Favorite Things : July 14-20, 2018

favorite things

What. A. Week. It was a week full of good things. My paper is accepted to a conference in Montreal this November. Bruno has a paper accepted at the same conference, so guess where we’ll be traveling this fall? I finished chapter four of my dissertation and sent it in. Of course, it is not finished, finished yet and will need edits, but I’m getting closer to defending (hopefully). Then, I found out this morning all my medical expenses from March and April will be taken care of by the health share co-op we do in lieu of ACA insurance or employer insurance (grad student life) which means not only will I no longer have an excessive amount of medical bills hanging over my head, but also I will have money back in my pocket for the amounts I paid for out of pocket. And last, but not least. I had a back squat PR from 95 pounds to 123 pounds (you know you are a beginner when you make leaps like that). I’m ending this week very happy and very grateful.

And so, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I’ve been almost done with the Odyssey for months now. I think we’ll celebrate by grilling with Homer.

How to succeed at work.

How about not finding your passion.

Great blog post from elite swimmer turned real person, Lizzie Simmonds.

I drink, but I have to ask. Why do we promote this? Reminds of some 1950s “Mother’s Little Helper” b.s. and it makes me sad.

On a lighter note, this adorable, wonderful, best thing every Instagram account Life of Sharks.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : July 7 – 13, 2018

favorite things

Growing up, my mom would come upstairs half-yelling, half-singing, “It’s Friiiiiday! It’s Friiidaaaay!” That is about how I feel today. This has been my first week back to Michigan and back to routine in a few weeks. It feels good, but I have been so ready for today.

Sunday is our one year anniversary. We thought about going somewhere, but with camping next weekend and being gone, I just didn’t want to leave. We’ll go out to eat somewhere nice and maybe stop at a brewery. I just wanted something relaxing, especially because I’m still hoping to get that dissertation in by the end of this weekend. We’ll see how it goes!

And so, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

10 Habits to Drop

How to ask someone to put their phone down and listen.

Related. Interesting article on phone use and distracted parenting.

My mom’s new place has a pond. We may need this.

The relationship between perfectionism and injury in athletes. Suddenly so much makes sense.

A history of the greatest campfire dessert.

I admit to having a bit of an obsession with the Kardashian/Jenner clan. Kylie Jenner is worth 900 million dollars.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali


Favorite Things : April 7-13, 2018

favorite things

I received my results from my endoscopy yesterday. Turns out everything looks good (hello again, sweet, sweet dairy and gluten), so I do not know. I do not know what is causing my eosinophilia. It has been suggested that it might be stress — which honestly, would not be all that surprising. But I kind of just don’t want to think about it anymore. I know that is bad, but I have been worrying about this for a month and a half now. I feel a little bit better. My stomach looks fine. I feel like I’ve wasted time in doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, this endoscopy, just to keep being told “everything is negative.” Well, everything except for that my white blood cells are high. Fine. Fine. I don’t want to mess with it anymore.

For the most part I’ve been feeling fine. My stomach still hurts after I eat, but nowhere near as bad as it was in March. Now, at least, I can consistently function. And the good news is that I’m healthy. So fine, money and time were spent, but I know that for the most part I’m fine.

This weekend the travel continues. I’m going home to visit my mom in Ohio and we’ll be there over the weekend so that next week a normal week can finally begin.

Without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I recently joked to a friend that I can tell what kind of conservative someone is by the thinkers they quote. I agree with this article — Alexis de Tocqueville is overly used — but I think we differ on the reasons. Tocqueville on Algeria though emphasizes my own.

This interview with Mike Strzelecki fro Ultrarunnerpodcast is great.

What a beautiful story of human kindness.

I actually hardly ever buy running clothes, but I really love this Nike top.

Reminder for two weeks from now: The race ain’t the only clock.

As my half-marathon comes closer, I keep watching this video of the trails. And yes, I  always tear up.

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : March 24 – 29, 2018

favorite things, Uncategorized

A day early due to Good Friday tomorrow. I’m not running this week (more on that next Monday), so this weekend will be hopefully finishing this third chapter and other things I wanted to get done for April. We go to Philadelphia next weekend and will spend a few days in Connecticut visiting Bruno’s parents, so this upcoming week will hopefully be spent checking off to-do’s.

And without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

All the best philosophers walked, especially my beloved Rousseau. I’ve been thinking about adding an after-dinner walk with Bruno to the schedule instead of the usual plopping on the couch and reading/Netflixing.

