Listen, I have been educated.
I have learned about Western
Civilization. Do you know
What the message of Western
Civilization is? I am alone.

- Eileen Myles,
from "An American Poem"

Image: source.

While on vacation I finished "The Likeness." It was actually the second time I had tried to read the book. Initially I picked it up right after "In The Woods" (the author's first book) and just couldn't get into it. A friend pointed out that the narrators of the two books sound almost identical, despite being different characters, which I think may've contributed to my inability to get absorbed in "The Likeness" initially. However, on second read I got into it and was genuinely invested in finding out "whodunnit" by the end of the book. In my opinion, French could've cut it down by about 100 pages (it started dragging towards the end), but overall a recommended read for any mystery fan.

Image: source.

Yesterday's planned workout: 5 miles. Yesterday's actual workout: 6 miles. Today's planned workout: 10 mi run. Today's actual workout: We will see...Overall I'm pretty happy with the amount of excercize I've gotten in while on vacation. Sure I've been indulging in all sorts of delicious food and sweets, but...that's what vacation is for.

I'm in Boston for a few more days; it's so nice to have a full week somewhere, so I can really settle in and enjoy the city. I head back to Oregon on Tuesday - I know I will be super sad to leave my friends (by far my favorite part of Boston), but I think I will be ready to get back to my routine. #creatureofhabit


Sorry for being MIA. I'm back in Boston, visiting friends and generally enjoying my first real vacation since I started life as a lawyer. I got in the day before a snow storm, which was perfect. Since I don't have to drive or go to work, I don't mind the piles of snow and even find them charming. I managed to get a 3-day pass to my old gym, the amazing Healthworks (well, the facilities are amazing - the staff seems uniformly cranky). Yesterday's scheduled workout was 5 miles, and I got in 10 (a few were walking). Today's scheduled workout was 8 miles, and I got in 5. Overall, I'm proud of myself for still working out while on vacation, and it's definitely helping me stay balanced while out of my routine. I'm headed to yoga on Sunday with a friend, which should be a (very challenging but hopefully excellent) change of pace.

Image: source.

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." - Henry David Thoreau


Amazing pic of HUGE driftwood! (Does that still count as driftwood?)

Image: source.

Today's planned workout: 5 mi run (sprint intervals).

Today's actual workout: unfortunately nothing. All day on planes and in airports. I did take the steps though, instead of the moving walkway or escalators...Feel like crap though, and looking forward to getting back on the treadmill tomorrow. Hoping I can get a week-long pass at my old Boston gym.

Hiding In America: "For a child of illegal immigrants, life remains in the shadows."

Shocking, powerful photographs: Each year, UNICEF Germany grants the “UNICEF Photo of the Year Award” to photo series that best depict the personality and living conditions of children across the globe. Among the 2010 Honorable Mentions was Spanish freelancer Fernando Moleres for his documents of children in Central Prison, usually known as Pademba Road Prison, in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown."


Stamping Out LGBT Discrimination in Housing: "Today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule regarding equal access to HUD housing programs regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."

Image: source.

In my short time as a runner I've really found this to be true: Runners Are Good Sports.

Watched the second episode of Downton Abbey tonight - wonderful.

Totally random: ok, so Amy's Cheese Enchilada Whole Meal (3rd down. The "meal" part is important - it includes beans and corn) is by far my favorite frozen meal. I've eaten it at least once a week for years and years. So they came out with a "lean & light" version and I gave it a shot - horrible! What you "save" in calories (like 100) you lose in flavor, satisfaction, etc. Ugh! Nice try, Amy's, but that was a total failure. Also, my mom picked up these veggie burgers at Costco a few weeks ago and we are all super impressed - made in the toaster oven, they are delicious and almost remind me more of an egg roll than a veggie burger! Great with ranch dressing to dip in, and really good ingredients-wise (basically just veggies and sunflower seeds!). Reccomended.

More running blogs, for anyone who needs some extra inspiration.

Image: source. I'm trying.

Today's planned workout: day off. Today's actual workout: I have the day off (vacation!) so I'm looking forward to getting some good miles of walking/slow jogging in, as well as a swim. My legs are sore but not in pain, per se. I think moving around will be good. Plus I'll be spending all of tomorrow on a plane to Boston. Flying always makes me feel like crap physically so I'm hoping a healthy day today will stave some of that off.

