Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let's Hear it for New York

Despite the sub par weather, lack of vineyards and towering ocean bluffs, the east coast does have one main advantage to the west: its proximity to this place:

Cleveland. J/K its New York City, silly. I have been to NYC maybe a half a dozen times. Its a leisurely six hour drive from where I live, depending on traffic. Just the perfect distance to feel like a trip but still doable for a long weekend. I have been lucky enough to have a couple friends who live in or near the city, so going there has always been feasible for me.

I have been to a few major cities, and in my limited opinion, NY is by far the greatest US city. I have never been in any other urban setting that inspires so much awe. To me, NY feels like another planet. When you're walking down the streets of Manhattan, you may be outside but it feels like you are enclosed by the mammoth buildings. Its the strangest feeling.

One of the best kinds of friends to have in New York is a rich friend. And that's what we have. Even when we were in college, before this guy started climbing his career ladder, he always had a taste for the extravagant and luxurious. He drank mojitos before they were cool, while we were choking back cans of Natty Light. He showed us that wine doesn't just come in boxes. He taught me what bottle service was.

Now that he is all grown up and living in an apartment in New York, we have the greatest NY experiences. He knows the ins and outs, so we can avoid the tourist traps and have an authentic experience. The last time we were there, we went to swanky and super-expensive trendy restaurants. Dinner reservations at 10 pm? In my normal life, that's almost time for 4th meal at Taco Bell. Fancy!

So we're going back this weekend, as he is having his birthday party at this place:

Lets make something clear: I'm past my prime. "Going Out" on a Saturday night means driving to the local dive bar on 25 cent wing night and dropping $5 on the TouchTunes cuz I'm rich like that. And making it into bed by 10 pm. I don't care. I had plenty of crazy times in my early twenties and I don't miss the clubs and the drunk texts and the hangovers. But I guess for this weekend I'm going to have to resurrect my inner party girl because this shit doesn't start until 11:30 pm. 


I'm going to need a nap before hand. And I'm also going to need to wear something other than a standard jean skirt, flip flops and t shirt. So I bought this from Express:

Shhhh. Don't tell my rich friend it was $30.  Just add twenty pounds and take away 6 inches from that model and that's what I'll look like in it! 

I'm also doing very well on my 5k101 program. I started week 3 (of 8) yesterday and I felt great. I really like this program so far. Its so gradual that you barely notice how much your lung capacity, endurance and pace is improving, until you realize that only three weeks ago you couldn't run 30 seconds without passing out. Im very excited that I'll be in NY on Friday, so I'll be able to run there! I'm thinking about running the Brooklyn bridge, I'll have to look into it. 

Anyone else doing 5k101 or couch 2 5k?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rough Morning

This morning, a beautiful thing happened. I stepped on the scale and I was down four pounds since I started the 5k101 podcast a week and a half ago. It could have been water weight loss, it could have been the fact that i replaced the batteries in the scale and maybe it wasn't working right before, or it could be the fact that I was slightly hungover this morning and had no fluids in my body. But I'll take it.

Then a not so beautiful thing happened. I went downstairs to make some coffee. I was walking from the fridge to the coffee maker, container of folgers in hand, when GAHHHHH! Something bit my foot! Then I realized something had not bit my foot, but there was a shard of glass in my baby toe. I yanked it out and blood spurted (not really, the thing was the size of a splinter, but don't tell my husband that).  I vaguely remembered hearing a glass crash on the floor last night when i was already in bed and my husband was still downstairs. Then I opened up the garbage can and saw the remains of one of our bowls. But apparently, he only picked up the large pieces because I swept the floor and there was little splinters of glass everywhere. It just pisses me off because he's not stupid. At some point, he had to go through the following thought process, "Wow, that's glass on the floor. Glass can hurt you. Should I sweep it up? But the broom is all the way in the closet, like ten feet away. That would be very hard. Maybe if I leave it there, Emily will clean it up in the morning." Here's the kicker. When I called him at work this morning to yell at him, I said "Why didn't you clean up the broken glass on the kitchen floor?" He said, "The cat did it."

