Thursday, September 25, 2014

In pictures (and a few words): Seattle

I had planned on writing a nice post about Erica and my trip to Seattle but the day after we came home I ran myself over to urgent care and had this delightful little set up done to my hand.

I guess I'm a Longhorn fan now

I think we can all agree that when you break your finger as you're just about to head to the airport for a child-free weekend, you just push through and get that shit checked out when you get home.

Without use of my left hand I can't easily type on a keyboard. I mean, I can type but I'm not sure you would be able to decode what I'm saying with all the random letters strewn throughout the text. So I'm blogging from my phone which isn't super conducive to long, wordy posts about how we did a bunch of stupid shit like run/walk a half marathon on a broken foot and busted hip and eat enough ice cream to cause lactose intolerance.

So in place of words please enjoy a photo tour of Super Social Food League's first road trip. We are currently accepting applications for an adult chaperone for our next trip. 

Erica never quite figured out that if I ask to take a selfie on a plane, the caption will have to do with us dying.
Fully functional toy oven that nearly gassed us on a daily basis
Someone, not me, was unable to control herself at the first bakery we visited. 
Okay, fine, it was a lie. I over bought too. But can you blame us? Check out those cheesy, paprika encrusted layers
We partied HARD. 
Look at me moving that broken finger like it's no big deal. 

The really adventurous runners used a chip as a utensil for eating cake. 
We participated in a half marathon that featured Blerches, nutella sandwiches, and birthday cake. 
 I blame the runners high for what happened after the race. We decided that going to three ice cream/gelato places for dessert was a good idea. We are truly stupid.

The implied "in moderation" is understood by everyone but us.
 It's seems wrong to me now, but once upon a time I really loved ice cream.
Molly Moon's Ice Cream. Stop #1. Such joy here.
Bluebird ice cream. Stop #2. We are starting to have doubts. 
It's weird, but it's almost like Erica doesn't want to make a choice at stop #3.
This was not staged, the only thing we could do upon arriving home was to be one with the floor.

Monday, September 15, 2014

in which I drown my feelings in juice

About three weeks ago I hurt my hip. Actually if you want to get technical I didn't hurt my hip, I was just standing in my living room when jparks let the dog into the house. 50 pounds of canine stupidity came running full speed at me and took me out. Less than a week later I was at the orthopedist for my hip because the situation was not good. I was told I should cut back on pretty much all lower body crossfit activities and see a physical therapist. I then made the brilliant decision to run a 2.5 mile relay to see if my hip could handle it since I had a half marathon planned for two weeks later. It could not. My physical therapist at that point told me I was allowed to do nothing. No swimming, no crossfit at all, no nothing. I was to sit on my ass for a month, only moving to do my rehab exercises.

You can imagine how well that went over with me. "Can I go to class and just..." "No!" "I'm signed up for a half..." "No!" "Well, what if I just.." "No! You are to do nothing. You need to heal otherwise you'll hurt yourself more and need surgery. Rest!" 

At this point I figured if I was going to sit around being miserable and mopey, I might as well add a juice cleanse into the mix! 3 days with no food! That is totally doable if I can't workout! I've done it before, I know it's possible! Other motivational self talk! Then I started cleanse shopping and suddenly the idea of three days of juice seemed really unappealing. And way too expensive. Eventually I settled on the Suja Essentials 3-Day Fresh Start because it was only three juices a day with small "meals" between them and it was cheap. Yay for cheap!

Juices purchased, raw almond purchased, rice cakes purchased, let's go!

Breakfast: Spicy Lemonade. Chased with black iced coffee. Because you know, I'm just not committed to this enough to stop drinking iced coffee. 
My body is as nourished as my backyard grass

Oh, hunger! Time to consult my booklet and see what my morning meal is! 20 raw almonds and an apple! Well, that's just sad.

Lunch: Green Greatness, which I was warned was the worst thing that a friend had ever tasted. My excitement was obviously high. 
Everything is better through a straw, right? Juice, cocaine, etc. 

Honest talk? It wasn't bad. Not great, but I would rather suck down another bottle of it before ever touching BluePrint Cleanse's beet, apple, carrot, and despair juice again.

