Sunday, March 25, 2007


Today I ran the More 1/2 Marathon through Central Park. I had kinda been on the fence about doing it for the past few weeks. As I'd mentioned, the chicken pox debacle put a real damper on my training which, in turn, smooshed my motivation and confidence. I've been running fairly regularly, though just between 3-5 miles a few days a week. My longest 'long run' has been about 6 miles... and that was like 3 weeks ago.

Yesterday I went out and ran 4. The sun was shining and I felt great, so last night I'd decided to give it a go. We all met up around 6:15 this morning. There were 7 of us going in - 5 who planned on walking, the other girl, Allison, had trained to run. It was a cold morning but I felt really good.

We got into the city & parked no problem. I headed up to the start with Allison and decided I'd just see how long I could run before I had to walk. And wouldn't you know it? I ran all 13.1 miles! And I felt fucking great! I think I attribute it to mindset: for the first time, I wasn't concerned about my time and didn't psyche myself out. I just rode my feet and took in the amazing energy all around me.

I high-fived kids on the curb and admired the tall buildings. I smiled for cameras and sang along - out loud - with my iPod. I had the best race of my life! And here's the kicker... I ended up doing it in 2:04:18*. Huh!

The people I went with were so much fun. Four of the walking ladies were 'race virgins' and they had a really great time. One got shit on by a pigeon, and one was bitch-slapped by a hostile stranger while on line at Starbucks. It was just a really great day and it reaffirmed my love for running. It's an incredible activity - like nothing in the world - and I consider myself very lucky to be healthy and able enough to do it. And I shall run until I can no longer do so.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Lots of exciting things are transpiring in my life these days. I've been hesitant to talk about the career end for two reasons: A) I don't want to write anything that could get back to anyone in a position of authority and harm any potential prospects; and B) I am far more superstitious than I care to admit and do not want to jinx anything.

But before we discuss such petty things as my future well-being, let us touch on something vastly more important... tonight's American Idol results.

Okay, I understand the whole San-gina thing now. Apparently I was onto something with the stoner college kids, and it seems as though they have an organization. Not only that, but I hear Howard Stern has his army of listeners backing San-gina too.

Actually, there's something intriguing about watching this kid every week. It's like watching a car accident or something - hideous enough to make you squirm and yet -- you just HAVE TO watch.

So I like Jordin Sparks a lot because she's young and fresh. For a 17 year-old kid, she is absolutely amazing. LaKisha is an amazing singer too, but I don't really "like" her all that much. But my #1 vote for this season goes to Melinda Doolittle. I love her. That's all.

Alright so I've applied for a leave of absence from my job for next year. My Principal approved it, as did the Superintendent. Next, my proposal goes to the Board of Ed. and they make the final call. I hope it's approved. I really feel like I need a change after 8 years, but it would feel really good to know that I had that safety net. Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for me - more when I know more.

I did my first 5K of the year last Sunday. Actually, it was my first "official" race since the marathon back in October. I did okay for the first one out - 26:55. Not great, but not too bad. I haven't been very rigid in my running these days.

I am planning to do the More 1/2 marathon in NYC on Sunday and had been training pretty good for it up until I got the chicken pox. I figured I wouldn't push my body as it tried to recover so I lost a lot of long runs, along with the desire. So I'll go in on Sunday and do the best I can - even if it means walking a bit. As it is, two of the three other people I'm going with are injured so we may be crawling along together. It's all good.

The thing of it is, I've proven that I can train for and complete 26.2 miles! I kind of feel like I have a different approach to running now. It's as if I used to be a little intimidated by it -- was never quite brave enough to call myself "a runner." Now I can say it and I do so with pride. These days when I run, I have a confidence - I felt it for the first time at the starting line on Sunday. It was Excitement instead of Anxiety.

So yeah, that's what's been going on. Like sand through the hourglass...

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Friday, March 16, 2007


Oh hell YES today was indeed a snow day! As we speak, I am preparing a festive offering of 40-spice hummus and grapefruits for the Snow Gods. All hail the Snow Gods!

Last night I went to a tricky tray with some of my work friends. For those of you unfamiliar with what a "tricky tray" is, it's a fundraiser event where people and businesses donate baskets or certificates, and people buy tickets and put them in for the baskets they want. Then someone pulls numbers and whoever's ticket is pulled wins the prize. I guess it's like a Chinese auction? Maybe it's the newer, more PC term.

We've gone to this particular tricky tray for the past five years. It is a fundraiser for the Catholic school that PMcQ's daughter used to attend before she moved her into public school. It's a HUGE event held at a banquet hall and, for $40, you get a full 4-course, sit-down dinner and a sheet of white tickets.

There are five different colored tickets - each color representing a different value of prize. The white-ticket prizes are fairly crappy and overabundant. I think they range from like $25 and under. Next is pink which may go from $25-$50; blue is like $50-$100; red - $100-$500; and then the green-ticket items are worth $500 and up. Prices of colored tickets also vary accordingly.

