Wednesday, August 18, 2010

italy encapsulated

Sometimes I like to pretend I was an Italian in a past life. I envy them their landscape, their passion, their language, their food and wine... there are so many great things about Italy.

The magic of Italy cannot be truly appreciated unless experienced, though this weekend I saw Eat, Pray, Love and while my review of the film may be the subject of another blog, the part focused in Italy encapsulated as true as can be to the feelings and the spirit that I've carried since my experiences there. I fondly remember the charm of the language, the hustle and bustle of the espresso shop, and the many conversations and laughs shared over delicious pasta and never-ending wine.

If you haven't been, please make sure to go. You won't regret it. My two trips to Italy both experienced travel delays, strikes of every type of transportation, rain, getting lost... and I loved every moment. It's really impossible to describe in words.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

the ramblings of an insomniac

Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Isn't it the pits? Laying awake in bed, anxiously waiting for sleep to come upon me, is one of my most dreaded activities.

Every now and then I experience bouts of insomnia. Usually I can take a little something (thanks, CVS-version of a nighttime sleep aid) to help me get over those rough patches. But for whatever reasons, this week the fine ingredient diphenhyramine said 'screw you, you're on your own'. Great.

So this week is kicking my ass. I've not had a decent night's sleep since Saturday night. My main problem has been that I can't get my brain to shut up. And the things that it's thinking about are just ridiculous. As a woman, I have a tendency as I think many of us do, every now and then, to have little moments of insanity. Mine usually rears its ugly head around day 21 and I feel practically righteous in blaming it on hormones.

My insanity usually comes in the form of insecurities though as women I think we all have our special form of insanity, whether it is expressed through anger, depression, guilt... you likely know what I mean. But for me, regardless of whether those insecurities revolve around my physical features, my relationships, or even the things which I typically consider marvelous parts of my personality, they are usually pretty absurd and have no actual basis in reality. Yet they all jostle for space in a brain already overwhelmed by a continuous stream of consciousness.

Now I don't know about you, but my brain seems to almost always be working at 110% capacity on a normal day. I can somehow be thinking (and over-thinking) about things simultaneously. It's really rather exhausting. I think I'd nearly be willing to do anything for an 'off' switch so I could just give myself some peace and quiet every now and then.

This is the blessed, wonderful, adoring thing about sleep. My brain shuts down and I get to rest. For a certain number of hours, I stop over-analyzing conversations, or situations, or actions taken by others. Just peace. So when sleep eludes me, it hurts me. Physically, mentally and emotionally. It feels like hormonal-misha-on-methamphetamines.

As I rolled into Thursday this morning, having gotten about 10 hours of sleep total for the week so far (I do not exaggerate), I was running nearly on E when it came to emotional bandwidth. I was feeling tired, irritable, insecure and anxious. And I didn't even get to blame it on day 21 (which is coming up soon though... thanks body). I started stressing about things I needed to do, longing for people I missed, and attacking all the things that were wrong with me that were the cause of all my woes.

Now I don't have a lot of woes. In a normal state of mind I recognize I'm a pretty lucky girl. I live in a great city and I have great people in my life, both personally and professionally, both near and far. But this morning, I was feeling a bit like Alice. I was itty bitty and the world around me was enormous.

I'm good at faking it, for the most part, and I'm pretty sure anyone I ran into today mostly didn't know the war the was taking place inside my brain. I went about my business, trying to use work to occupy my mind.

I was looking at the account of one of our host families, just doing some 'maintenance' work, if you will, and for whatever reasons, decided to click on the host family letter. We ask our families to write a letter to their perspective au pair; ie who is the family, what do they like to do, what are they expecting from their au pair year... you get the picture. The work I was doing didn't lead me to the host family letter in any shape or form, but for whatever reason I was tempted to click that baby open, and so I did.

Now I won't get into details as to protect the privacy of the family, but essentially only one of the parents was still alive as the other had passed away within this past year. The phenomenal, moving, inspiring thing about it was in how the surviving parent spoke about the experience. They spoke about it with love, with gratitude for the time they were able to spend together, and that the important thing was to remember the greatness of their spouse and to pass that legacy onto the child they had created together.

