17 December 2007

this way

i hate feeling so sad for no reason, for not wanting anything, for wanting to just be solitary, wanting to cry, curl up and not have anything to do with the world.

16 December 2007

Word of the day

Buddheaucratic.

When Buddhism is forced to become bureaucratic to survive.

15 December 2007

Fabulous feminism

I love Girlistic mag. Read it all here.

Still, it continues...

My god…how can it go on?

Sad story of the day.

to travel to?

el camino de santiago
guatemala
costa rica
belize
argentina
chile
peru
cuba
egypt
turkey

too many places....

what's the dealio?

so lately, i've been super swamped. i've been working too much, not running enough or working out, holiday shopping like crazy, and making people gifts. this week i have a department holiday lunch, job holiday lunch, running friends holiday dinner (the latter two in the same day!), plus a ton of cookies to bake!

i guess the other thing that's going on is i'm feeling ambivalent about future travel plans. i was all set to go to turkey and egypt and suddenly am not really feeling it...i'm not sure why. i want to go but at the same time, i'm a little nervous going alone, and am wondering, "should i go someplace i want to go more?"

the thing is, in 2-5 years (depending on money and life situations), i plan on traveling extensively. that means, quitting my job (which i actually really like, though it does not pay very well), giving up my apt, and traveling for a year or so--central and south america, and asia, and hopefully australia/new zealand. after that point, i might be taking a big move (depending upon t--we could move to ecuador or australia, who knows?).

so should i go someplace i'll have the opportunity to go to in a few years? i will plan on going to so many places, so maybe i should go to one of those places...the question is, which one? i don't feel like going to asia...i'm drawn most to central or south america...turkey and egypt still seem interesting, but i don't know...something in me isn't making me want to run there.

advice?

13 December 2007

i had a wonderful dream last night

i had run two marathons in the same day; i was almost done with my last one (and it was actually more like an ultramarathon). i was feeling pretty tired, but okay otherwise. i was about to eat a gel and running with this nice guy. cara was behind me and i told her not to sit on the couch or she'd never get up.

but i know i'm a runner because i was SO happy in this dream--running two marathons in the same day could be fun!!!

10 December 2007

like back in the days

about a hundred years ago, the second person i loved broke up with me. we had a tearful breakup after fooling around in his parents' bed (i know!), and he said, "it must be. we must end this." i was crying, pleading, doing all those sorts of things you do when your heart is being broken. as we got into his parents' car to drive me home (from NJ to my parents' on LI), he put a smiths tape in the cassette player and said, "we have to listen to the smiths." i wanted him to turn it off, but he refused. it was the most miserable ride of my life home, and i cried the entire way, hating the smiths.

since then, i have never listened to the smiths (no surprise). it was always associated with a painful and teary breakup. recently, at a friend's house, the smiths came onto the ipod during shuffle play. i remembered, yes, the smiths fucking rule! so i got a cd at the library, and am now once again enjoying them. yes, a little depressing at times, but i can finally appreciate the beauty of the songs.

02 December 2007

snow

it's our first snowfall of the year. i woke up at 730am so i could get a good workout in (7 mile run, lifting weights at the gym, half hour on the cross-trainer) before the snow started. it started hours earlier than it was supposed to. i ran quickly but carefully on the white streets, taking care not to slip, enjoying the sound of snow falling..so many people were inside missing one of the few times that my neighborhood in brooklyn looks pretty...i truly got to appreciate it.

01 December 2007

because beauty is in everyone...

i recognize that people are beautiful from the inside...and i have seen beautiful people of all races, sizes, ages, abilities, classes, religions, nationalities, etc...but the idea of having miss landmine strikes me as rather odd, and i'm not sure i'm a huge fan...i'm not a fan of any kind of beauty pageants (because why do we need to judge women on beauty) and this could be seen as fetishization...what do you think?

15 November 2007

thanksgiving quote

You are to join your family in the American tradition of killing a bird and eating it because some people "discovered" this land they called America. You know, the land of the free.
--My friend's teacher

11 November 2007

because sometimes it's nice to reflect on how fantastic it is to be in love

what did the course look like?



no pretty music, though heaps of screaming crowds (save the bridge, LIC, Hasidic Jewish Williamsburg)

i can't believe i did this!

bouncing souls quote

revolution on tv--
that's a bunch of shit to me--
they don't know about you or me--
know your enemy!

they don't know about you or me
no matter what they say about me
they don't know about you or me
know your enemy!

mile 18


"The truth is that running hurts."
Unknown

this made me cry

ordinary, sedentary people run a marathon

i was absolutely bawling during the last video clip, but watch the whole thing.

a memory, from nine years ago

Now I’m sitting on the fire escape behind our lounge of the 12th floor—scary looking down. Just funny the way your legs feel, as if the ground is about to disappear and you are about to fall. Anything to escape the truth.

10 November 2007

definitions

So I had an IT band injury;I still do, it's slightly hurting. I mentioned having a problem with it to a friend and he wrote:

One day you can explain what an ITBand is. It sounds like something you
put round your vagina area. Does it have an easy-access flap?

Iliotibial band is a thick, fascial layer that runs from the iliac crest of the pelvis to the knee joint and is occasionally inflamed as a result of excessive running.

So, no, there isn't an easy-access flap.

don't you remember?

i was so excited to have all this lovely free time this morning--i slept late, did an intense ab workout, ate some oat bran, went to the library, the farmers' market, and was coming from the gym, tired, when some hipster guy totally started staring at me, and i thought, "maybe my skin is clearing up?" (which it is--i had two big zits on friday and they are going away now.) and then i hear my full name--"cheryl ----" and i'm thinking, "who is it?" only my family and coworkers and old friends call me cheryl; most of my friends call me cherie and for someone to address me by my first and last name was unusual as well. i turned around and it was the hipster guy.

"it's me. justin. justin."

i can't lie in my face; this was a criticism of me at work. so it was obvious with the blank look in my face i had no clue who this justin creature was.

"justin. from high school. justin...remember? alysa?" now i knew two alysas and i was trying to place him. i couldn't. for some reason, the only thing i could remember was that justin (who i knew, i must have) was a year younger than me.

"oh yeah...hi...justin..." i said weakly. i shifted my bag of produce from the farmers' market to my other hand.

"how have you been?"

"oh...good..."

now, i hated high school. currently, i speak to one person from my high school, and that person happens to be my little sister. recently, facebook connected me with two old friends, but i have not seen them since high school. high school was painful, horrible, cruel and i blocked a lot of it out. i have no desire to reconnect with people from my high school, and i somehow happily missed my 10 year high school reunion. yeah, i'm that old. wow, i can't believe it's been 10 years since i graduated.

"how long have you lived here? i've lived here a while," he asked me. who was this guy? i must know him, though i see a little grey at his temples. are we that old already?

