Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dateline: Dorchester Heights 12/31/11

3:20 p.m.

All hail the feet that ran 1,000 miles this year without injury, without complaint.

Many thanks.

(And onto the next year, my friends.)

Friday, December 30, 2011

(Late at) the office

It is rare for me
to be not upset
at still being
in the office
at 10:30 on the
Friday night of a
3-day weekend.

But then again.

It is rare for me
to have finished
2-years-worth of
back-filing and
be able to
start the new work week
(and the new work year)
with a clean desktop.

Stiff legs,
sore back,
crunchy neck,
weary fingers,
get me home.

There's a glass
of Pinot Gris
(and a jar of peanut butter)
(and a down comforter)
(and a hot bath)
with my name on it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Did not acknowledge

Have I written this post before?  Can't believe I haven't ....

.... about how within a 5-day range of any major holiday, men from my past who have either a) ditched me b) ignored me or c) just generally been dismissive and uninspired and, therefore unworthy of my time, must insist upon pinging me as if we're best buds.

Ugh.  The Holiday Booty Call. Or Call-o-Regret. Or I Have Nothing Better To Do So I'm Trolling For a Past Lover, Any Past Lover, to See if She is Available.

So not attractive.

Take Not Available Man, who always represented himself as Available but never proved to be).  Who I never wrote about, because it was probably not public knowledge that he called himself Available.   Who ditched at the last hour more times (3) in 2 years than he actually came through ... most recently in June of this year, without remorse or explanation.  After which I told him to go (expletive) himself and deleted his contact info from all portals.  He evidently did not delete mine.  Last week he IM'd on Gmail  twice.  "Hi!", both times at 1 a.m. 

As if I had not told him to go (expletive) himself.  Did not acknowledge.

Then, take Coffee, Beer Big Hands Man.  From Oakland CA, with family in Mass; our one face-to-face encounter in October 2009 ended with him leaving my apartment, red-faced.  Who ever since, pops up on OKC every 3 months, as if it periodically occurs to him a cross-country conversation would be the cure to both our ills.  Three months ago he wrote in the same fashion, and  I cut the cord, suggesting I was weary of his no-effort approach:  he either had to be interested in me and do something about it or go away.  He apologized, but then didn't write again, so I thought he went away.

Until this weekend, when he wrote to say he was in Boston over the holidays and wanted to know if I wanted to get a drink.  Did not acknowledge.

Amazingly, last night, Canoe Enthusiast joined the procession.  Without any pretense.  Just the message:  "Want to get together?" As if, because we slept together in February 2008 and he ditched me in clueless forgetfulness on 2 successive dates in March, I might want to get together in December 2011.

While I was in mid-deletion of said request he, still online, pinged with an instant message, "Hello!" After which, when I didn't reply immediately, followed with "Hello?"

What the hell?  Yuck.

Finally, as if he knew I was going to write this and wanted to provide a finale as the King of Such Behavior, in comes the 1:35 a.m. text from C-2: "Yo!"

I knew he wanted me to be my old spontaneous self, meet him for last call, get drunk fast, see what transpired on Kingston Street. As if he had been in any meaningful contact since June, other than several times to suggest that if I volunteered for one of his local campaigns, it might afford me the opportunity to see him.  But that otherwise he was too busy.  As if he even deserved to still have my number in his phone.

Awake, but pretending to be asleep, I did not acknowledge.

But I gave in this morning at 10, because he is C-2, and I do this for him.
Replying: "Are you in town?"  

To which he said:  "I was. Was at Foley's, but on road back now. :( " 

To which I said:  "Thanks for the ample heads-up, as always."

To which he said:  "Sorry. I tried."

To which I wanted to say:  "Really, no, you never really did, your apology is hollow, and I think I'm safe without ever wanting to see you again.  Which makes me sad after all the things I liked about our friendship before you started treating me exclusively like your Boston booty call but, thanks anyway."
Next time, I swear:

Will not acknowledge.  At all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And 17 miles to run ....

....with 4 days to do it.

(Thought y'all needed to be reassured that despite consumption of approximately 128 Christmas cookies since I first mentioned having 60 to go,  my weekend in MSP with the family did not throw me off track, my legs are strong, my spirit is strong, my gym is open, my schedule is open, my iPod is charged, and Mother Nature is seemingly holding off on the snow and cold for my exclusive benefit.)

And therefore I say again:

I want this.
It will happen.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011): Unseasonable

Longtime readers of this blog might remember the weather ghosts of Christmases past:


The Whew, Thank God That Blizzard Came 5 Days Before My Flight (rather than 2) Blizzard Drama.  (Also known as:  Where Will I Park My Car So It Doesn't Get Towed If There's a Snow Emergency While I'm Gone Conundrum.)

The Ha Ha, I'm Not Flying to MSP Until January! Evening but I'm Still Going to Drink Too Much Bailey's on the Rocks, because It Still Sucks to be Snowed In.

With those shots of my poor car and memories of inevitable flight delays fresh in your mind, note this very recent photo of the Boston Common heading from the Frog Pond towards the Back Bay and the Hancock tower:

That grass is GREEN, my friends.

Flight to MSP is in 6 short hours.  I doubt the plane will require a de-icer.  And I couldn't be happier.

Merry, merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little metta with my coffee...

If I were to write here what I was planning to write --

-- which was that at 12:45 this morning I was running 8-minute miles through Southie, in shorts and baseball cap, through the most unlikely of hurricane-strength downpours (never a sentence I'd expect to write on the first day of winter in Boston) and how even though I was drenched, I was invigorated, and how even running uphill into the rain and headwind and with water squishing in the lining of my shoes from the massive puddles felt good in that "I'm running through a metaphor about perseverance and overcoming adverse conditions and enjoying it" kind of way --

-- you'd probably correctly guess that I did not sleep enough last night, that I felt restless and wired from too many Christmas cookies and joy over having (amazingly, before the day itself!) completing my Christmas letter, that I stayed up way later than I should have and woke up pretty out-of-sorts.

Arriving in the office, though, I found a "Seasons Greetings" e-mail from my only known friend who embraces Buddhism in a real and comprehensive way-- a former co-worker from Minnesota, go figure.  Here were his greetings. 

"Monks, whatever kinds of worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness; in shining and beaming and radiance the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness far excels them.

