Monthly Archives: May 2012
This weekend I attended my first bachelorette party.
It was great. No party buses, penis straws, or strippers. Instead, there was a beautiful backyard, a canal, vineyards, and eleven lovely ladies. My brother is getting married in July (!!) and I’m lucky enough to be close to his wife-to-be, along with many of her friends. It works out quite lovely.
So we piled into a few cars, rented a house on the North Fork, and spent the long Memorial Day weekend wine tasting, moving watching, snacks-for-dinner-eating, beer-ponging, downtown dock-dancing, game-playing, and rum-tequila-vodka-beer-wine-champagne…drinking.
So I’m never drinking again. (Or until I had a beer after yoga the other night. Just for hydration?)
Being in a house with ten girls was totally fun. Never before have I showered twice and changed three times in ONE DAY, but every now and then you do have to wonder: “Should I stay in this dress? Put on a skirt? Not wear my birkenstocks to the bar?” (I did.) We also managed to take naps when the time was especially right (aka after four hours of wine tasting and before dinner) along with waking up in the mornings…only to turn on the coffee and plop back on the couch to watch 27 dresses.
All in all it was both a relaxing and fun-loving weekend which sort of kick-started the final countdown to the big W day. In other NYC news, it’s….fucking hot. And as much as I love being outdoors at all times frolicking around, I have many a bone-to-pick with humidity and high 80′s. Running has been a challenge, as my six mile run last night nearly cost me my life (although I think I’m getting sick too..eeek.) I probably should either wake up super early to run, or wait till at least 7 or 8pm, but usually by 4pm I need to MOVE. Either way, lessss than three months till Hood to Coast, so I must stay in speedy shape so I can bang out that final leg after already running 12ish miles and getting no sleep….
Last thing! Speaking of Hood to Coast, the lovely Nuun Team sent me a bunch of boxes and water bottles, which I’ve been happily downing and (sorta) sharing with my coworkers. It came at the perfect time because I’m defffffinitely drinking more water than I normally do, which is much needed in this heat. The pink-lemonade flavor is…making my life so wonderful. So THANK YOU Nuun, and if any of you want a niiiice little discount, head over to the store and use the discount code bloggerslovenuun for 15% off!
Lately, I’ve been conscious of the little things. The small tweaks I can make that really positively impact the day. It’s crazy how small and simple, yet powerful they are.
Having ample time in the morning to read. This one is the first and most important, in my opinion. I always, always wake up about an hour before I have to leave for work, so I have at least 30 minutes to read before I “really” start the day. Try it. Read more! Read a great fiction piece (uhh, Hunger Games duh) or something nonfiction and totally unrelated to anything and everything but let’s you learn about something new (Guns, Germs, and Steel?). I find that reading is a both great escape and push into the present. So instead of racing against the clock, rushing in the shower, and shoving a piece of toast in your mouth with one hand while simultaneously putting on your socks and throwing shit in your bag and washing out your mug (wow, way to go multitasker!), try to embrace that inner morning person and give yourself some extra you + book time.
Drinking a fuck-ton of water. Well, maybe not a fuck-ton (how much is that exactly?) but drinking a lot. I try to always have a filled glass with me at work, so once I’m finished I fill er’ up again. I’m probably only drinking the normal eight or so glasses a day, and while it’s still debatable as to how much we actually need, I feel an incredible difference when I drink a lot of H20.
Screwing the seat and standing. I have something to admit. As much as I despised my days in the good ol’ restaurant business, serving tables had one advantage: I was up on my feet all day. I think back to DC when I worked crazy hours and was continuously moving around, and I think I was in freakishly good shape. I’ve definitely felt a difference between then (read: standing) and now (read: mostly sitting), although my workouts have become more frequent, intense, and smart. Still, this can all be changed. At HQ, we’re lucky enough to have these things called mammuts, which are little IKEA stools that we place on our desks and plop our laptops on. I’ve been consciously trying to stand more throughout the day, and it’s working. What made me actually think about this was when reading Gretchen Reynold’s The First Twenty Minutes (in the morning) she explains that many exercisers are often more sedentary than those who don’t work out. Wait…what?! It’s because you say to yourself: “Self, I ran five miles, so I’m good to go for the day” when in fact, that only took 40 minutes of movement, leaving the other 23 hours and 20 minutes to sit. I usually workout for an hour, hour and a half TOPS, so even that’s not enough standing time! Luckily I also walk to the subway, and usually get off one stop early to have a 15 minute stroll to the office. And sometimes I take evening jaunts. It’s quite lovely.
