Wednesday, November 29, 2006

She's ba-ack

Update 12/9: added pics

crying Amanda and Aunt Marjorie"2G"--the cousins
"1G"--the parents
our crazy tour bus: home for a week
the view from the top of Taipei 101
Cousin JoAnn, me, Ben, and cousin Rich

I'm back from Taiwan! I got back late Tuesday night, but managed to stay awake during the majority of my flight, so was able to fall asleep after I got home and slept soundly till 8 am. It was a good trip. Not great, but good. I'm not sure it was quite the vacation I needed at the time, because it was overscheduled and not very relaxing. But it was still fun.

I arrived in Taiwan on Sunday morning, met some of my relatives at the airport who also arrived that morning, then was off the the hotel where the rest of my relatives were staying, got on the tour bus, and was off. It seemed that every minute of the tour was scheduled. Wake up call at 7. Breakfast at 7:30. Load the bus at 8:30. We were at a different hotel every night, so each morning we had to pack up all of our luggage and go. But it was a good way to see the whole island, and bus time was time to catch up with relatives I hadn't seen in a while, nap, play cards (Taiwanese poker, hearts, gin), video games (Bust a Move!), eat snacks, watch movies--some good (Princess Bride! Snakes on a Plane!), some bad (Snakes on a Plane!), some pirated (Snakes on a Plane!). We made plenty of restroom stops at these tourist traps where the same assortment of snacks and knicknacks were on display, and the vendors called out to us as we walked by "Ni hao! Ni cong nali lai?" (Hello! Where are you from?) Most people guessed that I was from Singapore or Malaysia. It seemed that a few aunts bought some kind of snack at each stop, and once we got back on the bus, the bags of snacks would be passed around--always something different. Mochi, sesame candy, mooncakes, crackers, oranges, etc. My cousin Andrew bought a different milk tea or coffee project at every convenience store we passed. I got a papaya milk from 7-11 and BBQ ribs-flavored Ruffles. We saw a dam, waterfalls, a gorge, swam in hot springs, played ping pong, pool, video games, worked out, watched HBO in hotel rooms, went to night markets, shopped, went to museums, Tsunah, an Aborigine village, Taoyuan, Hualian, Kenting, Tainan, Taichung, Taipei. It was a packed trip, to be sure. The food was the best part. Breakfast buffets at the hotel every morning--congee every day! We didn't have a Thanksgiving dinner, but we did pig out at a fancy buffet dinner in Tainan.

Things I learned on this trip that I never knew before:

1) The crease I've always had on my arm, about an inch above my inner elbow, is apparently a sign of aborigine blood. My mother also has the mark, and said that when she was younger her classmates would tease her about it. It wasn't desirable to have aborigine blood. My father and younger brother do not have the mark. Not sure about my older brother. My mother said that my father's nose is a sign of Dutch blood.

2) When my mother told her mother that she was engaged, my grandmother was worried, because she had not yet met my father (since they had gotten engaged so quickly). So she asked my mother where my father went to college, and then called some friends/professors she knew there to check up on him, see if he was a good guy, check his transcripts. Everything confirmed that he was not bad, so she approved of the match.

3) I remember both more and less Chinese than I thought.

4) Ben can read on buses and cars--I had thought that he got carsick like me.

5) There is a Thai instrument that was made from human femur bones, traditionally made from people who have died violent deaths.

6) The Taiwanese Atayal aborigine people used to have a tradition of head hunting and tattooing.

7) I like smelly tofu.

8) I can't eat enough wax apples and kong xin cai (water spinach).
wax apples

9) It seems that Taiwanese Americans look younger than the Taiwanese who grew up in Taiwan, at least in my family.

10) Distant cousins who live in Taiwan have read my blog, particularly my Love Story post and Marathon post.

11) One (or more) of my aunts is obsessed with marriage, and doesn't think women can be happy if they don't get married. She also thinks that whiter skin is prettier than dark skin, and thinks I'm lighter now than I was nine years ago when I lived in Taiwan. She can't understand why I'm not married.

12) Taipei has a great subway system now.

