Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On Being

There are times when I am overwhelmed with sadness at the horrible things we humans do to one another. Primarily, I am referring to the First Commandment, and the number of violations involving children recently.

Because I do not necessarily believe that there is a "good reason" for this, it is always hard for me to reconcile.

I, therefore, go off in search of something resembling truth and beauty in order to make myself feel some sense of hope in the face of seemingly random evil.

I found this recently, and thought I'd share, in case you, too, are having a sad day.


I love this program, and while I seem to never be able to catch it on air, I do subscribe and keep up that way. I find the depth and breadth of resources that accompany her programs to be meaningful gems, thoughtfully researched and incorporated.

It made me feel a wee bit better for which I am grateful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sucks to be the State Department

Dear Muammar Gaddafi,

Hope this finds you well. So, I assume you've seen the news this morning, yes. Well. Unfortunately business that. When I said that your girlfriend could suck a golf ball through a garden hose I hope you know that I meant that as a compliment in the most respectful way possible. Truly. Her talents are unparalleled in my personal experience, and she makes one hell of a Mai-Tai, though I can't imagine she'll be making me any more of those any time soon.

If it is any consolation, things could be worse. You could be Iran just discovering that Jordan has designs on their real estate, or you could be Kim Jong Il who was already probably having a bad day and now finds that everyone knows it was he who brought those missiles to the party.... BYOM dudes!


Just wanted to say sorry and all that. No hard feelings, hopefully. I probably won't be visiting for a while though. Just in case.

Lots of Love,



Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It being that time of year and all, I find myself grateful this morning for a number of things. Lest any of you get your noses out of joint at not being mentioned personally, let me just start by saying that I am grateful for my beautiful family and amazing friends. I am cognizant that they are routinely better to me than I am to them and this continues to amaze and humble me.

Additionally, I am grateful that:

Enough people stayed home today that I was able to secure street parking and enjoyed a sun filled walk to work, past the bagel shop where I had to pick up a sandwich which was so chock full of lox and cream cheese that I finally had to eat it open faced in halves and it still took four napkins. Mmmmmmm

My current aches and pains, while tedious and annoying, are probably not fatal and occasionally I am able to grasp that reality and remember that this is just a temporary phase.

That my children have somehow managed to become increasingly more enjoyable as they age.

90% of the family is here for this holiday.

That, in spite of our current level of economic woe and political contentiousness, I live in what I consider to be the most amazing country on the planet.

That I have lived in other countries and am able to have the aforementioned perspective.

That the nice man I met at a party last week demonstrated how the GPS tracking mechanism works on his kids' phones, because I have bumped that up to the top of my "Dear Santa" list this year.

I am grateful for:

David Grey


Opportunity, capacity and motivation

The Dalai Lama

Pumpkin whoopie pies and salted caramel butter bars

My parents and my in-laws who are a constant source of strength, support and inspiration.

May we all eat, drink and be merry this holiday, while not losing sight of how many of our brethern cannot do any of those three things.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Recovering Yogi

I've been following a blog by a woman named Joslyn Hamilton ( http:outsideeye.onsugar.com) because she's terribly wry and clever and those are my favorite characteristics in a complete stranger, so natch...

Well, she's just created a new project called recoveringyogi.com which is also wry and clever and all about (duh!) her disenchantment with the yoga world, which, while I can't relate, because I haven't done enough down dogs to qualify for enchantment with the yoga world, I can appreciate.

She and her partner in blogging crime, Vanessa Fiola (also terribly wry and clever) were just interviewed on The Magazine of Yoga and the two part piece is amusing if you have nothing better to do this morning and appreciate the profane and sarcastic.


Since I, too, have been published in The Magazine of Yoga, I'm going to spend the morning pretending that I am the long lost triplet of this wry and clever sisterhood, as opposed to obsessing about the alternative which is that The Magazine of Yoga has clearly bumped up their submission standards since my last post and I'm about to be relegated to "former contributors."

Today's Mantra

You cannot eat as if you're going to run a marathon if you aren't.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A strange kind of ornithology

Working in a hospital is incredible fodder for writing, though I generally stay away from it because there's this fine line between reflecting and making fun of people that I seem to step over too easily.

However, as I walked in the building this morning I saw a woman who looked just like this penguin. She was short, and built like a penguin, and she had this EXACT hair "do" and she had on orange Crocs and the minute I saw her I just immediately thought "PENGUIN!" It was the craziest thing.