In addition to my sheet of twenty crappy, white tickets, I also bought ten pink tickets, five blue and two red. The room with the prize baskets was jam-packed with big-haired Italian women all fighting to have a look at the items. Proper tricky tray etiquette requires one to crawl along, perusing the tables and dropping in your tickets. Like at IKEA, everyone is supposed to move in the same direction. Violators are prosecuted with dirty looks.

It was about 150 degrees in there and I lasted all of twelve seconds before I started moving in the opposite direction, reaching in between scowling mounds of Aqua Net to choose my baskets. I didn't even know where I tossed them, just that I wanted to be done so I could find my table and have a glass of wine.

On my way towards the door I realized I had a $10 bill left in my pocket and the green-ticket lady was right there. I figured, "What the hell?" and bought one. I scanned the big-ticket items, made a choice and headed to the bar.

They began pulling tickets and serving dinner at 7:00. As usual, we were a rowdy table and drew lots of angry glares from those around us. They called about 200 white-tickets and 150 pink. Three hours later they got through the blue and red. PMcQ somehow managed to win five times - out of the 500+ people in attendance. She has ridiculous luck. No one else at our table won and we were all getting a little cranky.

They called the ten red-ticket prizes and then got to the five greens. Someone won a flat-screen TV. Someone one a full-length leather coat. Someone won a 4-day pass to Disney. And then they called the final grand prize: an overnight luxury cruise for two around the New York harbor. And then they called MY NUMBER!

All in all, it was a fine evening. And then I got to sleep late today and lay around watching the snow pile up. And I realize that being me isn't such a bad deal after all.

Pleaseohpleaseohpleeeeease let there be enough snow that school is cancelled tomorrow.

I'll be extra-good for the rest of eternity.
I'll floss twice a day.
I'll stop using the F-word in every sentence.
I'll eat all my peas and I'll go to church.


Thursday, March 08, 2007


How is "San-gina" still on this show?? I can only assume that he is the Kevin Covais of season six.

Somewhere in America, a group of college kids is probably sitting around smoking weed, eating Cheetos and text-messaging votes for the worst possible candidate. To you stoners I say: STOP IT! Go steal some furniture from the dorm lobby or pull some fire alarms.

Speaking of fires...

The other night I was at HIS apartment making some dinner. Somehow I managed to set fire to a veggie buffalo wing in HIS microwave.

I've reached an all-time culinary low. I hope HE's not rethinking the whole engagement thing.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I finally returned to work Monday after being away for two weeks. As you'll recall, chicken pox kept me at bay for the first week and then we had last week off for mid-winter recess. It felt like eons since I'd been at school and the anxiety I felt Sunday night was nearly crippling.

I know I've mentioned my Dad in previous posts, though I have not really elaborated much. While I grew up in what was 'physically' a two-parent household, my father was never really 'there.' He suffered from severe manic depression. Saying he was World's Greatest Dad would be a stretch.

On March 9, it will have been five years since he's passed away. He died without warning on a Saturday morning from congestive heart failure. I was living with "CCC" (Crazy Canadian Chick) at the time, and was up early getting ready to go to Junior Region Jazz Band auditions when my brother called me.

By the time I got to the hospital, my Dad was already dead. My Mom and brother were there, as was the pastor from my Mom's church. It was all so very surreal.

When I was a kid, I truly HATED my father. I hated not knowing who he would be on a given day. I hated that he never came to any of my events or took an interest in his kids' lives. I hated that he'd go away to hospitals for months at a time. Most of all, I hated him for making my Mom so unhappy.

As I got older and learned about mental illness, I stopped hating my Dad. I tried to be more patient and had learned to lower my expectations (i.e. we'd never be the Seavers) But what started scaring me as an adult was the possibility of becoming just like my father. Mental illness runs in families. And the summer between graduating college and going off to grad school, I had my first taste of mental collapse.

Looking back, I realize it was a pretty normal reaction to my situation. I was leaving the comfort of a life I had come to love; leaving behind friends and family and moving 300 miles away to a school that I felt I had no business attending. During that entire summer I felt numb to life. Since that experience, I've never been the same. I think once you go through a big depression, you never quite recover.

I guess now I am hypersensitive to my emotions... like I'm just waiting to become my father. The textbooks say that it would have hit me by now (Dad was 18) but I am still afraid. And when I had the irrational anxiety about returning to work this week, it all came bubbling back up.

As it turned out, the week was one of my best this year. By Tuesday morning I was back in the swing of things and it was as if I had never been gone.

I still think it would be a good idea to find someone to talk to so I've kind of been thinking about therapy. I think I have some stuff to clear out of my head. How great will it be to have a captive audience? Someone sitting there listening to me talking about my favorite subject [ME] for an hour?