Inception-What is Down Below

***warning:  spoilers***


If you have not had any therapy at all, have not dug down deep into your psyche, this movie is possibly not for you, save a Hollywood experience.  If you have had therapy, and you’ve worked through a significant amount of stuff, you will get it.

In this scene, Leo (Cobb) is going down into his stuff.  Into stuff that is so hidden, that it haunts you daily.  That you have to keep it locked away for only you.  I’ve had that stuff.  And it’s scary as shit.  The stuff that you don’t want to admit to your closest fellows…that MAYBE you will admit to a therapist, but it’s locked away because somehow, you have been able to deal with it on your own.  Until now.

Before he goes down into his psyche via his dreams, however, he tries to take someone through THEIR own.  Trying to get into the bad guy’s dreams to find a safe combination.  And, I’m looking at the movie, and there are TONS of bad guys in the snow.  In a blizzard.  And they are trying to keep this guy protected, while our guys are trying to shoot down the defenses.  The metaphor of the snow…the ice…the frozen…the way to keep all our secrets in stone.

And, I’m sitting in the movie, and I realize that with all the therapy work I’ve done, both as a professional and on the other side of the chair, I really have few secrets left in my psyche.  I was thinking of the baby that died when I was 12, the boy next door…visions of snapshots that are my childhood.  How my Dad used to step on that first step as he came home from work.  Mom’s spaghetti sauce bubbling on the stove.  And there’s really little down there, because the first rule you learn as a therapist is:  you can’t go into your clients’ psyche unless you go into your own.

But then something else came up.  When did I know?  When did I know he was having an affair?  The affair that lasted 8 years on and off?  I knew early.  I confronted him early.  And he denied …for years.  But, I knew.  I watched Cobb miss his children, and how he couldn’t have them back until he let go of the past.  Really let go of his wife.   He says to her:  “I miss you like crazy, but I have to let you go.”  In a sense, I need to do the same thing. 

As much as I am still hurt and angry, and feel like a mama bear trying to protect my children, I am in no position and have no control over this.  I receive more bad news in the mail via his antics, and I have just decided to give up.  To stop fighting, to stop swimming upstream.  However, if I’m going to get better, then every time I get disturbing news, I have to stop bringing this old story back in to my psyche.

I’ve only known about it for a year.  But, it was down there…a long time.  And I wonder if my whole marriage was a sham, but I know and remember good and sweet times.  And I have to let him go.  He did drive me crazy.  I hid way down deep what I knew.  And I knew all along.

Bravo to Inception.  Way to take us down there.  And, in the end…the only way that Cobb transcends his history is to let her go…and to forgive himself.   

And, so it is.

*Without hope, life’s not worth living.

*Quote from MILK. 

Here’s where I digress from my normal blah blah blah about running and teaching.  Today, we ran 4, but it was ugly.  My calf froze up, and I felt like heaving.  It was hot, then cold.  Hat, no hat.  You get the drift.  Nonetheless, 4 miles are in the books, and week 2 of Hal’s training is over.

I’m getting gas, because tomorrow I go to my sorority’s annual Founder’s Day luncheon.  I haven’t done that for 20 years, but my college roommate (who I just found out has written some episodes for Cinemax’s nasty channel) called, and we said we’d meet there.  I told her if it was bad, we could leave.  (Or at the very least she could get some new material, I’m sure!…wait, do I tell her I Googled her and found that out, or what?)

Back to the gas.  A woman I know in town is asking which movie I just went to, and when I told her, MILK, she gave me a blank stare.  She didn’t know who it was, and then changed the subject of homosexuality to find out if my boys liked Hotel For Dogs.  (I gave up kid movies after Space Chimps; now the boys go one way, and I go another).

I said, “Don’t you remember the gay activist Harvey Milk?”  She didn’t.  We live 90 minutes from San Francisco.  As she drove away, this elderly gentleman, who had been listening the whole time, says “She’s too young to remember Harvey Milk.”  My reply:  “Perhaps they don’t teach that in the schools.”  I think he said, “We should.”

Here’s the point of my long, rambling goings on.  In 1990, I earned my Master of Science in Marriage, Family & Child Counseling at Fresno State.  For my thesis, I wrote the first 6th grade curricula for AIDS education.  1990.  Harvey Milk died in 1978.  My ex-brother-in-law died in 1994 to an AIDS related illness.  Well, actually, it was suicide, depression.  I’ve watched friends die…although, now AIDS is not a death sentence necessarily. 

The movie.  Fantastic.  Sean Penn was amazing.

I’m just not so sure we’ve come very far at all.  It’s 2009.  My own students still believe that all homosexuals are going to hell.  In case you’re not clear on this point, I don’t believe that at all.