"ummm, i moved here in 2000, left, moved back..."

"oh wow...well, listen, i am running late and i'm sure you're busy so i'll see you around. i saw you before and kept thinking it was you and now i know...bye..."

"bye..."

a few blocks later i ran into one of my best friend's brother's boyfriend and we had a lovely chat and as i left christopher, i thought, "now that was lovely."

later, while sauteeing garlic and onion for pumpkin soup, i remembered: little ska boy, i think he likes the bouncing souls too (i remember him having a bs t-shirt), i think checkered vans maybe...

funny how things come back...

how lovely it feels...

...to finally have time! the past two nights, i've gone out late with my friends! friends i have not seen in way too long! i've drank (oh yummy!), relaxed, read, baked, cooked (just made pumpkin soup, oh-so-delish-mah-tish), and i even slept until 11am today!! i feel like a normal person. tomorrow, brunch! a life not revolved around running is full of much more time, and i'm really enjoying it...

07 November 2007

funniest thing i heard during the nyc marathon

in brooklyn, along lafayette: RUN, MOTHERFUCKERS, RUN

i was running with a bunch of european guys at this point, and this french and belgium guy were both laughing hysterically, saying, "yes, this is brooklyn."

yes, it is.

05 November 2007

yesterday's nyc marathon

so yesterday's new york city marathon was mostly fun. while i did improve my nyc time from last year, i did not live up to my potential.

the race started out well. i started about 24 or 26 seconds after the official start, and began running steady sub-eight minute miles. i was feeling really great, and wouldn't let myself push b/c i knew i needed all the energy i could get. brooklyn was beautiful; my favorite borough cheered their hearts out and i loved them for it. it got tougher, but i didn't let my pace go and felt great.

until

until the bronx. i started getting dizzy in the bronx, and fell off pace. instead of running sub-eight minute miles, on target (for so long!) for a 3:25, i got incredibly dizzy. nothing would help. i felt as if i were in a fog and i only wanted the race to end. i ended up running an extra twenty minutes slower. my parents were screaming my name but i couldn't even hear them; i just wanted to die. i was happy cara and crista did not make it to the end; i didn't want to see anyone.

immediately after crossing the finish line, i collapsed from dizziness. i never felt so dizzy. volunteers pulled me up and dragged me along. they put me on a stretcher and took me to the medical tent where i rested for a while.

and now, i'm so sad i didn't fulfill my potential--i could taste victory for oh-so-long--but i know i have it in me. next time...next time...

overall, my time wasn't terrible. i was in the top 1200 women, top 350 for my age, and top 7200 overall. still, i know i could do so much more.

but now, i'm so sore, tired...and drinking and eating way more than imaginable.

03 November 2007

tomorrow...

is the nyc marathon. i'm nervous, butterflies in the stomach, headachey, scared...but excited!

01 November 2007

you're not my friend

i don't get it--people i was never friends with--or we even maintained a very clear dislike of each other--or people who i had a falling out with--or a falling away from--requesting me to be their friend on facebook or myspace. i can understand if we drifted and you send me a message and a friend request--totally, jamillah, i'm so psyched that we are again in touch. but it's really starting to annoy me that people that clearly did not like me years ago suddenly feel it's necessary to request me as a friend. why? if you want to be my friend, make an effort. you don't. you just want a number.

i don't need you as a connection.

28 October 2007

counting down...

to the nyc marathon! it's sunday, november 4th, and i am SO excited!!!! i'll start carb-loading soon--YAY!

26 October 2007

a song that is oh-so-true

Fools in love, well are there any other kind of lovers?
Fools in love, is there any other kind of pain?

Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you see, everything you know now
Everything you do, you do it for your lady
Love your lady, love your lady
Love your lady, love...

Fools in love, are there any creatures more pathetic?
Fools in love, never knowing when they've lost the game

Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you see, everything you know now
Everything you do, you do it for your lady
Love your lady, love your lady
Love your lady, love...

Fools in love they think they're heroes
'Cause they get to feel no pain
I say fools in love are zeros
I should know, I should know
Because this fool's in love again

Fools in love, gently hold each others hands forever
Fools in love, gently tear each other limb from limb

Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you do, even your rock 'n' roll now
Nothing mean a thing except you and your lady
Love your lady, love your lady
Love your lady, love...

Fools in love they think they're heroes
'Cause they get to feel no pain
I say fools in love are zeros
I should know, I should know
Because this fool's in love again

"Fools in Love"--Inara George

10 October 2007

i can't get that song out of my head: i can't get no satisfaction

because this is my story, too, and maybe even your story


in college, i was really involved with take back the night. take back the night is a night where women can walk around free from sexual assault and rape--because the night is when most women are assaulted or raped. this is something that is very important to me--and let me clarify that while women are often attacked and raped by strangers, most of the rapes that occur are by someone they know. nearly three-quarters of rapes are committed by someone who knows the victim.

my problem is i let people in too much. maybe this has happened to you too. i trust too much. but this isn't about me. this is about someone else.

someone i know had been raped--the details are hers, and i will not share that. in fact, i am only sharing this part because it hurts me so bad--so bad. this woman heard a song during the rape. it was horrible. it was a sexist song that has a good tune, the kind of song you sing along to in a bar. and i will never be able to hear that song without wanting to throw up. without feeling unsafe. without feeling in pain. without wanting to cry.

and so, whoever you are out there, i hate you. you have hurt a million women but your karma and your heart will hurt a million times more.

28 September 2007

a memory

running this morning through williamsburg, a school bus passed me, the door open and a woman leaning into the bus talking with the driver, a memory came up:

i never took the late bus.

what does this mean?

in my high school, you got out at 2:56. you hustled to your locker, got your books you needed, sweater, and headed for the bus. if you were late (they left about 10 minutes later or so), you had to call your mom or walk home. most days, i ended up just staying for track, so i would get done with that around 4:30 or so.

but sometimes, in between track season or when i didn't have play practice or a club meeting, maybe i'd hang out in the yearbook room chatting. i'd wait until 4:05, just after the late bus left.

"you JUST missed the late bus! cher, you NEVER take the late bus."

and there was a reason. that's where kids got beat up, and the really mean people who taunted me took it. i was afraid to take it.

i hated high school. my memories still cause me to shudder...

it's hard to believe how much pain another person could cause you, but high school is full of pain. i don't look back. it's no wonder i'm not in touch with anyone from my high school, save my sister.

something to help you pass the weekend

16 September 2007

why i could never be a right-winger: the things they say are so insipid and irrelevant that they are hilarious!

a war monger at saturday's anti-war protest (to a passing cyclist): that's right, keep on biking like the good communist you are.

what!??!?!

