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Look at me, hands in the air like it's good to be alive   
11:43am 27/05/2008

Leaving on the cycling trip today.

I'll be trying to update this blog via my iTouch:


"Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known."

-Carl Sagan
10:51am 11/05/2008
  I don't ever want to be measured by the amount of money I take home. I would go so far as to say I'd rather be poor than rich just to prove wrong those who might judge others based on material possessions.

If I had it my way I'd pack up an outfit and some money, toss it in my pannier bag and ride away. I want to spend my life discovering things. I don't want to fall victim to society's expectations of me. I don't want to disappoint anyone. I don't want to have to explain myself. I want people to understand how I feel but there's a certain point where I tire of trying to make others grasp what I feel inside me. I want someone to fall into my life who knows exactly what I mean after only a sentence or two are spoken.

I think if I settle for anything less than this romantic fantasy that I hold onto, I will ultimately be unhappy. But is it worth it to sacrifice a certain amount of happiness in the meantime while I wait?

I'm here once - and I can't be ordinary.
11:25pm 17/02/2008
  Tonight, for 5 hours at Whole Foods, I sunk into a deep melancholy. It can be attributed to a variety of things; be it the customer who grunted when I kindly asked how his night was going, or the 3 people that went home sick - causing my night to be three times as busy, or the boss who is such a cranky bitch that I'm constantly overcompensating my niceness towards the customers because I can tell people are so put off by her. It seemed like a domino of events that just needled their way into my psyche.

And then suddenly I felt that horrible horrible feeling. That physical hollow inside. It almost brought me to tears right there at the register. I wanted a shoulder to lean on, to cry on. I wanted someone to care that I had a bad day at work. It's rare that I feel this way, because by now - 3 years single and going strong - I barely remember what it's like to have someone else take up so much of my time. But I long for it. I walked home from work tonight. I walked to work today, I went for a 10 mile run. I had time to blow. I live my life according to my agenda, and I'm sick of it. I want someone else to squeeze their way in.

Sometimes I'm afraid I've become too picky. Three years of designing my perfect man - I don't think he exists. But I know that someday, when I meet the guy - I'll know it. I just wish it were sooner rather than later. I'm old.
09:11pm 31/01/2008
  And I am so alone.

So so tired of being alone.

Sleeping in the same bed every night. By myself. Complete lack of human contact. Humans weren't made for this kind of isolation.

Misery loves company.
Cha Ching   
12:02am 03/01/2008
  Financial forecast for the next year and a half: bleak.

I'm always saying how money doesn't matter, and how people who throw around wealth really piss me off.
But when I find myself watching my bank account go down down down - it's a bit depressing.
I'm not materialistic, but the money is going away anyway.
Which makes me thankful that I'm not out being materialistic because I'd be in a whole lot more trouble than I am right now.

I need to get away. I need this bike trip.
My existential breakdown   
10:55pm 01/01/2008
  I saw an ancient Chinese woman practicing her table tennis swing on her small patch of a front lawn on Hillside Street on my run. There was no table and no ball. Just a woman and her pong paddle.

On the same run I heard a truck approaching from behind and my mind drifted to what I might do if a rogue car ever flew in my direction while I was on foot. And for some morbid reason I imagined myself jumping out of the way and becoming sandwiched by the car and a nearby fence. What if other people saw me squashed, dying, before ambulances were able to show up? And suddenly on my run - during a time when I usually feel freed from all other worries - I felt so incredibly mortal.
Life has such risks. I plan on putting myself in many risky situations during my lifetime. How else will I wake up when I'm 80 and know that I have accomplished everything I ever set out to achieve?
How does anybody make it past childhood? How am I still here?

