Three Things

1. En dash redux. My publishing friends say go with it; others aren’t sure. (And Joan, it’d be “phone-number-length,” with hyphens; the en dash comes when you can’t wedge a hyphen in a word, say when it’s a proper noun, such as “USA Triathlon” or “Team Polar.” The en dash offers deference to open compounds.) I think it comes down to this: is it better to be right in your own mind, or to go with something that seems on the surface more conventional? Having given in to my mother’s insistence that “honour” was the right spelling for my (and Wes’s!) wedding invitations, I think this time I’m choosing personal integrity, even at the risk of looking funny. Maybe I’ll pick up some clients who work in publishing!

2. Thank you, PowerBar. On a whim, I applied for a PowerBar sponsorship last fall. (There’s a new model whereby not-so-great athletes with high visibility can get corporate sponsorship. They act as living billboards and product reps.) The extensive application had questions like, “What are your long-range sport goals?” My answer was something I hadn’t yet formulated to myself: “I’d like to write a book on yoga for endurance athletes, and I’d like to get certified as a triathlon coach.” Putting that down on (virtual) paper, I started to wonder, “Why not?” I didn’t make the team—they had 4,500 applicants—but my life has changed. And I will get one free box of PowerBars, which is great news, since that’s what my kids eat for breakfast. (Yes, seriously. I ran it by a pediatrician, who conceded, “It’s better than Froot Loops.”) Meanwhile, I’ve just applied for sponsorship by Polar. I use a Polar watch every day and preach the benefits of heart-rate training in my Spinning classes. My hopes are high. And unless Protocolo vineyards or the Weaver Street Market bakery starts to sponsor folks, it’s my last chance at corporate sponsorship affiliated with a product I use daily.

3. Could Joey Cheek be any more wonderful? He’s cute, he’s modest, he’s concerned about world peace. He likes four-hour bike rides. I have a soft spot for guys from Greensboro who work to help prevent HIV infection in Africa.


I got kicked out of the YMCA today.

I’d met my graphic designer’s wife there to help her with her weight routine, as part of our logo trade. Once we hit the machines, we were promptly instructed to stop. No outside trainers, they said; there’s too much liability involved.

I’m completely embarrassed, because I should have thought to ask whether it was OK. As Wes says, you live and learn. I just hate getting “yelled at,” though there was no yelling involved. At least Kristin was gracious about it!

The Mystery of the En Dash

Before I worked in publishing, I didn’t know what the en dash was. It’s a dash the width of a capital letter N, and it’s used in place of a hyphen in open compounds. For example, we’d use one instead of a hyphen in the compound adjective “Pulitzer Prize–winning.” (I don’t think that’s visible here, but it’d be a slightly longer dash.) If you keep your eyes open, you’ll start to notice them in books and magazines.

And in the mock-up business card above. See how the line in “USA Triathlon–certified coach” is longer than the hyphens in my phone number?

What I’m wondering is this: does it make sense at first glance, or is it annoying? That is, does your eye think it’s an em dash (a full dash, the width of a capital letter M), which renders the meaning murky?

More generally, does this look good for a card? I welcome proposals of alternate layouts.

Anyone But Hummer

Today the front page of the Raleigh News and Observer ran this story about bands refusing to sell their songs to GM for use in Hummer ads. It’s not an issue of selling out—they just don’t want to be associated with consumption that conspicuous. Kudos!

Locks of Love at Starlu

Click here to read about the Locks of Love event at Starlu in Durham, Wes’s favorite restaurant. Sam Poley, the chef/owner, is a sweet, affable guy. If you have ten inches of hair, here’s your chance to be on The Today Show. You’ll get breakfast in return, which is sure to be more satifsying than the postcard thank you I got when I donated my hair in 2004. (Of course, the gratification is in the donation itself, but a free meal and fifteen minutes of fame is nice!)

Sage Yoga Training, Episode II: Revenge of the Lunge

I’ve gotten the second podcast together, with some help from my friend Alex. He showed me how to record the voice track in a “tent” created by draping my blanket over my head, desk, and monitor. (He tells me it would sound even better if I crawled into my coat closet with the mic.) And he contributed the second track of music for this episode, which by his description is “too creepy and minor” for yoga, but it beats replaying the music from the first episode. (Anyone got non-copyrighted ambient music to share?)

My voice isn’t at its best—you can hear the congestion that’s dogged me for ten days now—but I met my self-imposed schedule of a new episode every two weeks.

As ever, comments are most welcome.

Sage Yoga Training: Lunge Series

Lunge Series

A seven-minute series of low lunges to practice after your workout. Each pose is held for thirty seconds to improve your flexibility. (Once you’re familiar with the sequence, you might like to hold each pose even longer to work deeper.) You’ll be stretching the hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, and lower leg, while also releasing the muscles of your lower back.

You’ll want a soft surface to cushion your knees: a field, a rug, a mat, a folded towel. Take each stretch to the point of intensity, but no further, and don’t forget to breathe.

Thanks to Mandy Devetsky for taking the pictures my five-year-old couldn’t get, and to Alex Maiolo for the second song (no part of his music can be used without permission).

Beta Web Site Live

Is it a contradiction in terms for a Web site to be both “beta” and “live”? At any rate, you’ll see it here.

I’d love to get feedback: “That color is weird,” “That link didn’t work,” etc.

Podcast episode two is just waiting for music. Hope to have it up tomorrow afternoon.

I’m looking out the window at falling snow, while yesterday it was, literally, 77 degrees.

Going Method

Dear Lindsey,

I love your American impulse, but what were you thinking? Celebrate once it’s over, honey!!!



The pretty-much-final logo design. It’ll go on the podcast, the Web site, an ad in Endurance, business cards.

I have an elaborate interpretation of the semiotics: the wavy line represents the upward trend of training results, supported by the sage green (yeah, I know), while also looking like the curves of a bottom (heh, heh) and back, etc., etc. Mostly, I just think it’s simple and beautiful.


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