Sunday, September 27, 2009
Feelings of accomplishment:
With nothing to do for two days during the Great Floods, I sat in the Alcove and created my first website. Check it: lindsaylongstreth.weebly.com
I lowered my ridiculous student loan payments and cut back on a couple of 'extra' expenses. These furlough days are really the suck. $200 less per month is a hard hit to take right now...
Now, on to the reason for this post. Organizing ideas, plans, and goals that I intend to make reality.
Goals for the month:
1. Paint my living space. Khaki is certainly the most god-awful color for a home. It is not green, not yellow, and not brown. One of those in-between colors that cannot make up it's mind depending on the light and time of day. Basically it is mild vomit mixed with 70's porn hotel color. Boo.
I am going to paint one wall chocolate brown. The rest will be a subtle steamed milk look - enough color to not be white, but white enough to contrast nicely. 2/3rds of the way to the right on the chocolate wall will be a 2' wide vertical stripe. 12" mirrors and b/w photography will grace the stripe.
On the dining room wall I am still going to hang a cluster of mirrors, only they will have some 12" chocolate squares to accent and tie it to the living room.
The kitchen will be the neutral color...I think...and I am going to do something mildly artistic around the enormous mirror that is currently on the far wall. Still taking idea applications...
2. Buy a floor lamp. My landlord came by and picked up the one that was left and they said I could keep. Well, it doesn't really matter anyway...it was covered in paint and hand prints.
3. Buy a welcome mat. The strip of carpet is just looking worse and worse.
4. Replace the shower head. It is perfectly suited for, oh say, Joanna, but not a person of average height. (Not to say you are short Little Liza, but we all know everyone can't be fun sized).
5. Drive to NoLa, dance my feet off at ULHS, and make a good representation for the Southeast in Comps.
6. Get at least one student for private lessons.
7. Leave work before 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Goals for the rest of the year:
1. Replace the fluorescent light above the sink. It is just very...cheap hotel. I am thinking of some modern track lighting.
2. New tires for Lola.
3. Perform at Lindy Focus.
4. Start a consulting business for parents that have decided to school their children at home.
5. Go to at least one more live concert. Ray Lamontagne is Nov 1st.
Making lists helps. In more ways than one. Let me know what you think of my goals...or if you can help any of them happen sooner/faster =)
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I think it runs in the exceedingly German part of my family.
This weekend was supposed to be relaxing and although it felt great, it turned out to be quite productive too.
1 - I sanded down and have almost both coats of stain on the futon frame that I recently purchased from another dancer. It is oak, and has a light finish, and although affordable, totally not my style. So, it now has a nice dark color. The forest green cover has been replaced with a light tan one. Result? Sort of IKEA looking color scheme of light sofa with dark wood trim. Yay! I still need to put the poly on.
2 - Cleaned out my hall closet that had turned into a catch-all after I moved in. What should I do with this? Put it in one of my 4 extra closets. Yes, i said extra. I have a bedroom closet that is not even close to being full plus an equally large on in the bathroom, two in the hallway, and one by the front door. It friggin' rocks.
3 - Cleaned out and got rid of some boxes that I had not unpacked yet. Felt good to say the least.
4 - Hung some of my black and white photographs and favorite Saves the Day framed poster. It is starting to look like someone actually lives here.
5 - Cooked a great brunch for myself. I have discovered a fondness for cooking these days. Having a kitchen to myself and a fridge that I can actually put food into and cupboards that have room makes it so much easier. I am actually looking forward to tomorrow night when I can make dinner =)
6 - Wrote down and organized my goals. Some of them are small and will get done this week, and some of them are 'Big Idea' kind of goals that will take some time to set up and follow through. I have been thinking about starting a business as a side income and way to take some of my passions and non-teaching skill sets and put them to use. We will see how it turns out...
7 - Fixed one of my cheap but nice looking kitchen chairs. Also sanded down, refinished, and poly coated the incredibly cheap and left behind IKEA side table that is on my porch. Complete with a new cloth cover and festive tiny gourd it almost looks like a home out there.
Oh yeah...I also did laundry, went to two housewarming parties, graded all papers, and fixed my bathroom sink. It has been a very productive and relaxing two days. I am ready to take on this week.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This continual evaporation of life keeps us satisfied for as long as the few destinations we desire allow. Looking ahead only pains the present. And yet, we continue.
It makes me ponder. Refusing to acknowledge the reality of my inconsistent choices, unable to foresee the repeatable future, I commence a pattern in which I hold more weight in my selfish present than the malleable what is to come.
Escape. A familiar word, often used, often abused. Often found. More often lost. Time offers such beauty. And takes it away...
I shall resort to my favorite form of reporting on an event that I deem memorable, and create a list of favorites.
~My grandparents house. It was built in the 1800s and is still as beautiful as ever. I cleaned for about three days after arriving - much to their amazement. I never knew cobwebs could be so prolific.
~Lydia, Jeremy, Grace, and Jacob. My sister's family is a riot. Loud, hilarious, loquacious, loving, and a little crazy they filled the house with their 2 and 4 year old enthusiasm for life. My niece is about the most adorable little girl imaginable and her little brother is all smiles all the time. I rarely get to see them, so it was a treat. check out how grandma is teaching Grace how to hang laundry. Yes, they have a clothes dryer. No, they don't use it.
~Megan came up for the visit. I kinda felt bad for her, but she jumped into the fray and tolerated our insanity of perfection and German frugality. It was nice to have another energy around for company and change of pace.
~David and Konnie's wedding reception party was off the chain. Held in their back yard there was a live band, drinks, fresh grilled food, horseshoes and the pool. It was the first time the entire Mechlin family has been together in years - so we took the traditional girls only and then guys only photos.
