If My Life is For Rent

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“If my life is for rent

And I don’t learn to buy

I deserve nothing more than I get

‘Cause nothing I have is truly mine”

Oh Dido. How profound you are. And so right.

What happens to our dreams of living by the sea? Why do we put things off that we want to do? Why do we make excuses? Is it easier than making a change? Do we think we don’t deserve it? Is it failure we are afraid of?

Take the plunge.

Move to the sea. Take another job. Go on that date. Take that trip. Invest in yourself.

Look how cute you will be.

“It’s just thought, only a thought…”

Okay Okay, So I Registered for Some Races

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I couldn’t not be registered for some races. So sue me. I’m addicted and unfortunately already feeling like a hermit since it turned cold yesterday and I had to wear pants, shoes and a jacket today.

OMGaaaauuudddd! Stop Making That Freaking Noise!

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I don’t know about your hearing, but mine is pretty sensitive. And there is a range of pitches and type of sound that make me craaaaazy.

I can be at one end of a subway car and hear someone’s excessive plastic bag crinkling from the opposite end.

I can be working with a student, involved in conversation and the sound of someone tapping their pencil will drive me bananas.

I can hear someone clicking their pen from the opposite side of the room and I feel the obsessive need to find the culprit and stare him or her down.

I can hear people whispering when it is supposed to be quiet and my ear will tune to that sound instead of what I am supposed to be hearing.

If I am trying to sleep and my husband is still up, I can’t stand the sound of his cup on the coaster or the movement of the mouse on the desk.

I can’t stand the sound of movements – period – when I am teaching.

I can’t handle loud breathing or nose whistles.

And, omg, some people’s high pitched whistling just gets right in the depth of my eardrum (and this happened today at the grocery store, I almost had to plug my ears).

Is this an age thing? A whacky female hormone thing? A super sonic eardrum vacuum thing? I think it’s actually called misophonia or maybe sound sensitivity syndrome – not self-diagnosing – but kind of am.

Anyone else got this annoying problem?? What sounds drive you up the wall??

Now What Do I Do?

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Six weekend races in a row and now this weekend I don’t have one… feels really weird… those races kept me on a schedule and in competition with myself. But now… what am I supposed to do? Sign up for more races? I guess! It’s getting cooler and I can turn into a bit of a wimp and become a fair-weather runner. But, I need to wake up early and go to some location and get lined up with other runners and run and then get my medal and snacks after! That’s what my routine has become!

Not this weekend though.

Although I will not be participating in a race this weekend, I will be going on a new adventure with my friend Lisa. On Saturday we will be hiking, zooing and Ocktoberfesting (thanks LivingSocial) somewhere up the Hudson with some other people who enjoy these little outings like we do.

So never fear, I will still have something to write about after this weekends’ outing.



Muslim City Councilman Pleased As Candidates Back School Holidays

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The 10k of Sleepy Hollow OooOOoooOOoo!

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This morning’s race was up the Hudson Line in Sleepy Hollow. A mere 34-50 minute Metro-North train ride (depending if you get the local or express) along the Hudson River. What could be more beautiful on a fall morning?


Was hoping he’d turn around, then saw him right near the end as I was about to run up the last hill…

The highlights for me:

– gorgeous morning to run

– Halloween themed

– Headless Horseman on site (although my pic isn’t great)

– hilarious announcer

– leaves in their transition colors

Gorgeous colors, heading toward the Hudson

Gorgeous colors, heading toward the Hudson

– tons of creative and funny costumes

– hilly yet really nice course

– decent snacks afterward, and beer sample from the tavern across the street

– some music along the course, my favorite was the kid rock band

– tons of families coming out of their gorgeous homes to cheer us on

– beautiful architecture of the old houses, decorated of course

– zombies with rubber runner body parts, and silly signs along the route

This was a fun race and will definitely be a repeat for me, except next year I hope I can conjure up someone to come with me (and in costume).


Oh Cadbury, How I Love You

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While shopping on Bleecker Street today with my friend, Alaa and her friend (but now my new potential running buddy) Diana we stumbled upon a shop I should have never gone into…. The London Candy Company….