I want to believe in reincarnation. I cannot be taken from this world before I've done everything I need to do.
Zombies on Halloween! Seriously?   
07:43am 31/10/2007
mood: scared
This morning I saw a zombie wandering the lonesome streets of Boston. It was 5am and I was jogging down Newbury Street doing a little window shopping when I ran by an old church whose fire alarm was going off inside. Imagine this towering structure with centuries-old stained glass gothic windows which are lighting up with moment-flashes of white strobe lights every few seconds. It was the only light provided for blocks around me. As if it wasn't already an eerie sight in the pitch black morning, I glance up and almost ran into a zombie. Yes. There she was - a stooped wretch of a woman, gnarly and gaunt. She was wearing sunglasses, at 5am. No, she was not blind, she was a zombie. She walked something like this

I got chills. And then 20 minutes later I realized today is Halloween.
08:17am 22/06/2007
07:15am 07/04/2007
  Yesterday I had a dream that I was shot. I remember being able to feel warm blood all over my hands and I just thought to myself 'I'm so young'. I woke up with my hands clutching at my stomach where the bullet had gone in. It was vivid. Went for a run to clear my head and felt much better. Thanks endorphins, I can always count on you in a pinch.
So I got into work, feeling pretty good. After all, I didn't have a gaping/bleeding hole in my stomach, so how bad could I feel? I got the super exciting assignmnet of going to a client's house to take photos of various rooms so that the designers could look at site photos on their accessory shopping trip in NY next week.
Step 1: Catch cab outside of 225 W Ohio - success.
Step 2: Explain to cab driver how to get to a place I've never been because he doesn't know Chicago apparantly - success.
Step 3: Leave company camera in cab, be sure cab drives away before I realize it - success.
Step 4: Decide my day could go one of two ways. I could let it ruin my day, or just move on. Choice: get over it - success.
Step 5: Call cab company and give them cab # (because I'm rainman and I remember these kind of things) and details about the camera. Hang up. Shrug and realize that's pretty much all I can do, so I'll either be going to pick up a camera from the cab company later or buying a new one.
Step 6: Continue with mission, take pictures at clien't house with my own camera. Take cab home in the middle of the day to upload pictures and send them to work.
Step 7: Go to work, download pictures, tell Frank what happened and explain what will happen. Frank looks like he's the one who lost the camera. I look fine.
Step 8: I discover that I'm allergic to drama, and all day I shield myself from the constant questioning from others "don't worry about it amy, it'll be fine" (yeah, I'm aware), "are you okay?" (x3),and "did the cab co. call you yet?" (x8372).
Step 9: Get the holy hell out of there - success.
Step 10: Ride bike home in 30mpg gusting wind which, as it often does, opened my eyes to just how small I am in this world, and just how much it really doesn't matter if I have to dish out a couple hundred for a new camera. Seriously, who cares.

Time to start the day.
<3 Ames
My Life   
08:41am 05/04/2007
  I will never take my life for granted. Whether it be the feeling of accomplishment after a long weekend run or the feeling of defeat after pedaling into 30mph winds on Chicago Avenue. I always want to consciously know that I am alive. It scares me that I only get one chance at life. I can't help but notice vindictive and sour attitudes of people around me. Friends have told me that I'm too nice, that there's people I should completely erase from my life because they've done me wrong. When it comes right down to it though, I'm here. I'll always be here. I'm not letting people walk all over me, I'm just living my life and if anyone wants to be a part of it, you're more than welcome. There are too many relationships ended because people were too silly to ask/search for another chance.
It doesn't help me to walk around with anger over burned bridges. So what can I do? I can remember the good in people and not dwell in the bad. I see the world through the eyes of someone who has had a close call with death (without the close call part). There is too much that I haven't done.
I love the friends and family I have more than most of them probably realize.
I find myself lately, "alone" in quotations, but so fulfilled and excited about everything. I've tried to explain the way I experience life to people and I haven't yet found someone who understands me on the level I'm talking about. At work sometimes I can't handle the talk about new diets and exercise programs that people are on. It's a constant discussion, and I mean constant in the literal dictionary-definition of the word. I need my ipod to keep me sane. One day these people will wake up at the tender age of 70 and realize that they focused all their attention on something that doesn't even come close to mattering in the scheme of life. I want to scream it at the top of my lungs. I can't stand when people tell me I'm "so good" because I went for a run or because I bike to work. I run because I love everything about it. I love that I am in shape, I love that I can run 10 miles if I feel like it. I bike because it's cheaper than paying $75 per month on taking the bus and its 45 minutes faster. I'm not "good" for doing these things, it's who I am.
I will never be the girl who shows up to work with hair perfect and makeup done. I'm going to show up dressed with my sneakers tied and my hair wet. I'm going to take off my helmet, shake my hair out and get my day started. I'm proud of who I am. I feel both lucky and extremely sad that I have the perspective on life that I do. I can't seem to make anyone see my point, and I wish I could find someone to share my thoughts and really connect with.
I want to know someone who has experienced a feeling of loving life so strong that it brought them to tears. It happens to me. It happens when I see the sun coming up off to my left on a morning run and seeing the skyline backlit with an incredible orange glow so warm and full of feeling that I have to stop and catch my breath, close my eyes, and open them again to reassure myself that I'm alive.
Moving stuff back to NH   
10:27pm 14/08/2006
  So I'm back in New Hampshire. I'm missing Chicago more than I thought possible. Here's a picture of our stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland by architect I.M. Pei.
Get it?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Going to go sleep for a million years and when I wake up everything will be okay.
Songs - And who they remind me of   
09:58am 10/07/2006
  So I listen to my ipod on random at work all day - and it seems like every song that comes on reminds me of either a friend, ex, or time in my life. So I'm going to write them down here as I listen to them today.

