Tuesday, October 31, 2006


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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)


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...