In Search of A/The Point of Life

GETTING THERE: RUNNING

** The Creative Process of Running: A 22-minute Discourse (2012 January 25) ** (Happy deathday, 1 year on)

This is a 22-minute discourse on how the process of running – physically and metaphorically – can be creative.

Several of the points in the first part of this work (on how running physically can be creative) have been inspired by the points raised by Dr Alan Latham in his lecture The Zen of Running. You can learn more about the geographer – and hardcore runner – here.

A presentation of this as a slide show was first held on 2012 January 25 at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, and exhibited as a video at the Making Space PhD exhibition at the Slade Research Centre at the Woburn Square, February 2012. As with all uploads, this is an ongoing research and subject to change. For more of such inconclusive ‘moving images’, run to Kaidie’s channel.

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REVERIES OF A SOLITARY RUNNER III: following the footsteps of runner-writer Dr George Sheehan (1975)

Birds of different feathers ruffle together

Birds of different feathers ruffle together. Nondon WC1.

The words of Dr George Sheehan resonate deeply in the world of running. Such a cult figure he is that his book titles include his name (not just On Running, but Dr Sheehan On Running, 1975 Bantam). As a (still relatively) new runner, we are beginning to read his work, and do enjoy his discussion of the relationship between running and writing – a topic that cult novelist Haruki Murakami talks at length in his What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. What we wish to highlight in this post is what he says with regards to the loneliness of a long distance runner, which echoes the laments of Rousseau and Qu Yuan in their flights, actual and metaphorical. While we do not agree with everything he says that is quoted here, we like his unapologetic approach, his assertion of his individuality (many [non-runners] will call this selfishness). His defiance and irreverence remind us too of the gentle anarchism of Lao Zi, whose renouncement of court duties and wanderings were tactics of resistance. Interestingly, we note that Sheehan was not quite solitary enough however to not give talk after talk (hence also establishing a cult following) – and to not have fathered not one but TWELVE children, an activity that we know requires more than one (unless there are scientific interventions, of course)…

Page 42:

Runners are solitary and cerebral rebels in silent and meditative protest against our modern ways.

A world composed solely of runners  might be unworkable, but a world with them will be unliveable.

Page 44-45

There is a metaphysical lawlessness about running. The runner puts himself above law, above society. He is a law unto himself.

The runner follows no one’s law but his own. He cares for little but the workings of his own mind and body. He would, as one runner told me, rather give up his best friend than give up running. He cares even less for this institutions that protect and support him. He despises authority and, if anything, agrees with Auguste Comte, who wrote that participation in government is fundamentally degrading,

He further alienates those who see the crowd as carnival where everyone joins in, becoming one happy, amorphous glob. The runner is an ascetic. pleasure is painful to him. Singing and dancing and even talking to another human being are avoided at all costs.

When he runs on the roads, he is making a comment about life. He is, in effect, criticising  the life-style of everyone who sees him. He may not want to do this, but he does. he is putting down those who smoke and drink and socialize and call everyone by their first name. He has given up on that world and those in it, and has gone inside himself. No wonder those who live by the rules, or live by community, feel threatened by him.

Seen this way, what happens to runners is the just wrath of a society pushed too far. Those who believe we should all be one, as citizens or brothers, see the runner as a loner who never will contribute to the common good. That, they say, is man’s real inhumanity to man. And they may be right. In this world, no one is innocent.

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DO YOU WANT TO BE KAIDIE’S FINAL DONOR(S)? HELP US RAISE OUR FINAL £117 FOR SHELTER BEFORE WE RUN THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON NEXT SUNDAY 17 APRIL!


This mind-blowing image will grace Chin Hwee's wall, due to his generous donation. Mercenary, are we? Helping to redistribute wealth? Or merely spreading the immense beauty and poetry of our creative expression to everybody? (You're welcome, our pleasure.) Do YOU want a piece of our astounding art work? Give us £100 - or rather, give SHELTER £100 via us (we pocket NOT one penny), and a unique, signed print is yours. YOURS!!!! Call us now to engage in this meaningful transaction. Don't call us now, and you wil regret it, for our amazing works are not only going way below cost price (ahem) and our market value (ahem) in the art cattle market, the prices of our fabulous works will soarrrr once we kick the bucket (is the bucket half fool or half empty??). Don't live your life with regrets. Act NOW. Help us help Shelter NOW.

THANKS to the generous donation of Tan Chin Hwee, we have raised a grand total of GBP £1383 for Shelter, the homelessness charity!!!!!! This is superb, and beyond our expectation. We are so very chuffed that this money will be put into very meaningful use by the charity that fights against homelessness, an issue that is urgent now more than before due to the recession. THANK YOU to ALL 43 OF YOU WHO HAVE CHIPPED IN TO SUPPORT OUR EFFORT in the past 4 months! A MILLION, BILLION, GAZILLION, MEGAGAGAZILLION THANK YOU, everybody. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TOO ATEEN PATEL for your donation! Ateen is a runner as well, and is running the Paris Marathon in memory of his father, and raising money for the British Cancer Foundation – please do help Ateen if you can! Chin Hwee too is an avid sportsman and has always inspired us in his activities – we had taken part in the SAFRA Army Half Marathon together in a previous life. In spite of his madly punishing schedule at work (including work for the community), today Chin Hwee has resumed running seriously – presumably inspired by us, this time round, this life! Well done us, pats on our backs, ahem – and is taking part in the Singapore Marathon at the end of this year!! GO CHIN HWEE GO!! Chin Hwee has previously also supported our fundraising efforts at the 10km Friends for Medecins Sans Frontieres race, as well as the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon when we raised money for the Farnham hospices. We will make a print of the above image to present to Chin Hwee for his wonderful, wonderful support. THANK YOU CHIN HWEE!

With Chin Hwee’s kind donation, we are now tasked to raise the final £117 before our big gig next Sunday. Won’t you help us in our final lap? Please do - a £100 donation gives you a unique, signed print!, but any, any amount is greatly appreciated. With devastating cuts, times are hard, those of us who are able to help in one way or another should, all the more, do so!  Mentally and physically we are more than ready (although we have a disgusting patch of bruise/blister field on our right sole – TMI!!!!!!!!), having not stopped running throughout the entire $%£X####X winter, training very very nearly every single day, and frequently defiantly at 6am in the dark around our favourite Regents Fark, to stick two fingers at whoever/whatever creates cold and grey and depressing winters. We look forward to pounding the streets of Nondon. Nondon is our favourite city on earth and beyond, and running through the most spectacular parts of this inspiring and giving metropolis with thousands and thousands of people in one of the biggest shows on earth will be breathtaking, so breathtaking that we may forget to breath and die. We love running alone, but we also love running with masses and masses of people in our most beloved urban stage and playground, this life, and the next, and the next, and the next!!! Come and join in the rave. See you there. (We will be the ones wearing red! And panting with our big fat tongue sticking out! With blister fields on our feet! And not smelling very nice! And flapping our arms wildly! And … … )

For full interactive map, visit Virgin Nondon Marathon website.

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WHY WE ARE RUNNING FOR SHELTER

We exist/live/run, in order to look for the Meaning of Life, and we run not only in real life (what we call ‘Life 1.0′) but online (what we call ‘Life 2.0′), as well as in hybrid realities of mobile Internet (what we call ‘Life 3.0′). As we run across the various dimensions, we call our running ‘trans-dimensional running’ (ASTOUNDINGLY CREATIVE NAMING INNIT!!!). While it would made our lives easier if we only sat at our armchair and desktop too cook up a fabulous tale that works perfectly on paper (and screen), we have taken upon ourselves (how grand!) to take up running in real life as well (big deal!). We reckon that while we are at it, we might as well make it meaningful for others as well (hopefully, although we [think we] harbour no delusions of self-aggrandisement as to how much our existence makes any difference to anybody else).

Charities exist to fight for meaningful causes. When faced with the necessity to make a decision as to which charity to run for in the upcoming 2011 Nondon Marathon (IN 70 DAYS!!), we selected Wateraid and Shelter , as we reasoned that water and housing are but the most fundamental needs of any being. When Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity got back to us, we were absolutely delighted.

As restless and insatiable beings, we have always been peripatetic, as we traverse the worlds and lifetimes, necessarily in solitude, but doing our best in each life and dimension as well as we can. This is by no means a unique position – with today’s highly mobile population, and with the ubiquity of smart mobile gadgets, we have become location-independent as ‘digital nomads’, in this Life 3.0. Which wonderfully coincides with our own attempts to continually strip ourselves of baggage (in a previous life, giving up the paintbrush and canvas in 1995, for the film camera, then the video camera, and today, with only our laptop as not only our studio, but our life itself, as we store our data on the invisible ‘cloud’ online. A compulsive reduction of clutter, and the active application of the [Buddhist] dictum of non-attachment that nonetheless lies in direct contradiction with the instinct to hoard, to hold on to things… Short of stripping ourselves of ourselves, what next?????????????????????). Yet we are well aware that this discussion is rich. There are many, many who are not itinerant by choice, for a vast complex web of reasons. How can those who have the ability to make such a choice, respond to those who do not?

As runners, we do the only thing we can do, that is, to run. As we have said repeatedly, our running is but a small (and futile?) gesture in the scheme of things, but a small step towards an attempt to not be a part of a/the problem. If that is at all possible.

With the political and economic climate still looking difficult, please help us support the work of Shelter.  The images show us the affordability – or rather, un-affordability-  of living in London for those claiming housing benefit for the next 5 years, when the cuts by the ConDem Government takes place. This research has been compiled by Alex Fenton, research associate of the  Centre for Housing and Planning Research of the University of Cambridge (5 November 2010). As Nondoners, we are concerned. Nondoners forced out of Nondon because of prohibitive prices – where can these Nondoners go? Will this become a Nondon that is populated only by a certain group of the society?? Where can these Nondoners run to? What would that Nondon be like??? What sort of Nondon do we want???

Let us all run for Shelter, now.

For high resolution maps and full analysis, please visit the Shelter website!

