Friday, April 30, 2010

can't you hear the horses 'cause here they come...!

MY RIDERS ARRIVED TODAY and I'm fending off the paparazzi - or - trying to figure out the self-timer....

it's the little things. make it a good day.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I am weakened like Achilles with you always at my heel.

I love my Mizzy Creation 11s.  Love them.  I usually alternate between two pairs of shoes for several months, but it just so happened that my next shoe purchase was happening right before the Winter Classic 10-miler.  I was hesitant because buying runners before a longer run is just not smart - unless of course it’s the exact same model as your last pair.  This wasn’t the case for Kay Miller.  I actually enjoy trying shoes for a few years and then switching up to a different brand.  Makes life interesting and ultimately, the goal is to land on The Shoe and use it for the rest of my life.  Many people have found Their Shoe.  I kind of like not having just one.
My shoes were like lovers*:
In 2000, I fell in love with Mizuno Wave Riders weeks after I fell in love with running (we had seriously insane running sessions during post season and one day it just HIT me that I actually enjoyed that ball of fire in my lungs)
In 2002 I tried the Adidas SuperNova Classics.  No girl wants to admit she ever gained “The Freshman 10” and I will be the first to admit for YEARS I did not think I had, until I saw pictures, which in all fairness, was coupled with serious thigh was just buried in cereal and bread:) I ran my first half marathon in Novas and felt as if I were running on clouds.   I actually enjoy checking off the “Philly” box when I signed up for races.  Street cred.
So I stuck with Addy’s and Mizzy’s for a while.  Then they changed the Super Nova, I lost some of my soccer butt and they became too much shoe for me, so I went looking for a lower profile.  A dear dear friend went to work with Brooks, so I tried a few of them (Adrenaline, Glycerin) finally landing on my favorite:  the Trance.  I lived with this puppy for a while.  We had amazing moments together.  When they didn’t sell them at the Marathon Sports in Brookline, I had no time to waste.  I went for the shoe that the  “classy masses" loved:  The Asics Gel Kayano.  The mother ship.  A solid shoe.  We dated, they were good to me.  They’re now retired to the closet with the rest of my kickarounds.
About that time, my Saucony Omni (poor decision.  a good shoe for sure but waaaaaay too much shoe for me) were having a mental.  My arch began pricking.  This was the breakdown.  And so, off to Runner’s Alley, where I fell back in love with my first love:  Mizunos! Creations!
Two days before the 10-miler, I call my friend, unsure of how these Creation 11s are fitting.  A few short runs on the treadmill and I felt like I was running on a waffle iron.  I went back to RA and explained, is this normal?  This slightly stiffer feel and the fact that my middle toe feels the waffle iron?  I’m neutral this should work, right?  48hrs before I run a frozen hilly windy course and I cannot run in the Saucony’s.  They were on Valium in my closet.  The Creations must work.  $120 bucks later they WILL work.  And work they did.  They worked so hard I paid them overtime.  I love them.  They are low-flying angels.  My legs feel great my legs love them.  Only weird thing is that the sole started shredding away on the heel tread a few weeks ago.  Not sure why; none of my other shoe’s tread wear this way.  But it never affected this runner.  My friend, Colin works with Mizzy and was curious about this.  So I’m trying out the Rider (again!).  I get them one day before a 24-hr road race.  I run 19 miles:)  This is going to be sweet.  Hopefully these tar-tamers will be easy on these feet.  

Aside from the performance and techie likes and dislikes of the shoes I’ve run in in the past, the shoes that line up like so many warriors in my closet before being shuffled off to the Reuse-A-Shoe bin, I really love running. I’m just now thinking about it, thinking about the time I broke my toe and ran through the pain because I was part of a triathlon team and so badly didn’t want to disappoint.  The way my IT band clicked painfully and made me nauseous for weeks, the achilles cuts I suffered from a pair of misfits, the Mt. Washington Road Race that tore my hamstrings apart for six months, the early morning runs with Pois at JP Licks, Wednesday evenings at Niketown, the Charles River.  Mary and I marking every European city with a 45 minuter.  Whether it was pain, pride, progress or the pursuit.  All worth it.  All run through or sidelined or tacked up on a wall with the memory of what it meant, what it means.  The early morning promise you make for yourself about yourself.  Your legs, your heart, your shoes, have another run in them.  Just one more run.
*i don’t profess to know technical terminology about running shoes. i just know what I wear and how it feels and I try to describe it. I have no clue what lovers are either.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

if george clooney was covered in tea, i still wouldn't convert.

