Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On being a living oxymoron

Or, having a cold on a 90-something day.

Drinking hot "throat coat" tea on a night still so hot I just turned on the bedroom unit a/c and my feet are puffy and red from heat.

Also forgot Aug 31 is National Student Move Day, which made the drive home and through the surrounding student neighborhoods of Allston/Brighton extra fun.

On the brighter side, I've somehow managed to force myself to do some crap I've been putting off, to my high annoyance, including finally finding an Internet company I could get through to and presumably give my money to, which was the barrier blocking me starting to telecommute a few days. Dumb, I know, but sometimes we humans....

Now, to sleep for 100 days and nights, if not 100 years.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Another weekend gone in a blink, with good fun, but too fast gone.

Another night, later than I want to be awake, and another time of my saying that.

Another moment of feeling all that is undone and all that is pressing and all that is needed -- versus what I have done, can do, have the capacity to do.

In other words, another Sunday night.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ridiculous fun

This would be the morning's Spartan race.

SO much fun!

A 5k run that went up & down a mountain (at one point, scrambling on my hands & feet was the fastest way up) with 12 obstacles interspersed, including wall & cargo net climbs, mud pits (one with barbed wire stretched above to ensure crawling), a water cannon, bushwacking, jumping over a fire, spear throw, gladiators who tried to block you....

Lotsa fun.

Thought I might have a few fun war wounds, but just some scratches. Apparently heats after mine had to deal with angry bees. Not sorry to miss that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

No bueno!

As in, all this silencio! It's been killing me! I missmissmissMISSmiss my blog baby! That's the longest no-writing stretch since I stared it on that fine November 2 day. Bums me out. That's a full-time job for you, with an hour commute each way. Yep, there it is.

Not that I'm going to spend the whole post moping. It'll just be a theme. The "no time" business, it gets old. Which is why everyone talks about time management all the time. And yet....

Lots of mixed emotions here. Also, I feel the week's dreams hovering, but not really materializing. Maybe when my sleep gets short, it thins the barrier between waking and sleeping worlds. Maybe.

It's been a hard week. Didn't make it to a single workout I'd intended, and that's saying a lot for me. I made a few impromptu ones happen. And I'm trying to be content with that. It's something, just not what I ant, not want I want my life to be like.

Tomorrow is my crazy Spartan Race, so that'll be a ton of fun; I'll plunk down a report here, fear not. And yes, the work stories, they're past due; it's just usually the last thing I want or have energy to do after getting home, I guess. I dunno. Life, sometimes it's like this.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday winddown

Gato time on the couch. There's purring. Shedding. Drooling. Kneading. Staring. Sometimes glaring. But contentedness, generally. It's pretty grand. I think Sucio is now double the size of Willa. sigh.

Out one window it looks to be dusk. The other, still late afternoon.

A Monday draws to a close. I'm grateful for a calm day, even as it looks like it'll heat back up to crazy. But crazy is relative, highly relative.

Mostly, I'm still working to find overarching peace and contentment in a busy working life, and a pretty simple life outside that. It's generally seeming to work, although there are dips. Last week I was just exhausted. So I switched to my "no less than 7 hours' sleep" rule, even if it meant missing a workout or something else. :( Looking to get back to a few early mornings, good workouts, a few down nights.

And that's kind of life! Exciting, no?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The power of possibility

Friday night I got to witness something amazing. My friend's nonprofit, Mssng Lnks, partnered with Opera Boston and got a grant from the Boston Foundation to create a two-week intensive workshop for urban kids, resulting in a performance at the end. That performance was on Friday (the 13th, no less).

Performances with kids are often sweet, cute, well-intentioned, good growth opportunities, important to support.... But with this performance, three professional opera singers were also involved, and the kids were good, so it was all those things you want to support, but also a fantastic performance.

Titled Bohemian Faces, the performance, loosely based on La Boheme, was held in a space renovated to build community and cultural opportunities in the heart of Roxbury. The cast was made up of 14- to 20-year-olds of varying ethnicities, and the three professional singers were black. In addition to being a great performance with powerful singing, you could feel what it might mean to the audience, perhaps seeing and hearing opera live for the first time, and almost certainly, witnessing for the first time amazing classical performers with voices that blew you away ... and who looked like them.

