Copyediting Rates

I’m posting this here just in case anyone happens to be interested. I’m almost done with my certificate from UCSD, and I work as a medical content editor full-time at my “real job.” If you have more NSFW stuff that needs editing, contact me and we can discuss topics and genres. I have done romance, fantasy, and YA, as well as resumes and cover letters. I also have a background in ecology and world literature if you need someone for more scholarly articles. Sarcasticmsem at gmail dot com for more information! 

$5/1000 words- sample for first time customers

$0.01/word- two passes for mechanical editing and major clarity issues 

$0.02/word- three passes for mechanical editing, clarity, style, and major content issues 

$0.04/word- non-native English speaker or major rewrites 

I do offer discounts for repeat customers or referrals! 

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Protein Powders/Shakes I Have Loathed…Evolve Vanilla Shake

I wanted to like Evolve’s vanilla shake. I tried to like it. I did not like it.

Pea protein is weird because it always ends up tasting like you’re licking the underside of a lawnmower or are mixing pea soup with your vanilla milkshake no matter what you do to it. Hemp protein suffers the same issue, that said, and is always somehow worse. I usually mix any pea protein powders with a lot of frozen fruit to drown-out the lawnmower, but with Evolve it is already a liquid and in a bottle and I was drinking it after the Yosemite half marathon with no access to a blender. It isn’t an offensive taste or aftertaste but the pea is there and I wasn’t a big fan. I scribbled some notes in my phone and forgot I drank it…for about twenty minutes.

I drank one the day before the race and had no issues at all, but the one I drank after the race gave me what I will delicately refer to as “poots”, and will indelicately refer to as “pea farts.” The farting on the bus was uncomfortable and embarrassing, but the accompanying stomach cramps were the real problem. I genuinely thought I might throw up or die on the twenty minute bus ride back to Oakhurst from Bass Lake. I made it to my rental car and just sat there in the air conditioning for several minutes trying to figure out where my life went wrong.

Back at our hotel, my best friend and her husband watched with a mix of sympathy and amusement as I staggered into the shower and then staggered back out. Thankfully, after years of swim team, she was unphased by my incessant farting for the next half-hour. Her husband, being a man of simple tastes, thought it was hilarious.

I tried a third Evolve later when I got home with the same results, so I’m going to stick to Vega or whey.

The Dopey 2017

I wrote most of this post months ago…right after I returned from Disney World. I then promptly forgot to post it because I was waiting for our photos to become available. Whoops!

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It was 4 am and I hated myself but I stood in the damn line and I got the damn photo. This was not the coldest morning of my life. That came later.

First thing I’m going to say is this: the Dopey Challenge is not a good idea. It will eat your life for months and make you cranky. It will cause you to change your diet, your schedule, and then cost you shit tons of money. This stupid dwarf caused me to lose almost 30 lbs. And that was all before I got on the stupid plane. The races themselves are way too early for any normal human. The morning of the marathon was a cold, painful nightmare. I stole towels from the hotel in an effort to keep my fingers from going numb because it did not occur to me that I’d need the same gear I use in Colorado. The half didn’t even happen because LIGHTNING, so I had to run it on the boardwalk and the path between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

All that said… I’m glad I did it. I proved a lot of things to myself over the course of the last year. I went through a lot of shoes and I spent a lot of money, but I absolutely do not regret running these races.

Lots of people have written extensive summaries of all 4 races so I won’t mess with that here, but I will make several points:

  1. The Disney photo system is great. Pay the $150 and get all the photos you ever wanted from the parks and the races. I VASTLY prefer this to Marathonfoto.
  2. Disney did the right thing cancelling the half and they made good to people caught up in the whole mess. No complaints. My running friend transferred to the full and suffered horribly, but it was a voluntary suffering! And she got 2 medals and 2 shirts! I got a refund in a gift card and will just spend it on the hotel for the marathon next year. I am a goddamn junkie.
  3. The 10k is still my favorite distance and I love running through Epcot at dawn.
  4. The marathon course is AMAZING. I would not make the Dopey your first marathon, but if you do the marathon by itself you really will not regret it. I enjoyed it immensely and got to plenty of characters you don’t see often.
  5. Port Orleans, Riverside and Yacht Club are both very comfortable. Beaches and Cream at Yacht Club is the best post-race meal. Boma is still awesome.
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I love this photo. Worth it. 