~I had a great time hanging out with my friend Byler. He was house sitting this enormous house that was home to at least 40 pets. No joke. A dog, 6 birds, countless gerbils (it looked like a pet store in that room, I am guessing about 20) 3 bearded dragons, a chinchilla, at least 8 guinea pigs, three snakes, two turtles, three ferrets (which are awesome to play with) and three cats. Apparently they had two other dogs that were being taken care of elsewhere. Sweet jesus it was crazy. But, we had a fun time going to the Horseshoe pub, drinking exotic beers, chilling in the pool, and watching True Bood til the sun came up. Literally. He is a friend that dates back about ten years...and the only other person I know in the area that is my age and isn't related to me.
~I spent a lot of time reading and talking to my Grandparents. They do the crossword every night, so I sit on the couch with my book and pretend to actually help. I am not a words/literature person at all - doubled with the fact I am not an auditory learner. It is a rough experience but I enjoy the 'family time'. Just don't get me to play UpWords. Dear god I hate that game.
That about sums up the list of fun times in Bolton. It was just really nice to spend time with my family. I got a lot of rest, did a lot of busy work for my grandparents, read three books, and discovered the joy of Cherry Chocolate Trader Joe's Soy Ice Cream. I didn't think life could taste that good.
Carl was dropped off on Sunday night by his parents (who were nice to meet, as brief as it was) and then we took off on Monday morning for Denver and the open road.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Let's just start this post with a warning: I might ramble. A lot can happen in one week in NY.
To start off I am going to give a short account of my adventures on the way to Bronxville from Penna. Now, I am excellent with directions and maps. Growing up in a car, bored out of my mind taught me to read a lot of signs and amuse myself with the good old Rand McNally. (yes, i totally use X,Y grid to find towns) And my very dear T lent me two of his - and they have been put to more use than anticipated. So, when I got the helpful hint from a friend with an iDouche that there was a Shell gas station with diesel (LoLa's fuel of choice) on Route 1 in Easton NJ I got off of the current toll road and paid $5. (Again, blow me, toll roads) I pulled over and checked out the map. Turns out this little town is a good 20 miles or so up the road. Needless to say it was the 'long, long way' to get to NY. Either way, it was nice to get off the big highways and go through lots of small towns and needless traffic lights. Note: Civil engineers don't believe in left hand turns in Jersey. You have to 'exit' to the right and loop around to go straight through the traffic light. Good thing I noted this, because my Shell station finally appeared on the horizon with something akin to a halo around it - on the left side of the northbound highway. Sigh. This New England newbie traveller did not know that all Jersey gas stations have an attendent by law, so I hop out of the car to fuel up. Long story short, I am the only person out of their car at the station. After topping her off I head to the restroom...and while this will not get anymore personal than that I would like to note that while Jersey might have excellent service at the pumps they do not believe in latches, locks, or disenfectant in regards to their bathrooms. I got very creative.
The remainder of my journey to Bronxville was quite uneventful. I figured that whatever I saved in tolls by driving on Route 1 was made up by the $8 it cost to cross the George Washington Bridge. Go figure.
I haven't seen another Georgia plate in hours. Florida, yes, but they don't count. They are like cockroaches. All over the place and impossible to get rid of.
Bronxville is full of family. Wine. Superb food. Loud voices. I spend two days there and then Wednesday I head to the city to visit with Elena and possibly catch up with other peoples. The train ride finds me lacking nothing but my cell phone, which was left on the bed in my rush out the door. Last minute craziness is routine in that family. Despite my lack of mobile communication I make it to 1745 Broadway just fine and then head out for the long walk to the MET after dropping off my suitcase. Central Park is quite a sight to see with all the tourists, locals, and winding paths. I decided to be brave and cut through...sort of. Map in hand and a general idea of my bearings I set out. A good 30 blocks later I made it! I paid for my cute little button, and headed for the cafeteria. After eating an overpriced, but delicious sammich I selected Sigur Ros as a soundtrack, and made my way to the modern galleries. Although I possess a mild appreciation for classical art, I have more interest in sculpture, modern, conceptual, abstract, and industrial design. Favorites were the greek sculpture hall, the rooftop sculpture garden, the lower floor of modern, the special exhibit: Model as Muse, and sitting on the front steps afterwards. Plethora of pictures are on facebook.
Three hours later I headed back to Randomhouse Publishing to pick up my cousin and suitcase. We headed out for her birthday/last day of work celebration. Good times and great beers. Topher ended up being able to meet me there...so around 7 I got catch up with one of my longtime friends. We met before I went to college; we were kindred spirits right away. I haven't seen him in about 5 years - but it was just like before, comfortable. He is living in Brooklyn (which I am mildly jealous of) and doing what he loves - music and design. It is nice to reconnect with people who are happy in life. Adventurous. Seeking and not being afraid of new places and things.
That night I once again found a new place to rest my head. A tiny little loft bed in the basement spare room of Elena's new apt. It was cozy to say the least. But hey, it had a reading light!!!!
Thursday: Despite the excessive amount of rain we headed out early to pick up my cell phone from my very gracious uncle at Grand Central Station. Afterwards we found a nice hot breakfast, some coffee/tea and then walked to the Museum of Modern Art. Sigh...it was like heaven. I have never been to the MoMa and it was pretty freaking awesome. While my company did not seem to connect with the sketching and conceptual art we were able to meander a bit more slowly through the photography, design, architecture, and printing/paper galleries. Some of the pieces were very moving, and I think I might have spent more time absorbing the art had I been flying solo. However, it was still a great experience and I feel subsequently more educated on certain concepts that I have seen evident in a friend's work. In fact, I was reminded of his on more than one occasion. It made me pause. And reflect. And remember.
