Monthly Archives: June 2011

bicycle dress

This dress is one of those things that didn’t quite fit when I bought it.  Gapping at the bosom, as is the bane of my existence.

But then I lot a bit of poundage and the buttons, they did close!

And Yet.

It was clearly too big in other, unflattering ways.  Like, I can pull the fabric out to the sides about 3 inches away from my body on either side under my armpits.

But even though it fits like a fool in her mammy’s clothes, I make do with a belt and the inherent delight in a dress with a bicycle print.

Behold! Ginormous bosom! And Bicycles!

 

 

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Filed under Maggie's closet

one of those days

Yesterday, there was this baby.  She was born at 5 pm in Texas.  Her parents are an old boyfriend of mine, circa 2003, and the woman he was engaged to and broke up with before he met me (and then went back to after we broke up).  Weird, I know.
This old boyfriend is the only other one that I’ve lived with besides David.  We were together for a little over three years.  Nice guy, but it was good for it to be over.
I know I’m not alone in this thinking… that we can breakup and I can feel like it’s the good and right thing, but you should probably never date anyone ever again, because no one could ever really be as uniquely spectacular as I am.
So I have little snarky thoughts about him and the girlfriend that used to be and that was then the girlfriend that is, again. And then I had that glug feeling when Facebook told me she was pregnant.  And yesterday, the baby was born.

A few hours later, I’m sitting on the couch having “a talk” about these flaws in my existing relationship.  The one that I am always thinking is so great.  The one that just hit the 3 year mark on Sunday.  So seriously, Universe?  Fart on you.

 

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up my alley

 

the quality mending co bowling bag

Totally impractical.  Definitely couldn’t fit a novel and my lunch.

But I have a funny feeling inside that maybe I love this bag.

 

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Filed under Nifty things

Bay to Breakers

Because I’m still trying to catch up from my time of slackery, here is what happend on May 15.

Me, David, Vinny, and Nina

Here we are at the 100th annual Bay to Breakers foot race, a 7 mile course across San Francisco.   We’re dressed as the ballerinas from Black Swan, which was such an awesome idea, that lots of other people had the same one!  Also, some people just couldn’t decide, and so they were naked.

 

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Filed under Running, the bitch goddess, Up to Stuff

Presidential fitness

I’ve been on this one-mile run kick.

It originated out of mope over my slow running times and not really knowing how to work on improving those.  So I thought I would just see if I could manage 10 minute miling, but just for 1 mile.  To my great satisfaction, I did it.

And then it became my Monday night ritual before Body Pump… the one mile treadmill test.

The first couple of times, I wasn’t really sure that I had truly given it my all; was that the absolute fastest that I could go?  But I didn’t know what sort of time I should be shooting before, so I just continued to shave ten or fifteen seconds off my time each week.

Until I got into the 8 minute range.  There was an 8:38.  Then 8:28 the next week.  And 8:21.  A two week break while I was in Hawaii, and then just last week I hit 8:10.

I’m not really sure what a good time for a mile is.  I know that KERF did a run the other day and the second mile in her 5K was 8:09.  Which felt a bit like the interwebs pulling a face at me and going “neener neener neener.”  So my single mile in 8 minutes and 10 seconds isn’t record breaking.  But it is really fast for me.  And it has gotten to the point that it is just really hard and I’m not sure that I can pull a better time just by seeing if I can.

I tried, though, last night.  And, well… it was not awesome.  I was about 3 minutes into an 8 minute even pace and it just started to suck.  Despite all the little voices convincing me that 5 minutes was nothing and that I could totally power through, I slugged out and slowed down to a walk.  I caught my breath a bit and then picked up the pace again, fluctuating all over the place trying to figure out how to just finish this one out.  Finished in 8:58.  So, a bit of a set back.

Maybe now I know that running a mile somewhere around 8:15 to 8:30 is a good challenging pace for me and I should just try to do that a couple of times without trying to shave off seconds every week.  Or maybe now I need to see what running 2 miles at 10 minutes per mile feels like.

Because I do really really want to break that 30 minute 5k mark one of these days!

Yeah, and meanwhile, 1/2 marathon training continues, for my second scheduled half of 2011 (or the second one of EVER), on July 31.  So my runs are mostly focused on easy paces over longer distances, which means that I’m sort of cheating with all of these little one mile tests for myself.

Does it sound like I’m obsessing much?  I feel a little ridiculous myself, I have to admit.  I sure spend an awful lot of time thinking about running and reviewing my training schedule and washing an unholy amount of workout clothing for someone who really isn’t very good at it.

So let’s just be grateful for blogs, where I can babble away to my hearts content, and for David’s, who are also interested in running (albeit much better at it than I am) and happy to discuss it all with me at length.

