Saturday, December 30, 2006

buzzed

So let's say you go out for an evening, and your blood alcohol level is definitely above .10.

Now let's say there is a mosquito that has been terrorizing you for a while.

One plus two equals a drunk mosquito. Who loses all gumption and instead of going back to his hiding place pops a squat on the wall a food from my head. In my hangover haze I reach out to squish the small spot I see on the wall and POP goes my blood.

New method of pest removal, getting them buzzed. Saweet.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

radio silent

Sometimes I just don't call. Or write. Already I'm infamous for not calling back, but sometimes I cut off all communication altogether for a while. Kzoo Jen says I go “radio silent”.

I don't know why I haven't felt like blogging. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe work is draining. Maybe instead of stopping running after the marathon I've stopped pontificating. Don't know.

You can be sure I'll eventually get back into my old stride. If anything the fact I have kept this thing going for two years already speaks to this being part of my nature, a kind of natural outlet.

In the meantime, I'm totally stoked about my new years party! In Detroit back in the day I threw one or two successful ones. What is better than spending quality time with some of the most amazing people I know? No better way to ring in a new year. Period. And I'm so grateful that I can be the happy host and treat the people in my life to this shebang. Sugar momma for a night before I start saving for my next life path. Whatever that path may be.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

TCB

Guess who's going back to Graceland...more commentary to come.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

christmas eve

Not going back to Michigan for the holidays, here is a taste of how my time is being spent:

Thursday, December 21, 2006

muggle watch

No release date yet, but the next Harry Potter will be titled:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

You may return to your regular programming.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

spreading holiday love

Here is an old post reheated for some fresh holiday cheer. Have a good one!!

Okay, time to take it down a notch. How about a good xmas story?

Reader, you may be unaware of this, but I was a Santa’s Helper for three years running. In a mall, of course. I did grow up in suburbia, after all.

This is humorous in that I really don't have a liking for children. I don't necessarily dislike them perse, they just aren't my thing. Thus, my employment as a Santa’s helper was pretty much a nice seasonal gig for some extra moola.

I started being a Santa’s helper when I was 21. Old enough to drink and vote, and pretty much old enough to have quite the cynical eye about what was going on.

There was the Santa Claus who worked there every year. He had been doing it for fifteen years, mostly for the happiness it brought the children. He was pleasant enough, though mildly lecherous behind the scenes. At least once a night he would offer me a "ride in his sleigh, ho ho ho".

Then there was the Santa Claus who had just gotten out of the navy. The ink was still fresh on his tattoos below the Santa suit. We went on a couple of dates, but I was a bit put off because this Santa was more interested in the naughty girls - if you know what I mean - wink wink nudge nudge. Yes, I was rather a prude once upon a time. Hard to believe now, but back to my story.

My favorite was the Santa who had an electronic tether on his ankle. You know, an at home prison monitoring system. He was allowed to get groceries and go to work, but that was it. I don't know what he was convicted of, but he did not have wandering hands so I'm thinking it wasn't necessarily bad for him to be around children. Just funny in that who would think your local Santa was a convict? Not a bad idea to ask around about that kind of thing, huh?

Santa had a pretty crappy job. Parents waited with eager children for over an hour for their chance to chat with that jolly figure.

An hour in line with sugar and toy crazy children could wear down a saint, and most parents when they got to the end were pretty much at the end of their rope.

There is a little known fact that there is a five foot force field that surrounds most Santa Clauses. It is not detectable by adults, but when a child crosses it they experience an unbelievable amount of terror and freeze on the spot. Thus the child not only tends to scream, cry, and flail in fear at Santa, but quite often pees on him as well.

When a child would pee on Santa what would we do? Why, put the kids on the other knee, of course. Santa got to change only when both legs got wet.

So now you have the terrified child crying horribly on Santa’s lap, and an exhausted parent who waited for an hour for this glorious moment to be recorded forever by photograph or video. (No DVD yet, this was some time ago.) The parent would not give in lightly, Santa had to keep each crying child on his lap for at least five minutes while we tried in vain to get a smile, grin, or at least a calm look for the photograph.

I became very good at the line "Can we just take the picture now? I promise some day when he/she is all grown up you will look at this picture and laugh..."

I offered to work the register a lot.

When you worked the video camera you got the best insight of all, because Santa wore a microphone. I overheard all kinds of requests for puppies, bikes, skateboards, and video games. But a few wishes stick out in my mind.

I remember the little girl who told Santa that she did not want any toys this year, she just wanted Santa to help her dad find a job.

Or the little boy who wished that Santa would deliver a gift to his little sister; he didn't need anything - he just could not bear to see her get let down.

Or the little boy who wished that his mother would get over her cancer.

These things really happened. The christmas spirt really does exist. There is kindness and generosity in this word, and children can be beautiful, gentle, and pure.

When you are Santa, how do you respond? You only have a minute to reply.

The Santas were pretty good, they would say something like "I'll do the best I can, but this is something that I don't know if I or the elves can really do anything about. You have been very good all year, keep praying and we will try our best."

The children believed that Santa would try, and that is what really counted.

The amazing thing is that the children had no idea how much they had given to us. Faith in humankind is hard to come by.

On that note, I wish you and yours a safe, merry, and happy christmas. And a hope that we all can believe that Santa Claus will continue to try.

(originally posted 12/25/04)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

feed me

I would like to introduce you to Seymour:



Seymour is a dionaea muscipula, more commonly known as a venus flytrap.



See, I asked my sister for a fly swatter for Xmas. Because I have a house fly that has been living with me for a month. Really. I actually talk to him at this point. The conversation goes like this

"Bzzzz" *fly by*

"Damn you! Stupid bastard fly!"

Attempt to murder Mr. Fly.

Failure to murder Mr. Fly

"Bzzzzz" *victory lap fly by*

Me shaking my fist in the air "damn you, damn you to hell!"

Yes, I really do shake my fist at the fly. You would too, trust me. Hopefully my natural way to assassinate the bastard will work. Good start to the Xmas gifting, is it not?

****************

On another fun note, eBay totally did work. Sold my desk for $72 and someone picked it up this morning. My apartment actually looks twice as big. I can fit at least five people (standing) in the newly vacated space. Just in time for the new years party. Saweet.

It was so easy and went so smoothly I'm actually thinking of other things to sell. I'll definitely unload my futon that way whenever I end up getting a new couch. Which will happen AFTER new years, as said couch need not be destroyed within a week of purchase. Not that I don't damage or destroy everything I own, but I would like to go a month. Is that too much to ask?

***************

This last bit I have been going back and forth in my mind deciding whether to post or not. If I use enough code it should work, so here we go.

Every Friday at work I chair a meeting. Yesterday as I went to enter the conference room three people were in it. They all looked familiar, but one not from the job. It took me about ten seconds to realize that this person was one of the top 20 most famous bloggers out there who I happen to read almost every day, and I had recognized this person from photos on the blog. Blogger celebrity sighting!!

Of course being me I said something - confirmed identity and mentioned that I am a big fan, love the sight. This person seemed less than happy, so I even tried to make a joke to lighten the mood. Making them leave the conference room shouldn't be that big of a deal, should it?

After the meeting I went to catch up on the blog. The reason for the discomfort? Heh, seemed that my company had sued this person, and even though still kind of stuck doing business with us there was general worry mentioned on the blog that my company was reading the site to monitor for more legal action. By being all friendly I was helping to realize this person's fears. That I was some spy that would be causing her future trouble.

Dammit.

What went to being really awesome became terrible. I sent this person an email explaining that I was of no harm and offering my services to navigate the corporate landscape. But if in their position would you believe me? Hard to do, I'm sure.

*******************

Finally, I may not be out taking part but the Santa Pub Crawl still totally rocks!!




Holiday cheer is best served with alcohol, need I say more?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

celibrations

I have my work holiday party tonight. I love free alcohol. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

too cool

Okay, so maybe I'm getting addicted to you tube. But you will indulge me my vices once you watch this...



(iTunes has a version for purchase with much better resolution. But that costs money and stuff.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

clearing out

Some things you just can't give away.

No, really.

I decided to buy myself some grown up furniture. You know, anything but my futon. Big step, I know. Especially with the whole grad school thing still in my head. It doesn't have to be a lot of furniture. Just something comfy for my poor aging back. All the running wears a girl down.

But I digress. As part of my move I am trying to unload my desk. With the laptop I don't need it. Just a file box and it is replaced and I have more space in my apartment. Saweet.