Granted, I was already on E, but this just emptied me out. I mostly held it together at my desk, and shared the letter with a few colleagues around me, but later I went and locked myself into the bathroom and cried. For someone to experience such a personal tragedy and to come out of it with such a positive attitude is one of the most inspiring and uplifting things in this world. Reading that letter popped the bubble of self-pity that I'd been carrying around with me for the week and I felt the tension physically leave my shoulders.

So hopefully tonight I will sleep in peace, as I have felt a lot of that anxiety flutter away this afternoon, the anxiety that had been rattling in my brain and keeping me awake every night this week. But even if I get another sleepless night, it will be okay. Life is good and I'll make it through.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a local tragedy

When I got off the T last night, the intersection at my stop was partially blocked off with crime scene tape. In order to get to the street where my apartment is located, I had to walk in the direction and directly around the tape. As I crossed the street and got nearer to the scene, I saw that there was a car and a mangled bicycle within the confinements of the tape.

It was clear by the atmosphere of the bystanders and the police officers that this had been a serious accident and the tape and number of officers wasn't for mere protocol. I was tempted to ask an officer what the outcome of the accident had been, but I didn't want to bother anyone nor was I sure that it was any of my business.

Today I couldn't stop thinking about it however. The bicycle in particular was burned into my brain. It had a pinkish-purple frame though it was an adult-sized bike. The tires had been bent and the seat twisted around a bit, but all in all it didn't appear to be that damaged. But I wondered about the cyclist; I assumed it was a she. How was she? Who was she? And if it even mattered, what caused the accident, who was to blame?

I monitored throughout the day to see if I could find out what the outcome of this accident had been. It wasn't until the later afternoon that I discovered that the rider of the bicycle had been a 24-year-old girl and that extremely unfortunately, she had died as a result of the accident.

Perhaps selfishly, as I think often happens in circumstances like this, I reflected it upon myself and through my perspective. This girl wasn't much younger than I am. She was in an intersection that I literally cross every day that's just a few blocks from my house, probably on her way to work or school or to visit some friends. Similar to endeavors that have also brought me to cross this very intersection.

Sometimes I feel so consumed with life, with worries and frustrations, particularly ones over a future I cannot control, that I forget to stop and think that it could end any moment. This isn't to say that I feel we should be consumed with death and the thought that life could end at any given time; but I do think we should maybe let some of the smaller things go and take time to remember what we're grateful for, who we're grateful for, the things in life that bring joy and happiness and that matter. I often forget to enjoy the life that I'm living right now and to be grateful for every day's experiences.

Perhaps it's clichéd, but clichés exist for a reason, and sometimes it's important to take stock of what matters, and what doesn't, and be thankful.

Monday, August 9, 2010

equality & relationships

Over the last week or so I've been thinking about equality and relationships. First is started off with thoughts about equality for relationships, in light of all this Proposition 8 nonsense (I say nonsense as in such a proposition was even passed), and then due to some events over the weekend, both in the lives of friends as well as my personal life, I started thinking about equality within relationships. But I'll tackle these thoughts one at a time.

Equality for Relationships

For those of you that have either a) been living under a rock or b) are non-Americans and rightly so don't follow every news shenanigan of ours (a lot of it is true shenanigans, or just mere depressing), the citizens of California, or at least 52% of the voting population in California, elected to pass Prop 8. I'll let Wikipedia sum it up for me nicely:

Proposition 8 (or the California Marriage Protection Act) was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008, state elections. The measure added a new provision, Section 7.5 of the Declaration of Rights, to the California Constitution, which provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The 'marriage protection' act? Oh barf. What are we protecting marriage from? Couples who love each other and want to get married? Oh the atrocity, the horror, the... absolute ridiculousness. Probably the only thing they could rightly be protected from would be America's 50% divorce rate. But that's another story.

Anyway, last week Prop 8 after a few different debacles was brought up to District Court in which it was found to be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which states in part that the government must respect all legal rights due to each of us according to the law and also, under equal protection, that no state can deny any person equal protection due to them under the law. Yeah, remember that part of Government 101 where we heard somewhere about how 'all men are created equal'? Right. Here's looking at you.

So anyway, Prop 8 has been overturned in District Court, which is a victory but really just one step in the right direction - ultimately it is predicted that this case will rise to the Supreme Court, and it is also expected that the Supreme Court will hear the case. Whatever they decide, it will be a landmark decision (think Roe v. Wade, Brown v. the Board of Education, you get the idea).

