Friday, June 29, 2012

And the truth is...

...that if you take some bananas, peel and freeze them, then mash them up in a blender, the resulting concoction will approximate ice cream in its taste and consistency. When Mr. Internet first told me about it, I was skeptical, but it really does taste like banana ice cream. I swirled peanut butter into mine for added awesomeness.

...what really happened is that I put the frozen bananas in the blender and it wasn't mashing them up at all. Because it's not really a blender, it's a smoothie maker that I got for Christmas years ago and it's old and woefully incompetent at mashing. So I made pouty faces at the blender and then left it on the counter while we ate dinner. When I went back to check on it, the bananas had thawed a little and the blender struggled and groaned and started to smell like burning, but it did succeed in making faux ice cream after all. Still, it's probably time to get a better masher.

...sometimes I miss everyone all at once and I wish I owned a big hotel (or fancy tree fort!) where all my favorite people could live.

...if the road to growth is paved with discomfort, like the wobbly feeling in your legs after a bike ride or that weird feeling when water goes up your nose or the flutter in your stomach as you venture into uncertainty, then I may be headed in the right direction. But if not, then I'm hopelessly lost.

...sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my life, like I have been given nothing but privilege and opportunity yet I'm not making the most of it.

...above all else, I want to be a bundle of positive energy in the universe, to increase the happiness of others, or at the very least, avoid decreasing it.

Lyric of the moment: "Every waking moment I'm alive, I'm searching for you whether I know it or whether I realize..." (Because Bug and I have been chillin' out to some Citizen Cope. Did I mention how much I love having a CD player in my car? We are partying like it's 1999.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Other assorted nonsense

Bruce Wayne is gone and I sort of miss him. He was flying around the house Saturday night while we were watching a movie and Mike caught him in a blanket and let him go outside. I hope he is having fun flying around with his friends, eating mosquitoes and going to bat mitzvahs. Or whatever it is bats do.

I am coveting my next-door neighbor's puppy. Hardcore. Whenever the puppy comes into my driveway, I am tempted to yell "Finders keepers!"and take her home with me.

I give up. I'm tired of worrying about my ankle and what is wrong with it and if it's ever going to get better. So I'm not doing that anymore. I'm doing whatever I feel like doing instead. Last Thursday, I woke up and felt like running some trails so I went to Seneca Park and happened to run into Sheila and Eric (yay!) so we ran a few miles together. Saturday and Sunday, Bug and I went to the beach to run barefoot in the sand (one of my favorite things ever) and try some swimming. In retrospect, this was a better idea in theory than in practice. I'd forgotten how dirty and seaweedy the lake is. Until recently I'd also forgotten how much I love the water. Why haven't I been doing this all along?

New rule: If I love it, do it, even if I'm no good at it or make a fool of myself. It's summer, the weather is amazing and I refuse to be upset/sad/disappointed about anything.

At Bikram Yoga last night, I felt like I was dying. We had a new instructor who had just graduated from teacher training and she didn't open the doors at all. It was crazy hot in there. Seriously, I think my insides may have melted.

I got a call from my new financial advisor. Apparently, my old financial advisor left for a new job and this new guy was assigned to manage my accounts. He asked me some questions and kept saying how refreshing it is to see someone my age making sound financial decisions. In my head it sounded like "Congratulations. You are the most boring 30 year old ever." And I don't want him to tell me what I'm doing right, I want him to tell me what I could be doing better.

Lyric of the moment: "And baby isn't this your chance to make a break with circumstance. And isn't it enough to prove today's the day..." (I've been listening to The Last Kiss soundtrack in my car. Because Bug has a new radio with CD player now! So fancy! This must be what it feels like to drive a car from the current decade.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The bat signal

Laying in bed, before I fell asleep, I asked the Universe to send me a sign that I am getting better, some tiny bit of hope. A few minutes later, Mike ran into the bedroom and told me there was a bat in the house. We went downstairs to try and catch it, but couldn't find it. So either it went out the way it came in or we have a new pet bat. I wonder if it's the same bat that visited us last year. I think I will call him Bruce Wayne.

As far as signs go, I don't know how to read one in bat form. A talking bat would have been more helpful.

I try to do short runs, 2 or 3 miles, and I can still feel a twinge in my ankle at times. It's not enough to stop me but I'm trying to be patient and not push my luck. I can feel that things aren't right. I can't really explain it other than I feel incredibly heavy for some reason. I am not so much running as lumbering. I wonder if it's possible to be literally weighed down by one's own expectations. Months ago I had registered for the Utica Boilermaker race on July 8th. As much as I really want to run this race, I know I'm not in the best shape to race 9 miles right now. I know the wise choice would be to skip this race but I don't know if I can muster up that much wisdom in 3 weeks. I hate being injured, but I hate being a quitter even more.

