Friday, September 29, 2006

June Cleaver, I Am Not.

It's Friday around 4:00. That means it's nap time but they won't let me do that here. Damn, I get so sleepy by Friday. I feel all lethargic and lead headed and bodied. Plus, I'm tapering and turning into a lazy lard ass. It's nice not to have to cram in a run at lunch and be worried I'm making a bad impression because I'm taking such a long lunch. But at the same time I kind of like the lunch time cram run. I just like to run and I miss it and I haven't even started the real light taper yet. Oh well, I get to cram one in tomorrow!

I'm not exactly sure why but my nesty feelings have come roaring back all of a sudden. Just the last couple of days and all I can think about is trying new recipes for mrp to taste and cuddling in bed and even, um ... babies. Maybe it's because it's starting to get cold out. I catch myself thinking of June Cleaverish notions of wifeyhood and mommyhood and it makes me happy. It's funny because as cynical and bristly and "tough" as I can be I am really just a 50's housewife underneath it all I think. I should check that. I don't like June Cleaver because she's too uptight. I would enjoy a cocktail with my Ward rather than just serve him one. I'd give my Beav a squeezy cuddle and a kiss on the cheek along with the milk and cookies. And, folks, I'm sorry to say, but the chrome in my house just could never sparkle as much as hers and my Ward might not always be able to find his slippers or his pipe. Oh, and I have a soul.

What else... Oh yeah, I had a nice conference call lunch with some NYU Tax friends. It was so nice to touch base and get back in touch with that part of myself. Since I was in a funk most of the summer I wasn't very good at keeping in touch with my social side. Now that I'm feeling better I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my friends.

Oh, I got the running outfit yesterday. I like it but I just have to get used to it, I think. I also have to try it on sometime not after I ate a giant burrito and 9 million tortilla chips to really know whether it doesn't make me feel like a heiffer. Circular I know, but I miss running today!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

We Have Ourselves a Salty One

Oh so much to write about, all of it mundane.

My doctor wants to put me on Cipro. I asked her for a nontendon-busting-digestive-system-f*cking alternative and she said there was none. I told her to shut the 'f' up and take it her goddammed self. Actually, I just said I'll think about it and proceeded to be irritated and never call her back. I feel fine. I'm not messing with my flora or my tendons.

What else. Oh yes. I bought myself a new running outfit for my race. I know it's cheesy but it made me happy and all my old running clothes are chaffy and funky and needed it anyway. We'll see if it looks good when I get it. If not, I will be wearing an old funky chaffy outfit instead.

Oh and I've also made an executive decision on my marathon strategy which I have thought entirely too much about. I will be going out with the intent of running even splits on pace for a 3:25. Maybe it will hurt and maybe I'll learn some lesson and crash and burn and eat my pride bla bla bla, but I know I am capable on a good day so why not go for it. All the running crystal balls say based on previous races that I could run a 3:20 or a little faster but I'm not so dumb to go and do that right off the bat, but why not keep the goal challenging. Maybe I'll fall off pace, but I'll have a big cushion to still come in in a respectable time. I know the risks and the benefits. I know myself. I think this is what I need to do for me and I'm doing it. This makes me happy and proud of myself for making an informed and intelligent decision. Is it the right one? We'll find out in a little under 3 weeks!

And work is a pile of doo. I am currently supervising (and mostly doing myself) a project involving printing 10,000 pages of dumb. This is what $160,000 in education gets you, folks. On the other hand, I am taking a leading role in negotiating stuff both within the company and without. I have to deal personally with "important" people and try to get them to see things my way. It's mostly fun and sometimes like beating my head against the wall. My interpersonal skills, once on the verge of pathetically underdeveloped, are almost up to age level.

Hmmm. I am killing time if you can't tell. Mrp and I have a date to finish working on my rental house but he got tied up with some work bs and I have had it with my work bs so I am just bsing here instead. Can you believe we're almost done double-handedly doing the entire project ourselves (with the help of some donated gorilla glue--that shit is amazing!) We replaced a ceramic tile bathroom floor with a new ceramic tile bathroom floor, calked the entire bathroom, removed and reinstalled the nastiest toilet (complete with "wood" seat) known to mankind, fixed floor boards, put in a washer and dryer and accompanying vent, cleaned the hell out of the place, and even screwed on a new mail box as a nice finishing touch. We just have to do a little more caulking, a little touch up painting and we'll be done! I give the keys to the new tenants on Thursday. I can't wait for this to be done and for us to be able to focus on, well, us!