14 September 2007

tired...running

i just came home from a 20 miler not too long ago. i haven't run 20 miles since before jay (and at jay i did 33 miles)--so it's been a month and a half since i've done any runs longer than 16 miles. i'm not sure what it was today, but i had SUCH a tough run today. mentally, i was so not ready, though i was excited. however, i got dizzy, had stomach issues. running around downtown nyc, past the artists and the stockbrokers and the hippies and the tourists and the lovers and the kids playing catch and the grandmas smoking tiny cigarettes and people eating delicious avocado sandwiches...i tried so hard to appreciate everything, but it was so hard. i ended up making lists in my head of good things about nyc, and practicing tonglen so i wouldn't suffer in my misery. but oh, how hard. i need to get back into it. i have a marathon in a month and a half, and an ultra, oh, sometime in nov or dec.

02 September 2007

"what have you been up to?"

it's nice to see friends you haven't seen in a while, but i hate seeing people i haven't seen in a while and they ask, "so what have you been up to?" they expect a real solid answer: "well, i got married, got my phd, gave birth to three children, am now a goat farmer subsisting on soy protein and carrots." my answer is much more boring than that. "not much. working at a women's nonprofit as a librarian, running."

"that's it?"

what do they want from me? i'm living, struggling to do my thing day to day. mondays, if i'm able, i head to yoga after work (and i work 9-530, at least, so it's not like i have loads of free time). tuesdays, running class. wednesdays, radical cheerleading. thursdays, dinner with friends, shows, whatever's going on. fridays, well, that's up in the air. saturday mornings, long runs, several hours long. sundays, races. a lot of it is running, and that never seems like an acceptable answer. people don't care about running. i do, and my running friends do. but sometimes, my real answer seems too boring for them.

29 August 2007

what backpack gives you privilege?

For any male who thinks that feminism isn’t necessary, who thinks that women and men are treated equally in our society…See this link: MALE PRIVILEGE!

20 August 2007

if you aren't me, don't tell me what to do

i've been running for fifteen years. i know my body well. i know my legs well. i know the tightness that starts, the burning, before an exercise-induced asthma attack occurs. i know that i tend to get shin splints when i need to replace my shoes. i know i have a good stride, and i know when i need to lengthen it. i know which sports bras are good for 20 mile slow runs, and which ones are good for racing a half marathon. i know my body.

so i hurt my knee. injuries happen. it's probably a result of not taking off enough time (i'm an addict and i hate taking off time after marathons!), but i strained my IT band. it's on the side of my knee (and those who always are obsessed with me ruining my knees: worry about your own knees, okay?), and like a smart woman, i am taking it easy: lots of ice, sensible shoes, staying off it as much as possible.

so i'm sick of people telling me how to stop running, what to do. i'm depressed b/c i'm injured, yes, but i am cross-training and resting. i'm smart. i know how to handle myself, and i'll leave you alone to handle yourself. i don't need the clerk in some store telling me i shouldn't be running a marathon in three months...

you'd only know what i mean if you have ever been in love

you know the feeling, right? when your breath catches in your throat when a certain thought goes through your head? when you stare at the ad for continuing education on the subway, a large smile on your face, but you're not thinking of that, you're thinking of something that makes you sparkle. or the pain--the absolute pain, the pressure in your chest, when you are waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and you know that only love can torture you in such a way.

My practice

"I've always felt running is a form of meditation. Running enables us to stop our lives, to go out and find a safe place for ourselves."
--Nina Kuscsik

05 August 2007

becoming more and more of an obsession


lately, running has been becoming more and more of an obsession...and i've been getting better at it. today i ran my fastest half marathon by far--1:37:17. as i crossed the finish line, despite the fact that i pr'd by over 8 minutes, i started crying--because if you run under 1:37 you automatically qualify for the nyc marathon and half marathon. rich told me i should still qualify, that it just needs to be under 1:37:59, but we'll see.

i think the clock was off for the second mile, because according to it, i fell 40 seconds off pace. i got really despondent and my third mile was slower, but then i began picking it up, and kept going...and it's my home turf, i think of it--i run hill repeats from the west side up north and around...and i run along the west side highway a lot, so i really felt like i knew the course.

we woke up at 435am to eat a toasted bagel with peanut butter and a bit of jam, stretch, drink h20 and head to the start. in the nyc half, you do a bit more than a loop in central park, and then you run down 7th ave, across 42nd st through times square, and down the west side highway. i surprised myself at how fast i ran, and was ecstatic at my progression. the race is really fun!

here's to more running...er, i'm raising a water bottle (or gatorade!)

01 August 2007

my first ultramarathon!






i finished my first ultramarathon--the jay challenge. it was only 7 miles beyond a marathon, but it was a million times harder. the day felt so long and so hurt and so crammed, yet it was (for me), only 8 hours and 39 minutes of running fun.

running it (see photo, from left to right) was cara, me, erin, rich, dennis, and mark! fun fun FUN!

the race began by running up a steep incline and a rush into the woods. cara warned me that you had to go out FAST or you'd get stuck behind slow people once things went single file. we ran fast up, and then got to a part where you had to pull yourself up with a rope. it went steep up and really steep down, on windy trails with bad footing. i was running at a decent pace, including through muddy, muddy trails. my shoe ended up getting sucked up by the mud early on and my sock got muddy and then i put my socked foot back into my shoe and it was quite gross. still, it was kind of fun. people were backing off, but i knew i would be muddy--and thrived. "yay!" my leg kept sinking into the mud, and i quickly had mud above my knees.

then the brook section. we ran in brooks for a total of around 3-4 miles--and it was SO hard. i can't even say that i ran in the brook. i stumbled through them, grabbing onto rocks and sliding around. i smacked my legs and knees, cursing the slipperiness of the rocks and the rapidness of the water at points and the steepness of waterfalls--yet i welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed the coolness of the water, which, as cara and rich had promised, soothed my aching calves. i was exhausted quickly, and the brook twisted and turned and if i had seen where we exited the brook it would have been SO demoralizing--it was that far. i got passed by SO many people, it was hard for me to bear it.

as i exited the street, i told myself, "you are not strong in the brook; that's okay. you are strong at running. you're not exceptional at uphills and find downhills challenging; run as hard as you can wherever it's flat." and so i did--that was my strategy. my main goal was to finish uninjured and i was fearful of an injury if i went out too hard in an area where i wasn't full comfortable with racing--like sprinting through the brook.

i changed my socks at aid station number two, and chomped on some pretzels and gummybears. i began running uphill, as long as i could, until i began walking when it got too steep. i ended up chatting with different runners, as we huffed and puffed (while walking!) up the steep mountain. it was SO difficult and at times, i struggled just to keep walking. everyone was walking, even the guy that won (not that i necessarily saw him as he was so far in front of me!).