In the hopes of becoming the patient, wise person I most definitely am not, I will not get discouraged. I will keep going, as slowly as necessary, for as long as it takes. I will keep wogging (water + jogging = wogging), and swimming (Though aqua-flailing would be a more accurate description), sweating in a hot room filled with strangers (aka hot yoga) and attempting to bike (If it can even be called that. It's tragically comical how terrible I am at biking). I will remind myself to relax and have fun and don't worry, be happy until it becomes true. I will think, even as I'm typing this, what if I'm already too out of shape from not running, what if my stupid body won't cooperate and I can never run again? And then I will think shut up, you're not helping, go make me a smoothie and take Bruce Wayne for a walk.

Lyric of the moment: "Life's what we make of those people we love. Snails see the benefits, the beauty in every inch..."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rolfing - Part I

One of my bosses recommended that I try Rolfing to fix my ankle tendon and help me get back to running. It sounded kind of weird and new agey, but my desperation won out over my skepticism, so a Rolfing I did go.

So what exactly is Rolfing? I'll let Mr. Internet explain:

My bricks are way out of line. But at least I'm not
wearing a diaper as that person appears to be.
"Rolfing, also called Rolf therapy or structural integration, is a holistic system of bodywork that uses deep manipulation of the body's soft tissue to realign and balance the body's myofascial structure. Rolfing improves posture, relieves chronic pain, and reduces stress. Rolfing helps to improve posture and bring the body's natural structure into proper balance and alignment. This can bring relief from general aches and pains, improve breathing, increase energy, improve self-confidence, and relieve physical and mental stress. Rolfing has also been used to treat such specific physical problems as chronic back, neck, shoulder, and joint pain, and repetitive stress injuries." (from

That sounds great and all, but I'm wondering if it will actually work. I suppose if it doesn't help, at least I'll get some weird stories out of it.

Week 1: I arrive at the Rolfing lady's house (already this seems weird) and, per her instructions on the phone when I made the appointment, go around back to the screened-in porch, which I'm supposed to go through to get to the "waiting room." The door to the waiting room is locked. I knock and no one answers. I sit on the back porch trying not to look like a burglar. After about 10 minutes, a car pulls into the garage. I'm pretty sure I'm at the right address, but I'm still a little worried that whoever gets out of the car is going to be all "Who the hell are you and why are you on my back porch?!" But I am at the right place and the Rolfing lady introduces herself and glances disapprovingly at my flip flops. Apparently they've got to go. She tells me that I need to get shoes with better support and spends the first 20 minutes talking to me about shoes, making me try on her shoes, and giving me a dissertation on ordering shoes from Then I have to strip down to my undergarments and she watches me sit, stand and walk, pointing out all the ways I am doing those things wrong. I feel like I'm in one of those Lifetime movies where sorority sisters draw insults on pledges' bodies in sharpie markers as part of some sort of hazing (I could be making that up, but it sounds like the kind of crap they show on Lifetime). Except I know she's not mean, she's only trying to help me. And everything she says is true. I do have terrible posture. Things she points out that are wrong with me:  my neck is too far forward, my shoulders are hunched, I'm tilted to one side, my arms don't move enough when I walk, my arches are collapsing, and some other stuff I forgot. But suffice it to say I'm a big mess structurally speaking. Evidently this is the price of 30 years of trying to be invisible, of hunching inward because I don't want anyone to look at me. She has me lay down on the massage table and does her Rolfing thing. It does not feel like a massage at all. It's awkward and at times more than a little painful. When she's done she has me sit, stand and walk again and seems pleased to see some improvement. She asks me if I can feel a difference and honestly, I can't, although there aren't any mirrors so I can't see myself and admittedly I have very little body awareness. When I leave, I feel like crying. It seems so hopeless, like I have to undo 30 years of incorrect alignment and relearn how to sit, stand and walk before I can run again.

Week 2: I can't bring myself to throw away my flip flops so I put them in my gym bag, figuring I can still wear them in the shower at least. I buy Birkenstocks and shoes with better arch support. I feel like an 80 year old. But I have to admit the new shoes are comfortable and my ankle doesn't hurt when I walk in them. The Rolfing lady says my movement is improving. But when she's moving my muscles around, she keeps telling me that I'm holding too much, fighting myself and I need to let go. It sounds like something I would do, but I still don't know what she means or how to let go. She says "Let go," then "Good, can you feel the difference?" Sheepishly I admit that I can't. She tells me it may take time. I can see that when I stand up straight, my arches don't collapse as much as they do when I stand in my normal slouchy way. When I catch myself slouching at work, I try to correct it and my back is starting to hurt from all the sitting up straight. My ankle still isn't right. I was hoping to attempt a short run by now, but I can tell it's not ready. Sigh.

