Tuesday, August 28, 2012

lessons from a 21-year-old "gymnast"

first, I must ask you to please forgive me for the plethora of gymnastics-related posts. I know no one cares, and I truly am sorry, really, I am, but I am so excited to actively pursue what has always been my first passion in life (first only to writing...I discovered gymnastics when I was five, so before I knew how to write, you know).

well...that was a ramble-y paragraph, was it not? My mind is absolute mush at the moment. Three hours of working out + training, plus communications law readings and papers...yep (I consider this class a sign from the gods above that I should never ever ever go to law school). Oh and also, I am running on like two hours of sleep. Basically, right now is not my finest hour, but the words are just pouring out of me, so there -- I shall write this post.

so on to the actual post, right?

lessons from a 21-year-old "gymnast"

{I went on such a long tangent over there that I figured I might as well write the title down again, lest you all forget what I was talking about in the first place}

muscle memory is a powerful, powerful thing. Seriously. It's like I never left gymnastics. My body and my mind just know what to do -- it's just that I'm not quite in the right shape to execute things safely. Like at all. But that's okay. It comes with time and lots of hard work, I think.

your center of gravity shifts when you are no longer an 80 lb. 4'9" 14-year-old and you've gone through puberty/have boobs (sort of). At which point, muscle memory can go screw itself, because everything you remember is not quite as you remembered it...

4 inches? The beam's got nothing on me. Okay, not quite, but I'm surprised with how comfortable I feel doing some pretty basic stuff (jumps, turns) and not-so-basic (double stag ring jump, back foot touching my head and nearly knocking me out on several occasions) stuff on beam. I always loved beam best. Love it, love it, love it. Can't get enough of it.

...now tumbling on the beam? That's probably going to be a different story. I am praying to the gym gods that I get my tumbling back easily.

bars suck. Which is no new discovery. I also hated them as a 14-year-old, and as a 13-year-old, and as a 12-year-old, etc etc.

but bars suck even more when you have soft non-gymnast hands. Which is going to be a problem. Reason no. 349344594 why I should have never quit.

my biggest fear in life is still splitting the beam. I have no idea who that child is in that video but I just want to tell her that it gets better.

just kidding, my biggest fear in life is bailing on a back twist and landing on my head. And here's this video for comic relief/the drama factor (because my blog is very dramatic and all).

I'm happier than I've been in a long time.

Monday, August 27, 2012

hello, lover

guess what? I'm back on the Syracuse gymnastics team, and I seriously couldn't be more excited. Not doing much at the moment -- trying to let my foot fully heal, yadda yadda -- but ooooh, how I missed the smell of chalk. Truly. Gyms just have such a distinct smell...I suppose you would know if you've ever been a gymnast, too.

today I got to meet some of the new girls on the team and they all seem very sweet.

I think it's going to be an amazing semester.

in other news, Simba got a haircut; unfortunately, his groomer went a little too snip-happy, and now he looks like a baby rat. Ew. But you know, hair grows.

I really want to get back into the swing of regular blogging...I guess that means I actually have to make an effort and all.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

on not being "enough"

I've been having a hard time sitting down to write lately. Not necessarily because of writer's block, but I simply feel an odd combination of drained and empty, like I am exhausted and there just isn't anything of note to say. Maybe this is so because moving took it out of me -- it seems that it took me forever to truly get settled -- or that for the time being I lack any semblance of a routine, at least until classes start on Monday. I am also adjusting to living with roommates again, which of course is great, but I find that I need to have time to myself to write. But here I am now, and I am writing.

anyway, here is a thought: Since I broke my foot, I have been having a hard time dealing with the negativity, insecurity, and guilt that I feel over not being able to really workout, move around, be active.  This has been particularly bothersome this past week because, to be honest, I'm not in too much pain anymore, even though I do need a little more time to heal, so it is easy to forget that I can't push myself right now, or at least I shouldn't, and that this does not make me fat or lazy, or, the all-too-familiar phrase in my head -- "not enough" (e.g. good enough, skinny enough, active enough, athletic enough, strong enough, driven enough...)

over the years, whenever I've been asked to describe how I feel about myself, I keep coming back to this: not enough. With my eating disorder, I wasn't thin enough; with gymnastics, I wasn't brave enough or good enough (I perpetually came in second place after another teammate, so this might have played into it); my writing is never beautiful enough; with my family, I've never felt perfect enough.

