Today's Mighty Oak


The theme of this plan seems to be every Friday I’m muttering “Uncle Pete is trying to kill me.”

However, I have to say, I’m getting faster, or at least I’m getting more confident at how fast I should be running.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: General aerobic + speed: 7 miles with 6×12 second hills and 6x100m strides; Hills at 9:14 pace, strides at 8:57. Once again, I think I can push these a little faster, so I’ll try that next week.
  • Wednesday: Endurance: 8 miles.
  • Thursday: BWF. Did not want to do this, but got it done anyway.
  • Friday: Lactate threshold: 7 miles with 18 minutes LT interval/4 minutes recovery/12 minute LT interval; 9:31 pace.
  • Saturday: I have to shuffle around a few dates due some things next (this) week, so I moved my recovery 9 miles from Wednesday to today.
  • Sunday: Endurance: 11 miles. Two loops on the jail trail with Liz and Steve. It was sunny and warmer than we wanted, but I was so happy for the company. They peeled off and did 20 and I headed home to brew beer!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run. Things are feeling a bit better (although I didn’t have the chance to on Sunday and I felt it later that day).


And we’re back on a training plan (and it feels so good. Just kidding, Uncle Pete is probably trying to kill me), this time, getting ready for the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November.

Most of my training plans have been miles focused, with minimal workouts in them, so I figured I would try something a little bit different. Pfitz is very scientific in his approach, with very structured workouts. I already know there’s a couple weeks I’ll be moving some things around, so that will take more finesse than on previous plans, but overall, I’m excited.

The goal is to sub 2:10 at Philly, although it is a relatively flat course, so I’m hoping with this plan I can reach that, it’s not too much of a stretch, and will be a nice new PR.

I have my train tickets, just have to get an AirBnB for me and two of my friends and we’ll be out there enjoying the weekend and seeing a new (to me) city!

  • Monday: Rest. Well, was supposed to be a rest day, but since it was Labor Day and I had the day off, I met a friend and we did 5 miles along a favorite route of hers!
  • Tuesday: General aerobic + speed: 6 miles with 8x100m strides; 9:14 pace. Looking back, I should probably increase this pace a bit.
  • Wednesday: Endurance: 8 miles. Headed to Schenley Park to run both the day and night versions of the Frontrunners loops. Was humid and gross, and I kept seeing the same people as we all took different winding routes through the park and nearby streets.
  • Thursday: BWF. Back on the Recommended Routine, hoping to do this twice a week during this cycle.
  • Friday: Lactate threshold: 7 miles with 14 minutes LT interval/4 minutes recovery/12 minute LT interval; 9:31 pace. My first crack at a true LT workout (using the paces in on the charts in the back of the book).
  • Saturday: Rest.
  • Sunday: Endurance: 10 miles. Also did BWF since I didn’t do it on Saturday
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run. Things have felt a bit creaky, but I think that’s to be expected the first week back on a training plan, but otherwise, nothing too painful.


Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, the trailer for the Zombieland trailer:

The National Cathedral (which is Episcopalian, by the way), has called out the President’s racism as a clarion call to white supremacists.

Here’s the cast for the Wheel of Time series. And here’s a primer about the the book series.

The Obi-Wan Disney+ series is officially happening! And here’s the trailer for The Mandalorian:

Speaking of Star Wars, how about a lightsaber bionic arm? Yes please!

The trailer for the new series, The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance (and the primer for that as well):

This German town will give you money to prove it doesn’t exist.

The trailer for the new season of AHS looks awesome. Slasher summer camp meets the 1980s (seems to be very Stranger Things influenced).

Holy crap, the cast for this show looks amazing and I can’t wait to watch the insanity:

Mayor Pete gives an eloquent and great breakdown about a form of homophobia often encountered.

The administration is once again pushing, this time to SCOTUS, to allow anti-gay workplace discrimination to be legal. Oh, and anti-trans discrimination too.

Brace yourselves, Texas passed a law I agree with! Sending unsolicited nudes is now considered a form of sexual harassment in their legal code!

I guess kind of a good story: a bigoted wedding venue changed their mind about barring a marriage when they couldn’t actually find proof in the bible that interracial marriage was a sin. They still block gay weddings, but hey, it’s nice to hear that they took the time to read and come to the right conclusion.

Guys, guns are totally gay:

Okay, that’s it for now, have a great one!



I spent July cleaning up my digital and physical life for a project I did for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Taking the format of NaNoWriMo, camp is more free-form, allowing you to write, edit, draw, really tackle any project you want. I set out about 40 different tasks and I completed 30 of them (and I was working on number 31 last night, but didn’t finish).