My favorite part of all this is listening to the arguments against gay marriage. One argument I heard was that it affects the sanctity of marriage. First, I'd like to reference back to the 50% divorce rate. Just saying. Second, how does anyone else's marriage affect your marriage? Maybe if everyone started paying more attention to their own marriages, we wouldn't have such a high divorce rate.

Second, there's the argument about what religion says marriage is, and so maybe it's okay to call gay marriage a 'civil union' but not marriage, oh no, heaven forbid we let them call it marriage. But remember that other part of the Constitution that says something about the separation of church and state? It really was more than a tiny detail. It was kind of a big part.

For conservatives to argue that marriage is a protected act of God - what about all those marriages born by atheists, or agnostics, or any other religion that doesn't recognize the same God? We obviously don't all believe the same thing, but we wouldn't find it acceptable to stick our nose in those marriages or make them be called 'civil unions' - well unless they were also of the same sex.

However, my favorite argument is the one that says, 'how will this affect the children of gays and lesbians'? There is no research (or any research that could hold its water, anyway) that suggests children fare worse, or are at a disadvantage, by being raised by a gay or lesbian couple. Have any of these Prop 8 supporters bothered asking the child of a gay or lesbian couple how they feel about their parents being allowed to marry?

Well no one has asked me. I was raised lovingly, happily, superbly, by two lesbians. I was given so much love, support, encouragement, even the discipline and structure I needed to excel in school and life in general. So please, Prop 8 supports, don't you dare speak on my behalf. I'll be the first one to stand up at the wedding of my parents, or my gay and lesbian friends' weddings, and declare my support.

Lastly, for those Prop 8 supports, did you go knocking on anyone's door and ask permission to marry your spouse? No. So don't ask it of others, just mind your own damn business and let equality exist for all couples.

Friday, August 6, 2010

holler for a... blogger?

I’ve entered that blogging slump again, in where it has been (insert shameful amount of time) since I’ve written anything. I love writing and always wish I could (would) do more of it. I can. So why don’t I?

My biggest hang-up is myself; typically I say ‘self, you don’t have anything interesting to write about’. But that can’t possibly be true. In the month of July alone I was fortunate enough to travel to Japan and visit Jef, as well as to visit Seattle and be in the wedding of one of my dearest and oldest friends Kara. That’s plenty blog-worthy!

Or what about the news? With Proposition 8 being overturned (hollaaaa'), I’ve got plenty of opinions to write out. And that’s just one example.

Additionally, I live in Boston. For anyone who has lived/visited here knows there are plenty of shenanigans occurring on a daily basis. Encounters with DJ Night Train or the Comm Ave Runner are just two examples. Riding the T everyday typically provides an outlet for some story of hilarity/annoyance/astonishment.

And look, I have 15 followers! When did that happen? Thanks for subscribing to my blog; sorry I’ve been such a boring blogger. I’ll be better! More coming this weekend.

Friday, May 14, 2010

a can-do attitude

This season I have been a regular watcher of The Biggest Loser and it's hugely inspiring. Week by week these people reclaim control of their lives through healthy eating, exercise and a mental adjustment of their self-esteem and attitude.

While I was watching the other week, they were showing clips from the beginning of the season. The mom and daughter of the pink team were sitting together, before they started at the ranch, and the daughter who was about 200lbs over weight says to her mom, "What of we go in there and I can't do it?" and her mom replies, "But what if you can?"

Such a simple statement but so profound. I know I limit myself in many ambitions by thinking "What if I don't succeed/what if I don't overcome/what if I can't..." But what if I can? What if I do? It's all about a mind shift.

Running is still a huge challenge for me but it's taught (and is still teaching) me that a lot of life's challenges are mental. I ran this morning the furthest distance I have in a while without needing to walk, but it was a huge mental challenge the entire way. My mind kept saying "You're tired, you should walk, you've gone far enough" but when I focused on what my body was saying, it was saying "I can, I can, just keep going!" I fought the mind game the entire way but pushed myself further than I thought I would be able to. And in hindsight, I know I could have gone even further.

