Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moral Victories

Fair warning my people: if I drop off the face of the blogosphere for a few days, fear not, I am in the midst serious crunch time at work, but I am alive and well, if not slightly miserable. This realization (the “Oh shit, it’s crunch time” one) hit me last night about 11pm as MM slept soundly beside me (he, on the other hand, is beginning a nearly three week long vacation from work -- jerk).

Anyway...

Today, I am directing you today to B-Kay’s Blog, 50 Down and Marathon Bound. In her post, she writes about the leader at a Weight Watchers meeting she went to this week:
… She told this story about Terry Fox, the guy who ran across Canada to raise money for cancer. (Yaaaaaawn, I thought) ... but she said that when asked by a reporter, he mentioned that sometimes he had to keep going just by vowing to get to that next light post, or that next stop sign. Now that clicked with me. It reminded me of running those long runs, and how sometimes the larger goal of completing the marathon is not really the goal at all on those days, but sometimes it's just completing that one run.
I do that. I did that on Saturday. Meg and I ran six miles and at about five and a half, I started telling myself, “Just get to that lamppost… just get to that sign… just get to Castaways… just get to the bridge.”

If you’ve ever struggled through a run -- long or short -- or with weight loss (or both!), you know what she’s talking about.

Speaking of running...

Last night I did a four mile run on the treadmill, and I actually cranked the speed up a bit, sang along and danced to the music on my iPod (Previously @ was the only person who knew that I danced while running -- well, her and probably a bunch of random people at my old gym. Unfortunately, MM saw me “dancing” last night and totally called me out… I was all like, "I don't know what you're talking about…" but I don't think he bought it), and sprinted the last half mile. Maybe it was a breakthrough or maybe it was the smartwater -- either way, chalk that one up to another decent run under my proverbial belt. And MM didn’t have to put up with cranky Lou after the fact. In fact, he not only got happy Lou last night, he got Vegan Lasagna leftovers, which made him happy. Everybody was happy. Good times.

And one more thing...

I ate an orange yesterday that was so good I nearly blogged about it right then and there because I just had to tell someone. I refrained. Then, later that night I told MM about the orange and how it was so good, I nearly blogged about it. And just now, as I was making my lunch, I thought, "Damn, I wish I had another orange like the one I had yesterday... I should blog about that." That's how good that orange was. So, I guess the message is, go buy an orange at your local, overpriced organic grocers. Sometimes it's so worth the extra money.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Evidence to the Contrary

Some [unlucky] people hear me complain about my job almost daily. They encourage me to explore my options, get my resume “out there,” and proactively pursue change. I, despite all the good advice, drag my feet and keep complaining.

Of course there are the obvious reasons for my delay… comfort level with my current job and fear of the unknown… something about the evil you know being leaps and bounds better than the evil you don’t know. Honestly, who really wants to start over? New boss, new responsibilities, new co-workers, new office dynamics, new work space, new commute – sure it could be better, but there’s always a chance it could be a whole lot worse.

But there is another reason, a BIGGER reason. I simply don’t know what to do with the rest of my life. The idea of being a marketing generalist for the next twenty-some-odd years makes me desperate to find a good excuse to permanently quit the workforce. Why leave one job in marketing for another job in marketing that will just solidify (again) that this is not the field for me?

And so I do nothing, wavering between two potential options: going back to graduate school to get a degree in nutrition, or pursuing a career as a writer -- copy writer, grant writer, staff writer, writer writer, fulltime blogger (the dream!). After months of researching one option, I decide that the other option is what I really want to do. And then back again.

I’m starting to feel like a dog that chases its tail for a few months, then stops for a few seconds, only to start again, but now it’s chasing its tale the other way.

Statistics suggest that many of us will change careers upwards of five times. Does this provide an argument then to just go for it? Pick an option, give it a shot, if you don’t like it, you can simply try something new. But logic creeps in, and phrases like “pay cut” and “student loans” bounce around my brain making it nearly impossible to justify a rash change in career.