at the top of jay peak (which is a place where people usually ski, not run), t met me and filled my water bottles. i drank some gatorade, ate some shot blocs and salty pretzels and oranges, and gave a kiss and began running/stumbling downhill. i'm a bit fearful of downhills, so i ran/stumbled/walked rather conservatively, and enjoyed the solitude. cara told me it was a spiritual experience for her to run this race, and it truly was. i enjoyed running alone and felt so amazing.

at the bottom, it was more running through the woods, stream running, and i was utterly exhausted. at one point, i had to scramble up a steep dirt incline and smashed my knee against a tree root and my knee started bleeding. another runner, seeing me in pain, helped me up the hill--"here, hold this tree, and hold my hand." i thank him, whoever he is, again. the runners at this race were beautiful, beautiful people.

the brook running continued, being hard. the trails were narrow, muddy, and often i was bushwacking. i still have the scratches all over to prove it. two sections of brook running later, we ran more, swam across a stream, and came to a river with a rope. i refused the rope and backstroked across the river, laughing, panting. it was the hardest thing i've done, but SO fun!!!! i also ran through a beaver section where the ground was mucky mud below my feet and the grass was chin-high. ugh!

at the next aid station, i changed my socks and shoes, ate some lots of blueberries (yum!!), took electrolyte pills (thanks mark!), refilled the water, and knew that the last was the easiest (besides the sand dune!). i ran uphill for what seemed like forever, chatting with a guy from AZ who arranged his family vacation around his ultramarathons! yay!

t met me again at one of the final aid stations where i gorged myself on salty potatoes and gatorade. next time, i'll try heed. less than five miles...

the five miles were fairly easy. muddy, windy trails and i kept going. and going. i was passing all these people who were walking--we were almost there! i had a chance of being under 9 hours! i was going to finish! i was beyond thrilled!

i passed the race director--he told me it was had taken him 32 minutes to walk to where i was running--which meant i would def beat 9 hours! i was so happy!

it began raining and lightning and thundering. "i am finishing this thing!" i ran as fast as i could, though i was exhausted.

when i came towards the finish line, i began to get a little emotional, and tears filled my throat. i raised my arms, running slowish down the hill (the grass was slippery from the rain and it was a downhill and the last thing i wanted to do was slide on my ass down the hill to the finish!) to my friends cheering! i did it! i survived the jay challenge in 8 hours 39 minutes!

...and i'll be back next year!

24 July 2007

jack kerouac quote

"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn......."

22 July 2007

she said

she said, it's been a lot hot day. a sweaty day. the kind of day where things just hum along as you scrub and scour and sweep and dust and vacuum and give the cat a flea bath and answer old post and finally pay those bills and smile at your neighbors and wonder when the last time you were able to just relax on the couch, watching the sunset while you curled up, petting the cat, sipping herbal tea, and just breathing. sometimes you need that time. sometimes, sometimes, you need to just be.

marriage means gifts

my sister got engaged and i'm trying to find a nice gift for her. i've been looking for this since they got engaged two or so weeks ago. i wanted to do something rad, like get them canoing lessons or something, but she lives with her fiancee down in the south and i really don't know what would be the best. so i've been hopelessly shopping. my mom has given me the most pathetic ideas--"how about candlestick holders?" maybe she would like that, but that is SO far removed from my idea of a good gift i could never possibly get it.

so i'm looking online to try to get something they would like and it never fails to astound me the expensive shit that they sell...crystal wine bottle holder...random decorations and expensive platters. and i'm totally disgusted at the waste of money for these things--i mean, there are people who haven't eaten in days and who are dying right now with nothing and to buy some of these gifts seems totally superfluous and excessive. at the same time, they are carefully advertised, and you think, "oh i wish i had that..." it's interesting at the way advertising tries to fuck with your brains.

anyway i just thought of a sweet gift to get her, i just have to find out the perfect version of it. i want to give her a gift to celebrate the fact that she and her boyfriend are in love and are committing themselves to a lifetime of loving each other--which is a very sweet notion--because THAT is what marriage is about, not a fancy wedding and all this bullshit society tries to convince us it is about.

my sister doesn't read this blog much, but if you are reading liss, your gift is coming and will be selected with love in celebration of love.

i run fast

i never think of myself as a fast runner. the last race i did, a 4 miler, i ran over the 59th street bridge too and didn't think i ran exceptionally fast. however, i finished in the top 1.9% of women runners, and in the top 18% overall...too bad i never medal, but i still had fun.

oh my

i'm really becoming an ultrarunner; i'm starting to lose my toenails. :(
there is confetti all over my apartment.
there is glitter all over my life.

08 July 2007

now that you're gone

you've left your toothbrush behind
and
i hope you won't mind
but i stared at it
thinking of you
i picked it up, rinsed, applied toothpaste
using it
using your toothbrush
which kissed your mouth
thinking, "this is the closest i shall get right now
to kissing you."

the #1 reason why i love roosevelt island for running

water flying through the air!

roosevelt island is one of the few places in nyc with sprinklers on their lawns, plus they have several playgrounds with those water sprinkler things that kiddies run through! this is relief on a hot day's run!

running in 90 heat and too much sunshine

i forgot to put sunblock on and now i totally have a sports bra tan. ah well. only ran 10 miles today, which feels more relaxing after running 23 yesterday.

some things i saw on my run today include:
  • a woman knitting in a lounge chair alongside the east river
  • a grandma tanning in a very teeny tiny bikini

07 July 2007

growing up

my baby sister is engaged and getting married. she has a very different life than i do--lives in a nice suburban house with all sorts of nice normal suburban things--but still, this really clues me in that she is an adult. oh no, wait, if she's an adult and younger than me...i must be an adult.

parties wearing fairy wings and trips to the middle east--are those for adults?

they're for me!

this is what you do

this is what you do on that kind of saturday.

you get up early enough, eat a half of a bagel (carbs) with peanut butter (some protein), pull on your wicking underwear, running skirt, wicking sports bra, running socks, running sneakers, sweatband. pull your hair into buns, top with a visor, sunglasses. sunscreen on shoulders. strap on fuel belt, and out the door. run through williamsburg--move it, hipster, cherie's on a roll. over the williamsburg bridge. through the lower east side, passing signs in chinese. through trendy soho. greenwich village. up along the west side highway. pass slower runners. pass walkers. get passed by cyclists, fast runners, bladers. refill water bottles with cold water from the fountain. run faster, north. pass people doing tai chi along the river, people tanning along the river, drinking iced coffees and explaining that they don't love him anymore they can't imagine where they should go otherwise. i run faster, sucking gels out of their goo packets every forty-five minutes, ingesting salt packets and ginger chews when my body requests them. alongside riverside drive...so beautiful. turn around when i'm far north enough...running south, when i run into an old coworker from the naropa library. we run together, chatting, catching up. she leaves me at 72nd, i continue south to 59th, then cross town, across the bottom of the park (passing the stinking sad horse carriages that the tourists love to amuse themselves with), over on the east side, then up on the queensboro bridge, oh, the steep include, and up up up. eat sports beans. drink water. it's in the 80s, sunny, i'm hot. over the bridge. faster. then down, into queens. i hate the pollution. run slow, feeling tired legs, exhaustion. tell myself, "cherie, you are not walking. it is only going to get harder in vermont. in the brook. and when you are running, you tell yourself, 'you are strong.' cherie, you are strong. you are running. you are a runner. think of good things, like bathtubs and comfy beds and lovers and food and cats. think of good things. keep going." through l.i.c., and over the pulaski. don't get stuck up, drawbridge. over. and to my block, and yes, yes, yes, i am finished.