Day off today! Well, sort of. I'm doing ESL tutoring at noon and then teaching the citizenship class tonight. I just can't quite say no. Also watching Spirit of the Marathon while packing for my trip - someone at the half recommended it, and it seemed like the perfect thing to get my psyched for my next big goal.

“One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows of the necessary ingredients of happiness — simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.” - George Sand

Image: source.


My bare-bones, stripped-down, very North West, awesome first half-marathon

The Vancouver Lake Half Marathon is known for being cold and for being flat. However, when I looked at the forecast for today, it said 52, sunny, and clear - score! Uh, not so much. It was cold, and super foggy. That, combined with the fact that my phone magically died, leaving me unable to listen to music during the impending 13.1 miles lead to a slight panic as the race inched closer by the minute. I needn't have worried - it was the best race experience I've ever had.

As we all waited for the start of the race, people were totally friendly (yes, also intimidating, with their Ironman tattoos and general hardcoreness). One thing I love about runners (I've realized) is their complete willingness to talk about bodily functions with people they don't know. Pre-race conversations about timing the emptying of your bowels just right are completely accepted. These are my people.

Still, the music thing was bothering me. I ALWAYS listen to music when I run, whether on my own or in races. I was seriously worried about running my longest distance yet, in silence. But I calmed myself down, choosing to interpret it as a message from the universe to take some "me" time. In the midst of 400 other runners. I also thought about my nature-loving step father saying "There's plenty to look at! Check out those birds!" (when I got home tonight and recounted this, he and my mom howled with laughter - turns out he had said pretty much those exact words when he heard I would be music-less). The other thing, however, is that I used my iPhone to also keep track of how far I've run and how long it has taken me. Oh well. I'd just have to stay in the moment and trust my body - not bad lessons.

So I started out the race as slowly as possible. I fell alongside two people who were chatting about pace and overhearing them comforted me to know I was at a 10:30 or so pace, which was good for the first mile. After about 1.5 mi, I slowly split out past them. When I hit mile 3, I felt a little emotional, realizing how comfortably I was jogging along, in contrast to the fact that I couldn't make it through my first 5K in October without stopping to walk - twice. Over the next 10 miles, I passed almost 20 people. Slow and steady I went, and I felt great.

Not having headphones in meant I had more interaction with the other runners, even if it was just the occasional "keep it up!" On mile 8, I ended up running alongside the same woman for almost a mile - and then we looked at each other and both laughed. It's oddly intimate running alongside someone else, as you both work towards a goal.

At mile 10, I started to think "This is a long race... I'm a long-distance runner..." (not the most profound thoughts when you're exhausted). By mile 11, my knees hurt and my legs felt like cement. By my 12, I started to understand how people end up taking a crap while running. By mile 12.5, I felt like a f**king champion, as I sprinted towards the finish line.

My goal time had been under 2:30. I came in at 2:08:55. I was ecstatic.

Other notes on the race:

- I ate for the first time during a race! I had been nervous about it it, but these Cliff Bar Shot Blocks (Cran-Raspberry flavor) were amazing. Tasted just like fruit snacks and gave me a little boost.

- I hydrated like crazy yesterday and think that really helped.

- My beloved Mizunos held up wonderfully, and got lots of compliments (they are way cuter & brighter in person).

- My knees and legs started to KILL me about 30 min after the race. I definitely learned my lesson to take ibuprofen immediately after finishing a race.

So yeah. Best race of my life. Something I will never forget.

I've done a lot of work in the last few years about interrupting or stopping the messages that run through my head (we all have them, right?) Ones like, you have to be perfect for people to love you, you will never be good enough etc. Well, now I'm thinking that in addition to deleting the crappy ones, I should start adding in some new ones. Like, I set goals and reach them. I challenge myself, and that's awesome. I am a long-distance runner.

(*Oh, and why "very North West"? In addition to the fog, the wholesomeness and friendliness of those involved, and the heartiness of the runners, it would also have to be the fact that we ran past multiple hunters in big old trucks, and heard shooting (duck hunting) throughout the race. I love the Pacific NW!)