Just as whatever light there is of stars, all is not worth one sixteenth part of the moon's light; in shining and beaming and radiance the moon's light far excels it;

and just as in the last month of the Rains, in the Autumn when the heavens clear, the sun as he climbs the heavens drives all darkness from the sky with his shining and beaming and radiating;

and just as, when night turning to dawn, the Morning Star is shining and beaming and radiating;

so too, whatever kinds of worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness; in shining and beaming and radiance the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness far excels them."

Wishing you a metta, metta christmas and a metta new year...
In case you've not heard of the term metta, it has a lengthy definition, in part:  "a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence ...  the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others ...  altruistic attitude of love and friendliness as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest." 

Richard's sentiments brought down my heart rate and shored up my focus for this last, hectic day before the holiday -- for which I'm grateful -- and reminded me of the many multi-significant and lovely people in my life I should also be grateful for.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011): The Grinch Who Keeps Stealing My Sky

Oh, fair patio.

With lovely view of the waterfront since September of last year.

Occasional summer yoga studio.  

Reliable summer party spot, among the impatiens and basil.

Frequent summer chill spot (and often insomnia hangout).

Only place I can say I've listened to both Jethro Tull live and a chorus of partygoers down the street wailing on Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" at some early morning hour.

It is now the place where I watch construction workers hoist joists, tape wall panels together, add floors for future back-door neighbors; there has been another added in the week since this photo was taken. 

I'm kind of praying there isn't a fourth floor.

I want the chance to keep at least a couple inches of sky.

Monday, December 19, 2011

When It Won't Start: A drama in 3 days and 2 nights (and/or beyond)

Saturday, Dec. 17

1:48 p.m.  (Scene: West First Street, Southie)
Very cold.  Rehearsal starts at 2 at church (2.3 miles away).  Car does not start in kind  ... key turn produces wan vroom followed by ticking clicks, successive key turns produce even wan-er vrooms and fewer ticking clicks.  Abort driving mission.  Return to apartment, add sweatshirt, hat with ear-flaps and backpack to current outfit, pump up flat-tire on bike, pedal on down the road to be late (yet again) for rehearsal.

4:30 p.m. (Scene: Rehearsal, happy Advent music)
Still very cold.  Hands still numb from bike ride with $2 gloves.  Friends Brian and Chris listen to vocal imitation of wan vroom and clicks, assess it "might be" the starter.  Sympathies professed.  Mentally calcuate cost of new starter to be more than value of all remaining current parts of car. Recall insurance renewal is mid-January and could be not-renewed.  Brainstorm scenarios for junkyard transport and/or zipcar membership and/or investment in sub-zero biking gloves.

6:46 p.m.  (Scene: Red Line Subway Car)
Very cold and (now) very dark.  Enroute to cookie-swap party in Teele Square in Somerville, 7-dozen gingersnaps in backpack, bike propped on knees.  Text MSF to gripe; replies I should attempt complimentary battery jump from mechanic on Monday before assuming worst.  Reminded via loudspeaker of Red Line partial suspension on winter weekends and there are no trains to Davis.  Curse and question choice of high-heeled dress shoes and skirt.  Brainstorm  fastest route between Harvard and Teele Squares.

7:10 p.m.  (Scene:  "Up" Escalator, Harvard Station)
Yoga abs-of-steel engaged to counter backwards torque from bike slanting diagonally over 3 stairs, front tire jamming on one wall, back tire jamming on the opposite.  Brief view of possible death or mortal injury.  Mental note:  escalators + bike + high-heeled dress shoes = pretty dumb idea.

7:15 p.m.  (Scene: Mass Ave, Cambridge)
Twenty-mph headwind? Check.  Spongy, low-pressured back tire? Check.  Crunchy glass sound underfoot? Check. High-heeled dress shoes?  Still on.  Sub-zero biking gloves?  Not yet.

11:30 p.m. (Scene: Southie Apartment, kitchen)
Home to rehearsal (2.3 miles x 2) + Harvard to Teele Square (2.5 miles x 2) +  Broadway Station to home (1.2 miles x 2) + Temps in single digits + Still-spongy back tire + Still inappropriate shoes and gloves = f***ing cold fingers and toes.  Commence Maker's Mark cocktail.

Sunday, December 18

All Day (Scene: Back Bay and Surrounds) 
Very, very, very cold.  Very, very, very underdressed (see:  Scene: Red Line) and required to be out all day for church, shopping, concert and dinner.   (Author's Note:  Audience is allowed to smack Yours Truly upside head for not picking up parka from the drycleaner on Stuart Street, where it has been since May.)

Monday, December 19

7:15 a.m. (Scene: Southie Apartment, Interior)
Very, very cold.  Lying under 3 layers of covers, picturing moment of truth when mechanic declares car total loss.  Close eyes, hit Snooze.

8:45 a.m.  (Scene: Emerson Auto, Southie)
Mechanic hands over a portable hand-held battery charger (yes!), explaining that it should be used to start car to drive back in for the check, in one swoop eliminating tow truck fees.  Briefly want to marry mechanic.  Car indeed starts.

9:00 a.m.  (Scene: Same)
Battery deemed low-ampage and unsuitable for cold-weather starts.  Replacement suggested.  Car left with said mechanic for replacement, oil change, nervous laugh and edict:  "Call me if anything more serious shows up". 

9:30 a.m.  (Scene:  Office Chair)
Gulp extra-strength coffee and check savings account balance. Try to work.  Await call.

2:09 p.m.  (Scene: Same)
Mechanic to call any minute.  Or will he?

3:27 p.m.  (Scene: Same)
Auto shop closes at 5 p.m.  Mild ulcer forming.

4:50 p.m.  (Scene: Same)
Borderline sadistic.

5:12 p.m. (Scene: Same, Only More Sanguine)
Mechanic calls:  battery, windshield wiper, oil change,  with labor- $215.   Ask:  "Anything else?"  Hear:  "Well, it holds fluids well."  Reply: "Yeah, so about the carriage rocking [from the ostensible 3-inch layer of rust on the undercarriage from stem to stern] ....?"   Reply:  "Yeah. Well.  It's just an old car."    Proud to be the owner of a sparkling new battery in the oldest car in Southie -- which is saying something.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens: Tribute

Christopher Hitchens, the undefinable essayist critic author rhetoritician contrarian smoker-drinker brilliant world's-most-famous-atheist unapologist known for taking on both liberals and Mother Teresa and (quite famously) his own body hair, died last night from pneumonia outlying from esophageal cancer.

