nice pair.

it always makes me super happy when i'm out with the dogs and a passerby says something nice about them. big dogs and pit bulls don't always elicit pleasantries, i've found, particular not in my neck of the woods; it's the rare stranger who recognizes and acknowledges their awesomeness!
while raja is stuck in seemingly perpetual puppyhood, milo continues to age (relatively) gracefully. at almost 13 years old, he's as beautiful as ever and his gentle nature remains unchanged. i have seen the advancing years take their effect on his body, though, and am ever conscious that he won't be with me forever. though i'm pretty confident he'll see another birthday, i sometimes wonder whether he's experiencing his lasts. and even though i don't expect him to leave me in the immediate future, it is really nice when a stranger passes along a compliment - about either of my boys, but particularly the oldest man.

when we were out walking tonight, a woman passed us and said simply: "nice pair."
i had to laugh because it sounded kind of inappropriate and perverse, but it really was such a sweet thing to say. she was so right on.


over the weather.

to my mind, there's nothing quite like a good, harrowing sickness to really force some reƫvaluation into one's life. old habits and patterns and mindsets are called into question in a desperate "why me?" quest to understand what it is that ails. and while the path to a new understanding is fraught with phlegm and woe, coming out alive and with a renewed outlook can almost make it seem worthwhile.


last saturday, i was sidelined by the grippe of death. a trip to the urgent care clinic on tuesday started me on proper recovery, but it wasn't until friday that i really started to feel human again. (i do have to note, though, that i'm glad i didn't listen to all those people who said i'd have to "ride it out." there's a lot to be said for the relief that can come from treating a flu's symptoms!) as i have emerged from the sick fog, i've been giving a lot of mind-time to questions of where i am - at times, more literal than others - and also to where i am heading.

i've been living in my apartment in washington heights for nearly three years now and i think it was only june and july of 2005 when i truly felt happy here. there are a whole host of reasons why that is, but it's the unfortunate reality, so i find myself considering a move with ever greater frequency. the catch, of course, is that moving is an unreasonable prospect. my rent is affordable, i'm 15 blocks from work, and my neighborhood is as quiet and pleasant as any i'm likely to find. when i consider areas where i'd consider living, they're prohibitively expensive, distant, or both. red hook, brooklyn was my most recent fling; it has high rent and crazy travel possibilities in spades!
so rather than moving, i'm resigned to spending the next two years of my teaching contract in this apartment. i'm not, however, resigned to being unhappy here, so i'm embarking on a big spring cleaning and decluttering, to be followed by painting and maybe some furniture upgrading. if nothing else, hopefully my projects will keep me busy enough that i won't be dwelling on what could be.
my state of where extends, naturally, beyond the walls of my apartment. i'm just over halfway through my five-year commitment with Math for America and have thus far not had any great misgivings about accepting my newton fellowship. i have found, however, that discontented naggings are coming more frequently and i'm (again) faced with the reality that new york is not my place. although that's temporary, it still leaves me feeling kind of up in the air, as i'm not sure where my place is, if indeed i have one.
changing one's geography is easy enough, though. what really vexes me is that while i'm relatively happy and satisfied with my job - certainly much more fulfilled than i've ever been before - i'm not sure it's, well, enough. but, then, i don't know that anything could be and am well aware that i may be chasing some ideal that will never materialize. again, i've got a couple of years left on my contract. i'm going to try to use that time wisely, exploring other options and interests and if i don't come up with something that's more "right" for me, i'll hopefully at least be upping my satisfaction level, in general.

ah, well, these are all longer-term thoughts. what really matters most now is that i'm returning to work tomorrow after a week off and i'm trying to keep my focus squarely on being healthy. i ventured out to fairway yesterday to stock up on groceries because i just didn't eat much when i was sick and i don't feel up to eating anything too process-y. got lots of fresh produce and some staples and i'm off to plan some meals for the week that are healthy and light. the weather is warming up and there's a definite spring-like air about new york right now, which i think helped lift me out of the sick doldrums high enough that i could start to look to the future.
i started the week off with the most perfect, sunshine-y breakfast i could think of: lemon soy yogurt, ezekiel sprouted grain cereal, and a bunch of fresh berries. i honestly don't think there's any way you could improve on such a meal. it's the kind of fuel i really need right now, nutritionally and otherwise. i'm putting it in heavy rotation.