Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Climb!

By Emma and Plosk

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Rock Club in New Rochelle

Last night Plosk, Jack, Q, and I went rock climbing at a new climbing facility in New Rochelle. It was amazing. It's the biggest indoor climbing place in the area and has really nice knowledgeable staff. I would recommend "The Rock Club" to anyone at any level. They have lessons for beginners as well as a 5.13 for advanced climbers. We all did pretty well. It is a ton of upper body strength and quad work. I'm glad I didn't go to the gym before it. Ooh, and it's the perfect vegan sport as there are tons of vegan climbing shoes on the market. Plosk loved it and we'll all go again in the next two weeks since we have a free session. Go to I swear, it's really fun and your arms will get the best work out they have had in years by doing this. Here are some pics:

We were at the Rock Club for about three hours with our very patient instructor Noah. He was great as was the vibe of the whole place. I think Plosk liked it more than any of us. He climbed so fast I had trouble keeping up belaying. He was a little monkey or rather a big monkey. It is definitely an odd feeling climbing straight up a wall but also very satisfying. There is a clear goal and it's just you and a wall, and hopefully someone to catch you if you fall. I did catch Plosk 3 times. Twice he fell on purpose as we were supposed to in order to test our belay person, and the third time he just plain fell. I had to have an anchor to the ground so he wouldn't pull me up.

I think this may become a pretty regular event. Perhaps once or twice a month. It's not too expensive, it's a great work out, and really fun. So thank you Noah and the Rock Club. We shall be seeing you again.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Juvenex, Jupiter, and CUP

This past Wednesday Plosk and I had our very first massages. I figured, we would get there, change, and then get our massage and be out 60 minutes later. What I didn't know is that nice places have a whole song and dance before you even lay on the bed. First you shower, then you go into a sauna and are served cold water with lemon, then you go into a bath with full lemons floating around, then a steam room, another shower, and then you get your 60 minute massage. After the bliss that is a full body massage, they served us cucumber water, lemon water, tea and fresh fruit. Yes, it was a night of pampering all thanks to Marko and his generous wedding gift. Thank you Marko. Thank you indeed. We are going to get another one when we head to Colorado this October, that is if American Express ever sends us the information we need.

On Friday I went for a nice morning walk with my Dad and Jupiter. We walked along the aquaduct and Jupiter went nuts like she always does around me. My parents claim that something about me makes the dog go wonky but I don't really believe them. I think she's wonky all the time and they just blame it on me because they want me to think she's first in her class at puppy school. Well, she doesn't have to be first for me to like her. Then my dad and I went to the Dobbs diner. It may become a Friday ritual. That is, walking the dog, not the diner.

I came home and started working as I work from home on Fridays and then I hear from Rita about the end the grangers poetry project. The project is ending 2 months in advance and they are letting go the three women. So, these three women are really smart and qualified. One of the three men who is staying is qualified and I like him a great deal. Another, I have never met, and the other is a stinking whining sack of lazy who makes 18 personal calls a day and should not be kept on. But hey, I only worked there for a year a five months so what do I know. Hmm. Well, I'm glad that these three ladies will be moving away from CUP if only because Columbia University Press is a terrible place to work.

Tonight we are off to Westport to have dinner with Brian which will be nice. In fact I'm pretty excited to be seeing a CT person outside of Prospect. And I'm also pretty happy that in the next few months my time in CT will be limited due to school and vball. This means that I can actually live my life in NY- ya know, the place where I live.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New Hair

I cut my hair yesterday morning and for the first time, had no fear and felt completely liberated. I had it styled. It is above my shoulders and I love it. I feel new- rejuvenated. It's funny. Before I was with Plosk I was afraid to change certain things- afraid to take chances on clothes or hair. I was very safe. Now I'm having more fun with fashion and with my look than ever before- even when I modeled. Aren't I supposed to gain weight and wear sweat shirts now that I'm married? It had the opposite effect on me. I'm all about trying new things and exuding more confidence. Perhaps because I'm in a safe environment. If I mess up, I won't be judged. He's with me even if my hair cut turned out to look like a mop:) Happily, I don't have a mop head.