I have a hard time recalling any recent public figure more feted in life or in death -- a man who seemed to win respect even from those he decimated.

Reading the tributes today, and rereading many of his recent essays, I as a writer have, too, succumbed to the desire to highlight this larger-than-life icon .... even if he would have smote me dead for using such a cliched phrase to describe him.  It was this article, just weeks after his all-encompassing cancer diagnosis last summer, that cemented my respect:
Vanity Fair (CH - from September 2010):  "The notorious stage theory of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whereby one progresses from denial to rage through bargaining to depression and the eventual bliss of “acceptance,” hasn’t so far had much application in my case. In one way, I suppose, I have been “in denial” for some time, knowingly burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light. But for precisely that reason, I can’t see myself smiting my brow with shock or hear myself whining about how it’s all so unfair: I have been taunting the Reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction and have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me. Rage would be beside the point for the same reason. Instead, I am badly oppressed by a gnawing sense of waste. I had real plans for my next decade and felt I’d worked hard enough to earn it. Will I really not live to see my children married? To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read—if not indeed write—the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger? But I understand this sort of non-thinking for what it is: sentimentality and self-pity. Of course my book hit the best-seller list on the day that I received the grimmest of news bulletins, and for that matter the last flight I took as a healthy-feeling person (to a fine, big audience at the Chicago Book Fair) was the one that made me a million-miler on United Airlines, with a lifetime of free upgrades to look forward to. But irony is my business and I just can’t see any ironies here: would it be less poignant to get cancer on the day that my memoirs were remaindered as a box-office turkey, or that I was bounced from a coach-class flight and left on the tarmac? To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?"
Thanks for your indulgence and for reading the tributes of others.... words tend to fail me when presented with such a work ethic, such practicality, and someone who most excellently lived his life his way.
The New Yorker (Jane Mayer):   "Hitch lived so large, and so beyond the rules, that his mortality seems especially hard to accept. I remember the day some eighteen months ago when he told me that he was mortally ill. He had missed a few stops on his book tour, which wasn’t like him, so I called to see if he was all right. 'No,' he said frankly. 'I’m not. I have cancer.' I was so stricken for the next few days that I couldn’t get much work done. Then I noticed that during the time that I was using his illness as an excuse to procrastinate, he had himself authored a handful of brilliant pieces. I couldn’t work, but he couldn’t stop working. He was a born writer, whose irrepressible talent and verve put most of the rest of us journeymen to shame."
The New Yorker (Christopher Buckley):   "When we made a date for a meal over the phone, he’d say, 'It will be a feast of reason and a flow of soul.'  I never doubted that this rococo phraseology was an original coinage, until I chanced on it, one day, in the pages of P. G. Wodehouse, the writer Christopher perhaps esteemed above all others. Wodehouse was the Master. When we met for another lunch, one that lasted only five hours, he was all a-grin with pride as he handed me a newly minted paperback reissue of Wodehouse with 'Introduction by Christopher Hitchens.' 'Doesn’t get much better than that,' he said, and who could not agree? ..... Everything he said was brilliant. It was a feast of reason and a flow of soul, and, if the author of ‘God Is Not Great’ did not himself believe in the concept of soul, he sure had one, and it was a great soul.”
Vanity Fair (Graydon Carter):  "He wrote often—constantly, in fact, and right up to the end—and he wrote fast; frequently without the benefit of a second draft or even corrections. I can recall a lunch in 1991, when I was editing The New York Observer, and he and Aimée Bell, his longtime editor, and I got together for a quick bite at a restaurant on Madison, no longer there. Christopher’s copy was due early that afternoon. Pre-lunch canisters of scotch were followed by a couple of glasses of wine during the meal and a similar quantity of post-meal cognac. That was just his intake. After stumbling back to the office, we set him up at a rickety table and with an old Olivetti, and in a symphony of clacking he produced a 1,000-word column of near perfection in under half an hour."
The New York Times (Ian McEwan):  "The place where Christopher Hitchens spent his last few weeks was hardly bookish, but he made it his own. Close to downtown Houston is the Medical Center, a cluster of high-rises like La Défense of Paris, or London’s City, a financial district of a sort, where the common currency is illness ..... No man was ever as easy to visit in the hospital. He didn’t want flowers and grapes, he wanted conversation, and presence. All silences were useful. He liked to find you still there when he woke from his frequent morphine-induced dozes. He wasn’t interested in being ill. He didn’t want to talk about it .... And so this was how it would go: talk about books and politics, then he dozed while I read or wrote, then more talk, then we both read. The intensive care unit room was crammed with flickering machines and sustaining tubes, but they seemed almost decorative. Books, journalism, the ideas behind both, conquered the sterile space, or warmed it, they raised it to the condition of a good university library ....  at Christopher’s request, Alexander and I set up a desk for him under a window. We helped him and his pole with its feed-lines across the room, arranged pillows on his chair, adjusted the height of his laptop. Talking and dozing were all very well, but Christopher had only a few days to produce 3,000 words on Ian Ker’s biography of Chesterton. Whenever people talk of Christopher’s journalism, I will always think of this moment.   Consider the mix.  Constant pain, weak as a kitten, morphine dragging him down, then the tangle of Reformation theology and politics, Chesterton’s romantic, imagined England suffused with the kind of Catholicism that mediated his brush with fascism and his taste for paradox, which Christopher wanted to debunk. At intervals, Christopher’s head would droop, his eyes close, then with superhuman effort he would drag himself awake to type another line. His long memory served him well, for he didn’t have the usual books on hand for this kind of thing. When it’s available, read the review. His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater’s famous phrase, he burned “with this hard gem-like flame.” Right to the end.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011): (At) the start

Well, the camera has a definitive start date .... April 21, 2008. 

It has a definitive start line too ..... that of the 112th Boston Marathon.  Must have pressed a Children's Hospital teammate into service just minutes before hopping that white fence my left thumb appears to be holding up.  The first-wave runners are underway....their cast-off warm-ups littering the ground behind me.