Approximately 15 minutes after finishing the Green Greatness, hunger hit again. Time to really splurge on solid food. Boiled eggs, plain guacamole, and pepper. It was surprisingly good and filling. Thank you fine print in the booklet that casually mentioned non-vegan meal options. Also, thanks Trader Joe's for selling peeled hard boiled eggs. I'm pretending they aren't weird and sold to you in a giant bucket filled with chemicals that you repackage into less gross baggies. 
I don't even understand how I managed to take a picture before falling face first into the bowl.
Dinner: Vanilla Nutz. 
The unnecessary z did not add a tinge of idiot to the flavor

Vanilla Nutz managed to be watery and slimy at the same time but the taste was good. I think it must have been because of the inclusion of banana, which is not in the far superior BluePrint Cleanse's cashew vanilla milk. 

This one actually held me over the longest, thanks fat and extra calories! But still I got hungry and decided to go off booklet and have gluten free toast and almond butter. 
My definition of "meal" has really changed
I won't take you through the next two days because I can honestly say they were almost identical to day one. I did opt for a rice cake instead of the toast on the next days and one day I took my egg and sliced it onto the rice cake with a smear of guacamole under it. That's actually a snack I'm going to keep in rotation. 

On the morning after the cleanse, I woke up not really knowing what I was going to have for breakfast. I could have ANYTHING. No restrictions! So what did I have?
plain greek yogurt, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, drizzle of honey, sprinkle of cinnamon
I'm actually embarrassed about how healthy that is and even more embarrassed to tell you that I like it so much that it's my regular breakfast now. That was my takeaway from this cleanse, that when I strip away all the crap I eat, I do actually find healthy foods to be good and filling. I paid ~$30 for the 9 bottles of juice so really, that's not that expensive to reset some pretty crappy eating habits. It's almost something I could see doing every few months just to keep myself in check or get back on track, though I don't know how I would have fared if I were still lifting weights and running. 

During this 3-day cleanse I sold my juicer to someone from Craigslist in a grocery store parking lot while Truman ate Cheetos standing next to me. It was hard not to laugh at the situation as I drove off drinking a pre-made bottle of Green Greatness. Convenience will always win with me. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

here be (not really) naked pictures

As you may have heard via my Instagram account, this blog post, or my twitter account, in July Erica and I did something really stupid, even by our super social softball league standards. We bought Groupons (already you should see red flags) for a photo session at Glamour Shots (bright red flags everywhere). But it turns out that I didn't pay much attention to the fine print of the Groupon and the deal was not for your typical headshot session, it was for a bourdoir session. (can you see anything besides red at this point?)

So, after much laughing until I was crying, Erica and I buckled down and decided to treat this session with as much sarcasm as we could muster. In her case that meant pictures dressed in a flannel shirt and Wayne's World hat and for me Google Glass, a Captain America shirt, and jparks' gaming headphones. We were also told to bring our husband's favorite coffee mug, which confused me. I mean I keep 2.5 gallons of iced coffee in my fridge at all times and even I don't know how a coffee mug equals sexy. But being a rule follower, I grabbed a Star Wars mug and packed it into the bags of props I had ready to go.
Are you incredibly turned on right now? I'm sorry, blame Vader.

The whole situation was pretty ridiculous in ways that even my "imagine every possible negative outcome" brain couldn't imagine. The photo taking part was actually less horrifying than I had prepared myself for but after that was over, and the salesgirls thankfully let Erica and me put back on real clothes, they sat us in a room which was delightfully decorated and just left us there. For a really, really long time. I still get nervous sweats just thinking about that damn "living room" and all the tasteful photograph options displayed.
 Don't forget, it's not too late to get that Glamour Shots credit card you've always dreamed about. 
 We were really having a great time, as I'm sure you can tell from this picture. 

After hours and hours and the hardest sell I've ever experienced, our freedom was finally bought and we were allowed to rejoin society. A few weeks later the three final images from my session arrived and I spent the rest of that day staring at them wondering exactly how much photoshopping it took to make my legs so fake. Also, are my legs really so bad off that they had to take pity on me and do free retouching, something they usually charge quite a bit for? Should I be more concerned than I am? What do you know Glamour Shots, that you aren't telling me?

That's a lot of build up for three images that really aren't much of anything. They aren't funny in the way that Glamour Shots from the early 1990s are. They aren't overly ridiculous like some of Glamour Shots boudoir pictures are. Don't get me wrong, they are ridiculous, but in a "You invested how much time, energy, and money into this?!?" sort of way.

Have I sufficiently built up and then crushed your expectations? Perfect, that's right where I want you.

