Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Year-End Craziness

I'm having a crazy week at work with all the end of the year stuff that comes up with my job. This is generally a good thing as it makes the time, in what might otherwise be an incredibly dull week, go quickly.

Made the mistake of stopping in at Macy's on my lunch hour the other day in the hope of maybe finding some shoes I might like on sale. Well, I did, but when I asked harried salesperson if they might have them in my size, she looked at me incredulously and said "NO!" in the most distainful, scoffing tone imaginable. As if I must be the most stupid person on Earth for even thinking such a thing. Well, I have to admit, even attempting to go to Macy's this week was a pretty stupid endeavor.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Best Comments Ever

This weekend:

Friends of my father's who came to Christmas Dinner. They were just back from a trip to London and a transatlantic crossing on the QE2. When asked what they liked to do for fun, they said, "we like cocktails."

Tanya, Lori's daugher, explaiming over her kitschy oven timer (one of her many gifts), "Apple Man": "I love Apple Man! I don't need a man as long as I have Apple Man!" My response: "Well, in that case, I hope Apple Man comes with some special attachments."

Holiday Blahs

I seem to dislike the holidays a little bit more each year. Each season I just feel little bit more alienated, a little bit more removed. No longer having a mother really hit home this year. I sat in my father's living room after having opened my one gift, watching Lori's daughter opening gift after gift with her mother's comment on each, "oh we were in Seattle and I saw these earrings, I knew you'd love them." "We were in" (someplace else) "and saw those earrings, and I knew that you would love them too." "Oh I saw this sweater" (book, necklace, whatever) "and knew it would be perfect for you." I sat there and became more and more depressed. It wasn't about material things, or who got more gifts, but about having someone who knows you well, who thinks of you throughout the year and gets excited finding something that is right for just you. I think the thing about Christmas is that it amplifies your feelings. If you are happy with your personal life, you feel happier. If not, you feel even crummier about everything. I also find that when I feel that my life isn't the greatest, it is sometimes hard to be around people who are happy, and my father and Lori are that. Deliriously happy.

I know, I know, I sound like an ungrateful, sullen teenager. But it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Legend of the Chair

Luminita was down here visiting yesterday and she made a comment on the fact that I have two office chairs jammed into my cube. So, I had to tell her about The Hardest Chair on Earth and how when they finally replaced it (after months of requesting a replacement) they brought the oldest, most beat-up and stained chair they could find and so (since I was on vacation when this occured) they left the old, hard, chair too, in case I thought the replacement was the worse option of the two. Well, it's not, however, I've been reluctant to get rid of the Hardest Chair on Earth, just because I want people who visit me to experience it for themselves. Anyway, I told Luminita all this and then she told me about how she got really lucky with her chair upstairs. Someone had left the company and a rumor got out that there was a good chair somewhere and she was the lucky person who found it. I said that there has to be something wrong with this scenario when a "good" (comfortable) chair is just a legend in the company. It's like a search for the Holy Grail or something around here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Don't Look Back

An ex-boyfriend IMed me today, one who I really liked and always regretted things not working out with. It took every bit of will-power I possess not be more than just friendly and neutral with him. I so much wanted to ask how he was, what is new, and let's get together for a drink, etc. But I held strong, was courteous, friendly, but not encouraging. As hard as it was at the time, I'm really proud that I didn't cave and become the gushing wimp oozing the unspoken desperate plea, "lovemelovemeloveme" that I would have been with him just a couple or years ago.

No Holiday Season is Complete...

...without some drunken stumbling around the City.

The Good:

- Unlimited Chicken Tikka Marsala
- Free beer
- Sitting with and talking to a couple of Project Managers I don't usually have much interaction with.
- Sitting with and talking to my Department Director, who I don't get to interact much with on a daily basis.
- Going to Rancho for margaritas after lunch.
- Watching my manager, drunk off his ass (lightweight that he is) from said margaritas.

The Bad:

- Somehow realizing too late that our Department Director was buying margaritas for everyone, after I had already paid for mine.
- Trying to have deep, meaningful conversations about politics, religion, working mothers, my choice to be child-free, while under the influence of too much tequila.
- Somehow spending $30.

The Ugly:

- Stumbling down Amsterdam Avenue at 6:30 PM with Department Director, a Project Manager and Lou (colleague) drinking Heinikens from a straw, hidden inside a paper bag. What a class act. My how we have fallen from the years of Christmas parties at The Plaza, The Pierre, Ciprianis, The Rainbow Room, etc. Sheesh! I'm too old for this shit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Indian, for Christmas?

So today my group here at work has our little holiday outing lunch thingie at an Indian restaurant, all the way up on West 100th Street. Somehow Indian food does not conjure up a festive Christmas-y kind of feeling for me. And I guess there were no suitable restaurants in any of the 60 or so blocks that would have been a more appropriate distance from/to our office? But at least there will be some free beer and we get the afternoon off, that's really all I care about at this point. I've alread canceled Scary Spinning for tonight. It's scary enough stone cold sober, can't imagine what that class would be like after drinking beer all afternoon.

Monday, December 20, 2004

A Better Mood

Well, I was pretty much in a crappy Monday-mood today, but I came home and ran on the treadmill for half an hour and then did the elliptical machine for another 20 minutes. Had the apartment gym to myself the whole time too. I feel a lot better now. Ahhhhhh.

Now I'm going to eat asparagus for the second time today. Good thing I love asparagus.

I Hate Commuting

Especially this time of year. When you're just dealing with other commuters, it's not so bad, since you're all usually somewhat sympathetic to each other. But this time of year, you get the holiday trippers, people dragging their kids in for whatever Christmas show, people traveling, housewives schlepping in for shopping, etc. and the attitude that some have is beyond belief. This morning there were delays on the LIRR system-wide because (of course) it was cold. Typical. As a result, the train that finally stopped this morning was packed. Michelle and I shuffle through looking for individual seats. She finds one, I move on, spying one a little farther along. 4-seats in the section, one inside one which is empty. I ask to sit there, and this woman, who has one those duffel bags on wheels on the floor wedged in front of her making the empty seat somewhat inaccessible says, "there is no room". But I don't back down, I say, "I'm sorry, but you can put that in the over-head rack. This is a commuter train, it's crowded." So she hoists this thing up on her lap and hides her face behind it. I snuggle in cozy and comfortable with my book and enjoy the ride. Every single seat was taken, people were standing in the aisles, yet this woman thinks that her bag is entitled to a seat. People!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I Suck

So, I ran a 4-mile race today. In the chilly, but sunny NYC morning. Got up at some ungodly hour, rode the LIRR in. Walked up the Herald Square, took the N train to 59th, switched for the 6 train and took that to 86th and from there, walked to 89th to the NY Road Runner's Clubhouse and picked up my chip and number and t-shirt and then I walked (the equivalent of) 13 more blocks north to the race start. I was early, of course. Milled around for almost an hour to try and keep warm and then it was shuffle to line up amoungst the hordes joustling for a spot. Found Harriet a couple of moments before the race too. I always find Harriet. Anyway, and then we start. I initially left Harriet behind me and things went well for, oh, about the first mile. Managed to pretty much keep going. Managed the hills alright. Had my new MP3 player on and so the music managed to inspire me a bit. At some point around here, Ken and our friend, Ron, who is visiting NYC for the weekend, caught up and ran with and around me for a a little while until they pulled away. After the hills on the West side drive, the side stitches started. Ellen passed me somewhere in the downhill before our turn East. Somewhere in the 72nd Street Transverse, Harriet passed me. I managed to stay semi-close to her for a little bit, but then she too was gone, gone, gone. I walked, I ran, I tried to pace myself behind people. But all along I was just thinking, I suck, I suck, I suck. As bad as my running was this Summer and in the early Fall, I've actually gotten worse, which is (really) no wonder given my sloth-like behavior lately. It sure was depressing. Demoralizing. It was a relief to finally finish that damn race. No euphoria for me, just self-loathing and relief.

I need to turn this trend around. I'm horribly out of shape. Fat. Not only do I feel icky, can't run or do the other things I want to be able to do, but emotionally, I don't want to do many things now. My sister wants me to come out to Taos in January to ski when my father comes out and a big part of the reason why I really don't want to (in addition to the fact that it would cost a fortune) is that I'm just. Too. Damn. Fat. It's humiliating. I have no ski clothes that currently fit, not even my ski jacket! I would have to rent equipment where you have to rattle off your weight for all to note, I just can't do it.

I. Suck.

I guess I know what my biggest New Year Resolution is, sheesh!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


So, I couldn't resist. My father had wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas, and so I told him where to find my Amazon Wish List so that he would get an idea of what kinds of things I might want. We did this last year and it took a lot of the stress out of holiday shopping for him -- my mother used to do all the Christmas shopping, so he is definitely out of his element there. Anyway, I couldn't restrain myself and had to go look up my list without the holiday filter. The default (filter on) will show your list regardless of status (whether something has been purchased or not). Well, I turned off the filter and now see that I am getting a pair of running shoes and the new George Foreman Next Generation Grill with Removable Plates for Christmas. I guess he didn't go for a Flat Screen TV (I want one for my kitchen) or the Dyson Animal Vacuum. Drat. It was worth a shot anyway.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Popcorn for Breakfast

Okay, it is 10 AM and there is already someone in the pantry here at work microwaving popcorn. I mean, blech!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Good News

I ran into my neighbor, Jerry, this evening and he told me that he heard that my upstairs neighbors are moving. I said that I knew that they were trying to sell their apartment, and he said that they told him that they think they've found a buyer. Wahoo!!! I just don't think I can take much more of the incessant stomping, pounding, running and screaming from up there. Hopefully, whomever moves in next will be lot quieter and more respectful. Well, and hopefully not have a 2-yearold hellspawn to wreck havoc on the peace of their neighbors.