Here's the better version, same pose, with a mystery no-numbered runner crowding me out.

Don't recall how nervous I was that day.  Do remember a specific mortification at my pale, exposed winter skin.  Remember loving those (what must have been special edition) appropriately golden Asics.  Had no idea that that rainbow bandana would not want to stay tied, or on my head, during the 26 miles to come, that I would stop to rejigger it 4 or 5 times, or photos from the finish would show it hanging off, bouncing against my neck.

I still own that damned bandana, incidentally. And wear it still; it's in my backpack this afternoon, ready to be worn for the treadmill tonight.  It has the density of a piece of Kleenex, edges shredded as if my cats had played catch with it.

It's a weird nostalgia.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FWAB: Auf Wiedersehen (not goodbye)

My man Mitch,

who in the 5 years I've known him has

a) got himself a true love,
b) got himself hitched,
c) got himself a doctorate,

Boston University (May 2011)

d) got himself a daughter in September,

(and through it all, got himself every new release of an iPhone since January 2007),

BC/UND Hockey night (October 2007) --
 first (photo) illustration of what an iPhone could do.


e) got himself a real job. 

Unfortunately for me, it is in Maryland, which means much less common-sense shoulder-leaning advice or Minnesota Vikings griping in person.

Fortunately for him and his family, it is a new adventure capably undertaken. I trust he'll get success and happiness from it, just as he's gotten everything else he's strove for.

Auf Wiedersehen, mein Freund!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And (60) miles to run....

... before I can rest
on January 1 and
relish in knowing
I logged
1000 (miles)
on these feet
in 2011.

Which means running
3.157 miles per day
each of the next 19 days.

Even if it's below zero, or
raining, or
Post-workplace-holiday-party-hangover Day, or
Christmas Eve in Minneapolis.

It will happen.
I want this.

(Off to knock off 5 more.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yes. It's that easy.

Yesterday there was a party at Balint's place. It was as good of a time as a Sunday early-cocktail hour should be. Our friend Mark, dressed in sweater vest and tie and a serious countenance, muddled oranges and maraschino cherries with sugar into pretty scrumptious Old Fashioneds. Homemade peppermint bark on the appetizer table. I won a clip-on bow tie in the Yankee Swap gift exchange.

As evening came and the crowd thinned, Balint and another friend and I shot some palinka before settling in: Balint and Mike to the couch to discuss matters of physics, reasoning and philosophy; me, to Balint's Steinway for a playing tour through Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. I'd run through a prelude and a fugue, then break to flip pages, see what fingerings my slightly-tipsy brain could still handle .... and in the silence the boys would call out for me to keep playing, offering to toss a $20 my way for continued service. Once I got to #22, the Prelude in B-flat Minor (BWV 867), I stopped to work on it for awhile:

After that I had to stop playing because of the hour and the upstairs neighbors. The boys had moved to the breakfast table, still talking heatedly, and my buzz was still on and the air outside was still frigid and unwelcoming, so I busied myself .... bagged leftovers and put in the fridge, stacked placements, wiped the tables, swept the floor, loaded the dishwasher ... they were still talking. Finally then, acknowledging weariness, I settled in on the couch and tucked feet underneath, leaning head back for a quick doze. It was at that moment Balint seemed to first recognize I had just completed his party clean-up without him ... I heard his shuffling my way on stockinged feet, felt him settle onto the couch in front of me, hip against my hip, opened eyes as he leaned in to kiss me high on the cheek up by the ear and exclaim, "Did you do all that? That's sweet! I should marry you!"


Yes. Bach. And elbow grease. It's that easy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peace, Generosity

I know I've never said this before ... but damn, I did not sleep well last night. Yesterday was busy at the office and I was tense. I was thusly still tense while online Christmas shopping before leaving the office, and a vigorous run-and-row at the gym, a hot bath while downing a 3-shot bourbon cocktail, and a bowl of reheated Thanksgiving turkey soup did not take the edge off. Nor did a 90-minute chat with a (very) groggy MSF followed by perusing the The New Yorker (complete Nov. 7 edition), nor did playing Tetris on Facebook for 45 minutes before polishing the last 2 servings from a box of Kashi Go Lean and re-delving (for the third time) into Fred Emery's Watergate.  (Yeah, I agree: conspiracy and breakfast cereal at 3:30 a.m. do not exactly inspire a mind to shut down.) Woke up hard at 6:45 out of a dream where I was biking as fast as I could through the Back Bay, along the brick sidewalks of Marlborough Street, and I still could not catch the insouciant man jogging in front of me, who I know I was meant to catch, needed to catch. And thusly could not get back to sleep and could not get out of bed and didn't know how I was possibly going to manage the latter, ever, body unwilling and brain frustrated. It wasn't until I recalled how some 6 weeks ago I had similar dread of the uncertainty around me and only recovered from that dread when realizing that I have Patience Judgment Family Friends Health and my world does not really suck ass. That still holds true. And I realized I could remind myself in this season (and any time, really), that when I want to mire in a self-centered wallow I can instead tell myself to aspire to a Peace Within and a Generosity to Others ... to let go of little annoyances, to realize the ones I think aren't so little are minuscule in the grand scheme, that peace indeed can be a chosen state of mind, and that anything I can do to brighten someone else's day is an anything worth doing.

So, eventually, I got up. (I'll let you know how the rest of the day goes.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bachelor of the Day!

My e-mail account was pinged today by an OKC  'Hi!" courtesy of a 39-y-o man from Baghdad, Iraq: 

Not interested beyond the fact that I wondered who in Iraq was checking me out, I clicked for a peek.  He's a 59% Match (57% Friend).  He works in Computer / Hardware / Software and makes less than $20,000 a year.  He speaks English and Arabic.

He also seems to be, in another life, a 20-something woman from Virginia.
He likes long walks and being a good friend to others and enjoys driving to volunteer in his dad's office a couple times a week.  His peep-toed pumps are among the things he can't live without.  Also:
You should message me if:
- You want a new dental hygienist
- Need a gal to go to a concert with
- Need someone to talk about anything over a bottle of wine and good cheese plate
- Or....someone to potentially be a girlfriend.

