Thursday, December 27, 2007

Annual Wrap Up - 2007 Edition

It's that time of year to write some of the happens in 07.

January
- Went skiing at Mont Tremblont in Canada. Discovered that I STILL have a terrifying fear of skiing. But I am queen of the bunny hill!
- Dinner party with friends. I made TWO kinds of lasagna.
- Saw M. Ward at Town Hall
- Travel: Boston, Montreal

February
- Went ice climbing for the first time. Very fun. J gets a little frostbite in his fingers. Doesn't get proper sensation back in the tips of his fingers for three more months.
- Went skiing again - in the Adirondacks. This time with a trained ski instructor. Have another near panic attack on the green runs. Decide that J is trying to kill me.
- Took J to get a couples massage for Valentines Day. Highly recommended!
- Diagnosed with a bad knee. Started going to PT.
- Travel: Adirondacks, Chicago

March
- Saw The Shins perform at MSG.
- Still going to PT
Travel: San Francisco

April
- Still going to PT
- No travel

May
- Wrapped up PT. Knee supposedly good as new.
- Travel: Virginia, Los Angeles

June
- Began running again after 6 months of 0 miles. PAINFUL.
- Vaction in Portugal with J!
- Travel: Portugal

July
- Question why I run. So painful.
- Decide to opt out of the NYC Triathlon. Not in proper condition. Would have likely drowned.
- Travel: Dallas

August
- Ran the NYC Half-Marathon. Actually finished without having to walk. Time: 2 Hr. 18 minutes.
- Travel: Dallas (Again), Chicago

September
- Went rock climbing with J and friends around Lake Placid. Very fun. Did my first multi-pitch climb. Nearly peed my pants several times.
- Ran an 18 mile long training run for the NYC Marathon. Knee hurts like a b*tch for several days after. Not a good sign.
- Travel: Dallas (AGAIN!!!), San Francisco

October
- Saw Arcade Fire on Randall's Island, Billy Bragg at SEC, and Margaret Cho at the Zipper Club.
- Celebrated one year anniversary with J!
- Turned 32!
- Went apple picking with Sloane.
- Made the decision to drop out of the NYC Marathon - knee giving me all sorts of trouble. :(
- Travel: Dallas (Last time this year)

November
- Travel: Atlanta, Houston (I can't get away from TX)

December
- My sister gets engaged!
- Third annual Christmas cookie party with the girls!
- Travel: Boston, Chicago

Ah...it was a very full year! A good year overall. These are just some highlights.

2008 is shaping up to be an exciting year. Many changes in the works, another shot at the NYC Marathon, a century planned for May, and Argentina with J in February!

I hope you all (or one) are having a great end of year! And Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How much do you want to bet...

That should McCain win the Republican nomination, Joe Lieberman will be his VP running mate. Joe Lieberman was never a democrat.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cacophany of Christmas Cookies Part 3


The girls and I had our third annual Christmas cookie bake and exchange party this past weekend. A great time was had by all. In total we had 7 different kinds of cookies. We made:

Chocolate cookies stuffed with Rolos and Peanut Butter Cups (Heidi)
Shortbreads dipped in Chocolate (Heidi)
Banana Split Brownies (Liana)
Snickerdoodles (Liana)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Marlene)
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Cranberries & Walnuts (Adile)
Rugelach with Lemon Curd, Almonds, and Dried Blueberries (Me)

We each walked away with over 8 dozen cookies/person. Eep!

You can see some of the cookies in the picture above.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Already pimping out the baby

This story in the NY Times is truly horrifying! Women now want diamonds and pearls for pushing out the baby.

Talk about priorities in the wrong place.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Meat Deprieved

It is rare that I crave meat. Even before I went vegan and then backtracked (Damn you bacon!) I never ate much meat. Most cuts of meat scare me. You never know what sort of jiggly gristle or vein you might run into (shudder). I like my meat pristine and charred until it is completely dead, dead, dead. I'm also easily overcome by the unctious nature of meat. A few bites and I start to feel a heavy, thick, cloying coat of fat cover the inside of my mouth and stomach. Bleach. The average serving size of meat is 3 - 4 ozs - about the size of the palm of your hand. My tolerance probably hovers around 1 - 2 oz.

It's not that I actively avoid meat - I just don't seek it out. For this reason, I can go days - sometimes whole weeks - without eating a single piece of animal protein (not including fish). It's usually not until I start having weird craving for hamburgers, ham sandwiches, and lasagna (my lasagna has over 3 lbs of meat in it) that I realize my deficit of protein.

Anyway, for the past two weeks - since Thanksgiving - I've been craving hamburgers and bbq ribs nearly everyday. I've been on quite the meat binge as of late. I don't know what's going on. (And no, I am not preggers or anything else of that nature). What's going on here? Has this happened to you?

Monday, November 19, 2007

J and my mom

In a very disturbing turn of events, J and my mom are teaming up against me to make me break some of my less savory bad habits.

On biting my nails:

(Over dinner in a Chinese resturant)

Mom: You should stop biting your nails.
J: Yes, I keep telling her all the time.
Mom: You see, you should stop biting your nails.
Me: Uh-huh
J: (showing her my fingers)...see what she does to them.
Mom: Very bad. Stop biting your nails.
J: Yeah, stop biting your nails.
Me: ....