And so I do nothing, but waver between two options, drag my feet, bide my time, complain, and do my best to figure out the path that will provide happiness.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Office Daze

A short snippet of dialog from my Monday morning:

Ahem…

Coworker [upon entering Lou’s office]: Do you realize that your sweater is on inside out?
Lou: No… [looks down at her shoulder to see the seam of her sweater] No, I didn’t. Thanks.
Coworker: Do you mind if I tuck in the tag of your t-shirt?
Lou: Knock yourself out.

And so begins another day, disheveled and weary, at the office.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Drawing Boards

I left the gym last night in a fowl mood after another sub-par run. This mood was exacerbated by a number of factors: ever-present freezing temperatures outside; high humidity inside the gym, which makes it nearly impossible for me to breath; disappointment that I’m becoming a worse runner instead of a better one; overcrowding on the treadmills due to the high concentration of aging frat boys who patronize my gym; hatred for my job; hunger; and PMS.


Whew. Feels good to get that off my chest.

My irrational anger was directed at MM for approximately five minutes before he fed me chocolate, which seemed to take the edge off my emotions. He offered to take me to dinner, but I had bought the ingredients to make a lentil soup recipe from the newest edition to my cookbook collection: Veganomicon. And I didn't want all my hard shopping to go to waste.

MM and I really enjoy cooking together, and since neither of us claims to be very good at it, there’s a marked lack of judgment involved in the process. Whatever happens, happens. We (or at least, I) are prepared for not-so-fabulous outcomes. He'll eat anything anyway, and I can make a meal out of toast and ice cream, so we're usually covered should something go terribly wrong with a dish.

Enter Veganomicon.

I bought this cookbook at Borders with a 40 percent off coupon on Tuesday and immediately was entranced by not only the recipes, but the writing. The authors, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, are witty and charming, obviously far-left-of-center when it comes to the vegan lifestyle, but manage to not come off as too intense to those of us who are, let’s say, part-time vegan neophytes. You know, just dipping our proverbial toes in animal-product-free waters.

I felt a lot was riding on this recipe. When Isa and Terry wrote, “This is the last lentil soup recipe you will ever need,” I wanted to believe them. I mean, after reading nearly one-third of the recipes in their cookbook, I've come to think of them as my edgy, counter-culture friends and close, personal vegan gurus. Of course, that makes me sound crazy, and this is actually the only lentil soup recipe I’ve ever tried, so I can’t really be the judge of superlatives and absolutes and whatnot.

French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian if you’ve got it; P.S. I didn’t, nor do I know the difference)
5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used Roma, which I found, with a little help from the Internets, are an Italian variety of plum tomatoes)
6 cups water or vegetable broth (I used 4 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water)
2 cups French lentils
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat a large pot over medium heat and add oil. Sauté the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until onions have browned a bit. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and a little splash of water if necessary, and stir to deglaze the pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add the water, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, then cover and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the soup looks too thin, uncover and simmer for a couple more minutes. If it looks too thick, add a little more water.

Don't judge me and my camera phone photography. I plan to get a new digital camera soon.

The soup, which we ate with pumpernickel bread, was good. So good, in fact, MM blatantly ignored Isa’s and Terry’s advice, “After three helpings, keep the lid on it to retain some sense of dignity,” and ate four bowls. He’s got no dignity. And apparently, a lightning fast metabolism, but that’s another story.

So the recipe was a hit, taste-wise, and easy enough for the novice cook to master, but a rather long, if not-so-involved process (it took well over an hour from start to finish). Ultimately, I only have one complaint: I love lentils as much as the next lentil-lover, but if I make this soup again, I will only use one cup of lentils. By the time both MM and I had had a couple of servings, there wasn’t much broth, just a mountain of soggy lentils. I guess I’m just a broth kinda gal. Know what I’m saying?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Off and Running

This is it people, training for Race Season 2008 has begun. Last week – otherwise known as Week 1 – started out a bit rocky, but ended up in a triumphant recapturing of… um… something.