Side note:  Don't let my age discourage you. I appreciate men in their 40's and 50's. In fact, some of my best friends are in that age group. Some would say I am old soul at times. Also, I don't mind traveling to NOVA... Gives me an excuse to get out of Richmond. Although, I am willing to host here as well! Lots of goodies here in Richmond.
In addition to the cleavage shot above, according to his profile pictures, he looks like this:

And this:

Incidentally:  between 6:30 p.m. when I first viewed his profile and 8:44 p.m. (now), his residence changed from Iraq to .... Bro, Finland.

Not that I am one to judge how other people productively or unproductively spend their time, but .... what the hell?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011)

Among the many reasons I appreciated MSF's recent visit, one such was how the occasion inspired the deep-cleaning of several places in my apartment previously invisible through layers of dust and clutter.   Not only did I organize my file of car-repair receipts by date, collate every set of tax returns since 2003, and locate my passport at the bottom of a laundry basket, I found this disposable camera in a box of miscellaneous stationary.

Seven exposures taken.   Stamp on the bottom reading  "Develop Before 07/2008."  Probably purchased in 2006.

I immediately realized I needed to find out what those 7 pictures were of.....even if just the inside of my backpack, in error.  I needed to shoot out the rest of the roll and scour the Yellow Pages to see if anyone anywhere still develops color Kodak film, since the company stopped making it in 2009.  I realized that it was a bonafide opportunity to stop and document occasions with care like the photojournalists of old -- a la the Kodachrome Project -- and examine places around the city in this season when the city is adorned and the light in the sky is low, places that I walk by every day and, because I have lived here too long, never consider as much as I should.

'Tis the season for reflection, no?

I'll take 7 days shoot and the rest of 2011 to share.  Meet me back here next Wednesday....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


O blessed, blessed night! 
I am afeard. 
Being in night, all this is but a dream, 
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.
-- "Romeo & Juliet" Act II, Scene 2
I was not falling asleep quickly last night and then, remembering a half-unwatched Shakespeare in Love idling on iTunes from last week, kept myself even more from falling asleep (because I can watch this movie unendingly for its cleverness and passion even after growing tired), and where I picked it up was the rolling sequence of Will writing the balcony (Act II, Scene 2) scene from Romeo & Juliet as the players are both performing it and he is living it through gauzy exchanges with his half-dressed muse Viola, and I did not of course equate this tragedy and romance with the 3 days and 2 nights just spent with MSF (and the chocolate he brought with him on the Friday-night red-eye), because the 3 days and 2 nights were rife with easeful enjoyment and Kobe sliders from Lucky's and homemade banana bread with sharp cheddar and unexpected moments of realization that after 2 months of not being face-to-face, 3 days and 2 nights of face-to-face are only slightly bittersweet and moreso only luxurious and gratifying and filling, despite the necessary end and the distance so briskly reestablished as the Monday-night sun set along with the plane taking him home, real life crashing its way back in just as quickly.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Actions speak

Got caught up last night getting my hair cut and going for a run and making banana bread and washing my kitchen floor.  Which kept me up later than I probably should have stayed up.  Which meant I was a tad tired waking up this morning.  Which is not abnormal for me.

What is abnormal is getting to the office, taking off the commuter-girl tennis shoes I wore to bike in with, and zipping up these knee-length black boots

then walking the length of my office to make a cup of coffee and pick up something from the file room before realizing that something felt a bit ... off... then realizing I had zipped the boots onto the wrong legs

In my defense, this is how they look from above, on the wrong feet. 

Not so obvious, no?

Still.  It probably should have been, sooner than I deduced.

Oh, sleep.  You necessary evil.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Birthday Shout-Out: O-Dog

Mom and Oliver -- December 1, 2010

I've written before about how much fun it is to be an aunt. 

That still holds true. 

(Even when Henry is kicking Oliver in the head and laughing about it and laughing at me for yelling ....)

I've written before too, how, more than my own birthdays (or my parents' or my sisters'), it is these little men's birthdays that make me sense and appreciate just how much life changes in one short year and, more than ever, grateful for the joy of life.

Oliver riding shotgun -- Thanksgiving 2011

Happy birthday .... my stubborn, determined, strong (and no worse-for-the-wear-from-getting-kicked-in-the-head) adorable blue-eyed boy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanks-Essay 6: Grateful...

... today.



Steam room.

(Specifically Dawn Upshaw's singing some from A Rake's Progress.)



Spring weather in Fall.

San Francisco, Man From.
(Arriving Saturday for a long weekend.)
(Requiring great patience for 3 days more.)

Spilled ginger ale on Macbook keyboard.
(From Sunday night.)
(So machine stays powered-down for 3 days to dry.) 
(Freeing evenings ((from web-surfing habits)) for making snickerdoodles.)
(And ((more)) sleeping.)
(i.e. small blessings.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanks-Essay 5: Mondays, mortality

I read on Facebook this morning that a girl (woman now of course, mother of 3 teenagers) who went to high school with me died yesterday of fast-moving colon cancer. She and I were always just acquaintances and not friends and were never really in touch, but she was a good friend to many of my friends, and since I read the news her face as I knew her then, back in Cando, keeps floating up ... blonde, boisterous, saucer-eyed wild child with the biggest laugh ever, bangs teased to a tower, cadre of equally boisterous and loyal girlfriends with whom to cruise Main looking for the parties, her 80's era sports car a fixture at Bob's parking lot for years.  She could not have known then that this would be how her life would end 20 years later ... although of course, none of us can know the hour or the time of our own ends.

Concurrently, today has turned into a very hard day for 2 of my other friends, coping with their own crushing loss of a similar sort. Watching, listening, wanting to help in whatever way but not knowing how, I am humbled (again) by the resiliency of the human spirit when faced with the things in life that can quickly become awful. These friends are able to, as they often do even in benign circumstances, approach the day with grace and selfless consideration of where it will fit into the larger scope of their lives -- and that in this case, it will somehow shape their futures in the way God somehow means them to be.

Again, can I possibly always remember this -- even in the good times? -- this edict that seems so obvious today, this necessity to live as if you can't know what the next day will bring, or how your life will change, or shape others, or end?

"There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -- Albert Einstein

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanks-Essay 4: To Not Griping

Got into work quite late today ... the result of staying up very late.  As in sun-coming-up late and not because I wanted to be.   As in:  for the first time in months being up with heart-racing insomnia that didn't abate with a hot bath, with rereading transcripts of past fond chats with MSF, with the eating of a plate of cold turkey breast at 4:30, or even pulling out EB White's "One Man's Meat" for folksy storytelling distraction.

