Category Archives: Umisms

So, in the end I didn’t run the Marathon. I was still conflicted until the end. I was so sick before that I completely stopped running (since it was respiratory). I missed the Bronx 10 Miler and I dropped out of the 18 mile tune up after 12 miles. The last race I ran was the Staten Island Half. I still thought maybe I can power walk it and do some last races to get guaranteed entry again the next year. However, Sandy came and went and the Marathon never happened. The Dash was canceled, also. NYRR promised everyone publicly that they would be given guaranteed entry for either the NYC Marathon or Half Marathon as their choice.

We have all been getting antsy, and there’s been a lot of angry comments on the NYRR facebook. I mean, it’s already OVER a month. If I had known the resolution right after the Marathon, I would have been able to do a plan B and get guaranteed entry into 2013, by running 2 additional races. That being said, Sandy brought everything into perspective, and really, it’s a true first world problem. Still, every week that goes by, opportunity that was open to us is no longer available. Finally we received an email about a resolution. 1) We can ask for a full refund and we will not have guaranteed entry into the Marathon or Half (this doesn’t include the $11 registration fee). 2) Guaranteed entry into the 2013, 2014, or 2015 Marathon. We will need to pay the 2012 Marathon fee again on the appropriate year. 3) Guaranteed entry into the 2013 NYC Half. We will need to pay the 2013 fee.

I think that is actually a really good decision, at least for local folks. I mean can you imagine paying 1000+ on plane fare and hotels, because Guiliani told you to come to NYC and that the Marathon will not be canceled? If they canceled it earlier, many people would have been able to get full or partial refunds. I mean, I was getting nervous and I thought my opportunity for running the Marathon without doing another 9+1 passed. Especially when NYRR sent a note out saying their 9+1+1 for 2012 is valid for 2013. However, NYRR’s recent decision meant that I could either get a full refund, or pay another $250 and run the Marathon. Argh. Tough decisions. I was pleased with the decision. I was surprised (especially since they were angering so many people) that they were able to give the option of a full refund.

I can always get the refund then run the 9+1 again this year for 2014 entry. I wish I would have finished my 9+1 this year, considering I volunteered already. However, my sickness kept me from the Bronx and 18 Mile Tune up, and I didn’t have the opportunity to register for another race. (During the last two races of the year – I will be in Portland.)

Then again, I just want to run it already and cross it off my bucket list. Who knows where I will be in 2014.

20121223-223209.jpgI know it’s bad form (and luck!) to wear a shirt you never ran. But it’s a sweet practice shirt and I hope it keeps me motivated. I also paid $250 for it. (I hear they are still giving them out if you never got to the Expo and you give them your bib number at NYRR office.)

In other news, I just found out that I got entry into the NYC Half Marathon, so it crosses off the last option (getting entry into the NYC Half). I also need to start training. I’m also thinking of doing the Manhattan Half at the end of January. This all means, running season is starting again. This year, I am thinking of running at least 3 Half Marathons (Manhattan, NYC, and Brooklyn), and then 2 other Borough Races (Queens & Bronx? Not going near Staten Island again).

Justin-Bieber-Girlfriend-Fragrance-CommercialI was probably the last person on earth to see Brad Pitt’s ridiculous Chanel commercial (It’s like a bad parody of Calvin Klein commercials from the 90s – like Eternity, remember? Watch this Conan clip, which is great.). I don’t watch TV at home. I have an antennae that I bought a month ago, but Ryan and I pretty much watch HBO GO and Netflix. So it wasn’t until I was at my mom’s that I saw the commercial for Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend fragrance. That is some smart marketing. I felt skeevy watching it. They are strumming on the very heart strings of desperate girls. Not only is the perfume titled “Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend,” but the commercial is done from the viewer’s perspective, as his girlfriend. He’s whispering I love yous, and ducking in close to caress you, and it was… SOOO SKEEVY. All the while he serenades you with his “If I was your boyfriend.” And as much as I make fun of this shit, I think back in the day, if JTT came out with anything that manipulated teenage girl’s delusions, I would have been there.

Hmm and just a little bit for the first time in my life, I can sort of see the allure. Or maybe I’ve watched one too many Justin Bieber commercials on MTV while watching Jersey Shore reruns? Hmmm. (I should be ashamed, right?)

