Holiday Season is Here

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First, I am very thankful that I was able to sleep in until 8:30 this morning, despite Brett and I both forgetting to turn of our alarms. At this time of year, sleep is so essential.

So we got up, bundled ourselves and headed to our usual diner around the corner for breakfast. In conversation during breakfast I mentioned to Brett that we should walk over to Dunkin on Lex to pick up the correct K-cups and possibly from there we would be able to see the Macy’s parade balloons. Neither Brett or I are parade people but this was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and it’s the kick-off to holiday season!  So Brett made a face and said he would go, but only as far as Lex.

Well, we left the diner, picked up the coffee, stepped back out onto the street and looked across the avenues … and we couldn’t see anything. It was pretty chilly and I contemplated going home, but instead I told him to go home and I’d just walk over to catch the end of the parade. I had to!

I hung a right and headed toward Rockefeller. I’d say my timing was pretty smack on – I got to see some of the enormous balloons as I approached 6th Avenue, just on the other side of Rockefeller. Many people, young and old – toques, puffy scarves, mitts and parkas on, to experience this iconic NYC event. It was energizing absorbing everyone’s holiday spirit! Although the end of the parade is not as cool as the beginning – all the new balloons are at the front – it’s still pretty cool to watch numbers and numbers of people controlling these huge inflatable characters and shapes. They look so small in comparison.

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I’d say my hour this morning walking through Rockefeller, watching families all bundled – some making special trips into the city just for the parade and to experience the festivities, and observing that 15 minutes of parade pushed me into the Festivus season! For these moments and opportunities I am forever grateful.


Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Holidays everyone! Take one of the most stressful times of year and turn it into a relaxing season of sharing, giving and cheer!

Jab, Cross, Jab, Kick!

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Oh how I missed you! I missed kickboxing classes! This was my thing about a decade ago. I used to be obsessed with kickboxing and boot camp classes. I guess that’s why I was in pretty good shape then.

So I decided to try the Jab class at the gym. I’m very particular about instructors, having been one in the past. I know, it sounds like I’m picky… but I guess I am. I used to be more so when I taught classes, but as time has progressed I became less “judgmental”. Well, not really judgmental, I just look for certain things from instructors in their classes. This class wasn’t the best I’ve participated in (that title goes to Jenny at Spa Lady in Edmonton), but the instructor was a fun, high-energy crazy dude who pushed us the whole 45 minutes. So I’ll go back for more. Except I need to dig out my cross-trainers before then. I wore my running shoes, not even thinking about it – no bueno.

Was I tired? Not as tired as I thought I would be, but I may not be able to lift my arms tomorrow.

And It’s Only 9am

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Going to bed early pays off in an infinite number of ways:

  • you get up early (probably)
  • you feel good in the morning
  • you are the first one out getting your coffee
  • you will most likely get your favorite spot at the coffee shop/cafe/diner
  • it’s nice and quiet out or in the house
  • you can actually enjoy some quiet and/or alone time (well maybe not if you have little ones or pets)
  • you can get things done before others get up and complete tasks without interruption

I love early morning productivity, but I know it’s not for everyone. But hear me out you night owls. You can get so much done early in the day, and then have the rest of the day and night for play.

This weekend was fruitful for me in the early hours.

Yesterday morning:

  1. Did my lesson planning and revision for my professional goals (unnecessary – but did it)
  2. Started my laundry
  3. Booked a rental car for Brett
  4. Attempted to change his flight since I booked it for the wrong day – oops (on hold too long so task incomplete)
  5. All recycling and garbage went out
  6. Went to Starbucks to get some coffee and treats since we were out of coffee
  7. Read a couple of articles I had been putting off
  8. Cleaned up the bathroom

And this was all before 9am.

This morning:

  1. Changed Brett’s flight (no waiting this time – calling early pays off)
  2. Booked another leg of my Christmas flight adventure
  3. Read the rest of the articles I wanted to read, and some blogs posts
  4. Ordered some things from Amazon
  5. Filled my basket on Boden (new obsession)
  6. Looked at a few other websites for some holiday gift ideas
  7. Washed the dishes
  8. Started writing a new post

And it’s only 10am.

All these piddly little things that most of us put off during the week get done in the early hours on my weekends. And now I’m going to run my errands, and those will be done by noon!

Have a productive day!

Learning to Write

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Writing is hard. Regardless of whether you want to do it well or not.

Every day before my students write almost anything, they have a chance to tell someone what they are going to write. Verbalizing first helps them get their ideas out. But if only some of them could write the way they speak…

Well, the same goes for me. I sometimes talk first before writing. This helps especially when I am searching for a specific word. I know that my writing skills have improved over a long period of time – and I mean a long time, thanks to thousands and thousands of words written, revised and edited for my Master’s program papers. However I know I have a lot to learn. And I want to learn because I want to write fiction. And screenplays. And articles. Maybe songs. Oh and probably some kids’ books too.

So I think I’m going to take some writing classes through Gotham Writer’s Workshop. Anyone taken any of these? They have quite a selection of classes, both in-person classes and online. Decision now is, which will be better for me? Just thinking about committing to a couple of weeknights for 3 hours each isn’t too appealing especially while working (damn work again!). But will I learn as well online? Especially learn effective writing?

Hmmm, need to think about it and will keep you posted.