I'm blaming Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, the account of a Mt. Everest expedition featuring loads of high-altitude frostbite, delusions, and death.  I love the book and have already read it 3 times -- and for reasons unknown, last night was the night it decided to disturb the living shit out of me. 

It took pulling the laptop into bed, queuing up the cartoon Ratatouille, and letting the happy rat chef make some splendid soup before my brain shut off and heartbeat relaxed and I drifted off at about 6....only to wake myself up with a dream about riding bike across an f#$%ing ice bridge while looking down at an endless crevasse in either direction.

Oy. Hope the pleasant dreams MSF wished me before we said goodnight at least came true for him.

Not to gripe, though.  Last night I guess I could have been at Wal-Mart, getting pepper-sprayed by a fellow video-game shopper.

It's in this context -- a bit sleep-deprived, a bit sated from the food and fellowship of yesterday, a bit daunted with the to-do list that awaits these last November days -- that I was grateful to see David Brooks' Times column today editorializing on his project, "The Life Reports".  His request:
"If you are over 70, I’d like to ask for a gift. I’d like you to write a brief report on your life so far, an evaluation of what you did well, of what you did not so well and what you learned along the way. You can write this as a brief essay or divide your life into categories — career, family, faith, community, and self-knowledge — and give yourself a grade in each area.
Of course I read most of these essays this morning, here at work in our sparsely-populated office after having death dreams and not sleeping... and promptly started crying.  But even if you had productive slumber and are reading this blog entry in your pajams with coffee and curled up in front of a fir e... I highly suggest them for your post-Thanksgiving glad-you're-not-out-shopping-instead reflection.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks-Essay 3: Garlic Mashed

I hereby declare there has been too much talk of weight loss, exercise and healthy eating on this blog. 

I also hereby declare that if you have never tried my sister Missy's legendary Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe, you are Missing Out.  Full Stop. 

It is not too late to get to the grocery store for an extra block of cream cheese. Go.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  5 lb bag of potatoes – russet or red
  1 stick of butter or margarine
  4 to 8 oz cream cheese (to taste)
  8 oz container of sour cream
  Fresh garlic to taste – minced as small as you can make it
  White onion to taste – minced as small as you can make it
  Garlic salt, onion powder, salt and pepper – to taste

1. Scrub and cut up potatoes (do not peel) and place in a large pot. Cover with water.
2. Bring to boil and cook 20-25 minutes (smaller pieces cook faster). Drain.
3. Mash potatoes and add all ingredients. If you have a mixer, it works great for mashing and mixing the potatoes thoroughly!
4. Serve immediately OR refrigerate (up to 3 days) or freeze and serve up to 10 days later (maybe longer?).  For re-heating, put potatoes (still frozen) in a 350 degree oven for 1-2 hours – the deeper the dish, the more time they will need. I actually think they are better reheated because the flavors have all melded together!

Oliver is a fan

Variations and adaptations!
  Use garlic salt and onion powder instead of fresh – almost as good, and way less work!
  Peel your potatoes and have more “presentable” potatoes (as my grandma would say…)
  Play with the amounts of butter, sour cream and cream cheese – you may find you like more or less of any and all of these; altering them changes texture and taste.
  For a unique taste, sauté the onions and garlic first with butter!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks (Photo)-Essay 2: Iced Coffee

Once upon a time,
there was a girl just out of college
who worked hard at her job
and stayed up all night, many nights,
thusly leaning heavily on her daily caffeine supply.

The girl drank easily 4
(or 5, sometimes mixed with orange juice)
cans a day (and night). 

She is (and was!) not totally clueless,
but the girl somehow forgot about the
46.5 grams of sugar that accompanied each
54 life-saving milligrams of caffeine.

She also spent a lot of time stressing about
writing school board stories
and not sleeping very well. 

By the time she left her job to go to grad school,
she looked kinda like this.

That year,
the girl started waitressing in a cafe with
 3 flights of stairs,
then walking home every day
from the Theater District to the Fenway. 

She had nothing against Mountain Dew,
but at the same time discovered that
Boston runs on Dunkin',
and that coffee on ice with cream and sugar
tastes kinda like a soda and is
cold and refreshing like a Dew
with 4 times the caffeine content.

She eventually went to a quarter-portion of the cream and
subbed artificial sweetener for the sugar
and often added espresso on top.

She started drinking it for the coffee taste.

She even started making it for cheap at home.

Real-time photo

The girl has probably drank 5 cans of Mountain Dew
in the last 12 years. 
She's drank approximately 4,000 glasses of iced coffee
in the same timeframe.

And today she looks kinda like this.

With her lovely sisters


I think not.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanks-Essay 1: Friends Who Run

Saturday was being one of those days.

Yes, even a Saturday can start out being one of those days, when it involves a mid-morning landlord visit requiring finding and eliminating every kernel of stray cat litter (and hair) from premises, followed by an impromptu 3-hour nap (3-hours! as if a sick toddler!) complete with sweaty nightmares that not only left me more tired than before I started but sucked up 3 of the 4.5 hours of available afternoon sunlight. (And 4:30 p.m. sunsets suck, people. Even if they're pretty.) Followed by a trip to Family Dollar Store confirming that because there are now 15 aisles of stupid, cheap Christmas decorations, there is no longer room for 30-cent cans of cat food.

It was in this moment, while rounding the corner of Dorchester Street and Broadway and muttering about stupid, cheap Christmas decorations and overgeneralized holiday commericalization, I was blindsided by the blaze-orange sprinting shoes and the figure of my dear friend Chris. Indeed sprinting by. A friend who runs like the wind, but lives in Roxbury and wouldn't generally be in this hood this hour. 

As he quickly explained:
"I just stopped by your place. I was headed out and realized today I wanted to run to Southie, but didn't think to call you until I was on my way.  Wanted to see if you wanted to go for a run."
It was 3:30 p.m. and I was still in my pajamas, drowsy and bed-headed. But had I been in Family Dollar Store for 30 seconds longer or shorter than I had, Chris and I would have missed each other. The day was crying out for a divine kick-in-the-pants ... and it appeared.

