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Thanks to Lisa from Cow Spots and Tales for tagging me for this fun little Q&A!

I found out about this just in time because I was really getting concerned about what I would write about this week. Due to jet lag and early morning workouts, I have been going to bed at basically the same time that I get home from work which has made “real” dinners and thus blog-worthy recipes non-existent at Duke’s House this week.

On the bright side, this sleep pattern shift has given Chris and I bonus morning goof-off time. Instead of our usual routine of pouring coffee into travel mugs and hightailing it out the door, we have been enjoying a whole pot of coffee from the comfort of our living room each morning after workouts but before work. I kind of like it and I hope to maintain my jet lag for as long as possible.

Now for the good stuff. I know you’re dying to know more about me. No? Will you just humor me then?

1.Best book you’ve ever read and best book you’ve read recently?

This is a tough one. I think my favorite book that I ever read was an assignment for my pop culture class at Penn State called The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I don’t know that there was anything that spectacular about the book in retrospect, but I remember that I really enjoyed reading it, which says quite a lot considering that it was an assignment. I have since gone on to read many of Chabon’s other books, all of which I have enjoyed, but none left me with quite the same “I can’t put it down” feeling of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Unless Lonely Planet Tanzania counts, the only book I have read recently is Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Don’t read it. I only read it because it was an assignment for work. Lame, stupid book. In short it subscribes to the theory that you should avoid working on your weaknesses because it will take more work to improve them than it would take to improve your strengths. I agree with the theory that improving weaknesses will be more difficult than improving on strengths, but I just can’t subscribe to the theory that we should abandon concern over our weaknesses.

Lonely Planet Tanzania was a decent travel guide, better than Lonely Planet Vietnam which was so flagrantly anti-American that it was offensive to me. After LP Vietnam, I swore that I would never buy another Lonely Planet travel guide, but as fate would have it, I put off ordering a Tanzania travel guide until so close to my trip that I was relegated to buying the only selection (LP Tanzania) in my local bookstore. Figures.

2.If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

If I were the Nittany Lion, would I get free travel, lodging, and entry to all Penn State footbal games? Do fictional animals like that count? 

No? How about paradoxataurs

Real animals you say? I think I would be Duke. As far as I can tell his life is pretty good. He sleeps for close to 20 hours per day and spends the rest of his time eating, drinking, and goofing off. Not a bad gig. It is kind of a drag that he has to eat the same thing all the time, but I think I could deal with that to have such a carefree and flexible schedule.

Wow, this is from last winter, Duke was such a little guy then!

3.Favorite race distance? Care to elaborate?

10-miles. It seems just right. 10-miles is far enough that I feel like it is worthy of paying an entry fee to run, but not so long that I’m an hour deep in the race and don’t feel like the end is in sight. I wish there were more 10-mile races around here. The only one I know of is on New Year’s Day. Obviously I missed that one this year. Maybe I’ll give 10-miles another go in 2012.

4.What’s a favorite bible verse, quote or thought that encourages you?

I’m going to take this in the context of running since that’s one of my two main topics. (Although I guess it can apply to eating also…)

When I feel like I can’t run any longer, I keep telling myself that I’m still going, I haven’t fallen over on the side of the road and stopped or anything so I can, in fact, run longer or I wouldn’t be doing it.

5.White milk or chocolate milk?

Sorry Lisa, no milk. I just can’t do it. Unsweetened Original Almond Milk for me. Does that count as white milk? We buy milk a few times per year, usually for some recipe, always fat-free white milk.

6.What 5 places are on your “must visit” list? (If you’ve already been to some of them you can still include if you like).

Naturally, I have some unconventional answers to this pretty straightforward question.

  • We have plans in the works for Antarctica 2012/13. It will be my 7th continent. I will be pretty stoked to have visited all of them.
  • The top of the world. We are giving strong consideration to an Everest bid. That is more on the radar for the 10-15 year plan than a short term thought though.
  • This isn’t really a place, but I want to drive around the world someday. Chris and I have spent many a Saturday day dreaming about this one. The type of vehicle it would require, what kind of supplies we would need, researching road (or lack thereof) conditions in Eastern Russia to assess fuel range needs and off-road capabilities for said vehicle, how to transport a car from Alaska to Russia in the first place, you get the idea. I’m not sure when this will happen, but I will be disappointed in myself if I look back on my life someday and realize that I didn’t at least make an effort to drive around the world.

