25 February 2012


The other day I googled myself (as you do), and found that a lot of my results are times from races. This was rather cool...I can't remember all the races I've been in and certainly don't remember much about the times, unless I did really well (Santa Cruz 10K, I'm looking at you).

I am gearing up for my next 1/2 marathon, and really hoping to bring my time down from the last one. I feel like I have stagnated around the same time throughout my running days...however, finding these results, I can see there's been a definite improvement! And this has me totally inspired as I continue my training (ok, yeah, so I use training loosely).

The race where this is most evident is the Presidio10. I've participated in this race 4 times, with a 5th coming up this year, and loved it every time. Evidently, I've also improved my time!
2008 - 1:15.41
2009 - 1:08.56
2010 - 1:09.56 (the exception...I had arrived home from Costa Rica at about 1am that morning then ran...)
2011 - 59.51

Running is a solitary sport that, for someone like me, lacks the instant gratification of a team sport. I am never going to win first place, never break the ticker tape...so really my only gauge is how I do against my friends in the moment, and against the clocks of other races. So seeing these side by side is really a validation, for me, that whatever I am doing works.

Does this mean I'll do better in my upcoming 1/2? I have no idea...my friend Mark, who ran with me in Healdsburg, signed up to run with me again...he's a lot faster than me so hopefully that will push me like it did in October.

22 February 2012

Read This: Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?

I know have written a few times about how I wish I had to talent to make seemingly ordinary things read like they are extraordinary. I know this happened when I read  I was Told There'd be Cake

Actually, it happens pretty much every time I write here. Is what I am saying of interest to anyone? Do I much care? (while I tell myself this blog is a way to keep my writing skills on the semi-sharp side, as well as keep in touch with overseas friends...truth is, I would like it to be interesting, too!) 

When I saw Mindy Kaling was coming out with a book, I was pretty excited. She seems like a pretty normal person, despite the fact that her character in The Office is an outward expression, it seems, of all the parts of our personalities we try to keep hidden. She's a writer, not a glamour-puss...generally seems cool.

After reading this book, I am even more convinced of that. At times I was in hysterics (one of those times I was in an airport shuttle on my way to Disneyland...I am sure the older couple in the van with me thought I was cray), at times wondering how she was writing about my own life, and the rest trying to come up with a plan on how we could get her in my group of friends*.

There is an authenticity in this book that I don't often see. Kaling lays it all out there...from pictures of her as a youth with rather unfortunate haircuts and clothing, to the truth behind heartbreak, to her complete lack of ability to pull the most important of moves -- the Irish Goodbye. She also talks quite a bit about her early struggles as an actor and writer, with no sugar coating or rosy endings (I guess...except that her career turned out rather rosy, but she definitely had to work for it). Even the title is a question we don't like to admit we ask ourselves, but often do.

I was truly sad when this book ended...and again wondering if there was any way to make my life sound this interesting,.

* my friend A agrees that she would fit right in with us...at some point we'll figure out how to make it happen.

12 February 2012

Week in Pictures: Around the Hood

Ok...so this is actually two weeks of pics. I think I did a little better! Most of these were taken around my fabulous neighborhood...And, yes, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom even though it's only February!

Next Week: Signs

01 February 2012

Listen Here: Everybody Hurts

For as long as I can remember, R.E.M. has been my favorite band. While they've been around my whole lifetime, I am not sure when I initially became conscious of them...I know I had tapes of their music, so it must have been after albums, but before CDs.

I wouldn't call myself a superfan by any means, I have always reserved that for very important bands like NKOTB. But there are very few songs by R.E.M. that I don't like. One of my favorite memories is driving up from my freshman year at college to see them, for the first time, with tickets my uncle got for me, on a road trip with my friend Houser. It was also the last time I got to see my grandmother, which makes the whole trip, and memory, more special. Later, Houser wrote out all the lyrics to What's the Frequency, Kenneth for me. I probably still have that somewhere.

They recently called it a career, and came out with a pretty awesome retrospective album, which I promptly downloaded (how about that; I have them on 3 mediums!)(not cool, I know). I play my music on shuffle, so never know what's coming  next.

The other day, Everybody Hurts popped on, and whoa, my mind went reeling. This song came out my senior year of high school, and I remember the first time I heard it was a few days before my senior retreat. I remember that because on the way to said retreat, I was told that one of the girls with us had tried to commit suicide a night or two before, and I remember wishing I could go buy the cassette single for her and let her know that she wasn't alone. (I am happy to report that said girl is alive and happy and well, and I have no clue if this rumor was true) This song got me through tough times, too, in that way that only a somber song can.