Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sidereal: of, relating to, or expressed in relation to stars or constellations; astral

Tonight I went to Poets of the American West, 1910-2010, the Poetry Society of America's Centennial Celebration at the Hammer Museum. Five poets read poems of their own and of their favorite poets of the region from the past century.

I was scared it would be pretentious argle-bargle, as the girls of Cable210 would say, but it wasn't. It wasn't pretentious at all. It was beautiful, if a little bit boring.

Wanda Coleman read first, and she read poetry the way poetry is meant to be read. I had never heard poetry read well until I went to college and my roommate read some to me (I am forever grateful to her for this). And then I got the In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry box set and my education continued... which brings me to wonder about education, and do English teachers have any idea how to read poetry? And does anyone today teach children how to read poetry? I mean this literally, how to read it aloud, how it's supposed to be said, not just understood. I know high school kids are made to read at least some small number of poems in English classes; the question is does anyone read them, perform them for the students? Certainly none of my own beloved English teachers ever did when I was in NY and then FL public schools. I loved English, I loved reading, I loved my teachers. I didn't even know they were falling down on this particular job.

Anyway, back to tonight. Wanda Coleman was awesome.

The best line I jotted down in Sharpie (where's my pen?) on the back of the Hammer Winter Calendar (where's my notebook?) was:
"I put my eyes on a diet, my tears are gaining too much weight", from "Heavy Water Blues" by Bob Kaufman, which has many more almost-but-not-quite-too-cute bits I liked.

Two jokes walk into a bar.

The emcee, ohemgee, accidentally pronounced Pasadena as though the n were an ñ. I may say it like that forever, starting now.

I learned two important things that I almost knew before but now really know:

0. CA poets are enthralled with the fires.

1. Modern poets love the word "Egyptologist".

There is a scarf for sale to benefit the Hammer Museum (It's a museum. What kind of museum? A hammer museum.) that says "DO ASK. DO TELL." I kind of like it.

As a performing dancer, I couldn't help noticing the dimensions of the stage and the physical layout of the theater. It was funny to me to see the entire thing used only for a small podium arranged on the far (audience) left of the stage. I mean, it's poetry. But on a stage.

In an art museum! Awesome.

Something someone said made me want to make one of those WANTED posters for Black Friday... like, the reward is offered, but TODAY ONLY, 50% OFF!!

Terry could do it and make it funny. I can't.

PS Better Book Titles is killing me right now. Litgeek humor, anyone?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Running Year in Review; or, Yay Me.

We recently passed the one-year anniversary of my first marathon-training run - it was on Halloween, 2009.

I have run 4 marathons since that day, within about 9 months.

I have run over 383 miles since then. That's not a big number for a runner, but I'm not a runner; I'm a girl who decided to do a couple few several marathons. Four of those miles occurred after my last marathon, but I still don't really intend to do much more running. It's on to biking for me - much better for the knees!

An extremely important fact I'd like you to know: over the course of this whole temporary insanity, I have not lost even one toenail. None have turned black, ever. I hear constantly about this phenomenon and I just skipped it entirely, thank you.

I ran two of these marathons for friendship and two for charities. For the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society I raised over $5000. For the Blue Card Fund (for needy Holocaust survivors) I raised another $2500. If you helped make that happen, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The NYC marathon was a really hard one for me physically. I was tired, jetlagged, sick, and not well-trained. It was still a glorious day and it meant the world to me that my family came out to support me (did you see that amazing video???? I am so obsessed with it) and that a dear friend flew into town just to be there for me. I am so grateful and I will never forget it.

I posted my marathon playlist after the LA marathon and I won't repeat it, but I did add a few songs for this one, for example:
Go Go Erica Yaa Yeah / Goldma Family 1:25
(the audio from that video!!)

In honor of running NY:
The Only Living Boy In New York / Simon & Garfunkel 4:02
New York State Of Mind / Billy Joel 6:03
New York Mining Disaster / The Bee Gees 2:09
An Englishman In New York / Sting 4:27
New York City / They Might Be Giants 3:02
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) / Simon & Garfunkel 1:43
I kind of threw them into the mix wherever, without calculation, but don't you know THE 59TH STREET BRIDGE SONG CAME ON WHILE I WAS RUNNING ACROSS THE 59TH STREET BRIDGE!! Oh yes.

(Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z and Alicia Keys) was already on there)

And, in honor of having come straight from a yoga and mediation tour of India, a few mantras and related songs:
Mahamrityunjaya Mantra 4:28
Lokah Samasta 1:07
Om Tryambakam with Swami Vishnu-devananda 1:14
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu 1:08
Gobinda Gobinda Hari Hari / Snatam Kaur Khalsa 10:47

And that's the end of my marathon career! Right?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are you still carrying that woman? I put her down back there by the river.

A friend/ acquaintance/colleague/whatever just wrote to me:
I hope your trip to India was amazing. I'm still not sure how you traveled around the world and then came back to run a marathon. You are my hero.

I replied as follows, and was immediately struck by the truth of my response:
Regarding India and then marathon: It seems that I frequently do things at which I look back and think, how did I do that? I guess it's better than looking forward at things and thinking I can't, but it is a weird phenomenon. It's only a week after my FOURTH marathon, this YEAR, and I've already moved into the "marathon? I can't run a marathon!" stage.

Why do I do that? How does that happen? I think I do the opposite of resting on my laurels; I wear them like a crown of thorns...

Botanically mixed metaphors, anyone?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Best. Family. Ever.

Running NYC!!

Well, here we go again! I, along with about 45,000 other maniacs, am running the NYC Marathon tomorrow!! I'm starting in the third wave at around 10:40am Eastern, orange, and my bib number is 53-679. If you're in the area, come cheer for me!! Send me a text with where you are (which mile) and I'll look out for you.

You can track me with text messages or online or whatever you want - details here. I'd like to do a sub-5-hour marathon, but I haven't exactly trained, or slept, or hydrated or... so who knows!

There's so much I want to write about this right now, but I'm super jetlagged from two weeks on the other side of the world, literally, and not done packing for L.A. or getting ready for the race or... acccckkk!!

See you at the finish.