Fair Warning

Anyone who is even thinking of having a child should read this essay.


The other night I was walking Lola in the rain and I noticed that this big, black SUV with tinted windows was stalking me. I was putting my key into the back gate when one of the car windows rolled down and this woman calls out to me, "excuse me, excuse me! Can your pug come over and say hello to my pug?" I turned around and there was this enormous, fat pug hanging out of the window. So of course I had to turn around, drag Lola over there and lift her up so that she could say hello to this fellow.

Pug owners are strange. Once you own a pug, you literally freak if you see another one. It's like this bizarre sub-culture or something.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


This should be enough ranting for a week:

Rant: Business Wear

I've ruined no less than 6 shirts & sweaters sitting at this damn cube desk because of the angle you have sit at to use the computer which has be positioned in the corner because the monitor takes up so much damn room. Somehow my elbow on my right arm rests on the desk in such a way that rubs right through the arms of every shirt and sweater I wear to work. We better get raises this year or I'm not going to be able to afford to keep coming to work!

Rant: Personal Space.

What is it with people invading your personal space anyway? This morning on a gloriously empty train, I have a whole 3-seater to myself. Chick gets on, and sits, not on the other end of the 3-seater, but in the middle seat, right up against me! What's up with that??? And then she proceeds to powder and paint herself with make-up for the entire trip (if I had ended up wearing any of her blush, there would have been hell to pay).

Rant: People Who Litter

Seriously dude. Is it really necessary to throw your damn trash on the ground with no regard whatsoever? Especially when there is a trash can about 5 feet away?

Rant: Holiday Music

Okay, I can handle a seasonal song here or there, but the rock/pop station I listen to at work has suddenly (without exaggeration) turned into the "All-Holiday-Music-ALL-the-Time" radio station. Literally. I don't think I've heard one non-holiday song since Thanksgiving. Can't change the station because it's the only real thing that will come in on my radio and I don't want to turn it off because I really like the "white noise".

Rant: My Father

Having dinner with my father and Lori (his wife) tonight. It is Hanukkah after all.

Rant: Money

Waiting for my stupid, little company bonus that I get this year for having worked here for fifteen years. All $300 of it. I know it's pathetic, but it's better than nothing and I want to know when I'll have it.

Rant: My Damn Self-Evaluation

Which I finished yesterday, thankfully.

Rant: Queer Eye

So, I watched the Queer Eye Christmas Special the other night and I have to say that I was not impressed. So you helped a couple of rich yuppies decorate their mansion for Christmas and then threw a fancy brunch for their rich friends & family. All the while their bratty kids screamed their demands for what they wanted (I mean one kid, when asked, said she wanted a "real" American Express card -- WTF???) I think surely, they could have found a family far more deserving to help out.

Rant: My Computer

Which is so old that I couldn't even load an upgrade version of XP (TG Staples took the software back -- they were very nice).

Rant: the LIRR

Just because no rant is ever complete without a complaint about the LIRR.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


I just had a memory from Thanksgiving. It was after dinner, some people were still eating desert or whatever, and Julia and I were sitting over on the couch. Joe's mom comes up to me with a sad look on her face and starts talking about Lola and how sad she is and how she's watching everyone and on and on and I have no idea what she is getting at. Finally she asks if she can give Lola a piece of cheesecake! Cheesecake! To a dog! Boy, did Lola have her completely snowed. I laughed out loud and said, no, I didn't really think that was a good idea. My dog is good, I'll have to say that for her. Of course, she knew just who to test her wiles on too. Although, based upon our experience with The Incredible Farting Pug on the trip home, I wouldn't be surprised if she had ended up having some cheesecake after all.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Head Fog

I've been up late the past few nights trying to figure out how I can make this MP3 player (that I got for my birthday) work. My machine at home is a relatively old laptop running Windows 98, and most of the applicable software for dealing with audio files really wants Windows XP. One of the reasons why I decided on this particular MP3 player is because it is Win98 compatible. The problem is, every site that I can find where you can purchase downloadable music only provides the files in .WMA format -- which is not compatible with this player. Apparently you can encode .WMA files to MP3 if you use Windows Media 10 -- which is only compatible with Windows XP!!!! It's so. Damn. Frustrating. I just wanted a little, light player that I can run and work-out with. So now I've been searching high & low for a site that will allow me to download music in MP3 format. I thought I found one last night, but the music ended up being by some bullshit cover band of popular songs. Grrrrrrrr. So I've been up late every night between installing and uninstalling of various software, web searches, music downloads, my machine crashing, etc. and I'm exhausted and frustrated and cranky and pissed off. Computers are so cheap right now, that I'm thinking maybe I should just buy a desktop, network it with the laptop, set up a wireless network so that I can browse with the laptop from wherever in my apartment and be done with it. Anyway, now at work I have to convert some of my data extraction applications to SQL, it's a big, complicated job and I can't concentrate because I am in a brain fog due to the exhaustion of dealing with this every night. So irritated. ARGH!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It's Self-Eval Time Again...

...and what can I really say that I haven't said every year for the past (who even knows) how many years? My job has not really changed that much. I've already told my manager that he's getting the same damn document I wrote last year (which is probably the same damn document I wrote the year before). I'll just list out all the new projects I worked on over the year. If I can even remember them all at this point. I hate doing this kind of crap so much.

Monday, November 29, 2004


ARGH! Okay, and so they apparently live in a brownstone and not a row house -- although, in NYC, brownstones are actually built with brown stones (thus the term) and their house is brick. But WHATEVER!!! GAH!!!

Just to Clarify

Julia & Joe live in the South End of Boston. Not in South Boston. Sheesh!

Thanksgiving Weekend

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday for a change. After my father dissed me about the holiday, Julia graciously stepped in and invited me to come up to Boston (with Lola) to join her and Joe and Joe's entire family for Thanksgiving. Our friend Harriet, who was also coming, was nice enough to even pick me up in Queens (something my own family won't even do) and let me ride along with her.

The traffic on Wednesday was truly terrible. Bumper-to-bumper in the pouring rain, it took us 3.5 hours to get to Danbury, CT (not even halfway). After that it somehow, miraculously, cleared up and it was smooth sailing all the way into Boston. We finally made it to Julia & Joe's and I could finally see the wonderful Boston Row House with all the renovations that Julia has been blogging about for over a year now. What a incredible house, and what a wonderful place to live. I've always loved South Boston, ever since I was in college and used to visit friends who lived there. After some hair-raising introductions, Lola & Cassidy (J&J's dog) started to get along and play, er rather enthusiastically (much to Julia's chagrin) -- around and under the table already set for Thanksgivng. There was some amusement as we tried to introduce Lola to the doggie door, but she was not having it -- so I basically had to push her through to illustrate that it was harmless (I don't think she ever ended up being fully convinced). After a lot of catching up we finally went to bed because we planned to be up early in the morning to participate in a local 5K race.

I slept very poorly because Lola was jumpy, excited that there was another person in the room (Harriet) and also aware of the different sounds that come with being in a strange place. Finally got up at 7 AM to accompany Joe and Cassidy to the doggie park. A little later, we dragged Harriet to the race, she tried to weasel out of it by saying that she preferred to go to the gym, but we weren't having it. We picked up a local running friend of Joe's, fast-Josh (he came in third in the race -- recovering from a marathon no less, ah, Hello! sheesh!) Anyway, it turned out to be an agreeable morning, the rain had stopped (at least until later that day) and it was relatively warm, upper 50s-low 60s. Humid though, but nice for milling around at the start and at the finish. My performance was pretty pathetic and discouraging, but it was great to get out there and to be doing something so positive before the glutton-fest.

After the race it was a rush home to shower and be ready for the arrival of Joe's family. It was all slightly overwhelming, but Harriet is always so calm and self-assured in any situation and Joe's family are so incredibly nice, that I was quickly able to relax. Julia slaved away in the kitchen turning away all offers to help, but she was also able to relax after Joe handed her a generous snifter of scotch. Luckily, they've designed the kitchen so that it is all open to the rest of the living area, so she was still able to participate.

Let me just say that the food was unbelievably delicious, as predicted. Of course I had to have two helpings of the "fully-fatted mashed potatoes" and "drunken stuffing", yum! There goes whatever burned calories I had banked from running the race (and then some), but oh well. Lola even had some turkey (with my permission) fed to her by Joe's six-year-old nephew (she's not stupid, she knew just who to sit next to).

Finally around 6 PM, Harriet and I had to say our goodbyes and head back to NYC. On our trip home, it soon became apparent that something more than turkey had been fed to Lola over the course of the day, as we had to endure the Incredible Farting Pug for four or so hours. Fabulous.

Friday was devoted to major loafage and relaxing and recovering from traveling and eating. Even Lola could barely be roused all day long.

On Saturday morning, Harriet called me to say that she and Daniel were meeting in Central Park for a run, so I decided to join them. After my shower, I checked the train schedule and realized that I had to catch a train in the next 15 minutes, because the one after that would make me late for our arranged meeting time. So it was a rush to get dressed and out the door with my hair soaking wet, and then up to Central Park around 45 minutes early. It was a beautiful day and a perfect one for running (cool, sunny and breezy), but not the best day to stand around in running clothes, so I decided to do some running on my own before I was due to meet them. I ran the lower loop of the Park, and then ran partway up the West Drive, and then back down and then up my hill on the access road out of the Park to W. 72nd Street. I then looked at my watch and realized that I still had about 15 minutes. So I meandered down to the bridle path and did some additional running down there. Finally hooked up with Harriet & Daniel -- we ran up to the Reservoir from 72nd street. That route is all uphill, for over half a mile, and we ran it entirely without walking -- woo! Then we went once around the reservoir (1.6 miles) without walking a step, and then around again, this time I had to walk a couple of times due to side stitches. And then back down the West Drive and back up my access road hill (for the 2nd time that day). Total run with H&D (by Harriet's GPS): 4.5 miles. I did about 2 or so miles before meeting them, so I'm going to call it 6.5 miles for me. Yeah me! After the run, we all retired to the City Grill for some well-deserved lunch.