The remaining tour of the city included a quick stop at the Palace Hotel where Gossip Girl is filmed, a cute little cupcake shop for some birthday dessert, and Rockafeller Center. Dinner that night was courtesty of takeout mexican food from around the corner. Deliciousness. I headed down to Frim Fram around 9. Even though most of my family is appalled that I would be riding the subway after dark, I was far from hesitant about another adventure. Public transportation is still 'fun' for me. I had some good dances, and some not-so-experienced dances. The DJ'ing was good when it was the local DJ. I wasn't a fan of the guest. I met some Philly kids and even saw some southern faces (Christine!) Overall I felt my $8 was worth it, and left exceedingly sweaty and tired at 1am.
I headed back to Bronxville on Friday morning to grab a change of clothes, dinner, and the 7:22pm train back to the city with my cousin Coale. We met up with three of his college buddies and wandered down 8th to figure out how to get tipsy before heading to a party. We found a cheap sushi place that didn't card and drank terrible cold saki. Gross. The food was good, surprisingly, and they filled up on beer. Afterwards I introduced them to the genius of 20oz cokes and rum mix. It did the charm, and the boys were feeling good by the time we got to the Columbia frat house party. Ok, so I went to hang out with the boys because my Aunt was freaked out about 'going into the city at night', but here I am at midnight, with a bunch of 19-year-old boys at a freaking FRAT party in NYC. Yeah...it was surreal. Complete with the skanky sorority girls, two kegs, two beer pong tables, loud pop music, and popped collars (don't forget matching old man loafers) the party was a hit with my company. We stayed until 1:30 and then headed back to GCS to catch the 1:53am train home. 'Cause shit, we were not waiting until the 5:30.
The train ride home was epic. We finally found three seats together (Dan was staying the night with us) and got ready to chill for the next 40 minutes. A girl walks onto the train with her friends...I didn't really notice her until Coale said nonchalantly "Nice tan lines". Yeah, like you can say that to an overgroomed suburbanite girl from NY and not get a response. A verbal battle ensues between them. She sits down. 10 minutes later her beefy (but short) male friends join her and she apparently tells them about how mean Coale was to her. They start yelling at Coale, he yells back, and even though my cousin is 19 he is 6'1" and built like a football player - because he is one. They don't back down though due to their numbers...or maybe drunken stupidity. Now, I am in no way going to get into a brawl on the 2am train to Bronxville. So, I try to calm Coale down; meanwhile Dan is next to me saying "Man, I would have your back but I am too drunk". Everyone on the train is either laughing nervously or annoyed as piss. Eventually they calm down. Some guy tries to speak Zen wisdom to my cousin, and I start talking about wanting a chicken biscuit in the best southern accent I can muster. It draws laugher and after the offending party sits down we settle in for the rest of the train ride. When we get off at B-ville we get a few more offensive remarks thrown in our direction, but luckily no fists or other objects. Good job Coale.
The rest of my visit was not worth spending your time reading. I ate more fabulous meals courtesy of my uncle, visited Whole Foods in White Plains, bought another pair of jeans (because I underpacked for the cold northeast) and watched some mindless tv. I had no idea that New York had to go to work, or that there was a reality show for the annoying guys that sell you OxiClean. The more tv I watch the less I regret my choice to remove it from my life =)
...and that was NY in the most condensed version I could muster. My highlights were: the museums, Frim Fram, navigating the subways by myself, seeing Topher, my cousins, and lots of walking.
Friday, June 26, 2009
There is something reassuring about going home. The place where you came from. Your first mailing address. Your first friends across the street. Not that I have called Penna home in twenty odd years...but it still feels vaguely familiar every time I encounter the rolling farmland. See the weatherbeaten hex signs, drive down the tiny main streets, and hear 'ya ya'. These days I seem to be claiming the south as home...but for a nomadic creature such as myself, any roots are reassuring.
Spring Grove, a tiny Papermill town was my home, but I stayed with my childhood friend, Ben, in York. Friday night was very chill with us staying in and watching Kung Fu Panda - with which I was pleasently surprised. I actually laughed out loud. SKADoooSH! Saturday we got up early and headed to Sunnewald, an organic hippie health food store owned by one of my Mom's good friends. We actually lived there for a couple years before we made our final exodus from the state. It used to be a tiny little store with few gardens that my family lived at and worked on. Now, it is a thriving business with herbal walkabouts, a radio show, and even more acres of organic goodness. I picked up a few Kombuchas, some original trail/energy mix (it used to be named after my sister, Lydia), along with chips, salsa, and a present for my mother.
