Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm a Duck

I always thought I was a patient person... Until moving to Chicago. These days I go from calm to rage way too freaking fast.


Because I am always aware of how my actions are affecting others and expect people to do the same.

Because it seems that most people lack good manners, respect, and common sense.

One example of many: people walking 3 abreast makes it hard to pass these slow walkers on the busy sidewalks of Chicago.

I started writing this post Friday but never finished. It's been on my mind a lot because

•I've almost been hit by cars in the cross walks too many times to count by idiot drivers paying more attention to their cell phones than the road.

•Almost running into someone while walking home because they stopped suddenly to look at their cell phone.

•The clueless tourists who do the same thing to take a photo or simply block the sidewalk while looking lost looking at a map.

•Some of the marathon training groups running too many across making it difficult and dangerous (with the cyclists zooming by) to pass.

•The people who just stop or cross the lakefront trail without looking both ways for traffic. Incredibly dangerous.

It was like a sign

On Friday while I ran with CB I spotted this graffiti:

It's a duck. Quack quack.

I squealed with delight when I saw it (and probably scared the pot smoking teens who were nearby).

Little did I know that this "sign" would be a reminder for what was to come Saturday morning.

I ran 16 miles Saturday. it was my longest run since the Chicago marathon last year. The weather was nice and warm and the birds were singing (and the red winged black birds were holding meetings plotting their future attacks).

The Avon Walk was happening on the lakefront. Several thousand people were walking 10+ abreast blocking both directions of traffic on the path. The cyclists and runners were getting stabby at the participants and it provided for some tense moments on a day where we should all be enjoying ourselves. At one bottle neck, the cyclists and i were saying "on your left please move over" and the participants were saying "we're only out here 2 days deal with it." This rubbed me the wrong way so I shouted back "share the path." They didnt move.


This is a post for another day. But seriously, why do people feel entitled to do as they please without regard for others? Can't we all get along?

For the rest of my run I channeled my inner duck and felt less aggressive.

Yay happy things

I was happy with a Caramel High rise from Caribou post run.

Puppy kisses always make me happy.

Kelsey, Kim the Cat, Emily CB and I

Spending time with friends post run at the Veggie Pride Parade. I'm not vegetarian, but I like to swing both ways and have the best of both worlds.

CB even made a new friend!!

Later on Saturday between the storms, a gorgeous rainbow appeared.

And on Sunday L returned from Berlin with a huge stash of gummy bears for me.

So many things to be happy about!!

So why a duck?

Water rolls right off of duck feathers and metaphorically speaking I'm going to let all the things in the world that annoy me simply roll off of me. Ive come to learn I can't expect people to have the same standards of decency or common sense that I have. So when faced with clueless rude people, I will ignore them and walk away instead of getting full of rage.

After all, I'm a duck. Quack quack.

- xaar


  1. I feel you on the crowded sidewalks/running path. I just missed the Avon walk on Sunday, and just saw a few straggles from that and a color run. I'm constantly looking around when i have to move more an a foot from the shoulder of the path for rogue bikes or god knows what! I saw a lady get hit by a 5 year old on a scooter than just zoomed onto the lakefront. She politely as possible told him to be careful... where the heck were the parents! Ive had to jump over a rogue skateboard as well around belmont!

    I hope you can transform into a mighty duck through this! Or maybe use the rage for a quick fartlek right?

    1. Jeeze! I haven't seen any collisions, but have seen near misses. Sounds like your run turned into a parkour exercise with jumping over the skateboard!

      Hmm. You're right. The rage does make me run much faster with seemingly less effort :) need to find a way to channel that for Fartleks and 5ks.

  2. I can't get over how happy CB looks in the cat pic. Is it deceiving?

    I have been thinking about this since we chatted on Saturday. I waw wondering if a huge part of it is technology - like you mentioned. Poeple are so distracted now... I mean, some places are trying to pass laws about texting and walking because people are getting hit by cars! Anyway, technology has made it worse.

    But at the same time, I think it is a common decency. Like, if you need to stop, go to the side (like to look at a map). I can't tell you how many times I have stopped with a group and have had to been the one who says "guys, lets get out of people's way!" Some people just exist in their own little la la land.

    Anyway, keep being a duck :)

    Your goodies look so tasty! Are you going to take them on a run? :)

  3. Thankfully I dont have that issue since moving to bodunk town Nebraska, but it was ALWAYS a huge issue on the trails, parks and heavily traveled streets (during marathon training on Sat mornings) I feel your pain. Sometimes when it would get too much for me to handle, I would say COMING THROUGH if there was little or no room for me to go around, and just go right through them. Rude? Yes, but so were they and there were times where I just lost it :)

  4. so glad I rarely have to deal with that sort of thing since no one else runs where I do, although I know it is annoying at races when you come to a bottleneck!