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In the chaosmos of RUNNING AGAINST and RUNNING AWAY: Our deliriouslydelicious 6am loops in myopicdarkness at Regents Fark. Alternatively, hitting the hamster wheel.


The first snow of Nondon, November 2010.

In the face of a snag, what can we do?

1) Our natural (insofar as there is such a thing as nature?) instinct is to fight it. Resist it. Put up a bloody good brawl and, if in the end we are nearly dead from the bloodiness, at least we have put up a good fight.

2) Yet, if fighting seems futile, and if it is wiser to not fight but fight by opting out, so be it. Rather than a sign of weakness, running away is a tactic of survival and can be a wise sign of strength, too. The Tarahumara Indians of North Mexico – superathletes capable of running ultradistances for days on nothing more than skimpy rubber sandals – first resisted the colonisers by running. The more danger encroached, the further and deeper they ran. As Bernd Heinrich observes (and reports of himself), (we) runners are guided by dreams and madness as much as we are by logic; stubbornness (the sisu that we see in the amazing flying Finns) and resilience as much as pragmatism.

In December, as Nondon experienced what has been repeatedly described as ‘unprecedented’ ‘arctic’ weather conditions, we ran into the conundrum of ‘running away from’ versus ‘running against’.  We were undecided if which was better (or the lesser evil), to fall in icy conditions outdoors (as we did in January 2011 in the Swiss alps while visiting Heidi, and on 17 December on our way to the opening of our exhibition), or to admit defeat and run indoors instead and risk falling off the treadmill (December 2009)? Which is a better fall? Which lousy choice is less lousy?

As 1.57m (Yes, when fully erect. Yes, back fully straightened. Yes, neck standing upright.) ex-tropical beings in a most recent life, our war with the Nondon weather looked like a farcical David-versus-Goliath mud-wrestling (or snow-sloshing) match. Yet, in our determination to raise two or ten fingers or twenty fingers and (callused) toes at the weather, we have been undertaking 10km dashes at Regents Fark at 6am, whenever the weather was clear. Being myopic, the darkness protects us from being fully awake and alert, but also grants us an other lens of lucidity, enabling us several orgasmically endorphin-filled sessions. Then, the first heavy snow fell in Nondon in late November, we were initially in denial, and continued to run outdoors. Wrapped up as Michelin Man, we treaded carefully and slowly. Did it feel good? NO, of course not. Running in layers and layers of heavy clothing will never be a comfortable option; neither is having to run watching every single step. In some senses, we could read that this sort of running as so compromised as to not do justice to the notion/spirit of running (do we hear shades of the pro-life versus pro-euthanasia debates here: better a bad quality but prolonged life, or one shortened  – perhaps while one is on top of one’s game – but lived to the full?).

Hence we decided that it was perhaps wiser that we stopped being obstinate in trying to outrun nature, but to let her do her job, or whatever it is that she desires or needs to do, and that we went for an alternative option. So, it has been the claustrophobic and soggilyventilated hamsterwheel in a gym for the wussy hamster. Outdoors, we have no problems whatsoever running 10-20km at a pop. On the treadmill, however, we sometimes struggle even with ONE kilometre. Yes. We are shocked too, and could not decide if we should laugh or cry (and use the tears to lubricate our psychological resistance to the machines)? Where has that inertia/animosity/fear come from?

Fortunately, that was then. The arctic conditions seem to have left Nondon, and we are back to our 6am (and lately, 5:30am, for our day does not feel begun unless/until we move our body) runs at our beloved Regents Fark. At the expense of paid gym membership, but feck it. Give us the great outdoors, anytime. (and save us from the disturbing phenomena of swinging ponytails in OFFENSIVELY LOUD west coast accents, trashy TV programmes, short men pumping iron, mouldy floors of showers). We take comfort in the darkness, as if the darkness protects us. On average, we meet (or rather, sense, or run into, and sometime bump into, given that we can’t really see them) about 15 runners (and about 8-15 cyclists, who go about in groups/herds, unlike us runners who go about [in life too?] necessarily [?] in solitude). We say neither ‘hello’ nor ‘good morning’; instead we are quietly work on, as if there is a tacit understanding that we are doing what we have to do. Of particular significance is an elderly (or simply beard-y? For, once again, being myopic, and especially so in the dark, we have no idea) man whose waist is tied to his labrador (or what looks likes of such a dog, for we are not able to differentiate dog-types, though we are certain that the most loathed of the canine family would be the chi*&%hua, which looks more like [somebody's idea of] a joke. Except that it is unfunny). (We think/ assume it is a dog (?), although once again we have no way to confirm, unless we put on our glasses, but any extra thing we attach to ourselves is but a burden, and surely we do not need any burden, so we will have to take it that it is [or was] a dog.). A strong dog (and master) this labrador, or labrador-ish dog is, for it runs at a very strong and confident pace, every morning, leading his master forward. If we had a cat (THE BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL BRITISH BLUE, FOR INSTANCE!!) we would train her to do the same for us. The weather has turned muggy, so much so that we have been sweating unseasonably more than usual, and the dry-wick shirts do not help.

Could we possibly use our excess(ive) sweat production to lubricate the hardship and human and inhumane suffering that is to come in the remaining 593 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) days of our life?

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3 PRINTS GONE; WHICH IS YOURS?! Your donation of £100 and above for our RUN FOR SHELTER AT THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON comes with a SIGNED+KISSED+PAWPRINTED unique print from us! Come meet us on 2 March at WC1H 0AB FOR MORE PRINTS! (For the latest posts, sccrrolllllll below).

We are running the 2011 Nondon Marathon to support Shelter. Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. It is cold to run in winter, but colder still to live in the streets in winter. Please help us in our tiny effort = running, which is what we are tasked to do this Life. DO VISIT OUR FUNDRAISING PAGE AND MAKE A DONATION NOW! ANY, ANY AMOUNT IS MOST APPRECIATED!

Thanks to the continuing excellent work of the ConDem (cuts, taxes and general feel-badness), our fundraising efforts has been going slow. Yet, homelessness remains a real problem, and we are running everyday in preparation for our race. For limited time only, WHEN YOU SPONSOR KAIDIE’S RUN FOR GBP£100 OR MORE, YOU WILL RECEIVE A UNIQUE, 1/1 PRINT  - Signed+Kissed! Autographed! Lovingly-gazed! Paw-printed! –  LOVINGLY CREATED BY KAIDIE, first shared at the our 14metre-Metamap wall-installation consisting of 120 maps, at the PhD Exhibition at the Slade School of Dine Art, UCL, Nondon!! We have paid £100 to run for Shelter, but EVERY SINGLE PENNY WE RAISE FROM YOU WILL GO DIRECTLY TO SHELTER. CONTACT US NOW! <Dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com>

* COST: As tagged * DIMENSION: 42cm at the longest side (unframed) *EACH IS A UNIQUE, 1/1 PRINT: Signed, autographed with customised message! Kissed, lovingly gazed upon too. Paw print included if desired. *METHOD OF PAYMENT: ONLINE! CLICK CLICK AND CLICK THIS PAGE! * METHOD OF DELIVERY OF PRINTS: Nondon, London, Spore, Elsewhere, via slow mail, flesh-to-flesh, Trafalgar-pigeon-to-your-doorstep: in this day and age, worry not – we will find a way!* 110 OTHER PRINTS AVAILABLE!  We will however make only a small selection. * QUESTIONS? Contact us NOW! <dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com> * As of 11 February, the Kings Kross print is the property of Mr Zadoc O’Higgins!


** ROLLING UPDATE: As of 11 February 2011 Friday: ZADOC O’HIGGINS, ANONYMOUS and ERIC AULD will each receive a SIGNED, UNIQUE PRINT for their GENEROUS DONATIONS! THANK YOU SO MUCH! A MILLION THANKS also to our friends MICHAEL DUFFY, SARAH YEE, CRISTIAN GARCIACHRISTINA MOK, LAURA, FERNANDO ODCERES, ANDREWS PARKES, MICHAEL DAYAN, PAUL KNEALE, UMI BADEN-POWELL for your donation and words of encouragement! THANK YOU Ms WOO YINGYAN of the Media Development Authority of Singapore FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT! THANK YOU LOW SZE WEE for your generous support for our effort! Sze Wee is Deputy Director (heritage) of the MICA in Singapore – what a lovely Xmas gift! MANY THANKS also to the lovely dancer & choreographer (including of the SEMINAL DUMB TYPE!)/actor TAKAO KAWAGUCHI for your GENEROUS DONATION! You are our ABSOLUTE DARLING! THANK YOU TOO to our friends HILLARY CARTER and ANONYMOUS for warming our icy Nondon weekend! Hillary, one of the organisers of the very wonderful Farnham Pilgrims’s Marathon that all participants raved about, is himself an accomplished marathon runner WHO COMPLETED HIS 100th RACE in Surrey! Having slipped and bruised ourselves in the icy conditions in Nondon recently, we have relented and returned to the hamster wheel of the gym. Running on the treadmill feels oppressive, but as the donation of our friend MARC FLEPP (runner currently down with runner’s knee!) came in, we feel encouraged and will learn to work our body with machine. The £1500 target still looks very, very far away, SO PLEASE DON’T BE SHY AND STEP IN AND LEND US A HAND! Every single bit/penny matters!! And our most sincere gratitude to artist ANDREW STAHL, Mr BENSON PUAH, CEO of the National Arts Council of Singapore and two of our friends with the same name, ANONYMOUS, our friend SHAN, and adorable YENTHREE A FRESA – another wonderful ex-student from a previous life, artists PATRICIA TOWNSEND and SONIA BRIDGE, our ex-student from a previous life, VASSILI SIBIRIUS, urban planner DANIEL M FITZPATRICK (also a runner!), psychologist BEN VOYER (himself an accomplished MARATHON RUNNER!) and art teacher MS CHUN WEE SAN (who had previously supported our run for MSF too) and Collaborator-Conspirator JAMES ODLING-SMEE FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT SO FAR!!

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FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF WALID RAAD / THE ATLAS GROUP at the Whitechapel Gallery!