On running the NYC Marathon:

(While at my Mom's shoe store)

Mom to J: Do you need new sneakers? Which pair do you like? I'll get them for you.
J: No, it's okay. I'm fine.
Mom to J: No, really. Which one do you want? What size are you? I'll be right back with a pair.
Mom to me: Do you need new sneakers?
Me: Yes, how about these?
Mom: Okay, I'll get both your sneakers.

[Mom returns with sneakers]

J to my Mom: Do you know that she's going to run in the Marathon and her knee is injuried? (I'd not told my mother of my knee injury.)
[Mom punches me in the arm]
Mom: Don't run in the Marathon. You'll kill yourself. You can't have new sneakers.
J to Mom: I keep telling her not to run but she won't listen to me.
[Mom punches me in the arm again]
Mom: Don't run in the Marathon.
J: Yeah, don't run in the marathon.
Me:...

8 Asians

Hello to anyone who still reads this. Just a quick note that you can catch my as a new blogger over on the Asian/Asian-American themed group blog, 8 Asians. I've posted about 5-6 new pieces over there since I started about a month ago. Most pieces are about race, society, and being Asian in America. I'll try to cross post when I get the chance. I thought my post about Thanksgiving was most in line with something I'd post here...without the witty verbatim comments my mother would make.

Oh...and for those who miss Mother Lee...here is a little exchange we shared recently.

Mom: I like J.
Me: Thanks, I like him too.
Mom: Does he know how messy you are?
Me: Yes...
Mom: And he still loves you?
Me: ...YES...
Mom: J's a good man. You should marry him.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Crowd

Have you ever found yourself suddenly stumble upon something much bigger than yourself...and also much happier? Well, that's what happened to me last night. I was walking through Penn Station last (having gotten off the 2/3 at one of those annoying exits that force you to exit into the Long Island Railroad terminal rather than the street) when I was confronted by a wall of people - possibly 200 or 300 in total - exiting Madison Square Garden enmass. It being just a bit after 11pm, it was clear this crowd was leaving either a concert or Knicks or Rangers game. See no sports gear I guessed it was a concert. But it wasn't immediately clear what artist. The crowd was largely white and ranged in age from 6 or 7 to late 50s. There was a definite skew toward the late 40s, balding, slightly suburban chubby demographic. The most remarkable thing about this crowd was the uniformly euphoric, almost giddy, and supremely satisfied energy coming off of this crowd. EVERY single person walking towards me was in a good mood...and you could just feel it off of them without even looking into their smiling mugs.

Well, it soon became apparent, I saw of few of those counterfeit T-shirt guys, it was a Bruce Springsteen concert. The BOSS. The scion of New Jersey and Asbury Park. I've always heard Bruce was an amazing performer and a very generous artist...playing encore after encore...even after the house lights are turned back on. And if the atomospher in the LIRR terminal was any indication, he surely delivered last night. It was an utterly unexpected and pleasant encounter for me to walk into this temporary community of Bruce lovers. Happy, polite, and friendly.

Now, the real question is...how do we replicate this same sense of love and family at a Presidential debate?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rock Climbing in the Adirondacks.

We climbed all the way to the top of Poko-e Moonshine Mountain. If you look real hard, you can kind of see a very small car on the road in the backround...to provide perspective. And yes, that is Burlington, VT in the distance.


And here is J climbing top rope like a rock star!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Am Not A....


Guillble Consumer.



I don't get this bag. Designed by Anya Hindmarch, it has become the $5 fashion must have for Hollywood and fashion victims everywhere. The bags sold out during its UK launch in 90 minutes. Lines marched down several blocks when it went on sale at Whole Foods in New York. I see many UES-types marching around the city proclaiming thier faux-environmentalism on their arm.

Makes this former-vegan, largely pacifist girl want to punch someone.

Come on people, wake up! It's a marketing gimmic conceived by a very clever handbag designer. It's not really meant to change consumer behavior or raise awareness. It's an experiment to determine who amongst our society are expendable should human sacrifice return to vogue in the next couple of years.

I'll admit that it's sort of cute in that faux-homey, "I was made in China but don't I almost look homemade" sort of way. But it doesn't really do a good job of serving it's designated function - replacing grocery store plastic bags. It's not an exceptionally big bag. Not nearly large enough to carry any meaningful amount of groceries in it - I doubt a single box of cereal would fit comfortably inside. I once saw a woman put her ipod in it. So one ding for utilitarianism. It's not widely available - so it's not actually meant to be used by the masses as an alternative to plastic.

In the FAQ on the Anya Hindmarch site, it states that the company feels the bag launch successfully generated publicity around the use of alternative, reusable packaging. Now there is no way to actually gauge this and there is no way to know if anyones behavior has changed due to the bag but given the fact that I saw a girl the other day laden down with plastic grocery bags in one hand and the "I am not a Plastic bag" in the other - I don't think it's working.