  • I would like to go to India, that one may never happen unless I am fortunate enough to get sent for work. Chris has been to India enough times that it could be a long time before he signs up for a vacation to India.
  • This is my just-visited, but The Serengeti was amazing. I am still in awe of it.

7.What’s your go-to brand of shoes? I’m thinking running shoes here, but a girl needs classy dress shoes too, so share both.

I like this question. My go-to running shoes are Mizuno Wave Creation 11’s. They make my feet happy.

In terms of other shoes, I have four pairs that I am most commonly found in.

For work:

Sam Edelman Jax

Sam Edelman Jax Black Flats Woman Shoes Size 7 M

or Stuart Weitzman Simple Wedges.

For play:

Lucchese cowboy boots

or Reef flip-flops

I think that’s enough about me for now. Sadly, I think everyone I “know” has already been passed this fun little exercise, so it ends here unless somebody will volunteer to continue.

Any more questions?

This was passed to me by Branny of Branny Boils Over. I guess it is more of you getting to know me than me getting to know you, but anyway if you’re curious, here goes!

1) What was on your To-Do list today:

  • Go for a run – I had 6 miles on my schedule today. I kind of slogged through them, it was pretty pathetic. We had a thunderstorm last night and due to a terrified dog, I didn’t get enough sleep to feel particularly energetic on a 5 AM run. This is me ready for a run. Well, part of me anyway. I’m not sure what happened to my head.

  • Go to work.
    • Go back home to let a locked out Chris back into the house. This was kind of a fiasco. Chris’s car broke down on his way to work. He brought the car home only to find out that he had no house key. Naturally this was about the worst possible day for me to need to leave work and run home mid-day.
    • If you are wondering why Chris’s car broke down, it may have to do with the abuse it takes. Forgive the grainy picture, I clipped it out of a YouTube video that Chris’s buddy made. (Thanks Rob if you are reading!) Yes, that is mud up to his doors and he has 35″ tires and a 6″ long arm kit. Wow, I sound like a hillbilly. I’m not, I can’t be, I’m from New Jersey. Although this is my neighbor’s yard that he’s “muddin'” in. Hmmm.

  • Cut the grass if it is dry enough. Well, part of it anyway, we have a giant yard, so lawn mowing can be a week-long affair.

  • Make baba ganoush. My CSA gave me an eggplant last week and I need to use it before tomorrow’s CSA pickup. Baba Ganoush post soon to follow!
  • Hang out with Chris, Duke, and Tacia.

  • Lead a late night conference call with some people in China.
  • Sleep! Finally!

2) 5 Snacks you enjoy:

  • Apples with peanut butter
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Cottage cheese and salsa
  • Oatmeal – especially with almond milk
  • Does a beer count?

3) 5 Places you have lived:

  • My parent’s house in New Jersey
  • Penn State @ Happy Valley
  • Upstate New York – Twice!
  • Purdue
  • Southern Indiana at Duke’s House

4) What were you doing 5 years ago:

  • Almost exactly 5 years ago I made a very scary decision to quit my job, move to Indiana, and go to grad school at Purdue. I’m happy to say that it worked out great! I left Purdue with Chris, my Master’s degree, and a bright future!

5) 5 things you would do if you were a Billionaire:

  • Create an endowment to provide merit based college scholarships (I prefer for scholarships to our alma maters, but we are still discussing that part). Chris and I are both very passionate about education and I am very thankful that my parents helped me go to college. Not everyone is so lucky.
  • Volunteer for/donate to Free Wheelchair Mission. We learned about this cause when we ran the Surf City USA Marathon last February. Free Wheelchair Mission provides durable wheelchairs, free of charge to people in developing countries who otherwise would not be able to have a wheelchair. I really believe in this cause because it empowers people and helps them regain mobility.
  • Move somewhere where Chris could surf every day, probably the Central Coast of California.
  • Climb Mt. Everest.
  • Live on a sail boat for a few years.

In keeping with Branny’s theme, I will pass this on to a few bloggers who I like to follow:

Shelby at eat, drink, run.
Nicole at PreventionRD.
Steph at In Steph’s Shoes.
Brie at Brie Fit.