Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I ran.

There's an I ran/Iran joke to make here, but it's probably tacky so I'll skip it. But I did think about it, so the tackiness is already out there in the world. Whatever.

Yes, I ran. Well, "ran." Let's review about my activities for the last 7 months.

December: taper off running after my marathon in early December. Eventually quit completely late in the month.

January: walking and some other cardio workouts.

February-July: strictly walking/hiking. Sometimes I'd up the pace if I was feeling energetic, but mostly it was a leisurely 45ish minutes on the treadmill or half hour with Kiwi.

July 14, a day that will go down in infamy (also, Bastille Day, hooray France!), I interspersed tiny running intervals in my walking. It went down like this: I wanted to do an hour (Nick's out of town and I need to kill time somehow), so I figured 4ish miles was a good goal. Because I'll die of boredom if I just meander on the treadmill at an even speed for 60 minutes, I split it up into 0.4 mile segments. Each "interval" was 0.3 walking/0.1 walking faster. Since I had 10 of them to cover the 4 miles total, I decided to up each "fast" interval by an extra 0.1 mph each time, so my speeds were 4.0/4.1 then 4.0/4.2, 4.0/4.3 etc. At about 4.4, I realized I couldn't keep this up by walking. I needed to run. Cue the danger music.

It's a sloth, it's cute. That's all I know.

So I started running. Granted, it was for about 80 seconds at a time, and my max speed was 5 mph (a whopping 12 minute mile) but STILL. It was a little something. I didn't struggle too much through the intervals, but it was definitely a challenge. 

I don't plan on jumping back into running in any meaningful way for a while, but it's nice to know I have the ability. My legs are still actually capable of moving quickly. Now if only I could walk up the stairs at work without being unbelievably winded.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Poison Eye-vy

It's a pun because I got poison ivy on my eye. Eye-vy. I'm clever.

Puffy eye. Shiny face. Happy me.

My eyes don't normally have super puffy bags under them, so this single puffy eye situation makes me look like I got punched. Very attractive. We did a lot of yardwork this weekend and I must have touched my eye with my contaminated hand, or possibly taken my shirt off at an angle or something, but here I am with a swollen eye. Also, I have it on my arms and legs and a small spot on my hip. Of course.

And here's a video of Nick trying to get dear Kiwi to swim. We have taken her to the beach a few times and the most she'll do is stand at the edge and drink the water. She won't chase a stick or toy into the water. She won't go after other dogs or people in the water. Nick thought that maybe if he was in there, she'd want to go in too. No. So he took her in and she did the cute auto-paddle thing that dogs do, but she was clearly not happy. Back to the shore she went. We're sad she's not a water dog, but she's awesome in every other way. We'll just have to deal with not swimming with her.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Firefly Music Festival 2014- The festival (and the food!)

The festival started on Thursday. We had already set up our campsite and hung out for a couple of hours, so we were itching to get in and see music. Well, so was everyone else. First, we needed to find our way to the entrance which was quite a long walk. Then we waited in line for over 90 minutes. While in line, we were packed in super close to other people (fine, it's a festival, it's going to happen) but they were all smoking various types of smokable things so air quality was not at its best. And then a guy was so drunk he couldn't stand, and medics needed to get in to help him out, which was an ordeal when you've got thousands of people crowded in and refusing to give up any space. When we finally got to head toward the entrance, there was much rejoicing, but I was grouchy, my feet hurt, and I didn't feel great so I just grumbled at all the happy people. We were so worried about the horrible wait for the next day, but it was just a Thursday problem because everyone wanted to get in at the exact same time. Our wait the following days was probably 30-45 minutes, tops.

So many people....

Another waiting in line picture. Waldo was a good sport about being photographed.

Finally inside and RELAXING. The grass only looked like this one day. It was dead the next day.

The Dogfish Beer tent. Air conditioned and lots of beer selection. They were icy cold and great.

The signs were SO entertaining.

The lighting in some areas was done beautifully. Also, yes, I slept in public a lot.