i have succeeded.

another 23 miles under my belt--it only makes me stronger.

sicko

i saw michael moore's new movie, sicko. it really blew me away--i think it's probably his best. it's about the flawed health care system in the u.s., and how the insurance companies care more about profit than your health, and when they don't cover things, they profit, and you suffer. he also makes some pretty strong cultural comparisons--he shows the health care systems in canada, uk, france, and cuba, and it's pretty dismal to see how horribly americans are treated. all people should have health care. you shouldn't have to be rich to have good health--everyone should be able to have good health.

one of the comparisons that struck me most is between a family in denver and a golfer in canada. in denver, the parents (after suffering serious health problems, including three heart attacks (for the father) and cancer (for the mother), have no money and are forced to move into their daughter's spare bedroom. they are so upset to have to sell their home to cover their bills and it's really awful. the son (who lives across town from the daughter who they'll be living with) is 27 and really reams out his parents for having to move in with their kids. it's not him they're living with, but he feels like he should make them feel awful for having health problems that force them to move in with their child in their fifties. several scene later, a canadian golfer who qualifies himself as conservative says, "everyone should have health insurance." he basically talks abt how if someone doesn't have money, we should help them--that's the way it should be.

i thought that really captured a cultural difference very neatly. how sad.

06 July 2007

what i've been up to lately

i love summertime. it's my favourite season. even as my kneepits are sweaty on this sultry summer evening, i'm so happy. running is fun--sports bras and shorts (or running skirts!). crazy street parties. block parties. ice cream. italian ices. free concerts. last week i saw superchunk, manu chao and bob dylan--all outdoors. i went to the beach. i went to a rooftop party.

this weekend, i'll be running 22 miles, going to the kickass danger party, going to the beach. add a trip to the farmer's market to snag some strawberries before the season ends, read on the grass. maybe do some organizing of stuff in my house, some writing. should be fun.

19 June 2007

we're so far behind

thanks to andrew for sending me this link that shows which countries have not yet adopted the metric system.

18 June 2007

i'm so sick of hating my body

i wonder, how much time do men focus on hating their body? i'm talking, full on hating. staring in a store window as they pass, thinking, "i really have got to start working out at the gym more" or "my hair looks awful" or "i look like shit, everyone must know." really, how much time? why do women spend so much time hating themselves?

i hate these generalization articles about self-image and eating disorders and that sort of shit, and i know all women do not feel that way, and in fact, i generally consider myself pretty happy with how i look. but for some reason lately, i've either been gaining weight in my tummy or i'm bloated (it may be a combination of both) but whenever i zipper up a formally comfortable skirt to find it snug, or see my reflection in a mirror, i get self-conscious and hating.

you know what? i hate when my friends complain about their thighs. when my aunt says, "you can eat as much cake; look at you. you're nothing." i hate when my mother hates her body. i hate when my friends hate their body. i hate their complaining; i know they are beautiful and wonderful women and i don't see their flaws. no, no one sees your flaws like you see them--if they do indeed exist.

in college, most of the time i ran track, i labeled myself "the fattest fastest girl on the team." i was hardly fat--when i was on the pill, i was in the 120s. yes, 120 pounds and i was the fattest. my coach was good at making us feel insecure over everything we ate.

i got sick--really sick--my senior year of college. a horrible case of sinusitis meant running was hellishly impossible and i constantly felt nauseas. the only thing i could seem to keep down was rice check. i would have a small bowl once or twice a day, sleep a lot, drag myself around.

yet, it was astounding at how everyone kept telling me, "you look so good," "how did you lose that weight?" and worst of all--"i wish i got what you got so i wouldn't eat." they didn't seem to understand at how merely going to my two classes and part-time job was hell; a 40 minute run required a nap afterwards and i was constantly suffering. but i looked good; because skinny=good. skinny=pretty.

i'm hating a lot lately because i can't fit into some of my really rad clothes--that's really the main reason. all my weight gathers in my stomach, and previously loose/comfortable clothing is no longer. it makes me sad. i lost a lot of weight during training for my first marathon when i ran much less; now, i think, during my marathon training last autumn, i probably gained weight.

i don't want to be obsessive. i don't believe in diets. i think dieting is bullshit and unhealthy. still, i'd like to lose my pudge. i know my problem; i indulge in too many sweets.

worse than hearing those i love hating their bodies, i hate them talking about dieting. about being on a diet. "you're beautiful, you're not fat! that's unhealthy!" i think my metabolism has slowed down as i eat a lot less than i used to but still weigh more. in the past few years, i have greatly minimized the amount of processed food i eat. i buy very few packaged meals--cereal, powerbars, etc.--but i definitely do not eat any trans fats and try to minimize the amount of high fructose corn syrup i take in (which is in my beloved gatorade).

but what to do...how can i make myself happy with what i see in the mirror? how can i make myself feel okay in the presence of my friends--instead of staring at their seemingly perfect bodies and lovely flat tummies, wishing i had them? how can i learn to just love myself and stop wasting time on this bullshit of self-hate?

10 June 2007

thinking of floating by

i hear that song...

and it makes me want to cry. it makes me feel like i am in the middle of a field, covered with a thin layer of grass, in the middle of nowhere, and it starts to rain. i am lost and i don't speak the language. i am wearing thin clothing. i crouch down as the rain throttles me. i put my hands around my head, squatting close to the ground. my clothes become drenched and transparent quickly. i begin crying, hard, harder. and the rain becomes louder and i realize there is nothing to do but cry.

only in new york: fishing edition

today i was running on roosevelt island on my ten miler, when i saw a bunch of people fishing. fine, though i don't understand why you'd want to fish in the east river as the fish probably have three eyes and high levels of toxins--if your sport is to murder animals, i don't get that. but anyway, two men were fishing, and had several fishing poles set up...but were lying on the ground by their fishing poles.

only in new york.

07 June 2007

a quote i read years ago i still agree with

"we refuse to congratulate corporations that engage in abusive labor policies simply because they have a non discriminatory policy towards LGBT workers."

i want to give every woman and every girl the courage...

...to speak out. i wish i had years ago.

