Saturday, July 30, 2011


A decent amount of my writing time is spent, for lack of better words, gallivanting around the Internet. Sometimes, roaming into Word documents other than the one I'm working on. But mainly gallivanting.

I don't look for anything in particular. I surf but my mind's still on the text. I'm stuck on who says what next or what this place looks like or how this beat connects to the next. So I cruise around, if you will.

You could say that it's the downfall of being connected to the Internet. But when I was ten, eleven and writing on the family laptop downstairs on Saturday mornings, the Internet wasn't too exciting (I remember searching for gymnastics info, which yielded results for lawn care companies).

Instead, I'd stand up mid-scene and walk around. Past the table and into the living room. Move in circles while I mentally worked through the scene. As soon as I left the computer, the ideas opened up.

So that's what I'm doing tonight, as my peers hit up the scene after a long week or perhaps hit the sack. Writing, mentally pacing, music(ing). But mostly the first two.


#210: Shawn Colvin, "Riding Shotgun Down the Avalanche"
#211: Sugarland, "Fly Away"
#212: Sugarland, "One Blue Sky"
#213: Red Hot Chili Peppers, "The Adventures of Raindance Maggie"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Heat wave central, and I drank hot chocolate. Yeah.


Left instead of right. Down the road and around the corner. Maybe not. This seat, not that one, on this particular side of the table, facing that way. That cookie, not the one it's stuck to. Fine, maybe both. Red instead of blue, in some instances.

I am chronically indecisive, but in some moments, the decision has been made so stubbornly that I can't budge. An unconscious decision: why do I feel I must sit there? Why do I need to move from the left turning lane to the right to go to a deli I've never been to before? Why that cookie out of the delicious-looking sea?

It would be convenient to hold these convictions in other walks of life. Instead, I vacillate. But in those moments, I am thoroughly pulled. I have no choice. Destiny tugs me.


#204: "Beth/Rest," Bon Iver
#205: "The Chain," Fleetwood Mac
#206: "Stone in Love," Journey
#207: "Passarim," Tom Jobim
#208: "Fly Me to the Moon," Sinval Fonseca
#209: "In the Sun," She & Him, as recommended by Emeline. The video earns a true "lol...wut?"

An image of the process

Many times I have read descriptions of the writing process, the personal sensation of committing words to screen or page, the feeling of the pen, and so on.

For me: an ear against the door, listening.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

USA CoverGirl Classic - live bloggin'!

Because I can, yo!

Tim's intro commentary is really awkward with. Truncated. Sentences.

Shawn Johnson's warm-up is solid.

(Scoping out leos for the kids this season. Seeking inspiration. Chellsie Memmel's looks like a leader so far.)



A decent beam routine for Mackenzie Coquatto. I like her ponytail.

Everyone at this meet looks like they want to die. My boyfriend is chuckling at how SJ keeps turning away from the camera.

Jordyn Weiber -- a confident start. Really aggressive on the connections. Split leap/jump not so strong. Switch-side half -- pretty cool. WATCH THIS, says Tim. Pretty good.

Looks like a decent crowd tonight, at least in the lower levels.

SJ- nice Geinger. Solid handstands. "Awwwww" on the landing -- from all parties, including me. The dominatrix leo isn't super flattering, but I like it. My college coach would have killed her for that dismount: "You can't think you have it, you have to KNOW you have it!"



SJ looked "not too nervous," Tim? I beg to differ.

Aly Raisman - sloppy transition. Flexed toes and extra swings. Better off forgetting this one. Whoa, awkward Stalder moments on the high bar. Looks like SJ wins that round. On the plus side, I like the floor music that was playing in the beginning.

McKayla Maroney - she's so tiny! Boyfriend laughs again at "beautiful knees and toes." Really liking the white-and-purple leotard, even though the top right is a little weird. Some hesitations. She is indeed pretty to watch. Oh, that gosh dang full turn! A jaunty wave to the crowd.

Gabrielle Douglas - have seen some vids of her and kind of love her. HUGE Tckatchev, wow! Legs apart but stuck dismount! That was excellent.

Chellsie Memmel, the grand dame of the night - the standard sleek ponyatil. I like the sparkles quite a bit. Team Sparkle Motion here. Low chest on the barani. "More height" than usual? Yikes. Good save on the Arabian (though the best attempt at a save belongs to Bross, of course). Lots of long pauses. Ugly leap. Never been a huge fan, but she pulls it out.

They are showing a record amount of gymnastics right now.

Jinx? Now the fluffy times of watching Chellsie eat something. I hope it's chocolate.

Why are they showing nonsense? (Alas, the perpetual question.)

Bross looks exhausted.

Sabrina Vega -- Newww Yooork! Really like that luxuriously long side aerial. Got a case of the shaky-shakes. Pretty split jump - sissone. Huge legs apart on the dismount.

