boys never touched me again.
Another time, calling another boy's mother and threatened with calling "the friends at the police and social services". He never did anything again either. Or when I finally lost it with the girl who had it in for me and punched her in the face. I got in trouble (of course) but she never did anything again either. All these instances show me that maybe you have to have some power behind the stance for it to be taken seriously? Or my experiences were a little too bleak and are outliers?

Although, consider how Trump dealt (or not dealt rather) with the confrontation with the billionaire Bloomberg.... Trump couldn't really get to Bloomberg since he is richer and has a lot of pull himself. The usual tactic didn't work.