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Learning" American Culture

There has been a lot of controversy of late about various supposedly "non-American" cultural charter schools opening up around the country. The two schools currently at the center of the hullabahoo, the Kahlil Gibran school in Brooklyn and the Ben Gamlan school in Broward County, Florida (Yes, THAT Broward County), are being accused of everything from training terrorists (KG) to violating constitutional seperation of church and state (BG).

There's much for me to comment on (the role of xenophobia and anti-sematism in this controversy, ignorance of the difference between culture and religion, the fact that people seem to forget that Kahlil Gibran was an Christian-Iranian immigrant and also an American citizen) but I'm going to address a tangential argument that critics of these schools seem to bring up. Several critics argue that American schools should only teach "American culture" and English and by introducing other cultures and languages children will have a diluted sense of allegiance to America - thus creating an army of enemy-partriots who will take over the country and spawn a generation of free-love, pro-homosexual marriage, pro-choice, stem-cell researching biracial babies...but I digress.

I don't know about all of you, but I don't have any recollection of being formally taught about "American Culture". It's not like every Wednesday afternoon at the pre-school was America Day where we all ate apple pie and dressed up like Ben Franklin. No, I learned what "American culture" is (if there is such a static, singular thing) by just turning on the TV, seeing a movie, walking down the street, and buying groceries. Everything that I'm exposed to in my day to day life reinforces "American culture", or in my case New Yorkified American culture. A young girl in this country can't get through public elementary school without reading books by Laura Ingalls, EB White, Judy Blume, or Beverly Cleary. And if those books don't provide a healthy does of "American Culture", I don't know what does. American culture is all around us and you can't avoid it if you wanted to. Although my parents put up a heroic battle, their efforts to instill some semblance of Koreanness in their daughters failed miserably. Two parents and a small band of Korean grandmothers are nothing compared to the glamour of Hollywood movies and Saturday morning cereal commericals.

Okay, so then if American Culture is pervasive and unavoidable, a critic might still argue that by emphasizing other cultures in school, you create division in the community and diminish the cohesion created by shared experience. Now, I gotta ask you - how much shared experience do I have with an upper-middle class Southern boy with divorced parents, raised in the suburbs, sent to private school, and ivy-league education? Beats me but J and I seem to be doing a pretty good job of getting along despite how dramatically different our childhoods were.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm not skeptical about these schools (really, what is the value-add of a school that only teaches ONE alternative language - and a language that a VERY small percentage of the world speaks - and never as the only language they speak) but I am saying that a lot of the people critical of the Kahlil Gibran and Ben Gamlan seem to be underground racist xenophobes who are using the schools as an opportunity to express their racism in a safe forum. It's kinda like how SARS became a good excuse for all those Asian-hating people to get their ya-yas out without being labeled an ugly racist.

Monday, August 13, 2007

People Can Be Mean

So J and I were out on Saturday night having dinner at the pork heaven that is Momofuku Ssam Bar in the East Village. As we were leaving the resturant and heading towards a free production of Shakespeare's The Tempest, some random dude walked right by and in a very theatrical whisper sort of way, said to us "You could do A LOT better." We weren't entirely sure who the comment was directed towards and if the guy was even talking to us or into a cell earpiece thingy. It just seemed like a terribly rude thing to say to two happy people walking down 2nd Ave. Was he offended by our happiness? Was he a recently scorned man who wanted to put a damper on our togetherness?

It was just plain mean and rude. J took it in stride. J could tell that I was a bit more put off by the whole thing. To put my nervous temperment at ease he turned squarely towards me, looked me in the eyes and said "I've never been more happy with anybody then I am with you. I love you and you know that."

Sigh. He always knows what to say.

Monday, August 06, 2007

13.1

Sometimes I amaze myself. Yesterday was one of those days. Just a scant five weeks ago my weekly mileage was a big 0 miles. I hadn't run for 7 months. Nada, zilch, nothing. The new running shoes I purchased in mid-November still looked disturbingly clean and spiffy.

My first attempt at running was in Portugal with J. My lungs hurt, my legs hurt and I only ran a mile before I had to quit. Ugh. I saw the 2007 New York City Marathon quickly slipping out of my grasp. But through weeks of slowly increasing my stamina, my lung capacity, and conditioning my legs I rebuilt my foundation.

Yesterday, I ran in the NYC Half-Marathon...and I finished!!! And I ran the whole thing. Didn't stop. And my time was better than I was expecting. Given how much pain I was in during and after a 10K run on July 14th, I was pretty sure I'd completely punk out during the half-marathon. But I surprised myself.

Ran at an overall 11:12 pace with two miles (miles 8 & 9) at an 8:20 pace. I was pretty wiped out afterwards but I'm up and about today and the only reminder of yesterdays event is the mild soreness in my quads - an odd pain considering that it wasn't a tremendously hilly course. The knee felt superb.

Anyhoo, here's to the miracles of he human body!!!

I've now got 3 months to prep for the marathon. Upward and onward!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Joining the Harry Potter bandwagon...

So much speculation on the web about how Harry Potter will end…no reason why I shouldn’t join in the fun.

