Second City Kitty

Ice cream enthusiast, slow long runner, aspiring Japanese speaker

Not running

I’ve been training for the Chicago and NYC marathons. And now, for the past 10 days, I’m not running. Apparently the Peroneal Tendons in my foot were just OVER THIS SHIT, and I can barely walk.

I’ve run marathons injured every single time- 4 now. With plantar fasciitis (3 shots of cortisone with a scary long needle stabbed into my heel), a hip impingement (again, cortisone stabbings), runners knee, IT band issues, a broken toe, stress fractures in my shins. This is the only thing that has actually shut me down, so trust me, it really really hurts.

I’m doing physical therapy now, and the cheerful girl Sara seems to think I’ll be able to complete them (maybe?). I’m clear to do every exercise other than running, which I’m doing, and if thing get better I can train again in 7 days. 

Look let’s be honest, I’m going to run this shit regardless.

1Q84. My Favorite Book Ever?

When I was a freshman in high school I read Slaughterhouse V and A Clockwork Orange, and my world changed. I feel the same having finished 1Q84, despite being much, much older and having previously felt that nothing I ever read would ever influence me again in the same way. I kind of want to never read another book ever again, because it will be a bound volume of bullshit next to 1Q84.

Look, I have to slip into Stefon from SNL to really put it the way I want to. This book has EVERYTHING: Tokyo, Little People, vigilante justice, immaculate conception, NHK, math, cults and Dowagers.

Basically I love the way Murakami writes, being the only person in my Book Club who enjoyed Kafka on the Shore. It’s very Japanese for a Westerner, stripped of bullshit adjectives but with enough explanation that we don’t have to use our brains too much. And it’s no secret I love everything about Japan. I read Hiragana despite having no idea what the translation is of most of what I read.

The sign of a good book is when you’re at page 975 of 1000 and you actually don’t want to finish because then the characters will be gone, the people you’ve become so close will never have anything new happen, their narrative will end and you’ll be left alone, never ever hearing from them again. 

Fuck I loved this book.

(PS the word for 9 in Japanese is Que (or Kew), so the title is a play on 1984. Ichi Que Hachi Yon. The Q sounds the same whether a number or letter! #japanesenerd)

Book it

(stolen from Facebook)

This is fun!
In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.

1. Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris

2. White Teeth, Zadie Smith

3. All Murakami

4. All Joan Didion

5. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

6. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott 

7. Slaughterhouse V, Vonnegut

8. Bridget Jones’ Diary (don’t you judge me)

9. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

10. Just Kids, Patti Smith

Honorable Mention: Goodnight Moon, Are you my Mother, Easy Riders Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock ‘N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, On the Road.

I actually think this list makes me appear much more serial killer-y than I had expected…

I have not been challenged to take the now social-media encompassing “ice bucket challenge”

Should I feel left out, or proud that no one thinks I’m so poor/ridiculous that I wouldn’t donate $100 in lieu of giving myself a one woman wet tshirt contest (I guess I would win?) (wtf)

So the punishment for stealing a pack of cigars is to be promptly shot to death?


The Birdcage

Depression doesn’t care who you are. You’re popular, friendly, hilarious, rich, adored, loved- no matter. It will destroy you and kill you. Your outside life means nothing to this disease. And I don’t mean “disease’ like alcoholism, I mean disease like cancer.

Except that we don’t speak of it in those terms. When someone dies of a disease besides depression/mental illness we say they “died” of it. When it’s the latter they “committed” suicide. As if their death was a choice they consciously made. This has always been very disturbing to me, and I’m very happy the news that I’ve seen so far has been sensitive to say that Robin Williams died by suicide, or died due to suicide. The person doesn’t commit the act, like they do murder. Semantics really do mean a lot.

And it makes me a little angry when someone excuses a suicide death as- “oh, well he was an alcoholic/drug addict”. Everything has a root cause, and typically it’s depression/anxiety. That is the disease, not the way in which it manifests.

My grandfather killed himself. My father and uncle have struggled with depression and anxiety all their lives. That probably means I will too, although I’ve never had any very serious issues. I put myself into therapy at an early age because well, it can’t hurt. I fear for the moment (hopeful that I won’t) that I plunge into deep depression. Despite knowing many who have gone through it, I cannot imagine how it must be. 

