28 January 2008

27 January 2008

Travel Quote

Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.

- Frank Herbert

This is why I travel...sometimes I forget about myself and the world and my goals, and it isn't until I'm out there that I remember: oh yes, there's a world besides my little box, my little cubicle and apartment and cat and rent and bills and running gels. there's so much more i want to indulge in.

25 January 2008

sometimes, you need to do the things that aren't ordinary for you

i have been agonizing over where to go next. i had decided on turkey and morocco, but somehow, didn't feel excited about it. i was reading a lot of stuff that sounded interesting, but i keep being drawn to india...india is the #1 country i want to go to, followed by tibet, nepal...and then fiji and indonesia, amongst other places. i want to go to argentina, chile, peru...

so t and i had a talk, you know, that talk couples have after they've been together for a while. no, not the down-on-one-knee-talk; the practical talk. the i-need-to-figure-out-if-we-are- traveling-aka-celebrating-getting-married-so-i-don't-use-all-my-vacation-time-talk. oh, maybe it's not such a common talk.

anyway, so chances are good we'll be going to bali in dec. if not, well, then i'll go someplace for three weeks solo. i hope that we are celebrating our love by traveling around another country.

so i still have extra vacation time. i could totally wait for my race-filled next few months (march: sarasota half marathon; april: boston marathon; june: quebec marathon; july: jay ultramarathon challenge; november: nyc marathon; possibly also moab ultramarathon), and i do have burning man...but i kind of want to go someplace warm. plus i've been depressed and hating the winter.

so i randomly checked on expedia to see what the prices to costa rica were....without taxes, less than two hundred u.s. dollars!!! i think i have to go!

so i debated. i asked my mom if she would mind (i'd be yet again missing her birthday), "GO!" she was actually encouraging. t was a little miffed as he had wanted help--he'd be moving in while i was gone--but he ultimately thought i should go. everyone told me, "GO!"

i'm a huge planner; i spent MONTHS planning for my other trips. this is very different. this is spontaneous. if i had known, i would have spent more time brushing up on my spanish, staring at maps. instead, i just bought my lonely planet guidebook today, and i'm skipping novels for spanish textbooks and flashcards.

i'm so excited. this is huge....11 days in a spanish-speaking country, exploring rain forests and beautiful beaches and snorkeling and running and being alone...it's a little scary, but those are the things that make me grow.

21 January 2008


there is something very ritualistic for me about drinking tea. i don't like getting tea at a deli where there is no thought or preparation or love into it; i prefer to make it myself or go to a good tea shop. today was a lovely day for tea; i had a pot in the middle of the morning, straining the tea leaves as i poured into my cup, stirring the tea my friend brought me from london with sugar and milk. right now i am drinking a lovely vanilla rooibus with milk and sugar. i am enjoying the simple pleasures of a cup of tea.

i love how tea warms me so, all over...i love the simple preparation in stirring quality sugar into my cup, sipping, warming my hands. i love to make a pot of tea for a friend and i, to chat, to share stories and love, as we sip the world's most popular beverage (after water).


i'm about to go through some major changes in my life. my partner of eight and a half years (including a year of instability) is moving into my decent-sized (for nyc; elsewhere, it would be considered small) apt. i guess i'm trying to figure out what i want out of life.

i know i don't want the traditional things. my little sister is engaged, having a big fairytale long island wedding next autumn, lives with her fiance who owns their house, is set up for an american dream lifestyle involving babies (at some point, not soon, i hope, because i'm not ready to watch home birthing videos)--and i'm really happy for her. i'm actually excited about throwing her a bridal shower/bachelorette party (well, really the bachelorette party b/c that is very untraditional and will be super fun; the bridal shower will involve a brunch and other sorts of fun). a lot of the traditions surrounding weddings seem rather antiquated these days.

i feel like my parents look at her and think she is doing the "right" thing. i wouldn't mind getting married, but when i think of getting married, i think, "what country would i go to to celebrate my occasion? what a great excuse for traveling!" my goals are different--a RTW in a few years, getting my books published (but they need a helluva lot of editing right now, which is what i'm doing, with special thanks to v), running more ultras, eventually doing 50 mile and 100 mile races...i don't know. i'm not sure if these are "acceptable" goals, but they're mine and i'm happy with them.

i'm going to live my life--writing, editing, running, reading, traveling, drinking good tea, loving...and enjoy it. i'm not going to listen to pressures, have people tell me i'm weird b/c i never want to own a car, have people tell me i'm destroying my knees, have people telling me NO...i won't listen to NO.

i will only listen to yes...my internal YES.