I feel that I always come short.

so I push and I push and I push myself, testing the limits to see how far I can go before I break.

I am painfully aware of how fucked up this is. I don't want to be this way, but I think maybe sometimes I do -- it has become a defense mechanism, a security blanket of sorts, and I am having a hard time letting go. Why? I don't quite understand myself, but I do know that these "not enough" thoughts creep up unexpectedly into my subconscious and before I know it, it's too late.

obviously, there's no quick fix. And really, that's fine. But I hope that maybe by putting it all down on paper, I can stop myself, take an outsider's perspective, and realize that, you know what? It's okay not to go on a run with a broken foot and after having woken up with the world's nastiest hangover (hey, a girl's allowed to have a drink or two -- or three or four -- to celebrate the start of her senior year of college, right?). In fact, it's more than okay, or "normal."

it's a good thing.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

i couldn't have said it better myself

Looking back, being raped wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to me, although the experience of speaking out and not being believed, the experience of feeling so ashamed and alone, stayed with me for a long time, and changed how I relate to other humans. 

and that is exactly how I feel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

yay, internet !

I've spent the past four days or so trying to settle into my new apartment-slash-townhouse-type-thing at school with my best friends. I can't wait to instax mini the heck out of my room and put up pretty pictures. We just got internet today, so yay. I can't believe senior year is here! Coming to school here is hands down the best decision I've ever made in my life -- I can't believe it's almost over, but that just means I've got to live it up, right?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

lessons from new york

initially I debated titling this post "lessons from the dirty, smelly, rat-infested, humid shoebox that they call New York City," but, you know. Political correctness and all (more like, I don't want to come under the wrath of any angry New Yorkers, and I also would hate to be the one to shatter the millions of dreams of those that still believe New York is like, the best place ever, ever). But I digress.

this summer was not an easy one. In no particular order: my Crohn's required serious medical attention, I was driven out of my first apartment by swarms of angry rats, I broke my foot, I ended up living alone and was very lonely, I practically had no friends, my anxiety and depression took a turn for the worse, and, most importantly, I finally came to terms with the fact that what I thought I wanted my entire life is not really what I want anymore. And that this does not make me a failure, and if anyone is disappointed in me because of it, well, then, that's their problem (although no one is disappointed in me; I just tend to make up worst-case-scenarious in my head). Also, there were other things that happened that I do not wish to discuss on such a public forum.

but anyway, even though I've been having this seemingly never-ending streak of, I don't know, bad luck? a friend reminded me yesterday that no, life is not out to get me. And even better, I have always been a firm believer that everything, absolutely everything, happens for a reason, even if sometimes we can't see what it is right away. Luckily for me, I think I see it.

this summer truly taught me to rid myself of others' expectations and do what I'm truly passionate about.

and so here is where I talk about what I am passionate about:

writing, of course. I dream of being a successful writer. Freelancing, publishing a couple of novels. And I know it won't be easy, but it's really comforting to know that I am already trying to make it happen (I made 40 bucks this week. Baller).

I want to teach creative writing lessons or workshops on the side. Maybe for a nonprofit, even. Dream.

I would love to move to the West Coast and live by the ocean.

I want to dedicate some time to taking photos only in film (good thing I bought instax film the other day).

anddddd, finally. This one I am a little hesitant to admit to (especially because you must all -- I mean, all two of you or whatever -- be sick and tired of hearing me rant and rave about gymnastics, especially since the Olympics are now over and no one cares), but here goes: For the longest time, I've been dreaming of getting back into the sport that I so abruptly left when I was 14. Sure, I tried a couple of times, but I gave up too quickly, insisting that I would never be as good as I once was, or that everything hurt and there is just no point in going through so much physical pain when you will never make it (make what, exactly?). Which I know is a terrible attitude to have. But, the other day, as I wasted invaluable hours of my day on Facebook, I came across an old teammate's page. She is a few years older than me and only quit gymnastics a couple of years after I did. Well, to my surprise, it seems that she's been back at it for a year now! And what's even better, she looks incredible -- in my opinion, much better than she ever did when you were younger.

so if she can do it, I can too. And I will do it. Because I love it, and I deserve to do the things that I love.