I had made plans to meet Ellen on Sunday for lunch, after first running or working out. I was glad that we had the plans in place because Sunday morning dawned with horrific weather. Torrential rain and heavy winds, just the sort of weather that makes you want to stay inside all day. But because I had the plans, I forced myself up and out and to the gym in Chelsea where I completed a workout of elliptical, stairmaster and rowing machine, after which Ellen and I enjoyed a nice lunch at a local diner.

So, all-in-all a pretty excellent weekend. I'm feeling a bit tired from it all now however. Somehow I have to drum up some enthusiasm for work. Ugh.

Thanks again to Julia & Joe for including me in their wonderful family Thanksgiving and to Harriet for chauffeuring me to/from Boston from Queens.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Streets of NYC

In this neighborhood where I work, there are always people on the streets and sidewalks trying to give shit away. Anything from samples of Pepto Bismal or gum to coupons for strip clubs. Today there were a bunch of people stopping passerby and asking, "Do you like comedy?" I've seen these people before around here and in other parts of the City. I think they're giving out tickets to some comedy club or something, but I always just brush by with a, "no thank you." Anyway, today this guy tries to stop me with that line, "Do you like comedy?" I said, "no thank you" and kept walking. Then he said, "Do you like skinny white guys?" WTF? That's a new one, but I still just kept moving along. They'd be better off targeting tourists, I would say, rather than my own cranky self.

Annoying Spinning

My Tuesday night spinning class is becoming increasingly annoying. I don't know what it is, but this instructor just irritates the crap out of me, and, no, it's not just because she's hard. I think the thing that bugs me the most is how she revs up the speed on the music she's playing when she wants us to go faster. Rather than trying to coordinate the intervals with the natural tempo change in a song, or play a song that is appropriate to what she wants us to do. This is particularly annoying if you like the song. I hate the way she has us doing some hard intervals -- sprinting or hill climbing or something, how she has to talk through it constantly reminding us of form or speed or whatever. It would be one thing if it was mentioned sporadically through the interval as a reminder, but to talk constantly through it I find distracting. She has also started doing this new thing where we do an interval of upper-body movements on the bike. This pisses me off! It is not a spinning position -- I find it utter bullshit and refuse to do it. Also, one of the things I really like about spinning is that it is very simple, there are no complicated choreographed movements or gymnastics and this new crap compromises that attitude of the class. Additionally, she always goes over on class time and she never tells us how long, or how many sprints we'll be doing in any given time period -- thus I never know how to pace myself. I'm thinking of dumping her class, it all annoys me so much.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


There is one thing I hate to do, and that is clean up someone else's shitty code. This annoys the crap out of me. Grrrrrrr.

4:31 PM: I've been cursing and muttering to myself all day as I work on this damn thing -- ARGH! This has got to be the first time ever that I'm actually looking forward to Scary Spinning Class.


I'm toying with the idea of training for the Utica Boilermaker - 15K race. I think perhaps having a goal may help to keep me on target and this race isn't until July, so that gives me some time to get my mileage up there. This is also a fun, fun, FUN race. The entire town comes out for it, you feel like you're running a marathon -- that's how enthusiastic the crowd-support is. And (most importantly) there are beer wagons at the end! There is nothing like finishing a 9.3 mile race early on a Summer morning and right away pounding beer at the finish line. You gotta love it.

Monday, November 15, 2004

A Run

I had a nice run in Central Park tonight -- it was a gorgeous evening. I walked down the very dark path through Strawberry Fields vowing to never do that again, it was really creepy! At one point it was so dark, I couldn't even see the path I was on. Scary. Anyway, once on the Park Loop, everything was fine. Ran counter-clockwise down around the lower loop until I was back around and about parallel with the Bethesda Fountain where I turned around and ran the loop again in reverse. This ensured that I hit every hill possible on the course. Ran past the 72nd street exit on my return trip to get to the access road the winds up a hill, exiting at 72nd street. I always find this a good hill to finish up with. Wasn't a great run, as is pretty much par for the course for me these days, but it was a wonderful evening to be out in Central Park for a run, so I enjoyed it very much, nonetheless. All-in-all, it was a little over three miles.


I wanted to thank everyone for all the birthday wishes last week -- both online and off, it was much appreciated. I always find my birthday rather depressing, especially with my not having much in the way of family. Knowing that I have friends who wish me well helps quite a bit, so thank you.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Open House

Last weekend while I was in Manhattan for one of the many marathon-related activities, my upstairs neighbors apparently had an Open House. I came home and saw all the signs and saw the woman and her hellspawn sitting on the stairs waiting for the last person to be finished looking. I would take this to mean that they are actually serious about moving -- which I am thrilled about (of course, I should be careful what I wish for, someone worse could move in, afterall). Anyway, last night when I came in, there was an official-looking memo from the Co-op management company that had been slipped under my door proclaiming that open houses are not allowed in our building (with a bunch of BS about how it is out of consideration for one's neighbors, etc. But having three people, including a two-year-old brat in a studio apartment with no rugs is apparently okay -- no need to worry about the neighbors on that one -- argh!) My first thought on seeing the note was that now these people are going to think that I complained about it. I am, afterall, the one who would be most directly effected by an open house going on over my head (luckily I was not home that entire day). But how much worse could it really be than the brat constantly running, screaming, throwing and scattering hard objects across their bare, hard-wood floors? I mean, really.

For what it's worth, this is the apartment listing.

More on my Father

So today is my birthday (ugh). I received a card from my father on Wednesday with a check enclosed and a note that said, "we'll have to put off dinner" (my birthday dinner) "until sometime around Hanukkah" (Hanukkah???!!! We're Catholic!) "because Lori's sister is visiting now." What-ever. If he really wanted to take me out for my birthday, he could do so without Lori and her damn sister.

I feel like I have no family at all.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Conversation with my Father

This morning on the phone:

Him: "You weren't expecting to be invited out here for Thanksgiving, were you?"
Me : "Er, I guess not."
Him: "Oh good, because we're going to Lori's daughter's place in PA."

It's a good thing I've learned to have zero expectations from my family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I ended up having a lovely run in Central Park this evening. It was so dark and quiet and cold and, while there were runners out there, there were far fewer than before the marathon. It was quite nice, actually. And I felt that I ran much, much better & stronger than I did on Saturday, even though I did the same route -- the inner 4-mile loop. Only tonight I did it in the clockwise direction, Saturday was counter-clockwise, I wonder if that has anything to do with it? Hmmm, three runs in less than a week, I must be on some kind of a roll or something. Woo!

NYC Marathon Weekend

So, people have been giving me a hard time about not updating my blog much lately -- I'm sorry, but I've been busy! Anyway, so I thought I'd post a bit about NYC Marathon Weekend (this weekend just past).

My excitement for the Marathon weekend waxes and wanes in direct proportion to the amount of running I've been doing that year. This year has seen me become interested in running again, I'm not running as much as I want to, or as much as I "should" be running, but my interest in running and in the running community is pretty strong right now -- so I wanted this weekend to reflect that as much as is possible.

Thursday night was the annual W&B (wings & beer) gathering of my local running friends. We started this tradition five years ago as a way to get together, catch up and regroup before all the marathon craziness started. It's always been a way for us define our group and to tell our "war stories" from the year. Also, it's a chance for those running the marathon to blow off a little steam, since we usually hold it a few days before the marathon (and so it's still safe to party a little bit). This year we were lucky to have Julia and Joe join us who were visiting NYC for a week for a conference and for the marathon. It was a rainy, rainy night but spirits were high and the beer was flowing. Everyone seemed to have an excellent time and most were reluctant to let go of the evening. I enjoyed so much being a part of the old group again that I started to regret my running limitations at the moment as I can only currently participate in short running events. We all finally said our goodbyes however and went our separate ways.

Friday night Julia, Joe, Ellen, Ken and I planned an impromptu dinner at Carmine's (Uptown). I got there early and was able to impress the bartender with my tip, so he passed me a bit of apple martini and, later, a free beer. Woo! I always appreciate free alcohol. Dinner was stuffed artichoke, penne a'la vodka and very thin (scallopini prepared) chicken marsala and a nice chianti. Yum! For desert and spiked coffees we continued down Broadway to French Roast. My friend Stephen joined us as we were finishing up, everyone was pretty much done for the night by then and Stephen wanted to see a movie, so I decided at the last minute to join him. After checking 777-film and discovering that "The Incredibles" was playing near Lincoln Center, about a mile away, in about 5 minutes, we jumped in a cab and raced there where we discovered an enormous and packed theater with practically no available seats (this is why I never go to see a movie the weekend it opens). We finally ended up sitting in the 2nd or 3rd row which was a rather bizarre experience. I think it would have bothered me more if the movie hadn't been a cartoon. I also found myself somewhat irritated listening to the laughter and comments of the people around us. Not that anyone was particularly obnoxious, it's just that it's been so long since I've actually been to a movie (particularly in a packed theater) that I am used to solitude or the company of friends only. Anyway, after the movie, with a few minutes to go, I managed to bolt and catch a subway and make it to the 12:35 LIRR train home literally at 12:35 on the dot. I still don't really know how I managed to catch it -- especially slipping and sliding across Penn Station, down the stairs and across the platform in my high-heeled boots, but I did.

