Monday, June 25, 2012


Today was a holiday for QC and QC-lovers, so I took a holiday from running, too. The experience of a long run in yesterday's heat extracted two days's worth of energy from me. Also to blame: Zuzana for sucking the strength from my arms and shoulders with her Z-wow 21 workout. That workout, with 200 squats and burpees, is the equivalent of public speaking for 48 straight hours in front of the Commonwealth. A normal person just can't do it. I managed about 50 burpees (with rests in between, mind you) and  I can barely lift my arms. It's a good thing my bullies are office workers who smoke heavily.

Gonna run tomorrow morning. Gotta start taking this marathon deadline more seriously. 8 more long runs! That's it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Eight amazing facts about cupcakes

8. An under cooked cupcake in a flavour you don't enjoy is better than a good day at work.

7. The word cupcake comes from the Greek word, "cup," which means to lick, and "cake," which means me.

6. "Cupcake" should be your final word, uttered breathlessly and into the eyes of an attractive medical doctor as you lay dying.

5. It is far better to savour a cupcake crumb off a floor than to win an entire box of muffins.

4. Cupcakes are adorable iced in yellow and pink like the eye of a drugstore milk chocolate Easter bunny in side view.

3. Cupcakes are the confectionery equivalent of apples from the Tree of Knowledge.

2. Cupcakes pair well with apricot brandy, vodka, ice wine, scotch, gin, swamp water, chardonnay, coconut rum, tequila and raspberry stout. Also, in a pinch, milk.

1. Good girls go to heaven but bad girls go everywhere, and they bring a box of cupcakes with them.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hot Sunday

I got out the door at a decent hour this morning and managed close to 25k.

The first 20 were beautiful. I jogged along the shady gravel path that hugs the river and smelled all the new green plants and watched people rowing in needle-thin boats. That path and all the bike paths I saw were quite clear; maybe citizens are already away on vacation. Or else the zombies got em.

The last 5k were less than spectacular. The heat was patiently burrowing under my sunscreened skin like a tropical worm and I just wanted to go home. Tired, sweaty and probably dehydrated, with a face like a bing cherry, I took a short cut and clung for dear life to the shady side of the street (apologies to Armstrong). Once enveloped by the civilized temps of my basement, I realized that since my haircut I have been running hat-free, a routine I should reconsider for the next few months. There was also the case of the absent second gel; usually I force myself to swallow a second one somewhere around 17k, but I forgot to do that today. So if I had an underwhelming final 5, these mishaps might have contributed to the results. My knees were ok, though! No knees were harmed during the making of this run.

Even though my adventure was over before noon and I had a to-do list as long as my arm, I changed my mind and spent the day on my couch, immersed in cold drinks & words. All day long! The list, I decided, could wait.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I left with the clothes on my back. I left the kids in the house and took the money. I left the keys in the ignition and caught a ride. I left her crying at the airport. I left but I figured I'd return. I left the bags under the back steps. I left rotten milk in the fridge. I left when the going got tough. I left as the sun sank beneath the waves. I left for promises I knew he couldn't keep. I left and never looked back.

He got up when he heard the screams. He got up for a drink in the middle of the night. He got up to no good after his wife left him. He got up to take the bus to the airport. He got up for bacon but not for eggs. He got up and paced in the moonlight. He got up early but she was gone.

We stayed for the whole show. We stayed until it got weird. We stayed to clean up. We stayed on the phone and listened. We stayed even though we knew. We stayed because life is beautiful. We stayed for the beer and the coke, and because Mel told us to. We stayed close by just in case. We stayed when no one else would.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

To Eno's Music for Airports & Thursday Afternoon

The clear scent of strawberries. A spider on the floor. Shoes squeak on a staircase. Traffic lights against the sky. Staples on a telephone pole. Walking in the mist before rain. A breeze transitions into wind. Leaves like butterflies on a limb. Sitting alone at a large table. Beads of juice on a cut lime.

Reflections in a screen. Surprise at an empty seat. Remembering a title. Picking up garbage from a backseat. Latte foam in the shape of hearts. Empty basket on an old bicycle. Cracking an egg. Doorbell like a grandfather clock. Passport photo in a library book. Sand castles at high tide. Baby please don't go.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Animal crackers

Yoga is there when times are a-changing or too static, or whenever I need some comfort. Some runner friends turned me on to yin, a style that wrenches opens the body with poses held for a long time - maybe 2-3 minutes. The emphasis is on stretching, not so much muscle building, and to stretch for a long duration one is encouraged to find a comfortable way to hold a pose. Otherwise, as the milliseconds tick by, the sensations will become too intense. I had to resort to bolsters and blankets today because my body felt so constricted, especially on my right side. My hips feel more open now because they've been roughened up by the brutal Lotus pose. The name sounds delicate, the pose is not.

I tried a new class tonight. The teacher was helpful and didn't talk a lot, allowing silence to give birth to introspection and introversion. Class concluded with a long relaxing corpse pose that did not end until at least one person woke up in the middle of a snore! My word, it was the perfect yoga class.

I love the poses named after animals. Sometimes I try to find the animal in myself and the people around me. Do we look like a murder of crows ominously at rest in a tall tree, our limbs crossed at crooked angles? Could I pass for a pigeon at a Halloween party if I splay my legs on a mat like this?

Slurpy soup pose: ramen, broc, carrot, shroom, egg.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dinner at the Taco Lot

While T and I were out strolling this afternoon - baby in stroller - she asked me if I'd been to the Taco Lot yet. It's a small building (a shack, actually) in a parking lot a few blocks from my place. It's along the same lines as other quick eateries like snack trucks that serve just a few items. It's great to see that the city that fun forgot is finally giving the green light to small business owners who want to serve interesting fare. I hear there is a Thai truck somewhere in the city. I will sniff it down. 

So I ambled over for a taco dinner feeling very bohemian: Pynchon's characters go out for fish tacos in Cali in Inherent Vice. While placing my order at the window and staring at some mini desserts just within reach, I almost tipped over a small sculpture of a rooster sitting in the gravel. The chalk board listed 4 savoury offerings plus a few flavours of cheesecake and gluten-free shortbread. Something for everyone! 

I had 2 tacos, one fish and one vegetarian, which were accompanied by a scoop of Mexican rice, some cooked red cabbage and lettuce on the side, and tender slices of pineapple and watermelon. A lovely snack! 

Kind of like this.

Then I rounded it off with a chocolate ice cream. I forgot to look for the donut shop by the taco shack. I heard the donuts are good. Next time.

Oh yeah, ran about 14K this morning after some ART yesterday. The sun was hot but I ran slowly, and stretched and iced afterwards. Regardless, the unforgiving IT bands on the outer edge of both legs were irritated and remain so, but I'll appease them with yet more ice treatments before bed, and relax them with some yoga tomorrow.