Sunday, December 05, 2010

under pressure

It has been a stressful couple of weeks.

Two and a half weeks ago my boss walked into my office and let me know his job had been eliminated. Likewise for the whole department. All of his direct reports are spread out across the company. Even the group that has the exact same function of mine is reporting to an entirely different area than I am.

I won't lie, the layoff and reorg totally stressed me out. Since I've been at this job I've dealt with: two employees quitting in the first year, an employee having a breakdown and eventually dying in the second year, one boss getting fired in the third year and now another boss given the boot in the fourth year.

Seriously, WTF??

Luckily for me there is a lot going on for me that is good, thank heaven. My employees rock. Seriously; they get along with each other as well as other departments and follow my direction to a "T" with a smile, and because of this I have been told that we made our division more profitable than it has been in the past several years despite sales being down. That's right - we sold less books and our group made more money.

(And when I heard that I asked that my employees get a raise. C'mon, right?)

Also my new boss and direct superiors are really great to work with. They are positive and support our initiatives. Finally since I've been at this company every meeting is fun and conflict free. Teamwork in the best sense.

But all this positivity is superficial, the company still is run by the people who keep cutting out employees when they are done with them. My boss was here 25 years. Granted he sucked as a boss in every way, but it is more the fact that the culture of the people at the top is ruthless. A couple years where you don't produce at a certain level and out you go. And that causes a lot of angst for me.

As much as my group has done to help the company it is very clear to me that the jobs I and my parallel director have should be combined to one. Which means I'll have to either fight to take on more responsibility, proving myself to these awful politicos - or get the heck out of dodge. Ugh.

So yeah, stressed.

On another fun note I've been off the crutches for a week. Lord, I was SO looking forward to getting off the darn things. Little did I know how much it would hurt to walk. Oh. My. God. I still took a cab to work a couple days. My walking speed and posture is that of a one hundred year old woman. No lie.

My physical therapist is helping a lot. Every day it hurts a little less, and by resting yet more this weekend I almost have a stride that is unlike a zombie. Almost.

On the bright side I just got quite possibly the best haircut of my life. It has always been a struggle for me to find someone who can give me a decent trim. All my years I've been looking for a good stylist. After finding Rosemary at Timothy John's Salon not only have I gotten crazy amounts of compliments on my hair, but the cut was executed so well that it even looks good when I wake up. That's right - a head of hair that looks just as good the second day after washing!! A dream come true.

Which of course means that at despite zombie-lurching around the city muttering under my breath about the corporate least I look good. Ha.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

strong as bull

Since I'm barely able to go a block on crutches I've been taking a taxi to and from work every day.

In the morning this is exceptionally easy. I've never had to stand in front of my apartment more than 30 seconds waiting for a free cab to drive by. Even in the rain.

After work a bit more challenging. Rock center, smack dab in the middle of corporate central, is not an easy place to find a cab after 5:00.

The first week I lucked out, was able to get a cab relatively quickly. In under 15 minutes or so. This week? More of a struggle. I've found myself limping west on 48th street to find a free taxi before anyone else snatches it.

Which worked. Until yesterday.

That's right, yesterday I made it from 6th ave to Broadway without a yellow car to be found. So I kept going. And going. With stops every 40 heaves or so. Yes I did count, as a motivational tool.

Half an hour later I was home. I thought I lived maybe a quarter of a mile from work. Which I was proud of being able to navigate. Out of curiosity I just checked the distance on gmap pedometer. And wow.


Half a mile. I used my arms to propel me home half a mile. That's right, I rock. Strong like bull.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

gimp life

Here I am, two and a half weeks on crutches after my surgery.

The cutting went well, and the incision went even better. I lucked out with a resident who decided to use internal stitches which equals almost no scar on my knee at all. Woot!

First week after the cut it was painful. But there are drugs for that, so I took my pills and stayed home from work.

Second week after surgery I was back to the daily grind. Turns out walking on crutches was MUCH more challenging than I expected. Kind of crazy hard. I was out of breath just going a few yards. I even worked up a sweat leaving my apartment, taking the elevator, and then leaving my lobby. My muscles were tired and stiff every evening.

So much so that the weekend after the first week back on the job I rested and was so stiff I pulled a shoulder muscle. Which then of course meant I was out of work two more days because my shoulder hurt too much to use crutches.


Job-wise it all was fine. I have the paid time off available and my staff kicks ass. So no harm no foul.

Home-wise I was fine too. New York City...the place where everything is delivered. They do it all the time anytime, so it kind of seems normal.

There have been a lot of people on a daily basis who ask me if I need anything. My friends have been amazing. Seriously, I feel almost guilty turning down all the offers of assistance. "Can I get you anything?", "What do you need?", "Do you need help?" I've said this before, being the girl who somehow ends up in the hospital too often, but you learn who you can count on when you are actually down for the count. Its the people who show up. I can be there for any number of people on their worst days, but those aren't necessarily the people who come around when I'm on the skids.

Or in this case, since I'm an outpatient, the people who ask me on any random day if I need something. These are good people.

Not that I've needed anything. (Or let anyone help me) You all know me, the independent Rockstar. I take care of myself. And I am proud of that.

So much so that I have not taken anyone up on the random daily offers. Not a one. In my mind not so much because I'm proving myself, but the monologue in my head says because heck, I'm fine. Some things are a little harder, but ain't no thag.

Yes, I do think that way.

Then the weirdest thing happened at work today. I was in the pantry to get my coffee (of course I had purchased a travel mug I could use with my crutches to maneuver all the way across the building to fill it up myself. Who am I to ask someone to get me coffee? That would be elitist.) and I run into the girl who had been on crutches in france while on a college exchange program. Crutches in french? That had to be a bitch.

We seem to have the same coffee schedule, we've seen each other several of my gimp days. But for some reason today she insisted on brewing my coffee. Taking my mug, putting in sweetener, milk, the coffee. AND IT DROVE ME CRAZY.