Train - Drops of Jupiter: Jason Bedrick... prom night, waking up sick in the middle of the night in his basement. The tv was tuned to MTV and this video was playing.

AFI - This Time Imperfect: Pat Hefferan... used to sing/play it back in the day. One of the many times I had a crush on Mr. Hefferan. I also used to sing this song at the top of my lungs driving in the Camry.

The Streets - Dry Your Eyes: Sandy Crittenden... listened to this a lot after we broke up on long drives home from Portsmouth to Nashua.

Something Corporate - Konstantine: Rob Kenyon... Our weekend trips in Boston, laying around in his freezing room, our first kiss by his back door, first semester freshman year, driving home from Dracut, knowing that the song was 9 minutes - and knowing exactly which point on the way home I needed to be at when the song started to know if I was going to make curfew, and Rob changing the line to "All that I could do was touch her long, -brown- hair" (instead of blonde)...I still sing it that way.

Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire: Aaron Tachovsky... Used to be his voicemail recording. I went down down down, and the flames went higher. And it burns burns burns, the ring of fire.

Dar Williams - When I Was a Boy: My dad... One of the many songs I grew up listening to. She is an amazing folk artist and tells great stories with her music.

Elliot Smith - Chinese Import: Kolin Mitchell and Traci Ross: Kolin and I used to talk online while downloading arsenals of Elliot Smith, telling each other which ones were amazing and which were horrible. Then he decided to hate me. Traci and I were super sad the day we found out Elliot committed suicide.

Men at Work - Land Down Under: Matt Britt: I have no idea why, but that's whose named popped into my head when the song started.

Switchfoot - Amy's Song: Jen Taylor & Sherrie Waller...I remember sitting in Dockser studio trying to find songs with our names in them. Jen's was by far the best - wish I could remember the lyrics.

Fischerspooner w/ Kylie Minogue - Come Into my World: Reminds me of my clove-smoking phase, and also reminds me of Kerr Hall freshman year.

Orbital - Halcyon + On + On: Joe Howard... Reminds me of driving out to New Ipswich and dancing in my car. Driving down 101 to Hampton beach for a picnic in the freezing cold.

The Used - Blue and Yellow: Obviously Rahul..."Rather waste some time with you" freshman year.

Wraps up post with some meaningful observation about music in the world we're living in
07:07am 28/06/2006
  People are canceling their 4th of July weekend travel plans because of spiking gas prices. Have you guys been hearing this? It's all over the news.
Now - being the math nerd that I am, I crunched a few numbers in my head and came up with some disturbing results.
Conclusion: People are just about as dumb as I thought they were.

If the average family takes an 800 mile round trip vacation over the holiday weekend (note: I'm using a larger than average number to support my point) and their car gets 18 miles per gallon (also a pretty low average...most sedans get upwards of 25mpg now). Let's assume gas is $3.30/gallon instead of $3.00 like it was last year at this time.
800 miles/15 miles per gallon = 53 Gallons used on the trip.
53 Gallons x $0.30 extra cents per gallon = $15.90.

So basically, because of the oUtRaGeOuS gas prices, people are nixing their entire vacation weekend and spending it at home because they don't want to shell out an extra sixteen bucks.