If you want to watch a FANTASTIC movie, rent ANGELS IN AMERICA.

“An angel is a belief, with wings, and arms that can carry you. It’s not to be afraid of, and if it can’t hold you up, seek for something new.”


Hot Yoga. Yes. Hot.

Today’s cross training was brought to you by the hot cop who was right behind me in Yoga class.  I’ve been separated for a year and a half, and I’m not looking.  At all. 

It’s amazing, however, how having a male in my class makes me do the Yoga poses so very very perfectly.  There was no wiggling during Tree Pose.  I did the Pigeon with expertise.  Downward dog?  None better. 

I have suddenly become aware that the world is filled with people that are of the male persuasion.  I live in a very small town, and again…I’m not available…but suddenly, there they are…and they’re everywhere.  However, the hot cop in the class suddenly made me not just notice, but actually sit up and take notice.

Perhaps my addled brain is due to the all day boy fest we had yesterday.  Four boys, Pizza, swimming, Journey to the Center of the Earth (in 3D, with glasses!), Tae Kwon Do & Cub Scouts.  When I finally put the boys into bed, I gave them the 3B lecture.

“Don’t come and get me unless you are bleeding, barfing, or have a broken bone.”  Susan reminded me today that *house on fire* should be in that category.  Gymnotes #1 came in with blood on his foot, but they were giggling, so I assume it was a manufactured injury.

I watched Generation Kill, and How to Look Good Naked.  Finally fell asleep, blissfully at 11:30 or so.  Just needed some down time.  Am going out of town for a quick LA trip, this being my last weekend before work on August 5th.  As I’m typing this, they are yelling for me to play Monopoly. 

Hot Yoga.  Cures what ails you.

…on why I run…

Date: 6/21/2008 5:45 AM
Type: Hill
Course: 2nd Overpass-Milgeo-Catwalk
Distance: 3.8 miles
Duration: 44:19
Pace: 11:40 / mile
Shoe: Asics
Weight: oinker
Weather: 75° F, Overcast
Statistics: Calories: 517
VO2 Max: 24.5

I know I’ve blogged about this movie and song before today.  It’s an old one, one I remember seeing at my church many years ago.  I never really understood the premise of Chariots of Fire, but it’s a movie about two devout men, one a Jew and one a Christian in the 1924 Paris Olympics.  I never *got* running, like I do today.  In any event, I will tell you about my morning.

I met Kim, my running partner at 5:30am.  I knew that I was not going to run.  Was not.  When I woke up, I was like 4 pounds heavier, after eating a wonderful, yet salty meal last night at Tresetti’s.  We went to see Young At Heart, the movie about the senior choir members in their 70s & 80s.  It was wonderful, but I was reminded of how short life is, etc.  At some point I looked at the screen and thought, “We’re all gonna die.”  Lovely thought.  Nice way to go to bed.

Fast forward to the 5:30am alarm.  I’m exhausted with trying to figure out my house situation, and trying to close this chapter of my life.  I started talking, doing the first five minute therapy that we do, and started crying.  I just told her to go ahead, that I wasn’t going to run.  I just couldn’t.

I turned the corner, and thought…well, I’ll just run a little bit, and see if I can.  I turned on my iPod, and there was the theme to Chariots of Fire.  I started running over the overpass, and the sun was just breaking.  I looked down as I crossed the freeway, and there was Kim.  I met her on the other side, and said…”Let’s head on out to the country.”  We ended up doing 3.8 miles.  Not a great time, but I didn’t care.  I’m grateful that I ran…and by the time Yes We Can, Obama’s song came on, I was really grateful.  It’s my current favorite running song.

Grateful for:

  • getting a job
  • 2 healthy boys
  • my health (scary mammogram last week)
  • wonderful friends
  • my home, even if it’s temporary.
  • my dogs
  • my pool in 105 degree heat
  • that I have both a Bachelor & Master degree, and even though the teaching profession is going through major upheaval, I can find a way to figure out my situation.

Yeah, this is why I run.  What looked like a bleak, depressing morning, turned into joy.

Of course, my day was hard.  My replacement iPhone wouldn’t let me get voicemail, my home phone is out, my car cost more than it did to repair, my dog Princess was in doggie jail again…but I never lost the hit I got from the run this morning.

Here’s a great youtube from Young At Heart.  This guy sings Fix You by Coldplay, and it’s enough to make you weep.  Have a great Saturday.

Get ready to feel the thunda!