Here’s what…

Running has been tough lately. Like, really tough. If you live in Chicago, you know it’s been a particularly gray, wet, and “balls” cold winter. In a word: shitty. Running outside is rarely an option, and when it has been, the path/sidewalk/road is often riddled with treacherous ice patches, puddles that resemble small bodies of water, and/or piles of snow (which are nearly as hard to run on as sand). I’d like to be the first (or maybe millionth) to say, “Thanks city of Chicago for not actually doing anything about clearing this nastiness away from anywhere.”

Anyway, trusty running/workout buddy Meg and I have largely taken it inside, reclaiming our respective relationships with the torturous treadmill. I do not exaggerate when I say that two miles (two little, itty, bitty miles) has been excruciatingly difficult to complete on the ‘mill, if not soul crushing at times. I had gone so far to start questioning my ability to train for another distance race. Maybe, I thought, I’m just not up for it again.

On Friday, I had a much needed breakthrough. According to the training schedule, I needed to run four miles. Four. I’ve considered promising my firstborn to the gods of running to get through just two miles, how in the hell am I going to do four?

Determined to mix it up a bit, I decided I would run to the gym, approximately one mile, hit the treadmill for two miles, and run back home. Phase one (run to the gym), went smoothly. But, as soon as I got on the treadmill, the familiar dread crept over me. That’s when I noticed the television screen attached the to the treadmill.

Granted, I’ve been well-aware of the fancy “Cardio Theater” at my new gym since day one -- it's been right in front of my face every minute of every run. But I’ve avoided it. No need to get used to watching television while working out, right? Truly, I’m not sure why I decided this. Maybe the exercise purist in me objected, or perhaps I thought that if I started watching TV while on the treadmill, I would be lost without it once I resumed running outside.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and I gave in. Besides, Neil Patrick Harris was sitting in for Regis as co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly. If that’s not incentive to turn on the television, I don’t know what is. He’s just so darn funny and charming, but not in a cheesy way. I decided then, after watching Neil and Kelly banter for 20 some odd minutes that if I was ever asked that ridiculous question about inviting guests – anyone in the world, dead or alive – to a dinner party, I would answer “Neil Patrick Harris.”

The two miles went by quickly, and I headed back home. Sure, running back in the freezing ass cold was not pleasant, but I did it. And it made all the difference. Game on people!

So what have we learned today? All together now: Television (or Neil Patrick Harris) is the thing that’s been missing from my run.

Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Enough Already

A letter from a fan. By letter I mean "email." By fan, I mean "stalker."
hey, i am addicted to your blog and I have been obsessively checking it and you haven't posted for like almost a week. you can't bitch and moan on a post about something as irrelevant as the Red Eye and then not post something witty and insightful to clear our minds of the hogwash of said paper...wit and insight is what your blog lives for (at least for me). WHAT GIVES?!?! (you have permission to quote this email without using my name.)
My "fan club," consisting entirely of the writer of the above email and my sister, has been so kind as to point out that it has been a week since I last posted. As it turns out, this is true. My last post is dated exactly one week ago.

So, I suppose you're wondering, "Why so quiet, huh Lou? Got something big and important going on? Something more important than your blog? Maybe you're watching a President's Day Weekend reality show marathon on VH1? Like Rock of Love, or I love New York, or better still, America's Next Top Model Cycles 1-158?"

No my friends. I've just been in Ohio.

More on that later.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

All Like

So this morning, I was all like, “I wonder if the Red Eye has anything annoying in it that could be fodder for my blog.”

If you’ll remember, last year ‘round this time, I got all, “Oh no she didn’t,” when I read the Gina Spot column Don't let an over-hyped V-Day seduce you. (P.S. Apparently the Red Eye realizes how unimportant its “newspaper” is and only archives stories for two weeks; sorry no permalinks).

Now, another crackpot Red Eye columnist (where do they find these people?) has brought us this gem: What porn needs is a jolt of excitement.

