Listing

Hmm, I’m not quite sure how to do my annual recap. I mean, 2007 was a pretty good year for me. Every year is decent, actually. I’ll just make a list.

won a spelling bee
dated a boy for about 3 seconds
wrote about health bars
began teaching seminary
attended a Patty Griffin concert
became overly (?) obsessive about Patty Griffin
traveled to Florida
traveled to Utah
traveled to Washington, DC
traveled to the Philadelphia area
traveled to Maine for the 3rd Labor Day in a row
started an English usage class
laptop got stolen
broke up with a good friend
started cycling like a maniac
backed off on the exercise a lot and gained major weight
led the music by default once during church 
made a fair amount of smoothies
went 3 times to a karaoke bar without singing
rode my bike on a freeway in Long Island
turned 31
read some amazing books
reading Eat Pray Love right now
bonded with people with So You Think You Can Dance
lived with a gay man
got a NY Public Library card
renewed my permanent resident card
got a NY state ID
attended the temple a bunch
joined facebook
got to see Ray again
finished the Harry Potter series like the rest of the world
made a new friend through LJ
went out with a friend who met and talked to Nelson Mandela
found out who Paul Potts is
helped make videos that are now on YouTube
posted actual polls on LJ
was a member of 3 Google Groups
moved to midtown Manhattan after almost 4 years in Washington Heights
had about 3/4 of my friends move away
felt really bizarre IMing friends in japan
wrote more entries about food
submitted essays to online publications/contests
started eating spirulina
wrote my 1000th entry
started running again
memorized Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”
supported the writers strike
went canoeing
went bowling
went to a Mets-Nationals game
vomited for the first time in a really long time
made new friends
went as the Kool-Aid Man for Halloween
finished therapy

Of course, I could make a list of things I didn’t do, but come on. That’s no way to start a new year. I’m just going to keep doing the things I do well, and I’ll improve whatever needs improving. That’s plenty to keep me occupied.

Everyone, have a wonderful and happy New Year!

Love.

Austin

For some reason I decide to peruse the Grammy website. In 2004, The Dixie Chicks won for best country performance by a duo or group with vocal. What performance you ask? They sang “Top of the World.” Who wrote that song? That’s right. Patty Griffin. I’m sure the Chicks do a decent cover, but when I sat down and listened to that for the first time, I cried. I cheered for that little songbird.

I booked my plane tickets for Austin. Now to find a place to stay. I’d like to be close to downtown, at least on Sunday when the race is.

I’m feeling a little bit scatterbrained right now.

I just told my roommate that Julie Andrews is the best at bursting into song. We’re watching The Sound of Music. “My favorite things.” Aww, yeah. Then I said, it’s not even that she’s bursting into song; it’s more like she’s easing into song. As if on cue, she (my roommate, not Ms. Andrews) said, “That’s it exactly.”

Okay, that last part had nothing to do with Austin. The first part did? Well, yeah. Patty lives in Austin.

Now, to tend to the VonTrapps.

The Loop

 

 

Distance

6M

Route

Central Park Loop

Weather

Blue skies, 50 wonderful degrees

Time

61 minutes

Week total

10M

For some reason this week, my muscles decided to wake up. My body decided a while back to be sore on the 2nd day after a workout. So, given my run from Thursday, my quads were a bit tight. And right now? the right side of my bum is spasming. No, it’s not to where you can see it, but it’s enough to bother me, and it hurts somewhat. I don’t know what today’s run is going to do to my body.

The pace was about 10:10. I don’t know why there’s such a difference between the shorter and the longer runs.30 seconds, that’s a pretty big deal. My body has a lot to relearn. It wasn’t bad, though. My stride is short. Way back when I had a longer stride I developed a ticky knee, so I shortened my stride to reduce the chance of injury. Heartbreak Hill was challenging, but definitely conquerable. I didn’t stop. I settled into a rhythm and ignored everyone passing me. I passed only walkers and the moderately to severely gimpy runners. Even then it seemed they’d pass me only to wait for me to catch up to them so they could pass me again. 