So I go to eBay, start the bidding at a dollar. Solid cherry wood desk with chair. Admittedly it has a scratch or two, but someone has to want it, right? So far one bid for the dollar. In four days. Seriously.

Guess the whole having to arrange their own pickup to carry it down the five flights of stairs may be a deterrent.

Whatever. Wimps.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

true holiday cheer

As you may remember, the annual drunken santa pub-crawl is one of my most favoritest things to see every year. All that drunken holiday joviality just gives me a nice warm feeling deep down inside.

But you know what? Enough of just standing on the sidelines, I want in! Who's with me?!?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

passions

After my completion the marathon everyone wants to know one thing.

Am I still running?

Marathons seem to often produce running burnout. All that time and energy for so many months leading up to the pinnacle of physical torture. Not so surprising that people pull back from the sport and run the other way.

Pun totally intentional.

Me? Still jogging. Thing is I love the sport even more. That is what is amazing.

See during training all you do is push yourself farther than you have ever gone before, and then once you accomplish that you push yourself farther again and again...basically you are always striving for an ideal that you really don't know if you can make.

Now running is about seeing what I can do as a normal person, not a superhero. For example I signed up for a 10K this weekend, so this past Sunday I ran six miles just to prep. Since the marathon the longest run I have done has been three miles. Guess what - doing the six was no problem. I felt good, healthy, motivated.

Oh riiiiight, the way you are supposed to feel after exercising. Not broken and bruised.

I'm so happy that I love running even more now. That I feel stronger and better at the sport. This 10K is going to rock!!

And no, I still don't want to ever run another marathon ever again. I'll stick with nothing longer than 13 miles thank you very much.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

easy fun

Just because obviously regular sex wasn't interesting enough on its own.

Personally I'd like to see one of those as a muppet. Just because I am twisted in that special, special way.

Monday, December 04, 2006

xmas music

My latest favorite Christmas Song, hands down.

Oh, and a quick shout out to the Black Friday party hosted by La la la and Marathon Man. Once you listen you'll know...

Links will only work with iTunes. If you don't have - sorry loser.

choices

This morning, like any other, I was listening to NPR as I was getting ready for work. At one point I completely stopped my routine to listen when I heard a woman say:

"I believe I always have a choice. No matter what. I have a choice."

The woman who was speaking is a writer diagnosed with ALS - most commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. She has already lost the ability to use her hands to write, and slowly she will lose more and more of her bodily functions until eventually she loses the ability to breathe on her own, and then even her life.

One of the hardest challenges for her orginally was that she was a self-declared "fiercely independent and private person". It was completely against her nature to accept help let alone ask for it.

Instead of losing her livelihood, she dug down and took a year to teach herself how to use voice recognition software. Which she said was incredibly difficult but has allowed her to continue to write. Now she writes more than she ever did.

Likewise Instead of giving up and becoming isolated and alone, she learned that relying on her friends and family was not only the worst thing in the world, but has made her life sweeter and richer.

We all succumb to helplessness once and a while. We can feel unaccomplished, lost, or like failures.

Maybe, just maybe, we can recognize where we stand is a direct result of choices we have made. And then make some new ones. I'm not saying we choose to be sick or to have bad things happen to us. But we do chose what to make of them.

At some point I chose to run the NYC Marathon. That may seem like one decision, but I had to choose many times along the way to continue on that goal. Every single Saturday morning for four months I chose to wake my sorry ass up early in the morning and do a long run. I chose a couple of hours of discomfort because it was more important to me to be a person who had conquered a marathon.

Next time I find myself complaining about something I simply need to think of Catherine Royce, the woman with courage enough to still accept that she has a choice. That she always has one.

Or if that is just too darn sappy for you, I could quote the movie Trainspotting:

”Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future.
Choose life.”

Sunday, December 03, 2006

holidays

Oh yes, it is that time of year. The time where we have our annual Petey Holiday Party.. Friends getting drunk, exchanging secret santa gifts, and laughing an awful lot.

So much fun, yay!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

seattle girl

I'm not a big family person. Now as far as siblings go I totally lucked out with the sister, and that rocks. I have some cool cousins and whatnot, but by nature I don't go to blood first. My family is not defined by DNA.

Take for example Seattle Girl.

She is not from Seattle at all, she just happens to live there now. We became friends through work.

Granted, I have had a lot of jobs and have made a lot of friends that way. (Yes all of you, proof positive)

Each one of my friends are unique and the stories even more so. Seattle Girl started at the mighty bird a month after me. The difference? Oh, let's see...I was a brand new assistant starting in the publishing world with all these weird jobs under my belt, and she was ten years rich in the publishing world having taken a good part of the previous year off to backpack across Europe.

To me at first she seemed pretty distant, but everyone at a senior level was.

Now of course RFW started the job five months later, and did not understand that kind of social striation. She was better at bridging the class lines of the job, inviting our bosses out to our social functions and whatnot. Still Seattle Girl was not always available to hang, be it from her own social obligations or her fear of our low level worker inappropriate behavior.

Over time I worked harder, and got promoted. Over time I would just stop by Seattle Girl's office to talk. Not just because I enjoyed it, but because I thought she was cool and stuff and wanted to help her de-stress from her job. I knew I could do her that much, if nothing else.

I sound so nice, but often I stopped by to talk because she is really fun to talk to in general. She is neat and stuff. Anyhoo, back to the story.

Then over time once and a while she would stop by my office to talk. It wasn’t just me reaching out, to help her; it was her reaching out and then also opening up in a reciprocal fashion. We were able to become friends when we realized that work would never be an issue. I would never do anything with work that would put our friendship in any jeopardy.

Looking back now I realize how hard this must have been for her. I mean, I was a subordinate, her getting too close could be so much trouble, what if I was a lazy ass or just screwed up, or hell just didn't work very hard. Luckily for me I would never put my friend in a bad position. Never would I go home early if I thought she would have to pick up where I left off. In general I am a workaholic and care too much about what I do, but if I even thought for a moment that I was putting a friend out because I didn't do enough? No way.

Because we were friends I would work even harder to make sure that there was no way that I was taking advantage professionally of our friendship, and was working to prove that more even than I was working to prove I was a good worker. Being friends with her made me a better employee and made me a million times better of a worker. Because I could never let work get in the way of a friendship, work is easy and good friends are rare.

Best part - I totally won in that deal. Seattle Girl is an amazing person. She is incredibly smart, witty, and selfless. Oh, and tough and strong and cool too.

This is where I am so lucky. Seattle Girl is one of those people that I find amazing and inspirational. She is the kind of girl who can hang and chill in a large group of people, keeping everyone at ease, or take any one individual person and make them feel like the most important person in the world. All of this and think nothing of it. She is a master at making other people like themselves, and if there were more people out here like her world peace would be a graspable concept instead of a pipe dream.

Most amazingly she is one of the most empathetic people I have ever known. She really cares, really looks into other people’s lives, and tries to understand their experiences. This is an absolutely amazing ability for any person who has lived in NYC for over five years. And she had not lost a bit, had it down pat. She is the kind of person who will immediately discount her own pain in favor of another’s.

There are a million tiny particles that bind us together as friends that I cannot define. All I know is no matter what time or distance comes between us I am sure that we are friends and that is something that is constant. This is someone who I know and trust.

That is not something I do lightly.

Thus no matter what time or distance may pass, this is someone I call family.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

easily influenced

As of late I have been on a Scrubs kick.  Not the clothing, the TV show.  So far I am on Season 3, gotta love that Netflix! 

 

Really I am in love with the show all over again.  Quick moving intelligent humor with just enough slapstick to keep it light.  Or maybe it is because I am a super geek and relate to the geek characters.  That could be it.

 

One interesting side effect of watching the show is that they often highlight music.  And I end up buying it.  Like the acoustic version of Overkill by Colin Hay.  Awesome.  Just plain awesome.

 

Last night as I was watching season 3 disc 1 Zack Braff’s character JD suggested a Journey cover band for a wedding.  He got teased, then he got defensive, downplaying his love of the band.  Then the Donald Faison character Turk whispered-sang into JD’s ear:

 

Just a small-town girl

Livin’ in a lonely world

She took the midnight train

Going anywhere...

 

And of course because no one can resist the Journey JD immediately stood up and without reserve sang back:

 

Just a city boy

Born and raised in south Detroit

He took the midnight train

Going anywhere…

 

And subsequently admitted that indeed, Journey does rock.