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Filed under Running, the bitch goddess

Can you tip a canoe?

I had a capade on Saturday.

First, I ran 9 miles.  All kinds of it-took-forever, but no records made on this day.  Still.  9 miles.  Shrug I may, but it’s not something to sniff at.

And then it was time to prepare for our outing.  We had an hour to get ready, before a friend was showing up to get a ride with us.  David was in the shower when the doorbell rang.  I answered the door with no pants on, and that’s after making her wait about 90 seconds longer than is normal for door answering.  Suffice it to say, we weren’t entirely ready and there was a bit of a scramble.

We drove out to a vineyard, met up with 2 more of the ensemble cast and drank a bottle of wine.

And then to Lucky’s supermarket to meet up with the remaining cast and crew, where we procured 3 different bags of Ruffles, more wine and sandwiches for all.

We are ready!

Destination:  Russian River
Purpose:  To canoe down it

The canoe people make us sign away our lives.  They give us some waterproof bags.  They drive us away to some location up river.

At said location, a dude tells us some how-to’s and do-nots.  I half way listen.  We clamber into 4 canoes, 3 with 2 people and 1 with 3 people.  I volunteer to be the steerer and sit in the back of my and David’s canoe.  We head out.

The very first little bit is a narrow part with some pretty quick moving water.  The How-To dude told us to stay away from the shore in that part.  Which is what we immediately did not do.

Straight for the shoreline and its trees we went.  My steering prowess had no effect.

How-To dude also told us to duck forward under tree branches, not back.  I, of course, leaned back under them.

We proceeded to be stuck in the trees, with too many branches to go forward and a current far too fast to try and paddle backwards.  And then, for no reason in particular, we just tipped out and the canoe started to fill with water.

We’ve been in the boat for probably about 90 seconds and already we are fail!

Also fail?  Those waterproof bags.  I bet they probably work just fine, but really only if you close them up.  Which we did not.  Consequently, 3 sandwiches and 2 iPhones became sodden.  The Ruffles potato chips were fine.

After that, we were pretty golden.  No more tipping.  For us, anyway.  2 of the other canoe friends tipped later, but our tipping was the most awesome.

Also, despite wearing 85 SPF sunblock (yes, 85!), I got sunburned.  Not horribly, but enough.  But man, if I’m going to get sunburned, could I at least do so in such a way as to even out some of the stupid-ass tan lines from my last bout, puh-lease?  Somehow, I managed to reinforce my freckly arms and chest, without evening out the bits at the tops of my shoulders.  Next time, I am totally just going nekkid.

 

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Filed under Up to Stuff

I’m a real girl

After Aunt Mary’s funeral, we got an early morning flight on Friday and when we landed in SFO, I went right into work for the day.  Then we had a weekend to get settled and packed.  Monday morning, we flew to Kaua’i!

I had been so excited for this vacation for so long.  Partially because it was VACATION.  Period.  And because it was going to Hawai’i and it would be green and pretty and perfect.  It’s with some shame that I admit that I was quite terrified that my aunt’s pending demise was going to interfere with my vacation plans.  But it all worked out well enough in that respect.

And it was incredible.  The view from our little cottage was just beautiful.
 We grilled fish at home some days.  We ate fish tacos from roadside stands.  We loafed around and read books (I completed 4!) while I ate lots and lots of macadamia nuts.  Shave ice was sampled.  We saw a sea turtle right off shore, pretty close up.  We took a helicopter tour of the island, we rode bicycles down the road alongside a canyon, David surfed, we went for runs, we kayaked, we hiked, we tried stand up paddling, we swam in the ocean, we swam in waterfall pools, we drank POG with rum, and tried fantastic poke from a hole in the wall.

I suppose I could go on and I could provide all sorts of details, but there are two bits in particular that feel as though they’re really worth remembering to me, beyond the fact that the trip as a whole was wonderful.

1.  I existed, in front of other people who were not David, in just bikini bottoms.  No shorts.  No sarong.  Just the white expanse of my wobbly white thighs and hips for all the world to see.  Generally, I try to keep these bits to myself, but here I was just feeling so happy and comfortable and ok with myself, that I just let it go.  After kayaking up a river with a tour group, I didn’t want to put shorts back on over my wet bikini bottom, so I just didn’t and I went on the hike with my ass out.  Lest you think things have gotten too crazy, never fear – I did have a shirt on.  So no wobbly tummy and wobbly legs at the same time.
There is no photographic evidence of this.  You will have to take my word for it.