Break away.


Mag Seven!!! <3<3<3 My friend Danielle: "I feel like I had never seen gymnastics before that Olympics and I thought they were the best things ever."

At this rate, is Chellsie the only all-arounder left?

Bridgette Caquatto - she's such a wee thing. How come we haven't seen anyone vault yet? Just wondering. Clean first past. Jai Hoooo. Not a huge fan of this particular cut. Choreography doesn't really do it for me. Solid tumbling. Ooof...and on the butt out of bounds.

Shawn Johnson - ponyatil tucked into a bun. She's doing business now, biotches. Real weirdness happening down that right arm. Also looks like duct tape down the right arm. But whatevs. I secretly hope she'll bust out floor and vault. Also, I want to hang out with Liang Chow.

I like that mount. BOO, off the beam on the layout. I feel emotionally devastated. Ew to the sheep jump. Standing full to back handspring one day, methinks? One of those times where you want to just get off mid-routine and hide somewhere. Beautiful connection out of the switch leap. You can tell the fans/little girls are relieved.

Now she can go hide.

After a weirdly intimate camera angle of her cutting out the knee tape, of course.

13.5 - generous.

McKayla Maroney - beautiful twisting form (re: no Mustafina legs). Frenetic music makes me feel out of breath. Pretty good choreo. Yikes, an ambitious double Arabian on the last pass. Not so much a success.

Alicia Sacramone - wearing a buttload of make-up. The aggressive hands are out and about tonight. I think this leo would be pretty ugly if Alicia wasn't pretty. Bent knees on those pikes. I like that she doesn't pause for lengthy periods before big skills or the dismount.

Chellsie Memmel - HUGE Arabian pike. I like this intense music, though I'm not sure I can hear it clearly with the AC going in here. Lots of slowww poses. A good routine!

A special guest? Oh, man, I thought it would be Nastia for a hot second.


Aly Raisman - flexed feeeeet. Leap flexibility still meh. Doesn't look like her usual self -- seems to lack confidence.

Sabrina Vega - Exotic music. Boyfriend says, "Wow, that was clean." Liking that floor section after the second pass -- nicely done. She looks like she could be on Team Romania - something about her face. Good stuff!

Casey Jo Magee - totally loved her NCAA beam routines! Wowza, what a save on the side somi! I like that she brought out the cool tricks. Good for her, I say. "A really low dismount," however, says the BF.


You know it's not a real meet until Tim calls something "tremendous."

Alicia Sacramone - big fan of this music. Don't think the choreography is a revelation, but it's nice. The crowd claps along. Woof, low front layout. Gotta love an epic chorus chanting in the background. Still has supreme power in the tumbling.

Bridgette Caquatto - finally, someone vaults! Full-twisting Yurchenko.

Aly Raisman - honestly, didn't really watch because I was trying to figure out how to make a TinyURL. I figured it out in time to see a nice and easy double pike finale.

Chellsie Memmel - very high vault.

Amanda Jetter - I forgot she was going to be here. Super thin. Wobbles and hesitation. Nothing to write home about.

Hmm. Not too many highlights from this meet so far. Where is Jordyn Wieber hiding? Hopefully protecting her body?

Sabrina Vega - good height on double-twisting Yurchenko, but not great form.

McKenzie Wofford - she is WAY TOO CUTE. And short. Sounds like Tim said, "You have to be sixty" rather than "sixteen." Low landings. My mind isn't really blown by this routine. But I'm intrigued by her gymnastics future.

Sophina DeJesus - silver eyeliner. Hip-hop dancer? Can we see her floor routine? Unless she's not doing one, which seems to be a theme here this eve. The eyeliner and her bio are the most interesting parts of this routine for me. Her coach hates her now. You can tell.

Taking a stir-fry break because, frankly, this meet is kind of boring. Let me know if something exciting happens.

Sabrina Vega has the lead! Cool.

Alicia's vault - as ever, pretty awesome with a hop back. "Did she even touch the vault?" wonders boyfriend, looking perplexed.

Not gonna lie - the stir-fry I'm making smells awesome.

Second vault - pretty FTY.

Sooo hungry!

The feed freezes. Possibly good timing.

Anna Li - I knew there was a reason I was still watching! Nice handstands. A little close to the bars. Long routine. Oops - and the splatfest continues.

Aly Raisman - ugly Amanar. Not so good. I don't care what Tim says about "just making it."

Chellsie Memmel, who has not bombed out yet today - Nice bar routine! Nothing to be ashamed of today.

Highlight of this meet: definitely the stir-fry.

Man, and just when I thought Sabrina Vega was going to win this thing. Egads. Somewhere, Marta shakes her head in shame.

So what do we do for the next twenty some-odd minutes until the meet officially concludes?