 

So what do I do?  This morning I stopped myself from leaving my house to buy, download to Mackie, and upload to the ipod…Journey’s greatest hits.  And I’ll be damned if I haven’t been listening all morning and grinning like an idiot from ear to ear.  Which is totally normal to see, a New Yorker walking to work smiling.  We all do that.

 

In case you didn’t realize, goddamn it Scrubs is right.  Journey just rocks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

vampires

For a bit I was worried I had the bedbugs again. But no no no, just one really really ravenous mosquito.

He has been spotted several times, and has evaded every swat and flail. There is just something so wrong about being eaten alive by one damn bug over and over in the frickin fall.

How do you catch and kill one of these buggers? Aren't they supposed to only live for a day or two? Somebody lied. This jerk is striving for longevity.

Vengeance will be mine. Well, either that or west nile.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

living space

Isn't it amazing how incredibly difficult it is to rent an apartment in NYC. I'm so lucky to have a great space in a great location.

Knock on wood and all.

I've been in this apartment on my own for over two years now. Every morning as I leave my apartment I actually turn back to look in and feel a swelling of pride.

But I think that my love of my apartment has thrown a wrench in my social life. Because I LOVE to come home. In my life when I didn't much feel like going home for a myriad of reasons I could be out on the town up to five nights a week. That kind of life was full of adventure, socialization, and tons of fun.

Being comfortable and safe is the enemy of extra curricular activities. Who knew?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

just gotta

Obligatory post on being thankful on thanksgiving.

I am thankful that I did not have to to a god damn thing today. No cooking, no getting up early for a parade, no family obligation, nada. I read a book and watched a ton of Firefly episodes.

Awesome.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

music

Tonight I had to leave work by a certain time. Not because of a workout or a certain appointment.

Because by god I had a concert to attend.

There is this band that I have been digging on for awhile, Rise Against. I'm into punk rock an all, and dig the bands when they are still Warped Tour big, you know. (May stem from my everlove of Bad Religion, but whatev)

So tonight I did my regular and worked past hours. At some point I finished up my stuff and headed to the Roseland.

Yeah, I was a bit worried that I missed my band. Doors opened at 5:45. I finished work at 8:15. But see I'm a lucky bastard. I walked in, checked my coat, bag, and professional uniform looking sweater and the band started.

How lucky am I??

I had forgotten how awesome it is to see a live band. All you bastards who go home at night and relax to the TV WAKE UP. Go out and see something, anything live. It reminds you that you are ethereal, it is amazing.

Needless to say I enjoyed the concert.

A while in, they mentioned they had three songs left. "Yeah right" I muttered. Three plus encore, whatever. To top it off is was early in the evening. We'll see.

Then they finished their "last song".

And the lights came on

There were no encore cheers. No one tried. People walked away from the stage.

Um, it only had lasted an hour. With no encores. And it was 9:20.

Holy mother of god they were the OPENING BAND.

...

Yup. The band I have been longing to see for months is the opener. And the lead? I don't give a damn.

By the way, Rise Against totally rocked. I loved every moment and would not take a bit back. Honestly it works out better for me that I got to go home a little bit earlier in the evening. You know, because of all the need to think the next day and stuff.

The real kicker is that this is the second time this has happened to me. The previous when I saw Liz Phair and Jason Mraz. I thought Liz would have been the lead...but no.

Correct, I am the girl now who shows up for the openers. And I love every moment dammit.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

sleep and happiness

Again I spent the whole weekend sleeping. Well, at least I did after working until ten Friday night then drinking with RFW until two thirty.

So the weekend wasn't an entire loss.

I have been dreaming a lot lately. The weird thing is ALL of them contain some reference to running. The most interesting being the ones involving marathons and one with my sister running her first race with me. None of them are literal, and from what I can tell they all speak to feeling unprepared for something.

It seems that finally I have shaken the waitress nightmares and they have been replaced with running ones. Interesting. Of course I still really enjoy running. Heck, I still enjoyed waiting tables for a long time after I had started having server nightmares.

But back to the sleeping thing. I think it is time for my annual two week fast; this exhaustion is just crazy to deal with when I'm not doing anything to cause it. No training, no long runs, no sickness. Just time for a cleanse is all. Problem is figuring out when I can do this, with the holidays approaching. Tricky, very very tricky. Whatever it takes so I can have energy to do things on the weekend. Like xmas shop for example.

On a more interesting note, I stumbled across this article on happiness the other day and have been unable to stop talking about it.

Already it has crossed my mind more than once that we as part of our American culture are a little too concerned with finding happiness. Looking for the perfect career, the perfect lover, the perfect life. Having goals and dreams is indeed important, but if you forsake the journey for the end you miss so much. Maybe there is even the risk of missing the best part.

For example, when you think back to the good times you had in high school or college, really list off the best times, how quickly does the end where you got your degree or diploma surface? Are you thankful for those years because of the job you have now as a result of the degree? What makes your life now any different than then?

The bright side disease rears its ugly head again. By nature I find joy almost every day, and am happy. Even will in my next career. Whatever and whenever that will be.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

joker pt 2

Success!! Totally got my sister with the prank.

See, when she was out here to view me running the marathon she used my computer a bit. After she left I went on to my netflix...and was logged on as her.

Oh, the temptation was too strong.

So I made sure to put some really good movies in her queue.

Loser
The Biggest Loser
Loser Love
Born Losers
The Losers

You get the idea. Best part is movies got sent before she discovered my mischief. Thus, the prank worked.

She says that she will get me back. She doesn't know how and she doesn't know when.

Doubtful. Very very doubtful, just let her try.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

joker

Do you know how long it has been since I played a really good prank on someone??

Too long.

But not to worry my loyal readers! I have just laid out the perfect gag on my unsuspecting sister and bro in law. The plan is in motion, soon to pop...

(And as you can now see my sis doesn't read this often enough to foil my evil plan. Bwa ha ha ha!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

movie love

Saw Stranger Than Fiction yesterday. It was just delightful. Honestly, it just plain made me happy. Beautifully done from start to finish. Really I can't say it better than pajiba though, so just read him while I nod my head up and down vigorously in agreement.

Then I snuck into Flushed Away, the movie that was animated to look like claymation. Huh. It was fun. Not bad, kind of a slapstick rip-roaring ride kind of entertainment. It was hard to change gears after the inner joy of Stranger Than Fiction but it did the job.

Today I'm TOTALLY stoked though. Because finally there is a whole goddamn trailer for this movie. They have been tease-trailering me long enough!!

germs

Today is flu shot day. Is it safe to get a flu shot if you already have a cold? I'm almost better.

Almost.

Last time I got a flu shot I became deathly ill. Okay, not deathly ill, just came down with the killer flu. But I also got almost no sleep for three days after the shot, so go figure.

Course last year I didn't get the flu shot and came down with pneumonia. Hmmmmm.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

all growed up

You know you are grown up when you will go to work sick but won't go to the bar sick. It used to be the other way around. Or hell, do both.

I am in my fifth year living in the Times Square/Hell's Kitchen area. Every year I am invited to go on a kick-ass Hell's Kitchen pub-crawl. Every year I can't go for one reason or another.

At least I can say it is a relief that it is only a cold that keeps me away. No pneumonia or tummy troubles.

But still, rockstar wants to come out to play. I just got my life back from the marathon training!

Guess I’ll just have to make up for it at all the upcoming holiday celebrations. Heh heh.

Friday, November 10, 2006

deja vu

I was just told now in the new job "dress for the job you want not the job you have." Indirectly, in a group of four listeners.

This still holds for 'casual' fridays.

*sigh*

Thursday, November 09, 2006

not again

Sick again. Twice in three weeks. Only a solid head cold this time, no fever or excessive sleepiness.

I blame the kids. The cute ones handing out water cups at the marathon. Kids carry germs, my immune system was weak. Damn cute kids. Damn them and their germ ridden hands. Damn them to hell.

Okay, maybe I'm not sick enough to really damn them to hell. Maybe damn them to slicing a lemon with a paper-cut then.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

little changes

People say running a marathon changes you. Pretty much except for the soreness I seem the same, although I have noticed one thing.

That I have a choice to consider.

See, at some point on Sunday I started to wonder why in the world I had voluntarily subjected myself to such a masochistic experience. Not only signed up for that torture, but trained with blood, sweat, and tears to get there.