I have no real way to close this except to say hello to all the new parents from preschool and kindergarten who have Googled me and landed here. Good luck looking me in the eye at Back to School night.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

a television experience

Last year my fellow Super Social Food League member, Erica, attended the Austin Television Festival and made it sound so damn delightful that I immediately bought a ticket for this year's festival. Then I forgot about it until the festival started emailing me saying I should register for panels and get excited about the various shows they were screening. At that point I checked the schedule and got really skeptical about what was going to happen that weekend. Guys, I watch A LOT of tv and I didn't know many of the shows/actors/writers speaking on panels or being featured at screenings. But whatever, I was committed to this weekend so I pressed on, fueled by coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Stumptown take the wheel.

We kicked the festival off by attending a screening of Orange is the New Black where we watched Season 2, episode 1 and then heard from Big Boo, Crazy Eyes, and Taystee. They were right there! So close! Holy crap, this Festival was going to be awesome!
What I didn't realize is that sitting five rows from celebrities is not really close by this festival's standards. We went back to the hotel where celebrities were everywhere. I mean, seriously just hanging around us normal people! It was weird, like we're all just a bunch of humans. 

Oh, hi Uzo! You are lovely when not wearing prison beige!

Nick, you're pretty in person. Sorry I stopped watching Revenge when the show fell apart at the start of season two. Kerry, you were a good panelist even though you were on just about every panel I attended. 

Ray, get a haircut. Do that and I'll forgive you for asking Emily if her and her writing partner ever kiss. 

Friday night Erica and I attended an Adult Swim special at Alamo and I don't know what to say about it other than that The Heart, She Holler was like sticking a Q-tip into my ear too far and poking my brain. That and that Robot Chicken is still funny. 

Saturday a bunch of stuff happened including me talking to Brenda Strong and having no clue that she was famous. After that I was told to treat anyone with nice hair and exfoliated skin like a celebrity. The real excitement of that day came when we decided to try to attend the screening of Fargo, followed by the world premier of Guillermo del Toro's new show, The Strain. Despite our best judgement we got in line early and waited in the heat to get into the State Theatre to watch a show with a horrifying poster. 

"Hey Erica, won't it be funny if I manage to get in and you don't?" 
"We're letting in 15 more people! 1, 2, 3... 13, 14, 15" right at me. Too bad Erica makes a really good sad face because they ended up letting her in and now we both need therapy to deal with what Guillermo did to us. How bad could it have been? Well, check out the poster! After dealing with an hour of the show we then got to stare at that for another 45 minutes during the panel. Thanks Guillermo!

Here's Sean Astin acting out how we felt by the end of it. 

I know Sean, I know. It was tiresome and stressful. I just wanted a nap too. Especially since it was at this screening that Erica and I had full blown church giggles causing jparks to question if we were drunk when I recounted the story for him. For the record, we were not. We were, however, hopped up on ice cream and cookies. 

Thankfully the last day was less traumatic and we ended on a higher note. And by high note I mean, I embarrassed Erica by approaching Andy Daly and asking him about his coffee since she refused to take a picture with him. After finding out his coffee came from the Green Room (aren't you fancy Mr. Daly) I used my stealthy paparazzi skills (read as: none at all) to take a picture of Andy. 

I'm sure he totally didn't notice me doing this and also wasn't thinking "went to Austin, acquired a new stalker."

Now that it's over I really can't say enough good things about ATX Festival. I had a lot of fun, discovered a lot of new shows, and made an ass out of myself a shockingly large number of times. I plan on attending next year and can't wait to talk coffee with another famous person who will be confused about why I'm excited about coffee and not about meeting him. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

forward momentum

Lately I've been feeling unlike myself. I sit at the keyboard and it doesn't feel right. I pick up my camera and have to think about what to do with it instead of just doing. I prep for a run, step off, and stumble. Place a barbell on my back and I struggle to move it. You get the picture. 

I'm not sure what it is. I would say the keyboard/camera thing is from lack of using those muscles but I know that's not the case with the running/lifting heavy shit. To steal a line from Robert Frost "The best way out is always through" so I'm forcing myself to work through the discomfort. 

Today that meant not quitting the workout even when my coach asked if I needed to stop. (I can only imagine how bad I looked for her to ask that because quitting is usually not an option. Failing, yes. Quitting, no.) It means sitting down and droning on here with no point or plan or anything. (lucky you!) Just reacquainting my fingers with the keyboard. Making my brain flex its vocabulary muscle a bit.  It means dragging my camera bag out and taking my camera with me again. And learning to not feel like a tourist whenever I use it. I'm also trying to teach myself how to use Lightroom which is not going well at all. I am suddenly remembering that I am not the best teacher for myself. I would say I'm going to go run and not concern myself with stumbling but frankly my legs are done for today after this morning's lifting session.

