I should probably go try my dress on again. I bought a pair of my favorite jeans in the same size as the dress & they fit perfectly. They’re 2 sizes smaller than the last pair I bought, back in March I think? I don’t really expect to see much difference in the dress, but I want to visit it again! Maybe early on Sunday… or at least sometime in the next couple weeks.

In transit

So as I was preparing dinner last night for Dad & Kathy, I mentioned that I had gotten the pasta from Jessie in Brooklyn. They nodded in acknowledgment and appreciation for apparently fresh made pasta, but didn’t really comment on the New York part.
Later as we were sitting around eating, Dad asked me if I had been out of town recently. “Um yeah, in New York.”
Ohhhhh. Lights came on. Pasta, Brooklyn, Jessie. It made sense now.
And before that was Chicago, with Christie and some other Fort Wayne & Teach for America people.
Way too much fun on both trips, if I say so myself.
Chicago was an adventure in remembering my age. Most of the people doing TFA are around 22 and fresh out of college. I, of course, am not. I’m domesticated and fully integrated into the 9 to 5 routine. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t like to go out, have some drinks and be social. Coming to bed around 5a.m. though, two nights in a row: holy crap. I made it home just fine, but on Monday I slipped into a coma right after work.

This picture was taken walking home from a night of drinks and dancing on Saturday. My camera says I took it at 4:49a.m. Seriously folks, I’m not 22 anymore. Thankfully, Brandon and I are planning a day trip back to Chicago in a few weeks to go back and look at this giant eyeball, since it’s new.
So Monday was coma day, Tuesday & Wednesday were spent doing laundry and packing, and Thursday morning at 6a.m. we got on the road to get to NYC.
The drive was pretty perfect and we were settled in Jessie’s apartment in Brooklyn by 7:30 that evening. We went out for a slice of pizza and then went into the city to check out Times Square. Pretty cool, even if it is mega tourist-y.
Jessie took this great picture while my mouth was hanging agape.

Next morning we headed out again loaded with a map and our umbrellas. First stop was the Staten Island Ferry, to get a skyline of Manhattan and check out the Statue of Liberty.

It drizzled on for most of the afternoon as we walked around. We saw the 9-11 site, Wall Street, Trinity Church, Tiffany & Co. and a dozen other things. We walked through the neighborhood were his friend Travis used to live, where he had his first NYC experience. As the afternoon wore on and we dried off, we went into a tiny part of Central Park. I can appreciate the need for having the park there, but it kind of reminded me of a zoo, for people. It was a very manufactured kind of nature, which provided some nice shade and recreation, but made me a little sad.
After the park we met up with Jessie and Marc for a little piece of heaven. Steaks and seafood at Smith & Wollensky. The food was divine: we had calamari appetizer, Brandon had filet and I had crab cakes, and Brandon had cheesecake while I ate pecan pie for dessert. Every morsel was fantastic. And because it was restaurant week, and we had their specials, we walked out for less than $100 including tip and wine!

Saturday was forecasted to be 100 degrees, and feel like 110 with humidity. We decided to stay mostly indoors and check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was spectacular, to say the least. We lingered around the Modern Art wing most of the day. I got to see almost all my favorites:

Van Gogh

And of course…


We also saw works by Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Renoir and many many others. It was such a great day! (And Brandon didn’t hate it either!)
After the MET, we went back on the ferry to relax and give our feet a break, and then back to Jessie’s for dinner. They ordered Peruvian style chicken with mojito sauce, and tajadas, which are fried plantains. Seriously, New York, your food rocks!!
We chilled for a bit and decided we needed to visit Coney Island before our early bedtime. It really was just a mega carnival. We watched someone try to “Shoot the Freak” (paintballs at a guy with some protective gear & a shield), rode the Wonder Wheel, on the swinging cars of course, and had a great time.

We headed back pretty early, after stopping for some pistachio ice cream for Jessie. (Again with the amazing food.) They gifted us with some fresh pasta and cookies that they picked up while we were out exploring, and said our goodnights & goodbyes. And 6:30 Sunday morning we were headed back home.
So three days later I think I’m starting to feel like myself again. I did gain 5lbs from the past two decadent weekends, but they were utterly worth it. I feel so lucky to be able to have such great friends and be able to travel with Brandon to these cool places. Hopefully we’ll be back soon!

I can’t write

On the internet. Or on a computer at all.
I have to sit down with paper & pencil until the ideas begin to come out. I have to close my eyes and find that word, that essence and try to capture it before it fades.
For me this blogging is not writing; it’s just a spewing forth of everything in my brain in a more or less uncollected manner. Moment to moment, line to line thoughts may not be coherent.
I am jealous of the writers. Those who can stay awake long into the night until their words fall in just the right syntax and cadence.
I used to, but then the world found me. I let it steal my minutes, let it make me drink coffee only in the morning, let it leave me exhausted after 9 hours at a desk crunching numbers.
I have lost my perception of the moment. My brain thinks it’s already August because that’s where I’m making my plans. I just keep moving and moving, not sitting and being. No, if I am still too long I might fall asleep.
But my dreams have stayed with me. Strangely beautiful, impossible fantasies of other lives that mine could have been. One lifetime surely is not enough. I will be sure to make the one I have my own.