Is there anything you have worked really hard towards in your life that just sucked when you got there? A vacation, a place to live, a job, a career, a significant other? Do you stick with it? Why?

I know why I stuck with the marathon. I had made a commitment. Not just to myself, but to all the people that I talked to about the damn thing.

But it wasn't just for that; it was also that I had to prove a point, just to myself. I'm still not sure what that point was now that I finished. I had an idea before I ran, but the event itself blurred the reasoning, made it obsolete. Fortunately for me that point only lasted just over five hours.

Now my old motivations are rejiggered. I work a really stressful job to make money to be able to afford my next step, whatever that step is. But what do I accomplish by really working this hard? Who am I proving myself to? I can't remember anymore.

You have a choice about who and what you want to be. Well maybe, maybe not. Really I think you really have a choice about what defines you. If like me you allow yourself to be consumed by work you become defined by it. If you allow yourself to be consumed by materialism you are defined by that, and so on.

I think I'd like to be defined as...

Monday, November 06, 2006

ING NYC marathon 2006

This is going to be a long one, so hope you have your reading glasses.

Why do people run marathons? What is it that makes people want to participate in a sport that is primarily pain management? Even more importantly, why the heck did I want to do it? It isn't like I was a runner before a few years ago. If I played sports it was for fun, competition, camaraderie, none of this endurance stuff.

Whatever internal drive that had been pushing me for this past year me came to fruition yesterday. I woke up at 4am, pulled myself together and went to the marathon shuttle bus. Uneventfully I arrived in Staten Island at 6:30 and waited for the race to start at 10:10. Calm and patient, waiting to see what the day would bring.

The time was nigh, I found the 4:30 pace group, and we were off. Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day somewhere around 50 degrees, I couldn't have wished for better. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge offered a spectacular view.

For the first ten miles I stayed with the pace group no problem. My stride was great, breathing felt good, legs felt strong.

But I really really had to pee. In all my long runs I that I have done never had I had this problem. But I worried about the stress to by body and kidneys. Worried because I had no idea if there would be any bad side effects if I didn't go.

So I left the pace group and waited in line at the next bathroom stop. (Every mile or so they have port-a-potties for runners to use). Bad timing, the next stop had no waiting dammit.

When I made the decision to pee I also decided at that exact moment that my race time did not matter to me. Only finishing did. Having evacuated my bladder I got back on track....and got a kick ass stitch in my side. Drat. It hit me so hard that I actually ended up walking up the Pulaski Bridge to the halfway mark.

It is funny, I can remember seeing at one point that I had run about an hour and a half then thinking to myself "only three hours of this to go", then mentally shaking my head. Why did I want to do this again?

The nice part about getting past the first half was that I knew I had friends and loved ones staged along what distance there was left. It was so great to know that people were looking for me to cheer me on. My only real worry was that since I was so far behind my pace group they would think that they missed seeing me and give up, I felt badly that I wasn't easier to find.

At mile fifteen the first group found me, with these in hand:


That would be from left to right La La La, Spaghetti, Gerf, and RFW, with Marathon Man and/or RRR taking the photo. They were waiting for me right at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge, which I think makes the "Bridge Rocks" sign a little funnier. Seeing these guys really did give me a boost, got more stride back into the legs.

They caught a couple of pics of me as well:



(Note the logo on my shirt-totally created by Scho! Doesn't it look awesome?!?)

To top it off my sister and brother in law were on the other side of the bridge in Manhattan! Which is good because that bridge is a bitch to go over, and another boost was great.

Running up First Avenue was as inspirational as everyone tells you. There are so many people, and having them read my shirt and scream "go rockstar!" or "all right rockstar, way to go!" was absolutely amazing. I mean, they really meant it, they wanted me to keep going!

The rest of my race really was me looking forward to seeing my friends. Petey and her bfriend S-man were at mile seventeen, Ctina was at mile 23, Petey and S-man again at 24, Meg Kefel, SN , and Dre at 25, and finally my sis and bro in law were in the finish line bleachers. Every step I made was to see them all and to finish the goddamn thing.

As the race went on I definitely got slower, and I ended up walking more than I would have liked. My heart rate got too high a couple times and I really needed to let it calm down. Somewhere after mile 20 my legs stopped feeling any pain or anything. They just were numb, which was fine. Really the only thing that kept me slow more than my pee break or stitch was my cardio. Healthy enough to go 26.2, but not too fast.

The last three miles of the marathon were pure unadulterated hell. There were a handful of thoughts repeating through my head:

"Mother of god there is no way in hell I am ever doing this again"
"Just a little farther, just a little farther"
"Why uphill? Why why why?"
"God I need a beer"

Then I was there, entering the park again for the last few feet. I passed the damn 26-mile mark and cursed the marathon people for taunting me with the extra .2. Bastards.

I dug down deep and pulled out a good sprint for the end, saw Katie and Scho screaming their heads off for me, then crossed the finish line trying desperately not to puke. Fortunately I did not toss my cookies and walked through to return my chip and get my heat sheet.

Afterwards I got to meet up at the House of Brews with all my cheering squads.








I've got to say a thank you at this point to my virtual supporters! Seattle girl with Microsoft guy, Ali girl and Fish, Stabile family, parents, Kzoo Jen, Jensniffer, Jess, and all you other wonderful people who have been behind me all the way. Really all your encouraging words helped me along as well. Even though it would seem you are alone when you do something like this really you aren’t.

Everyone asks now if I will do it again. Run another marathon.

My first reaction is HELL NO. Being in motion for 5:04:33 was not fun, it was torture. Torture that was completely voluntary. I have enjoyed running half marathons, and I had even enjoyed running the 18-mile tune up. But this? This was hard.

Maybe I could change my mind, maybe the memory of the long training or the pain will pass and I will want to push my self to that limit again. It could happen, but right now I just don’t see it.

Oh, but the best part is I don’t have to run a marathon in the future. You know why?

Because I've already done it. Booya!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

one day

I have moved from denial to disbelief. What the hell was I thinking??? Run 26.2 miles???

Too late to turn back now...

Friday, November 03, 2006

t-minus 48 hours

Some more fun deets:

My bib number is 30396. If you go here and click on the "Marathon Time Calculator" link there is a spreadsheet that will give you a breakdown of where I'll be when. It also has a map of the course with subway stops listed next to it.

Happiest news of all - Mackie is fixed!! I'll pick him up today and then upload pics of what I'll be wearing. Black tights, grey shirt, white baseball cap with orange detailing.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

bit by bit

Have I mentioned that I miss Mackie my macbook? I hate blogging from work.

Let me clarify - I hate staying this late to work and then having to stay longer to blog instead of doing so in the comfort of my home. With a tasty beverage in hand.

As we approach the big day I have another tidbit for this Sunday! An online pace guide that gives a rough idea of where I'll be when.

Now, understand my GOAL is to finish the marathon. And live to tell the tale. My HOPE is that I can finish it in 4:30, which would put me at a 10:20 minute mile. But I could be slower. It could happen.

This being said I am going to sign up for the 4:30 pace team - so by using the chart and by looking for the nice pace leader with balloons it should be easier to find me, as I should not be more than ten minutes behind him/her. (Knock on wood!)

More importantly than you finding me there is the question of me finding you. There are 37,000 of us running and 2 million of you watching. So if you are planning to cheer me on let me know where you will be and I will keep my eyes peeled for you.

Tomorrow I'll post my bib number and fun stuff after I go to the Expo to pick up my stuff. (Are those butterflies in my stomach? Oooooh doggie!)

3 days 22 hours

I'm in denial.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

distance

How much fun is technology? For those of you who can't make the trip to see me run the marathon in person you can pay a mere five dollars and watch me live online using the "RunnerCam".

Because everyone wants to watch me sweating and panting, don't they???

(Bib number to come in case you want to sign up.)

Monday, October 30, 2006

fish out of water

Mackie the macbook has been a little under the weather, nothing bad just some slight bad plastic.  Discoloration of the orange variety.  I love the color orange, but on a white macbook it just looks dirty.

 

So I walked my happy little self to the apple store for a fix.  Of course somehow it never occurred to me that Mackie and I would have to be parted for a bit.  A bit being several days.

 

Mother of god I miss Mackie.  He is my main source of entertainment!  My hobby!  My means of grocery shopping and knowing daily weather!  I am lost without him.

