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Lessons In YouTube

I’ll be honest. Until several months ago I was simply a casual YouTube user. I watched whatever videos went viral but beyond that? Eh. Whatevs.

Then E turned me onto Daily Grace. And that’s when I discovered that there are people who create fresh content regularly on their own YouTube channels. WHO KNEW? It’s just like blogging, but with videos, which is why the cool kids call it…VLOGGING.

Now, I’m not buying tickets to VidCon or anything yet, but I am now subscribing to enough YouTube channels that I have something fun to watch pretty regularly. So, you know, I thought I’d share that with you. Evidently, if you have gmail, you kinda already have a YouTube channel. Mine is here and embarrassingly maps out all of my interests so clearly that I can not even try to pretend I’m cool anymore. It’s basically: Running exercises, Glee, Gay Rights, Glee, Darren Criss, Glee, Math, Glee, and Nerdfighteria. Oh, and Glee.

So…you could look at my channel and see all of the videos I’ve liked and favorited and whatever, or you could just stay here and avoid seeing that embarrassing display of Kim’s Obsession With Glee. I’ll show you some of my favorite channels without it looking like I’m a 14-year old girl!

As I mentioned first, there’s Daily Grace. Here is one of her epic cooking tutorials. By the way — Her language is probably NOT SAFE FOR WORK. She bleeps most curse words out, but STILL, watch with headphones.

Next up is the lovely Michael Buckley. I guess his main/popular channel is the What The Buck Show where he talks sassy pop culture. Man. That is the worst description ever. He talks Pop Culture with Snark and Sass. That sounds a bit better. Anyway – he loves Glee, Revenge, and Pretty Little Liars so I can overlook his love for all of those housewives shows. And while I love his WHAT THE BUCK shows, I actually like his Second Channel better. He’s more casual and he does fun stuff with his friends and we get to hang with him and his dogs. It’s just an assortment of entertainment. My favorites lately have been when he and fellow YouTuber Dan go on random adventures or do random things together. Like Gay Crafting!

Of course, you know that my channels would not be complete without my newest obsession: NERDFIGHTERS. The Vlogbrothers consist of The Fault In Our Stars author John Green and his brother Hank Green. They do great videos with one basic motive: To Rid The World Of Suck. They are currently on tour promoting the book and this has been my favorite video so far of their exploits.

And then, of course, my first ever YouTube crush (before I realized you could subscribe to channels): Vi Hart. I can not explain her in a way that does her justice, but mostly she just makes being a math geek look like the most AMAZING THING ON THE PLANET.

Now…I guess I should also point out that a certain TV show about a showchoir also has a channel where you can see behind the scenes clips and whatnot. You know…because I only favorite EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

I know. I know. I’m a lost cause.

What YouTube channels do you subscribe to? Who am I missing out on? Do they like Glee?

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The Parable Of The New Shoes

I’ll be honest, I can be quite a cynical when it comes to some things related to running and running “injuries.” See? I can’t even leave the quotes off the word “injuries” because I’m such a cynic. Part if traces back to my cynicism about medicine in general, but most of it I can blame on my Dad. He ran 3-5 times a week 3+ miles a time for his ENTIRE LIFE. Did he ever do races or anything? Nope. He just ran because he knew he should. He knew that getting out there for that bit several times a week helped keep him healthy.

(I’ll save my bitterness about him dying at the hands of a painful cancer later.)

He often complained about things hurting as he got older. Knees especially. He said that he really only had one pace because faster or slower hurt him more. But did he ever go to the doctor about it? Nope. He just attributed to being someone who ran a lot, and who was getting older. He didn’t think any treatment or shoe or brace or tape would actually give him pain-free running. He didn’t believe that was possible for someone his age who ran regularly. He just accepted pain as fact and pushed through it.

(I’ll save my bitterness about this SAME QUALITY being what also made him miss the chance at an early diagnosis for his cancer. I mean, there are some levels of pain you should just SEE A DOCTOR ABOUT ALREADY, DAD. Jeez.)