2.  I completed a really challenging hike that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do.  All the guidebooks listed the hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls as strenuous.  Not for beginners.  But that if you were up for the 8 mile round trip challenge, it was well worth it.  This picture doesn’t do it justice, but here it is: 

It took us 7 hours to get there and back, with a bit of a break in the middle to eat lunch and try to swim in the pool, which was frigid.  The hike was, as promised, very hard.  A lot of up hill.  Loads of down hill, which I think may actually be worse than up.  Parts were muddy.  There was some climbing and scrambling and having to use my hands to get up or down on the path.  Once, I was hanging from a tree branch trying to get down, realizing that I wouldn’t be able to pull myself back up, but that I couldn’t get a good footing, and that I was possibly going to die.  David managed to hoist me onto the ground, though, so I didn’t.  It was definitely not just a walk in the woods.  But I DID it.  And that’s when I realized that I am a real girl.  I can do stuff.  I don’t have to be afraid to try things because I’m too out of shape.  I am not just a worthless, fat, blah of nothing.  I so rarely feel proud of my accomplishments… calling them “accomplishments” even feels a bit silly.  But I was very proud of this.

All told, we spent 8 days in Kaua’i.  It felt like so much time when we first got there, but it all passed quickly enough.  And regular old ordinary life sure was fast to come hunkering back down again, once we were home.  Even though the dreamy, blissful quality of being on vacation is now long gone, I think I’ve still got some of that amazed-at-my-own-self feeling lingering on.

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aunt mary

I’ve been really slacking on the blog front.  Shame!

I will never be a famous, awesome blogger if I can’t managed to squeeze out more than post a month, now will I?

But, there was something that I had to write and until I did that, I felt like I couldn’t write about any of the other trivial silly things that I might have, like giving myself a weekly speed test for running a mile or going on vacation to Kaua’i.

The thing is that my Aunt Mary, my mom’s twin sister, died on May 10.

She was sick for a long time.  Cancer of the appendix that kept turning into cancer of this and cancer of that.  They took little bits out of her one at a time until I’m not really sure what was left in there.

It went on for so long that I got used it.  And because I was on the other side of the country, I didn’t have to confront the reality; I only had to settle myself with the idea.

When she finally did die, I thought it was fine.  A relief more than anything else.  The horribleness of her story was finally over.  My mother did not have to make the trip out to see her every weekend to weep at her bedside.  It was good to be finished.

David and I went to the funeral, flying out on a red eye on Tuesday night, arriving in JFK on Wednesday morning.  We went to pick up Nana from her nursing home and then to the service.  I expected it to be hard, but fine.  Tolerable.  It was so much worse than I expected.  It’s normal to not see Aunt Mary most of the time.  She’s never come to visit me here in California.  But it is definitely not normal to see those cousins, to see her children and her step children, to be there in her scene and to not see her.  She seemed so horribly missing.

And then later, taking Nana back to the nursing home… she had appeared so stoic through it all, but then she started to cry.  She said “She was my little baby.  I held her in my arms.  How can I never see her again?”  It was possibly the most despairing moment of my life.

Aunt Mary was like a fairy godmother to me.  When I was a little girl, she didn’t have children of her own, me and my brothers were the only nieces and nephews, and she absolutely doted on me.  The boys were wild and unruly, but I was *the little girl.*  I was the outsider in my dirty, tumultuous, heathen family.  I wanted cabbage patch dolls and make-up and the clothes from Benetton that all the other popular girls wore and, much to my mother’s disgust, Aunt Mary would always oblige.

When I was 11, I flew from North Carolina to New York all by myself to visit her.  She bought me a red dress and took me to see a Broadway musical and to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe.  It was amazing and fantastic and wonderful.  A fantasy.

But as much as she loved me, she always wanted to have her own children, of course.  I was too young to know all the details, but she had quite a few miscarriages before she and her husband (who she’d only just married when I was 8 or 9 or so) decided to adopt.  So in her early 40’s, she adopted two children – newborns each – about two years apart.  And just like she had spoiled me on birthdays and on various special occasions, she spoiled these two children.  But every day.  Until they grew up into something awful.  Maybe because of the over abundance of cloying love, maybe because of their genetic nature, maybe because of a thousand things combined.
After her marriage to a man ten years older and becoming a mother of two, I was no longer her favorite.  But I was getting older and didn’t really need an aunt for whom I was the favorite any more.  Later, I moved to California and I saw her very rarely.  Probably I didn’t even see her every time I went home to visit my family, which is usually only once or twice a year.

So by the time she got sick, I was already removed – emotionally and physically.  More than other feelings, I hurt for my mother going through the loss of a sister, a twin.  And it scared me that I could now be at an age in which my parent’s people, or my parents, could die.  And I thought that it would be fine.  It will be sad, but ok.  It is ok, but now that it’s over I see that there is still the grief of a little girl who lost a very special aunt.

Aunt Mary and me, 1 year old. 1978.

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