So I'm going to make a real effort to have a can-do attitude in my day-to-day life, and not just with running, but with all things. Because hey, what if I can and what if I DO?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

writers block

I absolutely love writing. It was the reason I first started blogging nearly 5 years ago on MySpace. You may have heard of MySpace once upon a time.

I used to blog about my school adventures, my overseas adventures, my grad school woes... In grad school my blog was my therapy, Lord knows I couldn't afford real therapy, it is the student curse to be perpetually broke. And therapy was needed - I wrote so much in the way of papers, presentations and dissertations that I needed an outlet.

Anyway, I'm digressing. Not that I had a point, really. But I'm frustrated over lack of topics to write about. I can't think of anything to write that is interesting, or not too personal, or that forms into clear thoughts. So if you have a suggestion, I'm open to it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

epic fail to epic success

Ah, I feel like I’m back to the days of yore. I sit here at my computer, Friday night, with an open bottle wine and a proverbial pen (aka my laptop keyboard) ready to attack the world of writing (blogging). I really couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m obviously working on mine now, via this blog, but I have a separate blog with my dear friend Alina that we plan to launch at some point (about our travel adventures, including past, present and future). I also plan to assist my friend and colleague Danni in the formatting of hers as jCg and I try to force her into the blogosphere. She's trying to resist social media as possible. But she's moving to Australia, what a better time to get started?

I’m just as happy as a clam, I couldn’t really plan a better night for myself. Alina and I are chatting via Skype and writing and drinking wine together. It’s practically a virtual date. No wonder I’m single!

But this night was a long time coming. The day started out fairly well. I did have to rally a bit and pull myself out of my exhaustion and get stuff DONE. But done I managed, even if I don't ever care to hear the words au pair disco cruise again. A story for another day, perhaps.

The end of the day was a bit challenging. Had a scuffle with a coworker, a doctor's appointment in which she didn't offer much about my exhaustion except to poke my spleen (I guess a swollen spleen is an indication of mono) and look at my blood work from 2008 that was normal. She recommended I get lots of sleep this weekend (I didn't need a doctor's order to do that) and see how I felt after I 'caught up'. If I am still feeling the same, she wanted me to make another appointment so that we can dig a bit deeper. Meh. One week at a time.

To top things off, of course, I got home only to realize I didn't have my keys, which I was just sure I'd brought with me. After a train ride back to downtown Boston to meet my roomie and get her keys and the train ride back, I am finally home.

As a sidebar, the train ride home was a bit irritating as there was this young couple (mid-20s) in which the guy was being extremely verbally abusive to his (I would assume) girlfriend. His voice volume was such that his comments did not remain private. He said things to her such as 'why are you so stupid' and 'what the hell is the matter with you' and 'why don't you actually think for once'. Horrified doesn't quite describe my feelings towards this behavior. I've experience similar verbal abuse by a boyfriend in the past and there is no reason, under any circumstance, that one person should ever treat another that way, particularly someone they likely claim they care about. I was very close to saying something in her defense... she looked so sad, miserable and embarrassed. But I bit my tongue only because I knew it wouldn't do any good in that moment and would likely cause more problems for her later. Hopefully she finds the courage to stand up for herself and ditch the jerk.

Anyway, I finally got off the train and got home. Here, the day turns to epic success. I got into the house, opened the bottle of wine I'd been waiting all day to drink and even found my keys! I'd feared they were lost as I was sure I'd brought them with me. Turns out I didn't, and that's fine. At least they were found. The day has turned around and I'm on my way to success.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

webmd self-diagnosis... slippery slope

Tuesday morning I slept through my alarm. Not the 'oh I heard it and hit snooze and never woke up again' type of slept-through - full on didn't hear it, didn't remember it, nada, zilch, case closed, no one's home. And yes I checked to make sure I'd set it correctly.

It's funny because I was having a dream that morning in which I woke up and it was 10:50am and I was like 'crap, why didn't Meg [my buddy and commuting pal] call me?' and I checked my phone and she had. I'd slept through that too. All this in the dream.

Well I wake up and realizing my experience was a dream, feel a sense of relief until I look at the clock and it's 7:40am. I typically get up about 6:45am (or 7 as snooze allows), but I have to leave at 8am. Strange how I dreamt of being late and turns out I was, it seemed to be my body's way of getting me up. I did make it out the door on time that morning, though I was a bit frazzled for the remainder of the day.