20 January 2008


too often, running breaks one down, crumpling into small pieces of themselves. i love running, but training for a marathon requires so much commitment. cara and i ran 18 miles today in the freezing cold (23 degrees, but "feels like" 6)--it was ridiculously cold and hard. i haven't run that much since training for the nyc marathon. i felt dizzy at times and it was so overwhelming and difficult. i'm grateful cara was there to push me...

but now, i'm am drained. i finished running hours ago. i have not done much today; made soup, ate, took a bath, did laundry, did some editing...and nothing else, really. it's not a school night and i could easily head out, but i'm too exhausted to move beyond the perimeter of my apartment which feels so cozy with candles, my kitty, and writing...

last night i went out with a really good old friend and we danced a little; his friends were amazed that i went out with them to a bar, danced, had a blast--all without drinking. i am fine not drinking, often don't feel like it, but part of training for a race is not drinking.

the cold...i cannot deal with it. i am thinking of purchasing a plane ticket to either someplace in central america for a week and just being away from the cold...if i could fine cheap fares, i'm leaving!

19 January 2008


There are all these generically pretty girls--you know the type. They have the look--stylish (or at least presentably pretty) clothes--even if it's their only thing like it in their wardrobe. They seem pretty enough--they're the kind of girl that asks way too often while peering intensely into the nearest mirror, calling over her shoulder to her boyfriend (because she's never a lesbian, and if she's bi, it was just for that threesome once--which doesn't count), "Do you think I'm pretty?" and he'll answer all exasperated like he always does, "Of course, yes!"

These girls are the apple pie smile of Middle America yet when you look close, you'll notice something's off--with all of them. (They often travel in packs so scrutiny of many at once is quite possible.) One will have overdyed hair that does not match her skin colour, another's nose is too big (and with a slight bump--oh, how she hates looking in the mirror), another has only old hand-me-downs and cheap, unstylish clothes--but they all look very pretty, very "American" pretty--at first glance, but you soon see the truth:

They're merely average.

16 January 2008

from the mouth of t

"mitt? what kind of name is mitt? we can't have our president be named mitt? what kind of name is mitt?"

my response to t: "it's the name of an asshole."

an anti-woman asshole.

14 January 2008

i don't want any

the past few days, due to some health issues, i've been ordered on bed rest. it's been nice. i've read a lot, learned who some of my real friends are, ate a lot of soup (thanks Mom & Cara), slept a ton, spent quality time with Luna, wrote V some pretty fabulously long letters, chatted on the phone, dreamed and plotted about travel, talked with trish about jewelry, spent some time with my fam and too much time in doctor's offfices. it's been quite hard, actually.

when trish was over last night, she kept yelling at me, "stay still! you're not supposed to be moving around!" it's really hard for me to not run around all over the place--that's just how i am. today i worked at home and it was actually with enthusiasm that i tackled my work (i missed work last monday afternoon, all thursday, and friday half days). i had some interesting tasks and focused quite well.

post-work, i realized i needed to get yogurt, and since i'm picky about the yogurt i like (brown cow lowfat vanilla yogurt), i didn't want to ask someone else to go to the store on my behalf, and i'm almost okay...so i walked to the store to get it.

i saw all of the things i had missed (or rather, not missed!) the past few days...the hipsters...the way the hood is changing...construction of stores...trash on streets...and i missed the comfort of my bed...

it made me realize there are things i don't want and i am not going to take it. i'm not going to do things i don't want. i know after t moves in, it will be blamed on the fact that i am devoting all my time to him...but that's not it at all. i am spending time alone, doing what i want, and this is how i want to live my life.

to write, to run, to dream, to travel, to be...

to be me.

some small steps to saving the earth

not sure where to recycle eyeglasses, printer cartridges, or mobile phones? check out here.

some local supermarkets (including whole foods in new york city) recycle batteries, plastic bags, and other objects.


too disturbing

this is a time when i want to bang my head against my desk and cry.

what is the message of this article? complain after being raped, and members of the marines (yes, defenders of our country) will murder you.

disgusting. disturbing. i cannot believe misogyny and hatred like this still exists.