Seriously, she practically had to take all the elements of my coffee out of my hands. Not practically, she actually did take things out of my hands. It was the smallest thing, but I couldn't just let her make me coffee if I could do it myself.

Is it a control thing? An independence thing? A proving myself thing? I dunno. I just don't know. All I know is that so far since I've been disabled the only things that I have let people do for me have been the things people haven't given me a choice on.

Like the guy who ran across 6th Ave after work to flag me a cab. Or the lady in the basement of the building who tore the garbage bag out of my crutched hand to throw it in the trash. Or the guy who entered the revolving door before me then after exiting slowly kept turning it so I could navigate through. Or the random person who came and closed my cab door after I struggled my crutches and myself into the backseat.

Weird right? But I have to say these were random moments where I really did need help, that I couldn't plan on or schedule. Things that you can't really call a friend (or a new york delivery guy) to help you with, because it is a surprise that you need that help at all. At least a surprise to me. Most days I get that cab, can manage my garbage, navigate the revolving door, and get my cab door closed. But those are the random gifts I'm happy to receive.

Those and the offers for help. Come to think of it, knowing someone would help if you needed it kind of takes a lot of pressure off. Maybe it isn't so much that I need to prove myself as much as I just see how far I go before I need to call out a favor.

Kind of like riding a bike on training wheels. You keep going because knowing that those little rickety wheels on the side of your bike are there gives you the confidence you'll stay up.

That or like Dumbo's feather. That one I don't need to explain as much. But the idea holds.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

human guinea pig

Well it didn't last, my knee went bonkers on me again. Pretty much right after writing the last post. Go figure. Jinx.

It was pretty swollen and nasty for the wedding trip, despite consistent ice, NSAIDs, and compression. Not too painful, but not exactly uber comfy either.

Unfortunately it also started clicking, hitching and catching when I walk, so I acquiesced and made an appt to see my super knee doc. The appointment was today.

And a funny thing happened.

After having waited a few minutes in the examination room, the Dr Stein entered. Stopped. Looked at me oddly. And then asked me my name to double check his charts.

He then reentered the room and said "Same knee? Same problem?" Both of which I responded the affirmative.

He then sat next to me and with some kind of astonishment looked me right in the eye, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but I've got a cure."

It was odd how shocked he seemed. Feeling hopeful I said "What, do you have some kind of epoxy now?"

Still seeming rather blown away he replied "Yes"

Turns out just two months ago this new thing was put on the market - it is organic mushed up bone goo called DeNovo Cartilage Graft that they caulk into the gaping chunk missing from the articular cartilage of a joint, such as my knee. It takes on my own DNA and solidifies to become my bone. In effect totally fixing me.

His shock was because it is so new that I'll be the second person he personally uses it on. The first guy's surgery was just scheduled yesterday for Oct 4th. So my timing was just crazy. He told me that my condition is fairly rare and totally perfect for this procedure. So go me and my luck!

There are a few downsides. One - I'm on crutches six weeks. Two - real surgery not arthroscopic (I was totally knocked out for my last scope so what's the big diff?). Three - it is new, so long term effects aren't solid.

Which ironically isn't a new thing for me. Back in 2004 when I had my hernia repair the doc used Alloderm, a human tissue patch that melded into my own fascia. Also brand spanking new and at the time still part of studies. And I continue to rock the stuff.

So this will be the second set of dead person matter being put inside me. The benefits totally outweigh the risks, me having a completely fixed knee! No more risk of degenerative bone that will continue to crumble until I end up with my joint being replaced.

Can I say how glad I am to be in NYC? The docs here are on their game! Go modern science!!

(Date set for October 18th! Woot!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

on the road

No, I did not go to my reunion. And from the pics I saw on facebook I'm glad I didn't, the only faces I recognized were those that I've already friended on the great online social big brother.

And now for the happy update, I'm running again!! Taking three weeks off of all physical activity (and I do mean all) did the trick! I went for a run Saturday which felt odd on the ole' knee, but afterwards experienced no swelling or pain. Went for a jog again two days ago, and nary a tinge or a gaff.

Now it is just a matter of seeing if I can safely, without injury, build up mileage to get myself to the marathon this year. No isn't worth me hurting my knee again. But a girl's gotta try!

Best news - vacation is here!! Friday my cousin is getting married in Portland, and after a few days in that beautiful burb my sis and I are going to head up and spend a couple days in Seattle. Pacific Northwest here we come!

One interesting thing of note, as I've gotten older I've started making more and more lists for my trips. I used to just make the one. You know. The one that had "toothbrush" and "deodorant" on it. And I was suck at that...once forgetting my swimsuit for a white water rafting trip. Like I wasn't going to get wet??

At this moment I'm up to five lists for this adventure.

- what activities on what day, so I can figure out what I need

- the great packing list, things I absolutely cannot forget

- clothing list. specifics on what items to pack, trying to minimize qty while covering all activity needs. while of course looking fabulous.

- timeline before vacation. as in what the hell I still need to do in the 30 hours before I leave my apartment.

- wedding playlist. the computer savvy have been asked to monitor the macbook dj, so my sis and I decided to throw together our own playlists to supplement anything that could have been missed. it will be a dance dance wedding for sure!!

Here I thought it would be hard to have more than two lists. Who knew??

Monday, August 09, 2010

20 years

It is the stuff of legend. Some dread its arrival, others look forward to the day with glee. Books, movies, plays...all written about this iconic meeting. It is a pinnacle event, the one great test of time the majority of Americans look upon.

The high school reunion.

Frankly I don't recall getting any notice of my 10 year reunion. But with the creation of facebook there has been no way to avoid the repeated reminders that my 20 year anniversary approaches.

Roughly the year of my graduation was the half point of my life right now. Just shy of an even distribution between childhood and adulthood. This helps spark some am I different than I was at 18? Who am I now as compared to then? Would my high school self like my grown up self?

But the main question on my mind at this time is much simpler. To go or not to go. Do I bother to attend my 20 year high school reunion?