On my every day damn day list: an hour of reading, ten minutes legs up the wall, and an hour and a half of writing. No matter what.

A funny article on the benefits of early rising. I definitely agree with the point about “me time” in the evenings. I’m usually too tired, so it usually works out for me much better in the mornings.

Important: Media diet pyramid. Get your information from more books, people!

With all my on-going stomach problems, I’ve been thinking about starting to brew my own kombucha. This brew-your-own kit would look a lot nicer than a jar sitting on the counter-top.

I’m the worst trip-planner ever, but I think it worked out for me when we spent five days in Paris during our honeymoon. We never took a taxi (except from the airport to our airbnb and then when we left to the train station) and the only thing I had to do was go to the Pantheon (to see Rousseau, of course). And while we did do some touristy things, mostly we walked around, stopped at cafes or gardens and read. Apparently that is how you should do it.

Nobody finished the Barkley Marathons this year.

Back in the day, my high school friends and I would watch Super Troopers all the time, probably almost every weekend before going out or when there was nothing to do. I even once had my ringer for my cellphone (an LG EnV!) as the song from the scene with the Germans…yeah, you know the one. Proving that I never developed a more sophisticated sense of humor, I have watched the Super Troopers 2 trailer over and over and crack up. I initially was not expecting much, but April 20 can come any day meow.

I run on Dunkin’ Donuts. And now I want these running shoes so I can literally run on Dunkin’.

And last, but not least, if you read anything today, make sure it is this article.

Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

xo, Ali

Favorite Things : March 10 – 16, 2018

dissertation, favorite things

Well. I’m caught up. I’ve started the third set of edits and hopefully will be well on my way to get this chapter turned in by the end of the month. I still feel anxious (what else is new?), but I’m hoping that as I get closer and closer to turning the chapter in that anxiety will eventually recede.

Not much on the docket for this weekend. I run twelve miles tomorrow and some fellow graduate students are having a St. Patrick’s Day party in the evening. Still not drinking, we bought some Q ginger beers (still kind of festive, get it…”ginger” beers…ok, I’m still twelve) and I’m making some cookies to bring.

And without further ado, here are this week’s favorite things:

Long, but poignant essay on privilege.

These pictures make me want a skateboard.

Not a vegan, but I was still interested in this list.

Also, not a fan of baseball, but this article on Ichiro Suzuki was fascinating.

Definitely worth reading and thinking about: submissive sex in the age of #metoo.

Usually I wake around 4am — an old article on why that is the most productive hour.

The always wonderful Ann Patchett on baking and retraining your shrinking attention span.

If you read anything on this list, read this one: life after cancer diagnosis.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali






Favorite Things : Week of March 3 – 9, 2018

favorite things, running

This week was quiet. I am having my first big hurdle to consistent training and dissertation writing, which is frustrating. I’m not good with plot-twists. I like routine. I like sameness day after day. I’m ok with not doing the usual — as in I watched my nephews on Monday and did zero work — provided that I had plenty of time to harness my expectations that the usual is not going to happen.

I had a great working day Tuesday, but for the past week I have been experiencing some increasingly intensive stomach pain. I’m not sure if it is related to Sunday’s migraine, but I’ve just really struggled keeping anything down. I checked all the possible suspects — not pregnant, no fever so not a flu, etc. Yesterday we decided to go to a walk-in clinic, which led to an ultrasound and blood tests.

The ultrasound came back with nothing on it and I had to re-do the blood tests, but mainly I’m just frustrated. I want whatever it is to be taken care of now. I am so scared that I am not going to be able to run my half at the end of April, lose the little speed gains I have made in the last several weeks of hard-fought consistency. I really, really, really do not want to start over. Again.

And with that panicky introduction, I will leave you with this week’s favorite things:

I loved this piece from Ashley Ford at Cup of Jo so much. I do not have kids yet, but I think about how different it will be to raise them compared with how I was raised. Most likely they will not be milking on a dairy farm before and after school. Considering that both Bruno and I will have our Ph.D.’s by the time we have kids, they will most likely have a very different culture being raised than I did. The differences probably between how Bruno is raised and how our kids are raised are perhaps even more stark –he was a Brazilian immigrant, grew up speaking Portuguese in the house, and even left the states to go back to Brazil during his childhood to return back here. It is just interesting to think about. I, too, like the women in this article fear that my kids my end up “too happy” and not understand struggle and working for what you want.