Let’s just say I walked out with $30 in chocolate.

Do you know how excited was to find Cadbury specialties, particularly Bubbly? When we were leaving London at the end of August, we bought these gigantic Bubbly bars at the duty-free shop. I was sad when our supply had depleted, to say the least. SO – when I saw these babies in this shop, I was beyond excited.

Nothing wrong with a little (or $30 worth of) chocolate treat once in a while.


It’s Canadian Thanksgiving, Not Columbus Day

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Let’s take a moment to evaluate this weekend – the second weekend of October – and it’s meaning to North Americans. And sorry if I get a little controversial.

For 31 years, this weekend in October always meant gathering with family for Canadian Thanksgiving and for the last 10, my niece’s birthday. Naturally first celebrated by natives (being the first people and all), it remains a day to give thanks for the harvests and all of bounty the earth provides in my home and native land.

For the last 7 years, this weekend means commemorating Christopher Columbus for his exploration and his supposed discovery of America!

So if I live here I should be proud to celebrate this day? Ummm, no! Canadian Thanksgiving it is!

Regardless of the fact that I now live America, I choose to hold true to my roots and be grateful for our tradition of Thanksgiving. I may not be able to find a place that serves a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, but I can have turkey dinner any time. What I will do is always look back on Thanksgivings past and remember those times with fondness. Being thankful for having my parents to take care of me, my brother to beat me up, and my group of loyal friends to hang with throughout my life (old and new) is all I could really ask for. And throw in a little pumpkin flavored food at this time of year and I’m good.



On the flip side, here in New York City, tomorrow will be the annual Columbus Day parade – messing up travels across 5th Avenue and all through mid-town. Columbus may have sailed to find “The New World” first, but he also destroyed the very existence of thousands of people along the way. And he’s a hero?! He didn’t discover America, there were already people living here. They just weren’t Europeans.



But you know the story, and you know me!… So instead of being a Negative Nelly by starting to bash the idea of celebrating Columbus, I will revert back to my positive thoughts and fond memories of my Canadian Thanksgivings. Family, turkey, food, food, food, pumpkin pie, food, sometimes snow, food, maybe watch hockey, pumpkin pie. Yum.

So I cordially invite Americans to celebrate with Canadians this weekend! Celebrate both Thanksgivings instead of paying “homage” to Columbus! Giving thanks to a peaceful people, who were willing to share the land and resources with newcomers.

Enjoy and be thankful for those who bring meaning to your life and for the harvests the earth (and farmers) provide.

Happy Thanksgiving Canadians and Americans!



Is This Sustainable?

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This post is a bit of a scatter between scenarios, but I know you’ll get what I’m saying and you will probably agree.

Because my school is environmentally themed, we work with an Education for Sustainability (EfS) consultant.

When we first began our work together aligning our curriculum to EfS in 2010, I really wasn’t sure what this whole thing was going to look like. While I thought the purpose and the content were definitely important and necessary, how were we going to fit these ideas, this language and all this content into daily teaching practices.

We learned a lot of theory and models of thinking. Ok interesting but with the little time we have as teachers to plan and grade and teach and plan and plan and plan, I really just wanted to get to the nitty-gritty of this EfS and plug it into my plans. But there was a reason why we didn’t just jump right in – we wouldn’t have been putting this into practice in a way that would be sustainable for our current practices or our mental models. We needed the time and knowledge for our own mental models to shift to this way of thinking before we can teach it and sustain it in our practices.

This couple of years’ work with the consultant has been productive. Now I deeply understand the purpose of the approach to learning and teaching EfS. Not that I didn’t understand it before, or didn’t think about sustainability before… but now that I can look back on the progression of the work that we’ve done and now knowing some theory is internalized, it is the fabric of how we should be thinking, speaking, teaching, living, etc.

The beauty of our conversations and time together is that our consultant has a way of making sustainability connections to almost anything that we talk about: food, communities, garbage, animals, wedding plans, life lessons, work, cooking. And as she speaks, I listen intently. I am her kool-aid drinker.