My graduating class was 222 strong, entirely female as I attended an all girls catholic high school. As a freshman I played softball and volleyball, then quit sports and became backstage crew for the drama club.

The culture in my school wasn't like the John Hughes movies where everyone was in a defined clique. Yes there were jocks and nerds, but we kind of focused less on naming a group than just paying attention to your own circle of friends. (And circle of drama, being all girls.)

Overall my group of friends was approximately 4-5 strong, specific girls entering and exiting the group at different times but always staying about the same number. There was an extended group of people of probably 10 more that I was friendly with but didn't really hang with outside of school.

So out of the 222 girls that means there are about 15-25 that I remember interacting with. Most of whom are on facebook.

Do I fly back to Michigan just to see these women? Is it worth the airfare and car rental to end up also seeing 100 women I don't remember at all?

I dunno, I just don't think I get the point. From what I can tell the people who want to attend in general are the ones who are either satisfied with their lives or want to brag about their lives. Or maybe a little of both.

Me? I know I'm high on the success scale for my class. Thing is most of my core high school friends are just scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck struggling to keep their jobs. Detroit has been hit really hard by the recession after all. It almost seems nicer for me not to attend so it doesn't seem like I'm rubbing their noses in my accomplishments.

Oh, what to do. Inaction alone may make up my mind for me as the party is this Saturday. I could catch a last minute deal airfare to Detroit...or I could wait for my 30 year reunion...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

gimp city

Did you know my body hates me? Have I mentioned that before?

My knee has gone wonky again.

Good news: Feels the same as post surgery, so I know what is wrong and how to fix it.

Bad news: How to fix it involves not doing anything for a while, and definitely not running a little longer than that.


What I find fascinating is that this injury occurred almost exactly a year after I started back running. My first race last year was July 18th. Which goes to show you that running alone did not do this to me. Something I did out of the norm did.

How I wish that I could say that it was something as simple as increasing my miles to quickly or old shoes that caused this. Or that I felt exactly when my knee went bonkers. But none of that happened. It felt rather odd just before, but not during, a Tuesday speed training class and then was swollen as hell Wednesday.

So here I am again. Hoping for the best - that I don't have to wait five months to recover. But then again not exactly minding the time off in this crazy heat.

As for the marathon this year...who knows. If I can get back on the road in the next month maybe I can still run it. But it is far easier to defer to run next year than to get a knee replacement. Just sayin.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

date stories

So I've been on quite a few dates over the past several months.

A lot of first dates.

Some are fine, nice enough guys. But I may find them boring. Or self-centered. Or unattractive. Or any combination of the three.

Every now and then I get a real peach, someone to write home about. Oh yeah, the bad date stories.

This one is a doozy, if you've seen me in the past couple of months I've told you about it.

This fine gentleman, who we'll call IT (pronounced eye-tea, as in Information Technology) was introduced to me by There was only one (bad) picture of him, but hey his profile summary was fun and entertaining. What's a girl got to lose?

As I walked into the bar it was fairly simple to identify IT. He looked more attractive than his profile pic. Good. His size however, was not on the profile. Six foot four inches and 350 pounds.

Seriously, this man was two or three of me. I couldn't even reach past his stomach and touch the top of his head standing on tippy toe.

Not being one to judge a book by its cover I brushed off the size difference and we proceeded to the bar. We commenced to the talking and as per norm we broached the topic of employment. You may have guessed by now that this gent works in IT, and he recently started working from home.

The concept of working from home always confounds me. So many distractions, how does anyone get things done? Do you make a schedule? Do you work in your pajamas? Is showering even necessary? Recently two different authors came into the office for a meet and greet, and each of them has a separate cabin/shed that they physically would 'travel' to in order to write. Kind of the setting up a ritual work space.

So I inquired of my above dilemma to IT. How does he approach his day? Does he work all day in his pajamas?

He squirmed. Hesitated. Then said, "Well, erm...less than that."

Confused, I inquired "What do you mean? How much less?" I'm thinking shorts, boxers.

Again he stalls for a minute. Reluctantly he eventually says "A lot less. Nothing."

Being me I don't react much, kind of just take the info in stride. We continue talking about work and such. Or actually I should say he kept talking, the guy went on and on about himself for the entire date. He didn't ask me a question until after I paid the bill. (Yes, you read that correctly. More on that in a bit.)

All this listening afforded me the opportunity to let the newly acquired work wardrobe info sink in. This guy spends all day, every day naked. At home. No clothes, hanging around his apartment.

Did I mention the size of this guy? Someone with that kinda girth is bound to sweat easily. Especially when sitting. So I start to get a visual in my head.

He's still talking, and all I can think of is nasty ball sweat all over his apartment. His couch, any chairs, god forbid a desk chair because you know how those are shaped and there might even be accumulation....


You can very easily tell if I had a good date vs. a bad one by the number of drinks I consume. Two is a bad date. Three is a kinda good date, and more is a guaranteed great time.

My second beer was gone and I asked for the check. It came. And sat there while IT continued to talk.

The bill untouched.

Looking forward to my exit I finally picked up the bill, gave it a once over. Still nodding my head to the conversation I slowly worked my way through my purse for my wallet. Found it. Pulled out cash.

IT still talks on about himself.

Placing the cash in the bill I set it down on the bar. FINALLY at this point IT says "Oh! Was that check just for you?"

I'm thinking "Seriously? C'mon!" But out loud I reply "No. It is for both of us."

To which he replies. "Okay. Did you want some money for that?"

"Nah" I say, dreading the idea of having to wait for him to get out his wallet and figure his share, get my change back, etc etc. "It's all set."

"All right" he says "But that means we'll have to go out again so I can pay."

Now I'm a proud strong feminist. I have no problem splitting a bill, and I've come to accept the cultural norm that a guy pays on the first date. But for the roles to literally reverse??? Me to pay for listening to him go on and on while being tortured with the visual of him lounging naked at home?

No. Hell no.