By the time Ben and I made it back to York, it was time to pack up and head for DC and my first MLS game. We of course, are rooting for DC United. Now, I am not a sports person by nature, but as I have collected friends I have formed some weak ties to certain teams. Carolina has my heart in college basketball, Red Sox for MLB, Caps in hockey, Appalachian State in college football, or Tennessee for better college football, and now I am all about some DC United soccer. After all, their main sponsor is VW, and I cannot think of a better reason to root for them. Oh yeah…and number 4…sigh…dreamy left D wearing my lucky number. Anyway, back on track. The four of us tailgated in a nearly desolate parking lot for about 3 hours before hitting the gift shop and purchasing all new gear. Go VW!! Ahhhh…I will never forget the blackened hot dog rejected by even the staunchest of DC crows. The game commenced and we had some fairly good seats – and by good I mean there were no giant heads blocking much of the field, and we were close enough to the fan clubs to feel the stadium shake when they started jumping. So yeah, it was a soccer game. The teams ran back and forth a lot, making me feel entirely un-athletic, while thousands of people screamed their heads off and flung beer (and streamers). Halftime was a different story as the fan clubs and a few hundred people entered the mezzanine area and commenced drumming, chanting, and creating a circle where they ‘worshiped’ a jersey. It was very tribal, earthy, and mosh-like. Heather and I decided to preserve our personal belongings and retreated to a higher level to observe the masses. Ben and Josh jumped into the fray, being the boys that they are. It was a sight to see. The game ended with a victory, 2-1. Woot!!! I must be good luck. As we were leaving the drummers came up to the mezzanine again and I begged Heather to let me watch. There were about 6 different drummers, plus a cowbell, tambourine, and bagpipes. I was really digging the beats and finally started to join in the chants with more gusto than when I was watching the game. The head of the fan club kinda knew Josh, and saw that I was ‘with’ him and his friends. He motioned me over and Josh was like “He wants to dance with you.” I was like “No way!!” but he grabbed my hand anyway and drew me into the circle of drumming and dancing. I had zero clue what to do in such a situation…so I began to samba like I was taught in Brazil. It seemed to do the trick because everyone started cheering. It is all a blur now, but basically I was dragged into the dance circle twice to celebrate the win. It was a loud and demanding rhythm; it took me back to dancing on dirt, the only white female on an island with no cars, surrounded by drums and smiling faces. I was in heaven.
New experience number 1 – Major League Soccer Game.
Sunday brought the Brown family together to celebrate the birthday of Jeff. A bluegrass band at an outdoor biker bar in Spring Grove rounded out my diverse weekend in Penn. It was really good to see all the boys again. We lived across the street from them. Adam and Ben are like my brothers and Jeff a dad/uncle figure. Dinner was good, the band was phenomenal and the jokes flew freely. The boys played some horseshoes (I threw a couple as well) and during the last set Jeff’s brother-in-law demanded a dance for a ridiculously fast song. Everyone turned my direction so I said, hey, whatever…and got up to dance some solo jazz in flip flops while my ‘partner’ threw down some admirable flat foot. A memorable experience with not so memorable pictures - they were deleted asap.
In reflection York was a much needed stop. A place to really solidify some of my hazy childhood memories, catch up with old friends, and get out of my usual rut of companions. I hope my next visit is sooner than in ten years.
Current Tunes: Ben Lee and Redheaded Blonde
Current Tunes: Ben Lee and Redheaded Blonde
Monday, June 15, 2009
~Falafel in DC - incredibly tasty. I will have to find where they sell such wonderfulness outside of our capitol.
~Empanada in DC - another smash hit. Pulled chicken, green olives, and potato. Oh yeah...and an egg.
~Fried Green Beans in York - interesting idea. Not bad at all.
~Crab Fries in Spring Grove - fries smothered in crab meat and mozzarella cheese. omg amazing.
Side Story that is not important at all but a fun memory.
"Do you own anything that is not lime green?"
Now, I had not noticed this phenomenon but apparently I tend to gravitate to owning green accessories. The list you ask?
Facial Toner bottle
Facial Moisturizer bottle
Toothpaste Travel thingy
Bag to carry all bathroom shtuff
This list was apparently long enough for my host in DC to make a comment.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
So, to continue with where I left off...
The Whole Foods that takes up nearly a city block (conveniently located about four blocks from Andy's) had the coolest thing I have every seen - Happy Hour from 5-7 Mon thru Fri. Now, for those of you who are soooo special and live in big cities, this might not be that amazing - but it was worthy of a note and picture for those of us in the unhealthy south with our measly little stores.
James stopped by on Wednesday around 4 and we headed downtown to see Artomatic, a month long exhibit held in different locations each year. Basically if you have a few bucks and some art you can put it up in this 9 story building. Visual, drama, music, sculpture. You name the medium, it was probably there. We explored about 4 stories of the exhibit, laughing histarically, running away as fast as we could, offering non-artist critique, and generally enjoying the art bends that it offered. My favorites? The Peeps (complete with Dexter peep), visual music, and the super hott mannequin. The ciomplete photo gallery is conveniently located on my fb account. After spending a good three hours and then navigating the Metro back to the hizzie on R st, James departed and I was left to my own devices for the rest of the evening. A jam was going on when I got home, so I ended up diving into my book (thanks Jo!) for the next couple hours while some great music was being made in the living room. Good times. The evening wrapped up with another trip to the Falafl hut.
Side Adventure Story:
Andy is making his own Kombucha and we needed a giant glass jar. So we walked a lot on our epic search. I tried to not look completely lost as we crossed streets and he rapidly changed directions. Still not used to city foot travel. Anyway, we ended up buying a giant jar of pickles. I mean rediculously large jar of pickles. Bulk pickle jar. Giant freaking enormous jar that held a great deal of pickles. I think you get the point. After filling three containers, eating three pickles apiece, a thorough scrubbing and a run through the dishwasher, we were good to go. Mission accomplished =)
For dinner I experienced another new food - Empanadas. Filled with pulled chicken, green olives, and potatoes it was a hit. Sticking with tradition we hit 80s night down in Adams Morgan, meeting up with James, Lily, Tanya and a couple other peoples. The bar was pretty dead, but we got some drinks and found a comfy couch to enjoy until our posse showed up. Once a couple drinks were down, and the dance floor started getting more feet on it I joined in the fun and danced all kind of rediculousness with glow sticks and strobe lights. The adventure didn't end until Andy and I finally got home around 3:30am after walking Beth home, riding the elevator to every floor, sucking helium out of massive balloons, reading the book of Zen thought, and discussing very deep things that I have zero recollection of. Tequila Sunrise is a new favorite.
Friday greeted us too early at 9am thanks to Andy's alarm that said he had to work regardless of the previous evenings fun. We walked down to Whole Foods for the magic of Kombucha to help get the weird not-hangover gone. I hit the hot bar for breakfast. Again.