Any avid children’s literature fan has already picked up on the series use of familiar literary themes popularized in books by Tolkien, CS Lewis, and the like…good vs. evil (Harry and Voldemort), the protagonist’s evolution from a unfathomable naive simpleton to grim realist, the humorous sidekick (Ron), the wise sage (Dumbledore). Given all this, I can only imagine one real ending for the book…the only one that will satisfy and which won’t feel anti-climatic. Harry kicks it.

Yes, I think Harry dies at the end. Voldemort is killed as well, mind you. I don’t think J.K. Rowling is so mean spirited as to allow evil to triumph over good. In quick summary this is what I think happens.

  • Dumbledore is not really dead, neither is Sirius. They both come back and play a role in defeating Voldemort.
  • Neville’s parents, currently institutionalizes, somehow are snapped out of their trance and also play a role in the end battle.
  • Ron and Hermione both die somewhere in the middle to last third of the book. This drives Harry nearly to the point of submitting to his dark side – a la Luke Skywalker. Like young Skywalker, he ultimately defeats his dark temptations and fights for love, freedom, and all that good stuff.
  • Snape is good and evil. He wants to see Harry dead but he doesn't want Voldemort to live. He betrays both.

And here are a couple of theories that I’ve mulled over but haven’t made up my final mind on:

  • Harry is the ultimate Horcrux. Voldemort, with no other choice, installed part of his soul in Harry when he realized his imminent death. In so doing, he destroyed part of Harry’s soul. The prophecy states that neither can live while the other survives. If Harry is nothing more than a vessel for Voldemort’s soul – should Voldemort retrieve his soul from Harry, Harry would die. However, to stop Voldemort, Harry must sacrifice himself before Voldemort retrieves his soul.
  • It is revealed that Harry and Voldemort are distant relatives – remember that Voldemort is a half-blood, his father was a muggle. Harry’s mother came from a muggle family. There’s a connection there. Remember also that it is Harry’s mother’s love that saved him – again a sign that their genetic relationship has somehow made this all possible. Harry is Voldemort's heir apparant and has the potential to be even more powerful and evil than Voldemort. Dumbledore realized this long ago and therefore did everything he could to prevent this from happening.
  • And for my most controversial theory – Neville is actually the true “one”. At the end of book six, Dumbeldore stated that it could have been either Neville or Harry who was the one mentioned in the prophecy but Voldemort chose Harry because of his muggle blood. No one ever mentions whether Voldemort made the right choice with Harry. There may be a reason why Neville was raised to be a bumbling fool. No one would ever believe such an incompetent twit would be the one to eventual kill Voldemort. But maybe this was Dumbeldore’s plan all along. Shield Neville and protect him by implicating another child. Neville is the one who ultimately kills Voldemort.

Oh well, we'll know in just a few more days....Happy reading!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Muggles, Motors, and Mobility

Just a random update on activites as of late.

First - Muggles and Motors. Saw two GREAT (and VERY long) movies this week. First off was the most excellent Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Clocking in at nearly 2 hours and 24 minutes, the director did a good job of shrinking the 900+ page Order of the Phoenix into a fast, fun, squeal inducing adventure into magic. My butt barely got numb. Saturday night brought in Transformers. What can I say? I LOVED it. I think I may have liked it more then the 5 guys I saw it with. Mind you, I saw it with 4 doctors and a computer programmer (yes, all of J's friends. Couldn't drag a single female friend of mine to see it) and I was the one most excited. I'm a NERD of the highest order. I highly recommend you go out and see both films, if you haven't already.

Now for the mobility. After being diagnosed with a case of tendonitis and patello-femoral pain syndrome (aka Runner's Knee) nearly 5 months ago and enduring 4.5 months of PT, I finally ran my first race this past weekend. And I finished! Not quickly and not with much effort...but I finished. It was a 10K around the Central Park loop (one of the toughest 10K courses in the city in my opinion - all hills and valley). I finished in just under 1 hour and 10 minutes - are about an 11 minute pace. WAY off my usual pace - but I didn't stop running once. I'm quite proud of myself. And my knee hasn't hurt since. Knock on wood.

All in all, a most excellent weekend.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Portugal


O fim de mondo - The end of the world
Sagres, Portugal - The southern most point of continental Europe. At one time in history people believed that any boat that sailed beyond the horizon from this spot fell off the earth. The earth is flat, don't you know?
Just returned from a week in Portugal with J. Explored countless Cathedrals, Roman ruins, and Moorish Castles, swam in the place where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Ate fish, caught hours earlier, grilled with nothing but salt - the smell of the sea thick in the air. Yum.
A busy week, a peaceful week. Never checked email. Never read the news. Never turned on a TV. Books were read and discussed.
The days started cool and crisp, warming to a point of almost discomfort by mid-day, and ended once again breezy and cool...not all that dissimilar from LA in this regard.
Left tawny, freckled, and smelling slightly of the briny sea.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Coffee

How do you coffee drinkers do it? Drink 4, 5, even 6 cups a day. I've never been able to drink coffee. It's not that I dislike the taste. I actually find it mildly pleasing when combined with enough sugar and milk. It's the extraordinary jitteriness, head rush, and overall inability to focus that comes from the caffine that I find utterly bothersome.