Ohhhhhhhhhh…so that’s what has been missing from my porn. Excitement! Electrocution! Drop a toaster in the bathtub! And here I thought it was acting and plot lines. Well. Now I know.

I mean seriously Red Eye? Porn? WTF?

And there are quotes too! This is fun…
I was watching porn way before I started having sex, but it never hindered my actual sex life. If anything, it actually taught me a few things going in. I recommend porn for the legions of sexually active men who couldn't find their way around a woman's body.
I get it, like, “All I really need to know, I learned from porn.” Fair enough Dustin. But all the porn I’ve ever seen, which granted isn’t near the amount you apparently have in your own private collection, just has the woman (or womans) oohing and ahhing while she gets… hmmm… how best to put this?… banged. Nailed. Maybe? Probably not the best source for Getting Busy 101.

This one’s fun to:
Of course, every now and again I have to try to justify porn to folks who view it as denigrating to women… many porn actresses—Jenna Jameson, for example—make six-plus figures profiting from men's weaknesses.
How exactly is she, “profiting from men’s weaknesses?” Men’s weaknesses for fake boobs and faker orgasms? Now I know Jenna J. is all, “doing it on her own terms” and “making a fortune” and whatnot, but come on, don’t “girl power” me just because one woman has managed to make it in a male-dominated, female-exploiting industry.

This too:
After nearly two decades with porn, I honestly can say the thrill is starting to wane. I attribute that to fact that I write reviews on porn Web sites… It's not a dream job if you actually like porn—definitely not on the rare occasion that I have to review the gay stuff. I've done it for years, and at this point it's just work.
That’s a job?!?!?! You know what they say about mixing business and pleasure.

And finally…
What porn needs is an injection of forbidden excitement, like when the Pam Anderson-Tommy Lee sex tape dropped. At this point, it would take a Gabrielle Union-Lucy Liu-Alyssa Milano tape for me to prop open my eyes. If you fine actresses are reading, that's an open request.
Um. Yeah. OK. Thanks Dustin. That was… enlightening.

I mean seriously Red Eye, isn’t there an ad for a sex toy shop that could use this space?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shoe-tacular

In the great tradition of Travel Greta and Heidikins, I present… a shoe:


Or rather, a boot. As of Monday, I own two of them.

But, it was Laurel who made me do it. Sort of. Laurel’s post about her super trendy Hunter galoshes was timely, as I had just been scoping them out on Zappos.com myself. You see, my super trendy workout buddy G had told me on Wednesday, a particularly wet day in Chicago that led to me complaining about uncomfortably moist socks and snow boots that were only waterproof to a point, that I simply had to get these boots.

I figured Laurel’s post was a sign from the shoe gods. Do shoe gods exist, Travel Greta? Or is that just urban shoe lore? I’m not really up on these things.

Anyway, I got them in red.

Collective Gasp.

I know. My usual color scheme is terribly neutral, but I figured my entirely black and gray wardrobe could use some spicing up. And besides, they didn’t have any sensible colors left in my size.

Monday, February 11, 2008

More of the Same

You know what burns me up? Hearing democrats and other liberal types say that they will vote for McCain should Hillary get the nomination. All this nonsense about the Clinton political machine and whatnot. Did I miss something? Is McCain, like uh, new to Washington?

Personally, I will happily vote for either Obama or Clinton come November (already voted for one of ‘em). And truthfully, I don’t claim to know a lot about… well, anything, nor do I get up on my soapbox about politics too terribly much, but this “I’d vote McCain” crap just dumbfounds me. Um. You mean the same guy who has supported President Bush on all the Iraq insanity while one by one the other Republicans jumped that sinking ship? Right. That one.

Anyway, Feministing (bless their hearts) wrote a post today with about 101 reasons why you shouldn’t vote for McCain. Read it. Especially, if you’re one of those people.

Friday, February 08, 2008

On Love and Marriage

I just can’t let this slip by without commenting.

