Category Archives: Everything Else

To Kentucky!

Last week, Alex and I decided to take a longer road trip to Kentucky, the next big target on my “Visit Every State Once” list.  Just short of seven days, we got to see lots of cool stuff, ending our trip in Cape Cod, MA for a special visit with my best friend for his 30th birthday.  Here’s what went down:

Day One

I worked for most of the day, but as soon as I got out, I picked up two salads, Alex and I scarfed them down in the car, and then headed towards Gettysburg, PA–our first stop.  On the way we got to see this incredible sunset that started pretty typical

2016-08-21 19.55.42and then quickly developed into something mind blowing.

2016-08-21 20.00.31

We booked a campsite in Gettysburg for the night, pitched the tent, and decided to leave the rain fly off (something that didn’t really work out the last time I was in Gettysburg).  It was a beautiful, cool night with lots of stars–perfect for a first night away.

Day Two

We woke up to a beautiful sky thanks to no-rain-fly

IMG_20160822_081924This was a big driving day–we headed from Gettysburg to Kentucky, but first we stopped in an AMAZING tiny diner.  The food was delicious, the atmosphere was amazing, and from the table, we could see the older couple that owned the place cooking all the food in the kitchen.

IMG_20160822_095511I’d go all the way to Gettysburg just to grab another meal here.

On the way to the car, we were stopped by an older vet who had grown up in Brooklyn, right were I used to live.  We had a nice chat about the good ol’ days at the Coney Island boardwalk.

We drove through beautiful stretches of highway, and when we got to Kentucky, it was so green and smelled like grass.  We stopped at a really beautiful rest stop for car-made sandwiches on bread we made at home before the trip.  They were really delicious and the view was incredible.

IMG_20160822_155617IMG_20160822_161958We called a campsite early in the afternoon–we wanted to camp in the Daniel Boone National Forest, and wanted to make sure we got a spot.  The man on the phone insisted that we were the only ones in the whole campground–and the whole area for that matter, and didn’t have to worry about claiming a spot.

We had to drive through a winding, totally deserted road for about 35 minutes before we got to the campsite.  I swear, it was totally out of a horror movie.  We parked, and there was a tiny cabin with the lights on, and then nothing.  The sun was going down and everything beyond the cabin was just darkness.  There was a sign on the door that said the office was closed, even though the guy on the phone said he would stick around until we got there.  The only living creature around us was a cute little dog sitting on a wicker chair on the cabin’s porch.

I decided to call the office again, only for me to realize I had no service.  I walked back towards the car and managed to get one bar, and called the number.  A phone on a table on the porch rang, breaking the utter silence and stillness of where we were.  No answer.

We hopped back in the car and sped away from Murder Camp, and grabbed a night at a Red Roof instead.  The guy ended up calling me back, but I told him we arrived, saw no one and left.  I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to camp that night, but maybe the road trip Gods were trying to tell us something.

Day Three

We woke up in our comfy hotel, and hopped in the car after a quick energy bar breakfast, and headed to Lexington.  I’ve been to many popular places in many different states, and I was surprised to find a very short list of interesting things to see and do around Lexington.  Though short, the list is still cool.

We started at the Mary Todd Lincoln house, which looks unimpressive from the outside, but is really awesome on the inside.  A lot of the house was auctioned off and sold when her father died, but they were able to find similar pieces to what was described to be in each room at the time.  Everything in the home is from that time, so though she didn’t own all of it, it’s still accurate and great to see.

Lincoln’s grandson ended up donating a ton of items to the house when he died, so there are several things in the collection that belonged to the Lincoln family.

The coolest thing to see was Mary’s bed, which was definitely swanky


The house did a really good job painting her as a human, and giving a context to the many rumors and bad feelings associated with her memory.  I appreciated that about the tour, since I’ve never really been a big fan of the Civil War or any of the history around that time.

After, we went to the Town Branch distillery,


which was my first time seeing the inside scoop on how any form of alcohol is made.  They showed us the process,


and we got to take a tour of the facility–very good.  The best part was the tasting, and getting our passports signed by the first stop of the Bourbon Trail!


I Am A Runner

2014-11-27 09.09.16I am a runner.  I run long distances, and I compete often.  I’m also fat, and pretty damn slow.

I started my relationship with running in 2012, when I decided I wanted to run a 5k.  Previous to this, the longest I had ever run was to the bus or subway when I was late.  I had lost just under one hundred pounds, and I needed something new to work towards.

Unfortunately, I had come into running with the idea that since I had been fat and mostly lazy my whole life, now it was time to pay for it.  I treated running the way I treated food: as a punishment.  I trained really hard.  As a result, I did two things.  First, I ran my first 5k.  Second, I ended up with two fractured metatarsals.