 

This being said, just wanted to let you all know that blogging will be more of a challenge until we are reunited, but I will still get the all important “rockstar guide to viewing rockstar run the marathon” posted tomorrow or Wednesday.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

smoking

I did not start smoking because of peer pressure or to rebel against my parents. One day when I was twenty-one I just felt like it. Really it was that simple. Out of nowhere, never having tried more than a puff before, I craved a cigarette.

Then I started to crave cigarettes when I went to the bar. Next the half used pack from the night before would be in my car, and as I would invariably be drowsy I started to smoke while I drove as a wake me up. Within six months I was a full-fledged self-proclaimed smoker.

That is the key by the way, that you finally identify yourself as one, a smoker.

It is a very strong identity. Defiant in your unhealthy habit, you are aware of how horrible for you the practice is, after all people love to remind you. But where the nicotine addiction is one thing being part of the smokers club is entirely another. Guaranteed there is no faster way to make friends anywhere than to smoke. Because all smokers are friends, period. Being forced to step outside in a small designated area, braving the elements, people bond. The need to bum a light or even a smoke also breeds community.

Around the age of 27 I was dating a non-smoker so I decided to quit. I said it was for me but no way. I loved smoking. I loved how people were surprised that I was a smoker. I loved taking a break to breathe. I loved the rush of energy it gave me. I loved being in the smokers club.

Needless to say quitting didn't quite stick. Once a month or so I would end up buying a pack while at the bar with friends. Or I would sneak one here or there. Mostly I was smoke free, but I still defined myself as a smoker who had quit.

Then I moved to New York in 2000, then the smokingest city in the U. S. of A. And I got right back on that wagon, full time smoker once again, about a half pack a day - if I didn't go to the bar. If I went to the bar a pack to a pack and a half.

Of course in 2003 NYC adopted the smoking ban, which admittedly made it more challenging to smoke. As natural as it was to have a beer in one hand and a cigarette in another it was to be no more, smokers had to put their drink down and go outside. There was a lot of bitching and moaning, but knowing that the law was most likely not going to be reversed I just acquiesced and went with it.

In October of 2003 one of my friends who also was a smoker quit by reading a book. And she lent it to me to read. I figured what the heck? Couldn't hurt. I in no way believed it would work, how could a book make you quit smoking?

So I started to read, even though I still absolutely loved smoking and honestly didn't want to quit.

The weird thing is that as I started to read the book I was actually afraid. I could feel it in my bones, and I was genuinely surprised to be feeling fear of all things. But I read on.

Of course the craziest thing happened - it worked. Yes, I actually quit smoking by reading a book. Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Maybe it had subliminal messaging or hypnosis, who knows. Interestingly it isn't available on the US Amazon, only the UK.

I had become a non-smoker. An identity from long before that had gotten lost was regained.

From that point every three months or so I would bum a smoke from someone while at the bar. But it wasn't like before, I didn't crave it the next day. In February of this year I had three one night and felt it the next day - in my early marathon training. That put the last nail in the coffin of cigarettes for me. I had worked too long and too hard to get my sorry ass to qualify for the marathon, no way was I going to let a stupid old habit give me any kind of handicap.

Haven't smoked since.

Amazing, isn't it? A ten-year habit cured by a book, self-identity, and a 26.2-mile race.

Friday, October 27, 2006

clockwork

Huh, guess I'm not the only marathoner in training to catch a bug. They went and made the issue a daily tip.

That does make me feel a bit better, being in such good shape I thought I would be less likely to fall ill, not more likely. I stayed home for two days and then skipped out on a friend's bday party tonight just to give myself a chance to beat this thing.

Just in case you didn't realize, the countdown is now in single digits. Crazy huh?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

viral

Over the weekend I felt a little scratch in my throat. Did the rest thing, did the vitamin c thing, felt better.

Last night the virus came back full force at six-thirty. Gangbusters. I came home and crawled into bed, then woke up this morning and called out sick.

Don't get me wrong; I have had way worse bugs than this. But my problem is that I never gauge my illnesses correctly. Last time I was sick and thought I was better I ended up with pneumonia. So less than two weeks from my big race I am not going to overlook or discount anything. New job or not.

I will not be stopped. I am woman hear me roar. Or sniffle...

Monday, October 23, 2006

relief

For the first time since the first week I started this job I am completely caught up on emails DURING THE WORKDAY.

I don't think you people understand how amazing this is. Hooray for a full staff!!! And for me being able to get my life back again!!!

(knock on wood)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

the departed

(Don't worry, no spoilers)

Last Sunday I took a walk to my favorite theatre in the city to see The Departed. The show was sold out. Knowing that another theatre a half-mile away was showing the film as well I took the stroll over. To find out that show too was sold out.

Interesting.

Yesterday Spaghetti and I decided to see the flick. So we met in Washington Square Park and walked to a theatre in Chelsea to see the movie. Of course it was sold out. So we walked to two more theatres for more of the same. Finally realizing that we did not need to chase all over Manhattan we bought the next available showing for two hours later.

Arriving twenty minutes early to the movie the seats were already almost full. We had to sit in the third row - for just the two of us.

Um, can I just say now that it all was worth it? REALLY, this is the best movie I have seen in a very long time. Marty is back. For the first half hour I thought it was Gangs of New York reheated, but then it happened. The brilliance.

He's got the Oscar hands down. And if you don't get your sorry ass out to see this movie you suck. It really is that good. Better yet, it is so amazing that my building it up like that will not even make it less astounding for you.

Run, don't walk.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

according to plan

My body SO thinks it is smarter than me.

You would think running a kabillion miles a week and doing over 13 miles in one outing would streamline me a bit. Ooooohhh no, not me.

I was told that losing weight while training for a marathon was not going to happen. I heard that some people put on weight, especially at the end.

But this is just too much.

It seems my body had completely reshaped itself. My body has decided that since I keep running long it had better start figuring out how to carry the energy stores and water that I will need. So it worked out this new system.

All on my torso. Three inches have accumulated OUT OF NOWHERE. All my other measurements are the same. I haven't weighed myself because I swore not to until after the marathon to stave off negative feelings. Only positive for the next sixteen days thank you very much.

But three inches??? I'm like a camel. But backwards.

So I'll show my body who is boss. I'll bide my time, wait till after the marathon. And then I'm not going to just sit on my laurels and let my ass catch up to my stomach. No, I will cross train, slow and steady and get this body back to hourglass mode.

In the meantime flowy shirts seem to be the way to go.

Afternote: Seems I did not gain any inches at all. It seems when your intestines don't work the way they should and things don't move for a couple of days more space gets taken up. Let's just say I lost those inches in just a few mintues...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

sharing

Dream come true, my most favoritest radio show is now available via podcast! Run don't walk to subscribe to This American Life. You won't be sorry that you did, I swear on my purple lame' rockstar pants.

drat

Okay, so I totally ended up watching that new tv show heroes against all efforts not to. Because I'm trying to watch less tv, having gotten rid of the cable and all.

I'm hooked. Damn them, damn them to hell. They went and made the plot smart and interesting, and hired some good actors to boot.

Yes, I know they totally bit off of xmen, but it still is fun to watch. Because it is the beginning, and all the people were ordinary like five minutes ago. Always been a fan of the swan story.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

rubine

In 1995 I had gone against all convention and quit my future career of engineering, giving up a lucrative future at general motors - land of the golden handcuffs.

My new major? Psychology. My way of supporting myself? Waiting tables at a diner. I was living at Laurel Valley with Dev, somewhere between or during ownership of Lucky or Spot. And I was ready to really let loose, go wild. Die my hair RED red.

I wanted ketchup red, crazy obnoxious no way natural kind of color. This was not easy to find, I searched high and low and finally found more intense colors at the local fetish store, Noir Leather. Browsing the selection of quarter inch by quarter inch color squares I found it. Rubine.

This was going to be great. One of my good friends had a wedding the next day and I eagerly anticipated my appearance with the change from blonde to red. It was going to kick ass.

The instructions on the package said the best way to set the color was to set it using heat, like a crimping iron. It did not faze me in the least that I had to bake my hair to retain the shade. We suffer for beauty. So my good buddy kzoo jen came over with crimping iron in hand (yes she still had one in 1995, we were too cool for school) and worked away zapping the new shade into my lovely locks.

Time passed and I had to wash out the goo. Kzoo jen started to laugh, and I peeked out from under the running water long enough to see the lather was...lavender. Unfazed I thought it was a strange color to come out under water but remained confident in my choice.

