Five Points #14

Yesterday was my sister’s 50th birthday.  I think she might be mortified about the attention- regardless, my list this week is completely focused around my sister.  These are things in my life for which I am deeply grateful and are directly due to my sister or her influence.

1. My Nephews

I have three amazing nephews.  Christopher (30) is the oldest, then Matthew (21), and the baby Jon (20).  Even though they are brothers, they couldn’t be more different.  And yet, each one is funny and totally charming in his own unique way.  One of my favorite things in life is just hearing about all their shenanigans.  Not spending more time with them is one of the worst parts of living so far away.

2. Love of Books

My sister got me my first library card and used to take me to the library where we would pick out books together.  She would let me get one book I wanted (i.e. crappy book) and she’d pick out one.  Her picks included “Winnie the Pooh” and “20,000 Leagues under the Sea.”  This is how I developed a love for reading and learning.  Throughout our relationship, my sister and I have always shared a love for reading and constantly discuss what we are reading.  She consistently has a great book recommendation.  Her recommendations are not just books she loved, but ones that she knows I specifically will love.  She’s better than Amazon!

3. Hot Rollers

I know this one sound silly.  But as far as girly stuff goes, I am completely lost.  My sister used to do her hair with hot rollers and taught me how to use them in like middle school.  They are still my go-to for when I need “fancy” hair. I feel like this is the one solid girly skill I have.

4. Canning

Both my mom and my sister taught me to can.  There are a lot of reasons I love to can.  First, I like knowing how my food is created and also being connected to the process.  Additionally, I sometimes have surplus fruits and vegetables from the garden that I like to preserve.  Obviously, not everything I eat is home-made; I have a full time job.  But I like having some really special jars of food that I can break out for notable occasions and share.  Or open a jar of tomatoes in January and remember what they tasted like in August.

5. Appreciation for Arts and Crafts

When I was like 8, my sister bought me a Crayola desk set.  It was my favorite toy ever.  Not only did it have tons of crayons and markers, but also a little storage bin to keep paper and exact places for everything.  Not only did this completely satisfy my OCD, I remember being really excited about creating.  Today I’m not an creative person, but it is something in which I enjoy dabbling. 
My sister is an amazing artist.  She is always creating something and it is always beautiful.  And meticulously done! Seriously even the backside of her needlepoint work is beautiful.  Even though she is so gifted and could easily do a better job, she gets genuinely excited to talk about other people’s projects. 

Note: If it were “Six Points,” I would throw in blogging. This whole thing was her under her influence!

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Rundown: Week of September 12th

IMG_0195 Greta- sleeping on the floor at the Vet’s

This week has been unbelievably busy.  We arrived back on Monday from our trip to Ohio.  Then we went to a Bruce Springsteen concert on Wednesday.  On top of that, Greta has been crazy sick since we came back.  Oh… And I am packing to leave on the 20th for California. 

With some creative scheduling, I have still managed to do all my training runs.  Also, I have been eating fairly healthy and getting plenty of sleep.  Yet I still feel anxious and frazzled.  I think once I know Greta is on the mend and I am on my way to California, I will feel a lot better.

Here are my workouts for the week:

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 40 minute tempo

Wednesday: 10 miles pace

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5 miles

Saturday: 20 miles

Sunday: 5 miles

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My Time with Bruce


As of this past Wednesday, I have seen Bruce Springsteen four times.  Which I know is not a lot; we met a guy who has seen him 61 times.  However four times is a lot for me, since I am not a huge Springsteen fan.  It’s not that I dislike his music.  It’s just not my favorite.  If I were to put music on, it is highly unlikely that I would play anything by him.

The Springsteen concert going is another example of how I should have paid attention more closely during my wedding vows.  Dwaine is a huge Springsteen fan.  This means I am forever obligated to sit through four hour* long concerts surround by other middle-aged white guys who are as equally enamored with Bruce Springsteen as Dwaine. 

*Seriously… Bruce Springsteen concerts are the longest concerts ever.  Pack a lunch- you will be there a while!

Here are some of the highlights from my time with Bruce (and Dwaine):

1.       April 5, 2009- Austin, Texas

-          This was obviously my first Bruce Springsteen experience.  I am a totally child of the 80’s.  Before the show, I was pretty sure it was going to be all “Born in the USA” and “Glory Days.” And it was… and a lot more!  It seems that over the course of a 40+ year career, this very accomplished musician has had more than one album.  Even odder was that Dwaine knew all the lyrics to all the songs.  And so did all the other middle-aged white guys at the show.


2.       June 14. 2009- Bonnaroo

-          Dwaine didn’t go this show with me.  I went to Bonnaroo with a bunch of girlfriends.  Coincidentally, Springsteen was headlining the festival just months after my first Springsteen show.  This show unfortunately lacked some of the magic of the first.  This had nothing to do with Springsteen; after all he played Rosalita (my favorite of his songs), Santa Claus is Coming to Town (hilariously on very hot June night) and came out to do three songs with Phish.  Nope- it was totally the crowd.  It seems that Springsteen’s people (to reiterate- middle-aged white guys) don’t go to three-day music festivals during the dog days of summer.  They have real jobs and would melt in the Tennessee heat.  This show was packed full of way-too-cool twenty somethings.  Their job was not to enjoy but to be snarky and wait for the “real” music (e.g. Snoop Dogg and Girl Talk).


3.       August 18, 2012- Foxborough, Massachusetts

-          This show was more like how I remembered my first Springsteen show.  Springsteen playing for hours surrounded by insanely devoted fans.  Like 50,000+ fans. 

-          I am resisting my urge to use this time to complain about Gillette Stadium.  To do this properly, I will require an entire post devoted to just this topic.  For now, I will simply leave it at “Eat a dick Kraft!”


4.       September 14, 2016- Foxborough, Massachusetts

-          Back to Foxborough!  However, my opinion of the stadium is slightly improved; they serve veggie hot dogs!  I’m not positive the hot dogs are vegan, but I am pretending that they totally are.  And yes- veggie hot dogs almost make up for $40 parking and absolutely no consideration to how people move in and out of the stadium. 

-          This concert was almost like two different shows.  The first half focused on older stuff.  Really music for the hardcore fan (i.e. not me).  Yet it was fun to see how excited Dwaine was.  The second half was for the more casual fan (i.e. exactly for me).  This half even kicked off with Rosalita (I would like to mention again how much I love this song).


Now that I have been to four shows, I am clearly an expert in all things Bruce Springsteen.  Here are some things I learned and genuinely admire about this man:

1.       He is some kind of crazy Zen master!  He clearly loves what he does and has completely devoted himself to it.  He is nearly 70 and still doing insanely long concerts.  I was exhausted just watching.  He looked like he could go on forever and loved every minute. I think he might have discovered the meaning to life.

2.       In the same vein, I think he has surrounded himself with people he loves and who also love what they do. 

3.       He has a huge heart.  Every show he talks about a cause about which he clearly cares deeply.

4.       It is completely amazing that he is able to convey all this to a stadium-sized audience.

I am still not a huge fan of Springsteen music, but I wish I could bottle a little of his life-giving force. 

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