Well, I suppose that's enough. I have nothing left to say that won't put you to sleep if you're still awake now. Anyway, take care out there. I'll be back when the going gets boring soon.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It's Taper Time!

My marathon is in 20 days, people. Less than three measley weeks! For whatever reason I woke up NERVOUS (yes, with a capital n and all the other letters too.) Why? Who cares? It's just a stinking road race. I will be one of millions this fall crossing it off my lifetime to do list. Why does this make me nervous? I think it's just a little performance anxiety. Also, I am afraid of being disappointed. So far, in every race I have run this year I have exceeded my own expectations. For most of them, I have far exceeded my expectations. It feels good to wow yourself, but now that I have a bit my expectations are higher than they were. I first thought of running a marathon in under 4 hours as a lofty goal and now I feel like I'll be disappointed if I don't break 3:30. I have this silly number mental block. 3:30:00 is slow, but a 3:29:59 is ok. 8:00 minutes per mile is slow, but I'll be satisfied with 7:59's.

I suppose this is something that everyone goes through with marathon training and with anything that they have rehearsed for. It's like my own personal stage show, my superbowl, or my own olympic ice skating debut. I want my own standing ovation, my own mvp ring, my own successful triple axel (and some teddy bears and roses thrown at me when I'm done for good measure). What if I forget my lines, or fumble, or fall on my ass in front of the entire world? I worked this hard to...have a collision with some ice?

I know, I know. I just need to trust myself, my training, my work, the world, et al. Quit what-iffing and just get out there and run those goddammed 7:59 splits and ignore the side-stitch, the puking, the aching butt muscle, the pee (or worse) dripping down my leg. And hey, if I experience a marathon calamity I can be psyched that I can be my own personal Kerry Strug!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Maybe I'd Prefer the Chicken Feet

AHHH!!! Work is insane. Shit storm doesn't begin to explain...

I have a break to nurse my currently not agonizingly painful but soon to be agonizingly painful UTI. I've consumed 800 calories in the form of cranberry juice today. Eww. That can't be good. The damn doctor is making me go in tomorrow. Damn her and her staff!

Back to the work thing. I am glad it's insane. I am glad I'm under the gun. In a very basic way it makes me feel important. I'm also learning a lot. It's as if someone blindfolded me and dropped me off in Shanghai and said "find your own way home." I'd pick up Mandarin or Cantonese or whatever the dialect is in Shanghai real quick (or learn to eat chicken feet or other "delicacies.") I wouldn't mind if it was always 90% of this level of intensity. I could learn how to get used to is and I think it would mature me very much as an executive type--meaning I'd learn how to deal with the "big boys." Actually, I should say the sport shirt wearing golf playing bloated white guys, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, like I said work is INSANE. So, I suppose I should put down the string cheese and read some e-mails.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Be Wise, Strain the Wine

When I was in high school I participated in some foreign language contest every year. It was silly. I just recited the same poem in Latin each year and every year I won the exact same prize. Anyway, the poem was Horace's Ode 1.11 also known as Carpe Diem. I only remember a few lines, but I've rembered them and recited those lines every so often for so many years.

tu ne quaesierus
scire nefas
quem mihi
quem tibi
finem de didederant, Leuconoe
nec Babylonios
temptarus numeros
Ut melius quic quid erit pati
seu pluras, something something...

And it goes on for a while and I can't remember the words but it ends:

carpe diem
quam minimum credulo postero

I couldn't resist. I googled a translation:

Don't ask (it's forbidden to know) what final fate the gods have given to me and you, Leuconoe, and don't consult Babylonian horoscopes. How much better it is to accept whatever shall be,whether Jupiter has given many more winters or whether this is the last one, which now breaks the force of the Tuscan sea against the facing cliffs. Be wise, strain the wine, and trim distant hope within short limits. While we're talking, grudging time will already have fled: seize the day, trusting as little as possible in tomorrow.

Here's why it's stuck with me. It says that we have but one life. That life is fleeting. Make it good. Damn good. But this does not mean don't do the right thing or quit work in favor of beach bumming. Quite the contrary. It means make the most of the present situation. Don't try to force the future into your goals. Carefully tailor goals and the paths to those goals each day as the future unfolds to enlighten the path. It means live life. Make your life happen within this world that we happened to be put upon. Live as to not regret what is undone. We must balance control with lack of control and seizing the day with making wise choices.