I suppose sleeping through an alarm isn't something to write (blog?) home about. But I can literally count on one hand the times I've slept through an alarm. Actually a particular memory comes to mind in which I almost missed a flight from London to home, but that's another story.

Anyway, I've been feeling quite exhausted these last two weeks, regardless of the sleep I get. I'm having trouble focusing and doing the basic day-to-day functions and responsibilities I need to do to take care of my life. As feeling this way isn't my normal mode of operations, I decided to take my troubles to webmd and see what I could learn about exhaustion.

Well of course a whole slew of potential 'problems' came up - turns out I'm a depressed, anemic, diabetic, post-menopausal pregnant woman with mono.

It's a good thing I'm not a hypochondriac (as a friend kindly pointed out) because I'd be a hot mess with all the things I can find potentially wrong with me. Some I can rule out (depression, post-menopausal and pregnancy are out) but the others, I suppose any are possible, or none at all. But webmd is a bit like wikipedia in which you click from article to article, link to link, and before you know it, you've submerged yourself for hours and have convinced yourself you have somehow mysteriously contracted polio and must go to the hospital immediately or else parish forever.

Obviously I exaggerate. But while webmd is a helpful resource, it can also be a slippery, slippery slope. I think I'll just wait to talk to my doctor tomorrow.

Monday, April 5, 2010

easter weekend part 2

Here are the pictures... I'm too lazy to post them twice, so if for whatever reason you happen to read my blog (who are you, I wonder?) but aren't on FB, you can still view them. I know you were waiting anxiously after my last blog.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

easter weekend part 1

What a great weekend to live in Boston. There is nothing so spectacular as two 70-degree spring days after a long winter and enough rain the month of March to turn New England into a swamp land and make us question whether we should start building an ark and gathering the animals two by two.

Growing up in Nevada, I would say we appreciated those first nice spring days, where everyone would comment 'oh what a lovely day!'. But it doesn't compare at all to the way it feels spending a winter in Boston, or any other similar location that has a long and dreadful winter. I have never been so grateful for anything in my entire life than days in which I needed to wear my sunglasses, didn't have to bring a coat, could go running in shorts and a tank-top, or could stroll around in flip flops. The first nice days of spring here in the North East are TRULY soul-lifting. And you can see everyone feels it. They come out in DROVES and lay on every patch of grass available, run, bike, rollerblade, walk dogs, eat ice cream... it makes me wonder where all these people were hiding for the last 6 months. Probably where I was - lazily hanging out on the couch longing for warm days, or on braver occasions at the local bar, as it wasn't too likely you'd freeze to death walking 5 minutes down the road.

The original intent of this blog was to tell my weekend through pictures - Saturday involved a trip to the aquarium which I've been meaning to do FOREVER. We also watched the first of the Final 4 games (Butler vs. Michigan St) and though I'm not into basketball, it was a fun game to watch. Sunday was particularly awesome and really a full-day event, the one mostly captured in photos. But now I'm thinking it will have to wait until tomorrow.

But it was a great weekend and makes me grateful, once again, to be living in Boston.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I had an interesting conversation with my boss, the Facebook, social media and blog extraordinaire the other day in which we talked about the transparency of life via social media, particularly Facebook.

Really, your whole life is practically at risk for being 'on display' through Facebook whether you want it to or not. Between your own comments, your friend's comments, your photo uploads, video tags, blog links... the list goes on and on, a list in which you are more and more exposed. More than that, it nearly becomes exhausting thinking about who sees what and what it could possibly mean. When I think about who I am linked to on Facebook, it is practically everyone I've ever known, know now, and will likely know better in the future. For example, 'oh hi random guy I met at a party, yes let me add you to my Facebook friends' list'. Though I must say I am getting pickier about who I accept. Anyway, my neighbors, best friends, ex-boyfriends, potential boyfriends (?), parents, family members (both older and younger members), boss, boss' boss... literally it seems I am friends with all of them and surely the list continues (is my landlord on there? probably).