I got on the road at about noon, giving a good bye hug, refusing another pickle, and waving to the new giant creepy Kombucha brew, and headed to York, Pa for my next stop.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I departed Boone around 11am, armed with a Green Machine, Trilogy Kombucha, bananas, pro-biotics, and a bottle of water. Fritz posed for a few pics as we headed down the mountain, and I waved goodbye to the high country one more time.
Virginia is a beautiful but cruel state. I took my ring off at the welcome center rest stop and forgot to put it back on after washing my hands...went back and it was gone for good. Sigh...so I was super bummed about that and lost about an hr of my trip. But, life goes on and so does my trip. I just imagine that it is off on its own grand adventure now =)
I drove through some spectacular thunderstorms. The clouds were literally scattered with discernable edges to the patches of rain. Driving in and out of them was slightly surreal as I would look left and see sunlight, blue sky and puffy clouds and then in front of me would be a dark grey body of wet. Simply beautiful.
DC appeared on my horizon around 7:10 and I promptly learned that google map driving directions blow goats. Using my brain, one phone call to Andy, and a handy-dandy Rand McNally map (thanks T!!) I oriented myself and worked my way through traffic as a true southern (but irriated) driver and arrived at my host's apt around 7:30. Booya.
Jam Cellar was just a short walk away and I took off with my new shoes, water bottle, and iPod after a shower and quick snack. I thought I was so clever and hip walking down the sidewalk, but in all truth I forgot a spare shirt - that fact only discovered later as I was covered in sweat wishing I was more socially acceptable with a clean tee. Overall it was a fun night. The music was good - nice tempo variety - and I met a few leads that matched my style. I still feel as though my pulsing is out of touch with the northern scene - but whatever - I had a blast. Oh yeah...the wine, courtesy of my host, helped a lot =)
Since Andy had forgotten to eat dinner, he reminded the world of his hunger pangs about every 30 seconds during the dance. So, after everything was cleaned up we headed down to Adams Morgan to get some fallofl. He nearly fell on the floor when I told him I had never had one and really didn't know what they were. But, he has never had or heard of a hushpuppy - so we are even. Oh my goodness. It was delicious.
A long walk got us home, and we promptly crashed after drinking an ungodly amount of water.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I moved my few possesions with the gracious help of Joanna, Terrace, Nick and Alan and then hit the road at about 4p.m. Traffic was surprisingly light for a Friday evening. In true camel fashion I only stopped once on the 5hr drive, and rolled into town at about 8:45. While I won't go into all the details here are some of the highlights of my first days on the road. After all, lists are my favorite!!
~Driving up the mountain, looking over, and watching the sun set on top of the clouds is a humbling experience. The blue misty hills were quietly waiting for the spectacular display of pinks and orange to settle into a night lit only by a full moon and a few billion stars. No city lights up here.
~The Nth gallery had a fantastic show - Unportraits by an artist that I am unfamiliar with and therefore unable to recall the name of. However, all his works were no bigger than 4 x 6 inches and were unportraits of people. There was a quote beside each one giving the piece a title and frame of reference. A refreshing blend of visual and verbal art. However, the clientel was unfamiliar so we didn't stick around for long.
~Portofinos proved to be dependable in the 'running into almost everyone you know in town' and 'excellent beer for cheap' departments. The pool room was crowded, the band was mediocre, but the company was excellent. We closed it down at 2am before hitting Cookout and crashing at Michelle's.
~So I was sitting on a stool, enjoying my beer, feeling good, cracking up with some buddies from the tech dept and some random guy just starts talking to me. Asking me who I was here with. No one of coure was my reply. These are just some of my good friends and we are just hanging out. The conversation got pretty convoluted from there, but basically he tried to verbally mow me down. Comments/Questions like: "So, you didn't finish school?" "Well, my sister has been through what you have and she makes 65K a year" "It sounds like you need to just challenge yourself more, and work harder to get what you want" "I think you have a self esteem problem" "Oh, I am not hitting on you, because you would know if I were" spewed out of his mouth during the conversation. Now, sassy is one word that has been used to describe my temperment. I have worked very, very hard at being socially appropriate with my retorts and reactions to people who piss me off - or rub me the wrong way - but after a few beers, and the fact I was on vacation and having a damn good time with my friends, considerably shortened my fuse. I tried to have a decent conversation, and then when he just kept getting spiteful I just let it all out. You know, the stuff that you say in your head, (or what a badass chick in tight black spandex says in an action movie). Our back and forth went on for a few minutes and then I was finally like "You know what? How about this. I am having a great vacation and enjoying spending time with some good people. If you don't have anything else to say to me that isn't nice I am going to say goodbye and ignore you" It worked. He shook my hand told me his name and walked off.
I saw him leaving the bar later after briefly talking to two other girls. He was wearing an oversized black leather jacket and left alone. Probably the most bizarre interaction I have ever had. I think he either gets off on trying to cut girls down, or is overly religious and trying to "reach the misguided". Hopefully I won't run into him again. It might get messy.
~350 miles and only half a tank of gas. Lola is a champ.
I slept in until noon today. Chillin' downtown at Espresso News with a good book and my laptop. Michelle is going to meet up with me and we are going to hang out. No idea what is going to go down tonight but some people are supposed to call me and we will hit a bar or two I am sure.
Let's just say vacation is a nice feeling...
Friday, April 24, 2009
Today people will look at you with amazement, and then give you a round of applause.