You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

- Franz Kafka

Image: source.
Yes! Awesome: The Babysitters Club: where are they now? I was a huge BSC fan as a kid, and love this run-down.

Image: source.

Today's planned workout: 4 mi run. Today's actual workout: Nothin! I got up bright and early to hit the road to drive up to Portland to see friends and run my first half-marathon!

It's been a great day in the city: a clear day for driving, delicious pulled pork and mac n cheese from a food truck, homemade mint oreos and coffee with a long lost friend, and the discovery of a bookstore that sells only mysteries - good stuff.

I've recently started a wonderful book, one that has pulled me in more quickly and kept my attention more than any book in a while: Jennifer Egan's much acclaimed Visit From The Good Squad. Each chapter is about different, and sometimes only tangentially related, characters - a conceit which could easily be contrived, annoying, or hard to follow but somehow works out.

On the way up to Portland, I listened to the January 14th edition of the wonderful NYTimes Book Review Podcast, which featured both Egan and Siddhartha Mukherjee, whose "biography" on cancer I am anxious to read. In my opinion, the interviews with both were "eh" but I loved the sections from their books read by the authors. Worth a listen.


Image: source.

Hee hee hee

From Free Speech TV: Anti-Immigrant Hate Crimes Rise with Hateful Political Speech.

Great new single from NOMO. I have many happy memories of dancing to their music, whether inside the Middle East, or outside at the ICA....good times.

Image: source.

"Human Rights Watch is launching a new application for Apple's iPad on January 20, 2011, making it a pioneer among human rights groups in offering its reports, articles, videos, and photographs through an iPad app. Users can download the app free from Apple's App Store."

Today's planned workout: bootcamp. Still avoiding bootcamp in prep for the race, so - Today's actual workout: 4 mi slow run, and one hour of Zumba with the ladies tonight.

Amazing life story: "Veteran lesbian activist Renee Hanover passed away earlier this month. The Chicago-based attorney was 84 years old and leaves behind a lasting legacy of inspiring work that will undoubtedly touch and inspire many more for years to come. A single mother of three, Hanover worked her way though college and law school in the 1960's. Four months shy of earning her law degree she was dismissed from school for being a lesbian."

One of my favorite prayers: "When we want only answers, dear God, create in us the space for wonder. Amen."


Some tools to help you stay up to date on the immigration bills and issues in your state.

Really good, really interesting: The Paris Paradox: how sexualization replaces opportunity with obligation: "Young women with the Paris Paradox were raised in a culture that promised sexual freedom, but what they ended up with looked a lot more like obligation than opportunity. It’s not hard to understand why the pressure to be sexy so often trumps the freedom to discover one’s authentic sexuality."

Image: source.

Today's planned workout: 4 mi (sprint intervals). Today's actual workout: 4 miles...but slow, not sprint intervals. I can't lie, I'm not feelin it today. I'm super sore from bootcamp, could barely complete the 4 miles, and am getting anxious about the big race. Hoping that a few days of no weight training and low key running, combined with race-day adrenaline, will make it work out somehow...

"We can realize those voices are not us. In this single, precious, fleeting moment – the space between breaths, this quiet awareness – there is only Love, really. Choose instead to be brave. Choose to be right here. Choose the kindest action, the kindest word. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Regardless of what’s happened before, or what you fear may happen at some unknown point in time. Above all else, let the love consume you. Let it creep into the darkest corners of yourself; let it flow through you into everything you do. And know that you, little one, are loved." - you are remarkable


I love a good cover: J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” (of Wilco)

Image: source.

Interesting (I'm a huge fan of therapy, for the record): Does Insight In Therapy Equal Happiness? Not Always. "It is practically an article of faith among many therapists that self-understanding is a prerequisite for a happy life. Insight, the thinking goes, will free you from your psychological hang-ups and promote well-being. Perhaps, but recent experience makes me wonder whether insight is all it’s cracked up to be." One thought I had in response to this article was, Why did anyone think that insight would equal happiness? It can be miserable to realize what is really going on (in your head, in your heart), to admit to the way you manipulate, respond, self-sabotague etc. Maybe part of the problem is expecting "happiness" as a result of therapy and insight - aren't we trying to get at something more than happiness, like honesty and, eventually, contentment? Anyways, thats my ramble for the day...