Friday was pretty much perfect- the weather was awesome and the crowds were manageable. We noticed that the dustiness at our campsite had spread to the festival. It was getting hazy everywhere we walked. Not fun. Saturday was the worst. The crowds were larger and the dust was horrible. They had sprayed down the dusty areas but they dried out quickly. It sucked- dust in our eyes and our noses. Unpleasant. I was hoping for rain every day, but we only got light drizzle one day.

Word to the wise: don't wear sandals. Just don't do it. Your feet will be disgusting, you'll probably get stepped on, and your feet will hurt. After Thursday, which was only a half day, I couldn't imagine wearing flip flops a second day and just owned my terrible fashion sense and wore sneakers with my summer dresses.

The food was surprisingly good! The general atmosphere is kinda hippie-ish so in addition to normal hamburgers and barbecue selections, they had a falafel cart, Mexican, Asian-fusion, and much more. I had the falafel one day and it was amazing. Another day the only thing that sounded good was "Brazilian Grilled Cheese" which was a rip off. It was just grilled cheese. I still ate it, of course, and it was delicious because grilled cheese is always good, but it was silly to claim it was Brazilian. The "Brazilian" place also had acai bowls and smoothies and such, but I guess they needed to cater to a wider audience so they invented Brazilian grilled cheese. It worked. Nick had a few different things and he was pleased by all of them. Cheese fries were had. Life was good (of course I just typed "life was food" which... yes, yes it is)

Most important: there was ice cream. When it was hot and I was grouchy and didn't feel like real food, there were ice cream bar vendors (Ben and Jerry's!) as well as ice cream cups. And they had a lot of selection.

Our perfect backpack to take in each day: sunscreen (not the spray kind!), empty water bottle, hat(s), blanket (like this one- having the waterproof side is clutch), bandana to limit dust inhalation. They didn't check bags very well, but I did hear some people complaining about their sunscreen and snacks being confiscated, so it does happen. Don't try to bring in forbidden stuff unless you're willing to part with it.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Firefly Music Festival 2014- the camping

Camping. Seems so simple. Go sleep out under the stars, eat simple food, dress comfortably.

Firefly was not that kind of camping. *WARNING: Gross (dirty) feet picture ahead. Stop if you're squeamish about lack of personal hygeine*

We were in a super duper far away lot and towards the end of that lot. This was nice as far as foot (and car) traffic went, but it meant that we had to walk forever to get to everything. The bathroom was about a half mile away. The actual Festival entrance was about a 40 minute walk. We were surrounded on all sides by tents and vehicles and people and noise, noise, noise. I am a pretty light sleeper. Take me out of my comfy bed and onto a thin sleeping pad and I sleep worse. Put rowdy teenagers giggling in the wee hours just feet away from me, and I pretty much never slept more than an hour at a time. Yet my body still wanted to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, because it was light out, and I'm so used to waking up early.

This is like 2% of the campsites. Seriously.

Nick and I had a good packing list, and Nick is experienced with camping, so we had all the essentials. Setting everything up on the first day went smoothly. We had tons of food, everything was good.

Then the dust happened. I don't know if I just didn't notice it the first day because I was too busy doing other stuff, but the second morning we were both struck by how gross everything already was. There was a fine coat of dust over our chairs, table, clothes, tent. It was just gritty everywhere. It only got worse as the weekend went along and at the end of the day our bodies were also covered in dust.
Officially the grossest picture I've ever put on the internet. Dirt adhesion is exacerbated by sunscreen application.


It was also hot, of course, although it could have been hotter. But we struggled to keep a lot of perishable food from spoiling, so we had to lug bags of (overpriced) ice back to the campsite every morning. And water. Water was located with the bathrooms, so we also had to walk quite a distance to get fresh water. Which was warm. All weekend (since I wasn't drinking alcohol) I didn't have a single cold drink! Everything I drank was outside temperature or hotter. Gross.

Showers were an ordeal. We took 2. A third one was needed, but at $5/shower, I was ok with being dirty on the last day. The line was also quite long on the third day, and they were kind of icky. Of course. The water was surprisingly warm, and they had shampoo, conditioner, and facewash samples, so I couldn't complain too much. But it was still icky and they were full of discarded shampoo samples and other debris. And they were tiny, of course. I was thankful we had the ability to get clean, but wish it had been a tiny bit more pleasant.