26 May 2007

jay challenge

if you want to see the insane ultramarathon i plan on doing this july, check out the jay challenge.

oh, and for the full effect, click on this map, and click on the yellow circles for the pictures.

here's a description from the website:
The Marathon is a 31.5mile, mostly off-road, run. The race starts by climbing 4,000 feet over 9 miles to the summit of Jay Peak. Then racers head downhill for 4 miles, descending 2,000 feet on Ullr’s Dream ski trail, continue on a series of trails through the woods connecting to Wilderness Village back road, and through Jay Village. Then racers will cross fields and rivers, follow a deer trail, and run in a brook. Yes, in the brook, for about 3 miles. A bushwhack and beaver dam leads to a swim across a 50-foot river, (aided by volunteers and a cable), and then racers will reach aid station # 6. It is advisable to re-fuel and rest at aid station #6, because the worst mud hole in the world is yet to come on the last eight miles of the course!

yikes! i can't wait. i am already training, and already excited!

only in new york city

on a fifteen miler this morning, i saw two women and one man at the side of the lake in central park, meditating. that was normal. i found it slightly amusing that the women were wearing bikinis. hey, i can meditate and tan at the same time!

23 May 2007

19 May 2007

deciding

i'm almost 28 and it's time to make some decisions about my life. should i stay in nyc forever? why am i not writing? when will i get my books published? how can i ever possibly save up living as i am in nyc? when will i go on a RTW? is marriage right for me? should i quit men and go back to the ladies?

there's so many decisions and i won't make them all. so i'll make these:

11 May 2007

top 10 things of this friday night

as i sweat gently in my apartment, still not sure what i'm wearing but i know i'm going out, i just wanted to make a list of ten fab things i'm enjoying this lovely evening:

  1. fruit. i LOVE fruit, especially when it's ripe and delicious in the summertime. yum.
  2. fancy delicious drinks, like the pear-lime martini i had earlier.
  3. madonna's good songs, singing along.
  4. good drum n bass that makes me wanna dance--that sustains me as i walk along wall street.
  5. my new white fabulous shoes!
  6. loads of fab vegetarian cookbooks from the library.
  7. dreams of traveling, revived by a fat stack of lonely planets on my bedroom bookshelf.
  8. how much i like the way i rearranged my furniture in my bedroom.
  9. loud good techno bouncing out of a car's open windows when i'm on my way somewhere fun, possibly with an italian ice in my hand.
  10. feeling free and happy and full of life in the summertime!

02 May 2007

eugene marathon results

So I ran the Inaugural 2007 Eugene Marathon--and the best part is, I qualified for Boston 2008. Boston is one of the biggest marathons--some say the best, though how could anything beat NYC?--and to enter, you either have to raise like a billion dollars for charity (okay, maybe it's a little less) or run fast. I ran fast. For a woman my age, I have to run 3:40 or faster. Today I ran 3:36:09. The last two miles were the hardest--my stomach was really not happy (that last hammergel made me feel like I was going to throw up) but I kept telling myself, MIND OVER MATTER--I wouldn't let myself slow down or walk or quit, and it's so hard to not do any of those. My back was aching (damn fuel belt), my stomach was hurting (evil energy gels), blisters were growing at an alarming rate (Who ever heard of blisters on the pads of your feet???), but I persevered. I just kept digging deeper, running a hard as I could--and I knew I could do it. I'm so, SO happy. Here are my results:

Out of 1496 finishers (not sure how many were DNF), I placed 339. Out of 659 women, I placed 73--getting me a TOP FINISHERS coupon, woohoo, to a store in Eugene I won't go to! But anyway, I'm really happy.

The part I'm sad about is my beloved running partner, Crista, wasn't feeling so hot--her stomach was really hurting her and her knee was really bothering her--so we couldn't finish together. But she did finish--and at a sub-four hour pace--so I'm really proud of her. It is SO hard to run--and to finish--and at a good rate--that I am very happy with my fast friend! Go Crista! I love you! Run hard at Marine Corps--I'll be there!

The things I did that I want to repeat include:

*Carbo loading all week

*Speed workouts

*Took energy gels religiously every 45 minutes (I LOVE Strawberry Banana gu)

*Took three salts

*Drank lots of gleukos (yummy and less sickenly sweet alternative to Gatorade)

*Slept really well the previous two nights to the marathon

I'm in a lot of pain right now but really proud of myself. I'm running Boston in April, maybe I'll even do Big Sur, and Cara, I'm ready for the Jay Mountain Challenge. Thanks to all of my friends and family who support me, and I'll be looking for you at the sidelines of a future marathon!

24 April 2007

don't ask me about my friend--it's really not your business

"When I started meeting regularly with Christina [a transgender teenager]] and therefore talking about her to non-transsexual friends, they would often ask, “So, has she had the surgery?” This is a very personal question and not my place to answer—as I don’t make it my business to talk about anyone’s genitalia without their permission. Still, it’s an understandable question. Everything in our culture pushes us to be “completely” male or female. It’s in the language: a transsexual is either “pre-op” or “post-op”—the “operative” being presumed and nonnegotiable. But contrary to mainstream imagination, there isn’t one way to be a transsexual—there isn’t a fixed trail of body modifications you undergo, leading to the genital surgery. Rather, there’s a range of physical alterations you can make, depending on your financial situation, how permanent or temporary you want the change to be, your patience with the lengthy process, your tolerance for risk, and what you want to look like in the end."

Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers by Cris Beam

23 April 2007

she said

she said, "sometimes i want to stop living this lie. sometimes i just want to start over. i want to be something else. i want to be someone else. like, you see that red lipstick? sometimes i want to smear it. smear it all over my lips, in a thick and sexy way. like something i'd never do. and i'd look at the mirror, and think, 'who is this?' and it wouldn't be me. so i'd do things that wouldn't be me. like i'd finally go home with my pizza man, smearing my red lipstick all over his face and all over his pillows. i'd flirt with bus drivers, drink cafe lattes with extra foam. maybe i'd even smoke cloves again, like i did when i dated that painter for two weeks in college. i'd wear all black, strappy heels, laugh in a sexy manner. i'd be someone else. it would all be to the red lipstick. but in the end, it would be me. the me i want to be. the me i need to become. and i'd really be me all along, and i'd buy that red lipstick by the case, and i'd never stop being the daring me i'd always wanted to become."

22 April 2007

dream

"i can't dream for us all."

so dream. go ahead. dream. create those outrageous dreams. one day, they will come soon.

21 April 2007

George Mallory, 1922

What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy l ife. This is what life means and what life is for.