Here’s what I did:

Finished reading “Refocusing My Family”
Setup and started mental health BuJo
Updated personal ultrarunning packing list
Sorted papers on printer stand
Mango: Arabic lesson 1
Created Runnit Spotlight wiki page
Knit heart blog post
Magazines finished: 1
Cleaned up Google Keep
DnD Recap
Medical directive packet
Philly half training plan
Cleaned up mobile bookmarks
Cleaned up browser bookmarks
Clean bookshelves: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Updated videos for the Myst Linking Book
Social media pulls: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July
Updated my running page
Sorted my ginormous pile of filing

The big projects I need to finish (besides the cleaning out my filing cabinet, which I got halfway through last night) is cleaning out my Gmail and updating my dating app profiles. I had also hoped to get through more magazines and cleaning some more physical spaces, but before I tackle those, I have to get the huge pile of books I’m getting rid of out of my house.

Overall it was a successful month and I’m glad I tackled what I called “Literary Miscellany.” It’s been nice to get those tasks checked off and out of my mind!



Caitlin M. Marietti

It’s essential that we, as humans, are able to communicate with one another. That is, after all, why babies start to cry, isn’t it? It’s a form of communication and communication is the root of our civilization.
Not everyone is good at it. Some people don’t like it, some people don’t develop the skill. But those that do develop it have a distinct advantage. They can do more, get more, share more, learn more. Currently, I am employed in a hospital and I see the benefits of having good communication, good people skills every day. I see how successful doctors and nurses and aides alike earn the trust and approval of their patients, and I see how less successful people struggle in getting their patients to trust their words and their motives.
And that can make all the difference. If I am giving a patient information about how to care for themselves when they go home and I berate them and belittle them while explaining the proper way to get up from a seated position to standing with a walker, the chances that they’re take my instruction home and use it are slim. They will resent my words and my methods. If I take the time explain and I remain calm, pleasant and relatable, my patient is far more likely to respond positively and, thus, use what I have taught them at home.
For me, good people skills are an integral part of what I do now and, since I was recently accepted into a Nursing program, what I will do in the future. Patient education aside, being able to relate to, effectively sympathize with, listen to, and helping my patients be more comfortable with me as their caretaker is a primary goal of mine. Since patients are more than just their disease, it only seems logical to work with the person themselves. Thinking about how patients may perceive things can help me adjust and better help them.
This doesn’t just apply to my interactions with patients. Every part of patient care requires a team; from physicians, to the lab, to the aides, to the pharmacy. There are so many people to work with. Part of being a part of this team, too, requires being able to both give and receive feedback. Have you done something right? Have you a need to improve on something? It’s about growth.
It’s also about saying “thank you.” People don’t say that nearly enough. Being coachable also means being respectful of those around you. Learn from everyone and thank them every time. When I am done with a shift at my hospital, I will find those that I worked with and thank them for their help. It’s important to me and to them to know that a) they have helped me learn and grow and that b) I appreciate what they have done for me, whether it was big or small. This positive feedback pays for itself in mutual respect and the increased possibility of a repeat learning session.
Be what you say you are. There is nothing to be gained if I tell everyone how nice I am and then I bash people’s lifestyles or tastes or condition. Be that “thank you” every single time: say it and mean it. I try so hard to thank those who I maybe care a little less for working with. Just because we aren’t best friends outside of work does not mean that I cannot learn something from the, even it’s it what not to do. Be what you say you are and people will react more consistently as well.
I am applying for Activia Training US scholarship because the folks there are generous enough to have it. The link for this scholarship can be found here: https://www.activia.co.uk/scholarship-us. I suggest you check it out.



The current administration has (somewhat quietly, especially when you consider everything else that is going on) put together what they are calling a “Natural Law” Commission.

They are unhappy with how the government in the past has protected human rights, and have instead installed a committee that is completely against a woman’s right to choose her medical care or any type of equality for the queer community.

The committee is the brainchild of the founder of NOM (the defunct National Organization for Marriage that fought for California’s Prop 8) and the author of the hate-filled Manhattan Declaration. GLAAD has a report about all the members, and it doesn’t look good.

Add this to the ever-growing stack of steps backwards we’re taking. This is a way at an end run around the marriage equality ruling from SCOTUS as well as Roe.

All my best,

Mike



I came across two articles from GQ about gay stereotypes, and while they were both written with a tongue firmly in a cheek, they both admit there’s some truth to them (even if they can’t prove anything scientifically).

The first: that gay men walk fast.

If gay men feel self-conscious or fear attack, they could walk quickly to get away from perceived risks in order to feel safe again,” she explains. “They might also fear being judged or stared at, so want to move away from the ‘perceived risk’ as quickly as possible.”

Though Phillips also says that feeling confident can increase walking speed. “It is all about the feeling of safety and security in the body. If you feel safe somewhere, then you may feel like ‘strutting’, being more open and feeling more extroverted,” she explains.