Good News For LGBT Hospital Visitation Rights: "Thanks to new regulations going into effect today, any hospital participating in Medicare and Medicaid must allow visitors of patients' choosing, whether or not they're married or related. The upshot is that gay couples cannot be denied visitation rights."

As a lover of both Austen and email, I heart this: “Somebody said of email, 'It’s the place for hope in life.' It reminds me of how in Jane Austen, carriages are always coming, you’re waiting, it could be Mr. Bingley’s invitation to a ball. There’s some sense that the post is always arriving in Jane Austen. There’s something about email that carries the sense that that’s where the good news will come.” - Author of “Alone Together” (which I want to read) on our compulsion to check our email, via

Image: source.

Image: source.

Today's planned workout: 6 mile run (slow and steady). Today's actual workout: bootcamp. This is my last chance to attend bootcamp for almost two weeks (because of my half-marathon and then going out of town), so I wanted to take advantage of it. Also I don't want to run too many miles the week before my race. Bootcamp this week has been super hard, which is good. From here on out, I think I'm gonna job/run a slow 3-4 miles per day up till my half-marathon on Sunday to stay loose and focused but not worn out....

Another someday goal for me: hiking the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Love for an Immigrant Family's Story, in Watercolor and Watercress: "MacNaughton's "Farmers' Market Farmers In Their Own Words" is part of her ongoing series of "In Their Own Words" watercolor-and-ink comics, each one putting pictures to an individual's story from a less-heard section of San Francisco's community. In this installment, MacNaughton introduces us to an unnamed family who emigrated from Vietnam in 1979, becoming 'the first Asian Family in Rio Linda.'"


"Simple Instructions for Life" by the Dalai Lama

* Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
* When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
* Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others and, Responsibility for all your actions.
* Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
* Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
* Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
* When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
* Spend some time alone every day.
* Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
* A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
* In disagreements with loved ones deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
* Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
* Be gentle with the earth.
* Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
* Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
* Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
* Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Image: source.
I'm trying to be a responsible 20, almost 30-somethingm and get my (negligible amount of) money in order. So far this has meant establishing my retirement account (or, rather, reactivating it after putting it on hold for law school), learning the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA, reading Suze's Women & Money, and being better about budgeting. I've also recently joined Mint.com. I was nervous about putting so much financial info in one place but friends have raved about it, and it is great to see everything at once and set some clear goals. If you've used Mint, or similar programs, let me know how it's worked for you!

Ooooh, a whole cookbook on quinoa? I'm listening...

I always love the annual NYTimes section The Lives They Lived.

Today's planned workout: 5 mi run.
Today's actual workout: I'm headed to the gym after work for the 5 mi run, and planning to follow it up with a 20 min swim. Go go go! I'm so excited for my half-marathon this weekend. Update: got in 5.5 miles on the treadmill, and 40 min on the bike.

“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” - bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions


A few people have asked me what resources I'm using to work towards my running and triathlon goals, so I thought I would share here:

First, a video most of you have already seen but that really inspired me, called "My 120 pound journey" about a guy who went from no excercize to accomplishing some amazing things - I cry every time I watch it! Despite the name, it's about so much more than weight loss, it's about self-respect, depression, achieving your goals, etc.

Left: I wish this was me but it definitely isn't. Pretty inspiring though, right? I love looking at strong, healthy, happy looking female triathletes for inspiration.

A great book I'd recommend to any beginner runners who want to set long distance goals is The Non-Runners Marathon Trainer. The best book I've found for creating a training plan for a triathlon is this one.

For Oregonians like myself, this site is the best for finding out about runs all over the state.

I also follow a variety of blogs on triathlons and running, including Hillary Biscay, Diary of An Amateur Triathlete, Run Court Run, Every Man Tri. Also, it's free to register on Nike.com and you can get access to great training programs and blogs.

Finally, here's a post I wrote about running a while back, if anyone's interested.

Good luck to all of you with big training goals for 2011!

From The Atlantic: On Perfect Immigrants and Imperfect Stories: "I realize how deeply I too have become trapped by the discourse when I get disappointed in people's stories and how difficult their real life struggles will make my job as a storyteller. Looking for that perfect sympathetic story is a stupid pursuit. We need an immigration system that's equipped to recognize immigrants as people, because that's what immigrants are, complex and messy human beings."