Saturday I had planned a last-minute brunch/lunch gathering on Columbus Avenue. I managed somehow to get myself up and showed and dressed and up to Central Park early enough to get in a four-mile run before our meeting time. It was a wonderful day in the Park. Beautiful, sparkling, cloudless skies. Crisp Fall temperatures. Runners from dozens of different countries everywhere. My run pretty much sucked, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Finished my run and met everyone for our walk to the restaurant where we were joined by more last-minute people. We ended up with 11 or 12 people or thereabouts. After lunch, I took a long walk with Julia, Joe and some NYC friends of theirs' down Columbus into various stores, and then through Columbus Circle, across Central Park South and then into various chi-chi stores on Fifth & Madison Avenues. Finally, exhausted from my late night the night before and all the activity, I begged off and took the F Train home.

Sunday was the Marathon. I woke up and took Lola for a short walk to the Bagel Store and was appalled at how warm I was. I immediately re-thought my planned clothes for the day and emailed Ellen to comment on the weather. I turned on the NYC Marathon coverage to watch the pre-race stuff and to see the start and the first part of the race until it was finally time to head into Manhattan. Met Ellen at her apartment and then we both negotiated the subway system to get to the Upper East Side for our volunteer station at the Powergel stop (Mile 18). Somewhere along the line we picked up an older lady who turned out to be the mother of the president of one of our running clubs. She was nice enough, but wouldn't stop chattering away and moved rather slowly. We couldn't shake her. And since it turned out that she was going to the same place we were, it would have been rude to try to. Volunteering turned out to be rather fun. After a harrowing dash across First Avenue through a bunch of 3-hour-paced marathoners, we were given the task of holding out powergels for the runners. This ended up being a surprisingly satisfying activity and it also gave us a great vantage point to spectate as well, since everyone else was corralled behind police barricades. About half an hour or so into our volunteer stint, we were joined by Joe and Julia who just jumped in and started volunteering as well. It was actually a lot of fun. We managed to see some of our friends running, but once we completely ran out of Powergels, there was nothing left for us to do but move on. We walked West up the HUGE hill up 93rd Street to Fifth Avenue a little bit down the hill before the runners turn into the Park. We stayed here for a good while and cheered for the masses of marathoners. We saw everything from people barely able to move or even stopped in their tracks with cramps to people smiling and looking strong. It made no difference the pace of the runner, we saw the same variations for the people in the back as for the people running a faster pace. You also just knew that the unexpected and unseasonably hot day was a factor for many of these runners. I know it would have been a factor for me, had I been running. I was actually too warm standing on the side of the road with no jacket. We managed to catch Ken just before his turn into the Park and he was smiling and feeling good. The stream of runners had thinned out a good bit when Ellen and I decided that we had finally had enough. We did a good bit of meandering West through the Park, hoping to get somewhat close to or parallel to the Finish area or, at least the baggage truck, where we hoped we might run into Ken, but our progress was stopped at some point by Park officials and we were made to walk North up to 85th Street to exit. From there we wandered down Central Park West and through the family reunion areas, but we never did find Ken, who probably just jumped on a subway anyway, once he was able to get out of there. Finally admitting we were completely exhausted, Ellen and I grabbed a subway at West 72nd Street and I was able to get on a LIRR train home after a very short wait in Penn Station. It sure did feel good to finally sit down. My legs were sore from my run the day before and walking and standing around for six hours or so on Sunday didn't help that much. The marathon and the beautiful day was a nice cap off to a wonderful weekend however, and I was glad I had been able to take full advantage of it all.

I had wisely taken a vacation day for Monday, correctly assuming that I would be tired. I spent part of the day loafing and then went for a run in Forest Park in the afternoon. I had a nice run on the bridle trails, which were mostly deserted on this chilly Fall day. The fallen leaves covered the ground so thickly that in places, you couldn't even see the trail. I had brought Lola with me and was able to leave her off of the leash for most of the run as we really did have most of the Park to ourselves. It was an amazing contrast to the hot temperature of the day before, to have to keep running to keep myself warm that afternoon.

Anyway, all in all it was an excellent and busy weekend. Now back to my regularly scheduled, dull life.

A Day without Roe

This (no registration necessary) is a very real and scary issue with the current administration.


"Now that President George W. Bush has been elected to a second term, he may appoint new Supreme Court justices who fundamentally disagree with the premises of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that provides U.S. women the right to legal abortion."


"For the past four years, Williams and her group's 13 other members have explored the post-Roe challenge on many fronts.

Among other options, they've looked at maintaining services by strengthening state laws and the possibility of providing abortions in places where federal laws don't apply.

To prepare for what would likely be a health epidemic, they've urged physicians to get special training so they know how to treat infections, uncontrolled bleeding and other life-threatening complications caused by botched abortions"


"Immediately after Bush took office four years ago, we realized he would try to revoke Roe vs. Wade," says Williams. "Since three Supreme Court justices are nearing retirement and since Bush is likely to appoint anti-choice justices, we knew we had to be prepared."

Abortion services have already been curtailed, with only 13 percent of U.S. counties offering an abortion provider, according to Medical Students for Choice, based in Oakland, Calif. State legislatures have enacted more than 380 measures to restrict abortion since 1994, according to the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.


"We are absolutely delighted to have four more years with pro-life President Bush," says Carol Tobias, political director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Right to Life Committee."


"If Roe v. Wade is revoked, task force members say their biggest concern will be treating women harmed by botched abortions. "Just as they did before Roe v. Wade, women with unwanted pregnancies will take desperate measures," says Wilson. "They will have back-alley abortions. They will insert sharp objects like coat hangers into their uteruses. And they will douche with toxic chemicals like lye or Clorox."

To prevent such a potential health crisis, task force members are urging doctors to get special training so they know how to treat the complications of botched abortions, which include infection, cervical tearing, uterine perforation and blood in the uterus."

Bush-appointed Supreme Court Justices will be with us for decades.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

please, Please, PLEASE remember to vote today!

I was up by 5 AM and was showered, made-up, Lola walked, etc. and at the polls by 6:01 AM. And there was already a line. Not a long one, but enough to not bode well for people who planned to come a little later. By the time I exited, about 10 or so minutes later, there was already a line out the door and halfway up the block. I'm glad to see that there appears to be a good voter turnout, but am I ever glad I decided to get up and to the polls right when they opened. I've done the waiting on line for an hour or more to vote and it is NOT pretty. But regardless of your polling situation, PLEASE VOTE TODAY! Thank you.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Shaking my head in dismay and disgust

I saw the most appalling thing on my way to work this morning. I was walking down the street on my way to the train and passed this woman with two kids who was helping one of the kids to open his fly and pee against a tree. Like a dog. In broad daylight. On a busy, urban-residential street. When I realized what was happening, I was a bit past them, but I stopped and gaped at her and said out loud, "are you kidding me???" She either didn't hear me or just ignored me. Another woman coming down the street smiled at the threesome like the whole thing was oh-so-cute. In my mind this is just plain tacky, it shows no respect for the community and what the hell do you think you're teaching your children??? No self-restraint is needed in life, because it is, afterall, all about you, you, you. I know I sound older than dirt but, what is this World coming to?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Added to My Crappy Week

Posted signs around my apartment complex this week that there was going to be no heat or hot water today due to boiler repairs. No mention of what time this starts and ends, one assumes you will be able to shower in the morning before the repairs start. Not so much. Last night there was one, measly, sign in the elevator stating that the there would be no hot water after 10 PM. Well, first of all, if you live on the 1st, 2nd or even maybe the 3rd, floor, you might not have even seen the damn sign. Since I own a dog, I usually take her out the back way, which requires taking the elevator to the basement, so luckily I did see it. If I didn't own a dog, chances are I would never have seen that sign. So I took my shower last night. So now, while technically clean, I feel icky. My hair feels a little oily, I feel like there is a film over my entire body. And I just don't feel wholly awake. Which puts me in a bad mood. Added to my bad mood was the fact that this MAN decided that he had to wedge his fat ass in the middle of the three-seater I was sitting on this morning on the train (there was another guy, seated on the other end). When there were plenty of empty seats everywhere, he had to cram himself in there. I got up in a huff, said to Michelle (who was sitting across from me), "I'm sorry, but I can't stand to be wedged in like this" and stalked off and found a more reasonable seat. It makes me mad because it was so unnecessary, the train was not crowded, there were plenty of more appropriate seats that this guy could have sat in. Thanks for pissing me off first thing in the morning! ARGH!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

So, when I happened to run out for ten minutes at lunchtime today, I was shat upon by a pigeon, which is great as it is perfectly aligned with the crappy (pun intended) week I'm having. ARGH!


My Tuesday night Spinning instructor does this really annoying thing where she'll turn up the speed of the music she's playing to reflect the cadence of the spinning we're doing. So, for double-time, break-aways, and sprints (all of which comprise most of the session) the music speed just goes up and up until it sounds like Chipmunks Disco on crack. Why she can't just find the appropriate music to reflect the correct cadence is beyond me, but this method is very irritating.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Post to My Email Running List

Last night I had a lovely run in Central Park. I had a taken a little time off from running because of the leg pain I had posted about here a few weeks ago. In the meantime I have been spinning - but it kills me to be missing running in my favorite season, there is just something about Fall in NYC. Since I moved to Queens, Central Park is no longer my usual running route, but oh, how I miss it. This used to be my backyard. Now that the days have gotten shorter, it is no longer safe for me to run in my local Queens Park (Forest Park), so I have to be a little more creative if I want to continue to run. I can handle a treadmill run maybe once or twice a week, but I have to also be doing some running outside to keep my interest up. So last night after work I headed North to Central Park for a run. Luckily I have a New York Sports Club membership that allows me access to any of the gyms at any time, so I was able to change and lock up my stuff at a club on West 73rd next to the Park.