The following months were spent healing, moving apartments, and secretly wishing I could run.  It was a secret because I felt foolish wanting to run, almost the same way I felt foolish openly wishing for love.  I wasn’t good at either one, and wanting to do it anyway was surely a sign of denial.  Running and love were not made for fat people.

In 2014, I decided to try again.  I started my punishment training 2014-12-21 09.18.46again, and forced myself forward.  At the time I was convinced if I ran fast enough or far enough, I could escape my fat.

And then it all changed.

I was preparing to go running in a nearby park when another runner asked me how much I was running.  I laughed, like we were sharing a joke, and said, “I have to run five miles today.”

He didn’t react with a chuckle like I thought he would.  He shook his head and replied, “You don’t have to do anything.  You GET to run five miles today.”

Whoa.  What.  Get to run?  What do you mean “get” to run?  As in, a gift?

2014-11-09 09.24.32From that point on, everything changed.  If moving my legs for a long time (even though I was tired), was a gift—what else was a gift?  I stopped planning “smaller” goals like what I would do when I lost enough weight, or how small I could get my rear through running.  I started planning bigger goals, like when I could realistically run a marathon.

Shortly after the New York Marathon, I read an article written by one of the finishers as she explained that slow runners made her medal mean less.  She claimed the point of the marathon wasn’t to just finish the race, but to run it well.  She said that any time over five hours was a completely unacceptable finish.  I calculated my finished marathon time based on my 5k times.  Six hours and three minutes.  I was crushed.

I spent the next three races 2015-12-05 09.26.19extremely self-conscious of my racing speed.  Forget about the fact that I had managed to increase my pace from over 15 minutes per mile down to 12 minutes a mile—I was still too slow.  I even started to apologize for my lack of speed.

Another runner set me straight.  As we waited for a race to begin, she nudged me and wished me good luck in the race.  I laughed, and rolled my eyes.  Yeah, luck would be not finishing last.  Luck would be people not seeing me huffing and puffing my way to the finish line.  Luck would be the photographer catching a shot of me that didn’t make me look like a running Bassett hound.

She slapped my arm and corrected me.  “Hey, there’s no shame in being a heavy breather—back of the pack is where it’s at!  Someone’s got to finish last!”  I later found out she won a gift card once for finishing a race last.

2014-11-16 10.14.09Since then, I’ve surpassed every goal I’ve set myself.  I’ve run farther than ever before, faster than I’ve ever run, and even managed to grab some pretty sweet awards—who cares if there were only two people, I still got second place in my age category!

Running has taught me six very important things about life, running, and racing:

  1. Listen to your body – Something hurts?   Stop running.  Have more energy?  Push forward.  Take rest days when you need them and when you don’t.  Always honor what your body is telling you, even when you are forced to take off during a vital running time.  Injury is a runner’s worst nightmare—it’s always better to be slow, well-rested, annoyed, or last.
  2. Enjoy every step – Take a moment during your next run to really 2015-11-29 10.01.14be mindful and enjoy it. Let your mind feel your legs moving, your muscles working, and maybe even burning.  Feel your lungs pulling in air, and feel your heart beating.  I remember the first time I felt my heart when I was running.  I have never been so rudely reminded that I am alive and I needed to practice gratitude.
  3. You’re braver than you feel – I’m serious. Size two and the fastest runner in the group?  You make me want to be the best I can be.  You have no idea how cool I think you are.  Super-sized and trailing the back of the race?    You amaze me with your courage to keep running.  You may think we’re all laughing while we pass you, but I really just want to give you a high-five and tell you to never stop being awesome.  Every runner I see inspires me to be better.
  4. Forgive often – Forgive yourself, forgive other runners, forgive 2015-11-22 08.24.40those who don’t quite understand what it is you’re doing, forgive the couple taking up the entire running lane with their stroller, and forgive that guy with the perfect He-Man abs that made you run right into the back of the runner in front of you. More important than anything else, forgive your body for not being the best all the time.  Starting a run as light as possible is important for success.  This includes the weight you’re carrying in your heart.  Leave it all behind.
  5. Understand that you GET to run – Running is a gift. It’s a gift when it feels horrible.  It’s a gift when it’s raining.  And snowing.  And doing that weird snow/ice thing everyone hates.  It’s a gift when you’re winning awards, and when you’re at the back of the bunch, staring at everyone’s chiseled bum while you move on.  Talk to a runner who’s injured and you’ll realize that even at its worst possible moment—it’s a gift. 2014-11-16 10.13.50
  6. Pay it forward – Share knowledge, acceptance, and love with other runners, especially the new ones. I’m always amazed at the kindness and care that comes out during races.  Runners, spectators, and volunteers will cheer for you, even though they don’t know you.  It’s a force powerful enough to fill every crack in your soul with light and warmth.