So in light of that, how do we censor what we allow out in the world about us? I don't know about you, but often times when I post something, I try to think of it through the eyes of another. Usually the 'another' is a specific someone - like if I went out with friends on a Friday night, and someone posts pictures, I'm wondering, 'what will my parents think of these pictures?'. If I make a comment about having a bad day at work, what will my coworkers think? But it begins to feel like one of those math problems in which there are a slew of seemingly infinite possibilities based on a combination of numbers, and by using some formula I could never remember, you could figure out the exponential availability of answers. My head hurts already.

That is what Facebook, blogging, the internet, all of it, has become. An exponential amount of exposure. Exposure that you can try to delete but frankly never really goes away. So really all that's available is to either censor yourself quite a bit, or just embrace the experience, be careful in what pictures you allow yourself to be captured in, and just be who you are.

My boss expressed the opinion that she was going to not worry about it, this exposure and potential 'vulnerability', because this is who she is and there is an endless combination of people who could read and have opinions about her persona (online and otherwise) and it's frankly too impossible to be bothered by it all. That made me think back on the endless amount of things I've wanted to blog about in the past that I haven't, due to concern over who might read it, what they would think, etc. I have stories about work, about awkward first dates and even more awkward second dates, living in Boston, roommate conflicts, friend conflicts, online dating, non-online dating, bad life decisions, good life decisions... you see how this list could go on and on. Some of it is funny, some of it is sad... but it's all important to my life experiences. But I've neglected to write about a lot of it, and frankly share it, because of who might read it and what they might think.

There are really two things to realize in light of this. The first is probably not that many people even read my blog, so who really cares. And second... who really cares? This is who I am. I am a 26-year-old single woman living in a big city struggling like so many people my age to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, wondering when I'll actually feel like a grown up and start doing grown up things, all the while searching for that special someone... Why shouldn't I write about that, reflect on it, and frankly just enjoy the experience as it relates to my life?

So, to sum up, I think I might try to convert towards transparency... We'll see how it goes. It still freaks me out a bit.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

as lenny kravitz said, where are we running?

A copy of an email I sent out, join us won't you?

Hello family & friends of Alina and/or Misha,

Let us start of by saying that while we are in complete empathy of the endless emails you must receive both personally and professionally, we hope that you will take a moment to read this one thoroughly. If you're receiving this email it is because you are (or we hope you are, otherwise we may need to have a different sort of conversation) friends with Alina and/or Misha. You may not know both women, but stand assured that they are both pretty awesome. In their continued pursuit of awesomeness, they have decided to take their first official steps towards one of their New Year's resolutions - to run in an official road race.

Now of course not wanting to be so overly ambitions as to burn themselves out, they have opted to set their sights first on the lesser-elusive 5K. Upon further brainstorming and a bit of debate between Alina and Misha as to when the aforementioned 5K should take place (we'll purposefully neglect to mention who was petitioning for something in the early spring and who was rather hopeful of a late summer run), it was determined that June would be a good month. Once June was decided upon, a 5K was discovered on the 6th of June and selected based on a few different criteria:

· It is for a good cause (details to follow).
· June 6 is near to Misha's birthday - what a way to celebrate!
· The run is along the Boston Esplanade – a beautiful site if there ever was one!
· Did we mention it was for a good cause?
· A great time of year to get friends together for a weekend – a night out, a BBQ, and a run, all in one!
· Oh and hey, it’s for a good cause.

Now, we’re certain by this point you’re most curious as to the cause. We have decided to participate with over 15,000 other people in the AIDS Walk Boston and the Larry Kessler 5K Run. Perhaps it would be more significant to ask if you were aware that in the United States someone is infected with HIV every 9 1/2 minutes? Or that every half hour someone in the U.S. dies due to HIV/AIDS?

We were not aware. But the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC), New England's oldest and largest AIDS service organization, is aware. The AAC exists to provide vital programs and services that fight HIV/AIDS in the community and therefore hosts this 5K event.

What originally started as a 5K goal between two friends in need of fitness motivation has turned into something larger. We would like to invite you to participate with us, not only in achieving our own personal goal of completing a 5K, but making a difference, however large or small, in our community.

We have formed a team, A Run In My Stocking (Alina’s brilliant brainchild), and would love for you to join us! We understand that everyone included on this email will not be able to do so in person, primarily due to limitations of geography though other reasons also understandably withstanding, but hope that you will participate in anyway you can, whether it be supporting us physically, emotionally or morally.