Added on 12/7:
13) KFC has the best egg custard
banana egg custard from KFC

14) My family has a temple that honors our ancestors called the Hwang family temple, and my mother's relatives who maintain it own a golf ball company

Hwang family temple
golf balls

That's all I have for now. At any rate, it's good to be back. I always love coming back to New York after vacation--a sure sign to me that I consider New York to be home.

I haven't really been jetlagged much--I've been getting a bit tired in the afternoon, but not horribly so. I hope I can fend it off. I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow--I took over 400 of them. Now it's time for bed!

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

In a little over an hour, I'll be leaving for the airport on my way to Taipei, Taiwan for a family reunion. My mother's side of the family, who all live in the U.S., try to get together at least once a year. Last year we took a tour of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and this year we're off to Taiwan and taking a tour around the island. I haven't been since I lived there for about a year and a half after college--about nine years ago. No doubt it's changed a lot. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with cousins I haven't seen in a while, to eating delicious food (although I'll miss my Thanksgiving stuffing and mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce), and I'm even looking forward to the long plane ride so that I can sleep and read--although not simultaneously.

I'm not sure what my internet access will be like during the tour, so you may not hear from me for a few weeks (I'm back to NY on the evening of the 28th). But if I can, I'll post.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Okay, T.S. found this list of the 100 best children's book on the National Education Association's page (from 1999, I think). Same rules as last time. I put a star if I liked it as a kid, even if I may not like the book today:

*Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
*The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
*Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
*The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
*Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
-Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch (creepy, toilet on cover...)
*The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
*The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
*Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (this is the book that made me cry the hardest as a kid)
*The Mitten by Jan Brett
?Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
*Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
*Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein
*Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
*Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
*Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
*Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
*Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
*Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.
*Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
*The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
*A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
*How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
*The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
?Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
*Little House on the Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
*The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
*The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
*Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
*Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
*Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
*Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
The BFG by Roald Dahl (one of the few Roald Dahl books I haven't read)
*The Giver by Lois Lowry
?If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
*James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
*Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
?Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (to be honest, I can't remember 100% if I've read this...)
*The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
*The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
*Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
*Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
*Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (probably my all-time favorite book)
?The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
*Corduroy by Don Freeman
*Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
*Math Curse by Jon Scieszka
*Matilda by Roald Dahl
-Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
*Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
*Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
*The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
*Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman
*The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (read all 7--many times)
*Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
*One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
*The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
*The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (my favorite picture book from childhood)
*The Napping House by Audrey Wood
*Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (another childhood favorite)
*The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
*Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
* The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
*Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
*Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
?Basil of Baker Street, by Eve Titus
*The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
*Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey
Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
*Arthur series by Marc Tolon Brown (only some)
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson (this has been on my to read list for a very long time)
*Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
*Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
?The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
?Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish (these books annoyed me when I was a kid)
*Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
*A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
?Stuart Little by E. B. White (when I was a kid, I hated the open-ended ending)
*Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
*The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola
*Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
*Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
*Heidi by Johanna Spyri
*Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
?Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
*The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

86%, baybee! I was kinda hoping for 100%, but oh well.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Just saw this on KT Buffy's blog, and thought I'd go through the exercise as well.

In 2005, Time magazine picked the 100 best English-language novels (1923-present). Mark the selections you have read in bold. If you liked it, add a star (*) in front of the title, if you didn't, give it a minus (-). Then, put the total number of books you've read in the subject line.

(I'm also adding a question mark (?) to indicate indifference or mixed feelings.)