I mean, once my foot isn't broken anymore, obviously.

this is all to say, I suppose you weren't so bad to me after all, New York.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

the day i realize i used to speak russian

so a few days back, someone commented on my blog and asked, "wait, what's your first language?" because I said that English wasn't my first language, even though it's the only one I can write in (sort of, I think). So I was all like, oh, you know, Hebrew or Spanish and actually I'm not really sure, because I've lived a weird young life.

but then last night, I was on a (horrifically delayed...like five hours) MegaBus to Connecticut to see Mike, and I was jamming it up to The Beatles' "Back In The USSR" (my favorite Beatles song ever given my obsession with Soviet gymnasts...I mean, you can't tell me this isn't lovely. Or this. Or this.), and I was like, man, I wish I spoke Russian. Basically because I watch weird shit like MTV Russia when the Russian gymnasts are on getting interviewed about the Olympics and such, and it'd be nice to understand. Also, it sounds cool.

so in my head I was like, hmm. I know some words. I totally know some words. Like da is yes and nyet is no and stoi is stick it and davai is go! And then I thought, wait, I totally know the word for vacuum cleaner, but I just can't really think of it right now and good God, it's driving me crazy (much like I couldn't remember the name of "the other bookstore" the other day -- it was Borders, duh. DUH).

{by this point the Russian had been long forgotten, and by the way, my sister used to walk like Tommy from Rugrats and when the doctor put casts on her feet, I insisted they had to be pink, so that's what that story is about}

okay the point of this story is that then I was like why in the world would I know the Russian word for vacuum cleaner? And then it hit me! I used to speak Russian! I swear! My first babysitter was from somewhere in the former Soviet Union so I'd go running around in my diapers (just kidding, I was too fat to support my weight, much less run around...chubby baby, you see) spouting off Russian words left and right.

{okay, I totally know davai and stoi from watching so much gymnastics, but I still don't think this tarnishes the authenticity of my first-language-Russian-ness}

I realize there is really no point to this post, other than to pretend like I am super multicultural (I mean, I am), and also because I think it sort of justifies my fascination with Russian gymnastics. So there.

and if you're still wondering why a baby needs to know the word for vacuum cleaner, then you've obviously never grown up with an obsessive compulsive parent.

the end.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the thing about anxiety

it is not pesky little butterflies in the pit of your stomach as you wait for test results or open a college acceptance letter or await your favorite gymnast's performance on the balance beam. It is not nerves before a big exam or your first day at a new job. It is not "excitement" or "motivation" or any other euphemism that might make it just a little bit better.

it is ten sleepless nights in a row and bad dreams about evil mammoth rats and the certainty deep within your soul that everything will fall apart; everything will come crashing into you so fast you will not have seen it coming, not even a little bit. It is the world being much too large and much too small at once. Claustrophobia. Lost lost lost.

it is choking because you cannot catch your breath. It is caught in your throat and you just cannot recover it. It's too tangled up in ugliness to exhale. It is only feeling safe when every inch of you is covered in blankets or wrapped around someone you love, and even then you look back to make sure the fear -- that fear! -- doesn't come back to get you.

it's fear of this, fear of that, fear of everything. But not little fears, no, you see, the world will end, it's not a little problem, it's a big problem, and you are so certain beyond measure that it will happen to you; oh you just wait, it will happen to you.

and you hate it but you cannot seem to explain it and no one seems to truly understand because the nature of it is completely inexplicable.

once when I was younger, I read a blog written by a young girl crippled by anxiety, completely paralyzed. And I thought, how silly, can't she hold herself together? But then it happens to you, and by then you've been completely blindsided.

you don't want to depend on little blue pills for the rest of your life, so you put your big girl panties on and take a deep breath, or ten, and try to ride it out. Just ride it out. It will get better, not immediately and not even soon, but eventually it will get better, and of this you are certain, just as certain as you are that your worst fears will come true.

it will be okay, because it always is. And that's the good thing.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

a post about what you do when you are under house arrest (i mean, bed rest)

