Monthly Archives: September 2012


Tonight we had the distinct pleasure of dining with the parents of Jonathan Wakuda Fischer, Ed and Akemi.

Based on a previous experience and the Fischer clan interest in seafood, we ate at mM or Mm, depending on where you look. The awning reads “mM” but the online reviews read “Mm”. No matter the spelling, “mmmmmm” is sure to be moaned while dining.



We were so enjoying the company and the food that I forgot to take photos until we had nearly demolished the seafood antipasti delight! We had five varieties of raw fish, five of fried fish, a cozze (mussel) stew, filet of fried fish, and boiled polpo (octopus).



The pesce fritto misti (mixed fried fish) included crustaceans as well as calamari (squid). Buon appetito!


Filed under 5-100, Food. Cibo.

Pizza Norma



Tomato sauce, eggplant, olive oil – all baked in a wood-fired oven, then topped with freshly grated ricotta salata (salty).

Direct from our neighborhood pizzeria -Via Va!



Filed under 5-100, Food. Cibo.

Start with the life you have

After several days of having an artist in residence and mild sleep deprivation, my mind is swirling with ideas fantastic and elastic. Moments after imagining a non-profit to service career-minded military spouses, I imagine that the same group could offer divorce counseling, since so many military couples end up getting divorced. Fantastic and elastic.

The power of dreaming is alluring and intoxicating. I see this power operate in the mind-suck of video games, novels, handi-work projects (think automobile repair or woodwork), really at any activity where your mind is forced to work just hard enough to block out the outside world, but you are still functioning on some mechanical level. Yes, reading a novel just barely qualifies in this category, but you are still holding your head upright and turning pages, so lots of senses other than imagination are regularly engaged (touch of the paper, sound of page turning (or finger stroke on e-reader), blinking, etc).

Unlike other alluring and intoxicating activities like sex and drinking, dreaming is relatively harmless and likewise relatively unrewarding, unless you turn the power of those dreams into action that affects your reality. This is a sticky point for many, and definitely a mental block for me in many areas.

The one common trend I am focusing on recently is to start with the life I have. Always. When I start daydreaming away my reality – unpalatable aspect of my job, cleaning up cat hair, not having enough time to do everything, wanting to sleep in, etc., I remind myself of several things. First, I arrived at this point where reality is through my own choices. Second, that faced with the same environment, resource limitations, and other factors, unless I make a different choice, I will be dealing with the same reality. Third, therefore the power is within me to transcend this reality for another.

Yet, it is obvious that I have attempted to make wise decisions in the past. I didn’t choose willy nilly and end up here, I made conscious choices that I thought would lead to contentment at the very least, and happiness in the hopeful. So, where does that leave me? At the starting point of my reality, the life I have. The life I have is pretty darn great, but I can also see another life with a few changes around the corner. I am not sure what the road does between here and the corner, but I am curious to find out. Where will I take myself? What power do I have within me?


Filed under 5-100


This weekend, I ran 20 miles for my marathon training run. Like most sane people, I experienced some suffering during the 20 miles. This is the second 20 mile run in my training series and it is the signal of the three week taper until my race.

One would think that the mere completion of the run would fill you with exhilaration, relief and joy. One would be wrong.

I am full of sore muscles, fear of the future and loathing for miles 12-15. I run my long runs slower than my marathon goal pace, but I think like I am racing as much as possible in the way I mentally approach the long grind of energy expenditure.

The worst part of my long runs are always miles 12-15. There is some mental hang up as I near the halfway point (13.1 miles). Once I reach 13.1, the relief and expectation for the second half are eclipsed by the realization of what is to come and the fear that for some reason I will not finish.

This weekend, mile 12 found me cursing and spitting mad as I had to reroute my path. The steep hills here are a bit unpredictable when you have to make a 20 mile course and after I shredded my legs during my first 20 miler, I vowed to protect my legs by avoiding steep inclines this time around.

I mustered through and was actually feeling quite chipper again as quickly as mile 12.5. I picked up a second wind at mile 14 and coasted along all the way to mile 17. Then, the dreaded exhaustion set in. My mile splits started creeping up and it was all I could do to keep moving one foot in front of the other.

Finishing wasn’t even as climatic as I would have liked. I was disappointed how much my time slipped at the end and knew I had at least two days of tight and tender muscles ahead of me.

The best part of the 20 mile run is the instant respect and appreciation from others when they hear of the run. The clerk at the gym where I log my miles, our artist resident/houseguest, friends and family, and my colleagues. And when all I want to do is go back to bed, I ain’t too proud to beg for a few kudos from my blog readers, too. Show me some love in the comments!

Contemplating the marathon.
Tartu, Estonia 2012


Filed under 5-100, Running

Some things really never change…


A glass of water bedside always seems to turn into three or four glasses as I obstinately try to reuse glasses in order to reduce waste. A busy Monday post that makes me laugh at my efforts to reduce clutter in my life. I attempt to do so nobly, in mind, home and body. And some days the fruits of my labor become my clutter.