MM left for work at 4:30 this morning, leaving me to leisurely eat Soy Dream Chocolate Brownie “ice cream” for breakfast while watching the Today Show on his awesome new flatscreen television (if only he had cable). This story piqued my interest, most likely because it’s was given a headline that is – from the perspective of a self-respecting woman – somewhat infuriating and obviously going to insight emotionally-charged responses: Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.

Confusion abound, I’m sure.

The back story for those of you who have better things to do with your time than watch Matt Lauer read the fluff: Lori Gottlieb, single mom and writer, penned an article for the March 2008 issue of The Atlantic Magazine. She argues that we (women) shouldn’t hold out for Mr. Right (aka "The One" or your “soul mate”). In fact, you should settle for… I guess… whoever happens to come along.

Settle?!?!?!?

I know. We’re all enraged. Why should we settle? We’re smart, funny, talented, beautiful woman and damnit we deserve to be with someone who deserves to be with us. We all (supposedly) want Prince Charmings, and to be whisked away by passion and deep, meaningful love, and intense burning desire, all the culmination of complete mental, physical, and emotional understanding. Lest we not forget, he should also be successful, good-looking, witty, intelligent, and loaded.

I’m going to skip calling out Gottlieb on her vast generalizations and complete failure to recognize that there are plenty of women out there who do not view the traditional husband + baby = happiness equation as the be-all-end-all of their hearts' desires. And, as I haven’t reached the magical age of 30 when apparently women are not only given permission, but expected, to freak out if they don’t have a ring on their finger, I will refrain from commenting on passages like this:
…Every woman I know — no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure — feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried… if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying. In fact, take a good look in the mirror and try to convince yourself that you’re not worried, because you’ll see how silly your face looks when you’re being disingenuous.
Plu-ease. OK… I almost refrained.

The main issue I have with Gottlieb’s argument is that she might actually be trying to make a valid point. But, it’s lost (or maybe it’s not there at all) in a very immature approach to determining whether one should wait for Mr. Right or settle for Mr. Well-Since-You-Asked.

First of all, I find it infuriating that nowhere in this article does Gottlieb point out that Mr. Right is a figment of Hollywood’s imagination or that searching for a soul mate is an archaic notion. I abhor the use of terminology that suggests there is only one dude, or rather, one person, out there for each of us. Really? One person? Of all the bazillions of people, for each of us there’s only one who will rock our respective worlds. And if you think you've found that person, and for some reason the relationship goes south, then what? Were you just wrong? Or are you screwed? Then what?

Much of Gottlieb’s search for a soul mate in her "youth" seemed to rely on esoteric ideals. Well-thought out and important-sounding? Maybe. Practical? No:
I thought that the person I married would have to have a sense of wonderment about the world, would be both spontaneous and grounded, and would acknowledge that life is hard but also be able to navigate its ups and downs with humor.
A “sense of wonderment?” I’m not really sure I would know what that was even if the wonderment hit me square in the face. It’s no big mystery why she didn’t find Him. Of course, she acknowledges this with – you know – the entire article.

What I’m missing perhaps in all of this is the point. Oh wait… I’ve got something:
As your priorities change from romance to family, the so-called “deal breakers” change. Some guys aren’t worldly, but they’d make great dads. Or you walk into a room and start talking to this person who is 5'4" and has an unfortunate nose, but he “gets” you.
This deserves a big, "WTF?" Go for guy with the unfortunate nose. That’s your advice? OK lady, if you’re desperate to find a mate, but cutting out potential suitors because they have a crooked nose or fail to meet a height requirement of 6’2,” it’s going to be a long, lonely life.

I suppose what gets me about this article is that nowhere does reality come into play. I am, obviously, no expert. I’m only 28. I’ve never been married. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends, two of whom I likely “could have” married. But the way I see it, the divorce rate in this country already tips the scales at a whopping half. Half! Settling for the sake of settling is bound to lead to resentment, which is never good for a marriage, and generally (one would think) is the kind of feeling that eventually can cause estrangement, or even infidelity… which of course brings us right back to divorce.