+ totally geek out over making a schedule for the fall semester. Am I the only one that does this? I just love schedules. And I see several things in that schedule that I am very excited about -- i.e. jewelry & metalsmithing elective, magazine article writing class (cha-ching...I mean, hopefully, assuming someone wants to hire me at all), spinning classes, writing workshops downtown, and -- wait for it -- gymnastics. Yes, once upon a time I was a member of the Syracuse University gymnastics team, but then I got injured again and again and again and again (recurring theme, obviously), and I sort of gave up, which is lame, but now I am a little embarrassed to admit that the Olympics have totally inspired me all over again. And so yes, I may never get to do the things I used to again, but who knows, maybe I'll get close. I just have to learn that, no, I can't pull that "all-or-nothing" crap anymore, because that is immature and there will be setbacks and I will just have to grow a pair and deal with it.

of course this is all after my foot heals...

...what was I talking about again?

+ have Simba, bless his soul, get on my last nerve. Okay, I understand it's my fault for not walking him and leaving him confined to this shoebox of an apartment, but I have a broken foot, so what do I do? Well, if you're me, you walk around for an hour in your aircast and grit your teeth in pain, because Simba is your child and the children come first (unless you're my mother). At least now he seems to be sleeping until the end of time (just kidding -- he just woke up and is currently humping my elephant stuffed animal, George).

+ pull a Mulan on my hair while on pain meds. I really don't want to talk about it. Hair grows back fast, right?

+ have the best omelette of my life this morning.

+ am about to limp my way to Barnes & Noble to have some iced coffee and find a good book (or ten) to read because I can't stand staying in this shoebox for much longer (I feel you, Simba).

Friday, August 10, 2012

so i write

in a somewhat strange turn of events, I am no longer working full time like I was -- a week earlier than I expected. I am now mostly in bed, with medication, trying to will myself into believing my foot and my stomach don't hurt.

yesterday I was really shaken up. This is not how I expected this summer to go, you know. I thought I'd have the best summer. I didn't. And now I feel horrendously guilty for being physically unable to work (I grew up with a mother that taught me that you were "bad" for being sick or hurt), and I keep hearing the all-too familiar words inside my head: failure lazy waste of space.

thankfully, Zoe was able to give me some perspective: "You sit. And soak in that discomfort until it rides its way out of you." Probably some of the best advice I've ever gotten.

she also said "you've rarely ever been given the luxury to do absolutely anything you wanted (which can mean absolutely nothing but sitting and writing)."

so here I am, writing. And not just for this blog, or for freelancing gigs (not very fancy ones, but I've had a few. A sign of good things to come? I hope!), but I have finally started the novel that I've had locked away in my head since I was 14 years old. The words are pouring out of me; it's just so cathartic, I can't even explain.

okay, so I am only a little over a page in (not so impressive), but it feels so good to finally feel worthy enough to put this on paper. The last time I wrote (and finished) a novel, I was 12 years old (it was a really bad novel, obviously). It's a little (a lot) scary, but I can do it. My goal is to finish it within a year.

and Zoe, I hope you know that I wouldn't have gotten through this summer without our daily texts. So thank you.

olympic thoughts

this post was inevitable, of course. As much as I love the Olympics, I have always hated that post-Olympics lull when everything, sports-wise (okay, gymnastics-wise) is just kind of blah. Having to wait four years seems like an eternity, and it is frustrating to know that the build up since the last Olympic Games only resulted in two weeks of competition (I am indeed one of those gymnastics freaks that watches every single elite competition in every single country every single year...the more obscure -- say, a random competition in Lithuania -- the better). So much hype (four years of hype!) for two weeks!

{also, I have a broken foot and can hardly move anywhere, so writing is my only escape. Expect many posts from me soon...and yes, I realize nobody cares, but this is my blog, so nananana whatever}

my commentary, of course, will be centered around gymnastics. I understand that you may not all agree with my opinions, which might make me a little sad in the moment, but it is okay, because what would this world be without differing opinions? How boring.

