Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Piece about Choir Singing

A PBS piece about my book and my choir airs tomorrow at 5:30, but it’s on the website now!!! Marcia Henning, thank you so so much for this beautiful piece. I love all the edits and the graciousness and generosity of this segment. I couldn’t be more thrilled with what it conveys. You hit all the most important highlights. Thank you again, and thank you Bob Faw for being such a great interviewer. Speaking for myself, you made me feel comfortable enough to be able to think and speak from my heart.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

I May Have Already Lost the Lap Swim Contest!

I was already behind because I had to miss a bunch of days the first week of the Lap Swim Contest. Then, on Thursday, I stubbed my toe on my way into the pool. Could there be a more undignified injury? It swelled up immediately, hurt like hell, and so I went to one of those urgent care places. It’s not even broken but the doctor said no swimming for a week. It does hurt pretty badly, I must admit.

But that’s it for me for this contest, I think. The contest is to see who swims the most laps between July 6th and August 7th. I don’t see how I can win now. While I sit home night after night, everyone is swimming and racking up miles.

Well, I can still swim 25 miles and get to go to the party at the end of the summer. It’s going to bug me to not get a trophy though. OH! I did get an indirect compliment. The people who work at the pool had to call in an “incident report” and I overheard the conversation. At one point the person said, “She’s one of our top three swimmers.” I felt very proud.

People walking on the Highline.

Highline, New York City

2015 NYC Parks & Recreation Lap Swim Contest

I said I wasn’t going to do it but it seems I can’t resist competing. This year’s Lap Swim Contest began last week. There are two contests really.

1. First, second, and third place awards are given to the men and women who swim the most laps between July 6th and August 7th. These are given out at each pool, and also to the men and women who swim the most laps of all the pools.

2. Anyone who swims 25 miles or more by August 28 gets a tshirt.

The first year I did it I won third place at my pool, the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, and I won second place my second year, which was last year. I can’t win first place at my pool because the best female swimmer in the city, Anna Jardine, swims at my pool. But that’s okay. There’s a dinner party at the end of the summer for all the winners and for everyone who swam 25 miles, and it’s a lot of fun.

I would at least like to beat my own personal best, but I could only swim two days last week and I know I’m going to have to miss more days between now and August 7th. Plus, I am definitely slowing down. Last night I swam as hard as I could and I swam 236 laps (224 is two miles). When I gave it my all last year I’d manage 240 – 244 laps, and once 250 but that was a fluke and I think they gave us an extra minute or two. So, we shall see.

A wedding I passed by while taking a break during the hackathon last weekend.

Wedding, Washington Square, New York City

Plants The Clean the Air

My rug is coming back from being cleaned today. Backstory: I sprayed it with Febreze and had a horrible allergic reaction, endless coughing, red and swollen eyes. I found an interesting post about Febreze on a site that also had a page listing the best plants for cleaning the air. I went through their list and researched it against another site which listed which plants are toxic to cats. So here are the best plants for cleaning the air that are also safe for cats:

Boston Fern
Areca Palm
Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm
Ficus alii
Lady Palm
Spider Plant

I found a cheap spider plant at Home Depot yesterday. I’m also going to look for a Boston Fern and an Areca Palm, and that should do it for me.

A child must have dropped their stuffed animal. Someone came along and put it up in a tree, where it would be safe, and hopefully where the parents will spot it.

Stuffed Animal in Tree, West Village, New York City


I haven’t posted in a few days because I was participating in my first hackathon, a virtual reality hackathon produced by LoNyLa/TimeWave and sponsored by NYVR, NYC Media Lab, Littlstar and Samsung Studio. It was hosted by my alma mater, the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU, so it felt like coming home to me. Thank you Dakota Powell and everyone listed above for an amazing event!

Here are two of my teammates, Jack Wilkinson and Karthik Swaminathan, looking very serious. Probably because we had two days to build a prototype so it was all code, code, code. OR, they were thinking, ‘take the picture already.’ More teammates below.


Jack again, and Saraswathi … I can’t find where I had written down her last name! This is unfortunate because Sara is particularly smart and talented and she is going to rule the world some day so this is going to come back and bite me in the ass.


This is the back of Gary Chan and that is Cindy Bishop, with the cardboard headset on, looking at our fabulous creation, which you can see here. It was a great weekend, now I must do nothing. Except swim two miles tonight.