Being nice to people. All of em. The woman who sells you coffee. The AM newspaper dudeman. The lady stuffed next to you on the subway. Co-workers. Boss. Roommates. Whomever! If you try to smile and be nice to everyone you have an encounter with (small or large, friendly or personal or intimate or remote) it really can brighten your day. You have no idea how many times I’ve just said a quick hello or how are you to a Duane Reade cashier, who in turn smiles SO wide, as if I handed him a winning lotto ticket. And that small stuff can make your day. So even though your intentions shouldn’t be to make yourself feel good, it very well will (shhhh). So be nice to people for the sake of being nice, but realize that it’s good for your own soul too.
Throwing my computer out of the bed. (Lightly.) This has been the hardest one for me, but I think it’s making the biggest difference. My apartment is tiny. And I used to ALWAYS write and do work in my bed, since it’s a pretty comfortable spot and I don’t have many other options. But alas, working in your bed is stupid and makes it harder to fall asleep. So I went cold turkey. (Or maybe I’m lying and am typing this in my bed, how would you know?) … Truth is, I’m trying. Really hard. To not work in bed. And to work in my kitchen instead.
Writing it all down. I’m slightly (and secretly, but I guess not so secretly anymore) neurotic when it comes to writing things down. From lyrics I’m listening to, to possible poetry, reminders, story ideas, to-do’s, goals,…I like transcribing bits of my mind onto paper. I make note of when I get to actually sit on the subway (does that contradict what I wrote earlier?) Or when the Mud Truck coffee guys gives me free coffee for being nice (win!). Or actually getting as much done as I plan to before noon at work. Or a surprisingly great workout. A random email from an old friend. A new joke. A quick interaction. Whatever it is, I like writing it down to steal the moment and make it permanent. No longer fleeting.
This weekend, SOMF began.
For those who don’t know what SOMF is (which I’m guessing is most people), it means “Summer of Mandatory Fun.” It was birthed a few summers ago when my friend’s boyfriend of too many years broke up with her on her birthday (jackass), which resulted in her choosing to make that summer FUN, no matter what, for sanity’s sake.
Since then, the term has grown up. Now I can say SOMF in casual conversation to many friends and they indeed know what I’m talking about. It has also become a verb (you can, for instance, go “somfing”), and there have even been new additions: WOMF and FOMF. And while the original SOMF had a slight negative connotation to it (this summer will equal copious amounts of beer and even more fuck-you’s!), it turned into a reminder to simply grab the people you love most and have fun.
Because no matter what happens and happened and will happen in life, having fun is, and should always, be mandatory.
Happy SOMF’ing to all,
I stopped posting poems on here because for whatever reason, they’re usually weird and cryptic and…what have you. But it’s spring, and I wrote these in winter, in preparation, and wanted to share.
Spring, Pt. 1
We were stupid to take sidewalk chalk. Drawing a map of the world on the roof, we discovered the earth was flat as we walked to the coast and fell three billion stories I’ve wanted to write but am waiting on endings. And it happened. So it goes, went, became; there are reminders on my shoulder blades though we mustn’t remember every frame is neatly stacked on this street corner, the lamppost giving them life after dusk. A deep night I want you to sit on your heels and exhale with a clean lung, steady hands. I’m looking for the face I don’t want to see, I’ll move. Foot on the gas, plane, pedal, leaving creatures on platforms to stuff themselves in boxes. If patience is a virtue I am already divinity, waiting for the mane that stands above the gods.
Spring, Pt. 2
I threw the shoe across the room and it crossed oceans.
It never sank, the sole and everything.
And I’m loved and loving in these waters, tying laces, loose ends.
I’ll have another drink. You’ll smoke a pack whenever we remember.
Climbing into cabs: marred, never nearly touching.
Now I’m making double knots, for the shoe fits. And I’m walking east for once.
And when cherry blossoms bloom, Bedouin dress and all —
all things are all right.
RunKeeper. Garmin’s. NikePlus, Daily Mile, what have you….running apps/gps/the like. They’re an amazing tool. I’ve only started using RunKeeper since I got an iPhone (circa late 2011), so before I had my phone strapped to my bicep with a little ol’ lady telling me my pace every mile while Beyonce blasts in the background, I had a purple running watch on my wrist. I never knew how fast I was going. Runs were in minutes, not miles. I just went.