By 3:45 I was in shorts, tech top and Asics and he and I were jogging west towards the other side of town. Chris is a much (taller and long-legged and) faster runner than me .... even with him cutting 2-minutes-a-mile off his pace, I chugged hard to keep up and not feel the guilt of boring him.  But I kept up. We conversed in that necessary way friends who get too busy need to converse, passing the 4 miles to Roxbury in no time.

By the time we reached his home and I set out for the return trip (in the end, 8.75 total), the sun setting behind me in the cool afternoon, I was glad and grateful.  To have shifted my day's attitude so thoroughly.  To have run faster and longer than I would have ever done by myself.  To have the privilege of such an awesome, selfless friend in my life ...

....especially one who runs.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Best. Lyrics. Ever.

Such Great Heights 
by The Postal Service 
(sung more contemplatively, below, by Iron & Wine

 I am thinking it's a sign
That the freckles in our eyes are mirror images
And when we kiss they're perfectly aligned
I have to speculate
That God himself did make
Us into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay

True, it may seem like a stretch
But its thoughts like this that catch
My troubled head when you're away
When I am missing you to death
When you are out there on the road
For several weeks it shows
And when you scan the radio
I hope this song will guide you home

They won't see us waving from such great heights,
"Come down now", they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away,
"Come down now", but we'll stay...

I tried my best to leave
This all on your machine
But the persistent beat it sounded thin
Upon listening
And that frankly will not fly
You will hear the shrillest highs
And lowest lows with the windows down
When this is guiding you home

They won't see us waving from such great heights,
"Come down now", they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
"Come down now", but we'll stay...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blunt observation

Something about there existing

anywhere in our world today

(or in any world anywhere)

a headline (on Yahoo! News)


"'Sexiest Man Alive' Stirs Backlash"

says to me that

maybe the End Times

are not far off.

Evidently this man is NOT sexy.
Who knew.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Take Back Thanksgiving

I'm a fan (as you can see by the blogroll listing to the lower right) of the highly-trafficked  healthy living blog Carrots 'N' Cake.  The author, Tina, lives on the South Shore and writes several times a day about food, exercise, running, etc. etc.

On Sunday, she wrote a post about her frustration with current society's (mostly retail-based) trend of celebrating Christmas too early, and how it bypasses the arguably longer-traditioned and more-observed Thanksgiving holiday.  Then today she put in a plug for a website by called "Respect The Bird."  The site implores folks to .... do just that ... and pledge to "restore Thanksgiving to its rightful place as a meaningful, respected American holiday, not one that’s merely a one-day delicious afterthought between Halloween and Christmas."

"Tapping into its original roots—thankfulness, a celebration of friendships, family, and gifts from the earth—Respect the Bird supporters want to create a Thanksgiving experience extending beyond meal planning. It is, after all, one of the treasured holidays that’s not about spending."

Organizers even put out a list of "suggested activities" to keep pledgers focussed on the task.

Corny a bit?  Yeah.  Sure.  But I'll be the thousandth person to admit to feeling nauseous and annoyed  at the sound of Christmas carols in department stores and the telltale red, snowy cups in Starbucks.

So I'm on board.  Please feel so moved to do the same -- even if just in your mind.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Impermanence of objects

I last saw C-2 in June.  I last sought him via text in August, when running by Spy Pond late one night and feeling nostalgic.  He last sought me via text late one night in September, in Boston for a candidate's primary election, but it was a highly inopportune time for me and I declined.  He then e-mailed in October, also at an inopportune time, (nervily) asking me to volunteer on said candidates's general election campaign.  I declined.   Last week while in town for the general, on a night I couldn't sleep, he messaged at 2:45 to say, "Hey, you're already up, we should get coffee?"  I again declined.

Please tell me you all are pleased with my behavior. 

I'm pleased with my behavior. Especially since all denials were made without hesitation.

Funny then, my reaction when C-2 showed up in my Facebook feed this weekend -- a new profile photo, because he had gotten new eye glasses "after 8.5 years."  I found myself the tiniest bit depressed.  One thing I enjoyed about kissing him was that moment, after our respective lenses began creating a mild bonfire from scraping together, when he would stop and quite deliberately take my glasses off for me, set them on the dashboard, then take his off and do the same, at which point we'd quite get down to business.

Now those glasses have changed -- they'll never be the ones he took off to kiss me in -- and it's as if a link has expired.

Take that along with my growing conviction that (dictated by deterioration and expense) my car's registration and insurance should not be renewed in 2012, and that perhaps I should donate it for a tax deduction before Christmas.

The memories of that car ... full of so much more than kissing.

Oy.  I'm forecasting un-tiny depression, soon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Celebration of Eleven (and Nigel)

With all due respect to Veterans Day
(and I do respect it and the veterans it honors)

this year's commemoration really does have to include
a shout-out to British mocku-rocker Nigel Tufnel
from the world's loudest band This Is Spınal Tap
and his amplifier that goes to 11.

Luckily, there is a group dedicated solely to that purpose:
The Nigel Tufnel Day Appreciation Society and Quilting Bee in Favor of Declaring & Observing November 11, 2011 as Nigel Tufnel Day (in Recognition of Its Maximum Elevenness),
doing most of the heavy lifting
in memorializing the genius whose seminal work includes
"Tonight I'm Going to Rock You Tonight," "Big Bottom," and "Lick My Love Pump".

Thanks, Nigel,
for always keepin' it real.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughts on focus and practice

I've already said this a couple times (here and here), but I'm struggling to write much meaningful in the face of momentous occasions and a steamer trunk's worth of conflicting emotions about them. 

It's not just the blog.  Focus on any task feels taxing:  suitcase still open and full of last week's clothes, and now I've started throwing this week's clothes into it;  paperwork at work I swore I'd do Tuesday and today don't know how and where it'll fit; wanting to blow off steam by playing piano but without the energy to set up my keyboard, resting on its end in the living room where I left it 3 weeks ago after transporting it back from a concert.  Three weeks ago.  I'm becoming frustrated at this scatteredness. Been on this earth awhile, have accomplished some things, and know I know how to focus. I don't know where this knowledge has seeped to.  

(Come back, dear friend....)