People are generally not at their best when they're in the hospital, because whatever the reason for being here, it is generally not good, and therefore stressful. But, I'm pretty sure this whole penguin situation pre-existed whatever led her to be here (visitor, patient, delivery driver, perhaps, what have you) so I just really had to wonder about that and now cannot stop wondering.

Wouldn't it be funny if she was doing it on purpose? Like, she really really loved penguins and was, somehow subconsiously, trying to emulate one?

I think she belongs in a book. Hopefully mine one day.

Monday, November 15, 2010


So, I did it! I propelled myself for 26.2 miles and managed to stay, not only upright, but running for most of it. My knee was not happy about it and put up some significant resistance in the middle which necessitated my stopping every half mile or so to stretch, from about mile 18 to 23, which meant that it took me FOREVER to get done, but that's okay with me, because at about mile 23 I realized that I was going to finish that thing and suddenly the Ability Fairy sprinkled magic dust on me and I finished the last 3 faster than any of the previous 10. Go figure.

I finished before the blind guy, but after the juggler and the guy who jumped rope the whole way. I finished behind Tom, for whom this was his twenty third marathon in this city, but ahead of the guy from California who was logging his 756th marathon (seriously, not kidding). I finished ahead of the Garmin girl, who could not get that thing to work and spent miles stopping other runners and spectators to see if they could help her fix it. She finished crying, which probably was out of a combination of frustration and relief. Technology does have a down side occasionally. I finished behind everyone else in my training program. But, according to the guy (who has done at least one marathon in every single state and is now setting out to hit races in all the continents) I ran with along the river (miles 9-12), DFL (dead f-ing last) is a whole lot better than DNF (did not finish) which is obviously better than DNS (did not start). Amen.

I met a lot of people along the way, which was awesome. Running is a pretty social sport, for something seemingly so solitary. People were just awesome, runners and spectators alike. It was all just friendly and happy, no snarkiness anywhere. Having friends come out and cheer me on along the way was super huge. Next time I think I'll make my family come, in fact, I think I'll make them come run with me....that would have been even better. There was definitely a "wall" and it felt like something out of Dr. Zhivago....cold barren wasteland with no end in sight, only it's all clearly in your head, which is kind of a freaky thing. I did a little snivelling in there somewhere, feeling very disheartened about the pain and my inability to push through it. But again, that's okay, 'cause I kept going.

Sore muscles and achey joints notwithstanding, it was an amazing, fabulous, exhilirating experience....and I would love to do it again. (Just don't tell my family I said that!)
p.s. I beat Meredith Viera by 3 minutes, and Al Roker by about an hour. Ha! ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say 'I used everything you gave me.'" Erma Bombeck

That's so profound for me that I can't even think of anything clever with which to follow it up, so I'll just leave it alone.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I just love how no one knows how to spell anymore. Generally, it provides non stop entertainment for me (though occasionally I do get irritated...because, well, I'm kind of good at that) and let me say, that I, too, make my fair share of fautes! However, if you're going to send something out to the masses, let's at least take the time to run a little spell check action on our documents.

Sadly, in response to my frustration at my own daughter's inability to spell in middle school, I was informed by her teacher that "kids don't really need to learn to spell anymore, they'll just rely on spell check from here on out." Really? This, from an ENGLISH TEACHER? I'm pretty sure if I'd outed her on this one, the ghosts of all my former English professors would have torn her apart.

My favorite spelling mistake today (they occur frequently enough that I can distinguish them on a daily basis) came in a flyer from my neighborhood association, inviting me to attend a group activity to which we were all encouraged to bring a "dish to share" and a "non parishable food item." Heh heh heh. Because our local parishes don't want or maybe don't need the non perishable food donations? Mysterious.


I'm running my first marathon on Saturday. And when I say "running", I'm referring to whatever that half-limp, half-lope "thing" that Al Roker was doing as he crossed the finish line at the NYC Marathon this weekend. Limp-a-lope, let's call it. As I watched him doing that I immediately began to feel all kinds of squidgy inside. He looked like he was hurting, but he finished running, which is, in and of itself a significant accomplishment.