I've always had a sensitivity to caffine. I feel funny, nauseated, and jittery whenever I consumed caffinated soda and tea. Coffee was the true killer though. One cup and I'm out for the count for at least 3 or 4 hours. Every once and awhile, though, when I've had a particularly challenging night of sleep (like last night - insomnia) I reconsider my stance on caffine. Maybe this time it will give me the jolt of energy (minus the naseau) necessary to stay awake and be productive. Alas, this mornings cup of iced coffee left me feeling nervous, twittery, and slightly headachy. I just don't understand how all y'all dedicated coffee drinkers do it.

And while we're on the subject of stimulants and sedatives - What's up with the alcohol? How do people deal with the aftereffects of alcohol? I've never been partial to the taste of the stuff. I can't seem to get past that bitter, stingy, burning taste to reach the nexus of complex flavors that everyone extols. I'm like the little yellow canary when it comes to alcohol. Even the smallest amount of it will destroy an otherwise perfectly tasty cocktail. But aside from the whole taste factor, I've never really liked the way alcohol makes me feel. Since I don't drink very often, I'm easily influenced by the smallest amount of the stuff. One cocktail and I'm feeling lightheaded, stumbly, and discombobulated. Furthermore, the effects of the potent potable still linger the next day. I wake up weary, unfocused, and heavy in the body. I'm told that if I drank more I wouldn't be nearly as susceptable to it's biological impact - that's kind of a scary thought.

I guess that's really it. When I use either stimulants or sedatives of any form I feel disassociated with my body. For me, if I'm mentally feeling tired, I need to my body to also feel tired. When I'm mentally feeling awake, I need my body to feel similarly.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sometimes it's fun just to live life

I realize it's been ages since I last posted and I doubt that even the most devoted of my friends who read this probably gave up on me long ago. That's alright. It's unfulfilling to come back to a blog day after day and see nothing new.

At this point, the blog really is just for me and serves only as a documentation of my life in my early 30s.

So, with that said, what then to make of my recent disappearing act. Am I depressed? Busy? Wrapped up in some ultra-secret, international espionage ring? Nah. It ain't all that interesting. I've just been living my life. My happy, largely mundane, uneventful life. Work, yoga, gym, boyfriend, cooking, baking - you know - life. Days pass, I discover a new white hair or two (!!!), I salivate over the new digital SLR cameras that are being launched, I contemplate what my next culinary adventure will be (did I tell you I braised a whole 9 lb pork shoulder a couple of months back? )...and I'm content.

No real drama, no real story to tell. If someone published "Bo Young Lee's Diary" a la Bridget Jones - I doubt you'd be able to convince pouty lipped Renee Zellwegger to play. No excessive boozing, smoking, or fluctuating weight. The only real adventure in my life is my on-going PT for patello-femerol pain syndrome. Damn knee doesn't want to heal up.

Another reason I'm not on here as much is because I've found another venue to air all my crazy theoretical conjurings. His name is John and he's a good listener. The boy is quite good at simply allowing me to talk until I'm good and tired and ready for bed. All those crazy essays I would traditionally post here now get vetted whilst sitting on my red living room couch while John tries to watch whatever art house movie he's recently rented.

So I write all this just to say that I'm here, I'm alive, I'm happy, and I'll keep posting here from time to time - but maybe not as frequently as I had when I first started this little game.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kimchi Mamas

I stumbled onto this blog last week and I find it endlessly fascinating.

I'm not a mother, nor do I plan to be one anytime soon, but I find so many of the topics just enthralling. I guess part of it is driven by the fact that at some point in the future I will be a parent struggling to figure out how to balance my Korean heritage with my overall American cultural orientation. I also think part of it has to do with the fact that a lot of women on the blog are one half of an interracial marriage and are raising mixed race babies. My future probably will include both of these.

When did I become so maternal? Go figure!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Aye-Yah

When did it become March 19th? What happened to February and the first two weeks of March? Time really does seem to fly, doesn't it. Well, at least thing have been fun and productive.

This week/end alone I walked through the slush, had dinner with an old college chum, went for a swimming lesson, picked up my bike from the shop, saw the Shins perform at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, introduced the boyfriend to my older sister, got my period, and got my new night guard. All this activity is making my grind my teeth!

I meant to write about my adventures ice climbing a few weeks back...but then sort of let that slide. I've got some pics and promise to do this within the next week.

On a completely different note, people should go see The Host when it hits your hood. Good filmmaking fun from my peeps in Korea.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Diagnosis: Runner's Knee

So it turns out my grouchy knee is actually a case of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome aka Runner's Knee. It's also coupled with a bit of tendonitis and inflammation of the ligaments around the knee. Blech.

At least nothings broken.

I've been perscribed 6-8 weeks of good ol' PT.

My doctor asked me if I've ever had PT before. I had to keep myself from laughing. In the last 4 years or so I have had PT to treat the following injuries:

- Lower-back: Irritated vertebrae facet joint - I'm not responsible for this one. I fell down a flight of stairs!
- Left Hamstring: Tear - related to the facet joint. The irritation caused the muscles on my left side to tighten, making them more prone to injury.
- Right Hip: Tight hip capsule - I haven't the slightest idea what caused this injury.
- Left Ankle: Hyperlaxity of the joint - This is a chronic injury that was caused by a bad ski injury back when I was 7.