The first half hour always goes more slowly than the back 30 minutes, which usually gets me feeling pretty amazing.

I wish the rest of the winter could be like today.

Photos from My Trip

I didn’t take pictures of any of the airports. All four (4) of them delayed me. 

Let’s count: LaGuardia, Reagan, Atlanta, Jacksonville.  

These are rather random. I’ll try captioning them appropriately.

 
King size bed? All for me?Couch and blinds-in chocolate neutrals, all for me?

Beautiful, simplistic bathroom, all for me?Desk, flatscreen tv and faux art, all for me?

I couldn't think of a better pose?All for me, baby. See my cute hair?

Alien pods descending to earth! And a beautiful tree with a train set.Look at the symmetry, folks. The camera was crooked, though.

Only $4 for a pint of WATER? This was in my hote room. Can it get any better than that?A nice display outside the hotel. I almost took it for myself and opened it.

Pretty cool Metro tunnel, eh? I like it.Blurry pillars. I promise I'm not impaired. It's the no-flash feature on the camera!

This is the escalator from the earth's core. Inferno? Interestingly, it surfaces at Dupont Circle.

This is Jenny's wiener dog, Henry. He's wiggly.

Tie antics:

My mom is really hot, people. This is before the tie-tying lesson. See how happy?Oh, dear. What's going on?

Mom's getting the hang of it. Yay!"Hang of it"? That's totally not what I meant.

Imagine these taken in one of those photo booths at the mall:

I really love this photo of myself. Yay for 3 shades of red!
Can we get a smile, please?
Uh, Frank?
I love his perma-smile. Nice work.

Quite possibly the three cutest people in the room. Can you feel the love? This is going on next Year's Christmas card.

Scene at a Bar

Getting off the red line, I take the forever escalators up to Dupont Circle.
D’s directions are crystal clear: the bar is located at R Street and 17th Street.
The name of the place is Dupont Italian Kitchen.
D told me if I like karaoke, and if I don’t mind lots and lots of gay people, I’d have a great time.
Perfect.
So, consider the initials of the bar.
I walk in and notice little clusters of men scattered about.
I see D and sidle up to her.
She notices me.
We talk.
About the city. About the hotel. About the songs one could sing that evening.
She pays for a ginger ale for me.
We discuss what else could go into my glass.
D’s friend, Z, is the DJ for that bar.  She’s nice.
A man makes his way around me and puts his hands on my shoulders while doing so.
I wonder exactly how comfortable with physical contact I’m supposed to be.
After fiddling with the equipment awhile, she talks to D about how incompetent her bosses are.
The sound system is messed up, and she needs to rewire.
Z heads down to her car for some duct tape.
D and I talk some more. She’s set on me singing.
I think about singing, too.
Z comes back and says someone smashed in her windows and stole a backpack.
D and Z dash out of the bar.
I’m left alone in a bar full of gay men.
I finish my drink and head out. D and Z are nowhere to be found.
I call D’s cell phone and leave a message.
D appears and asks if I’ve seen a backpack anywhere.
She explains that the burglar didn’t take Z’s backpack, they took hers.
See, I met D at the airport.  She got bumped from her flight.
Her luggage was on a plane to Louisiana. She was not.
All she had was her backpack.
She befriended me and invited me to gay karaoke.
So, her backpack is missing.
Fortunately, she’s from DC.
Her heavy jacket is enroute to Baton Rouge.
The backpack held:
laptop
mp3 player(s)
wallet with IDs and $$
newly assigned plane tickets.
That’s gotta suck.
She zips from corner to corner, looking frantically for her backpack.
She can’t find the neighborhood homeless person who apparently is also the neighborhood informant.
She runs down Q Street. Far.
I do not follow her.
That is the last time I see her.
I walk back to the Metro station and take the subway back to the hotel.