There was no date two. But I will say that bar bill was worth me being able to tell this story. Right?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Last night over a couple of beers I got into a heated discussion as to the nature of faith. When you fight about a word like that it always ends up coming down to semantics.

Mr Wizard insisted that he only has faith in things that he can empirically prove. I suggested that based on that statement science was his religion, since there is no way he's personally empirically proven every theory or law that is out there. At some point you rely on the demonstration of others.

To this he disagreed. No, he only believes in proof. So I suggested that most likely then he doesn't believe in love. To which he disagreed, as he had experienced love and therefore knew it was real.

But isn't every love different? When do you actually know vs trust that love is there? What empirical demonstration of love is there?

It was a very frustrating conversation. And now after looking up the definition of faith I know why.

There are a few interpretations...but essentially all revolve around confidence, trust, belief, and fidelity. And btw all demonstrate a complete lack of proof. As in the whole point of the word is to be devoid of testimony.

This just makes me sad. The idea of not having faith in anything seems kind of tragic. Where is the sense of wonder, surprise, mystery?

So to cheer myself up I decided to list the things that I have faith in.

- the innate goodness of people

- beer

- losing socks in the laundry (where do they go??)

- murphy's law

- the power of positive thinking

- Kermit the Frog

- my ability to succeed if I try

- last year's monster attack in Central Park

- crazy romantic love

- without pain there is no growth, the light at the end of the tunnel is worth the struggle

- Elvis lives!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

TV knowledge

There isn't much about reality TV I like. Frankly I'm appalled by most of it. Appalled.

But today, I gleamed some knowledge.

Often in the storyline a parent or loved one will say how proud they are of a character. Reality TV loves these moments, and I suspect coach many of them.

Tonight I realized the tell. And I know this will serve me well in life in general.

If someone is told often and well that they are loved and that they do their people proud... they react by laughing, waving, shaking their head, and saying something like "aw mom", or "thanks dad" or "stop it, love you too sis"

On the flip side if the kid doesn't get positive reinforcement? Silence. Maybe a nod or a tear. If praise is rare the person will be quiet for fear of ending the moment - or the praise flipping over to criticism.

This realization blew my mind. Because we see this every day. Between married couples, friends, coworkers, families. The single best way to know if a group is as supportive behind closed doors as in public.

Good to know.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Well, I guess it had to happen sometime. New York City has gotten impressively safer over the years, but there still is crime in the big city.

The other night I was out on the town and my wallet was stolen. From right out of my purse.


What galls me is I know EXACTLY when it happened. I was at the bar and my purse was on the back of my chair behind me. At one point I could feel someone close behind me who kept bumping my bag. The bar was full enough that I thought it was either a) someone jostling for bar space to get a drink or b) a person who was in close quarters just accidentally bumping into my bag.

Nope. Time came for the bill to be settled and when I reached into my bag no wallet was to be found. Being the eternal optimist I grasped at the possibility that I had inadvertently left it at home. Not likely, but it could happen. I keep my metro card in a separate pocket in my purse, so I hadn't looked in my bag since I left my apartment.

My whole way home I had every finger crossed. To arrive at my apartment where no wallet was found. Immediately I started cancelling cards...and confirmed I hadn't just lost it. Yep, charges for about $500 were made against my Amex.

Fortunately I'm not responsible for the fraudulent charges, I gotta say Amex is great with the customer service. Overnighting a new card and whatnot.

But now I'm wondering how far am I from identity theft? What are the odds this person threw away my wallet as opposed to kept the information to do more damage?

To be honest I'm happy that my whole purse wasn't taken, having my keys and camera and phone. Those things I would have to pay for. So I'm left just having to replace a bunch of plastic. And have earned the knowledge to be a little more wary of my personal space.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


What is the difference between jaded and wise?

A couple minutes ago I received a fantabulous email from a dating site. Seriously, it was so awesome.

So next I go to the guy's profile. Yep, again perfect. Seriously, there are things that I don't even put on my list that were there.

What do I do? Log off. This guy has an angle. He's faking. There is a game.

Crap. What is wrong with me? When did I become so cynical? I'm honest online, is it so hard to believe I'm the only one?

Crazy thing is I haven't really been lied to or misled by my online dating experiences. So this whole disbelief thing? It's gotta be me, my issues.

Guess I'll have to break down that wall.

Now how do I so that?

Monday, May 17, 2010


Well here I am, a month away from the race that I decided I'm going to PR in. And how am I doing?


Somewhere I lost my motivation again. I've been running only about two times a week. Which isn't much.

And it showed. My time for Saturday's 10k wasn't bad, it was just plain average. A typical race. Which means I'm going to need to get my ass back in gear.

First change I'm making? A pledge to run every single day until the June 12th 10k. Even if it is just a mile. Every day.

For 'real' runners this isn't a thang. They run that often anyway. For them missing a run makes for a sluggish day. But I've never really been that guy. Even when training for the 2006 marathon I was only running 3 days a week.

To help me along on my quest to be an every day runner I also invested some cashola in a running class. I've never done the group running thing before, but now I'll be doing it two nights a week for the next ten weeks.

Will the competition give me that extra motivation? Hope so.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

rose colored glasses

Today I inadvertently ticked somebody off. As in got them so angry that they called me and threatened to "escalate" the problem and "take it above my head".

Normally at work I don't have this problem. People know me, and therefore expect me to be pleasant and easy-going. If something I do or say seems aggressive or disrespectful they get confused and ask me for clarification.

But for some reason I just rub this one person the wrong way. Or do I? Does she react this way to everyone?

It just occurs to me that in life you can chose how to react to things. Inconveniences happen, things go wrong. Do you pick yourself up and brush yourself off, or lie there kicking and screaming?

The funny thing is that I kind of get how she got to be like this. The longer I'm in my job the more I get annoyed at other areas of the company. Which never used to happen. I always would laugh when other people did things wrong, thinking to myself "ah well, it was a mistake."

And I miss that!! I miss not getting my ire up and just letting work stuff roll off my shoulders. Getting fired up doesn't help anyone, especially me. Getting fired up just gets me worked up with no place to go. Because I can't fix other areas of the company.