Dad never even bought “fancy” running shoes. He’d go to Shoe Carnival or some such place and try on a few $40 pairs of shoes until he found some that felt okay and then he’d leave with them. He probably replaced them once a year or once every 9 months or so. And for a long time this made me quite cynical about how the running shoe industry seems to insist we all have special shoes (and sometimes those special shoes are “free” in order to similar barefoot running) and they usually cost AT LEAST $100. And you should replace them every 300-500 miles or every 4-6 months.

WHATEVS, dude. That’s ridiculous. I wear shoes until the tread on the bottom starts to smooth out. THEN I’ll replace them. And I’m not getting on your stupid treadmill so you can analyze my run. Just give me the cheapest pair you got and I’m OUTTA HERE.

Well…Sometimes Dad wasn’t right about everything. When I first started getting in shape in early 2011, I had a pair of Nike Pegasus 27s that I wore to boot camp most mornings. When I started training for the Cotton Row that May, I decided to get a new pair of running shoes. I went to Zappos and ordered the cheapest ones I could find. They did me okay, I guess, but I got tons of blisters and black toenails and was too stubborn to admit it was the shoes.

I donated those at the Warrior Dash in September and used my Nike Pegasus 27s to run in for awhile. I was surprised how little problems I had. Still a few blisters periodically, but nothing major. I started thinking Okay. Maybe there’s something to this whole “right shoe” thing. I was running up to 10 miles in those Nikes and not having any problems. Then, one long run in late September, my hip started hurting.

Maybe there’s something to this “lifespan” of a shoe thing, too. I mean, I had about 9 months on those Nikes at that point in time and probably a couple hundred miles plus 200+ hours of boot camp. I decided to just buy the SAME EXACT shoe again. Turns out? They had moved up to the 28s in that time so I bought those. The only color they had at Fleet Feet of those shoes in my size were Purplish and Orange. Brightest shoes I’d ever owned and ended up LOVING THEM.

They saw me through the rest of my training and my half-marathon. Then, a couple weeks ago I started having issues with my knee/hip again. I’ve just been paying special attention to my IT band to try to relieve some of that, but I also decided to calculate the miles I had on those shoes. 300+. Which is the lower end of the range they give you before a shoe breaks down. But if you consider I also do boot camp in them 5 hours a week? That’s probably the equivalent of 400-500 miles on those shoes. I finally started thinking, FINE. Maybe I do need to be good about replacing my shoes when they tell you to!

I ordered the next pair from Zappos because Fleet Feet didn’t have my size and it would take 1-2 weeks to get them. Zappos got them to me in less than 24 hours. I still chose an obnoxious color because I find I’m hooked on obnoxious shoes now. The new ones are on the left with the pink highlights. You can just see how the shape changes after 300+ miles of running in a shoe. I wish I could photograph the INSIDE of the orange one and show you how worn parts of the inside are. It’s hard for me to look at the tread of a shoes and not see it too worn and still believe that the shoe needs to be replaced, but I guess it’s what’s on the INSIDE that counts. It breaks down before the tread does and it is the key part in keeping your legs happy.

The moral of the story? Don’t be a cynic about EVERYTHING. I still don’t trust every little thing everyone tells me. I still believe some levels of pain are just part of getting older and living an active lifestyle. Hell, my knees hurt for the first few months we lived in this house because I wasn’t used to stairs. I wasn’t even running or anything yet. At least now, when I hurt, I can know it’s because I’m kicking ass as I’m getting older.

But I’m also finally willing to admit that maybe the $100 running shoes are better than the $40 shoes if you run as much as I do. And maybe replacing them every 300-500 miles is a good idea after all, even if you do that in 3-4 months. (I ran 100 miles in the month of January and that was WITH a hurt kneed I babied for a week. ONE HUNDRED MILES IN ONE MONTH HOLY CRAP I’M AWESOME.) I mean, it may have taken me a whole year to finally believe this – even when people have been telling me it all along – but, at least I finally started believing it. It’s nice to know my stubborn cynicism does have limits.

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Source: FOX

Zach Woodlee: Glee’s Unsung Hero

Source: FOX

I’m not a dancer. WHAT? I know, you’re totally surprised. But I love to watch dancing. I absorb every routine on So You Think You Can Dance every summer like it’s crack. I have my favorite choreographers (Wade Robson and Travis Wall) and my favorite dancers (Mark Kanemura and Mark Kanemura). So, of course I notice the dancing on Glee and in my personal, untrained opinion? Zach Woodlee, the show’s lead choreographer, is Glee’s greatest asset.