I need to take better photos and get some new shams and bedding (notice the bedding cut out from the picture), but the headboard is done! Ryan got the plywood, attached the foam/cut it to shape, and attached the first layer of batting. I helped him with the final fabric in order to pull it taut. I am also a little anal about folding the corners. We just need to find some interlocking components to hang this thing (or a d ring or something).

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This is us just leaning it against the wall. I need to get new bedding and all, but for a night’s work, it’s pretty nice, no? Pretty whimsical? I am thinking of adding some molding to the border, a la Centsational Girl’s French Inspired Headboard. (Look at that photo set up! I need to get a duvet cover that’s not a depressing black and brown.)

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This is going to have to wait until after the Holidays. And a side table. Something gray/white/light and cute. And some flowers. I need to lighten up that room.

All in all

Edit: Finished Product

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Honestly, I know what I like, but I am severely design challenged. All this is a result of watching old Queer Eye for the Straight Guy episodes during Hurricane Sandy, feeling icky about the world and my apartment. See, and now with couple of easy changes, my apartment would have been a much nicer place to spend a week. (If you saw my apartment during the week of the hurricane, you would have thought a bunch of frat guys live there. Fo sho. (Just substitute the Amy’s Soup cans with Campbell’s.) I’ll post some pictures tomorrow.)

I am WAY too embarrassed to post any “before” pictures.

To give you an idea of the things we have been up to:

  • Bought Bathroom shelving to liven up our depressing bathroom. (We both separately left our friend Genevieve & Chris’s place with the same thought, “why does her bathroom look so cozy and nice?” So this was partly inspired by them, post Thanksgiving. In other news, our other friend Kris came over and liked it so much, he went to pick up the same thing at our local store. Did we mention we bought this at our fake dollar store for like $22?)
  • Finally built that shelving unit I bought at Ikea over the summer.
  • Moved our second hand mail table to make room for the shelf. Cleverly put the table on top of the shoe rack to cover.
  • Bought some CHEAP SOFT AMAZING towels on sale at JCPenny that kind of changed our outlook on life before noon and coffee. (Not so much a decorating win – but helped make our apartment a place that didn’t want to make me want to hang myself.)
  • FINALLY put out Ryan’s Egyptian tablets, cats, and marble plates. My contribution was putting out an obscene number of candles that I had been hoarding.
  • FINALLY put out some pictures and frames that have been gathering dust in the depths of our bedroom.
  • Bought Ryan the Vittsj√∂ shelving unit for our anniversary to house his projects.
  • Also helped that during Sandy was when the last of our Halloween Decorations went into the storage. Although the bleeding white angels were out until this weekend. :P Woops.
  • Bought the slipcover, and finally broke it out this weekend. Also finally took the Ofelia throw out of storage.
  • Ryan cleaned out his closet. Mine is … still a disaster zone.
  • Kind of feeling like an adult post 30.

All this was post Sandy. There is nothing like spending a week STUCK INSIDE to question your very existence in such sad decor.

And now, there is still SO MUCH TO DO.

  • Sew up some pillow covers for shams (oh yeah, and buy some shams)
  • Have Ryan finish our headboard. Buy a duvet cover. GET SOME LITTLE PILLOWS (I am clearly on some wicked pillow kick.)
  • Clean ikea couch/find slip cover/GET PILLOWS
  • Find a rug for the TV area
  • Buy more storage solutions for the closet.
  • Buy a small side table – one for the couch, another for the bedroom (Kind of like this this or a taller version of this.)
  • Some new curtains for the office? (Something light and airy. Light gray.)
  • More picture frames to fill the bedroom wall.
  • Framed cork board for the office and bedroom.
  • Paint the dresser in the bedroom, wooden chair, side table in the bedroom.

I have obviously given this some thought. My aim is to make the office fun, living room clean, and make the bedroom not a purgatory for used clothing and shit we don’t want people to see around the apartment, and overall another room that is pleasant to be in. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Ryan and I lived with a bunch of talented graphic artists/painters who left their self portraits behind. Although I do like some of them, I am feeling like we put most of our art up to take up white space. I’m thinking I want a little more variety and thoughtfulness put into what is in our apartment. It’s kind of sad that it took Hurricane angst and some dated show (OMG – Can we bring that show back?!) to get me to this point. I can’t believe I’ve lived the last 3 years (I guess when I officially moved in on the lease) in indifference. I mean, Ryan’s friend Amy did a good job with the apartment (and her art is beautiful), but as the law of chaos rules our apartment, things have gotten a little out of hand in the past 2 years. (Too much kitchen appliances! Too many documents Ryan refuses to get rid of! Too much of my shoes and clothes! Too much little painted guys. In our defense though, we just discovered the greatness of investing in good storage space to hide the unsightly items of our daily lives. I think most of what was standing between us and clutter was lack of plastic boxes, decorative storage space, and shelves. Why did it take so long to notice this?)

