June 2010 Archives
I JUST RAN 3.15 MILES WITHOUT STOPPING TO WALK!
(We did have some traffic lights)
I feel great and could probably do a little more. I am so proud of myself!
Fuzzy said we did it in about 35 minutes.
So my plan is to run straight through the 5K we are doing next week. EEEEE!!!!
Ugh! Arthritis! It can kiss my ass! Why does it have to hurt to bad, yo? I love the hot humid weather, I do really well in it and it feels a bit like home, but for some reason, my left wrist is taking the weather to mean causing me EXTREME CRIPPLING PAIN just for funsies. Oof! It hurts to move it. It hurts to not move it. It hurts to put any pressure on my fingers. Ugh. It was this painful the whole time I was in MS in May, too, so it must be the weather. I mean, I didn't even box on Saturday! Aw, jeez. Guess this means I don't have to worry about it in class cause it is GOING TO HURT ANYWAY and also I can never move back to Mississippi. Oh well.
I was reading online about non-drug ways to help with arthritis pain, and one way this one site suggested was to wrap it in red flannel before bed. Hmmm. Damn, all the flannel in my house is yellow.
It was sooo fun! 4 miles! We did it! More to come soon!
Thanks to all the readers who voted!!
There's a lot that can go wrong here. Impress These Apes is an eight-week talent competition, now in its fifth iteration, in which contestants prepare assigned acts--stand-up with a puppet, say, or anti-comedy--to be judged American Idol-style by "hyper-intelligent apes from the future" (three comedians in masks). The acts might easily flop--or, worse, they might not be bad enough to elicit sufficient zingers from the apes.
And yet there's never a dull moment.Blewt! Productions has engineered Apes with silly backstory and wacked- out characters enough to keep things lively. And the contestants--who've endured a rigorous audition process for the chance to win prizes, $500, and the title of Least Pitiful Human--are always up for the increasingly weird tasks at hand. The possibility that Apes could fall apart at any moment only means that when something special happens, like an underdog pulling out all the stops, it's glorious. It runs through July 26, Mondays at 8 PM; tickets are $10.
So my favorite jeans ripped on Monday. (SOB!) Here they are recently, in all their glory:
Here they are on Monday:
Oh, the Carnage!
Pros: I still have a couple of pairs of jeans that I wear, as well as other pants, so it isn't the end of the world.
Cons: I love these jeans a lot. They are cute and really flattering. I also got them at McRaes in the Juniors section like 2 1/2 years ago and the size is worn off so I can't even try to order them online. I feel weird shopping in the juniors section now, but I really like low waisted jeans. Also what the hell is up with this skinny jeans phase? Everywhere I go to try on jeans lately has the same problem--I can't pull them up over my calves. Sheesh.
Ok, but back to the poll.
A) Try to mend the jeans.
B) Cut them off and make what might be the world's most comfortable cutoffs?
Please weigh in. Thank you.
So along with all the major life changes I've been making, too, I have another one right around the corner. My friend for 10 years and colleage for 4, Shannon, is moving to Eugene, Oregon in a matter of days. I am super excited for her and impressed that she is following her heart and going for it. Fortunately, she'll be keeping her job, so I'll still get to talk to her and see her from time to time, so that is great. But it does also mean that I am going to be spending a LOT of time by myself in the office. In happy news, I will have company a couple times a week in the office, so it won't be completely isolating. Especially now though, when we are in the slow time of year, it is going to present a challenge for me, so I am trying to set new goals for myself.
* I will try not to go crazy by not talking to or seeing anyone all day long.
* I will try to have lunch more often with my friends who work in Evanston.
* I am going to get more comfortable with biking and try to bike to work once or twice a week.
* I am going to try to exercise daily--either go for a run, do the Shred, do yoga (courtesy of this DVD Erin gave us for our wedding), or walk to work from time to time. Add to that dance class, boxing and DDPP, and I'll be in fitness heaven.
* I will use my downtime wisely and get projects done.
* I will eat really healthily.
* I will try to not join Facebook or Twitter.
* In my fantasy brain, I will install a heavy bag so I can practice punching on my lunch break.