18 April 2007

where's cherie going next?

on the internet today, i stumbled into a website, where's cherie, and thought, hey, that's me. not really, but it's another cherie who has a deep love for travel. it made me happy.

i'm trying to decide where to go next. i can only afford (plus i don't get much vacation time) one trip a year. my eventual plan is to quit my job (this is several years down the road) and extensively travel throughout latin america and asia. so i'm not sure if i should go someplace else...

t and i talked about going to bali, but he may not have money. that may not happen, as love is like an egg sitting on the side of the bathtub. still, that's what i'd like to--no, LOVE TO do most. but my backup plan is turkey--egypt and morocco have also captured my interest heavily, as has finland, and so many other places. when i do my big trip, i'll have plenty of time to explore the places i really want to go--india, tibet, russia and nepal. so three weeks someplace that i can spend a lot of time...i need to think about it. but i'm leaning towards turkey.

i also want to take a very short (5 days or so) trip at christmastime. my family is psychotic, as are all families, but i think i would be happiest if i were away from them christmas. really, you're not supposed to cry hysterically at christmas, and if i didn't this year, that would make me very happy. i've given up on the idea that my family will give me happiness--so that will be a short (hopefully cheap) trip. i'm thinking mexico city, costa rica, belize, panama...i'd love to go to cuba, but i'm not sure about that. but, oh, i'd really love to go.

any ideas?

16 April 2007

the art of losing isn't hard to master

things that have been last in the past few days:

  • my sister's cat. eden's been missing since fri! they saw her once but she ran away.
  • my really nice pendant (one of two really nice pieces of jewelry i own); i suspect luna swatted it somewhere around my apartment, but am also checking her poop just in case she ate it. yuck.
  • my bracelet that was handmade that i bought from a native amazonian

11 April 2007

hardcore

saturday morning, 6:50am. i'm out there, fuel belt, running clothes, running over the pulaski bridge--not even at .5 mile. a cyclist passes me, and says, "wow, you're a real runner." yep, it's 35F or so. i tell him, "i'm running 20 miles." "you're hardcore." i know--and i'm proud of it.

luna's birthday party



luna enjoyed hiding under the futon, watching the action; she did not like tina, gwendolyn's kitty. meow!

08 April 2007

the samba drone








although i missed carnaval in rio (i was in salvador which was totally nuts!), i was able to witness the samba winner's parade. i got cheapish tickets to the samba drone and went with this supersweet ozzie girl, jenna. it blew my mind--the amount of money, time and energy that went into the creation of the floats and the costumes and the routines--it's just nuts. i can't even describe it properly so i'll include some photographs to speak for me.

rio de janiero








rio. rio. if i could go anyplace again in brazil, hands down, it would be rio. i fell in love with this city, so much that i could picture myself living there. it is SO beautiful--a major city, plus beaches, plus mountains! although there were dangers, things were sketchy, etc, i still loved it. i spent as much time as possible at the beach (something prized in rio, which is a terrific reason for me to want to live there)--i read don quixote as the waves crashed by, and people-watched. i ran along the water, which i very much prefer to the congested streets and sidewalks of new york city. i went to sugarloaf, christo statue, hanggliding, too much! i had so much fun and was so sad leaving. my taxi driver to the airport noticed my lump and played all sorts of brazilian axe for me. i miss brazil, esp rio.

05 April 2007

kissing, salvador, carnaval

now let me explain the kissing.

kissing at salvador is as standard as caipirinhas--and i don't mean kissing your partner. i mean kissing strangers. this came as a bit of a shock to me--yep, this shocked a new yorker.

the men would come up to you--"posso eu beijo-o." i would reply, "no falo portugese." then they would say, "english?" "sim." "you are very beautiful. can i kiss you?" for some of them, this was the only english they knew. if you said, "no," they would ask you why. if you had a boyfriend, well, unless he was right there in sight, that's not a good enough reason. "don't you want to experience a real brazilian kiss?" they were very persuasive, and aggressive. they didn't take subtle or nice let-downs, but kept trying. "kiss meee, kiss meeee."

the gandhys (according to the guys i talked to) were started in the south of brazil to protest racism and to promote peace. now, "gandhys believe in peace and love. especially love." if you see the blue beads in the picture above, they would exchange a string of beads for a kiss--and really would try to get a kiss out of every woman that walked by! meanwhile, they were dressed with turbans, long white outfits (white skirts and these tied white tops) and sandals. they were bizarre but funny.

kissing is this weird element of carnaval. people will just grab each other and make out. i couldn't believe it--suddenly, my friend is next to me, the next minute she is making out with some random short brazilian guy. and then he's gone and she's saying to me, "let's grab another caipie. mine's almost done."

what else could i do but the obvious--get another caipirinha. i didn't need an excuse, and if my friends want to celebrate or ignore a kiss, well, drink up!

author's note: i did not kiss this man in the photo. i had some random person take it. i did not even speak to him. being a gandhy, i knew he would happily pose. he didn't even try to kiss me--very un-gandhy-like. i also succeeded by leaving carnaval without kissing a single gandhy--not something many carnaval-goers could brag about!

04 April 2007

kissing

i wake up your in arms. i'm warm, feeling good all over. the cat is purring, sleeping, at our feet. your breath is soft and gentle, caressing my neck. a breeze, gentle, comes in through the window. i do not want you to ever wake up because i want this beautiful moment to last forever.

i shift, the cat meows, and you wake up. your eyelids flutter, big blue eyes sleepily stare into mine. we don't waste time with small talk; we never did. we always were deeper than that.

and you kiss me.

you kiss me.

it's the kiss i can feel in my toes, the kiss that makes me lose control--were we standing, you would have to hold me upright because i would not be able to support myself. i taste you, i taste myself, i explore sections of your mouth i swear i never knew existed. your fingers run up and down my back, my fingers comb through your blonde curls...

i kiss you back.

02 April 2007

carnaval in salvador, brasil

i went to salvador for the infamous carnaval. it was all that and more. i can't describe it with words because that is all it would be: just words. i cannot even begin to explain the insanity...the intensity...the energy...the fun!






each day is a party...here would be a typical day for me...because i am crazy, wake up at 8am to go for a run (marathon training!). come back, shower, eat. maybe take a nap. walk around in the afternoon with friends, watching local bands storm the streets with their instruments...maybe do some reading or relaxing or chilling with other people in my hostel, or sit outside and watch the musicians parade by, or walk along the pelhourino or campo grande circuits, enjoying the music, jumping up and down to the music, following the trucks like the popcorn we are...in the evening, shower again (so hot!) and start getting ready...if in a camaroche or bloco, try to modify the shirt so it isn't SO ugly, put makeup on (because it's carnaval!), grab something to eat (a major task at times for the vegetarian!), get a capirinha (honestly, is there anything else to drink in brazil?! i probably had more capies than water!)...head out in a cab to the barro-ondina circuit or walk to the campo grande...join up with my friends, get some capirinhas, chat with the locals...avoid the gandhy guys trying to kiss me ("i have a boyfriend!" "where is he? can he see us?" wtf?!), toast each other...have too much fun...when it's done, you have the saddest feeling but know you just had one of the funnest weeks of your life.