So there you have it, I'm unlike myself lately and I can't pinpoint why. I'm trying to improve the situation but who knows how long that will take. I bought a bathing suit and plan to wear it with no shame this summer. (That is obviously unrelated to anything but important.)

Don't worry guys, the cat is as skeptical as you are. Stop scowling Tangi, I can do it! I can figure out Lightroom and run again! 
Now, does anyone have any suggestions for Lightroom tutorials? I've got work to do. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

not every run is a success

Humble brag warning, but I generally can get up on a Sunday and know I can run a half marathon without too much worry. As I'm fond of saying, my stubbornness can carry me for 13.1 miles pretty easily. But every so often I get a surprise where a half marathon just kicks the crap out of me. Two times I've run the Austin Half Marathon with no issues, last year I even PR'ed at it.  This year, not so much.

It started innocently enough, the morning was humid and hazy. Probably should have started to question things right about then since I hate running in humidity. I'm not good at it, I don't enjoy it, screw you humidity!

The first six miles include a fair amount of climbing and I was actually feeling okay with the hills but the fact that my sweat had no where to go was a bit of a downer. It couldn't evaporate and was just sitting on my skin making me feel really, horribly gross. We got to South Congress and as I ran with the pacers, people kept bumping into me. All of a sudden I felt like I couldn't go another step. I was drowning in sweat; my sweat and every person around me's sweat. I couldn't go another damn step until there were less people near me, touching me, sweating on me. I told Amanda I planned to start running some intervals and I would see her at the finish. Little did I know there was worse in store for me.

I managed to pick up my pace again around mile 6 and easily ran down South 1st St. At mile 8 I realized I hadn't eaten anything yet so I busted out my pouch of sweet potatoes. Now listen, I don't enjoy baby food sweet potatoes but if I'm trying to be a good diet focused person that's the best option. I usually try to down about half the pack in the first squeeze so I don't have to fight through too much more. At this race I did just that and immediately realized something was terribly wrong with what I was eating.

It turns out, that despite the 2015 expiration date and sealed top, the sweet potatoes were bad. Like fizzy, alcohol tasting, black mold bad. And I had just swallowed a large amount and still had some in my mouth. I stopped dead in my tracks, mouth full of molded baby food, looked around and tried to figure out what I could possibly do in this situation. We were on a bridge so jumping to my death seemed like a pretty good option. There were no water stops near by so I had to flip the pouch over and spit it into the underside of the pouch, carry it for a bit, and ditch it at the next water stop. Good times.

So yeah, the last five miles were pretty awful. Every time I started to run my stomach would get upset. Actually just walking was a little stomach upsetting but running was even worse. But whatever, I finished. It took for-freaking-ever but I did it. I guess I should stop over estimating how far stubbornness can actually carry me.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In another dimension I hate shoes

Last night I had quite the learning experience; I made my first trip to the ER for myself since I was 5-ish and busted my chin open. Let me lead with a proclamation that I am fine. Totally fine! Still living! Sorry to disappoint you but I still have all my limbs and gained no stitches.

Around 8pm my left eye developed a weird spot, like I had been staring at a bright light except I hadn't. I tried to ignore it for a bit but it progressively got worse and when I had a legit blind spot I figured I should tell jparks. Shortly after that I decided I would catch a cab to the ER because there was no way I could drive. I mean hell, I tried to turn on the bathroom light and missed the light switch two times, I didn't want to take out all the light posts on the 1.7 mile trip to the hospital. 

As it turns out, and maybe you already know this because you're smarter than I am, eye problems are not really an ER thing. "Oh, you close your right eye and can't see shit out your left? Call this eye doctor tomorrow." Okay, so he was a little nicer than that but the sentiment was the same. Today my eye is better-ish, I can see but it takes a second or so for it to focus. I have a headache and am being appropriately lazy by sitting on the couch and watching The League