Let's say the road trip is 250 miles round trip. That's $5 extra. The bank hath been broken.
01:25pm 20/06/2006
mood: happy
So this morning I'm on my run and I ran a little bit further than I usually do by accident. Consequently I had a little further to run back after I turned around. So at just about the time when I'm usually ending my run I was still about 15 minutes away from my apartment. I thought I was going to collapse but instead I suddenly felt like I was gliding. I kid you not when I say that the shin splints vanished, and the nagging pain in my hips was gone. Not only did all the pain go away but I felt like I was floating. There was no jolting every time I set my foot down. It was like my legs were moving but not as a result of my brain telling me I had to keep pushing. It was as if I had turned on autopilot - and the rest of me just kicked back and relaxed while my legs kept going.
The next thing I knew I was at my front door.
I guess I'll keep pushing harder.
Everything's So Right I'm Scared To Talk About It   
01:56pm 19/06/2006
mood: happy
You ever have times in life when you want to sit back, close your eyes and appreciate EVERYTHING. I'm talking blue sky, good job, beautiful apartment, Lake michigan, music, good health, good food, mom and dad, perfect childhood, old friends, bright future, the general goodness in people, the doorman greeting me "g'mornin ma'am" every morning before my run, and "how was your run?" when I return, new friends, the opera singer on the corner of Michigan and Delaware, tears, higher education, family, conquering fears, running, exploring, shin splints, architecture, innocence, fireworks at Navy Pier, independence, responsibility. Lately I have taken nothing for granted.
I smile when I see the father's talking to their children about the monkeys at the zoo saying "What's that monkey eating? Is it grass? Is it leaves? Yeah leaves!" in the shameless way that parents speak to their children as if they're the only two people in the world. It's pure.
Every time I see something like that, or when reflect on something from the past that makes me smile and see the good that's left in the world, it takes a little bit more of the cynicism out of me. I truly believe that being out here in Chicago is one of the best choices I've ever made. It's so different from Boston. I've never in my life felt so capable and alive and healthy and even though I miss my friends from Northeastern (so much), this was exactly what I neded at the exact time that I needed it.
Anyone who reads this should leave a comment about one time that they saw something that made them smile - and realize that people are still good under all the hectic chaos of life.

Here's mine: This morning I was taking my bike downstairs and a very old man got on the elevator with me. He could barely walk and was using a walker. He got off the elevator and I followed. Even though he was very slow moving and hunched over he still made it a point to hold the door open for me until I had gotten all the way through with my bike. It made me smile - simple as that.

I could go on and list things all day, but my general feeling is that people here (and I'm sure elsewhere...but I've noticed it often here) are welcoming, friendly, outgoing, helpful, considerate, and just generally good.

The End.
Here's a good one for Uncle Dave, Auntie Di, and Rene (the mom)   
01:22pm 23/05/2006
mood: satisfied
As per a discussion I had with my wonderful Uncle this past weekend at my brother's graduation festivities - I have decided to update my journal with something I would not normally post due to my regular readers (see subject line).
Get ready to be scared you three.

Yesterday I got back to ol' Chicago after a weekend away at the graduation of my dear brother Dan. I had been in the process of exhausting my food supply for 2 weeks prior to my departure to NH, with the plans to embark on a massive shopping extravaganza upon my return. And that's exactly what I did.
Because of the extreme lack of food, I arrived at the store sans grocery list and decided it would be the best idea to zig as well as zag my way through all the aisles, ensuring that I would not miss any essential addition to my cart.
About halfway through my adventure I noticed that I was seeing the same man in every aisle that I was in. No sweat, I thought to myself. He must be a zig zagger too. When I reached the opposite end of the store from where I had begun, there he was. Odd - I observed - he's not carrying any items except for an Osco bag from a previous purchase. He has no shopping cart or basket, and he doesn't really seem to be looking at anything.
Being the eternal optimist and giving people the benefit of the doubt until my opinion is 300% defeated I chalked it up to a coincidence. Maybe I needed more food. I'd simply began to zog and zug instead of zig and zag. There is less of a pattern when one zogs and zugs, so if he was still following me, then I would lay the smack down (read: tell the store manager...a young man probably my junior with a cracking voice and pimples. Surely he'd know what to do).
Scallops sound great for dinner! I went to the opposite end of the store and got some fish for dinner, and ta da! There he was!. Mind you he's already been to this side of the store once (at the beginning of our excursion). I took my fish and went halfway across the store to the chip aisle and went to the front of the store. No sign of him at first, but then I saw him walking towards me (a fair distance away) so I went to the ice cream aisle (at the end again) and lo and behold, he wanted ice cream too. I went to the chip aisle again and walked down it only to almost run into him at the end of the aisle. He was walking by all the aisles (at a quickened pace) looking down each one. He saw me, but kept walking (I can only assume it would've been a little too obvious if he stopped right there). I was getting pretty *fucking* (that's for you Uncle Dave) freaked at this point, but I decided I'd stop in the card aisle and read random cards for a while and see if he found me. I think he was on to me (I was zogging and zugging a lot) and the fact that I was on to him - because he never showed up after about 15 minutes in the card aisle. I found a line and checked out as quickly as possible looking for the man the whole time. No sign of him. Very scary situation.

