Archive for July, 2010

Runner’s Knee

I’ve had some free time on my hands lately so I’ve been running around a track & field near our condo every morning.  I don’t run fast and I don’t run for long (about 3 miles), but I’ve been doing it consistently.  Recently however, I started getting knee pain in my left leg.

I was really excited to have my first ever athletic injury, but determined that it is probably from doing something wrong.  Dan always says I walk “too loud” so I’m probably running awkwardly as well.  I am not an athletic person (I know, shocking right?).  I did 2 sports in high school only to be a well-rounded college applicant.  Those 2 sports were swimming (no cuts, and I was the slowest one) and golf (also no cuts and everyone who joined made the team).  I actually picked up golf for that purpose and I’m pretty awful.

I was reading this article on my knee pain to see if I could find a cause for it or if there was anything I could do:

  • It could be a biomechanical problem:  Huh?  How do I check for that??
  • Tight hamstring and calf muscles put pressure on the knee: That is probably true for me. I am not flexible at all and can’t touch my toes 😦  I think this has to do with my back problem though (discussed later)
  • It strikes mostly younger, recreational runners and twice as many women as men: That’s me!  It goes on to explain that Women tend to have wider hips, resulting in a greater angling of the thighbone to the knee, which puts the kneecap under more stress. Shit son, I have wide hips.  I think this article is calling me fat.

Anyway, I just bought this cool little knee strap on Amazon and hoping it will help.  If not, at least I will look super cool wearing it:

Remember in elementary school where they check you for scoliosis?  Back then I was sent to a doctor after detection.  They determined I had slight scoliosis, whatever that means.  Basically nothing I can do but they said it shouldn’t affect my life too much.

Sometime after college I did go to a physical therapist after getting sore from doing kickboxing and cardio classes.  Again not much they can do except try to strengthen muscles in my back and abs and do some stretching.  Like this “cat stretch” that I’m unable to do:

Though I can’t say for certain, here are some of the things I believe this slight scoliosis prevents me from:

  • Slouching.  I always sit up really tall and I can’t help it.  Airplane seats that are curved with the pillow area down are so uncomfortable!
  • A sit up. and vice versa.  My back won’t curve so if I’m trying to go from a sitting position to laying flat on my back, I will just fall- hard.
  • Plank position.  Yes, yes it’s also because I have weak abs but I feel like this is 10 times harder for me because I don’t get to curve my back a little.
  • Touching my toes.

I’m planning to take a few days off from running to see if it gets better.  In the meantime, I need to think of other things to do with my extra time besides drinking.

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I know we are behind the times, but Dan and I got Netflix recently, after we got married and started living together.  Now I can’t imagine my life without it.  It’s a great business model and really caters to the customer.  Having the instant streaming helps also, so you always have a collection of movies to choose from.

However, the movies we’ve watched so far have been pretty awful.   Let me give you a quick preview:

  • Obsessed: with Beyonce and Ali Larter. OMG. I mean we didn’t expect anything more, but wow.
  • The Goods:  I actually thought this might have a potential of a ‘Knocked up’ or ‘Superbad’, but it was amazingly horrible.  Ken Jeong, tsk tsk.
  • Brothers:  Spiderman (aka Toby Maguire) had one good 5 min scene where he goes bizerk but other than that, it was painfully slow, didn’t get in depth with the characters (which is too bad because they cast Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman), and ended pretty abruptly.

Now, I have heard from Dan and many others that I have bad taste in movies.  I obviously disagree.   Here are some other movies I think are awful-  like in my top 10 probably.  Couldn’t pay me to watch these again:

  • Zoolander– not. funny.
  • Lost in translation– ?????
  • Here on Earth:  Leelee Sobieski and Chris Klein, need I say more?
  • My Boss’s Daughter:  Tara Reid and Ashton Kutcher make a perfect insanely stupid couple.
  • I know who killed me:  Oh LiLo… Can’t believe we actually watched the whole thing.
  • Anything with Adam Sandler.  Why does he ALWAYS talk like he’s mentally retarded?  ALWAYS.  for EVERY character.
  • and also a plug for Julia Stiles here.  Cannot act.

I’ll do a future post on what I believe are great actors and films.  But thoughts so far?  And no, I didn’t think Napoleon Dynamite was funny either :(.

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American Citizen

In light of the recent holiday, I reflected on when I became a citizen.

If you aksed me in elementary school what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would tell you that I was going to be the first Asian female President of the United States.  But then I learned in school that you had to be natural born citizen of the US and my hopes and dreams were crushed.

My father and younger sister (born here) were citizens, but my mother and I weren’t until I was in high school.  I obtained my citizenship right before applying to colleges.  If you’re a minor under 18, if your parent got citizenship, you got it automatically.  So my mom studied for the test and passed, and I officially became a citizen when I was 17.  No more green card and resident alien jokes.

I don’t remember much of the oath I had to take, but I remembered that it said you had to fight on the US side in case of war.  Here is the actual excerpt:

I hereby declare, on oath,
that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and
that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

I really hope I get called for Jury Duty someday.  I know it’s not glamorous, but I would be interested in seeing the process, and also take part in the system.

Yes it’s cliche, but I genuinely feel very lucky that my parents immigrated here because America really is a place where opportunities are endless and there is hope for a better life.   I also get chills whenever the national anthem is played anywhere.  Don’t get me wrong- there are a lot of things wrong with this country.  But it’s our country and there’s a lot of good in it too.

Do you remember that Simpson’s episode where as soon as Apu gets his citizenship, he asks “Which way to the welfare office?” Makes me laugh.

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