Me thinks my body is trying to tell me something. Oh well...

My PT should be over by the end of March which means I will hopefully be back in fighting shape and ready to train for the NYC Tri and the NYC Marathon. I offically registered and got my guaranteed spot today at 12:05pm.

Expect lots of grumpy posts about my various training horrors over the coming year.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

YES!!!!!!!!!

First Name: Bo
Last Name: Xxxzzz
Address:
Date of birth: Some Month/Some Day/19Some Year
NYRR#: #####

Congratulations Bo! You are eligible for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2007, which takes place on Sunday, November 4. You will be able to take advantage of this opportunity starting at noon on February 12 when the 2007 marathon application becomes available.

The ING New York City Marathon is never the same race twice. Every year we find ways to improve the event, with new race souvenirs and enhanced services for runners. Of course, the famed five-borough course and spectators provide thrills each year. This event is esteemed around the world. Having guaranteed entry is an enviable position.

Complete information about registration will be available on February 12 at http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/.

Contact XX if you have any questions, and be sure to include your name and date of birth in your correspondence. We look forward to presenting you with a finisher medal after your 26.2 miles in November! Until then, best of luck and happy training!

The tyranny of breastfeeding

Yes, breast feeding is better for baby. Yes, there are multiple benefits. Yes, more breast feeding is better than less. Yes, I try to live all holistic and stuff...

BUT!!!

I've had it up to here with the tyranny of breast feeding. I'm disturbed by the recent trend of government health campaigns encouraging breast feeding...or rather...I'm truly pissed by the completely biased and ill focused nature of these campaigns. The campaigns focus exclusively on shaming and bullying mothers to the complete exclusion of trying to change the social conditions that often prevent women from breast feeding for 6 months.

The campaigns may increase maternal guilt but they don't provide any viable solutions for mothers to utilize. I don't see any legislation being introduced that would guarantee mothers 6 paid months of maternity leave. I don't see any programs that encourage corporations to adopt workable flexibility policies or legitimate career pathing that won't punish women from taking maternity leave or having a family! Or maybe some true tax incentives that make having a child more affordable - thus eliminating the need for both parents to work two high-pressure/high-income careers.

If you want women to nurse for 6 months provide us with the social support structure that will allow us the time and emotional space necessary to breastfeed our babies!

Monday, February 05, 2007

2007 ING NYC Marathon

When is it too early to think about marathon training? Simple answer: It’s never too early.

I probably started thinking about the 2007 NYC Marathon back in April 06 – about a week after I finished Paris. Well, actually it was about 30 sec. after I crossed the finish line…

Self: “Hey, that wasn’t so bad. I can TOOOTALLY do NY.”

And then I promptly threw up the apple I ate too quickly after finishing.

Thus the process began.

I probably didn’t really think about the marathon in earnest until I was back in NY. New York, much like London, is a game of chance, for the most part. Enter the lottery and hope you’re lucky. That is of course, unless you live in NYC. We New Yorkers have a little loophole called the New York Roadrunners club. Join the club, run 9 sanctioned races and voila instant entry in the next years marathon. However, this plan requires a little planning.

I ran my 9th race in Dec. A painful 10K run/walked on an injured knee. I’m typically not such a procrastinator but my ankle problems last summer all but eliminated my ability to run any races throughout the months of May, June, and July. Furthermore, while I know it wasn’t good form to run on an injured knee, had I not run the 10K I would have had to run a 10 miles race the following. The 10K was the lesser of the two evils.

Since then, I’ve been trying to give my knee a break. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much success healing the darn thing. It still feels tweaked and torqued, grouchy and unloved. I finally relented this afternoon and made an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. Hopefully, it is something that can be healed with some PT and rest. Surgery would not be fun.

Assuming that all goes well with the doc, here’s my athletic schedule for the next 8-9 months:

Jan – present: Taking private swim lessons to strengthen my technique and stroke.
March 2007: Start training for NYC Tri in earnest
April 2007: Swim, bike, run, repeat
May 2007: Swim, bike, run, repeat
June 2007: Try to find a body of open water (not the Hudson) where I can practice open water swims.
July 2007: Compete in the NYC Triathlon…my first Olympic length Tri. Don’t die.
August 2007: Start training for the NYC Marathon in earnest. Hopefully, I’ll have a boost from the NYC Tri training. Run the NYC Half-Marathon.
Sept. 2007: Run first 18 mile & 20 mile runs. Maybe participate in the Danskin Tri again.
Oct. 2007: Run 2nd 20 miler (maybe make it a 22 mile run). Attempt to run this distance at an 8:30 pace.
Nov. 4 2007: Run the NYC Marathon. Published goal time (sub 4:30). Unpublished goal time (sub 4:15). Don’t die.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ewwww, Don't Eat That!