Mainly because most of these kids are not trained dancers. With the exception of Grant Gustin, Heather Morris, and Harry Shum. Yet he puts together these great ensemble numbers that I just ADORE. My most recent favorite was the Troubletones’ Section performance which incorporated a type of street dancing called waacking:

They released video of another ensemble dance number from this Tuesday’s Michael Jackson tribute. Again – he made a bunch of untrained dancers look GREAT both dancing through the halls and in a library. Two things that must complicate any routine.

I just love what he does with these kids in these environments. I love how he incorporates Artie’s wheelchair and I love how he still showcases Kevin McHale’s mad dance skills even as he’s confined to that wheelchair. I just love it all and I hate he doesn’t get as much press as he deserves. And then…of course..he’s just adorable. Look at this great Behind The Scenes clip of he and Chris Colfer.

Or this special Behind the Scenes footage featuring him doing his thang during season 2.

I just love him so much. I can’t wait to see what he does in the rest of the Michael Jackson tribute episode on Tuesday.

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Sharing Time!

When you juggle as many balls as I do, you periodically drop one or two. It doesn’t mean you need to quit juggling, it just means you got a little overwhelmed and one hit the ground. What matters is the importance of that ball. Did you forget milk at the grocery store – something easily rectified by another trip down the road? Or did you forget your 10th anniversary…something you’ll never ever live down for the REST OF YOUR LIFE?

It seems this week that the balls I’ve dropped have fallen more towards the more severe end of that spectrum. And let me tell you – it sucks donkey balls. (OH MY GOD. Why do I keep saying, “balls”?) I have convinced myself somehow that there is no shittier person on the planet than me. And while – logically – I’m fairly certain it’s not true. (FAIRLY…) I still have made myself sick stressing out about my screw-ups this week.

I was wondering if you could make me feel better by telling me about YOUR big screw-ups. I’ll tell you about one from my past so you can appreciate the severity of the similar ones this week: Once, when I was working on my biology degree, I lost the notebook my professor used to keep track of his data in. He was monitoring certain birds near our school and he wrote down his observations in a notebook until he could log them digitally. I lost several weeks worth of his data. Now…think about the severity of that. Luckily, it was a college professor I’d never see again. Imagine the same level of severity with your best friend. That’s where I’m at this week. BIG. GIANT. OOPS.

So…what is your story? What is a mistake you made that had you feeling like the scummiest of all pond scum? I’m hoping your story will help me feel less crappy. Or at least let me know there are other people out there as crappy as I am.

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Insert Exasperated Sigh Here.

Wes is so adorable.

Don’t let those big blue eyes fool you. He’s pure evil with big floppy blonde curls.

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I mentioned recently that Wes’s behavior been SO MUCH BETTER as he gets closer to the age of 4. I even took him to his first rehearsal for “Alice in Wonderland” the other day (He and Nikki are playing heart children in E’s play) and I was TERRIFIED that he’d be awful. But he wasn’t! He obeyed first time and amped up the “cute” factor so much that the director of the play had to coach the cast and remind them, “You will have to hold for quite some time because the audience will be Oooooh-ing and Aaaaaaahh-ing over the kids.” He was perfect!

I also mentioned there was not enough wood to knock on for that entry. THERE WAS NOT.

I went to pick him up from daycare and there was the dreaded Incident Report waiting for me. I hate those things because 9 times out of 10, my child is the one causing the incident, as opposed to the victim. Sure enough…”Wes bit one of his friends today…”

HE BIT. We stopped biting years ago…HE BIT.

Evidently this friend was at the computer and he wouldn’t give Wes a turn. So he BIT HIM. *sigh* Of course, because he is almost 4, the first thing the entire class did when I walked into the classroom was say, “WESLEY BIT SO-in-SO!!!!” Because they’re all plenty old enough to understand the severity of the incident and want to TATTLE TATTLE TATTLE about it. So, just a few short months after we (hopefully) finally lived down the reputation of having the kid that talks about the proper names for private parts ALL DAY LONG, all of the parents are now going to know our kid as The Biter.

Just wanted to share the story lest you think we were out of the woods. We are obviously not.

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