Trials,Tribulations, Travels, Tastings...and Occassional Transcendence

Trials,Tribulations, Travels, Tastings...and Occassional Transcendence
Sock on the Great Wall

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

It's time to blog again. I have been sick for way too long it feels like (aside from going absolutely stir crazy) I have read every book, seen every movie and gone through every website that I can possibly stomach. Now it's time for me to write.

So lately, or perhaps it has always happened and it is just now that I am hyper aware of it, I have been hearing people talk about reflection and introspection. Statements such as these have been uneasy for me to accept and for a while I could not figure out why. Now it has become clear to my why, if you will be so kind as to follow my rambling thoughts from here on in.

I suppose these phrases to me are a cop out. The act of sitting and thinking about oneself, in itself, is so lame a concept. Why would one do that? Why would you want to sit around and dissect your life to that point? And to what point? Where does it stop? What is the end result?

My conclusion: I hate "talkers". Yes, I know, hate is a strong word, but if it fits... I think that these types of people sit around and think about themselves and think of how to improve and talk about possible options of paths and roads and blah blah blah. JUST FUCKING DO SOMETHING! That is the response of a "doer". Not to say I am a doer, I think I am a little of both in some respects, however I do not find myself sitting and wondering where my life is going. I find myself living my life and planning it out as it happens. My Grandparents were doers, my immediate family consists of doers, I try to surround myself with doers. Granted sometimes those things that we do don't always end up with the result we want and some of the things we want to do don't happen quite when or how we want them. But we can never say that we didn't try or that some opportunity missed us because we were too busy sitting around wondering what part of life will fall into our laps. Does not happen in reality!

Being sick I had some time to sit and lay down and sit some more until my ass and back hurt so much I couldn't sit anymore. This time was valuable for me - because it reminded me that I am not a sedentary person as well as made me that much more aware of how I need to be more of a doer. It also reaffirmed my beliefs that if you live your life as a project of constant improvement, keep moving into the direction you want to even if the immediate place is not exactly where you want to be, eventually it will all fall into place. Just keep moving.

Or you can sit around and reflect and introspect until life has passed you by and all you have are your empty words and thoughts to comfort you.

Friday, January 25, 2008


After feeling like I was dying for two days I finally dragged myself to the doctors. Turns out I have pneumonia - who would have thought. I don't think I have ever been this sick before in my entire life. Seeing as how I consider myself to have a high tolerance for pain the fact that I finally succumbed to taking pain meds says alot for how bad I hurt all over. Especially my lungs. It's as if an elephant has decided to sit on my chest. And each shallow breath feels like I am breathing through broken glass. When I must cough - I try not to because it hurts too much - it feels as if my ribs are being split apart with an ax and the taste of blood in my mouth afterwards makes me queasy. Then there's the issue of appetite. NONE. Which for me means I am really sick. There have only been a couple of times in my life, that I can recall, when I have had no appetite. I can usually eat no matter how sick I am - but not now. Nothing appeals to me and when I try and force food down I feel as if it's going to come back up again. Hell. I can feel myself getting weaker but I just can't stomach anything. I hope these super-antibiotics kick in soon because I need to eat! I know I wanted to drop a couple of lbs. from all those Christmas cookies, but not this way! So I will keep pushing fluids, because Ginger Ale seems to be the only thing I can keep down. Stuck on the couch surrounded by my animals watching movies...not such good times :(

Monday, January 21, 2008

Children and Mines

Once again the innocence of children brings clarity to a much larger issue:

Amazing how a higher education and a three figure salary seems to erode the moral backbone of an "ethical" economy. Why does capital gain have to come at the cost of our environment? At the cost of future generations suffering for an increase in the temporary payday - that they will not benefit from, regardless? Where is the breaking point? The plateau, even? My Grandmother used to say (and I am translating from Russian so it will probably lose part of its meaning) "From the excess fat they are going mad".

Sorry for the downer...I suppose I am exposed to it more than others. Then again, these kids seem to know more than I do and yet they don't have my level of education or experience. So why don't all of the people running the country have this information? Oh yeah, they do... they just choose to ignore it so they can have their vacation homes in Vail and their yachts docked in the French Riviera...right.