Leave a comment

September 24, 2012 · 10:12 pm

What a lovely Friday tribute.

Tonight, I am looking forward to 33 more hours of work in the fiscal year (!!!), the arrival of JWF (!!), and my final 20-mile run prior to the marathon (!).

Ciao, ciao, ciaociaociao

the thirdeyeworld

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one. -John Lennon

I couldn’t think of a more fitting photo that honors peace than this one above. It was taken while hiking in Nepal and the white from the fresh coat of snow and the glittering prayer flags both symbolize peace.

What kind of world will we become if we don’t live in peace? What kind of future will our children and grand-children have? A world without peace is a world not worth living in.

This post is in honor of the UN’s International Day of Peace and was prompted by Where’s my Backpack’s travel theme: White. To read more entries, click here.

View original post


Filed under 5-100

purple crescendo


Filed under 5-100

The Weight of Lies

If you’re feeling at all contemplative or like you want to give some thought to how we try to hide within ourselves, give The Avett Brother’s a chance. These guys write some really honest lyrics that strike me as simplistically beautiful. Big props to my cousin Steph for initially introducing and to my brother Jim for re-introducing me to The Avett Brothers.

The music hits that same simplicity, but it is more nuanced with harmonies and hums, sharp dynamics and pitch changes that draw your attention right back to the song just at the moment that your mind started wandering away on the implications of the lyrics.

“Nothing happens here that doesn’t happen there”

This lyric has always been the one that stands out most to me. Due to my introspective nature and my wanderlust soul, I have made several self-check-ups over the years: Are you running away from something? What do you think will be different in the next place? What is making you feel like leaving again? What challenges are you seeking with this next adventure?

Between 17 and 27, I lived in three dorms, my parents’ house, three sublets, one house share (unknown roommates), four apartments with seventeen different roommates, my friend’s parents house, a host-family house (Ecuador), my suitcase (extended travels), and one apartment all to myself. I was the opposite of settled down. Because I was not running from the law, or debt, or even a bad break-up, I thought that I answered all the self-questions correctly. I thought I was just curious about the world.

While the song is couching its lyrics around the concept of lies, I think the lies at issue are really those that we tell to ourselves. Hiding who we really are, or holding back from expressing ourselves really only charms others, and sometimes ourselves, into befriending, or be-lovering, a facade. While it is still true that I am curious about the world, I have been enough places and put myself in enough situations that stretch the limits of my comfort zone to see that I didn’t necessarily need to travel the world to have these growing experiences (though it is certainly a great way to do it). I just need to be brave enough to be honest with myself about my dreams, opinions, doubts, ideas, loves, hates; about why I avoid conflict to my detriment until I seek it out to my detriment; about my career status and how I chose each step on the path to this point…and, that if I am brave enough to be honest with myself, well, that would be the grandest adventure of all.


Filed under 5-100, Songs

Musica Sconosciuta

While wandering Cefalu the other weekend, I heard a lovely tonal hum and soft percussive thumps of a street musician cutting through the slow-moving crowd in front of me. The sound alternatively dropped into the rhythms of Italian and French around me and pulsed through the parting of the crowds as I neared the musician. His modest look and handsome face together with the beautiful noise stilled my feet; caught in the moment, I stopped and stared. As I regained my senses, I reached for my camera, caught his eye, and with his slight nod, began attempting to capture the serene stillness emanating from him and his music. It was the sort of stillness that rises out of unknown sounds, the ever-present heartbeat you can’t hear when you’re in a crowd, the ribbon of calm that leads you through fields of adrenaline and exhaustion as a runner finishing a race. His hands were in constant motion, and passersby steadily chipped into his offering tray, as did I. The moment passed, my group had moved ahead, and I felt a stirring renewal of curiosity and compassion for the unknown histories of my contemporaries in this life.

Unknown music, “musica sconosciuta.”

Cefalu, Sicily
September 2012


Filed under 5-100, Awesomeness, Travel

Cool, creamy and delicious lite: Gelato Festival, Take 2

Last year, I made a solo trip from the temporary housing residence hotel in Motta over to Cefalu for the International Sherbeth Festival.

The article linked above explains that ‘sherbet’ comes from the Arabic word for the concoctions that have evolved into sorbet and gelato. The festival creates five pockets of booths within the center of Cefalu, include two points on the sea. This was the sixth year of the festival and it was going strong, including extras such as “Gelato University” – perhaps a venue of research for blossoming ice cream makers out there?

The flavors, textures, and high quality ingredients of these gelato samples were simply amazing. With a few bites, I was tempted to forgo lesser quality frozen products for life. (Yes, I have since come to my senses.) The hot sticky air of charming Cefalu was a great complement to the cool, creamy deliciousness of the gelato.

Buon sherbeth!

And to all a buona notte!


Filed under 5-100, Food. Cibo.