On fears // A few years ago I observed a sixth grade science class. The students were using scooters to enact Newton’s First Laws of Motion, “Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in the state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.” The kids would zoom forward on scooters in the dusty hallway until their partners stopped them, which mostly involved them engaging in some sort of clumsy chase, then flopping off the side of their scooters and giggling together. It looked fun.
I feel like January snuck up and sucker-punched me off my scooter, y’all.
It’s been a rough month. Living away from family, my biggest fear is something happening to one of them. I guess that’s a fear wherever I live, but losing Karma (aka Little Girl, Karmy, Karmalicious, fellow family tribe member) so suddenly was like a kick in the gut, an arcane glimpse into the universe, that left me sad and homesick. She was only 8 1/2 and only radiated the sweetest and most steadfast kind of love. I swear she could sense me even looking for my socks and shoes, hot on my heels as I walked around my parent’s place over the holidays, ready for our daily walk.
My parents were surprised when she didn’t eat her food last Thursday – just like me, that one never misses a meal. They took her to the vet, then immediately rushed her to a specialist that same morning around 11 a.m., but unbeknownst to everyone she had an aggressive form of cancer and didn’t make it. She died by 2:50 p.m. on Friday, 1/23 (that date, it’s something, right?).
My first response was, “Dammit.”
That’s all I could think over and over…..dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit….
Then: My parents thought she just ate something that upset her stomach. A routine vet visit, and she never even made it home that day, that’s what really floored me.
Then: Why was I always yelling at her to get out of the way when I was trying to take pictures over the holiday!?
Ugh, we were all shocked and heartbroken to say the least. A few blubbering conversations to my dear college friend Marissa, doctor and fellow dog-lover, ended with these wise words, “She was loved. She didn’t suffer. And we gotta get you out of here.”
On Montreal // After waking up at 3:30 a.m. the next day to get six students visiting from South Africa to the airport – you guys, my eyes were so puffy from crying, I was a scary sight in the middle of the night, those poor kids – I drove to Marissa’s. She took me up to Montreal for good food, cheap Chinatown massages, whiskey, my first visit to an Ikea, and a swanky stay at the W hotel.
THIS HOTEL. I was like, whoa, Marissa did good.
The massages (and sauna!) were AMAAAAAAZING and at this weird underground spa at the Holiday Inn in Chinatown. I’m like, “How the f-ck did you find this Marissa?”
The food! We had Lebanese, tapas, grilled octobpus, the best sweet potato frites, lots of whiskey, French petit dejeuner, and more.
I totally bought golden retriever stuffed animals at Ikea. My first stuffed animal purchase for me, ever.
I hadn’t been up to Montreal in about six years and it reminded me of just how much I like to wander around in foreign cities; how alive and refreshed traveling makes me feel. I enjoyed being in an urban city, with hundreds of people out and about, awesome underground walking tunnels, no college hippies, delicious global cuisine, neat architecture, and art everywhere. Woo! And the lighting was so sexy in Montreal at night in the winter: red everywhere –> red bars, red lanterns, red walls. I felt like I fell into an art gallery realm. Thank you thank you thank you thank you, Marissa.
On countless blessings // My mom left for a ladies trip to Florida today, so I sent my dad a little belated birthday/care package this week: socks, chocolate, a baseball hat, magical Vermont hand cream, candle, energizing room spray, wallet photos of Karma, a framed photo of Karma, and a journal that I found in town with the words “SEE COUNTLESS BLESSINGS” printed in pretty letters on the rose-colored leather. <3 you Dad.
Speaking of…..after a year of waiting for new UVM Winterfest mugs, they tightened the rules for getting my favorite mug OF-ALL-TIME, a literal replica of the famous Heady Topper beer cans (#onlyatuvm): only for undergrads. Nooooooo! Tricked out in a beanie, backpack, some Blundstones, and chipped blue/black nail-polish, I totally passed not only once but twice this week. Huzzah.
Two new mugs + two old mugs = four treasured mugs now:)
P.S. In much lighter news, what are you watching? After a hiatus, I’m almost to the last season of Breaking Bad, and I’ll need a new winter TV hibernation fixation. My indecision kicks in big time when taking on a new series….commitment issues, ya know. House of Cards? OITNB (watched a couple of episodes, and wasn’t hooked…)? Game of Thrones (watched the first season, read the first book)? Gilmore Girls (watched a few episodes and liked it but got distracted by Breaking Bad)? Felicity or SATC rewatch (LOVE them both)? Alias? Sons of Anarchy (Charlie Hunnam, HOT)? The Twilight Zone (old school!)?