Really, all of that was just to lead me into the best part of the ER: Bizarro World Regan and jparks! I was waiting for my room when a woman came tearing into the ER, pushing people out of her way as she ran up to the information desk. "My husband Jason Park was brought here in an ambulance! Where is he?!? Bring me to him!" The poor woman working the desk told her she needed to wait in line and Bizarro World Regan grumbled to her friend and went to the end of the line. Y'all, that's when I noticed it, she was barefoot. Barefoot in the ER! 
I spent the rest of my visit trying to figure out what horrible thing would have to happen to the real jparks to make me go to the ER shoeless. After a few minutes her other friend came in wearing flip flops that were bejeweled with crystal crosses and said she finally managed to park the car. So BWRegan had the whole car ride to the ER to put on shoes. And if she didn't have shoes, why didn't her friend offer up her holy flip flops? I'm also really disappointed that I never found out what happened to Jason Park. When I was walking to my room I saw his name on the patient board but it's like the staff didn't want me snooping because they hurried me by it pretty quickly. It also didn't help that I kinda couldn't see jack shit by that point. Stupid eye ruining all my fun. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

the tiny violin is playing

Normally I am not an Anti-Valentine's Day person. I don't feel the need for flowers, cards, and chocolate covered strawberries but if you do, then go for it. But this year something snapped and I am ready to walk down the street slapping flowers out of peoples' hands and punching all the stuffed bears holding hearts right in their stupid faces. 

It started when I felt pressure to make the kids' Valentine's for school all cute and Pinterest perfect. I bought all the supplies, sat down with them, and said "nope." It all went back to the store and I picked up a few packs of boxed Valentine's because I just wanted easy. Last night I sat down to assemble the cards and the first pack immediately started to raise my blood pressure. 
Where the fuck is that sticker, which was called a gift sticker on the box indicating you should not use it as decoration, supposed to go? There's no envelopes to contain them. No little slits to attach it through. The cards weren't meant to be folded. Come on Disney, help me out, give me some instructions. I don't know exactly why but this pissed me off. 

Luckily I know myself well enough to know to buy an extra box of $3 Valentines because I am susceptible to Murphy's Law. Thankfully the other two sets, which contained gift tattoos, came with slits in the cards to attach those tattoos. But I still had to cut all the tiny tattoos apart, write the kids names, and seal the cards with a tiny heart sticker. Sounds easy, took almost an hour. By the end I felt like I should have done the damn Pinterest Valentine's because they would have taken less effort and time. 

And this set me off into an Anti-Valentine's Day rage. I had just spent an hour putting together tiny little cards that will last about 30 seconds in the hands of kids and no one was going to tell me thank you. You always hear parenthood is a thankless job, but last night that hit me hard. There was a holiday the next morning, a holiday I had put effort into with classroom cards and a few little treats (think small boxes of chocolates and heart ring pops treats, not like giant gifts), and what was I going to get for the holiday? Nothing. Would anyone in my family even tell me Happy Valentine's day? Probably not. (for the record, they didn't). I WAS ANNOYED. 

That made me remember that a month ago, when it was my birthday I was also overlooked. No cards, no gifts, sure they told me Happy Birthday but I wanted more. It was my day and I wanted to feel like it was my day. My friends gave me more recognition over my birthday than my family did. I WAS NOW EVEN MORE ANNOYED. 

When I married jparks I knew I was entering a life of no holidays gifts, forgotten birthdays, and grumbles of "Why do I have to show that I love you on one specific day when I usually do it every day?" and I was okay with that. But then the cheap Valentine cards entered my life and I snapped. I don't care if it's selfish or childish but I want recognition from my family for everything I do. I want flowers sometimes. Or a card. Or whatever else normal families do for moms to say thanks. I want that. And apparently until I get that I'm going to scowl at every happy person today because I am just a child waiting for a gold star from the teacher for behaving well in class. 

(To be fair I think I've been stressed lately with a few things that don't have anything to do with holidays or birthdays and that has helped push me to the breaking point. I know, I know, here's some cheese to go with my whine. I should grow up. Truth is, I'll be over this shortly and by Easter I'll be ready to throw some stupid Easter party/egg hunt for the kids)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

new year! new nothing!

In case you were hoping that since this is a new year, you would find new subject matter over here, surprise! You won't. 

Let me present a timeline of my January:
  • Jan 6: Drive to New Orleans
  • Jan 9: Fly to Disney World
  • Jan 11: Turn 34 
  • Jan 12: Run the Walt Disney World Marathon. PR the crap out of it.
  • Jan 14: Fly back to New Orleans
  • Jan 17: Drive back to Austin alone with both kids
  • Jan 19: Run the 3M Half Marathon. PR some of the crap out of it, but I can still do better. 
Y'all, my life has been pretty quiet and boring lately. I really hope something exciting happens in February.