This shirt.

Productivity advice. Common sense, but I can always use it.

I enjoyed this article on the new rebranding of Johnny Walker as Jane Walker. Frankly, I exceedingly dislike consumerist feminism (as in “buy this because it supports women!”) and this phenomenal article really calls out this problem with the liquor industry: Women, Booze and the Vote

I’ve been making my own sourdough bread, but sometimes I feel lazy. This looks like a good possible substitute.

Hopefully someday I’ll have what I need to be an ultrarunner.

I can hardly go a day without dropping an “f-bomb,” but I really do not like it in writing. Let me rephrase that, I think there are very few writers who can cuss in their writing without it sounding gratuitous or like the writer is trying too hard. Anyways, I guess my f-bomb habit is good for me.

Have a good weekend!

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : February 24 – March 2, 2018

favorite things

And another bites the dust. All I can say is dissertation chapter three is growing and the miles are flying by. Tomorrow I head back to Ohio for a weekend visiting family. I haven’t been home since around Christmas, so homesickness is starting to be at around an all-time high.

Campus will be on spring break, but Bruno and I are not — so it will be just another regular week for us, although I will not have to work at the archives — aka more time for Rousseau.

And without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I’ve loved this poem for years. It explains so perfectly why I wake up so early (between 4-5!).

I’ve just recently starting wearing red lipstick, well actually lipstick in general. I’m not much of a make-up person. I don’t even wear foundation or any sort of cover-up! Anyways, these beautiful shades are making me think I should broaden my lipstick horizons.

Adding these work-outs to my Wednesday to-run list!

Bruno and I moving houses this summer. The décor of our current place is very bachelor meets graduate student, so these wall décor ideas are giving me some ideas and plans.

I made this for dinner last night. It was definitely a winner.

I’ve been wanting a motorcycle jacket for so long. I’ve wanted this motorcycle jacket for all of today.

Have a good weekend!

xo, Ali


Favorite Things : February 17 – 23, 2018

favorite things

What a week! Certain days were more productive than others. I’m still struggling to finish this third chapter. It is not that I am not working on it, it just grows and grows and grows. I wanted to have something to send in by spring break (next week Friday), but I am not certain that will be able to happen.

Tomorrow is my first double-digit run of the year and hopefully not the last. Tonight, I’ll make some dinner and do a little reading and relaxing, so I can start Saturday off ready and energized.

And without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I do not own anything from Glossier and I’m not so certain I like that shiney, glossy look. It looks to me like the girls are sweating. But! This article on Glossier founder Emily Weiss was fascinating.

Back in the good ole days of elementary school, one of our punishments was to write out pages of the dictionary. It did not work for me. I still love scanning through dictionaries to this day. Glad to know I’m not alone. Also, I’m intrigued by the idea of reading a few pages of the dictionary a day. Most intrigued.

Life should be creative, not just your career.

Resilience is a good characteristic of both athletes and graduate students.

I’ve definitely run into a glass door before.

I once was anti-bread. I felt like hell. Now I am pro-bread and am much happier.

Every month Bruno and I have the grocery budget conversation. It is our biggest expense. Here are some useful grocery tips.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali


These Are A Few of My Favorite Things : February 10-16, 2018

favorite things

I found this history of the waterbed to be fascinating. My parents had one when I was little that I remember popping. Also, who, as a child of the 90s, did not want that impressive aquarium waterbed in The Goofy Movie?

I am teaching my first class next semester and I loved this interview with Teller (of Penn & Teller) on teaching.

Your reminder that motivation is bullshit.

I try to live a life of intellectual humility. I don’t know everything. That is why I love this idea of an anti-library.

“A private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.”

An important reminder for myself. I can definitely be on the curmudgeonly grump side of life.

Another great reminder: take risks.

And speaking of being able to survive the Yukon the other day, the Yukon Ultra had just one finisher.

To finish, some articles I thought were interesting on the #metoo movement. While I think it is a great thing that we are getting rid of schmucks like Harvey Weinstein and Matthew Lauer and, hopefully, their less famous counterparts, I do tend to feel hesitant at declaring myself as supportive of the movement. I think Kate Roiphe’s The Other Whisper Network sums up how I tend to feel about the movement.

“Most of the new whisperers feel as I do, exhilarated by the moment, by the long-overdue possibility of holding corrupt and bullying men such as Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer to account for their actions. They strongly share some of its broader goals: making it possible for women to work unbothered and unharassed even outside the bubble of Hollywood and the media, breaking down the structures that have historically protected powerful men. Yet they are also slightly uneasy at the weird energy behind this movement, a weird energy it is sometimes hard to pin down.”