One of the most fascinating things I've observed about the individuals who choose to live and eat in a natural, whole, and conscientious way is the level of sheer smugness and sense of superiority they exude when discussing their choices and way of life (This of course excludes my two girls El and Allergic Girl.) It seems to me that many so called “conscientious eaters” somehow equate green eating with being a better, superior person. I have heard many a vegan and veg tsk-tsk when someone orders a meat-centric meal and have read countless blogs blasting individuals who choose to purchase packaged, shelf-stable groceries. A recent post by a fairly well known blogger describes a favorite grocery game she plays with her fiancĂ©e. The couple walk around their neighborhood grocery store and point out all the processed foods in the baskets of fellow shoppers and then snicker and whisper “Ewwww” to each other. Should this sort of food superiority be acceptable because the person wielding the judgement eats a supposedly healthier diet than you or I? How different is this game than the wayward glances and snide comments made by the popular girls in high school.

Is it an ingrained component of the human condition to degrade someone else in order to feel better about oneself? Is this the only path to self-actualization?

As a reformed vegan and a current holistic health counselor, I’m the first to admit that I’m one of those people who try to shop on the outsides of the grocery store, the place where they keep all the perishable, whole foods; fruits, vegetables, fresh meats. I believe that we should all eat more foods that we can actually recognize and we should eat smaller portions. However, does this make me a better person? Hell no. Does it give me the right to look in someone else’s basket, calculate the nutritional deficit and shudder? No. A person is no better or worse because of what they eat. I have met many an organic chomping, animal avoiding, vegan who spit venom and spite everytime they open their mouths.

In my opinion, the biggest flaw with the current model for changing American dietary habits is that it is based on shame and judgement.

“How can you eat that? It has trans-fats! You really feed your kid French fries and burgers for lunch? You really should eat more leafy greens and cut back on red meat.”

All these statements are voiced to invoke a sense of unworthiness, shame, embarrassment. They do nothing but make people more neurotic and shift their attention onto the wrong thing. It’s not really about what you can’t eat or shouldn’t eat. Shame accomplishes nothing but demoralization of the soul.

The dialogue about nutrition needs to move beyond just the food and focus on the individual and their life. It needs to move from “ewwww, don’t eat that!” to “Tell me what you did today? And why?” I’m a staunch believer that how we eat is a result of how functional (or dysfunctional) the rest of our life is. The healthier we can make the rest of our life, the more we are apt to want to put healthier food into our bodies. Make people feel good about themselves and chances are they will want to put healthier food into their body and eat in a healthier manner.

I realize this essay has kind moved from one topic to another. That’s okay. I think it’s all kinda related.

I leave you with wisdom from En Vogue:
“Free your mind and the rest will follow.”

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Heinous Miscarriage of Justice...

Stories like this are so upsetting. ESPN and the NY Times have covered the story of Grenarlow Wilson, a high school honors student, star football player, and homecoming king from Georgia, who in 2005, at the age of 17, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. For what you may ask? For having consensual oral sex with another minor. That's right, Wilson had oral sex with a 15 year old girl at a New Year's Eve party (the sex was initated by the girl) and due to an antiquated Georgia law that makes it a felony for teenagers less than three years apart to engage in oral sex (even though it's only a misdemeanor for these same teenagers to engage in vaginal intercourse) Wilson has now served two years of a 10 year sentance and will have to file as a sex offender once he is released. The law has since been r evised but the new law can't be retroactively applied to Wilson.

You can find out more and sign the petition here.

Please blog this if you do such things. People need to know. Outrage must be expressed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It all gets better at 30!

So, my good man over on the other side of the pond provided some advice to friend who is/was turning 30. He suggested that others also contribute to the whole debate...this was my letter to him.

It All Gets Better at 30!

Now that I've been 30 for 15 months and 10 days I like to think that I'm a bit of an expert in the department. Actually, I'm so advanced I've actually been awarded the very honorable distinction of 31. I'm such an over-achiever. But I digress.

Please inform G of the following. I'm not sure if the same can be said for men, but unless G is considering a sex change operation I think we're covered.

The sex is much better now...MUCH MUCH better.

Let me elaborate...

As a teenager you're a bit obsessed with the idea of being a "good girl". Good girls aren't supposed to want to have sex. You spend a lot of years trying to convince yourself that only bad girls have sex and good girls hold out. Who can enjoy sex with this sort of baggage? Plus, teenage boys (and girls for that matter) haven't a clue what to do with all that equipment.

As a young 20something you've gotten over the whole good girl/bad girl thing a bit. You've hopefully cut a few notches in your belt and have the basic mechanics down fairly well (foreplay, foreplay, in and out, missionary with maybe a little doggie for added spice.) The boys are getting better but they're still a bit self-absorbed. Sometimes you forget their names or they forget yours and well...calling out Jack when you really meant to say Henry can really kill the mood. Plus, if you're anything like the stereotypical 21 year old, you're probably sleeping on some squeaky hand-me-down futon with sheets so old and stained sometimes you think you can actually draw a picture of Daffy Duck's head if you connected all the dots. THAT really helps set the mood!