Short blog post tonight, lads n’ lasses.  Short.  Here's the goods: 
My sister gave up COFFEE and I am devastated for her.  
No words.  No words to describe the utter flabbergastedness of this decision on her health's behalf.  In a city where food trends practically start, the girl I love gave up the 3rd most precious thing in the world* (the other two being peace and love).  All because a nutritionist gave her ph tabs which she spit on for a few days and saw they turned yellow in which case (GASP!): diagnosis:  she is acidic.
Coffee is the basic atomic structure of the Rest Of Your Day.  Coffee is like breathing in peace and love. Coffee is warm and good.  Coffee gives back.
There are worse things to give up, Moo.
I’m just saying. 
Now that I’ve posted this, I will never say “I told you so...”, when you pick up that ceramic mug again and bring the deep golden nectar back to your lips one sunny summer morning.  You'll smile, and think, "What was I thinking drinking herb water all this time?!" and I won't say a word.  I won’t.  But I hope I’m there:)

Monday, April 26, 2010

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” –Alan Cohen

It is nice to be reminded what the shape of my key looks like.  The shape that never changes but opens many doors.  My key is the long gold one in my crazy huge keychain...but I can find it easily if I look for it.  It's at the end of the link, hooked to my string doll, Crazy Eyes, who helps me find what I am looking for, but has lost all his eyes over time, unfortunately.  The key no hardware store could ever duplicate, with its many dips and humps and weird angles; Courage and Insecurity and Courage again.  It's all mine - every ounce of it.  Made over time to fit perfectly into the New.  A door I once left alone for fear of where it led.  But there is no loss in moving on, or moving past, if you honor the present.  Which is what I'm doing.  Which is where the key fits, perfectly.

(special thanks to Pois for figurative hand-holding and taking the bag off my head:)  special thanks to Hodge for her Amazingness and inspiring quote that came just at the right time.  Loveyougals.)

Create your Movement!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

i carry your heart.

“i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear...)
ee cummings' work has a special place with the Miller girls.  Mary and I say this line to each other when we’re feeling sentimental, or whenever we miss each other, or whenever we need to be uplifted or reminded, or, well, whenever we feel like it.  Though we’re twins and therefore already blessed immensely (i mean who doesn’t want a wombmate for 9 months? Seriously.  It’s gotta be lonely all up in that placenta just kickin’ it with a heartbeat and a feeding tube), I feel like we’re doubly blessed to have come out on the other end of adolescents as best friends.  More than best friends.  She is very much half my heart.
Which is why I’m pretty flippn PUMPED about tomorrow morning, when, at 6:55am she’ll be jumping into the sweet blue waters off St. Petersburg, FL where she’ll swim 1500M, bike 40k and then rock out a solid 10k to the finish.  First race of the season, baby!  And allllll the hard work she’s put in up until this point is on the line, standing beside her in her with her.  And the best are standing with her, too.  Top dogs, title winners, work horses, iron maidens, best friends and top competitors, toeing the early morning sands together.  I wish I was there, but I’ve got my watch set for 6:45.  Ten minutes to visualize and pray for a girl who has given this sport every ounce of her All.  T-minus 7 hours, Moo.
I carry your heart.  
way too early in the morning, 2008

Friday, April 23, 2010

water weight and other words

ever have a day where other people’s words express you better than any thing you might say?  i do.  i love days like this because i love line breaks and words and vowels and beats and reading the weight the letters leave between the lines.  effective use of 26 letters.
I subscribe to the New Yorker.  As soon as I see the colorful print amidst my bills, I flip through to find the two (sometimes three) poems.  i cut to the quick.  i find ones i love and i save them.  so, i love this.   this poem by David Wagoner.  
says what i can’t articulate at the moment.  that thing, downstream. 
Don’t do it, the guidebook says,
if you’re lost.  Then it goes on
to talk about something else,
taking the easy way out,
which of course is what water does
as a matter of course always
taking whatever turn
the earth has told it to
while and since it was born,
including flowing over
the edge of a waterfall
or simply disappearing 
underground for a long dark time
before it reappears
as a spring so far away
from where you thought you were
and where you think you are
it might never occur 
to you to imagine where
that could be as you go downhill.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pep Talk in the Attic