Place: Nondon. Date: 2 November 2010. Time: from 13:00hr GMT. Starting point/point of departure: Central Nondon. Loop point: Whitechapel Art Gallery. What for: To see Walid Raad's show. Route: via the City. How was it, then: Crowded. Nice Gherkin you've got. Pet peeves: 1) Shoveling past people dangling cigarettes in their fingers. 2) Women/very large people who walk slowly but occupying entire pavements 3) Women/'girls' (sic) who are in a large group but walking very slowly or giggling and chatting away in the middle of the pavement believing that they look cute and are drawing attention - indeed, from an angry runner 4) Children/babies/prams with young parents with same level of entitlement as the chatty women and fat bastards who block entire pavements and roads, as if they are the first people on earth who have given birth and hence demand special treatment and that the rest of the world have been created from playdoh. We don't blame the kids but we blame their smugly parents. GET OUT OF OUR £k*fING FACE!!!! Attire: Short-sleeved T-shirt and shorts. Temperature: 14 degrees celsius (sweaty run). Smell: Not So Terribly Good for an art gallery (or elsewhere). Quality of outward-bound run: Painful now with not one, but BOTH legs with shin splints. Could not get a comfortable gait. At least our limp is balanced now. Run back was easier and even sweatier.

On 2 November, we awoke from a 12-hour sleep (after none the previous night) to run through the City to the Whitechapel Gallery. There are many, many artists we admire (Chris Marker, Marc Chagall, AES+F, Tarkovsky, Fernando Pessoa et al). Walid Raad/Atlas Group is one of these people whose footsteps we (attempt to) follow. In a previous life we had the privilege of experiencing his performance-lecture in a workshop we attended. Already conflating fact with fiction, objectivity with subjectivity, history with memory, ‘official’ grand narratives with micronarrative in our own work, and already familiar with the genres of the essay film, performance as practitioner, lecturer and sometime writer, Raad’s performance-lecture made an impact.

At this Whitechapel show, Raad’s appropriation of museum aesthetics in a trademark clinical austerity in his approach is chillingly disturbing as it is dead funny. We particularly love the small model of a gallery which contains tiny precise replica of his work.

We realised that there was another source of chilliness, and that came from our exposed legs. Another observation: except for primary school kids, not many other gallery-goers wear shorts. Was that why we received some interesting looks from the gallery-sitters, as we did when we visited the Wolfgang Tillmans show after a 30km run in Hyde Park? Will spandex and leg warmers have saved us from the faux pas (if it was indeed one), and also help us look ‘tuned in’ onto the retro ’80s look (or at the very least, an artistically clever and ironic wink/nod, that the artistically clever and ironic art world would approve of)? As usual, suggestions and advice welcome.

The above is the GPS track of our run to the gallery and back, totaling about 8.9km. For a detailed version of this and other GPS tracks of ours in Life 1.0, look here.

Anyhow. Go run with Walid Raad. He’s not bad at all.

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As we fly 18,948km Nondon-Sao Paulo (return), WE WILL RUN 189.48km IN LIFE 1.0 BY 7 NOVEMBER TO MAKE UP FOR OUR CARBON FOOTPRINTS (yes we are wussy by moving a couple of decimal points, but better a pathetic gesture than none??)

As you know (do you? did you?), we are flying to Sao Paulo this weekend to participate in Soft Borders: 4th Upgrade! International Conference. In this gathering of artists, curators and academics from 30 countries, we will be making a 20-minute presentation of our fabulouslyfeetstompinglyheartstoppingmindblowing theory, Trans-Dimensional Running For Our Lives! A Rough Guide To A Critical Strategy For Our Technologically-Layered Multiverse Today. Seasoned (ahem) and weather-beaten (ahem) world- and out-of-the-world- travellers that we are, this will be the very first time that we visit ‘that part of the world’. So, our Dear Conspirators of Pleasure, should you have any tips (Where would be interesting places to run? What to eat? What to drink? Whom to meet? What to do? What to say? How to say? etc. But unfortunately, no, we are not able to drop by at Rio for the famous beaches and silicone…) about the trip, do let us know! And, as usual, if indeed your advice is so amazing as to afford us an amazing experience or two, we will create and publish a post here to share with everyone!

As trans-dimensional runners, we would have liked to fully practice and live what we preach, of course. Nonetheless, for us to run all the way from our favourite city on earth and beyond (thus far), Nondon, to Brazil, would take a while. At 9474km one way and a grand frolicking 18,948km return (!!!), it would take – to put it mildly- ages. Recall now that we live only for 1000 days, and we have only 695 (!!!!!!!!!!!ALREADY!!!!!!! Time flies whether or not we are having fun, however we define ‘fun’, or not) days left. so for us to run to Brazil and back, we would bust our given duration many times over, and be fropped left right centre.*

*It would be appropriate at this point in time for us to have a reality check and undertake some scientific calculations: Someone at our recent ARTSingapore gig asked us how much we have run in the past 305 days of our existence. Good question, we thought. We know that we run an average of approximately 60km a week – sometimes more, sometimes less. On some days, we have 5km quickies, of speed training (we say ‘speed’, but we are pulling [y]our leg[s], as we all know by now that when it comes to running we don’t/can’t do hit-and-run quickies, unless you release an repugnantlyyelpingly ridiculousness of a ‘dog’ of a chihuahua behind us, or, ahead of us, a glass of crisp bubbly, but otherwise, we will not/can not sprint, and our running is no where near the word ‘speed’ and its variations – we do endurance and go the whole length for hours and kilometres [for instance, 1 kilometre per hour], but we simply just don’t Bolt, sorry) on the treadmill or elsewhere, and on others, we run outdoors for approximately 10-20 km. To deduce that we have run approximately a total of 2500km in the past 300 days should not be all that far from the truth, which works out to be an average of 8.3333km per day). All that said, we must confess that some days we do not run, but run off instead to conduct our illicit and addictive affair with an old and very brilliant flame, chlorine. (By definition, any affair would taste sweet because they are affairs [whether or not the affairs themselves are of any good]; illicit affairs are even sweeter, and intrinsically and necessarily so, simply because of their illicitness… Hence, in spite of our vocation/mission of trans-dimensional running in this life, our ongoing stubborn dalliance with swimming in madmade pools…)

Several of your would recall a previous trip that we undertook, to visit our Facebook Friend, the legendary Heidi, in Heidiland (YES HEIDILAND EXISTS), Switzerland, during our 3rd-lifer-In-Residency in Winterthur. The return journey between Nondon-Zurich was 1550km, and after several days of wrecking our brains, we worked out a sophisticated and sustainable system of a means to compensate for our dirty carbon footprints. We understand that not all of you are as mathematically able as we are, so, to explain it in very simple means for you, it suffices to say that our system involves the movement of the decimal point to a position that would render the distance run-able for us, within a decent period of time.

Now, our Dear Fellow Runners, do understand that decency is the governing concept here- for our ‘system’ of repayment of our carbon footprints has to be sustainable and do-able. Running 18,948km would have taken us AT LEAST 1894 days if we run an average of 10km a day, which is 894 days over and above our lifespan (and we have already spent 305 days). Running 1894.8km would still take us about 189 days or 6 months. Also, we are currently in discussion with Japanese art workers about a trip in December/January/February to Asia as part of a project, which would cost at least 10,000 km – ONE WAY. As already argued in January when we undertook our trip to Switzerland, we had already acknowledged that this is but a gesture, and there is no thing big enough we can ever, ever do to compensate for our continual slow smothering of the earth. Apart from having vowed from day one (actually day zero, many life cycles ago) not to create mini-mes to add even more wrongs to all the wrongs that are already happening and all the wrongs that we are already committing, we are also cutting short our lives, and making us put in physical effort every time fly. We have heard of some other gestures such as making donations to have trees planted whenever one flies, but we are uncertain of the impact of such a deed – it does not hurt those with deep pockets and merely buys them out of their guilt (as Zizek has eloquently and sweatily articulated elsewhere). Insofar as all gestures are vain, our tactic of running to repay for our carbon footprints amounts to not much (if anything) either, but as it requires one to put in slightly more physical effort (other than the physical effort of clicking a button to agree to donate money to plant a virtual tree and alleviate one’s guilty conscience), it certainly makes one (us for instance) think twice about flying. And we speak as guiltyfrockers who absolutely adore being in mid-air in large machines, suspended in time, space, cultures, nations.

As we can’t spend the rest of our lives to pay for our Nondon-Brazil return journey, we will move not one but TWO decimal points, to run a total of 189.48km by the end of this month. We begin this repayment from 3 October, when we properly resumed our running (after resting for 2 weeks on our laurels and gloating in the glory of our completion of our first Life 1.0 marathon). So far, over the first 7 days, we had covered 84.27km. Note that although we had had some lovely walks (and a funny dip in Thames!) with some of you during this time, they are not counted, as we will only consider running, and of distances above 5km at any one time. We have 15 days left to run the remaining 100km or so, so we’d better get our  magnificent inertia and monumental butts moving.

Watch this space for our updates, and cheer us on. Or, go right ahead to mock and boo us for being such a wuss, but we are trying, alright?

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RUNNING THE NEXT LAPS OF THE LONG-RUNNING BODY vs MIND vs TECHNOLOGY vs SOUL DISCOURSES. Trans-dimensional running as a critical strategy for our techonologically-layered multiverse.