When starting this entry, about 2 sentences in, I said to myself, "Girlfriend, people do not read this blog to hear more of this low-level negativity and the same lack of focus issues we all face in moments.  It is 60 degrees on November 10 and the end of the tunnel is showing at work and you had a solid sleep last night and tomorrow is Happy Nigel Tufnel Day.  Chin up!"

But truthfully, I'm not in the mood to censor myself.  Today I just want to write about lack of focus.  The end.  And, I'm deciding I'm going to stop apologizing for it.

Presciently, a friend yesterday alerted me to a piece on the blog of novelist Steven Pressfield, regarding the so-called "10,000 Rule": 
"The rule says that in order for an individual to master any complex skill, be it brain surgery or playing the cello, she must put in 10,000 hours of focused practice. Since a thousand hours seems to be more or less the maximum we humans can handle in one year, ten thousand hours equals ten years."
I've been writing this blog for 3-and-a-half, although I've probably spent at least 20,000 hours in my life writing something; very little of it has been focussed, though.  Using that calculus, I've probably got 25 years of blogging to go before mastery. Sobering. However, the resonance of this piece was less about that and more about what he spoke of next -- which is that the time and practice of a skill allows the self-censoring to fall away and the individuality to emerge. 

To wit:
"How does the actor get past his own excruciating self-consciousness? How does the entrepreneur come up with an idea that’s really new? The answer is they both beat their heads against the wall over and over and over until finally, from pure exhaustion, they can’t “try” any more and they just “do.” The writer says f*** it and writes a sentence in a way he would never imagine himself writing a sentence, and to his amazement that sentence is the first real sentence he’s ever written."
"To speak in one’s own voice means to let go of all the other voices in our heads. Whose voices? The voices of what is expected of us. Yes, that means the voices of our parents, teachers, mentors. But it means something more elusive too. It means our own expectations of what we should be doing or ought to be thinking—what is “normal” or “right” or “the way it ought to be.”
"The price of achieving that breakthrough is time. Time and effort. Ten thousand hours if you’re lucky, more if you’re not. The gods are watching for those ten thousand hours, like instructors at Navy SEALs training. They can tell when we’re faking and they can tell when we’re for real. They can pick out those of us who really want it from those who are only pretending.

"In the end those ten thousand hours must be their own reward—which is the way it ought to be, don’t you think?"
Which is the way this blog has and, hopefully will continue, to resonate with both you and me. Despite the occasional scattered times where I'm trying to find my brains and my gut and my legs and the next steps I can take forward even if all aren't quite intact.

Anyway. Getting today's blog entry off my is leaving me the time to focus on work.  Really.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday jumble

Weather not requiring even a fall coat.  First decent run in 10 days.  Suitcase open on bedroom floor, clothes jumbled and wrinkled .  Dishwasher full of clean dishes, sink full of dirty ones.  Desk stacked with trustee changes to facilitate and cost-basis updating projects and new accounts to open, left over from 5 days out of the office, now reaching semi-critical completion necessity.  Cats spastic from lack of my attention, taking claws to the duvet and dining room chairs.  Reflecting on vacation that contained just one rank certainty -- that Cousin J and her husband were meant to be married and did so -- compounded by so much family love, affection, coffee, cookies and friends who traveled from all over, that the heart is still full.  Reflecting even more on all the uncertanties of a vacation where cousins and sisters let emotions and opinions hang out and a grandmother tripped briefly into a life-threatening situation and a long-distance boy instigated more fruitful, more emotional, and more wrenching conversations than previously thought possible.  To the point where the mind is still as jumbled as the unpacked clothes -- getting through the stacked tasks of today impossible, much less thinking of all the things that could and might come after. 

With thanks for the mild outside and the near-empty bottle of Maker's Mark inside and the strong feeling emanating this way from the Midwest and beyond.

Wednesday addendum:  Love this photo of Dad and me from the wedding reception (one of many provided to this camera-less girl by Cousin J's maid-of-honor, Tashia). We don't get to see each other nearly enough.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sorry to be lame... (blog-cation)

.... but this trip around, I'm having a difficult time thinking about blogging while vacationing.  

Marathon-completion emotional fall-out and the What Next.  Parsing through some emotional ups-and-downs with MSF, only from a 2-hour time difference instead of 3.   Family time in large quantities, particularly with folks I don't see often.  Crisp, blue, central Minnesota skies .... cruising down 2-lane roads in mid-afternoon with sunglasses on, coffee in hand.  Cousin J marrying the love of her life and the witnessing of amazing union and fellowship.  

I'm not sure these things need to be dissected .... but, rather, experienced and taken as they come.

Thanks for allowing me a brief blog-cation.  See you next week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sorry to be lame....

....but after running a marathon,
even though it was a great marathon,
I only have a lame marathon recap in me.  

To wit:

Strength at the start.
(And yeah, I'm not punching 
that dude for his sour expression.)

Gratitude at the finish.
(And no, I'm not calling out
that person for her leopard-print skort.)

Orgasmic-sized jar of peanut butter 
at the finish festival.
(And yes, yes I am fondling it.)

In between, 
I ran a personal record time of
3 hours 53 minutes and 50 seconds.
And saw a whole humongous mess of 
Marines along the way.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday afternoon quickie

I'm at my friend Michael's place, in NW DC, on the couch with a wool blanket and a space heater at arm's reach.

Here's what says is going on in the city at this hour:

37°F | °CSatSunMonTue
Rain and SnowSunnyPartly CloudyPartly Cloudy
Showers Snow
Wind: N at 17 mph
Humidity: 86%38°34°47°35°53°41°55°40°

It took me 3 hours to get here from BWI ... luggage delay, freeway bus, Metro ride, mile walk ... double the time it took me to get from BOS to BWI, although this leg did include a stop at Target for peanut butter, bananas, umbrella and fuzzy winter hat (see above).

In a half-hour I need to be leaving here, down to the DC Armory, to pick up my race bib and packet and then meet Alan for supper.  My options of what do to before then would be:
1) Two-mile "shake-out" run.
2) Thoughtful blog post outlining fear/excitement/relief that wind and rain should abate and the sun is expected to shine at 8 a.m. tomorrow.
3) Sit here, awake, and be fearful/excited/relieved.
4) Put my head back and take a power nap and promise to give y'all a marathon completion update at some future moment when the time is right.
I think I'll take what's behind Door #4, Monty!