Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It was Eric that first brought up the idea of unity being the centerpiece concept of the evening. While we were having dessert, or more aptly, not having dessert after a stop at one place seemed too rushed to be enjoyable and the server at the other forgot to put in our dessert order. It finally came and the extra wait gave us plenty of time to talk thoughts about the performance we’d just taken in – Cincinnati Ballet’s Kaplan New Works – as I mentioned yesterday. I had entertained the same thought myself here and there about unity, but something in me wanted to resist it.  I saw unity. I didn’t feel unified. It was weird. But at the same time, that’s part of what the Kaplan series is all about, shaking your tree, challenging your notions, and confusing your feelings.


I have said this many times in conversation, and will say it again here, if you have one of those friends that got dragged to the Nutcracker once when they were eight years old and convinced themselves that they hate the ballet – it’s boring, it’s not macho enough, it puts you to sleep. Take them to Kaplan. They may revise their opinion. This ain’t your mamma’s ballet.

The performance opened with a piece by CB-staple, Heather Britt, and as it opened, I kinda sighed.  Despite the addition of vocals by the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble bringing a new aspect to the performance, the opening sequences felt like I’d seen them before in other works by Heather. I love Heather’s work and style, but I was missing the Heather of Opus 5.5 from Kaplans of years past.  However, this feeling lifted with the rise in tempo and more of the energetic Heather began to shine through the movements of the dancers.  It was also at this point I began to really take notice of the men in the ensemble.

My friends, I’ve had the privilege of watching several of the dancers in the company mature in technique and confidence over the years – and I know that the Kaplan series has taken a feminist bent over the past two seasons – but can I just say, HOLY SMOKES! The guys in our ballet company are FIERCE!!! If anyone ever tells you ballet is for girls, I wouldn’t put it past one of our male dancers to lay them out! We have some STRONG, FIERCE and TALENTED men.

*Pause to breathe.*

Okay, back to the show. Next up after Heather was a hip-hop performance by Elementz Studio Kre8tv which included spoken poetry challenging societal perception. This is the part where I could shoot myself for leaving my program, which included the spoken words, on the bar at dessert.  I LOVED this part of the performance, which had absolutely nothing to do with ballet in its technical sense, but posed the query – when we talk about ‘us’, what do we mean by that?  Us includes all the people around us, not just the ones that look like ‘us’.  Therein lies the unity. We’re in it together, but why can’t we see that? The performers were confident, and brought such high energy. Truly a BRAVE thing to throw in the line-up, Ms. Morgan.

“Fractured Glass”, by Victoria Morgan herself, I had problems connecting with. Coincidentally, this was the same piece that brought Eric to the theme of discussion unity.  To me, the women moving about the stage were ANGRY. For some reason, the He-Man Women Hater’s Club came to mind from the Little Rascals. I don’t know why. I stopped trying to explain the way my brain works long ago. But this time, instead of Spanky and Alfalfa, the women had wrestled control. The choreography seemed frustrated and angry, something about breaking a glass ceiling. The male roles in this one seemed more lyrical to me – almost like the traditional archetype choreography of aggressive men and delicate women had been gender-role reversed. And I kind of get that that was part of it, again – glass ceiling fractured, but then there was a 4th female dancer that comes out and all of a sudden everyone gets along just fine.  Like I said, and I will freely admit, I didn’t get it. Eric got it. I didn’t get it.

The second half of the series was the more enjoyable end to me.

“Yesterday, Tomorrow” by Amy Seiwert made me amused and happy. Clever from start to finishing details, it was eye candy in a most innocent way. I LOVE LOVE LOVED the music by Gillian Welch. On the iTunes list for sure! Using a simple bench prop, costumes comfortable in country church and soft slippers, our dancers looked like they were having just as much fun in the dance as the spectators were watching. I hope to see this one again in the future.

Continuing the dramatic reprieve was “Triple Play”, choreographed by William Whitener. A pas de deux in 3 parts, danced well to piano accompaniment. I liked it, but it didn’t hold my attention as much as I would’ve liked.