By your late 20s you're starting to come into your own. Your hearts been broken (probably more than once.) You're figured out that the best way to avoid accidentally calling out someone elses name is not to use names at all (everyone enjoys a well voiced oh or ah). Your collection of sex shop purchases takes up the better half the space in your sock drawer and you've used each item multiple times - both alone and with at least one partner. Now here's the stinker. This is just around the time that things start to get a bit droopy...the boobs start migrating south for the winter, your belly (rather than your boobs) are the first thing to enter a room, and suddenly each wave goodbye is an opportunity for your upper arms to also join in on the fun. Makes a girl wonder if she'll ever be able to turn on the lights in her bedroom again!

And then you turn 30!
  • You've upgraded to a mattress that's fit for royalty (Queen! King!) with maybe even a pillow top and 300 threadcount sheets!
  • You're actually starting to enjoy your soft belly. It makes for a great impromptu bongo and a nice pillow for your lovers head.
  • When you roll over in the morning, you actually recognize the person sleeping next to you...and more importantly he remembers that you like your tea with honey and 2% milk.
  • You've filtered through that sock/toy drawer and whittled your collection down to the two things that are most important...a good vibrator and lots of lube.
  • You don't mind kissing with morning breathe.
  • You've figured out what works and you have no qualms asking for it.
  • You rarely, if ever, wake up on Saturday or Sunday morning hung over and reeking of smoke...well, unless you like that sort of thing.
  • You (or your lover) can take a spontaneous luxury weekend trip and still pay all your bills at the end of the month.
  • He has no problem finding IT...
And for all these reasons...

IT ALL GETS BETTER AT 30.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Hate Digital Cameras

So, I've been trying to take pictures with my fancy schmancy digital camera and I've learned one thing...I hate digital photography.

You just can't wack open the aperture enough.

I hate flash. Natural light is the way to go but sometimes you just don't have enough natural light for a proper exposure. That's when you have one of two choices...either open up the aperature or pop the flash. Did I tell you that I hate flash.

I can't seem to take a good photo with my digital camera. Can't can't.

I'm resigned to either my beloved non-digital SLR or suck it up and plunk down the money for one of those even fancier schmancier digital SLRs.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Picture a Day

Okay, I need to take more pictures.

I know a lot of other people have done this but my goal is to take at least one new picture each day. I will post them on this site, although I'm not promising that they will go up every single day. Think bulk upload.

Hopefully this will work.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

In memory of Art Buchwald

Art Buchwald, political satirist and all around snarky fellow, passed away last night at the age of 81. The New York Times has an interesting interview with him, filmed in July 2006, wherein Art Buchwald announces his own death.

Here's to you Mr. Buchwald.

"If you can make people laugh, you get all the love in the world." - Art Buchwald.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Skiing without death

Spent the long MLK weekend up in Montreal visiting a friend of the boy's and skiing...or I should say falling...on the slopes of Mont Tremblant.

To give you an idea of my "stellar" slope skills here are some comments made by my mom and sister.

Me: I'm going skiing this weekend.
Mom: Don't kill yourself.

Me: I'm going skiing this weekend.
Siser: Don't kill yourself.

Check out the crazy hat head on me! It was a fun weekend overall.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Love out to two friends

Normally my posts are written for all of you to enjoy but today I'm writing this post to two special friends. They know who they are. You can cover your eyes or something to avoid the ensuing mushiness.

Friend #1 in Chicago by way of A-squared

Hey you! I'm so totally not meaning to ignore you. I was thrilled to hear your voice over New Years weekend, if only for a moment. I'd have talked longer if I didn't have someone very special over. So, I was supposed to fly into Chicago later this month but then my plans got changed and people decided they'd rather hold their meeting in NY. Bummer. I haven't seen you since...since...since I think the time I was driving cross country. That was almost 2.5 years ago.

Anyhoo, I'll try to catch up with you real soon. I just wanted to let you know that I think about you ALL THE TIME. Seriously girl, I miss you loads.

Love,
Me

Sassy friend #2 in Georgia also by way of A-squared

Oh my gosh, girl! I got your card yesterday. It was the best card EVER! Thank you. I love the card but now I'm in a bit of a quandry. I was going to send you this really funny card I stumbled across the other day - it has a picture of some buddhist monks riding a roller coaster - but now that you've already beat me to the punch, I don't want it to seem like I sent you the card because you sent me yours. Does that make any sense? I'm actually quite delinquent. I purchased the card almost two months ago and meant to send it to you back then...but then life got busy and I kept forgetting to send it and then it was Christmas and blah blah blah...excuses. I should just send it to you.

I'll write lots more in the card.

Love,
Bo

Oh why are all my most favorite people scattered to the farthest corners of this country?

The iPhone is a Democrat

I think the best thing about the new iPhone being launched by Apple is that it's a Democrat. If you go to the Apple site and look at the iPhone page, you'll notice that when it demos it's web capabilities, the iPhone goes to the NY Times. But it doesn't go to just any NY Times cover page, it goes to the cover page run on Nov. 8th 2006. Why is this date so special? It was the day the Democrats clinched the House majority. The web demo goes on even further and highlights the article that covers the electoral results.

Coincidental...I think not!