Friday, December 2, 2011

a turkey & a half

"Surround yourself with people who know your worth. You don't need too many people to be Happy, just a few real ones who appreciate you for exactly who you are"  ...unknown
the day after thanksgiving i set out to run 11 miles.  by the time i got to 11 miles i was carrying my tongue since i didn't have any water with me.  so with tongue in tow and my tired legs, i went another 2.1 miles to make it a happy solo half marathon.  my first ever.  
i was thankful for my mind that pushed me to keep going, for my legs that didn't buckle, and my feet that just kept going on auto-pilot.  
i did plenty of gratuitous thinking as i gumped through 3 towns on black friday.
i am thankful for:
  • my amazing friend vita for turning me on to running, inspiring me to run a race, and believing that i could it.

  • the opportunity to pay it forward to my awesomely artistic friend nicole who thought she could never run a mile, she ran her second 5k last weekend without walking a mere step.
  • epsom salt, the miracle remedy that makes my muscles sigh with relief after a long-ass run.

  • learning in kindergarten that you don't have to be friends with everyone, you just need to be nice and (try to) play fair.
  • the end of a long shitty day.
  • the beginning of a new day to reboot and restart and reevaluate.
  • living 20 minutes from the hub of the universe.
  • the phonies who live among us who keep us real.
  • waking up with a noisy mind and productively clearing out the chaos.
  • true friends.  i mean those who are truly true.
  • cold beer, a full glass of wine
  • bridges that have been burned.
  • a new path.
  • blair witch 2 in our kitchen cabinet

the little people living in my cabinet who do strange things and make me happy
"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck." - Dalai Lama

Thursday, December 1, 2011

tis the be a goodfella

  the best way to spread christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear. 
~buddy the elf
i set out to do a few (quick) errands today.  i needed some charlie brown red christmas balls, among other things.  and in no time, time was not on my side.  i became henry hill without the helicopters.   and the cocaine.  

here are a few simple suggestions for the holiday season,  especially if you live in new jersey, near the mall capital of the universe.  
  • if you are driving on the highway, i.e. route 17, do not drive on the shoulder for 45 minutes.  that's just plain illegal and quite dangerous. 
  • if you are driving on the highway, try to keep your foot on the gas pedal and go faster than a dead camel in the desert.
  • when you are dancing your cart around trader joe's, refrain from sudden stops to pick your nose.
  • rethink your decision to park your kid and cart in the middle of the aisle to read the ingredients on the dog bone box when there are 45 people coming up the aisle behind you.
  • exercise is good for you.  try not to clog up the entire county by waiting 20 minutes for mrs. catatonic to get in her car with her 85 bags of stuff and no one can pass you. 
  • if you are working in a store during the holiday season, get some freakin spirit.  even in a big, busy store, not mentioning any names (bitchy and un-noble).
  • attempt to be somewhat patient, spread some cheer and share some cheers, and watch ELF.
  • and if you're lucky you will run into a long lost friend like i did today... what a gift!!
  • by golly, be jolly, take buddy's advice and sing even it's bad.
  • and, of course, get to new york city for the beauty of the season.  then go again.

rockefeller center, before the lights were lit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

next stop....hoboken

the pause---that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, howsoever felicitous, could accomplish it.  
~mark twain

for the love of the train... & the train ride...

hoboken terminal

& for the love of hoboken.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

holy hock, i won!!

"your wings already exist...all you have to do is fly..."

first, some exciting news.....yesterday i won a signed david nail cd from a radio station that i listen to on the satellite radio in my car.  yee haw!  they sent me an email ....

WSIX is in nashville.  hmmmm...thanksgiving road trip... reality check...  i called them, i'm hoping to find good times in the mailbox soon.

next, some spelling fun ...the other day matty was playing a game and he needed some help spelling the word "hock," pronunciation as per matty.  i said what is that?  like ham hock?  how the hock would a 6 year old know what a ham hock is?  as the intelligent parents we are, we realized (quickly.....eventually) that he meant the word "hawk"...and he was like, "yeah, hock."  

and lastly, an unexpected yesterday morn while i was choring, my super duper peripheral vision spotted something swoop passed the bedroom window.  i declared, "holy sheet!"  holy premonition, mattman.  there stood the mother of predators a few feet away in the tree, hanging out on a leafless, moldy branch....WAITING....  check out how the hawk's expression changes.