Finally, it was time to “SIT” with Jennifer Archibald. OH. MY. GOD.  This is where I find unity. The sultry qualities we saw in Heather’s work amplified, with the intensity of statement made by Elementz Studio Kre8v, and the clever technical work embedded in Seiwert’s piece. The struggle of Fractured Glass. All of it came together here, UNIFIED, in a way that still makes my heart jump.  First, I’ll say it was nice to see Rodrigo Almarales toeing the same line in front as Principal Dancer Cervilio Amador.  I’ve acknowledged before that Almarales has been fearless in recent performances. He is earning it. Next, can we talk about James Gilmer? How tall is that guy? WOW! (And I apologize if I’m talking about the wrong dancer, because again, program left on the bar and the ballet doesn’t put up a dancer stat page like MLB does). I point this out because it’s not common to see someone that tall in dance, that can move like that – and he could MOVE! There were a few times he could’ve kicked the moon out of the sky with his extension. Did I mention how FIERCE our guys are looking?! Anyway, Archibald’s piece just kept my heartbeat loud and passionate in my ears, pinned to my seat – for the aptly named SIT.

Kaplan will be running at the Aronoff through Sunday, September 21st. Go get your seat. 🙂

Ooooh my friends, doesn’t September have the most divine sleeping-in weather?

Windows open, chill in the air, bury yourself a little deeper under the covers and tangle up your feet with that fella next to you to warm up the toesies – PERFECT sleeping-in weather.

There is simply no way to untangle those toesies for a 5am workout alarm. There just isn’t.

In other words, I didn’t make it out to Caesar’s Creek for triathlon training. Again.

The discipline, it is lacking. Lost somewhere in the woods. For a couple weeks, I had legit reasons, but this morning – it was all Zzzzzzzz.

Instead, I’m getting some computer work done, sipping on a coffee, and watching the two dogs snooze – across two different rooms, two different dog beds, in exactly the same position.

The motivation is hard to come by today. Errands need to be done – and frankly, that perfect sleeping-in weather is AWESOME running weather too. I should probably get that done.  Also, I’m out of coffee. So that must be fixed.

And through some magical intervention, the husband and I scored tickets to Kaplan New Works  tonight!  Baseball season is starting to wind down with the Reds last road trip of the season, and while I continue to click my heels and chant “There’s no place like Playoffs!”, the timing also means ballet season is starting to wind up. Time to get the dance on! Kaplan is one of the most amazing local dance traditions – and when I was fortunate to get a preview of the performance over the Summer – it got added to my must-see list with the quickness! However, the timing almost slipped on by me. I have been a busy girl!  Gotta do some prettying up for date night and get us to the dance on time.

But first the run. Must. Get. Run. Done!



A friend of mine posted on Facebook recently, saying someone had inquired if he was happy, and so he found himself asking “What is the meaning of happy? Is it a feeling? Is it a material thing?”  He felt he knew his own answer, but wanted to see how others felt. So I answered him:

It’s knowing you wouldn’t change your life – even the rough edges of it.

My birthday was yesterday. Launch of a new decade. Or as my runner-brain has been thinking of it, the dawn of a new age-division.

For the past few weeks, whenever my birthday has come up, I’ve heard it called “the big one”, or had people ask me if I’m having trouble with it as if it should induce some depression, or is comically old, or is catastrophic. Meanwhile, all I can think to myself is “my god! I am so grateful not to be 20 anymore.”  My thirties were pretty good to me. I have no doubt that this new decade will contain it’s own notes of adventure.

I put up my first photo show at the yoga studio last week.

I have posts I want to write floating about in my head – 2 of which are race recaps for trail runs. At 40, I have just begun trail running.

In a few hours, I debut my first guided meditation class as a teacher.  Then I need to go through my prep for my first intensive yoga series that I’m teaching which starts Monday.

And that’s after I’m taking off for a weekend to go teach yoga at The Rugged Red Trail Half-Marathon at Red River Gorge. Eric & Fred are coming along so that we can get our own hiking in between run-related activities and camping with Team RWB.

I have things to do which leave no time for lament, depression or catastrophe.

Too busy being happy.


Another photo from Eric from the Cali collection.

In case you wanted to see the selfie I referenced in yesterday’s post, my friend has a blog too:

Maybe you could go check her out.  🙂

My friends, it is the end of a Monday and my feet are propped up. It’s that time of randomness between work’s end and making dinner. Please don’t check my spelling.

It has been a LOOOONG day, not for any sad or bad reasons, but just that life brings you tiredness sometimes.

Jack is coming along fine after his surgery with the exception that he’s miserable in his crate and “cone of shame”.  He handled it like a champ for the first two days, happy to nap out in the privacy, but now – he’s OVER IT.  The most Zen dog I know is OVER IT, with the stored up OVER-IT-NESS of 11 years. The barking and whining. OH. MY. GOD. Harder on him than me, I know, but still hard for everyone in the house.  Which is what brings me to today, and the repeated barking fits throughout the night that left everyone in the place a bit groggy this morning.