I, my friends, am a day seizer. I am happiest in the midst of a seize. I struggle in the waiting room while I'm supposed to be trusting old man Jupiter. While I'm seizing I am busy and can't worry about what the future holds and how to force it to take the shape I want it to take. So I think I have tricked myself into thinking it's all about the active seize. Yes, I know it's far from a news flash around this blog but I need to add in the trusting in the parts of life that I cannot control. Maybe sometimes good seizing is slow?

But I just want to get up and start seizing like crazy! I feel a lot better these last few weeks. I'm coming out of that brief yet icky bout of depression. I feel in charge of my life again and therefore I want to make it all happen now! Woohoo! Let's start seizing those days y'all! Let's take on life and make it interesting and challenging and fun and exhilarating. I want to seize the closeness and fun and newness of moving into the OHOOD with mrp. I want to adjust to mrp and learn about mrp and be silly with mrp. I want to make mrp breakfast and pack him lunches and kiss him goodnight every night. I want to do our dishes and make our bed and listen to the mower on the weekends in the warm months and the blower on the weekends in the cold ones. Jupiter, this is the day I want so badly to seize!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

On the Lawns of Life

Life is not an all or nothing kind of thing. It's possible, as I propose in the last post, that there can be a general macro happiness. Think of it like a beautiful lush green lawn. However, unless chemicals are involved (heh) this lawn will be peppered with a few depressed or sad weeds. Maintaining that general state of happiness requires management of these weeds to keep them from taking over and spoiling the lawn. There is rarely a time in anyone's life that is free from weeds. We (meaning I) have to realize that weedless is just not an attainable goal. Having a weed need not spoil the grass as it were. I'm cool with weeds--getting there anyway.

I must say I know that I have a lush green lawn. Yeah, there are definitely some weeds. Some easily picked, others stubbornly hanging in there despite many attempts to get rid of them. I'm also learning that some things that look like weeds might actually be nice native plants or workable in the landscape and not necessarily something to try to eliminate.

Yeah, I like metaphors. They're cheesy and all but they help me get my head around a concept very well. I'll quit the metaphoring for now, because I want to talk about real stuff now, k?

I ran my last pre-marathon tune-up race on Sunday. I ran a half-marathon in 1:35:11 (7:16 pace). It's funny. I used to have all kinds of pre-race anxiety but now I hardly even think about it. I figure out a rough strategy plan and just get out there and do it. The weather can stink, I could feel like poo, whatever. I just go and don't think to hard about it. I've realized that this is because I trust myself. I just have faith that I'll come through in the clutch. I've worked hard and know I can do it. And when it gets tough I have a secret mantra. When I start to get tired or doubt creeps in I say to myself, "I'm tough" and then I smile and say "and I'm HAPPY!" and I pick it up a little bit. I have been thinking about why these particular ideas work when others don't. When I ran xc in high school I used to beat myself up to try to get myself to perform better. This never worked. I would always end up psyching myself out--rebelling against my own self-bullying. But now I am positive and confident about my abilities I am experiencing much better results and doing much more than I ever thought possible. Part of it too, is putting things in perspective. And sorry to go back to the metaphor, but not running my goal time in a race is hardly a weed on my life lawn, you know. I used to use a bad performance as some sort of barometer of my self-worth (I was 17, don't forget). I wasn't fast and therefore I was inferior to other people in some way who were faster. I'm not all that fast now, but I don't care. I love doing it and I do it for fun and personal satisfaction and not as some demonstration of my worth as a human being. Anyway, this race and the two previous are concrete proof that I have found a great deal of self-acceptance and that I am actually HAPPY!

It's funny now that I used a lawn as my metaphor for happiness. Old guys with too much time on their hands or who pay too much money to chemlawn use their weed-free green-in-the-middle-of-August lawn as some sort of testiment to their worth--what it says other than anal-retentive, I don't know. I just picture my lawn as shiney and green and soft and flecked with buttercups. I just can feel it all soft on my skin as I roll around on it in the sunshine. Every once in a while I roll onto one of those spiney lawn weeds and have to nurse the prickles. But that's ok. I don't mind the reminder and the break from rolling really. And I don't care if the old guy thinks there's something wrong with my buttercups.