Airline, I totally blame you.

A Moment

 

 

Distance

4

Route

Midtown, UN Plaza

Weather

Cloudy, 40 degrees

Time

38:38

Okay, that’s more like it, a 9:36 pace. After almost a week of not running (only 6 miles last week), I needed to get back into the groove. I didn’t run in Jacksonville, because I wanted to spend as much time with my family as possible, since my vacation was virtually CUT IN HALF. Anecdotes forthcoming.

While running past the United Nations this evening, I willed my mind and heart to be as solemn as possible. It was quiet through the plaza, and most of the lights were on. What the heck, people. Assassins. Ass-asses.

Her martyrdom only deepens her cause. However, I would have liked to see what she would have accomplished given just a little more time. She was only 54, after all.

Now to the familiar pattern of assigning blame and misdirected efforts and perhaps the sad deconstruction of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s dignity to launch into another phase of war.

I wonder how I could make this run in February one for democracy. Or another empassioned cause. A lot of things sure do piss me off these days.

Hey, I could run for striking writers for the environment through new media; and run against the new media whose advertising promotes the online booking of flights that will inevitably be canceled/interrupted except for politicians’ private jets (anti-carpooling!) and other pork barrels which foster international government corruption that ignores hunger, poverty, abuse, education, dissolution of the family, and disease. 

So, who wants to sponsor me?

Sit back, and enjoy the ride …

In reference to today’s little travel hurdle, it seems I’ve been quoted. Here’s the instant message conversation that led up to it:

me: my flight was canceled

i’m rebooked for the am
 Amy: what? seriously?
  why?!
  the weather was warm!
  are you at the airport or at home?
me: i’m at home
  the plane was having mechanical issues
  it was a direct flight
  and i connect twice tomorrow
  which, whatever.
Amy: whatever= they owe you
  they should have to give you a massage
 me: yeah
 Amy: the whole crew!
  😉
 me: i would love that
  oh man
  all my massaging friends are gone 😦
Amy: i bet the pilot gives good massages.
 me: he’d better be cute, too
Amy: and dedicate the flight to you.
 me: yes.
“we’re approaching 30,000 feet, and this flight is all for may!”
 Amy: oh man, yes!

Greek Philosophy

My flight was canceled.
It was a direct flight.
I’ve been rebooked for tomorrow morning.
With an itinerary with 2 connections.
Two.
Dos.
Deux.
Dalawa. 
One of the layovers is 17 minutes. 
Please pray, cross your fingers for me.

The airline paid for my transportation home.
My driver was a Greek man.
We talked about unions.
Not causing strife between America and your motherland.
Life experience.
The “war against the middle class.”
The ride passed quickly.
He wouldn’t accept my tip.
Wished me luck for flight tomorrow.
Sigh.

Today’s featured Patty lyric:
Waited for you till the snow fell down
Over my skin like a thin nightgown

That’s from “Moon Song.” Supposedly it’s a demo from Children Running Through that never made the album.
It’s a tender, heartwrenching song, with spare, acoustic guitar.  It’s haunting. The imagery of that line seals the deal.
Another nearly perfect tune.

Right now I’m watching VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s. That’s bringing back some serious memories. They’ve mentioned Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” and Counting Crows and Beck and Radiohead (“Creep”) and House of Pain and Live (“I Alone”) and Hansen and MC Hammer and Blackstreet and Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Sinead O’Connor and Weezer and Jamiroquai and Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I’m waiting for them to mention Smashing Pumpkins. Ha! Mariah Carey.  Woo! Pearl Jam! Yes! Alanis Morrisette! You oughta know.

Oh, music. Why does it affect us the way it does? I’ll have to check out that one book one day.

I have a bit of anxiety. It’ll be hard to breathe until my feet touch Florida ground tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Flights, cooperate. Please.