On top of which, I got something in my eye last night that just would. not. give. up. for several hours and repeated eye rinsing. Swollen, puffy eyes laced with gunk. Sexy.

When you wake up after little sleep, with one eye gunked shut and your brain not even thinking of firing, you reach for your fat day clothes to wear to work.

That’s what today was – frumpy, fat pants, red-eyed, little-to-no makeup and half-asleep Monday. Somehow I still managed to smile and say hello and be nice to a lot of people today, but yuck. I was not feeling good in my skin.

Then I saw it. The most perfect thing for the day. A selfie my friend had taken and had the balls to post on Facebook. Like nothing I have ever seen.

First, let me tell you. My friend, she’s beautiful. In the “traditional sense” – blonde, blue-eyed, gorgeous.  As if that’s not enough, she also has an impeccable sense of style. When I see her, she is usually put together with precision. Then there’s the wicked sense of humor. One of those women that just strikes you as flawless, except in a completely relatable, good friend kind of way.

Today, there was this woman. With the hair going all…and the expression going all…there just aren’t words. In the land of Monday morning selfies, this one wins the internet. Just holy shit y’all. No makeup. Pajamas. If feral can be done ‘precisely’, my girl nailed it. I saw this picture, and I just laughed. A whole rest of the day later and I’m still laughing about it. Not because she looked awful, because in some weird way, she didn’t. But because in an even weirder way, even though I’d put on my fat work pants and cleaned myself up a bit, that picture summed up everything about how I still felt inside my skin. If I looked in the mirror, and saw my true self reflected back, it would have looked back at me with wild morning hair and an expression of …I still can’t articulate the expression well enough. Something like, You’re going to get my 100% today, but just so you know, this is what my 100% looks like. So on with it.

I love that she had the nerve to post that. In smiling at that and seeing that, it reminded me that we all are in this struggle together.  And we should laugh at it.

Fast forward from the morning selfie, and an errand took me to the Downtown yoga studio where I teach. Just to pass through. Being tired, I also passed through the coffee shop down the street to grab a latte. The girl behind the counter had this shockingly red hair – shocking to the point that I could guess some would have comment about it. My corporate environment for one, would not welcome this look if I showed up that way. In talking about the weather, the humidity, she mentioned something about the color running. We spent a good 5-10 minutes talking about the natural dye she used and how she got her hair that color and other colors it had been. An easy, natural conversation happening in a way that doesn’t occur all that often with a complete stranger. And I thought to myself, ya know, I bet this girl takes a lot of heat over that hair color but if you take a moment to just take in the whole, she’s really beautiful.  Clever makeup, a goth twist to her look, but so friendly and open. Our discussion got onto the topic of the perception of beauty and I said to her that what I would really like would be if the world would just get rid of the phrase –

She’d be pretty if…

If she lost 10 pounds or 30 pounds or 100 pounds. If she cut her hair different. If she waxed her lip. If she smiled more. If she dressed differently. If if if.

My god,  can we stop with the IF? Or the WOULD BE?

When your friend can laugh at her feral Monday hair enough to share it with the world, that’s beautiful. She IS beautiful, as is, no photoshop.

When your barista can smile at you and talk about how she got a shade of red that you don’t have the courage for, she IS beautiful.

We’re all beautiful, even on the rough days when we’ve had no sleep and even detest our fat pants.

Without the if’s or the would be’s, we’re beautiful.

Peeps, please take a second for yourself, wherever you be in your skin, and just let yourself feel beautiful for a moment.

Because you are. Just as your are.

We’re beautiful.

Disclaimer: This is going to be one of those posts where the “somewhat” comes into the “somewhat likeable”.  In fact, by the end of it, I may need to re-title “not very likeable at all”. Don’t say you weren’t warned.


It’s Tuesday morning, and in addition to the dog surgery, what’s on my mind is wondering if it’s safe to go back into my newsfeeds yet. Someone famous died last night. All of the usual content I read has been replaced by condolences I can’t handle. I have seen no less than 40 posts of memes of this actor, captioned by poignant quotes from his screen career ~ mostly lines from scripts. A statement posted from his widow “liked” by thousands. I saw his own twitter feed – the last posting of which was a birthday wish to his daughter two weeks ago – turned into a digital condolences petition. And this is where my thoughts go –

I cannot imagine being his daughter, turning to such a message for comfort, trying to remember something happy, and seeing  a thousand strangers reply in focused unison about his death. I cannot imagine being his widow, seeing my grief for my husband “liked”.

