Abra Goes

on theatre, running, writing, and looking up

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back from blogcation

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I took the summer off from blogging primarily because I left my office temp job in June and with it, my time for blogging. It wasn’t in my job description per say, but what’s a temp to do with an Internet connection and 8 hours with an empty inbox?

Over the next few months, you’ll see more from this blog on producing cultural programming and performance pieces, running to a marathon, eating and writing.

And there’s a little lady in my life, my niece, who I’ll call Girlzila.

Miles Update – on track to running 500 miles in 2008 & registering for a marathon someday (2009?):

337 miles / 500 miles


Written by abragoes

September 7, 2008 at 3:27 pm

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My first 5k

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I ran my first 5k through Riverside park this morning.

Though misty near the Hudson river, it didn’t rain on us, for which I’m thankful. But I was way under-dressed for the chilly morning. We arrived at registration right on time, an hour before the race. It took all of one minute to give our names and get our numbers, leaving an hour to jump up and down and try to stay warm.

Who knew you can check a bag and coat at registration? I arrived in thin pants and a thin hoodie over my running top, holding my metro card and questioning how anyone does these races without bringing any stuff. Now you and I know their dirty check-in secret. Next time I’m checking two bags. And a coat.

Unfortunately, no pictures because none of my bums friends came to run along side me, documenting each stride, frame by frame. My running partner, RC, ran, too. But apparently he’s too uncoordinated to run and photograph me. I’ll have him work on that.

It feels silly to talk about running a 5k, especially as I’m reading First Marathons, edited by Gail Kislevitz, and just finishing Ben Cheever’s Strides. After reading about grueling, exhilarating, lengthy 26.2 mile marathons, 5ks go by fast. I couldn’t believe how quickly the whole 5k shibang I’ve been obsessing about was over.

The fastest man was 18+ minutes and fastest woman was 19+ minutes.

I had energy to burn after so I know I could have gone way faster. When the race started, about a hundred people charged and I thought ‘They’re gonna pay for it in the last mile when I pass them!’, pacing myself more for 6 miles instead of 3. The chargers never slowed…and I never passed them.

However, I ran my fastest 3.1 miles yet so I can only get fierce from here. Right?

The most difficult and unexpected aspect of running a 5k was pacing myself and breathing. I run with myself all the time so I just assumed I’d naturally find my race pace – slightly faster than my usual. But everyone else seemed to be going so much faster! While I wanted to keep up with that first wave of starting run charger, and I don’t think I could have, I didn’t even try because I was pacing. Pacing.

It wasn’t as hard as I though it would be to let people pass me. They just did.

Next time, my pretties. Next time, I’ll do a few training runs at faster than usual/ not quite race pace in order to get my breathing up to speed.

Everyone there was in great shape, and it was nice to be around a large number of runners who all woke up around 5am.There were many smiles before the miles and plenty after as the organizers quickly announced winners and prizes while we all inched away to the warmth of bus exhaust on our faces.

I can’t wait to do another 5k now that I get:

  • When they say ‘GO’ You really ‘GO’ – with kick.
  • 3 miles is not much so if you run regularly, you really can push yourself.
  • There’s always going to be handfuls and handfuls of runners who can just run faster than you. It’s fun to be in the same race with them, and maybe one day I’ll be in a handful of someone else’s un-catchables.
  • Find out if you can check bags and if so bring a camera and something warm.
  • bananas and cashewnut butter are our best friends

Here’s the course we ran, south of the George Washington bridge, through Riverside Park. I did my best to

map it, but it’s about .02k short. Jersey’s on the left.:

Written by abragoes

May 3, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Posted in NYC, running, Uncategorized

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Possible Democratic Debate April 27 CBS

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If you could ask Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama one question, what would it be?

AP Reports: Hillary Clinton agreed to an April 27 debate on CBS, which would follow 60 minutes. TV Newser says Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer would moderate. Barack Obama has not yet accepted the invitation.


If you caught Couric’s 60 Minutes interview with Condoleeza Rice this fall, you can imagine what we’re in store for on the 27th.

“Mr. Obama, tell me, what’s you favorite kind of pie?”

“Ms. Clinton, do you ever get tired of wearing red?”

“Mr. Obama, if you could be Ms. Clinton for a day, what would you wear and would it also be red?”

“Ms. Clinton, would you still wear red if you weren’t you, but if you were Barack Obama? And if you were Barack Obama, do you think you’d be beating you? And if in fact you were Barack Obama, hypothetically, what kind of pie would you like most of all?”