Our neighbors, aside from being a little rowdy, were funny and nice the times we interacted with them. I felt pretty old because I wasn't partaking in the wild illegal drug/way too much alcohol thing that they had going on, so it was hard to bond over that. We saw some really elaborate and entertaining setups at other camp sites, and the atmosphere was really fun and exciting. 

Essentials (aside from the obvious stuff like food and clothing): table, some sort of shade provider (pop-up tent), baby wipes, toilet paper, coozie(s), shower basket thing, earplugs, light blanket (sleeping bags get too hot), flip flops so you don't have to wear dirty shoes in the tent, axe/hammer for getting tent stakes into hard ground

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Firefly Music Festival 2014 - the music

I fell off the face of the earth, but it was for good reason: I was busy getting my face rocked off.


Firefly has been held in Dover, Delaware since 2012. It's a 4 day festival with camping and tons and tons of bands. I'll talk about camping and that whole experience in other posts, mostly because I want to remember what did and did not work well. Today, let's focus on the music.

Thursday:
Arrival day. After packing, driving, traffic, checking in, setting up camp, getting our bearings, trying to charge our phones, and generally being exhausted and stressed, we were excited to get to the concert. Well, first we had a 30some minute walk to the venue plus the 90 minute wait in line. We were so, so spent by the time we got inside. We missed Kodaline (boo) but arrived just in time for Phosphorescent. I'd never heard of them, but they turned out to be cool, chill music. It was nice to finally sit down and relax and enjoy what we came for. The next band we were interested in, Local Natives, wasn't on until 10:45. I wasn't really ready to stay up that late on the first night, so we headed back (long walk. always with the long walk) and crashed early.

Friday:
Epic Friday. We saw New Politics and were blown away. Such a great performance! I knew a couple of their songs, but did not know the band would put on such a good show. The lead singer is a break dancer and did some dancing in the middle, which was awesome. The crowd was huge and enthusiastic, and the atmosphere was great. Definitely one of the highlights for me. I don't know what we did after them, I think we just milled around, ate, and tried not to get too sunburned. Next up was American Authors in the small venue, the Coffeehouse. This was my favorite 30 minutes of the whole festival. We were about 30 feet away from the band, and they were rocking out. They had just performed on the big stage, which we missed, but they still put on an energetic and incredibly fun show for the smaller crowd. Their music is so peppy and feel-good. It was great.


But it didn't end there! Next up was Young the Giant, who did not blow me away. It just wasn't anything special, or maybe I was getting burnt out by the whole thing. We only hung out for a little while and heard a few songs before heading toward the main event.... Foo Fighters! I was looking forward to this the most, and I wanted to get close to the stage. We ended up maybe 100 meters back, flush with the scaffold, and a little off to the side. We were definitely in the thick of the crowd, and it was amazing. I saw the Foo Fighters when I was young (14!) and have loved their music for what seems like my whole life. They put on an amazing show. We didn't stay for the whole thing because we were dead on our feet, but the hour and a quarter we did spend there was worth all the waiting time we spent squished in with all the other fans. Dave Grohl is the man. He was funny, charismatic, and just generally put on an amazing show. So happy.

Crappy picture that shows how close/far we were from the stage.

Dave Grohl is totally right there on the scaffold. I die.