(This is funny, I JUST got a text from him that said "Please don't put this whole broken glass thing on Facebook" and I had to tell him that it wasn't going on the book but it would be on the blog, hahaha)

PS. The image? That's what I got when I did a google image search for "idiot husband".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

People of Walmart.

I had to share this. How could I not.

You know news stories you hear about someone finding a potato that looks like the Virgin Mary? And then they sell it on ebay to some weirdo for $5000?  This is sort of like that but BETTER.

I was at the evil Wal-Mart yesterday getting groceries with my husband. We usually go to the fancy new grocery store they opened by our house, but we had a big list and no money so we had to suck it up and get our grub from Wally world this time.

As we were standing in line, I noticed that the cashier kept wiping sweat off his face with a paper towel. I dry heaved a little bit, but I wasn't about to give up my position in the line just to find another non-sweaty cashier. As we moved up closer in line, I noticed that his blue t-shirt had some kind of design on it. Oh how cute, it is the Walmart smiley face.

Upon further inspection, I realized that it was NOT a design in the t-shirt. It was a full-blown sweat stain in the shape of the Wal Mart smiley face. This poor guy has been working at Walmart for so long that it has overtaken his soul and his sweat glands. What's that? Of COURSE I got a picture.

Wait for it . . .

Yes, I plan on submitting this picture to www.PeopleofWalmart.com .  I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, but it was too good not to post. Plus I cut the guy's head off so he remains completely anonymous. I'll let you know if People of Walmart accepts it, but how could they not?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This dog isn't cute at all.

Just thought I'd brighten your day with Wilbur being cute.

You're welcome.

This is how he was sleeping until i so rudely woke him up with the sound of my cell camera flash.

No Pain, No Gain.

Oh hey guys.

Pardon my bitching, but I woke up this morning feeling like my muscles had been placed in a meat grinder and then stuffed back into my body.

My husband's reaction to this? "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Whatever, d-bag.

I have been on one of my exercise binges, probably the most hardcore I have ever been on. Right now I am training for a 5k (yes, I said 5k, not marathon or half marathon, I'm lame), practicing yoga a couple times a week and weight training. On the weekends, my husband takes me to his gym and submits me to all types of cruel torture, like hang cleans, dead lifts and squats. It has really kick-started my fitness.

On Saturday, I finished week 1 of my 8 week 5k training. According to the guy that narrates the "5K101" podcast that I downloaded, I will be able to run a 5k by the end of the program. We'll see. I'm confident though (don't I sound confident?) If you want to do it with me, search "5k101" on itunes. Week 1 was very easy for me, but i'm a bit scared of week 2.

The challenge now is to get my eating under control. Since I have been working out more, I have been as hungry as Chris Farley (RIP) and have felt entitled to eat whatever I want. As I was stuffing my face with a $2 Red Baron pizza yesterday, I realized that I had eaten pizza FOUR times that week. WTF? My husband told me that if you do hang-cleans, you can eat whatever you want that day. I don't think he expected me to take his words as a promise and a challenge. Because I took it to the house on some pizza, ice cream and potato chips yesterday. Gross.

So now that I'm getting into the exercising, I have to work on phase 2: the diet. I'll try to record what I eat here as much as possible. I think that actually owning up to every little thing I eat will help me get a hold of myself. Reading about other people's health quest on their blogs is what really motivates me to get healthy. So if you write about healthy eating/exercise, send me a link so that I can stalk you!

I needed a picture for this post and was lazy, totally appropriate right?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Breaking News!

Check out the NPR story for more details

Sweet baby Jesus, the time has come. Starting on July 1, 2010, Startbucks stores in the US will be offering FREE UNLIMITED WIFI. Previously, customers had to pay to log on via AT&T. Then they started offering the first two hours free, as long as you signed up with a Starbucks account. I guess the coffee giant finally realized that no one is going to pay $3.99 for an hour of internet in addition to their $3.99 for a cup of coffee.

 In the community of freelance writers, this is big news. Well at least it is to me. I spend a lot of time working out of coffee shops and book stores in order to focus. If the house is messy, the dog is whiny, there are just too many distractions at home. So I seek quite, good coffee and free wifi at various places. I don't understand why it took Starbucks so long to join the ranks of Panera, Barnes and Noble, Borders and all the other small independently-owned coffee shops.