MacRae tells me that walking fast might be a method for gay men to give a “visual cue” of their physical fitness and attractiveness, and that there’s a gendered element to how we perceive sexuality that may influence walking speed. “People generally perceive sexuality from women’s bodies when they’re standing still and men’s when they’re in motion,” he says. … So gay men upping the pace of their walking also amplifies their sexuality. Strutting, or walking at a rapid pace, can be a way of displaying homosexuality in safe spaces.”

And the second: that iced coffee is part of gay culture.

“Like, gays will do ridiculous things and there’s something so counterculture about drinking an iced coffee during the winter.” It’s also, he says, a sign of resisting homogenization. “Hot coffee is so normcore. Like, it’s for dads and old people commuting on the train.”

For Sam, iced versus hot coffee is the perfect symbolism between queer and straight culture. Essentially, iced coffee has become a queer avatar, and a way for gay people to signpost themselves against the uniformity of heterosexuality.

But there’s still an element of covert behavior that occurs in the queer community, be it sexual or, in the case of social media, through the development of digital languages like memes and modern slang. From things like the rise of the word “wig” and Wendy Williams GIFs, there’s an aspect of digital communication that feels exclusive to queer people, although these then tend to filter down into more mainstream culture. Iced coffee could just be an IRL manifestation of this playful covert language, signaling to any fellow gays in Starbucks that you’re one of them. As Dr. Bengry posits: “It has to be a shared experience.”

But really, the reason iced coffee is gay is actually quite simple. A number of people on Twitter got in touch with me to suggest that part of the gay appeal is quite literally the straw you drink it through. One user suggested that the straw meant that you could “maintain eye contact on your phone, some cute boys, [and] homophobes wanting to attack u [sic],”

The two articles are fun and playful, don’t think too much about them. But I do have to say, both are very true about me. And I’m okay with that. I can enjoy the signposting of both and look at them with a wry smile, understanding a bit more about myself if I truly want to dig a bit deeper.

All my best,

Mike



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, we have the first look at the Mr. Rogers movie staring Tom Hanks.

Pete Buttigieg took over P-Town and it was Pete-Town for a weekend!

Pictures from World Pride in NYC to celebrate Stonewall 50.

Meeting the new president of the HRC:

In other Pride news, Gritty (who, even though I am a die-hard Pens fan, is still the best thing that we didn’t know we needed), did a great job at Philly Pride (and check out him waving the Philadelphia Pride flag)!

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (drag nuns who do street-level ministry to the queer community), were present at a commemoration ceremony of the queer lives lost in the Holocaust.

(Pennsylvania) Republicans are a disgrace, part I: screaming over the reading of a letter of a former homeless man because they want to slash the General Assistance Program.

(Pennsylvania) Republicans are a disgrace, part II: Congressman says he’s a person of color because he’s white.

And finally, as a palate cleanser, watch some T-Rexs run a race!



A while ago, I was walking into the mall, and attached to an exit door of the movie theater was a small crocheted heart:

The project is an outreach program designed to bring awareness to bullying and suicide. From their website:

The hearts are placed in public places around the world for people to find during their everyday lives. We hope the hearts cause people to stop for a moment and reflect on a young life lost to suicide, on bullying and on the fact that everyone’s life matters. We want to leave people with a feeling that there is still good out there in the world

It’s a beautiful heart and a wonderful project (which has spread across the world as I learned).

While the heart I found wasn’t in bright, cheerful colors, as is requested, it did bring a smile to my face, not only for the fact of finding a wonderful piece of art, but it was in the bear pride flag colors (a subset in the gay community).

Small pieces of art like that are sadly seen by some as litter (and to be honest, sometimes I suppose they can be, we need to think about sustainability when creating art), but things like this always bring a smile to my face.

The smaller pieces of art at a Burn, or the things that people do or bring to gift to one another, very often, mean more I think than the large projects funded by grants. Both have their place, and spectacle is wonderful, but there is something to be said for the intimate moments of small art and their immediacy that is only experienced by a small handful of people. It’s an experience you can only share with a few others, and that adds a layer.

Either way though, it brought a smile to my face, and I’m so happy to have found this small heart!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, in amazingness, a hotel clerk clapbacks at a racist customer trying to book a room.

In case you haven’t seen it, the trailer for the sequel to Breath of the Wild:

In Pride month news, an Alabama mayor defends his plan to kill queer people and a ‘death to gay’s pastor is going to hold a rally in Orlando because Pulse.

But in good news, the NYPD Commissioner has officially apologized for the raid on the Stonewall Inn.

Google has released a beautiful digital monument for the 50th anniversary called “Stonewall Forever,” preserving our history.

XKCD hits it out of the park. This. Absorb this:

And finally today, Mika announced a new album and he released the first single:

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