So being at the edge of turning into this other person I have decided to laugh things off again. Accept that I can't change or fix other areas. Appreciate what can be fixed and chuckle my way through the day.

Also maybe forgive this person for her faults. Or really just avoid her. Yep, that sounds more like my style...

Friday, March 12, 2010


When I was 16 I went away for the summer. I went to camp.

Not as a resident, as an junior counselor.

This was 1988, the same time that the movie "Precious" takes place. Harlem and NYC were tough. So was Detroit. They were neck and neck every year for crime.

Don't misunderstand me, I grew up in a suburb of Detroit. Roseville, off of Gratiot between 10 and 11 mile roads. (As you may recall from Eminim 8 mile road is the northern border of Detroit.)

So I got this great gig. From my all-girl catholic high school. Away from my parents all summer. Be a counselor an hour and a half north, just past Port Huron. An all-girl catholic camp for inner city Detroit kids. Yes, I would be making a whopping $75 a week. But who cared???

I was 16 and on my own for three months. My own person, my own adult. Who could dream of more?

Problem is that they couldn't staff the camp. There were supposed to be two counsellors and one junior counsellor to every cabin. That didn't happen. Each cabin had one counsellor and one junior counsellor...who pretended to be an adult. I purposefully wore my dad's University of Detroit sweatshirt often so the kids thought I was at least legal.

But I wasn't. As a matter of fact I was 16 and in charge of a cabin of 14 year old girls. And these girls were being sent away for a reason. They needed to escape, to get away, to get a new perspective. Lake Erie, walks in the woods, and camp songs helped. Anything to get out of Detroit for a little while. And only the charity cases. It was St Vincent De Paul after all.

Each group stayed for two weeks, and there were four groups. The cabins held 30 girls apiece. They cried when they arrived because they were homesick, and then they cried when they left because they didn't want to go.

There is only one girl I remember. She was difficult. Every step, every turn she fought me. A lot of kids can be defiant, but this child was abusive. All she wanted to do was make me cry.

She succeeded. I thought I hid it well. She finally said something that hit home, and I ran out to the lake to hide my tears.

That was when she stopped fighting. When I came back she apologized for making me sad. And behaved from then on.

Tonight watching the movie Precious reminded me of her. She was a person who lived a life full of troubles and abuses that I honestly could not and cannot fathom. She was probably shuttled off to camp to get her out of the way. Here I was a blond girl who was frickin happy all the time trying to cheer her ass up. About what???

So of course she worked hard to find the status quo. Bring back the anger and disappointment. Comfort. But I didn't react the way she knew. I only fought back so much. And she realized that she didn't want to be that person to make me sad. Honestly the other girls may have shown some disappointment in her effect on me as well. Since they all liked me they didn't want to see me cry either. But it wasn't peer pressure that made her sorry. Her reconcilement was sincere.

Yet watching the movie, I wish I could have done more. I was too naive at that age to understand what she may have been dealing with, to intervene or do something. Anything.

But I was also too naive to hold a grudge. When she let go and stopped fighting I celebrated her for every moment she was there, like the rest of the girls.

One wonders, did this camp help anyone? Did they become stronger or more confident? I don't know. But I hope.

Monday, March 01, 2010

running behind

It takes a lot of effort for me to keep my running mileage up.

Some people just do it. (Thank you Nike) They go every day, rain or shine, sickness or health. But me? If I'm ill, or it is cold, or I'm just unmotivated...


In the past what has helped me keep my miles up is to have a specific gaol - and program to follow to reach it. It has to list out my easy runs, tempo runs, hill workouts, long runs, etc etc. In one way it is kind of like making an appointment to go a certain distance. Once it is on my calendar then I'm set.

(And yes I am that geek that literally puts this stuff on her calendar.)

So I need to get my ass in gear. Fortunately it is starting to get warmer and daylight savings time is right around the corner. These things TOTALLY help since I enjoy running in the park on a sunny cool evening.

Let's figure this out logically then. Training for the marathon starts in July, so I need to be in peak shape by then. Let's make that goal to set a PR for a 10k - the NYRR Women's Mini 10k on June 12th will do just fine.

Sure I could train for more distance, but why burn myself out?

Right now my personal best for anything 10k or greater is a 9:57 mile. My all time record for any race is a 5 miler at 9:29 pace, so I can totally replicate that for another 1.2 miles.

How about we really put one on the line and make my goal a matter of public record. I intend to shatter my previous PR and run the mini 10k with an average 9:15 pace finishing in 57 minutes 21 seconds.

Yeah, I have no idea if that is reasonable or not. How many seconds per mile is realistic to shave off a race in three months?

Guess we'll find out...

Forgot to add - also setting a goal to lose 10 lbs to offset what I'll gain in marathon training. Not that the lost weight won't help with the speed!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Dunno how this happened. As I am slightly tech-savvy I put a stat counter on my Rockstar Yoga site. And noticed that I've been getting traffic. Not necessarily from my blog either. From google.

So I checked it out.

If you google "private yoga NYC" or "weight loss yoga NYC" I come up right away on the first page! Not on the list below, but right on top in the local business results map!!

This is blowing my mind. All I did was sign up with Google as a local business. Really am I the only yoga instructor to do this in the city? That doesn't seem right. So how did I get to be in the top three?

Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted. I even had a nibble already from a potential customer. Looks like my investments are starting to pay off!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


How remiss I have been. A whole trip to another continent and I haven't posted a darn thing.

The trip was great! The flights and hotel went off without a hitch. Every day was sunny and 45 degrees. Indeed the locals were friendly, and my handy iphone with gps prevented me from ever getting lost. It also kept me appraised of where to eat, how to find live music, and what times everything opened and closed.

One of my favorite things that I did was my visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Everyone recommends it, and it isn't like I don't love the beer anyway.