Saturday:
After a long and exhausting Friday, we wanted to just lay around a lot on Saturday. Unfortunately, we also wanted to see 8 bands. So we compromised. We went in a little late and saw the end of Twenty One Pilots, who were great. Then Third Eye Blind came on. I was really, really looking forward to them, but I wasn't blown away. They talked about how they weren't on tour right now, this was a one-off show, which is cool, but they felt a little unenthused about the whole thing. It was still great to hear classic songs and some new stuff, but meh overall. Next, we scooted over to MS MR. They put on a fun show, although I don't remember being blown away. It was good, but not great. We were going to see Grouplove, but it was just too much walking and too much effort to get over to their stage, so we hung out and headed toward Imagine Dragons. So good! They played a nice long set. Their music was a lot of fun, but they saved ALL of their hits for the very end. I'm not a fan of that, I like to have some songs that I know to keep energy up. When they did get to their hits, it was excellent. Then, Teagan and Sara. I wasn't expecting a lot since I only know one of their songs, but I was pleasantly surprised. Their music was chill and fun, and they were funny as well. And last but not least, we saw Outkast. They had the most production value of anyone we saw all weekend. So much energy, and they are definitely performers instead of just musicians. Lots of dancing, graphics on the backdrop, and funky outfits. Lots of fun, but we still didn't hang out the whole time and headed out before they finished.

Sunday:
I sort of just wanted to go home at this point since we'd have a long drive ahead of us, but I rallied and we made the trek into the festival. We got in in time for NONONO, who put on a good show. A lot of their songs sound nothing like their radio hit, which was confusing, but their music was still really good. The lead singer was high energy and seemed pleased to be there with a good-sized crowd. We then relaxed in the shade while listening to City and Colour, who I'm sure are great, but from a far away distance their music is chill and all sort of sounds the same. Meh. Finally, time for Wild Cub. They were on a smaller stage and we got to be super close. Their music was good, they had a ton of energy, and once again seemed so happy and excited to be there, playing for us. Great attitude, and a great way to end our festival.

Thus ends my first Firefly post. More to come on the experience as a whole.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pick a lane

Ugh. I just read my last few posts and wow, I do not recommend doing that. In one post I talk about how free I feel just being me, and in the next I say I'm unhappy with my weight. I need to pick a damn lane.

I'm doing this for my health.

But I'm unhappy.

I'm doing this for my future kids.

But I don't like my body right now.

Can't I have it both ways? Can't I be a tortured soul for a little while?

I haven't talked about the rest of my life lately. There are other things to me besides being infertile and chubby.

 Kiwi is just the cutest and I can't even stand it.
Her floppy ass ears flip inside out and look so silly.

We're going to this music festival next week and I've been so busy with work I am just now thinking logistics. Camping  for 3 nights with thousands of intoxicated, drug-addled teenagers? 

But really, I'm excited about the concert (Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind, Local Natives, American Authors, Band of Horses, Grouplove, SO MANY MORE!) and it'll be my first vacation in a few months, unless you count work travel to Southeastern Illinois a vacation. I do not.

That's pretty much my life. Work, puppy, and getting excited about a concert. I have a lot to be happy about. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Finding my happy place

When I last checked in about my weight, I was all "Teehee, gaining weight is hard! I'm plateauing at a 10 lb. gain and shan't be able to gain a pound more!"
Yeah, I hate past me too. 

So about that plateau? You'll be pleased to know I blew right past it. I gained 10 more pounds. And then another 5, for good luck! If you're keeping score at home, that means I am currently teetering at an overweight BMI. Goodie! Not like I lost a ton of weight 5 years ago because I was uncomfortable with my life and my body or anything. 

I'm obviously not super happy about this. All my worst fears when I started this process are bubbling back up. I am convinced I'm just meant to be fat. I don't come from skinny people (sorry, Dad, but our family is not a bunch of dainty ballerinas). I still, all these years later, have control issues with food. I can't eat in moderation. I don't do well eating normal sized meals. Even when I feel full I will still eat. My brain is broken and I only "fixed" it for years by controlling my diet and exercise very closely.

 I wrote in April, about needing to scale back a little on eating. Well, 2 months later, I still need to scale back. I learned nothing. My plan going forward is to be a little less "eat all the things" and a little more about moderation. I believe I can find moderation, somehow, in my life. I want to find that happy spot where I'm eating when hungry, and stopping when I'm full. Not restricting, but not letting myself binge either. I need to return to the days of counting my almonds because otherwise I'll eat half a 1 pound bag. I did that yesterday. And then I felt gross/guilty/nauseous the rest of the day. I hate that I'm a 28 year old with such crappy self-control, but at least I'm honest, right?