One of the things I loved so much was not only how good it was artistically, but that it concretely, specifically made our world better, simply for its happening. And who knows what it might ultimately yield, for the kids, for the singers, for the audience, for the community?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still here, still going

Well. This seems to be turning into an all weekender blog! Not my original intent, just my current reality. I'm suddenly noting yet again how distressingly easy it becomes for a habit to fade, even a habit you (well, I) love. So, like anything else in life worth our energy, I'll just keep doing my best.

Made it through four weeks of work, so seems like it'll be survivable. Busy, lots of volume and deadlines, but once I actually know how to do things, hopefully I'll get more efficient. I like the variety of projects I get to work on, and it'll yield good experience.

I've only talked about work in generalities, so I need to do some coloring between the lines. Just not when my bed and I are eager for our reunion -- it's been so long, you know -- a whole day.

On the commuting front, it's looking to be about 10 hours a week in the car, more or less. And I find it's funny how the drive seems to transpire in one of two ways: 1) I notice details in the landscape, both things I've already seen that I enjoy or catch my eye, but also things my eyes will suddenly alight upon for the first time, and sometimes they're quite large things, so I'm left wondering if this thing suddenly sprouted overnight, or if it's been there all along and I've never seen it -- but how could that be possible? I know the answer is the latter, but that's a little freaky, how unobservant we can be to our surroundings. Or, 2) I'm driving in that semi-mindless/zone-y space, where I'm paying attention to my driving, but not really noticing scenery details. I like the first way better, guess it just depends on how sunk into my mind I am. This week I was just tired, tired, so there wasn't a lot of scenery-noticing going on.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Weekender: Gone, gone, gone

Sad but true.


That was your weekend! So be it. It was a good one.

Let's see, there was a good workout, not too crazy (and I think I'm wrapping up my week's worth of admiration of all my lovely bruises all over my legs -- particularly lovely, the purple slash bruises on the thighs -- from last weekend's boot camp).

There was some house tidying that managed to take two days -- not exciting, but very key for calm living and non-exploding. There was a sitting in the nearby park and hearing of many stories making up what will be Mr Sam's fabulous wundebar kids' musical next Friday.

There was a driving to Maine. Maine! Visiting a SD friend, enjoying the lovely Maine coast, particularly enjoyable while eating a large chocolate oreo-something ice cream in a cone on the walk back. Particularly while three of us were bent over laughing uncontrollably in the street over ... never mind, you really did have to be there. Let's just say the topic involved getting stuck in a sports bra. Ladies, you know the likes of what we were talking about. And then I fell off the curb. For real. But I was OK. Apart from jarring my already-sore wrist.

Then there was the driving back home and getting low on gas and starting to freak I was going to run out in some dark deserted part of who-knows-where. And then Mobil loomed like a beautiful beacon. Oh, beacons! Part of the lovely Maine seacoast, this amazing lighthouse. So now I really wanna live in a lighthouse. Really. Anyone see any lighthouse caretaker job apps, you send them right to me.

Somewhere in there there was also an interviewing of a fairly amazing college kid for the magazine profile I'm writing (freelancing! yay, freelancing! but oh, guilt freelancing -- my wonderful veterans' project article that is written and not getting pitched, no bueno. how 'bout I correct that this weekend? yes, let's do that. oh, gulp. there's also my precious barely birthed website I haven't gone near. oh. I don't know. time & priorities. brutal.)

Then there was a running of large painful hills, OK, mostly just the one, but it was vast, at the beautiful Blue Hills. My IT band decided one ascent was enough. The others did a second, followed by apparently brutal, steep grassy-slope ascents. But I'll build! More next time! Dammit! But, it was lovely. I also discovered a new pond I will try swimming in. !

Then there was a nice bagel-eating breakfast catchup with a good friend. Unfortunately, I was run-grubby, but was OK til the end when a shower became imperative. Then, shower-kitty-home time (not kitties in the shower, me in the shower). Then, another lovely afternoon catchup chat with another dear friend, spanning grand topics, big & small, then there was finally writing the profile. Yay! It's 60 words too long, and past my bedtime; do I let the magazine editor finish cutting? Hm, maybe.