No kidding, right? Day 10 was harder than I thought it would be. I was supposed to be adjusted to this diet of lemonade and tea, and not really be very hungry or tired. But, I found that instead I was just 'used' to it, but not really very satisfied. All I could think about was a chicken biscuit. I was however, full most of the day, and was able to maintain my energy at a functioning level. Which is not as good as day 4 or 5, but is still commendable for someone who hasn't eaten a meal in 10 days.
I had to work late, 8:30, which meant I was at work for 12 hrs straight. Good times. I rushed home in the brilliant lightshow of three thunderstorms and set to work in the kitchen, chopping and dicing for my soup. It created some of the best smells I have ever encountered in my concious life. T helped me out by offering moral support and stirring. He even bought me a gift card to Whole Foods for my first meal on Sunday. We are going to hit the salad bar =)
Overall, I feel better from the cleanse. I have a renewed perspective on food, nutrition, energy, and my body. I am ready to appreciate the calories I intake, and would like to be more balanced about my choices. I am going to try to not go long time periods without eating - followed by a large meal that was not even prepared or thought out. While I am still doubtful about the benefits of consuming so few calories per day...it has panned out well in the end. I am taking some serious pro-biotics to replenish my digestive system with the little bugs that it needs.
I won't be blogging so 'religiously' when this is all over, but I will be posting a few updates as I move back to solid food.
Yes, I have reached Zen.
Ten days of learning how to love my body and food.
Looking at now and then.
It feels good.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I stopped by the farmers market to pick up my veggies for the soup. It was fun to browse around all the fresh produce and pick out exactly what I wanted. I have never been so excited about cooking in my entire life. Literally. Red potatoes, green beans, yellow squash, broccoli, peas, carrots, and lemons accompanied me out the door.
Since starting this I have fluctuated through a variety of emotions about food. On one hand it has been really nice to not cook or buy food. While I still have my nightly ritual of juicing, I don't spend any time on meals. Being the non-foodie that I am it is rather refreshing. However, I think that through this I will gain a new appreciation for what I do need to put into my body. I am going to start cooking and spending a bit more time taking care of myself. I just don't have an emotional attachment to food at all. I eat because I get hungry or I need energy. But, I think that this endeavor is a little bit of a lesson to me about taking care of myself, and learning how to truely appreciate the experience of a meal. My first adventure will be to bake my own biscuits. Oh yeah...and grill some serious chicken. mmmmmm.....
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
-printed progress reports on half sheets
-wore my organic, bamboo fiber, hippie tee shirt
-gave a quiz on an overhead instead of copied paper
-used my reuseable water bottle all day
-drank my delightful, tasty, lemonade out of reused glass bottles (kombucha rules)
-didn't throw away any trash due to the fact I am not actually eating
-recycled all paper (per usual)
It also made me stop and reflect on what I was doing on this day last year...and if I have ever really given it much thought. Then I remembered. I picked up cigarette butts around the outside of the tech building for about 2 hours. It was highly rewarding. I grabbed some rubber gloves and ended up filling up half of a paper grocery bag with all the butts/trash that I found. The best part was that JoeSmith helped me out when he saw me toiling in the sun.
Anyway...just some random thoughts. Happy Earth Day. See what you can do to reduce how much useless crap is consumed in your daily life =)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
While it felt great to dance at HotJam, and I wasn't hungry when I got home, I felt like crap this morning because I spent more calories than I took in last night. So, the lack of sleep and exercise caught up with me big time. My tea barely filled me up and I downed two lemonades before 10. eep...shoulda packed more.
The deep seated willpower that I know I possess had to kick in big time today. I am just not going to give up. I have made it this far. It has been since last Monday that I have eaten a meal. So yeah...take that, cleanse. Take that, body. Take that, all you crap and toxins in my body. Honestly, when I am not feeling hunger pains I feel amazing. Very clear and light. Calm and peaceful. I never crash or feel sluggish unless I have neglected to drink. So yeah..I can maintain my energy much better than before. It is the opposite of eating - I used to look forward to pain and sleepiness after a meal - now I look forward to being more alert and energetic. What a concept.
I have a meeting tonight at 9 and then it is bedtime. Yay. I have to work late tomorrow and then thursday so we will see how that goes. I need to get more juice bottles...and a bigger hippie bag to carry them all =)
Tomorrow is Earth Day. Make sure you celebrate in some outlandish and attention-grabbing fashion please. I will be wearing my recycled bamboo shirt and patagonia pants. Boone is about to hit Snellville.
Nothing extraordinary to talk about for day 7. My energy level was mediocre - I should have packed more lemonades for work. I couldn't leave fast enough to get home and get more nutrition. I had some ups and downs...but overall I can judge how much I will need to drink in a certain amount of time in order to stay human. I have noticed the biggest change is my ditziness...I just can't keep a straight thought to come out of my mouth - or do much of anything in the right order. I will think that I need to turn off the projector and then go turn on the light. Gah...I am sure the kids notice that I am not on top of my game. That in itself is frustrating. I am just praying that I don't pass out anywhere.
As long as I keep myself fueled I really don't have hunger pangs anymore. Sosh cooks a hell of a meal nearly every night, and the house is filled with some seriously tastey smells, but I am almost completely fine. The only thing I miss is chewing. That, and the whole amino acids thing. yeah...eating something with protein and some serious aminos is going to be like heaven. Can't wait to make the soup =)
I tested my physical endurance once more by teaching a lesson with Sosh and then hitting the HotJam dance. It was kinda weird at first...but then I got enough juice in me and was good to go. Kinda like when I was on the treadmill I felt like I could dance forever. T and I kicked it up a notch to a fast song and it was almost effortless. My swivels were right there over and over....and I never lost steam. What an incredible feeling.
My night ended with the usual cup of tea and Yogi wisdom. They always make me smile because sometimes they are so damn cheerful and peaceful when all I want to do is...not drink the tea. Oh the irony...