For some reason I figured it would take me about an hour at most to view, but not so much. I was there for two and a half hours. It is a seven story building that not only describes the brewing process, but also details the history of the company, the evolution of brewing, the changes in manufacturing and transport, the path of advertising, and the historical significance of the entire Guinness history.


Then of course at the very top there is a bar with 360 degrees of glass walls to drink your free beer and look out over Dublin. And of course let all of that new knowledge sink in. Right now I'm still kind of a walking fact machine, it is scary.

The funniest thing occurred after my tour and brew when I went back to the ground floor to the gift shop to purchase some souvenirs. After picking out some gifts and sundries I headed to the cash register.

Where the clerk greeted me in French.

I stood there, stumped. Recognizing the language I was torn. Do I respond in kind? Explain that I'm not French? Ask why he spoke to me in that language?

Seriously, I just sat with my mouth open. Unsure of what to say next.

Eventually seeing my confused face the clerk then realized his error and inquired "Sorry, you're not French? Where are you from?"

At which point I replied "Oh, I'm from the US"

And he then said, "Ah, from a southern state with more exposure?"

Now I'm just laughing. " Quite the opposite. New York City"

So we both had a good chuckle. Apparently to the Irish I look French and tan. Me. Tan. Yeah. Seriously I was cracking up for the next half an hour. Awesome.

More adventures to come...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

speak up

The television is very pro-confrontation. Advice always centers around talking it through, for your sake and the sake of others. Because for some reason the issue just won't resolve itself if you don't take action.

This is not the way I was raised. Sure my siblings and I fought, but about stupid stuff like who ate the last cookie or got the best stocking stuffer. Nothing serious.

As a kid I never was grounded, not even once. Okay granted I was a pretty good kid. Always on the honor roll, holding down a second job, staying away from drugs. Save booze, but my parents discovered I drank because I refused to drive after having a couple wine coolers. (This was the 80's people, wine coolers came in 2 liters) Kinda hard to argue with a kid that responsible.

But there were things my parents probably would have sat me down and discussed if they followed the Oprah way of life. How do I know? Simple. Whenever my parents were upset with me they discussed it in the presence of or directly with my siblings. Who then turned right around and told me. So I knew. And either I changed my behavior or reasoned to myself why not changing my behavior was fine. Either way with no more updates from my sister or brother.

Most interestingly my parents complained about each other to me throughout my childhood. One of them would get me alone in a car and inevitably the sentence "don't tell your mother but" or "don't tell your father but" came up with some kinda story. Thus I would listen. I got pretty good at that I think. Of course I was too young to provide advice, but I learned a lot about their relationship. Not in a bad way. It gave me valuable insight to a marriage that has lasted for over forty years.

Funny thing is while this proved to be a peaceful upbringing it did not necessarily translate into my adult life well. It took me a long, long time to be able to speak up for myself on the job. I would get frustrated about something and instead of speaking to someone to correct the issue I would let the anger build up until I broke out in tears. Luckily that pretty much all happened in my waiting tables stage, so my professionalism wasn't put in question.

When I became a boss my need to be able to confront people became clear. And my god that was the hardest part about leaning to have employees. Indeed it is easier to not tell someone when they are doing something wrong, or that they need to improve their work. They will skate by thinking they are doing a fine job, but yet wonder why they aren't getting anywhere. Or why others are not recognizing their efforts.

So I learned to take the high road. Buck up, sit the person down and tell them straight. Even now I kind of tense up at the concept. The weird thing is I have accepted this as my role, so now when I see the need to speak up I start chomping at the bit. Literally I can't wait to get the words out of my mouth, to say what needs to be said. In some way I have become compulsively honest at work. Which I think my employees least after the moment passes. They know where they stand, and they trust I will let them know either way if they are doing well or not so much.

Ha, but my personal life? Nope. no way. I will do just about anything to avoid a tough conversation.

It just doesn't make sense to me to discuss the tough stuff. Unlike in work, when it is personal no one feels better. If I'm not happy with something then I feel miserable talking about it and the other person feels lousy for having upset me. On the other hand if I'm the one in the wrong I feel like a jerk. Either way I'm not feeling good. It's not like I need the release, I don't need to unload on the transgressor to feel better. I have a super high emotional metabolism, I move on.

Granted if there is an action that needs correcting I'll discuss, but that to me doesn't seem like confrontation mode. It is just a request to next time wash the dishes instead of letting them sit overnight. Or to throw out the empty container of milk. That's just communication, no feelings.

Confrontation about feelings? Nah. Making someone else feel bad doesn't make me feel better like T.V. insists. I think they got something wrong with that. Let's talk about forgive and forget, that's the real kindness.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

what are you waiting for?

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to travel to Ireland.

Call it familial pride, or cultural curiosity. Or maybe even an insatiable thirst for Guinness. Who knows. For whatever reason when people have asked me "if you could travel anywhere where would you go?" the answer has been the same. The Emerald Isle. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

So why haven't I been there yet?

Well, I was broke through my 20's. Totally my own fault. Switching majors and careers as often as I did wasn't the best way to accumulate cash. And the money I did make paid for college and rent.

As for the first half of my 30's? Yep, still broke. Moving to NYC will do that to ya. Especially if you are as hard headed as me and decide you have to live in Manhattan. So I worked my two jobs until the first paid me juuuuuuust enough to quit the second.

It was such a relief to finally get and use my passport last year. Seriously, I've come to the point where I'm almost embarrassed when the subject of world travel comes up on dates. Because it seems like a gaping hole in my life experience.

So here I am approaching another birthday. Another year older. Haven't put a stamp in my passport since January 2nd 2009.

What the hell am I waiting for? Well as a matter of fact I'm glad you asked.


I booked my trip!! That's right, I'm going to Dublin. Plane fares and hotel rates are cheap. The weather is warmer than NYC. And I get to celebrate my birthday doing something I've always dreamed of. (And valentines day too, that sure takes the sting out of being single!)


Not that I'm excited or anything. *joy*

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Well, it has been done. It took me a year of hedging, searching, writing, rearranging, editing, redesigning, and proofing. But it is here.

