Sunday, August 28, 2005

Wolf Lake

Friday at about 2:15, Lori and I got in the car to head up to her family's cabin at Wolf Lake to meet friends for her birthday weekend. Lori, Elana, Amy, Andy, Adrien, and I spent the night with her family at their beautiful country house. We hung out, ate, talked, and had a lovely evening, all in preparation for Saturday's adventure. We went rafting on the Delaware River. Granted, the water is at its lowest in August so it's more of a calm lazy river. There are a few mild rapids, and they were entertaining, but mostly the day was about a 5 mile trip down the river while spending time with 3 earths and 2 waters. At least that's what I've been told.

The weekend was so relaxing and easy going. The mix of people was socially comfortable. And I was able to have some wonderful conversations with Lori and Elana. One of the most pleasant surprises (other than Lori and I's new matching sports bras from Adidas) was Elana and my conversation. We have known each other since about 9th grade of high school, but only in the way one knows their friend's friends. We see each other at social gatherings, since both Meredith and Lori are good friends with her. But we have never established our own separate relationship. This past weekend, we were able to get to know each other without looking through someone elses lens. Without seeing only what we are told is true. It was refreshing. To come to your own conclusions about another human being. Hear say is such an easy out.

Upstate NY is lovely. I haven't spent much time up there since my previous relationship. Bear Mountain, route 17, all the signs of places I had been to while visiting friends and my ex. There was a certain flavour of nostalgia in the air. In the summer time, it is a wonderful place to be. In the winter however, the cold is brutal. I would definitely go back. And the idea of one day owning a house that you can escape to is a thought for the future...distant future.

So, thank you Lori for a wonderful weekend. Happy Birthday, and I'll be seeing you in San Fran in January. (Fingers crossed)

Friday, August 19, 2005


Over the last few weeks, possibly over a month, I have had the urge to call my ex to see how he was doing. The last time we spoke was months ago, when he randomly called me and the conversation like every other conversation we have had since we broke up, was disappointing. The official two year mark since we split was this past June. After we parted, he became less and less of the person I knew as my first love. He drank, he never seemed happy or excited, he was rude, belligerent. This was in no way the person I had spent 4 1/2 years with. He hadn't wanted to break up. It was my choice. I left him. I hurt him. And he kept getting worse and worse each time we'd speak. I stopped talking to him thinking it was me that brought out the worst in him.

Partly out of selfish motives (not wanting to feel guilty for leaving him and hurting him so badly) and partly to see how he was doing, I rang him yesterday evening to touch base and see what was new in his life. Any other time in the past two years he and I have spoken, I could not tell him if I was involved with someone else because he admitted he would be too jealous. This time, he came out and told me he had a girlfriend of 4 months so I felt justified in telling him the truths of my life, the new apartment, and all the news.

He seemed better, happier although he still lingered on his dislike of his job, he still drinks, and still has an overall puss on his face. But he is with someone. He isn't alone anymore, which was the hardest part for him. The loneliness. I thought to myself, 'wow, he and I might actually have a chance at being friends- perhaps meet for tea.' He then told me his current girlfriend wouldn't approve of him talking to me. He told me she thought if he spoke to me, that his feelings for me would return. My retort: 'You can't be with someone for that long and feel nothing. Even if all you feel is nostalgia for a different part of your life and self. We are different people now and two years has gone by.' He said he knew that but it would still bother her. I then asked if it would be problematic if I called him on his birthday in Sept to wish him a happy day, and he said that I shouldn't. Lame, I thought. But it's his choice, and if he's happy, I don't want to do anything to hinder that.

In any case, I finally had some closure to that relationship that seemed to have happened in another life. I'm happy he's moved on, and that he's happy, or as happy as he'll ever let himself be. He is planning on going back to school for engineering. I'm actually very proud of him. And felt good as we got off the phone. A bit sad that he feels we shouldn't speak, but all the same, whatever helps his life work- I'm happy to oblige.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

14,000 ft

Eleven people both from Ct and NY made there way to Ellington Ct to take part in an exciting experience of bonding and personal satisfaction. Yesterday I took my first skydive from 14,000 feet. Plosk organized the event. Originally the guest list included him, his muddha, and me. That list grew and shrank many times, but in the end we had eleven companions. My life long friend Lori even joined us for the experience as well as Alice, Quyen, and Jacek to name a few of the jumpers.