Why not, instead of telling women that dating is musical chairs and if they don’t pick a seat for better or worse, they’ll be standing up alone for good, persuade women to not to write off a potential mate just because you didn’t want to rip off his clothes the moment you laid eyes on him, or you didn’t have the deepest of conversations ever on your first date. She almost made this point during the Today Show interview (I’m paraphrasing), "I should have given a lot of nice guys a chance, but I only went out on one date with them because there wasn't an instant spark." This, I believe, is Gottlieb’s only nugget of wisdom and value. This spoke to me.

In my own experience, which is very little, I have contemplated tossing a guy to the curb because I wasn’t feeling the “spark” right away. But, he was nice and we had some important things in common, so I stuck it out, let myself get to know him, and am better for having done so. Sometimes the spark isn’t immediate. Sometimes it’s delayed. Sometimes the instantly intense relationships are the ones that fail the fastest. There is no way, in the normal, mundane day-to-day realities of life (even without kids in the picture), to sustain constant passion, no matter how earth-shattering the sex, or the conversation, or the connection is.

I believe Gottlieb is right, romance will, in most relationships, eventually fizzle. I'm just not sure that is an argument for never having it in the first place. However, often we mistake instant chemistry as a necessary ingredient for a long-lasting relationship and fail to factor in the important stuff: Do we like each other (genuinely) as people? Is our vision of the future similar? Can we compromise for each other and (if applicable) our family? Once we aren't in the mood to get busy every couple of hours, will their be partnership, respect, and love? Can I put up with your bad/annoying/obnoxious habits, and vice versa? I like to believe that these are the ideas that Gottlieb was actually trying to get at and not the petty, "give the guy with the big nose a chance even though he's not the One" nonsense.

Sure, maybe using the word “settle” was a smart, savvy tactic for getting media attention (and God knows that the Today Show is the Holy freaking Grail when it comes to a media placement). It worked. But, wouldn’t the article have made a lot more sense if she had said, “Hey women who have unrealistic expectations, think about what’s really important long-term and give people a chance.” I suppose “settle” is a bit catchier.

All About Me

According to my running/workout buddy Meg (you remember… the one who still talks to me even after I put together a spreadsheet with our 13 week training plan), we have had a whopping 11 minutes (count ‘em) of direct sunlight in Chicago this February. Yes granted, it’s only February 8, but get a load of this from the Chicago Tribune:
February's lack of sunshine, combined with the biggest seasonal snow tally here in nearly three decades, has Chicagoans complaining of cabin fever. Through sundown Thursday, the city has received only 11 minutes of sun, placing it among the four cloudiest February starts since sunshine measurements began here in 1893, and ranking as the cloudiest such period in 22 years.

A persistent overcast is predicted to linger Friday. If so, this Feb. 1-8 becomes the cloudiest on record during the last 115 years…
This may explain the following: 1) why I have only eaten hummus for the last several days; 2) why I’m constantly exhausted; and 3) why I was a bit cranky with MM last night.

Why, you ask…

I know, usually I sound all everything is wonderful when it comes to MM. But lately, I’m cranky about… my schedule.

It's true. I am a creature of habit. I accept this about myself. I like to have a plan. I like to be on time. I like to stick to a routine. My world revolves around a straight line mentally drawn from where I live to where I work. Everything I need is within blocks of that line. Sound boring? Oh… let me assure you… it is. I go from home to work to the gym to home to my couch to my bed. That’s it. That’s all I need. I eat whatever I want (hummus) while watching E! News and fall asleep at a reasonable hour while reading a book.

Unfortunately, as MM and I spend more and more time together… and hit the six month mark of our relationship (6 months?!?!?!)... my line seems to have been crossed. MM’s home lies far off my beaten path, and he is used to running all over town, willy-nilly-like, for errands, work, and school. So having the nearly-nightly, "my place or your place" discussion doesn’t seem to bother him. Me, though? That’s a different story.