Working is Ruining my Running Career

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Ok well I’m not making running a career, but running after work this week just wasn’t on my agenda. I made it to yoga on Monday but that’s it. Teaching is just way too time consuming. And exhausting. Actually it’s unreasonably time consuming and exhausting.

However, I also blame the darkness. When I get home from work, I feel like I’m supposed to go to bed. I eat, sit down, and it’s dark, and I just want to sleep…

I know, I know, mental blockage. I’m making excuses. But sometimes I want to be the one making excuses because I hear excuses all day long from 8 year olds. Can’t it be my turn for once?

Alright, I’m done. I’ll go running tomorrow. I mean Saturday.

Bird Fear

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Bird fear is totally legitimate. It’s ornithophobia actually.

Where does my fear come from? Not sure. But I have ideas.

1. The Calgary Zoo – crazy little birds flying at head height through those little tunnels you have to walk through. OMG, scare the crap out of me!

2. The movie The Birds – I think pretty obvious here…

Ok, so I don’t have many ideas. But it stemmed form something that scarred me. Or maybe I just have this pretty common irrational fear.

While walking to the subway a couple of afternoons ago, on my way back to school for round two of parent-teacher conferences, my fear was heightened 10-fold or more. A poor injured pigeon (gross) was struggling to fly. And it’s flight path just happened to be right at me!!!! So of course I ducked, bobbed, weaved, gasped and probably made some weird facial expression in horror – right in front of a hotel doorman. Hello – I’m not Fabio and I’m not about to take a bird to the face or chest even if I am on my way back to parent-teacher conferences.

Where was this bird going? I don’t know, a better place to lay to rest? So after I made my fancy moves and tried to recompose myself, I looked at where the poor gaffer found a resting place… and sure enough he/she made to the sidewalk across the street, landing by the synagogue (Jewish pigeon?). I guess it’s destiny was to die on the sidewalk by a holy house rather than drop in the street and be run over. Both deaths are unfortunate, but secretly I am glad there is now one less flying rat to poop on me.

Get Off Your Phone

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No offense to people who talk on their cell phones or text in public (we all do it), just please pay attention to what you are doing because many things can go wrong. For example:


  • You will probably walk into someone or something.
  • You may fall or trip in a pothole.
  • Your kid (if you have one) may get lost, choke, fall or get injured.
  • You are sharing details about yourself and others that the public should probably not know (or care to know).
  • You will drop your jar of spaghetti sauce on the floor at the grocery store because your hands are too full.
  • You may drop your phone or other items in the subway track, in the crosswalk or other place you don’t want it to land.
  • You may become completely unaware of the fact that the walk light is a hand and you follow the crowd across the street, barely being missed by a bus (witnessed this a couple of weeks ago) or speeding taxi. And of course you are lucky if you are missed).
  • Your phone may be stolen right out of your hands by some thief punk (recent experience with this – although the score is ME-1, PUNK-0. Nice try little bastard.)

*Side note disclaimer: It seems people using headsets are less likely to become victims of situations gone awry; perhaps the hands-free is the savior here.

You will probably agree that all of the above mentioned events are completely unfortunate and I’m positive you would rather not be faced with any of these situations. So always expect the unexpected when using your phone in public. Please use your device safely and mindfully, facetiousness aside of course.

Oh Jeez, What Have I Become?

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I joined the New York Health & Racquet Club a couple of weeks ago. When I visited the club on 50th Street in the spring I liked the cozy feeling of the club. It didn’t feel like the other gyms I’ve tried in the city. Unpretentious, homey.

I waited to join knowing that summer would get me outside, however I was looking for a closer, cheaper spot to get back into my yoga practice too.

So I decided to bite the bullet and join a couple of weeks ago since the weather was getting unpredictable … Great class schedule and facilities that I want to use.

Soooooo, I went to the gym tonight and tried something new… I even got a new outfit for it… and joined all the others… in the pool… for… aquacise. Oh my gaud, did I just say that out loud? YES – OKAY! I said aquacise! Holy crap – what has happened to me?! I thought it would be a good idea to do some non-impact exercise! Turns out was right. In fact, little old Judy pretty much kicked my butt. I didn’t know that pool noodles and foam pieces would make my arms quiver. I’m pretty sure I will have a hard time moving my poor limbs tomorrow.

Who knew splashing around with people double my age would be kind of fun, even the conversation in the sauna afterward. Oh my gaauuud, in the sauna? I feel like I belong in an episode of Seinfeld.


I Am So Qualifying

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I was so pumped after the ING NYC Marathon this year!

I was inspired to beat my mental block about never completing a full marathon! But….

I officially joined the New York Road Runners in September of this year. They have a 9+1 qualifying system for runners who complete many races with them. That means member runners can complete 9 qualifier races and volunteer for an event for a guaranteed entry to one of the world’s most amazing events, the New York City marathon (no longer ING).

So since September I have completed 5 of my 9 qualifying races. I was so pumped! I totally thought I had time to qualify for next year’s marathon! Only 4 more races and 1 volunteer! I was already signed up for 2 more races and had to figure out an event to volunteer for …. Until…. I read the fine print and realized that I needed the rest of my races by completed by December 31st! CRAP! New dream shattered.

Well not really. I’ll be damned if I don’t qualify for the 2015 race! I’ve already signed up for the first 2014 qualifier races! Need to get my winter training going! No wimping out this winter. I am going all in!