Alice and Lori met us at our place in NY and then we drove up- Lori and Gary in a car and Alice and I in a car. Alice and I talked a great deal. She has to been one of the most independent self motivated people I have ever met. We arrived in Ct, ate, watched Battlestar, and then Plosk and I talked for a good long while- the kind of talking and being open with each other that makes our relationship work so well. We had to go to sleep since we were planning on leaving at 6:20 in the morning. At 5 o'clock the alarm went off, I jumped in the shower and we began our drive to the airport.

Once arriving, I still felt no nerves. I had thought that my body would be tense, that I would feel fear but there was none. I believe that to be because of how unreal the idea of jumping from an airplane seemed to me. I had no way to compare it to any other experience, nothing solid to fear, so my mind chose to simply accept I was going to try something new and not fret about it. I was in the 4th jump, after Matt, Alice and Jack. I couldn't have picked a group I would rather have jumped with. Plosk, Muddha, and me got into the plane with our tandem partners and began our ascent. I still felt very little in terms of nerves. But Plosk and I held hands, and kissed while being strapped to our partners. It was unbelievable to be doing this with him. Muddha was getting her dvd done, so we all smiled for the camera and once it was mentioned this was her birthday gift to him, the entire plane broke out in song "Happy Birthday to you." It was a wonderful moment.

My tandem partner Larry was a great coach. He went step by step through the process with me on the ground and again up in the sky. We joked and had a good time, and mostly I just sat and laughed and enjoyed the ride up. At 14,000 feet the plane doors opened and the single jumpers began to disappear. Larry and I scooted forward towards the door and it wasn't long before I saw Muddha disappear in front of me. I put my knees on the floor, and my legs up so I was hanging between Larry's legs (like a pair of extremely large testicles- that was the image in my mind). He has mentioned earlier how much he enjoyed the fact that I weigh next to nothing and how easy that would make the jump for him and me. We got to the door and suddenly I had nothing around me, my face was filled with air, wind and I was plummeting to the earth. I could try and explain it but I'm afraid it's impossible. There is nothing like it. I will say that Larry at one point put my arms flat to my side and bulleted us down at nearly 200 miles an hour. Even Plosk later said he was green with envy because I was able to go so fast. I had nothing to compare it to so for me, it was simply intense. It was astounding, surreal, and bizarre. Our shoot opened at 5,000 feet and I felt a huge jerk to my body. Someone had packed our shoot in such a way that the opening was not a smooth transition. After that we slowly descended down to the landing field where I put my legs in front of me and very lightly skidded to a halt. Insane.

Holy Hell. It was such an odd experience. I can't say love or hate, because it exists beyond any of those feelings. I would do it again, if that says anything, if only to take in more of the atmosphere instead of being so dumbfounded by all the sheer feeling of falling. I am impressed that I felt so little fear. Perhaps because my mind was in such a state of confusion. The human body was not designed to drop 14,000 feet going at times 200 miles an hour and live. It's a shock to the system to say the least.

In any case, Plosk came over to me, kissed me, our gear still on and we walked to the others who had been clapping and cheering us on. We then hung around watching everyone else go.

After the jump, I became extremely tired. We went to a restaurant, hung out with everyone, then split ways and Plosk, Muddha, Lori, Jacek, and I headed back to Prospect to nap, read and relax for a bit. I slept so deeply that when Plosk woke me up I thought it was the following morning. We went to Jacek's and watched a movie, went and had Big Dipper ice cream(yum), went bowling and basically had an amazing day hanging with friends. The bowling was fun and frustrating. Jacek and I had some friendly competition but there was loud rap playing as well as a not so great host who kept screwing up the order of our games. Ah well. Then we went to bed and slept extremely well. I am now back in NY in my apartment feeling good and relaxed and happy I went. Hot damn.