Until I dried my hair and looked in a mirror. Seems my hair was not red. It was a deep deep purplish-pink. We are talking the color of barney here.

Yes, I freaked out. Mother of god I had purple hair! It was one thing to show up at a friend’s wedding with red hair, but purple could be an upstaging thing and that is just not cool. Ten shampoos later I had faded to a nice fuchsia. Yes I was pink and there to stay.

The wedding was fine; the bride was not upstaged and loved the color. Worries of the job had come to mind, but fruitlessly as my color was not offensive. It just matched the shirts we had to wear. In all honesty one kid even thought I was the real live Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Yeah, the mermaid marries the prince and then works in a diner. Awesome for her dream.

Best part of this whole thing? I grew to love the color so much I touched it up on purpose. Twice. Even better I wrote a paper on it for my social psychology class and got an A.

Some of the best things in life come from happy accidents. Whether people treated me differently because of my hair color or I expected them to, I learned a lot from having punk hair. It wasn’t on purpose but I would never take it back, not a second of it.

If you have never been forced to stand out then you are missing out. I recommend Rubine.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

piqued

Well, this is a nice alternative to the whole online dating thing.

Once before I attended a singles meet and greet party, and honestly found it refreshing. Just being there laid all your cards out on the table, you were single and looking to change that fact. People were much more likely to spark a conversation and get to know each other.

This is way better than speed dating or some such too, it is just a party. A party with benefits!

Friday, October 13, 2006

urges

I just had the overwhelming urge to make out with someone. No on in particular. The craving was for the feeling, the connection, the sensation.

It was like all of a sudden I could sense that I was missing something, and that make out session was it. I wonder if it is like the memory of a lost limb. Tactile memories of sensations gone.

Monday, October 09, 2006

booty calls

Oh this is an oldie but goodie. Do you all remember the romp?!?

I love this game! Choose your own adventure for adults! If you are anything like me it isn't just about getting to the end of the story, it is about investigating all the possible outcomes. And if there ever was a character entertaining enough to make me go through every episode, Jake sure fits the bill.

If you have never played before get ready to lose a couple of hours to Jake and his pimpdom. Don't play the latest episodes first; the level of difficulty may turn you off. Start off slow and build baby. The first ones have bad animation quality but they warm you up nicely for what is to cum.

Late!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

eighteen miles

Every morning that I wake up to do my long run the only thing that goes through my head is "are you crazy? You can't run that far, you must be insane. There is no way your sorry ass is going to do it, just give up."

This morning was no different. My alarm went off and my mind immediately went to the 18-mile 'tune up' race I was slotted to participate in. The ole’ stomach was still a little icky, so I hit snooze. Twice. Finally it stopped cramping, and I somehow got myself out of bed.

Honestly pure pride was my motivation today. This past Friday I had gone to my first department lunch and had announced that not only was I to run the marathon next month but I was to do the 18 miles today. Damn public race results keep a person honest.

Due to the snoozes I was behind on my morning schedule and then to top it off the trains were a mess. I was late for the race. I literally ran a half mile to get my number then put my bag in check and finally cross the starting line thirty seconds before the cut off. Murphy’s law this course started with Harlem Hill, My heart rate was already higher than it should have been crossing the start line, then add in a super steep incline? Yeah, way to go rockstar.

The first five miles were HORRIBLE. My stomach was still bajiggity, and because of that I was extra dehydrated. The only reason I didn't quit was I had to get around the six-mile loop at least once to be back near the baggage check. Okay, that wasn't the only reason. But it did keep me going. One foot in front of another, just keep moving and go as slow as I felt like dammit.

Then something amazing happened. I started to feel better. Also, having started ten minutes behind the pack had left me isolated and discouraged, but after five miles the leaders started to pass me on the way to their second loop, (The race was three times around the great loop of central park) Their passing me gave me company and encouragement, it was great! Best of all my stomach stopped rebelling and I felt normal again.

Told you running was good for the pipes!

The rest of the race went smoothly, and got to be more fun when I started to pass all the slow people and the runners who had cashed. At one point at mile fourteen I touched my face and felt a lot of rough granules there. It is normal to get dirty running outdoors, and especially so in central park. So I made a swipe to get off the dirt, looked at my hand and...it was white. Salt people. I had a crust of salt surrounding my face! Weird but kind of neat at the same time.

Which brings me to my super rave, I am absolutely IN LOVE with GU!!! I had tried PowerGel and it made me sick, but this stuff is like rocket fuel. I will never run more than six miles without it again. It helps with glycogen stores, sodium replenishment, oh and has my most favoritest thing ever, caffeine.

Recent studies have determined that caffeine is not a diuretic after all, and when running it actually boosts oxygen delivery and cardio efficiency. The orange flavor tastes pretty good, some people complain about the consistency but with rewards like these who cares? It helps you keep going and feel good while doing it by enabling your body to stay fueled with water, sugar, and oxygen. AWESOME.

Overall my average pace was ten seconds a mile slower than it should have been, but frankly my dear I don't give a damn. I was all out sprinting at the end, feeling great and not gasping for air. And now I know that I can indeed run the marathon, it is physically possible for me to achieve. (Knock on wood no injuries)

Oh, and when I finish the marathon, I will cry. Guaranteed.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

endurance

Okay, so I have been kind of hiding something from you all. That little lack of motivation jag wasn't just mental, it was physical too. My stomach has been troubling me again.

Not enough to put me in the hospital, not enough to retch, not enough to have to stop eating for a couple of days. Pretty much I have been experiencing some light pain and discomfort. It hasn't been every day, but probably I am feeling a little something about once a week.

I don't know why I didn't admit to this sooner, maybe because if I don't admit it is there it will go away. Or I don't want to make anyone worry, or let anyone down.

Possibly it could be caused by the stress of the new job, I know that. It also has been exactly a year since my cleansing detox fast, and as it is recommended to practice annually I am potentially overdue and feeling the effects. Maybe the new time constraints of excess work and the resulting change to my diet is causing the reaction. Heck, it could be all three of these things put together, the trifecta.

One thing for sure, running makes me feel better. The motion, getting the blood flowing, endorphins, stress relief, and even sense of accomplishment all work together and no matter what level of unrest my stomach is in that day I end up leaving the gym feeling better than when I entered. Thank heaven.

And now you know dammit. I always say nothing worth having is ever easy. Getting through this to finish the marathon will make the victory that much sweeter. I could shake my fist to the sky and curse my luck, curse the obstacles that are put in my path. But that would be self-indulgent and shallow. Because what I am going through are simply speed bumps not roadblocks. Everyone has problems and mine are not significant enough to stop me. I'm too tough for that.

Isn't that really what running a marathon is about? Resilience, mental stamina, determination? Mind over matter and commitment to the belief that yes you will. Not can, but will.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

wants

Whenever I watch a movie where a character comes home for the holidays for the first time in a decade all I can think is...

You lucky bastard, how did you get away with it????

If you have been reading this blog for a while you know I am tortured by the holidays. I find a few bright lights to distract me from the gloom, but the whole going home thing is more damaging than healing for me.

For the first time ever I don't have to go home for Christmas this year. With the new job I have no vacation until 2007, and unlike the old gig I don't get the week between jesus' and the baby new years' bdays off. And christmas being on a Monday I would have to fly home ON christmas to work the next morning.

Ugh.

My loverly sister already broke the news to my parental units. Their reaction? Pretty much since it’s for the new uber job okay.

Damn, that was easy.

Oh the weight off of my shoulders. No one expecting me to be the perfect child, or even worse help everyone else feel like we are the perfect family. My ability to put others at ease is great, but being the one responsible for helping my family maintain some illusion of normalcy is just too much to bear. My parents are desperate to appear like the perfect family, and I am a star performer in their fantasy. Fortunately my drinking copious amount of Jack Daniels with my brother in law falls within this image, so I have been able to cope.

Now that I have been given my freedom suddenly I want to go back. But on my own terms. Thanksgiving, not xmas.

There are no romantic notions about thanksgiving. No universal love or giving or forgiving blah blah blah. Just eat a lot and sleep.

Honestly there are four reasons why I actually do want to go home.

1) The sister and bro-in law.

2) The marrieds. (Plus now one un-married in the state)

3) The Detroit connection.

4) That fourth thing.

There is a reason I actually want to go home this year that I have not told any of you suckers. If any of ya'll guess it I'll buy you a night of drinks. Ohhhhh the challenge...what is rockstar not willing to admit motivates her?

