Friday, April 27, 2012


I'm a lucky girl. I have great friends who graciously share their wisdom with me, time and again. One of the members of this treasured group is my friend and blogger extraordinaire, Abby. She gave me some food for thought the other day: torturetunities. Before I even thought to ask her for the genesis of the word and her definition, I immediately applied the idea to two recent developments in my life.

"You’ve officially been selected to run in the 2012 Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. Congratulations!"

Merde. I did not want to
win this lottery. Who wants to hand over a bunch of money to run 26.2 miles? Moreover, this race is in San Francisco so there are hills involved. I don’t know who this Nora is right now, but the Nora from a few years ago is very perplexed. Torturetunity. 

However, the minute I cross that finish line and pick up my Tiffany’s necklace from a handsome SF fireman dressed in a tuxedo, not only will I cross off a bucket list item, but I get to retire from my illustrious running career!

I’m serious.

The second torturetunity requires more explanation. I apologize in advance for the overabundance of links.

This past week has been amazing. I could not ask for a better cross-section to describe what my life in San Francisco consists of:
  • Thurs: Bon Iver show. He is so talented, and Midwestern (and therefore automatically my friend), and I could sit and listen to him with my eyes closed for hours.
  • Sat: Sat and read for hours in Alamo Square and definitely sun burnt nooks and crannies that have not been aired out in a long time. Afterwards, Julia’s birthday at Local Edition, where we created the Bloody Nipple. Being the occasional drinker that I am, when my friends told me to order a shot, the first thing that came out of my mouth was “bloody nipples?” Apparently the word I was looking for was “buttery.” The bartender came back with 5 shots of tequila and Bloody Mary mix. You throw back the tequila, and chase it with the mix. Ask for one the next time you go out.
  • Sun: Took the ferry out to Angel Island, more sun burn.
  • Tues: Surprise breakfast from Sightglass, went to Sketch Tuesday at 111 Minna and helped my friend promote his upcoming adventure, Notes to New York. Please participate!
  • Wed: Went to Pop Up Magazine
  • Thurs: Surprise breakfast from Tartine
That was information overload, I know. The reason why I detail it is because I love my life here. I don’t know if I am ready yet to leave. However, the opportunity has come up, and I’ve been mulling over my decision. I will go into more detail on this later if/when something comes of it. But until then, I will simply say that I have great reasons to stay here in San Francisco. I also have great reasons to move.

I thought that I had all but decided on what to do, until Abby offered up her definition at the end of our conversation. “Torturetunities: opportunities that come along at moments when we can't really take advantage of them, but they torture us because we agonize over whether to try to make it work or not, but really shouldn't do it.”

Every opportunity does not need to be seized at the moment it presents itself. Life is about choices, not opportunities. Moreover, it does not mean that the same (or better!) opportunity will not present itself again in the future.

If Abby is the dictionary, I volunteer myself as thesaurus. Torturetunities = growing pains.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time for a Facebook Detox

"The problem, then, is that we invite loneliness, even though it makes us miserable. The history of our use of technology is a history of isolation desired and achieved. When the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company opened its A&P stores, giving Americans self-service access to groceries, customers stopped having relationships with their grocers. When the telephone arrived, people stopped knocking on their neighbors’ doors. Social media bring this process to a much wider set of relationships... Loneliness is certainly not something that Facebook or Twitter or any of the lesser forms of social media is doing to us. We are doing it to ourselves. Casting technology as some vague, impersonal spirit of history forcing our actions is a weak excuse. We make decisions about how we use our machines, not the other way around... "

Stephen Marche, Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?
Atlantic Magazine, May 2012

It's not often that 1) I see an Internet article longer than a page scroll, and 2) that I have the patience to read it. But this article hit a few nerves, and I think the author poses some thought-provoking questions.

I defriended 643 people on Facebook; some of whom I didn't even recognize because of a new married surname. If I had no idea someone got married, I had no business being "friends" with them. Relationships require a lot of work. I don't want Facebook to stand in place of that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Barkley

The entry procedure is a well guarded mystery. Ask a veteran how to enter and you are likely to be sent down a rabbit hole.
The cost to enter is $1.60 and a license plate from your home state or country.
The course is five loops around the park, totally unmarked, mostly off trail, with a time limit of sixty hours.
There are no manned aid stations. You must carry everything you need to survive “out there” including a map and compass (no GPS allowed) to navigate the course.
There are no rescues. You must self-extract, however long it takes, and get back to camp. There is no official race start time.
The race begins when the Race Director decides to light his cigarette.