Weird energy. Secret lists. A total lack of due process. It makes me nervous. Another great article, and maybe even better, from someone who supports the ends of the #metoo movement, while maybe not its means is Margaret Atwood. She asks if she is a bad feminist.

“This structure – guilty because accused – has applied in many more episodes in human history than Salem. It tends to kick in during the “Terror and Virtue” phase of revolutions – something has gone wrong, and there must be a purge, as in the French Revolution, Stalin’s purges in the USSR, the Red Guard period in China, the reign of the Generals in Argentina and the early days of the Iranian Revolution. The list is long and Left and Right have both indulged. Before “Terror and Virtue” is over, a great many have fallen by the wayside. Note that I am not saying that there are no traitors or whatever the target group may be; simply that in such times, the usual rules of evidence are bypassed.
Such things are always done in the name of ushering in a better world. Sometimes they do usher one in, for a time anyway. Sometimes they are used as an excuse for new forms of oppression. As for vigilante justice – condemnation without a trial – it begins as a response to a lack of justice – either the system is corrupt, as in prerevolutionary France, or there isn’t one, as in the Wild West – so people take things into their own hands. But understandable and temporary vigilante justice can morph into a culturally solidified lynch-mob habit, in which the available mode of justice is thrown out the window, and extralegal power structures are put into place and maintained. The Cosa Nostra, for instance, began as a resistance to political tyranny.”

But another interesting article I found this week is probably the #metoo article I agreed with the most, particularly on how women are educated to understand sex will be uncomfortable and how that extends to relations between males and females and health care (almost ten years to diagnose endometriosis, a shamefully long time for an incredibly common problem for us women).

“In the real world, the very first lesson the typical woman learns about what to expect from sex is that losing her virginity is going to hurt. She’s supposed to grit her teeth and get through it. Think about how that initiation into sex might thwart your ability to recognize “discomfort” as something that’s not supposed to happen. When sex keeps hurting long after virginity is lost, as it did for many of my friends, many a woman assumes she’s the one with the problem. And, well, if you were supposed to grit your teeth and get through it the first time, why not the second? At what point does sex magically transform from enduring someone doing something to you that you don’t like — but remember: everyone agrees you’re supposed to tolerate it — to the mutually pleasurable experience everyone else seems to think it is?”

I’m a big believer in getting the most intelligent analysis of all sides. This is a nuanced and important topic that I don’t think should be sloppily or dogmatically thought about.

And with that, I conclude this week’s favorite things.

Have a lovely weekend!

xo, Ali




These Are a Few of My Favorite Things : February 3 – 9, 2018

favorite things

Where January lagged, February feels like whirl. That could just be because I’m feeling more than a little behind on my dissertation. I say this about every chapter, but this one it feels especially accurate: I feel like I’m trying to slay a hydra. Ok, ok, ok. Not that bad. I actually enjoy writing my dissertation. Most days.

No birthdays to celebrate this weekend, so it will be a quiet one. My run for Saturday is super short at only three miles, so the main plan is hit that dissertation hard. The goal is to have a draft to hand to Bruno to edit by the end of February, so that I can get a “final” version to my advisor prior to spring break. And then I plan on taking that spring break.

And so, without further ado this week’s favorite things.

I know this is from Huffington Post, but this article on carbs and healthy people warms my head. I tried to do one of those low-carb things for the longest time and felt terrible. Bring on the sandwiches! On homemade bread, of course, let’s not get crazy!

My friend Emily wrote a great blog on being messy. I always need this reminder.

25 Most Adventurous Women of the Past. Some of these women, like Diana Nyad, I’ve heard of, but I’m always glad to learn about courageous women.

Amelia Boone shows her year of return to running logs. I’m not a professional athlete (far from it!) but I loved having a look at her training. Also, worth a read, her injury commandments.

Kaci Lickteig writes advice to athletes on what their physical therapist wishes they would do.

This sweet potato black bean casserole has been a god-send and pretty much been a repeat every week for this last month. I mean cheese, sweet potatoes, and black beans are the ultimate winning combination.

And, because running can make me smell pretty scuzzy, I love this from Into the Gloss on how to smell good in every way. Good bath and skin products make me feel so luxurious!

Have a lovely weekend!

xo, Ali