People, what the hell are we doing?

You can blame this on my parents for raising me a bit old-fashioned, but I was brought up to believe that grief is personal. Private. IF YOU KNEW THE PERSON, or YOU KNEW THE FAMILY, you would reach out to extend your condolences either in attending the appropriate ceremonies, or offering help, or just helping without offering since sometimes people in grief can’t vocalize what they need, or you send a note. If you don’t fit into a category of actually knowing the person, or knowing the family, YOU LEAVE THEM THE HELL ALONE to grieve in private and comfort each other.

Let me be clear about this point, watching someone on screen, no matter how their talent makes you comforted by their movies, does not mean you know them. For those of us who appreciated his work, his life has not ended. We can connect with him anytime via Netflix and revisit the same sense of connection we had before. For those who knew what he was like “off script”, and how he liked his coffee, and if he smelled like aftershave or laundry detergent when he hugged them,  or that will never get another birthday wish or anniversary card, his daily contribution to their life has ceased. Connection ceased except in memory. Your knowing he is deceased when you hit ‘play’ on the remote is NOT the same kind of grief that a friend who has known someone for decades experiences.

Let me be clear about this other point, ‘LIKING” is not an expression of condolence. Social media has made grief a competition for ‘likes’ and that’s wrong.  Grief should not get 1 like, or 100 likes, or 1,000,000 likes. If someone says something really sad in your world and the best amount of your attention it warrants is a split second ‘like’, lay off the like button. If you don’t give enough of a damn to write an actual well wish, then move along.  As much as the age of social media would like us to think otherwise, every once in awhile, it is okay to get the news of something sad, and say to yourself “Wow, that’s really sad.”  Then maybe you leave it there. Maybe you reach out to your personal circle with a text or a phone call, or you find a way to honor what that person meant to you within the bounds of your own life – watching a movie that person was in, reading a few quotes, reminding yourself that it’s been awhile since you ‘yawp’d’ and finding a way to do that. But maybe you, as a complete stranger, don’t intrude on the grief of a family. You may have put on your ‘it’s being supportive hat’, but noise is not being supportive. ‘Likes’ and ‘Retweets’ and 140-characters are noise. They are not sincere loss.  Their grief is not about you, and they should not have to be burdened with the obligation of gratitude for your grief tweet.

Can we stop with the memes? If you hear about the death of someone that touched you in some meaningful way, and your first thought is “wow, I should pull up a photo of them, find a good quote, and create a meme that might go viral on Facebook’, you, sir, are an asshole. Unfortunately, a lot of us choose to ‘share’ and ‘retweet’ assholes. Mainly because it doesn’t dawn on us in the moment that they’re assholes.

When I saw the news about his passing (I’m not repeating his name in this post because I don’t want to add to the ‘trending’), I tell you, I took a good solid think about what or IF I wanted to post about it.  Feeling already inundated by the headline shares and meme shares, and what seemed to be at least 23 separate people just posting listings of his movies and characters, I asked myself “how can I help?” and “what do I – me, myself – not the dozen memes or celebrity quotes, but simple me – think about this?”. I thought it was sad. Tragic. I thought about how depression is a bigger asshole than death-meme-makers. I felt sad again that Good Will Hunting was a brilliant character portrayal on his part and that I’ll never see another new movie with him in it. I thought about watching The Bird Cage. But I didn’t.

A solid 30-minutes later, I had a brilliant epiphany. I asked myself if anyone was expecting me to comment on it, and why they would be. In this day and age, our social media gives us the illusion that people may actually expect or wait on our comments about tragedy, so we feel obligated to post. That is my ego talking, not my grief. If you want to check your ego, ask yourself why you think the internet gives a damn about your opinion on the suicide of an actor you never met.

Be helpful. Be considerate. Be kind as often as possible. Be respectful if you can’t be anything else. I try to keep these things in mind when I’m posting, though I am human and I fail too. Helpful, though, is the word that started to stick out to me. In tragedy, how do you be helpful in a meaningful way? Please do not confuse R.I.P. retweets with something meaningful.

Instead, I asked myself who I know that struggles with depression, and I made a mental note that I needed to reach out to them this week – in person, or with a call, with a PERSONAL CONNECTION. Because instead of focusing on a stranger, or sending messages to that stranger’s wife and child that I hope for their sake, they do not see, there are people present in my day-to-day that need help. That need a connection and a reach out and a check-in. If I want to think about tragedy, I might better consider how to prevent one that can still be prevented, rather than focusing on what poignancy I can come up with for a stranger to see how many ‘likes’ it might get.