After all global warming doesn't exist, science is wrong, and it doesn't matter if animals become extinct - some other species will take their place. Too much fat - makes people CRAZY!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dating Simplified

Scammed this off of a very cool blog found here. Made me smile. Don't you wish it was still this easy?

I especially love the bottom "p.s." section - "teach me what todo and what not todo". Delightfully innocent, isn't it? :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Refreshed Souls

Iditarod Training with a Clear Mind

Nothing like a great 2 hour trek in snowshoes with two good friends, my dogs and some headlamps to clear out the cob webs in my head. After dealing with severe mental incapacities all day yesterday - including, but not limited to: almost running over a man at the gas station and blatantly running a red light without reaction - I awoke to 100% full brain 3 in the morning.

Finally yesterday afternoon the snow came - finally! Ok, so it only ended up resulting in an overall accumulation of 3 inches but it was just enough to get me through. You know when you hit your threshold and just feel like you can't take anymore and then something happens - just that little bit - to get you over the worst? That's what those 3 inches yesterday did for me (sounds kind of disappointingly dirty - but if you are familiar the winters here, you know where I'm coming from - all inappropriate comments aside - this is directed at you C.B :)

We met at Mendon around 7pm - myself with the fur balls and J.B. and Suji - to the glow of our headlamps set out on a really nice trail which circled Quaker Pond. What a great time - and how absolutely needed for my sanity! The trek was tiring but not ass-kicking. Afterwards I hit up Wegmans for some caloric necessities as my body was beginning to head down the irrational path of hypoglycemic shock. My fault for not going prepared - I figured the couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and handful of m&m's prior to the hike would be sufficient for the night...ha - I know myself (and my ridiculous metabolism) better than that! Completed my running for the night, I resided myself to go home, shower and sleep. By the time I hit the sack the dogs were crashed out like they just ran a leg of the Iditarod. Pathetic! It was only a 2 hour trek - now who's to blame for their physical weakness? I stare at the mirror at my tired face and smile - yes, I take full responsibility. No worries, we will train again tomorrow.

As mentioned before, I woke with a clear head - at 3 in the morning. Wide awake, mind running with the thoughts that were a day previous completely frozen. Now they were thawed and like a stream coming out of the winter, fiercely churning with the melting spring snow. I tried to get back to sleep to no avail. The thoughts wouldn't stop, the stream was reaching the banks, dangerously close to flooding. Finally I think I passed out - 10 minutes before the alarm went off.

So here I am with a clear head and dark circles under my eyes. Does it get any better than this? I think I will drag my doggies to the lake later today and do it all over again. After all I cannot have my dog team passed out after one leg of the race...they are a reflection of my training, you know.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

True Meaning of Block Head

I have hit a wall - I feel as if my brain is frozen - or the last remaining viable cells are fighting thus causing the gears in my head to come to a screeching halt. Did someone throw a stick in my spokes? Sending me catapulting over the handle bars? As I lift my head off the pavement and wipe the mud off my face, I think "WTF is going on with me"?

I write and look back at it with disgust - did a child write this? Perhaps if a child did there would be more cohesion in the records of my musings. Perhaps if a child wrote this it would, at the very least, be an amusing tale of befriending the hippopotamus found in the attic...but no, instead all that is produced is jumbled drivel. My head is cloudy, cloudy and grey - a wonderful accompaniment to the weather lately. Conceivably this is the root of my mental infarction. I think I am in desperate requirement of sun or snow or both. We have neither here for quite some time now and I do believe it is starting to have a negative effect on my psyche. I can handle the grey if there is snow for me to play in - as I can handle the ground being barren of winter's sugar coating as long as there is sun. Currently there is a lack of both and this, as my upheld belief, is the cause of my incapacitated brain function.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Moment of Silence

"WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Sir Edmund Hillary, the unassuming beekeeper who conquered Mount Everest to win renown as one of the 20th century's greatest adventurers, has died, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced Friday. He was 88."

The Warming of the Globe

It was almost 70F in Rochester two days ago. That's right, it was spring in January in Western New York. Yesterday there were 75mph winds which created quite the maze during morning commute time due to downed - well everything. Today the temperature is hovering just over the freezing point and the skies are back to the usual January grey.