   i took a few pictures and then i knocked on the window so it would pose for me.

then it must have spotted something. 
and just like that, it decided to fly.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"i know the power of a song when a song hits you right"....david nail

"don't ask what the world needs.  ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  because what the world needs is people who have come  alive."  
~h. thurman

when i run, i listen to music.  some people don't, but i do.  my friend, jen the runner posted a link to get free songs from subway and the biggest loser.  i checked it out and i emailed jen saying, 'i looked at the songs...if i told you what i run to, you wouldn't believe me.....' the songs vary in genre and also i try to change or add songs so i have something to look forward when i am hoofing it.  

 "music is moral law.  it gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything."  
~ plato

so today i ran my first-ever 10 miler.  i listened to david nail and his new stellar second album, and i also listened to his fantastic first album because it's also stellar and when you run that long you have plenty of time for music.  aside from his wonderful voice, every song tells an impressively illustrated story and i can listen to them over and over again.  and then again. and again.  no joke.  this kind of listening drives jeff crazy.  it's a musical lather. rinse. repeat. repeat. repeat.  so when i am in my own little running world, there are times when i listen to the same song three or four times in a row.  oh, the therapy that comes with running.   the imagery evoked by these songs is a technicolor celebration in my brain.  

my favorites from the first album, i'm about to come alive, are:
red light 
looking for a good time (love this one, the beats per minute are in happy sync with my pace)
i'm about to come alive
this time around
turning home
let it rain
strangers on a train
summer job days

you can listen to samples here:

and my faves on the brand new album, the sounds of a million dreams are:
songs for sale
half mile hill
i thought you knew
catch me while you can
that's how i'll remember you
the sound of a million dreams ..."the power of a song when a song hits you right"
she rides away
grandpa's farm
let it rain
yay!  more listening...
every song that is on my favorites list.. i listen now as i write.   check it out for yourself. 

ok, so i also have some songs that have been on my shuffle since i started running two and a half years ago.  they are my go-to songs when i need a push or want to run like a bat out of hell at the end of the trotting trip.   i know who to call upon.   here are a few veteran songs and a couple newer ones:
never run without it
foo fighters...times like these
foo fighters....walk
martina mcbride...for these times
triumph...magic power
van halen...right now
van halen...5150
the music filling your brain while you run is so unique and personal (for me at least).  you may not give a crap what i listen to or you may be asking yourself how i can listen to certain songs while i run. my choices are probably more about the inspiration than anything else.  and this david nail singer songwriter guy from missouri is going someplace, mark my words.  he's on his way.....

and here you can watch one of the videos, turning home...

and by the way, if you watched game 7 of the world series, david nail sang god bless america during the seventh inning stretch.
from twitter, dn warming up in his native missouri

Saturday, November 12, 2011

lacing up

why do we run?  we just do.  it's a love and it's life changing.  it's exhilarating, it's breathtaking, it's empowering and humbling, it's therapeutic and liberating.  throw in a race and running moves deeper into your mind as well as your legs... 

we got us some pretty nifty shoelaces to celebrate our team.....
 it's like putting new tires on an old car...except those sneaker jalopies are only a few hundred miles old.

