Monthly Archives: September 2009

Pages and miles

“You have knee pain?” asked the young dermatologist who had just come in to the exam room.

“Yeah,” I replied. “But it’s only after I run.”

She nodded, still looking over my intake survey.

“So it’s exercise induced?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, so you’re a runner.”

I half-nodded, feeling a bit like a fraud. Being called a runner was like being called a writer.

Me? Really? Sure you’re not mistaking me with someone who is serious about running/writing? Someone like Haruki Murakami*? Okay, maybe not Murakami. I shouldn’t compare myself to a novelist who runs marathons annually.

I write and I run. I enjoy both and know I can improve, but right now I’m not dedicated enough to feel comfortable when someone calls me a writer/runner.

I’m going to change that and earn both titles. It’s going to take a lot miles and pages.

No problem, I have plenty of time.

Thanks to Oso recommending Murakami’s memoir What I talk about when I talk about running. It was a good read.

Identification

On my first night in New York, I joined my host, Jenny, and a few of her friends for a night of salsa dancing.

I changed and put on some black flats, the closest I had to dancing shoes. Jenny and I took the train a few stops where we met up with G and her friend J.

Half an hour, a few trains and two blocks later, we were at our destination. G, who had brought along a special pair of dance shoes, gave her ID to the bouncer. He nodded, gave it back to her and she went through the door. J, the token guy in the group, did the same thing.

Once J and G had entered, I stepped up and handed the bouncer my recently renewed driver’s license. I turned my head and looked down the street, but turned when I heard the bouncer.

“That’s not you. I’m not letting you in,” he said matter-of-factly.

“What? That’s me.”

The first two stopped and turned around, curious about the commotion.

“No, that’s her,” he said and pointed and Jenny.

Jenny held up her own driver’s license and protested, “No, this is me.”

The bouncer shook his head.

I tried arguing. It’s a new picture, only a year old (by the way, I actually like my photo). That’s me in that picture, I repeated in hopes that if I just stated the truth he would believe me. I offered to be quizzed on the information on the card. I could easily recite my address, birth date, height, weight, eye color, and driver’s license number. I didn’t mention what I was thinking: come on, I haven’t lost that much weight that a stranger does not believe September 2009 me is not August 2008 me.

It didn’t work. The bouncer gave me back my card and once again told me I was not getting in.

Jenny, J, G and I huddled outside the club, trying to figure out plan b. A few minutes later, we hailed a cab and were off to try and salvage the night.

September in photos, part 1

September 1: Kevin McReynolds of the Mets hit the ball. Dad caught it sans baseball glove and injured a finger. I think he even went to the infirmary. As any Dodger fan knows, we won 1988 National League Championship Series in 7 games. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series against the Oakland A’s.

Dad’s small baseball collection also includes a ball signed by Pete Rose and a ball signed by Mike Piazza (#31!) during his Dodger days.

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Get to the kitchen

Clueless is one of my favorite movies. Even though I have it on DVD, I always feel lucky when it pops up on TV, like tonight. I can’t pick a favorite scene, it all depends on my mood.

Tonight, I was touched — once again — by Cher’s triumphant speech in debate class about Haitian refugees.

So like, right now for example. The Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, “What about the strain on our resources?” Well it’s like when I had this garden party for my father’s birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. ’cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was like totally buggin’. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.

These days, I think our government wouldn’t rush to the kitchen and “rearrange some things.” Instead, some of our representatives would spread lies and heckle those working for reform. I was disgusted to hear the boos and “You lie!” when President Obama mentioned that undocumented immigrants would not be eligible for services under the new health care reform.

I can only imagine the lies, fear and bigotry that will be spread when it comes to tackling immigration reform.

Balance

By the end of the fireworks show, I was crying. They weren’t big tears. I don’t think Alan, Danny or Lori even noticed. During the show, they were fixated on the sky like everyone else on Main Street. Afterward, we rushed through Main Street trying to beat the throngs exiting the park.

No one asked why I was wiping away tears. I’m still not sure how I can explain it. There’s the easy answer: I’m a sucker for Disney music and classics like “When You Wish Upon a Star” backed by fireworks get to me, just like the Disney Imagineers intended. That’s part of it, of course, but the music and show were just a backdrop to my own feelings about where I’m at in my life right now.

I’m far from finishing graduate school. Last year, I dropped out of a boot camp to work on my dissertation proposal before the first meeting. That set the tone for the academic year. I didn’t make any progress on my proposal, avoided meeting with my advisor and only stepped into the Moore Hall, home of the education department, to visit friends. I skipped the graduation ceremony as I didn’t want to be reminded that I was so off track. I’m unsure of what this next year brings. I’d like to take a year off, but this depends on my advisor’s approval.

Three years ago, a similar situation had me depressed and miserable. This time around, it hardly bothers me. What little anxiety I feel about school is offset by the great feelings I get when I think about others areas of my life. I’m happy and healthier than I’ve been in my adult life. I know I can count on my family, boyfriend and close friends for support or just to lend an ear.

I’m not sure what comes next. I’m okay with that.