The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow
?All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren (HS)
American Pastoral - Philip Roth
An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser
*Animal Farm - George Orwell (listened to audiobook)
Appointment in Samarra - John O'Hara
*Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
The Assistant - Bernard Malamud
At Swim-Two-Birds - Flann O'Brien
-Atonement - Ian McEwan (didn't HATE it, but didn't really enjoy it, and struggled to finish it)
?Beloved - Toni Morrison (HS)
The Berlin Stories - Christopher Isherwood
The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood (I started this, but never got past the first chapter)
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey - Thornton Wilder
Call It Sleep - Henry Roth
*Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
*The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger (HS)
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
The Confessions of Nat Turner - William Styron
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Crying of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon
A Dance to the Music of Time - Anthony Powell
The Day of the Locust - Nathanael West
Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
A Death in the Family - James Agee
The Death of the Heart - Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance - James Dickey
Dog Soldiers - Robert Stone
Falconer - John Cheever
The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles
The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing
Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin
*Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
*The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
*The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (HS)
A Handful of Dust - Evelyn Waugh
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene
Herzog - Saul Bellow
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
A House for Mr. Biswas - V.S. Naipaul
?I, Claudius - Robert Graves (HS)
Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
Light in August - William Faulkner
*The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
*Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
*Lord of the Flies - William Golding (HS)
*The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
Loving - Henry Green
Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis
The Man Who Loved Children - Christina Stead
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
Money - Martin Amis
The Moviegoer - Walker Percy
*Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Naked Lunch - William Burroughs
Native Son - Richard Wright
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
1984 - George Orwell
On the Road - Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
The Painted Bird - Jerzy Kosinski
Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov
*A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
*Play It As It Lays - Joan Didion (college)
Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth
Possession - A.S. Byatt
The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
Rabbit, Run - John Updike
Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow
The Recognitions - William Gaddis
Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed Factor - John Barth
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
The Sportswriter - Richard Ford
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John Le Carre
*The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway (HS)
*Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
*To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (one of my all-time favorite books)
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
Under the Net - Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
Watchmen - Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
*White Noise - Don DeLillo (college class)
*White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys

I don't think I did too badly--almost 25%. Give me the 100 best children's books, and I'll bet I'd get over 80%. What scared me, though, is that there are a lot on this list that I've never even heard of.

If any of you absolutely loved a book on this list that I haven't read, let me know and I'll add it to my extremely large "to read" list.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

the week after

Here's a video my friend Miguel took of me during the marathon. This was at mile 11. Pardon my chomping on a Power Bar.

Yesterday morning I woke up and suddenly wasn't sore anymore--and today I'm feeling the first pang of letdown. There is no longer a physical reminder of my adventure, and I'm already wondering what my next one will be. I knew this would happen, just didn't want it to happen so quickly! It's funny how both unexpected and predictable life is sometimes.

In other news, I've had a fun week of happy hours, including the kidlit blogging drinks on Monday night--it was fun seeing so many familiar faces, and meeting some new people--I love the children's book community!

And finally...why does Grey's Anatomy have to be so gut-wrenching? Then again, you just know. That happy couple will be happy again. At least for a while.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I ran a marathon!!!!!

It's the day after the marathon, I've just slept 9 1/2 hours, and may go back for more. But first of all, I DID IT!!!

I ran the NYC marathon. And I achieved 2 out of my 3 goals. My first goal was to run the whole way (aside from the few seconds it took to drink water), my realistic time goal was to be within 5 hours, and my ambitious time goal was to do it in 4 1/2 hours. I ran the whole way (albeit slowly), and finished with a net time of 4:48:59.

It was incredible. Overwhelming. Emotional.My preparation started the night before with a pasta dinner at home, and I went to bed at 9:30. Wasn't able to fall asleep until 2 am--kept tossing and turning, thoughts running through my mind. I tried to envision myself running the marathon successfully, but only managed to picture myself tripping, or limping through it. Felt imaginary knee and leg pain all night, and my foot kept cramping up. I was itching to run, though, to feel the concrete beneath my feet. And when my alarm went off at 5 am, I was ready.

I took a cab with my roommate Rose to midtown, for her to take an official marathon bus, and me to go to the Fred's Team breakfast for bagels and coffee and fruit. After a team photo in Times Square, we set off in the buses. Buses everywhere! I had arranged to meet Rose and her friend Paula at the food area, and I'm glad I did. Despite how prepared I thought I was, I realized I had forgotten my wrist band and my watch, and also did not have enough clothes with me. It was freezing cold, and we had two hours to wait on Staten Island until the race began. But Rose had an extra sweatshirt and a blanket, and I tried to bundle up. We chilled out on a blanket, pretending to be at a beach, reading magazines. When the time got closer to line up, Rose alarmed me by saying that she was planning on taking an 8-hour Tylenol dose once an hour.
"But it's 8-hour Tylenol!"
"But I'm running a marathon!"
Paula read the package. "Do not exceed 3 doses in a 24-hour period."
"Fine. Well, I'll take one dose now, and then as needed."