So bright side I may have more drinking time with my buddies this year, thanksgiving weekend tends to be less booked than the whole xmas gig. On the even brighter side I won't be depressed over the holidays this year.

Finally I get to decide what xmas really means to me, and celebrate how I see fit. How cool is that?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

excess of not enough

How in the hell am I supposed to study for my GRE or train for a marathon or get a boyfriend or have a social life or even BLOG if I work past 8:00 every night???

Last night I was at work until ten, tonight until eleven. And I'm still not caught up.

But on the bright side my superiors let me know they really LIKE me, albeit while pointing out that obviously I need some help. My first thought was relief, as someone I know to be reliable on Monday will fill the big hole in my area. Seems the support that was being referred to should be coming from my boss and colleague though.

So somehow my having too much work skipped right over me getting in trouble and more of my boss being under scrutiny. Funny how that one worked out, huh?

I'm thinking there are other politics involved; There is not much that anyone above me can do to aid me at this point, it is all details and questions being answered, more needs than my staff and I are currently able to fill.

One thing for sure, this whole ordeal sure is lighting a fire under my ass for grad school. I'm over restaurant/bar, I'm over retail, I'm over the travel industry, and I'm way way over corporate life. Academia seems like the next most logical fit...could you just SEE me teaching at the college level? *Sigh*

Sunday, October 01, 2006

power

Gee do you remember when I started my sidebar marathon countdown? It was 282 days at the beginning. Now we are approaching a month until the big day.

Today on a whim I signed up for and participated in a half marathon. It never even occurred to me before this past Friday, when one of my running partners suggested it. Since being in this long run slump I figured the organization and competition would do me good.

At 8:30 this morning I was cursing not having just done the long run on my own yesterday. It was fifteen minutes before the race was to start and it started to pour. As opposed to the light and steady rain that was going on beforehand. Thirteen miles of wet fun, ah well at least it was 65 degrees and not too cold for a damp day. I had myself a baseball cap and my waterproof ipod holder, all I needed to survive the precipitation, so the race started and off I went.

The biggest challenge I have been dealing with has been my pacing. My goal was to run slowly and evenly, forget about the person in front of me whom I want to pass or my marathon goal times. This race was all about resisting the urge to speed up no matter what.

Eleven miles into the race I have never felt stronger in my life. I had been successful in keeping myself at a slow steady pace. A little slower than I would have liked, 11 minutes a mile, but erring on the side of caution was what I wanted so that was cool. The rewards were well worth it though. The pure joy of not only not feeling like you are going to die but feeling absolutely great after having run that long was not lost on me.

So I let go and ran free. This leg of the race was mostly downhill, so I stretched out my stride and decided to try for something a little closer to a 2:15 finish time. I did those miles in an average of nine minutes each and finished just over 2:19.

Yeah, I guess you could say my slump is over. Not only am I back on the wagon I am motivated and excited. 26.2 here I come! (Ditto for the pace team, I'm so there)

miracles

Today I discovered something amazing. I discovered the magic eraser.

Have you people tried this thing? Holy mother of god it is amazing. Really, I have never seen something work like this. I ended up cleaning for an extra hour because it was so thrilling.

Yes that was my Saturday night. Exciting life of the single New Yorker.

The REALLY interesting thing about this product is that we don't know what it is. There is no active ingredient list posted, and even on the website it gives no info. Oooh the mystery. Oooh the potential danger?

Well, as long as I don't use it to clean any surfaces I eat off of and wear gloves when using it I guess I'll be okay. Because it is awesome and I can't go back to life the way it was before. Mr Clean, a man who is not easily forgotten...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

jaded

Okay, I am a hopeless romantic.

No, really I am.

For gods sake I love Barry Manilow and Air Supply. Love love them. I will watch any good romantic comedy over and over at least ten times. A TV show with intense romantic tension? Ha, like there ever was a question.

It stems from the fact that I believe. I believe in true love.

(Insert princess bride quote here, no way I’m doing the phonetic thing.)

There is no doubt in my mind that there is someone out there for me. This belief is rooted deep down in my soul.

No, I don't date a lot. But I meet an awful lot of people, have all kinds of exposure. Which really is just as fine if not better. At least for me. When shopping for romance I freeze up, so casual encounters are more my style.

Yeah, the next question is inevitable. The whole "is there just one person for you" one. Needy bastards.

The answer is really a question. Think of it like a pyramid. There is a pinnacle, but there also are a lot of layers on the way to the top. That top 3% is all you; these are the people you could spend your life with. But that top .01%? Your soul mate. The question is this - are you willing to be the top .01% ...or merely the top .3% for someone else?

If you are both 3% people then you are great, you are perfectly matched. Honestly. It is when you have a non-matching split that the problems come into play. To them you are perfection and to you they are okay? Screams loneliness and dysfunction. One person is afraid of losing the other, and the second person is just bored. Not so good.

Oh, and in case you didn't get it already, I am holding out for the .001%. Yes, I hold out for the real deal, a whole extra decimal point. So there, dammit.

Life rewards you for holding fast to your beliefs, dreams and ideals. It punishes you too, but how else would the holding on mean anything? (Bright side disease or true romantic, your choice.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

back to basics

Sometimes you over-think things. God knows I do.

New job, plenty of stress, can make it hard to relax in the evening. Drinking every night as a remedy may be relaxing but not so good for the slumber.

Then there is training for a marathon, getting up early to wake up when by nature mornings are evil. Oh, and if you drink to go to sleep it gets even harder to wake up as the quality of rest declines.

Running suffers; stamina suffers, what is rockstar to do?

Gee, stop trying too hard to fit a square peg into a round hole. Accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

In other words, go to the gym AFTER work. Back to late nights and late mornings. Physical activity to shake off the stress, endorphins to give back the happy edge. Workout plan back on track, sleep back to a deep deep slumber.

Step one in re-motivation and life back in motion again.

Now if I could just stop working so goddamn late all the time I’d be set…

Monday, September 25, 2006

suck it up

Lord, how spoiled am I that I whine because my life has gotten EASIER? And that makes me lazy and not interested in putting out effort to what challenges I have left before me? That I just give up on something I have been working towards for years???

Dude. Duuuuuuude.

Yes, I ran over the weekend. Goddamn it all.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

losing my religion

Its like I don't know what I want anymore.

I have a confession; I didn't go on my long run last weekend. And I did not run at all this last week. I feel guilty, but I mostly I just don't feel anything.

For so much of my life I have worked hard. For one thing or another - to get through school, to finish training, to live somewhere new. But I really think I was just trying to survive.

Moving out at 20 was survival. And then working two jobs was survival to pay for life and to pay for school. Because it never seemed possible that I would have a job that didn't need a college education. I chose engineering at first because it guaranteed me a job with an income to help me pay for schooling. Then when I realized I could get by on a waitress salary I changed my degree to something I actually enjoyed, psychology.

But I wasn't done. I needed to move to New York, to feel like I belonged somewhere. So I came here, and I had to scramble all over again because by god this is not a cheap place to live.

Now I couldn't just live here. I had to live the life, have friends have fun do New York things. Prove my right to be here I suppose.

Something has happened to me in the last couple of weeks. I am out of debt and making more money than I need. But I lost my mojo.

Plans? What plans? Marathon, grad school, buying a home, finding a new career, finding a love, losing ten pounds, traveling outside of the continent....I just can't bring myself to think about any of them. I don't feel like trying anymore.

Don't worry, its not like I don't want to live anymore. Losing my motivation to do anything that takes effort is entirely different from not wanting to breath in and out.

It could be stress from the new job. It could be that I don't know what to do with myself if I am not struggling. It could be that I always have been running to catch up, and never learned how to run when I'm already ahead. Not having to react, to be free to just do what I want sounds so great. Why don't I want anything anymore?

When will I care enough to get back into motion?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

more human than human

If you couldn't already tell I am addicted to Grey's Anatomy and love anything JJ Abrahms. So a few things to point out from tonight’s shows:

  • Screw Meredith, Bailey made me cry. TWICE. Forget the super skinny neurotic girl, give me a strong woman breakdown anytime.


  • The coolest girl in school? Callie. By far. Straight up and honest, that's the way I like 'em. Wear your weakness like a badge.


  • Flashbacks are awesome to introduce into season three. Makes you feel like family.


  • As for Six Degrees?