As far as I'm concerned, Starbucks is a little too late to convert me. I have searched my town and found a great, independently owned coffee shop that purchases their beans from a local roaster. I feel good about giving my money to them. Starbucks . . .eh. But i'm sure I will end up there sometimes. Starbucks does have great coffee.  It's another great location to add to my list of office spaces.
(Image from Flickr user EdYourdon, creative commons licensing)

Oh, Baby.

I'm still alive. I had to take a little break from blogging because it was starting to feel like a chore and I don't ever want it to be a chore. Actually I was blogging like crazy, but it was for a client, so I was kind of burnt out on it.

But inspiration to blog has struck, as it usually does when I'm distressed.

Right now, I have a four year old boy who is pretending everything is a gun, a 2 year old girl who refuses to wear anything but a tutu and a beagle furiously humping a pillow. That's right, I'm babysitting my niece and nephew.

Babysitting gets increasingly harder the older they get. I liked it a lot better when one was immobile and the other could be corralled with a baby gate. True, they can now feed themselves and go to the potty (sometimes) and tell me what they need, but its still harder.

It seems like babies are physically harder to take care of because you're constantly making bottles, changing diapers, soothing, getting no sleep etc. Kids are mentally exhausting because they have so many questions, constantly want you to "watch this!" and you constantly have to referee when there are more than one.

I LOVE these kids and have been a big part of their lives since they were born. I have rocked them to sleep, taken them to the doctor when they were sick, helped them walk, witnessed first words and I am very attached to them. Plus, they are adorable! You just want to eat them up. But watching them for more than a few hours makes me wonder if I'll EVER be ready for kids. I want to want kids. I know I will have them some day. But I'm worried that I will never feel fully ready.

So I'm asking anyone who has kids (or anyone who doesn't!), how do you feel about this? Is it different when it's your own kids? Will I feel differently when it's my own? Will the alarm on my biological clock eventually go off, without me hitting the snooze button every time? I really hope so. When you had kids, did you feel totally ready? I'm so worried that I'll never feel completely ready, but I guess I'm still young and it could still happen.

(picture from flickr user therapycatguardian, creative commons)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

That Time I Tried to Not be Fat

Let's talk about being fat, and how I'm attempting to avoid it.

I have to admit, I've been seriously slacking in the diet and exercise department since California. But I'm happy to report that I have gotten back on the horse. I'm in a really good groove right now with working out and eating healthy.

Let's get one thing straight, I HATE exercising. It takes me more mental perseverance than it takes Fergie to not pee her pants. I think about it for a couple of days. Then I might put on a pair of tennis shoes and a sports bra and take a nap in them, just to feel them out. On a few occasions, I may have driven to the gym and ended up in the grocery store instead.

But lately? Lately I have actually been semi-looking forward to working out. I have kind of gotten into a groove with my lifting routine and my cardio. I get SO FREAKING BORED when I'm doing cardio, even though I have an ipod loaded with podcasts, and each piece of cardio equipment has its own tv screen. I can attribute my new devotion to fitness to the fact that they recently added channels to the gym cable and . . .

I can watch Real Housewives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians while I work out. Whatever works.

I find that eating healthy and working out all seem to fall into place once you have one of them down. So since I have been working on my fitness, I have been having less cravings for junk and have been more motivated to fuel my body with healthy foods, particularly vegetables. Once you start turning down junk food, it becomes addicting, like some sort of game. Last night, while out at dinner with my friends, I turned down dessert. Do you know how hard that is for me? I felt so bad ass afterward.

I have found that blogging has been a huge motivation for me when it comes to getting healthy. Of course I am held accountable by my own blog, but more so, I like reading other people's blogs about their attempts to get healthy.  I'm more likely to be motivated by a real person making an attempt to be healthy than someone like Jillian Michaels. Jillian, you are a demon robot sent to Earth to make me feel ashamed and weak. You have no relevance in my life.

So I'm asking you, do you have any kick ass fitness, health or eating blogs that you read that help you stay motivated?  I would definitely like to add a few to my reader. Thanks!

(photos from Flickr: timtak, www.chicagofabulousblog.com, jesse757)