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August 21, 2006

Fractured Fairy Tales

I can’t overemphasize what a nice outlet blogging has been for me.

After all, it’s not like I started this blog and then became a quirky, neurotic, running-obsessed oddball. Those elements of my personality have always been present – but prior to Running & Rambling, they just manifested in other ways.

Exhibit A: Last night I found a spiral notebook belonging to my 5-year-old daughter. It’s about 4 inches high, covered in fuzzy purple felt, with a crowned-shaped mirror above the word “Princess.” The notebook has served as my daughter’s doodle and art book for the past few years.

This particular daughter is the budding artist in the family; she constantly makes paintings and pictures that end up all over the walls of our house, my office, and even her grandparents’ house. We have a designated craft table for her, and when she was younger I used to sit there beside her doodling my own sketches and stories while she colored.

I hadn’t seen the notebook for several months before last night, so I started flipping through it to see what she had drawn and I had written. The stories are very short (remember, it’s a 4-inch page), but they give a glimpse of the future blogger at a formative stage.

Also, based on the content of my writings, I could tell what book or TV program I had been exposed to at that time. For example, here is one story I came across:

“Will you accept this rose?” asked the princess.

“Of course I will,” he replied, “but I’ll have to skip the champagne. I was hoping to go for a long run tomorrow, and I have to get up early. Plus, I sometimes get migraines if I’m dehydrated, so I’m trying to limit my alcohol intake. And would it be OK if we just hang out at home for our next date? I’m kind of worn out from ramping up my mileage this week.”

The princess considered this and said, “Um ... Can I have my rose back?”

Obviously that was during a season of The Bachelorette. Another time, after reading a book of princess stories, I jotted this down:

From across the table, their eyes met, and they both knew it was meant to be this way; for them to meet in this exact place at this precise moment. He wanted everything she had to offer, and she had been long awaiting his arrival.

As their bodies drew closer, everyone around them faded from view. The time they shared seemed frozen, as if God intended this instant to linger longer than all others. But despite their mutual infatuation, they both knew it couldn’t last.

He reached for her … then took the Gatorade cup from her hand, and shouted “Thanks!” before continuing down the road.

And one more - after watching Shrek, sometime during a marathon training period:

“Attention! I have an announcement to make!” shouted the king.

“In a dragon-guarded castle in a faraway land, the princess awaits your arrival. Take heed - the journey before you is long and treacherous.

“A route map and course elevation guide were provided in your goody bag. Each mile will be marked, and a volunteer will shout your split times as you pass. Aid stations every 3 miles will provide Gatorade and GU, and Vaseline will be available during the final 10K. The winner will be the first person to rescue the princess, regardless of chip time.

“Friends of the princess will be available at the castle to provide massages to all participants.”

And so on and so on. But now instead of jotting down mindless stories in my daughter’s sketch book, I have this blog to accommodate such ramblings.

No longer limited by a 4-inch page, I can write as much nonsense as I want. And my daughter’s probably happy that I’m not taking up so much of her notebook space. In those regards, the blog has been beneficial to each of our respective interests.

On the other hand, the question of whether anyone outside our family is better off for such a development is certainly debatable.


Cliff 8/21/06, 10:48 AM  

The second story about the eyes met and aid station..hilarious :)

Thanks for making my day.

stronger 8/21/06, 10:52 AM  

I was day dreaming away in the second story. Then, smack it was just an aid station. Yeah, that's more realistic anyway. You are a rare find.

angie's pink fuzzy 8/21/06, 12:48 PM  

well I certainly enjoy the stories :)

(my fav from above? the aid station, where their eyes meet...)

Fe-lady 8/21/06, 1:12 PM  

Great stories! Keep them...AND all the pix your daughter has drawn. She will love to look at them when older!

backofpack 8/21/06, 2:54 PM  

Too funny! I loved all three, especially the aid station. Did your daughter love them too?

teacherwoman 8/21/06, 5:03 PM  

That notebook of you daughter's is priceless! It will be fun for you to watch her budding art/writing grow! A teacher always love to hear stories of parents encouraging activities that their children have great interest in!

P.S. thanks for the "thank you" on my blog. It is nice to know that people appreciate what I do from time to time in my career (or what I refer to as my lifelong passion).

Anne 8/21/06, 5:47 PM  

I thought from the title we'd be discovering a link between running and Rocky & Bullwinkle, but this was better.

Mike 8/21/06, 10:23 PM  

whoa..ditto the other blogger comments. That aid station story was great- totally caught me off guard!

Thomas 8/22/06, 1:28 AM  

Excellent stories! Though, my daughter wouldn't be too pleased if I jotted down stuff like that in her notebook.

Sue 8/22/06, 11:13 AM  

Haha, wondered where you were going with story No.2 bearing in mind this is your little daughter's note book, lol.

Darrell 8/22/06, 12:39 PM  

I definitely feel better off, especially in the running department, having stumbled onto this little running/blogging community. You definitely inspired me.

Annette 8/22/06, 1:42 PM  

Love the stories! :) I bet you come up with some great bedtime stories for your daughter. It reminds me of the random stories my dad used to tell us when I was little. Maybe you should write for kids. :)

By the way, thanks for the advice on where to run in Monterey. I enjoyed my runs while I was there!

Downhillnut 8/22/06, 4:10 PM  

*I'm* better off that you share these funny quips with us! You and the writers of Shrek would definitely get along.

I always like how you manage to find something totally non-running and then link it to our strange running world anyway.

matt 8/22/06, 5:28 PM  

i got such a kick out of this post, donald. it's good to pass on these quirky, funny traits to our kids...don't you think?

jeanne 8/23/06, 6:33 AM  

you are hilarious. you should be on the stage! and you know what they say after that line...

Running from my House 8/23/06, 1:00 PM  

i really enjoyed that one about the gatorade cup. good stuff.

thanks for brightening my day!

Susan 8/25/06, 6:28 AM  

that is the sweetest post! I want my rose back too. Hee.

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