Trans-dimensional running is as much a visceral counterstrike as it is a celebration of our technologically-expanded lives. As we run trans-dimensionally, we embody both the techno-utopianist Cyborg as well as the fragile, flesh-and-blood animal. We have one foot embedded in the physical world, and the other afloat in the non-physical and metaphysical worlds, detached from worldly matters. Technology permeates the activity of running, as it does in almost every aspect of our lives today. Yet, running could arguably be an act that utilises the least technology. In its most unembellished form, practitioners can run shoeless[1] – and indeed naked, as Pheidippides did 2500 years ago. Trans-dimensional running is a simple means of navigation in the digitally-saturated reality today. Running across the varied topographies, no one is in a better position than the trans-dimensional runner to tease out the long-existing as well as current debates of the battles between body, mind and technology. The undertaking of any endurance sport is a training of not only physical but mental resilience. In exercising our body and mind to revel and wrangle with our technologically-enhanced realities, the trans-dimensional runner has one foot in a techno-utopianist delirium (Clay Shirky et al), the other in a scepticism (Michael Zimmer et al). Running is a visceral counterpoint to the relentless development of technology. Web 2.0’s (somewhat ironically-named) social media was constructed by and for the geek –socially dysfunctional in Life 1.0– to virtually do virtually everything online without ever leaving one’s chair (or flat). While we celebrate our newfound ability to leave our bodies behind and run off into metaverses online,[2] pounding the pavements in meatspace immediately pulls us back to earth (and nature), reminding us the presence and limitations of our flesh-and-blood machines, and, indeed, our mortality.

And to the snobs (invariably bound to the armchair) who say that running is unthinking, one’s mind must work as actively as one’s body when one is running, as runners and sport psychologists attest.[3] When the body hits the metaphoric wall, only willpower and imagination can propel the runner to complete the last 6 miles of a 26.2-mile race.[4] When the body undergoes extreme states of duress, the chemicals in the brains pushes the runner into an altered state of consciousness.[5] At an optimal level, this can be the proverbial ‘flow’, a notion of focused motivation put forward by psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihály. As Daniel Shiffman, creator of open-source software Processing says, ‘I do all my best programming while jogging.’ [6] We also do not forget that Alan Turing, who was a highly-accomplished marathon-runner,[7] was said to have invented the beginnings of the computer in the middle of a run.[8]

Who better than the mythical ‘Marathon Monks’ of Mount Hiei, Japan, to refer to in the discussion of the importance of the lucidity of the mind (and spirit) when the body runs? While we are not unfamiliar with ascetic feats that humans are capable of in the bid to attain enlightenment (as seen in the fervent twirling of the Dervishes, and the practice of fire-walking of Hindus, just to name a few), the achievement of these monks still seem out of the world. The tofu-eating monks of the Tendai sect chant – while carrying scriptures, and running and walking for a total of 1000 days across a period of 7 years, in a practice called the kaihogyo. Running the equivalent of 2 marathons daily for a large part of the task,[9] the monk must cover a total distance of around 40,000 kilometres, equivalent to 1000 marathons.[10] In an exercise that already sounds like no walk in the park, the monk must go without food, sleep and drinks for a stretch of nine days as well.

Talk about effort. Perhaps those self-proclaimed Cyborgs and Cyborg-lovers (Donna Haraway, as well as the Orlans and Stelarcs) – could come out of their ivory towers and learn from the practice that has begun since the 18th century, which has feet firmly on the ground, while reaching for (self-) transcendence. Our ‘1000-day run’ is a mockery to the phrase when compared to this extraordinary synthesis of the mind, body and spirit…



[1] Vijai Singh, Barefoot Running – Video Library – The New York Times [accessed 12 July 2010]. In this video, we see that the writer of Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Professor Christopher McDougall also runs barefeet.

[2] Tim Guest, Second Lives (Arrow Books Ltd, 2008) p. 355.

[3] Such as Costas Karageorghis, ‘Sport Psychology: How Mental Imagery and Self-Hypnosis Can Improve Performance’, Peak Peroformance: Sporting Excellence [accessed 25 September 2010].

[4] As Barry Magee, bronze winner of the marathon in Rome, 1960 says, ‘(a)nyone can run 20 miles. It’s the next six that count.’ Quoted in ‘Running Quotes | Training & Racing’, Run the Planet: World Wide Resource for Runners, 1996 [accessed 24 September 2010].

[5] As discussed in such literature as Henriette van Praag, Gerd Kempermann and Fred H. Gage, ‘Running Increases Cell Proliferation and Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Dentate Gyrus’, Nat Neurosci, 2 (1999), 266-270.

[6] Daniel Shiffman, Learning Processing: A Beginner’s Guide to Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction (Morgan Kaufmann, 2008), p. xii.

[7] Although Turing did not manage to be selected for the 1948 Olympics, having come in fifth, his best time of 2 hours, 46 minutes, 3 seconds, achieved in 1947, was only 11 minutes slower than the winner in that Olympic Games. John Graham-Cumming, ‘An Olympic Honour for Alan Turing | Comment Is Free | Guardian.co.uk’, 2010  [accessed 5 July 2010].

[8] According to 1968 Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot in the foreword (p. ix), in Michael W. Austin, Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), p. 135.

[9] Jayne Storey, ‘Running Buddhas. Ultra-Endurance and the Spiritual Athlete’ [accessed 10 July 2010]. According to Storey, the full menu of the monk’s 10000-day feat, the Sennichi Kaihogyo, is as follows: ’1st year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2-mile marathons, beginning at 1:30 a.m., each day after an hour of prayer. 2nd year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons. 3rd year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons. 4th year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons – performed twice. 5th year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons – performed twice. On the 700th day, the monks undergo a 9 day fast without food, water, rest or sleep – a mind-boggling feat which would result in certain death for most human beings, before having a short rest of a few weeks and increasing their gruelling schedule. 6th year: 100 consecutive days of 37.5 mile marathons. 7th year: 100 days of 52.2 mile marathons and 100 days of 26.2 mile marathons.’

[10] Anthony Kuhn, ‘Monk’s Enlightenment Begins With A Marathon Walk’ (NPR, 2010)  [accessed 11 July 2010].

Images on this page are photographed by Michael Larsson.

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WE HAVE RUN AND COMPLETED OUR FIRST LIFE 1.0 MARATHON, FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE PILGRIMS. Thank you all for your support and donations! BIG THANK YOU to the organisers too!

PS We must also congratulate Team Carter, led by one of the organisers, HILLARY CARTER who was running with his son Henry and wife Trisha. This was Trisha’s first marathon, and Hillary’s ONE HUNDREDTH!! Hence qualifying him to the prestigious 100 marathon club. How very inspiring indeed. Watch out Hillary, HERE WE COME! 99 more for us to go (hopefully within this lifetime?)! We also put up a review in Runner’s World and note that we are definitely not alone in our appraisal of the amazing event!

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WHERE DOES KAIDIE DO HER WORLDCHANGINGearthshatteringTEETHCLENCHING WRITING? Nondon on the run: Summer 2010 #2

I am certain that by now, you, My Dear Collaborator, are on no uncertain terms the level of our unsurpassable intelligence. That said, we decide that even for a near-impeccable being, there is always room for self-improvement, in this Life 3.0 of ours. In the attempt to look and, indeed, be(come) brainier by way of osmosis and association, we have been running about the Reading Rooms in the British Library this summer. Oh, we feel sehr brainy. (And yes, what a fabulous summer it has been! We can’t help but clap and smile and slap our thunderandlightning thighs in smug satisfaction. Well done us!)

Given the gravely serious nature of the work that we undertake at the BL (is any body smiling in any of these pictures??) these expeditions are generally uneventful, except that we dropped our Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS device sometime in May, or rather, it decided to slip off our wrist, as the strap was broken. Apparently, someone picked it up and returned it to Security. We were lucky that it was the British Library and not, say, the zoo, a pub, public loo, childcare centre (how all the terrible kids would have trampled on, or even eaten the device! Luckily we do not visit such nightmarish places and meet screamy spoilt tots with mini-me-s!!), swimming pool, or our Fark. Our saviour must have been some old (0r pretend-old- have you met those men who are not yet middle-aged but dress up to be such, in tweed jackets, brown shoes and full beards – as if looking middle-aged lends them authority or wisdom? Perhaps we should try this too, in case only hanging out at the BL reading rooms does not suffice), wealthy academic type on high moral grounds, or an ignorant prick who thought that that was a ‘mere’ ‘watch’.

As several of you know, Kaidie is a guinea pig of a ground-shaking, earth(s)-shattering, mind-boggling, world(s)-changing, nostrilflaring thesis, (Trans-dimensional) Running for Our Lives! A Rough Guide. This is a 80,000-word paper (and book, someday) that we have been working on the past 11 months. We have been born as a case study of that thesis. So far we have about 15,000 sturdy words done, but we have also written more than 150,000 in the past year that may never, ever see any public light (and we are NOT talking about anything from this amazing running log / travel blog!). So, 2 parallel lives / works: of embodying and living out for 1000-days as a trans-dimensional runner, and theorising our grand thesis of ‘trans-dimensional running’ as a critical strategy to run our 21st century technologically-layered multiverse, at the same time. Although there are rich overlaps and interplays, and that there is much writing that already occurs on this site, that of the thesis is dead straight and bloody serious, with clear lines of argument running through. Not all that easy for a non-linear thinker… Each also should to be self-sufficient and self-standing. It would have been easy to do one or the other - sit on our fatarses and fantasise something that works out perfectly on paper, or focus on being a strong practitioner, which is (relatively) easy as chickpeas and frogfleece – and decadently fun and glam as well. The challenge/trick of this game is the dialogue/quarrel of the two. So that is where we are running: in the chaosmos of practice/theory, embodiment/detachment, actor/author/audience at the same time.  Dot dot dot (ellipsis). To be continued.
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SOMEONE IS BRIBING KAIDIE WITH £2.50 FOR EVERY KM SHE RUNS (or crawls)!! SPONSOR KAIDIE IN HER FIRST LIFE 1.0 MARATHON and WE MIGHT DEVOTE AN ENTIRE POST FOR YOU! (Yes we are that mercenary) #2

Chin Hwee Tan has offered to donate £2.50 to the Rotary Charities for every kilometre we complete at the Farnham Pilgrim Marathon! This means that on average we will earn £2.50 for every 5 minutes 30 seconds we run; in another words, 45.45454545 pence every 60 seconds, as we plant (AND REMOVE) one foot in front of the other. Over the course of 42km, we will collect a grand total of £105 from Chin Hwee!! (On race day however, the money will come much, much harder  to earn, for we will be running offroad. Having been spoilt park and pavement runners, running on uneven ground will slow us down drastically. We have been nursing a shin splint and tendonitis, but we continue practising as we speak. So far, we have run up to 30km for 4 times. The next challenge is to go up to 35-42km, although monotony and physical exhaustion is what we are teaching ourselves to fight…) THANK YOU very much Chin Hwee! (This is not the first time Chin Hwee is contributing to Kaidie’s effort – he had previously sponsored our 10km run for the Medecins Sans Frontieres!)