I had a dose in my pocket, too, just in case. Didn't want to take it unless I needed it. Boy, would I need it.

Rose and Paula left me to line up with their numbers, and I searched the crowd for my friend Paul whose number was close to mine, and amazingly found him. We started the race together, winding up to the Verrazano Bridge, dodging the minefield of clothes. There were clothes everywhere--just as Rose, Paula, and I did, people just discarded their clothes and blankets rather than bother with checking them. It was funny to see clothes fly through the air to the sides as people discarded more while running.

I told myself to savor the whole race, that as was the case with skydiving, it would be over before I knew it. I was planning to take the first 3 hours slowly--but because I had forgotten my watch, it was hard for me to calculate/remember what my time was for each mile, but maybe that was for the best. I just ran. The view from the bridge was beautiful. Volunteers and workers cheered us on from the median. When I made my way down to the bottom of the bridge where people lined the route, I was psyched. The main thing that had made me consider running a year ago was the warmth and support of the crowd. As a spectator, I wanted to lift the runners who went by, to encourage them. I loved yelling out their names, cheering them on. And it made me want to be one of the runners, benefiting from the cheers of the crowd.

I had debated whether to spell my name on my shirt phonetically, but decided against it. I just wanted my name, the way I spell it, on my shirt, and thankfully I think I only heard one "Al-vine-a" and two "Alvinia"s the whole time--not bad! I ran mainly along the sides, partially to keep an eye out for friends, but mostly to give people high fives and hear my name. As people, these strangers, cheered my name on the sidelines, I got verklempt at how wonderful the support was. I loved giving high fives to little kids lining the route, and truly, it buoyed me, energized me. One of the best stretches was running along Lafayette Street in Brooklyn, because the narrower street was more intimate with the spectators. Just as Rose had told me from her experience last year, the cheering of the names has a domino effect--if one person yells "Go Alvina" then people farther along the route will hear that and look for "Alvina" and continue the cheer. During one instance of this happening around mile 8, I hear "ALVINA!!!" and I look back and there's Rose, making her way towards me. As we're hugging we hear someone saying, "In a marathon of 37,000 people, what are the chances..." and there, beside us, is Heather, Rose's friend. Amazing.

The first friends I saw, a Randoms contingent, were camped out on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. I stopped to take a couple bites of a Power Bar and say hi. Then Sachin was a mile later in Greenpoint, with my camera:"How do you feel?"
"I feel good--but we'll see how I feel 10 miles from now."

I looked out for Peggy and Antonella by the Queensborough Bridge, but didn't see them--but I did see Cathy, twice. I was feeling great. Happily, my left knee which had been bothering me, popping when I walked, was silent and fine. I felt good. Both the Randoms and Sachin commented that I didn't look like I had just run 11 or 12 miles.

Getting into Manhattan finally was amazing, both because I knew there was less than 10 miles left, and also because I was looking forward to running by Sloan Kettering in my Fred's Team shirt, and seeing my roommates near my own apartment. But 1st Avenue is my hood, and I felt comfortable there, familiar.

A woman spectator was running really fast trying to cross the street, and dropped her scarf in front of me. I picked it up and ran after her to return it (man, she was running fast!)--that was my good deed of the day.

I started feeling tired up in the 90s, but then saw Connie and Matt unexpectedly. "What are you doing on the Upper East Side?!" I said as I gave her a hug--she had told me she'd be in Brooklyn, but I hadn't seen her. "Cheering you on!" she said. It helped.

It took forever to get to the Bronx, but I just counted the streets as I went by. And then in the Bronx, I once again saw Cathy! Truly a dedicated spectator. "You're everywhere!" I yelled as I ran off. Once I knew there was less than 6 miles left, I knew I was homefree. That I had made it. 6 miles is once around Central Park, a run I do all the time. People say you hit the wall around mile 21 or 22, but I was just excited to be running the farthest I've ever run in my life, and I didn't really feel so bad. "It's not that hard!" I thought, amazed. I mean, it was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. I remembered the quote Amy and Bryan had sent me from Jimmy Dugan: "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great." In fact, I was a little disappointed. I wanted it to be hard, I wanted it to be great.

