Team in training – 4 weeks to go

4 weeks to go and I still need to raise another 700. I guess i should concentrate on the fundraising part more than the running at this point.

My donation page:

It’s been a while since my last update. Some of you may have heard about my sprained ankle a month back. Thanks for all your well wishes. I did take a break to properly heal and even tried some aqua jogging which is supposed to be very low impact. Its my 3rd week back and the truth is that I am definitely feeling the 2-3 weeks of not training. Every week I ask myself if running a full marathon is realistic at this point considering that I only have 41 days left to train. When I run and every step hurts I wonder if that is in my mind or in my body? Everyone seems to hurt at this point of the season…I just wonder if they hurt as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

I did 13.5 miles today and the hardest part was actually NOT running those 1.5 miles that everyone else ran. All in all it was a great day to be out running along the Santa Monica beach. It took me a little over 3 hours.

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Counter Intelligence – the map

Just a quick note. I finally got sick of flipping through the book (Counter Intelligence) looking for a listing that is in the area I am visiting. You would think in the index, there would be a listing by area…nope. A ton of places waiting for foodies to explore listed alphabetically and by cuisine. (sigh) I mean, if you were already familiar with the places (and thus can remember their names and locations) you wouldn’t really need the book…right?

Basta! I stopped griping about it and decided to make a google map. It’s still a work in progress…and I am only up to the C’s. But in case you want to help out or enjoy the A-B listings, please feel free. The markers are color coded by large groupings of cuisine.

My Counter Intelligence map.

Bikram in Los Angeles

I moved out to Los Angeles a year ago almost to the day. I was disappointed to discover that Bikram was not as popular here as it is in NY where you can pretty much find a studio either near you work or you home. Even in bangkok, there was a studio near my house! Being car-less for the first 8 months, I resigned myself to the LA Fitness that was within walking distance.

A year and 10 lbs later, I now have a job and a car. And guess what…there are two Bikram studios between work and home. I chose the studio in Redondo to start up my return to Bikram based on the comments on yelp.

Cleanliness in a Bikram studio is very important to me. Especially so when you have a roomful of extremely sweaty people. Next on my consideration list would be changing rooms. In New York, big changing rooms are a luxury but once again it boils down to having enough cubbies, hooks, lockers. Generally most changing rooms have 2-3 showers. But most in NY will provide you with free soap and baggies (for your veeery wet clothes) I didn’t see any bags at redondo though. The most important consideration for me is the vibe of the place. How friendly and helpful are the staff? The instructors, the fellow practitioners. In this aspect…I found the studio at the Lower East Side in NY to be the absolute best in all categories.

The one in Redondo? Well its very clean and cute. The staff is great and every welcoming. The instructors use a microphone which I find a little disturbing since the room is not very big. The 7pm class is quite empty…which is a huge change from the crowded rooms of Williamsburg and the lower east side. I have so much room I can actually spread my arms without touching anyone!

The biggest change for me is the heat. I have always been slow to cool down. I look forward to the blasts of cold air when the door is opened. Well, not in LA. It seems that the temperature in the hall is pretty much the same as in the room. I am sitting in the hall gasping for air….trying to find a corner where the temperature is a tad cooler. In the end, i throw on enough clothes to be decent and stand outside in the breeze.

Oh yes, for those considering classes there, they have a 30$ beginner’s special forย  10 days.

Resuscitating my iPod

I never knew the iPod also has a sad face until a week ago. After a frustrating day of skipped songs, no response to any buttons I pushed, when I tried to restart my ipod….all I got was the sad Mac face. i hadn’t seen one of those in ages. It’s the mac equivalent of the bluescreen of death on a PC. Worse than that I also made this sadder clicking sound which is referred to in the blogs as ‘the click of death’

I ignored it for a week…thinking that if i don’t acknowledge it, perhaps it just might fix itself. After a week of listening to the radio, I decided it was high time to tackle the problem head on.

I could go to the url that my iPod displayed….but I doubted I would find anything useful. I searched the blogs ๐Ÿ™‚

I found a great link that basically told me to take the iPod apart and ‘shake’ the hard drive, the reason being that i would have to buy a new one anyway, why not just give it one last do or die attempt. Josh Highland’s blog has a really detailed page that talks you through taking apart an ipod.

I had my screwdriver in hand…but I just couldn’t open it! I went back online….and came across another solution. Purposely dropping your ipod on the floor (it’s screwed anyways…right?) or alternately hitting it really hard on a table.

Oh the low-tech- ness of it all. Like kicking your computer when it fails to boot up. Am I supposed to believe that hitting my beautiful slim elegant piece of high technology against my desk will bring it back to life? Well what did I have to lose. I hit it against a notepad hard (so it wouldn’t dent my desk) a few times for good measure. I powered it on….and voila. its so stupid…but it actually worked.

I guess i don’t need a new iPod just yet.

The trappings of security

This morning I got an email from on of my friends. She is my hero in terms of not having ‘stuff.’ In the past two years our lives have both settled down somewhat. No more big moves having settled into stable relationships and jobs. Here is an excerpt of the email:

“…on my way back here, i left my knapsack in the cab. had my laptop, car keys, my camera, my mom’s blue ring, all the little jewelry and make up I own, plus a few other favorites. my mom’s ring bugged me the most. but it’s made me recognize that i was getting too attached to it — and by extension, i think i have been getting too attached to the trappings of security in general. i think i mean that i’ve become less free, and more concerned with things (like jewelry) that i never gave a damn about before.”

It made me think…what are the trappings of security? is it such a bad thing to have security? As we get older (a fact that can’t be helped) is it not natural to want a certain amount of security? have I become less free? Weighed down by commitments, responsibilities and belongings?

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Providence LA – One of the top 50 restaurants?

This I weekend, I took my husband on a ‘fancy night out.’ Fancier than the usual fancy as we were celebrating a double whammy, my belated ‘I just got a full time job’ celebration and his birthday. We had been to Craft and really liked it but I felt we had to go one level above. So after much scouring of Chowhound, I decided on Providence headed by Chef Joachim Splichal.

The verdict? I felt like a judge on Iron Chef. We opted for the full tasting menu (8 courses) with wine pairing. When the amuse bouche came, three drink theme tidbits beautifully presented, I knew we were in for a wild ride. Everything was beautifully presented, crazy creativity and most importantly it tasted great! We often were left staring bewildered at the plated wondering how the heck did they do that? (the mojito ravioli was an example…a translucent bubble that burst in your mouth)

Staff was very nice, not snobby. Make sure you dress up a little.

My only advice…unless you really eat a lot, the half tasting menu would have been enough. I can’t imagine how anyone does the 12 course chef’s extravaganza. Was it worth the $$? yes, but you have to be the type who really appreciates the artistry in cuisine.


I recently joined the group “You know you went to an International school when…” on Facebook. This list beings with “ You can’t answer the question: ‘Where are you from?'” I know I have face down many preplexed stares at my difficulty in answering such a simple question. “Do you mean where I was from originally? or where I moved from? Where I currently live?” It’s not such a simple question after all. On the list there was also “7) Your life story uses the phrase “Then we went to…” five times (or six, or seven times…).
8) You speak with authority on the quality of airline travel.” I have finally re-found my tribe. The tribe that really has a hard time committing to the word ‘home.’ I usually find that people become even more confused when I tell them that it doesn’t really matter where I live. And yes, I do have one of the thickest multi-book passports around. And yes, my close friends are scattered all over the globe but that seems normal to me.

I’ve picked up some very handy survival tactics and thoughts over the years. I hope this might make relocation for others easier. (And please feel free to contribute if you think of anything else)

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