Image: source.

Today's planned workout: bootcamp. Today's actual workout: bootcamp. And a hard one at that! Edit: Also got in 42 min (ie one episode of Law & Order) in on the bike trainer.

On the seriousness of street harassment.

"There are 2.3 million people living in America with no car and without a supermarket within a one-mile radius. People living in these "food deserts" are often obese and unhealthy because they're stuck eating junk food from the convenience store. Slate has prepared an interactive map of the counties with the most people who live in food deserts as defined above. They're clustered mostly in Appalachia, the Deep South, and on Indian reservations." via GOOD.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Jr. on the Mike Douglas show

MLK Jr's last speech (yes, I'm posting it again)

‎"True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." - MLK Jr. (1967)


Image: source.

Image: source.

Today's planned workout: rest. Today's actual workout: Well, I took Thursday as my rest day, so I'm going to do Thursday's workout today instead - 8 miles. I'm pleased to annouce that, with the help of my step dad, I got my new bike trainer set up last night. It sits in the garage, facing the washer and dryer so I can prop my laptop there and watch movies while I ride. Good set up. It's obviously not as fun as cruising around the back roads of Oregon but it's a great alternative when the weather is crappy out and I feel super lucky to be able to work out at home. I did an hour on it last night (and watched "The Proposal" - perfect "watch while working out" movie) and am hoping to hop on it again today.

A hard truth, but a truth nonetheless. And the search for self respect continues: "We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” - Hunter S. Thompson


Lines for Winter by Mark Strand

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in the valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

Poem: source.
Image: source.

You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring

More on the need for VAWA, U Visas, and protections for vulnerable immigrants: Trapped in violence: Undocumented abuse victims face hurdles: "Undocumented women like Juana are often cut off from the community and don’t know how or where to seek help. If they do report abuse, they face an unfamiliar legal system that’s difficult to navigate in a foreign language . . . this isolation creates 'levels of deterrence' against getting help."

Left: from the amazing Nikki McClure (via the wonderful BuyOlympia)

A classic: "Caring For Your Introvert" from the Atlantic.

Tonight I'm watching Downton Abbey with the 'rents. I've heard so many good things about it, I'm pretty psyched.

I had a great 10K today. It was pretty warm out (in the 40s, I think), and some of my bootcamp ladies were there running also. The run wasn't easy - there were some steep hills and I definitely ate too much before hand (two of my pb and banana wheat toast things instead of one - a mistake) - but I chugged along. I'm happy to report I ran the whole time and even ended up beating my prior 10K time by almost 3 minutes! It was just what I needed to mentally prepare for the, gulp, half marathon next weekend.

"There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: you are brilliant, and the earth is hiring. The earth couldn't afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done." - Paul Hawken (University of Portland, May 3, 2009). source.

Image: source.
Check out "This Much I Know", a 24 min. self-described "Bollywood-enviro-art short" by my brilliant and wonderful friend Bridget Hanna.
I read about Balega running socks over at the great Just A Titch and now I'm super curious to try them. I've never really paid attention to the type of socks I wear, but maybe these would help me out (especially the compression ones that go over my shin splints...?)

Image: source.

Check out Sarah (of Yes & Yes)'s interesting post on "International Gender

Today's planned workout: 10 mile run. Today's actual workout: I'm headed to the Frostbite 10K run in Talent, OR, with some of my lovely bootcamp ladies!

I absolutely loved Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, when I was myself a young poet. Despite no longer writing poetry, I still find it to be a beautiful and moving work on art, embracing struggle, solitude: "If we only arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage." source.


So many amazing photos and photographers out there: check out these oddly beautiful photos of overhead wires in Japan (just trust me), and these powerful photos of Chernobyl, 25 years later.

Prison Whistleblower Condemned to Solitary Confinement: "The ongoing story of Massachusetts inmate Timothy Muise demonstrates in detail how freedom of expression ends at the prison gate. When Muise has sought to expose what he alleges is a sex-for-snitching ring run by guards at MCI Norfolk, a state prison south of Boston, he was charged with “inciting a group demonstration,” along with various other rule violations, and summarily placed in solitary confinement awaiting a disciplinary hearing. After a “hearing” that reveals the real nature of due process for prisoners, Muise was sentenced to further weeks in solitary."

