Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Between a rock gym and a higher place

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2010 at 1:40 am

Today, I went rock climbing at Metro Rock in Everett, MA.

There is something very soothing about mapping a path to the top, getting there and then deliberately falling back. Over and over.

It’s veni, vidi, vici to the nth degree.

You pick a path by choosing a grade of difficulty marked by colored tape that shows you what foot and hand holds you can use to ascend. Unlike the real world, here you only have a few choices. Five inches to the left or two feet to the right. A little swing that way or a small twist this way. And it’s all yours. No one else can cross or obscure your path. Destiny is certain.

A handful of options also means there’s no getting overwhelmed. No need to make a mid-air pros and cons list. Choose and move. Choose and move. Instant gratification. Has progess ever been this easy?

Of course, like anything, you might fail. But only temporarily. Can’t reach? That’s ok. Fall and start again from right where you are. Your belay partner is most assuredly there to catch you. With safety and support all tied up in a Fisherman’s Knot.

The best part is, whatever happens, it’s just you and the wall up there. You take it as it comes. And leave it as it was. And you come out of it stronger, wiser and more fit for the next time.

Some got religion. Some get a life coach. I found a rock gym.


Happy Heart Myself Day

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2010 at 7:38 pm

So, I was going to treat myself to lobster and oysters today–this being February 14th. But I think my sister just ruined it for me–in the spirit of Chinese New Year.

Not that I’M Chinese or Vietnamese (my sister’s extended family is), but according to the Year of the Tiger–on Tet, you’re not supposed to eat anything that walks backwards, including shrimp, crab and…lobsters.

I told my friend (and dinner date) this and now we’re in a pickle. She’s not Vietnamese either. But neither one of us is willing to risk a year of bad luck on anybody’s calendar.

Can’t we overlook superstition for the sake of sated stomachs? My heart says yes.

Little Miss Late

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I’m going to be late to work again. And I care about it this much. Can you see?

My body’s a wonderland?

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

Marvelous. I’m sore everywhere. Is that imaginary stiffness in my muscles?

I wonder whether my body knows I’m getting old. My head does. It’s sprouting gleaming white hairs. I saw two in progress this morning and I didn’t pluck them. I wonder if they know they were spared.

At this moment, my knees are bruised. Both of them. Purple and black and shades of magenta.

And still, I made them do a variety of vinyasa yoga poses this morning to counteract the ice climbing beating they just went through less than 24 hours before.

This is because I love new physical challenges. But when my 25-year-old male climbing friend suggested I climb an ice formation with just one pick instead of two…I wonder if I did it because he said so. Or because anything he can do at 25, I can do better… at 32. (I lied on my release form again).

I wonder if my body knows it’s four years older than I seldom admit. Is this an imaginary wrinkle on my questioning brow?

Who said talk is cheap?

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2010 at 5:05 am

Telephone time is a luxury these days. I especially appreciate talking to people when they’re not in the car, on the way somewhere and just catching me in between pit stops.

So, I am making a point to call people more often. Especially the ones who are far away or that I don’t get to see very often because of busy schedules or babies or time zones.

And in this impatient, non-tactical world where Facebook status updates mean you’re keeping in touch, I think a phone call is tantamount to sending handwritten snail mail–almost. It’s an effort. You have taken time to go beyond 140 characters, to engage in real-time two-way, one-to-one communication. You should get a gold star!

I don’t know if you’re facebooking or cleaning out your inbox while you’re talking. And you don’t know if I’m cleaning my kitchen or my toe nails.

But we made time. And stopped our busy lives to remember each other. Even though we probably can’t remember each other’s phone number.

Ah, the digital age…

Massages Are Not Like Pizza

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm

To continue my me-time tribute, I treated myself to a massage last night at The Cortiva Institute––a “same day saver” at $25 for a 60 minute massage. Turned out, I had to work late unexpectedly so it seemed well-deserved.

I got this young kid named Nathan who answered everything with “cool” or “awesome.” This, in and of itself, made a huge difference in the spa massage vs. massage school experience. He started with “compresssions.” Basically pushing on my muscles. Kind of like you would flatten dough. (Note: metaphor applies to the the motion, not my body.)

Not to sound inappreciative, it was a great deal and awfully nice of me to treat myself. And afterall, how bad can a massage be?

They say even bad pizza is good pizza. But even a bad massage… is still a bad massage. I would’ve had a better time on my couch than this vinyl table. Sadly, for $25 and a lot less me-time, a large “Harvard Street” from Upper Crust might’ve been more satisfying. (Sorry, Nathan.)

My So-called Blog

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Blogging is very self-indulgent. It’s like going to your own premiere. I walk around with a microphone in my head prepping for my next self-interview. Stalking myself. Making my own headlines. Writing letters to my self-editor. Oh no. Here come my internal paparazzi.

I Snooze, I Lose

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I snooze just about every morning. Sometimes for 10 minutes. Sometimes far an hour and ten minutes. It makes me have bad dreams. It makes me more groggy. And I’m not really squeezing in any extra good sleep. Why am I snoozing, again?

Who’s watching me?

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2010 at 4:58 am

Self-monitoring. I notice I have a lot of time for it. It’s a pastime.

Today, I added a food diary gadget to my igoogle page. I input all the things I ate, and it added up the calories. This information really has no bearing on how much exercise I do or whether I have ice cream later. Honestly? (If I want chocolate, I get chocolate.) I might complain to myself about my lack of self will. But ultimately my self will win out.

I also note how much I work out. Why? To offset what I eat. Why? To track how long I can do it. Why? To test my will power. Why? Because I have the time.

BUT I also notice that I actually notice how much coffee I drank. How much water. How many nights I went out. How much I slept. How many extra hours I worked. Whether I need to read more. Whether I need to floss more. How much I waste time. How much I get done. Whether I’m being more absent-minded than usual.

It’s true. I kept track of how many things I lost in one week. Yup. I kept track of how many things I lost.

I watch myself because I’ve got me in front of me. All the time. Uninterrupted.

I don’t know about those with the Married Channel and the Children’s Network and the Days of Our (read: plural) lives. I got a 36-year subscription to the ME Channel.

I’m a loyal viewer. Hope I’m learning something.