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Look at this. Gracing the cover of the newest Sports Illustrated issue – Kershaw and Kopitar. If my dad was still alive, I would have loved to pick up a copy for him and have a conversation about his Dodgers and my Kings.

When my dad was dying last year, I remained rather stoic through it all. I think the grief finally caught up with me though. It’s been over a year, and everyone seems to finally have gained some traction over the storm called cancer that raised hell in our family. But for me these days, memories long forgotten often pop up like land mines buried in most random places, leaving me helpless about the tears that just erupted.

Life goes on – this is the most comforting and haunting cliché. Sometimes I really wish that there was a pill that erases all memories.

Excuse me. I’ll be okay. Just having a little existential crisis over a cover of a sports magazine.

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So, my running buddy and I, we are set for Portland Marathon that’s coming up this Sunday. Flights are booked, and a room at an ideal location is reserved. We even know where we’ll be having our Italian dinner for carbo load. But am I ready to run 26.2 miles?

No… Not really. I am not ready at all. If you ever ran a marathon, you’d agree with me on this. The longest distance that I covered during this particular training was 14 miles. Not ready, right? I ran a bunch of 13’s and 10’s, but this is the first time that I did not do a 17 mile run or more during a full marathon training.

What a challenging summer this has been. A lot has happened that I didn’t log here. While running helped me through tough times, the tough times didn’t help my running. I’m okay with that. I showed up where it mattered, and just as such, I will show up for the race too, even if I have to walk the entire second half.

One of my favorite artists, Ryan Adams will be performing the night of race in Portland, so that should definitely serve as my motivation. Finish or else…

Marathon or not, I’m looking forward to getting away. So stay tuned. Will be reporting from Portland.

I forget the number… It doesn’t matter, I guess. It wasn’t really during a “morning” run either. I know, so lame!!! Anyway, so cool – another TJs! This one is even closer. It’s funny, because I ran past this corner many mornings frowning at yet another construction. When I finally saw the sign I woke up from the monotonousness of running and exclaimed, “YES!”

It’s hard to imagine my life without this store. Yay, can’t wait until it opens.

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If you swiped through my iPhone weather app, you’re bound to ask me what are New York and Portland doing in there. Every September and October, I think a lot about moving out of Los Angeles – out of California, actually. It’s as seasonal as allergies. This phase usually comes on when the summer heat doesn’t relent many weeks after it’s supposed to. I keep looking at Brooklyn and Portland weather, and thinking, wouldn’t it be nice…

I’ve always wanted to live in New York, even as a kid. The allure of New York is pretty obvious, so I won’t bore you with that. Portland is quite different though. It’s a much smaller city in every aspect. I like that it’s politically and culturally progressive just like New York is. I like the scaleable city limits. I like the easy access to incredible nature. I like that it probably is raining over there right now as I write.

So, what’s stopping me from picking up and moving to one of these two cities? I’m not too clear. For a while there, it was because of my job, and then my guy, and then my mom who recently became a widow, and then… I guess the truth is that those few weeks between summer and winter isn’t long enough to tip me over to the other end. Just like the seasonal allergies, it eventually goes away, and I start appreciating L.A. again as temperatures drop down – intense diversity and food that it offers, and oh, yeah, the two time Stanley Cup winning team and their number eleven.

Kings games officially start in a matter of two weeks, and pretty soon I will drop all charges against L.A. But for the time being, let me fret and fuss. Or better yet, let me share with you some of many things that make those two dream cities so special to me.

• Portland, Oregon was the only U.S. city to make into the chart of world’s top 25 cities for best quality of life – an annual survey conducted by London based publication, Monocle.

• Roof top farm of Brooklyn Grange:

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Every year fall comes to L.A. in a form of irony. Everything – shorter daylight, distant sun, autumn harvests, cooler nights, “ber” on the month on your calendar – says fall is here except for the long vertical red line on the thermometer that peaks past triple digits. L.A. summer hates fall. They are big rivals who put on a nasty fight before giving into winter if you could even call it that.

My final quarter of 2014 is shaping up. I have couple shows lined up – more on this later – keeping me busier than ever.

I have been thinking a lot about “branding” for my somewhat disjointed business. I still can’t put my finger on it as to what it singularly wants to be (or maybe it doesn’t have to be a singular thing). I have been journaling a lot to refine my thoughts and to remain true to who I am. Forget what I was taught about branding at school and in work forces. As far as I am concerned, I feel that I could only put out there what is really me. Pretty packaging doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t represent the content well. Kind of like L.A. isn’t L.A. without the seemingly endless summers.

I thought I will have figured these things out by the time autumn show rolls around, but it’s turning out to be a progressive unfoldment requiring my patience. The trick is I need to figure out a way to move forward even in ambiguity. Do I make any sense? Is it summer or is it fall?

Last playoff season for the Los Angeles Kings has been truly remarkable and inspiring. These past five years or so that I’ve been following hockey, I have grown to love this team with these particular team members, the general manager, the coach and the announcers. If you’ve been coming here for a while, you know that that I have this love-hate relationship with this city. The Kings is definitely one of the things that tips the scale slightly more towards the love side.

Each series has been miraculous as it has been difficult. Anyone who follow any league sports would agree that teams that make it into playoffs are exceptional just by virtue of making it that far. Who is to say one team is better than the other at that point? Somehow and in a very dramatic fashion, the Kings have pulled it off again. It was marvelous.

Here is the video that was just recently published that highlights the final series against the New York Rangers. My favorite version thus far. And I like that they show the winning moment with Bob Miller’s play by play.

Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, Green, Williams, Carter, Quick… I can’t wait to see the games again.

I love winter.

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