I started running a few years ago, thanks in part to a personal trainer who tricked me into liking it. I realized that it can be a relaxing, enjoyable exercise and not hell from start to finish. I ran my first 5K in June 2009 and realized that running is an ideal exercise for the goal-oriented. I never liked spinning on stationery bicycles going nowhere or watching the back of some lady’s head in a step class, but with running I could challenge myself to faster times and longer races. So this year I signed up for my first half-marathon.
To help with my training, for Christmas my dad gave me a Garmin forerunner 210, a nifty toy that tracks how far you’ve run, how fast you’re running and your heartbeat, amongst other things. Plug it into your computer and you can see that the satellites have tracked exactly where you’ve run too, which falls into that neat/creepy realm that describes most new things.
If I were a member of the Chicago White Sox, I’d be Paul Konerko, not because I’m awesome but because I’m slow. In a tight game, you’d put a pinch runner in for me for sure. I knocked out about a ten-minute mile on the treadmill, normally.
Today’s interviewee is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn whose work has appeared on NYMag.com, Esquire, Buzzfeed and The Awl. I first became familiar with her work thanks to her hilarious Letters to the Editors of Womens Magazines column. Now she edits the wonderful ladyblog (but don’t let that stop you from checking out and enjoying it, fellas) the Hairpin. You can find out more about her here.
There are a lot of lady-sites out there. Instead of explaining what the Hairpin is, can you tell us what it’s not, what you won’t find on there that you might on other blogs?
Hm. It's not very long! You could read a whole day of the Hairpin as you work, I think, depending on what you do.
What have been some of your favorite posts on there that exemplify why it’s so great?
The people who live at Restoration Hardware are very wealthy, not just because, of course, they can afford Restoration Hardware furniture, but because their house is big enough that they can fit the gigantic Restoration Hardware furniture inside. The people who live at Restoration Hardware are either very big, and thus enjoy furniture and accessories proportionate to their largeness, or they’re petite, and enjoy feeling dwarfed by their home decor.
Being from Chicago, I had never heard of Chick-fil-A until I went to college and made some Southern friends who swore by the poultry-intensive fast-food joint. Several years ago, while on a trip to Atlanta, I finally tried it for myself and was distinctly unimpressed. I found the chicken sandwich indistinguishable from any other sort of fast-food or even frozen chicken sandwich I had had before and just chalked up people’s adoration of CFA to local pride.
This summer, a Chick-fil-A opened up in downtown Chicago and people lost their damn minds. The day it opened, the line curled around the block and it was a rowdy line at that. I walked by the restaurant on the way to the "L" that night and while I was obliging enough to try one of the free cookie samples that were being handed out, I didn’t want to stop inside for dinner: I had real food (IE a frozen Amy’s entree) at home.
“Have you eaten here before?” a guy waiting in line outside asked me.
“I did once,” I said. “I didn’t think it was that great. I blogged about it.”
“You don’t blog about it,” he said. “You eat it.”
“Okay.” I said.
“I’m from Birmingham,” he said.
I never knew my mother and now I feel sad
My mom's an out-of-control alcoholic
I can't watch my mother die
My family hates me
My family is racist; my partner is Malaysian
I'm dying and I just want my kids to get along
Three deaths make wedding plans hard
I fear a lonely future in the U.S.
My doctor put me on Xanax for years
Since I quit heroin I don't like sex
I'm 38, nearly a Ph.D., in despair
I'm a 30-year-old virgin
I'm 25 ... and I've wasted my life!
21 and miserable. How do I cope?
I hate my life -- so I'm supposed to feel grateful?!
I have everything. My life is empty
I've had a horrible year but my friends don't care
My friends betrayed me and now I trust no one
Why is friendship so painful?
Am I broken?
To see all of the questions, see Salon's Since You Asked section.
Thank you to everyone who wrote in with nominations of your favorite/oddest parade experiences (following up on this post). Those of you who live in the areas of these parades should go check them out, or avoid them completely, as appropriate.
"To this native Evanstonian, the strangest parade is the Phoenix St. Patrick's Day parade. How the hell can one get sunburned at a St. Patrick's day parade? And why are my toes exposed, and not numb?"
Monday I’ll be sharing your thoughts on the best and oddest parades you’ve ever witnessed so if you haven’t yet please send in your suggestion today!
Today I interview the author of four books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998) which was a New York Times Notable Book, An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000) which was an L.A. Times pick of the year, Willful Creatures (2005) which was nominated by The Believer as one of the best books of the year, and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010) which recently won the SCIBA award for best fiction, and an Alex Award.