The flu got me for five days.  And my oldest.  And my running partner, two of her three kids.  This morning I had a voicemail that she was up with another one puking all night.  Think we’ll all stay away. In any event, I ran.  3.5 at 39:04.  Around 11+ minutes.  I was just happy to get out there. 

My First Three:

We’ll Be Together:  Sting

Here Comes The Sun:  The Beatles

The Potential Breakup Song:  Aly & AJ

Now, for the title:  I’ve seen two movies in two weeks, and I tell you people, I have not been disappointed. 

Sex And The City:  Good on so many levels.  Watching SJP in Mexico day after day had me wanting her to get up.  Then I realized why I liked that part.  I just lived it this past year.  I love Samantha and her eating issues, Charlotte’s joy, and Miranda’s Steve.  So refreshing.  Where were the men?  I dunno.  Watching Indiana Jones or something?  When was the last time there was a pure chick flick?

Kung Fu Panda:  Jack Black & Dustin Hoffman.  Who knew?  My kids wanted to see this, and usually, I’m asleep by the first half hour.  It was one of the best and funniest movies that I’ve seen in a long time.  Well, a kid’s movie, that is.  Funny, Sad, Poignant.  I thought the bad dragon was Eddie Izzard, but it was my love from Deadwood, Ian McShane.
Great, great stuff.  Happy weekend!!!


random thoughts…

So, Robman tells me that he is sick and tired of only reading about my runs.  I’m like that.  I must do something until it is DONE.  Currently, I’m fascinated with everything running…shoes, blogs, gear, races.  I do remember a knitting phase a few years back, so in honor of Robby, I will refrain from only talking about running today.  (The quick and dirty stats are at the END of this post.)

1.  John Mayer.  Have I said what an amazing man this guy is?  I am so glad he came back to blog a bit, and I for one think he is right on.

2.  I’m grateful to Starbucks.  For the second time in a run this week, I had to race in to use the facilities.   We ran the Starbucks to Starbucks run this morning.  Sorry, had to throw a bit of running in the mix.

3.  Run, Fat Boy Run.  This movie was a scream.  I loved it on so many levels.  The previews looked amazing too, so there are other movies on my list for the summer….

  • Sex and the City
  • Mongol
  • Son of Rambow
  • and something else I forget.  OHHH Disturbia.  I think.  I’m too lazy to go and look back on my iPhone because I wrote it down.

4.  I cooked waffles and bacon this morning.  I know.  I usually have the eggbeater/spinach/2% cheese bit with a bowl of oatmeal, applesauce and strawberries…known among a few friends as the Mona oatmeal.  But, a guilty pleasure…making homemade waffles from scratch, including whipping the hell out of the egg whites.

5.  School starts again tomorrow after Spring Break.  I got my job back.  Yay!  I teach 6 periods of PE and am out at 2:40.  What could be better? 

6.  Note the new Dodger’s Blog on the right.  Yep, it’s that time of year again.  Go Dodger Blue!
Now, the run.  Not pretty, stop and start…but it was overcast and lovely running over the overpasses.  The best part of running hills?  Coming down.

Date: 3/30/2008 7:00 AM
Type: Hill
Course: Jack Tone/Wilma Overpass
Distance: 2.84 miles
Duration: 30:46
Pace: 10:50 / mile
Shoe: Asics
Weight: :l
Weather: 51° F, Overcast
Notes: Had to stop at Starbucks and then re-start. Would like to try this run again without the pit stop.
Statistics: Calories: 384
VO2 Max: 26.7

Post Race

Date: 3/19/2008 5:45 PM
Type: Easy
Course: Post Race Short
Distance: 2.39 miles
Duration: 23:57
Pace: 10:02 / mile
Shoe: Asics
Weight: 🙂
Weather: 64° F, Windy
Statistics: Calories: 320
VO2 Max: 29




It was a post run for sure.  I can’t believe that I could actually run 7.45, and tonight 2.4 was tough.  Calves are tight, breathing was labored.  Chalked it up to my Golden Gate Bridge snobbery.  Heh.

I loved the movie Chariots of Fire, and this is timely, for Easter.

The true story of two British track athletes competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics. One is a devout Scottish missionary who runs for God, the other is a Jewish student at Cambridge who runs for fame and to escape prejudice.

It may be time to watch this movie again.  As you know, I put music on that inspired me in each run.  Tonight, it was the memory of watching that movie in my church in Tarzana, St. James Presbyterian

I try to listen to music that will help me push through a tough run.  When I listen to Patriotic music, I visualize the men and women in Iraq, who would love to be able to run a few miles in 65 degree weather.  Listening to the theme song from Chariots of Fire, I am reminded of people who live by their uncompromised strong values. 


I know a few people like that.