In a few minutes he is going to get home from the gym and we'll head out for a romantic dinner. I don't know where. He planned it and I'm simply waiting. It feels good to wait knowing he's on his way here. It feels nice knowing he planned something for us. I have a kitten on my lap and a kitten to my side and soon I'll be out and about with Plosk. It's nice to spend time with your family:)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Back to School

In my life, I have never been so excited for school to start. This fall, I officially begin my masters. On Tuesdays from 9:30 to 11:30 I will be in a fiction workshop sharing ideas with other writers. Yes, I know a good many of them will be bad because no matter how good the program is, there are always bad writers in the mix. But there will also be a few writers of note, and teachers who can give their opinions on the novel I have been working on. But I think what is more exciting than anything else, is that I will be getting another degree. I am participating in something that has a beginning and an end. This is perhaps what is so wonderful about school. The cycles. I know that in three years I will be done. It is very unique. I will leave that place and be qualified to teach. I will hopefully be published by that time and excited to do something else.

Plosk and I are going to Boulder, Colorado for a long weekend in October. We are going to visit places we think we may want to live once we are done with NY. Well, after I get my masters is when we'll be thinking of gathering our things and being on our way. Neither of us want to live in our home states and I think we're both pretty keen on trying something new altogether. Colorado is very outdoors oriented and has a lot to do. It's also not the "west coast" which I'm a little suspect of.

So yes, school starts in 3 weeks. So does volleyball and my project for work. It seems like right now everything is tied in directly to acadamia. Even after I graduate and want to teach, I'll still be in that world. Or perhaps the world of non profits. Just as long as I stay away from the publishing industry.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bad Day for Animal Welfare

This past Sunday was a little rough. We woke up, made pancakes, slowly got ready to go to Plosk's Grams' 85th birthday party. I figured there would be tons of food there as there always is. In fact I haven't been to a party with zero vegetarian options in well- I can't remember the last time. Of course there was potato salad, fruit salad and desert, but there was no sort of pasta or anything resembling a main dish without something animal that had gone the way of dead. They did the sandwich thing but they were all meat. A roast vegetable sandwich or a cheese sandwich works just fine. And it's not like the omnivorous don't eat veggie food because lots of time, it's one of the first things to go. In any case, I left the party to go to cafe 68 for a lovely roast veggie wrap. I brought my bag back to the party and ate it there.

So, that by itself doesn't make it a bad day for animal welfare. A good friend of mine and I had a discussion. It was on where our food comes from- namely factory farming. The conversation started after she said that she saw like 12 baby dead shaven stiff lambs being brought into a Greek restaurant and it made her not want to eat lamb. Understandable. She also said that she won't eat veal. Now that's great. I'm glad veal has a bad name as far as meat goes. I'm glad that many don't want to eat it. I think the reasoning is a little insane. But whatever, it's a score for animal welfare. However what people don't get is that veal calves are treated the same way as all other farm animals. It is not worse torture. It is simply torturing a baby which is what people really have a problem with. But perhaps that veal calf got off easy. He didn't have to spend his whole life being tortured, just a few weeks. Questions of ethics.

Now, why was my convo with my friend disheartening to me? Well, she said she didn't care if a chicken was tortured so she could eat a cheap egg. Well, that is the first time someone ever said that they blatantly don't care. Sure I've heard, "I don't want to know" or they care but not enough to change their habits, but never, "I don't care at all." So, I tried a different angle. I spoke about how crappy factory farmed food is for people- how you can be served a downed cow or a diseased animal. Lets get into hormones that are bad. Nope, didn't work. So, then we move onto environmental concerns: ground water being polluted. Wasted resources. Still no bite. Then big business driving the small farmer into oblivion. That got a small bite but still not enough. Ok, human concerns: The amount of food it takes to feed one cow up until it's the proper size and weight to be slaughtered could feed so many more people than one cut up cow. If we're just talking about curing world hunger, lets feed some of our plants to humans instead of to tortured cows. How is that as an idea. She then said she doesn't have the knowledge to argue with me so she didn't. But, she also just didn't care. A cheap egg was more important than all of those concerns. Perhaps she thought I was a crazy animal rights activist and that I was spinning truths. I said to Plosk later that the beauty of being an animal welfare advocate is that no lying is involved. There is no need to exaggerate. IT'S ALL TRUE!!!! So, yes, I found my conversation truly saddening. We all live in this world. Human, animal, plant, whatever- we all have the same goal and that is to procreate and drive the species forward. By giving ourselves cheap meat, we are killing much of what surrounds us which honestly will eventually come back to bite us in the ass.

So, that's my rant on my sad conversation. Am I a bleeding heart. Perhaps. But I can feel good that I help limit the suffering that takes place in this world. That is something that I have and I take pride in it. I'm not arguing the world become vegetarian or vegan(although I would love it). I'm simply saying, lets do what is best for everyone instead of looking at the small picture. A cheap carton of eggs or eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken...Is it really worth all that suffering/environmental hazards/human starvation and dangerous labor?