Rocky Mountain Half Marathon/Elk Double 2016

First thing’s first and we need to get this out of the way: the Rocky Mountain National Park Half Marathon DOES NOT actually go into the park. It takes place and around the town of Estes Park, CO. This should not in any way discourage you from doing the race because it is absolutely so much fun and the views are lovely. You also get to see the Stanley Hotel (where The Shining) was filmed. We did not stay at the Stanley. We stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies. It was much cheaper, but…I mean…it was the YMCA. It was about 15 minutes to get to the start line, it was clean, and there was no AC, just a box fan in the window. Would I stay there again? Ehhhh if I decide to bring the birds and rent a cabin sure? Otherwise try to snag something in town.

Stanley Hotel

On to the races. First came the 5k on Friday evening and that just went around the lake. It was pretty. There was water. A bald eagle perched above the starting line and nearly crapped on three people and then flew off during the national anthem. Was it an omen? No idea.

The half was a much bigger beast. Organization-wise, there was a little bit of mess when it came to the corrals since I was put into the 2:30 pace corral and we all know that is aspirational. I mean, I managed to take half an hour off my time, but 2:57:09 is not 2:30:00. OH WELL. Lots of people were flummoxed about their corral placements but nobody died.

Waves

HAHAHA no. Also horse trailers. There was a horse show next door.

There were portable toilets as far as the eye can see, so A+ there. There were also plenty of water stops (I’m not sold on Gnarly…Nuun is still my go to drink, but whatever) and they had gels at pretty much every stop. I love Honey Stinger chews, but the gels are pretty decent as well. No complaints.

As far as the other perks? The photo company had a very reasonable $20 deal at the Expo which I took advantage of. They didn’t really cover the 5k, so be aware of that.

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This was near the lake at the end.

Overall, this race was great. The 5k was fun, the half was pretty and challenging, and the medals…did I mention the medals?

Finish with Medals

Best. Medals. Ever. They’re huge.

I want to also mention that Vacation Races was fantastic in every possible way when we had to make changes to my dad’s 5k registration. They’re prompt and accomodating and they have an awesome refund/transfer policy. With Disney eliminating the option to defer…well…I’m probably gonna stick to VR for a while after the Dopey 2017 races. I really want RunDisney to get their shit together but I’m not optimistic.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

Key West Half Marathon 2016

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I registered for the walk because I’m very very slow. But there were other very slow people registered as runners so it wouldn’t have mattered. The shirt is the loudest, most obnoxious race shirt I’ve ever seen and I love it because it could not be more Key West.

My first race of the new year! January 17th I ran the Key West Half, which loops around through downtown Key West, past the Southernmost Point, up along the coast, and then sends you all the way back. Out and back courses aren’t anyone’s favorite, but given the layout of the island, it makes sense why they do it the way they do. This year the race started an hour later than normal because we were caught up in a tornado warning. Because why not. There was wind. There was rain. The restaurant I was eating breakfast at lost power. The race course was full of Portuguese man ‘o war.

Despite all this I managed to set a PR of 3:30:54 (pathetic, I know. I’m very slow) so I can’t complain *too* much. The medals are fun because they’re conch-shaped wine bottle stoppers, and every person I interacted with was happy and enthusiastic no matter if they were volunteers or participants. It was a fun race, and I got to eat some oysters after I finished, so all in all it was worth doing once. I’d definitely do it again if my friends wanted to go. Being by myself kinda sucked. Marathonfoto was also supposed to be on the course but hell if I saw them anywhere but the Southernmost point and the finish line.

I would NOT do AirBnb again for a race. It was a little too weird being in someone else’s house, and for what I paid, I should’ve just stayed in a hotel. The lady was nice, I just prefer the anonymous nature of hotels, and I don’t like waking up anyone else when I get up at 4am.

The rest of my weekend was spent in Key Largo doing a bit of scuba diving and a lot of laying around in the hot tub. Shout out to Dove Creek Lodge for upgrading my room Sunday and Monday nights and being generally pretty awesome all around. They had a picture of Donald Trump in the lobby and weren’t being ironic, which is literally the only bad thing I can say about them. Even the lobby coffee was decent! Nice views, clean rooms, excellent pool and hot tub, and friendly lobby staff. What more do you want?

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Dove Creek Lodge in Key Largo has a very nice pool that hardly anyone else seemed to use? That hot tub was so nice after the half…..

I went diving with Rainbow Reef Dive Center out of Key Largo, and I have to say they were great. Brent, my dive guide, argued with me on how much weight I needed, but it was all friendly and I’d totally use them again if I went back. I was the only woman traveling alone on a boat of…20-30 people? It was odd. Several guys were by themselves, but I was the lone lone female. No matter. The boat was clean and in good repair. They had plenty of water bottles, and the rental gear was in good shape. Cheers to you, Rainbow Reef.