  • Fucking awesome cast. Shout out to any Bridget. Oh, and did any of you losers catch Sarah Vowell??? HELLO best talent in the show, just about to blow it out of the water, you wait and see.


  • Ummmmm....


  • Yeah, the best thing about six degrees was the acting talent. JJ used his old hooks and his old sound effects. Without supernatural powers or prophecies, so not such a big hit.

    His biggest gimmick for the show seems to be that he was showing how close and yet utterly separated everyone is in New York. I live it every day.

    It constantly amazes me how many people on any average day I am physically close to. All you non-New Yorkers, I dare you to count how many people you brush by in a day, as in physically touch in passing. On a non-active day I will brush 20. Yes I have counted. Subway, busy street, elevator. Contact. Fact I don't meet and get to know a minimum of 20 people a day? Not so shocking.

    Oh, and as much as I love the vowelmeister (had to give just one more shout out), but I'm not going to watch the show for her cameos.


    Many people criticize TV (oh wait, who just got rid of her cable box to watch less? oh yeah...) every medium has trash, but if you look it has its art too. Even more importantly it has humanity. And humanity is what I crave - from any medium, movies, books, or TV. You tell the story right and I'll pay attention.

    Another day I'll talk about how the trash pays for the art. Because brother reality of life it does. What do you think backs the most obscure classic novel that is important to literature and culture but only sells one hundred copies a year? Not charity my friends...

    Humanity.



    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    a little help from your friends

    As the marathon steadily approaches, I have learned that I am TERRIBLE at pacing. On my long runs I go at a comfortable pace, and then someone is in front of me that I want to pass or I push myself up a hill and then....cashed.

    This has happened time and time again, during the Half and on my long runs. Ironically it is worse when I run WITH someone, as the internal competitive streak kicks in.

    I just discovered that I can sign up, at no cost and no inconvenience, to be part of a pace team for the marathon. Some experienced runner wears a balloon, and you just have to stay within visual distance of the pretty bouncing ball!!

    Let's make it clear; I am not too proud to take advantage of this service. Running a marathon is enough of a challenge, I am happy to use this as a crutch until I have mastered the skill of pacing long distances. You know, which I will be by my next marathon. (Yeah, we’ll see about that one)

    Now I just have to get to the marathon expo early enough to sign up before they fill up my time goal...

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    corporate pirate

    Dude, pirates are everywhere, aren't they?

    The pirates movie, the books, the clothing, the accessories. Spaghetti just bought a pair of jeans for the fit and they had the skull and crossbones on one pocket. Hells bells while ctina and I were at the bar tonight two girls came in dressed as pirates.

    Yes really.

    Whatev, I can hang. What is a pirate's favorite kind of sweater? ARRRRRRgyle.

    Oh yeah, you love me for so many reasons other than my sense of humor. Get over it.

    Today I was a corporate pirate. I had a job opening, and I ended up hiring someone from my old company...my old department even. Yes, I pillaged from my last job.

    Oh, the guilt. Oh, the guilt. Oh, the relief of having hired someone I know from experience is competent.

    It’s a good thing I enjoy rum...and had practice wearing a patch as a child. (Again yes really, two years thank you very much)


    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    spot

    Part two of the pet chronicles.

    A mere month after losing Lucky, I felt I was ready for another pet. Moving up on the size scale I decided to get a snake.

    Now, I'm not crazy, I didn't want a pet that could in any way harm me. No poison and no squeezing to death, thank you very much. After a little bit of research I decided on a corn snake, no teeth and no threat. His name was Spot.

    A mere 12 inches long he would fit in Lucky's old aquarium, and his diet would consist mice. As he was a young snake he was too small to eat the full grown fuzzy rodents, so he got to eat fetal mice. Yes, I moved up from purchasing crickets and keeping them alive to buying frozen fetal mice and keeping their little pink corpses in the freezer.

    My roommate at the time already had a fear of snakes she had to deal with thanks to me, but she also had to live in conscious denial of the fetal mice stored next to the ice cubes. Yes, she was a saint.

    Life with Spot was pretty good. He spent most of the time hiding, burrowing under the sawdust to the bottom of his aquarium. He only ate once a week, so despite the strange dietary habits he was really a great pet, on the ease scale.

    After having him for about a month I would feel guilty about him being so confined all the time, so occasionally I would let him out to play.

    (Gee, can you tell where this story is going?)

    Now, I never did this when my roomie was home, as she would kill me. After she recovered from dying of fear. So home alone I would sit in the living room while he slithered around in perfect bliss.

    One day I got a bit distracted.... and he was gone. Just like that, one minute he was there, next nowhere to be found.

    Oh boy, did I ever look high and low for Spot! I dug in the couch set, looked outside, searched both bedrooms and the bathrooms. To no avail, he had made his getaway and he could have gotten anywhere. He was only about a half an inch in diameter, tiny enough to get through many a crack.

    Now to add the situation, I was due to go on vacation in two days. To Disney World with my friends. My first ever trip to the happiest place on earth, we were planning on driving down in a test Cadillac (friends in high places) and getting a five-day pass. This meant I was going to be gone for a week, and my roomie was to be left alone with Spot amid his prison break.

    My choice of action seemed pretty clear. Lie. Lie lie lie.

    What was I going to say, "I lost the snake, good luck with that, see you in a week!" Then walk out the door? Nope, I said, "Spot has been fed and is set while I'm gone. Don't you worry about a thing. And if you look in his cage and don't see him, it is because he sleeps under the sawdust.

    Best laid plans...I got a call the second day of Disneyworld from a rather upset roomie. Seems her cousin had come over and wanted to play with Spot. To find him missing. Roomie was concerned that I might think she had caused his demise or escape on purpose, since she didn't like him. The girl felt terrible.

    Talk about guilt. So I came clean. Well, mostly. I admitted to losing Spot...while playing with him outside. Where roomie's guilt was appeased her nightmares began, but at least she got some comfort from his not being lost indoors. *cough*

    Turns out Spot would have grown to be at least five feet long. Ummmmmmm really I didn't do anywhere near enough research before getting him. Obviously.

    I had assumed maybe he would grow to be a foot or two long. Then there would have been the issue of getting attached to all the cute fuzzy mice I would have to buy and keep just for the slaughter. My life would have been overrun with pets! Cage and food for the mice, HUGE cage and stuff for Spot.

    It all worked out for the best I suppose. I like to imagine that Spot still lives, roaming the walls of that apartment complex keeping it nice and pest free for the inhabitants. Nice and warm and well-fed, living on his own terms, free as a lark.

    Oh, and you would think this is the end of the pet stories, but it continues yet...

    Saturday, September 16, 2006

    yep

    Amen sister, amen. Especially about the bastardization of Audrey Hepburn. I am boycotting The Gap, even if I do love their bras, dammit.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    attention deficit disorder

    Once upon a time I used to be a bit of a prankster. I was known to cause a little trouble, stir things up. Actually, I used to act out a whole hell of a lot.

    I learned young that negative attention is better than no attention at all.

    Listen, I was a middle kid. Whether or not that really means anything, I got in trouble a lot as a child. And subsequently was angry and bitter for a long time about that fact. Even if, well, most times I was actually guilty.

    Putting Han solo in the freezer - in a glass filled with water. A glass glass. Causing a bit of breakage. Yep, that was me.

    Torturing my sister who was afraid of the dark while babysitting by following her around the house turning off all the lights as soon as she would turn them on. Me too.

    Egging my brother on to get him so pissed off he turned red and was practically in tears. Okay, that was my sister.

    (Not really)

    At some point I stopped getting noticed for my bad behavior. I got attention for my good work. So I stopped acting out. A lot less people got hit with whipped cream, and I believe multitudes of people are happier for it.

    Thing is, when I stopped being bad people started to see me as being nice. Which is not necessarily so so wrong, but combine nice with a tendency to be sick and you get a whole different animal. Suddenly I am fragile. People who know me furrow their brow when listening to me. If I show any sign of stress or weakness they are deeply concerned.

    People don't tease me any more. No mocking, no making fun, no jokes. My friends and I have serious conversations and talk deep thoughts. Our stories that are on the funny side tend to elicit a chuckle and a "that's funny" instead of raucous laughter.

    It could just be a simple matter of you get what you give. I wonder if I get that prankster muscle back in gear, start poking some fun at people, if things will get a little lighter around me. I'm tired of being serious. I want silly back.

    I want some negative attention goddamit.