Ah, Mackenzie Coquatto on bars - short on a few handstands, at least from the camera angle. Good routine. Looks like she has improved with age (at the ripe old age of, what, 19?).

Jordyn Wieber comes out of hiding for a bar routine. Really like the composition of the routine. It's something different. I feared for her knees on the dismount! No injuries today for her, which is always a victory.

Bridgette Caquatto - a bit of a labored routine. Anna Li looked super psyched as she landed the dismount.

Aly Raisman pulls out a win, as she's one of the few people to do all-around. And they don't interview her. Clearly, a prestigious title.
Aaaaaand we're outta here!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In the depths of winter,

I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

-Albert Camus

On the hot days, I choose the route to drive to work based on which roads have the most shade.


A winter memory: At each x-ray place, we performed the same ritual. Park the car. Turn body to the open door. Take crutches. Swing forward, left foot first. Carry the manila envelope with the original x-rays of the break. Be careful not to bend the envelope.

It was because of my broken foot that we really became friends, I think. Otherwise I would have been able to walk home instead of eating lunch in the cafeteria. I wouldn't have needed you to carry the tray with my pizza panini to a table where we'd sit together, and many times others in the previous class would join us, and we'd laugh.

Apparently this town had more than one x-ray office. Ice slicked the roads that morning and you drove slowly, both hands clenching the wheel, and I was glad to see that although you were an upstate girl and I a downstate one, we were equally nervous about driving in the snow.

'90's rock played on 105.1, and we were just realizing how much we liked the same music. That music would become essential the next year (Scenes and Arms Races, anyone?). Right then it kept us calm on slippery curves. We found something to laugh about, even later, after we parked the car in PER and waited for the bus up the hill, and it was so cold that I couldn't feel my toes and swore they were frostbitten when I took off my socks and wiggled them painstakingly. They were yellow.

It occurred to me that although we hadn't known each other long, you had no trouble being there for me.


#203: The Killers, "Human"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


After the first thunderstorm yesterday, I took to the track for speed workout, week two.

I ran through the plague of tiny bugs that bobbed through the air like tufts of cotton. I braved the failure of my iPod. And I rounded the first 800 meters in 3:30.

My best time ever? I thought so, and decided to stop right there and get dinner.

Except that, oops, I must retract that other post. Because apparently my best effort was in the 2:40's in high school, not the 3:40's. Also, even though we'd all love to pretend that we're naturally super gifted without trying, there's no way I busted out a best-ever time in this situation without training.

I texted my friend Jill to confirm. We once ran an 800 in the pouring rain. Sure, it's only two laps. But I can assure you that for those racing on that afternoon, it was absolutely the longest, soggiest two laps we'd ever experienced.

Me: "Do you remember the ballpark of your 800 meter time?"
Jill: "Psh. Absolutely no idea. I remember wanting a life jacket!"


#194: Mos Def, "Mathematics"
#195: Middle Class Rut, "New Low"
#196: Jerrod Niemann, "What Do You Want"
#197: Zac Brown Band, "As She's Walking Away" (seems to be a common theme in that many people really fall in love with folks during chance encounters? Explicame, por favor.)
#198: Brand New, "Daisy"
#199: Taking Back Sunday, "El Paso"
#200: The Boats, "Raindrops"
#201: Coldplay, "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" (not a Coldplay fan, but I like this song)
#202: Hammock, "You Lost the Starlight in Your Eyes" (PBJ test, DMG approved)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DIY, Diana-style

After brainstorming and reading a running forum for thirty seconds, I created my own speed workout.

You see, after the entry about my casual courtship with running, followed by a race that wasn't terrible, I decided to maybe try. To actually attempt to improve my times from race to race. It might be good for me. It might be fun?

I'm not sure, but I do know that I like running 800 meters.

I hit up the track after work in a cacophony of colors: orange T-shirt, red shorts, purple socks, pink iPod, blue watch. The only other person out there was a man in jeans, walking while reading a book. I admire that.

My workout, should you want to mimic it, which you probably won't, went as follows:

-400 meter warm-up (I never warm-up for running, but thought that if I'm now trying, I should also warm-up)
-800 meters, timed
-rest for the amount of time it took to run the 800
-x 3 (the forums said x 6, but I didn't want to get too crazy on my first day out)
-400 meter cooldown (see note on warm-up)

A solid excursion. It felt good to run at a brisk clip without worries that I'd throw up at the end. Which happens.

The posters on the forums, whom I believe are middle-aged men, suggested running the 800 in three minutes. I did not want to be so bold, and instead aimed for four minutes.

As I rounded out the first two laps, I thought that four minutes was depressing. I'd broken three minutes in the high school pentathlon, where I'd managed to place last overall because of a lackluster long jumping effort. I must have been swift and sassy then, a shorter ponytail and sleek sneakers.