So I’m reminded of Bill Mahr when he said

If you’re over 30 years old and you’re still sleeping on a futon, you need to reevaluate your life. It’s not a hipster alternative to a mattress; it’s a dog bed for humans. And don’t tell me they’re big in Japan. So is sleeping in a paper house and molesting schoolgirls on the bullet train.

It was kind of offensive.

That being said I did feel like a big baby sleeping on a futon mattress. I couldn’t even use my Japanese ancestry, since it wasn’t as if I was making the bed into a couch or using it for space saving. And I was kind of embarrassed of having it as my primary couch, once I moved the futon out of the bedroom. It was thick, rough and green. Seriously. That being said, I picked up the Surfit Ikat couch cover on sale online, and I have to say I love the look.


I’ve always been a little afraid of graphics, but I laid an Ikea Ofelia throw on top, and it looks great. Overall with the sale, this couch make over cost me approx. $60. We need some throw pillows to complete the look. I like that the couch is sort of getting some inspiration from these abstract prints we have displayed, one black ink on white, and another black canvas with magnetic elements.

My pillows are hideous, which is a separate thing all together. (There is this disgusting gray green pillow that Ryan loves to use on his lap when he is eating anything out of a bowl. Yeah. Ick. I’m not sure what would look good on the couch. I am thinking solid white textural elements. Maybe black? I wanted to add some red and color in there, since I have a red Ikea Karlstad couch.

Edited: Here is our couch!

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I’ve started watching American Horror story. It has everything I love and I feel this huge nostalgia, as if I am watching later episodes of Twin Peaks. (I’m sure it was a huge influence.) My partner loves to cut scenes, which are very non-linear. We’re only 5 episodes in, and everything is tying together, but I really enjoy it so far.


(I might get some fashion inspiration from this, as well.)

Everything is starting to make more sense, which is both satisfying… and a little disappointing (this soon). I’m hoping I can draw out the final satisfaction.

My netflix queue is basically paranormal shows and serial killer shows (trashy, serious, freaky, and everything in between). That and trashy reality shows (which I keep playing since I’m curious as to what everyone is talking about.)

Other than American Horror Story, favorites of the last 2 years are, of course, Breaking Bad, and a surprise love of United States of Tara. I kind of got into “Once Upon a Time,” despite it’s cheesiness. (And I still don’t get why the QUeen was so horrible and why that kid hated his adopted mother so much originally. Seriously.) And I often succumb to the bad reality show and drama that I happened to have gotten hooked into earlier and I just follow… just because.

There are so many shows out there, but with Netflix and Hulu, it seems as if there is nothing to watch and you’ve seen everything there is to see. I feel that way when I watch HBO Go. After getting into the early HBO shows and polishing off Game of Thrones, what is there? (I guess I can start Boardwalk Empire.)

What shows are good, y’all?

Is Summer officially gone? I mean, I know the equinox came and went, but this weekend is around 80 degrees, right? I guess I took a Summer vacation from this journal.

Lest this blog becomes a running journal, let me just take the time to say that I COMPLETELY stopped running after finishing the 10k Women’s Mini (one race after my qualifying Half Marathon and the Corporate Chase Challenge). I didn’t do the Warrior Run. Argh.

So, after months of being bad, I returned to the treadmill last month. Ryan is teaching at SUNY Purchase until mid October and has to wake up at the ungodly time of 5:30 AM to make the 7am Train and bus. So, I try to get my butt out of the door when he does, which gives me plenty of time to run 5+ miles at a leisurely SLOW pace. It’s a little annoying how much I’ve backtracked, but it’s understandable.

I also want to lose some of the eating and boozing that still remain… on Ahem, my frame, from those months.

Let’s see how much training I can get in.

In other news, I’m planning a little bash this Halloween, and I intend to go all out in the cheesiness. For the last couple of years, I’ve dragged my feet about what to do and never ended up doing anything. Some cheesy mini skeletons are dancing above the door frame of the bathroom and pumpkin lights are in the frame of the living room!