P.P.S. Obsessed with this song.
P.P.P.S. My friend Eric from Japan – now in Ireland – is coming to America to get a tattoo/visit this spring! (Stop reading mom & dad.) I’m thinking of getting one too. I have two that I don’t like, so I figure I should get a third one that I DO. Third time’s a charm, right?
My family lost our beautiful Karma today, quite suddenly, sob sob sob SOB:( This is one of my favorite photos of her that I took last summer, with flowers in her hair and a big smile. Hug your loved ones, mmm kay?
P.S. I’m not a fervent fan of poetry, but my favorite artist Lily posted this for her dog Mac. It’s beautiful, and fitting, and well, I’ve read it many times today.
I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
–William Wordsworth, 1807
Sometimes I like to stop by Myer’s Bagels after sunrise yoga, especially in the winter. Myer’s Bagels is tucked behind this almost alleyway, and for the longest time I didn’t know where their store was actually located (they sell the bagels at our local grocery). Their bagels are wood-fired, and it’s such a warm and cozy environment inside. I have to sneak a picture of them making the bagels because they tease me too much in there. One time they made me climb over the counter and stand near the fire and be in the photo. After waking up and rolling out of bed at 5 a.m. – ha, no thanks! My favorite order: egg, cheese, turkey sausage on a Montreal Spice bagel.
Old eye glasses/New eye glasses.
You can’t really tell in that photo, but last night my eye glasses literally cracked in half on one side. They were old – 8 years old, ha. Every time I thought about buying a new pair, I realized I’d rather buy a plane ticket. Anyway! Long long long overdue, and since I have clinically dry eyes and swim (chlorine, meh), I needed a new pair ASAP. I literally ran to a store downtown on my lunch hour all by myself and bought a new pair in like 10 minutes. Old ones were Ray-Ban, who knows what style; new ones are Barton Perreira’s Patsy in ‘Gypsy Rose’. Since I’ve never bought a pair of glasses alone and am indecisive on another level, I felt like superwoman. Of course, selfies were sent to the fam, and Merlin thinks they are a new toy.
For the past month, I’ve pretty much just walked for exercise or I’ve done absolutely nothing but lie on my couch and listen to podcasts because of a cold, but one of the things I like about the New Year is getting back into a winter workout routine. This used to be the time I’d start marathon training for Vermont’s May marathon, which I can’t do any longer. I’ve got to keep a pretty low-impact exercise routine because of my feet – walking/swimming/yoga/biking – which I’m actually enjoying more than I thought I would, but I’d like to focus on a long-term fitness goal this year, so I’m aiming to be able to swim across Lake Champlain come summer! I’m marking my words, here, on the ol’ blogosphere.
Sunday 1/11: Yoga, 90 min class.
Monday 1/12: Active rest day.
Tuesday 1/13: Swimming class! First class/first time back in the pool in 2015. It’s a distance class, so we’re working on upping the amount of time spent in the pool. Last semester my classes were 45 minutes, but this semester our class is once a week for 1 hr 40 minutes.
300 yd swim
200 yd kick
300 yd pull
3 rounds of the following set:
3-50 yd fist freestyle
2-75 yd (3-5-7 stroke breathing)
100 yd getting faster with each 25
100 yd scull
4-50 yd high-elbow freestyle drills
100 yd freestyle
Total yards: 2, 625
Wednesday 1/14: Sunrise yoga, 60 minute class. Zumba, 60 minute class, after work with a coworker. It was free week at UVM’s gym, so I thought I’d try it out. My coworker is obsesssssed.
Thursday 1/15: Ice skating @ lunch! Zumba, 60 minute class, again for a second night.
Friday 1/16: Sunrise yoga, 60 minute class.
Saturday 1/17: 8 mile hike up Treadway Mt in the ADKs with friends and the cutest pup named Ringo.
We were going to snowshoe, but the snow wasn’t that deep, so we decided to just use our new micro-spikes. I had never hiked in the winter in spikes, and my winter hiking has been revolutionized. It’s amazing: so much faster and less clunky than snowshoeing. I’m a huge huge huge fan. These are the ones I bought here.
It was -12 degrees F when we started. Here’s my frozen smile:)
But the sun was shining and we eventually warmed up and the entire hike was awesome. We got to trek across a frozen pond to get to the trail for Mt. Treadway, which was so cool.