+ the sportsmanship among gymnasts, especially among those competing for different teams. This being my first truly social media engaged Olympic experience, I was incredibly disappointed by the way that fans spoke of athletes from different countries. Sure, root for your team with all you've got, but nasty tweets and status updates only make you look like a xenophobe, which is...gross. If you only want to see Americans compete, watch a national championship. After all, isn't it the goal of the Olympic Games for athletes from different nations to put their differences aside and come together for the sake of sport?

the gymnasts, on the other hand, were spectacular. NBC may not have shown this, but they constantly hugged, supported, and comforted each other on the sidelines. After their losses, they all graciously congratulated the victors and blamed their loss only on their mistakes at press conferences -- yes, even "ice queen" Mustafina and "sore loser" Komova! (i.e. both had nothing but nice things to say about Gabby Douglas, thank you very much)


{I really do hope that every-four-years fans realize NBC creates unnecessary drama for the ratings...exclusive, reliable gymnastics sources paint a completely different picture. Also, for the love of God, the Cold War is over.}

+ I do not follow men's gymnastics usually, but I caught Danell Leyva's coach and stepfather, Yin Alvarez on television (well, the NBC feed, really...) and immediately recognized him. He coached me for a few summers when I was younger! I even called my dad to tell him because I thought the whole situation was hilarious -- he's definitely quite a character and always has been. "Yin from Universal [Gymnastics]?" my dad said. "In Miami?"

we were both dying, laughing. It's so nice to see people from your past succeed!

+ Aly Raisman's appreciation for her coach, Mihai Brestyan, is so heartwarming. Her putting her team gold medal around his neck? Sweetest moment of the entire Games.

+ Gabby Douglas's mother bawling in the stands when her daughter won the all around title.

+ and speaking of Aly and Gabby, the "You ready?" "Ready!" they exchanged before the all around competition.

+ as sad as I was to see McKayla Maroney falter on vault, where she is undoubtedly the best in the world, it was nice to see Sandra Izbasa of Romania doing what the Romanians have done so well for decades: capitalize on others' mistakes and seize the opportunity. She couldn't believe she won. It's nice to see the Romanian program return to its former glory.

+ Aliya Mustafina's gold on the uneven bars. I don't care if you love her or hate her; seeing an athlete return from what should've been a career-ending injury to Olympic glory in the span of just a few months should serve as inspiration for all.

+ I love emotional victories. The American gymnasts winning the team final? So sweet. Holding hands? Even sweeter. 

+ I have to mention Beth Tweddle, finally winning an Olympic medal in her home country. I hope she is proud. That said, the entire uneven bars final was spectacular -- no major mistakes! I love it when stuff like a tiny step on the dismount makes all the difference between gold and silver -- just like the old days.

+ I am sad about all the injuries. These Olympics had so much potential, but they certainly didn't live up to the expectations, which is disappointing.

+ Jordyn Wieber is one classy lady. Her coach? Not so much. Like many, I feel embarrassed and uncomfortable by the way that he is representing the United States in the media. I also do not like that he seems to be belittling Jordyn's accomplishments.

+ I hate the way that Viktoria Komova is beating herself up when talking to the media ("I was not very lucky at these Olympics. I failed them 100 percent. I don't know if I will continue sports. I will go back home, take some time off and think through the situation. My parents say everything is okay, but I don't feel that" -- here). In a sense, it reminds me of myself. I hope someday she understands that two Olympic silvers are a huge accomplishment, and that she did not let anybody down. It is hard to live up to so much expectation. 

+ Tie breakers are stupid. So many gymnasts got screwed.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

so tell me

how precisely does one find peace within herself?
is it possible to feel an absolute, all-encompassing sense of okay-ness merely by sitting down and being you?
I do not know.

I am in a strange place.
It has been a strange summer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

le metatarsals

{this title is not as fancy as it sounds. It's just bones. You'll see in a sec, unless I've already lost you, which I admit is entirely possible}

have you ever had a bad slice of cake? I'm quite sure you have. To me, bad cake is stale, dry as a scab, and tastes like pickles (ew) and avocado (double ew, and what's worse, it gives me a good stomachache).

so what is it about bad cake, you ask?

well, last night, I got the cherry on top of a very shitty summer cake. My foot is broken.

{well, that was melodramatic, wasn't it?}

my thoughts so far:

+ what is your deal, fourth and fifth metatarsals? Why do I keep breaking you? What did I do to you? Stupid little bones. Always so frisky. This is not the first time, and unfortunately I suspect that it will not be the last.