As for food in Key Largo…Harriette’s for breakfast is delicious and very reasonably priced (just bring cash) and Hobos Cafe is 100% amazing. Get the Mahi Quesadilla. Trust me. The food in Key West was…eh. Dante’s doesn’t get a link because their staff basically ignored me the entire time, though the food was actually pretty good. The Half Shell Raw Bar was OK. Seafood pasta needed way more seafood though, and again the staff kinda ignored me. I had breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s on race morning, and they were good, but the staff didn’t handle the insane crowd from the half marathon very well. I feel like they weren’t prepared for it, but this isn’t the first year the race has been run, and the starting line was just a block away, so I’d think they would have been used to the whole dog and pony show by this point. The power going out didn’t help, but they were floundering before that.

All in all, great weekend. I love the Florida Keys, and driving down from Miami (despite the terrible drivers) is worth doing just for the hell of it. The views are stunning, the people are usually pretty friendly, and there’s a charm to the Keys that you just don’t get in the rest of Florida. I agree with Runner’s World that the Key West Half is very much at the top of the list for destination races, and I would do it again if someone else were going with me.

Next up: Rock and Roll New Orleans 10k and the Inaugural DARK SIDE HALF MARATHON WHEEEEEEEEEE!

*I was not given any compensation by any of these companies. Dove Creek Lodge upgraded me to a suite from the standard room I paid for because “the manager was in a good mood” and they did not ask me to write a review for them. I would have said nice things about them without the upgrade, since even their “standard” room is really nice. Rainbow Reef asked politely for good reviews on Yelp, but I paid full price for my dives and rentals. The restaurants likewise did not comp me anything.*

Race Review: Hot Chocolate 15k and Rock and Roll 10k

Woo, that was a crazy couple of weeks! The Hot Chocolate 15k was on October 4th, and the Rock and Roll 10k was on the 18th. Normally I like to space my races out more, but sometimes you just don’t have the option. If I had to pick only one to do again, I’d pick the Hot Chocolate 15k, but they were both excellent races and I’d do both of them again. I know the Rock and Roll Denver Marathon had some complaints of smells and a shitty course, but the 10k  (which went along with the half most of the course) was just fine. No bad smells (besides the usual portalet odor that permeates EVERY large race) and no issues with the course. Actually, the 10k and the 15k used fairly similar courses. Both started and ended at Civic Center park so if you live near the Lightrail lines, it is really easy and convenient to get to the starting line. The corrals were well-organized, the medals are both great, and the Expos were pretty decent. I got a new pair of Brooks at the Rock and Roll expo because there was a discount if you test drove a RAV4. I was planning to test drive a RAV4 anyway so hey, bonus. (I bought Brooks Ariels, if you’re wondering).

I looked like crap by the end but it was fun!

I looked like crap by the end but it was fun!

One thing that, for me, puts Hot Chocolate ahead of Rock and Roll is the free race photos. Rock and Roll uses the evil empire (Marathonfoto) so you have to sell your firstborn and a kidney for three photos. Hot Chocolate they were included, along with an awesome medal and a hoodie that is also great but unfortunately has a really weird chemical smell? I’ve washed it 4x and it STILL smells weird.

Rock and Roll included a very nice, very Colorado tech shirt that I really like but I just always seem to wear tank tops when I run, unless it is winter, then I wear long sleeves.

Also there was chocolate fondue at the end of the Hot Chocolate. Need I say more?

Race Recap 2015: Bolder Boulder 10k

This is going to be a short one because literally everyone has run this race. And if you haven’t run it, you should. It is fun, slightly chaotic, well-managed, and just generally a good time. This was my first year running it, and while I had to miss part of Denver Comic Con, it was totally worth it. There was live music all along the course, the waves were well-marked, and there were plenty of portajohns. Packet pickup was the easiest ever since there were locations all over the city. The t-shirts are fantastic and I’m regretting not getting some kind of Sea Level is for Sissies merch (a hat or new sweatband would have been good).

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My mom and I got my dad to drop us off so we wouldn’t have to fight parking, and we walked about a half mile to the starting line to meet up with our wave (PF). They sent us off pretty much right on the dot of when they said they would. The course is mildly hilly and goes through a lot of suburban areas, but because it is Boulder the views are awesome and tons of people were out bbqing and cheering and hollering, since it was also Memorial day.

Two things were a bit disappointing: Buffs stadium is under construction right now so that was less than thrilling as we climbed to the finish line, and they ran out of beer for the later racers! But other than that not bad, and the sample bags had plenty of food. The photos were free, but they weren’t individual ones, just big group shots, which is fine. They are decent quality so they’re easy to crop down. I didn’t set a PR since we had to stop to pee and the course was crowded, but who cares we had a great time.

My time: 1:40