i forgot what i was made of for a second.
i was looking in my closet at wrapped up pictures and boxes with my name all over them with labels like “Kay’s / Kitchen Stuff”, “Closet Things” and about 5 boxes scrawled with bright blue marker, “Books”.  I’d run up to the garage attic to look for something and found myself staring at old ghosts and old friends.  The past broken down to a zillion million memories that added up to Me Here Now, in my converse and ratty t-shirt, searching for whatever it was in this old attic that smelled like The Past.  
And now I was staring at The Past:  The table that had, at 319 Tappan Street, once held pretty much all of Trader Joe’s almonds, a variety of hummus and every glass we owned on display alongside the 15 bottles of wine and various beers bought for our tri-yearly Game Nights, the chair with a crack down the middle from an uninvited, inebriated guest’s athletic attempt and immediate failure to land on it from the roof (no one was hurt), the broken lamp Vanessa killed as she, in her excitement, launched onto my brand new Ikea vine chair.  My Brita, the DVD player, office supplies, the spine of the most expensive futon I’ve ever paid for with my own money.  
Old ghosts that I remember packing with newspapers I stole from the various Starbucks, Jewish Deli’s and grocery stores around Washington Square.  My hands, blackened with the stains of The Phoenix and all its Page 22 personals that were so raunchy and hilarious I couldn’t help but count the number of times the guy with the unbuttoned black jeans kneeling on the beach with a “come hither” stare would be wrapped around a stack of plates or crumpled between my perfume bottles as I pulled down the top of one box and sealed up another, not knowing when I’d ever get to unpacking them or where that might even be.  Gosh, the memories of the objects and the memory of packing them.  I felt so tethered to them all.  But they were sealed.  Sealed up like so many emotions refusing to surface for fear I would have to own them and then be really, really doubtful of the commitment I made to the person I was to the life I wanted.  But inanimate objects haven’t anything to tether them here except memories.
And in that moment where I stood facing the piles of my life stacked up like real world tetris, I thought, this can’t define me.
It’s all so calm.  The accumulation of such great success, like placing pins in a map of Kay, a time in my life that I owned but not defining the Me that I am.  The Me that I hold onto regardless of what I use up or throw out or pack away.  The thin line of current that I doubt so often, so often is the only thing I can hold onto.  The only thing that is the strongest when everything else feels stacked up and put away.  
I forgot for a moment who I was.  
My great tether is not to this.  I cannot be accumulated.  
I am flippn fantastic and I deserve so much more of that fantastic-ness
I have the best friends and family in the whole world.
They’re also the loudest cheering section in the game.
The things that are most important to me will never be in boxes.
After that pep talk, I found what I’d actually come up for:  a deck with results I wanted to include on my resume.  I was moving on.  It was easy to leave the attic, all I had to do was turn around and...flip the switch.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"It is not the thing we spend the most time on that molds us most; the greatest element is the thing that exerts the most power.  We must determine to be limited and concentrate our affinities."

~June 7, My Utmost for His Highest

Friday, April 16, 2010

Everybody's Got Nicknames....

Five years ago i went looking for a pair of shorts that made me look “less boxy” and came away with a best friend for life, Claire “Poison” Wood.  Her, along with the rest of the posse, Mike “Big Freakin’ Poppa” Rouse, Cain “Freakin” Williams, Moby, Ryan “SOQ” Steglich and Rick “Florida” Patterson, made for the most amazing Boston Marathon experience ever.  I don’t think I went to sleep for a solid 48 hours.  I was too busy drinking Cottonwood’s margaritas and running 8-milers with perfect strangers-who-were-soon-to-be-family.  The original Posse.
All these crazies work in the running shoe biz, so this weekend is like the pinnacle of their work and they’re always suuuuper busy.  But fortunately over the years, we always make a point to get together at least ONCE during Boston Marathon Weekend.  And it’s always trouble and it’s always e-p-i-c and I love it.  
I know I’ll see a few of them plus more that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the way.  Gugat, JenKelly, Colin, Ireland, Rob, Rizzo.  And I cannot WAIT for Sunday and Monday to happen already:)
Here’s to the Boston Marathon and to the friends you find - not unlike mile markers - along the way.
on your mark...get set...XO
kay "A-freakin-plus" miller

i feel calm with you in my hands

i love taking pictures.  
i love seeing the world through an eye that has 
the ability to freeze an image and translate it to the page 
and then keeps working in the silent way 
that time ticks on or hearts swoosh blood up and down a body
a picture lasts and keeps on pulsing 
it forces you to feel or not feel, to form an opinion or to render none
an image has the ability to become four-dimensional, looking at it 
from all sides and knowing what its breath feels like; the metallic scent of exposure 
and sweat.  forcing you to be alert
a smelling salt under nose. and in the aching swoon of our chest, it conjures a memory; 

i remember 
the musky scent of those woods and the way 
that rope felt in my hands 
as i swung over those leaves through the almost-gone humidities 
of summer’s end, 
into my father’s arms.