I entered by Strawberry Fields and was surprised to see so many people still lingering around and enjoying the peaceful area, even though the sun had set. I headed across the 72nd Street Transverse and then up Cat Hill. My conditioning (while not stellar to begin with) has faded enough that I knew pretty much immediately that it was going to be an ugly run. I didn't care though, I knew it wouldn't be ideal, I was just happy to be out and running again and enjoying Central Park and the crisp Fall weather. It was a struggle, but I needed the hills of CP and so I managed to run (and walk) the inner 4-mile loop. It was enjoyable seeing the myriad of people out there, many of whom I suspect are gearing up for the Marathon in another week and a half. Lots of thoughts went through my head while I struggled. I thought of many of the runs I've done in Central Park over the years, some in races, some for training some just for fun. All the varying degrees of condition I've been in over the years. I remembered how great I felt the first time I was able to run 3-miles without stopping. I remember one weeknight run I did in the rain where I felt so strong, like nothing could stop me, setting my sights on people running ahead and blowing past them on the hills. I remember struggling to run even a whole mile on other runs, just like I was struggling last night. I wondered if I would see Neil Cook biking alongside a coaching client. I wondered if he would remember or recognize me if I did. Mostly though, my thoughts were on the Marathon. My own NYC Marathon experience (run in 1999) and how great it was. How great I felt. All the wonderful (and not so wonderful) training runs I did in Central Park and that feeling of finally entering Central Park on Marathon Day and the relief that I was going to make it. Feeling like I could accomplish anything. Running last night up and down the West Side hills, I saw that the fencing is already up for Marathon Sunday. Soon they will be painting the Finish Line. It's an exciting time to be here and running in Central Park makes me almost feel a part of it. I finished my run feeling satisfied. Not in my performance, which was dismal, but in the knowledge that I continue to want running to be a part of my life, that I still feel a part of the running community. I was... happy.

Good luck to all who will be in NYC to run our marathon. I will be volunteering at Mile 18 at the PowerGel station, so wear your DRS gear so that I can cheer for you.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Local Services

Yesterday morning I walked to Forest Hills via Queens Boulevard looking for a place to drop in and get my hair cut. During my travels, I happened to pass a tanning salon that had a banner outside advertising 24-hour service. Oh good. Next time I have a 4 AM tanning emergency, I'll know where to go.

(ended up getting my hair cut -- far too short for my pudgy face -- at Super Cuts for $12.50)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Stupid Baseball

Okay, I so much am not a baseball fan. I am basically happy to hear if the Yankees won, but I don't really need to watch the game (I can only handle it if there is LOTS of beer involved). But did they really have to lose to the FREAKING Red Sox???? We are now doomed to an entire year of listening to the gloating of smug Red Sox fans -- GAH!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

So, I've talked before about how my father was married about a year ago, how he was engaged to his new wife almost a year to the day after my mother's passing. Well, he has been living in wedded bliss ever since. He's traveled to Italy and New Mexico and Florida and Bermuda and Vermont and Martha's Vineyard and I can't remember where else (they're basically off somewhere every couple of months). Right now they're on the West Coast: California, Seattle and wherever. Anyway, I hear from him maybe once a month or so, but when they're traveling, I get a postcard. From her. And the worst of it is, She. Always. Spells. My. Name. Wrong. Because we all know that the name "Debbie" is very complicated to spell. I don't know why my own father can't take one whole minute to write a "Hi Deb, love Dad" (only with him, it would be "Luv" not "Love" -- I'm splitting hairs, I know, but little things like this illustrate clearly the non-existent affection that exists in my family). It just irks me to no end. What little, tiny effort does it take, if you've already bought the postcard anyway? A postcard from her is meaningless to me. ARGH!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Work Stress

ARGH! I'm being pulled in a million different directions by various people at work this week. Stressed! And the stupid Marketing Department schedules a meeting with me to go over these web reports I developed for them (like, two months ago, I might add) first for 11:00 this morning, then changed to Noon and now changed to 3:00 PM! Nothing like screwing with my entire day! As if I don't have enough other things to worry about -- sheesh. At least I know that they're now looking at this stuff I worked hard on. The reports are pretty high-profile too, all the mucky-mucks will be using them and they deal with revenue so you know that they'll be scrutinized to death. Yikes!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Everyday Heros

A huge congratulations needs to go out to JoeB this week for realizing his dream of running a sub-3 hour marathon! He put in months and months of hard work (65-mile weeks, running 2x a day, etc.) and made the goal he had been striving for. There is inspiration there for all of us.

Monday, October 04, 2004

So. Tired.

I think my lack of sleep on Saturday night has caught up with me. Had a lousy night's sleep last night too, weird, since I was exhausted. Can no longer concentrate at work, this afternoon is completely dragging -- ARGH! Also doesn't help that my cubicle is a damn sauna. Please let this day end. Quickly.

Favorite Time of Year

I spent a gorgeous morning in Central Park yesterday, couldn't have asked for better weather. I was cursing myself at 5:30 when I had to force myself out of bed after about four hours of sleep, but I didn't really mind too much once I was awake and showered and looking ahead to the day before me. Some storms had blown through the day before leaving the air clean and crisp, with that perfect Autumn sparkliness that seems to be unique to the North East. Walking Lola at around 6:00 AM, it was still dark and a carload of guys passed me who were obviously driving home after a night out, they looked at me strangely standing there with my dog in my running clothes, and I looked at them with a shudder remembering the days (only a few short years ago) when I might have just been arriving home after an all-nighter. I was on a train headed to Manhattan while it was still dark, sipping a coffee and enjoying the quietness of the early hour. I felt oddly... content. Hmmmm, interesting.

I was up to Central Park by about 7:15 AM and milling around the packet pick-up for the race shivering a little bit in my shorts and running jacket. Since I was so early, I was able to enjoy seeing the event starting to come to life as more runners and volunteers arrived, as the sun rose and the volunteers continued to put the race site together. I leisurely sat on a bench by the Sheep Meadow until a race official squawked at us with a bullhorn to line up. With a couple of minutes to go before the start of the race, I finally pulled my running jacket off and tied it around my waist. After some short speeches, the horn blew and we were off. This was a short race, only 1.7 miles -- the lower Central Park loop. My one and only goal was to the run every step of the race (and not resort to walking at all). I figured that this should be easy since I ran every step of the 3.1 mile race I ran just a few weeks ago on a similar course -- this is half the distance, easy. Right? Well...

Because I had been to the race start early, I had lined up relatively early. And, although I seeded myself properly near the back, the race officials kept moving everyone up to fill in the empty spaces in the line-up. As a result, as we started, I found myself mixed in with people who were faster than I am. Lots of people passing me spurred me on to running a bit faster than I perhaps can handle right now. I also found myself almost hyperventilating, unable to really regulate my breathing, which added to my problems of pacing myself and caused me to be out of my comfort zone pretty much immediately. It was not pleasant. Still, I ran. And kept running. First it was looking for that one mile marker. Seemed to take for forever to come. We wound down through the 72nd Street Transverse, up the little hill between the Bethesda Fountain and the bandshell and past all the lines of half-marathon runners milling around waiting for their race which was due to start in about a half an hour. Then it was a turn South and up a rough hill and under the half-marathon starting line while those race participants cheered for us as we came by. Kept thinking, 'I must have gone a mile already, maybe they just aren't marking it because this is such a short race' and then I looked at my watch and saw that I had only been running eight minutes and change -- doh! Guess I haven't gone a mile yet afterall. Sheesh. Once I finally did find the one mile marker, a quick glance of my watch showed me at pace over a minute per mile faster than my pace at my last race (the RFTC 5K). Maybe this explained my discomfort so early in the race. Still, the race was short, so the only thing to do was to just keep running. It was hard. Every step had me wanting to walk, I had a huge mental struggle with myself not to give in at each second. I continued to win this war with myself and pushed and pushed myself onward. I hoped to gain a little recovery on the bit of downhill before hitting the Southern part of the loop, but downhill didn't seem to make much difference to me on this day. I just had to mentally grit my teeth and keep going. Finally the final turn up the West Side came and the long hill up past the Tavern on the Green and to the finish line. I think it's about a quarter of a mile (give or take) from the turn around the bottom of the loop to the Finish. So close, yet so far. I couldn't walk now, I made it this far, I couldn't do it, even though there was a crappy hill to be run between me and the finish line. I had nothing left, I was running, but there was no sprint left at all. I felt nausea rising, a new problem for me, so I added the struggle not to boot to the struggle to keep running. Up that hill, argh! Why does it always seem so long??? And I finally stumbled over the finish line, having run every step of the course as was my goal on this day. I weaved for the chip removal station and held my shaking leg on the step for removal barely able to stand upright. Pretty pathetic to be so wiped out by a 1.7 mile race! Shortly afterwards Ellen appeared beside me, she had started the race farther back in the queue and had run most of it with me in view ahead.

