Forty Days and 40 Nights

Updates during Lent

I moved to the US around July 2002, which makes 40 Days and 40 Nights probably one of the movies I last saw in the Philippines. IMDB says about the movie:

After a brutal breakup, a young man vows to stay celibate during the 40 days of Lent, but finds the girl of his dreams and is unable to do anything about it.

I can totally relate to that. Except I didn’t have a break. And the young man is youngish. I wasn’t celibate. And change “girl” to “iPod”.

For Lent this year, I gave up my iPod. I’m almost positive this is not the first time I’ve done it. But I have the newest iPod at the moment, with a camera and can do Instagram, and has Vine. It’s harder to let go of this iPod, and I find myself constantly looking for WiFi hotspots when I’m out ad about the city. Also, I discovered podcasts, and I’ve spent hours and hours of listening to comedians talk about mundane everyday stuff, of catching up with the news by watching Rachel Maddow’s previous night’s episode that I can never catch live on tv, of being mesmerized by Ira Glass’ voice. I know they are hungry kids in Africa, and somebody is probably being molested at this very moment, but I am not thinking of either when I say I don’t think I can’t live with my iPod and giving it up for forty days and forty nights is probably gonna be hard. But I did it, come Ash Wednesday morning, I got a cross on my forehead and I turned off my iPod.

I use my iPod primarily for tuning out everyone for my 45-minute commute in the subway. It’s a good way to remove yourself from the time and space continuum – swipe your Metrocard, hop on the M or the R train, drown myself to a podcast, then POOF, it’s been 45 minutes and it’s time to get off the train. Without it, I had no idea how to kill time in the train.

I ended up reading for the most of the time. I really can’t read and listen to my iPod, so the intellectual hobby of reading was let go in favor of chatter of funny people. And I realized how much I do love reading. I used to say I love bookstores and libraries because it’s filled with knowledge I do not know and ideas I’ve never thought of, and I like physical books bound in paper and I like surrounding myself in my room with them because these are the tangible evidence of the knowledge I do know and ideas I have thought of. Luckily, I have a mom and a dad that are both readers.

So here I am now, Easter morning, roughly six weeks after I washed the ash off my forehead – I turned on my iPod and was inundated with software and app updates. I clicked Update All, grabbed my phone and fired up my Kindle app and continued reading The Shining which I am reading for the first time.

Day 7: Seven Days Until Thirty-Two

Will be turning 32 soon and for the next seven days leading up to my birthday, I’m going to try to write down any lessons I may have learned from the past year when I was 31.

After spin class, my boyfriend and I grabbed a quick bite and told him I was miserable. I also told him that the only reason I know things are going to get better is because things can’t go any worse.

It takes a special person to put a dark cloud on the silver lining.

But things can get worse. I can things of many ways on how things can get worse. But they won’t. I won’t let things get worse. I’m almost at the age that the calendar can not even hold even in the longest months.

Day 6: Seven Days Until Thirty-Two

Will be turning 32 soon and for the next seven days leading up to my birthday, I’m going to try to write down any lessons I may have learned from the past year when I was 31.

My best friend Ryan invited me to Madonna’s MDNA tour concert when it hit Yankee Stadium – it was probably the best concert I’ve ever seen. I was probably blinded by the magnitude of it – because I really am considering the number two best concert I’ve ever been might actually be better than Madonna’s.

I first heard of Metric from Scott Pilgrim versus the World movie, where their song “Black Sheep” was featured. I fell in love. I instantly downloaded the current album then, Fantasies. I rocked out to “Help I’m Alive” in the shower, I strut to “Stadium Love” while walking to the subway on my way to work, I fell asleep listening to “Blindness” on repeat every night.

When I found out they were coming out with an new album, I patiently waited for that tweet saying they’d be on tour. And when the Sythetica Tour was announced and they were going to be in New York City in September, I thought: perfect birthday gift. Well, it was a botched birthday plan but my best bud Ryan came along and I still had a good time.

Can’t wait until Metric swings by New York City again.

Day 5: Seven Days Until Thirty-Two

Will be turning 32 soon and for the next seven days leading up to my birthday, I’m going to try to write down any lessons I may have learned from the past year when I was 31.

I’ve always enjoyed reading. I grew up with my mom, and she read a lot of books despite the fact that we lived far away from retail bookstores which makes me wonder now how she got a hold of her vast collection of Sidney Sheldon novels, or her book about Margaret Thatcher. When I was seven, I visit my dad’s family for the first time in Colorado and was impressed with my grandmother’s library in the basement. Despite my fear of the basement – I recall going downstairs, sometimes alone, and just looking through the different western novels and books about vampires and ghosts. Impressionable Ken somehow ended up liking strong female leads like Thatcher, and still have the penchant for the unnatural like vampires and ghosts.

I gave up my iPod for Lent – which makes subway rides to and from work unbearable. I typically listen to podcasts to kill time – now, I read books. It’s been roughly three weeks since Ash Wednesday and I’ve already gone through at least four books. I read The Island in the Center of the World by Russell Shorto which told about the Dutch colonization of Manhattan and the surrounding areas, Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire about a New York Post writer who went through a month ordeal of a mental breakdown due to some unusual medical condition, The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin which a fiction narrative of what Mary Mother of Jesus might have gone experience after the death of her son, and Colin Dickey’s Afterlives of the Saints which told stories of different and very unusual saints like Saint Lucy who gouged out her own eyes.

Currently reading Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan which chronicled the story of Shirley Mason, whose life inspired a book, which was later turned into a tv movie special that nabbed Sally Field an Emmy back in the 70s.

Obviously, I have a thing for New York stories, crazy people and the nonsecular. And frankly, I don’t think I’d stop reading stories similar to these.

Day 4: Seven Days Until Thirty-Two

Will be turning 32 soon and for the next seven days leading up to my birthday, I’m going to try to write down any lessons I may have learned from the past year when I was 31.

I’m not a very physical person. At all. Did not play sports, have no urge to do anything that would cause me to sweat. But this year, mostly due to coaxing by my boyfriend – I’ve been more active in visiting the gym.

I do not know how to ride a bike. In fact, I do not know how to transport myself in any form or manner that requires me to do some sort of active role, like driving or riding a bike. But spinning the one activity we picked to do regularly, sometimes as often as five times a week.

Bitch is hard. You think you just sit there and pedal away. Nope – you spin, you stand. And the instructor would always make you turn up the tension on your bike to make it harder to spin. The wheel in front of you is nothing but a metal plate with some weight on it. And you turn up the tension by turning a knob that is connected to magnets that either comes closer or moves away from this metal wheel and hence controls the tension on your pedals. The closer the magnets, the harder it is the pedal – and more often than not, that is when your instructor tells you to kick up your revolutions per minute. And at that point, sweat would cascade down your face and you create a pool of sweat below you. It’s gross.

I plan to continue attending spin classes – and my boyfriend decided to add more classes other than spin. We actually did an abs class today (I know – my eyes are rolling right now). Fifteen minutes – a very short class, but it felt longer than that. And I’ll probably feel this tomorrow morning.