How's that for an update?

On an unrelated note - I'm showing toe-cleavage today, and I don't like it.
Myspace is for jackasses   
08:51pm 01/05/2006
  Background: People have been posting bulletins on myspace telling people not to fill up their gas tanks on May 15th. Here is the original post that has been circulating through myspace:

Don't go to get gas on may 15th!!!

On May 15th all myspace members are to not go to the gas station in protest high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most places. There are 72,110,073 members currently on the network, and the average car takes about 20 to 30 dollars to fill up. If all myspace members did not go to the pump on the 15th it would take $2,163,302,190.00 out of the oil companys pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the oil industry for at least one day.

If you agree repost this bulletin
Don't reply with a message

My Reaction:

Oh my freaking god people. ENOUGH.

#1 If no myspace members pump gas on May 15th, yeah, maybe it'll put a "dent" in the oil company's profits for one day. BUT GUESS WHAT. All those dumbasses are still going to be running on empty on May 16th - resulting is a quatrillabajillion dollar spike May 16th. And the oil companies will dance all over your sorry myspace asses.

#2 The numbers are all sorts of wrong:
-Half the myspace members aren't old enough to drive. Most of the 17 year olds on this site are actually 12.
-Lots of us don't drive. The last time I put gas in the Camry was December. I'd hazard to say at least 1/4 of the users on here live in cities and may not even own a car.
-Not everyone buys gas on the same day. I'm sure all 0394209483 members of myspace weren't going to fill up on May 15th, so to create a 2billion something deficit is nothing short of poor arithmatic and extreme lack of logic.

Please stop posting this shit. The US is dependent on oil, suck it up. They've been paying $5 in Europe for over 2 years now.
Buy a bicycle, lower poisonous emissions. And make sure every myspace member does the same. If everyone started to ride bicycles, we'd not only be showing the oil conglomorates who's boss, we'd also be sticking it to car companies, starbucks (bikes don't have cupholders), and the obesity epidemic.
Today my question was answered   
06:31pm 26/02/2006
  The question was this: Where do homeless people go to the bathroom?

Answered when I saw a homeless woman sitting on Michigan Ave with a line of urine coming from under her and flowing down the slope of the sidewalk. She didn't seem to mind as she was out of her mind screeching a song out at the top of her raspy lungs.


I'm sick - might call out sick to work tomorrow.

This has been my 60 day update.
07:22am 10/01/2006
mood: melancholy
I feel like I fucked myself over by coming out here. I love it so far, don't get me wrong.
But, as a girl who's been single for one year as of today, I'm ready for a relationship again. I'm so sick of bullshit games, and putting myself out there facing rejection. I just want the one person who I can say anything to. I want to lie down next to someone and feel so secure that I never want to leave. I'm actually physically aching in my chest (either than or it's an aneurysm) lately wanting what I haven't had in so long. The problem is, no guy is going to want to start a relationship with me because I'm only here for 6 months. After this I go back to Boston for 6 weeks, same problem, no one will want a relationship if I'm just going to leave for Italy. Which brings me to Italy, where I will spend Sept-December of this year. I've pretty much just set the course to be single for another year. I'm not quite sure why this didn't dawn on me until now. :(
More pictures of my new home   
09:35pm 06/01/2006
  The weather is slowly starting to clear up so here are a couple pictures of the view from my apartment (of Lake Michigan) and also a night shot of the view from the rooftop. As usual, the pictures do not do it justice. Enjoy.

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