When I left work yesterday the winds were still gusting, but the sun was out and the temps were mild so I decided I would go for a run with Sonia (Sergei, poor boy, can't do our runs anymore). Thinking the trees would provide some semblance of shelter from the wind, I headed to Durand-Eastman Park to run the trails.

Upon arrival the air had taken on an eerie quality which only gained intensity as my time at the Lake bordering park increased. The temperatures were still rather warm (for January, at least) but the wind had taken on a wintry chill which, when whipped through you, gave your skin an inexplicable clammy feeling. Sonia and I start off my regular ~5mile trail route. I felt good for just over a mile when my knee started to ache dully with each gate which was landed on with my right foot. As the pain progressed to a sharp stabbing sensation (which had by this point started shooting pain down to my ankle - should I be worried?!?!) my pace steadily declined from a run to a jog to a shuffle and finally to a hobbling walk. Good times.

I conceded to pack up my pride, not push my body beyond its pain threshold and to walk the rest of the trail. At first I was frustrated and angry but after a few moments Sonia's child-like bounding along the edge of a pond had me snapped out of my self pity. Curious as to what it was that had her behaving like a 6 month old puppy I crept closer so as not to startle her keen interest - she had taken on some pond ducks as her playmates. So with the much needed comic relief I watched her and her new friends interact (although I think they did not see her in quite the same light). Thankfully she decided not to hunt them as she and Sergei usually would when together. With a huge smile on her face and mine I scurried her along down the trail (the ducks were, I am certain, most thankful of that).

I have spent most of my youth and a good part of my adulthood running through these trails, I could navigate them blindfolded if I had to. But today as I slowed my roll and was actually forced to observed them, rather than just use them as a vector for my runs, I realized they looked foreign to me. The wind storm had altered my once familiar paths. Each downed tree created a whole other trail, the leaves blown over by the maddening wind had covered the existing trails forcing me to forge new ones. It was quite incredible! For a brief moment I thought about how amazing it would be to get my mountain bike down there at night and do some riding-by-the-light-of-a-headlamp. That glimpse of a day dream was soon shattered by the stabbing in my knee. Oh yeah, I should make that doctor's appointment. I hate physical limitations!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2007 Is Gone

So here it is - 2008 - Finally! Happy New Year to you all! I welcomed 2008 with some great friends and family at the Mapledale Estates. For those of you who made the journey from either near or far, thank you for making it an incredible night! For those of you who missed it, I am certain that you were there in spirit and that many drinks were drunk in your honor :)

The common tradition is to set some resolutions, goals or aspirations for one to achieve in the succeeding year. I have never been one for following that tradition so instead I have reflected on the past year to see if this next one can be improved upon, or if some sort of lessons could be learned from the experiences of the previous year.

2007 held many ups and downs for me. It haven't had as hard a year since my Grandmother passed away in 2004 - and that year was amazing until that dreadful July. So to say that I cartwheeled into 2008 with high hopes would be more than quite accurate. So far, it's been a hard adjustment but I am determined to make this an amazing year. After all 8 is my lucky number!

Last year was filled with loss. I lost a love, a best friend, an uncle, was betrayed by people I never thought would betray me, lost some family due to drama, some sanity, a bit of my soul to my job, some mobility in my knee, lost trust and faith. In the midst of the negative however I did find more strength within myself, pushed myself to new athletic endeavours, realized the value in true friends, found out that Sergei wouldn't be around forever so I should spend every possible minute with him, found a future home for Sonia, found more unity in my dysfunctional family, found trust and faith, found love, found the need to not lose my soul to a job.

I think I found myself too deep in the trying to figure out the negative when I should have been focusing on the positive. I am always preaching to people to focus on the present - it is what's most important. Not what had happened - it's done, over with, what's necessary is to enjoy the now, soak it all in!

With that - I am going to attempt to follow my own words of wisdom (in fact they are not mine at all, but I have adopted them into my personal mantra) 2008 will be all about focusing on the present (and some future of course) and to rid my life of any drama, bad karma and negativity.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hi All!
Happy New Year and Merry Russian Christmas! Sorry I have been M.I.A. - had to work out of town and now it's all about entertaining out of town guests...good times. Will have a new entry soon, I promise. I wish everyone a Happy New Year! And I will keep you posted on my past few weeks (if you care:) soon!