One other thing that I realized this past weekend was something only Lori's presence allowed me to see. I've been going to Prospect for close to 2 years now. I feel so comfortable there, and everyone has accepted me so completely that it feels like another home. She kept saying how cool everyone was and how nice it was up there. I for the first time recognized that I had a whole other life in Ct with people I value a great deal. From Plosk's friends to his family, each person has made a space for me within their group. And it's been that way for a long time now, since before I was ever even "the girlfriend." And since I started out without that title, they all know me as 'Ali' and not their good friends gal. I am a seperate entity.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Assistant Coach

Last Tuesday Kristy and I had a conversation on Volleyball. She was thrilled to find out that I would be interested in taking on the position as assistant coach of the slc vball team. We talked about it in detail and were both really excited about the prospect of working together. She went from being my coach 2 years ago, to my friend, and now to my co-worker. Lots of transitions.

I thoroughly miss playing volleyball for a variety of reasons. I hate normal cardio. I love being a part of an athletic group. I like the physical work out structure it provides me. I'm much more apt to run fast for a ball than I am to run for a treadmill.

In any case, Kristy and I are going to sit down and talk about what we want the season to be like, where I think my role will be as Asst Coach, and other good stuff like that. I think it will be a great learning experience and a great opportunity to try looking at a sport I love in a completely different way. Granted, I'd rather be on the court, but I have a feeling I'll still be able to do some physical activity. Like 5 minute abs...

Thursday, August 11, 2005


So it appears as if what I felt when my medication was wrong were heart palpitations. My doctor's office just called to tell me to go back onto 8 pills a week. I told her about the stress I had felt in my chest because of the high dosage of synthroid and she said, "oh, that's not good. That means you are feeling it in your heart." I asked if there was anyway to take a different dose each day altogether that would be a small step down and not involve cutting pills in half. She said no. The pills come in certain increments and the one that I would need doesn't exist. What she said was that if my palpitations came back they would have to figure out an alternate solution- otherwise put me on cardiac medication- and I'm sorry, I'm 23 and too young to be on heart meds when my heart works perfectly fine. Well, this is the peak of frustration. I'm at work and I would rather be at home curled in bed alone contemplating the horror of health and medications and what a pain in the ass they are. I'm in a stuck phase today. I feel immobile. Negative. I severely hate cancer, and the frustration that goes along with it. It has been 9 months since surgury. It should be done. Apparently it's not.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Last night Plosk and I headed into the city to see the show Manuscript playing at Union Square. The show was over all very enjoyable, had funny realistic dialogue, and extremely capable actors. The story focuses on three characters in their first year of college at Yale and Harvard, talking about their writing, their aspirations, friendship, and smoking opium. I will not divulge much of the plot, but instead will say there were many laugh out loud moments, the set was wonderful, and the characters painfully real and flawed. My only critique would be that these 3 characters did not in anyway appear to be 19 years old. Instead I think at minimum they should have been 23, but could have just as easily been 29 or 30. The "Jack" like character was the most humorous, in his body language and dialogue. Quarky and compassionate, and stuck in the middle of a bizarre unforeseen conflict.

Sadly, work has been less interesting. I have been growing steadily less happy with Columbia. Their focus on numbers and production no longer reflects the job of reading poetry that was so romantic in the beginning. The poetry is dull, redundant and reflects a time when the rich published simply because they could instead of because of talent. My co-workers remain wonderful, but I feel so wasted and bored. The next project is Contemporary poetry which would suit me better however, I would first have to endure 4 more months of horror. My eyes are open for a change. A new job would make me extremely happy right now. I shouldn't complain. My job isn't terrible. It's not like I'm a bored waitress, unhappy financial person, or some Starbucks/McDonalds/Taco bell drone but I have reached a point where I'm static and no longer learning. It's been that way for a while. I do get to read all day but still- it's simply time to move forward. Lately the only thing this job has taught me to do is this : ð — þ ß æ ¡ ¿ If anyone cares to know how to make any of those codes in HTML, I'm your gal. We're representing anglo-saxon, german, spanish, and some other stuff. Oh yes, useful knowledge. I can also speak to foreigners by using articles. Like Des, Ein, Dein, Le, La, Los, Una, etc. Yep, I can feel my brain expanding. Neruda! Where are you!

And one last note, I'm a marriage snob. Please don't invite me to your wedding if you're not in love and could care less about the ceremony. If you don't want to be there, I'm probably not going to want to be there. If you're going to Marry for money or comfort, that's fine, but I don't need to make the trip.