* I also have these crazy plans of like, taking an online class, somehow magically decluttering my house which is impossible to do from work, suddenly becoming very zen, getting better at fashion, and generally being fabulous. I realize that these things have nothing to do with working by myself, but you know, I'm talking big picture here.
In reality, what it will probably mean is:
* I will start blogging a lot more and the world will truly see how neurotic I am.
* I will update my gchat status everytime a new thought pops into my brain (these 2 things have already started).
* I will bring Parker to work with me sometimes so I can have company.
* I will send Fuzzy 20 more emails a day.
* I will listen to music really loudly.
* I will start reading The Superficial again. Which I didn't read for a couple of years. And now I am re-hooked on. Dammit.
* I will start to claw off my face like Lou Reed in this video that traumatized me as a child (note: I did not watch this video today nor have I seen it since I was a kid. I merely googled it and then copied the link. It might not be frightening anymore, but I suspect that it still is.)
So yeah. There you have it.
***No, Melissa, I still haven't watched Castaway.
Uh Oh...looks like someone is scanning in photos again! Get ready, world!
These were too cute to not post. Look at my adorable little Mama and Daddy! This was on their honeymoon:
Babe Alert! I've always remembered this outfit of Mom's from photos. This is how I want to dress when I grow up. Clean white tank top, casual blue pants, belt. Honestly, this is the epitome of good fashion in my book. Sometimes I think about this outfit when I am getting dressed, though I know I can't rock it as well as Mom does here.
BOOM! Super fox! Check out those legs! Again with the fashion, too. I love it. I wore cutoff shorts yesterday, and didn't look as good as this. In my defense, though, I am in my early 30s where Mom here is early 20s. Also in my defense, I might be too old to rock cutoffs in public, sure, but it is hard to break the habit when you are from Mississippi, even if you haven't lived there for 10 years. It's just in your blood. But yeah--woowee! Looking good!!
...you are only home for a few minutes between work and a show and you know you need to eat, but you don't know what to eat and you don't want to eat near the theatre so you casually look in the fridge hoping that something will be there that is vaguely nutritious but you don't even care you just want it to be easy and then you see that there is LEFTOVER SHELLS AND CHEESE THAT YOUR HUSBAND ATE ON SATURDAY?!?!?!
Yeah, I love that, too.
What a weekend.
It turned out to not be as emotional as I was expecting (don't get me wrong, there were plenty of tears), but the concerts were MAGICAL.
First of all, my weekend started off weird. I was feeling really out of it and off Friday night, so I (sadly) canceled plans with a friend to deal with my body and brain. I was so out of it that Fuzzy suggested that I go to bed, even though it was only 8:30pm. So I did. And I slept until 8:30 am! TWELVE HOURS OF SLEEP. Damn. Homegirl was worn out.
Saturday I woke up, went to boxing, then Fuzzy and I headed to Revolution Brewery for some lunch. It was soooo good--Pork belly sandwich? Yes please! Then I met up with Jen to head over to Soldier Field for the show.
Keith Urban was the first to perform, and he put on a solid country rocking set. Jen and I drank weak margaritas, expensive cheap beers and got fried in the hot sun. Then on came the Dixie Chicks! They were awesome. Sadly, they only played for an hour, but they rocked it the entire time. I feel that the energy was just a little off, though, with them as an opener--they are too good to not headline. They haven't released an album or toured in 4 years, so it makes sense that they got back into it as an opener, but I can't wait til they headline a whole show again so that they can rock out and the whole audience can be right there with them. Even though it was too short, the show was amazing. And Natalie was kicking some badass hair.
(photo: Tom Cruze/Sun-Times)
Here is our view of the stage. If you click on the large size, you can see Natalie in the screen:
I'd been so focused on the Dixie Chicks that I forgot that the headliner was the freaking Eagles! Woop woop! They played a really solid 2 hour set and every song was awesome. It was great seeing Joe Walsh and hearing him live. They also played some solo works--especially cool was "Dirty Laundry," which has never been more relevant. They rocked it.
By the end of the night, we were exhausted.