we were off to the race on what was a beautiful autumn sunday morn with all our smurfy blue laces tied up.  we had just started out and all of a sudden i panicked thinking i forgot my shuffle, and as the designated driver,  i instantly turned into the post office to go back home and jeff sighed THE sigh, offering his music but that's like wearing someone else's underwear, it's all too personal..., then i heard jen and nicole saying that i had the headphones on my shirt...(duh) so i finished doing a donut in the post office parking lot (shannon was already getting car sick) and we were on our way.
once we were all safety-pinned and numbered up, jeff, aka jeb (jeff + meb) , graciously took our jackets and race shirts back to the car while we warmed up by walking back and forth to the bathroom 8 or 9 times.  there's nothing worse than trying to run when you are holding your full bladder in the palm of your hand.  
shannon, jen, nicole, me, and jeb
of course jeb warmed up by running around the track 80 or 90 times with his iron bladder bouncing happily about.   he must be onto something because aside from his steel pony legs, he always reaches the finish line before any of us.  (note to self, try the warm up and alternate with bathroom pitstops).  so we finally made our way to the starting line and we were off.  
passed the high school, passed the dead squirrel with its guts strewn all over the runners' lane, down the hill which is always a good time to catch your breath and do some self talking because you know what goes down must come UP, and there it was...up the side street little hill, then up the gigantic hill (it really wasn't but hills are annoying and they always look like the mountain in "how the grinch stole christmas").  back passed the poor little squirrel which told me i was that much closer to the end, and i was feeling pretty good.   
our "run strong" team
jeb was waiting (with his 24 minute finish) to cheer me on with encouraging words at the entrance to the track and i tried turning it up a notch.  a felt a little twinge of nausea and the track seemed endless.  i breathlessly crossed the finish line with relief and thirst, and a little bit of disappointment because i didn't beat my last 5k time (but i guess it's true what they say, different course, different race, different results...) but i was pleased with my 28.06 time.  our friend, jen the runner, came in right behind me, then shannon and nicole who did an amazing job of running her first 5k.  
we walked passed the hot dog cart (we cursed that we had no money on our persons..) and back into the hs gym where the standings were posted.  dozens of sweaty people were trying to make their way up to see what place they came in on the 5 pieces of paper with tiny font taped up to the wall.   jeb reported i came in fourth in my age category.  eh.  then shannon came back from the standings jumping like tigger...she came in third in her age group!!   so, much to hungry jeb's chagrin, we were there for the duration of the awards presentation.  we were chatting and goofing around and thinking about food and then i heard my name...  who knew???  it was my turn to be tigger.  but i was more embarrassing.  shannon's age group was last and it was wonderful to see the medal going over her head with pride in her eyes of her third place well-run third race (say that three times).

nicole took this one of all my stuff

i asked my friend, nicole the runner, to tell me what to add about her first 5k.  here are her words...

post-race nicole about mentioning that our dad Jeb bought us bacon egg and cheese sandwich (to split)....
..... how about adding the fact that this race brought out the once doubtful girl who couldn't run a mile 9 months ago, showed up, and showed up a RUNNER to her first 5k, because of your inspirational push? about adding that this now not doubtful RUNNER girl finished the race strong, proud of herself, and ready to do it again....because of your inspirational push? about adding that this RUNNER GIRL will keep RUNNING, keep getting BETTER, keep PUSHING...because of your inspirational push?
....................THAT, my inspiration, is worth a FIRST PLACE MEDAL................


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

it's where the heart is

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”
-Kahlil Gibran

my lifelong friend, patti, is one of those amazing people whose heart is so big you wonder how it even fits inside her body.   her enthusiasm for life is as contagious as her smile, she inspires me every day.  patti has indelible pride in her brother, alex, who serves in the army.  alex's wife, carrie, captured precious moments in her beautiful photographs.

baby jailyn

saying goodbye
Smile.  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday… and you will be.  
(from marc and angel hack life)

"Smile. This is not a drill. Please fasten your safety belts and restore your trays to their full upright and locked position. Dig into thoughts and memories until you've found power; that inner strength and the will to go on. Find the lingering smell that makes you think of that time... Look for the color that sparks the memory about... Show the world the person that can smile no matter what. Please keep all body parts away from the closing doors and prepare for take off. You know that in all darkness you will find a matching light. Conquer the fear of heights, spiders and ghosts. Take a shot of courage and march on through fire. Accomplish what you know you can do. It only takes a fraction of happiness and a moment of your time. Stride short and sweet with power in your footsteps. March to your own beat and rhythm. Excite the flip flops beneath you and fly on Hermes wings. Your time to shine is now, and aim that light at shadows below you. Light will stream out from you and catch others who will reflect it back. Your smile becomes their smile and show you every bit of comfortable strength it has to offer. Accept the offerings and be glad in this. This is a smile creeping across your face, and this is not a recording. Just don't forget to smile. You, this world and everyone in it is ALWAYS more beautiful when you smile."

alex returned home yesterday after his second deployment in iraq... 
into the arms of love

god bless our heroes and let us be grateful for the sacrifices they make while protecting our way of life, our freedom, and country.  
thank you, alex.

 thank you carrie, for sharing your snapshots of your loves and life.
alex and his son tyler

patti and her little brother

welcome home