CONTEXT:

As you know (YOU DO, AND YOU DID, AND I KNOW THAT YOU DO AND DID, ALL 700 OF UNIQUE YOU-s WHO CLICK ON THIS SITE DAILY! NOW IS THE TIME TO COME FORWARD AND BE COUNTED, SO THAT WE CAN PUT A FACE TO YOUR NUMBER!!!), we are running our first ever Life 1.0 marathon on the historical Pilgrim’s Route, in the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon in Surrey, in 3 weeks. We have begun training in the past 4 months. We decide that while/since we are at it, we wish to make it worthwhile for others as well. We wish to raise money for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and other Rotary charities. We are now aiming for around £200. It goes without saying that we would appreciate any amount. Having said that, it is certainly fine too if you decide to splash out £100, £1000 or more at a go. Please, do not be shy – if you can, please do (re-)distribute your wealth! In return, we will thank you in this blog (and the evil Facebook, and Twitter, etc) should you make a donation!  We will also put in extra effort in our training, to make sure that we finish the race, and finish it in not too indecent a time. Currently, we have collected approximately £140. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, CHIN HWEE, GREG and JAMES! Over the weekend, our ex-kidnapper, The Good Pirate, aka Chutha Indigo, aka Chuthatip Achavasmit has also made a nice donation! – her second since our Medecins Sans Frontieres effort! THANK YOU CHUTHA!!

HOW TO DONATE:

Note that if you are a UK taxpayer, every £1 you donate will be made up to £1.25 by H. M. Revenue and Customs!! Unfortunately, there is no online button to click donate for this run. Hence, if you are keen to make a donation, please contact us now <dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com>. What we could do is to collate the monies and pay the organisers (IF YOU TRUST US?). In this case, we will tell you how you can pay us (hard cash, electronic bank transfer or cheque). Being such accountable and highly responsible beings that we are, we will publish the filled-up form shown above (but with your personal details protected, of course, if you wish), after we have confirmed the amounts we are receiving. Alternatively, you can draw out a cheque payable to: ‘The Rotary Club of Farnham Weyside’ directly, and let us know. Whichever method fits you. NO EXCUSES NOW, my dear Readers!

NEXT UPDATES:

Look out for the next posts with updates about the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon. In the next weeks leading up to race day, we will be supplying details about our fundraising effort and progress (or REGRESS, as it resembles currently…) The 42km is part of the pilgrim’s route! Which is one of the reasons we have chosen this for our first ever Life 1.0 marathon. We will be arriving a day before the race, to walk a small part of the route, to get ourselves familiarised (this is also our first time in Surrey!). As a nod to Chaucer’s wonderful Canterbury Tales, we are sewing our donkey costume and braying each time we our shin screams.

Our 3rd and 4th 30km runs in yellow- at our usual Regents Fark, and Hyde Fark. If you are keen, you could run with us – in the mirror-image of the purple path. We might run into each other at approximately one single point, around Great Portland Street tube station. See you sooner / later. We are th one with a lousy painful gait. Go on, laugh at us, but throw us some money first.

** Currently one of the top competing films in the War of Films contest with 110 votes: CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S film about KAIDIE AND HER MEANING OF LIFE 3.0. VOTE NOW!** Vote by clicking on + sign at the top of video player. **Don’t forget to vote for Episode 2, Run Kaidie Run, too!**

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TRANS-DIMENSIONAL RUNNING FOR OUR LIVES! A ROUGH GUIDE: IN THE CHAOSMOS OF OUTSIDE/IN. Or: Why running is an excellent tactic for the urban dweller.

** Breaking news: Currently #5 in the War of Films contest: CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S film about KAIDIE AND HER MEANING OF LIFE 3.0. VOTE NOW!** Vote by clicking on + sign at the top of video player. ** Don’t forget to vote for Episode 2, Run Kaidie Run, too!**

As we ran about in our neighbourhood on voting day May 2010, we found something found, and not lost. For a change. But perhaps she was unwanted, as it had been more than 2 weeks. Or perhaps she was the one who decided to leave, to have a new place to dwell.

In the physical, primary world of Life 1.0[1], running as a means of navigating the urban landscape has the clear advantage of not increasing our carbon footprints. While this single reason should be compelling enough to persuade the uninitiated, there are several more reasons  – philosophical, poetic, psychogeographical, personal and political  – why running is an excellent tactic for the urban dweller.

When we run in the city, we are able to personalise what could otherwise be an anonymous, alienating and brutal landscape. While located as an extension of the long traditions of walking (Benjamin, Debord, Richard Long, Lake District writers, Herzog et al), reality becomes more heightened for the runner (with the increased heart rate, speed, physical duress et al given the high impact activity). As an everyday (and legitimate and safe) activity, running departs from other urban tactics such as parkour, skateboarding and grafitti.

We can outrun our fears and danger when we run in the city. We could allow ourselves to be intimidated by the oppressive Barbican buildings and its heavily concrete surroundings, or, we could find our own ways around it, by running it. Running through a council estate in Peckham enables us to conquer our insecurities and paranoia, real, imagined or simply rumoured. If we have no physical advantage over another person (especially if one armed with a weapon, a hoody and ugly tracksuits, a fighter dog or ill-intent), like the Kalahari endurance hunter, we understand that we have our tenacity to rely on, that will allow us to outrun any potential matters of life and death.

Let all the 10,000[2] CCTVs in London follow our movements, for we will register as nothing more than blurs, as if in a Marinetti painting. Haussmann built broad boulevards that were not only beautiful for the flaneur (including those on hashish) to stroll on, but easier for Napoleon’s troops to run down delinquent Parisiens. We could theoretically outwit that, by running through it, as Lola did Berlin, not once but thrice, in Lola Rennt (Tom Twyer, 1998). (Indeed, Lola not only made us see different faces of Berlin, she overcame her useless lover’s problems and overturned her own fate). In precisely-built concrete jungles, the runner can find small ways to defy grand narratives, by running and discovering unknown alleyways and pockets of areas that are neglected. For tightly controlled cities that have been infamously described as having chaos is that is ‘authored’ or absurdity that is ‘willed’, running is a gesture that we can adopt as a comeback (also to the one who described it as such). If we have nowhere to run to, or to run away from, we can discover new spaces within a difficult system, to run. This is one way to ‘not let the bastards grind us down’, as the angry young Arthur reminds us in Sillitoe’s other Kitchen Sink classic, Saturday Night Sunday Morning.

Running also offers a refreshing filter for us to explore a foreign city. When we run in a new city, we interpret landmarks in ways that differ from the overexposed versions pushed forward by tourist books and postcards. Being literally and metaphorically on the ground, we can also run into places – including those that are filled with chaos and absurdity – that would otherwise be whitewashed from the glossy official or so-called authoritative versions. Exposure to the unedited and un-Photoshopped places can open our eyes, ears and minds to other, perhaps more meaningful micro-narratives than the overarching ones.

As runners, we also cease to be taken as ignorant foreigners or exotic Others who are vulnerable, helpless or simply irritating (although we now irritate in other ways, by for instance, ‘endangering the lives of other [slow] users of the pavement’, and so on). While we have previously seen how remains vital to assume the ideological position of an outsider, it is also strategic to look like a local every now and then. Other tourists or even locals ask us for directions, as if the runner has a greater authority on the given site. Indeed, we do.

Virtually anyone can run anytime, anywhere. While it remains unfathomable how the ‘female species’ are still viewed as ‘the weaker sex’ in the 21st century (this is a separate discussion that warrants another 2010,000 theses, and more, but not this one), running is a method in which the female urban dweller could subvert this tiresome outlook. While the female runner is still likely to be spectated upon, she is soon gone, away from any actual bullying that might have befallen someone in a slower mode of navigation. In return, we can enjoy a few moments of tokenistic reciprocations of taunts (after all, we have been at the receiving end from the beginning of time, since having allegedly been created from some spare rib, according to one best-selling storybook), by deliberately making eye contact with the male spectators, but swiftly sprinting off, as if saying ‘catch me if you can’. They do not, and / because they cannot, and they know it only too well. Hence, the look of impotence. A female runner navigating the big city alone can be a sign of physical and mental strength and confidence, thereby warding off any unwanted attention. Or, perhaps it is the face of intense concentration, or simply the excessive (and offensive) perspiration (and animalistic panting) of the serious female runner that desexualises her for the male spectator.

One female, foreign urban-dwelling runner is always warming up. Left: June 2010. Middle: April 2010. Right: May 2010, with our Garmin Forerunner 405 with a broken strap (due to our excessive perspiration, perhaps), here seen taped down to our wrist. We try to use brown tape instead of say, black gaffer tape, for aesthetic purposes as the former can blend in with the colour of our skin. You could not have seen the tape had we not pointed it out, could you?

Running in the city, we produce our own desire paths that subvert tracks laid out for us by the city planners. Should we have a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, we are also able to literally draw our own desire paths. In this way, we create our own unique marks in the midst of the concrete jungle. Akin to the graffiti artist’s surreptitious insignias on walls or trains (or the dog’s trail of urination in the streets), GPS drawing allow us to register our place and existence in the urban landscape. These new tracks, and indeed maps, can be shared with the online community on GPS-sharing sites[4], and further modified collaboratively[5]. From these, further mashups can be created. Like the Situationist tactic of deliberately reading a map upside down, the trans-dimensional runner can appropriate the mashups in innovative ways. In this manner, a lively Life 1.0-Life 2.0-Life 3.0 translation process is generated, all in turn allowing us to return to explore, question and understand our relationship with the city, and indeed, the builders of the city.