Once I was able to have some water and a little bit of a walk, I felt completely recovered. It's amazing how quickly you snap back. We made our way over to the Norwegian Festival that was being held in tandem with the races where we were able to enjoy a NY bagel with fresh smoked salmon and Norwegian cream cheese. There were also waffles available for those who wished to indulge (I drew the line here as we had plans for lunch later). Shortly after settling on a bench with our bagels, Harriet joined us. She had walked the race and so finished a bit behind. We had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful morning in Central Park as Ken was running the half-marathon. At one point we made our way over to part of the race course and was able to cheer for Ken as he passed by. We also had time to watch the little kids' races and meet up with our friends, Jorge and Silvia,whose son, Lukas, was running in the 3-year old's race. We finally went back to the Finish Line by the Sheep Meadow to watch the half-marathon runners finish and to wait for Ken. Ken finished faster than his goal, so everyone ended up having good races. From there we had a nice leisurely stroll through the bridle paths of Central Park, finally exiting on West 81st Street and then over to Amsterdam Avenue to enjoy some BBQ ribs and pitchers of beer outside in the sunshine.

I just love this time of year!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Impressions from this Week

Gawd, I've been so damn lame about blogging lately. I've been really swamped at work and just seem to lose any inspiration by the time I get home each evening. This week has been punctuated by work, work, work, two spinning classes, torrential rain (Tues) and an LIRR tunnel fire and subsquent system shut-down (Monday). That's it in a nutshell. I have. Not. Run. I'm an ass. Actually brought my stuff to work on both Monday and Wednesday with the intention of going up to Central Park in the early evening for a run and in both cases my intentions were thwarted by circumstances (the LIRR debacle on Monday and being swamped and stuck at work on Wednesday). Hoping next week will be a lot better. For what it's worth, the busy-ness at work has been (for the most part) a good kind of busy, so I'm not really complaining too much. I have a 1.7-mile "race" on Sunday. That's right, 1.7 miles. heh. (could it be any shorter?) AND I get credit towards automatic entry into next year's NYC Marathon -- not that I plan to run next year's NYCM, but it counts, if I did (the NYRRC has a policy for members that if you run a certain number - I think 9 - of scored races in a given year, that you are guaranteed acceptance in the next year's marathon). Anyway, I'm not even thinking of a marathon, I just think it's kind of cool that this little 1.7 M race counts. Anyway. What else? hmmmmmm. Oh, Michelle had a party last Saturday night as a sort of combination house warming/birthday celebration. Let me say that her apartment looks EXCELLENT! Oh yeah and there was this drunken guy there who kept wanting me to sit on his lap. I do not sit on laps, at least not at my current girth. Sheesh. Let's see, anything else to report... oh, it was my Lola-Girl's birthday yesterday, that little fat-ass pug just turned four. Time sure does fly.

Okay, one last thing from Spinning class last night. Why do these spinning instructors always say things like, "keep your eyes on the road"? They do realize that we're on stationary bikes inside of a gym. Don't they?

Anyway, that's it for now.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Rat Bastids

Rat Bastard pharmaceutical company that makes freaking Synthroid raised their damn prices again! It's so frustrating because it's not as if I can boycott consumption of their product after all. And what is with the enforced wait you have to endure at a pharmacy while getting a prescription filled anyway? I mean, am I wrong, or are they just taking the requisite # of pills from a big bottle and putting it in a small bottle for you to take with you? I mean, it's not as if they're actually grinding and mixing the ingredients with a mortar and pestle back there or something. Sheesh.

Dog Puke

Nice title. Lola was up all night puking, which means that I was up all night -- argh! She puked on my bed, on my floor, in my backpack (which happened to be on the floor near my bed). Called and left a voice mail for my manager this morning to let him know that I was going to be late and as I was on the phone leaving the message, I discovered more puke on the kitchen rug which caused me to exclaim, "oh God, and here's more puke!" I am sure he appreciated the message first thing this morning. Lola seems fine now anyway. Lucky dog can sleep it off all day, while I have to work, grrrrrrr.

Oh, and for the record, I did go to spinning last night. I'm a wreck now, TG I can sleep late tomorrow.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

So. Tired. Today. How, oh how am I going to spin tonight? (and Ellen says I have to... )

Julia Said (in my comments section):

"Debbie. You are inspiring me. I have been on my fat lazy ass since my sesame bone diagnosis. I have got to get back in the gym just to lose weight and gain my sanity back! GAH! I figure, if you can do it with your crazy schedule, I can too!!! Keep it up. I need the motivation!

Well, my schedule really isn't all that crazy, or not any crazier than anyone else who works a basic 9-to-5 job. However, I do have the stumbling block of having to find a safe enough, yet pleasant place to run, now that the days have shortened and it gets dark early. I see people trudging doggedly around this block by my apartment in Queens all the time and it just depresses the Hell out of me. Trudging around and around on this bleak, Queens, concrete sidewalk. I just hope I am never reduced to that desperation. Btw, what exactly are "sesame bones"?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Central Park

Another beautiful day here in NYC, although we were a little bit back to more Summer-like temperatures. I decided to venture North to Central Park after work for a run, since the days have now gotten too short to safely utilize Forest Park in Queens on a weeknight. Luckily there is a convenient NYSC location at West 73rd & Central Park West, so I was able to change and stow my stuff there while running. The run itself was rather uninspired (not to mention pathetic). I ran in on W. 72nd, and South down around the lower loop. I then ran North up the East Drive, up over Cat Hill (which, unfortunately, I had to run in two stages, with a walk-break between) and then across the walk-way around the North side of the Great Lawn and then down the West Park Drive, and finishing with a hill on an annex road taking me back to the W. 72nd Street Park entrance. All-in-all I think about 3 miles (I'll have to take a look at my CP map to confirm). It wasn't such a great effort on my part, but oh, it was so very wonderful to be running just a regular Wednesday night run in Central Park again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Had a good dose of Scary Spinning this evening and, really, it wasn't too bad. Although there was the usual confusion of her yelling at us to up the pace to double-time in third position and then after being there for a while, screeching for us to change to first position and then yelling, "now -- DOUBLE-TIME!!!!!" Er, I thought we were already on a double-time pace??? And there I was just hanging on by a thread. New spinning bikes in the classroom too, and while they are very nice and ride much smoother than the old bikes, I couldn't help but think that they were designed for larger people as I found myself way more intimate with my seat in the standing positions than I was perhaps comfortable with (and my seat was pretty much set on the smallest setting).

Queens Season is Over

Well, it looks as if running season in Queens is pretty much over. Last night I ran home from work at my usual time, changed, grabbed the pooch and hustled over to Forest Park in the dwindling sunlight. Ran in on the Park Drive and then off on the bridle trail. Right away I knew that my weeknight bridle trail runs were pretty much at an end as it was already twilight in the woods. Lonely and dark, I just ran in on the trail and up to my big hill -- the trail does some winding around, but by the time it gets to the hill, it parallels the Park Drive. Once I reached the top of the hill, I exited out of the woods and back onto the Drive where there were still some people and a little light. From there we ran back down the Park Drive and out of the park for a disappointing two-mile run. I came home and threw a load of laundry into a machine and then went to the gym in the basement and ran another mile on the treadmill and then put a little time in on the elliptical. I think I'm going to have to start getting a little creative about weekday running now that Forest Park is no longer an option (pisses me off that it's not safe). It's frustrating because Autumn is my favorite time of year to run too. Grrrrrrr.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Do you think it's significant...

That each time I execute this program I'm writing this morning that istead of typing "RUN" I type, "RUM"?

Bizarro World

For some unfathomable reason, I've really been enjoying my job lately. Strange.

Monday, September 13, 2004


As the Summer winds down, I have found myself running out of steam with my running. I'm bored, sick of heat, sick of my routine, discouraged by lack of progress, feeling the need to rebel, etc. So, I haven't run as much in the past couple of weeks as I'm supposed to. Still, I signed up for the Race for the Cure (5K) race because it's a great event and I had told Luminita that I would do it. This race, like the Circle of Friends race we participated in, in June is one of those special running events where you can't help but be inspired. They are also both great events for runners and walkers of all abilities because women come out of the woodwork to participate, so there are all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages hoofing it through the course.

Anyway, Luminita and I met up at the Kew Gardens train station at the ungodly hour of 7:30 on Sunday morning. We made our way into Manhattan and up to the Upper Westside where we hoped to hook up with Harriet. It was a beautiful, beautiful day in NYC, so it was a pleasure to just mill around and soak up the atmosphere and catch onto to some of the race excitement as all the various groups started to gear up. We unfortunately never ran into Harriet, so we decided to make our way to the starting line as the time for the race start drew near. I was disappointed because Harriet is great at pacing a nice, steady & slow pace and I had hoped to count on her, especially as Luminita had decided that she wanted to try running. I knew that Harriet would be able to pace us steady enough for us all to finish comfortably. Luminita is in good shape, but is not a runner, so I wanted to make sure she had a good experience and I am not the best pacer in the World. Anyway, no Harriet, so we lined up without her. Once we were on our way I paced us at a very slow, conversational run. Really a jog. I figured, 'let's run the first mile and then we'll see.' I wanted Lum to be able to say she that had run a mile, at least. So it was comfortable, and the course not too bad. Up Central Park West. Into the Park, down a hill and then up one of the Westside hills that wasn't too bad since we hadn't run the rolling hills that come before it (usually it is the last in a series of rolling hills down the West Drive of the Park). We hit the 1 mile point somewhere in the sweeping downhill following this. I suggested that we keep running since we were on a downhill and Lum agreed. We finished the down hill and started a short uphill to a turn across the 72nd Street Traverse. I mentioned to Lum that we could take a walk break if she wanted, but she said that, no, she was fine, let's keep going (drat! I thought to myself that I could use a walk break, but okay let's keep going then). Across the 72nd Street Traverse, up the hill past the Bethesda Fountain, then a turn South on the East Park Drive and up another hill. I knew that the rest of the race course involved a series of rolling hills, so I tried to pace accordingly, keeping steady on the uphills and recovering on the downhills enough so that we would be ready for the next uphill, while also dealing with "cardic creep" as the cumulative effect of the race effort began to wear on us. I reined myself in on every uphill as I have a tendency to speed up on the hills and then tried to allow gravity to do most of the work on the downhills. We reached the 2nd Mile marker and I asked Lum if she needed a walk-break now and she said, no, she was fine (shit! I thought to myself, I really could use one! Not. Going. To. Give. In.) So we keep going, through all little rolling hills and around the South end of the Park, and we then started the last uphill up the West Drive and past Tavern on the Green and up on to the Finish (just past the NYC Marathon finish line). This was really hard now, the hill on this finish always, always, always kills me. We stayed steady and strong and finished side-by-side. Incredible. Luminita has never really run any distance before and she managed to run 3.1 miles without walking one single step. Hell, I managed to run 3.1 miles without walking one single step. I can't remember when the last time was that I was able to do this. Probably years ago. I'm also proud that I was able to set a reasonable pace that got us through the race. Once we finished, we stuck around the finish line for a while enjoying the beautiful day in the Park and basking in our accomplishment, while also looking for Harriet. We never did find her here either, so we decided finally to make our way home.