Reflections on London

englandLondon. Londinium. The Big Smoke. A city with a long and winding story. As I write this, the United Kingdom is holding a vote which will determine whether the country will remain in or leave the EU. Whatever your take on #Brexit is, it is clear that London is still today as it has always been: a place in constant flux. To walk through London is to walk through amalgamated layers of history. More layers than this non-Londoner is used to seeing at one time, anyway. I first visited London in December of 2015, and it was every bit as impactful as I thought it would be.


London is a city of dichotomy. One example is found in Kensington, london-natural-history-museum-2where the Natural History Museum sits adjacent to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Wonders of Nature vs. Spoils of the Empire (though, the equally large British Museum could also be called the latter; too many spoils for one mega-museum), is the contrast on display, with each offering an awe-inspiring collection that pits uniqueness with quantity, minute detail with massive scale, and ancient mystery with modern ingenuity.


Buckingham Palace and the surrounding area was essentially a checklist of locations featured in Neal Stephenson’s epic historical fiction london-buckingham-palace-2“The Baroque Cycle”. After swinging by Carlton House Terrace and the Royal Society and entering Green Park, it was clear that the Union Jack was flying above the palace instead of the Queen’s own royal standard, negating any possibility of afternoon tea with her majesty. There were swans abound in St. James’s Park, however, which was more than enough consolation.


The density of important locations in this area of the city continues a hop away with the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, and the coronation site of london-palace-of-westminster-3Westminster Abbey. The weight of Westminster Abbey can surely be felt by anyone within its walls. Burials and memorials representing impactful artists, scientists, and public figures important to the UK are coalesced in this massive and beautiful structure. Here lies king Saebert of the post-Rome / pre-England monarchy of Essex. Across from him you’ll see the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer and the other residents of the Poet’s Corner. The half-sister queens Elizabeth I and Mary I, whose relationship in life was as dramatic as their Tudor name would imply, can be found in the eastern end of the abbey. An inscription reads “Partners both in throne and grave”: a fact, one could imagine, to which both would object.


london-westminster-bridgeIn a city whose influence and culture waxes and wanes through the ages, there is a stark sense of continuity that comes from boarding the symbol of 21st century London, the London Eye, and rising up to take in the whole of the city at once. Old and new are juxtaposed, and one can see the part of the city originally bounded by the defensive wall surrounding Londinium, as well as out to the horizon to the modern suburbs and beyond. london-eye-3My New York City will soon be getting an observation wheel of its own. Looking out over that sprawl, extant structures will span perhaps four centuries. True, this represents more history than one could ever hope to know in a single lifetime, however, London is on a different magnitude altogether.


The Tower of London. Saint Paul’s Cathedral. King’s Cross Station. The National Gallery. Abbey Road Studios. london-abbey-road-studiosThe Fish & Chipper. All of these and more are integral to making London what it was and is. With hardly a week on the Thames, I could only scratch the surface of what the city had to offer by the time I had boarded my plane at Heathrow on my way back to the New World. The city will continue to change as I figure out my return plan, but I can be sure that the history will be there waiting for me.

12366471_10205635419469778_3100434417266022423_nAlexander Bolesta is a twenty-something museum wonk and sometimes gamer. He reads high fantasy and enjoys photography and tech. Check out his personal website at and drop him a line!

Dear Pulse,

Sometimes as a straight female, I am surprised by violence in safe spaces like Pulse because I am used to having at least one place that’s untouchable.  I start to assume that everyone has at least one place that is untouchable.  And maybe Pulse was untouchable for people–maybe that’s why they went there.  Maybe that’s why the shooter went there.  I say shooter because he deserves to remain anonymous and fade from everyone’s memory.

I feel the upsetness of a young person watching other young people die.  Most of the victims were my age.  They were doing things I do.  They were loving the way I love, and living good, beautiful lives.  And now they’re all gone.  I have a really hard time with this because it scares me and fills me with this sorrow that cannot be described.

I know two things for certain though: First, I refuse to be a bystander any longer.  I’ve offered up enough prayers and enough well-wishes.  I’m done.  From now on, each upset will be met with the suggested meditation from the Dalai Lama: Critical thinking followed by action.

