March 12, 2016

Slight Sting

I was feeling the slight sting of that last Cascadia beer this morning when I woke up. It wasn’t crippling, but it made my eyes burn a bit, you know, in that I shouldn’t have ordered that last beer after midnight kind of way. All I wanted was to lay in bed and sleep till noon, but Mairin had us all up and out of bed and headed toward Bedok before nine. She was off to her Zumba class; Skye had a play date; Kaia and I had agreed to run around the reservoir. This was not something I wanted to do, but I had promised that my return to drinking would not effect the girls in anyway, so in a matter of minutes I was at the reservoir stretching with Kaia.

From the first step, I knew that Mairin was right. The sun was soft and golden and the water still. We found a comfortable pace and enjoyed the early silence of our run. I’m not sure why, but I raised the topic of politics with her. I realised as a third-culture American, she has no idea who our president is, so I told her. We discussed four year terms and two term limits. I told her we are in an election cycle right now and tried to explain the two parties and the current batch of candidates. It went something like this:

Some people believe that the government should stay out of people’s lives. That we shouldn’t pay too many taxes and that citizens should decide what to do with their own money. These people also believe that people should be more religious, and they often want to make decisions that effect everyone based on their religious ideas. They like to have a big army and are often afraid of things that are different and that they don’t understand. They don’t want too many people from outside of America to come to America. They call themselves conservatives or Republicans.

The other group thinks that the government’s role is to help as many people as it can. So if you are lucky enough to have an education and a good job, then you should pay slightly more taxes so that we can build better schools and help every American have the same opportunities. These people believe that everyone has value and that diversity makes our country stronger. They prefer to solve problems by talking instead of fighting and think that our army might be too big and causing more problems than it is solving. They work toward peace and equality for all and think that your religion is your business and has no place in government. The people are called liberals or Democrats.

One thing that is exciting is that one of the candidates is a woman. Which is cool because the USA has never had a woman president. She is a Democrat and many people are excited about her, but she is running against another Democrat who is much more liberal than her. He really wants to create a government that helps poor Americans. I voted for him last week.

On the other side there is a business man who has lots of money, but has never been in government. He is saying some very aggressive things and people seem to like him for it. He wants to build a wall to keep people out of America. He thinks that Muslims should not be allowed into America, and he is often rude to the other candidates. he makes fun of them and calls them names.

He is running against a very religious man who thinks that America should be run like the bible and that women need help deciding what to do with their bodies. There is another guy too, but he doesn’t really stand for anything and he does’t have a chance. Any questions?

“Are we muslim? Is Grand-ma? Will the rude rich guy let us back in America since we live in Singapore?” No. No. Yes.

Then there was silence and we ran for a while as the sun shimmered in golden ripples on the reservoir and a dragon boat team grunted their way across the water.

It’s nice when people like your stuff: your ideas, your world view, the things you say and write and share. It’s nice when people like you. Writing these daily posts has been a very positive experience for me. It is interesting to see what people like and who and when and how often. Somedays, the posts are lame and float by unnoticed as they should, and on some days the words seem to resonate with people from various stages of my life. People have sent me private messages saying what they enjoy or told me in person how much they are appreciating the post. At first I thought I would turn a lot of people off. Who the hell wants to hear about anyone’s daily life? But apparently some of you do. So thank you. Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and participating in my life through this bizarre tiny cyber-window.

I finished the running book. It got okay at the end, when his wife left him and he questioned why he ran and contemplated some life decisions. But the majority of the book was like this:

I am training for a race. I don’t think I can win. I am vegan. I almost lost the race, but because I am a great runner I won. This narrative plays out for like ten races. I am sure he is an amazing athlete and and inspiration for sure, but a writer and a storyteller he is not. I found this quote from a review to be perfect:

Reading this book is like getting stuck in a one-sided conversation with the most boring dude at the party. In this particular case, the offender is an ultra-marathoner who's discovered the miracles of a vegan diet. As much as I love veganism and running, turns out I can't stand the person who's most famous for living/promoting the two.

Anyway, glad I read it. Had a few gems that made me think differently about running, but it was a marathon to get through. Next up….The Bell Jar.

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