+ sketchy Chinese foot rub massage places cannot cure broken bones. Instead, they will cause your foot to swell to grotesque proportions (and also, they will make you $18 dollars poorer, plus tip). What you need here, my friend, is an actual doctor -- one that can prescribe real pain medication. Oh, and put you in a cast and such.

+ speaking of medication, it is utterly useless if you work 10-hour days as I do. You see, the use of narcotics is generally disapproved of in the office setting.

+ is there a more terrible place than New York City for a broken foot? I do not think so. Although, people did offer me a seat on the subway, which I always thought would make me feel special, but instead, I just felt embarrassed and awkward. This is how I suspect I will feel at my wedding.

+ crutches? In the city? Forget it. If I've had trouble crutching it in suburbia before, New York City is simply out of the question. An aircast it is, then.

+ I feel like a ginormous asshole (almost as big as the ass attached to my actual legs and lower back) because I am now unable to take Simba out on his walks.

+ if God is out there, I would like for him to allow me to catch a break. Seriously. It's been a nonstop streak of terribleness all summer. Pity party over. Amen.

Monday, August 6, 2012

self-destruct in three, two, one...

{I wrote this a little while ago; unfortunately I have been much too sick these past couple of days to even desire food. However, I've been inspired by honesty - here and here - so I am posting. Also, extremely-random-thought-that-no-one-cares-about-but-me: You know how writers are supposed to have a niche? Perhaps mine should be mental health; my own mind could certainly provide me with stories until the end of time, and probably even after the end of time is over, too.}

recently, I had the urge to binge. As with anything in my life, I figured, you know, hey, I should write about this. And then I thought, well, no. I don't want anyone to think that I am the kind of person that would have an urge to binge. I don't want anyone to think that I am the fat person that would have an urge to binge. I don't want anyone to think that I am fat.

convoluted thinking, I call it. I mean, how messed up is that?

I make no qualms about having the urge to restrict, as I have plenty of times over the past five or so years (I mean, does an eating disorder ever really, completely go away? Does it?). Sure, it's not a good thing. Sure, I'd be ever-so-slightly embarrassed about it. Debbie, restricting, again? Shameful. Get over yourself. It's been way too long now.

but secretly, I'd feel the teeniest bit gleeful; superior, even. Restricting? Hey, at least I have the urge, the willpower, to do what skinny people do. I am in control. I got this.

binging? Not so much. Binging is what fat people do, what people with no self-control do, what people with no willpower do. Gross. Do I really want others to know that I am one of them?

isn't it enough that I know?

{allow me to just briefly mention that I never think any less of anyone that struggles with binging. Ever. But when it comes to myself? I absolutely butcher myself in my head}

truthfully, though? Bullshit. Really. Restricting and binging? These equally destructive behaviors have absolutely nothing to do with willpower and self-control, with fat and skinny -- at least for me they do not (and I suspect it is the same for many, many others). 

I am sad? Food (or lack thereof). 
I am angry? Food (or lack thereof). 
I am anxious? Food (or lack thereof).
I am lonely? Food (or lack thereof).

so if I have the urge to restrict, or to binge, or to do anything else that could be construed as even remotely self-destructive, I should be concerned, yes. And I should take action, yes. But ashamed? Embarrassed? No. Sorry, but no.

and you know what? The same goes to you.


what's that?
how was Myrtle Beach, you ask?
well. It wasn't.

after a little (I kid, a major) hiccup with the airline, we decided it wasn't worth to stick out a 12-hour (I only slightly exaggerate) flight delay for a two-day trip. So. With much further ado (read: with many further obstacles that I have no desire to describe in detail because I might just tear my hair out), we decided to rent a car (do you know how expensive that is? I really had no idea!) and road trip it to Montauk, where we drank to our hearts' content (our bartender was quite heavy handed, and also, a very friendly drunk that insisted everything was "on the house"), got sick (me, to my stomach, of course), ate pizza, got sick again (me, to my stomach, again), and then could not, for the life of us, find a motel with a vacancy.

never mind the motel; as we drove around aimlessly in hopes that we would find somewhere to stay, my throat closed up. I couldn't breathe. An allergic reaction to...cheese? I couldn't tell you. But I can tell you that cheese is evil indeed (yes, it is delicious, but tastes can be deceiving, you see), since apparently not only does it cause me gut-wrenching stomach pain (pun totally intended), but I may or may not be allergic. Luckily, we found a gas station with Benadryl, and all was (sort of) good in the world again.

we did find a sleazy motel eventually. In the woods. The owner was a first rate creeper. We slept with the light on, lest he try to kill us in our sleep.

