Update on a few darn good weeks.

I haven't been fulfilling my duty to keep the internet updated on all of the intimate details of my life, so for a quick overview of my last couple of weeks:

1) Biggest Accomplishment Ever: We finished our first marathon in Rome on March 20th, as you've probably already sorted if you're a Facebook (or actual, physical, human) friend. Marathons are funny things. Not exactly a 'good' experience, I started out strong, started cramping at the 16th mile, and cursed and limped and jogged and grimaced my way home. So, I was angry and frustrated for about half of the duration of the race. Kind of disappointing b/c I had trained well, running 20+ miles 4 - 5 times before the race, and almost completing a full marathon (25.4 miles) w/o walking during a training session. Still, though, it feels like a huge accomplishment - on par with finishing my Masters Thesis in terms of big life things and boosters to self-confidence. And, running across the cobblestones, through 15th century neighborhoods and past the ancient ruins of Rome, it makes for an incredibly epic memory. And, because I'm sure I could do better, I feel like I have to stay in shape to do another sometime in the not-too-distant future.

2) Best Vacation Ever: Italy, and Rome in particular, is awesome. There are a billion things to see, the people are interesting and hospitable, the food is good, it's beautiful, travel is easy because of a solid public transport system, and it's all so European-y, with old neighborhoods and foreign languages and Gelato and espresso everywhere and fresh baked bread and tiny cars and techno music. I love it. I definitely want to go back and backpack around like a 20 year old vagabond.

3) Paper copy published = my book feels really finished. Kindle e-books seem kind of fake. Paper self-published books feel a little more real. It's editor-free and unprofessionally done, and I've found a few mistakes since I approved the proof, but the experience of publishing has turned into something I've really enjoyed. Putting it out was a planting of a flag in the ground for me, solidifying my transition out of church, helping me to figure out what I want to do with my writing, and revealing all of my most humiliating secrets to whoever decides to read. Putting it on the internet and selling it for super cheap on Amazon has kept it as a hyper-local experience, with mostly only my friends (and a few of their friends) reading, but has opened access to whoever wants to read. Not pushing for real publication, and not advertising beyond Facebook status updates means that I don't feel like I'm selling myself - and it would feel like that, because it really is an intimate and somewhat embarrassing portrait of myself. And it also means that the people who read it will probably really like it, because they'll know me, and artsy things are always better when you know the person who created them. (Unless you think they're horrible. Then its embarrassing and makes you not like the person as much, which might be why I've only heard mostly good feedback.) I've had several encouraging reviews here, and in only one of the cases did I beg the person to write it.

4) I got into UW's nursing program!! This is particularly awesome because now I'll have my bachelors degree in 2 years, which should be a ticket to a decent paying job (finally!), and is a chance to study at arguably the best nursing school in the country while staying within biking distance from home. Unlike the other accomplishments listed above, this one has actual, practical value and will help me survive into old age without being forced to panhandle on the streets should Angel wise up and dump my worthless ass. And also, it will allow me to make enough money so she doesn't have to work two jobs to pay for my bad educational and travel habits.

It's been a good couple of weeks. Now I have to go to Microbiology class.