Yesterday was the Jethro Tull show! Fuzzy and I hadn't been out to Ravinia for a couple of years, and this was the first time we've had pavillion tickets. We took the train over and settled in for the show--the place was packed and we both wished we were wearing sweatshirts and pants--it was chilly! (Sidenote: I was really happy with the ease of getting in and out of Ravinia--the train got us there in plenty of time, we were near the bathroom and never really had a wait, and once the show was over, we hopped back on the train and were home in no time. Even with the giant crowd, it was easy peasy.) Procol Harum was the opener, which is noteworthy to me, as they were the opening band for Tull when Christopher and I first saw them in Dallas when I was 13. As always, they put on a rocking show, with Ian Anderson leaping all over the stage and being a giant goofball as always. They opened with "Nothing is Easy" and rocked a solid show.
I had forgotten that in every live show they release large white inflatable balls in the audience--I got really excited when they came out during the encore of "Locomotive Breath." Setlist Here.
I defintely felt Dad's presence at the show, and I was really sad that he wasn't there with all the other mid-50's dads that were there with their kids. I miss him. I won't say that I'll never see Jethro Tull again, but if I don't, I think that this was the perfect end of a huge era. Everything came full circle.
Fuzzy took some photos, which I will post once they are online. Until then, here is one of my fave Tull videos:
Ian doing the leg thing.
The balls at the end of the show. I have been calling these "giant inflatable balls" but Fuzzy reminded me of the correct term: Balloons.
Yesterday I went for a 2-ish mile run, running about 3/4s of it, walking the rest.
Today Karen, Shannon and I did 3 miles running. At about the halfway mark, both of my hips started hurting really badly, so every few minutes I had to walk. I tried to push myself to run as much as I could, though, and when I stopped I did a bunch of stretching. I just did a series of push-ups, crunches, squats, leg lifts and weight lifting.
I'm Feeling Good.
No dance class this week, cause we've been hella busy, and tonight Fuzzy and I are having a good old fashioned night at home. Ahhhh....
This weekend is going to be a doozy.
Saturday I am seeing the Dixie Chicks! I am really excited. However, I have a hard time listening to them without crying. One of my favorite recent memories was one of the first times Fuzzy went to Mississippi to visit my parents with me. Dad had saved the Austin City Limits with the Chicks on it, and Mom sat one one couch while Fuzzy, me and Dad sat in the other. Fuzzy played on his Nintendo DS, a happy little clam, barely paying attention to the show, while Mom, Dad and I blubbered like babies at every song. The other day, I popped them in on my way to work, and when I got there, I had soaked up 2 tissues. Thank goodness for waterproof mascara.
So we all know that I was on the fence about seeing Jethro Tull on Sunday, right? I've seen them I think 5 times and Ian Anderson solo once. For the 2 years after Dad died, I wasn't able to listen to them without bursting into tears, however as I said the other day, I feel like I was just able to reclaim them, and I have really been enjoying it. Well, the other day, it hit me like a brick in the face that Sunday is freaking Father's Day.
It is a sign, right?
Up until this week, the pavillion seats have been sold out. If working in box offices for 7 years has taught me anything, it is that seats sometimes open up last minute. So the other night (when I had a hard time sleeping) I had this strong urge to call the box office in the morning. I did. They had just added some general seating folding chairs in the pavillion. So I bought them.
I'll be seeing Jethro Tull on Father's Day.
I kind of feel like it is the close of a very important chapter. That I will be able to share that moment with Dad and then release it to the world. Megan said months ago that she thinks the reason all my favorite bands are playing this summer is because of Dad, and I have never seen more proof than this one concert. I am glad that I will be able to share this moment with Fuzzy, too, and that we can experience it together.
Just thinking about it makes me tear up. I am going to be a mess this weekend from start to finish, but in a weird way, I am looking forward to the release. If I really am starting a new chapter in my life (which I feel like I am) and moving forward in a good direction, I need to purge the remaining fear/grief/sadness/anger from my body and soul. I can't think of a better way to do it than with some good live music.
Today our coworker from New York was due into town. We love her.
As it was approaching her arrival time, we were getting anxious and excited.
The door buzzer rang. We ran to the intercom, but didn't hear anything, so we ran to the door, flung it wide open and posed like two little woodland creatures (as one does.)
Our coworker did not come around the corner, but instead a pizza delivery man.
Who saw us standing like squirrels in the doorway.
We did not order pizza.