I love these beautiful portraits, and the way they are photographed.

Image: source.

"Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. forget yourself." - Henry Miller (source)
This awesome post from Sarah at Yes & Yes totally made my day yesterday! And, hello, we are both Sarah's with Y & Y blogs? Secret soul mates for sure. Sincerely, though, I link to her blog a lot, so this mutual linkage and admiration really warms my heart.

This British Library iPhone app falls directly in the center of the Venn Diagram overlap of nerdy, techy, and Anglophile in my brain.

Image: source.

Today's planned workout: bootcamp. Today's actual workout: bootcamp! I took yesterday off. It wasn't my scheduled day off, but I felt like my body needed it so I did. I think this is an important part of training. Anyways, so Sunday (instead of being my day off) will be a 6 mi run. Tomorrow = my second 10K!

“We don’t have to run away from this world. We don’t have to feel harsh and deprived. We can contribute a lot to the world, and we can raise ourselves up in this world. We should feel so good. This world is the best world. If you drive into the mountains, you may see the mountain deer. They are so well groomed, although they don’t live on a farm. They have tremendous head and shoulders, and their horns are so beautiful. The birds who land on your porch are also well groomed, because they are not conditioned by ordinary conditionality. They are themselves. They are so good. Look at the sun. The sun is shining. Nobody polishes the sun. The sun just shines. Look at the moon, the sky, the world at its best.” - Adapted from Chögyam Trungpa’s book, Great Eastern Sun, by way of Ocean of Dharma.


The Giffords shooting's gay, Hispanic hero: "Daniel Hernandez helped save the congresswoman's life -- and yes, his sexuality and ethnicity matter"

Despite being pretty jaded, this really moved me: Giffords Opens Her Eyes, Sees A Room Full Of Strong Women

Image: source.

In honor of upcoming MLK Jr. Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Call for Peace as Racial Justice Still Rings

"Living with doubt is almost always more profitable than living with certainty. People don't like doubt, so they pay money and give up opportunities to avoid it. Entrepreneurship is largely about living with doubt, as is creating just about any sort of art. If you need reassurance, you're giving up quite a bit to get it. On the other hand, if you can get in the habit of seeking out uncertainty, you'll have developed a great instinct." Source.
New Daytrotter session from Iron & Wine (this seems especially perfect if you're snowed in, like so many of my east coast loved ones).

Image: source.

Unsurprising but upsetting: Day Laborers Face Exploitation, Wage Theft. People's willingness to exploit vulnerable individuals really blows my mind.

"January is Poverty in America Awareness Month: How much do you know about the basic facts of poverty in America? Take this quiz to see how up to date you are with Poverty in America."

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, The End of Solitude, on the history, benefits, and dwindling popularity of solitude: "Solitude isn't easy, and isn't for everyone. It has undoubtedly never been the province of more than a few. 'I believe,' Thoreau said, 'that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark.'...But if solitude disappears as a social value and social idea, will even the exceptions remain possible?"

Today's planned workout: 8 mi run. Today's actual workout: once again, I won't know till tonight. Somehow my schedule has been leading me to work out at night instead of in the morning recently....and I don't like it. I need to get my schedule and my sleep patterns under control so I can get back to morning workouts. Or maybe I just need to suck it up until spring comes and I have more hours of sun...


The Tallest Man on Earth covers "Graceland."

"Cheers to New York’s new governor, Andrew Cuomo, who’s vowed to restructure and maybe even close the state’s notorious juvenile justice facilities: Cuomo said he understands the importance of keeping jobs, but that doesn’t justify the cost to the taxpayer and the risk to the young people who are in programs that aren’t working, many of them hundreds of miles from home. 'An incarceration program is not an employment program. If people need jobs, let’s get people jobs,' he said in his address Wednesday." source: Prison Law Blog.

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Today's planned workout: 4 mi run (sprint intervals), 30 min swim. Today's actual workout: dunno yet, headed there post-work. Update: got in 5 horrible miles on the treadmill, and 15 min in the pool. I remembered, much to my delight, that my triathlon training has yet to begin. Right now I'm just marathon training and chose to add in some swimming as pre-tri-training. OK, that makes me feel better about my weak swimming....

