Monthly Archives: April 2011

a city so grey & wet, a city i call home

this city, with its concrete streets, sirens wailing and torrential downpours that leave my roof weeping and ceilings dewy, is my home. my lover asked me if i thought of leaving this place, one day. i turned to him, curious about this question. what prompted it? is he telling me something? i’ve lived here 8 years, the longest i’ve ever been in one place. i always said i’d return to Maryland, that i would sink my feet in the eastern shore (ok fine, Ocean City) and grow roots here. i am but 30 minutes from the immigrant-rich town my grandparents ended up in when we escaped vietnam. no one from my family lives there now, we are scattered.

there are my closest boy cousins, M & H, who left as children for the city of Angels. they stand doggedly by the sidelines at family functions, not comfortable in their skater gear but stubbornly refusing to conform to the business casual attire followed by the east coast cousins. they smile, but it doesn’t reach their eyes, they itch for smokes of the herb variety. they gamely answer questions of their continuing education, their choice in careers, taking in the silent judgements of our slew of aunts and uncles. i want to hold them, to shield them from the looks, but at the same time, i want them to face this. am i any better than the older generation with my judgements? that i want them to get college degrees and typical 9to5s is irrelevant, because it is not what they want. {2003}

there are my beautiful cousins, B & K, more like sisters than my own sisters. somehow they have emigrated from MD to VA, the direct opposite move i made. during my travels i did not keep in touch with them. our paths did not meet, on purpose. the moment i could, i reached out to them and they welcomed me back like no time had passed. they had grown so — and i had missed it all! K with her gentle voice, delicateness that hid the steely strength inside. B had a hard exterior, so many layers toughened like brown skin from the sun, thickened by disappointment and heartbreak from a boy who did not love her. but like an orange, you peel away the layers and you find such a tender soul that showed such selflessness, a part of her that few saw. {2000}

my adopted home city has not changed much in the years i’ve lived here, instead it is a constant that some would see as dull, as banal. i find it refreshing to know that it is exactly the same day in and day out. i am neither afraid of what the nights bring when i come home late nor angry by the potholes that decorate the surface of the streets. it is amusing that none of my family, save B & K, have seen where i live, where i lay my head, where i call home. it is a pleasure that i live this life, not exactly the way i had envisioned it but exactly the way i like it. {now}

i sat pondering this, in the passenger seat while he drove us to dinner friday night, to meet his friends, to celebrate the last days of Lent. i was tired, i was cranky, the day had been grey, and wet. traffic was slow, it was the tail end of rush hour. my hand was in his as he steered the car one-handed. i had no absolute answer for him. because where i am right now, i don’t want to leave. but should there come a time when an absolute answer is needed, i want the flexibility and the strength to answer accordingly. so i merely squeezed his hand and told him that i was only comfortable with thinking about what i was ordering for dinner, and not so much what could happen in 5 years.



do you know that feeling of having so much to do that you do nothing? that is how i feel right now.

so allow me to take a moment. to breathe.

hearing – the rain outside. baltimore is awash in cloud drops and tho i despair not running outside, i keep the mantra “april showers bring may flowers” in my head…
seeing – tulips. they’re one of my favorite flowers and they’re budding.
feeling– the fatigue in my legs from my latest run. it’s a good feeling. it’s a satisfying feeling.
tasting– sweet, sweet victory of completing this Lent season sans meat or much swearing, avec contemplation and fulfillment.
listening zac brown band anyone?
readingclan of the cave bear.
touching – my toes. fancy stretching yoga is going well, i feel limber, i feel loose. i feel alive.
smelling – honeysuckles. so delicious, i almost want to actually tear the petals and taste them on my tongue.
dreaming – of LA. i’ll be there come june, to visit quietly with the grandparents.
praying – for a speedy recovery of my darling, he woke up throwing up again last night, poor dear.

it’s only tuesday and rather than wishing away our life for the weekend, take today and live it.

run right into you

+there was no running this weekend, it rained in sheets and i am not hardcore enough to endure that. i ran today & this time it took me almost 39 minutes to do 3.1miles
+barca tied with madrid and i am contemplating PTO-ing half day on wednesday to catch their next match
+$5wordGuy* is sick as a dog and normally i would be high-tail it home, only to emerge a week after the sick has recovered. i’m not embarassed by this admission, it’s how i roll. but for him, i’m brainstorming up soup options, trying to recall weirdo asian remedies to get him better and for serious, considering calling up the stepmother for her advice. what the hell is this world coming to?
+Lent is over at the end of this week. i am going to eat the ever living hell outta meat come this weekend. imma also let loose a slew of curse words
+i’ve had this song/video on repeat all day. i did not attend this concert in nashville on saturday, seeing as how they’ll be in MD next month & i can cause mayhem then. it still hurt just a little bit tho when i saw this, cus i wasn’t there


i ran three times this week, two times outdoors. my body is tired. i have restorative yoga tonite in the hopes that my energy level and spirit will be restored. because have mercy, when i think of the long runs i’ll have to pull this summer, in the heat no less, i get discouraged.

i have a new handy dandy garmin that a food blogger friend gifted to me. he wasn’t using it and he’s been so supportive of my attempt to run. it’s fancier than what i would’ve picked out for myself, it’s not like i need much but when i put it on, i feel part fraud and part professional runner. trust me, it’s a weird feeling. what’s even weirder? that while i still dislike running, i do look forward to it, especially when the weather is so loverly and $5wordGuy* is beside me.

speaking of him, after much deliberation and laughter btwn us, we made it FB official today. (you know it’s not official until it’s on FB. just saying.) we’ve big plans for a leisurely run saturday morning, along with some bread baking, kumquat marmalade making and a barca-madrid game. sunday will be spent at a campus fair where we will hunt down funnel cake for me and quite possibly, picture-taking of the tulips that are in full bloom, finally. and of course, the harry potter 7 dvd came out today, so we will spend our evenings with witches and wizards.


outside running

last night was lovely, at around 50F with a bit of wind. $5wordGuy* and i were going to run for the first time, together. i was apprehensive about it. i don’t like huffing & puffing with an audience. i also do not like sweating glistening with an audience. plus, outdoor running is different from running on a treadmill. if a 5K or half marathon could be run on a treadmill, i could do it. i’d be bored, but i could do it.

$5wordguy* lives in a hilly part of the city. we ran up the hill and i thought i was going to die. we hadn’t even hit a mile and i was ready to turn around and call it a day. i mean, i’ve been “running” since January 10th and i could not maintain. on top of that, he hasn’t run since … i think, ever and he was doing better than me. then i kept getting distracted. the flowers were in bloom, we ran thru neighborhoods and the houses were lovely, i wished for my camera.

i finally made him stop running when 1. he mentioned his chest was hurting. 2. my left knee persisted in aching. 3. when the wind made my right ear ring.

we walked the rest of the way home, and for 20 minutes, i made him stretch every part of his body.

i have cake pops to make tonight and tomorrow night, but prior to delivering them on Saturday, we’re doing the run again.

sigh. this is an entirely different beast for me to slay.

i need to remember this.