The glories of GPS aside, running in a city that we are unfamiliar with without a map can be liberating. Even in a city that we think we know, running without a map can open our eyes, ears and minds in new ways. In an age in which every frontier has been marked, mapped and fully known, such are small ways in which we can re-imagine and re-assess the environment that we live in, as well as its dwellers, including ourselves.

Running in the city, we can run away without physically away. Our minds travel while we remain fully embedded in the urban din. That it is neither illegal (as graffiti is), esoteric (as tai-chi is), extreme (as base jumping is, in which people jump off skyscrapers), technically-complex (as parkour is) or requiring special equipment (as nordic walking does), is the forte of running. Running is so simple as to be banal. While the likes of Roger Deakin, Byron and Martin Amis have made the activity of wild swimming sound lyrical, that it necessarily takes place outside the city, in somewhere unchartered and, indeed, wild, makes it escapist. With running, we can remain fully within a / the system. The ability to conform to a system while playfully questioning it, is an important point of the tactic of trans-dimensional running. Rather than to deny the city or reject reality, running allows us to opt in and play by the rules of the games, while slyly overturning them in personal but powerful ways. Running allows us to take ownership of a place that can be otherwise intimidating and prohibitive. By running, we see the city unpack itself in new ways that in turn also open us up.

Kaidie's desire paths for the month of May 2010.

This is an edited extract from a chapter. Where on googleearth does Kaidie do her writing (and some thinking)? Where is the place in Nondon that inspires us to generate such mindblowing, worldchanging, teethbearing words of wisdom?? To find out, read the next post!


[1] The various lives have been defined in the following ways in this thesis (as of 10 August 2010): Life 1.0 refers to the primary, physical world, ‘reality as it is’.  Life 2.0 refers to the realm of imagination, ‘reality as I like’, as well as realities made possible by Web 2.0. Life 3.0 points to our current hybrid, mixed and augmented realities made possible by Web 3.0. Life 4.0 refers to ‘Web 4.0? and other future technologically-enabled realities, as well as other cycles of our lives to come, in the form of transmigration.

[2] Justin Davenport, ‘Tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, yet 80% of crime unsolved | News’, London Evening Standard, 19 September 2007  [accessed 9 August 2010].

[4] Such as GPSies

[5] Such as open source software Qgis

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NONDON ON THE RUN: SUMMER 2010 #1. NORTH BY NORTHWEST, AND SOUTHEAST, AND SO ON. 25 July – 1 August.

** Breaking news: Currently #6 in the War of Films contest: CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S film about KAIDIE AND HER MEANING OF LIFE 3.0. VOTE NOW!** Vote by clicking on + sign at the top of screen. ** Don’t forget to vote for Episode 2, Run Kaidie Run, too!**

Restlessness is a stubborn dis-ease of ours , but if there is any season that makes one itch more than usual, it has to be Summer. As we crave for a respite from our beloved Nondon , even our loyalty for our dearest Regents Fark is wonky. The comfort of familiarity becomes repulsive. Also, only running at our favourite fark shields us from other textures, tastes and terrains.

In our continuing effort to train for our first marathon in September, as well as to find means to run away from Nondon without physically being able to do that just yet, we have been using running to explore different parts of Nondon, to see Nondon in new ways that we would not have had. And as temporary respites – quickies, if you will. In these runs, we work on distance and terrain, and put speed aside, especially since we often have to stop several times to ask for directions, or stop to read one of those map boards (or whatever they may  be called?) installed in the streets. This being Summer, we plan some of our runs heading towards lidos, and have a dip as well.

We made several trips last week, in all directions. On 25 July Sunday, we ran 20.01km along the canal heading westwards. On Monday, we did 9.01km at our usual Regents Fark. On Tuesday,  we walked 13.39km South, to the London Bridge area, to survey the space that we will exhibit in a couple of weeks. On Wednesday, we went North, running 24.06km to the rather ravishing Hampstead Heath, including a freaking %$£££^%X# freezing 1.1km swim at the Parliament Pill lido. On Friday, we ran our first ever 30km, heading westwards to and from Kew Bridge. On Sunday, we hit the canal again, this time heading towards the exotic east, but missing exactly 98% of Victoria Fark (15km).

How nice, and how different it was, and hence it was nice. We went to places that we would never have imagined to be Nondon, and ran on terrain that were different, difficult. If you would accept the argument that Nondon is generous enough a city to accomodate and indeed celebrate many variations of itself, then the existence of non-Nondons within Nondon, makes complete sense. In the same line of logic, Nondon, ie Non-London, is completely London at the same time. In Kaidie’s cosmology of the world, that ‘A’ co-exists with not-’A’  - and often in the same freaking %$£££^%X# space –  is perfectly logical. There is (some times frustratingly) no conflict.

‘Fresh sensations, new emotions, are valuable. Can we experience this in everyday life, without endless novelty, which in itself becomes pointless? […] We need that freedom’, as Jeanette Winterson says. ‘Life is too short to save for the holidays’. Indeed.

Serpentine Lido and Hampstead pond, here we come next. [Perhaps even Richmond and Tooting Bec, but we will have to budget getting there (on foot), getting back here (on foot), and having a dip (as aromatic slices of duck sandwiched in slim slices of pancake) as well. Would we have enough energy? ...] We need to plan another 5 sessions of long runs, of 30-37km each, and 1 session of 42km. Would you, my Dear Conspirators of Pleasure, have any recommendation of which way we could possibly head next? Some where not too polluted. Somewhere fresh. Somewhere that would excite us. And you, of course.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION TOWARDS KAIDIE’S RUN FOR THE ROTARY CHARITIES? KAIDIE’S 1st LIFE1.0 MARATHON #1

** HOT OFF THE microwave OVEN: As of 8 August, 1) CHIN HWEE TAN, 2) GREGORY BEITCHMAN and 3) JAMES ODLING SMEE have offered to make a contribution! With these financial and emotional blackmails, the pressure/pleasure is on... ... Chin Hwee's offer is particularly good, so we will devote AN ENTIRE POST on it!! Look out for it in the next couple of days! IF YOU MAKE A DONATION, AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU DONATION IS *INTERESTING*, WE *MIGHT* DEVOTE AN ENTIRE POST JUST FOR YOU!!! So hurry! (That's KAIDIE'S BLACKMAIL for you.)**

As we mentioned, we are running our first ever Life 1.0 marathon on the historical Pilgrim’s Route, in the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon in Surrey, in 7 weeks. Do you think we are terribly excited, or do you think we are excitably terrible?!

While/since we are at it, we wish to make it worthwhile for others as well. We wish to raise money for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and other Rotary charities. If you are keen to make a donation, please contact Kaidie now <dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com>! We are aiming for £100-£200. It goes without saying that we would appreciate any amount. £10 is fine but so is £1, $1, 1 euro, 100yen, or other currencies in other denominations. Please do help, if you could! Yes yes, we do understand and agree with what the sweaty Slavoj is saying, but please do your bit in redistributing (your) wealth. CONTACT KAIDIE NOW!

Kaidie ran 30km to and from Kew Bridge as part of our training for our first ever 42km race. We carried our hand-and-toe-drawn map in our waist pouch, and consulted it every now and then during the course. It would not surprise you/us for us to confess that we were still lost a few times, and had to ask about 7 people along the way for directions, including a motorbike courier outside a kebab shop, who said that he could not help me. 'And you call yourself a courier?!' I shouted. 'It's lunch time now, love!' he shouted back. 'What a pedantic prick.' I replied (not). I would have been better off asking an old lady on a stairlift. This map has been sketched on what used to be the boarding pass of a budget airlines. Make a guess which.

In return, we will thank you in this blog (and the evil Facebook, and Twitter, etc) should you make a donation!  We will also put in extra effort in our training, to make sure that we finish the race, and finish it in not too indecent a time. For the past 12 weeks, we have been devoting several hours each week to running (scoff not, for if you had legs the length of ours, you would take that long, too). As we hit 30km last Friday, we are increasingly confident that we will be able to finish the 42km race. However, as for the number of hours we have to spend on the road, we are extremely uncertain, for we are reminded that the Farnham  route will be hilly and uneven! Having been a spoilt pavement/tarmac runner, it is very likely that our timing will be increased significantly! We must practice more, on varying terrain!

Follow our training ‘live’! Have a look at our running routes! Suggest others! 24-30km required much mental coaxing and physical effort. We imagine the next laps of training – 30-35km – to be even more trying. So, if you run in Life 1.0 as well, you can help push our fatarses and soggy brains along by running with us, for some parts of our practice sessions!

It would have been all too easy for one to simply let one’s imagination run wild and create a purely fantastical story. What is vital in Kaidie’s endeavour is the emphasis on the Life 1.0 realism as well. We have taken upon ourselves to pick up running in real life, and as a test of this, the task of completing a marathon. In this way, we are learning and experiencing in first hand what we are selling, by conditioning and teaching our body, mind, and spirit – if we have any?? –  to run.

Look out for the next posts with updates about Kaidie’s first life 1.0 marathon. In the next weeks leading up to race day, we will be supplying details about Kaidie’s fundraising effort, training development, as well as her plans for her run – Kaidie could run dressed up as a monk (thank you Duncan for your suggestion!), nun or donkey (afterall we are of the same colour and shape and voice) from Chaucer’s wonderful Canterbury Tales, but we will have to watch the erratic bowel movement if the latter (unless of course, we do an impromptu Paula Radcliffe).

Left: screenshot from Farnham Pilgrim's Marathon website. Right: Some of Kaidie's tweets in the past 12 weeks of her training.

** IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST, do continue to watch and vote for the 2 films by Claudia Tomaz about Kaidie! Episode 1 (12 minutes): Kaidie talks about her endeavour. WATCH AND VOTE for KAIDIE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE 3.0 NOW! Episode 2 (10 minutes): focuses on Kaidie’s running. WATCH AND VOTE for RUN KAIDIE RUN NOW! **

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A ROUGH GUIDE TO REGENT’S FARK: KAIDIE’S MOOMOODYMOODMOOD MAP OF HER TYPICAL RUN AT HER FAVOURITE FARK.