But I quickly learned to love RunKeeper. Oh…. 8:15 pace? I can go faster. Knocked off another mile? I can do one more! It really is more than a tracking tool…it’s a motivational GURU. I think for awhile (read: years) I was running too slow because I was afraid of pushing any harder, of going out of my comfort zone. RunKeeper helped me realize I can still run 10 miles at 7:50 pace, and end it feeling (relatively) fine.
But on the flip side, I’ve become concerned with numbers. That 10-mile run I just referenced? I wanted to run it slower. I have been feeling burnt out all week, and honestly wanted to get in a long, slow run that felt super comfortable and only allowed myself to space out. I should have ditched the phone, but I wanted to have proof of this 10-mile endeavor. Accountability. Pride. And as I started going, once mile 1 was in 7-something, I tried to slow down to mid 8′s. I tried…
For one more mile. But then I still felt good, so I picked up the pace, went faster to get the back hills over with, and by mile 4 realized I was starting to get competitive with myself. At that point in time I wanted to run 10-miles in avg sub-8 pace, to prove that I could do it, and feel okay along the way.
By the end I was tired, and it wasn’t the run I had set out to do. So I’m not sure. Am I a sub 8 runner? Should I suck it up and realize I’m a bit faster than I thought I was, and challenge myself? Or is RunKeeper pushing me to lengths when I don’t always need to be pushed? It’s hard to slow down when you know your pace is fast, and you feel good, and why not keep going since you’ll have this miniature feat recorded for you and for the interwebs and everyone (read: no one, really) that cares to also know you ran a loop in central park then down the west side highway and calculated it perfectly so 10 miles would land you RIGHT infront of your office, canceling out the need to catch any subway back downtown?
Long story short (kinda), I understand and totally appreciate what running apps can help people accomplish, but sometimes I think I stop listening to how my body feels, and only listen to what the numbers are saying. Would love to know what others think!
These next few months are going to be quite crazy, in a wonderful way.
Between two weddings (which comes with bachelorette parties and bridal showers), road races and charity walks, birthday and graduation celebrations, music/food festivals, hosting a BBQ (wanna come?), and a trip up to Acadia National Park, I feel as though it’ll be the middle of July before I know it.
This past weekend began the beginning of planned weekends. And while it felt pretty low-key, once I wrote everything down (and the fact I fell asleep at 8pm on Monday?) I began to think otherwise. Friday was filled with walking the Brooklyn Bridge w/ my Greatist loves, Ethiopian food with an old friend, and good beer over great conversation with a new one. Saturday, I miraculously slept till 11 am (!!!!!), snuck in a 5-mile, hot, dehydrated run, walked through the farmer’s market, enjoyed huevos racheros with Danielle, participated in a boozy scavenger hunt in Manhattan, and went to a roof-top goodbye party in Bushwick. Sunday called for a trip out to Long Island for Mother’s day, hard chilling on the back porch, quality family + cat time, a 6-mile hilly run, and steak and grilled vegetables before driving home and hitting miserable, mysterious traffic.
After the traffic, I rewarded myself with a seltzer for my undying patience.
And while the weekend was awesome, when I came home things felt…unbalanced. I realized I left my sunglasses on LI, my backpack (where I carry everrrything) finally broke (or I ripped it open since the zipper was stuck..whaatever), I stared at my laundry that NEEDS to be put away (but somehow wont on its own?), and saw that a huge bag of flax seed spilled…everywhere.
The seeds were too much.
So rather than writing this post or finishing up weekend work or re-reading this amazing story, I prayed the half glass of red wine I stomached earlier would be enough to put me in force-sleep mode so I could fast forward to Monday. Breathe, Laur, breathe!
And here we are!/ …. were! (It’s taken me forever to finish this post, obviously.)
PS – This text message was the highlight of my weekend. Twas the aftermath of the scavenger hunt on Saturday. I’m so sorry Laura, I love (and loved!) you too…
things fo Fridayyyyyyy:
There are three slightly different routes I can take to work every morning. I choose which one to take in the shower.
Speaking of which, after I shower I always listen to Stevie Wonder’s “Dont You Worry ‘Bout a Thing.” Unless it’s Monday — then I go with Costello’s “Welcome to the Working Week.”