I’m also trying to coordinate some costumes, but Ryan doesn’t want to do any of the funny ideas I had in mind. Example 1: Tracy, Ryan and I dressing up as Mario, Luigi, and either Wario/Toadstool. Example 2: Sexy nativity scene – Tracy and I getting a Jesus and Mary costumes and sluttying it up (cutting it short)… Ryan can be Joseph or a wise man or something. Example 3: Vampire/Zombie disney princesses (and prince). Bah.

Then I started getting fantasies of creating my own costume, like a kick ass Princess Zelda from Twilight Princess… but as much as I broke it down into steps I need to do, I don’t think I have the time to put one together. AND forget about getting Ryan to dress up as Link! :P

I wasn’t originally going to write at length about my races here, but I decided to at least post about my first Half Marathon experience. When I first signed up for the Half Marathon, I scheduled a couple of 10k races and one 15k to get me into the groove. However, the series of plagues that I caught in March (immediately following my 10 mile practice run) put a damper on my 15k race. The 10k races went fine, but being half the length of a Half Marathon, by the time this race came up, I barely trained for long distances. Yikes.

I was nervous about traveling there. I was also annoyed and nervous about getting up early enough to travel. The Race was 7am, so I had to be up by 5:30am. I decided to get a car service, since otherwise, I would have to travel to Manhattan to get to that part of Brooklyn. My morning breakfast was a Naked shake (so I didn’t get too full) and I ran with 2 espresso gel packs that I was planning on take after the 6/7 mile marker.

It ended up being a really great race. It wasn’t too hot in Prospect Park and I finished the 2 laps (TRYING TO PACE MYSELF) with relative ease. It was interesting leaving the park and running on Ocean Parkway. I wasn’t baking the way I expected to be and it was mostly flat (maybe a slight incline?). Around the 10 mile marker, I started to fatigue, and I pushed myself to maintain a slow jog. I’m not going to lie. I’ve forgotten my fatigue and the aches that I felt during the race. I can only remember the pride of finishing and the exhilaration afterward. You know, kind of like childbirth, right? I’ve forgotten the visceral feeling, but I remember my legs aching right around 10 miles. On the other hand, psychologically speaking, I was doubtful before the race that I had the psychological endurance of just running for 2-3 hours straight. That proved to not be a problem, going through Ocean Parkway was just such a new experience, that I wasn’t bored at all. And running with anticipation of each mile marker wasn’t excruciating, but rather hypnotic. I was rather surprised at that. The cheering and the water stations were wonderful, offering water and Gatorade at each station… everything was very plentiful.

So what was the challenge? You ask? There were enough bathrooms by the start of the race, and I waited until after running to go to the bathroom… twice… And the second time the bathroom was out of toilet paper… and I waited on line for around 5 minutes. :T That was kind of disgusting. I haven’t really managed the whole planning the bathroom around the race.

It seemed more of trouble for Ryan to get to Coney Island from Prospect Park, as he got there the same time I did (and I was freaking running – Thanks Q Train). He was a trooper and saw me off at the start of the race, waited for me by the 3 mile marker twice (the second loop that was between mile 5 and 6), and then traveled to see me cross the finish line in Coney Island. I was lucky to have him. And this time, since he was coming, I didn’t need to carry my keys, etc… around.

In the end, turning into the boardwalk was super exciting… except the boards were uneven. As we were running down, one man fell. We all stopped for a moment and he got right back up and moving. I think after seeing that I ran with my knees pretty high. Darned if I was going to face plant right there. In the end, my finishing time was what I expected. I was just happy to finish before the 3 hours (I suspected that if something happened and I had to walk the final miles, I could finish in around the 3 hour timing limit) and I ran it.

After a tip from my friend Sam (who’s a freaking triathelete & marathon runner), I made sure to wear bikini bottoms underneath. You can bet that after I finished running I took off my pants and jumped into Coney Island. The WATER WAS ICE COLD, so it was a great way to ice my legs after all that. I stayed in there for around 10 minutes, until I saw Ryan growing a bit restless. I brought a change of underwear, but I decided to just brave it… which needless to say was a STUPID idea. The train ride wasn’t fun with wet pants. With the rest of the runners, the Q train definitely smelled also like a locker room. :P Oh well.

Coney Island food post soon at feeding umi, so watch out for that!