My thighs are burning from Monday's bootcamp (at least I think that's what it's from, it's hard to know at this point). I look ridiculous walking up and down stairs and I'm sure my clients are confused as to my ridiculous gait. I'm also feeling frustrated. I've been adhering to my training schedule, and my days feel full, and yet it doesn't seem like I'm doing enough, training-wise. I'm frustrated with myself for still not eating as healthily as I would like, and I guess I'm anxious to see progress and improvement (yeah, why don't I look like this yet?? ha), and I wish I could devote a full 2-3 hours a day (oh, and also that I had a personal trainer/coach and chef, etc), but that's just not a reality.

Stand With Haiti, a video from Oxfam America on the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti: "A devastating quake a year ago left Haiti's capital in ruins. Oxfam America's Yolette Etienne describes what her country needs to recover: patience, dreams, and hard work."


"Untitled," Gregory Orr

This is what was bequeathed us:
This earth the beloved left
And, leaving,
Left to us.

No other world
But this one:
Willows and the river
And the factory
With its black smokestacks.

No other shore, only this bank
On which the living gather.

No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.

That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.

Image: source.
Poem: source.

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The wonderful Tom Foolers (people I love playing music I love) have a gorgeous new website up - check it out. Plus, listen to their hottttt cover of Aliyah's, "If Your Girl Only Knew."

Today's planned workout: 6 mi run. Today's actual workout: yet to be determined. I'm working all day, and headed to the gym afterwards. I'm looking forward to getting in a good run. Update: got in the 6 miles.

"It saddens me that people my age may not know that. And it's a comment on the failure of our education system to deal with cultural education. Not just Duke Ellington. Walt Whitman. The list goes on and on. So, it saddens me for us as a nation. Because we have such a rich cultural heritage and we would be so much better for it and we would make such better decisions if we understood what brings us together . . . The arts are our collective human heritage. You're a better person if you know what Shakespeare was talkin' about. If you know what Beethoven struggled with, if you know about Matisse. If you know what Louis Armstrong actually sang through his horn, you're better. Because it's just like, you get to speak with the wisest people who ever lived." - Wynton Marsalis
"YOU ARE FREE. FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR CONSTRAINTS. POOF! THEY ARE ALL GONE. FREE YOURSELF FROM FEAR. POOF! IT’S GONE. FREE YOURSELF FROM YOURSELF & LEARN TO BECOME YOURSELF. DONE. now let’s start over. let’s start with nothing holding us back. we are weightless & we are pure. think: what have you always wanted to do? hold that thought tight. behind closed eyes. let the thought travel through your veins. let that thought grow with the energy that is within your body. let it grow until your tiny limbs can’t keep it in. set it free. you’ve send that want into the world now go, chase it, make it true. capture that energy back through the experience that the want has led you to. think: what have you always wanted to be? breathe in, deep. feel that air filling up every nook & cranny of your body. breathe in & let that want fill every poor, every wrinkle, every imperfection. let that want bring you up further into the sky. exhale. soar down to earth on the breeze of your want. when your feet touch the soil you are that want. you are what you have always wanted to be. YOU ARE FREE." from You Are Remarkable

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On our society's treatment of the mentally ill, and crime: "Part of taking a good look at our culture is looking at how we treat those we’ve deemed insane or unstable or ill. It’s looking at how we don’t provide resources for all the people who need them, across the wide spectrum of mental and physical illness. It’s looking at how a punitive criminal justice system punishes the mentally ill. It’s looking at how a soundbite-driven media demonizes the mentally ill." from Feministe, discussing this Salon article.

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Some support for the use of light therapy for depression. I finally got a full-spectrum light for my desk at work, and would venture to say that I feel some mild benefits, although it's hard to tell.

Today's planned workout: bootcamp. Today's actual workout: bootcamp. Hoping to get some pool time in today, but since my Mondays are generally crazy, it is looking unlikely. Onward. (Edit: I got in 20 min in the pool).


"I Go Back to May 1937" by Sharon Olds

I see them standing at the

formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips black in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

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I'm on Season 4 of Mi-5 and still loving it. So far it has been the rare show that gets rid of characters I like, introduces new ones I initially dislike, and still retains my interest and investment. Good stuff.