I am a complete morning person. It’s easier for me to wake up at 6 am than to stay up till 6 pm. (I kid…)
I switch off being a coffee and tea drinker every two years or so. Regardless, mornings = me and mug.
I really wish I was a better photographer, but for now am glad Instagram helps me pretend I am. (See above.)
Almost every night I dream of ridiculous things in places I’ve never seen with people I’ve never met.
Most days, I want to throw my iPhone against a wall.
I wish I could paint.
I don’t have a TV, but when I have access to one I like the Travel and Discovery Channels, Food Network, and CNN.
I love crossword puzzles.
I need to read more books! ! !
I could never ever ever live in Manhattan.
I took a shitty online quiz to find out what spirit animal I am: Wolf, then otter.
My favorite words are skedaddle, sherbet, and kite.
The other week at the end of a yoga class, I was laying in savasana and the teacher found me in the back corner. “You’re not relaxing!,” he whispered, and immediately started shaking my legs and trying to peel my shoulders back into the ground.
And here I was thinking the mental part of savasana was difficult enough — my body wasn’t doing it right, either.
Maybe it’s because I find comfort in speed. In motion. In doing one thing on top of another thing on top of hey let’s go and do this and let me just run eight miles and then we’ll grab a beer and I’ll cook some dinner and hop on the subway and move move move and write and tequila shot and go.
But I’ve also realized the more I try to think, the less creative I become. I sort of sacrificed sleep this week for late nights reading chapters of my favorite books, scouring the Internet, and even mulling around the streets of New York. And by the time Saturday afternoon hit, I realized I was more than exhausted, had been devoid of creativity all week, and lacked the motivation to do anything more than collapse under the covers. Which I did, from promptly 1-4pm.
But then I read this article by Martin Lindstrom, titled “Want to Be More Creative? Get Bored” and realized this is my ticket to slowing down. Here are his final thoughts:
“These days, I schedule a regular dose of boredom into my day. Furthermore, I don’t check messages if I’m waiting for a friend. I choose, instead, to watch people in bars, cafes, and restaurants. I don’t play games on my phone or my computer. I carry an old Nokia that no one would dream of stealing. More often than not, I hit the pool at the end of the day. As I power up and down the lanes, I rethink what I’ve learned. I now have the time and space to solve whatever problems have arisen. It’s an important meeting with myself, and I keep it religiously. Because the day I lose it, I’ve lost myself.”
So I’m trying to take Martin’s advice. For one, I want to get out of the habit of checking my phone when waiting for the subway, or cup of coffee, or a friend on the corner of Manhattan and Driggs. I want to do more watching and thinking — stealing moments back that are stolen from technology, when they’re really for myself to begin with. I want to go back to my old ways of running without music, letting my own thoughts (rather than Beyonce’s) flood my brain as I glide across the pavement. Running, like Martin’s swimming, is my time to think and reflect, and I want to worry less about pace and strength and more about the real reasons I choose to run. I also want to physically pencil in time during the day to shut down the computer and pull out a pen, and just write thoughts, or write nothing, and see what comes to mind when I’m not distracted by really adorable buzzfeed articles or delicious looking instagram photos/things my friends eat.
And I want to find comfort in slow. Once I truly realize that things happen when, well, things aren’t happening, then I’ll be able to sit still. I want to understand how great things can come to mind once I allow myself to stop, and that creativity can be found in comfort which can be found in rest. If that…makes sense.
In other (way more exciting) news, I played beer pong twice this week, which probably doubles the amount of times I’ve played beer pong throughout my life. First was at work where team “The Best” did not quite dominate, but the neeeext night at my best friends apartment with a cat, 6-pack, and pajamas, I must say I played pretty well.
I also had a lovely late afternoon tennis match with a new co-worker/friend, where I only whacked the ball into a neighboring gentlemen once. I celebrated Cinco De Mayo with margaritas and guac (of course), which was followed by watching the NBA playoffs on mute and listening to Aaron Copland, seeing if his symphonies could actually match the motions and emotions of the game. (It’s quite entertaining.) I also “meditated” for the first time in a yoga class (I’ve been told trying to meditate is meditating, so I’ll take it), and brunched afterwards with lovely ladies. And I’m also reading this book, finally, before I befriend Chaz like it’s my main mission in life.
And now I’m going to a coffee shop with Ali, where I will write about why we crave salt, and sip caffeine slowly and catch up on the news and just enjoy the day. Slowly. We’ll see what comes to mind.