My website has gone live. It lives and breathes on the word wide web.

The finished html was sent to me months ago. Yet I did nothing because I felt so completely overwhelmed by the idea of how the Internet actually works. But as predicted my little bit of self-imposed work drama - coupled with a date who insisted that getting my site online would be incredibly simple - inspired me to jump in with both feet.

It was as promised simple to get my host and upload my site. Right on mr date.

What has surprised me is how quickly I am picking up the html code. Since posting I have already corrected seven link issues, rearranged some formats, and changed around some buttons.

Yes I still need to correct the "Contact Us" page so a form is there. But not to worry, it will be fixed.

Honestly I'm kind of surprised at how rewarding it has been to fiddle around with my site. Carbon and Hools had given me some layout suggestions that my wed designer couldn't really understand, so now I look forward to tooling around with them myself.

Also to come will be figuring out how to get my site to pop up on google searches. Because right now that ain't happenin.

So where do I go from here? Well besides the search engine debacle I get to find some neighborhood clients to start earning back the money I've invested in this business. Ideally just one or two a week to dip my toe into the whole thing. Thus I need to buy Adobe and start designing a direct mailing flyer.

Boy, it sure takes a lot more than just a yoga certification to start an instructor business these days.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Well, it came today.

"Congratulations BRIDGET COONEY!

You’re eligible for guaranteed entry to the race of a lifetime—the ING New York City Marathon on November 7, 2010. You must claim your guaranteed entry by March 15."

Okay, I totally know that I would tell someone else. Go ahead, sign up! You don't actually have to run it! You can train and then decide later to defer if you aren't feeling up to it this year!

Stupid me and my advice. If I don't take my own then I'm a total hypocrite. And those totally suck.


Monday, January 25, 2010

living in the uplink age

So far 2010 has not been a stellar year of dating for many of my friends. Quite a few people I know have gone through break ups over the past few weeks, it has happened so often lately that I'm really wondering what is in the water.

One of the hardest things these days for everyone to get through is handling the the social network medium. Everyone knows ending relationships are difficult enough as is. Now there is the damn facebook phenomenon.

Changing the status from in a relationship to single - the biggest stress because you wish you could kind of keep it under the radar. Does everyone need to know right away dammit? Sympathy for being single again is easier taken in sips than gulps.

Staying 'friends' or not? Do you cyber stalk to see if they are dating again? Or just hide their updates so you can be the good guy and try to bury your head in the sand?

Mutual friends who comment on the ex's updates. You can hide your ex but if your buddies keep in touch, you painfully do too.

And of course these are the tip of the iceberg, just the obvious problems. We are so connected now that our Internet wires cross over and under and just don't fade away. What do you do? De-friend them and get your best friends to do the same? Is that even morally acceptable?

Yes, somehow we as a culture have made breaking up harder. Argh.

As luck would have it you can find all kinds of other online arenas to mess with romance. Let's take for example...hmmm...if you start dating someone from say OK Cupid, Match, or Eharmony. You go out for just over a couple weeks and things seem to be going pretty well. Lots of laughs, plenty of chemistry, good times all around.

And then you notice that the person has changed their primary photo in their online profile within the past couple of days.


Yeah, you don't do that if you want to keep seeing the same person. Nope, I can't think of one scenario where you would.

Thank you, online dating, for keeping it real. Actually you have to admit it is better to find out sooner than later that someone isn't feeling the vibe. You can't say the guy did anything wrong, a couple of weeks a commitment does not make. But call me crazy - I am looking for a guy who meets me and wants to give dating me a chance, possibly even forget about keeping his options open.

So am I the kind of person that can just chill out and enjoy the moment? Can I just date for fun knowing there is a shelf life? I'm not really sure yet. It has been a while since I've been here. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the five stages

Things were moving along really well with my plans of world domination at the job...until the very end of the workday Friday. Then a HUGE wrench got thrown into the works. And my idea fell thru.

At first I was really disappointed. Sad. I was really getting stoked at the idea of taking on new challenges and a new role. Starting a new routine, learning a whole new job. How could they not want me? Am I actually not the best? Other people would be better than me? What did I do wrong? What if I had made my move sooner?

Then I got to the dinner party of the evening and stepped into denial. Oh well, such is life. It was worth a try but I'm no worse off.

After the party (which was quite fun) I fell headfirst into anger. What the frick is wrong with this company? Why don't they use my considerable talents instead of tossing them to the side? Even worse, why are they going to make things more difficult for me? The wrench in the works actually makes my life more pollitical and convolued. Argh.

Next of course came the bargaining. If I just wrote up a very detailed email listing exactly why they should let me take on the challenges the company will be better off. Lying in bed last night I couldn't sleep for thinking of all the things that will go wrong if they wouldn't follow my plan and why I should get my way.

Luckily I did fall asleep. And woke up with acceptance. This is the same company I got hired at three and a half years ago that is inefficient and mired down in red tape. My whole career there has been me fighting through the muck just so I can do the bare minimum, let alone really give it all I got. Which is why I have wanted for a while now to leave.

Shiny shiny had distracted me for a while. I'm really glad I tried to stretch my wings so I could see exactly how small the cage I'm in actually is.

That Kubler-Ross sure was a smart lady. Those stages really apply all over the place don't they? And of course I'm really lucky I have the high emotional metabolism to get through them so quickly. Onward and upward to something else!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This last week has been one for the record books as far as my job goes. In a good way.

On Monday I turned in my list of accomplishments for last year. They were impressive. My department instilled new processes and concepts that completely reinvented the way we dealt with titles that are difficult to produce. We significantly cut down on printing too soon (and therefore too much) and spending too much on the prints.

In order to do this it required us proving our reliability and gaining trust from the upper management. Which my staff was able to do with flying colors.

So I was already feeling good about my peeps. Next we had sales conference this week. The head of the division gave an opening speech to the entire Children's gang. Editorial, production, marketing, art...and so on.