Pushups week 1

So I just completed week one of the 100 push-ups challenge. Day one was harder than I expected. Day three was easier than expected. Not really sure how that works; maybe that just means it’s working.
Now I will admit I did really start on week one, even though the program states that if you can do more than 20 push-ups you should skip to week 3. Yes, after all that bragging about being able to do 22 push-ups, I chickened out a little bit.
I’m sure that it will get very tough soon enough though.
This week has been pretty trying for workouts in general.On Wednesday, I was pretty sure that I had pulled and possibly even tore a muscle in my left quad. I couldn’t even walk on the treadmill, let alone run. So I rested the next day, barely even walking around at work. And then yesterday I was feeling a lot better, so I got on the treadmill. Walking felt fine, other than I was kind of stiff. I warmed up, stopped stretched, and then ran a half a mile. Kind of sore again today, of course, but at least I’m pretty sure I didn’t actually strain anything. Must be sure to do more stretching & drink extra water when I plan on running.
I keep meaning to write about all the things that happened 4th of July weekend, but an entire week later, I think it would be a little silly. At least here are a couple pictures from the trip to the zoo Brandon and I took.


I don’t want to whine.
Except I kind of do.
I’m tired. And sore. And I can’t really remember the last time that I wasn’t.
I have my annual with my doctor later this week. I can’t wait for him to tell me how pleased he is with my weight loss. Hopefully my blood lipids are looking better too (no thanks to a few treats to myself lately). I’m definitely in a slump though. I was supposed to do my week one, day one push-ups yesterday. But I was busy, and then tired, and then I was busy again, and then I was sleeping.
So today I will go to the gym right after work, get my push ups done. And I should run. And probably do those gawdawful lunges again. UG. I just don’t want to. I want to sit on the couch. Or maybe just take a nap.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) I will go to the gym anyway. Even though I’m pretty good about not beating myself up if I slip up, I know that when I get like this I need to push through. Otherwise one rest day will turn into a rest month. And that I’d probably feel guilty about.
So tonight I’ll post a P.S. with my actual accomplishments for the day. Because they really are accomplishments, no matter how small.

As promised: I got my push-ups done. I ran/walked for about 10 minutes before my legs just hurt too much. I did some more chest & back exercises, and then some non-lunge leg exercises. Very mediocre, but it’s something.


Let me tell you all something.
I am a bad ass.
But sometimes I am really not.
Like yesterday. I got off work, went to 3 Rivers Running Co on my sock quest. I must have looked fairly lost, standing there staring at the socks & touching them. After about a minute of doing that, an employee asked me if he could help me find something. “I need some socks,” I said, as if that weren’t entirely obvious. I explained how I just started running a few months ago, and just recently started getting blisters as I’ve been running longer distances. I told him I knew I was running in the wrong socks, my plain cotton ones. “Yeah, those will tear your feet up,” he said with a smile.
I was REALLY glad I had done some research on socks before going in there, otherwise I would have felt really foolish when he asked me about compression and thickness. But I had read, thankfully, so I knew that compression was good  for preventing chaffing and thickness provided cushioning for long distances.
Distance for me is probably something that a lot of runners might find laughable. I’m delighted to be running a whole mile without walking. In twelve minutes. Which is slow enough to barely be considered running by some people, with longer legs. But I’m proud of it.

So I told him high compression & thin weight. He said, “I have just the thing for you, what’s your size?” Et viola, socks. He also showed me another pair with a slightly heavier knit (that happened to be pink) but I took him at his first instinct, and purchased that pair. And I was off to the gym.
Now all week I’ve been crying to anyone who will listen to me about how much my legs hurt. Not my joints, not my shins, just the muscles, from doing lunges. UG. I don’t even like to use the word because they caused me so much pain. I’ve been stretching and drinking lots of water but the pain just won’t seem to go away. But clearly as soon as it does, I need to do lunges again because my muscles aren’t very strong.
Yesterday, though, walking was bearable, so I figured I would be able to at least do a mile in my new socks. I was dead wrong. I started out at a brisk walk, which hurt. I slowed down a bit and did an extra long warm up, and then set the treadmill to 5.0 (for my 12 minute mile). Not ten seconds later, I had to stop because it felt like the muscles in my legs had burst into flames. I was SO angry. I kicked up the elevation so I could bring some kind of intensity to the exercise. After ten minutes, I still hurt and I was so annoyed I gave up, lifted some weights, and went home.
I felt like a failure at running.
This morning though, my legs felt just a little better. I got up and started stretching. I had a glass of water and kept stretching. I ate some yogurt, and stretched some more. Ok, I can do this.
I told myself as I was getting ready to leave that I would get to 3.1 miles if I had to walk the whole thing and it took an hour. I got on the treadmill at a brisk walk. A few kinks but ok. I sped up to a really fast walk and felt pretty good. And then I ran. A nice 5.0 jog and it felt great. I alternated between walking and running for about 20 minutes until I got to almost two miles. And then I started to really hurt again. I wasn’t even sure how I was going to get to the 2 mile mark so I slowed way down. Waaaay down. I watched the treadmill finally kick over 2.0 and thought about stopping. I was almost at 30 minutes, which is technically the gym limit for the cardio equipment. But then I wouldn’t do what I came for. And quite frankly, my feet (despite my legs) felt great. Yay socks!
So I kept walking. Slowly creeping myself back up to a decent pace, and sure enough I started to feel alright again. So I ran some more, and walked some too. And then I got this crazy idea. I had about a half a mile left, and I was at 40 minutes. It occurred to me that if I kicked it all the way up to 6mph I could finish in under 45 minutes. Screw it, I’m gonna do it.
I cranked it up and felt like I was flying. Something changed in my body because I could barely feel my lungs gasping for air or my muscles screaming at me to slow the hell down. I felt amazing. And I finished 3.1 miles at 44:49.
I think I’m going to go buy another pair of those socks.