If anything this senseless and terrible death of a beloved icon we all adored should bring the conversation forward. It is not something to be hidden and shamed. The suicidally depressed are not hideous figured hiding out behind shut doors, lonely and poor and away from everything. They ARE our sisters, brothers, parents, friends and even our Hollywood stars. We need to get over the bullshit connotations that “suicide” stirs up in our long-ingrained psyche. This is not a choice made by someone, it is a disease.

It isn’t always curable, even when someone has all the resources in the world. There isn’t something someone could have done to prevent Williams death, or any of those we have lost, as he had been in treatment and clearly had the means to the best help on the planet. Rather than writing random prescriptions, doctors need to do more research on what the best treatment can be. At the loss of someone everyone adored I can only hope they will be called into action to do so. I hate to see anyone go this way, but with Williams death I can see that SO many others will be saved.

Internet, bleh

Remember when you used to be cool, man? 

People would have entire relationships on you. Whole families would fall apart over what someone posted online. My own (peripheral) family had a melt down because someone wasn’t friends with someone’s else’s ma. You used to be so real.

Back on Myspace we’d become obsessed with people we didn’t know at all. Friends of friends of friends, who we’d end up looking at through a random click-hole, who were so cool and smart and well-dressed. We’d go back at look at their profiles daily, just to dwell in their lives like it was Friends, only REAL. 

Then they all deleted their Myspaces, because yeah, things got too fucked up real. And we never knew their last names, they were just “Tori” friends with “Biff” who was friends with “Twiggy” who was friends with a guy we know. So its not like we could find them again on Facebook where everything is sterile with last names and no one yells and no one meets people they don’t know IRL.

(I did find Tori again, because I’m good at google. And I’m happy she’s doing well)

Anyway, things are just SO BORING now. I haven’t even seen a good flamewar in like, weeks. It’s just the same dumb graphic of Palestinian children killed versus Israeli children, with no context, and that’s not only not fun it’s insanely stupid. Get back to your roots, dude. I want at least one of my friends to post a belligerent rant complete with topless selfie, or I’m going back to books and voice-on-voice contact.

Well, Halloween is coming. I guess we have the black-face Social Media Vigilante Justice to look forward to…

Listening to my running mix (85% terrible pop, 15% songs with the word “run” in them” I am always struck by the fact that my mom really was 21 in 1969. I asked her about this once:

Me: “You were 21 in 1969! That must have been cool?”

The Joyce: “Yes. It was.”

I think there’s more to it than she’s letting on. The woman got into Studio 54…

Today I ran 10 miles (I forgot to turn on my fitbit and ignore that bitches pace because I had to go to best buy for new headphones mid-run). It was easier than I expected, Gu was the same nasty mess, my toe hurt less than I expected and I love running again. It’s just painful to realize in a few weeks 10 miles will be my shorter run cryyyyyyyyyy

Also Wild Boy is my running theme of the season. Don’t you judge me, Aviici (avicii?) is awesome


I know now that I am officially old because I relate to the parents conversations in My So Called Life. She dyed her hair to get a reaction so don’t react!

Bring on the babies? (After Cambodia in December. Yikes is this really the age I am?)

To anyone protesting anything, ever

I totally defend your right to do this. Hey you’re pro Palestine or pro Israel or pro Planned Parenthood or anti Abortion- that’s cool. I’m glad you have a voice, and a free one.

But you know what? How about you spend that time at a soup kitchen instead of waving a stupid handmade sign in the air. How about you take those 4 hours and mentor a underprivileged kid? Why not clean up some fucking trash in our parks instead of focusing on your entirely irrelevant protest while your snapping pics to Facebook? No one thinks you’re a good person.

Take the $8 you spent on markers and tshirts and poster board and actually do something which might not instantly gratify yourself but could do a lot of good for the kind of people you claim to support.

I’m taking volunteers for a Habitat trip to Cambodia. It will cost a lot of money, and be uncomfortable and hot and a lot of hard work (much more than standing around holding a sign and occasionally shouting some bullshit) but you would be doing something for another actual human. Think you’re up for it?

I thought not.