We tried to tell him, but he didn't hear us...
...because he was deaf.
So then we had to not only ignore the fact that we were initially posing like wood nymphs (as one does), but then try to tell him that he had the wrong address. This took a while to do.
Me: "Yeah, what happens to a tattoo if you lose a ton of weight?"
Fuzzy (excited): "Erica! That is where angels come from!"
I slept weird last night, and this morning when the alarms started going off (and continued to go off for 45 minutes) and the big cat started making weird morning chirping noises and I was really disoriented and confused, my amazing husband came into the room and told me that it wasn't yet time to get up and that I should go back to sleep.
A little while later, when it was time to get up, he brought me a steaming hot cappuccino in bed.
I love my life.
For its fifth edition, this eight-week talent contest has been streamlined. The backstory, explaining why three hyper-intelligent apes from the future are subjecting eight people to weekly challenges, is gone, and bits between the apes and other characters-a bronzed beauty pageant host; the sidekick, Future Human-are kept brief. The focus is on the contestants and the challenges, which are harder and weirder than ever. The first week's task was to perform anti-comedy. Chloe Ditzel prepared a unicycle routine that was derailed when she couldn't mount the thing; Otis Fine chugged two bottles of wine and sat quietly, awaiting the consequences. Few shows in Chicago are as consistently dangerous as Impress These Apes-anything can happen and usually does. -Steve Heisler
DAMN! I don't mean to brag, but I have to say, I am pretty impressed that this is how my arms and shoulders are looking after only TWO boxing classes!
Fuzzy also commented today that my posture is getting better. Yay! I have had TERRIBLE posture my whole life!
Man, I feel great!
(I also added a new category for posts, "Workin' It Out!")
In other news, boxing yesterday freaking rocked. It was more punching and working on technique than the week before, and it felt good to punch mitts and bags for an hour. We also did this 2 minute drill where we had to repeat 20 pushups, 20 sit ups with your legs in the air, and 20 squats- I did the routine one and a half times which means I did 40 quick pushups! I am proud of that. Then, since I am so new, I had lots of one-on-one attention, and therefore, I can barely move my arms today. I love it!
Maybe it's because I've been exercising a lot, but I've been so hungry lately. Here is what I ate yesterday:
7:45 am: strawberries and an energy bar before acupuncture
10:15 am: bird in the nest (fried egg, bread, ham and cheese), cappuccino before boxing
1:30 pm: baked mac and cheese with ham, salad, stawberries, kriek lambic
4:15 pm: turkey and cheese sandwich with aoli on baguette from Al's Deli in Evanston.
9:30 pm: polish sausage Chicago style, fries, coffee toffee
Each time I ate, too, I was starving!
It's 9:45 am now on Sunday and when Fuzzy gets back from swimming in the lake, I am going to make us strawberry waffles.
* We finally finished watching all seasons of 30 Rock. It was awesome.
Toasted asiago bagel with butter + spring mix salad with red onions and sesame ginger dressing + iced soy vanilla latte from Metropolis = BEST BREAKFAST EVER!!!!
When Christopher and I were in MS last month, we had a night where we went through all of our old toys and stuffed animals. It was tough--the feelings that they brought up were really strong and weird. Also, it was interesting the things that I felt I could get rid of (all my Barbies) and the things I had to keep (my Strawberry Shortcakes and My Little Ponies.) I ended up bringing home a good deal of my stuffed animals and I am so happy to have them.
When Christopher first brought out the bag, the first thing I said was, "I hope my buzzard is in there." And he was!
I freaking love this buzzard. Leave it to a young girl in MS to love a stuffed buzzard. This buzzard would always sing "I'm bringing home my baby bumblebee" to me. Thanks, Mom!
I honestly think that my buzzard is my most favorite stuffed animal ever.
Look at this guy! So little, so cute. I can't handle him. Too much cute. I also had an Arlene, but I didn't bring her home with me. I really like having this guy around.
That makes me think of one of Fuzzy's old stuffed animals that I recently discovered and can't get enough of--the World's Most Precious Snoopy.
SO SWEET! I love his little body. Of course, anytime I see Snoopy I think of when my cousin was a little boy and one day he wanted to show my Mom a Snoopy, and he kept saying "Noopy to her! Noopy to her!"