So, it was a great day and a great event and a perfect way to cap off the Summer. I was very happy to be able to share the race with Luminita as this is just the sort of event that is greatly enhanced by participating with others. I now need to ramp my running program back up. I can run 3 miles without walking after all, I need to start building on that. Heh.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Latest Guilty Pleasure

On the FX Network: Nip/Tuck, OMG, I am obsessed. I've even started catching up with last season by renting the DvDs from Netflix. It's a very, very naughty show. Heh.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


So, I went to Macy's on a little fact-finding excursion, searching for what Fall/Winter shoes I'm going to buy when I'm ready (having destroyed last Winter's boots after wearing them everyday for two years). And I saw lots and lots of options, an overwhelming number of options, so I'll have some serious decision-making to do when the time comes. Anyway, can someone please explain the concept of mules or sling-back shoes for Fall/Winter wear? They were all over the place, really cute, fall colors and materials, but backless shoes for a NYC Winter? Are you meant to wear them with stocking/socks or just bare? I don't get it.


So, I've been extremely remiss and have neglected my blog. I just really haven't felt all that much like writing, to be perfectly honest. Nothing much has been going on with me and, well, I've actually been kinda depressed and somewhat anxiety-ridden. Nothing new has occurred to bring all these feelings about, I think they're all pretty much always there, depression, anxiety, insecurity, (let's face it, self-loathing) but usually remain mostly in the background. Every once in a while it all rears it's ugly head and I respond by retreating for a while until I can gain control again. It's kind of like having the flu, you just want to wallow in misery for a bit and not deal with the World until the worst is over. I think having all that time off with no plans at all last week helped kick-start everything. Too much time on my hands to think, think, think and berate myself for everything I've ever done wrong in my life and for everything which isn't working. It gets pretty ugly, believe me. Anyway, I feel a lot better now. I just think this is a cycle I have to work through every once in a while, get it out of my system and then move on. Sometimes I think I'm a bit too introspective for my own good. Anyway, onward and upward to better things. I apologize if anyone has been watching this space for anything new. Hopefully there will be stupid things I encounter in the World to blog about soon. Thinking of wandering over to Macy's on my lunch hour in fact. I'm bound to run into plenty of stupid or annoying stuff over there.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Seen this morning on the sidewalk by my apartment building: man jogging along in pajama bottoms, undershirt tank-top, and black, hard-sole men's dress shoes. There was a woman getting into her car nearby while he jogged by and I was standing there with Lola and we both just stopped what we were doing to gape at him. Once he finally passed (he was jogging very slowly) I turned to the woman and said, "you sure do see all kinds in this neighborhood." She just shook her head and laughed.

Friday, August 27, 2004


I have been so fucking swamped at work that I haven't had time to breathe. So. Stressed. Out. And if I have to look at this web report thing I'm working on one more time today, I swear I'm going to scream, I really will. Thank DOG the RNC is descending on this very building in a matter of hours. It has basically forced me to schedule a week's worth of vacation time. I think I really need it right now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Monday, August 23, 2004

I am in such a hormonally bad mood today. Weepy and depressed and I just know it's all PMS. But that doesn't really make me feel any better about it. Bleah. Made myself run on the treadmill tonight (by the time I did a much-needed laundry, it was too late to go up to the park) because I knew that it would make me feel better, and it did. At least for a little while. I really HATE feeling like this! It's so frustrating! And it also seems to get worse with age. (Any men out there just loved reading about this, I'm sure)

Drama on a Sunday Morning

So, yesterday morning I was standing on the sidewalk outside of my apartment building back gate with my neighbor, Jerry, and our two dogs (Lola and Jake). This guy in a van pulls up across the street and starts blowing his horn (so obnoxious! But particularly so at 8:30 AM on a Sunday morning). This was the conversation that ensued:

Jerry: "Hey, why do you gotta blow your horn like that?!"
Me : "Yeah, you know, this is a neighborhood, these are all people's homes."
Jerry: "Are you too lazy to park your car and get out and ring the bell?"
Me : "It's illegal you know."
Scary Russian Lady at the Window: "Oh, you SHUT UP! It none of your business! I LIVE here!"
Me : "So do we. Does that give you the right to disturb dozens of your neighbors?"
SRL : "SHUT UP! You no clean up after your dog!" *
*Nothing pisses me off more than some telling me that I don't pick up after my dog.
Me : "Of course I do, why do you think I carry these baggies around?" (I hold up wad of baggies) "I suggest you keep your mouth shut when you don't know what you're talking about lady."
SRL : Screeching something unintelligible out the window.
Me : "Oh, just take yourself and your housecoat back into your apartment."
Man in the Van: "I'm so sorry, it won't happen again."


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

People Are Stupid, Part 22

One of the reponsibilities of my job here is to support and maintain the company Sales, Ordering and Commission databases. This involves debugging problems, programming enhancements and "fixing" data, among other things such as reporting, etc. Anyway, very often I'm dealing with administrators and clerks, number-crunchers and so on who are entering the data. Anyway, I received a call from one of the commissions clerks about a bunch of data that ended up in our commissions database in error. Basically, this stuff gets loaded manually by the clerks, they create a file, they use an application to check the file to make sure everything is correct, to change anything that needs to be changed, delete anything they don't want to send over and then they finally move the file over to the database. So how did all of this "bad" data end up in there? I asked her if she checked the file, was all this stuff in her file before load? Well, yes it was, she saw it there. But she chose to move it over anyway, knowing that 90% of it was wrong. So, not only do I not have the scenario captured to try and debug the problem and figure out what went wrong, but I had to spend the better part of my morning picking through the database cleaning up this mess. Grrrrrrrr! Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Monday, August 16, 2004


Yes, I've actually been running and taking spinning classes, I've just been a little remiss about blogging about it all. I didn't really realize that people were actually reading my workout log, so I didn't think this stuff would be missed. Well, the weather has been pretty crummy around here for weeks and so most of my runs have been conducted on a treadmill, which is really not all that interesting to write about. It's not even all that interesting to actually go and do, to be honest. Anyway, the weather had cleared briefly this evening. Had been pouring rain this morning and most of the day, but had stopped by the time I got home tonight, so I grabbed the pug and made for the park. Lola really hasn't had much exercise and I wasn't feeling all that ambitious for the hills tonight, since I've been running mostly on flat surfaces for about two weeks now, so I figured we'd take it easy. It was a lot cooler too tonight, although still very humid.

Anyway, we did the usual. Ran in on the Park Drive and and then around on the outer Bridle Path Loop. It went pretty well, I didn't push it too hard, so we both really enjoyed the run. My right shin that has been plaguing me seemed to hold up really well, so I was happy about that. During the course of the run, we ran into a few different people with dogs, so Lola had some social time, since I was in no kind of a hurry. When we finished the loop I saw a guy with a measuring wheel coming out of the loop from the other side, so I asked him how long it is. He told me that the loop is basically 2 miles, but that with all the undulations (the path does a good amount of meandering) that it should actually count for about 3. I then asked him about the Park Drive up to the entrance to the Bridle Path and he said that this is about a 3rd of a mile, which is actually about what I figured. So running the loop plus the Park Drive to and from takes me almost to 3 miles. I supposed I could tack on a little extra mileage by running a little bit of an out and back farther along the Park Drive before and/or after the loop entrance, but I'm not actually going to worry about it now. Anyway, this guy apparently coaches a local girls' highschool track team and seemed to know what he was talking about. Friendly guy, I've seen him there before with his girls. Anyway, good to have a definitive idea of the distance I've been doing.

So, the run went generally well. Would have been better without Lola, of course, but then again, I enjoyed her company and she got some much needed exercise and social time too. Oh, and once I got home, I was milling around the kitchen putting dinner together, when I swear I heard rain. Looked outside and, sure enough, it was pouring rain again. Glad I was able to squeeze a short run in during the small window in between storms.

Social Pariah

Apparently I've become somewhat of a social pariah. I found out that there was a party/gathering on Saturday night of some friends that I wasn't invited to. Gee, thanks a lot.

Friday, August 13, 2004

You know that you've been watching too much TV...