And there's Monday, ready to poke her cold nose in my warm back. S'OK, not Monday's fault, just her nature. Gonna be a crazy week, several meetings that will immerse me in the copywriting/marketing process, and I'll start getting some direct feedback. Yi. Onward & upward, such is life....

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tin-can tired

If last week's tired left me feeling surreal and zen, this week's left me feeling like a little empty old can. The former would definitely be a preferable form of tired, should you ever have a choice between the two.

But, some semi-sweaty yoga proved, if not rejuvenating, then at least good for a shift, followed by the eating o' veggie burger on the porch -- wave of heat & humidity broke again! -- and then some winding down to bed.

Side note: I'm finally, finally reading The DaVinci Code (altho I'd long thought perhaps I'd be the world's sole holdout) as my evening "stupid read" while stretching my back and turning my brain off. My main take is that it's just pretty badly, clunkily written. Is this a surprise? No, not really. I know it was never held up as a work of literature, but ... I guess I thought it'd be more compelling. But, getting to sleep in til 6-something and spend some minutes reading a book in bed was pretty close to heavenly this morning.

Now, a little house wrangling, a crazy workout, an interview (freelancing, it does live!), a swapping of week's stories, then a trek to Portsmouth. Apparently, even on weekends I can't give up my hourly drives!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blues + obviousness

It's nearly Friday.
Past my bedtime.
Etta Baker & Cora Philips are singing Broken Hearted Blues (lovely).
The gatos are ready for bed. Well, really, they're ready for me to quit my job and stay home on the couch with them already, but they'd soon be really sad when their foodbowls went empty.

The obvious statement of the week: Fitting blogging in is hard! And I do so love it. Some days, it simply won't fit. If I have days with some downtime (no p.m. workouts), that's when it'll fit. So you know it's a hard week if no blogging words have popped up!

I have work & commute thoughts floating around, but the one vital thing I've gotta get better at before keeling over is getting enough sleep. Soooooo....

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Weekender: Hammock-like with bruises

Not sure quite how else to explain the juxtaposition.

It was lovely and relaxy and loungey and just oozey good stuff like that. Like a hammock!

And then, there was this nicely intense workout on Sunday, well, following Saturday's -- a workout in the park complete with a tire pull and normal stuff like walking lunges w/ a weightplate overhead and pushups and double-under jumproping and burpees and stuff. But Sunday, Sunday was a free prep for the upcoming Spartan race, so it was a bunch of us broken into three groups based on a run test (I was in the middle, sigh), rotating our way through various activities.

Most of the bruises came from what they simply called, Landing Dock, or just Dock. It consisted of, yep, a landing dock. That you had to get yourself up onto. Ahhhh, now the bruising makes sense, right? The instructor showed us a graceful jump from the ground, landing with both feet on the dock, some, I dunno, 3 or 4 feet up? But I perfected the run-jump-heave-land-on-knees maneuver. Bruises, yep.

I got better. But still needed knee landing. The funnest part was this mini obstacle course that was really pretty easy, so you could tear through it, including a few tunnel crawls (few more shin bruises) and at the end, a very small hurdle that you kinda had to tuck & roll over. After shying away the first time, sorta awkwardly trying the 2nd, I then realized you had to momentum your way into it, so you just bounced on your back and landed back on your feet. So, mini artificial-turf-burn on the back from that.

Yeah, it was really fun. The sun was out, but with the heat wave broken, least it wasn't 90s and humid, but I still felt pretty sun-sapped for the run portions.

So, there's your weekend report -- hammocks and bruises. Fun!


Today, the ocean, she was wild. Gorgeous. Wind-whipped blue chop, moored boats rock and rolling, a spray of white as waves crashed against the wall.

Driving in, the sky had these amazing clouds, giving off depth and shadow with pink light seeping around and under.

Good moments. Just trying to live fully and collect them every day.

Tonight, after a quick visit to the nearby park (the kids had all the swings, sigh), while walking home, I overheard a dad with a thick, great Indian accent, shepherding his kids home, saying, "Now, until dinner is done, we can not go visiting any dogs." Greatness.