    I like the duck thing. Just let it roll right off, some people just don't get it anyway.

  5. Sorry to hear about all of the rude people you have had to deal with lately. The summer brings everyone out of the woodwork. Lots of the people who come out are used to foot-traffic-free suburbia where they could lay down on their sidewalk for 4 hours and never have a soul step over them. Anyway, looks like you had a lot of positives that out-weighed the negatives: The duck, your pooch, a carmel latte, your friends and German gummi bears! Yay! :-)

  6. I was a much more calm and patient person before I moved here too. Sigh. But it's probably smart to just it all roll off. Or look at our ever-smiling dogs - they have the right attitude :)

    I can't believe what the walker said to you on Saturday! Just deal? I think it's really admirable what they're doing, since I sure wouldn't want to spend 2 days walking, but the lakefront trail is a public place that wasn't roped off specifically for the walk, so their participants should be aware that they needed to share the trail.

    People on cell phones are such an annoyance. Even driving, you can always tell when someone is on their phone, which is really dangerous. Walking around my neighborhood is really bad, since no one stops at the stop signs or looks for pedestrians (which is weird in a residential area). My husband has been known to throw his gum at cars that almost hit him, and he's the most calm, patient and non-confrontational person ever, so I think stuff like that makes a lot of us really frustrated.

  7. That is a bummer on all of that - all I can think of is that you may need to move out of Chicago to the suburbs to avoid that kind of stuff. Otherwise I bet it will continue to happen.

  8. I went for a 20 mile bike ride on the Centennial Trail in Spokane last night. What should have been a fun ride for me made me cranky. I couldn't believe how many rude people were out on the trail and totally unaware of their surroundings. Walking 4 people across, riding their bikes every which direction. When I said yell, "on your left" they were still totally clueless. I was super frustrated so I can totally relate to how you felt.

  9. That is horrible that they wouldn't share the path! I always hated downtown when people walk 3+ across. I know people don't like strollers, but honestly I think the ones that walk 3+ across are worse.

  10. Oh I totally feel you on all of those things, I get SUPER annoyed when I can't pass a slow runner or walker after saying "on your left" or "just trying to squeeze through". Don't even get me started on races where people line up obviously WAY outside their pace group ;).

    And super ridiculous cute pic of CB and his new friend, my dog would NEVER go for that, she would be scared out of her mind ;)

  11. All those things are horrible and I love the duck. CB always looks like he is smiling. Happiest looking dog I have ever seen!

  12. Umm, I will take all of that candy. Thank you:)

    I'm with you on the manners. Today, a crazy woman shouted at people on the bus who didn't deserve it, and a cyclist literally stopped in the middle of the path to take a photo (and block the path). It drives me crazy but so many people are just selfish and never think of anyone but themselves. Ugh.

  13. It really is so incredibly annoying when people are not more considerate on the lakefront path or elsewhere. THINK, people, THINK!!! But good for you on taking it all in stride (literally and figuratively). I need to learn from you to not let these or other things get to me as much as they do (and I take a lot of things personally, LOL). Can I get some duck feathers from you!?!?!? =)

  14. Yea, PT really has been somewhat of a drain. It is just so monotonous. I still wonder if my pain will go away, I try to do the rehab exercises right so that I don't cause myself more pain - even this is sometimes hard to monitor.

    Yea, I would be careful with people trying to sell you things on your gait - I wouldn't change anything if you haven't been injured- which seems like you have remained relatively injury free so far. Generally I'm not a fan of orthotics because they prevent your foot from going through it's normal gait cycle when you walk or run, but some people do need them to correct something serious. I need to look into buying more cushioned dress shoes, this might be one of my problems - no one makes dress shoes that look good and are also cushiony! Ugh the problems of working in a professional office lol.

    My comment was sort of a joke about Chicago, but seems like in any big city there are a lot of people and lot of chances for people to act badly lol. Chicago seems like a great town - I had a ton of fun when I visited in 2005.

  15. My husband is normally a calm, roll-with-it kind of guy, but rude pedestrians really set him off. It's the worst during rush hour in the evening - at least in the morning, the only people out are mostly people going to work. In the evening you have them, plus tourists, people coming in from the suburbs, punk kids, etc. Once I almost got caught in a stream of people coming out of a matinee at the Cadillac Palace Theater, that was a little scary.