10 January 2008

this is why i consider thich nhat hanh to be my teacher

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Promise me, promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is shining above
exactly at zenith, promise me
even if people crush you
under a mountain of hatred and violence,
even if they walk on your life
and crush you like a caterpillar,
even if they amputate you,
disembowel you,
remember, brother,
man is not our enemy.
Only your compassion and
your loving kindness are invincible,
and without limit.
Hatred can never respond
to the beastlines in humankind.
One day when you are by yourself
facing cruelty,
your courage intact,
your calm eyes full of love,
even if no one knows of your smile,
blossoming as a flower in solitude and great pain,
those who love you will still see you
while traveling through a thousand worlds
of birth and death.
Alone again, I will go on
with my head bent down,
knowing that love has become eternal.
And on the long and difficult road,
the light of the sun and the moon
is still there
to guide my steps.

This is something that is quite intense to practice on; my mind will be full for a long time with these thoughts. Thank you, Thich Nhat Hanh.

07 January 2008

i hate the u.s.'s health insurance policies

okay, why the fuck should only the rich be fully covered? everyone should have the right to being healthy--not just the employed or the rich. i do have insurance via my job but i shouldn't have to pay $32.79 for my uterus--that should be free!!

06 January 2008

something i loved in oslo, norway

you may say i'm a dreamer...but i'm not the only one

i'm trying to finalize some upcoming travel plans...i have planned on going to turkey and morocco right after the boston marathon but t moving in complicates things...we want to go away at some point for a big, ahem, celebration, AND i'm going to burning man, and running an ultramarathon in vermont, and possibly another in moab and a marathon in boston (duh) and possibly a marathon in quebec...so i need to figure out if i can manage all my few vacation days.


too fun

sitting at home, sipping wine on an empty stomach, writing, laughing, with my cat, my comfy clean home, happy, knowing food will be on its way soon...

i am happy to be alive.

new year's resolutions

new year's resolutions are stupid unless you intend to keep them and they are realistic. like those, "i'm going to lose 100 pounds" ones are pretty pointless. as if you are going to stop watching teevee six hours a day, go to the gym daily, and eat only superfoods--c'mon america!

my new year's resolutions are:

  1. be more productive at work (which will hopefully end up with a promotion--woohoo!)
  2. stretch more before and after running to prevent injury;
  3. strength train to strengthen my muscles to prevent injury;
  4. cross train to give my legs some rest and prevent injury;
  5. eat less sweets. notice i didn't say i'm giving up all sweets; i won't buy packaged cookies and will resist sweets wherever and whenever possible, and will try to incorporate natural sweeteners like agave nectar into my baked goods.
  6. eat less. my portion sizes have been getting very american. of course when i'm training for a marathon, this gets thrown out the window. (when i run 23 miles, i burn 2300 calories, and my regular intake of 2000 calories means i'm going to feel faint if i don't eat more than normal!)
  7. exercise luna. this is the only resolution i am not very confident about. luna is lazy. imagine if you took sleeping pills all the time...you wouldn't be very active. this is what my cat is like. she sleeps, lies around, eats, begs for food, cleans herself.
happy new year!

05 January 2008

i am so glad there are other women out there speaking up

i'm lucky enough to be in a committed relationship for the risk of rape is much lower. yes, most women are raped by people they know (are dating, are friends with, whatever)--to this i can testify. sure, it can happen when you're not dating someone, but date rape is way too common. way too fucking common.

too many rapists are out there in this city. this post brought up a lot of older memories, and i'm so glad she spoke out about this. it's so hard to. by the way, one in four women is raped; you probably know more than one.

just a reminder: the yoga sutras

By cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.

This is how I try to live my life.

how to live your life

I was just writing an email to a friend, talking about how I've made life decisions regarding things that may not be healthy for you. i've realized certain times i do things or spend time with people i may not like or that may not be healthy for me...those are things i cannot continue to do. for instance, only on certain occasions do i enjoy hanging out with large groups of people, so why am i doing it?

i think too often we do things b/c we feel obligated--we need to learn how to say no. your new years resolution should be to do what you want to do and what is good for you.


i consider myself to be a running purist. i never wear headphones when i run. i do wear them at the gym (which is appalling tedious, in my opinion; music alleviates the boredom as i cross-train and strength-train to prevent injury), but never when i'm running.

why do i need headphones when i'm running? running itself and the scenery (although it is not always lovely, as i am a runner in new york city) captivates my interest. i am entertained by the very act of running.

but no, that's not all running is to me. running is also a place for me to clear my mind, to meditate. my old roommate didn't think running was a form of meditation; my buddhist landlord and i argued to her that it was where i cleared my mind. i do sitting meditation, but for me, i feel a lot better about things after a run. running is where i am able to make decisions, where i am able to clear everything out of my head, and just run. just be.