I’m not a fan of anyone who gets paid $16 million to sit across from our National Security Advisor and inquire about her dating life. And worse: failed to ask one question that gave Rice a moment of pause, let alone make her squirm.

But I am glad there will be another debate between the two. At this stage, there could be a make or break moment, hopefully not in the form of a scream.

I support Barack Obama. That said, I’ve watched most of the Democratic debates on YouTube and I still have questions for both candidates.

But when I try to choose my most important question, that would help undecided voters decide once and for all, I draw a blank. In my opinion, politicians are like Opera: the whole is better than the pieces.

You’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you tune into a debate seeking a defining moment, perhaps that’s why Dean’s scream had the affect it did.


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April 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Why do you want to write?

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The Backspace Writers’ site has this excerpt up from David Morrell’s THE SUCCESSFUL NOVELIST: A LIFETIME OF LESSONS ABOUT WRITING & PUBLISHING.


His point reiterates what each of my dramatic writing teachers at Tisch said: Write what scares you. Morrell goes in depth, clarifying what this takes from a writer and why it is necessary if you ever want to go the distance.


There’s inherent energy in your work when you go to that place, even if you don’t understand it. If you write because you have to, which Morrell says should be the writer’s only reason to write (and I agree), then you have something to say. It’s your job as a writer to tap into where your urge to write comes from.


This May marks ten years for me of seriously studying the writing craft. I moved to NYC a pretentious NYU student ready to become a writer, as though there was a certification or badge that would soon stamp me ‘there’ or ‘one of them’.

What scares me more = writing about what scares me. My ego is obstructing this path. I like to think the worlds of my imagination are far superior than my past. Perhaps part of maturing is not trying so hard to separate the two.

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March 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Another Tragedy

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I can only think of my sister, about to have a child of her own, and my nephews who are both in high school.

When the Columbine tragedy happened, I was in shock. But a high school student myself at the time, the event didn’t make me nervous about my own school because it seemed like an isolated, horrid event. Now so many years and school shootings later, I can’t imagine how it must feel to be a parent and watch the events in Northern Illinois.

My thoughts are with the students and their families.

My mind is on a passage in Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love about not trying to make sense of the world, not looking at events like this and trying to find answers. Gilbert shares a metaphor of the universe as something like a spinning motor (that’s how I remember it). The further out you go in the mechanism (universe) the more chaotic. Close into the core, the center, even in times like this, there’s strength.

Author Patricia Wood, is an Alumni of NIU.

Written by abragoes

February 15, 2008 at 2:17 pm

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My Soulfood

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lamington Oh, Lamington. Don’t ever leave me.

This Australian treat was originally made by large families to disguise stale cake. I saw it a few months ago in the Aussie pie place that just opened down the street from me, but it didn’t look appealing. It didn’t look like the tastiest sweet I’ll ever have…

But a very good sales woman talked me into trying Lamington, and I’m not ashamed to say that my knees got weak at first bite.

I can’t imagine who wouldn’t enjoy two pieces of sponge cake, with a thin layer of jam, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled in coconut. I feel very strongly that a few bites of Lamington makes the world a better place, at least for the day, especially with coffee.

ABRA MILES – 20.3 / 42

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February 12, 2008 at 7:21 pm

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By Appointment Only

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A little troll terrorized the left side of my face this weekend. Not being a doctor, not knowing any doctors, and not having health insurance, I attempted to pull up my bootstraps and cure myself of this affliction.

First, the makeshift medical practitioner must pin point the source of the pain. I isolated this source to three possible locations – jaw, ear, brain.

Second, consume beverages and food of extreme temperatures, such as popsicles, tea, and cooling cucumbers.

Third, consult your peers. Go to Google, yahooanswers, and webmd. List your symptoms and wish for a medicine man to move next door.

Fourth, allow the mystical ways of the internet to lead you to a home remedy site that doesn’t promote the herbal pill of the month club.

Fifth, read all of the home remedies that apply to your symptom and proceed to devise your own cure by combining everyone else’s.

Sixth, Gargle hot water with salt then stuff dry oregano along the gums. Take 2 Advil. Apply Icy Hot to outside of face. Massage face. Apply icy hot again. Add two cloves to mouth concoction for good measure.

The result: I don’t know why, but I’m still in pain…though the swelling has gone down to be unnoticeable. And as long as I don’t speak, smile, or eat I’m fine.

Oddly enough, every time I went running this weekend I managed to shake the troll.

ABRA MILES – 17.2 / 42

TOTAL FOR 2008 – 59 / 500

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February 11, 2008 at 5:04 pm