Last night, MM met me at the gym. I was tired, but I pushed myself to do a soul-crushing 43 minute run on the treadmill. Once I was done, I was literally done. I’ve been to the gym seven days in a row; my legs felt like they may collapse at any moment. Just a quick stretch and I would be on my way…

Or not. I had to wait for MM who, after running five miles in far less time than it took me to run four, wanted to do a few other things (like pull-ups, which I managed to see him do from my stretching spot, and admittedly, was quite lovely to watch). But, damnit, I wanted to leave. I was tired and cranky, and in case I didn't mention it before... I was D-O-N-E.

Finally, we headed out of the gym to the Whole Foods next door to pick up dinner (hummus). However, he’s apparently taken a shining to the bulk foods section and had a plan (these are the types of plans he has) to make some homemade granola. He stood and pondered while I raced around the store deciding that I needed hummus, lavash bread, and Soy Dream “ice cream.” I was quick. I was decisive. I was hungry. I was ready to GO. And I was annoyed when I had to wait.

I sound like I’m five. I realize that. But, if I had been alone, I would have left the gym immediately after my run, raced through Whole Foods, and be happily lounging on my couch, munching on hummus and lavash bread while watching my much-neglected Tivo.

Does everyone go through this – a period of mourning for the way things were when it was all up to you and you alone? Or is it just me, my selfishness, and I just have to get over it? Or, worse, is it a sign of a bigger issue? MM was completely good-natured about it when we got in his car, and I grumbled about “my schedule” for the entire drive back to his house.

Once in the kitchen, munching on my hummus and Soy Dream Chocolate Brownie “ice cream” while he made a real meal, I felt better. Because if I’ve learned anything, it’s that hummus and chocolate make everything better.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Belly Up

I had lunch with a friend today, who told me about this. Per usual, I’m already itching to try it.

That is, despite the fact that the article in Time Out Chicago says that the Bar Method, unlike other methods, "will work your muscles until they tremble."

Tremble, people. Think about it.

In other workout-related news, the new gym membership is going well. Meg and I have been hitting the gym together several times a week. I even – try not to roll your eyes – put together an Excel spreadsheet that maps out our workouts and half marathon training runs for the next 13 weeks.

It’s so beautiful.

And I’m not even a perfectionist.

True story people. True story.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Can We Rest Now

Is that it? The last of the social holidays (the Super Bowl) is finally behind us. Oh wait. I forgot about St. Patrick’s Day. Oh well. It never ends, does it?

Did anyone else catch this? It was the talk of my office this morning (and yes, I work with all women). We tuned in to the ohmigodtheyresocute Puppy Bowl, after the exciting conclusion to the football game no one in Chicago actually gave a shit about… mostly people just grumbled that it was “way better” when the Bears “lost the Super Bowl last year.” Or something to that effect. Granted, until the 4th quarter, it was a pretty boring game. No offense New York. If it’s any conciliation, pretty much all of us were rooting for you because everyone loves an underdog (ohmygodpuppies) and – you know – because you’re GIANTS.

Anyway, the Puppy Bowl culminated in me asking @ if I threw a “puppy shower” would she attend. After awhile, she agreed because ohmigodtheyresocuteandhowcanyounotlovethatface.

There was a lot of squealing, and screeching, and general baby talk directed at the TV.

I want a dog.

At least I have one thing… my dignity. Hell yeah. And you thought I lost that in college. Not so my friends.

Yes. Dignity. I realized this morning that my attitude toward Valentine’s Day and all of the cutsey wootsey, lovey dovey marketing bullshit that comes with it has not softened in spite of the fact that some might be so bold to argue that there is a decent chance I’ll be dating someone when 2/14 rolls around. It all still makes me want to gag. Kay Jewelers… I’m talking to you. There. I said it. I sound angry. Wonder what my beef is...?

Puppies though. They are A-OK in my book.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Wildest Dreams

It's happened people. I wish and I hope for this so often... My office has closed today due to the snow. I am in the midst of a -- wait for it -- Snow Day!

Hell to the yeah!!!