And second, I’m done waiting for a better time to be more loving, compassionate, and brave.  Those people were good people and now they don’t get to laugh anymore, cry anymore, or even do things like have ice cream or pet a dog.  They don’t get anything anymore.  I have everything, and you better fucking believe I’m going to change some shit around.


The librarian who’s thinking critically and acting


game app imageMobile games such as My4Faces Dreamland are not just for kids or girls only anymore.  It is a game that everyone; regardless of gender and age, can enjoy.  It is fun, but most important of all, it will test your focus, and quick thinking abilities.  So yes; it helps out in the real world as well as having a good recreational time, or past time when you are on the go or stay at home simply bored.  The title says it all, and practically needs little to be explained;  You will be able to see different faces and face expressions of delightful colored boxes on your screen.  Match 3 and of the same and move on.  Now the concept might be simple enough, but yet pack a really big challenge as you move forward and deep into the game.

There is currently a gigantic market for mini game apps, and specially those which include to match 3 as main objective.  My4Faces Dreamland is the most modern, innovative, sweet and coolest as of now.  Pleasant to the eyes of cute faces with multiple emotions you won’t get enough.  Get it you will have a blast.  Please check out MY4FACES DREAMLAND Here!

Why I’m Supporting Jill Stein

Sit down.  We need to talk.

In this upcoming election, I will be voting for Jill Stein.

Let me tell you why.

I have been a huge Jill Stein fan for years.  I’ve voted for her before in the presidential election, and I’m happy to do it again.  I think she’s awesome–she embodies many of the things I hold dear to my heart, and her fire cannot be quenched by two-party politics.  She makes me feel hopeful for what change could look like, and she makes me feel like someone actually thinks I’m a real person worthy of personhood.  I genuinely respect her, and I love hearing the things she has to say.

Now, you may be looking at my Twitter account and wondering how the nuts I could possibly say that I’ll be voting for Stein when I’ve been living, breathing, and shouting about Bernie Sanders all year.  You’re correct.  Bernie Sanders is a potential Democratic nominee that sounds so close to Stein, I nearly lost myself.  There’s very little that could destroy the hope I felt to have an almost-Stein in a major party with the platform and ability to publicly and nationally tell people that they are worth the government’s attention and that the games need to stop.  How could I not cover myself in Bernie Sanders stickers?

But now we’re at a point where the primaries are coming to a close and I’m getting closer to admitting that Hillary Clinton will probably take the nomination.  Most people are really excited about this, and they have every right to be.  They’re Clinton fans or apathetic or neutral or terrified of Trump.  This is all fine with me–I’m still voting for Jill Stein.

I’m tired of people telling me that I’m being selfish because I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton.  These people see my protesting as immature foot stomping because I didn’t get my way.  Listen carefully:  I will not be bullied into voting for someone I don’t support.  No one listened to me when I worried about Trump last summer.  Everyone said there was no way he could possibly win the nomination.  No one listened to me when I said Clinton might lose the election if she was up against Trump.  Now everyone is worried about a split vote.  Want me to vote Democratic?  Make Bernie Sanders the nominee.  My vote is not for sale.

The usual response I get is that I am one of the following: Ignorant, stubborn, naive, selfish, or stupid.  I’m reminded it’s time to unite the party and all come together to support Clinton.  I’m not a member of the Democratic party.  I don’t have to unite your party.  My vote was swayed by a Democratic Socialist with awesome hair.  If he’s not who I can vote for, then I’m voting for who I came out here to support: Jill Stein.

Scared of Trump winning?  Let’s unite and vote for Jill Stein.  Want a woman to be the first president?  Vote for Jill Stein.  If you feel like you have a right to pass judgement on my vote because I refuse to support the corporate candidate, then you need to reassess your understanding of how this political process works.

We’re all here to vote for what we believe in and what will help the most people.  Instead of pulling the ladder up behind us, let’s turn around and share the resources that make this country incredible.  We’re so close.

And for those who are already getting their engines ready to tell me the error of my ways, I’m sorry to tell you like this, but I’m seeing someone else.

Happy Birthday, Alex!

I pause this week’s regular postcard post to wish someone very special a happy birthday!

2016-02-15 09.30.39He’s my partner in crime, and my book buddy and my favorite person to get pork buns with.

2016-02-15 15.50.08He let’s me be silly, and gives me the space to be exactly who I need to be every second of the day.  He even sometimes cleans up cat barf when it falls out of Hendrix.

2016-02-16 15.10.04My greatest love–who I look forward to seeing every morning, and love talking to before bed–Happy Birthday!

2015-11-22 08.24.40May today be filled with love, smiles, and only the best kinds of things.

I love you!