01 April 2007

wish

one of my wish bracelets from salvador came off--now my wishes will come true!

my cabbie

my cab driver last night was talking to me about dating and romance among other things. "you like your boyfriend?" he was very, very shy, and when i exited the cab, he asked, "do you have any-any friends you could set me up with?"

so i gave him your number.

31 March 2007

photos from amazonas, brasil








i haven't written much about my trip, so let me start. i first went to manaus, which was a real dump. the only highlight was the pre-carnaval party, which was pretty fun (and at which i drank a caipirinha com fruta e crema) and danced. however, the real highlight of amazonas was going on a jungle tour. i spent three days in a remote region of the amazonas--we took a van ride, boat ride, another van ride and another boat ride--several hours of traveling. however, when we got there, it was worth it. we went swimming in the river (our lodge was on a remote river in the amazon), chatted with people, drank caipirinhas, hiked in the jungle, slept in the jungle, met local families, went piranha fishing (i didn't and i was glad no one caught anything b/c i don't like fishing!), canoed, went through aquatic forests, saw pink dolphins, saw fruits and plants and birds that exist only in amazonas--in short, had a great time. here are some of my fave photos.

17 March 2007

knitting quote

"Jose brought up the blueprints for a new ranch house. I have this strange feeling that the blueprints and the knitting instructions got switched. I may be knitting a ranch house!"

--Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's

14 March 2007

dear city of new york,


please turn on your water fountains. i know we still have a bit longer until spring, but runners across the city are thirsty.

love,
cherie
and many, many other runners

interesting

there are several disgusting men who regularly sexually harass me, hit on me, stare me up and down in my neighborhood. every so often, i see them with their children--it seems to be daughters usually--and they look the other way, shy, meek, silent. i want to ask them, "do you want men to treat your little daughter like you treat me?" i find it ironic that they have daughters--that they do this--that they who are probably oh-so-protective of their little ones, wrapping their large hands around the miniature ones, feel the need to harass other women.

12 March 2007

my favourite song from carnaval

pick which version:

quebra 1

quebra 2


quebra 3

i think my favourite time singing this was pre-fat boy slim/dj marky/layo e bushwacka bloco where this supercute gayboi, felippe and i just started singing this at the top of our lungs!

quebra ae asa!

i don't know them

two people pass me--tightly holding hands.
my heart crumples.
i ignore it, alone, and continue walking, fast.

09 March 2007

nothing bonds new yorkers like a crisis

coming home from work today on the G train, my train suddenly stopped in the station and i heard a cluster of voices, rising. i pulled my headphones out of my ears (sometimes, you don't want to listen to your ipod) to see what was going on. the train operator was leaning out the window and i heard someone say, "someone has a bomb on the train."

"what?" i got up, and went to a middle-aged guy standing by the door in a grey sweater with an open leather jacket. "what? did he say a bomb?"

"a bong?" someone asked.

"oh, a bong."

"no, a bomb. not a bong--" gesturing like he is holding a bong--"a bomb. b-o-m-b."

"shit! should we--evacuate?"

at this point, the train conductor leaves the train and begins walking. "someone in the last car says he has a bomb. a disorderly passenger. not sure..." the conductor says, walking towards the last car that may or may not have a disorderly passenger with a bomb. people start leaving.

"shit..." a twentysomething woman with lovely brown hair and i exit the train and begin walking up the stairs. "i didn't want to die today," she tells me.

"me neither..."

"i don't feel like i'm going to die," she says.

i don't know what i feel but i know i'm scared.

"oh the police," she says, pointing at the precinct inside the station that i usually ignore. "do you think they know?"

"i don't know," i respond, "but i'll tell them." i walk towards the precinct, which, incidentally, is in the direction that the last car that may or may not contain the disorderly passenger with a bomb. it's below me, but in the same direction.

inside, two police officers are talking. "sorry to interrupt, but i think someone might have a bomb on the train," i blurt.

"oh, don't worry," another police officer tells me, smoothing her hair. "there's cops on the platform."

um, okay. so it's safe?

"what do you think?" the girl with the lovely brown hair asks me. she really is quite pretty, and her eyes are frightened, like mine probably reveal.

"they said there's cops on the platform...so maybe it's safe?"

"um..."

we walk towards the stairs and go down them. we see the train operator in the front again.

"is it okay?" we ask him.

"yeah, the cops are getting him."

people are watching the cops through the television on the platform, but i can't see what is going on. a minute or so later, the train departs.

we start chatting--about how we're so relieved, what craziness people can be--all bonded by a crisis. while i don't like scary things like threats to my life, i always like the way people become so friendly in new york

where should i move?

i recently read on curbed that not only is there a starbucks opening in greenpoint (now we're really gentrified!) but the building across from me is going to be a mega-condo with over a hundred apartments. great, just great.

i'm getting sick of greenpoint and have been hoping to move on for a while. but where should i move? i need someplace where i can go running and that limits most places in nyc. i will only live in brooklyn or manhattan, and don't want to live far. yeah, who doesn't? oh, and i have cheap rent.

my lease is up late may but i may extend for six months, and then figure out what to do. that building will be open in a year no doubt.

i wish i was in brazil for this

no, i don't.

sometimes, i like to forget about shitty things are.

but i will be at this.

missing

yes, i miss where i've already been.

but i also miss where i haven't been yet, and i really miss where i will one day be going.

my favourite chai recipe


Venessa passed along this recipe to me from Bon Appetit. However, I didn't like it as they had it, so I made some minor adjustments to suit my taste.

Enjoy!

1 1-1.5 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin rounds
(the original recipe calls for a 2 inch piece; if you are a huge ginger person, add that much, but i think it becomes overpowering. i prefer a 1 inch piece or a 1.5 inch piece if my ginger is quite thin.)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons (heaping if you like) of black peppercorns
11 whole cloves
(i may try adding even more than i do, as i like cloves)
7 cardamom pods
6 cups cold water
6 bags black tea, preferably darjeeling
2 cups organic milk
(i add 2% but whole would be excellent as well)
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
(my secret ingredient for everything!)

  1. Lightly crush first five ingredients with a mallet in large saucepan, or use a mortar and pestle (my way) and transfer into a large pot.
  2. Add 6 cups of water; bring to boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low; partially cover pan and simmer gently 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep five minutes. (If you want more of a caffeine buzz, leave the bags in a bit longer.)
  5. Discard tea bags. Add milk, sugar, and vanilla.
  6. Bring tea just simmering over high heat, whisking until sugar dissolves.
  7. Strain tea.
This recipe makes enough for six servings. It stores well in the fridge, and you just pop a cup in the microwave (or you can warm it up on the stove as well) to have another day. I just had some leftover chai and I loved it! This time came out my best--I added less ginger, more vanilla, and it was just lovely!