Monday, April 20, 2009
Regardless of the 4am bedtime, I woke up at 9 raring to go. I forced myself to go back to sleep and managed to get another two hours before I said hello to Saturday. The day began with a cup of tea, as usual, and another visit to the gym. My legs are killing me, but all I can think about is stretching and walking it out. So, I walked for 30 minutes and then ran about half a mile. Lifting felt great, and so did the extensive stretching. I think I can almost see a little four-pack forming. Oh yeah…and they have a scale at the gym. I am down to 124. eeeep.
After the gym D, Nick, and I headed down to Piedmont Park for some Frisbee fun. While I am not an avid Frisbee player, and really didn’t feel like torturing my legs anymore, I went with them to keep my mind off of the million other things that have been plaguing my thoughts. We walked around for a good hour, checking out the Dogwoods Arts Festival booths and music. While I didn’t bring enough to drink, it was a much needed outing and it felt really good to be outside.
The rest of my evening was very chill. I read in the hammock, made some more lemonade, took a short nap, and thought about life in general. My energy level has maintained itself as long as I never allow myself to get hungry. I feel soooo much better with a couple extra glasses of H2O each day. It is almost filling. The tea though, has become almost..."meh".
Relationships are not easy. It has been a long time since I have been willing to allow a relationship get to the point of ‘not easy’. I have a pattern of simply walking away when the going gets tough. I don’t feel fulfilled, I am scared, and simply put, and the guy has never really put up a fight. It has been tough these past few weeks – months – because I have gotten to the rough spots with him. I have met those walls, and gotten to know all the parts of our relationship that really tick me off. And so I ran - just like I have every other time. But he hasn’t. Not for over a year. And that means a whole hell of a lot. So yeah, I am willing to work at it. I am willing to communicate. I am willing to lay it down and invest the necessary time and energy into ‘us’. Sure it is scary. Yes, I still doubt myself more than ever. But, he said that I am worth it. And believe me, he is more than worth it.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Around noon Sosh, Lisa, Nick, and I headed to stone mountain to enjoy the sunshine and use Lisa's free parking pass. We all made it to the top with little difficulty, Nick skipping ahead like a mountain goat. Basking in the sun like lizards on the north side, we worked on our spring tans until the wind blew cold and Lisa got "people bumps".
The way down was fairly easy except for the whole part where my thighs were screaming at me because they were subjected to leg presses the night before and were certain that my use of them now was completely uncalled for.
We hit the DeKalb farmers market on the way home, stocking up on organic goodies for the week. It was totally slammed. I bought a giant bag of fresh lemons and was carrying it around - and got quite the looks. One lady even commented after she passed me "my, that is a big bag of lemons". I reveled in my own amusement.
I admit that I crashed when I got home, resting with a book and then finally dozing off for about an hr. When I woke up I felt terrible, I was incredibly weak and starving. So, I promply made and drank two very fresh drinks. Boo ya. Back to 100 percent.
I hopped up out that bed, turned my swagg on...took a look in the mirror, said "what's up?"
Out for the night to Tongue and Groove for some serious dance time. I am wide awake, full of energy, and ready to stay up all night. Bring it...Day 5 is mine!
It was the first day of the cleanse that I have not felt overly hungry and have noticed an increase in energy level. It was really easy to wake up, get moving, and out the door. I felt almost like I had drank a cup of coffee on the way to work - without the jitters.
Side note: I think I need to use less cayenne pepper.
I am still crabby by the end of the day because I am just not ingesting enough calories (I think), but when I got home and made myself a fresh one my attitude turned itself around.
Another side note: My short temper is back.
Achievement of the day? I went to the gym with 'the boys'. I ran a full mile - something I have never accomplished in my life. Then, I lifted until the guys wanted to call it a night. So you tell me this? How have I not eaten for 4 days, and can still go to the gym and feel even more incredible when I leave?
Friday, April 17, 2009
This is an article recently posted in the New York Times. I found it to be some good reading, and finally a medical voice for all of us hippies who are not so keen on the use of antibiotics.
Stomach Bug Crystallizes an Antibiotic Threat
By TARA PARKER-POPE
Published: April 13, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I am not particularly inspired to begin writing, but I have decided to keep this blog for the ten days...so I shall ramble for a bit.
That whole determination thing, yeah...I had a friend tell me on the phone today that I was the most determined person that she knew and that I would have no problems with a measly little ten days. That helped a lot because I came really close to caving today - but I keep tricking myself into "just get through today" and then within a few minutes or an hr my body had readjusted to whatever it is doing, and I feltl even better.
It amazes me how I don't feel strongly about any decision I make anymore. It is as though I just float along with what life brings instead of taking a stand for what I really want or need. This is definitely a test of my personal strength more than just physical. When you look back and truly despise certain parts of your life it makes each new decision that much more important.
I honestly have no idea what to expect from each day. It is a incredible sensation to be so in tune to what my body is doing and saying. It is almost like I am walking around looking out of myself as you would, say, a car. As an obsessively observant person it has heightened my sense of the world even more. Again, totally weird.
I shall spare you the details, but I will say that overall I feel...lighter. There is less of me to move around, and my body is finally assimilating nutrients and calories to a greater extent. Honestly, it is the first time in months that I have not been in intense pain every single night. And even now I am not actually hungry.
My phone-a-friend calls have been all the more helpful. Moogy and Shims have been incredibly supportive of my new found freedom; offering advice and positive words. So yeah, it feels like a moment to moment rollercoaster of emotions about my body, mind, and heart right now - but I am really glad that I am going through this right now. Change go'ne come...