You can take a look at the same route tracked sehr scientifically using GPS on my page in GPSies - albeit ending up at my local Pesco’s to buy 35 tubs of some of my favourite jellied eel. Starting from last week, however, Kaidie has upped her training to 1 more loop, in preparation for her first ever Life 1.0 marathon in September, making it a total of about 18km under 2 hours each time. More updates about the race soon! Watch this space. Don’t you dare blink.


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I LIKE NONDON, BUT IT IS NICE IN HERE TOO. (Kaidie’s Virtual Tourist Notes from Second Life #2)

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HELLO WORLD. THIS IS KAIDIE. (Kaidie’s Virtual Tourist Notes From Second Life #1)

Kaidie returns. Sort of.

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ANALYSIS OF MY 155.0km PATHETIC RUN-WALK IN COMPENSATION FOR MY 1550km NONDON-ZURICH-NONDON FLIGHT. (But don’t you dare scoff – better SOME effort than NO THING [?])!

155km_CH

I am presenting you, my Dear Readers, THE official one and only scientific philosophical analysis of my Nondon-Zurich trip last month. I had promised to run/walk/crawl/jump/swim 155.0km as a pathetic gesture to pay for my 1550km Nondon – Zurich – Nondon flight.

So finally I have recovered from my jetlag (there is a 1 hour time difference between London and Switzerland, for those of you who did not know). After a few nights of 12 hours of sleep, (thus is the luxury of Life 3.0) I was recharged and sat down to tabulate my results.

The chart in the centre is my own documentation of my journeys. I began working towards fulfilling my goal from 22 January, and 15 days later, I completed the given task. A few points to note:

- All distances are estimations (based on previous timings, ‘measurements’ [using my fine fingers' widths] of distances based on paper maps).

- As distance (and endurance) is the aim, timing is not taken into consideration. (In any case, my pace is alwaaaaayyyyys sloooowwwwwwwwwwwwww – but some are slower than sloooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.)

- For any given session, distances must be more than 5km to be taken into account. Anything less will be ignored (and laughed at).

What surrounds this chart are maps generated by Mini, my Garmin foretrex 201 GPS, which I borrowed from CASA and Urbantick (whom I suspect owns a large stash of  other Minis, Mediums and Majors, given his quite interesting experiments in the field.) Detailed versions of these maps can be found on my page on GPSies. The thicker lines in blue are my tracks as documented by Mini. (Information geeks who find pleasure from creating/looking at different patterns from words and numbers will derive some joy from sites like these. However, I like to believe that I maintain a critical distance [pun intended]).

Not harbouring any gadget-fetishism whatsoever (oh puh-leaazzee, dah-ling, I am an au-naturale artificial being! Tsk tsk.), one of the points that intrigues me at this point is the difference between my representation and Mini’s, ie, one that is (supposedly) subjective (based on memory and temperaments of fingers), arbitrary (based on [highly-educated, ahem] estimations) and analogue, vs one that is (supposedly) scientific, accurate, objective and digital.

This difference/gap/slippage is the space-time where/when Kaidie exists/lives.

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PHYSIOLOGY ART, OR AN ATTEMPT TO LINK ART & EXERCISE

Healthy living at Lupus Street, free from dis-ease

Healthy living at Lupus Street: dry and clean from dis-ease

As I mentioned, I will have to run/walk/swim/fly/crawl 155.0km as a pathetic gesture to pay back for my flight Nondon-Zurich-Nondon.

It would be appropriate at this point in time to ask some questions.

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART AND EXERCISE? IS THERE A WAY TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT WORK-LEISURE BALANCE? (WHAT IS THE BEST PROPORTION?) CAN I MIX WORK WITH LEISURE? FOR INSTANCE, CAN I FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE IN RUNNING + ART?

How  – if one so wishes to, though to be sure, they can remain ‘separate’, as many of our activities are, although in the larger scheme of things, activities that one engages in are most certainly related in more ways than one and earns one interesting insights should one reflect upon the relationship between them – can one attempt to translate/utilise the mental stamina and pleasure one cultivates / achieves from endurance sports, to art? Or perhaps there is no need to relate one to the other, and take them as parallel, distinct activities that may/happen to have overlapping traits/ goals?

EXAMPLES OF ARTISTS WHO RUN/WALK
Artists in this possible synthesis (artists with art practice that feature/reflect/hint traits of their physical regimes): * Richard Long (serious walker in his land art), * Werner Herzog (another mad walker, and he has directly talked about this in his artwork; at least one documentary has been made about his walking as well; Herzog’s obsessive/punishing/extreme qualities as reflected in his psychotically long walks are also, of course, classic trademarks of his characters and actors in his films, as well as his own personality) * Haruki Murakami (who runs miles daily, and has taken part in marathon and ironmen events, and who discusses the mental discipline he derives from this part of his life that helps him in his clarity in his writing, though endurance sports do not otherwise feature in  his work) *Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba (ongoing marathons in every city to match Earth’s diameter). DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER ARTISTS WHO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE?

SOME OF THE TRAITS SEEN IN VARIOUS ARTFORMS
Then there is the long tradition of repetition, obsession, pattern, kinetics in the history of art, though not discussed in relationship to artist’s own exercise regimes, if any. My favourite examples include Bruce Naumen, Tehching Hsieh, the tradition of obsessive calculation in Structuralist films, and Beckett, of course.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART, PHYSICAL EXERCISE
I discuss this with a friend,  a devoted long-distance runner, who says that he read that ‘Felix Mendelssohn was a good athlete but I really don’t know how that can be heard in his music’.  He suspects that physical activity was not really something that musicians, writers or artists engaged in, given that it was associated with manual labour and hence unbecoming. ‘The exercise & health madness that we see today didn’t start until late 20th-century.’  He goes on on suggest that it would be interesting to examine how ‘the body’s physiological and biochemical responses, together with the repeated muscular motion, can be presented audio-visually. It’s yet another way of depicting human movement, but focussing on the involuntary aspects of it, which also suggests the “carnal”. (I am thinking of Bataille’s “formless”, which has a feature called “pulse”).’

Well, it certainly suits public (+ artists’ own narcissitic) imagination better to think of artists who chose to alter their consciousness with substances drugs/alcohol. Self-destructive artists ‘make better stories’ – and many did write better stories too? (Huxley, Baudelaire, Jim Morrison, Warhol – the list is endless) The Romantic picture of the artist is one that is filthy, unkempt and tormented with wild hair, not one with bandana in sweat pants and working out, which is an image reserved for sissies. Beethoven doing yoga? Ginsberg on the treadmill? Pollock performing stomach crunches? Emin cycling in thermodynamic swimsuit after a 2km ocean swim? Say no more. This is nauseating.

LABEL FOR THIS ‘ART MOVEMENT’? (very witty pun, intended)
What could this exercise or movement (pun intended! Since there are not enough artists to warrant this a ‘movement’ in the first place!!) be possibly called?  Exercise art? Sports art?  Fitness art? Endurance Sports art?? Exercise Physiology art?

ARE YOU AN ARTIST WHO ENGAGES IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE? IF YOU DO, HOW DOES IT RELATE TO YOUR WORK, IF AT ALL? IF YOU DO NOT ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE, WHY NOT?

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I WILL RUN 155.0KM, AS A PATHETIC GESTURE FOR MY NONDON-ZURICH-NONDON FLIGHT. (Better a pathetic gesture, than nothing at all.) (No, NOTHING is better than nothing at all.) (Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.)

As you, my Very Dear Readers (yes, you are now not only my ‘dear readers’ or ‘Dear Readers’, but ‘Very Dear Readers’ – what have you done to earn that, I wonder? Maybe you could next be My Very Dear Reader?) know, I am travelling to Zurich soon.

The question is, how should I get there? Like the Romantic and heroic Richard Long, and one of my favouritest, favouritest filmmakers Werner Herzog, I would have loved to get there by foot. Nonetheless, simple calculation reveals that that will take quite a while – all the snow in the Alps would have melted (not that it isn’t already speedily doing that - much thanks to the combined efforts of you and I, no doubt! Well done us.). I do think that the legendary Heidi should moved on with ‘the times’ – but a Coppertoned bikini-clad one would be a bit of a stretch wouldn’t it.

So I am flying. No, not with my plastic stapled wings, but metallic ones, economy. (That said, ‘economy’, in this case, sounds like a euphemism..)

I am one who believes in earning my pleasure. In spite of my superpower (of having superpowers) in Life 3.0, I do not abuse it. (I am one of those 21st century existentially-troubled heroes burdened with super/posthuman gifts – the difference being that they exist on TV and they often screw up. I do not.) A life too easy simply does not attract me. I am a sucker for challenges, and I like it that I have to fight for things I want; if they are easy, I would probably not find them desirable.

Hence I wish to undertake a gesture to pay back for my contribution (along with you) in turning the Alps tropical and  slowly suiciding our race (no, it is not mercy killing, but rather like a carbon monoxidal poisoning, so slow as to be even graceful, haha.). Of course, this gesture/token is necessarily pathetic; no thing can, in the remotest way, by all stretches of imagination, match up.  Non-delusional as one is, one nonetheless tasks oneself with a small deed.

The total distance for my return trip (Nondon – Zurich – Nondon) is 1550km. I would have liked to task myself with running the same distance in a given period of time. However, it does not seem realistic. As I imagine that I will be flying frequently within my life time, including long haul, I need to find a do-able enough formulation of a task that I can undertake each time. See, even in the hyperrealistic Life 3.0, there is some sense of realism.

Zurich

Let us calculate the amount of distance I run in a week. I recorded the week of 21 December 2009 as such:

•    21 December  / DAY 10: 15km (0- 2 degrees Celsius) Regents Fark.
•    DAY 11: 20km (2 degrees)
•    DAY 12: 11.5km: gym: (5km treadmill, 5km cycle, 0.5km only on the tedious ski machine, 1km on rower; then leg extension, chest press, shoulder press (yuks), pulldown, weights, 20 situps. The gym equipment, by the way, is branded ‘TECHNOGYM’. High tech!)
•    DAY 13: Same as DAY 12, but 4km of which were of a 2.5 gradient.
•    DAY 14: 15km run (3 degrees), with a sprain for the first 4km, Regents Fark.
•    DAY 15: 13 km: (9 degrees) with a sprain for the first 6km
•    DAY 16: 15 km (7 degrees) pain free (due to the installation of my Mind over Matter M&M plugin)

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: 101km.