Tuesday #2,026

Posted: 08/12/2014 in Uncategorized


What is possibly the sweetest dog on the planet goes into surgery for a torn ACL today. Let the worrywarting begin…


One of those runs came along. The kind where you can feel the stars beginning to align a full hour or two before your run, a little pep in your step starts – you know in your soul it’s going to be a GOOOOOOD run. A REALLY GOOD run.

It’s been a while since I’ve had one. I’ve been picking up some extra yoga-teaching opportunities as a sub, and focusing on my swimming. Running had temporarily fallen by the wayside, and I’ll be honest in saying that I didn’t run very much at all in July. When I did run, I took Fred with me – which meant shorter runs and all of them intervals (.25 on/.25 off) to get her conditioned without ripping up her little puppy feet. Okay, big puppy feet now.  I hadn’t earned a good run. I hadn’t put the time in on running that it takes for one of those to happen.

But then the stars – and there’s no ignoring those stars when they start to tug at you and say “hey! hey you! lace up!”. I was actually dancing around the house as I got dressed for the run, and chanting rather selfishly “I’m going for a ruh-hun, all by my-sel-elf!” to Fred. Who was entertaining other company, so she didn’t really care – but she did find the little dance amusing. Dogs like it when their humans dance for them. In case you didn’t know. I decided on my favorite around-the-house route, an ambitious 6-miler for the amount of not-running I’ve been doing lately – and then set the goals. Interval (3:1) the 3-miles to the park and stay unwaiveringly strong for those intervals, then walk it back to just soak in the sunshine on the cooldown.  I set out –

And it was GLORIOUS!!

Apparently, there was some keg of energy that I needed to get out of my system because the first 1.5 miles of intervals were sub-9 min/miles. Um, I don’t run sub-9’s. Really, I don’t run sub-10’s. Guess I do now.  At one point I looked down at my Garmin and saw 8:12 pace. One of those moments where you go “WHAT THE HELL am I doing, I NEED to slow down!” except then you shrug your shoulders and go ‘but I feel good, so I guess I’ll just go on then’. So, yeah, the first 1.5 I went out WAY too fast, and spent the other 1.5 slowing down and struggling just a little. But I stayed with the struggle and made my goal all the way to the park, even running past my usual endpoint just to make sure I rounded out all the way to 3 miles.

Then I paused at the beautiful overlook that’s there and just took a moment to enjoy the view. What’s the point of it all if you don’t stop for the view.

Drinking fountain stop. Then I walked over to the jungle gym and used it to knock out some sets of elevated push-ups and regular sit-ups, beginning the walk back after that.  Then I decided to add some sets of alternating lunges, side-lunges, and knee-ups to the first few blocks of the walk back. Grinning at all the other runners who passed by, heading to the same point I’d just left. Never mind me over here, just lunging my way down the street, nothing to see, move along.  It felt a little ridiculous. It also felt really STRONG and AWESOME!

My legs were spent by the time I got back to the house, but WOW did I feel good! Re-energized. Inspired.

Friends, sometimes running hands you a gift even when you don’t deserve it and you haven’t earned it. Haven’t put in your time. It takes a moment to say “hey, you’ve got rested legs – and this is what they’re built to do” and you have to say THANK YOU! and take off like a shot because ignoring that gift would be wrong in your soul. And you remember why you put the time in the rest of the time. 

Time to start logging miles.



No session out at the lake this morning. Head cold I’ve had since Monday still has me a little fogged in my noggin’ and I didn’t think getting lake water up my nose would be beneficial.

From the California file, the Golden Gate bridge is out there somewhere beyond the wall of fog. On any other day, or maybe even later on the same day, that overlook is an amazing view of the bridge. On this day, it was foggy and chilly, and even the wind had a bit of fierce to it. One of the new words we learned in San Fran: MICROCLIMATE.

Blame it on Caesar

Posted: 07/29/2014 in Photos, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


Had a huge wave of fatigue drive me into an early bedtime last night, and sure enough, woke up with a headcold. Body feels it a bit too – like someone graffiti’d tiredness all over my quads and eyeballs.

It’s a fine excuse to stop by Myra’s and pick up some Avgolemono soup. Seriously, there is nothing better than avgolemono soup when you’re sick.