But then, with 4 miles to go, it hit me. My left knee. Sharp, stabbing pain. Ouch. I felt that each step was tearing something. Of course, I immediately regretted thinking what I had thought before, that it wasn't hard enough. I wanted it to be "easy" again. I started limp a little, trying to keep my left leg as straight as possible.

But I kept going, thinking about professional athletes who play through pain. I could make it 4 miles with a hurt knee. I had less than 4 miles left, I wasn't going to give up. I took out my 8-hour Tylenol and took it at the next water station. It helped a little. I stopped limping. I was going to make it.

I saw another unexpected friend cheering me on--Nancy and Jonny in Manhattan just as we were leaving the Bronx. I saw her too late, and the route was narrow, so I couldn't stop to say hi, but she jumped up and down cheering "Alvina! Alvina! Alvina!" and I laughed and waved at her.

The last 4 miles were the hardest, mainly because my knee, but also psychologically, because I felt like I was so close, but really, there was still miles and miles to go. Each mile marker took forever to come. I got a little emotional when we finally made our way into Central Park, because it felt so much closer then--but I knew that it was still a long way from East 90th Street and the finish line on the West side. As with the 20-mile training run, it was the second-to-last mile that was the toughest. And after I finally passed the mile 25 marker, it seemed like forever before I ran 0.2 miles past that and saw the 1-mile-to-go marker. But I sped up then--I was determined to finish under the 5 hour mark, and I was cutting it close.

I crossed the finish line at 4 hours, 58 minutes, and 59 seconds. When I checked my net time later, I saw that I must have taken exactly 10 minutes to cross the starting time, because my official time was 4:48:59.

Done. Got my medal. I ran a marathon. Hard to believe.

Sachin met me at the family reunion area with flowers:
then it was home for a long, hot shower. Ahhhhhh. And then on to Mo's Caribbean to celebrate with Rose, Paula, and friends where I saw this sign in the window:I found out later that Antonella had left it there for me--she had gone to cheer, but couldn't get to the side of the street she had told me to look for her, and so I passed her by. But I knew she was there somewhere, cheering me on!

Drinks and wings at Mo's was followed with Ethiopian food, and then a blissful deep, deep sleep. All in all, a very good day.

And today...I'm sore, but okay. My legs are stiff, my knee still hurts and feels swollen. Going down stairs is tough. Will I run it again? I think so. It was so much fun, so exhilarating. And I'd like to improve on my time. But maybe I'll take a year off. We'll see. Stay tuned.

Thank you everyone for your support! I couldn't have done it without all of you. And during my training, I've inspired my father to run--he's training for the San Diego marathon in June.

Here's Rose, me, and Paula at Mo's: And now it's time for a nap.

Note: a couple of photos were taken from various flickr sites. All other photos were taken by Sachin.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

pumpkin and costume answer

And the answer to the "which pumpkin is mine?" question:

Sara was right! You know me so well. But I wonder if it's because the pumpkin I carved in 2003 us suspiciously familiar:I wanted a scary pumpkin. But thanks for all of your guesses and kind reasons for why you thought a particular one was mine!

I marched in the NY Halloween parade on Tuesday in Greenwich Village, which was a lot of fun. I think 2003 might have been the last (and first) time I did it. I love seeing all the costumes, and was obsessed with a group of 15 or so people who all dressed as bananas. Here's a video:

And as for my costume, I was indeed a squid. My friend Julie's mom made this costume for her when she was in high school, and it's been making the rounds ever since.

And so's the night before the marathon and I'm decompressing (not, as I mistakenly said earlier today, decomposing). I have butterflies--am both nervous and excited. I don't really doubt that I'll finish, but you never know what can happen. My left knee has been bothering me--popping. But I think I'll make it through.

I can't believe it's here! I think it'll be a big letdown afterwards, but I'll enjoy it while I can, and I'll enjoy my after party as well. Stay tuned for an update, I'll post on Monday at the latest--I'm taking the day off to relax and recover.

Oh, and the good news is that I've surpassed my fundraising goal, so thank you everyone for your support!