{I have always wanted to use the word "lest" in a sentence. Did I do it right? No? Well, thanks for raining on my parade then}

we spent Sunday morning wandering around East Hampton and visiting Rich People Stores. Eventually we did decide to come home early (meh), as my stomach and I are not friends at the moment. I am now making a commitment to living healthier - the way I'm going lately, I'm worried I'll need a bowel transplant by the time I'm 25.

New York City's welcome back gift to us? A torrential downpour that may or may not have ruined Mike's favorite Cole Haan shoes (we love you too, New York...nawt). What can I say; the kid's got style.

Friday, August 3, 2012

a roundup {7/30-8/3}

I've been doing lots of reading around the internets lately. Mostly when I'm bored, but also because I want to read and absorb every great piece of writing that ever was, and even every not-so-great piece of writing that ever was, in hopes that it will make me a better writer.

because dammit, I will be a writer if it's the last thing I do.

and a (and I use this term loosely) successful one, at that.

anyway, here are a few articles, gems, and such that I've found helpful, useful, inspiring, have made me think, etc etc.

+ it's okay not to be okay via Thought Catalog. My new anthem.
+ what do gymnastics, orthodox Judaism and Feminism have in common? Me via deadspin. Far from an orthodox Jew here (far, far, veerrryyyyy far from it), but this was actually compelling. And inspiring.
+ one spoonful at a time via the New York Times Magazine. Old, and I'd read it before, but a professor at my school wrote it, so I suppose it has me wondering. I know for a fact that this method wouldn't have worked for me, considering the family I was born in and whatnot, but I can't help but think, hm, if it had been plausible, would I be better off today?
+ the everything guide to taxis via New York Magazine. Hilarious and intriguing and just like a train wreck that you cannot look away from, no matter how hard you try.

in other news! I've been a bit bummed out lately, as I've been having some trouble with my Crohn's again. I'm a little worried that I will relapse into what it was a few months ago - completely debilitating. Let's hope not! Luckily I have my boyfriend and his sister here with me to cheer me up.

anyway, tomorrow my boyfriend and I are taking a little quick trip to Myrtle Beach; I hope my stomach doesn't act up! I'm so excited though; I've never been. I can't wait to share tons of lovely photos and (hopefully) funny stories with you guys (all negative three of you that read my blog).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

a little public service announcement, but not really

I'm back at it!
illustrating for the moneys, I mean.
check out this page for more info!

let me tell you about gymnastics, p. ii

{in honor of the women's all around final, taking place later today}

It didn’t all come so easily to me.

The floor exercise and the balance beam did, of course. Eventually, my vault came around too. I loved to dance. I loved to flip on the beam, to hold on to the event with my toes. And even though I wasn’t a big fan of tumbling backward, especially where twisting was involved, I did it well.

The floor, the beam, the vault: I was a top-level gymnast in those three apparatuses. I could compete among the elite.
It was the uneven bars that were the problem.
By then, I had this one teammate. Let’s call her M. I looked up to her tremendously; her flexibility was astonishing, and, to this day, something that I’ve never even seen on an Olympic gymnast. She was two years older than me, cooler than me, and for some reason or another, she’d taken a liking to me. We were cliquey – but so what, we thought? After all, we were just too cool for school.
M’s mother, C, was, without a doubt, Kris Jenner’s long lost twin – the gymnastics version, at least. A momager. C lived and breathed for her daughter’s gymnastics, attended every practice, and always made it a point to observe everyone carefully, whether a teammate or a rival.
“The thing with Debbie,” she told my father one time, “Is that she has very strong legs. Very, very strong legs. She doesn’t even need to run to build up momentum. Her legs are that strong.”
Ironically, I would later learn to despise those very same legs with a passion, as a teenager plagued with anorexia.
Perhaps it was my legs that made the vault, beam, and floor exercise a total breeze for me. But my legs wouldn’t be of much help on the uneven bars, now, would they? 
{to be continued}