Nothing new, but should be required reading for anyone considering law school: Is Law School A Losing Game? (That said, I wish they had interviewed some people who didn't seem like such idiots - the main guy in this story took out loans to live in fancy apartments etc, and has a totally blase attitude - I have plenty of friends in law school who lived extremely frugally and still ended up in huge debt.)

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Wow. Powerful and honest post about preparing for homelessness. Every day I see clients who are only one or two misfortunes or missteps away from homelessness. I know I am extremely privileged to have a family that is able to help me; many many people are not so lucky.

A new documentary on the Lovings needs funding.

On the Giffords shooting, hate speech, and nationalism: "Anti-immigrant sentiment is NOT just racism against those who are immigrants—it is ALSO in a relationship with hyper nationalism and hyper nationalism is intimately connected to heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism, the policing and militarization of borders on bodies, on homes, on land, on families, on prisons, on jobs, on music even."

Today's planned workout: 4 mi run (sprint intervals). Today's actual workout: 7 mi run.

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” - Virginia Woolf


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A Progress Report on Gay Employee Health Benefits: "A growing number of companies are covering the extra costs that same-sex couples pay for domestic partner benefits — and even more companies are thinking about it. So we’ve decided to keep track of who is doing what."

Not at all surprised to see Nike entering the GPS enable watch field, very curious to read the reviews.
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Today's planned workout: 10 miles. Today's actual workout: 10 miles. Bam. Wasn't sure I had it in me anymore. I think part of it is getting used to the treadmill; when I run outside I don't pay attention to pace other than my own bodily needs and comfort, but on the treadmill I'm forced to pick a specific pace - and I think I've been setting it too high. Today I set it nice and slow and ended up finally having a few moments of that good running feeling I haven't had in a while. Feeling grateful for that.

Catholic Church Drops United Way in Oregon after Planned Parenthood and United Way Work Together: "The Oregon Catholic Church is closing ranks, pulling support of United Way after it was discovered that the Southwest Oregon Planned Parenthood , with the donations from United Way, started providing the abortion pill RU-486."

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Today's scheduled workout: 10 mi run. Today's actual workout: yet to be determined. I took yesterday off - Thursday was supposed to be my day off but I ran anyways and Friday, well....I thought I needed a day. I'm struggling with the mental aspect of training right now, to be honest. I guess I'm struggling a little generally right now, and training is just a part of that. The recent weather has meant I've done all my running inside, so it's been far less enjoyable than my outside runs. Also, to be honest, I'm psychologically struggling with the amount I'm eating now that I'm working out so much. I know I need to, but as someone who has struggled with weight and body issues in the past, it's hard to be downing so many calories every day. The struggle to be healthy - on all front - continues.

"I know I'm not David Beckham . . . but I do believe I am a role model to show that anything is possible and that your limits might not be where you think that they are. I'm continually surprising myself by what I can achieve." - Chrissie Wellington, IronWoman

"Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing." - David Foster Wallace


The project of a friend of a friend - looks fascinating! Check it out, and donate if you can.
NUSL's Daynard Public Interest Visiting Fellows Program Lecture this year features Lambda Legal's Flor Bermudez: "Flor Bermudez is the staff attorney for Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, which addresses the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender and queer (LGBTQ) adolescents and adults involved with the country’s foster care, juvenile justice and homeless systems."

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I heard this report on the radio on my way to work today - brave people, inspiring story, shameful history: "A half-century ago, the University of Georgia accepted its first two black students. One of them was Hamilton Holmes; the other was Charlayne Hunter. Back then, the future journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault called him “Hamp.” And she has vivid memories of the day they walked onto campus in 1961."

Tough times for legal aid programs across the country: "Law firms may be benefiting from the slow economic recovery, but legal aid groups face the most dire circumstances in decades. The problem is a perfect storm of IOLTA funding declines, cuts in state and local funding, uncertain federal support and a tight private fundraising environment. The situation is exacerbated by steep increases in demand for free legal services as millions of low-income Americans face long-term unemployment, foreclosure and other serious problems." source, via.

"In periods of rapid personal change, we pass through life as though we are spellcast. We speak in sentences that end before finishing. We sleep heavily because we need to ask so many questions as we dream alone. We bump into others and feel bashful at recognizing souls so similar to ourselves.” - Douglas Coupland