Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Dudeness

The books I've read lately have been seriously bumming me out. Some were novels and some were memoirs but there was a lot of lying and cheating and divorce and faking deaths and framing spouses for murder. I tried to like the people, but they kept doing all these terrible things to each other and it was very disheartening.

Then the library let me borrow The Dude and The Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman, which is more my speed. And is also making me want to watch The Big Lebowski again. I liked the part where they talked about The Dude as Lamed-Vavnik, a concept from Jewish mysticism. According to Bernie Glassman: "Lamed-Vavnik means 36. It means there's 36 of these people, people who are maybe like Lebowski, like "the Dude." There are 36 of these folks at any one time, and they don't know that they are anything special. They are just doing their thing, and they are just doing plain righteous acts. Because of the acts of these 36 folks, according to Jewish mysticism, God does not destroy the earth. And they don't know who they are. They're kind of like "the Dude," they just go around doing their thing."

I don't know what is so significant about the number 36. What happens when one of the 36 dies? Is a new Lamed-Vavnik born at that same moment? What if there were only 36? Would God destroy the earth? What if there were 37? Would it rain donuts?

It's a neat idea though, this concept of people who live simply, humbly and with kindness, unaware of the total awesomeness in that. But why stop at 36? I'd like to think there is a Lamed-Vavnik inside everyone, that every person has the potential for righteous awesomeness. Maybe sometimes it gets obscured by whatever suffering is weighing them down at the moment - insecurities, fears, troubles - all the stuff that makes them act less than awesomely at times. But I'd like to think it's always in there somewhere, that capacity for kindness and Dudeness.

Bowl on, my friends.

Lyric of the moment: "And I got a peaceful easy feeling. And I know you won't let me down. 'Cause I'm already standing on the ground..."

Sunday, September 22, 2013

MVP Rochester Half Marathon

Well somehow I pulled a 1:48 half marathon out of my ass even though I was cramping hardcore for
the last 4 miles. I have to figure out why that keeps happening and how to fix it. I'm not sure if it's a nutrition thing (that has always been my Achilles heel) or if my muscles are too tight from not stretching enough. The good news, if you can call it that, is that I've gotten pretty good at running through pain. I wasn't annoyed or upset or disappointed. I didn't feel any negative emotions at all. I was just like oh hey, this is happening, let's keep going.

For the first 9-10 miles I was cranking out 8:00 minute miles and it felt pretty good. I thought I was doing a halfway decent job of drinking out of paper cups at the water stops, in that more water was going in my mouth than on my shirt, but it might not have been enough. I've had a headache since I stopped running so maybe I was a little dehydrated? I think maybe I'm better when I carry my own water. Salt tabs and yoga/stretching would probably also be a good idea.

I'd really love to get faster and stronger but I'm at least getting more running Zen, which isn't bad I suppose.

I was a little disappointed that nothing particularly weird or funny happened. Those are always my favorite parts of races. Though I did inadvertently swear at an aid station volunteer. Sorry, dude. He was holding out a cup and I asked "water?," he replied "Gatorade" and I was like "shit" (he was the last guy in line and I had already passed all the water). Oops. Towards the end of the race, a spectator yelled "Looking good!" as I ran by, most certainly not looking good. Which made me laugh a little.

But my stomach was so cramped up it hurt to laugh. It's weird though. Even when things don't go right, even when it hurts, I freaking love this running shit.

Lyric of the moment: "Feeling my way through the darkness, guided by a beating heart. I can't tell where the journey will end but I know where to start..."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Breathe in for luck

I did a stupid thing. I signed up for the Rochester half marathon tomorrow. And now I'm kind of freaking out about it. I'm pretty sure it's not going to be pretty. I exercise every day but I've only been running 3 days a week and I wouldn't call it "training" by any means. So this race should be interesting.

Half of me thought it would be fun but the other half was afraid I wouldn't do well and I'd be disappointed. But I don't want to make decisions based on fear. So it's time to get back in this racing thing. I don't have much confidence in my running ability right now but whatever happens tomorrow - be it good, bad or ugly - I'm going to enjoy it. Because any day I'm running and healthy is a good day. And I'd rather be running slowly than sitting on the couch. Of course in an ideal world I'd be running fast then sitting on the couch. Eating pumpkin bars.

But let's be honest, whatever happens tomorrow, there are going to be pumpkin bars.

Lyric of the moment: "And the only way to last. And the only way to live it. Is to hold on when you get love. And let go when you give it..."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Tao of Mozzie

Mozzie "does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” So what if it takes you 5 minutes to lazily lift yourself onto the couch? Are you on the couch or what? Mission accomplished. Plus if you take long enough and look cute enough, you can get the humans to do the heavy lifting for you.  

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” A 56 pound lap dog. Laps aren't just for frou-frou teacup Yorkies. Get up in there! 

“If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.” Eat it and it will be delicious.

“Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away" and run into. Jen. All the time. Why be a runner when you could be a linebacker? Why run if you're not going to end up on the ground?

"Bearing and nurturing, creating but not owning, giving without demanding, controlling without authority, this is love.” Snuggling up to the humans and taking all their couch space, licking their ears until they giggle and say "No Mozzie, no wet willies," trying to eat Jen's new custom orthotics (and I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling humans!), this is love. 

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” He just wants to hang his head out the window and enjoy the breeze.   

“To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go” That was a joke. I don't have hands.

"If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. if you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.” Because they are the ones who can open the treat cabinet.  

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” You can be your giant-headed, drool-y, messy self and your people will think you are the most adorable, best dog in the world.

“There is a time to live and a time to die but never to reject the moment” snack.

“If you want to know me, look inside your heart.” I will slobber all over everything and love you forever.

Lyric of the moment: "Greatest case of puppy lovin' you ever saw. It's called a dog's life. What a life. That's good enough for me..."


Monday, September 2, 2013

The Cape

Mike and I spent Labor Day weekend in Cape Cod, visiting TJ in Boston on the way there and back, walking around Provincetown and Hyannis, whale (and people) watching, reading and eating ice cream twice a day (Labor Day is the last hurrah of summer, you need a lot of ice cream). I was a little sad that it was too cold to go to the beach, but we had a great time anyway.

Two Jennifers. Or two sharks?

While we were there, I went on a long run (10-11ish miles) and a shorter 3ish miler. During the latter run, a man walking by shouted "A new course record!" as I passed (I wish!) and some dude on a bike, riding with no hands, slow clapped and yelled "Yeah! This time of the morning!" to me as he rode past. I love the weird things people say to runners.

Please do not touch Jennifer.

 I think Provincetown was my favorite part of the Cape. It's beautiful and eccentric and full of dessert shops, what's not to love? Plus there was a lot of opportunity to take ridiculous pictures. I had to pose with this shark, who apparently is also named Jennifer. The sign next to it read "Please do not touch Jennifer. Thank you!"

I'm going to miss summer, but I'm sure I can find lots of new adventures to fall into.

Mike's ready to go to Lobster Town.

Blondie's tops all their ice cream cones with
animal crackers. Love it!

Lyric of the moment: "Kiss me hard before you go, summertime sadness. I just wanted you to know that baby, you're the best..."