Week 3: She tells me not to wear my orthopedic inserts. Something about how it's too big of a transition for my body and it will cause problems elsewhere, plus once she fixes my alignment and builds my arches back up, the inserts won't match my feet anymore. I don't much care about the reasoning. I'll take any excuse not to wear the inserts, since I actively dislike them. We go through the routine again. I stand and she looks at me from the front, back and side. She watches me walk. Evidently my posture is getting better but is still not right. More bodywork on the massage table. It's very uncomfortable. But I know that I need this - even if it doesn't fix my ankle problems - so I don't become a hunchbacked old lady.

She initially told me the typical treatment is 10-15 sessions. I can't see myself going there 7-12 more times, but to give it a fair shot, I'm willing to schedule a few more sessions. I have another appointment in 2 weeks, where she's going to watch me run. That should be interesting.

Lyric of the moment: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller..." (hopefully)

Friday, June 8, 2012

The weekly strange

A carefully curated collection of oddities. Or some random weird things that happened this week.

Tuesday morning a little after midnight, I woke up to the sound of a car alarm and went to the back window to check it out. In the only incident I've ever witnessed of a car alarm going off when something is actually wrong, there was a car on fire in the Frontier parking lot behind my house. It smelled terrible, like burning rubber and chemicals. I don't know if cars can spontaneously combust, but there didn't appear to be anyone around. I called 911, they asked me for my information three times, then confirmed there had been other similar reports. The firemen arrived a few minutes later and put out the fire. I went back to sleep and when I woke up the car was gone. I almost thought it was only a dream, but I had taken a picture of the burning car.

Perhaps in sympathy over his fallen comrade, Bug wouldn't start on Tuesday morning and AAA came to replace his battery. My car now apparently thinks that I am trying to steal its radio and has enacted its anti-theft system. Since I bought the car used, I don't have the code to reactivate the radio so my choices are to drive around in silence (weird at first then oddly peaceful) or buy a new radio (though it would be impossible to ever top Bug's 1999 sound system with cassette player and semi-functional buttons). Now when I turn on the car, the radio display reads "SAFE" as if it is an umpire and I have just slid into home plate.

Today I wistfully remarked that if spinach tasted like peanut butter, I'd eat more of it. Then I made it happen. The resulting smoothie (ingredients: peanut butter, frozen banana, milk, vanilla yogurt, spinach, a little vanilla extract) was an unappealing shade of green but tasted like a peanut butter and banana smoothie. It's a weird feeling to drink something that looks like wheat grass but tastes like peanut butter.

Lyric of the moment: "You're such a strange girl. I think you come from another world..."

Monday, June 4, 2012

What I want to be when I grow up

Lured outside in the rain by the ding of the Skippy truck, we were standing on the sidewalk in front of my house waiting for the bearer of frozen deliciousness to make its way towards us. Some dude on a bike stopped at the truck while making his way down the street. As he rode past us, a "look ma, no hands!" smile on his face, hands in the air, fists full of popsicles, he let out a cheer of awesomeness. I've never known what I want to be when I grow up, but that moment - spontaneous, free spirited, content - epitomizes the way I want to feel in whatever it is I do.

Lyric of the moment: "And I wonder if everything could ever feel this real forever, if anything could ever be this good again. The only thing I'll ever ask of you, you've got to promise not to stop when I say when..."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Patience is a virtue. That gets you to the chocolate factory.

The other day I was watching this guy ahead of me on the expressway who was speeding across lanes, weaving in and out of traffic, in such a hurry to get wherever he was going. At first I rolled my eyes and thought, "look at this jerkface." Then I realized sometimes I am that jerkface, speeding through my life with reckless impatience to get where I want to go instead of slowing down, going with the flow and enjoying the ride.

I want so badly to get back to running, to get faster and stronger and better at everything. All at once. Immediately. I have become Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, all "I want an Oompa Loompa, Daddy. I want an Oompa Loompa now!" And acting like that is not the way to get better at anything. Or to inherit a ridiculously cool chocolate factory.

I know I have to be patient, but patience is hard. Sometimes it feels like waiting around for something that may never happen. Sometimes it feels like putting in a lot of effort and not seeing results. It would be nice if the universe would send me an encouraging sign, perhaps a singing telegram (so much fancier and way cooler than an email), something to the effect of "Keep going. STOP. Things are happening. STOP. Your life is changing. STOP. You just don't know it yet." (All I know about telegrams I learned from cartoons,  but I'm pretty sure STOP is an essential part of telegram-speak). I want to believe that everything happens for a reason, that wherever I am it's where I need to be, that I am making some kind of progress, even if it's imperceptible right now. But all I can do is keep going, hope for the best and try not to be a jerkface or a bad egg.

Lyric of the moment: "When you try your best, but you don't succeed. When you get what you want, but not what you need. When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep. Stuck in reverse...Lights will guide you home. And ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you..."