Love it. This has been your Thursday Morning Adorableness.
Her newest tour is one of Boystown, which was the first neighborhood I lived in when I moved to Chicago. Fuzzy and I went on the tour last weekend, and having walked down Halsted Street literally HUNDREDS of times, it was really great to see things in a new way and learn the history behind having it be the country's first offically recognized gay neighborhood. Margaret is so fun and personable, the information she gives you never feels like a lecture or a history lesson. It is obvious that she loves what she does, and it comes out in the tour. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a gorgeous afternoon, and you get to have wine, too!
Yeah! I highly recommend going if you live here or are are planning a visit to Chicago.
Go, Hixx, go!
Things are going really well right now, and it feels really good! What a relief to be happy and not completely stressed out.
Here are some happy things that are going on:
*Apes opened last night and it was awesome. Great crowd, great contestants, and the cast and hosts picked it up like no time had passed. It was great. The website is really great this year, too, with Fantasy Apes, ringtones and wallpaper, blogs, and more!
It was a relief to have less responsibility, too. Normally before shows I am a nervous wreck, but since the pressure is off me this season, I got to sit back and watch the show along with everyone else! It was awesome. Definitely a great choice.
*In perhaps the most exciting news in all of my life, Fuzzy and I have decided to take a 2 week vacation to Hawaii! I can't wait. It is really all I can think about. We are planning to go in September, a few weeks after Fuzzy's triathlon. Oh man, we've earned this.
*Boxing was great fun! It is a completely different way of moving and working out, but I sweated like a mofo, and it felt really good to hit the bags. I can't wait for this week's class.
*in a few weeks we will be doing the Chicago Beachathon, a 4 mile run with wacky obstacles.
*Fuzzy is continuing to amaze me with his training for the triathlon. Also, he was in the first of the Joe Janes 365 Sketch shows, and he was AWESOME. Man, I love that guy. If you don't know Fuzzy, you should. He is awesome
Life. It feels good to feel good!
I started boxing today!
It was freaking awesome. It felt great. I loved it.
I could be starting something really addictive...
Today is perfect.
The weather is gorgeous.
I've spent a lot if time outside.
I am listening to Jethro Tull, which is near and dear to my heart. I can listen now and feel joy instead of sadness.
Today is all about me and for me.
I love being alive.
I love being an adult.
I love Chicago.
I love my life.
Yep. Happy to be here.
So things are trucking along. Things are going well, I just have these days were my head gets all fuzzy and I get sad or angry or grumpy and don't know how to be normal or at least socially acceptable. I've been working out all my stress lately with exercise and it feels great. I've been walking a lot, doing lots of crunches, push ups and weight lifting at home and around. I hit a new milestone this week--Shannon and I went for a run the other day and I ran 2 miles without stopping to walk! That is huge. I can feel my endurance getting greater, I am getting stronger and I am seeing changes in my body. I am eating better (late night egg rolls last night aside) and feeling good. Tomorrow I start boxing, and I am so excited.
Watching Fuzzy and friends run the Soldier Field 10 last week made me decide that I am going to run it next year. New goal! 10 mile run!
Also, if you are a female reader in Chicago, I cannot stress to you how much you need to go to Dance Dance Party Party if you haven't. It is so much fun. I go on Sundays. Please join me!
So I've had a couple of social outings this week, and I always get so insecure before about how I am going to relate to people and what I am going to say, then afterwards I always feel insecure about how I acted or what I said. Then last night I had this revelation (after again being really socially awkward in pleasant company) that I am the weirdo! I am the weird one that people probably say "Oh, I don't want to see Erica, she is so weird" which sometimes I say about people but really it is all me! I am the one people probably don't know how to react around! Sheesh. But really, it all makes sense. I am amazed that I have as many friends as I do--how do y'all really like me? I blabber on about stupid shit when I am nervous, I rarely know what to say, and even in casual polite conversation, I have to take it to the awkward place by mentioning cancer or death or something else like that. I am kind of a broken record and I am a total spazz.
But really, that is a freeing thought, too. I am the weird one, so the pressure is off. I can just keep on being me and make everyone else deal with it, right?
Am I making you uncomfortable?