...when you imagine the What Not to Wear cameras following and filming you every time you leave your office or home. At least I know I haven't been interviewed for a "market research on fashion" on the street. Yet. Of course, if they ever did try something like this, I would most likely blow them off right there, no self-respecting NYCer stops and talks to a camera on the street.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Rant of the Day: People who insist on hogging the printer by printing out reams of report and then do not check the printer to see if there is still paper! Why must I run around the floor looking for paper so that your damn 1000s of pages can continue to print??? I'm only trying to print out a 1-page email! GAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

I hate people.

Why I Hate Summer So Much

It's hot again today. We had a break from the soul-sucking heat & humidity for a couple of days but now it's back. Not quite as horrible yet as it was a mere few days ago, but it's gathering strength. I'm the idiot who has to stand on the train platform drinking hot coffee in the morning. But I finished my cup long in advance of the train arrival. Get on the train and seat myself across from a very cool-looking, put-together woman wearing big sunglasses. I sit there and can feel my face perspiring. A lot. The more I think about it, the more I perspire. I surreptitiously try to blot my face with a napkin, but my discomfort grows (yes, the train was air-conditioned). I squirm in my seat imagining the woman across from me watching me with disgust. I mentally curse Summer over and over in my head and pray for the quick journey into Penn Station while my sunglasses fog up, my face become more moist, trickles of sweat creep down between my shoulder blades. I really hate summer in NYC.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Open Season on Women in DC and Rome. Reinforcing my eagerness to personally shun the Catholic church at the earliest age possible (18).


Woman standing on the train platform this morning, smoking a cigarette while chomping away on some gum. They grow them classy in Queens.

Monday, August 02, 2004


I wanted to run on the treadmill tonight, but each time I've gone down there, someone has been in there hogging the damn gym -- ARGH! Bastards. Maybe I'll just got to bed, dammit.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Breaking News

I won $1 in the lottery last night -- woo!

Friday, July 30, 2004

Do I Look Homeless?

I know I look a little worse for wear after suffering from insomnia most of the week, but this is ridiculous. Ran downstairs and to a Duane Reade in Penn Station to grab a soda for my mid-afternoon caffeine kick. I'm coming back up the escalator outside the building when this guy asks me for directions to Park Avenue. (Luckily he asked because he was ready to walk West and farther away -- it's already enough of a hike on such a steamy, icky day). Anyway, I give him directions, tell him the cross streets along the way, how far it is, how to get out of the maze of corridors to the street, what cross-street we're at, etc. And then he all of a sudden whips out his wallet and tries to hand a dollar to me! He was trying to tip me! I refused the dollar and he kept insisting and I kept refusing... it was so bizarre. I finally said emphatically, "no, it's really okay" and I guess he finally got the hint and stopped trying and just thanked me again, while I escaped to the revolving door of my building. I mean, it was a nice gesture but, sheesh! Do I look homeless or something? Now, if he had been offering me a beer, it might have been a different story.

Poor Joseph

From Julia's report of a race she did last night:

He says, "good job" or something like that. I said, "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!!!"
Hahhahahahaha!!!!! As Cher would say, Poor Joseph!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Nice Thing to Teach the Kiddies

Waiting to board a LIRR commuter train this evening, woman behind me with two kids and a bunch of bags says to the kids, "now, when the doors open, just push and push." I turn around and give them a scathing look and say, "No. Actually don't push." Woman amends her instruction to the kids and says, "don't push too hard." Yeah, whatever. Great thing to teach your kids, you're more important than anyone else, just push your way in, the hell with other people.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Bit the Bullet

Well, I just bit the bullet and registered to vote. I had been putting it off since I moved to Queens because I know that this is one sure-fire way for the jury duty nazis to find me (especially once I actually exercise my right to actually go out and vote). But who am I kidding? I just can't not vote, it's too important, espcially this year. And for those who say that your vote doesn't count, particularly if you're not living in a "swing" state... don't you want to express your opinion anyway? There is something to be said about sending a message not only to the government and the country, but to the World. Especially those in the World who believe that we all agree with and blindly follow "The Shrub".

More on Room & Board

From their website (about the NYC store -- coming soon):


Room & Board To Open New York Store

Room & Board will bring its classic, simple home furnishings to a new store in the heart of Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood in early 2005.

The store will be located in the building currently occupied by office and home furnishings company Knoll®, Inc. on Wooster between Spring and Prince Streets. Room & Board plans to renovate the space in a way that preserves the integrity of the current building and its surrounding neighborhood.

Despite not having a store in New York, Room & Board has experienced strong demand for its home furnishings among New York residents.

"Our goal is to help our customers create homes that are beautiful, functional, comfortable and provide outlets for self-expression," said John Gabbert, founder and president of Room & Board. "Based on the significant interest we've already seen among New York residents, we expect our SoHo store will be well received and extremely successful."

Can't wait. Love their stuff.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


So, I was watching Queer Eye tonight and Thom was talking about the bedroom he designed for this week's straight guy and he said that everything was ordered from Room and Board, my favorite furniture store (my couch is from there) and that they're opening a store in New York. Happy, happy (as Julia would say).
I just don't wanna go to spinning tonight. It's pouring out, I'm tired, just wanna go home -- argh!

LIRR Sucks

Can somebody please tell me why the heat was on in my train this morning? I mean, it was cranking out of the vents along the window like it was the middle of January or something. Sheesh!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Nike Race in Central Park

I ran a race on Thursday night in the extreme heat & humidity. That night was just about the worst a NYC Summer has to offer. Extreme humidity (over 90%), extreme heat (around 90 degrees), a murky, swampy quality to the air that makes you want to run, screaming, for the closest air-conditioned building (preferably one where you can get a cold beer). I had been dreading this race all day long. The ten minutes I had taken to walk Lola at 8:00 that morning had been a torturous, sweat-flinging event, I couldn't even imagine how I was going to run 3.1 miles. I got to the Park that evening with plenty enough time to use a porta potty and mill around people watching. One thing I noticed was that there sure did seem to be a disproportionate number of people in the 20s (in my opinion), all young and attractive and in shape. 'Ugh, what am I doing here?' I thought to myself. Soon enough, the 10K race was off and it was time for the 5K participants to line up. I positioned myself in the proper place amoungst the thousands & thousands of race participants. This event was so much bigger than I had expected, it was almost like lining up for the marathon, there were so many people. Took me about 2 or so minutes to cross the start line and then we were almost immediately on a big climb, up the toughest hill in Central Park, "Harlem Hill" (also called "The Great Hill"). My one and only goal for this race was just to run up this hill in it's entirety without slowing to a walk at all. There were many people all around, some walking, some running, some doing a combination of both. I just dug in and concentrated, passed a good number of people and just kept a very slow and steady cadence forward and upward. I tried not to think about how hot and miserable it was, I was already completely drenched in sweat and it was only getting worse, but just set my sights on the top of that hill. Harlem Hill is steep, but it is also long and winds around a long curve, it just seems to keep going and going up. The last time I ran this hill in a race, about a month and a half ago, I was only able to make it about halfway or maybe two thirds of the way up. So I just dug in and kept going. Hot miserable, in oxygen debt. Slowly, the top of the hill seemed to get closer, at some stage I realized that I was going to make it. Dug in and continued to power up, not thinking about what I was going to do beyond that point. Well, I made it! The first time I had run that hill in it's entirety in about 5 years. I was pretty proud of myself, especially given the miserable conditions of the race (and my own wimpiness in the heat & humidity). I reached the top and did not walk at all, but was able to keep on going, down the hill and up the next two hills on the course. I was so proud of myself with this effort, I was pretty much at the upper limits of my current ability and endurance, I managed to ride that edge through the huge hill and the next couple of moderate hills after that. I finally did have to succomb to a walk break. Still, my endurance wasn't entirely shot yet and after a brief respite, I was able to continue running on the out and back portion of the course. Came around the turn-around still running, and then into the 102nd Traverse shooting us over to the East Side. It was somewhere in the Traverse where my endurance really gave out. The Traverse in this direction is a subtle uphill, not much of a big deal, but when you're at your limit, you can really feel it. The last part of the Traverse goes a little more steeply uphill (still, not really that big of a deal usually) and this is where I gave in and had to realize that I was just dead. The heat was making me feel so wretched (my face was so hot, it felt like it could explode, the sweat was pouring in rivers down my arms and legs and through my hair and down my face into my neck) and I had pushed my pace and my ability at this stage in my training as much as it could be pushed, I think. I walked up that short hill. Near the top of that hill and just before the second band on the course ("Flock of Seagulls" had been the first band, just after we passed over the Start Line) I started to run again knowing that it was mostly flat and down hill until the end. I felt about as powerful as a wet rag, but I managed to keep going through the flat and down the long down hill. Near the bottom of the hill where the course flattened out again, I had to take yet another walk break, before psyching myself up for the last .1 of the course, run up the beginning of Harlem Hill (yes, again) and over the finish line. Managed to even pick up my pace marginally for this last little climb to the end. Once across the finish line, I immmediately felt shakey and dizzy and had to make a real effor to keep my rubber legs moving forward for fear that I would otherwise just topple over. Anyway, all-in-all, I was really happy with my effort for this race. My time was dismally slow, but was actually about 4 minutes faster than the 5K I did in May. I was able to run the Harlem Hill in it's entirety and did not collapse at the top, but was able to continue on through the next few hills. I really did run most of the race, just a few short walk breaks marred my effort, a real improvement over the 5K in May and the NYRRC Anniversary race I ran on a very similar course in the beginning of June. Lastly, I do not deal well in the heat & humidity at all, so I was especially grateful to be able to put forth a solid effort on such a brutal day. Overall, I was happy with my race.

After the race I regrouped with Ellen & Ken, Harriet and Daniel (who all also ran the race) and we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner near the race finish, in honor of Ellen's birthday. It was a good night.