You can join our team by registering at and searching for our team. If by some chance you've already registered for the Walk, you can call 617-424-WALK to be added to our team. Even those who can't make it on June 6th have the option of being a "virtual walker" who will be there in spirit!

We have set a fundraising goal for the team of $1000 – with that amount of money, we could provide 10 HIV Rapid Tests to help stop the spread of the disease, five counseling sessions for HIV+ clients seeking help, and emergency assistance to help keep an HIV+ individual from becoming homeless.

However, the most important thing for us is to have your support and would love to see you on June 6th. If you are not located in the Boston area but would like to come, please let Misha know and she can keep a list – we will certainly provide housing for you! No runner will be left behind! (except, perhaps, Alina’s boyfriend Gonzo who is already bragging about winning the road race – he’ll be fine sleeping outside).

We also understand that everyone is of a different level – some of you may scoff at the idea of a 5K, either because you consider it a warm-up jog (we envy you) or you rather feel that the idea of running out of one’s own volition a type of foolish suffering (we’re sort of right there with you), but we ask that you join us anyway! Come and run (or walk, whatever suits your fancy), spend the day with us (did we mention it’s near Misha’s birthday?) and enjoy a day out in beautiful Boston. You certainly won’t be disappointed and we would be honored to share in our awesomeness with you.

We have created a Facebook page as well where you can join up to participate, support, and/or heckle us, regardless of whether you can run with us. You can find that page here:!/group.php?gid=318052355559&ref=ts

If you’ve made it this far, we thank you for reading and look forward to your motivation and support.


Alina May & Misha May

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


You know how there are those songs you hear and they just make you feel so happy and all day, you can't stop singing it? Today, this was my song. Love it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

talk it out

Ever have those days where you have to give yourself a serious pep talk in order to pull yourself together? Yesterday, for many reasons and no reasons at all, I threw sort of a pity party. Population of said party: this moi. I sulked and I pouted and I fretted and I made myself sick with anxiety. It's all really useless but sometimes you just can't shake it off. Girls, I know you can relate. The 'girly blues' as one friend calls them.

This morning I woke up feeling a bit better, but not superb. Then I realized that sometimes you just have to decide to make it a great day, regardless of all the crazy stuff bouncing around in your head. So I took some deep breaths (deep breathing is actually quite helpful, who knew?) and gave myself a pep talk. I reminded myself of all the things I'm grateful for, all the reasons why feeling sorry for yourself is NOT helpful, and decided I was going to have a good day, even if I had to fake it.

Long story short - there was a bit of fooling myself this morning with the fake-good-attitude, but eventually mind took over matter and I was on my way to a good day. There are no reasons I shouldn't be happy, particularly this soon into 2010!

Goal 2 of 2010: blog more. Check.

Monday, January 4, 2010

get out of my way

New Year's resolutions are peculiar little things. We always talk about them this time of year and often make several and potential succeed at one or two. Why is it that we wait until the 'new year' to set these goals for ourselves? I mean it's really just the difference of one second in time, from December 31 11:59:59 to January 1 00:00:00. Why should that one second suddenly inspire us to strive for more?

Yet it does and I've decided to keep my goal list short. Of course I have ongoing goals that I will be striving for, but the one goal I really wanted to add to my list this year was 'learn to sail'. How can I live in Boston without learning to sail? And Community Boating, Inc offers a great one-year membership at a really reasonable price, particularly considering all that you get along with it. So hopefully there will be some good stories this spring of my sailing adventures.

But tonight I've added another goal, based on a conversation with my dear friend and work-wife Jill. Jill and I are quite a lot alike (personality-assessments confirm as such) and so obviously I like talking to her about my life issues as she understands, on a very empathetic level, my reactions to them. I would say potentially one of my bigger problems (as she helped to point out) is that I get in my own way a lot. And I really do. I am always trying to plan things, fix things, I completely over think things, and while it has been known to be helpful in certain situations, a lot of times it causes me a lot of wasted time and worry over nothing. So I am resolving to get the hell out of my own way, spend less time worrying, more time enjoying the day-to-day things, and be sure to take advantage of any and all opportunities that come my way. Oh, and maybe be more on top of my blogging!

So with that, Happy New Year, everyone!