I think that if I'd run this race back in October, I would have been in much better shape, but the more training I've done the more I've fallen apart physically. To the point where, on a super easy 5 mile jog this weekend, I managed to get a dime-sized blister on the bottom of my fourth toe on my right foot. Really? WHAT THE HELL? It isn't bad enough that the r. knee and l. hip have a ferocious duel-to-the-death routine going on, which creates a permanent blister on the r. instep....but now I have this too? All that's missing is a stomach bug or maybe an unexpected week of heavy flow.

BRING IT ON! I say. DO YOUR WORST! I'll give that Al Roker, with those sexy ice bags taped to his knees a literal run for his money, dammit!

Hmmmm, I wonder what his time was. Maybe I'll just take a quick peek.


Okay. Too funny.

Vieira beat Roker with 5:59, which is around an hour and ten minutes faster than Roker.

So, I think I'll aim for giving Viera a run for her money instead. I think that's probably a little closer to my realistic finish time.

Further on in the article it mentions that Chilean runner, too:

Pena finished the marathon in under six hours and said that if he had not had knee pain, he would have ran the race faster, he told the New York Times. He ran with an injured knee.

“First of all, I want to say that I would have run faster,” he told the Times. “And I did run faster in the mine.”

Is he all that AND a bag of chips, or what??? Good stuff!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


My mommy is in town. She got here last night. She used to live here, in this town where I grew up, but she now lives far, far away. So far, in fact, that she when she does come for a visit, she usually comes for a whole month which is lovely.

I noticed a few things immediately upon seeing her. She's gone much grayer since the last time I saw her, and she really can't hear very well at all.

When people say things like "these things happen to the best of us," the "best of us" part actually refers to my mother. Truly. My mother is the kindest, most gentle, loving woman on the planet. (I suppose it is just one of life's little peccadilloes that this fact also serves as a source of frustration for me, but there it is.)

I picked her up at the airport and brought her to my home (where she is not actually staying while here) and forced her to chat with me while I ate my dinner last night. I also forced my son to make an appearance, and he sat between us at the table watching us conduct our familiar tennis match of a conversation.

At one point, he slumped forward onto the table and rolled his eyes.

"WHAT?" I asked him.

"Well, I can't get a word in edgewise here!" he said "Your conversations are airtight!"

Very funny but he was right, and so I released him to pursue entertainment elsewhere.

I'm sure this visit will provide some good blog fodder, so let this serve as fair warning.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I struggled, mightily, this year, to find inspiration for a Halloween costume. Several obvious things came to mind, including being a stink bug, (since, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em...my house, neighborhood, town have been overtaken this fall. I now shower, pee, sleep, etc in the ever presence of these little friends). But I just couldn't seem to get off my proverbial duff and make something happen. At the 11th hour on Sunday, I skittered over to the Halloween "Store" you know, one of those pop up jobbers that has just about everything for the month prior to the big Haunting, and, lo and behold, they were down to 50% off! Sweet. I headed in committed to making some kind of decision.

You know where this is going, right? You already know that I marched in there, open to possibility only to have my hopes dashed because I just cannot pay good money to dress like a slut. Not even 50% off kind of money.

Apparently, you cannot just dress up as a policeman or firefighter, or Dororthy from Kansas, you have to sport some sort of two bit trash whore version thereof, with your boobs pushed up and out of the front and your arse hanging out of the back. I'm sorry, but the Wizard of Oz would have taken one look at THAT Dorothy and sent her home to change into something respectable. Shiney shoes or no!

There was not a reasonable costume to be had in the entire joint. Unless I wanted to dress as a man, of course, in which case my choices were Vampire, Werewolf, or Serial Killer or some sort of variation thereof, all of which prey on sluts, so at least the industry is consistent, oddly, in its mission.

I came home, costume free and disappointed, and proceeded into the evening sporting my go-to back up ensemble...middle aged mommy. It's a real crowd pleaser, trust me.

At least, I thought to myself, my kids are immune to this nonsense. My son went as the Fonz, from Happy Days, and his biggest problem was that none of his peer group has any clue who the Fonz is, so that was disappointing. (Not unlike, for those of you who watch network TV and saw the Halloween episode from The Middle, where Brick goes as a Scottish war hero .... I think Brick and my son are twins separated at birth sometimes.) And my daughter was going as bat girl in a costume she had crafted herself, so that had to be pretty safe. I was downstairs, perched on my high horse when she appeared ready to be driven to her party. In her tulle bustier and 3 inch ankle boots.

I know they say that when you fall off a horse, you need to get right back on again to prove whose the boss, but, clearly, it's not me. I give up.