So funnily enough, as I was running in Prospect Park for my Rock n’ Roll Brooklyn 10k yesterday morning, I found myself thinking about our conversations from our meeting last week. I noticed I could ask myself the title question at any moment, whatever I am doing, in practically any circumstance:

Can I sustain this pace the entire race?

Will that banana sustain my energy for an hour?

How much longer can I sustain my current career?

How do long-distance runners sustain their bodies when they are worked so hard?

Would I be able to sustain my mental state if I ran a whole marathon?

Will water sustain my need for liquid or should I grab a Gatorade?

While my internal questions in the midst of my run seem silly now, they were important at the time and may contribute to the failure or success of my next running adventure!

But seriously, sustainable thinking and living practices require a lot of attention initially, but become habit over time. A positive habit. A habit that could sustain your happiness, your longevity, your life.

I’m Not a Ditcher

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For the past four weekends, I’ve participated in a race. That means on either the Saturday or Sunday the past four weekends (and two more coming up) I got up early to go some location to run… at least 10k… is something wrong with me? Ha! Maybe! I knew when started registering for all these fall races I might regret it, but I don’t.

Friday night was the first night I thought I might ditch the morning’s Ash Bash 10k in Battery Park. What were my excuses? Well, let’s see…

1. I had a migraine on Monday, and residual headache all week, so not feeling good.

2. I was feeling hormonal and grouchy.

3. I had been this intense hunger the previous couple of days so what if I was starving during the race? I wouldn’t be able to finish.

4. Were there going to be bathrooms on the route (even though I usually don’t need it).

5. The humidity.

6. I’m tired!

7. I don’t want to have to deal with the weekend MTA line closures – which always means having to change your plans for travel because the subways are all messed up.

I thought my list was pretty decent. Pick an excuse, any of them.

Well, those who know me, know I am not a ditcher – unless there’s a really good reason.

So as usual I wake up before my alarm on Saturday morning, I take my time in the bathroom, getting dressed, eating… I feel fine so I can’t really ditch the race. I guess I’ll go.

Once I leave and get into the morning air, I feel good already. I stop for my usual small bottle of Poland Spring at the hole-in-the-wall place I always get it from and continue to the 6 train. Luckily, the station is open and downtown trains are running. The train goes one stop to Grand Central and I wonder if I should hop out wait for the express across the platform… but I know better. Stay on the 6. I ride down to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall and get off the train, the last stop. I walk all the way west along Chambers Street towards the Hudson, knowing the start line is there somewhere.

When I arrive at the River Terrace in Battery Park, I’m glad to see the beauty of the haze hanging on the Hudson. I love the sounds of the usual buzz of runners before a race. I know we are all there to not only run, but to support sustainable health initiatives in Kenya.

We will make two laps on their mapped route. I already started making my list of reasons I was glad I didn’t ditch the race when I walked out my door and as we begin the run down along the river, I am mentally making a longer list of other reasons I’m glad I showed up.

1. A fisherman catching his first monkfish of the day.

2. The sound of the water against the wall.

3. The site of Lady Liberty in the morning haze.

4. Knowing I am running along the NY/NJ state line.

5. Watching an outdoor boot camp class as I run by.

6. Noticing that some leaves are yellow and have already fallen.

7. Discovering where Laughing Man Coffee Company is (click the link ladies 😉 ).

8. Watching the guard open the NJ Ferry terminal.

9. Watching the Staten Island ferry make one of its many daily crossings.

10. Listening to some lady yell at the volunteer for cheering us on because “everyone is sleeping” and I laugh out loud.

My “reasons I’m glad I didn’t ditch the race” list beats my “excuse list” by far. So every time I think I don’t want to run, I need to remember why I do.

All in all, I’m glad I registered for all these races – six straight weekends in different locations. I see something new, run with a different group of runners, and feel great afterwards. Not only that, I know that some of the registration fees I pay go to charities and I might get myself another medal 🙂

But we will see how I feel next Saturday morning when I have to go down to Prospect Park… and the Q isn’t running!