And as I finished the final 800, I suddenly realized: I never broke three minutes. That was a complete lie. I broke 3:50 on that final day of the pentathlon and celebrated it, and still placed last overall, and still had ice cream after. Which meant my 3:57 was in fact not far from my prime. Which means that even with a longer ponytail and clunky sneakers, the sass is still in tact.


#183: Gorillaz, "Revolving Doors"
#184: Lady Antebellum, "Just A Kiss"
#185: My Morning Jacket, "Outta My System"
#186: Thurston Moore, "Blood Never Lies"
#187: The Farewell Drifters, "We Go Together"
#188: Little Dragon, "Shuffle A Dream" -- hmm, no link
#189: Simon & Garfunkel, "At the Zoo"
#190: Bob Dylan, "Meet Me in the Morning" -- everything on YouTube is a cover, and I'm not really a Bob fan anyway, so you'll just have to imagine this one.
#191: The Infamous Stringdusters, "Love One Another" -- heard this at Starbucks but can't find a link, which is sad, because I was diggin' it.
#192: Dave Matthews, "Grey Blue Eyes"

#193: Keith Urban, "I'm In"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

That makes you larger than life

Re: The Warrior Dash
Lauren: "I figured if I didn't hear from you by tonight, I'd just sign you up anyway."


Like fire and gasoline, we draw together opposites in our poetry.


It's no secret that I've searched for other athletic opportunities, and still search now. I need to break out the bicycle. Kayak on the bay with lifejacket pressed close. Wade into the Sound and stroke at the water with my face below the surface.

But I've come to see that this running thing, this simple act of one foot in front of the other, draws the greatest common denominator. You see the race T-shirts of people who walk past you on the sidewalk. The numbers pinned to their chests on the subway at 6:49 am. The war stories: those hills, that humidity, the people who started walking in front of you just as you got in the groove.

We have something to talk about.


#176: Santana & Everlast, "Put Your Lights On"
#177: Cirque du Soleil, "En Ville" (can't find the full version, so this shall do)
#178: The Shins, "Caring is Creepy"
#179: Native American water healing song, "Crystal Clear"
#180: Tierra Cali, "Si Tu Te Vas"
#181: Matt Nathanson, "Faster"
#182: Mat Kearney, "New York to California"

Monday, July 04, 2011

Put the light on

Running and I have the relationship where we don't talk about our relationship.

It's a casual courtship that is striking in how long it's gone on for more or less the same degree of affection. At times, I'm all about it. At other times, I kind of wish it didn't exist.

Ever since I had an affirming dream at age twelve about cross-country practice taking place in the water (??), I decided to give it a go.

I ran one glorious season. By November, I was the only girl left on the squad. I didn't exactly love running without knowing where I was going or how long it'd go on for, but I did enjoy the woods and the feeling of hitting a comfortable stride.

Cross-country fell away in the face of varsity gymnastics and so I turned to winter and spring track. I loved both of the running seasons. But the part I loved was racing and competing at meets. Practice was all about frolicking with my friends in the woods and coming up with infinite inside jokes.

Gymnastics was where the real work lay. Track, that was the fun sport. We'd take the ferry and travel to overnight competitions, and finish second-to-last in the shuttle hurdle relay, but that wasn't the point. There were more important matters, like getting Blizzards at the mall and finding out how many of us could pack into one hotel room.

But you can't really keep up the high jumping and the relay racing as easily as you can long distance. So I've done 5K races since seventh grade. Not with any regularity. And not really with any improvement.

Sometimes, I prepare. I build up my endurance. I attempt a warm-up run on race day. I stretch my legs. Other days, I just show up.

The thing is that I have a hard time taking running seriously. I have no problem with solitude or repetition. I know them well.

But I cannot find the same passion in running that I have felt for gymnastics. It would be nice if my times were faster, and certainly the ability and the work ethic are possible, but so far, nothing has really driven me to tap into them.

Yet I know that regardless, I'll keep running, and racing intermittently, and wanting to die at the end of the race, and then thinking, "That wasn't so bad."

There is one phenomenon, though, that I don't quite understand. At gymnastics meets, I could not stop thinking. My mind worked as hard as my body as I moved on beam, except it tried to work against me.

During a run, whether or not I'm listening to music, I zone out to this place and that place and the stories I imagine telling people.

But in the race, they all go silent. I think about nothing. I try to think about something but it doesn't stick. I want to distract myself into running faster. But everything turns quiet.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Hello, world

I return.

There has not been enough writing this week, but there has been plenty of work and equal parts living. I think it's all right to have scheduled outages sometimes, for all of the above.

At 3:17 with shenanigans and spots of Coca-Cola on the sink,the perpetual sense of responsibility was not a bother but a friend. My protagonist might feel this way when she's older, but not yet. Tonight, my eyes are bright. I can take it.