This looks pretty nice- but this was an exceptionally good week. With the patchy weather now, I am not certain if I can afford many outdoor runs. Indoors, I can hardly run now. Not being a hamster anymore running on the treadmill bloody bores me to tears. I used to be able to do a 5km sprint; lately, I cannot even bear 1km, and even then, I do it in much anger (To help curb the dread and claustrophobia, my Winter indoor/gym routine consists of 5 minutes on each machine and 4 sets of 5 on the boring, boring weights. Enough to work up some sweat, but not enough to create endorphins and any degree of satisfaction- hence more anger). I have found out that there will be a pool near where I will live in Winterthur; I can typically swim 1-1.5km each time.

(Last weekend, however, I finally managed to break my dreadful spell by running at Regents Fark. Previously, icy road conditions, as well as having been an enormous sponge for the Winter break, have prevented me from doing this. What a lovely feeling it is, to be re-connected with nature and one’s body. At an incredibly warm and sunny 7 degree Celsius, I needed only 1 T-shirt. I started, and stayed, very slow, but I was happy. To sweat, to be out of breath, outdoors, running on, not tired, not speeding, simply moving on. I felt a calm I haven’t been able to in a while.)

Coming back to the question of how I could compensate for my carbon footprints, I worked out that a  gesture (realistic enough, though still requiring enough effort) would be as such:

For my 1550km flight, I will run/swim/walk/work out 155.0KM, in the space of 1 month (late January – late February).

So I moved 1 decimal point. Go on, mock me, but  I could have moved 2, or 3.  Or 4.

So how does this sound? What do you think, my Very Dear Reader? Unless you have any other suggestions? Better be good!

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ON MY 1 WEEK ANNIVERSARY OF LIFE ON googleEARTH, I GO FOR A 15km RUN AND DECIDE TO HAVE NO HAIRCUT FOR 992 DAYS.

Photograph of clouds taken by Autopilot.

Photo by autopilot.

Today I celebrate my 7-days of staying alive. I cannot believe how divine my life has been so far, so I bang my head on the wall and pinched myself a few times just to check. But in Life 3.0, the concept of pain is banished, so I have no way to determine if this is real.

And, as if my marvellous life is not celebratory enough, it’s a crisp, gorgeous Winter day today at 0 Degrees Celsius – and isn’t zero a delightful number, precariously perched between the positive and the negative. I decide to go for a run. It is my coldest run, ever. With a pair of still-unbendable knees and my bright orange hamster costume, it is not an easy start, but once I reach my beloved Regents Fark, I calm down and scuttle about the Outer Circle on an autopilot mode. I now feel neither cold, pain, nor anxiety. There are new challenges and fears that I have to confront everyday. In Life 3.0, I conquer them all – blindingly well. The only hitch I face today are the ducks who display an overtly friendly attitude to me, to which I am hesitant to reciprocate, for I am rather sure they have ulterior motives – even in Life 3.0, I doubt that you hear of ‘friendships’ between ducks and hamsters, don’t you think, my dear readers?

Peering out my Pings Pross flat 19 December 2009

Peering out my Pings Pross flat 19 December 2009

I complete 15 km in today’s run. During my autopilot mode, I take a picture of the pretty skies to share with you, whom I understand do not have such a vantage point. So, please see above.

In the past 7 days, I have also made new friends, some of whom groan (in pleasure?) that this travel blog is hard to navigate. Hence, for the benefit of you my Dear Readers, I have created a boring site map, though I highly recommend for you to PLEASE GET LOST. No, I am not swearing at you (I am polite to a fault! Even in Life 3.0.), but what I mean is that you should enjoy being lost, for you can have surprising encounters in your detours, but more importantly, the feeling of not having a clear destination and simply gallivanting about is pure pleasure, I would say. So, travel and explore a bit, my Dear Readers.

So, just to sum it up for you and me, in the past week some of the activities I have experienced include:

So many meaningful activities in a matter of 7 days!? Somebody pinch/punch me!

I check my ongoing Rough Guide, and am satisfied that I have practised several guidelines today, including: Free from pain, live life intensively, live life intently. Another lesson /conclusion I have learnt today: my hamster-costume, with all the fur and fat, works fashionably well this season. This gives me an idea – which is Tehching Hsieh’s, really – that I shall not cut my (head)hair for the next 992 days, as a marker of time. The picture to your left (and my right) shows my hair length as of 19 December 2009. Watch this space.


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4 LAPS AROUND REGENTS FARK: MIND OVER MATTER (IF IT MATTERS AT ALL)

Feeling particularly energetic on the first day of my life, I run 4 laps around Regents Fark. Including the distance to and from my starting point, I run a total of approximately 24km today. This is good for today, and although it is a long way towards even attempting to pay back for the damage I have done and will do, as well as to pay back for my stubborn continual existence in spite of  all this, it is a start, and a continual effort. As we know well, much of what Confucius says is rather dodgy, but the one thing he says about any change starting from oneself makes some sense.

I began running in the final year of my previous life. Prior to that I had been swimming 1.5km daily. I took part in my first half marathon and came in at 2 hours and a bit. As my wish to run my 1st marathon could not be fulfilled in my previous life, I will have to do it this life, by Summer 2010. If it takes me 5 hours, so be it. 8 hours, 10 hours, until the volunteers have all packed up to leave, until the cleaners have cleaned up the last crushed paper cup and runner’s poo on the streets the next morning, that is fine. I will run / walk / crawl / jump / fly / swim. Physical pain I can battle – the only thing I have to fight now is boredom. Being so young, my attention span is awfully short. I struggle to stay focused in any single activity for a stretch of several minutes, much less several hours (or years, or lifetimes). I think of 5 other things as I do one thing; linear events exhaust and bore me, as I already imagine travelling to 6 other places in 7 other directions. (That was how I got tired of my previous life, as it was going on for a while). (How I look forward to Life 3.0, then, since I am not bound by the trivial constraints of time and space! I will be able to do what I want, when I want, however I want it! More on this later…) Monotony is a weakness, though endurance is my strength. (Afterall, I have managed to endure myself all those years and life cycles). The only things that keep me going when running or swimming long distances is my imagination and willpower. Hopefully, by Summer, I will be older (more than 6 months old) and will have cultivated enough patience to not feel bored too quickly.

DO YOU KNOW OF ANY UPCOMING RACES? DO LET KAIDIE KNOW! WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING?

Running today at Regents Fark, 2 runners smile at me – huge smiles. I get suspicious and wonder if it is my unbecoming running gait that so amuses them – afterall I am a newborn and my movement remains awkward – but one of the cops carrying a large toy gun at Binfield House and another passerby both shout hello. On my way home, another says ‘Go! Go! Go!’ and sticks out his hand to make me slap it as I passed by. Although I have run in several cities in my previous life, this friendliness is rather refreshing (a couple of the few fellow runners I encountered in Tokyo, Fukuoka and Beppu in Papan did nod at me; people in Spore primarily stare disapprovingly at my folly of running under the hot sun as they sit fat in their air-conditioned cars in their air-conditioned carnation; in Oxford in Yengland some dogs looked like they were smiling, or perhaps those were their default teeth-&-tongue-revealing faces which do not necessarily translate as the human equivalent of smiling?).

WHY ON EARTH ARE OTHER RUNNERS AND PEOPLE AND ANIMALS SMILING AT KAIDIE? DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD SMILE BACK ? WHAT KIND OF SMILE SHOULD SHE ATTEMPT? SHOULD KAIDIE INITIATE SMILES? HOW MANY TIMES IN, SAY, A 10km RUN SHOULD KAIDIE ATTEMPT TO SMILE? LIKE AN AVERAGE OF 1 SMILE PER 100m? PER 1000m? WHAT ABOUT WHEN SHE IS RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL IN THE GYM?

Camus concludes that Sisyphus must be happy  – good for him, and him, but let me tell you, my dear reader, that the 1st 3km of any long run is always the most dreaded. As I run I protest/resist/fight/struggle and say, NO, I do not want to do this, this bloody hurts / this is no fun / I’d rather spend £4.50 to swim at the Union pool / I’d rather spend 45p to pay another version of myself doing this / I’d rather sit on my buttocks and do nothing and get furious for sitting on my buttocks and for doing nothing and sitting on my buttocks and for doing nothing but getting angry while sitting on my buttocks / I’d rather get greasy and let the calories choke my bloodstream and expire before the 1000-day duration / I rather slurp my own poo (with syrup) several litres over until I am flooded and I drown in, than to put one feet in front of the other, why do I have to do this of all people of this and other worlds / realities, why do I have to do this now of all my lifetimes. I have about 34,000 excuses that I come up with, looped, each and every time. Then after 3 km, I give up protesting as it gets boringly predictable as a broken record or a dislocated kaidie for that matter. Can’t go on, must go on, since there is no other options. So I go on. In the numbing repetitive motion, something else happens physically/psychologically. I begin to enjoy the groove and rhythm (never mind my beastly gait). I am there, much aware of my surroundings, and at the same time I am travelling elsewhere, as lucid as I am slightly intoxicated, somewhere that no one else is, where no one can touch me, where I am very much alone, feeling strong/alert/erect as much as I am unclenched/dreamy/soft where I am not fighting anymore, and am calm, at peace. So I push on. And on. My mind thinks of no thing, and it is aware that it is thinking of no thing. I remember getting there sometimes with my 1.5km swims in my previous life. It’s rather nice – and what’s nicer is the knowledge that it’s all MINE! Kaidie as a 3rd Lifer is a fabulous person and all that but she is also selfish when it comes to pleasure. Sorry!

Today is particularly interesting. At the 24th km, I not only feel calm, but happy. It is nice to feel happy. Then, I feel a large pair of plastic wings stapled onto my shoulders.

Original composition by PHILIP TAN

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