the inconsequential consequence of a shutter shutting
my proof that i have lived to see this tiny moment in a world 
where trillions of tiny moments twinkle, collide and pass silently, 
shepherded away from any seeing, any capture, and lens to mirror, 
any light refracted.  but i have these, here.  
these i have.  in my hand, appearing.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Land of Unicorns

Please friends, don't ever do this to me.  Don't ever do this to anyone.  I pray to the Heavens that this poor girl had a wicked self-deprecating sense of humor because with me? THIS.WOULD. NOT. FLY.

However, if/when I go through the metallic-y, sharp utensil sterile bloody hell that is surgery, I'll take what she's having and lots of it.  But so help me you will be stripped naked at the door if you so much as try to bring in a camera of any kind whilst visiting.   

Enjoy.  Poor Girl.

xo papaya,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ketchup on Pokey

This weekend was fantastic for many reasons.  The first was because Friday night, I drove up to Portland to check out its first Art Walk of the year.  The art walk is really cool because it’s basically you and the rest of the city walking around Congress street, diving in and out of little shops or big galleries to check out people’s artwork or watch them performing/creating/using their art in some way, shape or form.  Meanwhile, you’re drinking wine, noshing on pizza, beer, crackers, life  
The bell tower plays local music and it sounds eerily and echo-y, like muslim prayer only...not.  Saw some crazy good apocalyptic abstracts, photographers lined up at Space, ready to take your picture against a variety of backdrops using a variety of techniques as well as old school wooden cameras with their tintype photos to flashy DSLRs and green screens.  
Made our way over to the final stop of the night, Corduroy (surf boutique/art gallery) whose owners, Jim and Tyler, were spotlighting Scott Patt, an artist whose collective work, “Good Luck” featured white rabbit sculptures, a wall of brightly colored rabbit foot keychains, and a mosaic of surfboard patterns and black n whites.  All playing on the idea of luck.  Funny enough, the guy was once a missionary, a strip club sketch artist, a bodybuilder and a creative for Nike and Converse.  Talk about a wild ride.  A keg of Sam Summer and wheels of hilarious conversation later, Pete and I made our way to Nosh for some burgers and calamari, then back to his house on Higgins Beach where I proceeded to have the most VIVID dream in which I was touring Europe as a soccer player and, as part of the cultural experience, was brought in for the Swiss version of “Dateline” where I sat and listened to this old woman tell me why she murdered her last four husbands.  The producer fell in love with me and I had to tell him,  “Sorry, but no; I am touring Europe with my soccer team and that would be hard for you.”  He was relentless and well, if I ever see that 6’4” Swiss man again we’ll likely pick up where we left off.  
Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Dream.  Okay.
Woke up, drank rich dark coffee and sat on the sun-facing porch watching the waves crash along the shoreline of Higgins Beach wishing this was my life always.  
A few hours later, I drove to my old friend, Trisha’s parent’s house to celebrate her 30th birthday.  Trish is about to pop out a little dude in a few months and I haven’t seen that girl in forever, and haven’t reallllly seen her since high school, when we were best friends and the air we breathed was summer and lip gloss and the sweet, sweet nectar of adventurous innocence.  She’d pick Mary and I up on our way to camp and, with her red beretta stinging the streets we’d roll the windows down and sing Strawberry Wine at the top of our lungs.  Gosh, there are moments when the past feels so good to remember.
Having arrived at her house on this day, it was soooo great to see so many of those memories embodied in the grown up adultness; the laugh lines and frown lines of faces I’d grown up with.  It was so flippn amazing to hang out with her, her family and good friends.  It was a beautiful day, the sun was high, the conversations were easy and the drinks were cold.  Pass me another memory, please.
In the card I gave to her, I tucked in a drawing I’d found in the back of my parent’s closet - a picture I drew back in 1995 of the three of us: Mary, Kay and Trisha, atop of a million memories.  There were so many that made NO sense and we spent a solid amount of time trying to decipher why I drew Trish wearing a shirt that read, "KILL MEL!", what "black shorts" meant, why "Holly's bookshelf" was so important and what how the heck did Pokey get ketchup on himself?  So many memories to stand on, and so many of them, though they gird us, are lost on us now.  But how decadent it is to hold the colorful markings they leave for us, forever.