Time to snuggle up with a nice cup of mediocre tasting tea and an over-hyped novel.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
And it's so hard to do and so easy to say.
But sometimes - sometimes,
you just have to walk away - walk away.
With so many people to love in my life, why do I worry about one?
But you put the happy in my ness, you put the good times into my fun.
There are stages to it. First is total numbness, like I cannot even feel any emotion attached to the situation. I really just don't care. Next comes the flip flopping. I am either happy or incredibly depressed to the point of tears. I am in the second stage right now.
I look back and examine my actions and emotions that led up to Monday night. I was really happy, right? I enjoyed his company, his presence, his laughter, his friendship, his caring...but somewhere deep down I wasn't fulfilled...I think? It is all a muddle now. I can clearly recall how much joy I felt just sharing my life with another person, how I loved just knowing he was there on the other end...and just as clearly I remember how frustrated I would get at the thought and experience of 'us'. I have a deep-seated feeling that somehow I have walked away from the best person that has ever happened to me. Time will tell.
So many times in my life I have doubted myself, wondered, have I done the right thing? Is this the right choice? In the past I wouldn't allow myself to actually choose, instead living in the gray limbo of 'both'. I am desperately trying to stop that by being painfully honest. By making an absolute choice. By not going back on my decisions. By forging ahead and taking what comes. By ceasing to be intolerably impatient.
Day two has consisted of maintaining "un-hungriness". While I am not a foodie by any means, it is still weird to not bite into a sandwich. I am fan of the PB&J around twelve thirty. Anyway...enough about food. I am feeling surprisingly good. I have taken my mother's wise advice and added more maple syrup when feeling down. I keep a constant mix by my side and have managed to only feel like passing out once. I got a bit cranky towards the end of the day - but it was mainly due to feeling a bit 'upset'. No biggie.
I have dropped a few lbs - which was not even the point. I was expecting that, and it is nice, but I am not expecting to keep it off. The best part is that I haven't had stomach knots since Sunday evening. My energy level is pretty much the same and I am only slightly ditzy =)
Overall I feel as though this is not just a physical cleanse but a mental cleanse as well. It has been awhile since I have committed myself to anything. I suppose you could say grad school, or my first teaching contract, but not something this intensely personal. I remember when I used to be so mentally strong that I could overcome nearly anything. (Let's not get into the things I encountered when I was a kid). My black belt test was a few hrs long, and around the middle of it I almost didn't finish. I was laying there on the mats...in some serious pain...the wind knocked out of me...looking forward to only more clobberings by men three times my size...and hearing "get up lindsay. get up now". I really didn't think that I could. I was exhausted, bloody, and unable to use my right arm...it was a moment that stands out with perfect clarity in my memory. I thought to myself that I would never forget that moment if I gave up...and so I willed my entire being to finish the test.
Everytime I come up against a challenge I recall that specific moment in time and figure if I could overcome that, I can overcome anything. Regretfully, I feel as though some of that steadfast determination has been lost in in the mess of life. I am going to work on getting it back. Yes...
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
But, when nearly everything you eat makes your stomach churn, and feels like a fist is twisting it into smaller and smaller knots you tend to avoid most food. Plus I just forget to eat with my schedule.
So, I have decided a change is not only desirable, but also unavoidable. So I am on the cleanse. The master cleanse. A cleanse to disperse the crap I have been putting into my body for the past 25 years, the emotional baggage that I have allowed myself to carry, and the spiritual side of myself that has long been ignored.
I really don't know exactly what I am trying to get out of this...it is all a vague blurry haze in front of my face. But, I feel as though I have been blindly walking along the same path for too long. It is time for a change. And, I am ready to try almost anything at this point. This particular change is mother tested and approved - so it must be good =)
Not as bad as I thought. I took all the advice that I gleaned from fellow cleansers and avoided ever getting truly hungry. Oddly enough I actually felt somewhat full all day. It was really hard to not get my usual PB&J from the lunch lady - she is a sweetheart.
The farmer's market stocked me up on what I needed for the most part. Although not difficult, this is not a particularly cheap endeavor. I feel surprisingly awake for only getting 6 hrs of sleep. My energy is fairly constant, and my emotional ups and downs are manageable. I just really miss the whole 'chewing' thing that food provides. Weird.
As for life in general I am looking forward to a number of things...
Seeing Ray LaMontagne in Asheville
School being out - Roadtrip!!!
Going to New York City for Frankie's b-day
Teaching next month for Down South Swing
Seeing Christabel's music video with yours truly and the Knoxville peoples.
What it is like to not crave anything or anyone.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Someone asked me what brought me peace. I responded:
Peace is a drive in the mountains with the windows down.
The freedom of not craving anyone or anything.
Peace is not waiting, just being.
I cannot check all of those off my list - but I am working on them everyday. Spring break brought me the peace of the mountains. I went up to Boone to spend time with Michelle, catch up with some old friends, and enjoy the fresh air.
Not waiting for anything is a difficult task these days. We are always waiting for more money, nicer things, for the traffic light to change, the weekend, a new album to come out, a big event to happen, the perfect person to come along. With all this waiting where does the living happen? After all the let downs and mistakes I have made I have resolved to not impatiently wait, but rather make all the moments count. While sounding so cliche it has helped...in many ways.
Going back to Boone reminded me of what I am waiting for. What I really want. What I am working towards. A career in higher education. A front porch with a mountain view. All four seasons. The sounds of silence and birds outside my window. A garden. I might not have these thing today...or next year...or maybe not even the year after that...but it is definitly in my 10 year plan...
So for now I am going to live the hell outta my life. Take every opportunity that comes along. Not hold back. Enjoy the incredible people that surround me. Reconnect with old friends. And just breathe. Because one day, I will be going home.