While saying how well 2009 did after all he then gave a major shout out to me and my group. A big one.

That felt good, I won't lie. And having people come up later to congratulate me on the comment or agree with it also felt pretty darn nifty.

What do I do then? Why go onto of course. Obviously no good thing can come from doing that. And guess what? I'm underpaid. By a lot. And I mean a lot lot.

Great. Granted this is publishing, notorious for paying the low end of the scale. But my pay isn't even ON the bell curve, let alone the bottom of it.

Being me I wouldn't let that sit. So I gathered all my data and my accolades and marched into my boss' office, demanding a raise. And my biggest leverage to help justify the increase?

Ha. For this I may end up kicking myself later. I proposed I take on a whole slew of new responsibilities. Should I get this added workload every day will be a struggle. But the work needs to be done to prevent waste of money and time.

Of course I know I can do what needs to be done. And so does my boss.

Lord, what have I done? Oye. Guess we'll find out soon enough if people really do believe I'm a miracle worker. And if I'm worth paying a competitive salary.

Why couldn't I just take a compliment and revel in it? What in my nature makes me push the envelope? I really don't know.

Ha, at least it is a trait that pays well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

podcast love

Hello all - I just want to share my latest and greatest find. Over the last week I have discovered and become obsessed with the Nutrition Diva podcast.

From downloading about 20 different seven minute segments have resulted in myths being busted all over the place! For example I have learned that:

- dehydration is not as prevalent as we all think
- five eating tips to keep you feeling 30 when you reach 60
- top foods to buy organic because of pesticide residue
- drinking coffee is good for you, and is best if you have up to 3-4 cups a day
- your metabolism does not actually slow down when you eat less or fast
- vegetarianism is not as healthy as it used to be (hello processed foods)

And these are just off the top of my head!

Between This American Life, Stuff You Should Know, and the Bowery Boys my brain is getting filled with all kinds of random data. Bring on some trivial pursuit already!!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

and for ne next caller

Never say I don't take requests. When I was home for the holidays my mother mentioned that she had been reading my blog. She said she liked it, but there is one thing she would like to change.

I braced myself.

"What?" I asked. Ready. Steel.

"Well," she replied, "That you change your picture. We miss your beautiful smile."

Ha. That one isn't so hard to fix. And heck, I did pay a pretty penny to white-ify my toothies.

So mom, this one's for you. *Look left*

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

dangers of small talk

As you well may know I tend to be fairly chatty at work. Or in general. If you at all look familiar (and sometimes even if you don't) I'll strike up a conversation if we are waiting around.

Earlier today when dashing into the elevator I recognized a co-worker entering at the same time. I immediately knew her to be a girl from my managing editorial department and recalled that she did not make it into work Monday because of travel delays.

Now I don't physically work with this girl very often. She attends a weekly meeting that I only join in about once every six months.

So we enter the elevator and I say "Hey! How are you? I heard you had some travel drama over the holidays?"

She tilted her head, wrinkled her brow, and hesitated.

"You were stuck at home Monday?" I prompted, "Couldn't make it into work?"

Then she smiled;

"No" she said "Holiday travels all went well! I was really lucky, no delays or anything!"

At which point I realize this is NOT the girl I know from managing editorial. And to top it off I therefore have absolutely no clue who this girl is.

So then I start to panic. Does she know who I am? Am I just some odd co-worker who asks personal questions to strangers? What if I really should know her but can't remember from where? Am I being overly friendly or am I failing as a fellow employee?


Of course this entire conversation and the whole panic in my head happened in the elevator traveling from the 4th floor to the ground floor. Not a long trip. But let me tell you it was hard keeping a jovial look on my face once I realized my mistake.

Now I'm a little paranoid. I'm actually considering wandering around my floor looking at faces and door tags to figure out who she is. Argh.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

just a few stairs

Okay, I am compelled to point this out.

The annual New York Road Runners race up the stairs of the Empire State Building has filled to capacity.

That's 86 flights, a quarter mile of stairs. Which is a bitch in any form, now compile with the fact that you are running up in little circles up a narrow stairwell.

Seriously, it is full. It boggles the mind.

Monday, January 04, 2010

holiday 2009

Wow, that holiday went by in the blink of an eye.

Tell you what, only going to Michigan for four nights, working up until Christmas and then back to work again before new years really lessens the impact of the whole shebang. Last year's venture from Dtown to the Canaries seemed like forever - if only just the same week and a half.

Not that this holiday wasn't full of fun and games. Some highlights:

- Lots of family time. Spent time with the 'rents, was accosted two separate days by my five nieces and nephews. (Of whom only one maybe is old enough to remember me when I come back next year bearing gifts.) Also saw my godmother and her offspring with their offspring. Have officially had my fill of children for a score.

- Spent some hang time with Heath et al at the Oak Cafe. Got some of my Bell's fix in, delish. Why oh why won't they sell the stuff here??

- Sis and hubby got in a killer nerf gun fight. I got shot in the eye. Just like in the damn Christmas Story - only of course I don't wear glasses. Am doomed to get a red eye every holiday it seems.

- Got to spend some quality time at favorite Sidetracks for the fried dill pickles and was introduced to the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery in downtown A2. The beer is great, but don't try the pork special. I warn you because I care. Four o'clock in the morning I was unfortunate enough to experience it again the wrong way, so not worth that second time around. Stick with the truffle pizza and fries.

- Time with the 'marrieds'! Down to Paul, Julie, and Jen this year. Intimate but way great to see them. Maybe we should do a trip sometime this year?

- NYE in Queens with the Bonicas, Jules, and Jo Jo. Warm, dry, and fun. At least dry until I went to open some frozen champagne. Then it got messy.

- Somehow in there I was also able to squeeze in a couple of dates. One guy is out, but the other is holding on...will we make it to date three? He lives AND works in Jersey, so guess we'll see how that works. I'm a little skeptical about the idea. For gods' sake, that's an entire other state! With a whole river inbetween!! And a different transit system to get there!!!